QUILL


Quill

After dinner, when everyone was settled for the night, he began writing stories he had stashed away in books and nooks and crannies.  He was always surprised to see some story starters he had written.  He called them acorns, little nuts that would grow into large trees.  When he was lucky those acorns would match perfectly the new stories that were taking shape out of his dreams and life. They would blend together and spring full grown, with a little tinkering, into a poem or story. Usually the acorns were the springboard and the new ideas kept the characters and their personalities running true without too many deviations. Thus, he was able to relax and write without stress.

This night was different. The acorn he found was not cooperating. He tried beginning with old ideas and then new ideas but nothing was working.  From computer to pencil and back to computer.  He was blocked. His method of letting ideas fall into place was simply non-existent. What was wrong? What had stopped his thought processes?

There was one thing he wanted to try. He wanted to make a quill.  Searching the house he found nothing that satisfied him. He went outside and looked for a goose feather.  In a short time he found one that was suitable. He sharpened it and dipped it into ink.  He felt a surge of energy. The quill was inspiring him!

He heard a noise outside and went to investigate. Quietly he slipped from the barn to the supply room, one building to the next until he saw a dim light burning.  He peered into the room and was surprised to see all the farm animals in organized rows.  There weren’t many horses or cows so they reluctantly stayed close to each other. The pigs were very smart but lazy with ideas that were only partially thought out.  The chickens and other fowl were continually chattering. It was past their normal sleeping hours and they forgot details.  Why were they there?  Who was in charge?  The animals were getting very noisy and some looked very nervous.

The farmer watched with interest as the groups got organized but there appeared to be no leader. Then, a huge skunk squeezed through a hole in the wall.  He strode to the front of the groups and leaped up on a bag of chicken feed.

“Listen up,” he yelled.  “I want this to be a short meeting and we have many items to consider!”

“I’m the best qualified to run this meeting. Right?” He looked around from group to group.” Who’s with me and who is against me? I want to know that right away. Horses, do you agree?”

The two horses wanted to be left alone but the skunk was forcing them to support him.  “We’re with you.”

“Chickens and other fowl, you are not the kind of power troops we need.  If you are considered worthless you will be moved to cages, tenderized and eaten. Are you with me or against me? Should we eat chicken, pork, or beef?”

The chickens were sweating under the lights and were tired and sleepy.  They were running all over, acting like their heads could be cut off.

The pigs suddenly realized they could be bacon without any friends to back them up.

The cow saw the light. Her calf could be hamburger and she would be doing TV commercials recommending chicken as the preferred meat.

The skunk was glib and persuasive.  All the farm groups soon fell under his spell. He had one more thing to say.  “We will begin our plans tomorrow.  First, we wipe out the dogs. They are our common enemy.  Then we get rid of the cats. Our future depends on your dedication. We will expand our territory and right the wrongs committed against us. Onward, my soldiers.” 

The farmer slipped away from the shed, got on his motorbike and rode across the land warning all who would listen. He used a special code, one honk if the animals are coming by land, two if they come by sea.  He rode through the night and might be riding still.  He left one final message. “Be alert and watch out for the skunk.”

 

July 8, 2017

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TOO MUCH


TOO MUCH

 

She was too tall. I was too short.

She was too rich. I was too poor.

She was too thin. I was too fat.

She was too old. I was too young.

She was too hot. I was too cold.

I loved her too much.  She loved me more.

She listened to others. I didn’t listen at all at first.

Together we loved passionately and filled our days with laughter.

Our love had no boundaries until we listened too much.

Our friends said we needed each other too much.

They said we should stay away and give each other time to grow and love others.

 I think our friends were wrong.

Now I have too much time and too much unfulfilled love.

How can I hurt so much and feel so empty?

I want to be with her again with less friends.

They had too much time and not enough love to fill their own lives.

Maybe I want too much love, but I am ready to give

Too much love forever.

 

6/15/17

FRIENDS


I said, “I want to be friends.”
“Don’t you think I’m attractive?” you asked.
“This has nothing to do with that,” I replied.
“Are you rejecting my love?” you asked sadly.
This conversation was already going badly.
We had met two weeks before and shared poetry,
Hers was light and fluffy, lifting the soul.
Mine was darker with shades of gray, all details told.
I expected her opinion, constructive criticism at it’s best,
but I froze when she answered,
“When I read yours, I lost respect for you,” she said matter-of-fact.
“Shades of gray has no place in poetry or prose.
Your poems are disgusting when you have scenes like those.”

“Yours were still beautiful,” yet between the words I said
were my feelings trampled and left for dead.
if she had offered hope for better days
I would be more careful and change my ways.
but I felt condemned and hurt, no turning back.
I thought we were friends. This was a personal attack.
Friends forever, I would still try to do this.

ADRIFT


One of ours ships was adrift, my captain,
No one was at the helm,
But somehow she sailed on.
But she was out of our reach and going at a steady pace,,
Captain, I’m saying this to your face,
I wouldn’t lie to you.
There was no one in charge of this ship,
Except for a ghostly crew.
Mick and me tried to slip up to the ship,
Deep in the quiet of night,
But the ship picked up the pace
And soon was out of sight.
Yet we did see some eerie faces,
That grinned as we got near,
They were a pale green much like you,
And like your motley crew.
They wasn’t caring much about me,
Or about others, I think we agree.
Being adrift in a dark sea,
Was scary even to an old tar like me,
Captain, my captain, they had fangs long and sharp,
And eyes that stared cold as ice.
Where are we going, I asked once or twice.
They never told me, their silence would suffice.
The ship was adrift, though it never veered off course.
It sailed west into the setting sun,
Where the sails burned one by one.
Sharks circled, birds swooped for a closer view,
And other ships stayed far away, afraid of the ghostly crew.
My captain, I didn’t want to let you drown,
But the sharks were in a feeding frenzy,
And I didn’t know your hands were bound.
Everything you owned you left for me,
I’m ashamed you were never found.
But no longer will we drift at sea,
I’m glad you left me in charge,
Now we can seek revenge and get what we want,
As we travel the world at large.
Listen up, crew,
We’ve got work to do.
Ships will go under,
As we plunder.
Pour me another ale,
And off we’ll sail,
Across the ocean blue.

May 22, 2017

Life’s Mirror


An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Sno...
An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Snow White) an 1852 icelandic translation of the Grimm-version fairytale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Life’s Mirror Is a Friend or Two

 

“You’re incompetent!” he screamed as he sat in his chair,

 

But, oh, how he wished that mirror wasn’t there.

 

He wanted to look regal perched on a throne,

 

But that was impossible when his friends were gone.

 

Tears splashed down his cheeks

 

As he stared up into the sky,

 

“How can my friends show respect

 

To such a fool as I?

 

Throughout my life there was much,

 

I wanted to say and do,

 

I wanted to be a good Samaritan,

 

I’d help someone, it didn’t matter who.

 

I thought I’d take trips to exotic  places

 

But I chose to work instead,

 

By then I had a growing family,

 

and the children needed bread.

 

How can I prove I’m a cultured man?

 

I haven’t traveled very far,

 

All my knowledge is about small town folks,

 

I never claimed to be a star.

 

I thought I’d try to be an example

 

Of how a man should be,

 

But I’ve failed every time with even my best,

 

Because all you get is me.”

 

 

 

He had been confessing to a mirror,

 

That he’d failed every worldly task,

 

“What’s wrong?” I ventured through the open door,

 

Yet I had no need to ask,

 

The old man was surprised to see someone he knew,

 

I considered myself a friend,

 

“I’ve been listening for quite some time,

 

Your self pity needs to end.

 

You’ve raised five kids all alone,

 

You took that burden in stride,

 

I don’t know about the rest of your friends,

 

But I think of you with pride.

 

You coached several teams in summer leagues,

 

You taught some kids to drive,

 

You were there to greet strangers,

 

When they were anxious and newly arrived.

 

You helped families who lost their homes,

 

Or anyone out of luck,

 

Even when you were stretched real thin,

 

Somehow you found a few bucks.

 

You might think you did things wrong,

 

I think you did things right,

 

There’s a crowd gathering in the dark,

 

Could I welcome them in with the light?”

 

One single line came through the door

 

and seemed to stretch for miles.

 

Each person had something good to say,

 

and ended their comments with a smile.

 

“We wanted you to know we learned from you,

 

We always knew your love was wide.

 

All the love we have for you

 

We can no longer keep inside.”

 

The old man’s eyes grew large and dark,

 

He glanced around the hall,

 

“Thank you, my friends, for loving me,

 

For you know I love you all.”

 

He shook the hands of all and each,

 

It filled his heart with pride,

 

Then because he had been deeply touched,

 

He lowered his head and cried.

 

 

 

“Not Quite Housebroke!”


Whole green beans in a carton.
Image via Wikipedia

I went to visit my country friends,

It’d been a while, you see,

They’d told me to drop on in,

They sure was glad to see me,

 

They hugged me several times,

Before anyone there spoke,

“Don’t mind our dog under the porch,

He ain’t quite housebroke,”

 

Conversation flowed easily,

And time flew by,

I thought it was about time,

To say my goodbyes,

 

“Why don’t you join us for supper?

Cornbread and beans and blackberry pie,

Poke Salad and green beans,

A little moonshine for you and I,”

 

Adult conversation they were hoping for,

They’d been so nice I couldn’t say no,

So I said I’d dine with them,

Then I’d have to go,

 

Little Bobbie threw food,

Finally my friend spoke,

“We’re learning him right,

He’s just not housebroke,”

 

After a few swigs of moonshine,

Our laughter grew loud,

The stories that were told,

Would’ve entertained any crowd,

 

I helped clean the kitchen,

The two little ones went off to bed,

They were still too young to stay awake,

They needed lots of rest instead,

 

My friends got to arguing,

And then she finally spoke,

“You’d best get out of here now,

Before something gets broke,”

 

 

Relationships are fragile and need time to grow,

Words have to be tender before they’re spoke,

Because anger can explode quickly,

If both are not housebroke.

 

 

Bills, Bills, Bills


An example of street markets accepting credit ...
Image via Wikipedia

He was
sitting at the bar,

His eyes
were full of tears,

He claimed he was a bit tipsy,

He’d had one
too many beers,

 

“Son, let me tell you a story,

About what
happened to me,

Sometimes life
just isn’t fun,

And I’ll bet
you’ll agree,

 

If you’ll buy me one more drink,

I’ll tell my
tale of woe,

I’ll tell
the truth, the awful truth,

Then I’ll
have to go,

 

A year ago I
was much like you,

I was
convinced I had it all,

I had a job
and was very smug,

That was
before my great fall,”

 

“I don’t
love you now,

That you’re
down and broke,”

I can still
hear her voice ringing,

With the
harsh words she spoke,

 

Then she
piled bills, bills, bills,

Upon the
countertop,

“You just don’t
earn enough money,

These bills
just have to stop,”

 

“Would she
still be hanging around,

To tell me I’m
worse than a louse,

If I told
her I was just laid off,

And soon I
would lose the house,

 

Because of
bills, bills, bills,

I needed a
brand new start,

Every penny
was simply gone,

And my life
was falling apart,

 

There was no
way to reassure her,

Without having
to continually lie,

No cash was
in my bank account,

My investments
had gone awry,

 

If I had
diamonds and lots of gold,

Reported to
be a girl’s best friend,

I’d spend
freely to buy love,

And keep up
with the prevailing trend,

 

Because I have
bills, bills, bills, bills,

There’s no
merriment in the house today,

My wife has
up and left me,

But the
debts are here to stay,

 

Credit
cards, checkbook, transactions online,

In
commercials all is done with a smile,

I know I can’t
take money with me,

But I’d like
to have some for awhile,

 

And bills,
bills, bills, and more bills,

Are raining
from the sky,

How can I
pay if I’ve nothing to give,

I’m worried
but I can’t even cry,

 

Be generous,
help the poor,

Everywhere I
turn it’s the same,

People I’ve
never met before,

Suddenly know
my name,

 

But bills,
bills, bills, bills,

I wish
someone really understood,

These bills
are driving me crazy,

I’d shred
them if I could,

 

A bundle of
bills are waiting,

They’re
coiled and ready to strike,

A cardboard
box will be my new home,

My next car
will be a bike,

 

And now
there are bills, bills, bills,

The postman
brings me more,

The creditors
are getting anxious,

They’re
beating on my door,

 

No job, ill
health, lots of stress,

Problems greet
me every day,

Friends
avoid me like the plague,

Only the
bills are here to stay,

 

Late bills,
silver bills, big bills,

No way can I
relax,

Percentage
rates are raised,

Now I can’t
pay my tax,

 

Easy money
and easy street,

Seemed like
a life for me,

But bills,
bills, bills, bills,

Keep me in
agony,”

 

He took a swig
and stumbled out,

Into the
dark of night,

I watched
him go as long as I could,

Until he was
out of sight,

 

I often think
of what he said,

About being
in agony,

As the bills
come in each month,

I wonder if
it could happen to me.

Salt and Pepper


Salt, sugar and pepper shakers.
Image via Wikipedia

We were a team,

Rappin’ to each other,

We were real close,

Like he was my brother,

 

Each day we met up,

And wrote our poetry
down,

Cause that’s what
rappin’ is,

It makes the sweetest
sound,

 

Salt and Pepper were
our names,

Seemed to us they fit,

Close friends could always find,

The ways we could
benefit,

 

 We were together at parties,

Next to each other at
school,

Combined we were
unbeatable,

Salt and Pepper together
were cool,

 

But Pepper went
searching,

At a party last night,

Looking for his special
girl,

Got into a real nasty
fight,

 

And when the shooting
started,

I should have been at
his side,

I could have taken his
bullets,

Or at least pulled him
inside,

 

Now there’s no Pepper,

And the Salt don’t
quit,

Until the score is
evened,

And I get to the end of
it,

 

What kind of hard life,

Is destined for me,

Without Pepper around,

Where will I be?

 

Things aren’t going
right,

On this side of town,

I’ll stay out of the
shadows,

I’ll stand my ground,

 

But who’ll be there,

 At the next attack,

I have no friend,

To watch my back.

 

 

 

You Are


Donetsk cinderella 11
Image via Wikipedia

You are a
social butterfly,

With lots of
friends to fill your days,

As you flit
from flower to flower,

You could be
good for me,

Making my
heart glad,

Putting a
smile on my face,

You are a hopeful
romantic,

Waiting for
love to come your way,

Ready to be
kissed,

Afraid you’ll
be missed,

Your heart
is ripe for love,

You are a
modern Cinderella,

Looking for
magic to touch your life,

Searching for
a charming prince,

Looking for
a happy beginning,

Waiting for
that midnight clock,

To reveal
the truth,

You are a
private dancer,

Wanting to
please one man,

Playing the
role of seductress,

Drawing him
into your web,

Closing in quickly,

To secure
him with your sweetness,

You are a
connoisseur,

Sampling and
tasting,

Those that
come within reach,

But not
committing to one,

While you
wait for the special man,

Who will
stir your emotions,

You are a
modern woman,

Independent
and willing,

Ready to call
your own shots,

You could be
good for me,

What could I
do for you?

I could hold
you tight,

Each and
every night,

Help count
the stars above,

I could hold
your hand,

Be an answer
to your lonely nights,

Fill your
waiting arms,

Discover
your many charms,

And be there
for you,

You are so
many things to me,

And I like
you just the way,

You are.

 

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