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Passions in Poetry

The Memory of Marie #1

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Balladeer
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0 posted 01-15-2000 12:09 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


I hadn't noticed that old drunkard sitting next to me
In that dim bar so oddly named 'The Memory of Marie'
Until a gnarled and wrinkled hand gently tapped on mine
And breath filled up the atmosphere with smells of day-old wine.

"You may be wondering", he said, "just how this barroom came
To be the dump that it is now with such a haunting name.
In younger days the lights shone bright,laughter filled the air
And , if you fill my glass with wine, I'll tell you, if you care."

Drunks do not appeal to me, but something in his style
Made me think that, possibly, his words could be worthwhile
And, having nothing else to do but watch my life pass by,
I had his glass replenished and I watched him drink it dry.

"Let me pose a question, sir. Please answer if you can
The avenue that you would choose, a decent, honest man
If you were standing in my shoes those many years ago.
It will not change a blessed thing but I'd just like to know."

"Let's suppose the sweetest woman ever in your life
Made a vow that she would be your ever-faithful wife,
And let's suppose that Heaven smiled the way it smiled on me
The day the angels blessed me with my beautiful Marie."

"She made my life a ferris wheel - she filled me with a joy
That gave me cause to call it love that nothing could destroy.
I built the place we're sitting in for all the world to see
The neon sign upon the roof that lit my life - MARIE."

And then one day, the bubble burst. One day the mail came.
Within it was a letter sent to one specific name.
Emblazoned on the envelope, alive with mystery,
The letters of the girl I loved..addressed to my Marie.'

"I don't know how but I was sure as I was standing there
The penmanship was masculine and screamed the word "AFFAIR!"
The choices laying in my hand were obvious to me -
Open it or leave it and say nothing to Marie."

"Affairs are temporary roads a decent woman may
Venture on until the time the newness wears away,
But, in the end, true love would win and, when the thrill had died,
I knew that my belov'd Marie would be back at my side."

"But male pride ruled in the end and, with a trembling hand,
I read the words of love undying from another man,
And, in a fit of fire and rage within my agony,
I screamed the words of hatefulness that cost me my Marie."

"My question is a simple one", he said with quiet voice.
"With that same situation pending, which would be your choice?
Faced with that dilemma staring, which would you find better...
Contenting yourself with what you have, or opening the letter?"

The old man didn't wait for me; instead, without "goodnight"
He got down quickly from the stool and hurried out of sight.
The last I saw was his bent form held up by shaking knees
Scurrying quite quickly from 'The Memory of Marie's.

The years passed quickly. I forgot the old man and Marie's
Until, one day, the memory came screaming back at me.
Almost, as if the gods were laughing with a wild derision,
I found myself encountered by that very same decision!

I know, by looks, I seem to be a bum perched on a stool,
Rambling with thickened tongue words spoken like a fool,
But since you've made my wine glass full, I'll pose it now to you.
Faced with that decision, stranger, tell me what you'ld do.

Content yourself with what you have, or view with opened eyes,
Events which could do nothing more than hurt or criticize?
I'm not sure what you would do, which choice you would find the better
But, as for me, I wish to God I'd never read that letter!
© Copyright 2000 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
Meadowmuse
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since 12-27-1999
Posts 3317


1 posted 01-15-2000 12:52 AM       View Profile for Meadowmuse   Email Meadowmuse   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Meadowmuse's Home Page   View IP for Meadowmuse


Oh, what a story! Superbly written, Balladeer. A finely told poem tale. Enjoyed it very much.

Dear LadyClaire

Michael
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since 08-13-99
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2 posted 01-15-2000 01:02 AM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

Balladeer, I have read this three times over.  This is a masterfull work.  Chills like that of one named Coleridge, honestly.
I dare not try to answer the question, I pray I never have to face such a decision.
You have touched me with this one, my friend.

Michael
poetry_kills
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since 12-04-1999
Posts 552
new orleans


3 posted 01-15-2000 01:12 AM       View Profile for poetry_kills   Email poetry_kills   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit poetry_kills's Home Page   View IP for poetry_kills

i absolutely love it... superbly written and carefully crafted... reminds me of coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner...

sincerely,

 **jerome the boy whose brain got left out in the rain and nobody bothered to dry it off when they put it back in
Elizabeth Santos
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since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


4 posted 01-15-2000 01:16 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Poetry at its finest. No one else can weave a tale like this, and somehow leave that open ended quetion, and in great poetic form to boot. This was very captivating to say the least.
Liz
Kevin
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since 11-02-1999
Posts 752
Torrington, Ct, Usa


5 posted 01-15-2000 01:37 AM       View Profile for Kevin   Email Kevin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kevin

a wonderful distraction balladeer

ignorance is bliss
John Yaws
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since 10-09-1999
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6 posted 01-15-2000 02:55 AM       View Profile for John Yaws   Email John Yaws   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit John Yaws's Home Page   View IP for John Yaws

Hey, dude! If you ever decide to give lessons, sign me up. Terrific poem. I am envious.

 Visit My Home Page
http://www.geocities.com/montcogunslinger/HomePage.html


Deb Lynne
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since 08-19-99
Posts 181
Where blue skies meet blue oce


7 posted 01-15-2000 08:36 AM       View Profile for Deb Lynne   Email Deb Lynne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Deb Lynne

MM..I swear you get better & better! Loved every line.  
Tarzzan
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since 01-14-2000
Posts 7
Deepest, Darkest, Africa


8 posted 01-15-2000 08:46 AM       View Profile for Tarzzan   Email Tarzzan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tarzzan

Though I'm not familiar with your poetry, (cough, gag, clear throat, innocent look), this is superb roach....
Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


9 posted 01-15-2000 08:58 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Loved it then, love it now. Nobody does it better than YOU sir... this kind of poetry I mean!    


I remember Tom, so long ago, the day the letter came,
Once he was a handsome man, now his face was not the same.
He screamed at me, called me a whore
told me to pack and get out the door.
Crushed under his vitriolic tongue, I turned and walked away
But I often think of him and regret what I didn't say.
He read the words "I love you Marie, and I always will"
He read on, right up to the end, "signed, your loving Bill"
Not knowing the truth, he assumed he knew the story behind what he read.
And until this very day, my friend, the truth remained inside my head.
I got the letter, yes, but I never loved another,
The letter I received that day, was from my long lost brother.
So, trust in the ones you love, judge not upon a whim,
If Tom had heeded these words, I'd still be married to him.






[This message has been edited by Poet deVine (edited 01-15-2000).]
LngJhnAg
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since 07-23-99
Posts 3654
Boot+Kitty=Poetry in motion


10 posted 01-15-2000 09:11 AM       View Profile for LngJhnAg   Email LngJhnAg   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LngJhnAg

'Deer - this story is superb, and is in the vein of the true, one and only, Balladeer.  Yanno, perhaps that letter to Marie was a drunk telling the bar how much he loved it - nawwwww.  One of things that sets your ballads apart from is that they always flow so smoothly and carry their theme so consistently.  This is another story in a long long list of wonderful stories you've posted in here.
Nan
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11 posted 01-15-2000 09:38 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Well, my Deer... I, unfortunately, do have the answer to that one. I've been faced with the infidelity of a spouse - confronted it - gotten past it (notice the word forgiven can't be used - betrayal has a shelf of its own in our lives).... I've gone on and continued the commitment that a good marriage mandates - lived the "good-doobie" little housewife/mother routine.... been betrayed again - not confronted it..... and been betrayed again because he got away with it... and again... and again...

In reality, a spouse who defies their vows once, will rarely stop there... It's a part of their personality. Leopards don't change their spots...

Needless to say, trust is pretty important to me now - Betrayal of trust is plain and simply the ultimate demise of love...

...um... I guess this one got to me, huh Sweets?
HelmutB
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since 01-06-2000
Posts 989
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12 posted 01-15-2000 10:15 AM       View Profile for HelmutB   Email HelmutB   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit HelmutB's Home Page   View IP for HelmutB

Intriguing story, you foretold
With the man drunk and old
Could it possibly occur to you?
That this could be your angel protecting you
I do not know…it’s fiction or it’s true
Nevertheless, in the end I do agree with you
This thought had crossed my mind sometime ago
I carry on, but even so
What else is the wise thing here to do?
Someone breaks your trust
To gain what some call lust
But was it not the first who opened this gap?

Very nice piece of poetry you’ve wrote and definitely thought provoking



 The ability to describe life with words is similar to painting a picture; both can be powerful tools.

HelmutB
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since 01-06-2000
Posts 989
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13 posted 01-15-2000 10:23 AM       View Profile for HelmutB   Email HelmutB   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit HelmutB's Home Page   View IP for HelmutB

I've read again and the responces too
PoetdeVine brought something out for you
Not only you...I say
I've leraned something from her today
Thanks Balladeer and PoetdeVine
Not everything we see is what it seems to be.
Sorry for me rambling on here.


 The ability to describe life with words is similar to painting a picture; both can be powerful tools.

whiskey
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since 12-28-1999
Posts 1302
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14 posted 01-15-2000 10:34 AM       View Profile for whiskey   Email whiskey   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit whiskey's Home Page   View IP for whiskey

So well written and a great piece I enjoyed the read thanks  
suthern
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since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


15 posted 01-15-2000 10:53 AM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

I'm not given to superlatives
But I might need some now
To stand a chance of adequately
Expressing just how
This poem haunts with memories
I can only answer thus
If faith is gone the "love" you share
Has already turned to dust.

Beautiful poem, 'Deer one... and I love PDV's response!
LngJhnAg
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since 07-23-99
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Boot+Kitty=Poetry in motion


16 posted 01-15-2000 11:11 AM       View Profile for LngJhnAg   Email LngJhnAg   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LngJhnAg

DeVine - what a terrific slant on 'Deer's story.  I loved the way you brought that together.

Martie
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17 posted 01-15-2000 11:42 AM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Balladeer, I am in awe of your talent to touch on a question that many of us have asked, with such clear telling and perfect poetry. You are a master!

 In the dew of little things,
the heart finds its morning
and is refreshed.
(ee cummings)
WhtDove
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since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


18 posted 01-15-2000 01:06 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Excellent! This speaks to me too, as I've opened that letter. It was from a women though!  Very well written Balladeer!

 <*\\\><
Where there is faith,
there is love.
Where there is love,
there is peace.
Where there is peace,
there is GOD.
Where there is GOD,
there is no need.

Hallmark


Pepper
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since 08-19-99
Posts 3134
Southern Florida

Official Passions Reader
19 posted 01-15-2000 01:16 PM       View Profile for Pepper   Email Pepper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Pepper

Another masterpiece Sir....

 A soul that writes from the heart and shares it, truly gives a gift extraordinaire!
Shannon


Marilyn
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since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada


20 posted 01-15-2000 02:10 PM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

I stand humbled and in awe of the master. This is a beautifully done piece Mike. One who can betray that kind of trust is not worthy of anyone's favor. Thankyou for giving me the oportunity to read this masterpiece.
angel girl
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since 07-23-99
Posts 329
within a whisper...


21 posted 01-15-2000 02:15 PM       View Profile for angel girl   Email angel girl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for angel girl

This is great. I have never found a poem of yours that I didn't like. Wonderful work.

 One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
-William Shakespeare



[This message has been edited by angel girl (edited 01-15-2000).]
Balladeer
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Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


22 posted 01-15-2000 02:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I stand overwhelmed by these wonderful comments. My gracious thanks to you all....even you, Toezzan.
Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


23 posted 01-15-2000 03:41 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

'Deer, all of your pieces are consistent
but nagging thoughts are persistent;
have I read this piece before?
In Open One, Two, Three or Four?

[Regardless, wonderful, as always...]

 Sunshine
Look, then, into thine heart, and write ~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Artur Hawkwing
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since 06-30-99
Posts 443
USA


24 posted 01-15-2000 03:55 PM       View Profile for Artur Hawkwing   Email Artur Hawkwing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artur Hawkwing

Balladeer,

You are a talented story poet. Indeed, deVine had an excellent counter to the perspective. Is that the other point of view you intended for people to see when they read this? I compared opening the letter to eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil in the garden. There is a similarity in it bringing shame towards the end.
 
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