I think I heard rifles firing,

Shots heard round the world.

Then screaming,and angry words,

But that memory was in the distance,

years ago when Vietnam was in bloom,

Peaceful assembly, it was our right.

But shots were fired in broad daylight.

Four students lay dead, dangerous students,

Students, soldiers, NFL, lend me your ear.

Do you have anything to fear?

Our distinguished leader was angry and hot.

He despised those who were not.

Now, someone cut from the same mold

said, “Fire the “Sons of …………..!”

“Get rid of those who don’t obey.

If they dissent they should leave today!”

years ago, national guardsmen were told to turn and fire,

killing those dangerous students, taking American blood,

killing two women and two men who didn’t disperse fast enough.

It was only then that students understood that peaceful assembly

Was only allowed in groups of one, or maybe not even one,

Because even one can protest and draw attention to inadequacies.

But, if one speaks up and has questions or concerns,

If he still doesn’t understand, he should ask again.

Knowing that he is a target of those who want to control all who are free.

Kent state’s students, soldiers, found death that day,

They thought war was somewhere else and faraway.

But death runs with anger and is here to stay.

Forest fires, floods, hurricanes, disasters all,

We watch them dance closer and closer,

Waiting and watching until it’s too late

And the disasters are larger than we could anticipate.

Too little, too late, while children are starving for goodness sake,

The people are hungry and the leader says, “Let them eat cake!”

Private planes are heading to hot vacation spots,

While the leader spouts, “We’re doing a beautiful thing,

Taking care of Houston, Florida, and other places fit for a king.”

He says everything’s under control, as long as his ratings are rising in the latest poll.

As long as no one kneels, seeks justice, or looks the leader in the eye,

Ignoring countries that are trying to foment civil war and bring the USA down.

Please open up hospitals and see if an antidote can be found,

Because severe cases of stupidity are surely going around.

September 30, 2017


“Please Wait!”

Flames visible through the window of a house d...
Image via Wikipedia


Six Predicaments   (2/6)

1)  John stood on the ledge waiting to plunge,

A crowd gathered below,

Waiting for him to make his big lunge,

He moved a few steps searching for traction,

The timing was not quite right,

He called his wife wanting her reaction,

When he told her he loved her without any lies,

Wanting her to know that he lost his job,

He was tense and irritable, But to his surprise,

He heard, “Please wait until your party is found,”

And then music he didn’t like boomed in his ear,

He didn’t want elevator music on his way down,

He let the waiting rescuers come near,

He heard, “We help everyone in our town,”

Despite all the news about John’s desperate act,

Some people thought he was being dramatic,

And said he had a tendency to overreact,

His wife went to her mother’s for a week or two,

John wonders if she’ll ever come home,

Because she’s long overdue.


2)  Flames were reaching higher and higher,

Eduardo called 911 screaming, “My children are in there,

Please don’t let this be a funeral pyre!”

A voice rang clear, “Please wait because we have pranksters about,

We’ve had several people call in tonight,

So all our engines are already out,

Tell me one more time what is your plight?”

Fortunately others had seen the glow,

He stammered and stuttered,

In his excitement his words did not flow,

Fire trucks returning were diverted and sent,

Firemen arrived to see the house in dire straits,

Through smoke and flames three firemen went,

They found one child, two, and then another,

They were carried out safely,

The two girls were okay, and so was their brother,

They lost their home, their belongings, their bed,

But when all was considered and done,

They were lucky to be alive instead.


The Revolutionary, Eddie Basil No. 13

English: A London Fire Brigade command unit, w...
Image via Wikipedia

The fire changed his life.  If it had not occurred Eddie Basil No.13 would still be sitting in his cube watching the government sponsored lesson, “How to Concentrate On and Obey Instructions”.  For some unknown reason the video screen, which covered the entire wall of his cubicle, began emitting blue and yellow sparks.

Interesting,” he thought as he gave two tugs on his marijuana cigarette.  Dark smoke was already curling around the sides of the screen but Eddie nonchalantly crossed his legs and leaned back in his chair.  Orange flames licked hungrily at the wall but since fire was rarely seen Eddie was not prepared to take action.  “Looks almost real,” he mumbled slowly to himself.  When the flames reached the cabinet beside the screen, he became concerned.  The heat and acrid smell of burning plastics made him step backwards but in his mind it still was not an emergency.

Sluggishly he withdrew a packet from his pocket and inhaled a delicate white powder.  His heart beat faster, his pulse grew stronger.  Glancing at a cabinet in the path of the advancing flames, he had the sudden impulse to dash through the flames and pull out the brown bundles of government issued drugs.  He grabbed one of drawer handles but the hot metal burned his fingers and he jerked away.  The searing pain jarred him and he thought of his own safety for once. Blinded by the choking dark smoke, he stumbled out of his cubicle.  He fumbled for the button which released the door leading to the hallway.  He pushed it and fell outside.  Smoke filled the room behind him and he could hear screams as others became trapped by the voracious flames.

The flames danced eerily as one wall caved in and another wall toppled.  The adjoining rooms were beginning to glow.  Sirens screamed in the distance and he wondered how long it would take for the fire machines to get there.  As the flames spread, Eddie crawled along the floor, hoping to escape.  He pitched himself forward into the crisp night and lay on the lawn gasping for air just as the first engines rolled up.

The robot firemen methodically began cordoning off the area.  When that task was finished they sprayed foam on the surrounding buildings but let his section burn. The fire became a raging inferno and turned blue-white in intensity.  The firemen waited until the entire section collapsed inward.  They sprayed the adjacent buildings once more. Then they backed away from the fire and climbed back on the fire engine.  With all aboard, the fire engines left with red lights flashing and siren blaring.

Out of sight, out of mind, the fire engine was barely gone when a new sound caught his attention.  Eddie retreated into darkness but still where he could see the excitement.  In a short time heavy-footed robot troops marched into view.  Efficiently they began pushing the remaining rubble into a large pile.  The debris was still smoldering when the leader gave a command.  Immediately their lasers blasted the remainder into nothingness.

“It is done,” the leader intoned as he faced the curious onlookers.  “All the Eddie Basils, No. 1-15, are finished.  Tomorrow the construction crews will be here to rebuild.  We will see that everything goes orderly and before tomorrow night the next fifteen on the residential waiting list will be installed in the new compartments.”

(To be continued)

Red Flames on the Roof

Cover of "The Fire"
Cover of The Fire

Traveling a back road under star-lit sky,

Depressed and sad after a long goodbye,

 It was over but I didn’t understand why,

I had time to ponder but no time to cry,

Few houses were here on this lonely road,

If there were lights, none of them showed,

But a light flickered a short distance ahead,

Why was this light on?  It was flickering red,

The glow was larger, red flames on the roof,

There was no time to waste, no time to be aloof,

Up to the door I ran and knocked once or twice,

Someone approached with words that weren’t nice,

“What do you want?” he shouted through the door,

“I’ll blast you with Betsy if you bother me anymore!”

“There are flames on your roof. Your house is on fire!”

“Your trickery won’t work,” he said, “I know you’re a liar.”

He fired one shot as I raced back to the car,

I needed to call the fire department, it couldn’t be far,

9-1-1, I was shaking but my fingers flew fast,

“What do you want?” a sleepy voice asked,

“There’s a house on fire,” I hurried to say,

“Tell me the address, and I’ll be on my way,”

 “The flames are roaring from this particular house,

If you don’t hurry, there’ll be no flames to dowse,”

“I’m warning you now, this better not be a prank,

I’m getting up to put water in the tank,”

I threw down the phone and raced to the door,

The fire was burning the house to the core,

I kicked open the door and raced down one hall,

I stooped down low and made myself small,

I didn’t feel brave, the heat was intense,

I couldn’t see far, the smoke was too dense,  

I managed to get over my stress and fears,

I heard voices crying, I knew there were tears,

Two small children, one under each arm,

I got them to safety without any harm,

A woman was found, collapsed in a heap,

I hoped she would awaken from this sleep,

Another person, I thought, the man at the door,

I hope that’s all, I can’t look for any more,

I tried to enter, but the heat drove me back,

The fire truck arrived then to take up the slack,

“It’s too late to save the house,” someone said,

“Anyone in there would now be dead,”

“Isn’t this where the chief lives with his wife Mage?

“Yes, there’s his truck, his coat and badge,”

“If someone had warned him his house was on fire,

This would not have become his funeral pyre,”

A fireman asked, “Stranger, what did you see?”

“I arrived too late, the heat was too much for me,

I saw a man carry two children and then his wife,

Without concern for his very own life,

He went inside, no reason or rhyme,

But he didn’t make it out the very last time.”

“The chief is a hero!” the fireman cried,

He saved his family before he died.”

I continued my journey wishing I had saved the chief,

But he wouldn’t listen; he called me a thief,

Without warning his family he went back to bed,

I’m glad they are safe, but he is dead.

Kissing the Blarney Stone


Kissing the Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone is not for the meek,

It is for you who are bold, you who seek,

To talk, to flatter, loquacious and free,

You who will share stories always with glee,

You could soon be talking a lot, if you choose,

You have everything to win and nothing to lose,

Tales of the dark side, and fairies in the night,

And sometimes stretch the truth in daylight,

Characters in all forms, large or small,

Within, without, short or tall,

They’re waiting for you to set them free,

Where they’ll look and act, like you and me,

So off you go to the Emerald Isle,

Ready for Blarney to brighten your smile,

Ready for the Stone to set your tongue on fire,

But there is one thing the magic does require,

Hanging within the well by feet alone,

Brave you are to kiss the Blarney Stone,

Say what you want, say what you will,

Like a babbling brook flowing down a hill,

You may be eloquent, you may be a bore,

You won’t be quiet, not anymore,

Once started, the trait is handed down,

Whether poor, middle class, or wearing a crown,

You cannot stay hidden and remain unknown,

Once you have kissed the Blarney Stone.

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