elpis’ eyes…


by  Toni Loretta Alice Cross
       charles wm. martin

those eyes
where hope
can find no refuge
stare across the bay
at a camera laden ship
glistening like a overlord’s castle
whose lies
slip like soap
in a deluge
from this shiny, shiny fray
using crisp bills as a whip
making native flesh their vassal
it has been the same
year after year
they come to these shores
pockets full of cash
cameras ready to flash
capturing empty frames of life

 Toni Loretta Alice Cross and I have entered into a duel poetry challenge and this is the resulting poem.  Duel Poetry:  a prearranged poetry writing challenge  between two people to evolve a new poem where each writer must respond to the other writer’s lines  (4 -5 ) until both parties agree that the poem is complete

when the moon is full…

night tides
of dreams
roll upon
yesterday’s shores
flinging small
memory shells
upon the beach
of today
making hollow
echoing sounds
like the empty
you made

love is hell…

it is not the lack of love
in the human heart
that brings one
to styx’s shores
love is the tormentor
bringing into one’s life
hopelessness and suffering
when unrequited
and sorrow and destruction
when it departs
the heart
and even when
shared between two
it is
a passion
that cannot
be quenched
by a single touch
unsatisfied desires reign
day and night
in the souls
of the young lovers
and with age
those who truly love
find no rest
from its burning passion
it is
a bottomless pit
this thing called


Point-Counter Point Challenge:  For those of you have been following the challenges between Jade and I, you are aware that several challenges have taken place over the course of the last few months.  This time, the challenge was to be initiated by me and I decided to change the rules a little…well a lot.  Here’s how it works this time.  Each poet provides the other poet with  five quotations that must be addressed from the opposite point of view as the original quote. Here is the second quote that Jade provided to me: “What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Image from BBC News

a street drug
a medication
i do this because i have to
i was forced into this
my parents
my wife
my children
they all demanded
they all required
things of me
everyone expects that i
and i alone
serve their needs
so each day i
place the hose
begin the injections
like piercing society’s skin
and the energy flows
as quickly as blood
pumps in the body
it is not my fault
i am not to blame
please believe me
i am not to blame
i wash my hands of this
the oil on your shores
is not due
to my addiction
it was


half awake i wander through my day
sometimes dreaming
sometimes fearing
the corners of my own thoughts
as if there were some evil there
(it’s just a childish nightmare…)
all i ‘ve sought was love
not always that with passion
but that love which is willing to give
not decreed to be given
by some collared representative of god
(it’s just a childish wish…)
my body seems formless one moment
caught in a repeating nightmare
floating with only the sound of my heart beat
then vibrant like the sound
a morning sunrise should make
alive with all the  wonders of life
like a child seeing his first parade
(it’s just a childish vision…)
i’m caught in this cycle
i ‘m the board which holds the anchor of the ship
and although the rest of the ship is gone
i am bound to these shores
crashing upon the rocks at low tide
and floating freely in the waves at high tide
(it’s just a childish sensation…)
soon the sea will rust these chains
and i shall float freely
without being held to these shores
till then
i must hold fast to what can be
and live with what is
and wander with the ebb and flow
that has brought me to these shores
(it is just the fate of men…)