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The battle raged all around
Bullets and shrapnel lay strewn on the ground
The sky was grey
I hear solders cry
I feel their pain as a hand rose high
Then a rocket lands close by
Another crater appears before my eyes
For more soldiers to be devoured
And buried them alive
Will these wars ever end
Can we learn from battles won or lost
Will we keep paying the cost
Or will we still hear the battle cry
Can someone please tell me why?
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The town had made a mistake. A HUGE mistake! When it was brought up a few months ago at the town meeting the whole committee agreed unanimously. How could they have been so wrong? How could it have went this far?
The streets were a war zone. The sidewalks were lined with debris and the destruction just continued. No one seemed to know what to do. No one had any idea how to stop it or even slow it down. Should they call the National Guard? It had been suggested but that seemed like an extreme reaction. Maybe it was time for an extreme reaction?
The police officers just stood back and watched. This was something they were not prepared for and no one had ever trained them on how to handle. The ideas were all there but no one wanted to act on them so on the destruction went. Riot gear, tear gas, beanbag guns and tazers were all at there disposal yet not one of these items was put to use.
Suddenly a young man emerged from the chaos and approached the line of officers.
“I have a way to stop this. I need to speak with the mayor.”
The officers looked at one another each waiting for the other to make a decision.
“Just tell me where to find him. I’m not out to hurt anyone. I want all this to stop as much as you do but that won’t happen until I get to speak with someone who has a little authority.”
Finally one of the officers spoke up. “I’ll take him.”
“You sure it’s a good idea.” Another asked.
“No but it’s the first time anyone has offered any idea and I’m not losing the chance to stop this.”
The officer led the young man into the court house. Mayor Thomas and his staff were inside discussing their options when the two entered.
“This man says he has a way to stop this sir.”
“Well by all means let’s hear it. No one here has come up with anything yet.” as Mayor Thomas spoke you could hear the fear and frustration in his voice.
“Mr. Mayor. We need to have …..” the young man continued for only a minute with his plan.
It was so simple yet brilliant. The Mayor stood up from his seat yelling “Well you heard him. Let’s get on this ASAP and turn this thing around. I want that truck here yesterday.”
He looked back at the young man. “Son, if this works you got a hero’s celebration coming to you and a key to the city.”
“Only if the key is made of chocolate sir.” The young man said grinning.
It wasn’t long before a large dump truck was barreling through the streets headed toward the center of town. The driver was warned the trip might be hazardous and he needed to be on watch for anything. Just get to the courthouse as quick as you can without hurting anyone he was told. Why he was here and hauling this cargo he might not understand, but he was determined to do his job especially with the bonus this one was going to get him.
The closer he came to his destination the more uncomfortable he felt. It was unbelievable, unimaginable and just downright shocking. Streetlights were torn down, mailboxes had been tipped over and destroyed and the windows in nearly every car, home, and business were busted. “What had happened here, what was still happening here and what am I doing here?” he couldn’t help but think to himself.
He pulled onto Main Street and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Right in front of him the chaos was happening and the culprits could be seen. Was it even possible and if so why? Why would they all go crazy at the same time and start tearing apart a town? Suddenly the cargo made sense and he knew he needed to get it in place quickly.
He pulled around and backed up to the sidewalk as close as he could get without hitting or hurting anything. He didn’t feel safe getting out of the truck but he had no choice. It had to be done. As he was selecting the lever to dump his cargo he overheard a young man hollering above the noise.
“Everyone, it’s here. Come on and take what you want. It’s time to fill your bags and go home. Halloween is over.”
The cargo slid from the truck landing onto the sidewalk. Bags of candy bars, lollipops, bubble gum and gummy bears steadily flowed from the truck bed piling into a mountain then very quickly began to vanish. The kids all gathered around scooping up candy and laughing happily. It was over. It was finally over.
The next day Mayor Thomas honored the young man at a press conference. He spoke a bit about the mistakes made and the cleanup that was needed. He asked for the parents to have lenience on those involved. He apologized and vowed that during his tenure “Candy free” Halloween would never again be attempted, no matter how overweight the children became.
Short Story by The Notorious JED and originally posted at www.jedsplayhouse.com
Some of the best poems of all time are dark, eerie, haunting, scary poems―the perfect poems for Halloween! Here you will find the great medieval ballad about madness, “Tom O’Bedlam,” Alfred Noyes’s bleakly romantic ghost story “The Highwayman,” Ernest Dowson’s haunting “A Last Word,” Walter De La Mare’s enigmatic “The Listeners,” and a terrifying poem about the specter of hell terrorizing Christian children, Robert Frost’s magnificent “Directive.” I chose the first two poems to complement the ghoulish picture above. (In fact, I wrote the first poem specifically to go with the picture.) The poems that follow include some of the very best dark, haunting poems in the English language, by masters of horror and the supernatural like William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, John Keats and Edward Arlington Robinson.
by Michael R. Burch
Tell us what you lack …
the ability to love,
your flesh so slack?
Will we frighten you,
equally pale & unsound …
when we also haunt
the unhallowed ground?
The Skeleton’s Defense of Carnality
by Jack Foley
Truly I have lost weight, I have lost weight,
grown lean in love’s defense,
in love’s defense grown grave.
It was concupiscence that brought me to the state:
all bone and a bit of skin
to keep the bone within.
Flesh is no heavy burden for one possessed of little
and accustomed to its loss.
I lean to love, which leaves me lean, till lean turn into lack.
A wanton bone, I sing my song
and travel where the bone is blown
and extricate true love from lust
as any man of wisdom must.
Then wherefore should I rage
against this pilgrimage
from gravel unto gravel?
Circuitous I travel
from love to lack / and lack to lack,
from lean to lack
A Last Word
by Ernest Dowson
Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.
Ulalume [an excerpt]
by Edgar Allan Poe
The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir …
by Michael R. Burch
White in the shadows
I see your face,
unbidden. Go, tell
Love it is commonplace;
tell Regret it is not so rare.
Our love is not here
though you smile,
full of sedulous grace.
Lost in darkness, I fear
the past is our resting place.
by Edward Arlington Robinson
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The leaves will whisper there of her, and some,
Like flying words, will strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you listen, she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal—
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that’s in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies—
In eastern skies.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this,
Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,
Bitter, but one that faith may never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this—
To tell you this.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall,
Go, for the winds are tearing them away,—
Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal—
by Agnes Wathall
No ancient mariner I,
Hawker of public crosses,
Snaring the passersby
With my necklace of albatrosses.
I blink no glittering eye
Between tufts of gray sea mosses
Nor in the high road ply
My trade of guilts and glosses.
But a dark and inward sky
Tracks the flotsam of my losses.
No more becalmed to lie,
The skeleton ship tosses.
by Walter De La Mare
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare
Three witches, casting a spell …
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
YOUR FAVOURITE POEM WHAT’S YOUR’S
WHY NOT SEND YOUR POETRY IN AND CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN
Mr. Macklin takes his knife And carves the yellow pumpkin face: Three holes bring eyes and nose to life, The mouth has thirteen teeth in place. Then Mr. Macklin just for fun Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his Wry mouth to Jack’s, and everyone Dies laughing! O what fun it is Till Mr. Macklin draws the shade And lights the candle in Jack’s skull. Then all the inside dark is made As spooky and as horrorful As Halloween, and creepy crawl The shadows on the tool-house floor, With Jack’s face dancing on the wall. O Mr. Macklin! where’s the door? David McCord YOUR FAVOURITE POEM SENT IN BY YOU WHAT'S YOUR'S
Mothers Day will be upon us soon
How are we going to celebrate this event?
Shall we buy her chocolates and flowers?
Or buy her an expensive bottle of scent
We all take mothers for granted
Expecting she will always be there
She is always a good listener
And all your problems she will share
She sometimes becomes a nurse and a doctor
When you have hurt yourself at play
She will sit you upon her lap
Until the pain goes away
She will do these things all of your life
In sickness and in health
She will never give up on you
For a mother never thinks of her self
A champion to all of the family
At times she will have her say
For a mother is the kingpin of the family
So show your appreciation on this her special day
Mothers Day will be upon us soon
How are we going to celebrate this event?
Why not dedicate a poem to your Mother
SEND YOUR DEDICATIONS OR POEMS
I‘ve been with you
since before your birth.
I’ll stand by your side,
as long as I’m on this earth.
A mother’s love is special,
a never-ending gift.
A love that’s always there
if you ever need a lift.
I think of you often,
never missing a day.
My love is forever,
and always sent your way.
You’re never far from the caring
thoughts in my heart.
No matter how many miles
ever try to keep us apart.
A mother’s love, your gift,
the gift I’ll always give to you.
As we watch our lives go by,
no matter what you say or do.
© Alan Royer
The Foxgloves now have risen to five feet or more
Attracting buzzing visitors from far and wide
And watching them, a sight I watch from grassy floor
It gives me a warm feeling deep inside
As Roses open blooms of radiant colours
And speak of further beauty yet to come
I make my pilgrimage to watch them flourish
In warm and humid days of summer sun
Holidays breaks on your mind
All the kids having lots of fun
Parents walking on the warm sand
Ice cream melting down your arm
Cold drinks taken by the bottle
Sun cream protect you from harm
While kids build a sandcastle
Walking round the resort at night
Enjoying the cool evening breeze
Taking in all the local sights
Temperatures still twenty degrees
The beach is the plan for the day
Getting the sand between your toes
Looking out across the bay
Spots a dolphin there she blows
The summer holiday is at it’s end
Bags packed reluctantly ready for home
All postcards have been written and sent
Roll on for next summer to come
You gave your all, your time, your life
Set apart, you felt the call to defend against strife
Expendable to the powers that be, but for us, a hero that leads
Selfless, brave, even against the feeling of fear
Much you have seen, sacrificed, and lost
Much you have gained, received, and felt
The bothered mind returns home, hoping to feel the security of embrace
Needful of care, love, and understanding
We salute you, as ordinary people of ordinary minds
We could never comprehend but we lend a helping hand
We bow down, as the masses do before their king
To show our gratitude and devotion to your service
Forgotten? No, not by us
Maybe by them, but not by your people
For we belong to you, and you to us… So,
In remembrance we hail you and embrace you in love,
Thank you for your sacrifice
Although not a proponent of war, I support our troops, as many in my own family have served. I wish all troops peace and blessings.
To many the number thirteen
is a number to avoid and beware of,
add Friday in front of the number,
and you have a very scary day.
To me the number thirteen,
has always been always been a lucky one,
and Friday the thirteenth,
even luckier still
Then again, if you are superstitious
any number can be unlucky.
If you want to think it so,
it just depends on how positive you are.
Now if you think negative,
you will be that way to,
so in your thinking,
just be like me.
Positive is lucky, negative is unlucky,
so train you mind,
to think positive
all the time.
13 July 2007