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  2. Mancunian

    Chapter 4

    Thank you @Talo Segura for the positive comments, they really are appreciated and encouraging. I hope that I'm making it interesting enough to encourage everyone to continue reading and hopefully attract new readers. It's surprising the effect that babies can have on us, I think it has a lot to do with emotional overload, lol. Most hospitals here have a cafeteria which is open during the day but if your there during evening or night time hours you are reliant on those horrible vending machines, yuk.
  3. Without a doubt, history lessons teach us well. As for Sparky ... well, let's just say, it is a fair bet, and one that I support with all my heart! (But, really, how could US win against China? Chinese knockoffs are everywhere! And not only ... Anyone looking at their iPhones or sports shoes should wonder if the war hadn't been lost already ... I don't know how it's in other parts of the world, but the only way in my country to stay away from Chinese items of any kind, and that without spending half your salary and a kidney on designer stuff, is to go Turkish - especially clothes - they are better, not by much, but still)
  4. I'll take that as a compliment! And seriously, your comment had me breathless with laughter! I think you should write comedies, and let the world enjoy your skill!
  5. Talo Segura

    Chapter 4

    I've caught up and the story is progressing nicely. I like the different plot lines, The Major and his boys, John and his trust fund, Beccy and the baby. I didn't know babies could have that effect on people, making them drop like flies 😁. I did wonder how the lads would manage a strong tea for The Major, but then I imagined those hospital vending machines which mostly dispense warm coloured liquid and not a cafeteria where you might found a nice human behind the counter. Btw, your self-editing is not too bad, any little errors that creep in don't really count for much.
  6. AC Benus

    Into The Valley

    The fight scene was brutal and convincing. The skill with which you wrote it rings out because you did not shy away from details of the engagement. This is written perfectly with enough blow-by-blow to make it come to life for us, and enough struggle to make it real. But my favorite moment in this chapter happens later. The way Stravor wakes Keter from his bad dreams, and then their conversation, is beautiful. This book has such deep-seeded emotions to it, and you present them naturally and exquisitely. "The Searcher" has not only the elements of a great book, but of a great opera. Fantastic work
  7. Thank you, Def! The final Part is now up, and I appreciate you reading and commenting on the entire poem
  8. Today
  9. Yes, Tim, you quote a very important section of the poem. We mustn't let the majority think they have a monopoly on love
  10. Thank you, Parker. You know 'beautiful' is a compliment I'll always accept with relish. Thanks for your support of this piece
  11. Thank you for reading and supporting Hymenaios, Lyssa! The finale is now posted
  12. Thank you, Mike. The finale is now posted. I appreciate your reading this every week while I was posting it. Your feedback has been great!
  13. . Part X. A Double Wedding Twilight of the nuptial day slowly Was coming to its rich inheritance: From eastern sky crept the edges of night, While the boldness of the west continued To send the brilliant orange and yellow rays Of a proud celestial father on his Son’s most glorious of wedding parties. On the heavenly heights of Olympus, Hymenaios had a rise in status As Zeus, Hera and Aphrodite draped The offspring of their sun-chariot kin With the admiring pleasure of watching His adventures serving for the gods Eros and Artemis with pluck and love. The congress of immortals had gathered ‘Round the visionary well of Lord Zeus And cheered on the defeat of human greed By the force of mortal devotion, and The Olympians a body then Granted the bright demi-god and his bride Deathless form to join them when Death would call. So it was with immeasurable pride Helios pulled his chariot across The high arc above the Acropolis Where families would congregate to witness Beautiful children unite in wedlock. Earlier, while He could still watch, one group Decorated the altars of Eros With the sweetest boughs of myrtle strong, where Every manly blossom a poet could Dedicate to the synchronized beauty Of boys and the bold wisdoms which bless Love-matches between the masculine tribes. Meleager’s keepsake for Myiscus Interwove pale roses with narcissus, Young vines of grape blooms, sweet-scented iris, Fragrant marjoram amid maiden-hued Crocus and sorrow-tainted hyacinth. Among these bright blossoms of hope were set Dark-leaved sprigs of laurel, ivy clusters, Boughs of walnut, and sprinklings of wild thyme; And because love among men is sometimes Presented with a rougher road to haul, An occasional dark-eyed violet Rounded out the love garland to remind A tear or two is oft shed in pursuit Of a lovely lad whose heart is too hard. In stirring fruitful contrast, the nursemaid And doting mother of Kathros had plait Some dear maternal drops of sentiment Into the swag they wove as offering To the earthy and fecund side of love. For Terrestrial Aphrodite’s shrine Upon the heights of the temple complex, They strung a garland of terebinth boughs With globes of purple, tight-leaved artichoke, Aromatic sprays of demantoid pine With slick stalks of razor-edged-but-sweet rush. Upon this foundation, pink-scented sprigs Of infant apples upon their branches, First fruit of sandstone-hued pomegranate And spear-like, tapering twigs of wild pear Were set on cushioning dollies of wheat Golden and ripe, promising nutrition. Interspersed with these were the proud blossoms Of redolent cooking from the chefs: Herbs dry and rich from the fields of parsley, Sacred lovage with its scent of celery, And the undoubtedly bawdy hing[1] From its yellow sprays of spicy spikenard.[2] The length of this great and fruitful garland They hung around the altar of She who Watches over earthly reproduction; The nursemaid and Kathros’ mother also Shedding a few more tears as they did so. But now the Sun God from his western place Could begin to see the wedding procession. It slowly went its way up the white steps To the summit of the Acropolis – The smoked, red-veined altar ‘fore the temple Of high-handed but loving Artemis. In symbol of his absent, godly father, Hymenaios bore three-foot tapers, Both lit, and meant to reflect the Sun’s light On the Earth, even after darkness falls. In token too, one torch represented His deeply abiding love of Kathros And the other as its equal among The love of Meleager and Myiscus, For equal, all equitable love is. Behind the saffron-tunic'd torchbearer, The wedding party slowly followed. Up, ever up to the Goddess’ steps, They trod their way as stars came out above. Myiscus was arrayed just like his friend, Only his arms were laden with four wreaths, Each bandied with verdant needles of pine – To show the power of eternal love – And rosebuds of yellow to signify The budding pleasure of all earthly life. Then behind the young men out in the lead Came Meleager and Kathros – both in white, While over the head of the lovely bride, A diaphanous veil of flame colors Was embroidered round-a-bout with living Sprays of blooming lilies of the valley. Next to come after the four espoused, As many sets of parents beamed with pride. At last mounted the white temple steps To stand before the holy altar of Artemis with its fragrant incense fire; Much of the city had already come And stood in awe to witness the nuptials. Hymen placed his now brightly glowing lights In slots besides the waiting high priestess. A hush fell upon everyone, even The tenant birds of the Acropolis. At the signal, Hymen lifted her veil And crowned Kathros with one of the pure wreaths. Myiscus did the same with his beaming Meleager, poet he’d love for life. Once complied, their partners mirrored actions And placed gentle crowns on their belovèds. Both couples then joined hands for the priestess, Who soon bound a flower garland around The two sets of sacredly linked fingers. “Do you,” asked the pleased officiator, “Hymen and Kathros; Meleager and Myiscus here vow to defend in love The person with whom you will share your life?” “I do,” rang out in affirming quartet. “Do you also,” continued the priestess, “Avow to live in honor as equals, Never stating your match better than that Of your brother’s? Knowing sacred is love Arranged for each of us in heaven.” “I will,” was the tender, life-sustaining Pledge for all present – and all of mankind – To hear now, and for every age to come. “Then,” said the priestess, “Kiss to trow your faith.” Myiscus and Meleager did so, Starting their married life as lovingly As each boy had pursued their long courtship. Smiling, Hymen slapping his best friend’s back, The bright young man then raised his hand to touch The divinely rosy cheek of Kathros, Drawing them by slow degrees together. They kissed, and what heart that day didn’t melt? The poet and his spouse rejoined hands, and Myiscus, so taken with life’s great joy, Began to mutter a loud tribute: “Hymen – dear, Hymen. Come, O Hymena,” But yet, what started as a single phrase Others in the crowd took up as refrain; Soon the cheer rose to fill the sky with light And the grinning boy once more touched his wife By her sweet flower-laced hand to draw her Into another, longer-lasting kiss. For then the folks did shout, rejoice and learn to say: “Hymen, come. Hymenaios, O Hymenae!” ~ [1] Hing: asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida). A savory staple of Greek and Roman cuisine, in Latin is it known as Iaser; in Greek, silphium. Today it is best utilized in Indian cooking, thus the “hing” appellation here. [2] Both of these tribute garlands – one to same-sex love; one to opposite-sex love – are based on Greek Anthology 4.1. This is the dedication of the real-life Meleager for his Garland, the verse collection upon which the Greek Anthology is based. In his tribute, he associated each plant with a poet represented in his collection of their work. _
  14. mmike1969

    Chapter 72

    JJ living only with $2k a month and no private car and no unlimited credit cards... How will he survive?!?!?. 🙄 I'm with Brad on this. If JJ made a promise to see a doctor, he should of followed up in this. Edit #1: And we see Zach again... How long before they have sex, have a fight, both leave to separate corners, have sex again, apologize, get mad and have sex again before Will dumps Zach? Edit #2: Oh and BTW Mark, NYC subways stopped using tokens several months earlier.
  15. Young lady, nothing you write seems impossible to me any more. My reaction to your story is much like the young puppy who, after a bath and dusting with flea powder, ran out into the road and plopped down to scratch an itch and was left with a hind foot waving in the air as nothing itched any more. He could not find a place to scratch!
  16. In studying recent history I have come to the conclusion that the way to get ahead in the world is to declare war against the US, fight for a couple of years then lose. Just look at Germany and Japan as examples of enemies of the US who lost their wars and at the results of their loss as far as position in the world is concerned. One in Europe and one in Asia, both leaders in the world now. Perhaps China could learn from their example. Apparently we are engaged in a financial war agains China now. If they Chinese take heed of history, they should make sure to lose. If they do I can see them joining Japan in being business leaders for the world. I had hopes that something like this would occur in the recent problems that Hong Kong is having with the central leadership in Chine. True, that current series of demonstrations is not yet over, I can only hope that the people of Hong Kong can keep their momentum going in spite of tear gas and water cannons. At any rate if Stone and Sparks engage in a similar war it would seem to me that whomever loses would end up the winner in that war as well. If I were a wagering man, I would put my money on Sparky. to win.
  17. Marty

    What Might Have Been

    Highly recommended piece of literary reminiscence. Lee made an eventful decision sixteen years earlier. Now, almost unwillingly, he finds himself having to face that past as his wife and young son unwittingly plan a holiday that will bring him back to the place where he made that decision. Not only that, but he will meet again Dean, the boy who had been responsible for the decision Lee made. How that turns out, and how both Lee and Dean react to meeting again, is what this story is about, in which @Luc weaves the past and the present together to leave the reader feeling both happy and sad, and this particular reader reaching for the tissues on more than one occasion. I would highly recommend this bittersweet tale to others.
  18. Marty

    Chapter 1

    A wonderful piece of reminiscence! Well done, @Luc! And thank you.
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