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Morning Feb 2019
You know, it's funny,
I had that ringing in my ear.
You know, that funny feeling,
A tinglin' in my ear.
So I went a snoopin'
And it's what I've always feared.
He was creepin'
He was sleepin'
With all the volunteers.

"Volunteer?"

With all the volunteers.

"Volunteers! What?"

Yes, with all the volunteers.
He was rollin'
He was dippin'
He was flippin'
He was eatin'-

"Volunteers!"

With all the volunteers.
Something fun.
I can't help but read this with a slight doo-*** vibe.  XD
Ayad Gharbawi Jan 2010
The Story Of Sara

Chapter 7

Ayad Gharbawi


Chapter 7: GETTING A JOB AS A PSYCHIATRIST



At around this time, I realized, that I was living with Sanji and I still wasn't working, and so, that dear soul was having to work overtime in order to take care of me.
  I swear Sanji never complained; not even a ****** hint – but, I to my embarrassment, I realized this fact!
  "Sanji I just want to tell you I'm so sorry for not working; I just want to,"
  "Don't worry, Sara; you've been under stress and so I can understand. You've needed time to emotionally recuperate from the traumas of the recent past."
  "Yes, but stress or no stress, it's high time to work again. Don't forget, Sanji, I've got a psychiatry degree?!"
  "And, work will do you good. It will be a good source of distraction. Get your minds off this whole subject of the party, guilt, Omar and God knows what else!"
  "You're absolutely right, Sanji. Tomorrow, I'll be looking for any vacancies.
  I felt happy; I felt that finally I was going to be useful again.
  After all those years working for the party and feeling that I was being 'useful' and then discovering to my horror that I had been of absolutely no 'use', now I can say that I shall be useful to society.
  I will be respectable again.
  I will have a sense of direction in my life.
  A clear sense of where I'm going with my life, rather than just drifting like a jellyfish in the ocean.


  Sure enough, the next day I set off for the job centre, and applied for any vacancies for a psychiatry post.
  Within days, I received an offer for an interview at my local hospital.
  I was to be interviewed by Dr. Tajim, who was the Head of the Psychiatric Department at my local hospital.
  I went to the department, and there I met Dr. Tajim who was to interview me.
  Obviously, I was tense.
  "Good morning; how are you Ms. Sara?" said the elderly doctor.
  He looked frightening.
  "Very well, thank you," I replied.
  He was about sixty five; a bit overweight, and as I looked at him more closely, I pleasantly discovered that he had a really pleasant face and gently inquisitive eyes.
  I relaxed.
  I totally misjudged the character of this kind man!
  He wasn't at all overbearing, or stiff or cold; in fact, he was a very welcoming old gentleman, and he made you feel utterly comfortable with him, so all your nervousness simply dissipated!
  I had heard that one of his own sons was suffering from depression and that he was in a hospital.
I also had heard, that that fact really affected him a lot, and, at times, it seemed to emotionally exhaust him; and, yet he would persevere and he was known to be really loving, compassionate and deadly serious in his efforts to help not only his son, but all his patients to get over their depression.
  "Now, you do know what the job offer is about?" asked the soft spoken doctor.
  "Yes Sir; I am to be a psychologist for patients who are in Category 'C'."
  "I see, and you do know who are patients in Category 'C'?"
  "Yes, Sir. They are patients with mild to severe depression."
  "Good, that's correct. Do you have experience in working with depressed patients?"
  I thought for a quick moment.
  I couldn't lie.
  "No, Dr. Tajim; I have no experience, but I wish you would give me the chance to prove myself."
  "But that is rather strange. You are twenty eight years old, and you graduated age twenty one – so, the obvious question, is what were you doing in those intervening years?"
What am I supposed to do here? I needed Sanji to be with me. How can I tell Dr. Tajim that I was 'working' with so-called 'political parties''? I couldn't. He would never employ me if I told him which 'party' I had been working for. If I had worked for a decent, respectable party, then presumably, he would have had no problems with me, but working Tony and Omar?!


  I had to lie.
  Lie to survive!
"Dr. Tajim, during those intervening years, I worked on a voluntary basis for charities broad, helping the sick."
  "I see, that's interesting; where did you work, and what exactly did you do for the sick?"
  Great!
  Now I had to dig the hole of lies even deeper!
  What else can I do?
  Tell him that I was joking and that I never really worked abroad? Of course not, that would make me a fool.
  I really didn't want to lie.
  But what choice did God give me?
  "Yes, Sir. I worked in Uganda, in a village called Sanji", my God, of all names that came to my mind, I couldn't think of anything else except Sanji's name! "Yes, and there in that humble village, I acted as a nurse for the sick, in a really small infirmary."
  "Sanji?" Dr. Tajim asked, narrowing his eyes with incredulity.
  "Yes, Sir; as far as I remember, the village was called Sanji, but you know the odd thing about rural Uganda, is just how one village can have so many different names, since each tribe would have their own names, that differed from other tribes. So, you must excuse me, it was a little bit confusing."
  Rural Uganda!
  What on earth was I talking about!


  And did Dr. Tajim actually believe me?
  I was insecure, because I had no idea if Dr. Taji actually believed the lies I was saying.
  "I see; I ask because Sanji is not quite an African name."
  "Yes, Dr. Tajim; indeed, I may be completely wrong, but, as I say, there were so many languages in Uganda, that it was really difficult to communicate with anyone."
  God knows what I was saying!
  I was just saying whatever came out of my mind!
  "I see. Yes, there are different languages in Uganda, and indeed in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. But, I never knew that names of towns and villages would change, and certainly, no African tribe would give an African village 'Sanji' as a name. But anyway, maybe, as you say, the name may not have been 'Sanji'. Anyway, where did you get your training as a nurse?"
  Relief!
  Oh yes, but now I had to create another lie, in order to explain where I got my 'training' from.
I was getting deeper into this lying game.
  But I couldn't now worry about the morality of that.
  I had to come up, with an immediate answer to his pertinent question.
  "You see, Dr. Tajim, I went as a volunteer to rural Uganda, to help build homes and help women in their daily lives, and the next thing I know, is when the local doctor asked me for help. When I informed him that I wasn't a nurse, he said he would teach me. I soon learned the basic first aid medicine that was required. I guess, that I could be useful in the hospital in that sense too."
  "I see, Ms. Sara."
  Finally, Dr. Tajim paused, giving me time to think of what else he may ask me about my 'time' in 'rural Uganda'.
  "I see," he repeated, looking confused.
  Strange I thought, but this doctor would start every sentence with 'I see'.
  "So, for all those intervening years, you remained in this one village?"
  "Um, why yes, Dr. Tajim. I did spend all my time in Saji. Is that so strange?"
  My God, I called the non-existing village 'Saji', rather than 'Sanji'.
  Would he notice?
  "I see, but, I mean, as a volunteer, didn't your superiors relocate you to another village, or to another country, in all those seven or so years?"  
  I couldn't understand why Dr. Tajim was surprised at the time, which goes to show what a poor liar I was.
  Of course, later I would learn, that volunteers to Third World countries would get stationed in not more than a year or two in any country – let alone one tiny village!
  But, for that moment, I could only go on with my lies.


  "Yes, Dr. Tajim. I was posted for that village all those years."
  I simply stuck to my lie.
  Defend your lies, or else you drown.
  "I see, how strange. And now you are permanently back here?"
  "Yes, Sir."
  "I see," said Dr. Taji, looking uncomfortable.
  Silence, as he turned his attention to the papers on his desk.
   I felt that he was simply going to call me a complete 'liar' and to get out of his office.
  "Well, I shall get in touch with you. Give me a few days to get to a decision."
  "Thank you Dr. Tajim. I hope you will just give me a chance to prove to you, Sir, that I shall be really good at my job."
  What a surprise!
  With that, I got up and headed for the door.
  "Ms. Sara!" Dr. Tajim asked.
  "Yes, Sir?"
  I hope I didn't look nervous or startled.
  "Yes, before I forget, do send me by email the relevant documents from your charity organisation that gives me the official notification of your time you worked for them. Like a Letter of Recommendation from them."
  Yes, now I was startled.
  I know the colour of my face must have turned red.
   Where on earth would I be able to get any document from any charity organisation?!
  I felt that I was now caught!
  Was I going to be caught for lying?
  "No problem, Dr. Tajim," that's what came out of my mouth. And I found myself leaving Dr. Tajim's office.


  As soon as I was a safe distance from the hospital, I began to think once more: how can I forge documents that are supposed to be from a charity organisation? And, even if I did forge them with some expert computer person, wouldn't Dr. Tajim simply call the telephone number of the charity organisation and enquire about me, and then he would obviously be told that I had never worked for them, let alone having me fly off to Uganda?!
  Back at home, I sat down, and realized there was no exit.
  I lied and so now I must take the risk that Dr. Tajim simply would not call the charity organisation.
  I would choose one of the biggest organizations who would have hundreds of thousands of volunteers, and even if he did check, I could say that their computers get it wrong! They didn't register my name because they have so many volunteers!
  But, no, that's stupid of me.
  If I supposedly worked for seven years for one organization, then they would obviously have my name in their computer files.
  I was being stupid.
  Too rash.
  No, that's it.  
  I lied and so I must take the consequences.
  I would risk it.

  Well, I did forge a charity organization letterhead, and I wrote that I did 'serve' for seven years in rural Uganda.
  Next, I scanned the document, and had it sent by email to Dr. Tajim.
  To my complete surprise, within a few days, I got an official letter from Dr. Tajim's secretary, saying that I was accepted by the psychiatric unit in the hospital!
  I was so thrilled, that to be honest, I couldn't in the least be bothered about my lies!
  I was now going to be a useful member of society!
  At last!
  I was going to be a worthy, decent, respectable person!

**************

  As I got to work in the Psychiatric Department in the hospital, they began almost secretarial tasks to do. I would get 'introduced' to the depressed patients and, gradually, I was allowed more and more time to talk to the patients.
  I was really happy and pleased with myself, because I felt that I was, at last a 'respectable' person.
  For the first time since I had left, or rather since I was expelled from the party, I felt proud of myself; and perhaps, most importantly to me, was the feeling that I knew where my life was going.
  I would walk anywhere and, when asked, what I did for a living, I proudly reply that I was a doctor in the Psychiatric Department in our local hospital.

  It was at this time that I was watching television in Sanji's apartment, when the latter walked in and said:
  "You are not going to believe who is with me!"
  "Judging from the excitement on your face, it must be someone very important." I replied casually.
  "Yes, yes; so guess who?" asked Sanji.
  "Oh God, Sanji how am I to know? The Prime Minister perhaps?" I answered sarcastically.
  The next thing I know was that none other than Tony walked in!
  My goodness me! I was absolutely shocked and awed by his presence!
  What was Tony doing here?!
  This was the first time I had seen him since I left his party and joined Omar's party.
  And, I guess, he must have just left prison, because, it had been about one year, since I heard that he was prosecuted by our courts.
  He had changed a little bit.
  He was much fatter – which, I thought was a bit odd, since he had been in prison, and I thought that everyone in prison gets to lose weight!
  He looked older than his years. He had dark rings below his eyes, and for the first time in my life, I was really surprised, to find out, that he looked utterly dull, weary and tired.
  He seemed to have lost all that will power, charisma and charm.
  They were no longer part of his personality.
  "What are you doing here?" I managed to ask Tony.
  "And why not? Why shouldn't I be here?" he answered smartly.
  I got confused all over again.


After all, what had happened to him since our entire movement collapsed?
  I never thought about what happened to Tony, or Omar for that matter.
  Selfishly, I just thought about myself.
  That was typical of me.
  "You look dazed, Sara," said Tony laughing. "Is my appearance that shocking to you?!"  He joked.
  "No, not at all." I regained my composure, or at least, I tried to regain my composure. "It's just that, I never did understand, or know, what really happened to our movement? And what happened to you Tony?"
"Sara is confused about the entire movement." Sanji said to Tony.
  "Well, what happened is actually quite simple," said Tony, "the new government decided to take legal action against us for the first time. Previously, every government never even took us seriously enough to warrant a concerted attack to eliminate us. To them, we were just clowns."
  I was shocked.
  "Clowns? What do you mean Tony? What do you mean previous governments did not take us seriously? Of course they took us seriously; Tony, we were in a state of war, remember? What's happened to your memory? We were fighting battle after,"
  "Let me interrupt you, Sara; but you are so utterly naïve and blind that I just do not know how to face you with the facts."
  What do you mean? What are you talking about?" I asked frantically.
  Suddenly all those memories from the party days returned to me; for the moment I completely forgot that I was a doctor at the Psychiatric Unit; Tony had re-opened all my memories, anxieties and unanswered questions concerning those years.
  "Relax Sara, don't let your emotions take over your rational mind," Sanji said. "That's always been your problem. You simply allow your wildest emotions to highjack the rational part of your mind. I mean, you're supposed to be a psychiatrist and yet, you are so utterly impulsive in your thinking and in the actions you take."
  I knew Sanji was completely right. He was so rational and calm.
  "What 'battles' are you talking about Sara?" asked a perplexed Tony.
  Sanji laughed. "That's a good question Tony, go on, and ask her that one!"


  Tony joined Sanji laughing.
&n
Salty rancher spackle is to Earthy diva smackers as Swinging hotel number is to?
Rippling cling bread is to Three lizard chariots as Indigo lime tangent is to?
Nighttime reunion planet is to Nettle lane scuffle as Soaking spider *** is to?
Fancy trance logs are to Sticky fudge lather as Vivacious gator college is to?
Cheerful blossom face is to Secret tractor rocket as Canned gremlin emblems are to?
Jealous pitchfork generals are to Heartbreaking patchwork veranda as Folding robot noise is to?
Pretty rhino rash is to Lost locket vengeance as Back pocket weather is to?
Frosted candy sidewalk is to Sneaky kook code as Shiny waffle smoke is to?
Sapphire cloud romance is to Magnetic comet lava as Blue triangle envy is to?
Vanishing honey melody is to Thermal elf pajamas as Whistling iceboat shampoo is to?
Peach mint politics is to Frozen doll pennies as Rusty anchor catapult is to?
Swollen pony fever Throbbing sword kazoo as Silent turbine science is to?
Obese germ thunder is to Stacked lemon towers as Corrupt moon jockey is to?
Demented insect whistle is to Glass trophy cleanup as Purple geode bubble is to?
Nighttime razor slime is to Lacquered dragon maps as Tint paper mittens are to?
**** camel drops are to Velvet ****** shoes as Slippery red muffins are to?
Flying hot drool is to Pale chocolate telescope as Tin trumpet ballet is to?
Expensive puppy speed is to Flowered duck mirror as Cosmic needle factory is to?
Fractured laser doodles are to Cracked butter gravel as Rubber holster straps are to?
Majestic panther fortress is to Jeweled cork target as Iron swan taxi is to?
Poisonous pepper bouillon is to ****** goat soap as Chrome feather pirates are to?
Digital gorilla scriptures are to Timid hunter stench as Frozen domino video is to?
Eccentric troll opera is to Transparent wax village as Spoiled coral agony is to?
Bizarre green metal is to Pillow eating hamster as Leather cavern ***** are to?
Eternal hurricane evidence is to Powdered rainbow perfume as Smoking yellow prune is to?
Liquid wish cleanser is to Exploding meadow ladders as Brittle rose hammer is to?
Caged foam filter is to Cherry balloon string as Ivory cactus spider is to?
Carbon puppet watch is to Sad kings compass as Elastic lace whiskers are to?
Nitrogen trolley dust is to Lazy elephant toffee as Orange toad choir is to?
Dark pole zodiac is to Blue finger blanket as Illegal bug nozzle is to?
Stinky towel cookies are to White jade caskets as Sticky snail tea is to?
Converting stellated caramels is to Mythic aerosol socks as Rubber raspberry jokes are to?
Flying clock carousel is to Whisky nut worms as Plastic fish platforms are to?
Queasy Vaseline queens are to Moody pigeon pills as Aqua mice fur is to?
Spotted bowl shadow is to Idiotic radiance lotion as Bungalow toad hearse is to?
Gushing chimney fungus is to Funky lamb acrobat as Utopian **** sprinkler is to?
Twinkling bungalow tablet is to Botanical duck rope as Bug hat ram is to?
Broken clock fossil is to Black ginger confetti as Parisian cobra meatloaf is to?
Silly Xerox ribbon is to Obedient raccoon carny as Traditional cat linguini is to?
Last astral advisor is to Elastic badger riddles as Broken circle rifles are to?
Bagged squire channel is to Temporary mosaic cake as Ancient bacon thread is to?
Wireless math army is to Moronic neon money as Pearl razor radar is to?
Rubber buzzard blizzard is to Troubled bubble wizard as Crushed hash ******* is to?
Purple birdy cure is to Tangled frost blossoms as Silken bridal saddle is to?
Unisex owl accordion is to Sugar bottomed boat as Optical nougat treasure is to?
Flavored saline rain is to Black arrow clan as Transistorized clam guitar is to?
Sharpened twig scar is to Mutant beet sonar as Baked troll mask is to?
Boxed noodle secrets are to Traditional guru buttons as Glossy marshmallow strategy is to?
Vibrating melted jelly is to Silver furniture dream as Spewing collated seats is to?
Burnt mountain pickles are to Baby preacher shoes as Sympathetic pilot pain is to?
Narrow portal treaty is to Monkey warehouse vacancy as Painted tornado trap is to?
Porch penny sulfur is to Glowing pony fat as Patched mattress bait is to?
Frigid waitress fallacy is to Graphic shrimp salute as Misted sneezing window is to?
Moist apple moss is to Daddy’s zoom seed as Downtown Pope cart is to?
Tired felon trickle is to Holographic squirrel candle as Wild ray hay is to?
Deadly zero chalk is to Folding wilderness chart as Curved ******* vacuum is to?
Hollow porcelain pellets are to Strawberry rain stencils as Microwave taxi nomads are to?
Wasted machete balcony is to Crumpled creature confessions as Fridge fuzzed fruit is to?
Sloppy demon damage is to Squeaky puppet chuckle as Mental arcade combat is to?
Monster trout stories are to Lewd pirate cocktail as Locked mammal grommet is to?
Rotting rope network is to Tragic toy goat as Cotton submarine shoes are to?
Complex pepper dance is to ****** cloud cushion as Marching taxi holiday is to?
Mental petal collectors are to Spooned barn putty as Dork factory fiction is to?
Hot spotted tops are to Timed stepping pests as Yogurt notching tartar is to?
Crazy dog comics are to Ambitious cartoon sphinx as Pavlov’s zinc ballet is to?
Soiled spinster wedding is to Padded razor wound as Floating fish map is to?
Slippery leopard pants are to Perfumed nut button as Dart wizard party is to?
Needy alien elephants are to Barking garden gnats as Quasar focused paper is to?
Slanted heart **** is to Bronzed cliff sandals are to Cunning jockey jokes are to?
***** thumbprint massage is to Holistic princess memory as Sliding dental sword is to?
Drifting wood whistle is to Fluorescent carpet powder as Foam dragon whistle is to?
Chopped web shadow is to Immortal vermin soup as Collapsing porch conspiracy is to?
Stolen thunder chant is to Haunted comet heart as Swollen throat portrait is to?
Fragrant frost parfait is to Grumpy caveman *** as Random stingray solo is to?
Squeaky polar turbine is to Silent lava fever as Oversized lunar fulcrum is to?
Synthetic dew droppers are to Pocket poster paste as Hypnotic screen dog is to?
Symbolic whirlpool nausea is to Dreaming tree phantom as Log badge bracket is to?
Camp hippo map is to Horseradish seizure insurance as Distant insect mirror is to?
German lady sherbet is to Stuntman laundry wax as Hungry butterfly ghost is to?
Fly smudged foil is to Amped maze coil as Shifting optic terror is to?
Automatic sheep floss is to Panoramic tanker anchor as Throbbing bone pillow is to?
Mutant clown village is to Nightmare translation treasure as Spotted spectral chakra is to?
Blind roach tweat is to Hermit worm tiara as Divine logo ritual is to?
Glueless gun stamp is to Malicious spam pump as Floral toffee pods are to?
Dudgeon mist removal is to Menacing bolt smacker as Boating duke shadow is to?
Costly metal plungers are to Creaky buzzing gushers as Glowing star cushions are to?
Raked barge sludge is to Crusted cream glitter as Zircon gutter babble is to?
Fake gold scholar is to Amish ******* mogul as Faithful ***** choir is to?
Sacred limo prayers are to Fried mice café as Splintered ****** thimble is to?
Dealing rabbit decals is to Pelican bongo festival as Patched equator rot is to?
Freedom gourd gasoline is to Cobblers studying acorns as Desecrated dice crater is to?
Tattered tapestry rod is to Busted particle scanner as Bogus piffle catalogue is to?
Trifle truffle raffle is to Last lamb laminate as Segmented cake goggles are to?
Domestic tackle tactic is to Ticking tic talk as Cordial corps coordinates is to?
Tucked duck caftan is to Sunken ramp ruckus as Wretched ranch rhetoric is to?
Clearly incomprehensible directions are to Useful archaic nonsense as Antiquated skeletal outline is to?
Bewildered beasts feasting are to Lazy busybodies resting as Vaccinating brave volunteers are to?
Lucky wagon dragons are to Famous gargoyle gargle as Formal postman funding is to?
Furrowed shroud chowder is to Borrowed tartan pajamas as Martini mixed algebra is to?
Cowgirl balloon helium is to Chewy glucose habitat as Stationary monument movement is to?
Diamond powered powder is to Diagonal diameter diagram as Purposely condensed expansion is to?
Organic iodine capsule is to Gleaming beach probe as Dominant dome static is to?
Shaving wrinkled targets is to Petting sensible monsters as Selling invisible whiskey is to?
Frozen piano architecture is to Note dotted clouds as Screaming Korean worms are to?
Sonic plant website is to Telepathic climbing clam as Bored protein exercise is to?
Gourmet mollusk cone is to Numb poodle caravan as Asian raven radar is to?
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
Over the course of my unavoidably finite life I have always looked for the best in people
I believe that every human being has a soul
I believe that deep down within all of us
Beneath our silver hearts and our metal lungs lie good intentions
We stray from these as time passes
Time, an irrelevant concept at the most
Has made us all fools
We agonize over the number of minutes we are wasting as our lives drag on
Throwing away seconds like used tissues
Throwing away people like used tissues
Throwing away our lives like used tissues

We wreck everything around us
Concern is a forgotten custom
We would do anything to forget
We are all very quick to judge

We treat everything as disposable and recklessly dive into the unknown for the chance of excitement
But as an unavoidable result,
We wreck everything around us
There are men walking the streets with shoes tied to their backs whistling a tune about a man ******* ******* and getting money
This man doesn’t have a dime to his name and the last time he made love to a woman she screamed in disgust when she saw the disease he picked up from another man when he was 17 and ******
There are women waiting in the shadows of the alleys, waiting for their prey to come along and take them for a spin just for a Benjamin Franklin or two
This woman was taught that *** was a way to survive and that Benjamin Franklin could save anything, since that was all her dad sent her in the mail, as if that was an okay way to make up for leaving
There are teenage boys staring down at green leaves crumbled into nothing and white candied sugar that doesn’t taste so sweet
This Harvard bound boy just threw it all away because the pressure became just a bit too much and the only escape that was left was in the form of artificial highs that will destroy his brain until he’s as useless as a used tissue
There are teenage girls who are downing a bottle of coconut *** and getting on the road to go home so they can take their AP exam the following morning
This broken hearted girl who was just trying to forget her ex by swallowing the taste of Hawaii just killed another man in a head on collision
We wreck our lives for the pure possibility of enjoyment
We are all just looking for ways to forget and make up for all these lost moments that don’t even exist
A moment is never truly lost because it ceases to exists
Yet we forget this all in the thrill of it

Time is just a sugar coated limit on our lives that we fret over in order to worry about something
But maybe what we should be worrying about is the boy snorting coke in the bathroom
Not only should we be worried about his inhalation of the fast white lady,
But we should also be concerned over the circumstances surrounding him
He’s got scars on his wrists that he’s gained from war
Not Vietnam or Iraq but the war in his mind
But maybe we should be worrying about the girl selling herself on the street
She’s got eyes like fire but there’s burn marks slashed across her back from her “mother” shoving her onto the hot burning stove when her daddy left as a way to get out her anger
But maybe we should be worrying about the man with the shoes on his back
The disease that girl avoided will **** him in a matter of months and he hasn’t spoken to his mother in 10 years
She’s about to lose her only son to the ground because of some stupid party and some washed up drunk boy just looking for a good time without any concerns or protection
Or maybe we should worry about the teenage girl whose sitting in the jail cell drunk off her *** and being charged with vehicle manslaughter
Her ex is now lying under a white sheet, dead as can be, all because she was stupid enough to try to get amnesia from a bottle of forbidden poison

We would do anything to forget
We **** up our lives for the pure chance of amnesia
We all just want our innocence back
That teenage girl would love to forget how she lost her virginity to a boy who didn’t love her
But now she’s wearing black at a funeral staring at the face of a man she truly did love with her hands trapped in handcuffs behind her back
The man with the shoes would love to forget how he was once a straight-A student destined to be the next Steve Jobs
But all because of some frivolous party and the sleeping he did in his health class freshman year, he’s given up on the possibility of love and companionship and he’ll be rotting in the ground next to his father by the age of 34
The teenage boy would love to forget what it’s like to live with a beast in your mind with a red name tag stamped with the title ‘depression’
But instead he’s slashing his wrists in the bathroom as his blood splatters across the remaining ******* that lines the basin of the sink
The woman would love to forget the story of her accidental conception
But instead she hides in the alleys looking like a replica of her dad and just a little too much like the woman at the post office he got a bit too friendly with
We drown ourselves in the possibilities of falling into this idealistic dream world laced with melatonin and codeine as our brain collapses in on itself and our memories float away
This is the dream
Yet we cannot grasp it

We are all very quick to judge
We are all self-absorbed beings who form opinions on these four humans who are built of the same skin and bones as us
Yet we don’t take a second to look just a little bit deeper
The woman you considered a ******* whose been abused and beaten by a mother that’s not even her own?
She has a college degree and won three spelling bees when she was 12 years old
She can spell the word promiscuous faster than you can breathe out
She’s got flower crowns wilting in her closet that contain rotting lilies from her wedding bouquet
Her husband left her just like her dad did
The teenage boy, who you considered an emo, suicidal, washed up ******* addict?
He volunteers at the hospital and tries to help other kids suffering from the same disease that plagues his mind, even though he can’t help himself
He listens to only country music and sometimes when he picks his sister up from ballet recitals, they sing it together, extra loud with all the windows down
The man you judged as a homeless, lonely, STD-ridden loser?
He’s got thousands and thousands of dollars he pays to a nurse each week to take care of the mother he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years
He grew up on nothing, with only shoes on his back, and made himself into something
He made himself into a millionaire over a silly idea that resembled Facebook
And now he’s resorted back to his childhood ways in order to keep a woman healthy that kicked him out of the house when she found out he was bisexual
The girl who you considered some ******, blonde, drunk idiot who just killed her ex by pure accident?
She’s a natural brunette and she only dyed her hair because her ex told her it would make her pretty
Her self-esteem is so low it lies in the core of the earth, burning in hell, where she believes she’s going to end up because she lost her virginity before marriage
She’s got a purity ring resting in the threads of her carpet and a ****** wrapper in the trash laced with regret
She fell in love with somebody who treated her like she thought of herself, and she let him take the only part of her she had pride in because she believed he loved her

But now the woman with the flower crowns hiding in the alley has become a victim of **** because of some ******* who wasn’t carrying a Benjamin Franklin or a ******
But now the boy with a love for Luke Bryan is lying on the bathroom floor of some high school party in a pool of his own blood, slipping into oblivion
But now the man supporting his mother is in the hospital because of a disease in his genitals
But now the teenage girl is in prison for life

These are all just stories of imaginary people
Yet it all feels deathly real
Take us back to our youth
Take us to a land of the forgotten
Slivers of hope remained.
Though scarce, it was enough to push on.
Then
The Call.
Hushed movements
The glimmer of faith,
A diminishing wick,
Cruelly snuffed out by the pinch of confirmation.
The waiting.
The weight of the words
A peripheral flash
Preceding a perpetual storm.
Lamenting
Sorrowful
Groans
Muffled by cupped and shaking hands.
Bowed heads and silence.
Fallen tears of volunteers.
Distorted and stricken faces
Consolidating.
Searching for other faces
Wishing they were home.
When a person is missing, men and women and in some cases whole communities volunteer themselves to help find the person whether they know them or not. Their help is always appreciated, but often their own anguish goes overlooked....
I first posted this on Penlateral a year or so back.
Who would not laugh, if Lawrence, hired to grace
His costly canvas with each flattered face,
Abused his art, till Nature, with a blush,
Saw cits grow Centaurs underneath his brush?
Or, should some limner join, for show or sale,
A Maid of Honour to a Mermaid’s tail?
Or low Dubost—as once the world has seen—
Degrade God’s creatures in his graphic spleen?
Not all that forced politeness, which defends
Fools in their faults, could gag his grinning friends.
Believe me, Moschus, like that picture seems
The book which, sillier than a sick man’s dreams,
Displays a crowd of figures incomplete,
Poetic Nightmares, without head or feet.

  Poets and painters, as all artists know,
May shoot a little with a lengthened bow;
We claim this mutual mercy for our task,
And grant in turn the pardon which we ask;
But make not monsters spring from gentle dams—
Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not lambs.

  A laboured, long Exordium, sometimes tends
(Like patriot speeches) but to paltry ends;
And nonsense in a lofty note goes down,
As Pertness passes with a legal gown:
Thus many a Bard describes in pompous strain
The clear brook babbling through the goodly plain:
The groves of Granta, and her Gothic halls,
King’s Coll-Cam’s stream-stained windows, and old walls:
Or, in adventurous numbers, neatly aims
To paint a rainbow, or the river Thames.

  You sketch a tree, and so perhaps may shine—
But daub a shipwreck like an alehouse sign;
You plan a vase—it dwindles to a ***;
Then glide down Grub-street—fasting and forgot:
Laughed into Lethe by some quaint Review,
Whose wit is never troublesome till—true.

In fine, to whatsoever you aspire,
Let it at least be simple and entire.

  The greater portion of the rhyming tribe
(Give ear, my friend, for thou hast been a scribe)
Are led astray by some peculiar lure.
I labour to be brief—become obscure;
One falls while following Elegance too fast;
Another soars, inflated with Bombast;
Too low a third crawls on, afraid to fly,
He spins his subject to Satiety;
Absurdly varying, he at last engraves
Fish in the woods, and boars beneath the waves!

  Unless your care’s exact, your judgment nice,
The flight from Folly leads but into Vice;
None are complete, all wanting in some part,
Like certain tailors, limited in art.
For galligaskins Slowshears is your man
But coats must claim another artisan.
Now this to me, I own, seems much the same
As Vulcan’s feet to bear Apollo’s frame;
Or, with a fair complexion, to expose
Black eyes, black ringlets, but—a bottle nose!

  Dear Authors! suit your topics to your strength,
And ponder well your subject, and its length;
Nor lift your load, before you’re quite aware
What weight your shoulders will, or will not, bear.
But lucid Order, and Wit’s siren voice,
Await the Poet, skilful in his choice;
With native Eloquence he soars along,
Grace in his thoughts, and Music in his song.

  Let Judgment teach him wisely to combine
With future parts the now omitted line:
This shall the Author choose, or that reject,
Precise in style, and cautious to select;
Nor slight applause will candid pens afford
To him who furnishes a wanting word.
Then fear not, if ’tis needful, to produce
Some term unknown, or obsolete in use,
(As Pitt has furnished us a word or two,
Which Lexicographers declined to do;)
So you indeed, with care,—(but be content
To take this license rarely)—may invent.
New words find credit in these latter days,
If neatly grafted on a Gallic phrase;
What Chaucer, Spenser did, we scarce refuse
To Dryden’s or to Pope’s maturer Muse.
If you can add a little, say why not,
As well as William Pitt, and Walter Scott?
Since they, by force of rhyme and force of lungs,
Enriched our Island’s ill-united tongues;
’Tis then—and shall be—lawful to present
Reform in writing, as in Parliament.

  As forests shed their foliage by degrees,
So fade expressions which in season please;
And we and ours, alas! are due to Fate,
And works and words but dwindle to a date.
Though as a Monarch nods, and Commerce calls,
Impetuous rivers stagnate in canals;
Though swamps subdued, and marshes drained, sustain
The heavy ploughshare and the yellow grain,
And rising ports along the busy shore
Protect the vessel from old Ocean’s roar,
All, all, must perish; but, surviving last,
The love of Letters half preserves the past.
True, some decay, yet not a few revive;
Though those shall sink, which now appear to thrive,
As Custom arbitrates, whose shifting sway
Our life and language must alike obey.

  The immortal wars which Gods and Angels wage,
Are they not shown in Milton’s sacred page?
His strain will teach what numbers best belong
To themes celestial told in Epic song.

  The slow, sad stanza will correctly paint
The Lover’s anguish, or the Friend’s complaint.
But which deserves the Laurel—Rhyme or Blank?
Which holds on Helicon the higher rank?
Let squabbling critics by themselves dispute
This point, as puzzling as a Chancery suit.

  Satiric rhyme first sprang from selfish spleen.
You doubt—see Dryden, Pope, St. Patrick’s Dean.
Blank verse is now, with one consent, allied
To Tragedy, and rarely quits her side.
Though mad Almanzor rhymed in Dryden’s days,
No sing-song Hero rants in modern plays;
Whilst modest Comedy her verse foregoes
For jest and ‘pun’ in very middling prose.
Not that our Bens or Beaumonts show the worse,
Or lose one point, because they wrote in verse.
But so Thalia pleases to appear,
Poor ******! ****** some twenty times a year!

Whate’er the scene, let this advice have weight:—
Adapt your language to your Hero’s state.
At times Melpomene forgets to groan,
And brisk Thalia takes a serious tone;
Nor unregarded will the act pass by
Where angry Townly “lifts his voice on high.”
Again, our Shakespeare limits verse to Kings,
When common prose will serve for common things;
And lively Hal resigns heroic ire,—
To “hollaing Hotspur” and his sceptred sire.

  ’Tis not enough, ye Bards, with all your art,
To polish poems; they must touch the heart:
Where’er the scene be laid, whate’er the song,
Still let it bear the hearer’s soul along;
Command your audience or to smile or weep,
Whiche’er may please you—anything but sleep.
The Poet claims our tears; but, by his leave,
Before I shed them, let me see ‘him’ grieve.

  If banished Romeo feigned nor sigh nor tear,
Lulled by his languor, I could sleep or sneer.
Sad words, no doubt, become a serious face,
And men look angry in the proper place.
At double meanings folks seem wondrous sly,
And Sentiment prescribes a pensive eye;
For Nature formed at first the inward man,
And actors copy Nature—when they can.
She bids the beating heart with rapture bound,
Raised to the Stars, or levelled with the ground;
And for Expression’s aid, ’tis said, or sung,
She gave our mind’s interpreter—the tongue,
Who, worn with use, of late would fain dispense
(At least in theatres) with common sense;
O’erwhelm with sound the Boxes, Gallery, Pit,
And raise a laugh with anything—but Wit.

  To skilful writers it will much import,
Whence spring their scenes, from common life or Court;
Whether they seek applause by smile or tear,
To draw a Lying Valet, or a Lear,
A sage, or rakish youngster wild from school,
A wandering Peregrine, or plain John Bull;
All persons please when Nature’s voice prevails,
Scottish or Irish, born in Wilts or Wales.

  Or follow common fame, or forge a plot;
Who cares if mimic heroes lived or not!
One precept serves to regulate the scene:
Make it appear as if it might have been.

  If some Drawcansir you aspire to draw,
Present him raving, and above all law:
If female furies in your scheme are planned,
Macbeth’s fierce dame is ready to your hand;
For tears and treachery, for good and evil,
Constance, King Richard, Hamlet, and the Devil!
But if a new design you dare essay,
And freely wander from the beaten way,
True to your characters, till all be past,
Preserve consistency from first to last.

  Tis hard to venture where our betters fail,
Or lend fresh interest to a twice-told tale;
And yet, perchance,’tis wiser to prefer
A hackneyed plot, than choose a new, and err;
Yet copy not too closely, but record,
More justly, thought for thought than word for word;
Nor trace your Prototype through narrow ways,
But only follow where he merits praise.

  For you, young Bard! whom luckless fate may lead
To tremble on the nod of all who read,
Ere your first score of cantos Time unrolls,
Beware—for God’s sake, don’t begin like Bowles!
“Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”—
And pray, what follows from his boiling brain?—
He sinks to Southey’s level in a trice,
Whose Epic Mountains never fail in mice!
Not so of yore awoke your mighty Sire
The tempered warblings of his master-lyre;
Soft as the gentler breathing of the lute,
“Of Man’s first disobedience and the fruit”
He speaks, but, as his subject swells along,
Earth, Heaven, and Hades echo with the song.”
Still to the “midst of things” he hastens on,
As if we witnessed all already done;
Leaves on his path whatever seems too mean
To raise the subject, or adorn the scene;
Gives, as each page improves upon the sight,
Not smoke from brightness, but from darkness—light;
And truth and fiction with such art compounds,
We know not where to fix their several bounds.

  If you would please the Public, deign to hear
What soothes the many-headed monster’s ear:
If your heart triumph when the hands of all
Applaud in thunder at the curtain’s fall,
Deserve those plaudits—study Nature’s page,
And sketch the striking traits of every age;
While varying Man and varying years unfold
Life’s little tale, so oft, so vainly told;
Observe his simple childhood’s dawning days,
His pranks, his prate, his playmates, and his plays:
Till time at length the mannish tyro weans,
And prurient vice outstrips his tardy teens!

  Behold him Freshman! forced no more to groan
O’er Virgil’s devilish verses and his own;
Prayers are too tedious, Lectures too abstruse,
He flies from Tavell’s frown to “Fordham’s Mews;”
(Unlucky Tavell! doomed to daily cares
By pugilistic pupils, and by bears,)
Fines, Tutors, tasks, Conventions threat in vain,
Before hounds, hunters, and Newmarket Plain.
Rough with his elders, with his equals rash,
Civil to sharpers, prodigal of cash;
Constant to nought—save hazard and a *****,
Yet cursing both—for both have made him sore:
Unread (unless since books beguile disease,
The P——x becomes his passage to Degrees);
Fooled, pillaged, dunned, he wastes his terms away,
And unexpelled, perhaps, retires M.A.;
Master of Arts! as hells and clubs proclaim,
Where scarce a blackleg bears a brighter name!

  Launched into life, extinct his early fire,
He apes the selfish prudence of his Sire;
Marries for money, chooses friends for rank,
Buys land, and shrewdly trusts not to the Bank;
Sits in the Senate; gets a son and heir;
Sends him to Harrow—for himself was there.
Mute, though he votes, unless when called to cheer,
His son’s so sharp—he’ll see the dog a Peer!

  Manhood declines—Age palsies every limb;
He quits the scene—or else the scene quits him;
Scrapes wealth, o’er each departing penny grieves,
And Avarice seizes all Ambition leaves;
Counts cent per cent, and smiles, or vainly frets,
O’er hoards diminished by young Hopeful’s debts;
Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy,
Complete in all life’s lessons—but to die;
Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please,
Commending every time, save times like these;
Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot,
Expires unwept—is buried—Let him rot!

  But from the Drama let me not digress,
Nor spare my precepts, though they please you less.
Though Woman weep, and hardest hearts are stirred,
When what is done is rather seen than heard,
Yet many deeds preserved in History’s page
Are better told than acted on the stage;
The ear sustains what shocks the timid eye,
And Horror thus subsides to Sympathy,
True Briton all beside, I here am French—
Bloodshed ’tis surely better to retrench:
The gladiatorial gore we teach to flow
In tragic scenes disgusts though but in show;
We hate the carnage while we see the trick,
And find small sympathy in being sick.
Not on the stage the regicide Macbeth
Appals an audience with a Monarch’s death;
To gaze when sable Hubert threats to sear
Young Arthur’s eyes, can ours or Nature bear?
A haltered heroine Johnson sought to slay—
We saved Irene, but half ****** the play,
And (Heaven be praised!) our tolerating times
Stint Metamorphoses to Pantomimes;
And Lewis’ self, with all his sprites, would quake
To change Earl Osmond’s ***** to a snake!
Because, in scenes exciting joy or grief,
We loathe the action which exceeds belief:
And yet, God knows! what may not authors do,
Whose Postscripts prate of dyeing “heroines blue”?

  Above all things, Dan Poet, if you can,
Eke out your acts, I pray, with mortal man,
Nor call a ghost, unless some cursed scrape
Must open ten trap-doors for your escape.
Of all the monstrous things I’d fain forbid,
I loathe an Opera worse than Dennis did;
Where good and evil persons, right or wrong,
Rage, love, and aught but moralise—in song.
Hail, last memorial of our foreign friends,
Which Gaul allows, and still Hesperia lends!
Napoleon’s edicts no embargo lay
On ******—spies—singers—wisely shipped away.
Our giant Capital, whose squares are spread
Where rustics earned, and now may beg, their bread,
In all iniquity is grown so nice,
It scorns amusements which are not of price.
Hence the pert shopkeeper, whose throbbing ear
Aches with orchestras which he pays to hear,
Whom shame, not sympathy, forbids to snore,
His anguish doubling by his own “encore;”
Squeezed in “Fop’s Alley,” jostled by the beaux,
Teased with his hat, and trembling for his toes;
Scarce wrestles through the night, nor tastes of ease,
Till the dropped curtain gives a glad release:
Why this, and more, he suffers—can ye guess?—
Because it costs him dear, and makes him dress!

  So prosper eunuchs from Etruscan schools;
Give us but fiddlers, and they’re sure of fools!
Ere scenes were played by many a reverend clerk,
(What harm, if David danced before the ark?)
In Christmas revels, simple country folks
Were pleased with morrice-mumm’ry and coarse jokes.
Improving years, with things no longer known,
Produced blithe Punch and merry Madame Joan,
Who still frisk on with feats so lewdly low,
’Tis strange Benvolio suffers such a show;
Suppressing peer! to whom each vice gives place,
Oaths, boxing, begging—all, save rout and race.

  Farce followed Comedy, and reached her prime,
In ever-laughing Foote’s fantastic time:
Mad wag! who pardoned none, nor spared the best,
And turned some very serious things to jest.
Nor Church nor State escaped his public sneers,
Arms nor the Gown—Priests—Lawyers—Volunteers:
“Alas, poor Yorick!” now for ever mute!
Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote.

  We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes
Ape the swoln dialogue of Kings and Queens,
When “Crononhotonthologos must die,”
And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.

  Moschus! with whom once more I hope to sit,
And smile at folly, if we can’t at wit;
Yes, Friend! for thee I’ll quit my cynic cell,
And bear Swift’s motto, “Vive la bagatelle!”
Which charmed our days in each ægean clime,
As oft at home, with revelry and rhyme.
Then may Euphrosyne, who sped the past,
Soothe thy Life’s scenes, nor leave thee in the last;
But find in thine—like pagan Plato’s bed,
Some merry Manuscript of Mimes, when dead.

  Now to the Drama let us bend our eyes,
Where fettered by whig Walpole low she lies;
Corruption foiled her, for she feared her glance;
Decorum left her for an Opera dance!
Yet Chesterfield, whose polished pen inveighs
‘Gainst laughter, fought for freedom to our Plays;
Unchecked by Megrims of patrician brains,
And damning Dulness of Lord Chamberlains.
Repeal that act! again let Humour roam
Wild o’er the stage—we’ve time for tears at home;
Let Archer plant the horns on Sullen’s brows,
And Estifania gull her “Copper” spouse;
The moral’s scant—but that may be excused,
Men go not to be lectured, but amused.
He whom our plays dispose to Good or Ill
Must wear a head in want of Willis’ skill;
Aye, but Macheath’s examp
Sy Lilang Jul 2014
Volunteers, PSGs, Staffs
Executive Directors
And higher task allocators.

People pass by
Mic's were off
Facade was the banner of hope.

Voices all over the provinces
All with the same goal
Rightly urged with own reasons.

Two faces were present
Painted with grimace
Or with broaden smiles.

The screening was stern and severe
Camera rolls on with Level 2
"Next," "Give me another song"
The voice sounds no roughs of plead
A voice pushing rivals
To their very own frontiers

I was startled
So this is how they do it
Selection, great screenings
There're expectators
There're hope hurtles
*Dreams will sooner be pulled of.
Watching the Voice!!
Robin Carretti Apr 2018
Our needs weakness

R-Restless
R-Ruthless
R-Ravenous
R-Risque
R-we $$$
Rich?

To death be as part
Sickness or switch
Struggling it seems

Endless

Moon shines for others
Why am I dressless
Where is our star
With the Countess?

Waiting too long
Racing mind buying
another car

Too many offers and deeds
Losing yourself in
one star
Vamperish layers
The finest relishes
 Exquisite jewelry
out shines and
his smile declines
She volunteered
She polishes anyones
spirit to get divorced hum

Right on to beacon on

She volunteers words
the right one's
Mike and Robin
delicious so ambitious
He's the classic Electric
Radio's
To be or not ot be
Diddos winning lotto
Widows rediscovered
Or cut like a knife
The Rose in her prime
Those high expectations
She volunteered new
inventions of time

Remembering President
Kennedy Ask not what your
country  could do  4 times
for you
Now the Playgirl calender # 5
babe what she could
do for the country plenty____
Modern times date men of many
6 Men and women remains a ten
Feeling spoiled in a playpen

Those useless years perhaps the
lucky  7 love me times
Flooding your brain

White picket fence chimes
"Bad moon rising full moon
Giving away rebates
Those volunteers Scenic routes
Vineyard enjoying aged wine
Be mine you need more time

Laura Croft tomb raider
in her loft be the smart player
In Rome architectural beauty
My Mom is amazingly
Judy
*
And she did her duty
Red changed the color
Valentine
Became the watcher "Rolex"
You were writing the words
like a women stalker
pills of Xanax
Your husband is eating
Your "Prima Donna"
4 the love of pasta & capers
He will always be your
love mentor

The blood and chocolate hand
We will all live up to the
Titans don;t ever say never
You only got 10 fingers
Now land
Any Volunteers you better make up your mind quick the years are going by. There will always be sometingto do just try
The hoofs scarred the earth
As they they across
Releasing energy of every
Emotion
The mane runs along side
Rippling like the patriotic flag
It bends and bows to every breeze
The rumble of the running
Is like music of the earth
The snorts are are the cries of war
Compared to the shots and explosions
They race through the trenches
Faster than in the fields
They even wear they're own uniform
The leather dances on their backs
As they dodge the bullets
Their sense of duty belongs to the soldiers
Running to find their wound decorated
Comrades, hiding in the mud
Waiting for hope
Everybody remembers the soldiers
And the war mothers
But not any of the other
Volunteers
louis rams Jun 2013
Hospice is the rest stop between heaven and earth
They care for you for all your worth
They are with you in your final days
Taking care of you in so many ways.
Relieving many burdens, and helping family and friends
Consoling them till the end.
The care givers are with them thru their pains
And they don’t do it for fortune or fame.
Finding care at the end of life
For a husband, sister, brother, or wife
Or a family member who may be alone or in pain
When needing help there is no shame.
They are health professionals and volunteers
Who help the dying from their fears!
It takes a special kind of person to help others
In their hours of need, and on their help the dying do feed.
A little smile, a kind word, a gentle hand
Are things that they understand!
Let them leave this world with a mind full of memories
And a heart full of love, given from you as they travel above.
Skylar Bouchard Dec 2014
Pastels and pretty pictures,
I lean back in the couch,
The elephant in the room,
She'll never know about,
How the critics wail over the way the paint falls off her brush.

I would rather drop-dead,
Than ever talk about
That night back in 07'
Teeth flying out my mouth,
But I think you would've liked me better then anyhow,

                                                        ­                      I'm curious...

                                                     ­   I'm curious...

                                                     ­                      ...I'm curious....
                              ..Cause
                                           I
                                              just
            ­                                         wanna
                                                           ­       see
                                                      ­                  what
                                          ­                                       makes
                                                           ­                                  you
                                                             ­                                        tick  



Each year he writes a note
and leaves it in his room,
Key lime pie, Saturdays at the zoo,
Reminiscing flashbacks of better fast food,

Dead the day,
He scurries home in the dead of night,
Dragging his will, whats left, shaking off the frostbite,
Volunteers to play drunken clown for another night,


I think of their eyes and everything that they've seen,
Nothing that I see could ever be unique,
So don't you lie and say you see it shining in me.


                                                              ­                I'm curious...

                                                     ­   I'm curious...

                                                     ­                      ...I'm curious....
                              ..Cause
                                           I
                                              just
            ­                                         wanna
                                                           ­       see
                                                      ­                  what
                                          ­                                       makes
                                                           ­                                  you
                                                             ­                                        **tick
Written by Skylar Bouchard. All Rights Reserved.
Ezra Nov 2014
When I lost my marbles,
My dad would always say:
"Don't worry, you'll find them
When you just stop searching."

And it sounded stupid,
But every time I stopped,
Yeah, I found my marbles.

I grew up; my dad died,
Seasons changed, so did I,
But the rule stayed as true.

One day, I'd given up
On that romantic stuff,
And,
Resigned to die alone,
I walked into a big
Ol' Shakespeare conference,
To watch Othello die.

Well there, they were taking
"Volunteers" for Juliet,
"Lucky men" Romeos,
And I was one of them.
Rewind this memoir back to my first foster home.   I’m reclining on the couch in the living room watching Superman, a whatever's-on-tv-saturday-afternoon-movie.   "Give A Little Bit" played from the soundtrack.  The Supertramp song reached out from the screen and into my own complicated teen-aged life.  Oh the words of that song blindsided me, hit me hard in the chest with a sad yearning, an emotion I had ignored forever like that elephant in the room too big to push out the door.  Because life was so hard, too hard, and lonely on and on, and the world gives only just enough that you keep breathing, but you wonder why.  Yes, please  someone  give just a little....
But at the time I hadn't known anything else and I just stuffed that overwhelming sad lonely feeling.  Too much need wears out a welcome in someone else's home.  It seemed most everyone else had family, security, some money for perhaps things like a pair of cleats to run in school track if you have the desire. Its called belonging or opportunity and I was acutely aware I wouldn't have it.

Fast forward 25 years; business for my glass art studio is rewarding.  I live in Cleveland, or what I called Purgatory.  I like the city though; I think the motto should be "Its Not That Bad."  A tough steel town, unpretentious to a fault, tenacious, it inspired the Clean Water Act because the river was so polluted it   caught   on   fire.  People who live there just don't quit, except that the biggest export is young people. The streets are eerily empty, the quiet steel mills are epic sculptures of rust.  But its not that bad.  Now they make a tasty beer called Burning River.  Sometimes they gamble on unconventional ideas because they've reached the end of status-quo.  One can even surf there, when the wind blows a Nor'easter in the fall, just before the lake freezes. The wave break is nicknamed "Sewer Pipe"; one can imagine why.

I biked with a club there; cycling part of my life-blood.  Life was pretty good, blessed with measures of contentment and happiness and family, even through so many challenges.  Except I'm stuck pedaling a trainer in the basement most of the long winter.  It was during an endless, gray February that I was inspired by an idea: a Velodrome.  Its one of those banked tracks people in America only see during the Olympics.  Cover it, and people could have a bicycle park all year-round with palm trees in the winter, in Cleveland.  Its a blast of a sport with serious American heritage.  A velodrome is a place where all a kid has to do is show up and with enough heart he or she can make it to the Olympics.  They wouldn't need money, just 100% heart.  It would be the kind of opportunity I didn't have when I was a kid.

So I decided to take on the responsibility to build one... not to be afraid of the price tag, or how to do it, or let a label like "disabled veteran with a head injury" daunt me.  I figured my role was to get the project started and motivate others to do other parts.  I decided not to discuss my shortcomings, introduce myself with that label, or use it as a disclaimer.   As many times as I wished I had a chalkboard sign around my neck saying, Please excuse the mess, I had to tell myself it was not an excuse.
There would need to be many others; but the fact that I knew only a dozen people on the planet didn't stop me either.  Two people inspired me.  Kyle MacDonald had a dream to barter a paper clip for something better, trading that for something else, anything else, until he had a house.  I thought I could start with an old laptop, a couple thousand dollars, and my idea. I'd work to leverage each bit of progress, not knowing what they were yet.  Thats how anything gets done, right?  Erik Weihenmayer is a blind alpine mountain climber, conquering even Everest.  He didn’t let anyone convince him what he couldn’t do, and didn’t let impairments keep him from his goal.  He didn't let blindness, the fact that he couldn't see the top as well as others, make the goal any less enjoyable for himself.  Also, there’s no way he could have done it without help.

There are no business plans for a Velodrome or someone else would have built more of them already.  I'm good at figuring things out, what with having to relearn things all the time.  I don't quit because that has never seemed to be an option.  Resourcefulness is my middle name, having to put my life back together every year or so.  Certainly the project was eccentric but as an artist I've never really cared about what others thought.  I certainly didn't have a reputation for sanity to maintain.  Professionally, I’ve had experience with so many factors of development: from paperwork at the back end as a Project Assistant, to designing it as a Mechanical Drafter, to constructing it as a Steel Detailer.  I understood this project.

Every time I discovered something needed to be done, I'd figure out how to do it.  I took an online tutorial and put together a website, attended communication seminars for better speaking skills, learned how to recruit a Board of Directors, took classes for fundraising, won a few grants, and started a non-profit.  I had to buy a couple of suits for meetings.  I kept hoping someone who knew what they were doing would take over, but that never seemed to materialize.  What I thought would be a few months turned into several hard years of work, learning new things on the fly like politics, business etiquette, computer programs, how to understand and write financials and business plans for stadiums.

It felt like cramming for finals, taking exams for classes I never attended.  I didn’t just burn my candle on both ends, I was torching it in the middle too.  Every challenge I had ever gone through seemed like it was a preparation for this one.  Many times I wondered if it was all for nothing; so many dead ends and frustrations and years where the project was barely on life-support.  Mistakes and wrong turns making people mad, losing faith in me.  Would it ever really happen?  I kept imagining what my bike wheels would look like under my handlebars as if I was ridiing on the track, listening to the same particular songs on my ipod for motivation.

A small tangent here, a digression back to the fifth grade and my favorite teacher.  He was about as tall as his students.  Mr.A (our nickname for Mr. Anderson) was a barrel-chested little person but I didn't notice it till years later because he was so cool.  He was the first teacher, the first person actually, who encouraged me to be myself.  I was a little kid, a couple years advanced and bright enough to be skipped again.  Tthat would have been ridiculous since I was already too small.  I would get my work done early in class, and he would let me spend time doing whatever, encouraging my creativity.  I distinctly remember making little scale models of parks out of construction paper.  I would start by making a rectangular tray, and then fill it in with ponds, benches, and oval or figure-8 tracks for bicycles, elevated roller-coaster paths for walking.  It was my way of creating a whimsical place that felt good in my difficult life.  No lie, I was building bicycle tracks when I was 9.  That memory faded away until I was several years into the actual Velodrome project, trying create a light-hearted park on the edge of a ghetto.  This was my life's ultimate Art Project; made with wood, steel, and tenacity.  It made me wonder about a life's purpose... still just a what if... but cruel if there wasn't anything to it.

There is a necessary role for the dreamer.  Visionaries help to break status quo, introduce new solutions.  Sorting through the banal with unique perspective, the random is reassembled into intriguing newness.  What is creative nature?  Is it obsession to improve things, the need for approval, resourcefulness within limits, or perspective outside boundaries?   Is it tenacity to the point of obsession, focus to the point of selfishness?  

Thankfully, a few devoted people did take over after a few years and worked hard to raise the serious money.  In 2012, Phase 1 of the Cleveland Velodrome opened to the public.  Presently they are raising funds for Phase 2 to cover it.   By chance I was there the day the track was finished and got a chance to ride it.  All I wanted to do was one thing: listen to those songs on my ipod and see my wheels under the handlebars on the track... in reality.  I didn't want to race or be recognized at some celebration.  I just wanted to ride a few laps, happy just to have a role in building it.  In less than a year there are already training programs, youth cycling classes, and teams competing.  Through community grants and volunteers, its all free to anyone under 18.  

Not to be forgotten, some thanks should go to one supportive teacher who helped a scrappy kid dream.    Schools measure math and science so valuable, for good reason.  But this favors one brain’s side of thinking.  Initiating and working for the construction of an urban renewal project and improving a neighborhood is traceable to the exact same idea assembled with clumsy school scissors, white glue, and construction paper, during 5th grade free time.

I can't wait to hear the news of some tough kid from East Cleveland getting to the Olympics.
Which takes us on a direct path to:
THE  INCIDENT.
Say you are a normal man—whatever that means—
But say it’s late June of 1993 and you’re laying on the couch,
Scratching your *****, trying to intuit your LDL level
Based on the two bowls of the Old Lady’s Cholesterol Chowder.
The Old Lady-- you can call her Peg or Mrs. Bundy—
Served it up in her special legacy china,
An assortment of recycled tin foil casserole dishes &
Vintage melmac handed down by your mother-in-law.
You are on the couch giving digestion your best shot,
Still scratching your agates when Peg comes
In from the kitchen with your second glass of
Two-buck chuck and a smoking fatty she’s just ignited,
Miraculously without burning the house down.
The TV is on—the TV is always on because
The TV has had no off button since 1984
You are tuned to the CNN evening news &
A report comes on that makes you sit up,
Snap to attention, straight up and take notice:
"WOMAN CUTS OFF HUSBAND'S *****!"
The media shrikes in Atlanta have your attention now,
Your complete attention;
Your eyes are riveted to the telescreen &
Your blood pressure spiking at 240 over 140.
During the previous night of June 23, 1993,
John Wayne Bobbitt arrives at the
Couple's apartment in Manassas, Virginia,
Highly intoxicated after a night of partying.
According to testimony given by Lorena Bobbitt
In a 1994 court hearing, he then rapes her.
Afterwards, Lorena Bobbitt gets out of bed,
Goes to the kitchen for a drink of water.
According to a journal article in the
National Women's Justice & Defense
League of Psychotic Castrating *******,
While in the kitchen she notices,
A carving knife on the counter & "memories of
Past domestic abuse races through her head."
Grabbing the knife, Lorena Bobbitt enters the bedroom
Where John is sleeping & proceeds to
Cut off nearly half his *****,
Half his Johnson,
In this instance aptly named.
So you have some schnook who’s named
After the iconic Hollywood superstar John Wayne . . .
Now understand something, John Wayne—
The ******* Duke of Earl--
Personifies everything alpha male:
Physique, animal magnetism & a pair of
Huge ***** swinging in his chaps as
He sashays across the screen.
In real life he’s a bullfight & cigar aficionado,
A big game hunter and sport fisherman, &
A hard drinking Hemingway hero
Who spends most of his time aboard
A customized WWII U.S. mine sweeper
******* to a pier behind his house in
Newport Harbor, California.
He’s the proverbial man’s man, &
There’s no one like him in America
Until maybe Eastwood or Willis comes along.
There’s a statue of him out in front of
The Orange County Airport that bears his name.
I have a photograph of him hanging in my garage
Next to a Mad-Dog 20-20 poster.
But I digress.
We return to the Bobbitt story because
It gets better, keeps getting crazier.
After assaulting her husband,
Lorena leaves the apartment with the severed *****,
Drives around aimlessly for a short while,
Then rolls down the car window &
Throws the ***** into a field.
Only then does the loony ***** realize
The severity of the incident.
She stops and calls 911.
After an exhaustive search by
Volunteers from the local Humane Society,
The ***** is located, packed in the ice-slurry of
A banana-flavored 7/11 Slurpee, &
Taken to the hospital where half-**** John Bobbitt
Gets a short-arm inspection and treated,
Mostly for shock and awe.
His ***** is later reattached by Drs. James T. Sehn &
David Berman during a nine-and-a-half-hour surgery
Filmed by Ken Burns and broadcast in its entirety by
WGBH Boston, a stunning illustration of
Your tax dollars hard at work
At the National Endowment for the Arts.
An abridged version later becomes the season premier of
"Girls Gone ******* ******, Manassas!"
Lorena goes on Oprah to explain herself.

Lorena Bobbitt ((née Gallo) was born in Ecuador.
Her maiden name, ironically,
Means **** in English.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix had this to say:
“Deport the *****. She may have an INS green card
But there’s no way she had a government permit to
Go around lopping ***** off in Virginia or any other state.
Who does she think she is, Janet Napolitano?”
Napolitano could not be reached for comment.
Shortly after the incident, episodes of "Bobbittmania,"
Or copycat crimes, were reported.
The name Lorena Bobbitt eventually became
Synonymous with ***** removal.
The terms "Bobbitt Punishment" and "Bobbitt Procedure" gained
Social cache with a radical break-away sect of N.O.W.
COPYCAT Catherine Kieu Becker, 48 (Garden Grove P.D.)  
Woman Accused of Cutting Off Husband's *****
Pleads Not Guilty/ VIDEO: Watch Jennifer Gould's Report
KTLA News   10:40 a.m. PST, February 3, 2012 /SANTA ANA, Calif.
"A 48-year-old woman accused of cutting off
Her husband's ***** and putting it
In the garbage disposal has pleaded
Not guilty to all the charges against her.
Catherine Kieu, of Garden Grove,
Was indicted earlier this month on
One felony count of torture &
One felony count of aggravated mayhem.
She also faces a sentencing enhancement for
Practicing surgical medicine without a license."
Sign up for KTLA 5 Breaking News Email Alerts
Comments (130) Add / View comments | Discussion FAQ
Happy627 at 10:35 PM January 18, 2012
"So my x-wife is a violent drunken *****?
Never once did I ever think of hurting her
But now I see I was wrong.
Vengeance's is the true answer & payback is hell.
So basically I should put an M-40
In her *** and light the fuse.
I should be acquitted from any wrong doing
Because she was a violent drunken *****.
Maybe all men should do this to their
Violent wives/girlfriends & teach them a lesson.
Cyanmanta at 1:10 AM January 11, 2012
In response to Doreen Meyer:
"So you're assuming that because he was the victim
He must have done something to deserve it
In some small way?
Typical of convenient feminism:
Assume all female victims are innocent &
Pure as driven snow,
While dismissing all male victims
With the idea that 'he had it coming.'
I wish I could pander shamelessly
To the media for preferential treatment,
But sadly, I am male (or as feminists would say)
The Evil Gender."
Westfield at 5:47 PM Jan.09, 2012
She should get her own show on the ***** channel.
(Bravo). KABC radio's John Phillips & his girlfriend
Nathan Baker would love to watch it."
Sluff it off, take a load off, baby.
Take a load off?
“Take a load off Annie,
Take a load for free;
Take a load off Annie, and
Bom bom bom bom
Bom be bom— & Dddddddddd,
You can put the load right on me.”
Send “The Weight” Ringtone to Your Cell

. . . Snipped, fixed, neutered, gelded,
Emasculated, eunuchized, or castrated?
(Castrating Forceps  (www.alibaba.com/
Showroom/castration-tool.html).
Bobbittized!
Keva Minus Sep 2015
Her Heart is on FIRE.
Who wants to get burned?
By: Keva Minus ©
AJ Robertson Mar 2013
***** feet
***** of them ache
they're dry
all dried out, moisture to face and digestive tract make little difference
but comfort a little sort of; maybe
subdue to replenishing
skip the pain with a drink fucken, fucken drink fucken
dust lingers in the brain, it swirls
a cloud of ground envelops the shape of u
u become covered
u have a layer,
salty,
and dry
and 'organic'
(surely bio (though im not sure what is or why are))

full city boy, suburban boy, not particularly gritty boy
along side hippies
and volunteers all tripppy
and unwashed, and un plastic
yet forcefully hemped
drunk of micro beer
and burnt brown and blotchy red
and wire-y

and dry

and matted
as if nothing really matters except for principles
misguided and randomly enforced

feel like a husk; peanut shell
insides swallowed by the mouth of the party embodied
a monsterous sweaty man tanned and thickly bearded
and beered
fat dreads fall around and surround u; a forest of hair
a circle encroaching of fuzzy pillars in fibres
entrapped inside them; feel their lingering time matted hold
a wealth of effort to become unkempt; they are bars
they are walls
and the FACE!
………………………   ………………………………… oh
looming down, wafts of armpit vapour cloud; a looming puft that surrounds
engorged by the scent as it circles u, the mouth that lowered onto u
chews u and spills bits of u
chomp chomp
protein for vegetarians; u; ur rigour ur vigour ur guts
  
eaten in a flurry of chomps and slurps and it crunches
and it grates
like the rocks on the ***** of ur feet it grates

u are digested
and reused
as they would like
but for them; for a collective u dived into
for fun
2 days to peddle ur wares
to progress ( admittedly through some days of regression…)
for all humans, and Humans; for fun

on monday we will repent
for the damages waged on the inside of the body
and the outsides too
for some gain
i guess on this which we settle
for always for display for fun
Mike Essig Apr 2016
Twenty or twenty-one. All volunteers. Barely women.
Straight from school in a thousand small towns.
Straight into the mud and blood and madness.
We dragged our dying to their open arms.
Twelve hours shifts; often more. Wreckage of violence.
Round eyes. Smiles that healed. Hearts that broke.
Girls treating boys. Telling the necessary lies.
You're OK. You're fine. You're going home.
Valor danced in their faces. Lips that spoke hope.
Old now or dead. But forever young and alive
in the memories of 150,000 wounded soldiers
they saved and sent back to the world.
   ~mce
Tony Luxton Jan 2016
Visitors pass from empty bed
to empty bed, like Royals,
silently soaking up the dread
atmosphere with remote respect.

Examining clipboard histories,
rehearsing their medical soaps.
Volunteers answer questions,
the front line troops in trying
to raise our war dead back to life.

Have a care John Willie was not
just a private, not a number,
nor a diagnosis. He was
a person and a brave soldier.

Old photos frame soldiers' pains,
they're wearing posterity masks,
hiding feelings and memories
that lurch back again and again.
mg Dec 2014
dear me,
this is you.
me.
get up.
the ground is your reward
it will hold you when
you are done
hold you with all force
you
are not done
put a silencing finger
to the singing
of  all fat ladies
this is not over
real in all finish lines
steal the sound  of the
metal ringing hanging in the air and
put back in the bell
one more round we go.

get up.
there are sunsets that need
to be signed off on
snowfalls that need your approval.
starry nights like sad
lovers who's beauty
has gone unnoticed in the glare
of television sets
they are looking for
volunteers to notice them
raise your hand
step forward
you will not be chastised
for staring some beauty some beauty
wants to be seen

get up.
as if the simple act of
standing has brought you closer
to the cosmos as you
have ever previously been.
as if all the stars you've seen
busy looking back
taking notes and keeping track
of which wishes need granting
they heard you ask for
strength
show them you havent wasted it.


..

s.d.
Pagan Paul Oct 2016
.
So you snuggle in to your bed
as you hear mid-winter calling.
The cold north wind is blowing
as the last of Autumns leaves are falling.
Did you ever stop to think
as you pull up your blankets tight?
That out in the doorways of the city
desperate figures shiver in the night.
Crowding around the soup van
blue hands grasping for the heat.
Hallowed eyes and frightened expressions
as the rain turns to stinging sleet.
The concrete pavements are hard and cold
the bridges provide scant protection.
The hot food and volunteers words
stir memories into recollection.
Once they were people of society
with homes and jobs and cars and love.
Now they fight behind the charity shops
for clothes and coats and hats and gloves.
So as you snuggle deep in your bed
and your fire starts to burn low.
Remember the people of the streets
as the sleet begins to turn to snow.

Pagan Paul (Dec 2008) ©2016
This was the first poem I ever wrote.
Its from personal experience of being homeless for 3 months over winter 2008/2009.
PPx
ERR Jun 2013
Speed up, said Angel
Don’t pump it, smooth
These people cruise, I drive

Over six, wide and heavy tatted
Bald head cold eyes

Pay attention, stupid
He tapped log ash into
Cigarette box trash
Hands rugged and rough
Great deserts full of highways
Barren, arid, brutal

He held Lane’s finger in a vice
Casually, without effort as he
Squirmed and wormed and begged, full
Body efforts failing
H-drained skeleton unable to muster muscle

Angel loosened his grip, to allow
Some circulation mercy (stay on that positive ****)
We dodged Victoria crowns and
Made smoke monsters with our lips and
Tongues, watched our sins cloud-crafted
And float fade privately

Want a clam strip? Said Lane
Want a granola bar, want a cookie?
Want a strawberry?

Ya, no, sure, maybe later
We stopped for some disgusting sidegrub
And pressed on into the mountains

Talented feline peaks I peep, winding
Green tree ever-stretch left-right-wise
Central concrete snake swirls higher
Our cabins line the rocky river trail
We joke about fighting bears

The thugs bunch and separate
Breakfast with Chewbacca
The wooks sit in sun, tangled
Wool clump hair strands smell

Angel had complained about taxes
Uncle Sam taking perks
The hippie wooks against
Government and Blue Law
From behind cigarettes (**** jar [stuffed])
Injured on the job, collecting
Unemployed, collecting
Tripping, bumming, badly strumming,
Hustling, collecting

Lisa is a toothpick and she has the blowsy jitters
Moon pupils grind tooth, sniff nose hard ball hitter
Saw no shame in her strip pay
I would vouch for her when they tore apart her room

Hipsters half trying and
Lumberjack draft drinkers
No place for thinkers or clean
Shady music belly festival
Drone guards drain cancer
From lit sticks for nic fix
Ritual, and bored means

Twelve hour rain sessions
Can I see your pass?
At my gate

A questioning look
I’m Warren Haynes, he said(?)
Nice to meet you, said sheep
Oh, and Les may come
Walking in here

Terry stood with me through the torrential
The first crowd name I learned
Revisit on the daily
Easy spotted in the thousands
I made stupid jokes
And she
Laughed
At them

The final night of jam
There was sun, there were stars
In my new backstage post I heard Phil and his friends
I made every bus, some
Friends, shot ****
The time type where nothing’s wrong
Volunteers brought water
Marshal’s girl, a chicken kebab
No sitting on the job!
From crowd Terry jester
A stranger gave a moonshine gift
Another, a hug and said well worked

A tie blue dye hippie dippie
Looked at a beautiful woman in a dress
I would totally **** that
*******
Disgusted

Even he can’t damper
At night I hear a sweet beat
A boots and cats boxer master Rob
The Mortar Mouth
And DJ Caesar
Laid back tracks collaborated
As the Tree narrated
We three held the jam
Classic, dream fulfilled
(Dead ***)

Chris shows me nerve ache
In a once stabbed high cheek bone
We guard the stage against
Ghost town robbers trudging sticky fingered

Mister Chicken sips from his confederate
Mug and sloppily asks to sneak, surprising kind
He brings me water and a meal
I pretend to check his wrist and
He hops the wrong fence

The Celtic tattoo on
Mike’s neck reads
My brothers mean everything to me
Latin ink, he tells me of the
Shapely thing in loose skirt
Up the stairs, not a thread
He stands all day on a
Broken back, brightens
Gloomy shifts with smiles

Andy loves his family
And promises to sing his
Grandmother’s favorite
Song when she dies
Every note he practices
Is a jagged pill to swallow
His voice haunts like
Newspaper faces
Or last words whispered

I watch the sun rise as
Magenta melts the mountain mist
And drift off counting constellations
Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,
Telemachus rose and dressed himself. He bound his sandals on to his
comely feet, girded his sword about his shoulder, and left his room
looking like an immortal god. He at once sent the criers round to call
the people in assembly, so they called them and the people gathered
thereon; then, when they were got together, he went to the place of
assembly spear in hand—not alone, for his two hounds went with him.
Minerva endowed him with a presence of such divine comeliness that all
marvelled at him as he went by, and when he took his place’ in his
father’s seat even the oldest councillors made way for him.
  Aegyptius, a man bent double with age, and of infinite experience,
the first to speak His son Antiphus had gone with Ulysses to Ilius,
land of noble steeds, but the savage Cyclops had killed him when
they were all shut up in the cave, and had cooked his last dinner
for him, He had three sons left, of whom two still worked on their
father’s land, while the third, Eurynomus, was one of the suitors;
nevertheless their father could not get over the loss of Antiphus, and
was still weeping for him when he began his speech.
  “Men of Ithaca,” he said, “hear my words. From the day Ulysses
left us there has been no meeting of our councillors until now; who
then can it be, whether old or young, that finds it so necessary to
convene us? Has he got wind of some host approaching, and does he wish
to warn us, or would he speak upon some other matter of public moment?
I am sure he is an excellent person, and I hope Jove will grant him
his heart’s desire.”
  Telemachus took this speech as of good omen and rose at once, for he
was bursting with what he had to say. He stood in the middle of the
assembly and the good herald Pisenor brought him his staff. Then,
turning to Aegyptius, “Sir,” said he, “it is I, as you will shortly
learn, who have convened you, for it is I who am the most aggrieved. I
have not got wind of any host approaching about which I would warn
you, nor is there any matter of public moment on which I would
speak. My grieveance is purely personal, and turns on two great
misfortunes which have fallen upon my house. The first of these is the
loss of my excellent father, who was chief among all you here present,
and was like a father to every one of you; the second is much more
serious, and ere long will be the utter ruin of my estate. The sons of
all the chief men among you are pestering my mother to marry them
against her will. They are afraid to go to her father Icarius,
asking him to choose the one he likes best, and to provide marriage
gifts for his daughter, but day by day they keep hanging about my
father’s house, sacrificing our oxen, sheep, and fat goats for their
banquets, and never giving so much as a thought to the quantity of
wine they drink. No estate can stand such recklessness; we have now no
Ulysses to ward off harm from our doors, and I cannot hold my own
against them. I shall never all my days be as good a man as he was,
still I would indeed defend myself if I had power to do so, for I
cannot stand such treatment any longer; my house is being disgraced
and ruined. Have respect, therefore, to your own consciences and to
public opinion. Fear, too, the wrath of heaven, lest the gods should
be displeased and turn upon you. I pray you by Jove and Themis, who is
the beginning and the end of councils, [do not] hold back, my friends,
and leave me singlehanded—unless it be that my brave father Ulysses
did some wrong to the Achaeans which you would now avenge on me, by
aiding and abetting these suitors. Moreover, if I am to be eaten out
of house and home at all, I had rather you did the eating
yourselves, for I could then take action against you to some
purpose, and serve you with notices from house to house till I got
paid in full, whereas now I have no remedy.”
  With this Telemachus dashed his staff to the ground and burst into
tears. Every one was very sorry for him, but they all sat still and no
one ventured to make him an angry answer, save only Antinous, who
spoke thus:
  “Telemachus, insolent braggart that you are, how dare you try to
throw the blame upon us suitors? It is your mother’s fault not ours,
for she is a very artful woman. This three years past, and close on
four, she has been driving us out of our minds, by encouraging each
one of us, and sending him messages without meaning one word of what
she says. And then there was that other trick she played us. She set
up a great tambour frame in her room, and began to work on an enormous
piece of fine needlework. ‘Sweet hearts,’ said she, ‘Ulysses is indeed
dead, still do not press me to marry again immediately, wait—for I
would not have skill in needlework perish unrecorded—till I have
completed a pall for the hero Laertes, to be in readiness against
the time when death shall take him. He is very rich, and the women
of the place will talk if he is laid out without a pall.’
  “This was what she said, and we assented; whereon we could see her
working on her great web all day long, but at night she would unpick
the stitches again by torchlight. She fooled us in this way for
three years and we never found her out, but as time wore on and she
was now in her fourth year, one of her maids who knew what she was
doing told us, and we caught her in the act of undoing her work, so
she had to finish it whether she would or no. The suitors,
therefore, make you this answer, that both you and the Achaeans may
understand-’Send your mother away, and bid her marry the man of her
own and of her father’s choice’; for I do not know what will happen if
she goes on plaguing us much longer with the airs she gives herself on
the score of the accomplishments Minerva has taught her, and because
she is so clever. We never yet heard of such a woman; we know all
about Tyro, Alcmena, Mycene, and the famous women of old, but they
were nothing to your mother, any one of them. It was not fair of her
to treat us in that way, and as long as she continues in the mind with
which heaven has now endowed her, so long shall we go on eating up
your estate; and I do not see why she should change, for she gets
all the honour and glory, and it is you who pay for it, not she.
Understand, then, that we will not go back to our lands, neither
here nor elsewhere, till she has made her choice and married some
one or other of us.”
  Telemachus answered, “Antinous, how can I drive the mother who
bore me from my father’s house? My father is abroad and we do not know
whether he is alive or dead. It will be ******* me if I have to pay
Icarius the large sum which I must give him if I insist on sending his
daughter back to him. Not only will he deal rigorously with me, but
heaven will also punish me; for my mother when she leaves the house
will calf on the Erinyes to avenge her; besides, it would not be a
creditable thing to do, and I will have nothing to say to it. If you
choose to take offence at this, leave the house and feast elsewhere at
one another’s houses at your own cost turn and turn about. If, on
the other hand, you elect to persist in spunging upon one man,
heaven help me, but Jove shall reckon with you in full, and when you
fall in my father’s house there shall be no man to avenge you.”
  As he spoke Jove sent two eagles from the top of the mountain, and
they flew on and on with the wind, sailing side by side in their own
lordly flight. When they were right over the middle of the assembly
they wheeled and circled about, beating the air with their wings and
glaring death into the eyes of them that were below; then, fighting
fiercely and tearing at one another, they flew off towards the right
over the town. The people wondered as they saw them, and asked each
other what an this might be; whereon Halitherses, who was the best
prophet and reader of omens among them, spoke to them plainly and in
all honesty, saying:
  “Hear me, men of Ithaca, and I speak more particularly to the
suitors, for I see mischief brewing for them. Ulysses is not going
to be away much longer; indeed he is close at hand to deal out death
and destruction, not on them alone, but on many another of us who live
in Ithaca. Let us then be wise in time, and put a stop to this
wickedness before he comes. Let the suitors do so of their own accord;
it will be better for them, for I am not prophesying without due
knowledge; everything has happened to Ulysses as I foretold when the
Argives set out for Troy, and he with them. I said that after going
through much hardship and losing all his men he should come home again
in the twentieth year and that no one would know him; and now all this
is coming true.”
  Eurymachus son of Polybus then said, “Go home, old man, and prophesy
to your own children, or it may be worse for them. I can read these
omens myself much better than you can; birds are always flying about
in the sunshine somewhere or other, but they seldom mean anything.
Ulysses has died in a far country, and it is a pity you are not dead
along with him, instead of prating here about omens and adding fuel to
the anger of Telemachus which is fierce enough as it is. I suppose you
think he will give you something for your family, but I tell you-
and it shall surely be—when an old man like you, who should know
better, talks a young one over till he becomes troublesome, in the
first place his young friend will only fare so much the worse—he will
take nothing by it, for the suitors will prevent this—and in the
next, we will lay a heavier fine, sir, upon yourself than you will
at all like paying, for it will bear hardly upon you. As for
Telemachus, I warn him in the presence of you all to send his mother
back to her father, who will find her a husband and provide her with
all the marriage gifts so dear a daughter may expect. Till we shall go
on harassing him with our suit; for we fear no man, and care neither
for him, with all his fine speeches, nor for any fortune-telling of
yours. You may preach as much as you please, but we shall only hate
you the more. We shall go back and continue to eat up Telemachus’s
estate without paying him, till such time as his mother leaves off
tormenting us by keeping us day after day on the tiptoe of
expectation, each vying with the other in his suit for a prize of such
rare perfection. Besides we cannot go after the other women whom we
should marry in due course, but for the way in which she treats us.”
  Then Telemachus said, “Eurymachus, and you other suitors, I shall
say no more, and entreat you no further, for the gods and the people
of Ithaca now know my story. Give me, then, a ship and a crew of
twenty men to take me hither and thither, and I will go to Sparta
and to Pylos in quest of my father who has so long been missing.
Some one may tell me something, or (and people often hear things in
this way) some heaven-sent message may direct me. If I can hear of him
as alive and on his way home I will put up with the waste you
suitors will make for yet another twelve months. If on the other
hand I hear of his death, I will return at once, celebrate his funeral
rites with all due pomp, build a barrow to his memory, and make my
mother marry again.”
  With these words he sat down, and Mentor who had been a friend of
Ulysses, and had been left in charge of everything with full authority
over the servants, rose to speak. He, then, plainly and in all honesty
addressed them thus:
  “Hear me, men of Ithaca, I hope that you may never have a kind and
well-disposed ruler any more, nor one who will govern you equitably; I
hope that all your chiefs henceforward may be cruel and unjust, for
there is not one of you but has forgotten Ulysses, who ruled you as
though he were your father. I am not half so angry with the suitors,
for if they choose to do violence in the naughtiness of their
hearts, and wager their heads that Ulysses will not return, they can
take the high hand and eat up his estate, but as for you others I am
shocked at the way in which you all sit still without even trying to
stop such scandalous goings on-which you could do if you chose, for
you are many and they are few.”
  Leiocritus, son of Evenor, answered him saying, “Mentor, what
folly is all this, that you should set the people to stay us? It is
a hard thing for one man to fight with many about his victuals. Even
though Ulysses himself were to set upon us while we are feasting in
his house, and do his best to oust us, his wife, who wants him back so
very badly, would have small cause for rejoicing, and his blood
would be upon his own head if he fought against such great odds. There
is no sense in what you have been saying. Now, therefore, do you
people go about your business, and let his father’s old friends,
Mentor and Halitherses, speed this boy on his journey, if he goes at
all—which I do not think he will, for he is more likely to stay where
he is till some one comes and tells him something.”
  On this he broke up the assembly, and every man went back to his own
abode, while the suitors returned to the house of Ulysses.
  Then Telemachus went all alone by the sea side, washed his hands
in the grey waves, and prayed to Minerva.
  “Hear me,” he cried, “you god who visited me yesterday, and bade
me sail the seas in search of my father who has so long been
missing. I would obey you, but the Achaeans, and more particularly the
wicked suitors, are hindering me that I cannot do so.”
  As he thus prayed, Minerva came close up to him in the likeness
and with the voice of Mentor. “Telemachus,” said she, “if you are made
of the same stuff as your father you will be neither fool nor coward
henceforward, for Ulysses never broke his word nor left his work
half done. If, then, you take after him, your voyage will not be
fruitless, but unless you have the blood of Ulysses and of Penelope in
your veins I see no likelihood of your succeeding. Sons are seldom
as good men as their fathers; they are generally worse, not better;
still, as you are not going to be either fool or coward
henceforward, and are not entirely without some share of your father’s
wise discernment, I look with hope upon your undertaking. But mind you
never make common cause with any of those foolish suitors, for they
have neither sense nor virtue, and give no thought to death and to the
doom that will shortly fall on one and all of them, so that they shall
perish on the same day. As for your voyage, it shall not be long
delayed; your father was such an old friend of mine that I will find
you a ship, and will come with you myself. Now, however, return
home, and go about among the suitors; begin getting provisions ready
for your voyage; see everything well stowed, the wine in jars, and the
barley meal, which is the staff of life, in leathern bags, while I
go round the town and beat up volunteers at once. There are many ships
in Ithaca both old and new; I will run my eye over them for you and
will choose the best; we will get her ready and will put out to sea
without delay.”
  Thus spoke Minerva daughter of Jove, and Telemachus lost no time
in doing as the goddess told him. He went moodily and found the
suitors flaying goats and singeing pigs in the outer court. Antinous
came up to him at once and laughed as he took his hand in his own,
saying, “Telemachus, my fine fire-eater, bear no more ill blood
neither in word nor deed, but eat and drink with us as you used to do.
The Achaeans will find you in everything—a ship and a picked crew
to boot—so that you can set sail for Pylos at once and get news of
your noble father.”
  “Antinous,” answered Telemachus, “I cannot eat in peace, nor take
pleasure of any kind with such men as you are. Was it not enough
that you should waste so much good property of mine while I was yet
a boy? Now that I am older and know more about it, I am also stronger,
and whether here among this people, or by going to Pylos, I will do
you all the harm I can. I shall go, and my going will not be in vain
though, thanks to you suitors, I have neither ship nor crew of my own,
and must be passenger not captain.”
  As he spoke he snatched his hand from that of Antinous. Meanw
Lawrence Hall Apr 2018
The War Prayer

by Mark Twain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!

Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an ***** burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest,
Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the ****** onset; help them crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory —

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord and God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

“I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think. “God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, and the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon your neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain on your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse on some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard the words ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to ****** shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

...

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
Deb Jones Jan 2019
We help the parents to hold their child one last time.

Sometimes it’s the only time they get to hold her while she lives

Trying to help them survive is to sacrifice human touch

When her heartbeat stops
The parents are in shock

Even knowing it’s going to happen
Doesn’t help them much

We usher them gently out

The baby lies an ashen gray
The nails of her fingers turning dark

We turn off the machine
That kept her alive

We remove the tube
That held her last breath

We gently remove the tape
That held the feeding tube in her nose

We unwrap the blanket
And take off the electrodes

We take off the sensor on her toes
No need to see her oxygen is now zero

We wash her gently with warm water
Using cold water would be cruel

We get the “Memory Box”
And prepare the plaster

We take impressions of her
Hands and feet

We put a tiny diaper on her
A little bigger than my thumb

You would think that didn’t matter
But it does.

We add a little bracelet
Of her name made with beads

We take a laminated card
Where poetry is written

We dress her in clothes the Parents have brought.

Such tiny, tiny frocks
Beautiful pastel colors

We add a little hat
The volunteers have knitted

We take her pictures
A few of them

We put everything in the box
A diaper as a reminder
Of how small she was
The plaster of her hands and feet
The bracelet
The poetry
The photos
The name card
With her birth weight and height
That hung on the incubator before tonight

We swaddle her in a blanket
Now she just looks asleep

So peaceful and serene

We call the parents back in
To see her, hold her, mourn her

To continue to mourn her

The grandparents and the rest of the family too

We give them as much time as they want.
You can only imagine they don’t want to let go

We give them the memory box
To be opened some day

Not now.
Maybe not for months or years

But someday they will open the box
And they will know we took care of their little girl

They will see all we collected
All we did
We mourned with them too.

There is nothing so quiet as the preparation of a child that will be held for the last time by parents that are unanchored and rudderless.
I apologize if this was as a trigger for anyone that has lost a baby to a premature birth or some other full term genetic issues. I wanted people to know how we suffer the deaths too. And suffer the families anguish.
murari sinha Sep 2010
1.
the crystallised handkerchief
of one’s span of life

your handloom-bird brings with its lips
some musical notation of the nimbus  

holding that waves within the heart
how much growth does occur
to the sandal-line of a man

or
it does
fall

the blades of grasses are known well
to be vegetarian

the eyes of the reindeer
have cent per cent smelling of fish

then what translation would you suggest
for the fingers of wild titlark

the shirt
they have put on the body of this night-stone

what best word-meaning does match it
but land-lotus


2.
i’ve re-constructed
all the trees and plants

with
the dry straws grass twigs collectively
fetched by beak

and the monsoon
as well

the full-brim of *****
is deep in the palms

in that moonlight
a sleeping-tablet
does take a dip-swimming

within her enfolding
there may be the whole works of rabindranath

from the breathing of cd-player
spreads around
the sound of horse’s hoof  

there is the bed-sheet of dusts
on the anger
kept bound within the cover of rexin

it’s true
our vineyards are still
prone to stones

then it does not seem
that the boiled moon sets  
into the tea-cup  

3
in your songs
still lies
immense green

the bed-room is too
very bright

the walnuts
walking along the path
that touches the rain-shore
make me think likely

on a sunday
kept in an envelop

when the bed-cover of the early morning
speaks frankly
what’s in its mind
to the soap-water

the ears of the horse
in the wall-calendar
look very crazy

i can remember
one day
the sun-boats would tear their wrappers

their whisper would want to discover
the inclinations and thoughts of the creepers and herbs
possessed by the lady-volunteers

their yawing would notice
so many unused handlooms
taking a run-away on the clouds

now
would the cat  under the beautiful jersey
finally think of waking up

then i’ll go
to deposit the clever apples
along with
all the triangles accompanying it
to the nearest cold-storage
K Balachandran Jul 2013
1
Her thick  dark eyebrows did cast a spell first,
they are stuck there like vampire bats,
they both symbolize  a sinister plot, kept secret,
with a 'come hither' prompt, none can resist.

She attracted artists in hordes, crazy moths,
never did they look above her face,the serpents,
lay tangled and acted as if it's smooth coiffure.
Wicked lust,aroused by bitter past,
                                    made her move with keen  intent
an invisible net she carried behind her back.
She attacked at opportune moments, pretending
she is a lover, with insatiable lust in boil.
2
All crafted lies, simultaneously,she artfully solicited,
       colored moths, in her slow fire, they burned, one by one,
but one remained stuck there for life, fearing rejection every moment.
A crop of heads she reaped , wherever she went,
a kite was ever ready to fly her victim-hood colors higher and higher,
that made admirers **** in their breath and stoop,
before her to her advantage, she had no dearth for volunteers any time.
Burning words made her chants fly like fire works,
her collection of heads turned stones by admiring her
increased, as a huntress she was an ace
stuffed in her cubbyhole of a heart, heads of stone languished.
3
Medusa,you don't have sisters,
I count it the luck of those  unborn
how beautiful, you once were I still remember,
though no sun visited the north you spent your childhood.
Run, run my feared beauty, to the sun, before your heart
get charred by the heat of hatred, you bear in the  Gothic interiors.

4
I hate Perseus, don't you fear your Nemesis?
Every Athena you wrongly think your foe  and fight,
all your hair turned serpents, still I thought, love would work,
without  coming upfront, I kept my flame burning,
but all in vein, you could never love anyone, legitimately or otherwise.
Your blood, all of it, has turned venom, you spit it, slowly
its beauty amazes, even  the victims on the line next...
There is still hope for this Medusa's redemption, if only she gives up aggressive negation, sees reason, and learns that love alone can bring her back to life,  like all others....and lets go the dark dreams of destruction kept in subconscious.
RW Dennen Feb 2015
People of peace walk gently
People of strength never be stilled
Abundance awaits those with courage

RW Dennen-


Stay out of Iraq the spirits
pleaded...
Eyes wide opened, boots and shoes lined up in order
in almost perfect straight lines in Philadelphia July 2005
Symbolic death shoes of civilians out of synchronization
in a war of soldiers

Under a small tree meticulously placed
we're children's shoes in a perfect solid circle
I read o months of age on tags
I read 8 years old on tags
I read 12 years old on tags
And on and on the children's lists grew,
as wisdom must have waned
and common decency
was once cherished

These shoes and boots sadly became
the dimishment of human beings,
horizontal and vertical rectangular
snapshots of once smiling faces
all in the name of war, they vanished all too soon

And I saw running tears and tears being held back
and I felt lumpy throat feelings in unison
with the rest but in cemetery silence

Touching deep feelings so overwhelming
is to touch a false bent flower and flowers
and pictures of deceased soldiers and civilians
and letters once presented at doorways
throughout America
America cried its sadness and disbelief,
the vanished breathers of life giving air,
Our sons, our daughters,
Our mothers, our fathers,
Our sisters, our brothers,
Our relatives,
Our close friends,
All perished, like a vampire that ***** away the life blood of
the once innocent

I noticed mostly tourists coming in droves from Market Street
towards us volunteers who were located adjacent to the
visitor's center side entrance as silence like before still prevailed
And like before the atmosphere prevailed even stronger
as these boots and shoes became tombstones

And tender hearts became tombstones
broken into small pieces
Passions never changed into loud speech

And the green turf
rolled down towards the sidewalk
like a green carpet holding all those boots and shoes
like a quilt interwoven with boot and civilian
shoe memories about days that should never
happen again...
A heart rendering experience and what the 'Bush Regime brought about'
Joe Cottonwood Jun 2015
Timmy Ray, poor boy from Kentucky.
Football scholarship.
Degree in Business Administration.
Respectable job, bored.
Enlists with best friend in Marines as a macho trip.
Vietnam, what a crock.
This ain’t football. And it ain’t fair.
Schemes to get out,
ignores an order to go out on patrol,
******* mission, but the friend goes,
gets shot up bad.
Timmy Ray runs out to help the friend, is shot.
It’s all blood and mud, man, blood and mud.
Friend paralyzed, Timmy Ray okay.
Court-martial for Timmy Ray, discharge.
The friend takes an overdose.
“No moral here,” Timmy Ray says. “My
war story. That’s all.”

Timmy Ray makes sculptures, big metal things.
No people.
“The human body’s been done,” he says.
Downtown Detroit in front of an office
he welds a pile of globes,
names it “Love” so he’ll get paid
but he says it’s really “Moose Brain.”
These days, Timmy Ray’s hand
trembles. He volunteers at a suicide
hot line. No moral there,
either. Moose brain.
Rachel Julia Oct 2015
I hate labels.
so you may ask me why do you compulsively put words and purposes and dates and times on everything you have.
I hate labels but I love organization.
The problem with labels is they rarely tell the whole story.
Labels are short, just a snapshot of the essence that the thing or person boils down to
but I don’t believe anything can really be that simple.
Labels can make everything easier.
You get the main point, the thing that stands out, FAST.
but that’s like starting a story at it’s ******, you get no previous information and that high point that holds so much meaning if you've read the entire story turns flat.
A flat character doesn’t grow or change or feel all that much but they usually have a label.
Labels turn real multidimensional, complicated, interesting people into flat characters.
He is not gay.
She is not a cutter.
and He is not transgender.
They are real people and you cannot possibly fit a person into a single worded description of the thing that stands out about them or makes them different.  
That is not enough for me!
The gay guy likes ice cream and romantic comedies, he's afraid of commitment, that scar is from his own blade and he volunteers on Wednesdays.
The cutter is seventeen and she lives with her grandparents. Almost everybody shes loved has walked away.
She has hair the color of sand at the beach and she wants to work in security at the airport so she can finally have control over who leaves and who stays.
The transgender man never felt trapped in the wrong body, the world just told him that his body was wrong. He’s a freshman in college and nobody ever told him how hard it would be. He calls his mom every night because he knows she worries and he cares. He has skin the color of caramel and he desperately wants to get married.
I hope you now understand that a label is never never enough.
You could argue that I’m afraid of being defined and of defining others with just a word,
but if you ask me a fear of labels is a very legitimate, considerate, and justifiable fear to have.
Labels are simply not enough.
And that's why I hate labels.
where would we be
without our community volunteers
those wonderful people
who are there in times of need

the blood donor
gives a pint of blood
to keep a soul alive
the only payment he takes
is a cup of tea and piece of cake

the carer
who looks after a neighbor
who has no relative around
to assist with showering
and household chores

the Lions Club member
out on the street collecting money
for a wheelchair
to be placed in a hospital ward

there are people
who've an altruistic bent
out in each of our communities
daily assisting others
if these people
didn't come forward
to offer a helping hand
for free
the community
would be the poorer
without their kind deeds
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
breaking my body
against the blunt instrument
of your tethered soul
Ottar Sep 2013
Starts with a plan,
You need a street,
volunteers with care,
You need chalk and artists
volunteers who, give time to share,
too make it complete!

Every artist bends,
and begins to work,
some kneel some stand,
there is a demand,
on every body,
fingers coated in chalk dust,
as the asphalt grinds away,
minutes become hours.
measured by smaller and smaller,
morceaux de craie
a chill is in the air, yet
warmth is around each artist,
as they work the asphalt.

Centennial Square artists of chalk
beautiful works to be seen, and the kids,
could work with chalk; was the talk.

Government Street, quite a beat,
to walk and see artists' heart,
and love for what they can do,
put on display for you and you too,
as you enter
to the center
of the Bay Centre!

You, on your way to or from work, walking by,
you who want to see something different downtown,
you who have friends in Victoria from anywhere,
you who may want to do this next time, next year,
let the chalk do the talking!

©DWE092013
Thanks to John and his corps of Volunteers, this is our first chalk festival. Never have we felt more welcome, to any event, we have been to many, you encouraged us, provided for us (Amazing Sponsors), we felt welcome and will be back, next year!
ellie Nov 2013
if i were to ask you what was special about that girl who sits alone in the school cafeteria,
you'd probably say nothing,
and i'd laugh and tell you i felt sorry for you because you're missing out on so much.

i'd tell you that she can play the ukulele in the cutest way,
and that when she first wakes up in the morning she has this sleepy look about her that gives you butterflies.
i'd tell you about when she bought me ice cream because i dropped mine,
and how when even when she's sad she still puts other people before herself.
i'd tell you that she sometimes volunteers at the local care home and sings songs about autumn days and dashing young men to make the old ladies smile,
and once she saved a cat from a tree branch only to have it scratch her face to bits but she still laughed.

i'd tell you about every thing that makes her beautiful and interesting and special,
and maybe you'd start to see that beauty is written on the pages of the book,
not the cover.
judy smith Oct 2015
MANILA, Philippines - The public knows me as the Father of Philippine Franchising but what is hidden from the public eye is that I am a father of five sons and a daughter. This fact became very real to me again recently when my youngest son, Sam Gregory, got married.

Like I said, I have five sons and all of them are achievers and successful in their respective fields. My eldest son, Sam Benedict, for example, has a master’s degree from Kellogg and works for a top American company. My fourth son, Sam Christopher, on the other hand, got his master’s degree from Oxford and used to work for a top British conglomerate.

When my other sons got married, I was happy and proud as I could be; but when Greg got married I have to admit that there was a certain tug in my heart realizing that my little Sam was finally leaving the nest. I am not the sentimental type, but I guess every parent has a special place in his heart for his youngest.

But don’t get me wrong, Greg is no pushover. Being physically small, he did have his share of bullying when he was in school. But Greg knows how to deal with his problems. He befriended a number of his bigger classmates and that solved his problem in a snap. He may be small but he has a big heart.

Greg is idealistic and principled. He usually volunteers for civic and charitable activities and contributes to fund drives for disaster victims. My wife and I have accepted the fact that every time there is a typhoon, we can expect our cupboards to be cleared of canned goods and our cabinets purged of old clothes, which Greg would donate.

He follows traffic rules and regulations even when there’s nobody watching and even if following is not convenient for him. He saves energy. He recycles. He even convinced me and my wife not to use narra wood flooring in our retirement home.

Being a careful planner, he is the most prepared among our family for the “Big One.” But what I find most admirable is that he keeps two emergency kits in his car in case he finds himself in a situation where he might need to help others.

Greg is also romantic, creative and dedicated. When he was studying in Beijing, he would organize a virtual date with Charmaine Haw (who would eventually become Mrs. Sam Gregory Lim), who was in Manila. They would watch the same movie on the web and Greg would order movie snacks, which he would send to Charmaine’s house. The couple would also have virtual dinner dates where Greg would order similar meal courses, which would be delivered to Charmaine’s house and then they would chat via Skype while having dinner.

When the time came for Greg to buy his engagement and wedding rings, he refused to let us — his parents — help him. He used his own money despite being the one among his brothers who could least afford it, being the least salaried employee among them. He did this as a symbol of his love and commitment to Charm.

But when the wedding came I insisted that it should be a grand wedding.

To guarantee a great party, we made sure to have great food, a great place and great companions. Being an avid sci-fi fan, Greg already had an idea of a unique garden wedding. He wanted to transform the New Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel into the forests of Avatar. To do this, the wedding stylist had to import a collection of trees, hanging plants, shrubs, flowers and other plants. The images projected on the giant 15-meter panoramic LED screen added to the reality of the scenery. It was a unique and original “garden setting” and was certainly a sight to behold and remember.

For the food, Greg was at his meticulous best to make sure that the evening’s feast was memorable. The dinner opened with a mouth-watering appetizer, lemon-spiced pan-seared scallop with tomato cucumber timbale in creamy ginger soya sauce followed by Manhattan clam chowder with cornbread dumpling. For the main course, we had the beef tenderloin prepared by the master chef of Cru Steakhouse of Manila Marriott Hotel, sea bass with roasted shallots, dauphin potatoes in perigourdine and mustard herb sauce.

The espresso-infused tiramisu and the white chocolate cheesecake with mango salsa served with piping-hot coffee completed the culinary feast.

With 800 guests, I would have to admit that we did splurge a little. But we also wanted the wedding reception to be an opportunity to thank the people who have been a part of our family. These are our relatives, friends and associates who have inspired, mentored and helped mold my children to be what they are today.

To my youngest son, Greg, and my new daughter, Charmaine — quoting from the Vulcan salute of the Star Trek saga (of which Greg is a big fan) — may you both live long and prosper!

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

http://www.marieaustralia.com

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