Thursday, August 31, 2006


Amidst cacophonous confusion
harmonies in sweet profusion
issue from a madly whirring
mechanism made for stirring
giddy bouts of screaming laughter
to echo through each lighted rafter.

Something in the way she moves me
elevates my mood and proves we
sometimes have a credo worth abiding;
future fun depends on whether
people really come together
to use the stub we all possess for riding.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Back Off

Antipathy accentuates
Derogation demonstrates
Ostentation obfuscates
Hastiness humiliates
Toleration terminates!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


How would life be without want
what would we grasp without need
would we have to devise a new font
to exclude connotations of greed?

How would time pass without pain
what would we bide without grief
would we shed all the doubts that profane
a much healthier brand of belief?

How can love grow without trust
what could we learn without faith
would we silently turn back to dust
our existence no more than a wraith?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Big Spenders

A bugle wails, a frantic mother cries
remembering a youngster filled with charms
as war birds reassert the call to arms,
recalling one whose eye was on the prize.
Oppressive notes fall darkly on the grass,
an honor guard routinely folds a flag—
the trophy youth are dying just to bag?
That melancholy horn’s not all that’s brass.
Another slab of marble stands supplied
perhaps this represents the vaunted goal
to go before your time and fill a hole
while shots ring out just like the day you died.
It’s funny, those commending sacrifice
are never too concerned about the price.

Ringing X

Yes it's happened again, same Bard time, different Bard channel. Tune in to Paper Tigers where Oz gives us a poetically inspired Ringing that is simply awesome. Thanks Oz for your time and most excellent efforts!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


He slipped right in
negating friction
began his spin
with down home diction,
ignored the press
slid right on by
then made a mess
to gratify
all those that hose
the multitude
despite who knows,
now that is crude.

Friday, August 25, 2006


“Look at the runt.” those other gods joked
as they jockey to bask in the blaze;
I haunt heaven’s figure, my status revoked
but I’ll spin beyond all of their days.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Silent Type

**And so the saga continues. Once more I sit before this sterile scribe to peck away some meaningless verbosity I am loath to utter that will lie digitally dormant until such time as I upload it to the net, releasing it into the data stream like some vat-spawned endangered species I’m trying to resuscitate.
**I’m not really sure why, but I remember when my urge to communicate was turned inward. I had always been a gregarious child with a knack for getting people to smile. All through elementary school up to my pre-teens I was usually the narrator in school plays, or the lead voice in chorus. I relished the connection with other people when performing; that look in the eye which said they were totally moved by whatever medium I was pouring my heart into. Well that is until a character called puberty entered the picture accompanied by his brutish mate the bully.
**I discovered one of the biggest problems outgoing people can face: that eventually they will encounter other people that don’t like them, and sometimes these people can be violent. One of my worst tormentors was named Rick (which of course rhymes with what he really was) and through his painful intervention my inevitable withdrawal from the world began. He was maybe 4 or 5 years older than me, twice as big, and a whole lot meaner. I still to this day don’t know what I did to deserve his wrath other than exist but he definitely had it out for me. His favorite move was to park his much heftier frame on top of mine, pin my arms to the ground with his knees, and then torture me until I cried or some bleary-eyed teacher snapped out of their apathetic trance long enough to stop it. Back then you were expected to stand up for yourself but all I had were words, and all they did was get me beat harder! I refused to continually lay there and humble myself to this mindless savage, so I began to berate him with all the venom a desperate young lad possessing a robust vocabulary could muster. I questioned his lineage, sexuality, and any other trait imaginable until he would storm away in a rage because I refused to cry anymore.
**Well as you can imagine, I began to feel the need to be unobtrusive. If people don’t notice you, then they can’t pick on you. Suddenly being alone wasn’t so bad, I could do whatever I wanted, and never had to worry about unnecessary complications. I began to read in earnest, escaping my world of burgeoning uncertainty through the wondrous words of others. This is also when I first began to write for even though we may shun the physical contact rudimentary to meaningful communication, we still feel the need to voice that which roils from within, to share our own private impressions.
**Of course I was still relatively affable having been raised to respect everyone I encounter, but it was just the proverbial mask, a polite façade employed to keep the potential pain away.
**One evening our little community was gathered at the Town Hall for some function; I believe it was something with Boy Scouts (which I was a thrifty member of) and everybody that was anybody was present, including two of the most beautiful girls in my class. Well when it was suggested that an emcee should be appointed who do you think everyone turned to? Yup, you got it, good old me. Here in this room were teachers, local government officials, successful business owners; all people that were used to dealing with the public but no, they pick the skinny, self-conscious, borderline introvert me.
**I can’t begin to describe to you that feeling of wanting to shrivel up into a little ball that I felt at that moment. My face was flushed and my tongue actually got thicker, it was the strangest sensation, I suddenly couldn’t talk. And the more people egged me on the worse I felt; I kept casting quick glances at the two girls from my class and they were laughing, talk about devastating. I remember looking at my parents with a pleading expression that said don’t make me do this, but they like everyone else expected it of me because I had a talent for it and had always willingly done it in the past. This was without a doubt the turning point in my relationship with the rest of society. I learned that if you’re popular you don’t have as many options because you are bound by other people’s expectations and this cemented my decision to recede.
**Now thirty years later I still maintain a stout barrier between myself and the world, but I’ve come to understand the need for some kind of bridge to keep me in touch with the rest of humanity. I can count the number of friends I have on one hand, though I suppose that could be said of my enemies as well – I am a non-factor, a neutral bystander. I still write and have even started performing in a band again, and I find it endlessly amusing when someone says, “I can’t believe the voice that comes out of such an otherwise quiet person!” I guess three decades of relative silence got me primed.
**My most heartfelt exchanges though are those involving words. When you practice a lifestyle of humble reticence, there must be a release valve to expunge all the thoughts and expostulations an active mind is bound to explore. Sometimes I feel I have something unique to offer, but reveling in the intricacies of sound, rhythm, and meaning doesn’t always translate into communication. Regardless of how cleverly certain words can be arranged together, the ultimate question is – are they saying anything? But still I sit here day after day tapping away at my dusty keyboard, comforted by the sound, the only conveyance these pointless runes will probably ever make.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Heads or Tails?

Looking back I see it now
the day undone by change,
as recognition curves my brow
I’m staggered by the range
of truly foul proclivities
exhibited by men
when tender possibilities
present their wanton yen—
the dividend of greed and lust
has placed me at the brink,
bereft of even token trust
I lean before I think...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Carbon Copy

Churning, burning
smugly spurning
mother’s warnings
never learning.

Chewing, brewing
snidely spewing
deadly doses
past undoing.

Chilling, billing
slyly spilling
milky malice
quickly killing.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pet Project

Your doomed endeavor lingers like the foul
ungodly stench of rotting flesh, like game
some vulgar beast set out to merely maim
in order to enjoy it’s dying howl.
You calmly stalk the unsuspecting sheep
to find a juicy morsel worth your time,
a sturdy buck made meaner by the clime
that often lulls those weaker off to sleep;
for only through their valiant dying heave
can creatures so beguiled by wanton greed
acquire the control on which they feed
and justify the doctrine they believe—
a flock exists to pacify the strong
when raised to stomach being led along.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Enlightened by an august sky
a subtle movement calls my eye
I slyly glance then chance to spy
a dime-sized orange butterfly;

to me, a man considered tall
it seems so very frail and small
but here beneath horizon’s thrall
we’re both infinitesimal.

Number Nine is Divine

Well this week's Ringing of The Bards, hosted by Katy is truly a delight as it was inspired by art which is something near and dear to my heart. All the poems are linked to wonderful images created by Miss Sam Duffy, go over and check it out. Thank you Katy and Miss Duffy!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thought That Counts

Coherency of mind creates
acuity that soon abates
complacency and activates
affinity, which captivates.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


In vaulted hallways sparsely lit
as footsteps ring on marble floor
the heartbeat tends to race a bit
twixt chambers housing ancient lore
excited by the musty spoor.

With alabaster elegance
her haunting gaze serene, opaque
she causes breathless reverence
in those who feel the sculptor’s ache,
a thirst no wine could ever slake.

Upon a dais, deified
this regal form reflects the care
a master used to look inside
ere chisel chanced to neatly pare,
revealing lines beyond compare.

As murmurs scurry through the crowd
like hungry mice that smell a crumb
so many state they’re truly wowed
while others stare, completely dumb
their flagging tongues becoming numb.

Another room displays a frame
through which we see an artist’s view
where gaudy strokes of great acclaim
make critics reassess each hue,
turn canvas into taut sinew.

Adjoining wings await their chance
to marvel more discerning eyes
that congregate to catch a glance
of wondrous whims the deft devise
when goaded by the Sister’s sighs.

While wandering these sacred vaults
belief is colored existential,
to spawn such grace with all our faults
belies a purpose quite essential—
to utilize our full potential.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Drinking It All In

Inky cup of bitter brew
drawn in shades of blackest hue
stirs my mind to slowly sip
and savor every artful drip.

**This little poem was inspired by a stimulating cup of refreshment provided by Danny over at Anatomy of Despair, I love his artwork and I think you will too so go check it out. Speaking of verse inspired by great art, don’t forget to ring in this week at Katy’s, check out the requirements and get creating!**

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I hear a lone cicada sing
as frantic mother finch takes wing
to lure me from her nested brood
that all too soon will learn to fling
their fragile forms beyond the press
of gravity’s insistent stress.

A sly one lopes across the trail
uncertain which one to inhale,
my rude intrusion causes him
to tuck his white-tipped rusty tail
between his legs then slink away
in search of less demanding prey.

The daisies wave as I ride by
while cotton clouds traverse a sky
so blue it’s hard to comprehend
the endless void through which we fly;
a lark the sighted must amend
when glowing gems of night descend.

Monday, August 14, 2006

It Is What It Is

Synchronized sincerity
Propagates polarity—
Versifying verity
Designates disparity.

Naked Ringing

If that's not enough to grab your attention then head on over to Naked & Ashamed for the Ringing of The Bards VIII where we get a vivid lesson in primary poetry. Thanks Dan, great job!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


As dragons snap
and tigers flap
enlivened by the wind
a mother’s breath
inveigles death
to fleetingly rescind
its cold decree
allowing glee
some temperate time to bloom
and help adorn
the promise born
of those unmoved by doom.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shaky Ground

Subduction pulls the surface down
undoing a facade,
appearances can quickly drown
beneath the road we’ve trod
when battered by the grim assault
of dwelling on an active fault.

Friday, August 11, 2006


As quickly as the leisure fades
from solar slathered skin
a gnawing sense of debt invades
to gobble up your grin.

Despotic deadlines denigrate
idyllic coexistence
as fervent traitors infiltrate
your weakening resistance;

defend the ramparts viciously
repel this greedy horde
expend your stores judiciously
and never sheath your sword.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Listen With Your Heart

I’ve always valued isolation
silence is my friend
a tactful comrade never too demanding,
in lieu of banal conversation
blissfully I spend
a moment graced by tacit understanding;

but how much comfort is eschewed
in lithesome arms of solitude?
For all the rancor and unrest
a caring word still feels the best.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Although the black’s decreased
we are tossed a bony feast
with lowered heads we calmly graze
not bothered in the least,
our primal urge deceased;
we gnash these neatly charred filets
resigned to being fleeced
in the shadow of the beast.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Elemental Extrication

Wisps of vibrancy in the air
counteract mundane despair,
expectation’s heady scent
stimulates my need to care.

Drops of buoyancy in the sea
cleanse away bleak misery,
determination’s bracing mist
invigorates my amity.

Sparks of clemency in the fire
cauterize untoward desire,
affirmation’s soothing heat
mitigates my pointless ire.

Grains of errancy on the beach
congregate and neatly breach
reservation’s barricade which
obfuscates new lands to reach.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Waisting Time

A gaggle of gluttons
with over-taxed buttons
and medicine cabinets packed
still searches for answers
to other foul cancers
while killer indulgence is snacked.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sow What?

I pause before attentive rows
but leave without oration
bereft of proper pastel prose
to ply for presentation,
perhaps I’ll go where nothing grows
avoiding trepidation
and nurture the organic throes
of unabashed creation.

Ringing of The Bards VII

Hey all head on over to Erin's site at Poetic Acceptance for the seventh Ringing of The Bards, it is a wealth of poetic inspiration smoothly presented, great job Erin, thank you!

Friday, August 04, 2006


It was hot outside. A relentless sun generated the kind of heat that made you want to rip all your clothes off and lay down in the shade of a big bushy tree with your tongue hanging out. Such days made me wonder if I was glimpsing what hell was like, for after all it was a blistering summer day much like this so many years ago that I found out how quickly innocence can be burned away, leaving cold darkened ashes of fearful mistrust.
My childhood, while far from perfect, was quite enjoyable, even sheltered I guess you’d have to say. Born and raised on the outskirts of a medium sized mill town peacefully nestled among the rolling hills of the Mohawk Valley in upstate NY, we enjoyed the type of isolation that nurtures bliss – in other words I was ignorant as heck! Dad worked at what was the largest employer in the area at the time and Mom had a career in the health industry. Both were very diligent people, seldom missing any work, and helped instill a sense of pride in what you do that I and my siblings couldn’t help but emulate. They were also very caring, being active in local church activities and organizations which inspired a sense of community. We could leave our house unoccupied and unlocked for days with no problems, which of course resulted in our being a bit too trusting, but it was all part of the big picture being painted for me, that this was how everyone was.
So, imagine me, a bright, naive youth with boundless energy let loose into the world to explore with impunity – nothing could go wrong here! I became familiar with every inch of our modest little plot, from the small grove of apple trees on the right side (which later became our pool area) to the old dilapidated barn at the bottom of a small hill on the left. Inside the quaint structure we stored cord wood, a riding lawnmower with a cart, and my Dad’s turquoise colored motorcycle. Later on in my uh, let’s just say rebellious, years I used to siphon gas from the former to joyride on the latter, right before my parents eventually split up, but that’s another story.
Well as you can imagine I rapidly became bored being stuck on our property all the time, but once I had learned how to ride my bike – look out world! Where we lived there was very little traffic and it was so quiet that you could hear oncoming cars and vacate the road long before they got there, so my parents didn’t mind my travels. Of course the fact that they were at work a lot made it easy to disappear also, and I was getting older so they had much more confidence in me. At eight years old I was lean, tan, usually laughing, and always moving.
One extremely hot August day, I think it was a weekend because at least my mother was home, I jumped on my bike and started to ride hoping that the wind tickling my brush cut hair would cool me off. Pedaling as fast as my skinny legs would allow, I threw my hands out to the side and tilted my head back. The air was so hot and thick that it felt like I was riding through soup, but it helped. After covering about the equivalent of a couple city blocks I approached the house of one Ronny Hatford, an ancient looking man with white hair who always wore stained dark blue work clothes, a skewed baseball cap and walked with a limp. Across the road from his house were very rundown barns and a garage all connected, all sporting that weather worn red paint that is on 99.9% of the old barns from here to California.
As I slowly coasted past he suddenly appeared from inside the old garage where an early sixty-something baby blue convertible Cadillac was stored. The white top was frayed and cracked but the car was in decent shape with little rust. He squinted for the sun was intensely bright and looked at me with a big smile. I smiled back and rode over to where he was standing, just outside the open garage door.
“What’re ya doin’ out on a hot day like this? Yer mama know where ya are?” This query didn’t surprise me as everybody knew everybody in these parts.
“Yes of course she does” I said (though she didn’t), “What are doing in there? Are you gonna start up your car and take a ride with the top down to cool off?”
Ronny looked at the car, then at me. He seemed to be thinking but I could have cared less what about as my inquisitive eyes were scanning the walls of the shabby garage, fascinated with all the various old license plates and colorful oil cans. I got off my bike and started walking around inside the shed, asking all kinds of pointless questions and not really listening to the answers. My young mind was set on getting one of those bright yellow and blue pieces of numbered metal to secure to the front of my handle bars.
By this time Ronny had re-entered the garage and stood off to the side of the door. I continued my search of a small workbench on the back wall, picking up different tools and briefly ogling a calendar with a scantily clad girl on it. The air was so stifling that it was actually hard to breathe, but I was so excited at the prospect of getting one of these symbols of adulthood that I barely felt it. Finally I worked up the nerve to ask.
“Uh Ronny, um I see you have all these old plates around and um, well I was wondering if maybe um, I could have one?” I sheepishly said while moving a small pebble around with my foot and never looking up.
“Whatta ya want one of those things for? Ya can’t drive, what’re ya gonna do, put it on yer bike?” he said with a hoarse laugh while spitting a big squirt of dark juice from his white whiskered face. He always had a pouch of Redman hanging out of his pocket, his crooked teeth browner than old leaves.
“Well yeah, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do with it” I said, which prompted him to stop laughing, but he didn’t stop smiling and somehow his grin had changed into more of a smirk, though of course I didn’t realize what that meant at the time.
“Well I suppose” he slowly said, eyes furtively darting out towards the road, “but ya don’t just take stuff from people for nothin’ ya know, didn’t yer folks ever teach ya that?”
“Yeah of course but I don’t have any money” by now I had the one I wanted in my hand and was staring at it intently, “so I guess I’ll just leave it here.” and I started to reluctantly put it back on the bench.
“Well hold on, you can have one if ya want, I don’t want money from ya, all ya gotta do is shake.”
“Yeah shake, didn’t yer daddy ever show ya how?”
By now I figured that he meant shake hands and I said “Sure he did” while sticking out my right hand and holding the plate in my left.
“First ya gotta close yer eyes” Ronny said. Now as trusting as I was, somewhere way in the back of my uncorrupted mind an alarm went off, but having no true experience with people I complied. In my head I wondered what extra treat he may have for me. Maybe a pen knife or a hood ornament, who knew, this place was a cornucopia of delights for any curious child.
“OK give me your hand.” I leaned towards his voice and felt his leathery hand grasp my wrist and plunk something warm into my palm. It was at this point that my view of the world changed forever, for there in my prepubescent hand was his thick wrinkled manhood, I knew without even looking. My first reaction was actually revulsion; I literally wanted to be sick. Immediately I released his member and simultaneously handed him the plate as I looked him right in the eye. I couldn’t bring myself to look down, but I wouldn’t look away and let him know how freaked out I was.
“Sorry I changed my mind, I gotta go now, I think I hear my mother.” As soon as the words left my mouth I realized why he had asked if she knew where I was before and I felt even sicker.
“Wait a minute” he said, panic clouding his impish face immediately. “I don’t hear her, come here and you can have whatever ya want.”
By now I had backed out into the sunlight and was stammering about my Mom; I kept saying that word because I felt it would protect me somehow, forming an indestructible shield that he could not penetrate. I jumped on my bike while he said something else and pedaled like a madman. Only one thought was in my head – escape!
I can’t tell you exactly how fast I made it back to my house but it seemed like a blink. I still felt nauseous and ran upstairs as fast as I could to wash my hand. I scrubbed it until I thought the skin had come off and then I scrubbed it some more. All the while incredulous that another human being could do something so sick, so vile; I didn’t even know what sex was yet but I knew what had just happened was wrong. I kept picturing his leering face and hearing those words “Ya gotta shake, didn’t your daddy ever show ya how?” until I thought I was going to scream. The worst part, who could I tell? How could I approach my church going parents and tell them some lecherous old man had just violated me physically and spiritually? I resolved to keep it to myself, avoiding any contact with Ronny whatsoever, but a darkness had cast its pall over my once radiant soul and it didn’t take but a couple of days for my perceptive mother to sense something was very wrong with her usually joyful little boy. It had been building ever since the incident to consume my thoughts. “All ya gotta do is shake.”
I had just started walking upstairs, the word shake ringing in my ears, when my mom called from the bottom. As I turned I felt hot tears start to burn my flushed cheeks and as soon as she saw them she ran to me.
“What is it, what’s wrong? I could tell something was bothering you, now tell me what is the matter?”
So of course there on the stairs, in the warm comforting cocoon of my mother’s arms, I bared my newly scarred insides and instantly felt a modicum of release. My mother was, to put it mildly, incensed and immediately called my father at work and then the local authorities, which in our rural location was the county sheriff.
The sheriff showed up and sat in the kitchen with my parents and me, and proceeded to tell us how he had spoken with Ronny and Ronny said that was certainly not how it happened. He had just extended his hand to me to shake and I jumped on my bike and left. He surely didn’t understand what all the commotion was about. Then the officer started grilling me as though I were the one that did something wrong. Why would I make something like this up, for what possible reason? I was so flabbergasted by this that I quickly clammed up and let the adults finish their conversation. This of course was my first true taste of ‘the system’ and to this day I still foster a resentment of authority because of it.
After deputy dog got done and left, my father assured me that he had had a ‘talk’ with Ronny on his way home and that I didn’t have to worry about any more funny business. My father is a good sized man and I knew how much he intimidated me when upset, I hoped Ronny felt that too. I was instructed to stay away from this sicko and to inform my parents forthwith if anything at all happened from here on in.
So, on with life right? Wrong. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the truth I had been shown, about the depravity that one human being could commit against another. They talked about sinners in church but those were just faceless characters in stories told to instill fear, the true nature of evil, I knew now, was the abhorrent thoughts and desires that bubbled like white-hot lava beneath the stony exterior of fake smiles. My young mind was inundated with thoughts an eight year old should never have to contemplate, and it was changing me. For the first time in my fledgling existence I felt rage, not the childish pangs of unfulfilled desires, but the deep malevolent churning in my gut that wouldn’t let me sleep or grant me a moment’s peace. “All ya gotta do is shake.”
Enough! I knew the only way this would be resolved for me was if I went and talked to Ronny myself. I let a few weeks go by, school started and my parents had a million things to worry about. The craziness of the summer slowly morphed into the routine of normal life and all was well. Plus it gave me enough time to get ready.
I waited until both my parents were at work one day then told my older sister that I was going for a bike ride. She said OK and off I went. As I pedaled towards the barn my heart was beating so hard I had to stop for a minute for fear it would leap right out of my chest. Ronny had his tractor out in front of the garage and seemed to be working on the back end of it. I slowly rolled up to him and as soon as he spied me a scowl hardened his weathered face.
“What’re you doin’ here? I don’t want no trouble so get on home and don’t come round my property no more, ya hear?”
Even though I had rehearsed my little speech I found my self suddenly talking like someone else, like I was listening to a movie. I wasn’t sure what I was even saying but I just kept going. “You think you got in trouble, I got spanked and sent to my room. The whole thing was a big mistake; I should’ve just kept my mouth shut.”
Ronny’s sullen expression deepened, “Yeah well I don’t ‘preciate no cops comin’ to my door so just get along and don’t be comin’ back.” Satisfied that he had set me straight, he hunkered back down and continued his tinkering.
“OK but I just wanted to let you know that if you want me to shake I will and I won’t tell nobody.”
Instantly I could see that strange light come into his eyes which looked up and down the road before he said, “Didya like that? It wasn’t nothin’ bad now was it?” His tongue wiped a bit of tobacco off the corner of his mouth and then he squirted a big gob of juice over his shoulder.
“I guess not if that’s all it was, I just don’t want you to be mad at me.”
He looked at me for a long moment and finally decided to say what he wanted, after all who would believe me over him. “Well there’s more ya have to do, ya hardly shook it at all. Why don’t we go in the barn and ya can try again and then you can take whatever ya want from the garage.”
So I followed him into the barn behind the garage, bringing my bike, for we entered through the huge side door that slid open on a rail. He only had a few cows for he mostly grew hay and sold it to other farmers, but the stench of manure was heavy in the air. Walking behind Ronny though, I was awash with the stink of beer, tobacco juice and stale sweat, my gorge was rising but I couldn’t stop myself. Once well inside and away from the door, where I had left my bike, Ronny turned and looked at me with that same impish smile he had sported a few weeks ago.
“Well ya ready ta try again?” and before I even said anything his zipper was down and his age speckled hand had fished out that fat wrinkled thing, “Well go on boy, take it in yer hand, nice and gentle now.”
Watching my body from above I saw my small hand reach up and cup his lengthening shaft. When I did he shuddered and closed his eyes. When he opened them again there was the unmistakable glint of terror, for while he wasn’t aware I had reached behind myself and taken out my father’s six inch hunting knife and was now holding the blade right to the mottled skin of his ancient mariner. It was a wicked looking instrument, finely honed for a quick gutting or skinning, and it was ready for business. I had kept it hidden in my back pocket with my shirt (bought a little big because I’d grow into it) untucked and hanging over it. I had always faced him so he never knew. And I had practiced, oh how I had practiced, up in my room, taking the blade out from its leather sheath over and over to make sure I could do it smoothly.
Now, with a ferocity that surprised me, I was going to make the cut. My eight year old mind wasn’t ready for such an influx of adrenaline and angst. I wanted this guy to suffer like I had suffered. Innocence should be slowly dissipated like a puddle in the sunlight, not like a drop of gas in a flame. This crud had robbed me of something precious, and he had to pay!
“H-h-hold on th-th-there, don’t do nothin’ stupid now. I was just playin’ with ya.” He sputtered, barely able to even speak.
This brief moment was enough to restore my equilibrium and I spoke in a voice that was frightening, it was the cold dead voice of someone who has been to the dark side and come back a different person. “What you did was wrong. I should just cut this thing off.” I paused to look at his face and let him know how deadly serious I was. “If you ever come near me or my brothers I will.” This made him jump but I had already started to back away, the knife in front of me at the ready. We stared at each other for a minute, then when he started inspecting himself for damage I turned and ran as fast as I possibly could, grabbed my bike, and rode like a rocket to my house. I ran inside, put the knife back, washed my hands a thousand times, and waited for the sheriff. I was pretty sure Ronny wouldn’t call, but I got ready just the same.
By the next day I knew I was safe. I went on to grow up out there relatively happy and even eventually went to work for Ronny when I was big enough to lift hay bales. He always paid me well and never said or did anything untoward after that day in the barn; I guess he liked to pee standing up. I look back now and try to discern what lesson I was supposed to learn, maybe it was just toughening me up for the ultimate battering that is life, I don’t know, but I’m pleased to say while that wiry eight year old boy with wonder in his eyes was scarred for life, he didn’t go completely. He’s still in there somewhere running through the open fields of my imagination. And occasionally he pops up to scold this person I’ve become, the cynic who is maybe a little too quick to put himself down and who, on some sweltering days, sits with the corners of his mouth turned up in grim satisfaction remembering that day… you should’ve seen him shake.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dash of Humanity

The bell’s been rung
a song’s been sung
to echo through the wires,
I pass the rope
while grasping hope
our harmony inspires
all who read
to truly heed
the credo we are coining—
to overcome
the odium
and run a race worth joining.


Well it’s been almost a week and the clamor is subsiding. I would just like to thank everyone that participated one more time and encourage any new writers to jump in and contribute to future ringings. It was a lot of fun and it even opened the floodgate, as it were, to this urge I’ve had lately to try and write stories again, maybe even a novel. While the main thrust of this blog shall continue to be my daily dialogue of rascally rhyme, I just may post up a short story or two in the future, leaving them up for a couple of days at least to give people time to read. When might I do this you ask? Well you’ll just have to keep checking back to find out. 8^P