Monday, November 23, 2009

I’m 60 years old school teacher, and have been writing for a long time. Never had anything published. I have about 35 poems and would like to have a published book of my poems someday. But for now to have any of my poems read would be great. I have 3 complete books in my head, but writing them down on paper is my problem. I have sent you my poems, hope you like them. Thanks,

Jack Bellis


Here I am within myself
Wondering if this is I or that was me
Thinking of questions so hard to answer
Why is the sky blue
And why is the depth of my soul so dark
How could I Have done the things I did
Where is the inner soul I knew so well
Why did it leave me so soon
Has moments in time stripped off
A layer of my soul
have I lost a part of my compassion
Have hardships of others
I’ve loved caused callous to engulf my heart
Has misfortunes damaged the fragile barrier
Surrounding my heart
Look at me what do you see
Is this that boy
Smiles, loving, caring and learning.
Absorbing each passing day
Perhaps I have learned that
Too much may be no good
And trying too hard
Sometimes doesn’t work
Is love for others
Slowing slipping away
Have I learned from my pain
Or just avoiding it
Inside I grow more confused
Moments alone seem more like hours
Thoughts and memories are
Draining my life fluid from my soul
Love drips away

Come back, please come back
I liked who I was
Please come back
For I miss the softness and compassion
I now lack
Please return to me myself
I know to be that person called Jack

Where Are You

Where is my power
Where did it go
I thought I was someone special
A mere mortal?
Cuts me to my soul
I thought he loved me
Perhaps he does
But not in the way I imagined
It cuts me to my soul
This feels like a dream
Not real at all
Do I pray to something
Or to nothing at all
Where are you really
Why can’ t I say for sure
Your existence is so very important
Yet your never there when
I open the door
Confused is my logic
I can tell all you exist
Doubts are deep
That it hurts so bad
It confuses me
And makes me feel sad
Why does it have to be this way
Can’t a few know you’re here
If you can’t do it yourself
Let me be the one
I’m already here


What is it that drives us?
Is it the concept
That motivates us all?
Or is it something you sense
While walking through these halls
Our job is to teach a simple concept
You would think
It’s a good one at best
Would we not all agree
Yet there are those who shiver
At the thought to learn?
To be taught?
To expand my mind?
You must be crazy I have
Better things to do with my time
O yes to prove the Concept
To those who resist
The battle line is drawn
So roll up your selves
And dare not make a fist
For it’s us to do battle and always persist
Our Opponent have allies
We capture them from their ears
Game Boys are also seized
With the opponent sometimes in tears
This War is more important
Than the one in Iraq
For the future of
Our country is placed
Squarely on our back


As I look what do I see
I see a young boy in front of me
His smile was bright and so was his life
Who is that boy I do see?

As I look through my eyes
I can see the makings of a kind young being
He was smart and funny and good to be around
He was the type of boy I wish I knew now

Bright was his life for his potential was grand
Nothing could stop him well at least nothing at hand
As I look very hard through my eyes I don’t see
In the distance the coming of a great tragedy

As I look I can see the boy didn’t think
That wouldn’t happen to me
For I can see his hope and great possibility
Never did he think that could happen to me

Here I look and still see the glimmer
As his push for a better life that starts to shimmer
Death his about as he wonders why
This can’t be real as he often cries
It is I and this can’t be
For doesn’t he recognize it is me

As I dare to look again more pain do I see?
For the young man still trying oh yes so
Desperately wishing for a break from tragedy
I can see his puzzled face as again he asks
Why is this happening to me?

It’s getting harder to look for the wear and tear
Is showing quite clear
I feel sorry for the young man though I can’t do a thing
For I only can see and absolutely do nothing

As I squint I can see the hardship and agony
Sometimes I wish my own eyes would fail me
But as I look and I must
The pain in his face is now painted on an
Older man with no glimmer of hope
And the age was drawn by an artist of
Despair rather than that of one with the Almighty’s flare

As I look with a heavy heart
I have seen all I can bare
For his life has taught me all is certainly not fair
Potential is great and brightness as well
But I can’t do a thing I can’t even yell
For the boy to man I have seen through my eyes
I now know what he lacked but way to late to act
Simply put I am looking through the eyes of
The shell of an old man named Jack

Jack Bellis


When I look in the mirror
What do I see
Is it me or him
So I ask who are you and I say you are real and I am the
I am who you wish to be and you are you the one you have to be
I am the one who hit the home run I am the winner you
dream to be
You are the one who works those simple jobs I am the
One that travels the world
I am the one that mingles with the stars you are the one
That mingles too long
You are the one that has all the responsibilities
You are the one with all the obligations I am the one who gets you through when
you are weaken by all you have to do
I am the one that holds you up
when the problems mount
I am the one that takes you where
you have to go to rest your mind and feel
the peace that helps you through
I am the one you wish to be
I am the one you dream was me

Friday, November 20, 2009

Everyday Life: Social Smackdown at the Supermarket

The weekend after Veterans' Day, I went shopping at my local Giant to purchase some raspberries and yogurt that were on sale. The one tucked away in a currently bucolic area of Alexandria, formerly and aptly known as the Hamlets, which the City and its partners are now turning into a construction zone and is soon to become a concrete cookie cutter copy of everywhere else. As I checked out, there was suddenly a commotion in the adjoining aisle. Apparently perturbed at waiting too long behind a woman whose payment was government subsidized, a middle aged man "lost it." Her lengthy tinkering with the contents of her cart to come within a certain dollar amount pushed him over the edge and he loudly let loose on how his tax dollars were partially paying her tab anyway, so "here's the difference, let's move the line."
And with that this sleepy little community store erupted into a microcosm of what's troubling America today. Too many handouts - to the rich and to the poor, squeezing those stuck in the middle to, well, class warfare and a social smackdown at the supermarket. Rapacious residential landlords, in subprime hock themselves, seeing only visions of dollar signs in their tenants eyes, exacting a hidden human toll. Well ahead of schedule, Mark Center is losing its neighborly neighborhood feel. Which is why I, and many others, are leaving. Bah, humbug and Ho, Ho, Ho.

Karen Ann DeLuca
Mr. Logan, I am submitting the following three poems for possible inclusion in A Brilliant Record magazine. Please let me know if you need any additional information or if I can answer any questions for you. Thank you, Justin P Lambert

The Wake

Forced conversations in a hushed tone
Awkward laughter, guilty cheer.

“She looks so natural.”
No, she doesn't. Did you know her?
Doesn't this bother anyone else?
We stand around this artificially
darkened room, trying not to
acknowledge why we're here.
“She went peacefully.”
Is that supposed to make me feel
better about her not being here?
She should have fought, tooth and nail!
Why is she there, lying still,
while I'm here, comforting strangers?
“It was her time.”
How dare you? How dare you say
that she deserved this? Or that God
deserves her more than I do!
What kind of God do you believe in?
Not the God I know. Not the God she knew.

Forced conversations in a hushed tone
Whispered questions, shamed ignorance.


I want to believe.
I need to imagine
I can do what you need,
I can be what you want.
Tell me what's right.
Tell me who to be.
We work on these revolving doors
until we're dizzy and sick.
I know there is more.
I know you have wished-
I lost that once.
I never want to lose it again.
Forget about the past.
Forget what I have forgotten.
We ramble in and out of confusion
until we've forgotten everything
except us.


Mind thinning--
Gray and fuzzy flights of recall
dapple harder-won concrete memories
creating shadows from no substance
smoothing sharp contours and carving
tiny holes in what I thought
was my life.

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...