Poetry.com; Selling you to yourself

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I am very disheartened when I see a company taking advantage of people and encouraging hopeful writers in the deceitful way that Poetry.com does. Way back in the beginning, before I became jaded about such things, I submitted a couple of my poems to this distasteful site. About a month later I received something in the mail from them saying that one of my poems had been chosen to be published in an anthology. I was so excited! Yeah, that didn’t last long. As I read on, still very enthusiastic, the letter said they needed me to proof my poem for publication and sign to be sure it was exactly the way I wanted it printed, which I did, still hopeful and happy. Reading further still, the high praise that oozed out of every paragraph made me feel like I had really accomplished something. Then…I got to the crux of it all. If I wanted a copy of the book that my poem, mine, mind you, was to be published in it would only cost me the ‘discounted’ price of $49.95. Wow, that’s it. I could have my own poem, in a book, as long as I paid them for it. That was bad enough, but it got better. The next thing was a ‘beautiful plaque’ with my poem imprinted on it for me to display, ‘proudly’ in my home for eveyone to see, and that would only cost me another $39.00. The messed up thing was, at the time, I was so naive, that had I had the money I probably would have bought the book, and the plaque. Paid for my own work. How f#*&ed up is that? They feed you this line of bullshit and a lot of people actually buy it, pun definitely intended.

Of course since that first experience I’ve gotten wise to them, and this is really hilarious, the reason I got wise to them was the fact that every poem I submitted to their contest got the same response. I was one terrific poet. I was awesome. Every poem was going to be published in a book that I could buy. Wow, how incredible! 

I guess I just wanted to warn any aspiring poets out there to beware of sites bearing false promises. If your work is good enough to be published they’ll pay you for it, or at least give you a free copy of the book!

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Food For Thought

 

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They Call Them Terrorists

She walks the streets in sorrow and anger and sympathy

She cannot claim empathy for she has never known the torment or terror of war

She grieves for what she sees on her safe little box

Pictures of bodies, living and dead

Some still move but are unable to claim life

They cannot process what they see except through the blood red lens of hatred

It’s easier to hate than to fear

Easier to hate than to cry

The rage washes over them in waves

Each larger and more intense than the last

Until a tsunami is formed

Overpowering everything in its wake

 

She feels the buildup of their suffering

And sees the look in their eyes

The intensity of their raw emotion weighs her down

She cries out in her mind

Stop The Killing! Stop It! Stop It!

Can’t you see their eyes

The tsunami is forming

Its height and breadth formidable

When at last it crashes

A tiny new wave forms and begins to grow

Alice Through The Looking Glass

 

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090111/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_israel

I swear I just don’t get it. Is it me, I really don’t think so. I just read this article on Yahoo and I’m telling you I really think I’m going insane. 

I believe, if I have it right, that the word ‘covert’ means secret, right. Something that’s covered up so only some people know about it. 

Welllll…in the above mentioned article they refer to a certain covert operation by the US to disrupt Iran’s ability to enrich uranium. They also say that Bush is going to hand off this covert operation to Barak Obama. 

BUT…SINCE THEY PUT IT ON THE DAMNED INTERNET DO YOU REALLY THINK IT”S A FUCKING SECRET NOW!!!

Does the internet not reach Iran? Do the terrorists and others of that ilk not have access to the fucking internet? Cause if they do, they now know about the US’s covert operation. Maybe they don’t know the particulars, but they know something’s going down. 

This country sends out warnings when they hear inconclusive ‘chatter’! We just blasted this out into cyberspace. That’s some chatter…

Well, like I said, maybe it’s me, but I think Barak better find a different way to handle this, cause pssst…they know about it now.

Oops sorry

Runner’s Legs

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I have runner’s legs
Probably because I’ve been running all my life

I fairly sprinted from childhood to teenager

I ran the four minute mile to teenage wife and mother

I jogged along to abused spouse

I double timed it through a divorce and remarriage

The I ran a house and five kids

And I ran, and I ran and I ran

Next I bounded into another divorce and hurdled a few bad relationships
Taking off in first place but finishing dead last

I rushed headlong into middle age and started backpedaling furiously

Yes I have runner’s legs, but man they’re getting tired!

Orlings Are Angels

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A good friend and I recently discovered, through a metaphysical process known as automatic writing, that there are beings on the ethereal plane not unlike what we humans refer to as Guardian Angels, however, they refer to themselves as Orlings.

They do what Guardian Angels are supposed to do, which is watch over us, guide us and help us along life’s way. Unfortunately they too have limitations. 

For Instance, there are certain questions that they aren’t allowed to answer. This may irritate some people, but if you realize that the mysteries of life, and the future, contribute immensely to our enjoyment, then you may understand and accept these limitations. A truly understanding person, who really gets it, will actually rejoice in this fact. Wouldn’t life be boring if we knew it all ahead of time?

Just to know that these beings exist, and will do whatever they can to help those who want help, is amazing to me.

Not only would I never try to take advantage of the knowledge an Orling possesses, I would guard that knowledge, even from myself, as something that cannot be freely given, something to be respected and cherished. 

These beings, to the best of my understanding, are there to help and protect us, which is a very challenging job, taking much talent and determination, as sometimes, lots of times actually, they not only have to protect us from outside influences, but also from ourselves.

Of course they can’t accomplish this Herculean task without our help. We have to become accepting of the help offered and have faith in the outcome. Herein lies the rub. The outcome isn’t always what we think it should be. That’s where the leap of faith begins. We have to believe that they have our best interests at heart. If we become true believers, and ask for help and guidance, then almost anything is possible. I say almost, because like it or not, we are still human.

That little nudge, or niggling feeling we get, that we usually think is our own conscience, that’s the Orling whispering in our ear. Too many people don’t listen, and that’s when the Orling’s job becomes much harder.

All of a sudden you’ve taken the wrong path, not listening to that little voice, and everything changes. The Orling now has to look at this new situation and find a way to help you through it. Can you see how this can become very exasperating at times?

Look at it this way, a simile if you will: We have a parent trying to distract a child from doing something that might cause them harm, yet the child keeps going back to the harmful thing no matter what, until, sure enough, crying and wailing ensue.

Now take the positive aspects of the Orling and put then in the same context. 

Here’s the parent trying to show the child a different way to approach something that will be more beneficial to them, yet the child keeps wandering off to look at the television, paying no attention whatsoever to the caring parent who is trying to help.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Are you getting some much deserved feelings of respect for the Orlings yet? You should be, for most of the time they are dealing with what we like to call adults, or grown-ups, but still they keep having to compete with the TV.

Thank the cosmos that these beings have patience. Though it isn’t infinite. As much as we’d like to believe that an Orling or Guardian Angel would have all the patience in the world, sorry, but it just isn’t so.

Just as the parent who’s child keeps wandering back to the television, so too, after many such battles, the Orling must see the futility of trying to help some people. 

I’m not saying they ever truly give up, don’t get me wrong, but their efforts are probably not quite as robust after, say, twenty or thirty years of trying.

So I guess what this is truly about is faith, true faith in yourself, for without that the Orling’s job is pretty much null and void. If you believe you can accomplish something you can, your Orling will help, just listen.

So the moral of this story is: Listen to that little voice, the nuances of your conscience, and help the Orlings to help you!

My Awesome Soldier

 

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The following was written by me for a young man in the first Gulf War. We corresponded for about one year and it was heartwarming and wonderful. He thankfully came home in one piece and we lost touch awhile later. I miss you John and hope you’re doing well.

My Awesome Soldier

My Awesome Soldier
So Young, so brave, so optimistic

You faced death
Yet remained so full of life

I was here
Safe from danger
Yet so scared

Imagine that
I needed you 
To help me through

Every letter made my day
Too few came

I kept you sane?
You’ll never know what you did for me!

My days are brighter
My life is richer 
For knowing you