The World Remembers Delaney Ann Brown


 DELANEY “LANEY” ANN BROWN

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We have all been following the courageous battle of Laney and her family this past month, and are deeply saddened to learn that this precious young child was called home to heaven this Christmas Day, 2013.

“December 25, 2013– on this chilled and grief-filled date, the gates of Heaven were flung wide open
as God embraced Delaney Ann Brown and welcomed her home again.”

The sun arose this winter day -
Across the world the children played.
Homes echoing with carefree glee,
As Christmas day was meant to be.
Each parent dreams of such a vision -
‘Til life injects its cruel revision.

Yet, like a child’s lost innocence,
Cherished and held in reverence -
In just one moment swept away
No sympathy for child’s play.
Into her life a darkness came;
Into our own, an infinite pain.

Our hearts now filled with an empty space -
of sweet Laney and her joy-filled face!
Malevolence came and stole her future,
A wound too big for mending sutures.
We heard the sounds of angels cry –
The day we watched this child die.

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We swallow hard; prayed harder still -
Our heartbeats faltered against our will.
The deafening blast of pure insanity
We’ve lost the best of our humanity!
A nation mourns with silent tongues
The senseless death of she so young.

The doctors did their very best -
Nurses offered up their loving breast
To shield from cancer’s savage blow -
To buy this young one time to grow.
But she slipped away, lest we forget…
Upon her memory, no sun will set.

Sweet Laney lost and taken away
Beneath the sun of Christmas day.
We are lost within an anguished grief,
As even celestial angels weep.

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Impeccant cherub laid to rest;
God took from us our very best.
The loss we feel is real and deep,
The pain forever ours to keep.
No answers to the question, “Why?”
Our babies were not meant to die.

So, brush away our tortured tears;
this truth is too demanding,
and whisper in our silent ears
some prayer of understanding.
Laney’s star now shines above,
Eternal bright and beaming love.

Opposite Sides of the Same Pain


Image
A Sunni mother silently watches:
overhead, a gathering of scavenging ravens
paints the dusky sky above
the broken bodies of her three children.
Bewilderment mixed with horror and beauty,
accented by the pebbles beneath her feet,
polished smooth by a flood of tears.
An acrid wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
confetti raining on freshly scorched earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the loss of its precious fruit.

Image

In that very moment, across the sea,
a Haitian waif reflects:
A flock of seagulls angrily position
above the ghetto garbage heap
next to a crumbling shanty
where her newborn triplets scream with hunger.
Bewilderment mixed
with horror and beauty,
the waste beneath her feet glistens
with the flood of her tears.
The stench of rotting wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
flies rising up from quaked earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the bounty of its damnable fruit.

 

A Midnight Violation


I preface this poem with an apology should it provoke any memories in my dear readers of similar abuse. It is never my intention to cause pain.  On the contrary, I offer my love and compassion, and yes, my hope for healing by bringing into the light secrets that grow and fester in the dark. I dedicate this to my younger sisters, who I love and cherish dearly, for the countless midnights stolen from their innocence. And to all victims of this senseless abuse. There is love and hope beyond the pain ~ Dennis

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Bathed in an ethereal light
this child has no skin in the game
yet her trust holds demands
she cannot bear.

The creak of her bedroom door
snatches the sleep from her eyes
and in the darkness, horror descends;
her pillow, once soft and warm,
betrays her and once under, now over,
muffles her surprise.

Beneath his weight, she dissipates -
her cries muffled in the night.
Her fright smothers – she gasps for air
and he’s still there, grinding her
fragile hips into dust.

God looks on, and in His fashion
does nothing to intervene;
a celestial voyeur.

Stuffed animals bolt to the floor
one after the other, and with them
descends lost innocence;
her face laced in spittle, and she’s so little.

He rolls over, spent and condemned
as blackness descends to fill her.
Nothing is as it seems, but not a dream.
Tears wash away the vision of
this violation.

He rises as she plummets;
this child painted with the smell of
cigarettes and cheap liquor.

Morning filters through frosted panes
but she finds no warmth in the rising sun.
They’ll be no accounting for this sin
and no childhood left within this shattered
shell of a child. A darkness, deeper than sleep,
envelopes her lost innocence, as the
morning’s breeze carries the cry of angels.

Father’s Day


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He pillaged the title the day I was born
and like most thieves, he took for granted that which he stole.
Being a “father” meant no more to him than taking the trash out
the only difference being, he preferred to bring the trash in.
Each night, drunk and puffed full of false bravado, he would
return home from the bar twenty minutes after closing
with some strange woman who was half his age
who still managed to look twice as old as he was.
They all smoked and smelled of cheap perfume and beer,
and as he pushed by my mother with
with a violence that seemed to rattle her bones,
he would look at me, a frightened five year old
with no understanding of what this all meant,
and flip me the finger.

Every day was “father’s day”..
his to do with as he willed.
They took their sins into
my mother’s bedroom and slammed the door behind them.
I feared my father, but hated my mother
for not taking us out of this broken house and into
the world where somewhere, someone could love us.
That’s all I wanted…love. What I got was limitless contempt
for complicating their lives.
She just sat in the living room before the television, defeated
and sipping her gin, counting the years down until she might
find the courage to cut her wrists,
leaving us to…him.

Letting Go


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Slip away my son, your night has come
As this day unwinds the sorrow
And do not fear the bells you hear
They ring a bright tomorrow

See the stars above, shining bright, my love
It reveals a path for you
Take one step to be heaven bound and free
Your spirit’s been renewed

It has been my boy, the utmost joy
To hold and love you true
If I must let go, you must surely know
How proud I am of you

Take my hand my dear, and feel me near
Let go these earthly hollows
Feel the light within as you now ascend
And know that I will follow

 

Before…


calm-before-storm-1

Before the ashes, Vulcan’s vengeful fire.
Before the sex, a deep and burning desire
Before the storm, a dark and restless quiet;
Before the morning, a deep and somber night.

Before the hunt, the frightened fleeing fox,
Before the race, coiled tightly in starter’s blocks.
Before the cut, such soft unblemished skin;
Before the blade, sparks fly, the whetstone spins.

Before new love, the queasy, nauseous start;
Before the kiss, a young and hopeful heart.
Before rejection, all things possible, bright, and new;
Before enlightenment, faith in what we say and do.

Before Sun’s rays, dark clouds enshroud the planet
Before the sculptor, Creation locked in blocks of granite.
Before the fall, transcendence true and boldly rising;
Before the gasp, in silent awe, a sweet surprising.

Before the rose arises first the lowly bloom -
Before the family, a dark and empty room.
Before old age comes the child full of life!
Before victory, the pain of loss and bitter strife.

Before the Universe, a bright and solitary star
Before the nearness, a cold and distant far
Before the night, a day of brilliant cerulean blue
Before the “Us,” a prayer for joining “Me” to “You”

Love One Another


mother-teresa
Our unheard voices,
silenced in the crumpled lies
daily and soundly trumpeted
by the world of false authorities!
Cities crumble beneath
the weight of their own conceit
and concrete concealments
and governments, but wisps
of foul winds blowing in the deserts
of corruption and covetousness greed.

Are we to submit our precious few years
and the infinite possibilities of life
to a blind obedience to this pile of dust?
We will not! We cannot!
We must live for love, or else we die,
and love requires freedom from all
false restraints, be they societal or
or subjective – it must be unfettered
and at liberty to express the authenticity
of human experience.

We should with deep and soulful
glee pledge our allegiances
to the elegance of nature
and the exquisiteness of tender acts
of mercy and unrestrained love.
Let us, therefore, express unbridled
compassion toward our neighbor.
than mindlessly march, day by day
into the dark void of hate and self-pretenses?

With love and patience, we shall prevail.
.
Let us council with the philosophies of the
woodland creatures before that of immoral
false prophets, and beneath the wings of
of the soaring eagle let us find our truths.
Where injustice reigns, we will struggle
with all our might to unshackle the chains
that bind us to fabricated obedience, and
band together beneath the social hammer
that crushes our capacity to love.

We are made of clay, but not to be lightly
molded into conformed shapes fired in the
blazing ovens of social orthodoxy – but
rather let us emerge as the shining gods
of glory and infinite adoration and peace and love
we were, from Eden, meant to be!

Opposite Sides of the Same Pain


grief

A Sunni mother silently watches:
overhead, a gathering of scavenging ravens
paints the dusky sky above
the broken bodies of her three children.
Bewilderment mixed with horror and beauty,
accented by the pebbles beneath her feet,
polished smooth by a flood of tears.
An acrid wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
confetti raining on freshly scorched earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the loss of its precious fruit.

grief 2

In that very moment, across the sea,
a Haitian waif reflects:
A flock of seagulls angrily position
above the ghetto garbage heap
next to a crumbling shanty
where her newborn triplets scream with hunger.
Bewilderment mixed
with horror and beauty,
the waste beneath her feet glistens
with the flood of her tears.
The stench of rotting wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
flies rising up from quaked earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the bounty of its damnable fruit.

 

Award Winning Poems from AllPoetry


allpoetry-winter

I recently held an extremely challenging round-robin poetry contest at AllPoetry.com. Each poet was given the same photo prompt and asked to compose a poem, in any style, to support the prompt. The following poems were the award winning finalists from that competition. Please follow their  title link after reading their poems, and leave them a well deserved note of appreciation. Congratulations to all of these fine poets extraordinaire!

479

CHILDREN OF CHINA
by Stuart McCabe, All rights reserved

Wars woes betide young youthful sprouts,
life’s melancholies holds no restraint,
Witnesses to few winters, virginal innocence no
shield against life’s lashing lance,
Death’s caress naught but a bayonet stroke away;
blade and blood soon to acquaint,
Empire’s sun rising, servitude, slavery,
children of China now lives in Showa’s manse.

Shadows be the cradle of their birth,
under the Rising Sun does darkness come,
Blade point to their hearts and mothers’ bellies,
death comes before their birth,
Bayonets slick with blood; child visceral bathing
in Nanking’s flames; bedlam,
On children’s backs Empire treads upon,
dominion assured, sating Tojo’s mirth.

Blood runs down the Yangtze River,
crimson on the Yellow Sea; China bleeds,
Slaughter’s symphony sing in every salvo,
children’s chorus silent; death’s crescendo,
Battle lines drawn, tyrants’ grip slipping;
in shadows burrows communism’s seeds,
Mao’s revolution reaching far, heeded;
young hearts hear his name; free from Shinto.

East Ocean devils defeated;
China’s newborn star eclipsing Empire’s dying sun,
War won; orphans know not a peace,
in red their future; blood, Marxism, Cold War,
Enola Gay’s Little Boy takes history’s glory;
China’s pain suffers infamy’s omission,
Soviet Bear to the north, bald eagle circles;
enemies, foes China’s children will abhor.

479

TEARS FOR NAGASAKI
by Mark Andrew James Terry, All rights reserved.

As winter came like summer frost,
he sang sincere daijoubu,
and softly cuddled sense of dread,
her whimper’s tearing for the dead…
no home, no life to go to.

One second’s unpinned umbral urged
our fury’s fuming cauldron.
It seared through bodies, atoms-purged,
and forty-thousand souls emerged
to gather near their children.

That moment froze in disbelief
to life’s denuded breathing.
The young boy’s song, a sad motif
in quiver’d chant, was no relief
to rife and anguished seething.

In knowing lives can vaporize
to end a fight, we theorize
brutality’s finality,
then live in anonymity,
avoiding Hibakusha eyes…
the ones who lived where terror lies.
O when will evolution overtake
our tendency to so forsake?

479

CONTINUANCE
by Chrysanthy, All rights reserved.

I

there are times
I feel I’m drowning
in the midst of chaos
fear and agony seize
my core existence
and desolation threatens
devouring the depths
of my embodiment
it is in these times
you are nearest to me
every inhalation
renewing life
desperately I cleave
endless devotion onto you
for only through you
can life’s aspirations
ever be replenished

II

and though darkness
approaches
fear not
for beauty lies there in
withal
even as we bathe
in tears of injustice
filth and sorrow
this inescapable nemesis
we will conquer
and over throw
hold fast onto destiny
fortuity is by our side
triumphing
over ruination

III

every teardrop
surrendered
a prescription
for misfortune’s
architect
carrying eternal death
execute
anathema’s abomination
upon
this phantom wraith
devour and paint him
into anonymity
from
manifestation
giving adversary
what is due

IV

holdfast
till day light
shines upon us
once again
tender moments
and memories
reminisce
celebrating
the brevity of life
allowing
love’s embrace
a birthplace
two hearts
transient vessels
in search of
everlasting love

479

HIS EYE
by Mary Lou Healy, All rights reserved.

i
Two sparrows
beneath the hand
of fate.
Does the omniscient eye
behold need
or does it blink
and look away?

ii

Life offers choices…
to accept the solace of belief
in a benevolence
that oversees;
or to know the loneliness
of your singularity
in a vast universe.

iii

A guiding hand
that shelters,
that traces a path to follow
is security;
yet the soul is strong
who charts his own course
through infinity.

iv

Cry out to the heavens
and listen long
for an answer
that does not come…

except in the heart
of the believer.

Our Youngest Patriots


A boy watches men dig graves for future casualties of Syria's civil conflict, at Sheikh Saeed cemetery in Azaz city

The price of freedom comes not cheap;

it’s why the village women weep.

Sweet daughters and our native sons

lie dead beneath setting sun.

They gave their lives that we might live;

no greater gift could children give.

Old age will never call their names,

nor will they play their childhood games

For Allah has gathered to His chest

these angels here we lay to rest.

Kingdom of the Child


Why do you weep, my child?
How long have you been sitting here, trembling
beneath these glossy-green leaves of the Banyan,
heavy laden with delicious figs?

Why are you frightened so?
The world is no bigger than you can handle
in any given moment, and you are not alone!
I promise.

Why do you moan, my precious one?
Have I not taught you the melodies
of your father’s father?
Shall I sing for you the soothing songs of your village
where you played “Mboo-bay Mboo-bay”
with your brothers and sisters?

Why such silence, my dear?
Do you not know that the sound of your voice
is as a thousand angels laughing and giggling
beside the cool riverbed.

Why do you hide from me?
Have I not held you warmly in my embrace
and rocked you to and fro
when you were frightened by the lions roar?

You know me, sweetness.
I rule the world with a benevolent hand
as I dry your tears, carry your burdens,
sing your songs, play your games
and hold you close.

Come, offer me your hand and rule with me.
Let us spin the earth like a child’s toy
as we munch on afternoon clouds
and drink oceans from a silver cup.
To your feet, my child.
We have other children
beneath other Banyans
that need our love and reassurance.

For the Child


Who will love for the child when the child can’t love?
When the trust that he seeks is so needlessly shattered,
And he’s come to believe that his love doesn’t matter.
Who will love for the loveless child?

Who will cry for the child when the child can’t cry?
When his innocence, like his toys, lay broken,
And his spirit is crushed with a harsh word spoken.
Who will cry for the tearless child?

Who will laugh for the child when the child can’t laugh?
When the laughter he craves turns quickly to fear,
And his smile fades, and his voice disappears.
Who will laugh for the laugh-less child?

Who will care for the child when the child doesn’t care?
When his needs are ignored and his tears fall most freely,
And he shivers when held and clings oh so dearly.
Who will care for the care-less child?

Who will do all of this when the child isn’t able?
Who will offer him love and a place at the table -
To feed and to clothe and to offer him love,
To stand by his side when push comes to shove?
Who will do all of this with a slow, healing hand?
If you’re willing and able….perhaps you can.

Opposite Sides of the Same Pain


A Sunni mother silently watches:
overhead, a gathering of scavenging ravens
paints the dusky sky
above the broken bodies of her three children.
Bewilderment mixed with horror and beauty,
accented by the pebbles beneath her feet,
polished smooth by a flood of tears.
An acrid wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
confetti raining on freshly scorched earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the loss of its precious fruit.

In that very moment, across the sea,
a Haitian waif reflects:
a flock of seagulls angrily position
above the ghetto garbage heap,
next to crumbling shanty
where her newborn triplets scream with hunger.
Bewilderment mixed with horror and beauty,
the waste beneath her feet glistens
with the flood of her tears.
The stench of rotting wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
flies rising up from quaked earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the bounty of its damnable fruit.

An Infinite Pain


And they will say, “At least he’s not in pain anymore.”

Really?

I have left this world just as I was beginning
to understand my role in it. I will never experience
the wonder of new lands, nor will I ever listen to the
crashing of a wave against the shore. I will never again
hike the wooded forests, or climb a lush green mountain.

I have widowed my wife and whisked away her best friend.
I will never feel the softness of her lips; hear the laughter in her voice.
I will never share with her my deepest secrets, nor will I receive hers.
I will never love again as I have loved.

I have taken my children’s father away
before they were even halfway home.
They will grow, and marry, and have children of their
own, children who will never be gathered into their
grandfather’s arms. In time, they will forget me
altogether.

I have ceased to be a friend, forever,
to those I held dearest. When my name is called, I will
not come. When I’m needed most, I will not come. I have
taken so much, and will never be there to return the favor.

I will never feel the warmth of the sun
upon my face, or smell another fall as it rustles in. I shall
never shower in a spring rainstorm, nor will I taste another
snowflake in winter.

In what alternate universe does any of this mean I am free of pain?

To spend eternity in certain knowledge that I have failed everybody
and everything that I hold close in this life? I would rather live racked
with the physical pain of cancer for the remainder of my life than to
steal away a single day from those I treasure most.

Do not say, “At least he is not in pain anymore.”

My pain is infinite. My sorrow will bleed through the ages.

The Sacrificial Child



Let not secrets fall outside these walls;
Ignore this child’s anguished call -
Don’t trouble me none, with your tellin’ tongue,
May a silenced voice save us all.

Oh, sweet child of mine, now is not the time
to be breakin’ down in tears.
Your father’s touch didn’ hurt you much,
and he’s gettin’ on in years.

I’m your mother son, and it troubles me some,
this fear you’ve seem to got.
I may turn away when ya’ll come to say,
“oh, Momma, make him stop”

Yes it grieves me some, that you’ve come undone,
jus’ keep it in your chest!
I know how you feel, just give it time to heal
And we’ll put it all to rest.

Got a call, my boy, from your school, my joy,
sayin’ you broke down in tears.
Don’t you know, my love, that come push to shove,
I’ll deny your tender fears.

You took your life my sweet, now the secret sleeps,
Let death now set you free.
Find your peace, my love, in the stars above,
and say a prayer for me.

I’ve five more to raise, and a thousand ways,
to keep it’ all within.
Please don’t blame me, sweetness, for my incompleteness,
And my part in this sin.

Descent into Silence


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caught in a flame, and scorched by fire
The searing heat of dark desire
A life for most part innocent
Now lay shattered, scorched, and rent
And on this day to never set
The Sun reveals what she can’t forget
There are no tears still yet to fall
For in this act, she lost it all
What still constricts this child’s laughter
What further harm awaits hereafter
Horrors endured in silent fear
One day stretched out into a year
A year to ten, and now a life
Lies severed by one day of strife
And now confined behind a wall
In silent screams, we watch her fall
Into a pit of pain and bile
All to whet a taste most vile
Malevolent and deadly sour
Another child lost to baseless power

Lost Innocence


Like a child’s lost innocence
that time and nature steal away,
without the slightest reverence
or sympathy for child’s play.

So do we, in love’s all knowing
pay once more this price for growing.

We brush away our young one’s tears
when life becomes demanding,
and offer in those tender years
a gentle understanding;

Yet we as lovers, slaves to passion,
lose our touch for such compassion.

We dream as children, trouble free;
careless nightly visions
as children’s dreams were meant to be
before life’s cruel revision.

That lover’s can’t makes perfect sense
for dreams belong to innocents.

Our children have so much to teach
and we so much to learn:
that childhood beyond our reach
is innocence lost, and common sense earned.

Life must demand this sacrifice,
but still, it hurts to pay it twice.