Readers Verses: Poets Corner

Cafe Oleh Readers send in their poems. New: A PLACE CALLED TRANQUILITY, by Mel Waldman

poetry88 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Cafe Oleh invites readers to submit their poetry for publication. Please send a maximum of two poems at a time. DIVISION Mel Waldman, New York, USA "I am a Jew!" I shout into the Void. A vast silence caresses me, comforts my wandering soul. Quiet waves of revelation rise from the Void and rush slowly toward me, whispering: "We are one." Yet I recall the Sabbath warning of the Rabbi only a week ago: "There must be no division among our people!" How can we survive when we are divided by labels, rituals, and sects that separate us-lacerating our Jewish souls? Furious waves of anti-Semitism flood the earth today from without and within. In this age of terrorism, when no one is safe, especially the Jew, I weep when I witness Jew against Jew. I weep at the Wailing Wall of my soul. I weep for our Holy Temple. Shouting silently into the Void, I howl: "I am a Jew!" * * * A PLACE CALLED TRANQUILITY Mel Waldman, New York, USA When I was a young man of questionable faith, as fragile as my mother's heart that kept breaking down, especially in the dead of night (the raw, rending scent of foul death and the fierce, frozen sound of the ambulance shrieking-intruding upon sacred silences), I launched an invisible message into the suffocating air (sometimes I couldn't breathe when Mother had an attack), praying for her, and asking G-d to guide me to A PLACE CALLED TRANQUILITY. Yet the power of prayer-my prayers-couldn't save Mother nor take me to this holy temple. After her death, when she lay in her coffin, Father forced me to kiss her cold forehead and say goodbye. I did. Although I was lost and lacerated (my soul ripped apart), numb, and almost paralyzed (my body barely moving in an invisible vertical coffin), terrified and sad beyond comprehension (dead, of course, for many years), I knew that Mother was already far away, in a place unknown to me. Over the years, I've grasped shards of faith, only to let these fragmentary pieces of soul slip away. And although raised an Orthodox Jew, I am a self-proclaimed "spiritual Jew," visiting the Tree of Life synagogue from time to time, where I was bar mitzvahed and married, no longer adhering to strict rules and rituals. Now, each day I search for Mother and G-d in a private place-in a secret landscape within. I have beautiful dialogues with Mother and I beseech G-d to reveal Himself to me. Sometimes I recite the Shema: "Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one." And I keep searching for A PLACE CALLED TRANQUILITY. I've never found it. Yet I've been swept away in transient waves of tranquil revelation-sweet moments of peace. When I speak silently, launching my soul into theVoid, I do not know if my voice is heard. Am I engaged in transcendent dialogue or my saddest, emptiest monologue? Still, I speak with my soul. I must. * * * winter soulscape J.B. Mulligan Is the god of snow in the sky or on the ground? Does it rise to itself as a mountain? Our ignorance and love cling frozen to rocks awaiting transformation, transubstantiation, as a lung desires to be the breath it takes, aching, and exhales. Gulls keen under clouds for the nothingness they've lost, for the crack in the egg and the falling apart. The echo sounds like a blunted joy that hangs from the wind. * * * a skin of small content J.B. Mulligan His body sets and settles in the shape of what he's done. The hope to grow has shrunk to fit him now, a skin of small content, a failure to invent a larger skin. Perhaps he's done what he can. He's done enough to feel, or fool himself into feeling, mildly fulfilled - and he's not done yet. The solar pull, the strong, occasional tug toward light: he moves in that direction when he moves, the shadow of younger selves under his feet a gravity that holds him straight, and back - Siamese twins: the dark arctic chill in sedentary blood, as sudden starts a winter of the heart, season of stone medusan gaze within; and the wanton gush of alcoholic rush as the inhaled world expands in him toward itself, vast and local, a breathy gust encompassing the sky. With each contraction and swell, he seems to shrivel, like fruit consumed by ripening - a tree which bears and spills and bears til, sap receding, the branches drop diminished sweet. The tongue will taste whatever it can; this meat is what he has to eat. The stomach grabs, the body settles for sustenance - and finds what it is: a home to winds of contrary clime. He stands beside the uninvented night, fingering what he's got and what he's lost. * * * This I know of you now Joseph Balasa, Vancouver, Canada I know you sit there beside your window And I see you cry But not for the souls that are gone, And not for the one of them that is mine No, not that - you say to me across time, The rivers that you made with your tears now gone dry Not the time that stands still And not the thoughts that come And sit with me No, not your soul that you hid from all of us frequently, That is not what you want me to know of you As you cry silently into my soul now… I know all this to be in you As it is in me for now... * * * Negev Joseph Balasa, Vancouver, Canada I cupped your face in my hands And looked into your darkly deep eyes I held your heart on my palm And added to it mine And while the world turned around in my mind Your eyes lit my ways To tortured heights and blue skies It was just the sun in the desert called Negev Burning blisters on my skin I had to leave again To tend the ways that all in time must obey I was the Negev with its dark secrets Not white like Rosh Hanikra, but black Like the night that hides all I was there and then I had left again I knew this place the second time now When it was created and now when it just existed All was there with me again, Yanikra too But with a different name I asked as always when I returned there: Why do we have but to forget to change our names? Now my memories keep the place sprinkled with the black sand That I left there the last time, To remember you again and again In our futures gone back into the pasts With murdering illusions of happiness We stood there again Under the suns of the Negev… * * * I want to.... Gayle Burrell, Newark, NJ, USA I want to make love so deep your heart must cry And tears flow freely from your eyes. Each tear I kiss to make it dry Begets the need deep down inside To catch and hold your every sigh. As stars ascend we don't ask why they foretold a path as yet untried and the passage our lives defy. * * * Leering Past Times Joseph Balasa, Vancouver, Canada Oh, the silences that dwell in my cries And words pour from the lips While smiles distort my face Just for the tears To forever flow To you Heartless one with a breath that destroys happiness Brought the life and deaths to me With a single call of yours To forever retreat behind Walls of memories That will never fade Even on the planes of deaths That I lived many, many times You were meant for me to torture And for pains on the planes of life eternal In places where only blood may flow To bring the dead alive in misery There you walk now amongst yours Those know only themselves to blame And your pains to send to me In your arms once life became death And death avoided me for ever To hunt me in memories Of parting our lips in cries To safeguard the silences in us And convert them into pains As your arms fell away from me wilting Love only that suddenly disappeared To our leering past times Where we both lost our hearts… Listening to Hatikvah with my heart... One people in god Step forward now To bow to fate Which pursues you To tear you apart One people stay aware And listen to the world's wails As you live your life Step forward and claim your place As one people Claim your place Oh god, do not give up on us Oh god We are one with you Do not leave us To wonder the forever * * * Oh it is time? Joseph Balasa, Vancouver,Canada How time rolls away into my past And your eyes are again full of tears Your head bent on my shoulder Your soul is now open Oh how time rolls away! The room we are in is dark As it was in the past When we could not talk Of the feelings that make one's future And binds the dust that Always appears as our past Oh how time rolls away from all of us! Once I have seen you smile in the dark Perhaps not wanting me to know The light that moved into you You closed your eyes to all tears And secretly partaken of the feast That turns on all the lights in us Oh how time knows to roll away from all of us! I sat there once - beside you Murky and aghast I saw us part and smile faintly at the sun As it set in the West We did not know what to do To save the moment and make it last Oh how time rolled away from both of us! In the night under the bombs I went to search for my children They were lost in the night Left my house I knew I had to find them Amidst the explosions, running Somebody said passing by: They are bombing Belgrade! It was midnight and dark There a dog barked All scared to death Just like the ones that owned him for so long With thumping heart I bled inside If my son died - oh my god! I cannot live with that pain If I find him dead it was all for nought! Oh my god! Where to look? Where to seek? He went to see friends of his, Can I be sure he can still be there? Then there was a big thump - And in my arms there was my son Hardly a block away - I said to him: We have to reach our house There among the tall apartments we will be safe! We went another block - then another thump And all scared we ran to safety There it was waiting for us at the end of the block! When my son small and shivering Suddenly stopped, We were standing there, scared, bleeding, aghast As in front of us was our once beautiful and safe house All blown by bombs apart I cried as I told my son: My dear you saved both of us this night, My dear naughty son, I love you so much! To my relief quite far away from us Another bomb just went off! * * * Freedom Emily Marks, Haifa, Israel Cost of freedom high Was either that or die Chose to master this new tongue Silent words of gratitude sung Can't believe we are still here No longer living in ceaseless fear Two years ago This ball and chain fell below We were freed from Egypt Who ever thought It would be So difficult just TO BE After 20 years Of verbal and emotional slavery Freedom is divine Nothing compares to peace of mind Now we can be a family Chance to live without The devil's choke-hold on us * * * Meter Madness by Ray Walker, Jerusalem, Israel 'Tis the night before class And I feel so obtuse Not a meter is stirring Asleep is the muse. Come Spondee, come Trochee, come Dactyl, I cry Not even Iambic deigns to reply. I throw up my hands I'm ready to flee Then out of the blue, I hear "How about me?" "Oh my savior, redeemer, Preserver," I sputter. "Here am I, use me," Anapest utters. I spring to the keyboard In fiendish glee, And pound out these lines In Pyrrhic victory. * * * Words are Strung by Gayle Burrell, Newark, New Jersey When you pulled the string from my chest, my knees would melt and my breath suppress. But, after a while the string turned to toil and the tug of the chord caused my heart to recoil. That string was suppose to release the words that spark the heat to weld the worlds and expose emotions, for a kiss alone leaves a tether unspoken. But strings are spun as words are strung; they concatenate lives, within and among. Without the words what connections exist? Voiceless assumptions, unfounded deductions? A watchful glance, capacious stare? A bodily stance, a hopeful hand laid bare? Perhaps perceptions depends on the twine; the links commensurate with words- cruel, kind or blind - for they all exist within a drop of mankind. It's a matter of choice which makes our tongues more refined. Gilded words can form webs of silk. They discriminate not what's ensnared and bestilled. Its charisma attracts, but it ne'er releases the body or soul of what it beseeches. Reticent words spin a web of tenuous thread through fragile fiber most easily shred. Circumscribed expression and guarded intentions make this ineffectual milieu an unsatisfying connection. Omitted words, either ignorant or strategic, are a secret record of dispositive nature and can be the cruelest of forms, serving only their maker. Their intentions to obscure a communication's conclusion leave the receiver dreading what's behind the occlusion. Confident words of clear intent are often spoken by those with no need to invent. They can be unprompted inquiries that seek to explore, sentiments of support for those who need more, or provide redirection while respecting one's core. They anticipate reactions, provide answers to questions, and with tempered emotions, thoughtful conventions, they open the door to fluid convection. Confident words don't reflect just the speaker, they effect and connect when they presage the receiver. Perhaps the quality of our words, within the context of life, form the thread of our years the Fates sever in stride. Through deeds of silver, mouths of gold, a cloth of honest efforts wove, but the most basic elements are the words we mold for these bind the string which embodies each soul. So, while Lechsis may apportion and Atropos expend, Perhaps Clotho the spinner dictates in the end. The quality of thread, its texture and feel, its strength and resilience, the amount of its yield are spun from the words we chose to unreel. Yet, Zeus would cringe at Atropos' hinge; no one's beyond her predestined singe. The great leveler at last may cut down our years, but wouldn't it be great if her shears drew some tears? * * * Always Ask For Freedom by Johanes Franzen, Stockholm, Sweden They came down the mountains/hungry and cold Looking for mercy/see they hadn't been told That the world ran out of mercy/many years ago They showed me their children/if hearts could tell About poor little angels/ going through hell I wish I had the power/to make some bastards pay A boy mourns his sister/while learning of pain Whilst the world gently yawns/ mothers cry in vain 'Cause tears is all you'll ever get from crying The men they are dreaming/cleaning their guns prayer to God/ teaching their sons To always ask for freedom/never nothing less Always ask for freedom and never nothing less So early in the morning/before the sunrise You can see them heading for the border/with no mercy in their eys 'Cause these men whom fights for freedom/are learning every day That tears is all you'll get from crying * * * Commonplace by Martin A. Baker, Philadelphia, PA, USA It hadn't been anything spectacular. The sky had been a bright grey as on so many good English days. After watching an old movie on the telly they had ridden to Cambridge by coach. They had walked through the ancient city arm-in-arm looking into shop windows. They had eaten something (he couldn't remember what) and drank a glass each of red in some little cafe. They had stopped on a bridge to watch a duck, a drake, and their ducklings paddle by. He couldn't remember a single word of a day's worth of conversations. She had worn a short grey coat of wool. He had wondered if she were cold with all the walking but had said nothing. She would have protested anyway and insisted they walk a bit more to prove she wasn't bothered. That was her way. And so it was many years ago. Nor was it a question now of happiness or unhappiness. Who could honestly remember after so long a period of time? It was, however, a matter of persistence; of why the memory would return to mind like some faithful pet sensing when something were not quite right with its master. * * * Light by U Harold Males, Cleveland, OH, USA It is naked, the outpoured soul in stuttering pain, the psalmist impaled beneath the brazen bowl of Heaven - until his heart lifts and his eyes behold the mountain of the Lord. The earnest Rabbi - young, fresh, and artlessly certain: Would I affirm his inner eye? But I note the A-B-C brick under incremental half-line build, the tick-tock firm syllabic sweep - and the four part quest behind the screen. Vision, yes - but also craft. A given, the outer trope of mind. The Rabbi, stunned: And how to rejoin heart and mind? One hopes. In the West by U Harold Males, Cleveland, OH, USA Does she approve? Good question. Dad? Well... crossword and coffee outrank neurotic stove and Brillo pad. Am I a good house-husband? Bank on it. I settle her Esther crown, then sit among the plush. Applause, followed by flash and punch. Uptown and take-out. Refine notes, need source for sly thrust. Oh, to bloviate! Article due... ca marche! Her key, lovely. A kiss for Amy, wait, now me. To eat. Blessings on me, Sole father of a class harem. We smile at such young envy. Life is good. I teach, I write, and Mom has her Jewish doctor - my wife! * * * December 23, Prague 4 by Akiva Clay Zasman, Haifa and Prague Buckets full of live Carp outside the 'Pankrac' metro station where dirty patches of ice are diminutive skating rinks. Christmas shoppers shuffle along solemnly like they've just heard the news of some tragedy so they mumble or look on in doleful silence. But it's almost Christmas f fuckssakes! someone has a bad cough Czech winters bring out the phlegm. A few stalls are lit with floodlight: the cheese looks too yellow the black leather jackets like plastic. someone has a bad cough to my right, a man selects a Carp from an aluminium bath: The fish is scooped up with a net and still struggling, is smashed against a table. The sound of a wet towel hitting a wall I'm told that if one is lucky, the fish will not regain consciousness while on the metro going home. But three days before I saw an elderly woman trying to stop her bag from flapping and twisting down the aisle. /but this could be/anywhere by Akiva Clay Zasman, Haifa and Prague The taste of coffee still lingers thick in my mouth as I find myself outside the warmth of the cafe. Seem so far from the clink of spoons against steaming cups- Mozart dissolving in the rain. * * * My Gypsy by Daniel P, Los Angeles, CA, USA Come, consume me. Fill your basket full and gather from this well this hardy fool in all his pale inconsequence. My gypsy, lay your head against this breast and listen well. Mark the troubled beating of this wandering heart The soul of this mere Jew that keeps no calendar, nor marks the turning of the moon. That strives to sever lines that straddle oceans of our time And bring, bare audibly to now, the hazy merriment of psalms From distant kings. What oaths are here? What promises are lain around some lovers neck As pearls. As rubies? My gipsy, come seduce me! Sing and sing. Stay with me till the dawn does come. Cross my palm with dew. Upon September 11th. 2001 by Daniel P, Los Angeles, CA, USA I weep for these days This hurtling time that holds no hands. This ill-conceived and raucous age of tumbling skies Of bleak and blackened mountainsides And ocean fronts that swirl And writhe, Consuming, almost, cities in their tides. I weep for these days This godless time. These years that rise and pass And disappear And leave no mark of worth or rhyme. I weep for these days, Hard, bastard hours Of billowing cloud and molten steel, dense and swallowing fog, seared flesh and skin. Barren times Devoid of light, crazed moments all, of charm and whim, and sleepless night I weep for these days, my Lord, And come to you upon my knees, This poet, soft, perplexed and doomed. How can one mortal heart See and then contain this sin? * * * The Dance of The Windmills by Ashira, Israel I watch the windmills dancing gaily On the mountainside at noon With the wind a wild partner (Ha! The merry old buffoon!) The sky's a fluffy backdrop And to the tune of "Fuer Elise" Rows of shiny ballerinas Turn their pirouettes with ease A nod A twirl Quick curtsy; Arch left Arch right Spin some more That's right! Keep going - Don't stop! Encore Upon Encore Along a winding chain of hilltops In the sunny southern Spain The show goes on, regardless Be it fine or hail 'n rain Performing to eternity Such energy they send And the scenes unfold bewitchingly Beyond each second bend I hum the music softly To myself as we drive by Leaving rows of windmills dancing Gaily 'neath the Spanish sky * * * Daily Challenges by Zettalee D. Dennis, Michigan, USA When the morning comes, a new day will start. My ordinary life will challenge me with a whole new set of obstacles. Another day, another test, to reveal what lies deep within me. The worst, or the best, will emerge through trials. This will mirror to me the things I have need to see. So I will know who I really am and the changes I need to make to become the person I thought I was. * * * Daniel in the Lion's Den by Zettalee D. Dennis, Michigan, USA Daniel was a godly man, he served his God, and king but when it came to serving God, he placed Him, above all things; He did not want king's menu, but chose what God had said, would make him strong, and healthy, so he ate that instead. One day, the prefects gathered, to conspire to bring him down. They knew, he was a godly man, through that, a weakness found; They took before the king, a law, which read that men should bow to the king, and him alone, and bade him, seal the vow If any man should serve a God, other than the king; then in a pit of lions "death's jaws" would have their sting. But Daniel, was a praying man, and to God, thrice a day would bow himself, toward Jerusalem and on his knees, he'd pray. The prefects saw him praying, and took the news, in flight before the king, who shook in fear, knowing now, this plight. King Darius, tried to rescind, the law that he had made but what the king had formed as law, must be, by man obeyed. He could not recall this dreadful fate, that Daniel soon, must face but said to Daniel, "Seek your God, and He, will give you grace." Then he informed the prefects, if Daniel, made it through then they, must take his place within, to pay the lion's due. Daniel, then thrown in the den of the lion's hungry lair while in this strait, the king slept not, but prayed, that God would spare; In the morning, the king called out in quest of Daniel's voice and Daniel answered to him, "In my God, I do rejoice! For He hath sent His angel, to close these hungry jaws Showing all, He reigns above, what men consider laws." So Daniel, was set free again, but the prefects, now must pay So they were thrown into the pit and eaten clean away! Daniel 6 * * * Admonition of Repetition by Zettalee D. Dennis, Michigan, USA Humanity's inhumanity, Revealed throughout the years Numbed hearts with stony silence Controlling them through fear; Suddenly, a simple man, Who would not harm a fly Became a ruthless killer Condemning souls to die; He rode a wave of power, Giving him a place, Where he can find high honor, Though truly a disgrace; Now millions of the innocent, Cry from unmarked graves Leaving us their witness How humanity behaves; With such a purposed legacy, Left as an admonition We see what future holds in store With carnality's perdition. * * * 2 Chronicles 7:142 Chronicles 7:14 by Zettalee D. Dennis, Michigan, USA If My people, called by My Name, Would bow themselves to Me, If they would yield unto My yoke, And seek Me earnestly If they would cease their wicked ways, And thirst for righteousness, If they'd repent... return to Me, To live in holiness Then I would hear from Heaven, And I'd give them strength to stand, I'd forgive them of their sinful ways, And I would heal their land. * * * Magnanimous Beauty by Gayle Burrell, Newark, NJ, USA Grateful, yet aggrieved By my own time, deceived? Does time grow its garden well? Does it need providence to excel? Time sows flowers and its weeds they share the land and air they teeth. Rarely does one prevail and one recede But does this garden provide reprieve? Do time and providence dance apart, their synchrony not achieved? They alone know when to conceive. Their union bearing succulent seed of magnanimous beauty which time receives. This rare garden does proceed To bear delights, unique in deeds, which mend the hearts and quench the needs and provide our souls the rest it needs. * * * Failed by Jason Silberman, Jerusalem, Israel She had quite a few chances to show her worth during her short, but privileged lifetime; but when she was judged sinfully and absurdly, they all just shook their heads and blindly fell into a ditch dug earlier by those who pride themselves as living in full view and answering in understandable phrases and decisions, homespun in all directions by the desirable sequences of shifting events that we have all experienced and failed. * * * Ride by Jason Silberman, Jerusalem, Israel It's somewhat brisk this morning. Taking the subway on a Sunday morning is absorbing. Those on the train are loyal, they have the train in their guts, they are the truly faithful. Some drinking mandatory-to-them coffee, some newspaper buyers, each with a different destination, a different example of the fragmentary individualist; lonely in his/her/their quest to pass the time; to 'make the best of it.' And there is always the beggar; it's too early for the musician or salesperson, these times are only for the diehards, we who live for the subway, the train, the smell, the total feeling of soul; of talking to the child of then and of now. I have arrived. * * * Victims by Leo Solomon, Nahariya, Israel Will she ever forget The bomber's head rolling wall-eyed and loose At her feet? She looks in her mirror At a broken scarred carcass remembers a body Once wholesome and sweet And she cries and cries and cries. Will the shards Of the bomber's bones Be in her still When she is, at long last, Dry eyed but dead!? Is she there in him In his seventh heaven Riding camel backed through The seventy two Eternally virginal Veiled black eyed brides? His mother clad In yashmak black Raises her arms she claws the skies and in vindictive triumph Ululates and ululates and ululates! With imprecations and curses She counts and calculates Then contemplates the fates Of her Other sons * * * Too tight by Leo Solomon, Nahariya, Israel Too tight? doesn't fit? It won't suit? Well Never mind. We'll trim it here And pare it there. Or, better still, We'll shape you To fit the shoe. Either way You'll wear it And In most painful And unnatural ways You will hobble out Your remaining Days. * * * Love Mistimed by Gayle Burrell, Newark, NJ, USA Being in love can be just a state that conjures impossible things and obscures probable stings. An erotic elixir better suited for youth, unfettered, untethered, sufficiently nimble in spirit and body to absorb its demands of unearthly prodigy. The anima of love robust in its hopes effaces from clutter time gathers and stokes. It dissolves and conforms as youth yields and transforms not impervious to drink, but in irony reborn. For the elixir can make a wide awake drunk, not uncouth, but in truth, aware of its madness once shielded by youth. Love is the binder of lives to be built, A liquid turned viscous, heating brick out of silt. Lives constructed from love found in youth have formidable gates and inflexible roots. A protracted love of new found attire An untouchable love for reasons required Leaves empty the flesh, disembodied desire, And the specter of love cursing old bricks misfired. So what good is this mortar without any brick? The buildings are done, but the ground is unfixed. The irony is, when viewed from behind, the elixir of love can taste bitter mistimed. * * * The Cafe Oleh by S. Alex Kass Denizens of multi-ethnicity, disembark into an enclave of cultural diversity. Music and prose pour into vessels we call the mind, heart, and soul. Drinking this delicious brew of exotica, we synthesize the universal language of rhythm and harmony. The barriers of difference, melt before the crucible of understanding, an understanding that we are essentially the same in our pursuit of happiness and the communion of spirit. * * * Change Takes Time by Emily Marks, Haifa, Israel A 360 degree transformation Since day of creation Voice named faith and determination Won't hear this on your local radio station Took all this grief, anguish, immense pain Stopped pointing the finger Who cares who's to blame It's in the past can't change history Regardless how disturbing Change the present, the future Forgiveness attained Why do these recent wounds Still cry and bleed crimson red teardrops? How long will it take For these suffering wounds To scab up And create new skin? All I know is that One day, it will happen. * * * Words Left Unspoken by Emily Marks, Haifa, Israel Waiting waiting, Contemplating What refrains you From being true? Reasons put upon me Make no sense, Hence I ponder why you flee Like to play it smart Though cannot deny What feelings flutter in my heart Wish you would unravel This bittersweet lie Gently I take your hand in mine Whatever it is, it's okay No need to run astray I don't bite, I would understand. How divine, Privileged it would feel For you to reveal You'd like to cross this heated line Let our lips slowly intertwine. * * * Kristallnacht: Night of the Broken Glass by S. Alex Kass The procession of torches held by the hands of evil, stretch upwards, as if in defiance of heaven. These mutants of mankind, plant their seeds of pestilence. Flames perforate the night. The sound of broken glass crackles in a liturgy of demonic rage, echoing from the distended bowels of the abyss. The howling fury of furnaces blast the names of martyrs, whose gentle memory will singe the soul of humanity. Like the plague, this brown-shirted bacterium diffuses its virus into the organism of liberty. Its sulphuric stench invades the nostrils of those who gasp for the precious breath of freedom. The twisted trail of blood-stained glass, lies scattered, crushed beneath the heels of polished black boots. These pagans profane the holy spirit of man, and seek to squelch his divine spark with the contents of canisters created in the name of death. Like an unnatural sun, arising from the umbra of madness, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse become illuminated against an incendiary horizon. * * * Sixties to Nineties by Jacqueline-Louise, Jacksonville, FL, USA The Sixties spewed forth a unique time; numerous transformations took place. War evolved despite history's rhyme; its memories, we could not erase. Multitudes rebelled across our land; the Bank of America was burned. Thousands made choices and took a stand; they cried out for change, for peace they yearned. Survival fragile, many were lost; each sacrifice made, patriotically dear. Restrained in the fight, they paid too high cost. What was then won was never made clear. Life was greatly affected, it seems, by turbulent times and outcomes wrought. Psychedelics and elusive dreams were abstract mirrors of fear and doubt. As deviating lifestyles were born, bold violences began to spread. The flower children who rose each morn could not comprehend this newfound dread. Novel ideas and drugs were tried; long held mores and values faded. For loss of security we cried; vintage philosophies seemed jaded. Realities moved, we felt alone as the social revolution grew. Expression took a different tone, stirring a basic rights issues brew. The Seventies issued welcome close to combat long waged, but not to win. Our weary warriors endured fierce blows; some returned to start over again. Scores struggled to restore their old lives, with precious few thanks for standing fast; to honor them now, our nation strives for roles that they played, not by them cast. Names of the fallen are etched in stone, a belated tribute to great loss. Of heroes come home, we see not one among lengthy lists our land across. On stateside front, we were confounded by persistent ills carried forward. Mass media daily recounted crime and poverty marching onward. Diverse horrors came with the Eighties; terrorism's ugly head was raised. Hostages held brought tears to our eyes. Yellow ribbons were everywhere placed. The Mid-East pot continued to boil; old conflicts fueled an eight year war. Battles raged on for control of oil; for liquid black gold, Arabs would spar. The crumbling Berlin Wall was observed, while Communism's death knell sounded. Eyes to the Persian Gulf warring swerved; modern death's game left all astounded. A dictator's brazen infamy, to global community shone clear; savage aggression and tyranny brought condemnation from far and near. Hands reached out, alliances were sealed to subdue scandalous defiance. Diplomacy's intervention failed; combined defense forced acquiescence. Loyalties appeared more unified among revived patriotism. Some Nineties warriors also have died; all but few praised their heroism. Riveted by Kurdish holocaust, as countless fled the homes they cherish. Our rapt attention was never lost; their hopes were raised, only to perish. Democracy's growing hue and cry, throughout the shrinking world-stage we find. Myriads have united to vie for liberation and peace of mind. Allegiances long held have altered, with new independences declared. Proud secessionists have not faltered; to define new boundaries, they've dared. A giant among nations fallen, jockeying for power and control, splintered in competing sedition in an economic stranglehold. Basic needs effected corruption of industry to a flow of arms, setting up another act and scene to be played out with renewed alarms. Toward the future we must look now; our history we cannot rewrite. Were lessons learned, have we found out how to survey the past, avoid the fight? Has fresh cooperation emerged among a host of discrete factions? Is a new world order being forged to govern universal actions? The time has come for humanity to join in one voice rising to pray, for peace, freedom and stability that is owned by all and here to stay. * * * Click here to send us your poetry, please include your name, city and country.
Cafe Oleh is the place where you can join in and be published. To send us your comments, article ideas, suggestions and community listings, click here. In the meantime, check out our comprehensive listings and calendar services.