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*
Thirty-Six Early Poems
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
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
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
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
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
To where lions sing and birds are purring
…Come, Come, Come…
Nature calls to me
Leave life behind, come with Me and be free
Poem No. 7
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
Poem No. 10
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
calmly coming to bear
itself by night
breaks my thoughts of sweet
Poem No. 15
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
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
calmly comes to me to bare
itself by night
Breaking my thoughts of sweet
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
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
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
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
(For my friend, Saleh Abu-Gharbieh; I miss you)
 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.
 The title is a sardonic reference to the heavenly nightclub in the concluding scene of the 1983 Monty Python film The Meaning of Life.
 Original inscription from the time the poem was written to one of my dorm roommates who had transferred to school in Chicago.