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Twenty-Two Early Poems - 8. Appendix - the complete book

I discovered several poems that belong here. So, rather than change the existing numbering system and ruin the comments (so people do not know which poem is being talked about), I've placed the entire updated collection here as an appendix. New poems are in blue, and so are the numbers that have been changed because of them.

*warning: a few of the poems deal with suicide; and there is some plastic boobage showing in the video link*

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Thirty-Six Early Poems

written from

ages fourteen to nineteen

by AC Benus

 

 

Poem No. 1

 

Leave death alone,

for it shall take care of itself.

Concern yourself with life,

for there the sweetest pain lies.

 

There came upon the sea of despair

many false prophets

All proclaiming the glory of

themselves.

Believe them not, for the key

to God lies in your heart and

There alone, for God is love

and love is God, so remember

The key lies within your heart.

 

 

Poem No. 2

 

Haiku:

 

A ship sails over

the moon, gently and so free

on a sea of dreams.

 

 

Poem No. 3

 

Greatest Gift Given

 

The gift came with no bow

or in bright wrappings that tend to glow –

Or hid in brown paper

borrowed from a good, nearby neighbor.

 

It came plain as can be

sitting there for everyone to see –

Is there no sense of pride

for this gift given for you to abide?

 

Or maybe, just perhaps

this gift is not within mortal grasps –

Wide as an ocean

I think I will call it emotion.

 

 

Poem No. 4

 

Winter

 

The winds blow themselves across barren land,

a bleak concept for summer's ban –

it is winter's triumph to be so grand.

 

The time is not for summer sand

nor spring's sweet fan –

now is winter, see and feel it at hand.

 

 

Poem No. 5

 

Prayer

 

Energy surrounded by many a name,

ever changing, always the same –

 

Let me bask in your loving light,

and release me from the realm of fright.

 

 

Poem No. 6

 

Nature softly calling

Come, Come, Come,

To a place where She and Man are one

Come, Come, Come,

To a place where Nature and I are one

 

Come

 

To where lions sing and birds are purring

…Come, Come, Come…

Nature calls to me

…come…come…come…

Leave life behind, come with Me and be free

 

come

 

 

Poem No. 7

 

Une Rose

 

How wonderful is a rose

In such soft and gentle pose

 

Your beauty fills the air

With color bright and fair

 

You fill my heart with longing

For all things grateful and belonging

 

A rose to man is free

Like a butterfly or a bee

 

I wish I could release all my earthly woes

And be like a rose

 

 

Poem No. 8

 

Shadows Across the Soul

 

The shadows on the face of the clown,

are dark and deep, masking his smile.

The clown's rosy cheeks, so round,

are broken, scattered for a while.

 

The shadows spread far and wide

lurking in every crack of his features

Leaving no room for a sad soul to hide

making him look like a lonesome creature.

 

You are such a deceitful lie,

I tell myself the shadow can't be real,

And yet, you want to die,

letting nothing left to feel.

 

 

Poem No. 9

 

Sweet darkened blanket

in you can I find bliss

 

Sweet mindless oblivion

in calm outrageousness

 

Unrepentant images

painless happiness

 

 

Poem No. 10

 

Delusions

 

Sometimes when I'm alone

Just spending the day at home

I sit and dream of the day

When my children will come and say

"Papa, what was war?"

 

"What was it like when men would die

and mothers and children could only cry

to know that life no longer filled their lungs,

that the joy of being could no longer be sung?

 

"And what of hatred, Papa, do tell

could men really fall under its spell

could men under its lure be sane

to inflict such sorrow and pain?

Papa, what of war?"

 

 

Poem No. 11

 

Thoughts of words

 

I wish I could fill the page with words to an end,

A flowing stream, through eternity to send;

Through tragedy and sin, a thought to reclaim,

A finely flowing thing forever to blame.

Words stronger than a fortress to stand against time,

Phrases so grand, so lovely, tender – forever sublime.

 

 

Poem No. 12

 

My face will fall

and my hair will lay

my skin just fall away

leaving bones about the hall.

 

It is simple fate

but men deny

that it is human to die

as certain as hate

 

but, if these words stand

unchanged by time and mind

a piece of me will be left behind.

 

 

Poem No. 13

 

Love is an emotion

that's deep as an ocean,

as violent as a flood,

and cold as mud.

 

 

Poem No. 14

 

Through fine crimson,

thoughts appear of sweet stillness

to flow into my mind.

 

Through stillness, a swath of air

so light

calmly coming to bear

itself by night

breaks my thoughts of sweet

oblivion

 

 

Poem No. 15

 

La vie

 

I step alone into the dark

fearful of what seems so stark

 

Alone we all must enter

today or tomorrow, it all finds center

 

If only it wasn’t so dark

and hopelessly bleak from the start

 

Then hope would be given a chance to live

and I, perhaps, a chance to give.

 

 

Poem No. 16

 

Suicide

 

The darkened word, the terrible thought

it haunts me now to be sought

Such pain it holds, how upset am I

for what strange comfort seems by its side

The darkened thought, the terrible word

it visits me now; how strangely absurd.

 

 

Poem No. 17

 

Through a sullen window

a thought born of darkness’ glow

 

Has seen a million nameless hours

felt nothing for the countless souls it sours

 

Stillness creeps in the night

and falls into dust with the light

 

How many thoughts born in the dark

are progeny of stillness, bearing her birthmark?

 

 

Poem No. 18

 

The plateau of man’s dreams

is reached first by the heart,

next by the mind,

then by the hands,

and finally, by his feet.

It’s a long hard haul from

A man’s dreams to his

where he ultimately stands.

 

 

Poem No. 19

 

To judge something as an individual

is to ignore its potential as a whole.

 

 

Poem No. 20

 

Sweet surrender of a lunar teardrop,

falling softly, ever softly to Earth,

towards the remnants of its happiness.

Plop. Ripple, ripple. Then

gone with none the wiser.

 

Poem with No Name

 

 

Poem No. 21

 

Through fine crimson thoughts

an air of sweet stillness

flows into my mind

 

Through quietude, a shudder of air

so light

calmly comes to me to bare

itself by night

 

Breaking my thoughts of sweet

oblivion

 

 

Poem No. 22

 

Only things of confidence tend to stay

the brash and new fade to yesterday.

The merit of character needs be grand

for it through eternity to stand.

 

 

Poem No. 23

 

The world shrinks with my every heartless thought –

Soon I feel I will be alone

Standing in a knot.

 

 

Poem No. 24

 

“Romance”

 

The night is for “Romance”

Calm and sure in its stance

Forever to live in the night

Unimagined by human sight

The night remains for “Romance”

 

How can the mind comprehend

Phrases so lovely to bring hate to an end

The night is for romance’s glow –

The maestro lives for all who know

 

 

Poem No. 25

 

10 minutes to eat

4 hours to sleep

3 years to go

 

My School Life

 

 

Poem No. 26

 

Ashes

 

I looked down into my tea

And what do you think I happened to see?

Ashes, ashes in my tea.

They sit, they bob, they float and stare

They prance about and put on airs

Those ashes

Ashes in my tea.

The renewal of life, the hatred of death

Everyone sighs in deep regret

Except those ashes

Ashes in my tea.

 

 

Poem No. 27

 

I sloshed through the slush looking for a Raison

A perfectly plum, sweet, Raison

Smooth and tender, to warm against the cold

I struggle through, seeking the Raison of gold.

 

 

Poem No. 28

 

I wish I could fall into a sleep so deep

As to relinquish life's belief –

For mediocrity haunts me so.

 

I into a gentle spiral fall

Downward, as a leaf to Autumn's call –

Like my heartbeat, methodically slow.

 

 

Poem No. 29

 

The hypocrites' mandatory cry

I don’t know which is worse

the use of God's name being perversed

or fools, their soul to buy

 

The stamping of people in need

their only sin, being who they are

a mark to wear like a Nazi star

too tragic to think, yet we must heed

 

Soviet tanks poised in our mind

ready to destroy at any wince

with missiles there to convey the hints

that men be free wherever one's to find

 

Men destroying other men

for the name of a piece of land

which is as futile as a bound hand

only through life with each other do we understand

 

that this is not a game

or a huge cheap circus

it is our chance to give purpose

to who shall never see peace the same

 

Today I watched the evening news

to see what things were done

on Earth by people with guns

March 24th, 1987, how things fused.

 

 

Poem No. 30

 

What is it about the night?

Of its solidly abstract flavor

How can it hold me so

 

What is it about the night?

 

And what of the moon's flight?

Thrust like a new-born child

Cold and naked, humble and low

 

What is it about the night?

 

The sea of gloom that steals the light

And the hope of dreams with it

Help me, God; my mind wants to know

 

What is it about the night?

 

Goldberg Variations in the Night

 

 

Poem No. 31

 

What subtle fare

can be called a pear

 

Skin translucently light

flesh, yellow sweet and bright

 

Shiny sleek appearance do

a succulence lively new

 

Ode to a pear glossy and fair

what a glorious thing you are;

you creation of God, you known as a pear

 

Ode to a Pear

 

 

Poem No. 32

 

I saw two Christs on the street today

one was hungry, the other didn't say

 

On the big street they stand

mother with child in hand

 

No father to see

but it's not a fashion a father to be

 

"Something for the baby," one Christ called out

the voice was pitiful, without a doubt

 

It was pity I lacked, so with eyes bowed

I walked along, amidst my fellow crowd

 

It's a terrible thing we do to ourselves

this impulse to put other people on shelves

 

I saw two Christs on the street today

one was hungry, the other didn't say.

 

But I walked by them and went on my way.

 

Soul of Mine[1]

 

 

Poem No. 33

 

We enter this world naked and alone

and are expected to leave it

Clothed and befriended.

 

We come into the world naked and screaming

and are expected to leave it

Clothed and silently.

 

Naked and alone

naked and screaming

Clothed and befriended

clothed and silently

Is that all life can be reduced to?

 

Super Inn Heaven[2]

 

 

Poem No. 34

 

How do you inspire tea-flavored water –

How do you make it know the power of knowledge?

 

In a sense, it's meaningless slaughter

not to inspire tea-flavored water.

 

 

Poem No. 35

 

Ode to Hate

 

I hate hope

it's for the birds

I hate hope

in other words

Pass the rope.

 

Hope nullifies the mind

to love every new day

Which makes all very blind

to the pain that is April through May.

Look, there's no hope to find.

 

I hate hope

it's for the birds

I hate hope

in other words

Call the Pope.

 

 

Poem No. 36

 

Of sweetened gloom that wraps the trees,

Changing their cloak to fiery leaves,

Coldness plants his death-bearing seeds,

Which cling to life for his Mother's needs.

 

Sweet surrender of death, un-flowered,

That life's fiery spring hath sown,

His greatest fear to be left alone,

Thrust is he into the great unknown.

 

Of tremendous injustice done,

To one, to him, to all, to none,

To move for the new that has begun,

For all need the warmth of the newborn sun.

 

The new word

(For my friend, Saleh Abu-Gharbieh; I miss you)[3]

 

 

 

 

~

 

 

 

 


[1] Soul of Mine: this was inspired by an incident on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. One of our instructors in the Fine Arts Department, Rodney Winfield, organized quarterly trips for students to spend a weekend in Chicago and see the latest show at the Art Institute. (We attended the one on John Singer Sargent.) I went out that Friday night to walk to the Rookery and Sears Tower. On the way, I overheard two sailors being propositioned for a $10 –round of oral sex by a thin woman; they declined. Soon after, I saw the pair mentioned in this poem.

Incidentally, there is a slightly revised version of this poem dated "Oct. 22nd 1990 – 2 days after." I believe this is a reference to two days after having slept with my first man, Richard, an English professor at the University of Missouri Saint Louis (UMSL). I remember sending him a few of my poems, and this one specifically. About it, I told him the form and polish may be rough, but in my opinion I could come up with a more impactful concept. He did not reply.

[2] The title is a sardonic reference to the heavenly nightclub in the concluding scene of the 1983 Monty Python film The Meaning of Life.

 

[3] Original inscription from the time the poem was written to one of my dorm roommates who had transferred to school in Chicago.

_

Copyright © 2017 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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AC Benus

Posted (edited)

sorry....looks like they disabled the font color choice, although it remains in the uploader. sigh

 

edit: I've made the newly added poems show in the Georgia font for now. Hope it's somewhat easy to tell.

Edited by AC Benus
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Oh AC, what a collection! So many wonderful pieces. I can't pick one, but they all show us you and your talent. It grows there before us as we read them.  It's joy to read them all. Thanks for sharing them.

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I was astounded at this collection. My younger self would have been completely awed, mumbled something incoherent, and slunk out into the outer darkness. Even now, I feel unequal to some of these; 30 - 36 had me re-re-re-reading. I saw two Christs will haunt me. 21 made me remember all the crimson thoughts of my own I have spun. 

 

I salute you, and thank you for sharing these. 

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1 minute ago, Mikiesboy said:

Oh AC, what a collection! So many wonderful pieces. I can't pick one, but they all show us you and your talent. It grows there before us as we read them.  It's joy to read them all. Thanks for sharing them.

Thanks for your encouragement, and for reading :)

 

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20 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

I was astounded at this collection. My younger self would have been completely awed, mumbled something incoherent, and slunk out into the outer darkness. Even now, I feel unequal to some of these; 30 - 36 had me re-re-re-reading. I saw two Christs will haunt me. 21 made me remember all the crimson thoughts of my own I have spun. 

 

I salute you, and thank you for sharing these. 

It's kind of cool to see the entire collection in one place, but it is too much to take in at one time. If a person had a book, they'd read a few sections at a time and hopefully 'savor' :) 

 

I'm sorry you cannot see which poems are new instantly. Perhaps I can change the font to show them.... 

 

Thank you for singling out I saw two Christs on the street today. This poem has always meant a lot to me. 

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It's obvious that you were born with a poet's soul, AC. This "early" collection has mystified me. Similar to Parker, I can't imagine having had this much finesse at the age you penned these. Thank you for sharing. It makes me want to dig out some of my own teenage writing, but that might be a frightening endeavor - for everyone.  Cheers

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21 hours ago, MacGreg said:

It's obvious that you were born with a poet's soul, AC. This "early" collection has mystified me. Similar to Parker, I can't imagine having had this much finesse at the age you penned these. Thank you for sharing. It makes me want to dig out some of my own teenage writing, but that might be a frightening endeavor - for everyone.  Cheers

Thank you, Mac, for some wonderful comments! I know it's a lot all in one place, and in book form a person can browse more easily than online. But that's the way it is :)

 

Thanks again.  

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