Mannie Seafont: New Zealand
'The power, and the glory.'
Copyright 2001 Emanuel Seafont.
For valour's what the posters said,
'For valour', sounds like me.
For valour I'll give up this life,
and sail across the seas.
To this land I'd hardly heard of,
to fight for people I don't know.
But this is what I trained so hard for,
and I'll give em all, a bloody show.
These paddy fields, they smell like shit,
not the way that I had pictured it,
but my units here, I'm in good hands.
We'll soon be back on golden sands.
I heard its scream, and felt it hit,
I just hope to God I remember it.
It burns like hell, though there's no pain,
and my brow is cooled by orange rain.
The sky has turned from blue to red,
Lord Jesus tell me I'm not dead.
I promised Mum I'd come home soon.
Fuck it man, it's already June.
Her birthday's only weeks away.
The red is slowly turning grey.
Wake me from this bastard dream.
Give me courage Lord, that I might scream.
Save me Lord. God knows I've tried.
The medic's dead here at my side.
There's a sniper up that fuckin tree.
Please save one bullet. Set me free.
Tell my Mum I love her so.
Dry her tears and let her know,
I was thinking of her at the last.
God, tell me please, the worst has passed.
There's no one round. I cannot hear,
just drumming noises in my ears.
My eyes have gone. No more to see,
Lord God, there's only you and me.
Somehow, I think that's meant to be..........
Howell D Person: New Zealand
Windscreen shudder. A dead bird
lying on the road - as ruffled and warm
as a study by Raymond Ching. Next morning
on the frosted tarmac, leg splayed
in the air, austerely rendered
by Andrew Wyeth. Run over
a few times, pressed Soutine-like
into the seal with a palette knife.
To disappear to brittle bone and feather
treaded into tack. Minamalist Miro.
Author. Howell D Person, Hawkes Bay. Unpublished but dedicated
R Neal: USA
The Albatross Trilogy
Part 1 - The Chaos...
His mistake had followed
behind him as faithfully as his shadow.
Now, lying on his death bed
watching HER 'make the arrangements',
he knew his mistake would survive him
disguised in crocodile grief...
He wheezed "Rouge? Really dear!
I thought cologne was more your style."
"Goodbye Darling..." She smiled, pressed the red button,
and watched his eyes roll back.
"It doesn't matter..." he stammered
"Joshua knows everything! Joshua .. knows..."
She picked up the phone.
"Joshua... Honey, I'm sorry to have to tell you...
but your father just...passed away.
I know I'm your step-mother, but
I'm very upset, can you come home?
Yes, it's quite a shock to me too..."
Part 2 - The Awakening...
He lay shaking in complete regression.
Drifting from image to shadow...
"Doctor, is the fire out yet?"
"No, son, take two and whisper
there's no place like home,
there's no place like home."
And somewhere, SHE waits unattended,
wondering if Joshua would survive
her motherly affectations.
She smiled, dropping 2 stones,
one at a time,
into the dark, murky, river water
listening, while watching stars fall,
in their 'oh so perfect' trajectories.
All the while, medical clicking sounds
filled the room, mixing with the voices
of strangers, each eager
to be paid for their services,
while Joshua learned his lessons alone.
"Come and sit by me" the man in white said.
So Joshua sat and listened at length
but when the man disappeared,
the pain began, and Joshua heard HER whisper
"You cannot leave me now,
I need to know..."
And a little boy stood in his backyard
listening to the music coming
from windows that never closed.
He was reaching for his bike when
he heard his mother call to him
"Joshua, it's dinner time, come and wash up."
The people standing in his room
swear, to this day,
that they heard him whisper
"Yes mother, I'm coming."
and, as the alarms sounded
mixed with medical clicking sounds
and the voices of strangers,
each eager to be paid for their services,
Joshua quietly left the room.
Part 3 - The Confessional...
SHE sat in the garden,
among the blooms,
pulling petals from a rose.
She wore a black veil,
concealing smiling red lips
painted on albescent ice.
"You were wrong, old man. Joshua
didn't know anything" she whispered.
Across town, among tall headstones,
stood two wooden crosses,
Testament to a woman scorned
Richard Fien: USA
On this planet absolute zero is found only in a mythical realm.
It's certainly not in Florida where Ponce de Leon
hacked his way through tangled vines
trying to find the Fountain of Youth.
Had he really stumbled across his yearned-for myth
and fell face down upon it,
his corneas would have crystallized into ice
and his brittle face would have shattered
after he suffered the searing pain of ultimate cold.
Absolute zero can only be a heartless place,
for no heart could beat there,
because a heartbeat is motion
and without motion there is no warmth,
and without warmth there is no motion.
Thus at zero degrees Kelvin
all hearts must be ice hard and still.
In complete stillness nothing can change.
And where there is no change
nothing can age—
But such youth is lived in deathly silence
for sound is oscillation,
and oscillation is another form of motion.
Imagine that Ponce de Leon discovered that icy fountain
and survived the thrill of the first encounter,
picture him afterwards
immersed in his realized dream,
his hands held tight against his ears
trying to deafen the roaring silence,
and his mouth perpetually poised to scream
but eternally frozen shut.