Pain

"After Eight to Lena"

by Jeph Johnson

 

 

On the way to Café Lena,

after disembarking the 72,

on the corner of 82nd and Foster,

close to where my former beloved

now lives with her husband Carlos,

I saw her ghost,
much younger,

on a bus bench,

weeping.

 

I walked towards her,

steadfast,

without the restrained tension

I had always believed would occur. 

 

There sat her apparition,

crying.  

 

Teresa never cried.

 

Looking down at her again, her tears were audible

 

"Are you okay?"


Rather than ignore me or mutter back
she broke into a diatribe against her boyfriend…

 

"He's going to kill me"


The foreign words

from the animated

specter of my beloved
reminded me of

Teresa's abusive ex-husband
who had stolen her tears

from me

years before we met
when sentimentally sent flowers

and sincerely written prose

fell on dry eyes...

 

but this girl on the bus bench was sobbing

 

"I lost the house keys again 
second time this week

He's going to kill me"


As a man prone to exaggeration

I wondered how literal she was,
but her rose petal eyes

revealed the truth to me. 

 

The 14 came and I spent the next twenty seconds

nonchalantly flashing

my hour-expired transfer

to the driver. 

 

I had no answer for her keys
and this was no time for

Mr. Sarcastic

to offer her mine


I shut my mouth,
sat three seats behind her

and took out my pen. 

 

In front of Lena

disembarking again I

 handed her a note.  
Through the blur of her tears it read:  

 

"I want nothing more than to take your pain away"

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2000

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"Tunnel of Love"

by Jeph Johnson

 

Stark sublime remarks
   sound blatant
            under her guise
of being in the dark
      and opening my eyes.
She speaks discreetly
   words resounding with doubt,
questioning mysteries
      I know nothing about.
Confusion
   reduces
this wondrous muse
   to uninspiring woe;
This happens when
   I have to choose
from choices I don't know.
I wave goodbye
to words
like "love"
abandon
feelings
like "touch"
dull
my sense
of knowledge
before it becomes too much
So I dance
alone
without my pride
as madness
fights
with the facts
I hide
in this
tunnel of love
I've crawled inside.
She's the one I belong beside

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 1999 

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"Somber Corners"

by Jeph Johnson

 

You took a little
of me with you
as you left me girl
And tucked me in
the somber corner
of another world
Destined for
another lover
still unknown to me
He took your hand
as if no other
man could set you free
In disarray
disgusting memories
of another year
365 more days
dragged through
muck and mire
The shadow of
my former self
I'm begging to require

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2000 

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Hope for Dunblane

Hope for Dunblane  

 

 

In evergreen memory of our beloved 
children of Dunblane Primary School,

Scotland: United Kingdom! 

 

 

Ugonna Wachuku 

 

(c) March 1996   

 

__ 

 

Contents  

 

__ 

 

 

Dedication  

 

Prologue  

 

Part One:   

 

D:

 

Victoria:  at dawn   

 

Emma:  innocent face   

 

U:

 

Melissa:  bells toll   

 

Charlotte:  harmless smiles

 

N:

 

Kevin:  You walked our streets   

 

Ross:  to the brilliant gardens

 

B:

 

David:  tell it on the mountain?   

 

Mhairi:  evening walk without you

 

Part Two:  

 

L:

 

Brett:  sweet, little love   

 

Abigail:  on the green earth

 

A:

 

Emily:  in search of you   

 

Sophie:   I remember you

 

N:

 

John:  your soiled napkin   

 

Joanna:  in my tears

 

E:

 

Hannah:  child of peaceful Dunblane  


Megan:  my memories of you  

 

Part Three:

 

Smiles and hope

 

What monstrous hatred?

 

Epilogue

 

The Author

 

__  



Dedication  


__ 


In unfailing memory of

our 16, 5 years old kids

murdered by Thomas Hamilton

at Dunblane Primary School

Scotland on wednesday 13

March, 1996;

 

an eternal tribute to their

noble teacher who was shot

defending the children;

a message of hope and love

to mourning parents and families;

 

a loving homage of caring

love to the 12 kids and 2

teachers wounded;

to all humankind who have

learnt from, and dared to

be wounded by the bloody

tears of Dunblane!!!

 

__ 

 

Prologue

 

__ 

 

 

"Blessed are they that mourn;

for they shall be comforted."

 

~Mattthew 5: 4

 

"Blessed be God, even the Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ, the

Father of all mercies and the

God of all comfort:

Who comforts us in all our

tribulation, that we may be

able to comfort them which

are in any trouble, by the

comfort wherewith we

ourselves are comforted

of God."  

 

~2 Corinthians 1: 3-4   

 

 

The shock stills! The coldness dumbs! The reality

blatantly unfathomable! The tragic truth of humanity's

age old bizarreness sneaked in on the historic small town

of Dunblane, Scotland, on wednesday 13 March 1996, when

a lone gunman made his way into Dunblane Primary School

and in stacatto bursts of gun fire murdered 16 five year

old kids and their teacher. 12 other kids and 2 teachers

were wounded.   

 

 

When the reality of this news dawned on me, my world

stood breathless. For fleeting seconds, I thought I

was gonna wake up from my dream and see that it was not

true. But then, I fainttingly realized that I was rather

dreaming with my eyes wide open! The evergreen garden

of the blooming respect and love I have for children

all over the world had been deeply stained by the

cold blood of humankind's death-weapon. White walls

of my yearning for a better world for our earth's children,

our tomorrow's people, crumbled into streams of tears

and blinding sorrow as death quaked its loving grounds

with a gun-man's hand. Tears rolled down my face in dry

shriek. It was, in its own manner, yet another monstrous

atrocity, blatantly unique, in mankind's march through

this troubled world.  

 

 

Remembering that two months from the 13 of March, it

would be the United Nations declared International Day

of Families - 15 May, 1996, I bitterly wept for Dunblane.

I cried for humanity!   

 

 

Then, in my deep-felt sorrow, I realized that 1995-2005

is the United Nations decade for human rights education.

The question of what rights the child has to life, liberty

and security haunted my weary being. This brought me to

the brink of accepting that in many ways, humankind have

failed our children, our hope for the nations, our future!    

 

 

This book is as a result of my soulful tears and contrite heart.

This is my loving and healing hope for Dunblane because

violence to children anywhere is violence to me personally!   

 

 

Ugonna Wachuku

Wednesday 27 March, 1996 

Loex: Bernex Commune 

Geneva, Switzerland 

 

__    


Part one:   


__    



"If I can help somebody

as I pass along, if I

can cheer somebody with

a word or song...then,

my living will not be

in vain."   

 

~Martin Luther King, Jr.     



D:   


at dawn:   


Victoria Clydesdale:    



at dawn, clouds began

to gather over your

little, sleepy town -

these clouds of death

defied those streams

of peace in you:   

 

They overlooked the

beauty of your innocent

smiles.    

 

The forgot the warmness

of your innocence.

These clouds of death

did not bother to see

the unspeakable love

in your eyes.   

 

Latter that morning,

these clouds brought

in more thicks of

darkness; waiting to

bring the healthy

light you've always

known to an end.   

 

You never knew!   

 

Afterwards, the rains

came from these dark

clouds.   

 

But these rains were

not form heaven's nature.

They came from one of

us - a gun man who defied

families and humanity -

a gunman who believed

you had no right to

live and be educated.   

 

His bullets cut you

down. Yet, we refuse

to see you die.

We refuse to end

the sweet smiles you

gave; even in our

battered memories.   

 

You left home with

hope and love for

a better day. But

valiant Vicky, your

day ended in tears.

Our world stood still. 

 

Our breath fizzled out;

while earth's streams

flowed without life.   

 

Our wretched world

ended with your death.

Our tears continue even

with blue clouds and

the rainy rainbow.    

 

Now, we dream of your

loving laughter.

We dream of your calm

screams through the

welcoming day.    

 

Ehen finally, we wake

up, we shall still dream

of you, Victoria because

those smiles in your

eyes will linger

forever

while

our

dreams

of

you

trails

our

left

d

a

y

s
.

.

.

.

.

.



Innocent Face:

 

Emma Crozier:    

 

Your innocent face

shown around the

world stopped us

on the road to life.   

 

Your endless twinkle

snuffed out stars

in our skies and

brought daylight.   

 

Yet you were cut

down before you

could ask why?   

 

Beloved Emma, you

were hot to death

even in the peaceful

state of your simple

soul so calm and

trusting.   

 

Nobody seemed to care.

Humanity left you in

your innocence and

love.   

 

And death could not

wait to take you

away from us, Emma!

Death walked your

trusting path and

mine unknown.   

 

We refuse to accept

that death can take

you away. We affirm

that God will dry

your tears and ours.   

 

Yet our tears flow

because now we deeply

understand that you

were our sweet, little

girl of love and hope.   

 

The earth, with me,

weeps for you, emerald

Emma. Heaven bleeds

tormenting tearful

torrents because you

were our love, our

reason forc being.   

 

Beloved Emma, you

were our future.

But death did not

bother to respect

the hope and love

you symbolized for

or empty world.   

 

That gun of death

tracked you down

and in your own

blooming blood,

you gave up the

hope and bountiful

love within your

beautiful soul.   

 

How I shudder to think

about towering tears

so silent in your

dying breath and mine.   

 

Your utter disbelieve

at what was happening

to you and your class-

mates.   

 

What soul do I have

to stand your pleading,

searching eyes?   

 

What mortal strength

do I have to bear this

shattering burden?   

 

Who would answer your

prying questions for

humanity, Emma?   

 

Your innocent face

will linger forever.

Your smiles.

Your enchanting,

little laughter!   

 

Emma, just remember,

you are my hero.

You were our love.

Now, you are

God's

caring

A

n

g

e

l

__ 

 

 

U:   

 

bells toll:

 

Melissa Currie:   



Now, the bells toll for

you. The bells toll to

welcome earth's herald

of your little body,

Melissa!   

 

This is no wedding bell

in the country church

yard. This is no

christening ceremony...  

 

::::::: 

::::::: 

From my long-hand collection: 

Hope for Dunblane

Ugonna Wachuku  

(c) March 1996 

Geneva: Switzerland 

 

Last Minefield!

Ugonna Wachuku

 

 

Another new dawn.
Hope unbound.
Early morning dews
and wet leaves
embrace me on my
glad way to the farm
on ancestral lands of
home and upliftment. 

 

This new day, life
is born anew in my
being. Whistling
pines and singing
birds herald my
journey to the
farm.

 

Through the calm,
village bush path, I
make my way carrying
my hoe, mattock and
machete for a hopeful
day at the farm.

 

I view welcoming palm
trees and luring palm
fruits and cocoanuts
on this refreshing new
morning. I take the next
step:

 

Gboooommmnnnn!!!!

 

I am thrown into the
bush - way out of the
hopeful village path
Streams of blood and
pain cloud my vision.
My legs have been blown
off by a landmine on our
village bush path to the
farm:

 

Pain and sorrow will be
my watchword through life.
Scars unhidden will serve
as tearful reminders of
my bloody day with that
heartless landmine. Yet,
so many are dead. And
like me cannot tell
their story. But this
new day and forever,
I'll be their voice:
The world wide web
cryer unwavering!

 

Yet humanity moves
ahead with this
deadly weapon on
the village bush
path. Sorrow and
pain respects no
one in the fatal
bossom of these
landmines strewn
across the earth.

 

Let us, now, rise
with peaceful oneness
and make this mine on
my village bush path
the last landmine.
Let us rise, this new
morning, and bid goodbye
to minefields across our
beautiful blue earth.

 

Please, come with me,
join all women and
men of goodwill. This
new morning, let us rise
and rid our green pastures
and meadow sea shores of
landmine evil. Stand with
me - this new dawn of hope,
love and caring oneness
amongst humankind.

 

This new dawn, let this
be the last minefield
on our green pastures
and meadow sea shores.

 

This new dawn, humanity,
please, listen to my
heart-broken voice
crying through the
world wide web -
chanting: Let this
be the last
minefield
on
beaming
blue
planet
earth!

 

See my
teardrops
of sorrow
and pain
for the
survival
of
h
u
m
a
n
k
i
n
d
!
!
!
.
.
.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In soulful support of landmine victims everywhere and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL): http://www.icbl.org

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What Have We Done?

Ugonna Wachuku

 

Drowning calmness and

pure pain unknown 

overwhelm my being

on this dizzy dusk of  

earthly endurance.  

 

Black

Lives

truly

Matter!  

 

Human 

Lives  

Matter!  

 

Silence! 

 

"I have a dream:"

So:

"Let

freedom

ring!" 

 

I walk the land unknown.
I walk this land unloved.

 

Silence!

 

When love is gone,
humanity beware! 

When freedom to 

be who we are 

created to be is 

gone, humankind

weep with me and

act for restoration! 

 

When skin colour bars, 
humankind beware! 

Humankind, we are  

same red blood. 

Black Lives Matter! 

Human LiveS Matter! 

 

Earthquakes are gathering.
Smiling storms are waiting
to stir-up our lake in the 
heart of earth. Give me 

freedom to love and 

bloom for life; for dying

earth; for dying peoples

on this enchanting earth!

 

Now, I am giong home.
I am going home.
Yet, I'll be with you
because there is a sea
of unwavering love in
my silent soul because

Humankind, we are

same red blood.  

 

This day and tomorrow;
and always, I'll still
ask, in the silence of
my aching heart:

 

What have we done?
What have we done?
What have we done

to one another?
What have

we done,
humankind!

 

Black

Lives

Matter!

 

Human

Lives

Matter!

 

What

have

we

d

o

n

?

!

 

What Have We Done?  


~ Critiques/Comments ~

Serene Moment  
belleloved@excite.com
A thought provoking question for such a thought provoking piece too.
Indeed, that's the question that needs enlightenment and answer from
all of us mankind.
http://www.postpoems.com/members/serene


Donna Allard
poet_ca@hotmail.com
Ugonna..what a lovely poem! I understand fully between the lines. Keep
Informed Keep Writing Keep Peace Saphire...
http://www.postpoems.com/members/saphire


Judy Costea
snowmansmom@hotmail.com
Ugonna,
Truly a question that all should be asking. If God loved us enough to
give life and love, Happiness to us, what right do we have to spoil it
by doing the things that have distroyed humanity. And God as a loving
God gives us chance after chance and yet it continues to happen. Can
we as a human race ever be what God intended. Maybe one day this world
will be as it was meant.
Peace and Love walks with you
Judy
http://PostPoems.com/members/snowmansmom
2003-03-16 18:04:23 


Shaketa Copelin
strawberrylagoon@yahoo.com
This was deep, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading...
http://PostPoems.com/members/strawberrylagoon
2003-07-24 14:02:23 


Amber Levering  
soccor_0150@yahoo.com
i loved this one, it seems somewhat sad, but thats what i got outta
it, but god will give you true happiness even through what we've done
right?!?!?!
http://PostPoems.com/members/naiveteen_16
2005-08-25 19:07:08 


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Take My Love

Ugonna Wachuku  

 

 

When all is said and lived;

when beauty and joy are

planted in your earth-heart;

when the last royal roses

come to you, remember, I

will always be there for

you through pain, agony

and tears.

 

And handsome heaven's

brilliance will be your 

light through dark waters.

Day shall be your companion

through sun-lit pathways

of hope, love and new

life.

 

In my soul, caring streams

and rivers will rise on this 

trying, painful journey 

through life. 

 

Windful waterfalls will kiss

me for a new kind of hope in

love and beauty enchanting.

 

Just remember, I will always

be there for you. Darling, you

can gladly count on me to till

the land and work the farm 

through every pain and 

agony. 

 

I will tend the garden and

bring you roses and tullips

of blue and yellow.

So, always remember,

there will be no if.

I'll listen and care. 

I'll uphold you to 

outlive every terror 

and pain with love 

and wisdom. 

 

You can always count on heaven

to bloom my heart anew each day.

Even when the spirit is weak, I

will ever remember that you are

there. Surely, darling, I will.

 

Take my love when you will.

And remember, through this

pain, through this agony,

I will ever 

be there, 

all

for

y

o

u


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