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what happens when the prodigal son returns
wanting nothing but apologies for bridges burnt
is he has to cross a chasm
has his advances spurned
travels back to his far country
lesson learned
Francie Lynch May 2018
They carried us
Through gestation,
Or took us in
Without hesitation.
Our coming
Was a celebration,
Mothers are our affirmation.
They deliver.

When we're quiet
From travails,
She makes time
For school-yard tales.
The warmth of sunshine
Shyly pales
To her prevailing arms.

She feared for us
Til eyes dried out;
Stayed home alone
When we left her house,
Waiting by the door.
A balm and living cure.

When Moms do well
All can tell
The Madonna-like connection.
No need to forgive,
We'll always grieve,
They've loved us
Since conception.
Happy Mother's Day.
I think
what saves today’s commercial xmas hype
from being absolutely nauseous
is the wide-eyed joy of children
when they open their gifts
and find their dreams come true

a faint echo
of the joy in the eyes of the Kings
when after their long travails
they discovered the baby of their dreams
had miraculously become reality
Francie Lynch Aug 2018
I recall the day, before she was five,
She asked to go, and play outside.
I answered, Yes, for awhile;
For I read his poem, about the road,
The travails she'll face far from home.
At our door I watched her play,
And saw the roads lead her away.

There'll be times she's on her own,
In a one-on-one, or in a throng;
In places where she won't belong;
Or find herself between right and wrong.

Yet, I untied the knot,
Dropped the tether; as a father,
I knew there'd be tools to hone,
Wits to sharpen, boards to carry,
An ax to edge on her whetstone.
There was work to be done.

If all goes well,
If I got it right,
It won't matter
Which path she roams;
She'll always know
Which lead her home.
Francie Lynch Feb 27
I don't recall year one of life,
But I'm here now,
So they got it right.
Yet I remember being one,
On a mattress, in the sun,
The smell of bacon and farm odors,
Were part of me as I grew older.

But I never asked to grow up.

I walked first steps
In my father's shoes,
Blathered blissfully when I was two.

By the time I turned three,
I was sure youth suited me.

I could reach the outside door,
When I grew to the age of four.
Now the world's mine to explore.

But I never asked to grow older.

Then by five I tried to hide
From the travails of an older child;
The digging, weeding, painting, work:
My escape to school was my re-birth.

But I never asked to grow older.

I didn't ask to turn six,
Seven, eight, nine or ten;
I shuddered at our  portends,
I didn't like how my world ends,
I finished fishing with Amens.

But I never asked to grow older.

I made twenty years ago,
When decades moved ever so slow;
Thirty came, forty gone,
And fifty didn't last that long.

But I never asked to grow older.

Since I must,
Please remember,
Dip my soother in Irish whiskey,
Include me if you solve the mystery,
And reference me and my life's history.
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2018
I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‬ ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh)

for Eléa

the requests are assiduous, regularly arrivaling, some shy,  
some heinous demanding and denouncing,
inquisitors inquisiting this revelation,
as if it could be bought in a Five and Dime,
with a childlike whining insistence

just  exactly who are you?

this is not my name above,
but one of seventy the Father gave himself

He named me in a fit of efficacy and whimsy and in and from, a fit of a deep veined mystery

You Raise Me Up

all this on the ****** side of corny, and would not blame you
if you moved on…

so nominated in honor of my mission, to travel with you in
all the travails that ail,
to raise you up to raise me up and thus salve the universe's cracks,
fill the crevices and the ****** scars invisible,
with the precise refreshment that make my life,
a slave to your thankfulness

I am the wetness of a mother’s lips upon
a thin red tear on a child’s skin,
I am the the rock hard father’s shoulders grasped by a child’s arms, the child does yet understand that human is illusion,
human is human, however strong,
it is the allusion of human limitations
that is our magical

I am the present re-borning come with a morning glory,
the time when the Am and the Pm  future merge in a name
without tense,
past present and what I may be is simply what
I am

when the past is but another sky bright star, untouchable,
but winking at you, to you personally

I am the touch of the untouchable,
a messenger commissioned to remind you when
the reminders are too far apart,
or even too close
and thus make a breathing space
in between for the living and the missing

I am the
no difference
between a newborn’s soft skin cells
relentless multiplying,
that offers the same precise sensation of the
grandmother’s delightful wrinkling cells of smiles of her
relentless dying,
for all, one and the same,
the child in her is you, baby

I am the fall before the rise, the first that defines the last,
the standard, once obtained, nevermore unobtainable

I am the first fruit of the summer,
a tongue blossom, a burst of memory, always recalled,
always the same, that begs for forgiveness for there are no
new words to describe the profound finding of the
simple pleasures that sustains the blessing over all things new that
are recurring and truly
renewable (shehechayanu)

I am the crinkle in the eye, the one that hides in the fine lines
and upon the lips,
when you purchase the hope however fleeting of a
$2 Powerball ticket,
the very same hope preserved when you laugh when you lose,
for there is contentment in knowing one may hope spring eternal,
yet again in a finite
three more days for and too another lousy two bucks fantasia

I am the ruse of happy satisfaction of a man
in the dark of alone at home,
staring at his sizeable bank balance
and the happy knowledge that its loss  it will make it greater someday when it  happy converted to memories and photos that  are worth a thousand times its multiplicity
if only,
or when,
he knows how

I am that pain in the left side of your red sea-parted soul that cannot be dismissed but is religiously ignored,
that you alone know of
due to its persistent existence, and because it is just tolerable,
it is a sad but comforting pain,
an acknowledgment that a companion travels with you
and that in someway is ok and you exist

I am the water on the night table that extinguishes the dry throat of recurring visions in eyes that always end badly
and make the bed’s welcome a fearful thing,
which is a fearful thing for in good sleep is the
re-naissance and re-formation and the salvation
that was given to you as a gift inside thy mother’s womb,
and that
it is I,
whispering the hum of easy soft lambs,
soft breathing you
unto welcoming rest

I am the poem that must end because of our
frailties and impatience to live in
the reality of human touch,
that must be put aside for any novocaine of words

I am the one who can only be alive
when he raises you up and
you begin a new poem all your own,
and then exit it too, willingly,
to embrace the raising up of living

and that is the
who I am
that I am
raising us up
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!

being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on ******).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.

yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
thus dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.

though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d never be needed, WE’d thrive nevermore.

when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes  redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fare well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.

’stead of wishing for welfare and standing in queues
or parading with pickets (look! holes in their shoes!),
they’d be better off scabbing to save union dues.
while WE whistle and warble, they’re singing the blues.

whether heroes or hoboes, like spiders and lice
they just crawl all around us in life’s paradise,
but WE’re patient, big hearted and oft sacrifice,
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).

if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or ******* or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt’!

protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.

if they’ve got clashing colors (or shades in between)
or opposing beliefs in the hidden unseen,
well, WE’ll always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?

WE maintain many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns:
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.

OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and then jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.

down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak REGAL fetor with eau de cologne).

politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
how to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
well, just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!

ah! OUR wars are, well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if they frown as they gaze (Armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.

useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (my! their gums are... egad!).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.

as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain,
they have pipe dreams to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
for “WE’re here by god’s will” as WE often explain.

yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.  
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.

WE’re la CRÈME de la CRÈME, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).

but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of OUR PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land where OUR strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs that We cast to the sty.

though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
salty peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.

yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (yes! it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).

while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
their own school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’.

and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE now monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst...... well...... guantanamo jail!

WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR throne...
whether diamonds or rubies... to gemstones WE’re prone) .
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em a bone.

now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions  and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through tempestuous gales
(with them bailing OUR banks when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagnes, ****** ales.
Andrew Guzaldo c Aug 2018
“If we were to observe one another  
Will we remember we once were lovers,
Inexorably we may have matured,
In all ensuing ways of our love,

Was pure at first then we thought,
I hope that the travails of your pain
Have not weakened your spirit,
That those that surround you are strong,                              
And for all that you have subjugated,          
As sadness has entered attenuating,            
Your soul to its minimal strength,
And in the end when I reach for you,

Will you once again beam with the,
Essence of the love as we once shared”
By Andrew Guzaldo 02/10/2017 ©
By Andrew Guzaldo 02/10/2017 ©
As the path  less traveled ls so
Truth makes all the difference.
It is not open to dispute, does
Not permit liberties but Is. Not
A question for our free will to
Navigate its own course upon
Did not Christ say not my  will
But Thine be done-So what the
Lord command we cannot go
Against though we may think
Otherwise and think our selves
Great sinners and make show of
Our learning by punishment to
Ourselves and others for having
Learned too late the biter fruit of
Disobedience.  God did command
That in the Garden of Eden  to our
Oldest kin, Adam and Eve that they
Should enjoy every fruit of the garden
But must not eat of the tree  known as
The Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Note He did not say you may but you
Should not.  It was a Command-So  a
Truth.  and of course as children Adam
Persuaded by Eve whom he loved
Imagined that for love"s sake he
Could disobey and Eve persuaded
By the evil serpent that she could
Indeed in their imagination trangress
Such is the imagination of children
Fairytale of  misbelief piled upon
Generation after generation until we
Have the Grand Illusion that is the world
Of sorrow that we know as real but is not
Yes there is the pride that we could know
Good and evil and make wise judgments-
There on and so be masters of justice. God
Laughs and forgives this foolishness and
For our sakes tries to let us know that it is
Not so Not- the real real that we are playing.
A make believe tragedy and we do not know it
So suffer   over and over for Imagined sins

Keep on

Till the  
Resurrection at the last syllable of
Recorded time
Makes it a tale told by an idiot

Keep on


Still innocent as babes-
of good and evil knowing
Nothing but our travails of imagination.
Having seen the dream signs know that
You dream.  Now Imagine the Truth
I know you will say: I always knew it.

For that is God's Command:  The Truth.

Blessed Be Our God fount  of all Goodness
That is known for all time forever and ever
B Sonia K Feb 15
He sat next to the source of his innermost longing
With only an empty pocket to buy nothing
He glared at it lustfully
And hated its very existence
For this road only leads south.

His mouth watering
Body shaking
This lustrous temptation hard to resist
Snaked his hand around the basket
Snatching some, he ran
And right by the corner
His travails began
Again, he’s lost in the abyss of lustful destruction.
We watched it all with sadness
In mind, all our failed helpful attempts
Rejected with contempt
Now we’re helpless.

We are all addicted
One to substance
Others to failure
Harder and harder
We try again.
An ode to addiction.
We need to work harder and smarter on new ideas to stop drug abuse and substance addiction.
Failure only begets failure
Harriet Cleve Mar 13
At the pychiatrists Christmas party

everyone left their heads at the front door

left their white coats at home

hanging on the line

like abandoned ghosts up for adoption

no one mentioned schizos' or psychos

avoided comments on weirdos or whackos

disdained any attempt to converse on madmen

lunatic's, headcases, nut jobs, sad cases, lost cases,

bad pills, sickos, paranoids or alien abductees

which meant they had nothing to talk about

except how scarecrows are tragic figures

misunderstood by society and crows

'True! True! they all muttered after the wine flowed

in red rivulets down their analytic necks

and caused their grey matter to ponder

on the merits of their profession

before waving goodbye to one another

collecting their heads on the way out the front door

not knowing the scarecrows had stolen their white coats

and were dispensing good advice to worried crows everywhere

watched by sobbing farmers who never knew their travails

It would bring a tear to a glass eye listening to their stories

a bale of straw looking on swearing

' when I grow up to be a scarecrow I will be a pyschriatric one'

only taking days off on Christmas'

'where at the parties  I will not discuss schizoids or psychos

avoid comments on weirdos or whackos

disdain any attempt to converse on mad crows

lunatic's, headcases, nut jobs, sad cases, lost cases,

bad pills, sickos, paranoids or alien abductees

which means we will have nothing  to talk about

except the poor humans and their miserable lot
Everything went dark,
Cold sweat ran down my face,
Goose pimples as big as grapes,
Teeth won't stop chattering;

But moons before,
I knew no lack,
Meat and drink,
And a warm bed;

Plunged into daily hunger,
Worms threatened to down tools
Faculty refused to coordinate,
Vision played hide and seek;

Hands became detached,
Use of language elusive
Answers refused to come,
And failure became imminent;

Thus began the many travails,
Up the avenue of starvation,
Drawing down stored up resources,
Inching toward scrawny days;

Yes, failure did come,
That semester was dreary,
Cold nights did not help,
Hunger defeated me;

When help came,
All hope had expired,
But just,
And it was sweet, very sweet.
There's no middle-class in Nigeria, so when individuals find themselves at the wrong end of the spectrum, then, only the grace of the gods could sort them out.
So when I found myself in university at the mercy of goodwill, everything seemed to fall apart for me until my father received his first pay after over seventeen months of unpaid pensions by the Nigerian government. He gave me five thousand naira that day and told me how he slept on cardboard boxes, under a bridge until he was attended to by the military pension board in 2005. My father is no longer with us but he rekindled hope in me that year. And I made him proud by receiving a worthy bachelor's degree in science. STRONG.
B Sonia K Mar 1
Fortified with a lust for life
Twirling in this velvety taste of wine
Compressed in between squeezing bodies
On a fast pace through this rough road

Strange entanglement unraveling
Unbridled thoughts ceased in synchronicity
Captured in this twist of fate
Surrounded by unaligned thoughts
Moving in opposite directions

Together, our thoughts we amassed,
Lost in retrospect,
Minds occupied with past journeys
Travails we overcame,
Swimming through muddy waters
Our dreams almost blinded us

Absorbed into ever-glowing possibilities
A push, pull or spiral
Some to revealing lascivious desires
Previously dampened by propriety

Choices made and yet unmade
With unpredictable certainties
Picking up piece by piece
Dreams broken
And ideas torn in shreds
Lounging around in incalculable distance
In the aftermath of explosive criticisms

Drenched in the scent of maturity
Gold passes through fire
And we come out whole
An upsurge of determination
Aligned with our creative juice
And may the best ideas win.
Please i need help
Don't leave me like this
I can't sleep
They say it's sleep-onset insomnia
But from the beginning
It was not so

Maybe it is psychological
Their pains in my heart
With pictures of them
Begging for their lives
But i still cannot sleep
And from the beginning
It was not so

Their bulging eyes
As they take their last breathe
To a journey of no return
Their offense
Victims of a failed system
But from the beginning
It was not so

Why are brothers killing brothers
Brothers killing sisters
Sisters killing brothers
Wiping out communities
For the glory of what?
Where is our morals?
The spirit of comrado?
But from the beginning
It was not so

Though obscure
We need to ask
Where are the jobs?
Who has the reins?
That has stagnated Africa
Black people, black mind
A phrase that depicts backwardness

Even the Heavens have Guardians
Nothing passes their sight
They have been enfired
To neutralize aggressors
But, can my brother be an aggressor?
Trust at your peril
That's where we find ourselves

In the Jungle
It's "No man's land"
Where the strong prey on the weak
As long as you are powerful
Or seemingly untouchable
You are licensed to ****
Africa bleeds
Yes, Africa bleeds.

Each time you strike
A wife looses a husband
The children; a father
The family; a breadwinner
The Community; a philanthropist
The nation; an Ambassador
Africa; an illustrious son

Stop cattle rustling
Stop political machinations
Stop hate speeches
Especially From the altar of religion
The internet inclusive,
For it is divisive
Stop the killings
That Africa may live
And not just survive

Break the walls
Let's build bridges
Open up your enclosures
That i may come in
And dine with you
That is how life was programmed

To achieve our SDG's
Our ******* is prime
That your people be my people
My people, your people
That we may give the boy child a life
And the girl child a voice
And build the Africa of our dream

The carnage in Rwanda
Aparthied in South Africa
Insurgency in Libya
The killings in Nigeria
Mirrors the travails of Africa
Rooted in corruption
All must stop now

How did we get here?
A people divided
Along ethnic and religious lines
Detached along tribal and economic
But from the beginning
It was not so

We are tired of bloodsheds
We demand peace
The white on the Nigerian flag
Invisibly tainted in red
Being the blood of the innocent
But surely, nothing lasts forever
For surely, justice will be served

Stop saying "Kafasasu"
As our heart bleeds
When you open up our brothers
With your knives and weapons of mass destruction
Sending them into a journey
A journey into the unknown
Oh gods of our ancestors
Where are thou?

The God of our creation
Send us a Moses
That will lead us from where we are
To where we ought to be
Our promised land of peace and unity
Equity and justice
That we may return with offerings

Stop the rustlings!
Stop destroying our crops
No life should equate that of animals
No animal should be silenced unjustly
Why do you think prayers are said
Before any animal is slaughtered?
The act is sacred
Friends, we are all animals
In different shades and sizes
But place premium on life

Once i saw a documentary
Featuring a helpless Antelope
Feeding her young
Until a pride of Lion approached
As her young sprinted
The mother waited and sacrificed
A sweatless feast for the Kings
But the Eagle watched
She could have helped
Enough of nonchalance
Get on and be engaged

Praying for Africa is a beginning
Taking conscious steps is progress
That the Creator may hear our voices
And have mercy on us
Let my people be your people
Give me a damsel from your clan
I will give you a Prince from my tribe
That we may unite

Refuse to be nonchalant
Refuse to be intimidated
Especially on the part of justice
Let us come together
As a people of one race
That we may build Africa
And the world at large
Not by the sword
But the strength of our unity
For all these ills
From the beginning
It was not so

Babatunde Raimi (c)
Author/Life Coach/Poet

— The End —