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CK Baker Oct 2017
dust cloud heavy
in an apricot sky
cottonwood mucker
under ambrose pale
whippet and shepherd
mill at the earth patch
yellow birch hangs
over red bench park

combine shavings
in crack rust brown
scissors chips
fall to the back stop
whiskey jack looters
sing patented chords
siblings (and 2 wheel enthusiasts)
give thanks

joyous retrievers
master the criss cross
bare maples stand
at settlers way
barred owl and blue jay
whistle the fore-wind
and goblins
pull at the seeds

wind gusts belt
over the west gulch
blood rush churns
in a chilling fall morn
hallowed grounds still
at the midday
quiet reflections
of the afghan
and hound

jumpers unite
at the oxbow
route runners bend
(on a sultry foray!)
meadows exposed
in the framework
ball park empty
with pennants past

barrel dirt favors
the brew house
crimson and copper
find bracken ridge gate
harvest hands savor
the honey and hops
blankets of color
for a winter's hatch

brush fire kept
under steady peruse
bark bites fly
and embers glow
pine cones drop
from timber tops
3 wick candles
set the dinner place

shiver and ******
at the piper's call
cob web dew
on shadowy gates
a chilled mist mellows
the season's return ~
poets and artists
and dreamers awake
WistfulHope Dec 2016
Snowflakes fall to the earth like suicide jumpers.
And I laugh because if I don't I have to listen to the silence.
Or worse.
And I laugh because I don't want to hear myself crying.

Waiting for icicles to form, and splinter, and crack under their own weight --
These are the games that plague souls;
Wishing away the snow with feet planted in blizzards,
Staring at the moon and trying to bathe in the last dripping morsels of sunlight shining onto the earth.

I lay buried so far beneath laughter and snowflakes that I am too cold to touch.
Touch me and scatter the blisters on my tongue,
For words are only dipped in honey, but it cannot hide the hollows inside.

And here I am, like a snowflake.
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012


in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn


the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn


motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore


coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space


sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved


the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go


the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

topaz oreilly Aug 2013
The thickets of time
come rain or shine,
scratch the best of years,
old man looking on
do you still count the cricket scores
in your sleep ?
with jumpers  for wickets,
and  blackberries  down country lanes.
Navel looking down
the vastness of your now waist line,
a mark of  your captaincy
receipts of your labour
dangling like a butchers overall.
In your limelight  your broadened smile
releases a relinquished accent
that you could never quite forgive.

CK Baker Jan 2017
He filled his week bag
with quick picks
from the commissary
cover blades
and skull caps
canned goods
and half stated pearls
liquor bills
and bleeders
for the flight of weary

Into the ****** bunks
of the western front
past sivana
and nurture sage
past the pomp
and ceremony
out of robe
and into jumpers
and casings
and masks of gas

Light infantry
and yelling men
and scorned
fly boys high
in 3 wing flight
mounted gunners
filling the night
in hawkers and packards
and scabbard chape

Tarrant tabers
and camels
dodge the vicker gun
skeleton hands
grease the mill trap
carnage makers
mark the rhineland
(buried in bunkers
and pile bags
and earth pack)

Trench helmets
and metal backs
under machine fire
minefields burn
in muzzle and coil
deep in the shadows
and shrapnel
and spear
the razor wire
and dead cold

Slouch hats
and burning rats
kerosene lamps
and droopers
the soldier stares down
the broken line
and limb
a ****** holds steady
(shelved at a distance)
on ripped pipe
and beam

It was an all in
end game
a grapple for the ages;
*** in the
fokker pursuit
over rolling hills
and fallen comrades
into the bishop bullet
(and sporadic cheer)
which sealed the deal
in an empty field
near the brae corbie road
Matthew Roe Oct 2017
With each
Our breath is held
Will he,won't he
Will he, won't he
The suspense is killing me
Door left open still
Pestered by the plebeian chill

In this gay little coffee shop
Surrounded by the unrecognised talent of Brighton:sketch artist staring at me, writer on his laptop, songwriter etching vigorously with his pencil.
All of which aren't closing the door.

The eyes roll.
Labouring my body up, hammering my legs across the floor, turning the factory handle.

All is ask is for some carrot cake,filtrate water,polo jumpers, avocado salads,tiger bread, slimmer trousers, slipper sock , a toyger.
And then images of Kim Jong un pass through my head.
If I ruled you'd all be dead
Firing squad for an open door,
Loud music on the train'll be no more.
Stop the screaming misbehaving brats
The rabble of Spanish students
All this PC stuff on the news, train seats filled with cans of *****

The artist strolls up
Let's down his cup.
Closes the door swiftly
And slips back in his chair

Oh, so there is a god.

I guess Jesus didn't lie.
Inspired by a time I was sitting in a coffee shop in Brighton, where a ton of customers kept on leaving the door open. It is about becoming aware of ones own social class and how it can create a sense of barriers/isolation, be it from upper or lower. Specifically arising from the 2017 snap election, when the Labour Party demonised the middle and upper classes, demonising a minority the same way they mocked Trump for doing.
Stella Cleere Mar 2016
The material was stretched tight
deep furrows in the red and black
pulled across your shoulder blades so severely
but you were all soft edges.
The blunt edge of a 2B pencil
gently shadowing in the crease
where stomach met hip bones
and warm.
It was lovingly done.
There it was on the calendar, Saturday May 11,2013. Big red circle around the date and written in black pen in the middle…SPELLING BEE. Plain as day, you couldn’t miss it. One of the biggest days of the school year for geeks and nerds alike.

Today was the day. In two hours, The 87th Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee, would begin.  This was a huge event in the history of Thomas Polk Elementary School. It would be one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST in the history of The Twin Counties.

There would be twenty-one schools represented with their best and brightest spellers. The gymnasium would be full of parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and media representatives. Yes, invitations had been sent out to both of the local papers in The Twin Counties, and both had replied in the affirmative. Real media, in Thomas Polk Elementary School, with a shared photographer….the big time had come to town.

Inside the gymnasium, work had been going on all night in preparation of the big event. The Teachers Auxiliary Group had set up bunting across the stage, purple and white of course, for the school colours. The school colours were actually purple and cream, but, there was a wedding at Our Lady of The Weeping Sisters Baptist Church later, and they had emptied the sav-mart of all of the cream coloured bunting and crepe paper. So, white it would be.

It looked spectacular. There were balloons tied to the basketball net at the south end of the gym. It wouldn’t wind up after the last game, so something had to be done to hide it. Balloons fit the bill. There was three levels of benches on the stage for the competitors, a microphone dead center stage and two 120 watt white spot lights aimed at the microphone.  Down in front, was a judges table, also covered in bunting and crepe, with a smaller microphone sitting in the middle. There was a cord connecting it to the stage speaker system, taped to the gym floor with purple duct tape, just to fit in. Big time, big time.

The piece de resistance sat at the right side of the judges table. An eight foot high pole, with an electronic stop watch and two traffic lights, donated from the local public utilities commission, in red and green. The timer had been rigged up by the uncle of one of the competitors, possibly to gain an advantage, to help keep the judges honest in their timings. Besides, it looked fancy, and it had a cool looking remote control.

The gym was filled to capacity. One hundred and Seventy Five Entrants, visitors, judges and media were crammed into plastic chairs, benches, and whatever lawn chairs the Teachers Auxiliary were able to borrow, that weren’t being used for the wedding at the Baptist Church. It was time to begin….

The three judges came in from the left of the clock, and sat down. The entrants were all nervously waiting on stage on the benches. The media representatives were down front, for photo opportunities, of course.

Judge number one, in the middle of the table clicked on the microphone in front of him and turned to the crowd. In doing so, he spilled his water on his notes and pulled the duct tape loose on the floor in front.

“Greetings, and welcome to the 87th Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee.” There was some mild clapping from the family members, along with a few muffled whistles and two duck calls from the back. The weak response was due to the fact that most of the parents either had small fans (due to the heat), donated from the local Funeral Home, or hot dogs and beer (from the tailgating outside), in their hands. Needless to say, it was still a positive response.

The judge carried on…”Today’s competition brings together the top spellers in the region of the Twin Counties to do battle on our stage. All of the words used today, have been selected from a number of sources, including Webster’s Dictionary, from our own school library, Words with Friends from the inter web, keeping up with modern culture, and finally from two books of Dr. Suess that we had lying around the office. Each competitor will get one minute to answer once his or her word has been selected. We ask that you please refrain from applause until after the judges have confirmed the spelling, and please no help to the competitors. We now ask that you all turn off any electronic media, cell phones, pagers, etc. so we can begin”.

He then turned to the stage and asked all competitors to remove their cell phones and put them in the bright orange laundry basket, usually reserved for floor hockey sticks. Each student deposited their phones, all one hundred and thirty-seven of them in the basket.  We were ready to start.

“Competitor number one…please approach the microphone and state your name and your school” said Judge number two. Judge number two would be in charge of calling the students up, it seemed. She was the librarian at Thomas Polk. She had typical librarian glasses, with the silver chain attached to the arms, flaming red hair, done up in a bee hive uplift, just for the event, and was called Miss Flume. She was married, but, being the south, she was always addressed as Miss.

The first student advanced to the front of the stage. She had bright pink hair, held in place with a gold hairband, black shoes, and a yellow jumper. She looked like a walking number 2 pencil. The two duck calls came from the back of the gymnasium along with scattered applause. All three judges turned and looked to the back, and then turned to face the young girl.

“My name is Bobbie Jo Collister, I am a senior at Jackson Williams School of Fine Arts and Music”. “Thank you Bobbie Joe” said Miss Flume. Bobbie Jo, smiled nervously and put on her glasses. “Your word is horticulture” announced Judge number one, “horticulture”.  Bobbie Jo took a breath and without asking for a definition, usage, root of the word or anything, just ripped through it without fail in three point two seconds, according to the mammoth timepiece at the end of the table. After conferring, the judges clicked on the green street light and she sat down, amidst more duck calls and clapping.

Student number two went through the entire process as did students three through eight. Each one had glasses, no surprise there, and were all dressed in monochromatic themes. Together, they looked like a life sized box of crayolas ready for a halloween party. Each child spelled their words correctly and were subsequently cheered and applauded.

Student nine then approached the microphone, stopping about a good seven feet short and three feet right of it. “My name is Oliver Parnocky” squeaked the lad. “I go to George W. Bush P.S 19 and am a senior.” Miss Flume, grabbed the small mike in front of her and said “Oliver…put on your glasses and move over to the microphone.” She leaned into the other judges, and said “He goes to my school, he doesn’t like wearing them much, and he’s always outside at recess talking to the flagpole after everyone else has come inside”.

“Oliver, please spell Dichotomy” said Judge number one. Judge two started the clock and they waited….and waited…then out burst this voice….DICHOTOMY…D I C H O T O M E E, , no, wait..D I C K O….****!” The crowd erupted in laughter, Oliver was busted. The judges conferred, and after informing poor Oliver they had never heard it spelled quite that way with an O **** at the end, they triggered the red light and Oliver left the stage to sit in the audience with his folks.

The next three kids, all with glasses, like it was part of an unwritten uniform dress code for the day, all advanced and sat down. The next entrant, number thirteen, luckily enough stood from the back and struggled down to the front of the stage. There were gasps and some snickering from the crowd. She was taller than the previous competitors,  and a little more pregnant as well. “Please state your name” said Miss Flume. “My name is Betty Jo Willin and am a senior at

Buford T. Pusser Parochial School”. At this announcement there was a cheer of “Got Wood at B.T. Pusser” from the crowd. The judges turned, asked for silence and the offending nuns returned to their seats. “Miss Willin, how old are you exactly?” asked Judge number one. “Twenty Two sir”. “And you say you are a senior?” “Yes sir” came the reply. Betty Jo was shuffling a bit as the pressure on her bladder must have been building standing there in her delicate condition. After conferring, judge number one said “That sounds about right, your word is PROPHYLACTIC”. The few people in the crowd that knew the meaning of the word laughed, while the rest continued eating their hot dogs and drinking their sodas and beers. “Please give a definition sir..I don’t believe I know that word”. The judges looked at each other with a definite “I’m not surprised” look and rattled off the definition. When she asked for usage, the judges really didn’t know what to do. Should they give a sentence using the word or explain the usage of a prophylactic, which regardless would have been too late anyway.

After a modicum of control was reached, she attempted the word, getting all tongue tied and naturally messing it up. The red light was triggered and she left the stage.

More strange outfits, bowties, hair nets, jumpers, clip on ties, followed. It looked like a fashion parade from Goodwill and The Salvation Army rolled into one. Most attempted their words and were green lighted onwards to the next round, while those who failed, were red lighted back to the crowd and the tailgate party in the parking lot. As each competitor was eliminated, the betting board that was being manned outside by one father was updated with new odds and payouts.

The first round was approaching an end with only three kids left. “Number nineteen please approach and state your name” said Miss Flume. He plume of red hair was starting to sag and was sliding slowly off of her head due to the humidity in the gymnasium.

Number nineteen came forth, glasses, tape across the bridge like half of the previous spellers. He was wearing the most colourful shirt that any of the judges had ever seen. It was not from Dickies, they surmised. “I go to J.J. Washington P.S 117 and my name is Mujibar Julinoor Parkhurloonakiir”. The judges froze. He obviously was new to the district. They had never heard a name like that before, ever. Not even in Ghandi. This was a powerful name. There had been sixteen cominations of Bobby, Bobbie, Billie, Jo, Joe, Jimmy, Jeff, Johnson and Jackson prior to Mujibar. Stunned, judge one asked “Son, can you spell that please?”

Mujibar, not sure what to do, spelled his name, unsure of why he was being asked to do so. “Thank you son” said Miss Flume. The odds on the betting board in the parking lot changed right then.

“That boy is gonna win fer sure” said Jimmy Jeff Willerkers. Jimmy Jeff ran the filling station two concessions over and had fifty bucks on his nephew Bobby Jeff, who had already flamed out on “yawl”. “How was he supposed to know  it had something to do with boats?” asked Jimmy Jeff. “That Mujibar is gonna win…jeez, he’s been spelling that name for years….anything else is gonna be easy breezy.” The odds went down on Mujibar and the money was flying around that parking lot faster than the rumour that the revenue people were out looking for stills in the woods.

“Mujibar…please spell SALICIOUS”…asked the now red pancake headed Miss Flume. Doing as he was told, Mujibar, spelled the word, gave the root, a definition and a brief history of the word usage in modern literature. Judge number one was furiously scribbling down notes, and trying to figure out how he would get a bet down on this kid before round two started.

Entrant number twenty from Jefferson Davis Temple and Hebrew school advanced which brought up the final entrant from round one. “Number Twenty-One please advance to the front of the stage”. After adjusting his glasses, after all he didn’t want a repeat of what poor Oliver did, he approached. “My name is C.J. Kay from William Clinton P.S 68” Judge one, confused by the young man’s name asked him to repeat it. “C.J. Kay” said C.J. “What is your full last name boy, you can’t just have a letter as your last name….what is the K for?” “Sir, my last name is Kay”, said C.J. “It’s not a letter”. “It most certainly is son…H I J K L…rattled off judge one. “It has to stand for something, you just can’t be CJK, that sounds like a Canadian radio station or worse yet, one of them hippy hoppy d.j fellers my granddaughter listens to. What is the K for?”. C.J said sir “My name is Christopher John Kay… not K, Kay” and then spelled it out. This only confused judge one more than he already was, and the extra time figuring out his name was doing nothing to Miss Flume’s hairdo.

“Christopher John….please spell MEPHISTOPHOLES “ said Judge one, after realizing he was never going to find out what the K was for. The crowd was getting restless and wanted to get to the truck to get re-filled and change their bets. C.J. knocked it out of the park in 2.7 seconds…”faster than Lee Harvey Oswald at a target shoot in Dallas”, one man said.

After a ten minute break, to get drinks, ***, re-tape some glasses and prop up Miss Flumes ruined plumage round two was set to begin. This went faster as the words were getting tougher, although randomly selected, judge one was inserting a few new words to keep his chance of winning with Mujibar alive. PALIMONY, ARCHEOLOGY, PARSIMONIOUS, TRIPTOTHYLAMINE , and many other words were thrown at the competitors. Each time the list of successful spellers was reduced, and the amount of clapping and the duck calls were less.

The seventh round began with just Mujibar, B.J. Collister and C. J Kay left. Before the round began the judges reminded the crowd that the words were random, and to please keep the cheering until the green light had been lit. There were more duck calls at this announcement and very little applause. Jerry Jeff was still manning the betting board, the tailgate barbeque was done, and there was only about thirty people left in the gymnasium.

The balloons on the basketball net had long since lost their get up and go, and were now hanging limply like coloured rubber scrotums and were flatter that Miss Flumes hair, which incidently, was now starting to streak the right side of her face from sweat washing out the dye. She was beginning to look like an extra in a zombie film with a brilliant orange red streak across her forehead.

“C.J.” said judge one, “please spell ARYTHMOMYACIN”. C.J. gave it a valiant effort ,but unfortunately was incorrect and the red light sent him off to the showers. This left B.J. Collister and the odds on favourite, Mujibar. The crowd was down to twenty seven now, Bobbie Jo’s folks and Mujibars immediate family.

Round after round were completed with neither one missing a word. Neither one blinked. It was a gunfight where both shooters died. These two were good, and it was never going to end. Judge one leaned over and told the other judges, “we have to finish this soon….I’m due at the wedding over to the Baptist church for nine o’clock to bless the happily marrieds and drive them both to the airport. They’re off to Cuba for their honeymoon.” The others agreed…”C.J. please spell MINISCULE said Miss Flume”. She did so, without a problem. This caused judge one to yell out “Holy Christmas” just as Mujibar got to the microphone. Thinking this was his word, he started as the judges were giving him his word. Seizing the opportunity to end it…judge one woke up judge three who red lighted poor Mujibar, ending his run at spelling immortality. “Sorry son, you tried, but, today a Mujibar lost and a B.J won.”. Before he tried to correct himself, knowing what he had just said didn’t sound quite right, Miss Flume congratulated both finalists and began the award presentations.

Thankfully, next year the eighty eighth version of The Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee will be in the other county. Now the job of sorting out the cell phones in the orange basket begins. By the way, Betty Jo Willin had a boy …you can just guess what she named it!
not a poem, as you can's a rough draft of a short story. I would love feedback on the content, not the spelling or grammar as it is in a rough stage still and needs editing.
For James Weldon Johnson**

the clock fast approaching
an appointed midnight click
it was time to punch in
for my avocational shift

we sauntered up creaky steps
of the old weathered rectory
its planks loose, its bricks chipped,
the gabled roof still leaking

a CDC on the outer verge
leaning over a bankrupt precipice
catastrophic failure predicted
from chronic cash flow distresses

we’ve  been on the ropes
since doors swung open
to fulfill a sacred mission,
25 years in the hood
keepin the devil in remission

a young ED with firebrand cred
emerged from a cubicle partition
his erudition and abundant zeal
would save many from perdition

he commenced his brief
in the entrance hall
laid out maps of the Silk City
articulating a canvasse plan
bereft of fear and blithe pity

he stood ***** announcing
the surety of his calling
handsome face and balding spire
lent a stern presence of authority

The PIT a Point In Time
Homeless Census annual review,
to root out and count the heads
of the lost and out of view

from Bed Stuy to Boston
Baltimore and DC
San Antone, Windy City Frisco
vols be countin to see

what happening with
America’s homeless folks
who, what, how they got there;
what can we do to help them
besides a hot, a cot and a prayer

last week in January  
in cities all over the nation
missioners fan out  to uncover
the most lowly of station

we’ll discover and recover
lost lambs and prodigal sons
we’ll find street walk daughters
falling through cracks
and criminals on the run

some junkies and crack pied pipers
be yodelling sickness, death and fear
mental illness, castaway children
may licit sorrowful tears

like gnats strained
through the gaping
holes in failing
social safety nets
this night is about
good shepherds
gone forth with no regrets

this mission
is most important
to our agency as well

each head you count
every calf you cull
the coffers of the
agency will grow

program grants are tied
to an index of misery
our streets give ample evidence
of an abundant presence in this city

no poverty pimps
work harder to improve
the blighted human condition
the quality of our work
speaks for itself
its no liberal sedition

we got a dog in the fight
that's undoubtedly true
tending to add an urgency
to the critical work we do

our shelter, food pantry
and job training programs
keep jumpers off the ledge
we attempt to arrest fallers
its the agency’s solemn pledge

for what profit a man
if he inherits the earth
and finds only strife
and devastation?;
community development
our diligent charge
workin hard to build
a better nation

so as your
cross the city’s
food deserts

to search the oases
of supermercados
surreal revelations
may manifest a few
midnight bizarros

E 18th St bonito bodegas
where long shot scratch offs
and stale coconut macaroons
staples of community sustainability
the hoped for lift from poverty soon

busy parsing the three squares
bagged in paper thin brown balsa
cool ranch dorito, a teriyaki slim jim
frothy Colt quart to chase
the winkin sip of dog hair gin

that's where this
story begins...

yes beloved
the road is wide
the gate is narrow
for the many prodigals
off the path living
a life of shadows

they're out there
making a way
through the  gloom
hoping to be given
one more day

sojourning on
trying to get back
to the ***** of love
searching for the room
lit with light from above

take courage beloved
know that Jesus walks
the streets with you tonight

he’ll be your
present helper
as you mine
the dank waste
of the desolate
factory shells
the post industrial
monuments to the
expended labor of
six dead generations
now squatter
for urban nomads
moving through
the sarcophagi of
a nations
wasted labor

afterall, we are
all fallen people
hurtling downward
into torn safety nets
slipping into the
tattered threads of
a handy hangman's

who among us
has not fallen
through yesterdays
best expired dream?
waking to find yourself
in a midnight
nightmare scream

we'll catch them
round em up
as their falling
to build em up
lost sheep knows the
voice of the masters calling

Jesus will
walk before you
as you enter the
closed parks
were swings
of life fly
high and low
merry go rounds
zip by like a terrible
carousel that won't stop
to let you go

and may the
Good Deliverer
guard you as
you descend
into the screaming
rooms of
crack dens

here the fallen
angel finds comfort
in the resounding
chorus of misery
woefully regretted

Lucifer eloquently
hums beguiling
holy smoke tunes
to his doleful
acolytes sadly

you are the
Good Shepherds
leading the lost
back through
the gate

tell the beloved prodigal
children that the good
news of salvation
patiently awaits

we lucked out
its warm tonight
for the past few years
its snowed

heres a clipboard
filled with questions to ask
a box of supplies for lost sheep
and a yellow plastic poncho
so the cops know
you're one of God's own

Mary Lou Williams
Black Christ of the Andes
Praise the Lord

Part 2 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  The Silk City is a nickname for Paterson NJ.  An ED is an acronym for Executive Director.  A CDC is an acronym for Community Development Corporation, a non-profit agency that provides development services to urban communities.  James Weldon Johnson is an African American poet.  This piece is written in a style and manner of God's Trombones.
Dante Nov 2011
You should all be running
There clocks are singing
There cracks are screaming
The horizon one hundred yards away, So
you should be running
Firing your energies, feel the cannon fodder, straight from the Howl
Down past the credence
Up & over indulgence
In the bright earnest face we all so fear
My mother's eyes show me
My father's will teaches
Because his words go
Up, down and up and down and straight & die
& through and ground
Reaching time reach the audience
Reach out for bleachers where watch
tictoc right American preachers
Me junction, the merger, our mental *******
Me ******, me scared
Me changing like canon fire
Right! To the ocean, deep deep depths
To think think future
a clock there is singing
Showtunes for theme songs, church bells
Defcon 12 falling tanks off me shelf
See the mad red carnation
Shot at the pieces in eclipse of today
I keep going when I still have nothing to say
The drapery dying the godbirds still flying
I will never know what comes next
But I've got influence
& I'll need congruence
To empty a vault full of universal need
I want to be running
I'd wish you were running
The stitches, the fabric, sewn loving care
Like the landscaping, keep you warm
I've stolen from homeless
I've stolen from men
I break all the precepts
My breathing's from them
I steal all their oxygen
Whenever I breath Me harmony
Me stretching Me arm reach no peace
I see the world over
the oceans are strange
There's volcanic lightening
& men in white coats
I don't eat, I don’t sleep
I walk for them, should running
out there should running
We feel for the riches
We feel for the dying
Cancerous limp-ation, now windmill's orchestration
Shoes stuck in mud with laces together
Women see lightening when held through the weather
The war, land the peace is
The dynamic tension
The balance in pieces
With eyes up to heaven
Who cares if we're dying
We're all one
One what
I accuse you of calling the charlatan, ****
One bread piece obtuse cause
the sandwich is dying
Do you think that's normal?
Do you think that's abstract?
Boys crying because their teachers have fears
From the past make it last
What is wrong with your peers
Hold together mold together
Find out what's next
Feeling perplexed
Run run run you silly little girls
There's no sense in hiding the rest of the world
We've got one thing in common
And one thing is this
We've all got timing for HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS
Hold together, mold together
Cry together scream
the bonding is no place
for a welcome machine
What do we do
What do we do
What do we do
What do we do?
End swimming, out running
Over fencing, out running, Break walling, out running
Down clouding, out running
Fall like jumpers, run like dying
Out through planetary & temporary adrenal-line
Sleep when men in white coats
Them start walking
They march, they country
They apple of eden & run when the men
in white coats, they lay sleepin
The world is a mountain
the people they range
Look at these weirdos, make them say change
Educate the many use mindscreen no strife
The point of the riddle
Eternal solvation
We are confused with the mental *******
I'm ******* I'm sorry I'm scared
There's isolation in landscape
Something sounds like prepared
Listen to wordplay
try to find the right light
there's air in the landscape...
Cool to the touch
(a few beats)
Say ******* with metaphor
(a few beats)
I've got words, I've got wisdom
I watch movies
There's motion, just grab it
Keep going
You should be running
You should all be running
The world is going to start at any second
You should be running
Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,
Alcinous and Ulysses both rose, and Alcinous led the way to the
Phaecian place of assembly, which was near the ships. When they got
there they sat down side by side on a seat of polished stone, while
Minerva took the form of one of Alcinous’ servants, and went round the
town in order to help Ulysses to get home. She went up to the
citizens, man by man, and said, “Aldermen and town councillors of
the Phaeacians, come to the assembly all of you and listen to the
stranger who has just come off a long voyage to the house of King
Alcinous; he looks like an immortal god.”
  With these words she made them all want to come, and they flocked to
the assembly till seats and standing room were alike crowded. Every
one was struck with the appearance of Ulysses, for Minerva had
beautified him about the head and shoulders, making him look taller
and stouter than he really was, that he might impress the Phaecians
favourably as being a very remarkable man, and might come off well
in the many trials of skill to which they would challenge him. Then,
when they were got together, Alcinous spoke:
  “Hear me,” said he, “aldermen and town councillors of the
Phaeacians, that I may speak even as I am minded. This stranger,
whoever he may be, has found his way to my house from somewhere or
other either East or West. He wants an escort and wishes to have the
matter settled. Let us then get one ready for him, as we have done for
others before him; indeed, no one who ever yet came to my house has
been able to complain of me for not speeding on his way soon enough.
Let us draw a ship into the sea—one that has never yet made a voyage-
and man her with two and fifty of our smartest young sailors. Then
when you have made fast your oars each by his own seat, leave the ship
and come to my house to prepare a feast. I will find you in
everything. I am giving will these instructions to the young men who
will form the crew, for as regards you aldermen and town
councillors, you will join me in entertaining our guest in the
cloisters. I can take no excuses, and we will have Demodocus to sing
to us; for there is no bard like him whatever he may choose to sing
  Alcinous then led the way, and the others followed after, while a
servant went to fetch Demodocus. The fifty-two picked oarsmen went
to the sea shore as they had been told, and when they got there they
drew the ship into the water, got her mast and sails inside her, bound
the oars to the thole-pins with twisted thongs of leather, all in
due course, and spread the white sails aloft. They moored the vessel a
little way out from land, and then came on shore and went to the house
of King Alcinous. The outhouses, yards, and all the precincts were
filled with crowds of men in great multitudes both old and young;
and Alcinous killed them a dozen sheep, eight full grown pigs, and two
oxen. These they skinned and dressed so as to provide a magnificent
  A servant presently led in the famous bard Demodocus, whom the
muse had dearly loved, but to whom she had given both good and evil,
for though she had endowed him with a divine gift of song, she had
robbed him of his eyesight. Pontonous set a seat for him among the
guests, leaning it up against a bearing-post. He hung the lyre for him
on a peg over his head, and showed him where he was to feel for it
with his hands. He also set a fair table with a basket of victuals
by his side, and a cup of wine from which he might drink whenever he
was so disposed.
  The company then laid their hands upon the good things that were
before them, but as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink,
the muse inspired Demodocus to sing the feats of heroes, and more
especially a matter that was then in the mouths of all men, to wit,
the quarrel between Ulysses and Achilles, and the fierce words that
they heaped on one another as they gat together at a banquet. But
Agamemnon was glad when he heard his chieftains quarrelling with one
another, for Apollo had foretold him this at Pytho when he crossed the
stone floor to consult the oracle. Here was the beginning of the
evil that by the will of Jove fell both Danaans and Trojans.
  Thus sang the bard, but Ulysses drew his purple mantle over his head
and covered his face, for he was ashamed to let the Phaeacians see
that he was weeping. When the bard left off singing he wiped the tears
from his eyes, uncovered his face, and, taking his cup, made a
drink-offering to the gods; but when the Phaeacians pressed
Demodocus to sing further, for they delighted in his lays, then
Ulysses again drew his mantle over his head and wept bitterly. No
one noticed his distress except Alcinous, who was sitting near him,
and heard the heavy sighs that he was heaving. So he at once said,
“Aldermen and town councillors of the Phaeacians, we have had enough
now, both of the feast, and of the minstrelsy that is its due
accompaniment; let us proceed therefore to the athletic sports, so
that our guest on his return home may be able to tell his friends
how much we surpass all other nations as boxers, wrestlers, jumpers,
and runners.”
  With these words he led the way, and the others followed after. A
servant hung Demodocus’s lyre on its peg for him, led him out of the
cloister, and set him on the same way as that along which all the
chief men of the Phaeacians were going to see the sports; a crowd of
several thousands of people followed them, and there were many
excellent competitors for all the prizes. Acroneos, Ocyalus, Elatreus,
Nauteus, Prymneus, Anchialus, Eretmeus, Ponteus, Proreus, Thoon,
Anabesineus, and Amphialus son of Polyneus son of Tecton. There was
also Euryalus son of Naubolus, who was like Mars himself, and was
the best looking man among the Phaecians except Laodamas. Three sons
of Alcinous, Laodamas, Halios, and Clytoneus, competed also.
  The foot races came first. The course was set out for them from
the starting post, and they raised a dust upon the plain as they all
flew forward at the same moment. Clytoneus came in first by a long
way; he left every one else behind him by the length of the furrow
that a couple of mules can plough in a fallow field. They then
turned to the painful art of wrestling, and here Euryalus proved to be
the best man. Amphialus excelled all the others in jumping, while at
throwing the disc there was no one who could approach Elatreus.
Alcinous’s son Laodamas was the best boxer, and he it was who
presently said, when they had all been diverted with the games, “Let
us ask the stranger whether he excels in any of these sports; he seems
very powerfully built; his thighs, claves, hands, and neck are of
prodigious strength, nor is he at all old, but he has suffered much
lately, and there is nothing like the sea for making havoc with a man,
no matter how strong he is.”
  “You are quite right, Laodamas,” replied Euryalus, “go up to your
guest and speak to him about it yourself.”
  When Laodamas heard this he made his way into the middle of the
crowd and said to Ulysses, “I hope, Sir, that you will enter
yourself for some one or other of our competitions if you are
skilled in any of them—and you must have gone in for many a one
before now. There is nothing that does any one so much credit all
his life long as the showing himself a proper man with his hands and
feet. Have a try therefore at something, and banish all sorrow from
your mind. Your return home will not be long delayed, for the ship
is already drawn into the water, and the crew is found.”
  Ulysses answered, “Laodamas, why do you taunt me in this way? my
mind is set rather on cares than contests; I have been through
infinite trouble, and am come among you now as a suppliant, praying
your king and people to further me on my return home.”
  Then Euryalus reviled him outright and said, “I gather, then, that
you are unskilled in any of the many sports that men generally delight
in. I suppose you are one of those grasping traders that go about in
ships as captains or merchants, and who think of nothing but of
their outward freights and homeward cargoes. There does not seem to be
much of the athlete about you.”
  “For shame, Sir,” answered Ulysses, fiercely, “you are an insolent
fellow—so true is it that the gods do not grace all men alike in
speech, person, and understanding. One man may be of weak presence,
but heaven has adorned this with such a good conversation that he
charms every one who sees him; his honeyed moderation carries his
hearers with him so that he is leader in all assemblies of his
fellows, and wherever he goes he is looked up to. Another may be as
handsome as a god, but his good looks are not crowned with discretion.
This is your case. No god could make a finer looking fellow than you
are, but you are a fool. Your ill-judged remarks have made me
exceedingly angry, and you are quite mistaken, for I excel in a
great many athletic exercises; indeed, so long as I had youth and
strength, I was among the first athletes of the age. Now, however, I
am worn out by labour and sorrow, for I have gone through much both on
the field of battle and by the waves of the weary sea; still, in spite
of all this I will compete, for your taunts have stung me to the
  So he hurried up without even taking his cloak off, and seized a
disc, larger, more massive and much heavier than those used by the
Phaeacians when disc-throwing among themselves. Then, swinging it
back, he threw it from his brawny hand, and it made a humming sound in
the air as he did so. The Phaeacians quailed beneath the rushing of
its flight as it sped gracefully from his hand, and flew beyond any
mark that had been made yet. Minerva, in the form of a man, came and
marked the place where it had fallen. “A blind man, Sir,” said she,
“could easily tell your mark by groping for it—it is so far ahead
of any other. You may make your mind easy about this contest, for no
Phaeacian can come near to such a throw as yours.”
  Ulysses was glad when he found he had a friend among the lookers-on,
so he began to speak more pleasantly. “Young men,” said he, “come up
to that throw if you can, and I will throw another disc as heavy or
even heavier. If anyone wants to have a bout with me let him come
on, for I am exceedingly angry; I will box, wrestle, or run, I do
not care what it is, with any man of you all except Laodamas, but
not with him because I am his guest, and one cannot compete with one’s
own personal friend. At least I do not think it a prudent or a
sensible thing for a guest to challenge his host’s family at any game,
especially when he is in a foreign country. He will cut the ground
from under his own feet if he does; but I make no exception as regards
any one else, for I want to have the matter out and know which is
the best man. I am a good hand at every kind of athletic sport known
among mankind. I am an excellent archer. In battle I am always the
first to bring a man down with my arrow, no matter how many more are
taking aim at him alongside of me. Philoctetes was the only man who
could shoot better than I could when we Achaeans were before Troy
and in practice. I far excel every one else in the whole world, of
those who still eat bread upon the face of the earth, but I should not
like to shoot against the mighty dead, such as Hercules, or Eurytus
the Cechalian-men who could shoot against the gods themselves. This in
fact was how Eurytus came prematurely by his end, for Apollo was angry
with him and killed him because he challenged him as an archer. I
can throw a dart farther than any one else can shoot an arrow. Running
is the only point in respect of which I am afraid some of the
Phaecians might beat me, for I have been brought down very low at sea;
my provisions ran short, and therefore I am still weak.”
  They all held their peace except King Alcinous, who began, “Sir,
we have had much pleasure in hearing all that you have told us, from
which I understand that you are willing to show your prowess, as
having been displeased with some insolent remarks that have been
made to you by one of our athletes, and which could never have been
uttered by any one who knows how to talk with propriety. I hope you
will apprehend my meaning, and will explain to any be one of your
chief men who may be dining with yourself and your family when you get
home, that we have an hereditary aptitude for accomplishments of all
kinds. We are not particularly remarkable for our boxing, nor yet as
wrestlers, but we are singularly fleet of foot and are excellent
sailors. We are extremely fond of good dinners, music, and dancing; we
also like frequent changes of linen, warm baths, and good beds, so
now, please, some of you who are the best dancers set about dancing,
that our guest on his return home may be able to tell his friends
how much we surpass all other nations as sailors, runners, dancers,
minstrels. Demodocus has left his lyre at my house, so run some one or
other of you and fetch it for him.”
  On this a servant hurried off to bring the lyre from the king’s
house, and the nine men who had been chosen as stewards stood forward.
It was their business to manage everything connected with the
sports, so they made the ground smooth and marked a wide space for the
dancers. Presently the servant came back with Demodocus’s lyre, and he
took his place in the midst of them, whereon the best young dancers in
the town began to foot and trip it so nimbly that Ulysses was
delighted with the merry twinkling of their feet.
  Meanwhile the bard began to sing the loves of Mars and Venus, and
how they first began their intrigue in the house of Vulcan. Mars
made Venus many presents, and defiled King Vulcan’s marriage bed, so
the sun, who saw what they were about, told Vulcan. Vulcan was very
angry when he heard such dreadful news, so he went to his smithy
brooding mischief, got his great anvil into its place, and began to
forge some chains which none could either unloose or break, so that
they might stay there in that place. When he had finished his snare he
went into his bedroom and festooned the bed-posts all over with chains
like cobwebs; he also let many hang down from the great beam of the
ceiling. Not even a god could see them, so fine and subtle were
they. As soon as he had spread the chains all over the bed, he made as
though he were setting out for the fair state of Lemnos, which of
all places in the world was the one he was most fond of. But Mars kept
no blind look out, and as soon as he saw him start, hurried off to his
house, burning with love for Venus.
  Now Venus was just come in from a visit to her father Jove, and
was about sitting down when Mars came inside the house, an said as
he took her hand in his own, “Let us go to the couch of Vulcan: he
is not at home, but is gone off to Lemnos among the Sintians, whose
speech is barbarous.”
  She was nothing loth, so they went to the couch to take their
rest, whereon they were caught in the toils which cunning Vulcan had
spread for them, and could neither get up nor stir hand or foot, but
found too late that they were in a trap. Then Vulcan came up to
them, for he had turned back before reaching Lemnos, when his scout
the sun told him what was going on. He was in a furious passion, and
stood in the vestibule making a dreadful noise as he shouted to all
the gods.
  “Father Jove,” he cried, “and all you other blessed gods who live
for ever, come here and see the ridiculous and disgraceful sight
that I will show you. Jove’s daughter Venus is always dishonouring
me because I am lame. She is in love with Mars, who is handsome and
clean built, whereas I am a *******—but my parents are to blame for
that, not I; they ought never to have begotten me. Come and see the
pair together asleep on my bed. It makes me furious to look at them.
They are very fond of one another, but I do not think they will lie
there longer than they can help, nor do I think that they will sleep
much; there, however, they shall stay till her father has repaid me
the sum I gave him for his baggage of a daughter, who is fair but
not honest.”
  On this the gods gathered to the **
Tommy Johnson Sep 2014
He's found himself in the closet
After he lost to himself in a game of tic-tac-toe
And tied his lobster bib tightly
Then hid his cheat sheet, for the pop quiz he knew was soon to come

It's curtains for her
She let the cat out of the bag
And now she's up **** creek with ****** for paddles to go **** herself with
Right in the birth canal

Then we'll auction off the ******
We'll pass them off as European defibrillators
Maybe some extremist will want them
If we spew out enough mindless dribble

The All Time ****-Show is about to begin
We have
The Chronic Masturbater
The Hypochondriac
And The Pathological Liar

It was either sometime yesterday
Or sometime tomorrow
Or was it sometime today?
That you were all going to make fun of the boy with the cleft lip down at the laundromat?

Out of the three of you The Pathological Lair sticks out like a sore thumb
I can tell he was the runt of the litter
Who always bites off more than he can chew

I see the Hypochondriac has convinced himself he has eczema  
He rattles off all his symptoms
Inordinate filibustering  

Now there's the Chronic Masturbater
He looks like he's over the hill
He's only twenty one
But the blue circles under his eyes and the deep defined lines on his forehead denote his inelegant aging

I sign all your lives away in my horrible cursive
And now you belong to the ragtag trigger-happy posse of gun-jumpers
My billfold his happily filled
So I must go do some reconnaissance
Spy on those who have quit their day jobs
The fish out of water

You must find that thing that really rolls off the tongue with a nice ring to it

Go hang youself with dental flossed you home-schooled fool

Indentured servants we're just an after thought
Rockie Feb 2015
Butterfly Wings and
Bed Springs

Rollercoaster Rides and
Sea Tides

Music's playing and
Jumpers fraying

All the Queens and Kings and
All these little things

The kingdom of the brave!
Danny Mar 2013

Your mum picked you up in daddy’s BMW,
we had to wait an hour while they scrubbed the brains of another son off the roof of the 125

(Why they built a multi storey car park on top of the bus station is a mystery to me.)

You carefully colour coordinated your files and scrutinized your revision schedules,
we watched nicked CCTV footage of two blokes smoking crack and burning down the bowling pavilion next door

(the old boys never did raise enough to repair it.)

You snubbed each other because of different tastes in jumpers,
we watched acid casualties talk politics with football hooligans

(a hastily rolled joint bridged the obvious gap.)

You lounged in the common room in your study periods,
our lesson got cancelled because John had been smashed in the face with a fire extinguisher

(and our tutor used to be a lifeguard.)

You worried about fashion and discussed the injustice of last night’s X Factor result,
we watched Neil’s head crash into his keyboard after he’d scoffed all his methadone in one go

Cara McKee Jan 2015
Bags packed, homework done,
Snacks picked for everyone.
Jumpers, shoes, and jackets on,
Tantrum dealt with and we're gone.
Scooters: one; two; three,
All the bags, with me.
High Street or Eastgate?
Come along, we won't be late!
Nearing school it's getting busy,
Cross the road, say 'thanks' to Ali.
First child's off; small feet are dragging.
Park the scooters; cuddles: they're in.
Fast paced poem best read aloud.
About our old school run in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
Hal Loyd Denton Nov 2011
One life by flames a Hero made

This just became a lot harder by its very nature I must cloak one identity shine all the light I can on the
Other harder because I was just reminded people find my writing hard to understand brothers at church
Out home can you be more simple use smaller words I could be stupid I’m a high school dropout I don’t
Know any big words well I did use imbecile in the seventh grade that was cool and got a reaction this
Started to be a tribute to a person who was rare although you can surely see glimpses of your dad
Brother or other male members of your family as I said to write you must follow truth strictly no
Deviation but before I could pay and honor the visible one another comes into view from the past with
This twist then he was the dark kight now he is a knight in shining armor the dark knight have him on
The Cross bar of a bicycle both of you have swimming trunks on you pass some tuffs with extra powerful
BB guns while your body shields him he lets off a litany of sailor inspired words directed at them they
Don’t return insults they open fire I have welts and his mother picks three B Bees out of my back did he
Feel any pain he was too busy laughing that was just one time not enough room here to give you the run
Down let’s just say as the only identifier he was a short racer came in first braver than the others but I
saw him in a class picture there is the strange part it touched my heart and then speaking to him on the
Phone my feelings were correct he is a great wonderful person then the stranger yet he so embodies by
Appearance and voice of the one I choose to honor here Stevie Rucker was about eleven that summer I
Met him his mother went to my wife’s church he was bright kind and melted people with his soft and
loving nature quite a contrast to his father a six foot four hard nose FFA inspector we were out at a
Restaurant in the city a foursome in the next room with a booth were using foul language I don’t know
The dim lighting could have been a factor but when this giant shadow fell on them and asks them to stop I
Don’t think they even talked loud after that. But this sweet little boy harbored a dream one day he was
Going to be a fire fighter then as dreams go it was shattered bad eye sight disqualified it was a dream
Worth fighting for so he took action a risky costly eye operation was the answer victory he moved to
Patoka California by now a wife and two toddlers a boy and a girl three boy five they lived in the foot
Hills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range ever where you were in great growth forest of course the
Red Woods get all the glory but take a stroll red clay earth and some of the most gorgeous nature you
Will ever find although the Great Smoky Mountains will give it a run for the money in a later story I will
Tell about them and the gnome mobile and the huge boar black bear that I thought I was going to have
To run to the car pull out my thirty thirty Winchester and start working the lever action to save seventy
Five tourists I put in Jeopardy by getting him out of a deep gully. Well life was good for Steve and his
Family he was living his dream our paths would intersect we stopped at Paso to break the trip in half to
Southern C and Disney land were heard about the fire in Dego it was bad enough that the whole LA
Basin was fogged in for two days the Santa Anna winds finally pushed it out to sea and up the coast I hit
It on the other side of San Louis Obisable in a gorge it was banked in and because of youthful lucky strikes and
Later sleep apnea I couldn’t breathe in the car until I hit the air conditioner well by the time we got
Home to check in at the hotel it was clear home is what Anaheim means in German then there was that
USA Today News paper again I looked and a face was staring at me older and thicker heavey set but I knew the face and then at
The bottom of the picture emotional train wreck a child so giving now as a man had given his life for
Strangers five to six hundred miles south from his home he died trying to save their homes he joined
Many others but these were fresh in my mind the folks who died in the fire storm in Oakland from the
Conflagration that took lives and homes and four lane highways on both sides couldn’t slow it down and
You have as much chance as out running a bullet as you do a fire as twenty five Idaho smoke jumpers
Found out they were racing out of a gorge scrambling to get over the top this natural configuration had
Become a chimney of living flame thirteen died instantly those others rolled over and away on flat
Ground at the top was spared. What could I do I wrapped myself in the only protection I could find he
Died a hero that kept the pain at bay how many times I invoked that statement it worked so well until at
The community center in Patoka where they honored Steve’s sacrifice it was televised Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger and other state dignitaries his fire house buddies and other fireman from everywhere
Was there and then they panned down to his mother and father his father wasn’t so large anymore and
It was the last time I could use my shield as I looked and watched Pat weeping Uncontrollably over her
Lost son I thought you would like to know of this wonderful person I will close with a thank you in the
Language of the Lakota Sioux as his service had part of it in the native language of his tribe Pilamaya means thank you
Steve you are an inspiration we bow to greatness beyond our understanding
as i bathed in the ashes
of a swirling monstrous din
the cries of  a woman
hysterically expunging
ghastly portions of an all
consuming horror
pierced my ears,
cuddled my heart

as i huddled in a corner
biting lacerated knees
i beheld ax wielding
firemen swagger into the
jagged dangers of a
metallic avalanche, its
voracious maw
swallowing last
acts of heroic love

as i genuflected toward
Trinity's steeple,
i was cowed by
the rushing noise
of a splintering tower
collapsing downward,
billowing outward,
a gray predation
scattering the proud
humbling the mighty
breeding terror
threshing anything
fearfully racing
through the city's
cavernous breaches

as i fled down
Wall Street
screaming adrenalin
outran bits of the city
cascading down
stalking, nipping,
gnashing at fleeting steps
chasing reeling refugees
into miraculous sanctuaries
shielding trembling confusion
in blanket's of grace

as i peered into
the mortal wound
of the South Tower
incomprehensibly wondering
what my eyes refused to
understand; a slow
astonishing epiphany
of the grisly hell unfolding
in the upper floors
was confirmed by the
intermittent slow
cascade of leapers
deciding it was
a good day to die

as i decamped
temporary refuge
i entered an unsure
midnight of a blackened
street joining a growing mass
of refugees trundling eastward,
our burning eyes yearning
to perceive a river of escape
hoping the bits of torn cloth will
shield nostrils and cover mouths
protecting tinged lungs from
emulsified ash of glass
and asbestos laden air

as i made my way
northward, enveloped
in ambivalent confusion,
shell shocked  by civic turmoil,
covered in terror dust;
amassing voyeurs
rushing downtown
incredulously asked
what we witnessed,
a Jersey Journal stringer
refused to believe
people jumped
from the upper floors,
as vendors in Chinatown
marked up bottles of water
and a barkeep of a
crowded SOHO saloon
refused me entry
to use the
bathroom fearing
contamination risk...

as i stood depleted
on Christopher Street
ATMs and wireless
phones out of service and
my PATH way home
shut down;
a Sisters of Charity
AIDS hospice
brought me in,
wiped the terror dust
from my clothes,
gave me grape juice to drink,
set me a bed for the night
and put me to work
in the kitchen
to feed God's children.

as i stood on
a late afternoon
Washington Street,
witnessing Seven WTC
plunge into another raging billow
the collapsing day ended
in a room shared with
a young man traumatized
by the days events.
We related our
halting incomprehensions
as the sound of fighter jets
circling the city filled
the void in our
disjointed narratives.
My roommate related
that he was on the plaza
as jumpers splattered around him.  
A tearful PA Cop pleaded for help
to cover the dead.  
It was the last request of this
trembling public servant
as a jumper crushed him
as he finished speaking.

as i fell off to sleep that night
my young roommate
tossed and turned
in the maelstrom of
a deeply troubled sleep.

Music Selection:
Philip Glass Koyaanisqatsi

recollections of 9/11
RKM Mar 2012
there, the air is thicker
it hangs full, like the ladies

all the sadness lived in the
capsules of trapped air in
woollen jumpers left behind

men with their toothless
smiles and shining skin
coax laughter from a steel drum

the market boasts a rainbow
of sarongs, papayas, star fruits
offered in jangling song

it was a medicine.
the coral blooms in the reef
are teeth in a dog's mouth,
st64 Oct 2013
sense is seen
when scents on scene

jaunty-laddie walked and grabbed the sun out the sky
hid it leisurely in his back-pocket
while the candy jumped out the sweet-jar
and the farmer fed the dog to the food

an elm-tree nearby coughed nervously at the encroaching-air
as the letterbox chatted lively to the ivy-hedge
the wind popped by and whistled out a papery-sigh
that the clouds caught and flung into a blue swing-lasso

working out moves in ab-struck-shin
sweaters and jumpers* at the local gym got all scratchy
and went on strike to protest against the über-cool fridge
and gravity took a break
and we all
a way..!


S T - 26th of October, is it?
spot of facetious ink :)
when the world takes a healthy-break .. much of good doth come.. and larfs ensue :)

sub-entry: paint

bird flew high
so high..

the wind came by
and blew off
all its paint

its feelings got so hurt
it flew higher still
off to Arcturus
36.6 light years away
where candy-souls reside

A louse in a house
or a mouse on a blouse.
A bell that goes ****
or a gong that goes ****.
A gap on a map
or a cap on your lap.
A drink in the sink
or an ink that stinks.
A spleen on a screen
or a queen who is green.
A bow in the snow
or a crow that glows.


A wash or a whip,
a lip or a lop,
a top or a tip,
a car or afar,
a bar or a war,
a door or a snore,
a bore or a nail,
a flail or a whale,
a run or a bun,
a sun or a moon,
a spoon or a bus,
a fuss or a sigh,
a cry or a cheer,
a fear or a smile,
a while or a pen,
a den or a cat,
a mat or a hat,
a bat or a glass,
a vase or a weight,
a mate or a fork,
a cork or a mop,
a cop or a stop.


Apples and artichokes, ants and antelopes,
bees and beers, books and brains,
cucumbers and chimneys, ***** and coats,
dogs and drains, dots and dominoes,
ears and eejits, elephants and exams,
flies and flutes, files and friends,
grasses and guts, giants and gyms,
horrors and hiccups, horses and hills,
igloos and irons, irises and idiots,
jumpers and jackets, jodhpurs and jellies,
kings and kettles, kites and kittens,
lions and lamps, lemons and lunches,
mums and monsters, mosses and moths,
noses and notes, nightmares and needles,
oblongs and orang-utans, organs and oranges,
paintings and pennies, ponds and pants,
quiches and quizzes, questions and queues,
rainbows and rings, rascals and rabbits,
snakes and sprouts, sweets and salts,
trumpets and trains, tables and toasters,
umpires and ukuleles, umbrellas and uniforms,
violets and vests, violins and vials,
wheels and wings, windows and weeds,
xylems and x-rays, xylophones and xysters,
yachts and yoghurts, yards and yaks,
zigzags and zephyrs, ziggurats and zombies.
Written: October 2013.
Explanation: A poem in three parts written in my own time. I guess this is aimed primarily at young children - written mainly as a bit of fun. Although the language is fairly simple for a child to understand, some words will obviously be unfamiliar, but perhaps if read aloud a definition of the word could later be provided to the child. It is unlikely a child would use the word 'ziggurats' for example, but nevertheless, these more challenging words might be interesting to a child, simply because of the sound and unfamiliar nature of it.
vircapio gale Jun 2013
dandelion seeds
too tight to fly--
frozen Spring lovers

stream breeze--
pollen ripples into sun,
brace of current bed

inflorescent burst--
                    hikers' boots beside a pool
                              on sun-baked rocks

green buds ***** the air--
in corymb echoes,
fuzz of leaves

water-sounds cascade--
moss-drops, trickles; dog-splash, falls;
gurgles under foot

the tones of waves
tiny on the smooth shore
lipping on

stem-length stars,
streaming rays of sun
and water's deep shade

gentle eddies over stone--
one world,
one world

froth twirl and tendril
under Spring brook shade--
so clear beneath

burl-sprouts misted bright,
cups of water,
forest thirst

                 waterfall gasp--
                                            the cold! the winter! now swim!
the first breaths

Spring Misogi--
pummeled muscles--
grin of mossy heart

your wet shirt against my chest
--hot love--
thunderous winter-melt

we sink laughing,
numb in Spring's fluids--
our voices drown

papaya lunch--
a tropic fruit
and i am home

sweaty backpack--
two beloved women hike,
my heart weightless

green from nostalgia,
i hit bottomless

cameras first,
avert canopy surprise--
Spring screen

black-backed iridesce--
warm beetle slips
in and out of scree

barefoot in the stream,
our hands and voices smooth--
ankle sprain

Spring paths--
a parent's visit
breathes new life

my womb-maker
from another life--
ageless comfort

her haiku eyes--
water shining sun green
bloom here again

Inflorescence: a characteristic arrangement of flowers on a stem; a flower cluster. a flowering.
Misogi: Shinto purification ritual involving standing under a waterfall.
Corymb: a broad, flat-topped cluster of flowers in which the outer flower stalks are long and those toward the center progressively shorter.
Eli Grove May 2013
I tried to quit smoking last week. And my best friend died for eighteen hours. Such a deep loss has only been felt by rose hips, in the early winter, after the petals have fallen to the ground, like snow, like jumpers from high-rise buildings, like a maiden, after that last, fatal step off the plank, with swords at her back, and the horizon calling to her, the song of the Sirens drifting up from the ocean floor. Dropping, like petals, caught in a harsh winter breeze. The left-overs, the carcases of the flowers that were and are no more, watch with eyes of sorrow and hearts of lead, as each friend, companion, lover, even casual aquaintance plummets, to land on the already frozen soil of a dead, snowless, Colorado winter.
I died with my friend. My roots were tangled, and with each second that passed, a million axes took bites out of them, feasting on my identity. The axes were only gold-plated, it would seem, and not pure, unadulterated precious metal. Engraved in the paper-thin facade was a name, a face, and a hope, all of which were merely a poor excuse for an excersise in willpower. The cold, iron blade shone through the thin, gently curved lines of lip and ear and eye made of nebula. With each breath that passed between loosely parted lips, I felt myself fade, giving my everthing to the world (hope, name, face) that had, only moments before, murdered my closest companion.
My eyes grew steadily hard, increased stone-content. By 6:30, I had been staring into the eyes of my mistress, Medusa, for at least two hours, my head filled with love songs and daydreams, clutching straws and holding out for the one perfect moment that would shed a brief light on my life, which is, in all reality, the afformentioned pirate ship, but void of lamps, candles, or any other means of illumination.
Questions flowed to the surface of my disjointed mind in a stream, a river, an oceanic current of molten rock and sloppy second guesses.
(Will one hurt? Half? Just one puff? Why? Why? Why?)
And as I turned to stone, I finally found the courage to answer one of the questions that my brain shot itself with, injected into its own blood stream. The question was the sole bullet in a revolving, high-stakes betting game, the answer, the fourth trigger pull, with only two chances left anyway.
(Because... I don't know why...)
So stand up, go to the place you have thought about two-million times, and, yes, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.
As my friend rose from the dead, pushing aside the boulder blocking the entrance to its tomb, which everyone knew was just a temporary tenement, and we were reunited, we spoke of fascists. Well, I spoke of fascists, it listened. I spoke of the kind of fascists that exist in grayscale television commercials, spewing ingnorant words about the untimely deaths of beloved family members, who give me ***** looks in public, and have forced me into alleyways, across streets, out of sight, out of mind, to the back of the bus, as if non-smokers live forever, as if everyone can accomplish said impossible feat, if not for the evil plant, the evil spiritual plant that poses a threat to the well-ordered religious structures, pyres built for martyrs and long-dead saviors.
I have only begged for eternity once, and I was very young, with years of rocks and hard places ahead, only pink clouds behind, and eyes incapable of foresight. This boy ate apples, and drew on his arms with black pen every Sunday. Go into the church clean, bathed, come out with temorary full-sleeve tattoos. This boy was made of wonder, myth, and blind acceptance. No longer.
I have now gazed into an eternity made of open graves, lost loves, and harsh, barbed-wire truths, punctuated with sharp, jabbing exclamation points of brief pleasure that only seem to make the reality of eternity worse. I am a *******, and even I don't want that. A body can only function for so long without sleep before the motor wears out, the radiator breaks, the gasket leaks, and the marbles flee from the growing insanity of their owner. We all need to rest eventually, and in my secret mind - the one that grimaces with sick pleasure and only shows its teeth in the lines of a poem, slightly blurred by metaphor - I long for that sleep. I am tired, but the day is only half done. But each sun sets, and we can not deny it that truth, that sensation of finality that settles upon senile eyes like a cataract, that snuggles against warm, pink lungs in all its black, tar-like splendor.
Truth, like so many other things in this solar system, only takes shape when under the eye of a microscope, with a passive viewer sewn to the end of it, with the sole intention of passing judgement before shouting "NEXT," and repeating the process untill they either run out of things to judge (blame, think, guilt-trip) or die.
So, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette. Puff, puff, puff it and let us hope they never get to either of us, old friend.
Bathsheba Dec 2010
Rob the ***’s an ignorant man
Ill educated
chancer’s dripping pan

The day he fell in lust with a Roman Catholic *****
He entrapped her as his prisoner
So men could not gaze at her no more

Within a month
A life was spawned
Up the aisle they did flee
This is
my friend
Just the start
Of the
???????? dynasty

Deserted by their families
Cast out
To breed alone
Rob was dictatorial
A king upon his throne

No longer would she work for Smedleys up the road
Her life to now be governed by her husband’s crazy code

First came a boy  “1”
Followed by a girl  “2”
Followed by a girl  “3”
Followed by a girl  “4”
Followed by a girl  “5”
Followed by a boy  “6”
Followed by a boy  “7”

Now “I” stand in this pecking order
somewhere at the top
The inheritance of madness
Nobody can stop
The boys were brainwashed daily
Taunted with being gay
Withdrawal kicked in very quick
And with them it did stay
The girls were ****** and *****
Irrespective of attire
Educated so very young to
all natural desires

After the birth of the firstborn
Rob decided to no longer work
His job was in the house now
In shadows he would lurk
Rules and regulations
Beaten with a stick
Quite an achievement really

FOR    A    MAN    SO    *******    THICK

Do you remember No1?
How you practised with your fists
Smashed his ******* head in
Til he was shrouded in a mist
He wore 4 jumpers every day
Because you told him he was puny
Are you proud of your inheritance?
You raving ******* loony

Note: No1’s best friend turned out to be a *******
but that’s a whole new chapter

Do you remember No2?
What happened when she was seven?
I don’t know what’s wrong or right
The truth lies in the vaults of heaven
She cut a blackbird’s head off
And danced with manic glee
You created all of us
One great big ****** up family

Note: No2 ended her marriage after falling in love with
her 15 year old baby sitter

Do you remember No3?
How you decided she was loose
So she crawled inside a bottle
of alcoholic juice
Every day she went out thieving
just to feed her habit
Rob do you remember the day that
you made her eat her rabbit?
Could not put down roots
So roamed from town to town
Keeping her head above the sewer
For fear that she might drown

Note: No3 is happy and leaves the past in the past where
it belongs ... for now

Do you remember No4?
That must have been some job
for her to have been sectioned so many times
When you stand before your maker
Will you admit
to all of your crimes?
Or will you shrivel up?
Try to pass the buck?
Well … listen up here Rob
You’re running out of ******* luck

Note: No4 is now living with another fellow loony and
trying to normalise her existence

Do you remember No5
The girl now thinks that every man is a *******
Can you imagine anything that really is more vile?
You turned the girl into a cunning compulsive liar
Lost forever behind the shield of the constant surface fire
Are you proud of all your children?
Does your heart not swell with pride?
Is this what you envisaged?
On that day you took your bride

Note: No5 is on the lookout for a rich farmer to impregnate
her so that she can live of off his money

Do you remember No6
Oh yes, of course, he lives on the same estate
But he won’t give you the time of day
Is it time yet to contemplate?
He keeps his family separate
Tries to keep them pure
Antidote was easy
Separation from you was this man’s cure
Feeling any guilt yet?
Shame for what you’ve done?
Or do you still think that we are all *******
Each and every one

Note: No6 lives on happily with his family and has
had no contact for 15 years ... for now

Do you remember No7
The 7th child of the 7th child
Now where do I begin?
Fed him sweets and biscuits
Smirking with that evil grin
Kicked him out the house all day
Come the rain or shine
No wonder that he ended up
With a mind that’s much maligned
This man was surely worth a punt?
But not by you
****** up ******* ****

Note: No7 continues trying to slay the dragon and is more
grounded due to the love of his son

So ******* Rob and **** your ways
I will hate you til the end of days
You had no right to **** up the lives
Of your children
Or your ***** of a wife
And when you die
When the time is right
When Beelzebub has you in his sight
That’s the point the cork will blow
Time slows down and you will know
Your wicked ways were not a given
You will never ever be forgiven
Into the bowels of hell you’ll burn
To late for lessons to be learned

This poem has become deeply personal to me because as a consequence of penning this ..... my loving parents decided in their wisdom to divorce me and my brother Jack .... Oh ... how we laughed !!!
RAJ NANDY Oct 2014
                  * By Raj Nandy*
The Minoan Civilization of ancient Greece,
Was well centered in the Aegean island of Crete;
And around 1600 BC this civilization had peaked!
Seeing their frescoes, and paintings on potteries
and vase,
Scholars concluded that ‘bull-jumping’ was
perfected as a gallant art!
Those jumpers grabbed the bull’s horns, -
And receiving momentum from its violent
Vaulted over its back in a somersault,
To land on both feet to break their fall!
I was spell bound by Minoans courage and agility,
Their acrobatic feats performed with such
Those bulls were not killed and no blood was shed,
Some acrobats might have been injured instead!
What a shame for our bull fighters of date!

Today bull fighting has become a popular sport,
Where the bull gets slaughtered amidst loud applaud!
I recall those Roman amphitheaters that remained
When the Gladiators performed their fatal acts!
But even those Gladiators had a chance to survive,
Our cornered bull has no place to hide!
Friends, to see blood is an age old thrill,
But none would like to see their own blood spilled!

Our Matador today is like a popular Rock Star,
While the bull becomes a martyr in the pit by far!
The bull’s mighty horns are sharp and strong,
Can lift up a man like a rag doll!
But when the Picador lances the bull’s ****,
The bull never gets a fair deal and jumps!
Next the Matador waves his ‘muleta’- a red cape,
The bull makes a final charge but cannot escape!
I wonder if the bull sees red!?
The Matador then amidst much pomp and applaud,
Spikes the neck severing the bull’s spinal cord!
He is greeted by flowers and cheers of ‘Ole’! ‘Ole’!
Let us learn from those Ancient Minoans, -
That's all I have got to say!
                           - by Raj Nandy
When reading about Ancient Minoan Civilization, I read about this ceremonial sport of 'Bull jumping', which is seen painted on their vase too! So I compared it with our tragic Bull killing spree in the ring!
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
Stand up or burn up this is the fact I will give description of different stands that were made some for self and some for others first
I found myself in a predicament I was up against Bob he had thirty years on me and tougher by the very life he had lived now he was
Having a high time poking fun at my religion at first everything was going his way but then the strangest thing I felt a sensation
Like my spine was turning to steal and like the reverend MR. Black I cut him down like a big oak tree with these words I just asked
Him where he would be in a hundred years at that the grin died on his face you see he just had been released from prison after serving
Fifteen years for bank robbery he was expert at projecting time looking to the future at that moment he was far away seeing that as
Clearly as you look through your front window and observe the goings on of the day for the next hour or so we had a civil intelligent
Conservation about holy things I went to California shortly after this and lost track of Bob so I don’t know what he did with the
Opportunity God gave him but I know this later when I did hear of his death he met no surprises he had already been to that very spot
When God through the spirit spoke through me to him all confusion all the lies were stripped away he was given the pure time to make
A decision with crystal clarity whatever it was it will bode ill or favorably with him at judgment but he will have or make no excuse it
Was settled that night when he started talking to me and ended up talking to God about the most important matter in all the universe
That all should and need to ask how is it with my soul?

I had another time and another soul his danger was more immediate I wasn’t without my own concern I had been to the camp meeting
in Santa Cruz I need to tell you that story later well I got lost in a prayer meeting I found myself without a ride back to Monterey that
Was forty miles away I found myself pounding the high way out in the Artichoke country at one thirty in the morning and no traffic I
Finally got to fort Ord still four miles from Monterey a car stopped I was aware of a GI was just beaten severely with a wrench a few
Nights before the guy at the wheel was a giant broad shouldered six foot six everything was alright except he was drunk as a skunk and
My luck was holding he was a kind drunk we talked on the ride and even found out his son went to our church attending Sunday school
Everything was going smoothly well for the moment any way the next day was Sunday and I was walking through the church and
this little voice spoke my name all of a sudden I was in terror this was the little boy whose father the night before gave me the ride now
I was being asked to go to the little boy’s home because his dad was shipping out to Vietnam and the little boy knew his dad wasn’t
Saved so there I am knocking on his door and I’m talking to myself this giant is on his turf a no nonsense guy and he has a mouse
Standing at his door of course now he was stone cold sober and with a giant hangover he was cordial he might as well as slapped me
And ran me off then I could say well I tried and I could tell his son that God had something else in mind the sarge had it going his way
Then he made the mistake of expressing his belief that he was good enough to make heaven on his own he stirred up the Holy Ghost
In me I was already picturing his little boy losing his dad and then knowing he was lost we locked horns me driven by the facts of where
He was going and the danger he faced was real and deadly I quoted the main scripture there is no other name under heaven given to be
Saved than Jesus Christ he still dwarfed the small house he was in by his size I didn’t care I was after him like a wolverine he wasn’t
Going to that danger and certain possibility of sudden death I don’t know how it went when he got there but this I know he didn’t go
In stupidity thinking he was safe by his own power and conduct.

Things calmed for a week or two then another pressure cooker Mickey a teenager an American Japanese in our church asked me to
Go over on Saturday and witness to her family how exciting a couple of little Japanese people to talk to I walk in here is a house
Full of people what did they do have ancestors come over from Japan it went downhill from there when I started talking it seemed
as Mysterious as the orient they all seemed to be wearing ninja outfits with the swords all drawn I thought maybe they thought I was
One of them because of my eyes and now there ticked off because I’m just a white guy but in fact it was they were given me their full
Attention the hard stare was there attentiveness God left a good word with them.

All of this just brings out the point we need to find God now our loved ones are depending on us they have no one else Paul
Said we pluck them from the very fire of burning in girl by the lake I spoke of her and what she saw was only her natural surroundings
I saw the ninety foot wall of flame advancing ever slowly just like the people in Oakland oh I can out run the flame when a fire
Becomes a fire storm a conflagration of destruction those smoke jumpers I spoke of twenty three as they scrambled up the ridge out
Of that gorge the twelve hit the top and rolled the others just feet from the top were consumed in an instant God’s love is long
Suffering but it does have a limit what he will put up with I tried to make that point in mystical fire well don’t be unaware take
Corrective action today were not promised tomorrow.
refresh mesh May 2015
my story starts in North Carolina morning at 5:32
where I was excavated from my mother's womb
2 weeks past due
and immediately taken to an emergency room
because of a minor disfigurement called
ulnar polydactyly
where they laid me down and cut flesh & bone away

value your days and spin on a tire
at the bottom of a tree, twist the rope.
cut away any fray and pickle your desire
it's not a noose, it's not your hope.

i was born differently than peaks explained
i was told medical bills were a blessing obtained
so that my fingers would not continue to grow
so that fortunately, none of us will ever know
where those bitty bits would want to go
where would I go?
if I hadn't been bound
by what I hadn't contained?

how do parents agree to cosmetic surgery on their newborns?

don't they feel sick?

when my mother explained why i had these scars
She didn't ask how they felt on my hands.
and when my father kissed the bumps crunched on cars
He insisted that I had intact, normal, nerve strands.
But I could feel phantom fingers
and devil horns

don't they feel sick?

now I spend every day
chewing all the rest away
Now I count months and men
Men, who will cut their brood out of their only mate
to slice off any disfigurements and hold its jaw in place
then ball those hands in fists so her fingers can rest in peace

Listen when I ask for help
don't Give up on my body, just
cut the hearts of those playing God, for
anything Or anyone can happen to a newborn child, or
else, not again, it's
off, not again, not
today, not again.

I'm 6 years old, alone and terribly
glad to be awake
free of the villain that I’d been
free to make
Chunky animated evil clouds and monsters
with human names
mistrusting my family from the
earliest days
imagining my parents were zipped up
in skin resembling mine
their starchy air force uniforms
finding me everytime
Then my baby brother was on time, cooked just right,
born perfectly
When I found out about his circumcision I stopped
feeling sisterly

Why were my sweet, placid parents so surprised by us?
Keeping their secrets and distance from us.
Give us the answers, show us history!
why take me to Sunday School if you
won't sit through all of it with me?

there is nothing more disturbing than weekly church hopping.
there is so much to fear if we do not plan on ever stopping.
when I look for friends
i do so excitedly
looking for their ailments
and finger ******.
wondering who else
is in horror
of their size,
of their capacity.

"Look at these baby spiders in our garden,
Look, momma. They're so tiny.
The pumpkin nearly squished-
There's a centipede!" I'd be whining.
But, oh,
It's gross. I hear "eww" and "oh my god" and
"throw it away, bugs belong outside!"
I can do that. We all belong outside. I can do that.

From Santa Monica to Rapid City
I turned 8 and avoided depression
I plagued every single bookstore with
my ridiculous obsession:
Tornadoes, forests, food chains and chemistry
already fascinated me

I loved that;
the atmosphere of creation.
Shapes alive
with Movement and
centrifugal Force,
stopping motion, Pressure,
inertia and Speed.

I studied
legs. I watched the
long propelling jumpers, the
tool-like structures, of
insect tarsal claws, and
the spurs like knives.

Then aquatic mammals came to me
Where I first learned about ***:
the whale's hip bone, a mystery.
To the history of earth, it was
Big males, powerful females.
and evolution seemed to be the cause.

Then arboreal anthropods,
Where I first asked about distribution,
toes and fingers,
and counted
on hand
the numbers
and suddenly
deplored extinction.

It was a hot knife in my belly that never went away
I want to ask their god all the questions that besot me
why did they agree (twice!) to cut away that which is not rotting?
If DNA is best selected among genetic diversity, why must we all look and feel the same?
Blanching at any difference, hating on new names.

is it such a disaster
to expect variation from your master?
why are 2 extra phalanges
such ******* calamities?
Why do we observe differences
as an excuse to mutilate newborn babies?
Americans slice ******* off intact baby boys
Americans slice ******* off intact baby boys

A doctor deemed my extensions useless
but left me my brain and heart
which began to terrorize me
from the very simple start

I dreamed of all of us:
scary islands with giant magical
who was poisonous
to the population of anyone and
who was dangerous
printing off the battle plan which was
Yes, I dreamed of all of us
Where is my gold star and my participation trophy
Charlie Miles Mar 2011
When I was eighteen I worked for a company called GLENCOM. You probably haven't heard of them, you're not supposed to.
They're the invisible middleman.
What happens is, when a company wants to set up a call centre but doesn't have the space or the manpower to do it themselves, they call Glencom.
Glencom then puts together a team of people in Swindon,
teaches them the bare minimum about the product they need to sell and sticks them around a table with headphones on,
completely cut off from the people around them being force-fed phone numbers for eight straight hours a day.

They do this for dozens of companies. And there are dozens of companies just like it.
Producing nothing, just doing other peoples ***** work.
The jobs they don't want to do themselves.
Like Telemarketing. Cold-Calling.
You know when you've just got into the bath,
or you're sitting down to dinner and the phone rings and you think
'I don't want to answer that but it might be important'
and when you answer it it's someone you've never met desperately trying to sell you something you don't want?
And no matter what you say they don't seem to listen, or care,
they just keep reading standard procedure from a script until you can't take it any more and you just hang up?
Chances are, that person is a Glencom specialist telephone agent.

I loved that job, I really did.
You probably think I'm crazy for it, it's the kind of job that middle class kids do for a little extra cash while they're at university,
until they get sick of the soul-crushing routine of getting yelled at and hung up on, yelled at and hung up on and they stop showing up after six weeks.
Year after year, cold-calling is rated in the top ten things people hate about the modern world.
I was part of the problem.
And I loved it.

You see, when you get one of these phone calls, you don't realise that it's a real person on the other end of the phone.
Of course, you do know that it must be a person, that's common sense.
It's just not in your nature to think of that disembodied voice as having a face and a mind
and a favourite food .
and a family
and a history
and a home that they go to every night at seven thirty.
They're a spirit.
So you don't treat them like a real person,
and that's OK, really it is, we're used to it.
As far as you're concerned, whoever you're talking to is just a faceless corporation,
so you yell, and you swear,
way more than you would if you were face to face with someone, say, at your bank or in a shop.
Every little thing that has ****** you off that day gets unloaded onto that person because,
for those five minutes,
with your bath getting cold,
or your dinner getting overcooked and blackened,
they are everything that's wrong with society.

So by the time you finally slam the receiver down, and return to whatever it was you were doing,
you're face red, out of breath, can't remember the last time you were that angry
they've ruined your evening.
You swear you're going to complain,
but you know that if you do that you'll just get caught up in their red tape and rhetoric all over again.
There's nothing to do but let it go.
So you do, and with it, something strange happens.
All that anger and tension that you've been carrying around all day just leaves your body slowly.

The traffic that morning;
your workload at the office;
that cold you just cant shake;
the barista who got your coffee order wrong, but your were running late so didn't have time to complain and get a new one;

All those little things that you can't control,
it doesn't seem worth worrying about them now.
You think of how angry you were at that little voice coming out of the telephone speaker and you feel sort of proud,
like it makes up for bending over and taking **** from your Boss all those years.
from your bank all those years
from the gas and electric companies
and your phone company and internet service provider all those years
from your politicians all those years
all that doesn't sting so much any more.

Because you just stuck it to the man.
You stood up to the big corporations and you got the upper hand.
You start to see the funny side,
you'll tell everyone at work about this.

That's the thing about telemarketers: They're one of those little annoyances that people love so much,
like the weather or queue-jumpers.
Something we all hate, but can all relate to,
a lynch-pin of small-talk,
that inoffensive comedian you like so much was talking about it on tv the other night.

But this time you get a chance to stri ke back.
It's not like getting a parking ticket,
or stubbing your toe,
you get to yell at this inconvenience, tell it exactly how you feel without any fear of repercussions.

Without you realising it, that telemarketer has just done you a valuable service.
You've just saved yourself an hour in front of a punch-bag,
or a session with your therapist or *****.
Without knowing it you are in a better mood than you've been all week,
so you don't smack your kids when they spill paint on the carpet.
And you don't yell at your wife when she forgot to pay the electric bill.
You float on a cloud of air until bed time, and probably make love to your partner for the first time in weeks.
You sleep a healthy eight hours and wake up to breakfast  and coffee and drive to work feeling like you did when you first started there,
when you could still see a bright future ahead of you.
All thanks to that soulless,
disembodied voice on the other end of the phone.
All thanks to me.

I worked out that in any given day,
I got yelled at or told to ******* or otherwise unnecessarily lashed out at maybe thirty out of every hundred calls.
That was thirty families who were going to have a nice dinner,
without the usual arguments for once.
Maybe a few times a week I could prevent an abusive husband from having that one whiskey too many and bashing his wife from room to room.
If you believe in a butterfly flapping it's wings in Tokyo, and all that,
then maybe I, without ever leaving my desk, could stop a ****** from happening, perhaps once a year.
I was making a difference and all I had to do was let my computer dial a random phone number and to introduce myself as
'whoever calling from wherever to let you know about a valuable promotion...'

When I realised all this I decided I would work harder to up my productivity.
A hundred and fifty calls a day,
two hundred.

And I had to provoke more anger.
Subtly of course, I would try to be more obnoxious and inept.
I got peoples names wrong;
I talked over people.
Soon I was getting fifty hang-ups a day.
So I, like a good employee, constantly tried to better myself.
I sniggered at peoples names;
I requested needlessly extensive and intrusive personal information;
asked to speak to 'the man of the house'.
I was getting balled out with every other call.
Seventy, eighty, ninety times a day.
Every time I was called a nuisance I gave myself a pat on the back.
Every time someone said they wanted to speak with my supervisor, I just said they weren't in and then rewarded myself with a cookie at break time.
I got more competitive with myself.
I considered it a personal gift when I got someone with an Indian name,
or a speech impediment.
Gay couples were a Godsend.
I corrected peoples grammar;
I cursed;
I slurred;
I made thinly veiled ****** references.

I was thorn in the side of everyone just trying to enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon.
I was the itch that no-one could reach.
I invited venom, longed for hatred.
Because if it was aimed at me, it may as well have been aimed at the moon.
I was a necessary evil.
I was the common enemy of the whole country.  
I can't say how many relationships I must have saved,
how many lives I touched.
Suicides prevented? You never know.
I was making the world a better place, one botched customer service attempt at a time.
I was saving people without them even knowing my name.
The anonymous benefactor,
the masked hero.
I was Zorro, I was Batman.
And I loved it.
I thrived on it.
I had found something I was good at.
I could have stayed there, soaking up insults, absorbing peoples troubles, lightening their burdens, forever.

Until three months ago when my manager saw my sales reports.
He, of course, didn't understand why we were really there.
He thought it was about money, about generating figures for whatever company we were hired by that month.
He threw buzz-words and management speak at me.
Improving Revenue.
Optimising Productivity.
Promoting Synergy.
Utilising Opportunity.
Sentence fragments that wouldn't make sense if he meant them.
Nonsensical ramblings littered with capital letters.
By Glencom's standards, rather than my own, I was the worst specialist telephone agent that he had ever seen.
I didn't bother trying to explain.
He wouldn't have understood,
I wanted something real.
Glencom could have been the first call centre to truly,
what's the phrase he would have used? Attain it's Potential.
We could have been pioneers in the business world, providing a service that the public really needs.
But there was no point, he had listened to recordings of my calls and had no choice but to fire me on the spot.

That job was the only thing I had loved for a long, long time. T
he only thing that gave me purpose,
my reason for getting out of bed,
for putting on trousers and shoes.
It was all I had and I lost it,
blacklisted by the employment agency that placed me there.
For a while I tried calling people at random from the phone book but it didn't work out.
You have no idea how much it costs to make a hundred phone calls a day on a pay as you go mobile.
Ten pence a minute
times by sixty minutes an hour
times by eight hours a day  
minus a half hour for lunch equals more than jobseeker's allowance is willing to provide.
I switched to contract but these days everyone has phone number recognition,
so everyone can see that you're calling from a personal phone rather than a business one.

Eventually I started getting phone calls from the phone company explaining that I'd be cut off
and fined if I was using a personal phone for random telemarketing without a license.

The operator was clear, polite and ultimately very helpful.

******' Amateur.
Alistair May 2017
there's a boy
and every inch
every aspect of this boy
is another line in a poem

he dons himself in jumpers of blue
and baggy
hair shaggy though short, short

and a strip of black
it permeates the flesh
and the chapped hue of his lip
and he dips
through doorways
or for the sake of hugs
sometimes you'll see a tug
at his sweater weather sweater
though, really
how could there be
more to cover by jumpers

there's a boy
who embraces from behind
takes time to rewind
and he's such a nice boy
but when he loops a long arm
around your shoulders
and across your chest
and you feel the slight grace
of the boy's chin

you feel the sun expand
but somehow it seems
a modern myth is one sun
when one expands
within you
and yet the other
it's at your back

there's a boy
whose jumpers are more than colour
the wool and it's hue
are statements of mind
and mood
and the boy is sad

but, my god
it's so beautiful
when the boy smiles
there's a boy and the boy could be you
howard brace Apr 2011
The Christmas tree resplendent, decked in magnificence
where peeping out from underneath, bought with benevolence
were gifts, keeping occupied, excited little fingers
the best so far, a wind up car, the worst, two woolly jumpers.

The aroma from the kitchen, kept wafting through the door
with greedy tum' a-rumbling, ( there's more presents to explore )
the table set in splendour, upon that festive day
the brilliance of the cutlery, displayed in bright array.

Crispy roast potatoes, Christmas ******* by each plate
brussel sprouts and chestnuts, ( our dinner guests were late )
roast pork and juicy crack-a-ling, fresh stewing apple sauce
sage and onion stuffing *****, were all for our main course.

Unwrapped and sat a-steaming, and crowned with holly leaves
Christmas pud' and brandy sauce, stared at with disbelief,
tangerines and nuts to shell, dried fruit and pre-****** dates
and then... as a special treat, dark chocolate 'After Eights'.

Much later still, before bedtime, clothes filled with corpulence
my little belt let out a notch, to ease circumference
and then to bed, much over fed, with dreams of clockwork toys
of Boxing day, of games to play, of Christmas filled with joy.*

...   ...   ...

Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers..
You know them
You've seen them
I hope you aren't one of them...

I don't drink
Not anymore
For my entertainment
I go to the store
I go out after dinner
That's when the show will start
I go and watch the people
Who shop at Wal-Mart

Cowboy boots, a tutu, and yoga pants with "***"
with a muscle shirt and top hat
worn by a man named REX
a pair of pants just hanging
a pair of crocs and leather vest
with "she loves me for my money"
emblazoned on the chest

These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
In their finest shopping clothes
These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
At Wal-Mart, so it goes

I don't go clubbing
There's no fun in that
Late night trips to Wal-Mart
That, is where it's at

A woman dressed in plastic
a man all painted blue
and how many people have you seen
that look like escapees from the zoo

These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
In their finest shopping clothes
These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
At Wal-Mart, so it goes

Underpants, and stockings
garters and blue jeans
size 50 denim jumpers
Stretched like skinny jeans

Men wearing high heels
Women wearing...well
Use your imaginations
From a distance you can't tell

These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
In their finest shopping clothes
These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
At Wal-Mart, so it goes

Body parts free to see
******* and legs and butts
And people with their little dogs
The ugly, squeaky mutts

We know them
and we watch them
Take their photos
Yes....we do.
dress right when you go shopping
Or we may take one of you!!!
Tina ford Jul 2015
My suitcase is packed,
Memories within,
Won't fit any more,
As it's full to the brim,

Down at the bottom,
My memories from old,
Just beneath my jumpers,
That stop me being cold,

Just above them,
My adolescent years,
Leaving school and working,
Facing adult fears,

Marriage and family,
Lay on top of all that,
Five beautiful children,
Three dogs and one cat,

Then it's an empty layer,
But not to be treated less,
This is when the kids left home,
When they fled my loving nest,

In between are memories bad,
I tuck them to one side,
Or cover them up with happy times,
I still remember when I cried,

Then comes more difficult ones,
I struggle to remember them all,
But some I do intermittently,
I try so hard to recall,

So please forgive my memory,
It's not how it used to be,
But I'm still that same old person,
Who loves you for eternity,

I still have all the memories,
Packed tight inside my case,
Sometimes I just can't find them,
But you can find them on my face,

My wrinkles tell my story,
My eyes hold all my dreams,
My old and frail body now,
Is not all it was it seems,

But I'm here, I'm still here,
Just look at me, with my case,
You will see my life and memories,
In layer's etched on my face,

My suitcase is packed,
Memories within,
Won't fit any more,
As it's full to the brim.
Tim Knight Nov 2013
Market square died down this afternoon,
the day of trading over and over all too soon;
and the now the trolleys have been left out,
lights left on waiting for those customers to come again.

They'll hurry into their jumpers the traders and customers of tomorrow,
weather'll kick up and run up the coast in a rainy fuss.

Temporary clad walls that are there all year round
are dressed up from the ground every day, tied at the ear
of the frames that hang over corridor of cobbles,
scuffed with the muck from Armani plimsolls
and the heels of this week's Alexander McQueens.

*When the rain comes trading will cease and
they'll flick out their notepads to calculate this month's lease.
Sometimes winter is warm,
Jumpers and coats bundle.

The whitewashed cottages,
Smoke in a blanket of sleet,

You could say most anytime,
Island weather is ghastly fine,

Windy rain comes and goes,
Summer can be awfully cold.
Part 1

— The End —