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jake aller Mar 2019
World According to Cosmos Updates March 3, 2019

Note: I am taking a two week trip to Vietnam and will update my blog when I return with my reflections on my trip, updated publications etc.

Cosmic Dreams and Nightmares

I don't dream dreams.  I dream movies complete with action, music, food, smells everything.  In this one I had a vision of  a possible future. it was so vivid, almost as if I were watching the hearing take place.

Three stories

Dream Girl (true story)
General Zod (flash fiction
Sam Adams Vs. the Social Cleansing Board
Six Poems
Morphing Images from Hellish Nightmare
Endless Movie
Worlds within Worlds Lost in Hell
Rafting to Hell
Satanic Torture
Micro Stories

Don’t Go Jogging in the Middle of the Night
Don’t touch this button!
Don’t open the door
Don’t go to the theater tonight stay home with me
Don’t go to Dallas I have a bad feeling about the trip


Dream Girl
Cheating Death 100 Times
Guardian Angel
Medical Mystery
SLA Hit List

Dream Girl – A true Story – reprinted from Dreams and the Unexplainable
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Author Unknown

The dreams started when I was a senior at Berkeley High School in 1974. About a month before I graduated, I fell asleep in a physics class after lunch and had the first dream:

A beautiful Asian woman was standing next to me, talking in a strange language. She was stunning—the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was in her early twenties, with long black hair, and piercing black eyes. She had the look of royalty. She looked at me and then disappeared, beamed out of my dream like in Star Trek. I fell out of my chair screaming, “Who are you?” She did not answer.

About a month went by, and then I started having the dream repeatedly. Always the same pattern.

Early morning, she would stand next to me talking. I would ask who she was, and she would disappear. She was the most beautiful, alluring woman I had ever seen.

I was struck speechless every time I had the dream.

I had the dream every month during the eight years during which I went to college and served in the Peace Corps. In fact, when I joined the Peace Corps, I had to decide whether to go Korea or Thailand. The night before I had to submit my decision, I had the dream again and it made me sure that she was in Korea waiting for me.

After the Peace Corps, I still hadn’t met my dream woman. I got a job working for the U.S. Army as an instructor and stayed in Korea. I kept having the dream, until I had the very last one:
She was standing next to me, speaking to me in Korean, but I finally understood her. She said, “Don’t worry, we will be together soon.”

Why was that the last time I had the dream? Because the very next night, the girl in my dream got off the bus in front of me. She went on to the base with an acquaintance of mine, a fellow teacher, and they went to see a movie. I saw her and found the courage to speak with her.

We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet that weekend.

The next night, she was waiting for me as I entered the Army base to teach a class. She told me she was a college senior and she had something to tell me. I signed her on to the base and left her at the library to study while I taught, and then we went out for coffee after class. She told me she was madly in love with me, and that I was the man for her. I told her not to worry as I felt the same.

That weekend, we met Saturday and Sunday and hung out all day. On Sunday night, I proposed to her. It was only three days after we had met, but for me it felt like we had met eight years ago. I had been waiting all my life for her to walk out of my dreams and into my life, and here she was.

Her mother did not want her to marry a foreigner. One day, about a month after we met, she invited me to meet her parents. I brought a bottle of Jack Daniels for her father and drank the entire bottle with him. He approved of me, but her mother still had reservations. After a Buddhist priest told her my future wife and I were a perfect astrological combination, she agreed, and we planned our wedding.

The wedding was a media sensation in South Korea. My wife explained it to me years later. At the time, I was overwhelmed just by the fact that we were getting married and I didn’t fully understand how unusual this was. My wife was of the old royal clan, distant relatives to the former kings of Korea. In the clan’s history, only two people had ever married foreigners: my wife, and Rhee Syngman, who was the first President of South Korea. My father, who was a former Undersecretary of Labor, came out for the wedding, which fueled even more media interest. Our marriage defied the stereotypical Korean-foreign marriage where the women married some hapless GI just to escape poverty and immigrate to the U.S. We were the first foreign/Korean couple to get married at a Korean Army base. Over 1,000 people came to the wedding, and my father was interviewed on the morning news programs.

This all happened thirty-seven years ago, (45 years since the first dream) and I am still married to the girl in my dreams. Now in my dreams she watches over me when we are apart.

General Zod Conquers the World
SETI and the search for extraterrestrial life goes on overdrive when scientists report what appears to be radio and television broadcasts from a planet eight light years from earth, the same planet as the Vulcans came from in the Star Trek universe.  The programs show a world where dinosaur-like creatures are running the world and there appears to be a civil war.  Over the next six months, the world is transfixed watching the alien broadcasts which are translated in English via a supercomputer program.  In the broadcast, a nuclear war has occurred. The surviving party regains absolute control and announces the formation of the Galactic Empire.  General Zod is the First Emperor.  They have discovered Earth as well. The aliens launch a crash project to develop interstellar travel so they can come to earth and conquer the earth.

The revelations that there is an external threat to the planet causes the United Nations to get together with the help of the United States and Russia another space powers, they put together Space defense International organization and also invigorates efforts to make the UN a real Planetary government including finally conquering climate change.

But it was too late. General Zod’s son arrives to take over the earth. He makes a broadcast saying that they were liberating Earth in the name of the Galactic Empire and that resistance would be futile.

They land at the White House and when President Trump comes out to greet them,

General Zod cuts off his head, and then cuts off the heads of all the staffers as they come out White House. After an hour of unimaginable horrors, including mass rapes, blowing up the Pentagon and the CIA,  General Zod announces that he had taken over the world.

Life will continue as before as long as people behave and follow the rules they would be fine Resistance to the new empire will be met with instant death.  Life in the Empire is not a democracy. They would not tolerate Freedom of speech, and Freedom of Press, and Freedom of Assembly And the freedom to oppose the State. The state is everything.  As long as humans remember that they would be just fine. They took over the United States because it was the biggest country in the world. And that his forces will take over the rest of the world but in the next couple weeks. If people on earth accept the new order, their safety would be guaranteed. Companies would be taken over by Galactic Empire companies, and everybody would have to learn Galactic standard. Within one year older languages will be banned.

Sam Adams Vs. the Social Cleansing Board

the summons
Sam Adams was worried. He could not sleep. He got up at 4 am and wrote in his journal and tried to cope with the dread that was overwhelming him. He had received the summons yesterday that he was to report to the social cleansing board for a review on whether he would allow to continue to be on the automatic permit list or would be referred for final status determination. Sam was a retired Federal worker trying to live on dwindling savings.

Sam had Alzheimer’s and was rapidly depleting his life’s savings. Two years before he had been released from prison, one of millions of ex political prisoners. His crime? Authoring anti-government poems just before the beginning of the Christian States of America, right after the second civil war. Unfortunately for him and his millions of ex-prisoners, his side lost the war. He wanted to flee to the United Provinces and settle down in California but lacked money to move. And getting a job at his age, with Alzheimer’s and his political rating was proving difficult at best.

All of which added up to a 90 percent probability his last days were approaching.

Under the new rules imposed by the Christian republican party in the newly established Christian states, all citizens over the age of 18 were on the permitted list if they met all of the following criteria. He tried to think why he was being referred to the board. Perhaps it was because of the recent crackdown on social deviancy. Millions of homosexuals, transgenered people, atheists, drug users, alcoholics, and non-religious people had been rounded up and eliminated according to the rumors. Perhaps someone had fingered him as a possible deviant. He fit the stereotype, no children, known drug user, known alcohol user, suspect politically, atheist and now Alzheimer’s patient. And he was not racially pure having some black blood, some Asian blood and some Jewish blood. And he had married across the racial divide which was now illegal.

The story was that if you flipped and named names you would sometimes be spared for now, and if your info was correct, you could be rewarded. Of course, those whom you flipped were not too fortunate. That was probably the story or someone could have heard that he was an ex political prisoner, or simply that he had Alzheimer’s’.

He had no children. And he was a secret atheist and had been involved with the dissent movement and had spent five years as a political prisoner at the start of the Christian Revolution. He was determined to make a stand and denounce the whole rotten system before the board although that would probably seal his fate.

As an Alzheimer’s patient he could no longer work. His wife had died the year before while he was in prison after she had been deported to her native Korea. She left him some assets but he had little idea how to manage his finances and he was behind in his rent and had received an eviction notice which had probably triggered the visit by the social cleansing staff who recommend a final status determination. But it was just as likely he was on the list because someone flipped on him.

He also did not make it last time when they came for him at midnight. Always at midnight the story goes.

The soldiers came took him away from his wife and locked him up for two years. They deported his wife whom he heard had died shortly afterwards. He spend two years at hard labor in the dessert near Las Vegas and was released into Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was a different town now that the casinos had left town. All that was left were back office operations, and underground ***** and *** operations and underground casinos. It was a hot bed of political dissent and there was an underground railroad to California, which was not part of the Christian states. Sam had been preparing to leave which was a crime and perhaps that is why he was on the list.

The hearing would be at 10 am. He was meeting his lawyer at the hearing board but his lawyer was not too optimistic.
the Permit Criteria
The basic criteria for being on the permit list were:

For Males

Age 18 to age 70
White race
Married to a white woman with children
Must be either working, in school full time, serving in military duty, or working in prison if convicted of a crime.

Homelessness was not allowed. If unemployed and or homeless, would be referred to social cleansing department unless one had a relative who was willing to take care of your needs.

Since there were no pensions or social security anymore and no government provided health care, one must have sufficient assets through one’s work, or savings or through one’s relatives to provide for one ‘s needs. If not you would be sent to the social cleansing board for final status determination.

For Females

Same basic rules applied but if one were married, and had children one would be on the permitted list, if children are older, if spouse’s income is sufficient one would be on the list.
If single or divorced, and homeless one would also be subject to social cleansing unless one’s relatives would willing to sponsor you. Since there were no pensions or social security anymore and no government provided health care, one must have sufficient assets through one’s work, or savings or through one’s relatives to provide for one ‘s needs. If not you would be sent to the social cleansing board for final status determination.

For Aged People

Additional requirements for the age you were expected to take care of your basic needs through employment and savings and the help of relatives. If you were evicted for non-payment of rent, or judged to not have sufficient assets left to sustain your basic needs including medical care, you would be referred for final status determination.

For all people additional requirements applied.

****** deviancy, drug use, alcohol use, gambling, *** outside of marriage, homosexuality would result in immediate referral to the social cleansing board as all were banned conduct that could result in final termination.   Being a member of a prohibited religious class could also be grounds for referral as would a pattern of not attending Christian services. Finally, if one had been arrested for political crimes one would be marked forever.
<h2>Sam's Rating</h2>
One had a government social rating. Sam knew that his rating was a D meaning that the government would be watching him all the time, and it would be difficult to get a job. Only the A’s and B’s were guaranteed to be on the permit list.

To be a A you had be to a true believer, had to be white, had to attend church on a regular basis, and had to be employed naturally.

To be a B same thing but you could be a B if you were a minority, or had engaged in alcohol or drug use under the old rules.

C meant that there was something wrong with your background, you were an atheist, you were a minority etc.

D mean that you were a serious threat to the regime.

E meant that you would be terminated.

F met you were terminated as it met Failure to survive, and family members of F were also labeled F as they were usually terminated at the same time.

Being associated with banned political movements, including reading banned materials could also lead one to being referred to the social cleansing board as all were grounds for either termination or criminal prosecution if under the age of 70.

The board has three choices - granted temporary status extension, referral for termination, or referral to criminal prosecution.

The termination would be carried out quickly. There would be an optional funeral at your Church, then the execution through the method of your choice - firing squad, beheading, electric chair, or gas. The default was gas where you were put in a room with up to ten other people and put to sleep.

Afterwards your body would be cremated in an electricity generating plant with the ashes turned into fertilizer products. There were no burials allowed unless one was rich enough and connected enough to request a burial exception. Most people did not qualify.
the Hearing
The hearing started. The presiding Judge, Judge Miller was a stern face white man in his 70’s and a true believer. He was sent to Las Vegas to clean it up as Las Vegas was the wild west, a hot bed of dissent, illegal drug use, illegal prostitution and illegal casinos. It was also near several political prisons so many ex cons lived there.

The Judge was the chairman of the Nevada state committee that did not exist and was a senior official in the Federal committee that did not exist that brought together government, business and church leaders to coordinate government policies and that secretly ran the Christian States of America.

Probably a score of A thought Sam.

The judge announced that he had reviewed Sam’s file and was shocked that Sam had escaped final termination. He said that the previous board had erred in simply sending him to prison. He should have been eradicated as a social evil, as a cancer that needs to be removed from the pure body politics. Sam and his ilk sickened him. Sam was a free thinker, an atheist, a mix race mongrel, married to a non-white and was therefore guilty of crimes against the white race which was a crime. The Judge was determined to see justice done.

He asked Sam a series of questions. Sam’s answers sealed his fate.

Sam, what is your occupation?

None for now.

You realize that under the law you must be working, in service, in school or in prison?

I can’t find a job due to my age, my Alzheimer’s; and my political record.

That’s irrelevant. You are just a lousy atheist *******. You deserve no sympathy. And have none from me.

Are you white?

No, I am mixed race, part native, part Asian, part black.

I see you were married to a non-white and had no children. Good for you we would not want to see more mongrel children. Such children should be eliminated at birth in my opinion and will be starting next month when we begin enforcing the racial purity laws.

What was your crime? Let’s see reading prohibited writings, keeping a journal, publishing an anti-government blog, authoring anti-government poems and stories. You served two years at hard labor?

Yes

Do you still write?

Yes, everyday but I no longer publish on line.

Good. No one would want to read that trash anyway.

Do you go to church?

No

Do you believe in God?

No, I do not believe in an imaginary man in the sky.

One more anti-religious statement from you will result in an immediate ruling of termination.

Do you drink?

If I can find it yes

Do you gamble

Yes, when I can

Do you support the Christian Republican Party and the Christian States of America?

No, I do not.

Okay, I have enough for a ruling. Sam Adams, you are hereby sentence to termination. Tomorrow morning at 7 am you will be turned into electricity and fertilizer. Take him away.

Next please.

At midnight there was a knock at the door. A black man appeared and said he was a friend and he was being smuggled to California. Sam rejoiced and went with his new friend and reached SF in the morning, escaping death for the 23rd time in his life.

the End

Poetic Nightmares

Morphing Images from a Hellish Nightmare
Note: From a real nightmare End Note

I am in a room
Drinking at a party
And smoking ****

Watching people all around me

Change into hideous creatures
Monsters from the deepest depths of hell

Everyone in the room
Has been transformed except me

The Chief of them all
Wears a Trumpian mask

Complete with orange hair

Half human half pig

His deputy
Wears the face of Putin
But his body
Half human, half horse: if

The other creatures wear masks
Many of them wear
Green Pepe the alt-right
Symbolic frog masks

And have T-shirts
Bearing alt right slogans
And **** symbols

And as they prance about
They chant alt. Right slogans
And neo-**** chants

Jews will not Replace us

And the rest of these creatures
Are hideous ugly beasts
With only a vestige of humanity left

And these monsters are engaged
In all sorts of foul evil deeds
****** violence death

All around
And non-stop
violent drug-fueled ******

As these creatures
Half human half monsters
Half male, half female creatures

Snort coke, *******, speed
Smoke **** and drink ***** shots
Scotch, bourbon and beer

The Trumpian Pig leads the charge
Starts engaging in ****** with Putin
Who chases after people

Cutting off their heads with his sword
They turn on to their fellow creatures
****** and killing each other
and eating their fellow creatures

All night long

Then they attack me
Screaming

Jews will not replace us
And I wake up
Screaming

As the sun comes up
Just another nightmare


The Endless Movie

Watching the TV coverage
Of the great government shut down
Of 2018-2019

I am reminded of a movie
As I fall asleep
Listening to the TV

Blather on and on
About what it all means

Mr. Natural pops up
And screams

"It don’t mean s….

“Dude, the endless movie
Is about to begin”!

A middle-aged white man
Down on his proverbial luck
Just been fired

Replaced by a foreign worker
Or a robot

Or just fired
Because he was no longer
Deemed useful
To the masters of the universe

If he was lucky
He'd  be given a watch
And an IOU worthless pension

And the man wanders into a restaurant
Pulls out a gun

Eats his breakfast
After the official breakfast hour

Puts on a Pepe the green frog mask
Drops acid, Snorts speed
Drinks a shot of *****
And coffee smokes a joint

Snorts ******* for good measure
and smokes a cigarette

And walks outside
steals a bus at gun point
Filled with passengers

He tells them
They are hostages

And he puts on his vest
With the dead man switch
Next to the bomb

He announces
Via tweet

He is going to take the bus
To the proverbial *** of gold

Hidden deep in a cave
And when he got there

He would release the hostages
And disappear into the mine
And never be found again

And as the bus careens around the mountain
At 100 miles an hour
The dude sprouts out

Conspiracy after conspiracy theory
About Obama the Muslim communist

secret gay working with George Soros
the Jewish money people
in league with the shapeshifting lizards

and Mueller is one of them
they are all after him
because he knows the deal

And the passengers are transfixed
Half hoping, he would make it
Half hoping, he would be blown away

And as the bus careens out of control
With the wheels falling off

And the cliff looming ahead
You realize we are all doomed


Worlds Within Worlds Lost in Inner Space
A man woke up one day
Lost in inner space
Went so far down
The proverbial rabbit hole

That he did not know
Where he was
Nor what time it was
Nor when it was

As he stared out
At a bewildering world
A world lost in inner space
Deep down in his dreams

Filled with nightmarishly real
Monsters, demons and ghostly apparitions
He saw them and began running
Running running running

With the hell hounds behind him
Leading him to the edge
of the pits of hell itself

abandon all hope
ye who enter here
the sign read
above the entrance to the pit

and there was a devil standing there
armed with a clipboard
and a computer spreadsheet
Satan was the ultimate bureaucrat

Name barked the devil
Date of Birth ?
Date of Death?
Don’t know? That won’t do at all
Hmm

Car accident due to drunk driving
And you killed a child
Bad on you

But here in hell
The punishment fits the crime
And the devil laughed
Joined in by the hell hounds
And other nightmare creatures

A bell ran out
In the purple crystalline sky
And slowly the worlds receded
And he found himself alive

In his room
And vowed
That today
Was the day

He would quit drinking
Quit taking drugs
And quit chasing strange woman
And having wild libertine ***

He picked up the phone
It was Satan’s aid
Be careful what you vow
We are listening

If you fulfil your vows
You might find yourself
Escaping life in Hell
It is up to you to choose

And the man got dressed
Went to work
Thinking deep thoughts

And drove off a cliff
And back down the endless
Worlds within worlds

Satanic Torture

I find myself
In a dark room
Strapped to a bed

The light turns on
The large TV comes on

A smiling image
Of Satan fills the TV
He is dressed
In a conservative business suit

Looks like he came
Out of a corporate
board meeting

surrounded by demonic aides
who constantly shove papers
at him

He looks up from his lap top
And smiles
A deadly so insincere smile

His voice booms out

Welcome to Hell
My satanic slaves

I am Satan
Your new master

Each of you
Has been sentenced
To an eternity of torture

And the punishment
Must fit the crime

So, for you
Mr. Jake Cosmos Aller
Failed aspiring poet
And novelist

Your torture
Is to be strapped
To that bed

Unable to move
As you are filled
With the need
To **** and ****

But you cannot move
And your skin
Is crawling with bugs

And itchy
as Hell so to speak
and you are so sleepy

but you cannot sleep

the TV will play
endless repeats

Of some of the worst TV
and movie shows
ever produced

Starting with my favorite
A Series of Unfortunate Events

Featuring your favor annoying little girl
Carmetta! Singing for you forever
As you are the ultimate cake sniffer

Welcome to Hell


Rafting Towards Hell
I woke up
To find myself
Rafting down a river

I looked up
At the cliffs
Towering above
the roaring torrent

and see the dark demons
of my terrible nightmares
chasing the boat
firing flaming arrows

and I see werewolves
goblins, ghosts and monsters
running along the river bed
screaming obscenities

as they chase me
to my doom

and I see the waterfall ahead
and see my pending doom

as I rush over the edge
of reason



Micro Stories
53 word stories regarding unheeded warnings
Don’t Go Jogging in the Middle of the Night
It all started with a jog in the middle of the night. Despite my wife’s warning don’t go jogging in the middle of the night.  Broke me heal in a million pieces, 14 operations ensured, mutant MDR Staff almost killed me, almost lost the leg. . should have listened to her warning.

Don’t touch this button!
Don’t touch this button the former President said.  I said, what this button? And that led to the launching of nuclear weapons, going to defon three, and world war 3 with millions of people dead end of civilization moment. Should not have touched the red button.
Don’t open the door
When you find yourself running for your life chased by demons from hell and backed into a corner in a burning house filled with flames and are about to die in a million horrible ways you remembered that they warned you not to open door number three in this crazy reality TV show.
Don’t go to the theater tonight stay home with me
Mary Todd Lincoln had a vicious headache and was not in the mood to go out.  The President though ignored her wishes and told her that he had to go to the theater that night to show the world everything was okay now the war was ending.  Should have listened to her.
Don’t go to Dallas I have a bad feeling about the trip
Jackie was known for her moods and her premonitions. Something the President found both amusing an annoying. She told him that she a vision of death waiting for him in Dallas that day.  The President dismissed her foolishness as he put it and went to Dallas to meet his fate.
true love story.
In 1974 I had the first dream. While sleeping in a boring class, I saw a beautiful Asian woman standing at me speaking a foreign language. I fell out of chair yelling who are you?   I began having the same dream month after month for eight years.  One day I realized she was in Korea so I went there in the Peace Corps to meet her. In 1982 I had the last dream.  She said don’t worry we meet soon. That night she walked off a bus, out of the dream and into my life.  We’ve been married 37 years.
Cheating Death 22 Times
Also, a true story.
I have cheated death 22 times in my life.  I was born a preemie, almost died at birth, and had all the childhood illness at once.  In 1979 I came down with Typhoid  fever in Korea in the Peace Corps.  In 1991 almost got hit by a train. In 1996-1997 had 14 operations due to a mutant drug resistant staph infection, almost died several times.  In 1997 I had an acute stomach ailment that almost killed me, due to excessive antibiotic usage, if I had waited 30 minutes more would have been dead.  And had dengue in 2010.
Guardian Angel Saves My Life
Another true story
In 1990, I was teaching ESL in Korea.  My wife and I drove to the East Coast of Korea for a weekend away. She was in the US Army then.  As we drove towards Sorak mountain, I was filled with the need to get off the road right then. I had a premonition of doom, so did my wife. We got off to drive around another park returned a few minutes later and saw a 25 car pileup. We would have been dead if we had not listened to that inner voice telling us get off now.

Medical Mystery
Another true story
Back in 1996, when I was in the hospital fighting a mutant staph infection after a disastrous jogging accident that led to 14 operations, the internal medicine doctor said that there was something else going on. He finally discovered that I had a rare parasite, a tape worm of sorts that remained inert, its only becomes active if you take steroids then it blows up like a basketball killing you instantly. Six months later I had to take steroids due to frozen shoulder syndrome, and if I had not gotten rid of it, I would have died a medical mystery.

SLA Hit List
True story

Back in 1974 my father was a local politician in Berkeley, California who was on the SLA’***** list as “an enemy of the people, a fascist insect that needed to be killed”.  His crime?  As President of the community college district, he began requiring IDS for students and staff to combat campus crime at the local community colleges.  We had 24/7 police coverage for a while. One morning I saluted my father, “good morning fascist insect”.  My father, being of Germanic stock did not like the joke as jokes are alien to the German DNA.


the End
based on dreams and nightmares
NELSON MANDELA, NUMBER 46664 IS DEAD; EULOGICALLY ELEGIZING DIRGE FOR SON OF AFRICA, HOPE OF HUMANITY AND PERMANENT FLAME OF DEMOCRACY


Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid beacon, has died
One of the best-known political prisoners of his generation,
South Africa's first black president, He was 95.
His struggle against apartheid and racial segregation
Lead to the vision of South Africa as a rainbow nation
In which all folks were to be treated equally regardless of color
Speaking in 1990 on his release from Pollsmoor Prison
After 27 years behind bars, Mandela posited;
I have fought against white ******* and
I have fought against black *******
I have cherished the idea of a democratic
And a free society in which all persons live together
In harmony and with equal opportunity
It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve
But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die,

Fortunately, he was never called upon
To make such a sacrifice
And the anti-apartheid campaign did produce results
A ban on mixed marriages between whites and folks of color,
This was designed to enforce total racial segregation
Was lifted in 1985
Mandela was born on July 18, 1918
His father Gadla named him "Rolihlahla,"
Meaning “troublemaker” in the Xhosa language
Perhaps  parental premonitions of his ability to foment change.
Madiba, as he is affectionately known
By many South Africans,
Was born to Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa,
a chief, and his third wife Nosekeni *****
He grew up with two sisters
In the small rural village of Qunu
In South Africa's Eastern Cape Province.
Unlike other boys his age,
Madiba had the privilege of attending university
Where he studied law
He became a ringleader of student protest
And then moved to Johannesburg to escape an arranged marriage
It was there he became involved in politics.
In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC),
Four years before the National Party,
Which institutionalized racial segregation, came to power
.
Racial segregation triggered mass protests
And civil disobedience campaigns,
In which Mandela played a central role
After the ANC was banned in 1961
Mandela founded its military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
The Spear of the Nation
As its commander-in-chief,
He led underground guerrilla attacks
Against state institutions.
He secretly went abroad in 1962
To drum up financial support
And organize military training for ANC cadres
On his return, he was arrested
And sentenced to prison
Mandela served 17 years
On the notorious Roben Island, off Cape Town,
Mandela was elected as South Africa's first black president
On May 10, 1994
Cell number five, where he was incarcerated,
Is now a tourist attraction
From 1988 onwards, Mandela was slowly prepared
For his release from prison
Just three years earlier he had rejected a pardon
This was conditional
On the ANC renouncing violence
On 11 February 1990,
After nearly three decades in prison,
Mandela, the South African freedom beacon was released
He continued his struggle
For the abolition of racial segregation
In April 1994,
South Africa held its first free election.
On May 10,
Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first elected black president,
Mandela jointly won
The Nobel Peace Prize
With Frederik de Clerk in 1993
On taking office
Mandela focused on reconciliation
Between ethnic groups
And together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
He set up the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
To help the country
Come to terms
With the crimes committed under apartheid
After his retirement
From active politics in 1999,
Madiba dedicated himself
To social causes,
Helping children and ***-AIDS patients,
His second son
Makgatho died of ***-AIDS
In 2005 at the age of 54,
South Africans have fought
a noble struggle against the apartheid
But today they face a far greater threat
Mandela he posited in a reference to the ***-AIDS pandemic,
His successor
Thabo Mbeki
The ANC slogan of 1994; A better life for all
Was fulfilled only
For a small portion of the black elite
Growing corruption,
Crime and lack of job prospects
Continue to threaten the Rainbow Nation,
On the international stage
Mandela acted as a mediator
In the Burundi civil war
And also joined criticism
Of the Iraq policy
Of the United States and Great Britain
He won the Nobel Prize in 1993
And played a decisive role
Into bringing the first FIFA World Cup to Africa,
His beloved great-granddaughter
Zenani Mandela died tragically
On the eve of the competition
And he withdrew from the public life
With the death of Nelson Mandela
The world loses a great freedom-struggleer
And heroic statesman
His native South Africa loses
At the very least a commanding presence
Even if the grandfather of nine grandchildren
Was scarcely seen in public in recent year

Media and politicians are vying
To outdo one another with their tributes
To Nelson Mandela, who himself disliked
The personality cult
That's one of the things
That made him unique,
Nelson Mandela was no saint,
Even though that is how the media
Are now portraying him
Every headline makes him appear more superhuman
And much of the admiration is close to idolatry
Some of the folks who met him
Say they felt a special Mandela karma
In his presence.
Madiba magic was invoked
Whenever South Africa needed a miracle,

Mandela himself was embarrassed
By the personality cult
Only reluctantly did he agree to have streets
Schools and institutes named after him
To allow bronze statues and Mandela museums
To be built
A trend that will continue to grow.

He repeatedly pointed
To the collective achievements
Of the resistance movement
To figures who preceded him
In the struggle against injustice
And to fellow campaigners
Such as Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli
Or his friend and companion in arms
Oliver Tambo who today stands in Mandela's shadow,
Tambo helped create the Mandela legend
Which conquered the world
A tale in which every upright man
And woman could see him
Or herself reflected,
When Prisoner Number 46664 was released
After 27 years behind bars
He had become a brand
A worldwide idol
The target of projected hopes
And wishes that no human being
Could fulfill alone,
Who would dare scratch?
The shining surface of such a man
List his youthful misdemeanors
His illegitimate children
Who would mention his weakness for women?
For models
Pop starlets
And female journalists
With whom he flirted
In a politically incorrect way
When already a respected elder statesman?
Who would speak out critically?
Against the attacks
He planned when he headed the ANC
Armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
And who would criticize the way
He would often explode in anger
Or dismiss any opinions other than his own?
His record as head of government
Is also not above reproach
Those years were marked by pragmatism
And political reticence
Overdue decisions were not taken
Day to day matters were left to others
When choosing his political friends
His judgment was not always perfect
A Mandela grandchild is named
After Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi
Seen from today's perspective
Not everything fits
The generally accepted
Picture of visionary and genius,
But Mandela can be excused
These lapses
Because despite everything
He achieved more than ordinary human beings
His long period of imprisonment
Played a significant role here
It did not break him, it formed him
Robben Island
Had been a university of life for Mandela once posited
He learned discipline there
In dialogue with his guards
He learnt humility, patience and tolerance
His youthful anger dissolved
He mellowed and acquired
The wisdom of age
When he was at last released
Mandela was no longer
Burning with rage,
He was now a humanized revolutionary
Mandela wanted reconciliation
At almost any price
His own transformation
Was his greatest strength
The ability to break free
From ideological utopia
And to be able to see the greater whole
The realization
That those who think differently
Are not necessarily enemies
The ability to listen,
To spread the message of reconciliation
To the point of betraying what he believed in,
Only in this way could he
Serve as a role model
To both black and white humanity
, communists and entrepreneurs,
Catholics and Muslims.
He became a visional missionary,
An ecclesiast of brotherly love
And compassion
Wherever he was, each humanity was equal
He had respect for musicians and presidents
Monarchs and cleaning ladies
He remembered names
And would ask about relatives
He gave each humanity his full attention
With a smile, a joke, a well aimed remark,
He won over every audience
His aura enveloped each humanity,
Even his political enemies,
That did not qualify him
For the status of demi-god
But he was idolized and rightly so
He must be named in the same breath
As Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama
Or Martin Luther King
Mandela wrote a chapter of world history
Even Barack Obama posited
He would not have become
President of the United States
Without Mandela as a role model,

And so it is not so important
That Mandela is now portrayed
Larger than life
The fact that not everything
He did in politics succeeded is a minor matter
His achievement is to have lived
A life credibly characterized
By humanism, tolerance and non-violence,
When Mandela was released
From prison in 1990,
The old world order of the Cold War era
Was collapsing
Mandela stood at the crossroads and set off in the right direction
How easily he could have played with fire, sought revenge,
Or simply failed; He could have withdrawn from public life or,
Like other companions in arms, earned millions,
Two marriages failed because of the political circumstances
His sons died tragically long before him
It was only when he was 80 and met his third wife,
Graca Machel,
That he again found warmth,
Partnership and private happiness,
Setbacks did not leave him bitter
Because he regarded his own life
As being less important
Than the cause he believed in
He served the community humbly,
With a sense of responsibility
Of duty and willingness to make sacrifices
Qualities that are today only rarely encountered,

How small and pathetic his successors now seem
Their battles for power will probably now be fought
Even more unscrupulously than in the past
How embarrassing are his own relatives
Who argued over his legacy at his hospital bed
Mandela was no saint
But a man with strengths and weaknesses,
Shaped by his environment
It will be hard to find a greater person
Just a little bit more Mandela every day
Would achieve a great deal
Not only in Africa
But in the bestridden geographies
Epochs and diversities of man,

In my post dirge I will ever echo words of Mandella
He shone on the crepuscular darkness of the Swedish
Academy, where cometh the Nobel glory;
Development and peace are indivisible
Without peace and international security
Nations cannot focus
On the upliftment
Of the most underprivileged of their citizens.
Alexander  K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)
So keen and careful on
An impending superlativity
Very willing and ready to counter it
In the mighty of their lonely evil machinations
African relatives as black in the hearty as they do in the skin
Fangled to matchless stature in their scramble for ignobling Africa
Refusing to listen to reason of voice by echoing uselessness in their sentimentality
From the past historicity so redolent in the glory of peasantry a sit of nugatory bigotry
Relatives, kindly is implore you to your accurate antonym, it is imperative
When are you bound to set free Africa from the curse of inheritance?
Give Africa a leeway for freedom of thought, investment
Entrepreneurship and corporate glory, pliz
By easily novating yourselves
Relatives with true
Customers
And fellow
Professionals
Africa.
if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
way. this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or
4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
mockery,
isolation.
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the
worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
that.
you will be alone with the
gods
and the nights will flame with
fire.

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter,
it’s the only good fight
there is.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
As a woman, and in the service of my Lord the Emperor Wu, my life is governed by his command. At twenty I was summoned to this life at court and have made of it what I can, within the limitations of the courtesan I am supposed to be, and the poet I have now become. Unlike my male counterparts, some of whom have lately found seclusion in the wilderness of rivers and mountains, I have only my personal court of three rooms and its tiny garden and ornamental pond. But I live close to the surrounding walls of the Zu-lin Gardens with its astronomical observatories and bold attempts at recreating illusions of celebrated locations in the Tai mountains. There, walking with my cat Xi-Lu in the afternoons, I imagine a solitary life, a life suffused with the emptiness I crave.
 
In the hot, dry summer days my maid Mei-Lim and I have sought a temporary retreat in the pine forests above Lingzhi. Carried in a litter up the mountain paths we are left in a commodious hut, its open walls making those simple pleasures of drinking, eating and sleeping more acute, intense. For a few precious days I rest and meditate, breathe the mountain air and the resinous scents of the trees. I escape the daily commerce of the court and belong to a world that for the rest of the year I have to imagine, the world of the recluse. To gain the status of the recluse, open to my male counterparts, is forbidden to women of the court. I am woman first, a poet and calligrapher second. My brother, should he so wish, could present a petition to revoke his position as a man of letters, an official commentator on the affairs of state. But he is not so inclined. He has already achieved notoriety and influence through his writing on the social conditions of town and city. He revels in a world of chatter, gossip and intrigue; he appears to fear the wilderness life.  
 
I must be thankful that my own life is maintained on the periphery. I am physically distant from the hub of daily ceremonial. I only participate at my Lord’s express command. I regularly feign illness and fatigue to avoid petty conflict and difficulty. Yet I receive commissions I cannot waver: to honour a departed official; to celebrate a son’s birth to the Second Wife; to fulfil in verse my Lord’s curious need to know about the intimate sorrows of his young concubines, their loneliness and heartache.
 
Occasionally a Rhapsody is requested for an important visitor. The Emperor Wu is proud to present as welcome gifts such poetic creations executed in fine calligraphy, and from a woman of his court. Surely a sign of enlightment and progress he boasts! Yet in these creations my observations are parochial: early morning frost on the cabbage leaves in my garden; the sound of geese on their late afternoon flight to Star Lake; the disposition of the heavens on an Autumn night. I live by the Tao of Lao-Tzu, perceiving the whole world from my doorstep.
 
But I long for the reclusive life, to leave this court for my family’s estate in the valley my peasant mother lived as a child. At fourteen she was chosen to sustain the Emperor’s annual wish for young girls to be groomed for concubinage. Like her daughter she is tall, though not as plain as I; she put her past behind her and conceded her adolescence to the training required by the court. At twenty she was recommended to my father, the court archivist, as second wife. When she first met this quiet, dedicated man on the day before her marriage she closed her eyes in blessing. My father taught her the arts of the library and schooled her well. From her I have received keen eyes of jade green and a prestigious memory, a memory developed she said from my father’s joy of reading to her in their private hours, and before she could read herself. Each morning he would examine her to discover what she had remembered of the text read the night before. When I was a little child she would quote to me the Confucian texts on which she had been ****** schooled, and she then would tell me of her childhood home. She primed my imagination and my poetic world with descriptions of a domestic rural life.
 
Sometimes in the arms of my Lord I have freely rhapsodized in chusi metre these delicate word paintings of my mother’s home. She would say ‘We will walk now to the ruined tower beside the lake. Listen to the carolling birds. As the sparse clouds move across the sky the warm sun strokes the winter grass. Across the deep lake the forests are empty. Now we are climbing the narrow steps to the platform from which you and I will look towards the sun setting in the west. See the shadows are lengthening and the air becomes colder. The blackbird’s solitary song heralds the evening.  Look, an owl glides silently beneath us.’
 
My Lord will then quote from Hsieh Ling-yun,.
 
‘I meet sky, unable to soar among clouds,
face a lake, call those depths beyond me.’
 
And I will match this quotation, as he will expect.
 
‘Too simple-minded to perfect Integrity,
and too feeble to plough fields in seclusion.’
 
He will then gaze into my eyes in wonder that this obscure poem rests in my memory and that I will decode the minimal grammar of these early characters with such poetry. His characters: Sky – Bird – Cloud – Lake – Depth. My characters: Fool – Truth – Child – Winter field – Isolation.
 
Our combined invention seems to take him out of his Emperor-self. He is for a while the poet-scholar-sage he imagines he would like to be, and I his foot-sore companion following his wilderness journey. And then we turn our attention to our bodies, and I surprise him with my admonitions to gentleness, to patience, to arousing my pleasure. After such poetry he is all pleasure, sensitive to the slightest touch, and I have my pleasure in knowing I can control this powerful man with words and the stroke of my fingertips rather than by delicate youthful beauty or the guile and perverse ingenuity of an ****** act. He is still learning to recognise the nature and particularness of my desires. I am not as his other women: who confuse pleasure with pain.
 
Thoughts of my mother. Without my dear father, dead ten years, she is a boat without a rudder sailing on a distant lake. She greets each day as a gift she must honour with good humour despite the pain of her limbs, the difficulty of walking, of sitting, of eating, even talking. Such is the hurt that governs her ageing. She has always understood that my position has forbidden marriage and children, though the latter might be a possibility I have not wished it and made it known to my Lord that it must not be. My mother remains in limbo, neither son or daughter seeking to further her lineage, she has returned to her sister’s home in the distant village of her birth, a thatched house of twenty rooms,
 
‘Elms and willows shading the eaves at the back,
and, in front,  peach and plum spread wide.
 
Villages lost across mist-haze distances,
Kitchen smoke drifting wide-open country,
 
Dogs bark deep among the back roads out here
And cockerels crow from mulberry treetops.
 
My esteemed colleague T’ao Ch’ien made this poetry. After a distinguished career in government service he returned to the life of a recluse-farmer on his family farm. Living alone in a three-roomed hut he lives out his life as a recluse and has endured considerable poverty. One poem I know tells of him begging for food. His world is fields-and-gardens in contrast to Hsieh Ling-yin who is rivers-and-mountains. Ch’ien’s commitment to the recluse life has brought forth words that confront death and the reality of human experience without delusion.
 
‘At home here in what lasts, I wait out life.’
 
Thus my mother waits out her life, frail, crumbling more with each turning year.
 
To live beyond the need to organise daily commitments due to others, to step out into my garden and only consider the dew glistening on the loropetalum. My mind is forever full of what is to be done, what must be completed, what has to be said to this visitor who will today come to my court at the Wu hour. Only at my desk does this incessant chattering in the mind cease, as I move my brush to shape a character, or as the needle enters the cloth, all is stilled, the world retreats; there is the inner silence I crave.
 
I long to see with my own eyes those scenes my mother painted for me with her words. I only know them in my mind’s eye having travelled so little these past fifteen years. I look out from this still dark room onto my small garden to see the morning gathering its light above the rooftops. My camellia bush is in flower though a thin frost covers the garden stones.
 
And so I must imagine how it might be, how I might live the recluse life. How much can I jettison? These fine clothes, this silken nightgown beneath the furs I wrap myself in against the early morning air. My maid is sleeping. Who will make my tea? Minister to me when I take to my bed? What would become of my cat, my books, the choice-haired brushes? Like T’ao Ch’ien could I leave the court wearing a single robe and with one bag over my shoulders? Could I walk for ten days into the mountains? I would disguise myself as a man perhaps. I am tall for a woman, and though my body flows in broad curves there are ways this might be assuaged, enough perhaps to survive unmolested on the road.
 
Such dreams! My Lord would see me returned within hours and send a servant to remain at my gate thereafter. I will compose a rhapsody about a concubine of standing, who has even occupied the purple chamber, but now seeks to relinquish her privileged life, who coverts the uncertainty of nature, who would endure pain and privation in a hut on some distant mountain, who will sleep on a mat on its earth floor. Perhaps this will excite my Lord, light a fire in his imagination. As though in preparation for this task I remove my furs, I loose the knot of my silk gown. Naked, I reach for an old under shift letting it fall around my still-slender body and imagine myself tying the lacings myself in the open air, imagine making my toilet alone as the sun appears from behind a distant mountain on a new day. My mind occupies itself with the tiny detail of living thus: bare feet on cold earth, a walk to nearby stream, the gathering of berries and mountain herbs, the making of fire, the washing of my few clothes, imagining. Imagining. To live alone will see every moment filled with the tasks of keeping alive. I will become in tune with my surroundings. I will take only what I need and rely on no one. Dreaming will end and reality will be the slug on my mat, the bone-chilling incessant mists of winter, the thorn in the foot, the wild winds of autumn. My hands will become stained and rough, my long limbs tanned and scratched, my delicate complexion freckled and wind-pocked, my hair tied roughly back. I will become an animal foraging on a dank hillside. Such thoughts fill me with deep longing and a ****** desire to be tzu-jan  - with what surrounds me, ablaze with ****** self.
 
It is not thought the custom of a woman to hold such desires. We are creatures of order and comfort. We do not live on the edge of things, but crave security and well-being. We learn to endure the privations of being at the behest of others. Husbands, children, lovers, our relatives take our bodies to them as places of comfort, rest and desire. We work at maintaining an ordered flow of existence. Whatever our station, mistress or servant we compliment, we keep things in order, whether that is the common hearth or the accounts of our husband’s court. Now my rhapsody begins:
 
A Rhapsody on a woman wishing to live as a recluse
 
As a lady of my Emperor’s court I am bound in service.
My court is not my own, I have the barest of means.
My rooms are full of gifts I am forced barter for bread.
Though the artefacts of my hands and mind
Are valued and widely renown,
Their commissioning is an expectation of my station,
With no direct reward attached.
To dress appropriately for my Lord’s convocations and assemblies
I am forced to negotiate with chamberlains and treasurers.
A bolt of silk, gold thread, the services of a needlewoman
Require formal entreaties and may lie dormant for weeks
Before acknowledgement and release.
 
I was chosen for my literary skills, my prestigious memory,
Not for my ****** beauty, though I have been called
‘Lady of the most gracious movement’ and
My speaking voice has clarity and is capable of many colours.
I sing, but plainly and without passion
Lest I interfere with the truth of music’s message.
 
Since I was a child in my father’s library
I have sought out the works of those whose words
Paint visions of a world that as a woman
I may never see, the world of the wilderness,
Of rivers and mountains,
Of fields and gardens.
Yet I am denied by my *** and my station
To experience passing amongst these wonders
Except as contrived imitations in the palace gardens.
 
Each day I struggle to tease from the small corner
Of my enclosed eye-space some enrichment
Some elemental thing to colour meaning:
To extend the bounds of my home
Across the walls of this palace
Into the world beyond.
 
I have let it be known that I welcome interviews
With officials from distant courts to hear of their journeying,
To gather word images if only at second-hand.
Only yesterday an emissary recounted
His travels to Stone Lake in the far South-West,
Beyond the gorges of the Yang-tze.
With his eyes I have seen the mountains of Suchan:
With his ears I have heard the oars crackling
Like shattering jade in the freezing water.
Images and sounds from a thousand miles
Of travel are extract from this man’s memory.
 
Such a sharing of experience leaves me
Excited but dismayed: that I shall never
Visit this vast expanse of water and hear
Its wild cranes sing from their floating nests
In the summer moonlight.
 
I seek to disappear into a distant landscape
Where the self and its constructions of the world may
Dissolve away until nothing remains but the no-mind.
My thoughts are full of the practicalities of journeying
Of an imagined location, that lonely place
Where I may be at one with myself.
Where I may delight in the everyday Way,
Myself among mist and vine, rock and cave.
Not this lady of many parts and purposes whose poems must
Speak of lives, sorrow and joy, pleasure and pain
Set amongst personal conflict and intrigue
That in containing these things, bring order to disorder;
Salve the conscience, bathe hurt, soothe sleight.
RH 78 Mar 2016
Nan
Tender oversized hugs made of never ending love.
        
A broad smile bought belly laughs time and time again.
                                                  
Aching cheeks from a dose of over indulged happiness.

Always larger than life.
                        Life and soul.
                                     Our life and soul.

Deep set wrinkles from a lifetime of worry.

Never stopping to rest.

Fussing here pampering there.

Your selflessness and determintion to     enjoy life knew no bounds.

     You enjoyed the next generation of            
          the family as much as the last.

      No longer disabled and heaven                      
     rejoices at the return of an angel.

           The last of your generation.
      Reunited with long lost relatives.

We feel your love Nan
       We always have.
              We always will.

Till we meet again....

Good night
                    and
                            God Bless.
                                    X
Sad times. Our Nan died. RIP nanny Vi.
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Limericks I - Relatives and Relativity

The Cosmological Constant
by Michael R. Burch

Einstein, the frizzy-haired,
said E equals MC squared.
Thus all mass decreases
as activity ceases?
Not my mass, my *** declared!

###

***-tronomical
by Michael R. Burch

Relativity, the theorists’ creed,
says mass increases with speed.
My (m)*** grows when I sit it.
Mr. Einstein, get with it;
equate its deflation, I plead!

###

Relative to Whom?
by Michael R. Burch

Einstein’s theory, incredibly silly,
says a relative grows *****-nilly
at speeds close to light.
Well, his relatives might,
but mine grow their (m)***** more stilly!

###

Time Out!
by Michael R. Burch

Hawking’s "Brief History of Time"
is such a relief! How sublime
that time, in reverse,
may un-write this verse
and un-spend my last thin dime!

###

Time Back In!
by Michael R. Burch

Hawking, who makes my head spin,
says time may flow backward. I grin,
imagining the surprise
in my mother's eyes
when I head for the womb once again!

###

Keywords/Tags: limerick, nonsense, light verse, humor, science, theoretical, physics, relativity, relatives, family, time, space
Just the thought of them makes your jawbone ache:
those turkey dinners, those holidays with
the air around the woodstove baked to a stupor,
and Aunt Lil's tablecloth stained by her girlhood's gravy.
A doggy wordless wisdom whimpers from
your uncles' collected eyes; their very jokes
creak with genetic sorrow, a strain
of common heritage that hurts the gut.

Sheer boredom and fascination! A spidering
of chromosomes webs even the infants in
and holds us fast around the spread
of rotting food, of too-sweet pie.
The cousins buzz, the nephews crawl;
to love one's self is to love them all.
Lunar Jan 2015
Today my relatives went back to their country.
They said "we'll miss you" and "see you soon".
Those words-- typical words you say to someone before you 'leave'.

When in reality, when you leave,
You don't say anything at all.
Tyler G Dec 2012
I carry the shallow weight of my own regrets.
I carry the guilt of my mother who felt she could’ve done more for my grandmother.
Nights spent, teary-eyed phone calls to the nursing home.
I carry the comprehension of my father.
Hundreds of times he’s defeated me at chess, at card games.
I am his knowledge.
I carry sorrow from soccer games lost and triumph from games won with the stench of wet grass and caked on mud still fresh in my memory.

I carry the weight of high school, the pressure to get into college, the weight of rumors and the regret of not paying attention in class.
Feeling hopeless and defeated when I fail a test, though I remember I can carry the power of success.
I carry the daily jeers and spite of my peers and my teachers.
I carry the burden of my mother’s size eight firmly up my *** when I don’t do what I’m told.
I carry three-day weekends and the joy of a snow day.

I carry my blood, my veins, my organs.
I carry my bones, my cartilage, my flesh and my hair.
I carry my beating heart and the sound it makes letting everyone around me and myself to know that I’m still very much alive.
I carry the ability of perfect hindsight vision, the ability of blind foresight.

I carry my friends, the pressure of their own burdens.
I own the ability to make them smile, the ability to cheer them up when I don’t know how to help myself.
I’ve carried some of them for as long as I can remember; some I can’t carry anymore, and some I’ve just started to carry.

I carry love and passion; I carry hate and abhor.
I carry confusion, delirium, nostalgia of days past.
I carry insomnia and sleepless nights dreaming up at my ceiling of life to come.
I carry my dreams, both physical and mental.
I carry what I aspire to be.
I carry photography, a story of my life through pictures, through captivity, through still frame.
I carry my wishes.

I carry the beach, the waves that crash down onto the shore and onto me and the salty residue that lands on my flesh and hair from staying out too long.

I carry stupidity, I carry charm and I carry luck.
I carry the regret of anonymity and the fear of being alone.
We all carry that; no one wants to spend life alone.
We carry expensive wedding bands and the pressure to say “Yes” and the hope that she’ll say it.

I carry the everlasting gaze of older relatives, some who have passed on to a better world.
They won’t have to carry anything anymore.

I carry countless vacations and holidays spent with my cousins and the millions of laughs we have shared.

I carry reminiscences of vacations and of meeting new people, people who I tried to stay in contact with, but alas, distance prevents friendship.
I carry the knowledge of the traveled world and the confusion of the uninhabited, undiscovered land.
I am a world traveler, I am a superhero; I am what I want to be and I carry that.

I carry a tainted mind.
A mind spoiled by politics, by war, greed and corruption of not only the government, but of my parents as well.
I carry the ignorance of thinking I’m right and everyone else is wrong, the false sense that I know what is really going on in the world and that I, and I alone, can make a difference.

I carry the benefit of living in a prosperous nation, a flourishing town.
I carry the thought of uncertainty of impoverish nations and how they live everyday without food and water, while I sit here and type on my own personal laptop.

I carry teenage angst.
I carry thoughts and memories of former lovers.
Some girls who have grown up to be different than what they once were, some who haven’t changed a bit.
I carry the thoughts of wonder, should I have said something to her?

I carry individualism, not being afraid of letting you know who I am and what I do.
I am myself and if you can’t deal with it then you won’t have to carry me anymore.
I no longer carry these words; my thought have been poured onto this paper.
My future holds the risk of not knowing what I will carry tomorrow, but I know I will carry life.
I know I may not be able to carry this all, but one thing is for certain: I will carry myself.
Mokomboso Aug 2014
Dear Emma and the rest of the Sumatran orangutans of Chester zoo

To you, today was just routine. To you, in your bubble of a world, just another friendly face came to talk to you again. To me, this visit was bittersweet, in fact I would say 80% bitter. In seeing you, in meeting your gaze the guilt and shame ripped through me like like a tiger's claws. Ah yes, the tiger, 7 years have past since they had disappeared. People have all but forgotten already, there were plenty of tigers safely locked away right?
You probably don't know this and I doubt that you can read this, but I write this letter to you anyway, do what you want with the letter. Look at the photograph I have included of your Asian relatives that I took during my travels nearly 20 years ago. Or you could discard it, tear it, eat it I don't care as long as you receive this. For nearly 2 centuries your people have been captured and killed and we destroy everything you know. Our growing population pressurised us, we strove for urbanisation, painting a thin venire of chrome. Our colour of comfort, but we made it worse for ourselves as our most important livelihoods were replaced by dust villages and starvation. You were not immune to our pillage I'm afraid, from that first time Charles Darwin met Jenny our blessing became your curse. 3 weeks ago the last of your Asian brethren died. We saw your demise coming, some of us tried our hardest to halt or postpone it, setting up rescue stations and reserves. But the mindless machine wirred on, it wasn't until the last 90 miles of forest remained that the Indonesian bigwigs realised what they had done. In a blind panic they planted new tree seedlings, maybe somehow in the hopes that more bears, frogs, birds and orangutans would materialise from the roots? It was already too late but perseverance drove them to try everything. Everything. Nyaru Menteng offloaded their remaining 8 charges to Western facilities where artificial habitats had been created. The rest of them watched over and monitored the remaining native population, sending out vets and human doctors to keep them alive at all costs. I watched every second of it, followed the blogs and the news. It hurt so much I didn't think I could follow anymore, grief stricken with each "progression" but I was compelled to carry on. And finally, there was one.
A male, Gregory. He never grew his cheek flanges because he had no competition. No drive to find a mate. He knew as much as we did that he was alone. No one knew why they kept him there, all knowledge of reproductive biology was forgotten and replaced with superstitious magic. We kept him there, stayed by his side, fed him and doctored him until finally at the age of 39 he died of a heart attack. The news was like a punch in the guts for all of us. It was announced as breaking news all over the world, pongo pygmeus and pongo abeli officially extinct in the wild. A minority mentioned that many captive orangs still remained in zoos and sanctuaries and that we should not be so sad. But they were quickly shushed like an outspoken attendee of a funeral. Those remaining would not last forever either once inbreeding became too rife, plus, their artificial living arrangements meant these fat, shut in orangutans would live a second rate life, plagued by the same mental ailments that the rest of us urbanites suffer. They would never know the joy, fulfilment, danger, even, of the wild. And these zoo populations were like ghosts or holograms of what used to remain. 
I was afraid for the last 3 months to visit you again, incase you knew and you would turn your head away from me in disapproval. Your disgusted expression would render me speechless. But logic told me this would not happen and I had finally plucked up the courage to see you again. As always you brachiated towards the window and pressed your face against it while I talked to you and pretended to stroke your hair. You were oblivious and ignorant, I envied you. I cried and you wondered why, other humans understood and some looked forlorn themselves. I could see you and your granddaughter looking in concern at our apparent sadness. I tried to look brave for you, I played with your granddaughter as normal. 
Though I had no direct influence over your demise I feel just as remorseful as the loggers did, I was careless in my choices. Living such a sheltered city life and not realising until my second decade the true dangers facing you. I chose too late to be mindful of my grocery shopping, avoided palm oil, never watched films with trained animals in. My few actions made no difference, until very recent years I was still the minority. Don't mistake me for someone self pitying, I don't want you to think I was thinking only of my own feelings and being a martyr. If anything self loathing, I've always been a misanthropist but as of late I've abandoned my species altogether. Apart from my immediate family of course. You were not the only ones that went, Asian elephants too disappeared around the same time. Mackaws of South America have almost completely been depleted. The once hopeful 200,000 chimpanzees whittled down to the last 5000. Bonobos gone already from the wild since the last 100 were taken to sanctuaries and zoos to "rebuild the population" but there were very little captive bonobos to begin in. Gorillas: 1000 (only mountain gorillas are left, ironic isn't it? We focused so much on that one race we neglected the rest). African elephants: 4. Giraffes: 100. The list goes on. And we too, **** sapiens, the most numerous of large mammals are feeling the pinch. It started with Japan over 20 years ago, people retreated more and more into the office, no longer caring to build families and the population declined. The rest followed suite, bursting at the seems we could no longer steal more land for ourselves, more destruction meant less air to breath, less food. People have started to fight their reproductive urges, like the Japanese, retreating into a single life in a cubicle. Sitting by the screen. We are committing a species wide, slow suicide. I consider this a blessing, the rest of nature can finally get even. Some are scared and upset, others relieved. The divide is equal.
I have come to visit you every 3 weeks since I was 21, I am 40 now and in that seemingly short space of time I have seen the world change dramatically while you sit and climb and think your own isolated thoughts in your little bubble. 
Please accept my sincerest apologies. No matter if you read this or not. I am so so so sorry. On behalf of myself, on behalf of my species. Please forgive us.
Yours Sincerely,
Sophie
You know how I said I wasn't doing any more primate ones? I lied.
Not a poem but... this a hypothetical future (19 years from now) and the orangutans have become extinct in the wild.
She introduced herself, as
Sunset.
Batted her lashes not to be flirtatious ,
But to hide that her eyes were wet.
All around me were blurred, but beautiful faces.
Yet, my eyes only focused on hers
The first that I noticed.

When I bought my first camera,
From that sales-man down in Alabama.
And he taught me how to use it,
He said, "see here son, if I was to take your picture I'd set this camera here on portrait.
But if I took a picture of that pretty little girl 'cross the road"
he said with a smirk
"I'd have to set this here camera on Firework"


It's funny how memories work.
I think of that man now, of his coffee colored skin and straw hat.
I never thought I'd need to know any of that.
but right here and now I set that camera to sunset.
raise it to my eye
And take a picture of
Sunset.
As if she were a colorful sky.
and that's it.
some people deserve more than a portrait.

And I know, I'm going to take her to a dark room.
And see what develops, of her negatives.
But first, I want to hear all about her crazy relatives.
Who gives her, her beauty?
where's she take her dog to groom?
The poodle on her leash is a cutie.
and what does she doodle on her notebooks?
stars or hearts or sugar skulls....
Does she know she's caught me on her fishin' hook?
What's she think of me, I'm sure I look dull.
Why are her teary eyes so full, About to overflow.
There were so many things I wanted to know....
before I took her to a dark room.
But it happened
And all I found in the picture that developed was gloom.
I realized I was her first.
And the best night of my life became my worst.
because I took something from her she didn't want to give.
But I just didn't know that she wouldn't want to live.
Keep reading, this ends beautifully.
beautifully like a sunset ends a day.
But, you have to believe me when I say that's not nearly as beautifully
As Sunset ends my hopes and dreams.
How she ended her own life
With pretty little pink pills.
One....Two....Three
gripped in her hand they found a picture of me.
And now I know, Sunsets are all about Beautiful Endings.
It's funny how memories work

© copyrighted Nicole Ann Osborn
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2016
A minyan is an assembly of ten Jews.  With ten present, the group can perform a fuller service, adding congregational prayers that an individual alone cannot say, and in heaven, received, as if from a 
more powerful, unified voice.

~~~
Satan laughing with delight at the happy news,
unusually proud of his soul-retrieving,
red state minions,
having scored late in the '16 season,
a long awaited prize,
a high priest of music, a hallelujah singer
just come  cross the borderline,
once a mere earth bound legend,
now to be mockingly enjoyed
in this, his legendary peculiar tier of heaven
~
a banner year it was, a cornucopia of new arrivals,
singers, songwriters, composers, conductors, rock 'n rollers,
itinerant blues musicians,
who as a rule, were not the most faithful observers
of the Ten Commandments and its host of detailed relatives
~
body and drug abusers,
of traditional morals, not such big users,
and as for their *** lives,
best not discussed in front of the baby devils,
just quite yet
~
all this made for easy "pluckings,"
as he smiled devilishly, his own ironic sense of humor,
an added delight for the new American Pie
that would forever serenade him henceforth
~
indeed this Leo-nine most new arrival,
intensifies the pleasure,
for deep in this one had waxed the god-spark,
his own fractured demise,
now allowing the cracks of light to be closing,
lessening by an immeasurable fraction
the despised joy to the world
-
then a raucous rustling heard,
a voice unseen but siren penetratingly heard proclaiming:

**** you Satan,
this time you've gone too far!

return unto me them all,
for you have overstepped the boundaries I have constructed
when birthed I the universe so long ago

these children, mine,
for though they were not perfect in their lives,
they perfected ever so much my designs,
the world I granted them,
with their music, voice and hands,
absolving them of all their sins

Surrender to me them all!

my Prince,
my lion, Cohen, high priest of my temple,
my haggard and worn Merle,
the greyed and Frey'd eagle, Glenn,
Natalie, daughter of the Earth King of Cole,
my rose of Sharon Jones,
my Emerson and my Lake,
Leon Russell,
my white bearded russet
who wrote 'A Song For You,'
the Duchess, Patty,
my Bobby Vee,
the first ro see
'the night has a thousand eyes,'
Frank Sinatra Jr., his fathers torch bearer,
my David, my right arm, my Bowieknife carrier,
who fell from heaven and needs returning unto me,
mine own Kanter,Jeffersonian pilot of my Airplane,
my Michael, George,
my Martin, George,
who never sang a word
but gifted us some Beatles,
My black and White Maurice,
who reignited the Earth, with Wind and Fire

all these mine and all the musicians of this year,
they have died, but not their music,
now to join my heavenly chorus,
my musicians' minyan
Second of a trilogy, but the first one posted,
about Leonard Cohen

Kohen or cohen (or kohain; Hebrew: כֹּהֵן‎, "priest", pl. כֹּהֲנִים‎ kohanim) is the Hebrew word for priest used colloquially in reference to the Aaronic priesthood. Jewish kohanim are traditionally believed and halakhically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the biblical Aaron. The term is colloquially used in Orthodox Judaism in reference to modern day descendants of Aharon, brother of Moses.

Among the few remaining responsibility of a cohen today is the chanting of the priestly  blessing in the synagogue on high holy days in a special tune, instantly recognizable  by every Jew.   When the  Jewish priest chants the blessing, the Spirit of God is presumed to become present in the synagogue, and all bow their heads, fathers cover their children's eyes, lest one witness  god's image. Ironically, the special way that a cohen extends his arms and holds his fingers in a V  shape, was borrowed by another Canadian Jew, Leonard Nimoy, as inspiration for Spock's  greeting.

see en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing

see
//jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/leonard-nimoy-vulcan-salute-yiddish
Tom Leveille Jun 2014
while september cicadas
were singing my neighbors to sleep
i was up walking holes in my shoes
over love once lost
so many poems ago
that the only thing i remember
about the house at 38th & bluestone
is that it reeked of alcohol and is
as i'm sure of it
still saturated in perfume
and abandoned laughter
but that's not the point
give me a minute
what i'm trying to say
is i always thought god
enjoyed watching things leave me
it makes me wonder
what was on his mind
that night in september
when i stooped to cough
or tie my shoelaces
i no longer remember why
but i recall their trajectory
the way gravity cradled my hands
and brought them crashing back to earth like a 747
they landed inches away
from a scrap of crumpled loose leaf
folded in half like the smiles
of my relatives on a holiday truce
you see, lately i've been looking for scars in the newspaper
i find myself checking the obituary
for my former selves since the day i found your suicide letter
maybe that's why i can never explain my obsession with history
maybe archeology is just a funeral
in reverse
maybe hell is just rewinding home movies
or watching confetti
turn back into photographs
i never told anyone
the reason the doors to the gun cabinet in my family's house are locked not because they are afraid
i will take my life
but because sometimes
i sing them birthday songs
on the day you died
it makes me think
of how rooms only echo
when they are empty

*you know
i never echoed until you died
Alan W Jankowski Jan 2012
At family gatherings throughout the year,
There are those who add to the holiday cheer,
Those who brighten up your day,
Every time they come your way.

Most are a pleasure to be around,
As fine as any friends I’ve found,
But, there are a few I’d like to loose,
If I could only pick and choose.

Some that are a pain in my rear end,
I’d like to delete like a Facebook friend,
Others who insist they are family,
But sure don’t look a thing like me.

Others who are annoying beyond belief,
Whose only purpose is to bring me grief,
They’ll have to get along on their own,
They are not going to get another loan.

The problem with relatives is understood,
You have to take the bad with the good.
Though some I wish would get lost at sea,
They probably think the same of me.

09-11-11.
I bet there just might be a couple of people here who feel the same...:)
No one listens
Friends seldom seen
'I'm all right'
Cancelled conversations
Happiness on demand
Courses in tautology
Reverent respectability
Chimes lost to time
Disconsolate coverlets
Scenes from lonely places
Litter on the streets
You're on your own.
Remember when you were a child
And you answered back with "I don't care"
Well, it's high time you did
This is the time to care

With the corona virus attacking everyone in sight,
You have to care


IT DOESN'T CARE if you are Chinese, Spanish, American, Canadian, British, Australian, Korean.
IT DOESN'T CARE what color your skin is
Whether you are white, black, brown, yellow or blue
IT DOESN'T CARE if you are straight, gay, bisexual, trisexual, gender transitional
IT DOESN'T CARE if you like horses, or dogs, or cats, or fish or lemmings for that matter
IT DOESN'T CARE if you are a doctor, nurse, stay at home mom, teacher, warehouse worker, priest, homeless, bricklayer, hockey player, nun, librarian, store clerk
IT DOESN'T CARE if you are a celebrity, sports figure, local politician, have one friend or a thousand
IT DOESN'T CARE if you eat vegan, meat, have celiac disease, smoke, vape, eat through a tube
IT DOESN'T CARE if you believe in God, Buddha, are Jewish, Baptist, Agnostic, Atheist, Wiccan, or talk to the trees

GOT IT? IT DOESN'T CARE.

YOU SHOULD CARE.
You told your parents "I don't care". Well, you better start.
CARE about your family, friends, and yourself
CARE about your neighbors, their family, friends, and relatives
CARE about your work mates, their families, friends, and relatives
CARE about the front line workers, theirs families, friends and relatives
CARE about the world.

LISTEN AND LEARN. LISTEN AND DO. LISTEN AND CARE

Don't listen to blowhards who call it a hoax. IT DOESN'T CARE...it's waiting for you if you do
Don't follow the stupid internet suggestions like add bleach to your water. IT'S DOESN'T CARE...it's waiting for you too.
Don't plan on being in Church for Easter. IT DOESN'T CARE...It's waiting for you as well.

GET IT? FOLLOW THE WORDS OF THE MEDICAL EXPERTS, NOT THE POLITICIANS.

IT DOESN'T CARE  who you listen to, but, It's waiting.

START CARING...NOW!!!

LISTEN, LEARN, DO AND CARE. STAY SAFE.
Lawrence Hall Nov 2018
The dead-bolts on the interior doors
Against the nephews most securely locked
(One is destructive; the other explores)
Ignored by their mother (usually crocked)

The brother-in-law babbles about his bowels
And surgeries over the festive spread
Ignoring his wife’s disapproving scowls
Detailing each grim therapy and med

The puppies are safely penned inside
Because of an incident with a crowbar
And a nephew who kicked and screamed and cried -
He wasn’t allowed to **** the dogs or bash the car

His mother comforted him in his tears
And glowered at me for telling him no
And comforted herself with a few more beers
Her special child is sensitive, you know

The brother-in-law’s colonoscopy
With lurid adjectives of graphic doom
Comes with the pie and more iced tea
His miseries circulate around the room

Then from the living room an expensive crash
“Not me!” “Not me!” More screams and denials and cries
An old family vase – it’s now just trash
“You shouldn’t have glass around,” their mother sighs

The brother-in-law offers to show his scars
He finds his shirt buttons, makes his move
We other men escape outside for cigars
Cigars!? The women uniformly disapprove

One nephew leaps upon a garden seat
And jumps and yells until it falls apart
Their mother says her boy is cute and sweet
“Are you all right, my dear little heart?”

The brother-in-law holds his tummy and groans
And tells us all about his flatulence
And just which foods lead to what moans
(Perhaps he should practice some abstinence)

The women come outside to cough and choke
With practiced puritan disapproval and sneers
About the satanic scent of tobacco smoke
The world’s best mother chugs a few more beers

The brother-in-law explains why he can’t drink
It’s about his digestion (be surprised)
And we shouldn’t smoke; if only we’d think
And we (got a match?) are properly chastised

Then at the end of this mandatory day
Of mandatory Hallmark merriment
All of them finally go the (space) away
And how did the mailbox get broken and bent?

But the brother-in-law pauses at the garden gate
“Say, did I tell you about my new pills…?”
And so dear solitude again must wait
While darkness slowly falls upon the hills
Lía Sep 2014
They call me Ghetto.
They call me
gunfights and drive-bys,
pregnant teens.
They call me Poverty,
and concrete winter walls
splashed with blood-red
graffiti.
They call me
junior-high druggies
and gang-banging muchachos.
They call me Mexico
like it’s a ***** word.
They call me Ghetto.

But haven’t they seen through
the white-washed walls
of the
“American Dream”?
Don’t they know hurt
and suffering,
imperfections
and neglect,
as well?

So call me Mexico;
call me Poverty;
call me Ghetto.

I am
run-down yards
filled with laughing brown children,
small apartments
bursting with the scent
of tamales,
mingled with joy and the chatter of relatives.
I am home-made tortillas
at Thanksgiving
and wrinkled hands pounding masa
at Christmas.
I am friendly smiles
and shouted jokes
followed by roaring
laughter.
I am the lilting syllables
of a beautiful
culture.
I am comfort.

They call me Ghetto
and so I am.
jack of spades Jun 2016
it’s the first day of a fresh new school year when
one of your teachers looks you dead in the eye and says,
“introduce yourself.”
your classmates,
familiar to you yet all somehow strangers,
scramble for some short snippet of a way to encompass everything they
have spent the past sixteen to eighteen years accumulating.
when it’s your turn and every eye turns upon you in anticipation for you to “introduce yourself,”
you taste iron in your gums and say,
“i’m not sure yet.”
and every last one of your peers agrees.
see, for the past three years every time someone asks me how old i am,
i start to tell them “fifteen”
and i don’t think that i’m the only one when it comes to this whole crisis of identity.
see, for the past three years i look back on who i used to be
and sneer at past versions of myself,
a babushka doll of self-loathing as i once saw it so eloquently put.
how am i supposed to introduce myself
if i’m going to hate what i see looking back in probably three months?

it’s some kind of family event or holiday when
one of your relatives, or friend of a parent, friend of a friend of a friend of a coworker,
looks you dead in the eye and asks,
“what are you doing with your life?”
your cousins are all too much older, family and yet strangers,
staring wide-eyed because they remember the horror of
getting asked this by every other adult in sight.
you take two short breaths and taste iron in your gums and you say,
“i’m not sure yet.”
and everyone rushes to assure you that it’s fine not to have decided yet,
as though anyone ever actually sticks to the career path they choose when they are just
eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen.
when i was thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten,
took every single interaction as an attack upon my person.
i was selfish and self-absorbed and, quite frankly,
one of the most problematic kids that i know.
not in the “scene kid who won’t stop talking about anime” kind of jokingly problematic
but the kind of problematic where i thought it was okay to
repeatedly ignore a gay friend’s request to stop throwing around the word “******.”
how am i supposed to tell you what i’m doing with my life
when less than a decade ago i was everything that i have now come to completely
and utterly hate?

it’s a social event full of friend-of-a-friends,
people who are complete and utter strangers,
meeting you for the first time so of course
they’ll look you dead in the eye and ask you,
“what’s your name?”
suddenly your heart is in your throat because there is power in names,
power that you will never shake,
and to be quite honest you have too many names to pick just one.
in a split second decision you have to assign this new person as a peer, an acquaintance,
figure out who you are mutually in contact with.
when the silence stretches a beat too long,
you taste iron in your gums and say,
“i’m not sure yet.”
maybe this time it’s not as appropriate of an answer,
and all your friends are looking at you strangely.
see, everyone i know has a different name to call me.
my best friend calls me ‘jack’ and my mother calls me ‘claire.’
my teachers struggle to figure out which one i prefer.
see, once upon a time i read an essay about how names have power.
you summon spirits by their names.
you control demons by knowing their names.
an angel’s song is its name.
i tried to divide myself into tiny pieces so that no one could ever have full control over me.
i have accepted a handful of aliases and nicknames that i respond to
sooner than the one on my birth certificate
so that no one may ever own me.

i write a lot of poetry about not knowing where i’m going.
the problem with dwelling on these things is that i am still going,
going,
going with still no destination determined.
how long can a train go in a straight line before it derails itself?
how far can a train go before it runs out of fuel?

hi, my name is jack. i like
outer space and poetry,
physics and creative writing.
hi, my name is jack. i am
not an earthling-- my home is in the stars,
somewhere far away for which i am still searching.
the marrow of my bones whispers for me to just go go go go go--
but i can’t drive on the highway without inducing anxiety,
and i don’t think i’m quite smart enough to become a rocket scientist.
i’ve just got to cross my fingers and pray
that somehow they’ll pick me to revisit the moon someday.
Given the apparent magical surrealism that the months of April is the month of fate for and death of writers, artists, dramatis, philosophers and poets, a phenomenon which readily gets support from the cases of untimely and early April deaths of; Max Weber, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Francis Imbuga, and Chinua Achebe  then  Wisdom of the moment behooves me to adjure away the fateful month by  allowing  me to mourn Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez by expressing my feelings of grieve through the following dirge of elegy;
You lived alone in the solitude
Of pure hundred years in Colombia
Roaming in Amacondo with a Spanish tongue
Carrying the bones of your grandmother in a sisal sag
On your poverty written Colombian back,
Gadabouting to make love in times of cholera,
On none other than your bitter-sweet memories
Of your melancholic ***** the daughter of Castro,
Your cowardice made you to fear your momentous life
In this glorious and poetic time of April 2014,
Only to succumb to untimely black death
That similarly dimunitized your cultural ancestor;
Miguel de Cervantes, a quixotic Spaniard,
You were to write to the colonel for your life,
Before eating the cockerel you had ear-marked
For Olympic cockfight, the hope of the oppressed,
Come back from death, you dear Marquez
To tell me more stories fanaticism to surrealism,
From Tarzanic Africa the fabulous land
An avatar of evil gods that are impish propre
Only Vitian Naipaul and Salman Rushdie are not enough,
For both of them are so naïve to tell the African stories,
I will miss you a lot the rest of my life, my dear Garbo,
But I will ever carry your living soul, my dear Garcia,
Soul of your literature and poetry in a Maasai kioondo
On my broad African shoulders during my journey of art,
When coming to America to look for your culture
That gave you versatile tongue and quill of a pen,
Both I will take as your memento and crystallize them
Into my future thespic umbrella of orature and literature.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, an eminent Latin American and most widely acclaimed authors, died untimely at his home in Mexico City on Thursday, 17th April 2014. The 1982 literature Nobel laureate, whose reputation drew comparisons to Mark Twain of adventures of Huckleberry Finny and Charles Dickens of hard Times, was 87 of age. Already a luminous legend in his well used lifetime, Latin American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was perceived as not only one of the most consequential writers of the 20th and 21ist centuries, but also the sterling performing Spanish-language author since the world’s experience of Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish Jail bird and Author of Don Quixote who lived in the 17th century.
Like very many other writers from the politically and economically poor parts of the world, in the likes of J M Coatze, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, Doris May Lessing, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, V S Naipaul, and Rabidranathe Tagore, Marguez won the literature Nobel prize in addition to the previous countless awards for his magically fabulous novels, gripping short stories, farcical screenplays, incisive journalistic contributions and spellbinding essays. But due to postmodern global thespic civilization the Nobel Prize is recognized as most important of his prizes in the sense that, he received in 1982, as the first Colombian author to achieve such literary eminence. The eminence of his work in literature communicated in Spanish are towered by none other than the Bible, especially  in its Homeric style which Moses used when writing the book of Genesis and the fictitious drama of Job.
Just like Ngugi, Achebe, Soyinka, and Ousmane Marquez is not the first born. He is the youngest of siblings. He was born on March 6, 1927 in the Colombian village of Aracataca, on the Caribbean coast. His literary bravado was displayed in his book, Love in the Times of Cholera.  In which he narrated how his parents met and got married. Marguez did not grow up with his father and mother, but instead he grew up with his grandparents. He often felt lonely as a child. Environment of aunts and grandmother did not fill the psychological void of father and mother. This social phenomenon of inadequate parenthood is also seen catapulting Richard Wright, Charlese Dickens, and Barrack Obama to literary excellency.Obama recounted the same experience in his Dreams from my father.

Poverty determines convenience or hardship of marriage. This is mirrored by Garcia Marquez in his marriage to Mercedes Barcha.  An early childhood play-mate and neighbour in 1958. In appreciation of his marriage, Marquez later wrote in his memoirs that it is women who maintain the world, whereas we men tend to plunge it into disarray with all our historic brutality. This was a connotation of his grandmother in particular who played an important role during the times of childhood. The grand mother introduced him to the beauty of orature by telling him fabulous stories about ghosts and dead relatives haunting the cellar and attic, a social experience which exactly produced Chinua Achebe, Okot P’Bitek, Mazizi Kunene, Margaret Ogola and very many other writers of the third world.
Little Gabo as his affectionate pseudonym for literature goes, was a voracious bookworm, who like his ideological master Karl Marx read King Lear of Shakespeare at the age of sixteen. He fondly devoured the works of Spanish authors, obviously Miguel de Cervantes, as well as other European heavyweights like; Edward Hemingway, Faulkner and Frantz Kafka.
Good writers usually drop out of school and at most writers who win the Nobel Prize. This formative virtue of writers is evinced in Alice Munro, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, Sembene Ousmane, Octavio Paz as well as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. After dropping out of law school, Garcia Marquez decided instead to embark on a call of his passion as a journalist. The career he perfectly did by regularly criticizing Colombian as well as ideological failures of the then foreign politics. In a nutshell he was a literary crusader against poverty. This is of course the obvious hall marker of leftist political orientation.
Garcia Marquez’s sensational breakthrough occurred in 1967 with the break-away publication of his oeuvre; One Hundred Years of Solitude which the New York Times Book Review meritoriously elevated as ‘the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. The position similarly taken by Salman Rushdie. Marquez often shared out that this novel carried him above emotional tantrums on its publication. He was keen on this as his manner of speech was always devoid of la di da.so humble and suave that his genius can only be appreciated not from the booming media outlets about his death, but by reading all of his works and especially his Literature Noble price acceptance speech delivered in 1982.
some come to serve all
the missing continents reveal their bodies
they arouse Great Spirit
like volcanoes announcing their roll call
i awake the storm of love
without my compass
i can't tell if we are off course
but who really knows anyway
if your desert walks and soul visions
are gesticulations as ubiquitous as dust
our minds and bodies align with memories
while cowards of sound  
hide themselves behind the echos
of cavernous hollows
heaven brought you to me
for beautiful kisses
so that salt and sulphur
would anchor our alchemical quicksilver
your studs and your mares
know nothing more
then to keep a few crumbs
wedged behind the cupboards
in case somebody lost themselves
along the road to the temple

accountants may tell you
that they allow the light to shine
through their tiny peepholes
yet in treacherous times
like lightning they swallow the sky whole
so your emotions can rent empty rooms
in their vacant hallways
feelings help guide you upon your journey into tomorrow
until you are able to penetrate
with bottomless compassion
and then part ways just before the hour fades
in rhythm with our future
and the Goddess (god-lioness)
says that the eye (of time) is within you

in such a short while
rebel eyes real eyes the relative lies in their relatives' eyes
like fireflies they dance upon the pavement
have you lifted the hem of your sky lately
and listened to the falling leaves
surrounding us in love
Daniel James Mar 2011
Shrouded in secrets
The men from F-Branch
Recite the techniques
Undiscussed in advance
Of Democracy's dance
Democracy's dance
Democracy's Dance with Terror.

Outside the port of Umm-Qasr
Hundreds of men
Hooded in the dark
Of the midday sun
Kneeling on the run
From Democracy's Dance with Terror.

Suspected by students
Back home and online
Theories get conspired
Petitions get signed
"Stop Democracy's Dance!
Stop Democracy's Dance!
Stop Democracy's Dance with Terror!"

The attorney general
Is called for advice.
A solemn exchange
Top down bottom line.
His argument is
"If it's nice it's all right."

Ministers from Ministries
Are detained and questioned
By the goggles of a press
Suffering sleep deprivation.
It's like a game of touch rugby
Outside downing street
With a twist on the rules of 'Just a minute'.

And outside the port of Umm-Qasr
Democracy doggedly dances her dance.

But the rhythms of the dance
The stress of white noise
Peaked
And escaped on the wind
Blowing through the forgotten kindness
Of confused hearts and minds
Escaping through the drafty guilt
Of hung up uniforms
Dancing on the mumbling lips
Of sleeping soldiers
With wives, partners, families, friends
Back home
Who don't know what it's like
They don't understand the drill
They can't do the moves
They don't know what it's like.

But the dance did not stop
It did what every bad vibration does
And moved elsewhere
And was henceforth known
By an unpronounceable acronym:
JFIT!

And now we join James
Young musclebound man
With a drink in hand
Back from tour of duty
It's a Saturday night
And the Weston women like a soldier,
A real man.
The fact that he
Has been doing his duty.
"Do you mind if I ask..." Asked Deborah
Showing more than necessary of her bra
"Where was you based, your base in Iraq-
Your third base, in particular?"
"I'll tell you," Said James
And the ladies came quick
Putty in his hands
Just like a joystick.
Said James, with the gravitas
Or some silverscreen star,
"While out in Iraq,
I was stationed
At a British logistics base in Shaiba.
It's outside Basra.
Basra in Iraq.
Iraq?
You have heard of Iraq?"
But by then,
Deborah and her bra and her friends
Were talking to another group of men
Who worked in property development
And apparently, Deborah, they're neighbours
Or something, because that one said
They've got seventeen houses between them.

But what James hadn't told them is this
The exact meaning of words in English
Like British Logistics camp is
Not always what you think that it is.

Oh did I say camp?
I meant base.
Please delete any mention of camp
From the record.

It was not long before
That James' routine
Had been... very different
To say the least.

Indeed soon after crossing the border
And re-invading his parents' home again
He'd been watching Jeremy Vine when
He spotted a pattern of systematic abuse
On the curtains
Whenever he muted the telly.

James decided to get out of the house
And to help him get a grip
He decided to go shopping
But when he looked down at his list
It said:

59 hoodies
11 Electric plugs
52 Alarm clocks
122 pairs of earmuffs
160 torches
117 blackened goggles
132 stress positions
39 enforced nakednesses

And by this stage he realised
That perhaps he ought to see someone.
But instead of seeing a journalist
Or the Swedish King of wikileaks
He went and saw a military psychiatrist
Who charged him a lot to let him speak
On a one-off profit plus! contract
James ended asking the same question
Week after week -
Do you think I'm crazy?
What does all this mean?
The doctor replied:
"Of course you're not crazy,
It's just your mind is very ill,
I'll tell one part of it to ignore another part -
Here - take one of these little pills
They're only one pound ten each
And if you take one
Every three hours
Every day
For the rest of your life
(Or until you die,
Whichever is longer)
You'll be fine.

Meanwhile,
The dance continued to be taught
Like capoeira on a foreign-office team-building course
On the art of interrogation
The alpha-tango
Aimed at prisoners of war.
But the footsteps of karma
Where circling once more
And the base back at Shaiba
(Near Basra. In Iraq?)
Was once more withdrawn
This time to the airport
Along with other UK forces.

Now relatives of the victims
Both at home and abroad
And those most susceptible
To empathy's ill-considered force
Were planning to divert the dance -
Divert the Dance!
Divert the Dance
with Demo Dances,
Demo Dances!
Demo Dances!

Then it was the turn of the politicians
To work their magic of popular logisticians
By answering the questions no one has asked
Like are we human or are we just dancers?
We are just humans
Doing democracy's dance
Democracy's Dance
Democracy's dance with
(cough, cough).

And the news reporters
With their sleep-deprived goggles
Reported in such detail
As to make one's mind boggle
Each step, each move and each deliberate error
Of democracy's dance
Democracy's dance
Democracy's dance
With Terror.

(To be Continued... on the BBC)
james nordlund Aug 2018
As they broke their bread for Lent, TrumputiN's team, hellbent,
Contrived a way to derive from the ripping apart of 3000 Latino
Families, an unending flow of your tax dolla's to predominently
Republican manned anti-immigration agencies, it should make you
Wanna holla, they called it 'zero tolerance', just to throw
All off the scent, and muddy the term's use hence, the white
Supremacy for the Black, in ebony and ivory's working together
In perfect harmony, to do away with 'zero tolerance' in schools,
To increase the amount of crime delinquent kids get done before
They're justifiably kicked out, same old, same old, tragically.

RumputiN got donations from one private prison corp, that got
A 200 million $ contract to house the kids, the involved Fed
Agencies then discriminated against families with kids by
Targeting them for family ripping on our South Western border.
These kids were caged, continually shuttled around at early
Morning hours so they'd be noticed less, were given no way
To contact relatives, their parents almost no way to contact
Them, the 'tender age' kids, 8 months old and up, not given
Humane necessary professsional care, etc., which will dictate
Lifelong traumatic effects, and deep psychological problems.

The courts continually order deadlines by which "these families
Must be reunited", but the altright universe invaders working
For trumpler continually miss them, and project genocidal lies
Like, "hundreds of these kids are ineligible to be reunited
With their parents", most parents having been deported already,
Even though a large % were legally asking for asylum at our
Border, this is genocidal and illegal internationally, there
Are no "ineligible" to be together innocent kids and parents,
When will prumptutin's genocide of Latinos, escalation of the
Oligarchy's class war against lower-middle-class to poor, end?

The gov't criminally dictated that "if they want to see their
Kids again they have to sign away their rights and leave", etc.,
Atrocities against these poor souls and groups like the ACLU,
While doing their best to remedy the abuses against them, our
Compadres, they, while not funded by the gov't, are mocked by
RumputiN, and he projects that "they should reunite families",
Instead of the gov't agencies who ripped them apart.  At least
The judges are deligently expressing the entirety of the fault
For these atrocities lies with the **** crime family's flocks
Of felons, and they must rectify it now, when will they?!?!?
When will the prosecutions of them use the REICO Statute,
And thereby, stop being elaborate cover-ups, giving out immunity

To dozens of organized criminals, while only incarcerating
A few.  Who is dense enough to not see through the smoke, mirrors,
Song, dance of the show that must go on's politic theatre macabre
Of the global oligarchy's cover up of itself?  Who is not knowing
That Mueller, who was part of the elite of the repub conspiracy
That purposely didn't prevent attacks on 9-11-01, during king
George and his ****, cheney's reign on the American way of life,
Is part of the intelligence industrial complex's 2016 invisible
Coup during, and hacking of, the presidential election, resulting
In RumputiN's installation in the Blackhouse ('cause once you go
Black you never go back), as well as the continual cover-up?  

Who, that comey, alone, could have been responsible for non-repubs
Loss of the Presidency, and now the supremacy court, especially if
The dems don't stop a kavanaugh vote before the midterms that are
Near?  Who ..., that most of the supposed "school shootings", acts
Of terror, targeting future non-repub leaders, are engineered, timed
And executed by the crimnal repub conspiracy that must be prosecuted
Using the REICO Statute also, who ..., that ebony and ivory, the
Black and white supremacies, working together in perfect harmony,
As are all 21 flavors of our baskin + robbins of supremacies, are
Struggling to mass-****** a million Americans, liquidating the ases
And assets of the masses, and calling it legislation, like ****** did
Before his "final solution", who, that the American daymare must end?
When's Mueller going to be done with his elaborate cover-up (he's purposely not using the REICO Statute that should be, and is necessary), he's giving immunity to a dozen republican criminal conspiracy felons while only prosecuting, convicting, pleading out a few, before or after RumputiN's visible coup steals the midterms?  If you didn't vote for Hillary, you voted for RumputiN.  "...We(e),..." must protect the vote, vote early, GOTV, and protect the results more than ever, before the country gets used to being drunk on democracy's backslider's wine.  Also: All threads in the fabric of life are needed; "..we(e),...", can't allow it to be torn asunder.  Mothers are that which society builds on, their needs are all of ours; and necessary to meet.  "...Suffer the children...", from the Bible, didn't mean cause the kids suffering; when will remocrats, and even some dempublicans (dinos and DinoS), stop doing most everything asbackwards?   reality
jeffrey conyers Jun 2013
Memories.
Sweet memories.
Well, least to me.

Like the first puppy I ever had as a child.
Who played like he was a baby child?
Who knock you down?
When you were  running around.

Yes, memories.
Sweet happy memories.

Memories.
Yes, yes those good memories.
When you first see your mother smile.
Or hear the first words of understanding from your child.

Or time spend with your dad.
A bond that's so different than being with your mother.
Especially, if you're a male child.

We all have them.
Even , if they just dormant.
You might think they are gone.
I guarantee you.
You would be totally wrong.

Oh, memories.
That arises during certain occasion.
Some sad that eventually makes you smile.
Especially, if the one you thinking about isn't around.

Yes, memories.
Sweet , sweet memories.
For grandparents, parents and all relatives of a child.

Graduation.
First job.
Marriage.
Birth.
Death, which always hurt.
Divorce, especially if you didn't have a choice.

Friends.
Which sometimes comes, from enemies that many once were.
Yes, these are memories.
Sweet memories.

Like a photograph book.
Which is way different than an image on a phone.
You can turn through pages quicker.
To get to the picture you want.

Even, if you've been hurt.
If you look past the pain.
You'll find only good standing before your face.
gemma may Jun 2013
Depression, is a concession of unstable chemicals made from the memories of cruel intentions,
My life is still here plodding along..
But only I hear the sound of my own thoughts like an annoying repetitive song.
I hear that little voice, calm down it says! stop filling your stupid head,
with anxiety a lack of self motivation and such a thing as recreation, only self interrogation and constant *******.
I think of ways of ending it.. A rope around my neck?... or a cocktail of prescribed drugs?
I try to find help but no one is willing or the nhs has started billing,
I blame society and the burning of the bras,
things were simpler with our evolutionary past.
Nothing is moving I am stuck,
I feel useless and out of so called ambitious luck.
My patience is wearing and poignant preparations, is it really that necessary?
I just can't be fckd!
Move on, try again and again.
Run away!...
But financially there is no escape!
The cruel beatings,
the childhood ruined by my selfish relatives and a man I fell pregnant with.
Take away the memories..
please take them away before I cry the tears from the river of blood and pain.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2015
sample precursor: there are three binding directions of a chemical group (e.g. CH3) to the benzene ring - the ortho-, the meta- and the para-... but i'll ask a different question: what is copernican north what is copernican east a copernican west or a copernican west without a "flat-earth" / how else to read / navigate a 2D map going from point (a) via vector (c) to point (b) along the short-cut of the hypotenuse - which, isn't a short-cut, but the logical conclusion of walking neither the middle path nor the right path, but the logical path? we're no astronauts... we didn't see the proof... we can only entertain the "idea" of a 3D object we live on, but we're still strapped to a "flat earth" in order to navigate... endless stories of how GPS tech. fooled people off the edge of a cliff... "flat earth" is no reverse psychology ploy... i'm no ******* astronaut... i never stood left right or center on the moon to have the foggiest sense of admiration for that awe-balancing moment that leaves so many deluded in it being otherwise: first come first served, last come: what's there's to serve that last man if not merely the drudge-report of a commute? besides... trans- and cis-, why are people borrowing from chemistry and attaching gender to what is exlusive to chemical compounds? look at them... pop chemistry... cis-trans isomerism... fine, let these people have that... my new n.e.w.s. (north, east, west, south): orthography, something clearly missing in the anglophone world (no diacritical markers, i and j do not count)... ergo? orthography = east... paranormal = west... since the west is obsessed with either aliens or hush-hush military projects... now... both north and south are meta- coordinates... on the basis, on the basis of what? two words really work well to establish a foundation: from ars poetica? metaphor (borrowed from a change of mind - meta- and -phren - mind, a change of mind, all mental illnesses are changes of the mind, alternatives to alleviate the stranglehold of the commune of the greater picture known as society)... but... there's also metaphysics... which is in the interest of philosophy... how else not to explain the obvious, how else to treat both the reader / audience as the well informed genius(es) but mistreat them as would be grander genius(es) if the socratic endeavour of "pretense ignorance" was not to be established? it's a hard juggle... east is already well established in orthography, west in paranomal... literally: metaphor - a change of mind, literally metaphysics - a change of groundwork physicality of things... a rock remains a rock in either "heaven" or in "hell"... metaphysically there seems to be a direct translation... this is why i'm terrible at crosswords, this whole puzzle structure of either working from a direct definition to the word itself, some random geographical posists, some historical posits, some outdated out-of-vogue words related to specified period idiosyncracy, a tinge of the therausus... my current crossword is an interchange: meta-phor, meta-physics, meta-phot, meta-physics and on and on it goes: even with the isolated prefix of meta-, if i return to the words: as they are... would: denoting a change of thinking (state of mind) or... denoting a change of physics, i'm met with metaphysics, i.e.: a branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles... sounds like a priori physics, yet all i can fathom if i wrestle this word to its casual use: isn't it a posteriori physics?! the what comes after physics? i should think that most people understand metaphysics on an a posteriori basis rather than an a priori basis... hence the question: what happens when we die? last time i checked: death happens last... birth happens first... any question-worthiness (according to heidegger) should begin at: the beginning rather than begin at the end, in the same way that all questions should be sought in a medium of predating the dates of events, rather than with a spirit of hindsight, hindsight belongs to the "what if" of history in that dynamism of expressed time... on the canvas of an infinitely expanding space: we seem to be riddled by a very cul de sac concept / expression of time: our quill - given that ****** didn't learn from napoleon when it came to russia... perhaps finding out what copernicus found out: "we" figured: get me off this ******* celestial carousel where i can't even feel the dizzy immediate of a ferris wheel! again: i'm terrible at crosswords, sudoku? no problem... but words: if not gushing out of me, waiting like a lizard predator for a linear narrative spew? count me out... i don't play with words, i use words... i'm a wordsmith, hence the ethnic origin denote: słowianin: slav - i don't know where these west-saxon punks derived their etymology from: słowo = word... *****-liquor juice teens thought it was: oh fo' sho' smart... still: metaphor, metaphysics... metaphor... metaphysics... disgruntled with the immediate compound readied for pop use... meta-physics... the vector is the prefix... why do philosophers push metaphysics so much, but in turn rely on the crutch of metaphor? to change their mind, if metaphysics is an abstract theory with no basis in reality, then the schizoid / metaphorical mind is an abstract in an abstracted theory of the mind - which has "no" knowledge of reality, or rather: "reality" excludes such a mind from ever absorbing an expression in it... a schizophrenic can't explain the reality of a person who can solve crossword puzzles... just as someone who solves crossword puzzles with a fear of alzheimer's: who treats the fatty tissue that's the brain as a muscle... given that the cells of alzheimer's disease are killer proteins... proteins as the antithesis of white blood-cells that feed of fat tissue... after all: what else could the brain be if not fat and water? slow burner... first the sugars, then the more complex carbohydrates, then the fat: last? the proteins... the process of starvation... you want up? you want down? again: metaphysics / metaphor... ta meta ta phusika... the things after the physics... so what's with the inverted: prior things? hence people associated a life after death... hence how philosophers have to escape into the poetic realm to quickly change their minds on the definition... a change of mind is much easier than a change of what physicality entails... most spew metaphors but keep on course... after all: given the genesis of the metaphor, a metaphor is just a tool, a humble stop-off pause... born from humble poetics: it's only a literary tool, it's not some grand pillar of morality associated metaphysics, which nonetheless dictates: first principles come last and last principles come first... here's my crossword puzzle: metaphor, metaphysics, meta-alpha, meta-beta, metaphor and the meta-alpha, metaphysics and the meta-beta... etc. etc., i will not solve this crossword puzzle, even though it doesn't look like a crossword puzzle... it's a narrative crossword puzzle, i'm just looking for the sort of fixed point people associate with prime words: red, left, blue, right, up, fox, dog... words of readied vocabulary, readied vocabulary dissociated from puzzled vocabulary... i want to established a fixed permanence of the dissociated close proximity grounded in the meta- prefix of the words meta-phor and, meta-physics... i'm starting to find this impossible, given how the words have dissociated themselves from the grounding in the meta- prefix... phor alias phren (mind) and the whole gush of isolated metaphysics of beginnings: meta a priori vs. meta a posteriori - and of course: meta a- apriori... hell if i can't solve crossword puzzles: since i already have a crossword puzzle in my head... what am i to do? try writing pop?! a dog does what his master orders, a jester tells a joke his king would find amusing... i'll just treat this enclave of an audience as a bunch of people subscribed to ulterior forms of voyeurism (dissociated from pain / pleasure gratification, esp. that of a ****** nature).

.you know like in latin you had the interchangeable tongue twisters æ and œ? well... english resurrected one more... au... oh stralia... auntie; ******* hell i've been speaking this since aged ate and i still can't get my tongue into that phonetic plughole... or what's that onomatopoeia for: it really hurts? awe... nah... aw... aw... well no cute kitten about to say aww.

well it began with the usual... i wish i didn’t...
sitting in the autumnal garden
drinking coffee and eating a nicotine croissant,
watching the fog recede into nothing
while the earth showed its naked cleavage
after what seems like centuries of arcane dryness
befitting a story of an egyptian idol...
then the panic set in...
what to cook?! what to cook?!
my mother is away visiting her parents in poland,
who celebrate the feast of all saints with the usual
tackle formidable in poland:
forget the paris fashion week, forget the london fashion week...
forget the next gucci advert...
all the action happens in poland’s annual all saints’ fashion week...
through the cemetery (ahem) cat walks
(more like death on rollerblades donning a tutu
and looking fatter than size 0 models)...
because that’s when the fur coats are worn,
the make-up is heavier and everyone comes
to discuss the materialistic jealousy of a small town...
it is a small town after all...
death knocks with all the nine cat’s lives just to prove
the point...
anyway, so i’m the head chef, and in panic
i search for a recipe... i’ve only got pork on the ready
in the recognisable frozen state...
but i also have shrimps... tiger prawns...
so i look through the usual suspects... thai green curry...
ah ****! no coconut milk!
what’s it going to be? prawn korma curry
(better mild than hot i say, with all this maple syrup
and honey colours about... talk about decay),
active ingredients? chilli powder (1/2 tsp), cinnamon
(1/2 tsp), turmeric (1/2 tsp) and ground almonds (2 tbsp),
there ready... looking suntanned my gorgeous twirls of seabed manure...
enough to spare my father making himself sandwiches (i always
disguised my “dyslexia” by associations... sandy witches...
the t broke the barriers and the floods entered)...
with toasted nannies / au pairs... relatives of some sort...
then onto writing my father’s invoices:
project plaistow hospital and some housing development near
the city airport... beckton we call it... backwards and forwards
stink crowned with drinkers regurgitating on the pave...
now that is a *******... recycling centre or horse manure?
then to tesco... for the nightcap...
oddly enough tesco has become a friend of mine once more,
i divorced the turkish shop, they added 10 pence to the polish beers,
now i’m on the sedative medication of this bottle bavaria beer
and whiskey... 1 quid for the former... 10 quid for the latter -
i’ve sold my soul! never mind...
then to the beacon that’s home... it’s night... it’s spooky...
it’s essex: that non-touristy place in england people with passports
never dare to visit, shambles.
well one thing came out true... none of the above though:
you ever consider the theory of the aeroplane syndrome in writers?
you know, like with rock stars you get the full package,
you get the aeroplane and the retrieved delay of the engine mushroom,
but with poetry (which is competing with music,
philosophers just wait in that queue for the cheese, wink, whine and wrinkle)
you only get the sound... that delayed mushroom...
you see the poet but never hear him...
it’s a typical delusion i’d call parallel or even adjacent to narcissism,
you walk down the street and the closest you come
to someone recognising you is a stranger uttering out: ‘hey richard!’
‘name’s matt mate.’
‘oh... sorry.’
it’s this aeroplane syndrome theory... it’s perfectly acceptable...
you have the image but don’t have the delayed sound...
you have the delayed sound... but you only get a photograph...
you have the english national health service mental health unit crisis...
and then you have people shunning intellectualism
trying to cure people by burning / not reading philosophical books;
the day ends with drinking and reading
an article about keith richard’s antics in the sunday times’ supplement
and the thought: well i gave her a stabbing chance
at feminism... she thought the active ingredient in anti-contraception
pills was placebo... she phoned and gave birth to me...
i said abort... you’re no post-teen mum at university, you won’t be...
******* was great but i’m not that much of a match from a cosmopolitan magazine quiz
(as duly taken on my way from st. pestersburg to moscow to see
metallica play), plus there are no roofing jobs in scotland...
the scots have mountains already... there’s no point building
scratched sky skylines with mountain ranges nearby...
so even though i went to a catholic school...
i did my first redemptive act by reading about gnostic heretics...
and not getting confirmed being the second...
i would have not taken first communion... but playing the xylophone
at the nativity play was too much fun...
plus it is the only salvador dali bit of the story...
after that you have st. sebastian...
plus you see where this is going... the greeks translated
the tetragrammaton into the gospels
of st. matthew, luke, mark and john...
and the romans were duped into the legality of
things... first name, second name, confirmation name...
surname.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
We’d been to concert at the Town Hall. It was a Saturday night and still early for a Saturday Night Out. So many people on the streets. The girls barely dressed, the boys bouncing around in t-shirts. Older people threaded along the pavements walking purposefully, but ‘properly’ dressed, and now making their way, as we were, for the station.

I know He noticed her because He stopped, momentarily. We were holding hands. He loves to hold my hand. That evening I remember squeezing his hand firmly as if to say how pleased I was He was here and I was not walking to the station alone. I have done this, walking to the station alone, so often. It is good to have someone close at such times, someone to talk to about the performance, the music, what is going on around us. We walked right past them.

I noticed the man first and then the child. He was very tall, very dark, wearing a black leather jacket I think. He was not scruffy so much as untidy, dark and untidy, with curly hair that did not know a comb. He was busking. He sang an incomprehensible song in a language I didn’t recognize, playing an electric guitar plugged into a small amplifier by his feat. He turned from side to side as he sang as though looking for an audience. I remember his trainers and the soft guitar case open on the pavement with a smattering of coins. Then, this child.

Over the last two days I’ve examined the scene in my memory. I’ve sought to recall as much as I can about this little girl. She was not that little I think for her age, perhaps seven or eight. Stocky. Thick golden brown hair. A sensible skirt covering her knees, a fawn jumper with some sparkly decoration. Tights or long socks perhaps. Proper shoes. I keep examining my mind’s photo. What I recall most vividly was her large smiling eyes and her expression. This is my daddy, it said. He’s singing and I’m here looking after him. I’m his smiley girl here on the city street. It’s late. Other children back home would be in bed, but I’m here smiling at the people passing.

Yesterday we talked about this couple, the little girl mostly. He brought the subject up. He’d been thinking about her too. He’d been puzzling over the two of them. As a pair they seemed so physically different, hardly father and daughter. It was the (possible) daughter’s gaze, her twinkling eyes that had spoken to him - as they had spoken to me. This is my daddy, those eyes and that smiley face had said. And she was holding a bear.

Why did I not mention the bear until now? Of course, she was holding her bear. She had both arms around her bear. She was hugging her bear to herself. It was a mild evening for March – she wore no coat. He looked a good bear, not too old or small, not the kind of bear she’d been given in infancy, perhaps recently acquired but well-loved, well-hugged. A bear that seemed entirely right for her age, for her slightly old fashioned clothes. The sort of clothes I might have worn as a child. I think of a photo of me at that age dressed in a Cloth-Kits dress, with an Alice band, with glasses and lots of curly hair.  

He said ‘I’ve been wondering about the two of them. Did they have a home? Where would they go to when it became late?’ Was there a mother? Was she working somewhere on that Saturday night and the father had to take the girl. Was she wearing her best clothes? She looked OK. A glowing, healthy face, a face that reflected the bright, coloured lights of the city street.’

Suddenly, I realised there were tears in his eyes. I thought, He is imagining a story. He is imagining a story of this seven year old who should have been tucked up in bed with her bear, like my little boy with his blue blanket. He was imagining her life., her past in some Eastern European town, where she went to school, where she had friends and relatives, where she had been born and brought up, and been loved. And now the girl was here in this not so distant city. Perhaps illegally, without the papers, smuggled in as so many are. Her father, swarthy, even a tinge of the Roma perhaps, but she so different. It was the golden brown hair. Thick hair, a ribbon tied in it. A pink ribbon.

He had thought of his little girl, now fifteen, only when she was that age, seven. Oddly similar in some ways, the thick hair, the smiley face, a different but ever present bear, an infant’s bear, not a bear she’d take with her except in a bag. A bear not to be seen with at seven, but loved.

‘I’ll call her Katya,’ He said. The girl, not the bear.

And later He did. Every few days He would mention her – just in passing. ‘Do you think Katya’s  at school today?’ ‘I was in the city this afternoon, but I didn’t see Katya.’

He wrote about her and her father. A little story. I haven’t read it. He just told me He’d written it; He’d thought of following them in his imagination. He was a little embarrassed telling me this, and He didn’t offer to show me the story, which is unusual because when He mentions He’s written something He usually does. And so I wonder. I wonder how long this memory will stay with him and whether He will follow this couple (and her bear) into the future, create a story for them to live in.

Perhaps it will bring him the peace He does not have. The peace I try to give him when He is with me at home and we sit in my little house, at my table eating toast with Marmite after I’ve been out late whilst He’s sat on my settee and read – in peace at being in my home. I know He feels cast adrift from his family and He can’t be part of mine, yet a while. Perhaps it’s like being in another country. Perhaps He thinks, at least that busker had his child with him, his shining star, his ever-smiley girl.

Yet He is thinking of his smiley girl, smiley still at fifteen, still loving her dad despite what He’s done, despite the fact that she sees him so seldom. Despite the fact that He is only occasionally with her, and she knowing I, his lover, his young woman, his companion and friend, has captured his heart and thoughts.

I think of Katya too. I think of my older girl, so loved and circled about with love and admiration by her respective families and our friends. She is so special and so beautiful, as I was special at eleven, as I think I was beautiful at eleven, just on the brink of that transformation that will take her towards becoming a teenager – and the rest.  

We were lying in bed the Saturday morning before seeing Katya and I was telling him about my childhood. He’d asked me about zebra finches. Walking in his nearby park He had admired their bright red beaks in the park’s newly-restored aviary. I told him about a parrot in a park close to my childhood home, a parrot I passed as I went to school. I described for him my walk to school, meeting up with my friends, passing the parrot. I know how happy it made him to hear me talk about such things. He said so later, embracing me in the kitchen. ’I so love to hear you talk about your childhood.’ I could feel he was moved to say this. It was important. I realised then just how deeply he loved me. That it was important. That he imagined me as a child. That He wanted to know that part of me. He’s rarely asked about the stuff in between. Of my former lovers I’ve said a little. He has said a little about his past liaisons and affaires, but knows I am uncomfortable when he does. So we leave this. But childhood, That’s so different, because it is that precious, precious time of shelter and care: when we begin to discover who we are and who and what we love.

Where is Katya now? In a messy room she shares with her parents in a house shared with economic migrants, where she has a few belongings in three plastic bags. In one, her best clothes she wears to stand on the city street on a Saturday night with her daddy. In another a jumble of not so clean clothes she rotates each day. She has her sleeping bag, her bear, her warm coat and gloves. There’s a few magazines she’s found about the house. English is puzzling. She learnt a little at school back home, and from the TV of course, those American soaps. If she was here in my house I would stand her in the shower, wash her thick hair, put her clothes in the machine, sit her on my bed in my daughter’s clothes with some picture books, introduce her to my cats, we would bake some buns. I would give her a small gift of my love to take away with her and she would look on me with her smiley face, her sparkling eyes and let me hold her bear.

And later when I saw him I would tell him that Katya had been with me for a little, and tears would fall, mine and his, knowing that only in our dreams could we make this so.
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)

It is the 30th day of the months in Kenya
State and corporate capitalist have now paid their workers
Wages or salaries or stipends or emoluments all being remunerations
While the rural bourgeoisie and urban bourgeoisie have also paid ex-gratia
To relatives come over-aged workers who have declined retiring
For the fear of looming starvation if at all they go home, where they were born,
Nonetheless; proceed they receive will do nothing whatsoever
As it will be stifled by the monster of desperate consumerism;
So fat and gullible in this tiger of land in the region called Kenya;
The terror peddling rent, courtesy of ruthlessness of the landlord
Bills of electric power in their full monopolistic gear
Bills of water devoid of quality, indifferent dysentery monger
Wages for maid who keep on usurping the food of my child; milk
Bills for gas, all of it redolent of comprador bourgeoisie in fashion,
Hotel and bar bill - a surreptious one, as the bar girl only knows
Airtime and renewal, TV channels and other screen capitalistic ploys
Family trip to local resort in a feat of foolish consumerist venture,
Money to the old mother at home and, sometimes depraved but patient father
ARV’s money to my *** aids stricken sister at the village, my aunt also
Tuition fees for my son at the kindergarten, who goes to schools but learns nothing
fees balance which my wife has to pay at the tailor to ransom out her dress,
M-Pesa and M-Swari loan repayment, this only for Kenyan 30th dayers
They know the agony of dealing with Kenyan mega-capitalist safaricom ltd.
This consumerism and **** consumerism,
It is the menacing bane of the Kenyan poor
It is the avaricious tube which siphons back
The hard earned money from pockets of the poor
Back to despotic account of the pitiless world pigshotry.
Jake Jul 2014
I thought to myself as I watched lightning dance across the sky north of my town.
"They must be getting really pounded up there."
But where I stood it was dry and no lightning threatened my light night walk.
So I carried on.
I never really plan these walks, I've never wanted to.
And there is no doubt in my mind.
That everyone I know spots me from time to time.
Old friends, relatives to whom I rarely speak, the black lipped girl I used to write about.
And sometimes I wonder what they think of me as I walk along.
But then my mind jumps away to other thoughts.
And its not even that I don't care which is usually the case.
It's just because on my walks I never go backwards.
Hal Loyd Denton Jul 2013
Dedicated in part to Iva and Terry and their ever lasting love

First to describe what it is made from and then what it ultimately is and what it means
I will just be able to give description in part it is too great for any one person to do justice to it I choose
To use what some may call and object used in ceremony by unlearned superstitious people but you will
See this has none of that going on but I ‘am hunting big game in that regard maybe you are setting in a
Chair in your house apartment yes but also you are on a planet suspended in space a space that an
un manned space ship Voyager is on a trip of exploration one day it will pass from our galaxy the Milky
Way and go into many galaxies but it will never come to an end because its journey is carrying it into
Infinity one of the stars is a hundred times bigger than earth they are more numerous than the sand on
The sea shore but it is said that God knows them each and every one by name David said we are
Fearfully and wonderfully made my point is we are spirit and flesh the flesh perishes daily but the spirit
Is Renewed daily this all goes into the qualities and perfected ingredients that make up the amulet I’ am
Writing about here is a couple of human examples this is what can happen when you see the real truth
About the body and spirit Dr Albert Schweitzer was from High German society his credentials include
Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician, and medical missionary and his home was in a safari tent
In the African jungle one of his many visitors was the actor Hugh O’Brian after this meeting Hugh went
Back home and sold his big pretentious car bought a used one and modeled his life after Schweitzer this
Great man came to realize what he really was not the outer that passes away but he was immortal and
Understood solidly what that meant our trouble with the Arabs is their identity problem they fret at
Deadly levels about the glories of the past and what as a nation they contributed in mathematics
Language now they reproach themselves and then the disgraceful aspect they are ruled by the west
Again they should take pride in their heritage and within the frame work of the given reality they could
Be great benefactors through the oil riches that were put in their hands and by changing their moral
Compass to the spirit they could amaze the modern world and the other human content in this amulet it
Can’t be discussed without bringing Lincoln into it from the humblest beginnings he became a towering
Giant his words blaze with grandeur significance and other worldly wisdom when it happened I don’t
Know while swinging an axe or while reading by candle light he fused his small life into the great current
That is flowing eternal his accomplishments superceded that of his backwoodsman’s life by eons I finish
With that part of the amulets fascinating qualities now if I follow what I discussed with my wife which
Was so painful several times I was interrupted by tears and was not able to be audible one of the things
Was widowhood I speak in particular about Iva recently certain influences have passed into my life it
Plays out here dreams joys love is unquestionably the most powerful force we can ever know I
Tried to lay the ground work that the flesh is limited but by the spirit we can now and in the future will
Override the sad state of affairs of living in this body that imprisons us restricts us because
We are now in this physical life there was a great quotation of course out of date now because of
Refrigeration but it said God gave us memories so we could have roses in December this I do know that
Spiritual connection does exist between us and our lost loved ones but that the flesh is so dense
And insensitive the connection is poorly or nonexistent my words speak of the beauty of the spirit
Nothing is impossible to it so we have to reconnect the broken by imagination my unaltered thought it
Will always be this truth what was will always be its Ida birthday this week the room only glows slightly
The music is soft and from eternal shadows Terry steps forth this magical moment is provided by purist
Love they join in tender embrace the flood of years together and apart breaks over them it’s like he only
Left moments ago Terry has lost little things that use to bug her but now there are new ones look at
Him not one thing has changed except all that is better but he got that way by divine aid on the other
Hand she has grown into this beautiful woman of grace and softness that glows with character it’s his
Time to be envious but she knows she got that way by doing it one day at a time love tumbles down a
Richer measure than the music can ever do new promise is born deep within each heart that was
Beating Stronger the longing ever so briefly was short circuited in powerful arms he seemed to carry her
On air as they swayed to other worldly rhythms there isn’t a clock where love is concerned because love
Is timeless it is placed on a steadfast but oh so flimsy when it comes to physical endurance if we were
Only able to see love as God sees it is it not the shimmering living picture that is from the bottom of the
Floor to the ceiling within is the telling vibrancy a currency more valuable than all others nothing else
Can take two very different lives and create one that streams bliss and longing a selflessness that stirs
And moves hearts to heights of appreciation a otherwise place of only rumor and place of tall tales but
Here between two people cherished thoughts are visible touching and powerful built by stones hewn
From quarries that reach back before time and have a future that is without end building materials of
Feeling emotion faith and honor all else would only be fables nothing could be that sure and have
Such endurance pillars of fire that burns and its end is in purification the arching unfamiliar to one
Looking from the outside but for the two in the center when the countenance of another can melt you
With a look and when eyes are locked together has the power to make the whole world fall away
Nothing else exists or should exist love has a bridge unseen the other side holds spectacle splendor
Fulfillment laughter romance announced in royal castles on the highest hills not even the richest can
Purchase what Terry and Iva have it is secure guarded and promised by He who is all love widowhood is
A robber but his plunder is of truth but the riches outweigh this temporal division and though
Sorrow as keen as it is makes loss into wellsprings where denial exists then courses unknown open and
You love the departed even more than before ever greater waves reach that other shore you have
Heaven then you feel this rapturous deep wave’s made noble by the caldron that has tears that over
Time Become far more valuable than diamonds and swells of emotional dreaming of a future day all that
We long for in life are constant gift to the departed these truths are mighty in force between Terry and
Iva for her birthday visit and the sweetness of parting with the statement see you ihasta manana in
English it means see tomorrow the tomorrow that now are seen through tears but then joy and rapture
Hugs will be without this divide the surging racing of the most clear and beautiful river will be surging in
Our hearts your hardship is harder than mine because I dwell in pure love and you must contend with
Human l life that isn’t clear and free thoughts are muted where here they burst and grow as you are
Taking in a great harvest where on earth you must be content with a small garden here your forehead is
Always shining for two reasons such wondrous thoughts occur continuously and His glory shines from
The throne brighter than the noon day sun when you walk in the sunshine and it touches you know that
Part of it is me touching you it can’t be as powerful as when its starts because earth regrettably has
A diffuse system so see it as when I use to kiss you tenderly if I didn’t say it I was saying thank you
For being mine and that you will be mine forever now that is half true be well my beloved my eyes are
Ever on you as the French say not goodbye but Au revoir it means till we see each other again and I do
Know all the languages and French is the language of love in my mind you appear in all the loveliest
Places in Arabian nights on the shore of the St. Guadalupe River that has the most shinning waters like
Your smile that is like day light dawning or in the lovely foots hills of the Sierra Nevada the Brazos River
Country because with you in them they are the picture of my beloved rest with the peaceful knowledge
It won’t be long now I have it on good account now the streets of gold then the gold in the streets will
Blend with our golden hearts which we refined in life and death by the High blaze we truly gave up all
That tarnished the gold now only the purist golden love is all that remained I love you

I had to stop writing last night around two I got to sleepy I had to delete a half a page it was just like
Writing a report it was lifeless when I came back to write I prayed that Christ would cleanse me with his
Blood so what I write would be truly pure it worked because I was broken by tears hard to see the keys
That way but I wouldn’t write any other way now the amulet grows dark because it is a living reality stop
Here if you are easily wounded I wrote already about my home Fremont California in night thoughts I
Described the shooting death of a teenager on a bike in broad day light a distance up the street we lived
On just because he was Mexican and just a week later a Mexican mother missed her ride at midnight to
Go an work at a nursing home her teenage daughter went worth her because she was afraid I know the
Place this happened very dark a man I say a man he had human features let say he got out of his car
Picked up a fallen tree limb and beat them both to death as they screamed into the cell phone to their
Helpless relatives yes the amulet shows a dark ominous Black like an ink well was knocked over and the
Ink rushed over the face your reaction is disbelief stunned a disconnection occurs that same thing
Happened before but on a grander scale in the garden when our first parents fell the same thing
Happened a darkness covered the globe leaving natural light unaffected but men and women’s minds
Were darkened they could do everything as before but they could only practice unrighteous acts as seen
When Cain slew righteous Abel there was a way to connect and do right but like to day most just strayed
farther and farther from true right living only the coming of the pure one that would be slain and by this
Sacrifice only could you have your mind freed and you by the spirit can walk free and please the most
Holy one He was beaten to the point you could only tell He was human because He stood upright and
Had limbs it was brutal but that was the cost to purge the vile disease we all suffer from that bleeding
Broken lamb was taken from that cross and His resurrection cast a new light over the whole earth the
Amulet glowed take cotton white clouds white snow and your getting how white and pure the amulet
Became this is in the heart of every soul that is redeemed it is the Holy Spirit it is shining and will shine
Into that perfect day don’t continue without it you rob your own soul of everything that is clean and
Decent and it will fill that ache in the heart that desires something all those that chase the next drug
High or the next conquest of another human how pathetic and it grinds those that practice it into a
Powder of Shame and guilt and a destination that only will end in flames why would anyone be that
Careless with Their own soul when there is a Heavenly Amulet waiting for you
For this years Thanksgiving, I have decided to focus on developing a sense of gratitude. The world is full of real bad stuff happening to too many people and its easy to let the darkness of our times cast long shadows of resentment, anger and ill will over our outlook on life. So today as I travel to a relatives home to gather for our national day of thankfulness I choose to leave resentments at home and cultivate a sense of gratitude.

I’m grateful for my eyes. My sight allows me to perceive the million graces The Almighty abundantly confers upon the inhabitants of the good earth each and every day. My eyes help me to discover the pressing needs of others and respond to it. My eyes help me to discern light from darkness, distinguish the forest from the trees and eschew pedestrian views to behold a beautiful vista. My eyes are a pathway to my soul moving me to contemplate the good, forsake the bad and move against evil in service to truth.

I’m grateful for my ears. The grace of hearing permits me to listen. My ears alert me to the cries of my brothers and sisters and enables me to understand our shared human condition. My ears tune my spirit to the chords of exquisite music and the natural symphonies of Mother Earth’s angelic chorus of singing birds, heaving oceans, the majestic pause of silent mountains and the fleeting rush of the swelling wind are all divine voices singing the joyful hymns of life.

I’m thankful for my sense of smell. Graciously my nose breathes in the inviting aroma of a lovingly prepared home cooked meal, the wholesome scent of baking bread wafting from the door of the corner bakery, a briny snort from the boundless sea, the rich compost of the deep woods after a soft summer rain, the bouquet of an infants hair and the perfume of a lovers embrace.

I give thanks for my ability to touch. Hands engaged in productive work and gainful employment is a blessing absent from too many Thanksgiving Day tables this year. We yearn to connect and the sense of touch invites our ability to feel. Feeling is the father of empathy and the mother of compassion. Caring for our animal friends we live in communion with all sentient beings.  As we touch one another and allow others to touch us; the hardest of hearts is softened, the most grievous wounds are healed to liberate the sensual yearnings dwelling in the deepest recesses of ourselves. Feeling allows us to become fully present, fully aware and fully alive in the celebration of what it means to be fully human.

I’m thankful for my sense of taste. As Sinatra croons “from the brim to the dregs” the wine of our lives may not all taste good but it all flows clear and true. Sample, savor and learn. Taste and see the glories of the Lord’s banquet so abundantly placed before us. The bitter herbs, the sweet cakes, the leisure repast, the fortifying meal and unrequited hunger is the daily bread of being human.  Pause to consider those that are lining up for the tenth Thanksgiving Day meal in Afghanistan and Iraq and pray that the awful rations of war fed to our young soldiers be supplanted with the good manna of peace.

Perhaps we loose our sense of gratitude because expectations of ourselves and others always seems to come up short of the mark. Imperfection is our most endearing quality. It informs our ability to forgive transgressions, form bonds of friendship and unconditionally love each other. I remain grateful for the sense of my imperfection as I overlook your imperfections and remain ever hopeful that you  will extend your hand to help me overcome mine.

Happy Thanksgiving.

You Tube Video: Jean Ritchie, Shady Grove
originally posted in 2011...
I want to thank the HP community for your kind support and comments
I wish everyone a great Thanksgiving...
peace and prayers
jbm
Melody Claire Aug 2015
Money was so sweet
in the haze of his youth
and now that his face has creased
relatives have moved
These glass windows are the only way out
He shut his mouth
and watched
as he got closer to the ground.
Title.        Never take for granted
the greatest power, the power to choose.
                ( An Acrostic ) of 50 lines.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Never take for granted the greatest power.
             The power to choose !
Every concession,or subsidy in whatever form
       As a contribution or donation to charity
Value this as a highest prize , volition is the          
   Sacred power to choose ,use that power well
Efficacy empowering the production of results
   By marching forward in a positive direction
Ranges of choices sometimes oh so wide as to
   Make a decision very difficult indeed.

Two equally ,typically undesirable alternatives
     We get to know typically as a dilemma
An act of choosing to take up one option as
     Opposed to another to maintain momentum
Knowing that there’s no apparent option rather
   than the real , you have “Hobson’s choice”
Embarras de richesses you become spoilt for
     Choice, is the other side of the coin.

From the comparison betwixt the humble poet
      And the power hungry “Megalomaniac,
Optimising in an act of choosing between the
  two, voluntary ,of one’s own free will Choose
Rights to act or judge by your power of choice
   you may call this discretion,one or t’other

God grants such power as yet unmaterialised
    and unrealised which he labels potential.
Relinquish that potential at your peril
   you may never live to see that choice again
An area of power and influence you may get
    to understand as your domain but reflect
Never take for granted the greatest power,
   the power to choose.
Twitter and chat with all and sundry
    relatives you’re born to, friends you choose
Even if you use your power of wit n influence
   and see it as weight n clout you throw about
Delegate or depute and assign somebody to
    make your choices for you. No don’t quit !

The A to Z of choices takes no time to ponder
    If you take for granted the power to choose
Hub of influence power centre ganglion from
    which nerve fibres radiate to every solution
Even by commencing from “A”. Aha . Eureka!
   you have chosen first time lucky .But wait. !

Great though he may appear as the “Boy”
  of your dreams, will he stand the test of time?
Retiring back into your shell ,your”Colleagues“
  At work never choose to know the real you.
Every “Demi-God “or “Elder”that you meet ,
  give respect to ,spoil it all by choosing not to.
An “F” word muttered under your breath .
    A “Gender” question,which choice of path?
To “Hero-worship” then a real life commitment
      “Interpreters “ of choices thru a Drago Man
Established in the art of choice as lead by
  “Jesus” Christ “Knowledge “that it will not fail

Superimposed, will “Liquidise “and blend
    all the choices that are available “Mmmmm”
To the most “Natural “smoothie that you have
   ever chosen to drink. “Ohhhh” yes. !  

Pause and “ Pause” again ,do we really under
    stand the power of choice. Procrastinate  !
Oh put off until tomorrow, “Quit” whilst ahead
      “Realise” your winnings in the now.
Weather you “Seek” perfection ,or an easy
    way out . “ Take” heart it is your choice
Ethereal choice becomes the mother of
    invention, when and where necessities dwell
React with an un-earthly prowess and ability
   to establish what was to be the right choice.

The “ Virtual “ choice that you could have
   made under the circumstances, bono-fide.
Having and knowing you have the power
    Of choice, it leaves it in your hands.
Even if you get the choice “Wrong” this time
    it is your mistake , no one else’s

Pretty soon you will know the error and mark
  It with an “X” n strive to get it right next time
Only “You “ have this individual power
   To make up your own mind .You do, don’t you
We can all be as”Zealous “and pedantic as
   You like in life but choices win through .
Even if you can’t be bothered to take the
   Choice to read this poem, on and on and on.
Reacting in a moment of impatience.
  “ what am I doing wasting time reading this?”

To have a power of choice is a valuable power
    not granted to all people of the world.
Oh stay with me ! Tell me that you understand
    the meaning of this poem. Do I make it clear

Can you choose? Do you choose? Are you
   exercising a sacred power that you’re given?
Holy power, not given to timid mice sitting
  on the fence waiting for the right choice
Oh no ! Never take for granted the greatest
    power, the power to choose.
Onlookers and bystanders are you learning
   from any of the simple examples I have set?
See unless you see and understand the good
   and bad choices made by man thru ages .
Earth and the Universe would have failed
  In its quest to provide a Heaven that we seek
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Written by Philip. 30/10/2018.
This is not your average Acrostic. I have incorporated an A to Z. Abcerian within its length which requires extra effort and stayed within a first person monologue. I hope the reader liked this effort. It took a week to write.
judy smith Sep 2015
In just a little bit, we’ll begin to see Christmas holiday decorations, which start showing up even before Halloween. And along with the strings of lights all over the place will be a set of emotions that accompany the presents we are supposed to give.

A recent question from a reader provides an opportunity to talk about gift-giving expectations for all occasions. In this case, an upcoming wedding triggered the gift dilemma. As part of a regular feature on family financial feuds, I will address the issues the person raised.

The background: The reader’s niece is getting married. The bride and groom both work part time. The reader relayed that her niece had dropped out of college after a year and a half. The reader checked out her niece’s bridal registry and was “kind of blown away” by the high-end items, including pots and pans that cost $200 each and Kate ***** dish towels.

“I sent my sister a gentle text about being surprised that Kate ***** even made dish towels,” the reader wrote during one of my online discussions, “and she responded saying, ‘Don’t buy her anything. I will get you the information on her student loans (which she has not been responsible about) and pay those down instead of buying her anything.’”

The gift suggestion about the student loans didn’t sit well with the aunt, who already is upset since she co-signed. “My credit score is down 100 points because of it,” she wrote.

The conflict: “There are many issues here to deal with,” the aunt explained, not the least of which is that when her own daughter got married several years ago, the reader’s sister did not give a wedding present.

She continued: “I know my sister has struggled financially since her divorce, so I didn’t let it bother me. It just feels weird to pay down someone’s student loans as a wedding gift. My husband thinks I shouldn’t pay down the student loans. I am inclined to pay down something, but also get her some small items (no Kate ***** dish towels!). Any ideas?”

The bottom line: Here’s the crux of the family financial drama: “My sister [is] basically asking me for money, when she did nothing — not even a card — for my daughter’s wedding.”

There are three issues as I see it: the student loans, the pressure to buy from a registry, and retribution.

The student-loans problem shouldn’t be lumped in with the whole gifting issue. The reader refers to the debt as “someone’s student loans.”

But those are her loans, too. When you co-sign, you’re not merely providing your good credit name as a reference. Paying the loans isn’t a gift. It’s her responsibility.

If I were the reader, I would sit down with my niece and talk about how we are going to handle the debt going forward. It may be that she has to make payments until the niece is in a financial position to pick them back up.

As for the gift registry, some people list big-ticket items they can’t afford, or they expect that perhaps a group of friends or relatives may share the cost. However, sometimes it does feel like registries are an excuse for the couple to be greedy. I routinely ignore what’s picked out if I can’t find something in my budget. A registry shouldn’t be seen as a mandatory shopping list.

By the way, just because someone is underemployed or having financial troubles doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t want nice things or even brand-name items.

Now, let’s address the core issue here. The reader is hurt that her daughter didn’t receive a wedding present.

Gifts are sometimes interpreted as a symbol of what people think of you. But if the reader’s sister and niece attended the wedding and wished the bride and groom well, shouldn’t that count for as much as, if not more than, some gaudy gift?

As Judith Martin, the etiquette columnist known as “Miss Manners,” says, a wedding invitation is not an invoice. Yes, it’s a thoughtful gesture when people give. Nonetheless, be careful about your sense of entitlement whether it’s for a wedding or the holiday season.

I believe it’s our presence — not presents — that matters most.

You might wonder: Well, should the reader in return simply attend the wedding and wish the couple well?

If she doesn’t give a wedding gift in retribution, that’s being ill-mannered.

Just because you didn’t get doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give. And if a family member fails to give, be gracious and remember it really is better to give than to receive.

read more:www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses

www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-adelaide
Thomas Thurman May 2010
When your creator took her crayon box
That day she thought to draw you all alive,
She found a certain green to sketch your locks,
Another green to show you grow, you thrive;
A green of richest thought unlimited,
A green to match the green of your creation,
A green to go, to boldly forge ahead,
A green for lands of peaceful meditation;
  The Greene King, standing proud with all his queens,
  Jack-in-the-green, surrounded by his trees;
  A thousand other shades of other greens;
  The greenness of the deepness of the seas;
And I, I fall and marvel at the light,
A million greens, like fireworks in the night.

That day she thought to draw you all alive
She drew your outline, sketched you, and refined
And shaped your eyes, that surely saw arrive
The laughing people in the frame behind,
The humans, dogs and kittens, trailing plants,
Who fill your background; all you love are here
Around you in the middle of the dance,
And as you watch, still more of them appear
  Beyond your face within the frame advancing
  Children and relatives and loves and friends
  Holding their merry hands in merry dancing
  Extending off beyond the picture's ends;
I know your other folk would say the same:
It's such an honour dancing in your frame.

She found a certain green to sketch your locks,
A deeper green, a perfect green attaining;
And now another from her crayon-stocks;
Refreshing and repeating what's remaining:
She bleaches it and tries another shade
Then leaves it for a while and grows it out,
Returns it to the colours that she made
Begins to work again, and turns about;
  And why this careful labour to provide you
  With perfect colours captured in your hair?
  She knows your colours mirror what's inside you,
  Eternal greens within you everywhere;
And still beneath, the ever-growing you
Shall dye, and yet shall live with life anew.

Another green to show you grow, you thrive;
Out from the snow the snowdrop breaks in flower.
Who could have called this sleeping bulb alive?
Yet buried patiently it waits its hour,
Counting the snowflakes slowly settling
Their weight upon the heavy earth above;
One day its Winter changes to its Spring.
Who can predict the power of life and love?
  Hope that at last the final frost is dead.
  Faith that the Winter dies and Spring shall rise.
  Love for the life that up through blades has bled.
  Joy to a hundred children's waiting eyes;
For every hour it slept beneath the ground,
A thousand wondering eyes shall gather round.

A green of richest thought unlimited.
I try to say I love you every day:
I know I keep repeating things I've said.
Perhaps I'll try to phrase another way:
Suppose I counted all the money ever
From now until when Abel risked his neck
With my accountants, who were very clever,
And wrote it on a record-breaking cheque...
  It wasn't half your empathising, was it?
  Your thoughts are treasured more than bank accounts;
  The bank won't put your loving on deposit.
  And could they take it, given such amounts?
The jealousy of cash makes misers blind,
And who needs money when you have your mind?

A green to match the green of your creation!
She took her time in sketching out your features,
Shading you well, and, drawn with dedication,
You took the pen she gives to all her creatures
And set about some drawing of your own,
Filling the art with arc and line and shade,
Showing your work the care that you were shown,
And making them as well as you were made;
  And much as life your drawing hand was giving,
  Another life from deep within you drew:
  A life, not merely likeness of the living,
  So separate, yet such a part of you:
Who finds your baby-picture on the shelf
And smiles and finds you, showing you yourself.

A green to go, to boldly forge ahead,
Should shine on traffic lights for every person.
If you should find a colour in its stead
That stops you-- not an arrow for diversion,
To Edmundsbury, Hatfield and the North,
Or any other place that's worth the going--
But rather reds that block your going forth;
If traffic signals freeze your days from flowing,
  Your life is green and you deserve the green.
  And if you try to go about your day
  And greens are coming few and far between,
  And reds and ambers blare about your way:
If so, I pray your days to hold instead
All green, and never amber, never red.

A green for lands of peaceful meditation.
You call: Come stand upon my sacred ground,
Come sit and breathe the peace of contemplation,
Come feel the grass beneath, the lilies round,
Come sleep, come wake, and drink the quiet waters,
Come to the maytree, blackbird, waterfall;
Come know yourselves the planet's sons and daughters.
The people pass and pause, and still you call:
  It's waiting for you when you ask to try it:
  Peace (and the air) cannot be bought or sold.
  You'll never gain it if you try to buy it:
  It's not an asset crumpled fists can hold.
All that you have is nothing you can lose;
You stand on sacred ground. Remove your shoes.

The Greene King, standing proud with all his queens,
Guarding a land of oaks and aches and cold.
It's not a normal place, by any means,
This island of the oldest of the old,
Where bow the ancient oak and ash and thorn
In homage to a figure on a hill;
Deep in the hills where Wayland Smith was born
You stand, an English body, English still.
  For odes and age and air and ale have filled you,
  Made you their own and promised you belong;
  And since their homesick longing hasn't killed you,
  I think you'll be returning to their song;
Come, take your time, and sit and drink with me!
What say you to another cup of tea?

Jack-in-the-green, surrounded by his trees,
Had given birth to leafy life aplenty,
He'd introduced his firs by fours and threes,
And sowed his seedling cedars by the twenty;
The field was filled with trunks and twigs and roots,
The soil was sound and fertile, and the fall
Would fill the forest floor with growing shoots,
And none but Jack was there to watch it all
  Until you came to wander through this field,
  To walk within the ways within the wood;
  Your mind was brought to peace, your spirit healed,
  The forest given form and blessed as good;
Jack-in-the-green will wonder all his days:
your presence never ceases to a maze.

A thousand other shades of other greens:
"Leaf", "emerald", "sea", "bottle", off the cuff;
"Viridian" (uncertain what it means),
But there's so many. Names are not enough.
Yet, in another life, your maker might
Have picked you out among primeval glades
To work as keeper of the rainbow's light
And in another Eden name the shades;
  If so, the planet's poets will rejoice
  That, given life together with a name,
  The colours sing a stronger, clearer voice,
  And every hue will never seem the same:
Each of the shades looks loving back to you,
Its namer and the one who made it new.

The greenness of the deepness of the seas:
A home to fish of many a scaly nation.
Follow the shoals; the smallest one of these
Swims as a fishy summit of creation.
Yet every one's indebted to the shoal,
All subtle in their difference from the rest:
A fish of friends, a member of the whole,
A mix of traits, a taking of the best.
  So you and those of us you love so well
  Will grow along with other friends' increase,
  Required ingredients in the living-spell:
  Each person brings a necessary peace.
The level-headed people mix with mystics,
And both are living mixtures of holistics.

And I, I fall and marvel at the light,
This changing light that grows throughout the years,
Extinguished not by hardship nor by night
Nor foolishness nor sadness nor by tears.
When we were separated by the sea
I wished myself amidst your myriad days.
My wish was mirrored in your missing me;
Your maker joined our wishes, joined our ways;
  She placed our hands on one another's heart,
  And you and I began a lifelong learning
  Of one another, like a magic art
  Whose telling grows with every page's turning,
And holds our friendship as a growing bond
Till seventy years old, and still beyond.

A million greens, like fireworks in the night.**
I fear this sonnet never can be done.
So many colours burst upon my sight
I cannot tell the tale of every one.
But I can tell how vast excitement fills me
When all the flying sparkles fill the sky;
I want to tell the world how much it thrills me
To hold you close, reflected in your eye;
  I want to tell in all my earthly days
  And yet beyond, of what you mean to me;
  I want to say I love the myriad ways
  Of what you are and what you'll grow to be;
These counts combining made the building-blocks
When your creator took her crayon box.
Written as a Valentine's present for and about my partner, Fin.

I recorded myself reading the poem at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27EykqTr-w8 .
Mother always called me the devil child
She said I was  loud, destructive and wild

Parents told sister I was bad and she didn't ever have to play with me
Much time alone was no fun, however for some friends I did make a plea

I'd beg for my mothers attention, she'd run off to her room crying,
Yelled for my dad to come get me, because to her I was very trying

I heard my mother double dog dare my father to hit me
Mother would refer to me as a **** in front of the family

When I was very young mother once said “I’ll ****** you in cold blood”
Today mother said “you’re crazy, I’d never say that to a child, you are crud”

Nothing I did would ever please my mother
Gifts I bought her were tossed in the gutter

All my cousins were smart, while I was failing all my classes in school
Got into many fights with bullies and teachers who were always cruel

My family would all make fun of me, call names bully and teased
I was the loser that anyone could do or say what they pleased

None of my cousins was I ever allowed with to play
Was always much of the time alone every and all day

I lived in a strange way my dad was very to the T religious
And my mother was always drunk and of course blameless

She’d drink when home from work, on the weekends or holidays
And could always hide it from all her friends and the relatives

No one believed me when I told them that she had been drinking
They acted like I was crazy by then I knew what they were thinking

Mother took me out Friday's to eat and buy what I wanted, after work
Last stop, the liquor store for drink and smoke, was left in car like a ****

Mother would always drive with me while she was drunk
I knew she'd been drinking because she smelled like a skunk

Bought games that took two to play, parents never had any intention  
Of spending time with me, I was a bad child needing intervention

If I didn’t act a certain way when opening all my very expensive Christmas gifts
She’d pout, leave, and I’d have to open my gifts alone because I’d created a rift

Wasn't  perfect I admit;  ran off when 16 regret parents sent me away,
Came for counseling I complained about moms drinking, she felt angry

Said drinking not my problem, she’d return when I could face the truth
Never could admit wrongdoing, everything was because I was a youth

Home from school one day mom was passed out on  floor drunk
Called 911 her Dr blamed me and said no visit,  he called me a punk

My dad arrived home, find she was throwing up while passed out in bed
He'd take bowls put them near her mouth to catch it,  something I'd dread

He’d walk to the bathroom, empty the bowl and go back to get the next one to do the very same
And replace the unfilled one repeat the process.  I was told by her doctor that I was the blame

Sometimes mom would run down the hall to the toilet bowl throw up then my heart would race
Because I always knew mom would do this and then she’d come to room to scare rant and pace

Since I was a badly spoiled child who had parents with money, nice house cars and good jobs
And I was not willing to help out or be responsible, was told I made the family look like slobs

My sister let her boyfriend talk her into letting him take me to dentist, instead, he molested me
No one believed me because in the past I had lied about things, and the truth no one would see

I was different all the cousins, my aunts and uncle could blame me when things went missing
Or went wrong I was then and still am now the perfect scapegoat yes about it I’m still babbling

My father ran out the back door when he heard me wake up and come out of my room
So he didn't have to  bother with me, I wanted to spend time with him he’d assume

Somehow I managed to graduate from high school and I then would move
To a different city, I felt I might have better luck and my life would improve.

Married two very bad guys both who drank, beat me and verbally abused
Divorced them both and had one child and how I’d raise this child alone I was confused.

Moved into an apartment I still today about it rave
Mother always referred to it as a little dark damp cave

Things I wanted my mother to do with me she would say no
But wouldn't turn down a chance with other family to go

But this home where I've written articles, poetry that's been published
Most of the things I've written, mother has said they are mostly *******

Tried to work and go to school never was competent enough to follow through
Each time I would start either I did not have the ability to complete anything new

My daughter grew up, became ill with a repeating debilitating disease
I dedicated myself to getting her well, and nothing about it was a breeze

Had to take her in pain for doctor visits many times she’d cry and wished she were dead
This broke my heart with no family help, just her and I to face things in the years ahead

Unable to attend school for years, the doctor signed permission to stay home
School system assigned a teacher who was mean nothing about her was tome

School Social workers interfered
And my name they smeared

She finally one day went into remission
And now the Nephrotic kidney condition

Seems, for now, to have forever gone for good away
For years it’s been don’t want others to downplay

For a while, I home schooled her and the first semester back in the public school
She was on the honor roll things seemed to be looking up and I felt like I was the rule

Then one day she lost interest in classes, homework, and attending
And the principal of the high school was calling and threatening

Took her out of school and put her in to get her GED
Then  she was soon graduated within month of three

A year before she was supposed to graduate
I knew by then that I was doing things right

Enrolled me and her in community college we made the Dean’s list and no student loan debt
Last May she and I graduated have a new life now I don’t feel things in my life are a threat

Alone I’ve raised a good child, published a book and kept things together
I’ve published some poetry and stories in that will be on web pages forever

Even though my parents have helped me out once in a while financially
I feel lack of respect since they helped family who treated me crummy

I’m still feeling and have most of the hopeless thoughts when I was young
I still try to steer my daughter to be different from me and hold my tongue

Sister divorced husband for molesting children told kids I was bad
Lives in my town and over 20 years never talked, by her, I've been had

I think it's because my parents never would face reality or admit
To any wrong doing of years of abuse, something I couldn't forget

Mother has disowned me going to court to remove my name
Because she said I've caused her embarrassment and shame

I'm damaged goods, only go to doctor and for groceries to shop
I hide inside and on computer, write stories and poems till I drop

Why am I talking about this after all these years still?
Because I think that it may just possibly help me to heal

Looking back I find so many things have not been my fault
But I still feel many days like I'm the only one under assault.

Copyright 2013
All Rights Reserved
Am not proud of this but I had 30 jobs that I lost in 10 years and even tried going to college
Unable to remember how and when to do things, my head from years of abuse was in a fog
Mymai Yuan Sep 2010
It all began when someone left the window open.
The love bird cocked its bright green head at the shut door of Woodren’s third floor bedroom, perched on her bedpost. Its bright black eyes glittered, listening for the sounds of Woodren’s footsteps. None came. It ruffled its feathers impatiently; waiting for Woodren to come back with some water for its thirsty beak.
The love bird’s first memory was of Woodren: her clear gray eyes expressing her great happiness through them and not through the tiny curve of a smile on her thin pale lips. Her small white fingers pressed on the syringe gently, and a hot, mushy substance that tasted of apples and bananas went down its throat. The tiny black beak clattered against the plastic syringe greedily. “Aw, you poor baby. You’re hungry aren’t you, my Hoopsie-girl?” she murmured.
She then later taught her baby lovebird to fly with the patience of a mother. As soon as its wings started flapping feebly, she lifted Hoopsie up on the palm of her hand above her head and drew her hand away quickly, teaching the lovebird to fly and landing on Woodren’s soft bed. On cold nights, Woodren would wrap her favorite emerald green scarf around Hoopsie and place her behind the television where it was always warm and sellotape the electric sockets and wires so that Hoopsie was safe.
Woodren never even considered snipping the feathers of Hoopsie’s wings; she would never hurt her darling creature, and snip of its greatest glory. She would comb the feathers with a miniature pink Barbie brush, noticing how blue feathers had started to appear on Hoopsie’s wings and red ones slowly layered beneath the blue as time went by.
Showering Hoopsie was the hardest of all. Aunt and Uncle Palmer had no idea that Hoopsie even existed and revealing her presence would leave both Hoopsie and Woodren with no home. Late at night, Woodren would have to sneak out to the bathroom on the first floor (not on the second floor because that one was right next to Aunt and Uncle Palmer’s bedroom), down the stairs (taking care to step over the thirteenth stair that groaned so loudly), turn on the taps quietly and wash a sleepy Hoopsie with warm water.
Her two youngest cousins often made fun of her for the funny smell that stuck on her clothes sometimes. Linda and Lucy, her bratty twin cousins, asked in their scornful sing-song voices, “Why do you lock your room Woodren? Scared we’ll find all your old ***** clothes under the bed that you wouldn’t let Ma throw away?”
“No, maybe she’s scared we’ll find naughty magazines? If we do, we’ll tell Pa and you’ll have nowhere to stay ‘cause Pa says that type of behavior is sinful and he won’t tolerate it in his house!”
Woodren found it in her heart to look upon her silly cousins as childish entertainment. What did they know of the love she had for Hoopsie? “No, I’m scared you’ll find the monster under my bed and start crying for your Ma”
Linda narrowed her blue eyes, “I’m telling Ma you mentioned Lucy’s fear of the monster under the bed to her face! Besides, you don’t have anywhere else to go. You live on Pa’s charity. Ma said so.”
It was the lowest of insults based on a harsh truth. Woodren’s mother had died of cancer when Woodren was very young and her father followed her mother not a year after with heart grief. Her mother had asked her younger sister to take in Woodren; they were her only relatives and had stopped being fond of her once their own two twin daughters arrived and Mr. Palmer started to have to work harder to feed the six bellies at his dinner table. She just became another mouth to feed.
The only person Woodren got along well with in the household was her eldest cousin, Max. Max rarely spoke in anything but grunts, thought of his two little sisters as annoying brats, refused to say more than two sentences at a time to his simpering mother and loudly obnoxious father and often came and sat in Woodren’s room with his large feet against the wall, stroking Hoopsie’s head in silence. She really was fond of Max sometimes. He could be so thoughtful. Just two weeks before, for her birthday, Max had bought her maroon silk curtains with white birds imprinted upon them. He had even gone further than that and stitched in white thread, “Happy birthday. I love you” a red wonky heart followed and then “From Hoopsie.” Simply imagining him sitting there with a huge, thick curtain holding a tiny needle in his bear-like paws, cursing as he stabbed his rough fingertips and fumbling clumsily made her shout with laughter.
It was Max’s idea to buy Hoopsie a big metal cage and attach it to a branch on the big tree in their garden with a piece of shoelace, hidden among all the green leaves. That way, when Hoopsie sang Woodren wouldn’t have to blast her music and radio at the same time or pinch Hoopsie’s beaks shut when her Aunt or Uncle come to  yell at her if she was deaf or crazy or both. And that way, Woodren’s room wouldn’t have its twangy smell of bird **** and Woodren wouldn’t have to be paranoid all day long at school, wondering if nosy Aunt Palmer had broken into her room and found Hoopsie. And that way, she could leave her window open during the day, trying to rid her room off the nutty, sugary smell.
Max’s room was on the same floor as Woodren, the third floor. Every morning, bright and early before school, Woodren would run with a small lump in her sweater and the keys to her locked room jingling on her wrists to Max’s room. Max would barely acknowledge her as she ran across his room, opened his window and climbed out like a monkey to the branch that pushed against his window sill. She crawled along it with speed and sat there, with her legs hanging down and the branch between her legs, fumbled for the cage door above her head, made sure there was enough water and food to last Hoopsie for the day, popped Hoopsie inside with a quick kiss, arranged the fan-like fresh morning-smell leaves to cover the cage completely and skate back towards Max’s window.
Hoopsie mourned with a few high whistling notes. She hated being away from Woodren during the day- waiting for the moment when the sun was getting hot, and Hoopsie was tired of chatting to the birds in the nearby trees, when Woodren’s sharp little white face with its explosion of frizzy black hair would appear in between the leaves with her happy grey eyes and let her fly around the tree before calling, “Hoopsie” followed by her signature tilting whistle. But for now, and for every morning till noon, Hoopsie would have to wait.
“You don’t think they’ll find her do you?” Woodren would ask Max as she clambered back into his window. It was their daily morning ritual.
“No. Pa told Ma that it’s all about privacy now that I’m a growing-up boy. I’ll lock my door; promise.” He would reply back, completing their ritual.
“Are you still eating lunch with that Ed kid?” he asked, completely breaking their ritual this morning.
“Yes.” She was completely surprised. Not only was Max breaking a routine, Max of all people, he was doing so by asking her a question about her personal life.
Woodren eyed Max strangely. To her, Max was her huge cousin that somehow managed to communicate with a variety of different grunts and hated cutting his hair because of his fear of sharp objects; but to the rest of the school and neighborhood, she knew Max was the “strong and silent” handsome tall boy, every girl’s dream, with his shaggy blonde hair.
“Why?” her gray eyes grew rounder when suspicious instead of narrowing.  
“You don’t have many friends at school.”
“You know I don’t get along with any of them but Ed. I don’t like being friends with people unless I actually like them… unlike all the other girls at school.”
“I don’t like you staying around the Ed kid too much.”
Woodren felt a little glow of affection for Max in her heart. She understood why Max was worried. Ed was unstable with the rest of the world. He did what he wanted to, he said exactly what he wanted to and he wasn’t afraid of anything because he didn’t care what anyone said. He was the kid that the no parents wanted their children to stay near. There wasn’t anything Ed hadn’t done before.
Despite what everyone else thought, Woodren knew that his morals and sense of good and justice were strong in his heart. And when it came to Woodren he was always there for her since he moved to the neighborhood more than half a year ago. No matter how many offending remarks he made, she felt he had become the only stable thing in her life in spite of him being so apt to change. She had learned to depend on him.  
At the breakfast table, Woodren’s gray eyes slid over from Linda to Lucy to Aunt Palmer to Uncle Palmer and rested on Max the longest. Until she had come to look at Max, all four of them were identical in their attractive features and identical in their pinched-up, suspicious and petty expressions glazed over with a courteous mask. Max’s blue eyes, though the same shape as Aunt Palmer’s and the same color as Uncle Palmer’s, expressed a good heart and sincerity.
Her first subject of the day was an art lesson. All she had to do was sit comfortably, a palette with swirls of colors, paintbrushes, charcoals and pencils, a *** of water, and a fresh-smelling page. Usually she drew herself as a monster, or Linda as the devil- disturbing pictures that made people believe she was “talented”. But today, it came to her all of a sudden she’d never done a good, worthwhile painting of Hoopsie. Sure, her tables and notebooks were filled with carvings she’d doodled in class but never something she would want to keep.
She started to sketch Hoopsie on her bed post, eyeing the nuts Woodren had stolen from Aunt Palmer’s snack cupboard. She drew Hoopsie in the big tree and painted a metal cage around her. Somehow, the silver cage ruined the picture completely, making Woodren grimace. When the paint dried, she erased Hoopsie from inside the cage and drew her beside it, her small black feet gripping a twig.
Woodren remembered how elegant birds looked when she looked up into the sky, and saw them with their wings spread out and imagined feeling the wind rush through her feathers and ripple down her head and spine, with a heaven of azure blue surrounding her, shooting through clouds cold and refreshing like a sprinkler in the garden. Maybe that’s what freedom tasted like. She tried drawing Hoopsie soaring in the sky before she realized she’d never seen Hoopsie soar like other birds do, because Hoopsie had never done so.
Broodingly, she packed up when class was dismissed, slowly and thoughtfully. Somehow, that small beginning of a painting had darkened her frame of mind completely. Still ruminating, she headed down the hall way to eat lunch.
“Woody!” Hearing the sound of that voice, she momentarily forget her unease and Woodren’s thin, pale lips spread in a smile even before she turned around to him. Ed was the only one who ever called her that. His oval head was covered in small black bristles and one of his black eyebrows rose as he smirked with his pink lips curving down. The diamond earring in his ear glinted like his teeth did. He caught her eyes with his hazel ones; his eyes were warm and lively.  His mouth formed words that were witty and charming and could always make Woodren laugh.
Woodren put a look of amazement on her face. “You came to school today.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been coming to school nearly all month.”
“That’s why I’m surprised.”
He hit her arm lightly. A few girls nearby turned around and giggled when they caught Ed’s eyes. Woodren remembered when Ed had first come to school. All the prettiest girls at school kept sidling over to him and batting their eyelashes. Ed had taken one look at the curves on their bodies; his eyes flickered over their face, a little bored, and continued his conversation with Woodren as if there had been no interruption.
It was a mark of their friendship three weeks later when she told him about her family. His hazel eyes had burnt hotly. When he was angry, his voice was quieter, but strained as if the passionate anger behind the words were being controlled with the greatest effort, “People who ruin other people’s happiness on purpose and with joy are just plain evil.” He told her that he hated the monsters that kidnapped children, crippled them, not only in body but mind too, and forced them to beg, far away from those that loved them. Here followed a stream of facts, all said in the same tone that both scared and impressed Woodren.
“How do you know so much about it?” she had once asked him.
He looked at her with an odd gleam in his eyes, “Because I care.”
Now he was looking at her without breaking his gaze, the same odd gleam in his eyes, searching her face. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” She had still been brooding over Hoopsie in a cage, and why the picture upset her so much.
“Woody, tell me what’s wrong.”
Every time Woodren mentioned Hoopsie, Ed would go silent or make an offending remark about the way that Woodren took care of Hoopsie. Over a very short time, Woodren had learned never to mention Hoopsie’s name and though it drove her crazy with frustration, she knew Ed would never tell her reason the why if she tried to pry it out of him. Knowing not to answer truthfully, “I told you, nothing”
“I can tell when you’re lying. Your eyes grow whopping and your mouth pouts to the right.”
“Shut up.”
He looked at her searchingly before giving up with an irritated sigh.
“Come with me.” The chair scraped as he pulled out and pushed the table away from him. His tall frame dwarfed her.
He brought her to the back of the school where teachers and students never went, leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette. “You want to try one?”
“I don’t smoke, Ed”
“Why won’t you even try it?” The tone he used when he was about to state something that began an argument leaked into his voice smoothly, like oil. Woodren opened her mouth to list the damaging things it did to your lungs and heart but his voice had begun in its rapid, silky tone:
“Because society has brain washed you so that if you smoke when you’re a child, you’re a horrible ungrateful creature that will never go far in life. But when an adult smokes, it’s okay. You don’t smoke because people and teachers tell you not to try it. Well I say, **** them. These are the best years of your life. Do what you want, try everything so you can make the choices of your life later with a rounded experience and knowledge. I’m not saying get addicted. You have to be strong if you’re gonna be a risk-taker…” he inhaled deeply and exhaled in a husky voice, “I just thought you always went on about how you were such a strong risk taker.” He blew a cloud of heavy smoke above her head. “Oh, and of course you won’t try it because Aunt and Uncle Palmer said it’d be sin, isn’t that right?” he asked with a tantalizing grin in a mocking tone. He watched her face contort with anger, his hazel eyes dancing with glee. He knew he had hit at the bull’s eyes. No one ever jeered at Woodren’s inner power and then put her on the same note as her Aunt and Uncle.
A sudden snarling sound flared from her. She didn’t have to listen to anything Aunt and Uncle Palmer said… they never did anything worthy intentionally. She knew that. He was just stupid. She swore at him and knocked the cigarette out of his hand with a smart slap before storming away. An amused laugh from behind her made her ears tingle pink.
As soon as school was over, she pushed pass Ed who was waiting for her and ran back home. Opening the front door of the house, she scurried up the stairs to the third-floor and knocked on Max’s door. When she opened it, Max was already holding Hoopsie in his big hands. Hoopsie sang with joy when she saw Woodren.
“Hoopsie-girl” Woodren whistled with a tilting note that Hoopsie identified instantly. Hoopsie flapped over and landed on her shoulder.
“By the way,” said Max, “she must have knocked over her water because it was wet on the bottom of the cage. She kept trying to drink it. She’s thirsty.”
“Oh you silly Hoopsie! Why did you knock over the water? You know I’m supposed to have 8 cups a day?” she pampered the lovebird with caresses and endearing words before hiding Hoopsie in her shirt and running back to her room.
Woodren placed Hoopsie gently down on the bed post
Daniel Farnam Jun 2011
We share this theater together
And watch the act patiently.
We applaud those who perform well,
And even louder and harder for those who only had the courage to try.
We watch the dancers on the stage,
Our youth on stage,
Ourselves on stage.

It is beautiful.
It is raw.
It is real.
It is not perfect and some will fall,
But we all feel together.
We lift each other up.
It is love.

We are all together
On the stage as actors,
As graceful dancers,
And brilliant musicians
Performing as one.

We are all connected
In the audience as proud parents,
As loving relatives,
And respectful friends,
Cheering as one.

It is not perfect.
It is life,
Raw and real.
Some will fall,
But we all feel together
And we’ll lift each other up
As one.
For ourselves,
And for each other.
Original 6/19/2011
I wrote this after attending my little half sister's first dance recital. I was moved by the unity in the performance, as well as in the audience. At the beginning of the show, a little girl dancer could only cry, immobilized by embarrassment and fear. However, as soon as she got the courage to twirl in rhythm, the whole audience burst into applause and she finished with an enormous smile on for the rest of the routine. It was as if she was surprised to be accepted so easily. A few of the father's from the audience shocked everyone when they all at once walked on stage and had a whole coordinated dance performance for themselves planned. I can only imagine what this did to bolster the little dancers' courage to see their old man up there in front of everyone, as well as connect the audience to the performance. It was special and I am proud of little Sophia Farnam.

Also I wrote this while listening to  Nostrand by Ratatat. I feel that reading and listening helps to connect the piece together and gives it voice. Just a thought.
Writing for me is simple..
Lyrically ready to maximize my potential..
I have something to say I don't blow hot air like a inner tube...
Tell them liars they need to relax..
I am the type to push it to the max..
Switching gears and lanes until the governor snap ..
I cannot be contain..
Like the green hulk fighting the thing
I wish you could take a walk through my brain..
You would see different things depending on the time of day...
Like dead people, relatives that passed in my memories they live...
Times of my youth when I was a kid...
I didn't smile much.
I was a good kid I didn't wild much...
Pops sold crack so I styled much ...
Gun shots in Baltimore, my pops  died once...
In my mind I question a ****.  
Like are they always ready to ****
Or does life have them Close to the edge..
Of a cliff a jagged hill  
And they don't want to die in this dog eat dog world..
So they let blood spill..
I wonder if I was a G would I bang.
Red or blue claim a gang.  
Be like Larry Hoover...
A young shooter...
In and out of prison I maneuver
Run the block like a ruler...
Be part of the the trash like manure
Be a coke runner a drug mover..
Corrupting the body of drug users.  ..
Would I be known as a survivor
Escaping death more than MacGyver
Embrace the streets as truth knowing that's it a liar...
Nickname my gun human torch cause it fires
I wonder cause honestly I don't have a gun
This poetry is my weapon..
I am only gangsta through my lyrical aggression

Day 1 down...I am up to the challenge.
A poem a day ..to test my talent...

— The End —