MISSING PIECES


MISSING PIECES

In a basket on my desk there are twelve coins of various values,

A few handwritten notes jotted down when things began going wrong,

Seven unclaimed keys, one left behind after a few drinks too many,

Three keys meant to open padlocks of long deserted farmhouses,

And two keys from a car missing somewhere on the back roads.

The stately clock in the hall ticks steadily along,

Unaware that the weather has changed and a cold storm approaches.

It’s raining outside and my arms are empty.

But I know my destiny is calling and I must answer,

The rain will turn into snow and cover my tracks.

Tonight she’s with someone and I wait impatiently,

My rage contained and hidden behind a smile and a promise.

I know which farmhouse they’ve been visiting,

And I know by now they have had too much to drink.

The missing car is lost forever, just like my love for her.

If we could have kept our love unblemished,

We could have grown closer instead of apart.

If she had been faithful and remained committed,

Those keys would have rusted away without being used.

It’s snowing now and I know I’ll miss her warm embrace.

The blanket of white is so appealing,

All the ugliness will be covered until spring.

All that I’ll keep are the coins to remember,

Erasing the pain from my broken heart,

Each coin represents a lover. Why did they all go wrong?

By Dan Roberson

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Technically


Psychology
Psychology (Photo credit: 田村)

 

Technically

 

 

 

The spring that she graduated,

 

I met her for the very first time.

 

She was beautiful and so beguiling,

 

I was silly and talked in rhyme.

 

I told her very clearly how much

 

She would always mean to me.

 

I was convincing as I professed my love

 

And described our future as she wanted it to be.

 

 

 

I owe her big time, I’ve decided,

 

Because she brought me out of my shell.

 

She’d be surprised to know what I’m thinking

 

Even though she knows me well. 

 

My friends all think I’m crazy.

 

She’s the only one who thinks I’m sane.

 

But I can prove I’m as lucid as you,

 

Though technically I’ve been ruled insane.

 

 

 

Why would one think differently?

 

I go to work each and every day.

 

That’s where my best plans are made.

 

That’s why I continue to stay.

 

My boss keeps me from advancing.

 

He says he protects me like his own son.

 

But I know he’s not telling the truth,

 

Because there haven’t been any battles he’s won.

 

 

 

My wife and I don’t discuss things any more.

 

I refuse to listen as she states her point of view.

 

She’s overweight and filled with hate,

 

She has none of the sweetness that’s in you.

 

It is evident my love didn’t last forever.

 

I told her this morning that she and I were through.

 

She’ll look great in her pretty black dress,

 

Lying silently by me and you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English: A452 Europa Way, Warwick Portentous o...
English: A452 Europa Way, Warwick Portentous offices and ‘tree’ sculpture on the Tachbrook Park business park. First occupied by the Heart of England Building Society who were taken over by the Cheltenham & Gloucester. They now house a large firm of solicitors, Wright Hassall. The area is technically in Warwick but feels more like south Leamington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Three Snake Skins


English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...
English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Three Snake Skins

 

I counted my presents under the tree

 

I had been generous but only to me

 

It was Christmas Eve and the night was deep

 

My eyelids grew heavy and I fell asleep.

 

 

 

In a dream I couldn’t believe my eyes

 

The world was in for a surprise

 

Christmas would be different this year

 

The sleigh wouldn’t be pulled by deer.

 

 

 

I needed to be good for goodness sakes

 

For Santa’s sleigh was pulled by snakes

 

Diamondbacks, boas, asps, and kings,

 

Flying through the air without any wings.

 

 

 

Down the rooftop they’d slide until they flopped

 

Slithering and wiggling, down the chimney they dropped!

 

One snake per child who had ever been bad,

 

Two snakes for mom and three for dear dad.

 

 

 

The snakes gathered to map out a plan

 

Something bizarre, something evil and grand.

 

People with possessions who didn’t share

 

Were bitten by serpents that didn’t care.

 

 

 

There was a list and it was checked twice

 

To determine who had been naughty or nice.

 

There weren’t many households left alone

 

For greed had turned many hearts to stone.

 

 

 

I awoke from my dream all drenched and wet

 

I had many memories I wished to forget

 

The beggar on the corner I couldn’t look in the eye

 

The family in my neighborhood I simply passed by.

 

 

 

There were incidents my conscience couldn’t ignore

 

This dream had touched me clear to the core

 

I vowed to give clothes and food to those in need

 

And to be more generous in word and deed.

 

 

 

Under my Christmas tree there were no presents to myself

 

But I cleared a space for gifts to others on a shelf

 

This year I was greedy but I’ll be prepared next year

 

Santa will be generous and my conscience will be clear.

 

 

 

I heard bells jingle as the sleigh took flight

 

And I knew that this would be a normal night

 

Eight tiny reindeer were pulling the sleigh

 

And Rudolph was in front leading the way.

 

 

 

I know this was just one of many dreams

 

You might think I made it worse than it seems

 

But I’ve changed my heart and I’m starting again

 

For under my bed I found three snake skins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing More


English: Wind Turbines located outside of Palm...
English: Wind Turbines located outside of Palm Springs, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Nothing More

 

Who is that walking past my door?

 

It is the wind and nothing more.

 

For a moment a shadow hesitates,

 

Then it goes on and through the gate.

 

Who is whispering outside this wall?

 

I’m sure if I looked I’d see nothing at all.

 

Is there a person playing a mean trick?

 

Doesn’t he know I could be really sick?

 

I’m holding my breath within this cell.

 

The shadow is back and I know him well.

 

Around this bed my friends gather and talk.

 

They remember how we used to walk.

 

All voices hush as someone passes the door.

 

I thought, It is the wind and nothing more.

 

My friends are leaving with tears in their eyes.

 

I’m puzzled and ask, “What’s the matter, guys?”

 

But they ignore me as they go out the door.

 

One said, “It is the wind and nothing more.”

 

I don’t understand this turn of events.

 

I’ve tried to comprehend but it doesn’t make sense.

 

I turn to my new friend as we go out the door.

 

I ask, “Is it really the wind and nothing more?”

 

“Your friends are mistakenly blaming the wind.

 

But their way of thinking will come to an end.

 

Some will greet me as I enter their room.

 

Others will panic at my voice of doom.

 

You heard me walking past your door.

 

I enter with the wind, but I’m much, much more.

 

 

 

The Good Deed (a Halloween story)


The Halloween Tree
The Halloween Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On Halloween night I would advise you to be wary of strangers.  In the movies a stranger always turns out to be crazy.  But what about your best friend?  Can you trust him?     

 

 

 

The Good Deed

 

 

 

The branches of the trees reach out like long grasping fingers trying to pluck out my heart. The trees play games on Halloween but I ignore their sick antics.  I love lying here under the trees, planning good deeds, and watching rescue teams try desperately to save someone.

 

There is more than tree branches to fear.  There’s the river.  Its cold dark waters keep calling me and inviting me to swim.  But I suppose the river lures many people down its banks to take a quick dip.  I’m too smart to fall for the river’s tricks.  The current could drag someone down very quickly while he was struggling and gasping for breath.  I can imagine it so clearly.

 

My friend always walks along here at night….about this time, too!  How can he stand it? It’s so quiet.  It’s even spookier when the clouds hide the moon’s face.

 

He always said that he wanted to die while he was happy.  He wanted to go quickly, too, not a slow agonizing death.  He told me today (when he said he was going to get married) that he was happier now than he’s ever been before.  That’s why I picked tonight.

 

He did me a favor once.  He shoved me out of the way of a speeding car.  I never saw it coming, but he did!  I was so proud he was my friend.   Not many people would risk their lives for someone else.   He was in the hospital for eight months.  That’s the reason I’m doing him this favor.

 

I can hear his voice and he’s not alone.  He’s with his fiancé and they’re talking about how they want to be together for the rest of their lives.  She said it would be romantic if they died together.

 

I guess I can do that.  I’ll change my plans to include her.  They’re lost in love.  They don’t even see me.

 

I’ll have the element of surprise.  One quick shove and they’ll be in.

 

Now!

 

She went under fast.  O, there she is again.  He’s trying to save her.  He’s calling for help.   I can’t let him ruin things. I’ll help him go under.  He’s a real friend.  It’s worth it.  The water’s cold!

 

He fought harder than I thought he would.  I almost drowned.  Next year my good deed will have to be better planned.  I don’t want something to go wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Pets Know


English: There Cap'n Goldsack goes, creeping, ...
English: There Cap’n Goldsack goes, creeping, creeping, creeping, Looking for his reasure down below!: illustration of a pirate ghost. This was originally published in Sharp, William (July 1902). “Cap’n Goldsack”. Harper’s Magazine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Your Pets Know

 

When you’re alone or scared at night and feeling very tense,

 

Who knows what dogs hear, and who knows what they sense,

 

A dog might snarl and show her teeth while staring at a wall,

 

Someone might have entered the room, yet you see nothing at all,

 

When the silence gets too loud, during the time that you fear most,

 

You’ll wish you had a dog around, to warn you of the ghosts,

 

A faint smell of decaying flesh or a chill running up your spine,

 

Is enough to put your teeth on edge, but when the dog starts to whine,

 

A powerful force is in the room, sharing your time and space,

 

Your dog will remain beside you, as the ghost meets you face to face.

 

A cat, on the other hand, might hiss and arch his back,

 

A cat knows whether friend or foe, and if the ghost will attack,

 

Should the cat stretch and purr, as if stroked by a ghostly hand,

 

There’s a gentle soul in the room, who hopes you understand,

 

If either the dog or the cat runs, terror evident in their eyes,

 

Then it might not be a simple ghost, but the devil in disguise,

 

Pull the covers over your head, should you be scared at night,

 

And if you want a chance to flee, keep your pets in sight.

 

 

 

The Monster from Forest Drive


English: Raider's Road, Forest Drive Sunlight ...
English: Raider’s Road, Forest Drive Sunlight shines through the new growth on the pine trees on the Raider’s Road, Forest Drive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Monster From Forest Drive

 

 

 

A monster lived at forest edge,

 

Right at the end of Forest Drive,

 

His neighbors chose to lock their doors,

 

If they wished to stay alive.

 

 

 

Both his wings had been broken,

 

With a cane he could hardly walk,

 

He didn’t look mean or scary,

 

But he could talk real monster talk.

 

 

 

There were rumors he lived in the basement,

 

Others said the attic was his home,

 

He was often seen on cloudy days,

 

And at night he chose to roam.

 

 

 

He shuffles, he stumbles,

 

As he howls at the moon,

 

He is sure to catch one of you,

 

If he’s not caught real soon.

 

 

 

 

 

No one knew where he came from,

 

He suddenly appeared one day,

 

The neighborhood was upset he was there,

 

Because he took their place to play.

 

 

 

Their meeting place had been at forest edge,

 

Where their bonfires often lit the sky,

 

He built his house on their spot,

 

Without telling them his reason why.

 

 

 

He snorts, he chuckles,

 

He’s covered with blood and gore,

 

Waiting for the lights to go off,

 

He stands quietly by the door.

 

 

 

The witches of the cul-de-sac,

 

Stirred up a powerful brew,

 

They thought their potion lethal,

 

But he said, “Thank you.  I’ll have two.”

 

 

 

To their surprise he took a sip,

 

Without losing his feeble mind,

 

There seemed to be no aftereffects,

 

Except the foot he dragged behind.

 

 

 

He shuffles, he stumbles,

 

As he howls at the moon,

 

He is sure to catch one of you,

 

If he’s not caught real soon.

 

 

 

Blood-red wine was his favorite drink,

 

And bones he chewed for lunch,

 

All thought his manners were impeccable,

 

Royal blood would be their hunch.

 

 

 

One dark night they gathered,

 

To discuss his solitary ways,

 

He had made them all uncomfortable,

 

For five years, two months, and ten days.

 

 

 

He snorts, he chuckles,

 

He’s covered with blood and gore,

 

Waiting for the lights to go off,

 

He stands quietly by the door.

 

 

 

In a large casket they sealed him,

 

No more to see the light,

 

Security police accidently let him loose,

 

And he slipped quietly into the night.

 

 

 

Somewhere in this vast country,

 

He was last seen entering a town,

 

Hunters of all kinds searched the woods,

 

But no monster could be found.

 

 

 

He shuffles, he stumbles,

 

As he howls at the moon,

 

He is sure to catch one of you,

 

If he’s not caught real soon.

 

 

 

He snorts, he chuckles,

 

He’s covered with blood and gore,

 

Waiting for the lights to go off,

 

He stands quietly by the door.

 

 

 

Tales From One Warm Summer Night (Part 3/3)


, from Stacy Co. Cabinet Card, cropped, histog...
Image via Wikipedia

Rhonda said, “If I had lived in a wild west border town,

My man wouldn’t have been riding around gunning people down,

He would have been a farmer, a preacher, or someone grand,

He wouldn’t have carried a weapon to prove he was a man,”

I said, “Women were tough and sometimes wore guns and a cowboy hat,

More like Annie Oakley or Belle Starr or someone like that,”

“You’re right,” Rhonda agreed, “In every role women passed the test,

They stood beside their men and civilized the west,”

I was glad Bill got up and added another log to the fire,

The log burst into flames and sent sparks higher and higher,

Because something behind me took a few steps back,

Considering now if it would still be a good time to attack,

Rhonda was weary and ready to slip into her tent,

But I fervently urged her to wait, and finally she did relent,

She thought it was the stories, but I could imagine what we might find,

If she was alone and unprotected and the unknown thing decided to dine,

Bill was ready and anxious to tell his story for it was late,

And if Bill waited for tomorrow we might not learn the young man’s fate,

“This young man had earned several advances in rank,

His bravery saved many lives and they had him to thank,

Several towns later he again played a brave part,

He took down some snipers and earned a “Purple heart”,

Wounded and bleeding he stayed with his troop,

He felt protective and responsible for all in his group,

When the war was over he became a good priest,

For he had fought his inner demon and conquered the beast,”

Bill’s story gave me courage to face what was unseen,

While everyone watched I prepared for this terrible hidden fiend,

I could sense its location, I had been aware all night long,

Now I was ready to send it back to where it belonged,

I leaped into the air and made myself as large as I knew how,

Something ran towards me, that evil thing turned out to be a cow,

Now what I did so unexpectedly gave everyone a fright,

Then they laughed so hard, no one could sleep all night,

They insisted I stay up all night and share my scary tale,

And I told them about a gigantic monster that I knew so well,

At break of dawn along the path we started to depart,

But blocking our way was the cow and it lay ripped apart,

Huge footprints were evident all over the ground,

We hurried along and not one of us made a sound,

I knew then that my feelings inside had been right,

Something out there had waited for us last night,

I can’t ignore the mysteries that abound,

And I’ve noticed things others might never have found,

My stories have often proven to be true,

And friends wonder what would ensue,

If I shared a story about something really good,

Would they be willing to share tales again in the woods,

Or are they afraid that I see with an inner eye,

For my visions often prove to be true, I am a poet, aren’t I?

 

 

 

Tales From One Warm Summer Night (Part 1)


Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by...
Image via Wikipedia

My heart beat faster one warm summer night,

When four friends and I exchanged tales around a fire,

Connie leaned forward in her chair,

“There are fairies dancing there,

Around the old oak tree,

A place that’s magical for them and me,”

Her brown smoldering eyes held me still,

I searched their depths until I had my fill,

“Fairies cast spells on strangers passing through,

Using their magic to make dreams come true,”

Connie, her raven black hair shining in the moonlight,

Said, “I’ll tell you more, later in the night,”

Jim cleared his throat, glanced at the others, then at me,

“I’ll tell you a story about terror at sea,

Of pirates who changed from their plundering ways,

Experienced old salts brave and crusty as they be,

Who saved their own lives by tossing treasures into the sea,”

He paused for a moment to catch his breath,

“Then I’ll close with a ship named ‘DEATH’,”

Rhonda stood up and with a shy little grin,

“I want to tell you about heroic women and their wild, wild men,

How they conquered the West with love, tears, and sweat,

Overcame their fears and stood up to threats,”

Bill couldn’t resist telling about wars with blood and gore,

“Freedom is always worth fighting for,”

He hesitated as if he wanted his words to sink in,

“There’s a change as boys become men,

Cannons boom constantly and tanks shake their world around,

Every man becomes braver as he crosses contested ground,”

I listened and waited to share a truth that was stark,

I wanted to tell them about danger that lurked in the dark,

My story had been forgotten and I lost my chance to speak,

For growls were getting closer and my stomach was getting weak,

I gasped and stuttered but nothing they could understand,

They continued with their stories as I wrung my hands,

Connie looked at me apprehensively, as if I was mad,

“I see you’re preparing your story, but your acting is bad,”

There were murmurs of agreement as she continued her tale,

“The fairies were delighted to find one day,

A knight tired from his journey, under the oak he lay,

On his way to the castle he had fallen asleep,

His mission was to rescue a princess from the keep,

The fairies laughed, they danced, they cast a spell,

They wanted their magic to serve him well,

For he would soon face the witch and the evil queen,

Brave knights who’d gone before were never again seen,

The fairies wove a multi-colored cloak from spider webs and dew,

If he wore it at the castle it would hide him from view,

A second spell they bestowed before he awoke,

The next two he kissed would go up in smoke,”

Her story was entertaining and the fire was going out,

But Jim looked sullen and was beginning to pout,

“Go ahead, Jim,” I said, “I’ll throw more wood on the fire,

Continue your story about the treasures pirates aquire,”

Uneasily I studied the woods for the terror it contained,

While my friends shared the fire and with stories entertained,

“After a brief skirmish with one of the king’s battleships,

The pirates disappeared into the fog and gave them the slip,

They plundered the coast, found treasures to steal,

Escaped angry husbands, had rum and good meals,

The tars watched a hundred sunsets as they traveled by boat,

Then the pirates crossed the Atlantic to lands remote,

Found Spanish ships loaded with gold from the new world received,

The pirates fired their cannons and the gold relieved,

And off they sailed thinking they were safe from harm,

But a hurricane was brewing and no one sounded the alarm,”

While he gathered his breath to go on with his tale,

Rhonda couldn’t wait one minute longer,

“The men in my story were strong, but the women were stronger,

From Boston and New York the men went west,

Looking for adventure, for gold, or land at its best,

Towns sprang up overnight with guns making the law,

It was easy to be dead or quick on the draw,

The last place of civilization was named Kansas City,

Men venturing west beyond that were given no pity,

Uncivilized, untamed, life always in the rough,

If a woman dared go west she had to be tough,

She plowed by day, ran her household by candlelight,

Bore her babies at home, and fought for her rights,

In the fields or on the porch she carried a gun,

But in the bedroom at night most battles were won,

Those feisty women changed each odious law,

Against those in petticoats stubborn men would withdraw,”

“A nice history lesson, Rhonda,” Bill said, “Now it’s my turn,

There was a young man who had much about war to learn,

Both sides agreed about Christmas Day, so soldiers ceased fire,

No guns were deadly as they crossed over barbed wire,

Troops celebrated together but before the sun went down,

Soldiers took their positions and prepared for another round,

Deadly combat began early the next day,

Friends became enemies, no mercy did they display,

This young man, eighteen at most, charged a machine gun nest,

Dodged bullets as he ran, but was more scared than the rest,

He was tired of seeing his friends shot down,

So he dashed across and conquered the ground,

He didn’t want to be a hero but what else could he do,

The war was not over and his job was not through,”

Stories of fairies, heroic women, war and the sea,

Were all suspended while my friends waited for me,

All the people in these stories marched upon imagination’s stage,

Yet a few feet away, more than enough to fill a page,

There was a story ready to unfold,

About a creature hungry and bold,

Perhaps I was the only one who could see,

Those long fangs and those eyes glaring at me,

I had listened and waited and I wanted to share,

But I was transfixed by that malevolent stare,

I wanted to ask if this was but a dream,

Because if it was real, I needed to scream,

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