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Angel Carstairs Nov 2018
we are brothers ...
we are brothers to the last fight
we are brothers to the last enemy
we are brothers to the last angel
we are brothers to the last hour
we are brothers to the last tear
we are brothers to the last bullet
we are brothers to the last fear
we are brothers to the last breath
we are brothers to the last demon
we are brothers to the last hope
we are brothers to the last ‘ goodbye ’
we are brothers to the last ‘ stay with me ’
we are brothers to the last broken bone
we are brothers to the last slashed tire
we are brothers to the last ‘ i wont leave you alone ‘  
we are brothers to the last shattered bottle that lay by you on the ground
we are brother to last possible moment together
and the last drop of blood on the ground
we’ve been through hell and back
even to heaven once or twice
our hands have been blue,black and bound  
and we’ve been chased by all the hell hounds
we are brothers that’s for sure our love has come before all
and when you die and death takes your final breath
i will stand by your grave one tear slipping down my face
and i will softly say ‘ you were the best brother i ever had and a even better dad’

~ sam winchester
Angel Carstairs Nov 2018
one of my brothers is careful no matter what,

the other one acts like hes against a clock.

one of my brothers is drowning in *****,

he believes he has nothing to loose.

one of my brother loves to read,

i told him that he should lead.

one of my brothers believe our story has no end,

the other one believes it will change us till we bend.

one of my brothers acts like i’m still ten,

the other one used to tuck me into bed.

one of my brothers gave me a knife,

the other one tried to shield me from this life.

one of my brothers is in love with an angel,

the other one can see it from every angle.

one of my brothers has a strong disguise,

the other one thinks he shouldn’t be alive.

one of my brothers gave me a gun,

the other one wishes i didn’t have to hunt.

one of my brothers taught me how to fight,

the other one sang me too sleep at night.

one of my brothers raised me my whole life,

the other one taught me to read and write.

one of my brothers says ‘*******’,

the other one says ‘so get this’.

me and my brothers our closer than one’

so when our time is finally done.

i hope people remember me,

as well as my heroes Sam and Dean.
Mateuš Conrad Mar 2018
/the bore of moral relativism stemming from the eden metaphor:

i am sure, a satanic lie, but perhaps
a godly one too...
    type on the problem of the three
doherty brothers,
   with the husband having committed
suicide...
  the remaining brothers,
   with the remains of natalia doherty
in one of the remaining alive brothers...
the "disappearence" of
    natalia doherty from luton,
later found in the garden of one of the brothers...
drunk, she started shouting abuse
at the future suicide...
                clearly the story:
           the man who committed suicide
did the ******,
           the brothers stepped in
                  and covered up the burial...
i'm working from first impressions...
                   the husband killed, but could not
stomach the deed, so he took his own life,
his brothers stepped in
                          and took care of the ***** work
of making a crass burial...
                     justice is but water
       between the blood of familial ties...
as it were, brothers in arms...
                  but justice was served,
somehow, perhaps not the burial rites,
   but the fact that a suicide took place...
a g. madonim painting replaces my
aztec calendar, now hanging on my wall...
             and he lay with her for several days,
the brothers did the ***** work,
disposed of the body...
                           in that, they buried her
face down...
                       as if to imitate:
                        the shut mouth that once
took to drunk obscenity...
                    always the most mundane face
behind the most belitteling deeds...
     even if 12 years later...
                   and they say:
actions speak louder than words,
    sometimes words have unparalleled
consequence to be mismatched by deed...
                    guilty?
  who is guilty in this matter,
          if the actual murderer committed suicide?
too much of a brotherly love
        to leave the matter blatantly staring
in the face...
                       and what of the woman
without a grave?
        how much longer does the memory
of a person remain intact without
a "proper" western burial?
                             coffin unto slugs,
rot of wood,
                         or the immediate enegry
release from the Ganges?
                                       an abandoned grave
or no grave at all?
             justice would have been
served, if the murderer was still alive...
              then, of course,
            the remaining doherty brothers
would be guilty...
           but what if the same doherty brothers
didn't whisper a noose on the man
who strangled his wife?
              as they might have added:
    you did the ugly bit, we did you a favour
doing the ***** bit...
                   what respect for the dead
is there in rearranging the body, face up?
               a second dagger, a certainty,
and the two old brothers, with one playing
deaf, the other playing liar...
                      apparently in a fit of rage:
hell knows no fury like a woman scorned,
     but what is that of man?
                 heaven knows not of a man
castrated by a woman's words?
                  in the immediate sense -
                    oh gerald gerald...
said the two elder brothers...
                                if gerald was still alive...
you could judge the elder brothers
as accomplinces...
                                 at first i thought: b'ah!
but at least she wasn't buried as gerald would
have intended: chopped up and disposed
in dustbins...
                      she remained intact in
the ground...
                          since the undertaker walked
scot free...
                  3 months for the liar, aged 73.
we are
Brothers not of blood, but of a bond that bleeds
brothers stronger than the boughs of any family tree
brothers truer than any of our parent's sons
brothers that are brothers despite all the hell we've done
brothers more honestly than i can say to all my kin
brothers
we are brothers, despite the color of our skin
brothers, ever, the color of our hearts the same
brothers, loyal, brothers, through the final days
For my brother, though not born as so, you are more than any could ever claim to be.
MAKE war songs out of these;
Make chants that repeat and weave.
Make rhythms up to the ragtime chatter of the machine guns;
Make slow-booming psalms up to the boom of the big guns.
Make a marching song of swinging arms and swinging legs,
        Going along,
        Going along,
On the roads from San Antonio to Athens, from Seattle to Bagdad-
The boys and men in winding lines of khaki, the circling squares of bayonet points.

Cowpunchers, cornhuskers, shopmen, ready in khaki;
Ballplayers, lumberjacks, ironworkers, ready in khaki;
A million, ten million, singing, "I am ready."
This the sun looks on between two seaboards,
In the land of Lincoln, in the land of Grant and Lee.

I heard one say, "I am ready to be killed."
I heard another say, "I am ready to be killed."
O sunburned clear-eyed boys!
I stand on sidewalks and you go by with drums and guns and bugles,
        You-and the flag!
And my heart tightens, a fist of something feels my throat
        When you go by,
You on the kaiser hunt, you and your faces saying, "I am ready to be killed."

They are hunting death,
Death for the one-armed mastoid kaiser.
They are after a Hohenzollern head:
There is no man-hunt of men remembered like this.

The four big brothers are out to ****.
France, Russia, Britain, America-
The four republics are sworn brothers to **** the kaiser.

Yes, this is the great man-hunt;
And the sun has never seen till now
Such a line of toothed and tusked man-killers,
In the blue of the upper sky,
In the green of the undersea,
In the red of winter dawns.
Eating to ****,
Sleeping to ****,
Asked by their mothers to ****,
Wished by four-fifths of the world to ****-
To cut the kaiser's throat,
To hack the kaiser's head,
To hang the kaiser on a high-horizon gibbet.

And is it nothing else than this?
Three times ten million men thirsting the blood
Of a half-cracked one-armed child of the German kings?
Three times ten million men asking the blood
Of a child born with his head wrong-shaped,
The blood of rotted kings in his veins?
If this were all, O God,
I would go to the far timbers
And look on the gray wolves
Tearing the throats of moose:
I would ask a wilder drunk of blood.

Look! It is four brothers in joined hands together.
        The people of bleeding France,
        The people of bleeding Russia,
        The people of Britain, the people of America-
These are the four brothers, these are the four republics.

At first I said it in anger as one who clenches his fist in wrath to fling his knuckles into the face of some one taunting;
Now I say it calmly as one who has thought it over and over again at night, among the mountains, by the seacombers in storm.
I say now, by God, only fighters to-day will save the world, nothing but fighters will keep alive the names of those who left red prints of bleeding feet at Valley Forge in Christmas snow.
On the cross of Jesus, the sword of Napoleon, the skull of Shakespeare, the pen of Tom Jefferson, the ashes of Abraham Lincoln, or any sign of the red and running life poured out by the mothers of the world,
By the God of morning glories climbing blue the doors of quiet homes, by the God of tall hollyhocks laughing glad to children in peaceful valleys, by the God of new mothers wishing peace to sit at windows nursing babies,
I swear only reckless men, ready to throw away their lives by hunger, deprivation, desperate clinging to a single purpose imperturbable and undaunted, men with the primitive guts of rebellion,
Only fighters gaunt with the red brand of labor's sorrow on their brows and labor's terrible pride in their blood, men with souls asking danger-only these will save and keep the four big brothers.

Good-night is the word, good-night to the kings, to the czars,
        Good-night to the kaiser.
The breakdown and the fade-away begins.
The shadow of a great broom, ready to sweep out the trash, is here.

One finger is raised that counts the czar,
The ghost who beckoned men who come no more-
The czar gone to the winds on God's great dustpan,
The czar a pinch of nothing,
The last of the gibbering Romanoffs.

Out and good-night-
The ghosts of the summer palaces
And the ghosts of the winter palaces!
Out and out, good-night to the kings, the czars, the kaisers.

Another finger will speak,
And the kaiser, the ghost who gestures a hundred million sleeping-waking ghosts,
The kaiser will go onto God's great dustpan-
The last of the gibbering Hohenzollerns.
Look! God pities this trash, God waits with a broom and a dustpan,
God knows a finger will speak and count them out.

It is written in the stars;
It is spoken on the walls;
It clicks in the fire-white zigzag of the Atlantic wireless;
It mutters in the bastions of thousand-mile continents;
It sings in a whistle on the midnight winds from Walla Walla to Mesopotamia:
Out and good-night.

The millions slow in khaki,
The millions learning Turkey in the Straw and John Brown's Body,
The millions remembering windrows of dead at Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Spottsylvania Court House,
The millions dreaming of the morning star of Appomattox,
The millions easy and calm with guns and steel, planes and prows:
        There is a hammering, drumming hell to come.
        The killing gangs are on the way.

God takes one year for a job.
God takes ten years or a million.
God knows when a doom is written.
God knows this job will be done and the words spoken:
Out and good-night.
        The red tubes will run,
        And the great price be paid,
        And the homes empty,
        And the wives wishing,
        And the mothers wishing.

There is only one way now, only the way of the red tubes and the great price.

        Well...
Maybe the morning sun is a five-cent yellow balloon,
And the evening stars the joke of a God gone crazy.
Maybe the mothers of the world,
And the life that pours from their torsal folds-
Maybe it's all a lie sworn by liars,
And a God with a cackling laughter says:
"I, the Almighty God,
I have made all this,
I have made it for kaisers, czars, and kings."

Three times ten million men say: No.
Three times ten million men say:
        God is a God of the People.
And the God who made the world
        And fixed the morning sun,
        And flung the evening stars,
        And shaped the baby hands of life,
This is the God of the Four Brothers;
This is the God of bleeding France and bleeding Russia;
This is the God of the people of Britain and America.

The graves from the Irish Sea to the Caucasus peaks are ten times a million.
The stubs and stumps of arms and legs, the eyesockets empty, the cripples, ten times a million.
The crimson thumb-print of this anathema is on the door panels of a hundred million homes.
Cows gone, mothers on sick-beds, children cry a hunger and no milk comes in the noon-time or at night.
The death-yells of it all, the torn throats of men in ditches calling for water, the shadows and the hacking lungs in dugouts, the steel paws that clutch and squeeze a scarlet drain day by day-the storm of it is hell.
But look! child! the storm is blowing for a clean air.

Look! the four brothers march
And hurl their big shoulders
And swear the job shall be done.

Out of the wild finger-writing north and south, east and west, over the blood-crossed, blood-dusty ball of earth,
Out of it all a God who knows is sweeping clean,
Out of it all a God who sees and pierces through, is breaking and cleaning out an old thousand years, is making ready for a new thousand years.
The four brothers shall be five and more.

Under the chimneys of the winter time the children of the world shall sing new songs.
Among the rocking restless cradles the mothers of the world shall sing new sleepy-time songs.
ISSAI MASHINGO Jul 2014
When brothers go to war there are no captives/
When brothers go to war we find only casualties/
The in explicable war between Palestine and Israel,/
In this poem i hope that peace would prevail/
Countries at the crossroads of heaven and hell/
Their war has lasted for ages/
Pain and revenge bitterness and hate/
When brothers go to war who dares to mediate/
Who knows of their fate who knows whose right/
Its bee like this for so many years/
Who will be there to wipe their tears/
Who will be there to give hope to those in fear/
Who will dare to go and interfere/
When brothers go to war know that the end is near/
Hold on and sanctify your soul in prayer/
When brothers go to war who is the villain who is the saint/
The war of Israel and Palestine stained in red paint/
A revelation to the faint hearted/
A lesson to the boastful and egocentric/
Innocent lives lost when brothers go to war/
A gentle answer turns away wrath/
But a harsh word stirs up anger/
A hot tempered man stirs up dissension/
But a patient man calms a quarrel/
When brothers go to war who dares mediate
(c) ISSAI
for the war within!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sam Newton Apr 2013
As Some early rap group plays in the background of my life
The relationship with my Brothers has changed my insight, it helps me decide when to lie and defines who I am, what I mean to the fam and everybody who truly knows me as Sam.
That isn't to say I'm not intimate today,
I love everybody in a different kind of way,
It makes me smile even just to say it.
I have people in my life, worth the slang I derive from these pretty soulful lines
Something I cannot measure, but simply as a sense of pleasure
All in a world I feel is mine, making them Brothers and therefore a lifeline
Any person I can call when I need little time,
If I need a friend or a relationship to mend, some cash in my pocket for my next canned soda
Looking at the twizzlers thinking I could use them as a straw, daydreaming again, just a big kid standing a little too tall.
Looking from the top thinking that's a long way to fall,
But as I get closer to edge and look down on,
I see that my Brothers already have me harnessed up, they intend to let me jump.
Letting me learn my mistakes to help discern from the fake,
Because the ones who criticize you are the one's who hold you when you cry,
Trying to make myself better, if only for my guys.
The brothers that I never had, they help me see who I want to be
Help me envision what I want, but make me stand to reach my next treat
To find the earth from this place up here.
Looking, I contemplate how I want to create to change, or maybe cause fear
If only small things, I will be the force to define the voice of my people
A generation left behind to figure out what is evil.
A knew definition nowadays because of where it's living, in our hearts and even in this page.
All I want to do is sleep because without my Brothers I'm just dead meat.
All I want to do see a world made for me and you, my Brothers, a relationship above all others.
The thing that means the most to me these days, is the fact that no matter where I go, my Brothers will be with me. Something I can always see, it resides somewhere inside of me. Emotionally and Mentally. Today they rest with me. Humans, people, beings, whatever they are to me, you couldn't possibly begin to conceive.
I would **** for the people I call my Brothers. It deserves to be capitalized after what we've been through together. It sounds a little too sentimental. But without them I would not have developed into myself.
Michael Hughes Jun 2013
I stand the silent vigil
     with my brothers left and right.
A perfect dress-right-dress
     keeps our columns long and tight.

We guard this sacred land
     Our valor etched in stone.
One mothers sacrifice is made,
     so that others may grow old.

I stand the silent vigil
    with my brothers left and right.
In the company of the honored,
    all are equal and upright.

Our numbers speak in volumes,
   though our names do fade with time.
Our fight is finally over,
   for our countries picket line.

I stand that silent vigil,
   with my brothers left and right.
Our banners handed forwards,
   the pennants marked in rhyme.

We stand at grave attention
   as new brothers fall in line;
And take up silent vigil,
  with their brothers left and right.

We stand that silent vigil
   with all brothers on the line.
Some fulfill their duties early,
   they are called before their time.

Those brothers that they've left
   cherish memories tinged with guilt.
They are called to share our stories,
   Even if it's once a year.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Gideon Apr 2015
In this far strange land
Is a place i call home
Someday we'll return
To our loved ones at home
And won't have to fight to be
Brothers in arms

Brothers i ate with
Fought with
Bled with
With my last breath
I'll stand by you
My brothers in arms

Let us fight till the end
Just as we did before
As we march on to victory
With blood on our hands
Side by side
With our brothers in arms
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 Ginger Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“Ginger 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 strip 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 Ginger 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
Yenson Aug 2018
Yo..brother.....brothers.....BROTHERS
Hear me now
The time has come for us to talk
You all say 'KEEP IT REAL'
So lets talk and keep it real

So tell me you all, please tell me
What's ******* real with you all knifing each other
What's real with taking someone's life
What's real with being crazed and stupid
What's real with losing a future and ruining your life
What's real with doing time in jail and forever marked a killer

This ain't no Macho ****, this ain't no cool nothing
No! man, this ain't no macho ****, this ain't no cool NOTHING ****
Look around you, where does it states that killing another is cool
If you're blood thirsty and wanna fight, why not go join the army
At least you learn discipline and acquire some other useful skills
And if you're still ******, you can do all the killing you want and get a ******* medal for it, if your ****** *** makes it through.

Yeah, we all know its tough out there.
We know its not easy being a brother, we know there are obstacles
We know there are limited opportunities
We know there are those that don't like us
We know nobody really give a **** about some of us
We know whatever, whatever
But nothing justifies us killing each other

21st Century, we know we are humans like everybody else
We say we are free, we have freedom in a civilized society
Think brothers and look closely, who is really free
No one, you are only free within the ******* dictates of the society
That means behave like a civilized person and they leave your *** alone
Any thing else, you get the ******* chains right back around your neck
And prison and ruination becomes your ******* Cotton field
That is the greatest affront and betrayal to all our Ancestors
Who never had a choice and ******* suffered immeasurably

Brother, hear me, you gotta find and know that real freedom is in the mind, real power comes from the mind, your ******* brain.
A trained MIND, a brain that works capably and efficiently
A brain that knows its not about Macho posturing
Or beating the ******* system or trying to have something for nothing, or chasing the quick buck or ******* about

Its the brain that thinks and refuses to accept that
Saying SICK doesn't mean something is good
Saying WICKED doesn't mean something is impressive
saying DOPE doesn't mean something is 'the business'
Man, how can you buy into all that ****
How can you allow yourself to be programmed that negativity means something positive and good.
With that mindset is it any wonder brothers are now shooting and knifing each other.

No brothers, its about getting a trained mind, being a responsible member of the ******* society, its about hard graft, forgoing some things, caring about others, being an inspiration to the younger ones, respecting women and each other and ****** suffering if it comes to it, because in life sometimes, it comes to it, but a trained mind will help you through **** and moreover you get to ****** sleep easy at night, knowing you ain't got no payback coming

So brothers...forgive me if I've said too much, I am not judging and I do appreciate its hell out there, its just that we are all tired of hearing another ****** is now six feet under. A poor mother cries again, a father wonders what he did wrong, a wife cries for a lost love, a brother or sister misses a sibling for ever a poor child is left without a father. Somewhere tonight a MOTHER is weeping bitter tears, she carried you for nine uneasy months, nurtured and loved you, now you are gone, stabbed to death by another brother, why are we doing this to our MOTHERS?

Come on, brothers, lets start  getting with the page
LETS START KEEPING IT REAL..........
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Brady D Friedkin Apr 2016
Oh Lord, faithful unto Your people in all ages and worlds
Faithful even unto those that forget Your faithfulness and discard You
And once more, here I am remembering not Your faithfulness
Your body has been desecrated and all but defeated and destroyed
For Your people use words as weapons for ****** and spite for means of destruction

Oh Lord, Your body has torn itself to shreds, and someone is going to die
That someone is going to be the Body of Christ
Disagreements and differences need not to lead to hatred and malice
We have been saved and united unto You by Your great love
Can we not be united to one another as to You through Your love?

When children become involved in immature entanglements, adults laugh and ignore
But when grown adults fight in the streets, the fight must be stopped
And now Your body is pulling punches and weapons
There is bitter hatred over language and style, awful things to cause blood
Oh Lord, might this soon come to an end?

Oh Lord why do You allow for Your people to tear one another down?
Day by day, year by year, generation by generation, Your Body falls deeper into dismay
Your people, oh Lord, war against one another over small issues and differences
How long must we persevere through bitter hate and rejection from brothers and sisters?
Oh Lord might we have unity and love as you have always called for us to come to?

Oh Lord, our knees are bruised from years of kneeling
Our minds are wounded from generations of dealing
Our necks are sore from all our lives spent looking heavenward
Our eyes are reddened and swollen from lives spent crying for our beaten and murdered brothers
And our souls are decomposing from being cast out by the powerful in Your Body

Oh Lord, heal our bruises, mend our wounds, take away our sores
Lord, take away our tears, and resurrect our souls into Your great love
Lord, defeat our adversaries and bring us all back into unity with each other and You
Bring us back into Your love and remember us who have been cast out and forgotten
Oh Lord, deliver us from our adversaries, our very brothers in Christ

But for those who show love to our brothers, and have unity in Your love
For those who call all sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ ‘brothers and sisters’
As for us, we bring forth unity in a fractured and all but defeated body
We call upon those who bring forth dissonance, and plead that they show Christian love
And though many do not listen, still we call in Your name

Still we commune in the Sacrament of Your Body and Blood with them
Still we refer as brothers and sisters, our very body
Even through pain, and hate, and torment, through tears, and blood, still we love on
Still we worship beside them, pray with them, and partake in the ministry of the Word with them
Still we participate in and out of liturgy in the work of the Church, for they are our brothers

So we cup our hands as if waiting for bread, we set our gaze toward the heavens
We pray for Your blessings to fall into our open palms daily
And here come I, on my knees begging that You deliver us from this hell
That You might intervene and put this broken body back together
That You might breathe new life into this seeming dying body

Your Son was murdered, broken, and crucified for our transgressions
His broken body lay in the ground for three days before He rose again into new life
So too might this body, the Body of Jesus Christ, resurrect into new life
And we read that Lazarus’ came back into life after passing unto death
So this body, which has yet not passed unto death, might be mended and healed

You, who have come to make all things new
Who have come to make all sad things come untrue
You can mend these wounds that seem unhealable
And we know that You will, for You are faithful unto Your children
Faith, which we so often lack, we will not lose

You have mercy upon us, forgiving us all our sins, through Your Son
You strengthen us in all goodness by the power of Your Holy Spirit keeping us in eternal life
So we lift our hearts to You, giving You thanks and praise always and everywhere
We sing songs to You and give our whole hearts to You
From the first breath we breathe in new life, to the last breath on earth, be our praise with You

This is the prayer from the oppressed in Your body
The prayer for those who have dwelt beneath the foot of the body
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon our enemies
Give us Your grace, and bring the body back into unity, oh Lord
And more of all, grant us Your peace

Oh Lord, You accept the fervent prayers of your people
With Your many mercies, look with compassion upon us
Hear our prayers, oh Lord to whom we turn for great help
You are most gracious, you lover of souls
Hear, accept, and intervene on our behalf by Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen.
A lament written for a class at school. This is a lament for the body of Christ which so often tears down other members and murders with words and actions
Victor D López Dec 2018
Victor D. López (October 11, 2018)

You were born five years before the beginning of the Spanish civil war and
Lived in a modest two-story home in the lower street of Fontan, facing the ocean that
Gifted you its wealth and beauty but also robbed you of your beloved and noblest eldest
Brother, Juan, who was killed while working as a fisherman out to sea at the tender age of 19.

You were a little girl much prone to crying. The neighbors would make you cry just by saying,
"Chora, neniña, chora" [Cry little girl, cry] which instantly produced inconsolable wailing.
At the age of seven or eight you were blinded by an eye Infection. The village doctor
Saved your eyesight, but not before you missed a full year of school.

You never recovered from that lost time. Your impatience and the shame of feeling left behind prevented
You from making up for lost time. Your wounded pride, the shame of not knowing what your friends knew,
Your restlessness and your inability to hold your tongue when you were corrected by your teacher created
A perfect storm that inevitably tossed your diminutive boat towards the rocks.

When still a girl, you saw Franco with his escort leave his yacht in Fontan. With the innocence of a girl
Who would never learn to hold her tongue, you asked a neighbor who was also present, "Who is that Man?"
"The Generalissimo Francisco Franco," she answered and whispered “Say ‘Viva Franco’ when he Passes by.”
With the innocence of a little girl and the arrogance of an incorrigible old soul you screamed, pointing:

"That's the Generalissimo?" followed up loud laughter, "He looks like Tom Thumb!"
A member of his protective detail approached you, raising his machine gun with the apparent intention of
Hitting you with the stock. "Leave her alone!" Franco ordered. "She is just a child — the fault is not hers."
You told that story many times in my presence, always with a smile or laughing out loud.

I don't believe you ever appreciated the possible import of that "feat" of contempt for
Authority. Could that act of derision have played some small part in their later
Coming for your father and taking him prisoner, torturing him for months and eventually
Condemning him to be executed by firing squad in the Plaza de Maria Pita?

He escaped his fate with the help of a fascist officer who freed him as I’ve noted earlier.
Such was his reputation, the power of his ideas and the esteem even of friends who did not share his views.
Such was your innocence or your psychic blind spot that you never realized your possible contribution to
His destruction. Thank God you never connected the possible impact of your words on his downfall.

You adored your dad throughout your life with a passion of which he was most deserving.
He died shortly after the end of the Spanish Civil War. A mother with ten mouths to feed
Needed help. You stepped up in response to her silent, urgent need. At the age of
Eleven you left school for the last time and began working full time.

Children could not legally work in Franco’s Spain. Nevertheless, a cousin who owned a cannery
Took pity on your situation and allowed you to work full-time in his fish cannery factory in Sada.
You earned the same salary as the adult, predominantly women workers and worked better
Than most of them with a dexterity and rapidity that served you well your entire life.

In your free time before work you carried water from the communal fountain to neighbors for a few cents.
You also made trips carrying water on your head for home and with a pail in each hand. This continued after
You began work in Cheche’s cannery. You rose long before sunrise to get the water for
Home and for the local fishermen before they left on their daily fishing trips for their personal water pails.

All of the money you earned went to your mom with great pride that a girl could provide more than the salary of a
Grown woman--at the mere cost of her childhood and education. You also washed clothes for some
Neighbors for a few cents more, with diapers for newborns always free just for the pleasure of being
Allowed to see, hold spend some time with the babies you so dearly loved you whole life through.
When you were old enough to go to the Sunday cinema and dances, you continued the
Same routine and added washing and ironed the Sunday clothes for the young fishermen
Who wanted to look their best for the weekly dances. The money from that third job was your own
To pay for weekly hairdos, the cinema and dance hall entry fee. The rest still went to your mom.

At 16 you wanted to go to emigrate to Buenos Aires to live with an aunt.
Your mom agreed to let you--provided you took your younger sister, Remedios, with you.
You reluctantly agreed. You found you also could not legally work in Buenos Aires as a minor.
So you convincingly lied about your age and got a job as a nurse’s aide at a clinic soon after your arrival.

You washed bedpans, made beds, scrubbed floors and did other similar assigned tasks
To earn enough money to pay the passage for your mom and two youngest brothers,
Sito (José) and Paco (Francisco). Later you got a job as a maid at a hotel in the resort town of
Mar del Plata whose owners loved your passion for taking care of their infant children.

You served as a maid and unpaid babysitter. Between your modest salary and
Tips as a maid you soon earned the rest of the funds needed for your mom’s and brothers’
Passage from Spain. You returned to Buenos Aires and found two rooms you could afford in an
Excellent neighborhood at an old boarding house near the Spanish Consulate in the center of the city.

Afterwards you got a job at a Ponds laboratory as a machine operator of packaging
Machines for Ponds’ beauty products. You made good money and helped to support your
Mom and brothers  while she continued working as hard as she always had in Spain,
No longer selling fish but cleaning a funeral home and washing clothing by hand.

When your brothers were old enough to work, they joined you in supporting your
Mom and getting her to retire from working outside the home.
You lived with your mom in the same home until you married dad years later,
And never lost the bad habit of stubbornly speaking your mind no matter the cost.

Your union tried to force you to register as a Peronista. Once burned twice cautious,
You refused, telling the syndicate you had not escaped one dictator to ally yourself with
Another. They threatened to fire you. When you would not yield, they threatened to
Repatriate you, your mom and brothers back to Spain.

I can’t print your reply here. They finally brought you to the general manager’s office
Demanding he fire you. You demanded a valid reason for their request.
The manager—doubtless at his own peril—refused, saying he had no better worker
Than you and that the union had no cause to demand your dismissal.

After several years of courtship, you and dad married. You had the world well in hand with
Well-paying jobs and strong savings that would allow you to live a very comfortable life.
You seemed incapable of having the children you so longed for. Three years of painful
Treatments allowed you to give me life and we lived three more years in a beautiful apartment.

I have memories from a very tender age and remember that apartment very well. But things changed
When you decided to go into businesses that soon became unsustainable in the runaway inflation and
Economic chaos of the Argentina of the early 1960’s. I remember only too well your extreme sacrifice
And dad’s during that time—A theme for another day, but not for today.

You were the hardest working person I’ve ever known. You were not afraid of any honest
Job no matter how challenging and your restlessness and competitive spirit always made you a
Stellar employee everywhere you worked no matter how hard or challenging the job.
Even at home you could not stand still unless there was someone with whom to chat awhile.

You were a truly great cook thanks in part to learning from the chef of the hotel where you had
Worked in Mar del Plata awhile—a fellow Spaniard of Basque descent who taught you many of his favorite
Dishes—Spanish and Italian specialties. You were always a terribly picky eater. But you
Loved to cook for family and friends—the more the merrier—and for special holidays.

Dad was also a terrific cook, but with a more limited repertoire. I learned to cook
With great joy from both of you at a young age. And, though neither my culinary skills nor
Any aspect of my life can match you or dad, I too am a decent cook and
Love to cook, especially for meals shared with loved ones.

You took great pleasure in introducing my friends to some of your favorite dishes such as
Cazuela de mariscos, paella marinera, caldo Gallego, stews, roasts, and your incomparable
Canelones, ñoquis, orejas, crepes, muñuelos, flan, and the rest of your long culinary repertoire.
In primary and middle school dad picked me up every day for lunch before going to work.

You and he worked the second shift and did not leave for work until around 2:00 p.m.
Many days, dad would bring a carload of classmates with me for lunch.
I remember as if it were yesterday the faces of my Jewish, Chinese, Japanese, German, Irish
And Italian friends when first introduced to octopus, Spanish tortilla, caldo Gallego, and flan.

The same was true during college and law school.  At times our home resembled an
U.N. General Assembly meeting—but always featuring food. You always treated my
Closest friends as if they were your children and a number of them to this day love
You as a second mother though they have not seen you for many years.

You had tremendous passion and affinity for being a mother (a great pity to have just one child).
It made you over-protective. You bought my clothes at an exclusive boutique. I became a
Living doll for someone denied such toys as a young girl. You would not let me out of your sight and
Kept me in a germ-free environment that eventually produced some negative health issues.

My pediatrician told you often “I want to see him with ***** finger nails and scraped knees.”
You dismissed the statement as a joke. You’d take me often to the park and to my
Favorite merry-go-round. But I had not one friend until I was seven or eight and then just one.
I did not have a real circle of friends until I was about 13 years old. Sad.

I was walking and talking up a storm in complete sentences when I was one year old.
You were concerned and took me to my pediatrician who laughed. He showed me a
Keychain and asked, “What is this Danny.” “Those are your car keys” I replied. After a longer
Evaluation he told my mom it was important to encourage and feed my curiosity.

According to you, I was unbearable (some things never change). I asked dad endless questions such as,
“Why is the sun hot? How far are the stars and what are they made of? Why
Can’t I see the reflection of a flashlight pointed at the sky at night? Why don’t airplanes
Have pontoons on top of the wheels so they can land on both water and land? Etc., etc., etc.

He would answer me patiently to the best of his ability and wait for the inevitable follow-ups.
I remember train and bus rides when very young sitting on his lap asking him a thousand Questions.
Unfortunately, when I asked you a question you could not answer, you more often than not made up an answer Rather than simply saying “I don’t know,” or “go ask dad” or even “go to hell you little monster!”

I drove you crazy. Whatever you were doing I wanted to learn to do, whether it was working on the
Sewing machine, knitting, cooking, ironing, or anything else that looked remotely interesting.
I can’t imagine your frustration. Yet you always found only joy in your little boy at all ages.
Such was your enormous love which surrounded me every day of my life and still does.

When you told me a story and I did not like the ending, such as with “Little Red Riding Hood,”
I demanded a better one and would cry interminably if I did not get it. Poor mom. What patience!
Reading or making up a story that little Danny did not approve of could be dangerous.
I remember one day in a movie theater watching the cartoons I loved (and still love).

Donald Duck came out from stage right eating a sandwich. Sitting between you and dad I asked you
For a sandwich. Rather than explaining that the sandwich was not real, that we’d go to dinner after the show
To eat my favorite steak sandwich (as usual), you simply told me that Donald Duck would soon bring me the sandwich. But when the scene changed, Donald Duck came back smacking his lips without the sandwich.

Then all hell broke loose. I wailed at the top of my lungs that Donald Duck had eaten my sandwich.
He had lied to me and not given me the promised sandwich. That was unbearable. There was
No way to console me or make me understand—too late—that Donald Duck was also hungry,
That it was his sandwich, not mine, or that what was on the screen was just a cartoon and not real.

He, Donald Duck, mi favorite Disney character (then and now) hade eaten this little boy’s Sandwich. Such a Betrayal by a loved one was inconceivable and unbearable. You and dad had to drag me out of the theater ranting And crying at the injustice at top volume. The tantrum (extremely rare for me then, less so now) went on for awhile, but all was well again when my beloved Aunt Nieves gave me a ******* with jam and told me Donald had sent it.

So much water under the bridge. Your own memories, like smoke in a soft breeze, have dissipated
Into insubstantial molecules like so many stars in the night sky that paint no coherent picture.
An entire life of vital conversations turned to the whispers of children in a violent tropical storm,
Insubstantial, imperceptible fragments—just a dream that interrupts an eternal nightmare.

That is your life today. Your memory was always prodigious. You knew the name of every person
You ever met, and those of their family members. You could recall entire conversations word for word.
Three years of schooling proved more than sufficient for you to go out into the world, carving your own
Path from the Inhospitable wilderness and learning to read and write at the age of 16.

You would have been a far better lawyer than I and a fiery litigator who would have fought injustice
Wherever you found it and always defended the rights of those who cannot defend themselves,
Especially children who were always your most fervent passion. You sacrificed everything for others,
Always put yourself dead-last, and never asked for anything in return.

You were an excellent dancer and could sing like an angel. Song was your release in times of joy and
In times of pain. You did not drink or smoke or over-indulge in anything. For much of your life your only minor Indulgence was a weekly trip to the beauty parlor—even in Spain where your washing and ironing income
Paid for that. You were never vain in any way, but your self-respect required you to try to look your best.

You loved people and unlike dad who was for the most part shy, you were quite happy in the all-to-infrequent
Role as the life of the party—singing, dressing up as Charlie Chaplin or a newborn for New Year’s Eve parties with Family and close friends. A natural story-teller until dementia robbed you of the ability to articulate your thoughts,
You’d entertain anyone who would listen with anecdotes, stories, jokes and lively conversation.

In short: you were an exceptional person with a large spirit, a mischievous streak, and an enormous heart.
I know I am not objective about you, but any of your surviving friends and family members who knew you
Well will attest to this and more in a nanosecond. You had an incredibly positive, indomitable attitude
That led you to rush in where angels fear to treat not out of foolishness but out of supreme confidence.

Life handed you cartloads of lemons—enough to pickle the most ardent optimist. And you made not just
Lemonade but lemon merengue pie, lemon sorbet, lemon drops, then ground up the rind for sweetest
Rice pudding, flan, fried dough and a dozen other delicacies. And when all the lemons were gone, you sowed the Seeds from which extraordinarily beautiful lemon trees grew with fruit sweeter than grapes, plums, or cherries.

I’ve always said with great pride that you were a far better writer than I. How many excellent novels,
Plays, and poems could you have written with half of my education and three times my workload?
There is no justice in this world. Why does God give bread to those without teeth? Your
Prodigious memory no longer allows you to recognize me. I was the last person you forgot.

But even now when you cannot have a conversation in any language, Sometimes your eyes sparkle, and
You call me “neniño” (my little boy in Galician) and I know that for an instant you are no longer alone.
But too son the light fades and the darkness returns. I can only see you a few hours one day a week.
My life circumstances do not leave me another option. The visits are bitter sweet but I’m grateful for them.

Someday I won’t even have that opportunity to spend a few hours with you. You’ll have no
Monument to mark your passing save in my memory so long as reason remains. An entire
Life of incalculable sacrifice will leave behind only the poorest living legacy of love
In your son who lacks appropriate words to adequately honor your memory, and always will.


*          *          *

The day has come, too son. October 11, 2018. The call came at 3:30 am.
An hour or two after I had fallen asleep. They tried CPR in vain. There will be no more
Opportunities to say, “I Love you,” to caress your hands and face, to softly sing in your ear,
To put cream on your hands, or to hope that this week you might remember me.

No more time to tell you the accomplishments of loved ones, who I saw, what they told me,
Who asked about you this week, or to pray with you, or to ask if you would give me a kiss by putting my
Cheek close to your lips, to feel joy when you graced me with many little kisses in response,
Or tell you “Maybe next time” when as more often than not the case for months you did not respond.

In saying good bye I’d give you the kiss and hug Alice always sent you,
Followed by three more kisses on the forehead from dad (he always gave you three) and one from me.
I’d leave the TV on to a channel with people and no sound and when possible
Wait for you to close your eyes before leaving.

Time has run out. No further extensions are possible. My prayers change from asking God to protect
You and by His Grace allow you to heal a little bit each day to praying that God protect your
Soul and dad’s and that He allow you to rest in peace in His kingdom. I miss you and Dad very much
And will do so as long as God grants me the gift of reason. I never knew what it is to be alone. I do now.

Four years seeing your blinding light reduced to a weak flickering candle in total darkness.
Four years fearing that you might be aware of your situation.
Four years praying that you would not feel pain, sadness or loneliness.
Four years learning to say goodbye. The rest of my life now waiting in the hope of seeing you again.

I love you mom, with all my heart, always and forever.
Written originally in Spanish and translated into English with minor additions on my mom's passing (October 2018).
RW Dennen Feb 2015
Be smart be alert
Do not hide the truth my friend
Defend the truth until the end

RW Dennen-

Come my brothers and sisters
  let us be basked in the sun of glory
Be we the tears that fall
  surrendered on cheeks that tell their tale

Let slavery's master-yoke be broken
  and cast away

Come my brothers and sisters
and so do join in our power's struggle
  to lend a better day

Come my brothers and sisters
  may your shining soul be at rest

Come be as neighbors no matter far away
  let our colors merge one into one is one;
    let racism fade away
  and let rest us upon the immovable stone
     of brotherhood; so powerful we are
And so too awaits our resolve enlightened by
our hearts of day

Then tear that awful blind of ignorance
and sing our song till all merge into one
And laud that peace that will increase good tidings to us all

Be that light until that sight
when colors merge and BROTHERHOOD,
  to never go away...
The movie "Selma" and that powerful music "Glory" inspired
me to write this piece. I loved Martin for what he did for all colors
on this planet earth
Qasid Ali Dec 2016
Let's find a song
To sing it along
Because the ride is long
And brothers are meant to
Live and die along


What makes you stronger than a brothers support?
A love profound, creating a diamond fort
What's truer than a brothers love?
In the black night, shining a star above
What's more valuable than a brothers smile?
A paradise, a gift, dream granted for a while.
What's more saddening than a brothers frown?
To replace that, selling the dearest crown

Let's join our hands
To all the havoc that lands
Stay faithful till our last breath
A promise unbroken by death


Let's find a song
To sing it along
Because the ride is long
And brothers are meant to
Live and die along
Gaffer Jan 2016
Woke up this morning with a head
This is the curse when you try to change the world
Gave Mary just a slight hint Tony might be bedding Jill, Joan, not excluding Alice
Big John, definitely gay, but as I explained, Billy his partner was kissing May
Mark was salivating over the barmaid Rose
Godsakes man haven’t you heard, Rose used to be Fred
You could have heard a pin drop when the chuckle brothers walked in
Word on the street, Jill and Joan were in the family way
Which in any other circumstances would be okay
But everybody knew the brothers fired blanks, hence the chuckle reference amongst the ranks
Still, honour was at stake on that fateful night
A slight nod Tony’s way would start the fight
A knife to the heart was Tony’s plight
Then a voice cried out, you sure she’s a man
Well, Rose hit Mark with a pan
Big John head butted Billy
Who landed on Tony, and one of his cronies
Mary who had now lost the plot when Alice showed the ring Tony had bought
A bottle of bud over the head, put paid to Tony and his amorous ways
Rose stripped off shouting, does this look like a man
Mark got up seeing double as the chuckle brothers pushed him down again
Big John threw Billy into the air, landing on the chuckle brothers like Fred Astaire
The brothers took this as a blatant dare, shooting Billy without a care
Tony clocked Rose in her Sunday best, uttering the words, better than all the rest
This sent Mary totally insane, followed by Jill, Joan, Alice, and for some reason May
Guns were pulled, shots went astray, all aimed at Tony who looked on in dismay
The chuckle brothers in the way, killed outright on that fateful day
Legend has it, a crime of passion, no arrests were ever made
Tony fled the country, followed by Jill, Joan, and for some reason May
Mark and Rose fell in love, got married
Mary and Alice gave them away
Big John and Billy gave it another go
I was going to mention to him, but decided no
Not after all the advice I gave went untold
Still, this is the curse when you try to change the world
This is why I woke up with a head
Though, what a palaver
Was it something I said.
Gideon Apr 2015
I have watched you suffer
While the battle raged on
Though i nearly died
For once i was never alone
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There are so many different worlds
And in all may we triumph
As we did once before
Let our blood
Water the trees of liberty
May the moon howl our names
Across mountains and seas
Let our tales be told
By the children unborn


It's a life we have to live
Until we no more do
It hurts us badly though
Everyone has to die
Now i bid you farewell
My brothers in arms

As we journey into the life
Beyond and after
May we stand together
Forever as brothers in arms
I have three precious brothers, in which I love so dear.  One of these three brothers is no longer here.  
They enhanced the family's life, when we were very young.  When our neighbors needed them, they were called upon.  My brothers protected us, from danger all around.  If we ever needed them, they were sure to be found.
My brothers names were Hugh, John and Kenneth Knight.  I don't recall any of them trying to start a fight.
I love my precious brothers; even though they are older than me.  Now that I have three sons; my brothers traits I see.
By, Sandra Juanita Nailing
There are days
I feel so desperately alone
Being single
Feels like carrying a thousand pounds in my heart

But than
I spend an evening
With one of  my "brothers"
(what I call my close guy friends)
And I feel blessed
Blessed because although I don't have a boyfriend
Or fiance
Or husband

I have my brothers

Boyfriends may come and go
Fiance's may leave you
Husbands may one day abandon you

But brothers
You may fight with them
And argue
But in the end
They will always be your brother
Your friend

And I have many brothers
Not born of my mother

And for that
I am blessed
I'll tell you a story about two young brothers.
Like fire and smoke, that's what was said.
Always together, laughing and singing,
Sharing adventures, sharing their bread.

One day these two brothers both became lovers.
Yes! They both fell in love at the very same time.
Though always before they'd shared all their secrets,
This was a secret they would not confide.

Each of the brothers went into the garden.
One picked a red rose, the other a white.
They rode off at sunset, not one word between them
In separate directions, into the night.

At the balcony window of her father's hacienda
Rosa is anxious, scanning the street
Pablo is late now, soon Hector will ride up
This cannot happen! They surely will meet!

Rosa hears hoof beats from different directions,
Riders approaching along cobbled streets.
Each bearing a rose, and a heart full of passion
Brothers no more, but two rivals that meet.

A challenge is offered and is quickly accepted.
Their swords are both drawn before Rosa can speak.
She cries out to stop them, their blood's screaming louder.
They fight like two madmen and fall at her feet.

Their life ebbing from them, they lie there before her,
Rosa is sobbing, "Oh what have I done?"
She kisses their lips, so cold now and pallid,
And sheds her tears on them, so soon to be gone.

Bending over her lovers, they whisper to her,
"Take these two roses, and plant them tonight
on each side of your window, they'll grow up together.
Our love will be with you, though we die in this fight."

That's the story he told me, when I was a small boy,
When I asked my papa about that house on the right,
With it's balcony window grown over with roses,
Twining together, the red and the white.

And each day at sunset, Rosa goes to the old church.
She kneels at the altar to say her long prayers.
Lighting two candles before the Mother of Mercy,
One red and one white rose she lays gently there.
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
Masha Yurkevich Dec 2018
Brothers;
no words can describe mine.

They are crazy,

                  and funny,

                         and sometimes they whine.

Sometimes I hate them,

                sometimes they overwhelm.

Sometimes I cry because of them,

                because they mean more to me than any gem.

Sometimes I think that I've just had enough,

                 but I always remember that it's brotherly love.
I have two younger brothers, and then I'm speechless. I love them with all of my heart, though sometimes they're just a pain in the neck. God made me lucky enough to have two younger brothers, so I might as well love them and treasure them while I still can.
Eugene Oct 2018
"Ilabas ninyo ang kuya namin!" sigaw ni Mon.

"KUYA! Kami to mga kapatid mo!" sigaw naman ni Jef.

Halos magambala na ang mga kapitbahay sa kalye Casa dahil sa ingay ng pagsisigaw ng magkakapatid. Mahigit sampung taon na rin nilang hinahanap ang kanilang nakatatandang kapatid. At may nakapagsabi sa kanilang nasa kalye Casa lamang ito at kasama ang tunay nitong mga kapatid.

"Anong problema ninyo ha? Nakakaistorbo na kayo sa kabilang at sa kalye rito. Sino ba hinahanap niyo ha?" lumabas ang isang matangkad na lalaki at nagsalita sa kanila.

"Alam naming nandito ang kuya Regie naman. Ilabas niyo siya!" sigaw ni Mon.

"Walang Regie dito. At sino kayo? Ni hindi ko nga kayo kilala e," sagot ni ng lalaki.

"Kilala ka namin at ikaw ang nakatatandang kapatid namin. Magkakapatid tayo sa ama. Ikaw si kuya Ryan," wika ulit ni Mon.

"Ah ganun ba? Bakit hindi ko yata alam? Sino bang tatay ang tinutukoy mo?" takang-taka ang mukha ni Ryan nang sabihin nito na magkapatid daw sila sa ama.

"Hindi ikaw ang sadya namin dito. Ilabas mo ang kuya namin!" wika ni Jef. Agad siyang nakipagpatintero upang makapasok sa loob ng bahay. Pero napigilan ito ni Ryan.

"At anong karapatan mo, ninyo na pumasok sa bahay ko? Kayo ba ang may-ari?" mataas na ang boses ni Ryan nang mga sandaling iyon pero nanatili pa rin siyang mahinahon dahil ayaw niyang gumulo pa. "Ang mabuti pa ay umuwi na lang kayo. Walang Regie dito. Nagkamali kayo ng pinuntahan."

"Hindi kami aalis dito. Alam naming nasa loob ang kuya namin. Ilabas niyo siya?" nagpupumilit pa rin si Mon at bigla na lamang niyang iwinaksi ang kamay ni Ryan na nakaharang sa pintuan ng kaniyang bahay. Hindi naman hinayaan ni Ryan na makapasok ito at doon ay ibinuhos na ang kaniyang galit.

"SUBUKAN NINYONG MAGPUMILIT PA NA MAKAPASOK! Ipapa-barangay ko na kayong lahat!" halos kita na ang mga ugat sa leeg ni Ryan sa pagsigaw nito sa kanila. Pero hindi pa rin natinag ang magkakapatid.

"Wala kaming pakialam kung iyan ang gusto mo!" bulyaw naman ni Mon.

Magsisimula na sana ang matinding kaguluhan sa pagitan ni Ryan at ng magkakapatid nang isang boses ang kanilang narinig.

"Sino ba ang hinahanap ninyo ha?" wika nito at mula sa likuran ni Ryan ay nakita nito ang kaniyang kapatid na inaalayan ng isa pa niyang kapatid. Mangiyak-ngiyak naman ang magkakapatid na Mon at Jeff nang makita ang pakay nila.

"Kuya! Kuya Regie!" magkasabay na tawag nila sa pangalan nito.

"Sinong maysabi sa inyo na lapitan ang kuya Ron ko ha?" sigaw naman ng isang binata na nakaalalay kay Ron.

"Hayaan mo muna sila Anghel," saway nito sa kapatid na patuloy pa rin sa pag-aalay kay Ron.

"Kuya, ako ito, si Mon at kasama ko si toto Jef. Kuya, miss ka na namin. Uwi na tayo, please!" nang mga oras na iyon ay nanatiling walang emosyon si Ron sa mga salitang kaniyang naririnig.

"Hindi ako si Regie at lalong hindi ako ang kuya ninyo. Wala akong kapatid na Jeff at Mon. Anghel lang at kuya Ryan ang mayroon ako. Kaya, pakiusap umalis na kayo rito!" wika ni Ron.

"Kuya, bakit? Ano ba ang nangyari? Anong ginawa niyo sa kuya namin ha?" nagtatakang tanong ni Mon nang mapansin sa iisang direksyon lang ito nakatingin.

"Bulag ang kuya Ron namin. Naaksidente siya. Kaya kung maaari ay lisanin niyo na ang bahay namin dahil hindi ito makabubuti sa kaniyang pagpapagaling. Pakiusap," sagot ni Anghel.

"Kuya. Alam naming ikaw iyan. Ikaw si kuya Regie namin. Ikaw ang tumulong sa amin nang mga oras na kailangan ka namin at nandito na kami upang kami na ang mag-alaga sa iyo. Please bumalik ka na sa amin. Nakikiusap kami kuya Regie. Kuya Ryan, payagan niyo na po kaming iuwi kuya namin," parang gripong sunod sunod sa pag-agos ang mga luha ni Mon.

"Walang isasama! Hindi niyo siya kuya. Kuya namin siya! Umalis na kayo rito!" bulyaw ni Anghel. Naitulak ni Anghel si Mon at muntik na itong matumba. Nang makabawi ay sinuntok niya si Anghel sa mukha at nakipagsuntukan na rin ito kay Mon. Pilit namang nakikinig at nakikiramdam si Ron sa mga pangyayari.

"ITIGIL NINYO 'YAN!" sigaw nang sigaw si Ron pero tila walang nakakarinig. Panay naman ang awat ni Jef at Ryan kina Mon at Anghel. Hindi na nakatiis si Ron at muli itong sumigaw.

"TITIGIL KAYO O AKO ANG AALIS!" lahat ay napalingon kay Ron at maagap na bumalik si Anghel sa tabi ng kaniyang kuya upang pigilan ito.

"Sorry, kuya," pagpaumanhin ni Anghel.

"Kayong dalawa, Jeff at Mon, pakiusap. Ayaw ko ng gulo. Umuwi na kayo dahil walang Regie sa pamamahay na ito. Hindi ko kayo kilala at lalong wala akong matandaang tinulungan ko kayo bago pa ako maaksidente. Kaya, umuwi na kayo!"

Hindi naman nakapagsalit sina Jef at Mon. Mabibigat ang mga paang nilisan nila ang bahay na iyon na patuloy pa rin sa pag-iyak dahil nabigo silang iuwi ang kanilang kuya Regie.

Habang papalayo naman ang magkapatid ay doon na bumigay si Ron at hindi na napigilan ang pag-agos ng kaniyang mga luha. Ang totoo ay kilala niya sila ngunit ayaw na niyang matali pang muli sa nakaraan. Masaya na siyang malaman na ang kaniyang mga step brothers ay nasa mabuti nang kalagayan. Kahit sa kaloob-looban ng kaniyang puso ay sabik din itong mayakap sila pero naipangako niya sa kaniyang sarili na kalimutan na niya ang kaniyang pinagmulan at ang mga taong naging bahagi ng kaniyang nakaraan. Nais niyang ituon na lamang sa kaniyang tunay na mga kapatid ang pagmamahal na hindi niya naiparamdam sa mga ito buhat nang sila ay nawalay sa isa't isa.
Jon Tobias Mar 2012
Robert comes in and tells me about how a bunch of his classmates killed his teacher
It was a freak accident
He says her baby died too
His eyes are deep brown wells
That drain when he is confused

I don’t understand
So I call his school

It was raining
A truck carrying steel poles for construction
Lost one on the road

At the same time that she never saw it coming
She saw it coming

I ask him why he thought that
And he tells me that he goes to the Freak School
And freaks have accidents all the time

When steel meets steel
There is always a fire
Always a spark
Always pressure
Snapping
Grinding
Melting to make harder

The process of building is violent

When he is upset he smashes things
Maybe in the same way people who want to learn
Take things apart

It is in the putting back together
The we understand what it is to be whole

He smashes his own head through a wall
So I hold him violently
His head hits mine and my nose bleeds

Every fight I have ever been in
My nose has bled

With my arms around him
I slide his boots off with my feet

His feet are large
He lumbers with them

I hold him as still
As I can

He hits his head again
Maybe so someone will
Put it back together

He says
Why is Emily so mean to me?
Sisters are just supposed to love their brothers
Sisters are just supposed to love their brothers

I call him Bootsie
Tell him I love him
Though I am squeezing him so hard
He passes out

He apologizes two days later
I tell him
Brothers are always supposed to forgive their brothers

I toast to him in my head

Here’s to becoming whole
Terry Jordan Oct 2018
I used to have 4 brothers
And loved them all the same
The eldest used us siblings
For where to lay the blame

Hoping reincarnation
Proves true after a while
Dan said his fondest wish was
Return an only child

Soon I arrived, his sister
Right after Dan turned 2
He fed me peanut butter
Until my face turned blue

Dan denied that he loved me
As kids did, once or twice
But he jumped in to save me
When I fell through the ice

Surviving eighteen months then
My baby crib moved on
I moved to the bottom bunk
My next brother was born

Named for our dad’s Commander
World War II not fearing
Ted was sent to Vietnam
Where he would lose his hearing

Neighbors once thought we were twins
Blond hair and Dad’s blue eyes
Family strife split us apart
Though close in age and size

He can’t hear but does read lips
That bomb, it took its toll
Seems no single moment’s joy
PTSD took hold

Next came Bill when I was 6
AKA “Sweet William”
Boundless joy and endless love
His broad smiles worth millions

When I loved chocolate ice-cream
That was his favorite, too
He is my son’s Godfather
His wise words helped me through

I have no clue what ended
Brotherly affection
Before 2 brothers died he
Cut off real connection

Sam was born prematurely
When I was twelve years old
Spent 5 months incubating
Before we took him home

Our father’s disappointment
Sam never went to college
Didn’t want to play football
Was seeking other knowledge

Sam learned how engines functioned
By disassembling cars
Made candles in the basement
An Eagle Scout-golf star

A heart of gold he suffered
Much doggerel and strife
Alcohol’s what dogged him till
Tragically took his life

Divided family members
I’m actor and spectator
Seeking to forge connections
Reunion instigator

Some gather for funerals
A wedding now and then
I mourn, alone, Dan and Sam
Lament what might have been

Hadn’t been able to finish this piece until I took a long vacation. I still have 2 living brothers, but neither responds to my overtures. One can't hear me, and the other is not speaking.  New Englanders are known for denial and take-it- to-the-grave-grudges.  I guess I really don't want to know why.
Lin Cava Oct 2010
Before they fought, they had simple lives.
Remember them, their loves and their wives.
Others they served and many came home.
They parted from service but went on alone.
Heroes; the wounded, the brave or the scared
Each one fighting hard, standing tough, as he dared.
Returned to their homes, they remember alarms;
Soldiers they served with, their Brothers In Arms.

Into their minds, memories battle their war.
Now home in safety, miss them once more.

All go into battle, braced for the fight
Remember their Brothers In Arms in the night.
Memorial Day calls them, witness to bear -
Such Brothers In Arms, they will always be there.

Lin Cava©
Creative Commons
Megan Milligan Aug 2011
HANGING WITH THE GALLO(W) BROS.

Coked out
Strung out
Flipped out
Had my share of friends
Blow their brains out

But still I went back out
And hung out with the Gallo brothers
And the drunks and the druggies and the homeless and the insane
Downtown at two in the morning.

Little did I know,
The Gallo Brothers were leading me to the gallows
Dead woman walking
Hanging out with them,
I was killing myself slowly
Too cowardly to flat out pull the trigger and get it done with,
I just squeezed it a bit
With two, three, four visits a day
From the dynamic dastardly duo.

Sometimes we hung out at Sutter Home
I remember the plastic thunk of bottles
In my purse on the way there.
The glass-laden Gallo Brothers sometimes made a bit too much noise
When stealth was called for,
So no one else would catch on to what I was doing.
So no one would catch onto the feelings I tried burying,
The demons I tried to drown,
Who were squeezing the life out of me
Feeling horrible, unworthy
Always going back on my misery.

Tremors, delirious
Delirium tremens
So shaking I can’t even double-fist
A single can of soda
I reached for the only help I’ll accept
I grabbed on tight to their hands
Even though my body turned it down
Rejecting, ejecting
Spewing, spitting their help
Back in their faces

“I wish I knew how to quit you”
My body told them

But the Brothers were a violent lot
Beating me into submission
When my mind was under their influence
Sometimes I’d do the craziest ****
For friends who didn’t know better,
Didn’t have my best interests at heart
Were -bent on my personal destruction.
Talk about peer pressure!
Doing, saying things I normally wouldn’t!
They made me go against the grain of everything decent and good about me.

Some friends just aren’t worth having
I learned that lesson the hard way
Cutting ties with the Gallo Brothers...
The hardest thing I ever did!
But... the only way to keep Dead Woman Walking
From becoming Dead Woman Hanging around
at the morgue instead of the Gallo Brothers’ house.
© 4/28/2011
D Conors Jan 2011
We, the same from and of flesh and pumping blood,
our skin sweating in touch, together, the scent
was always the same,
you and I, one younger, one older,
the way it was meant to be,
in fights and tears and pup-tent shared lamp-lit fears,
we rolled our heads beneath the stars above
upon the grassy knolls, our pillows kept,
not ever knowing that one of us would be
covered beneath the soily breath,
the one of one of us, still left,
watering the fields of your footsteps,
now dressed up as dreamy memories,
the tossing heart of guilt and pleads,
for just one more day, ******! -one more
day...
I had still some things,
I wanted to say.
__
My schoolmate Tim and I both lost out brother Mikeys.
This poem is for them.
--D. Conors
1 Jan. 2011
For both Mikeys.
Terry Collett Oct 2012
When Monica asked
if she could go with you
and her brothers
bike riding

her mother said
no you’re too young
or if she asked
to go with you

and Jim and Pete
to the cinema
to see the latest
Elvis flick

her mother said
definitely not
it’s not for young girls
and Monica’d storm indoors

slamming the door
shouting I hate you all
but when you called one day
and her brothers were out

(gone to see their big brother
about some old motorbike)
her mother said
yes come in and wait  

and Monica was
pleased as Punch
especially when
her mother said

you could stay to lunch
and I can show you
over the place
Monica said

and after lunch maybe
we can go for a bike ride
along the small lanes
and maybe you

could show me
some judo moves
and her mother said
we’ll see I’m not sure

Benedict will want
to do those kind
of things with a girl
and went off

to make lunch
and Monica showed you
all over the house
whose room was whose

and up in the attic
she said
this is my room
and took your hand

and took you
to the window
and said
see the view I’ve got?

Isn’t it the best?
and you said
yes it’s good
and you took in the view

and looking around
the room you saw her bed
and the big pink elephant
there by the wall

staring at you
and she said
that’s Pinkie
isn’t she great?

sure
you said
and she took you
down the stairs

to the kitchen for lunch
and her mother
chatted away
about her sons

and Monica sat there
gawking at you
her eyes studying
each aspect of you

her eyes large
as saucers
blue and beautiful
and after lunch

you showed her
a few judo moves
which she loved
especially when

your hands moved her
and you sensed
her almost ready
to burst with joy

and just before
you were ready
to go for a ride
on the bikes

her brothers came
and shooed her away
and she went off
giving them the evil eye

but you she gave
the young girl wink
the we know
what they don’t smile

and off you rode
with her brothers
but she kept
those moments with you

(to herself)
as if you were
Romeo and Juliet
fond lovers.
A YOUNG GIRL OF 14 AND HER BROTHERS'S 17 YEAR OLD FRIEND AND HER HAVING HIM TO HERSELF IN 1964.
envydean May 2015
There will always be two brave brothers;
Who put each other before another.

Whether hunting at dawn, dusk or night;
They will always be each other’s light.

In times of dark, despair or pain;
They will always try to keep the other sane.

When lost in purgatory, heaven or hell;
They will never bid each other farewell.

There will always be two brave brothers;
Who will always fight for one another.
Written for @brotherlyfeels on Tumblr (her URL was the inspiration)
4 brothers born strong to withstand all that is thrown at us.
When we stand side by side we are adamant to all dangers or obsticals.
We protect eachother with our lives. When troubles or emotional times come we are there to be a sholder to cry on for eachother and to think of ways to overcome the problems. 4 Brothers born strong different parents brothers brought together by bonding friendships here foreachother for anything. 4 brothers born strong.
Samara Kae Gibbs Sep 2014
We're a sky full of stars,
Twinkling for one another,
Hanging off of bars,
Saving our sisters and brothers.
Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows,
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
The young flowers are blowing toward the west—
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly!
They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
In the country of the free.

Do you question the young children in their sorrow,
Why their tears are falling so?
The old man may weep for his tomorrow,
Which is lost in Long Ago;
The old tree is leafless in the forest,
The old year is ending in the frost,
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
The old hope is hardest to be lost:
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
Do you ask them why they stand
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers,
In our happy Fatherland?

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their looks are sad to see,
For the man’s hoary anguish draws and presses
Down the cheeks of infancy;
“Your old earth,” they say, “is very dreary;
Our young feet,” they say, “are very weak!
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary—
Our grave-rest is very far to seek.
Ask the aged why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold,
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering,
And the graves are for the old.”

“True,” say the children, “it may happen
That we die before our time.
Little Alice died last year—her grave is shapen
Like a snowball, in the rime.
We looked into the pit prepared to take her:
Was no room for any work in the close clay!
From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her,
Crying ‘Get up, little Alice! it is day.’
If you listen by that grave, in sun and shower,
With your ear down, little Alice never cries;
Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,
For the smile has time for growing in her eyes:
And merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in
The shroud by the kirk-chime.
It is good when it happens,” say the children,
“That we die before our time.”

Alas, alas, the children! They are seeking
Death in life, as best to have;
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking,
With a cerement from the grave.
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city,
Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do;
Pluck your handfuls of the meadow-cowslips pretty,
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through!
But they answer, “Are your cowslips of the meadows
Like our weeds anear the mine?
Leave us quiet in the dark of the coal-shadows,
From your pleasures fair and fine!

“For oh,” say the children, “we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap;
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring
Through the coal-dark, underground;
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round.

“For all day the wheels are droning, turning;
Their wind comes in our faces,—
Till our hearts turn, our heads with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their places:
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling,
Turns the long light that drops adown the wall,
Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,—
All are turning, all the day, and we with all.
And all day, the iron wheels are droning,
And sometimes we could pray,
‘O ye wheels,’ (breaking out in a mad moaning)
‘Stop! be silent for today!’ ”

Ay, be silent! Let them hear each other breathing
For a moment, mouth to mouth!
Let them touch each other’s hands, in a fresh wreathing
Of their tender human youth!
Let them feel that this cold metallic motion
Is not all the life God fashions or reveals:
Let them prove their living souls against the notion
That they live in you, or under you, O wheels!
Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,
Grinding life down from its mark;
And the children’s souls, which God is calling sunward,
Spin on blindly in the dark.

Now tell the poor young children, O my brothers,
To look up to Him and pray;
So the blessed One, who blesseth all the others,
Will bless them another day.
They answer, “Who is God that He should hear us,
While the rushing of the iron wheels is stirred?
When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us
Pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word.
And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding)
Strangers speaking at the door:
Is it likely God, with angels singing round Him,
Hears our weeping any more?

“Two words, indeed, of praying we remember,
And at midnight’s hour of harm,
‘Our Father,’ looking upward in the chamber,
We say softly for a charm.
We know no other words except ‘Our Father,’
And we think that, in some pause of angels’ song,
God may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather,
And hold both within His right hand which is strong.
‘Our Father!’ If He heard us, He would surely
(For they call Him good and mild)
Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely,
‘Come and rest with me, my child.’

“But, no!” say the children, weeping faster,
“He is speechless as a stone:
And they tell us, of His image is the master
Who commands us to work on.
Go to!” say the children,—”up in heaven,
Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find.
Do not mock us; grief has made us unbelieving—
We look up for God, but tears have made us blind.”
Do you hear the children weeping and disproving,
O my brothers, what ye preach?
For God’s possible is taught by His world’s loving,
And the children doubt of each.

And well may the children weep before you!
They are weary ere they run;
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun.
They know the grief of man, without its wisdom;
They sink in man’s despair, without its calm,—
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom,—
Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm,—
Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly
The harvest of its memories cannot reap,—
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly.
Let them weep! let them weep!

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their look is dread to see,
For they mind you of their angels in high places,
With eyes turned on Deity;—
“How long,” they say, “how long, O cruel nation,
Will you stand, to move the world, on a child’s heart,—
Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation,
And tread onward to your throne amid the mart?
Our blood splashes upward, O gold-heaper,
And its purple shows your path!
But the child’s sob in the silence curses deeper
Than the strong man in his wrath.”
Molly Mar 2014
I was standing on a beach
in pitch black
when I realized I wasn't special.

Your entire childhood,
your dad tells you you're the smartest child he knows
and your mom tells you that you have the kindest heart
and your relatives tell you you're the most beautiful girl in the world,
And it isn't until your heart has been broken
by a boy who called you the one
or your best friend has stopped talking to you
for reasons you'll never fully understand
that you realize the only loved ones telling you the truth
were your brothers,
who pointed out your flaws
and tore apart everything you found beautiful
and destroyed every ounce of pride you had.
This is the only truth you can find.

On a scale of the universe,
no single star can be considered unique.

You spend your whole life
thinking how unprecedented you are
and how different your life is from everyone else's
And you're going to be different when you grow up,
you're going to follow your dreams
and live an amazing life
and you're going to travel
and have a one of a kind wedding
and your children will have unique names,
And one day you're in your dad's office
and you see all these people in cubicles
and you realize they all thought the same thing.

You may be a star
but the universe is infinite
and there are billions of stars
and no matter what your parents tell you,

Trust your brothers.
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2017
I
A flower that smells of pure bliss keeps an ear to the ground
It's a serene one sitting beneath the stars down on earth
The moon, far, far, seven seas away, loves to drop into her lap.

The Bay of Bengal billows, music has gotten beneath the skin.
The leaves furl out off the deep wood with the birds
singing out to the top of the trees, rhyming with the leafy dance.
Heavensent, that was in one sanguine day in the spring.
The Mother’s Language Movement in 1952 sprouted like this
on the eighth of native Falgun month—oh magic did it unleash!

On that day our beloved brothers were shot dead
They could swallow the bullets with smiles but won’t give up
demanding the official status for the Bangla mother tongue.
Angels wrapped round the martyrs amid lamenting mothers
Laid them on Falgun’s perfumed ground bleeding corpses
Seas of roses bloomed and blew them out red, red kisses!

They are gone not the stone wall of consciousness they raised
Ah, at the sprout of the spring what were they echoing?
Ingrained deep in the soil the pre-designing voice in the planning?
Who can tell? The world gels on February 21 in celebrating!

The angels then snapped up our martyrs’ souls off the land,
placed them on a piece of Heaven where they can hear the jingle.
Down on earth, a nation springs up, has gotten its wake up call!
Stepping on the sweetening arc of the mother tongue melody
the stone turns a flower, all in a butterfly moment soaring to victory.
Thanks to the movement - Bangladesh itself later comes to be!

II
The sun comes down to the rose painting on the land
In the heavenly Falgun hues it nibbles some wild summer dreams.
“Serene songs of earth stirring the water,” like it comes into play,
rowing the cloud bubbles singing in southern breeze.
Ah, a walk on the sun-kissed kaleidoscope land is a pure bliss.  
Every blossom spray of the wind is soothing sweet
Hop on and play straight to the ruby heart, as if it's a flute.

Mother tongue means speak free, fearless, in full streaming.
Speak the heart to the world without the fear of losing the cloud
that will listen, bouncing back on the brink of the sky river.
Then what did one say, hear, or was awed by in the blooming Falgun?
Could it have been the spring humming in her native lingua
or King David singing in mother tongue by babbling brooks
what in any other language, even with a silver tongue, isn’t possible?

Allah has listened to our martyrs’ crying mothers and fathers
The martyrs’ souls whisk through the galaxies and starry fair.

Soar high over the clouds, take the rainbow's *** of gold away,
Like a hue turns 360-degree in the colourwheel bask into the colour.
Still, dip the toes in Bangla mother’s soil salted with perfumed art
Like Himalayan water swirling down melting deeper deep down
This magicland is polished for everyone be it you, a fairy, a star
or off the ploughed-out barrow a walked out wonder!

A pristine voice duo’s voiceprint gleans to the spring in muse,
Pops in a beauteous scurry and speaks in the mother tongue!
Hidden within the earthy depth, only emerges with time,
only dances in tangent, that day slipped out with the butterflies.
And finally the blue nymphs take the plunge drop down the sky  
That day the mother’s voice triumphed, whose is the most original!
This is a poem from my book Zero and One available on Amazon.
Mystic904 Nov 2017
Left myself behind for Thy sake
Modify me through soul's remake

O' Lord! can't be more of a betrayer
Still though, I yearn for a divine remake

My heart is in Makkah
My heart is in Makkah!

Eyes can't bear watching, but none bothers
I ask for protection, for me and my brothers

Extreme suffering, such a cruel massacre
I ask for Jannah, for me and my brothers

Over our heads have we turned ******* n waste
I ask for purification, for me and my brothers

None cares for the sufferers as though not human
I ask Thy attention, for me and my brothers

My heart is in Palestine
My heart is in Palestine!

I plea to be bathed in the divine henna
In the home of the Prophet, madina madina

In the land of peace, make me offer a prayer
For me, my fellows, in the heart of madina

Revive once again the brotherhood amongst us
Like them ansaris and muhajirs of madina

Can't wait but for a chance or an opportunity
Offering myself forth, take me to madina

My heart is in Madina
My heart is in Madina!
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
Bryn Dawes Jun 2015
The heaven’s open and they’re crashing down on me,
Raining words that I’d once spoken long ago,
Heaven’s broken and there’s nowhere left for me, to go,
Reigning kings will light the way and fall forever into shadow,
The darkest side of man that no one really knows

Light keeps the darkness alive,
Opposites and similarities collide,
The genius and the madman coincide,
Brothers standing side by side,
Brothers falling side by side

Watch without any hands and you tell me it’s my time,
Tying the bounds around the shackles in my mind,
Watch the light fall and the dark begin to rise,
Tying last and first in the race of our demise

Light keeps the darkness alive,
Opposites and similarities collide,
The genius and the madman coincide,
Brothers standing side by side,
Brothers falling side by side

— The End —