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ChairmanWow's (chairmanwow on UKA) UKArchive
87 Archived submissions found.
Title
Weiner! (posted on: 18-05-15)
A little ditty about...Weiner!

Carlos Danger Cruising down the digital lane Sex-ting out pics Without a stitch But it was really Weiner Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! All the on-line girls Sing, "He's a needy little bitch" Sext-ing out pics without a stitch Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! On the road to Gracie Mansion But ran off in a ditch Sext-ing out pics Without a stitch You're a needy little bitch Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! Huma Humiliation crooning Lorretta Lynn before a thousand Cameras, but every second thinking "What the hell was he drinking? Someone, please, god send Me back to the Kingdom" Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! Ran off in a ditch Sext-ing out pics Without a stitch You're a needy little bitch Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! (repeat--fade out)
Archived comments for Weiner!
Andrea on 18-05-2015
Weiner!
Hey, Chairman, great to see you back! How's life home on the range?

Like your little ditty, too πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Hi Andrea, Still working for the Gila River Indian Community--got myself promoted so now have even less time for writing--getting ready to send the kid off to college. Busy busy busy. Some day it will slow down.

Andrea on 18-05-2015
Weiner!
Weiner!

πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 18-05-2015
Weiner!
Great to see you back Ralph. 😜
Congrats on the nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. Hope all is well with you and yours.

deadpoet on 22-05-2015
Weiner!
Oh That Weiner- must be a bit sick. No excuse- I like your poem here- good way to say it.





Author's Reply:


Nikita at the Canyon (posted on: 10-03-14)
1959 Arizona

"Mr. Khrushchev, what do you think of the Grand Canyon?"                                                                              Dome-headed,                                                                                         rotund Russian spread                                                                                                    his arms towards the colossal                                                                                         pink and mauve abyss, sable ravens                                                                                         soaring overhead, white clouds like wisps of smoke                                                        above them in the azure sky, he shouted in Russian                                                                 to the American Politicians and reporters: "It                                                                         reminds me of sex," gave a boyish smile                                                                 and slowly embraced the scenery, taking in the entire vista then said:                                      "Everything reminds me of sex!"
Archived comments for Nikita at the Canyon
Bozzz on 10-03-2014
Nikita at the Canyon
A crack in the cold war perhaps? The first time I have seen the object of desire depicted so clearly in poetic form. Bravo Ralph - saucy bugger. You shall sit alongside Emin in the ground-breaking annals - she with the bed, you with the content. ....David

Author's Reply:
Hard to say, maybe. Appreciate the comparison.

Ralph

pdemitchell on 10-03-2014
Nikita at the Canyon
Секс это хорошо. Секс есть Бог. Секс это все за края стакан водки. Sex is good. Sex is God. Sex is everything beyond the rim of a vodka glass. Excellent, Comrade Ralph! Mitch

Author's Reply:
Thanks Comrade Mitch.

Bozzz on 10-03-2014
Nikita at the Canyon
Forgot to mention that Barry Goldwater asked me the same question. I asked him if there were any cracks in his desert.
Yours, David

Author's Reply:
Ha-Ha.

Ionicus on 11-03-2014
Nikita at the Canyon
A clever layout, Ralph, with the chasm between words representing the Grand Canyon. Comrade Nikita must have been used to wide spaces to be reminded of sex by that gap.
A good piece.

Best, Luigi


Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. You could be right about Nikita's inspiration.

jdm4454 on 11-03-2014
Nikita at the Canyon
Do you think that may have been the bridge between Mr Khrushchev, and Mr Kennedy? Everything reminded them of sex. I enjoyed this piece very much...I liked jumping across the canyon to read the words and the humor drenched reality - ha! jim

Author's Reply:
Powerful men have powerful appetites... Actually Nixon was V.P. at the time and was escorting Mr. K around; Kennedy wouldn't have heard the comment. Happy you enjoyed the layout of the poem. Thanks for the great comment, Jim.


Sawney Beane (posted on: 07-03-14)
1599 Scotland

High tide filled the coastal cave mouth with seawater. The man waylaid on the road to Edinburgh came to. All around in the dank grotto flickering candlelight, sparking pit fire in the middle. Human arms, legs, and torsos hanging like sides of beef. Wooden pickle barrels filled with God knows what. Faces of dozens of ragged children looking down on him with ravenous countenances. Butcher shop stench. The man in charge walked up to the hog-tied prisoner. He sported a shaggy beard and a malevolent smile. "Name's Sawney Beane," said the leader as he sharpened his butcher knife. "Why are you a clan of blackguard butchers?" the prisoner lashed out. "It's a political reason," Beane replied. "To my way of thinking, if a man is born rich that's not fair. But just as true if a man is born hardworking that's the same as born rich and also not fair. I was born neither, so this is the way I make the politics even out."
Archived comments for Sawney Beane
Andrea on 07-03-2014
Sawney Beane
Bloody lovely to see you back, Ralph - how you Beane, so to speak? πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha Beane doing great, Andrea, cooking up some tasty stuff.

Nomenklatura on 08-03-2014
Sawney Beane
A chilling tale... a bloody lot, the highlanders...
Ewan Beag

Author's Reply:
Ewan, yes, this is one of those legends that got to me when I was a kid. Had to write it out of my system, I guess.

pdemitchell on 09-03-2014
Sawney Beane
A gruesome renditon of a gruesome tale indeed, old bean. Puts me right off MacDonalds I can tell you. mitch

Author's Reply:
Yes, Scottish fast food has a different flavor after you hear this story...

Ionicus on 11-03-2014
Sawney Beane
A blood-curling tale, Ralph, well told. Did you include it in your book 'Man-corn in the promised land'?
I hope you get good sales of your publication. Good luck.

Luigi

Author's Reply:
Yes I did Luigi, but in a different form. Sales started picking up just last month (including England) but now I've found my book is being given away by the same pirates that steal music and movies. Oh well.


Ice Bear (posted on: 07-10-13)
The most dangerous animal in the world.

If you find Grizzly tracks in the deep snow, always remember go the other way son; get out of the mountains. ********************************* The old grizzly awakes in mid-winter starving but he will not go quietly into that good hibernation. He emerges from his cave splashes through creeks, grows an armor of ice that will deflect arrows and even bullets. Knows if he can get just one more big meal he'll live to graze on the sweet grass of summer one more time. Nothing to lose, no fear, jaws that can still crush a human skull in a split second, breath steaming like a locomotive, his relentless eyes shouting to everything that exists on earth and up in the heavens: Give me more Life!
Archived comments for Ice Bear
deadpoet on 07-10-2013
Ice Bear
Quite a frightening picture- this poem grabbed me..

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Pia.

Ralph

barenib on 07-10-2013
Ice Bear
Dangerous bears and dangerous humans too I guess! I nice study on the single mindedness of animals when they have to survive. John.

Author's Reply:
We have both here in Arizona(no grizzlies anymore though).

Ralph

Bozzz on 07-10-2013
Ice Bear
Sounds a quick way to go - better than a musty room in Switzerland and preserving wild life too. Great picture drawn here....Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Hey Bozzz, thanks for the comment.

Ralph

Ionicus on 07-10-2013
Ice Bear
You offer good advice Ralph. A grizzly fighting for survival is a awesome creature best avoided.
A frightening prospect well described.


Author's Reply:
You got that right, Luigi. About the only native wild animal here in the lower 48 that kind of scare me. Although Mountain lions make me a little nervous too. Almost got gored by a wild boar in the mountains north of Phoenix, but of course they are not native. Thanks for the read and comment.

Ralph

Andrea on 08-10-2013
Ice Bear
Very visual indeed! I could just see that bear. Great to see you back too - and congrats on the nib.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea.

Ralph


The Poet and the Pistol (posted on: 16-09-13)


Russia--1947 Fyodor Gladkov, the exasperated institute director, shouted obscenities at poet Grigory Pozhenyan and then ordered: "Your feet must not step in here again!" Grigory, without a word of protest, stood on his hands and walked out upside down, his feet not touching the floor as he exited the Gorky Literary Institute. Gladkov later reinstated him. At the party to celebrate his return, the poet pulled a pistol awarded to him for valor by his general in the Great Patriotic War and aimed it dead center at the chest of a literary critic who had insulted his work. "Grigory, Comrade, please don't shoot!" the critic begged. "Don't 'comrade' me, you pathetic slug. Your barren waste of a mind isn't fit for anything other than envy of those who can create. I don't know whether to shoot you or pour salt on you. Do not comment on my work again." **************************************** Josef Stalin slapped his knee and guffawed as he sat at his breakfast table in his heavily guarded dacha reading the newspaper Pravda about the trial of poet Grigory Pozhenyan and his pistol. The State Security Chief, Laverentiy Beria, stood to the side grimacing, refusing to laugh. "He must be sent to the Gulag," the humorless man insisted. "Every gun that is not under our authority is a threat to the State." "A pistol possessed by a poet is no threat to the state, even if it is a threat to his own life," Stalin spoke to himself, remembering the suicide Mayakovsky. "What did I order concerning Pasternak and all our real poets? Leave them alone. They are the life blood of Russia." "You had me arrest and liquidate Osip Mandelstam," Laverntiy Beria could barely keep from stammering. "He was a cosmopolitan, not a Russian." Stalin smiled a wicked smile, happy to see Beria's reaction to this. "What about Anna Akhmatova? You had me arrest and imprison her son?" "What good is being the absolute ruler of the Soviet Union if I cannot torment our most beautiful woman poet? The suffering I have imposed will inspire even greater poetry from her." Stalin looked his Security Chief in the eyes and then commanded: "You will have the judge release Pozhenyan and you will give him back his pistol." Stalin watched his henchman, his Himmler, the mass murderer of millions at his orders, salute then turn and leave the suite. Stalin went back to eating his poached eggs and caviar, continued reading his morning newspaper.
Archived comments for The Poet and the Pistol
deadpoet on 16-09-2013
The Poet and the Pistol
A lovely piece of (fictive?) history as a poem.. I enjoyed this very much.

Pia


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Pia. It is always a fun challenge to imagine your way inside the head of an historical figure.


Ralph


Cancer (posted on: 09-08-13)
A terrifying premonition...

The fastidious man, long obsessed with perfect grass, finally conquered his lawn. The crabgrass was gone. Trees all pruned. Weeds whacked. Tall fescue mowed down. Best looking yard in town, neighbors all said. That very night, it was two weeks before the diagnosis, he dreamed weeds growing out of his own head. He tore out handfuls of green leaved hydras by the blood-soaked roots. They only cascaded out faster from inside his scalp. He awoke with a wail his wife never forgot.
Archived comments for Cancer
Corin on 09-08-2013
Cancer
Chilling, Chairman, One day something horrible happens to us all!
I hope to hear you read this at the UkaLive Event in London on Saturady September 20th. For full details see:-

https://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?1,219923

NOTE: If you have books to sell bring a few along.

Of course, if you just want to listen to some of the excellent work being posted on UKAuthors you will be very welcome, the more the merrier, and some us may be very merry:-)

Dave

Author's Reply:
So true Dave. Something chilling is waiting for us all. If there is any way I can get to London I will be there; if I can't I'd appreciate if you bought a pint for me and tell everyone there it was for me.

Ralph

stormwolf on 09-08-2013
Cancer
OMGGGG
That broke me out in goose-pimples! I do dream analyses and many people would be very surprised to know just how much wisdom, warnings and confirmation, comes to us in dreams.
You have a very unique style that lends well to your choice of subjects. Well done on the nib.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Dream analysis is interesting but for some reason I don't want to submit my dreams to it. Agree that dreams are much more than merely "the brain taking out the trash" some shrinks try to argue. Great comment Alison.

Ralph

Weefatfella on 09-08-2013
Cancer
 photo 915e0b75-fce7-4fc2-9921-556099197c13_zps1f6b3c50.jpg
Aye, it's a horrible thing.
You say it so well.
Life sucking Hydra's.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Horrible thing is right. We've all lost loved ones to it. Will be happy to see the day it's defeated.

Ralph

amman on 10-08-2013
Cancer
Hi Ralph.
Very sad metaphorical poem; skillfully done. i would be tempted to split 'the green leaved hydras' line in two for better balance. Just a thought. Good stuff.
Cheers.
Tony.

Author's Reply:
Hey thanks for the suggestion Tony. I went with it and got some alliteration from the words at the end of those lines as well.

Ralph

Bozzz on 11-08-2013
Cancer
The terror reminds me of the story behind Paul Dukas haunting music for the Sorcerer's Apprentice - da da da dumpa dumpa....the water kept coming. Good prosetry to match the picture....Can crabgrass really do that to a man?Hope the dream was not a portent...David

Author's Reply:
David,
it's not a portent for me. BUt you never know. They say everyone is born with cancer and dies with cancer but the immune system fights it off until it can't for whatever reason. Appreciate the great comment.

Ralph

Bradene on 05-09-2013
Cancer
A fine write, you captured the very essence of fear yet with great dignity, not something that one is easily able to forget. So deserving of the nib

Author's Reply:
I appreciate your thoughtful comment very much Val.

Ralph


Magnificent Dumb-Ass (posted on: 05-08-13)
Narrative poem about the famous adventure of Lawn-Chair Larry. "Life's hard; harder if you're stupid."--John Wayne

1982--California Forty-five weather balloons tied to his lawn-chair. cold beer and jugs of water for ballast; Pellet gun to shoot the 'loons when he was done with his fun. Waved his girlfriend g'bye, didn't want to see her cry; afraid her dumb-ass boyfriend was gonna die. Caste off! Larry and his lawn-chair did fly sixteen thousand feet straight up into the sky. I ain't lying; jet airliners zooming right by him. Cold, cold air up there where he didn't dare shoot the pellet gun to end his fun, just windblown, frozen terror; no way to see the beauty of Long Beach below or the Pacific vista beyond, like the rest of us on our own short flight down here.
Archived comments for Magnificent Dumb-Ass
amman on 05-08-2013
Magnificent Dumb-Ass
I heard about this dumbass, Ralph. The Aussies made a film (starring Rhys Ifans) using the same premise. Really like the musical cadence of your words; suits the subject matter.
Cheers.
Tony.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Tony. I'll have to check out that Aussie movie. Can't image it would be as dumbass as the original!

Ralph

Mikeverdi on 05-08-2013
Magnificent Dumb-Ass
Great story and great writing. Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike.

Ralph

franciman on 05-08-2013
Magnificent Dumb-Ass
This is great Ralph. It's like a Joni Mitchell song- you know? Nursery Rhyme lyrics that bite.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
"Help me I think I'm falling..." Joni does go good with the story, Jim. Great comment.

Ralph

Ionicus on 06-08-2013
Magnificent Dumb-Ass
I had to look him up, Ralph, and he makes an interested story
which is brilliantly replicated in this rhythmic poem of your.
I enjoyed the flowing verse.

Author's Reply:
Real life is stranger than fiction, gives me inspiration. Thanks for the complementary comment, Luigi.

Ralph

stormwolf on 07-08-2013
Magnificent Dumb-Ass
Reminded me of another of your poems depicting a real life event.
Really enjoyed it, well worth the nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
I like to use real-life but also straight-up imagination too. Thanks for the comment Alison.

Ralph


Don't Stop Thinking About Paris (posted on: 15-07-13)
Optimism and Excellence have their place...

The blackjack dealer frowns; casino goons bum-rush you out the door 'cause you beat the house, don't' stop thinking about Paris. All the photos on Facebook de-friend you, your account is purged, keep the City of Light deep in your heart. The flan there is so light and delicious, the perfect desert. Even when you're choking on another cheeseburger, don't stop thinking about Paris. Sublime light illuminating the Louvre to cave paintings vital, alive as they were thousands of generations ago. Don't stop thinking about Paris. If you're disparaged, defrauded, and denuded, don't stop thinking about Paris. The ghosts in the cafe look just like Monet sitting next to Debussy across from Valery glowing like the absinthe in their glasses. Don't-stop-thinking-about-Paris. Even if you never get there in this life, don't    stop    thinking     about        Paris.
Archived comments for Don't Stop Thinking About Paris
deadpoet on 18-07-2013
Dont Stop Thinking About Paris
Loved this- quite foreign and even exotic- just like Paris..

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment--sometimes exotic is just what you need.

Andrea on 18-07-2013
Dont Stop Thinking About Paris
Loved it, CW - lived in Paris for a few years. Van Gogh, Monet, et al - marvellous!

Author's Reply:
Envious of you Andrea! Thanks for the comment.

Ralph


Detroit (posted on: 17-06-13)
A poem about a tragic city.

The Nihilist in that Russian novel puts a pistol to his head and says, "I'm going to America," pulls the trigger. I am already in America, me, Detroit, "The Paris of the Midwest." Once I was the great nursery of automobile freedom and Motown music; now I am a bullet hole in the skull of a corpse that keeps walking.
Archived comments for Detroit
Hekkus on 18-06-2013
Detroit
Interesting analogy between a city and a person. Effective imagery.

Author's Reply:
Yes, nihilism destroys individual lives and the life of a city.

Ralph

amman on 19-06-2013
Detroit
Hi Ralph.
Strong analogy of a once proud and bustling city now in decline.
Very effective.
Cheers.
Tony.

Author's Reply:
Tony,
Decline is too mild a word for what has happened to Detroit and many other eastern U.S. cities. THere is nothing in Europe to compare it to, at least since World War 2.

Ralph

Nomenklatura on 19-06-2013
Detroit
In the words of that great nihilist, Alfred E. Neuman 'What me, worry?'

Very good stuff.

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, that's right, Nome. I can picture the Detroit edition of Mad Magazine.

Ralph

ifyouplease on 19-06-2013
Detroit
very interesting, good stuff i agree.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment.

Andrea on 19-06-2013
Detroit
I passed through Detroit once, just on the way to the airport. Unutterably depressing. Brilliant pome, Ralph, captures the spirit well.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for another great comment Andrea.

Ralph

Nomenklatura on 26-06-2013
Detroit
Just returning to say that I'm glad this got a nib.

Author's Reply:


Waiting for the Bird Flu (posted on: 05-04-13)
(With apologies to C.P. Cavafy)

     Why are we so transfixed, day and night, in front of the TV?      There have been deaths in a far-away place. Scientists are reporting a Bird Flu pandemic, with 60% mortality, will soon sweep across the entire globe.      Why isn't the U.S. government or the U.N. or E.U. or any other government responding to the crisis? Why are they all silent?      What's the Point? When that Bird Flu virus rages through the countryside it will govern. The virus will decide who to oppress and who gets preferences, decide who will prosper and who will be impoverished, who lives and who dies. Everyone knows the politicians have been out of fresh ideas to deal with our severe, chronic problems for many years anyway; how could anyone think they can handle this?      Why did Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio and Bono deplane from their private jets to each give a self-gratifying speech eulogizing the billions of human beings about die and how hard it is at this somber time to have the responsibilities of a world leader?      Because people waiting to die horrific, drowning-in-your-own-fluid flu deaths like to hear their tributes, their "Candle in the Wind" sung by big-shots before they're bulldozed into a mass grave, not after.      But what is this latest news? The scientists posted out in the Asian jungles are now saying the Bird Flu did not mutate. The deaths were from an endemic disease that turned out to be unrelated to the Bird Flu.      Instead of celebration or at least relief there is widespread consternation and confusion, even anger and unrest. Across the world masses of people spill out into the public squares shouting into the air.      That virus was a kind of solution...
Archived comments for Waiting for the Bird Flu
orangedream on 05-04-2013
Waiting for the Bird Flu
Much food for thought here, and I bet there are so many things we do not know.

Tina

Author's Reply:
How true Tina. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

ValDohren on 05-04-2013
Waiting for the Bird Flu
I suppose such scaremongering helps tp keep our minds off other issues like the economic crisis !! Wonder. What's next.

Val

Author's Reply:
Yes it does Val. Who knows what's coming next to distract us.

Ralph

Andrea on 05-04-2013
Waiting for the Bird Flu
Brilliant Ralph - you are a man after my own heart. Storm will love this πŸ™‚

Here's a song for you...



Author's Reply:
Ha-ha-ha. Hard to believe i once actually liked this song. Of course that's when it was about MM and not every celeb who bit the dust a little young. Thanks for the comment Andrea.

Ralph

stormwolf on 06-04-2013
Waiting for the Bird Flu
OMG SO many levels here Ralph! For one thing, the powers that be NEED fear, they feed off it, it's life blood to them...but also,
it's part of their manifesto to release bio-weapons. The word on the street is airborne Ebola or Mouse Pox but they have been working on the mutations of different kinds of flu for a while now.

Nightmare stuff? You bet my fat backside.

Trouble is that even when whistle-blowers come right out and admit it....nobody believes them. Bono et al are bound for hell, sooner rather than later if I had any say.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Yes, conspiracy theories are all over the place these days. THe elites would like to cull us and make themselves trillionaires but i just don't think they're up to it. (Although the anthrax attacks were never really solved, prime suspect who worked for the government lab committed suicide, they said.) I think the only thing the elites are good at is demoralizing people which may be enough to whittle us down in due time. Thanks for the fun comment Alison. I could talk about this subject matter for extended periods of time.

Ralph
P.S. i'll be looking up mouse pox


Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4 (posted on: 29-03-13)
Propriety, mindless conformity, is the road to Hell.

33 AD--Five bearded men discuss a recent public execution while standing in a circle alongside a busy, dusty road outside of Jerusalem in the Roman Judea province.     "Salvation from eating another man's flesh? Drinking his blood?" The first man said. "That man was insane! Insane, I say!"     "It was symbolic," The second man responded. "He taught in parables. The man was a holy prophet of peace."     "Ha! He was no prophet. What kind of holy prophet associates with women? One was even a prostitute!" The third man spit on the ground.     "He said he came to bring the sword, not peace," the fourth man put in.     "That's right, he was a bully!" The first man almost shouted. "He beat the money changers, with a rope, chased them right out of the Temple grounds. He even intimidated the Temple guards. They did nothing to stop him."     "He was a drunkard," the third man said. "His disciples were swindlers and rogues. The two big fishermen are well-known barroom brawlers. They call them the 'Sons of Thunder.' Another of those disciples is a Zealot, one of those bitter, anti-government extremists who cling to their swords and their crazy end-of-the-world religion. What he led was more like an outlaw gang than anything else."     "What do you say about the man they crucified?" the second man, the youngest, asked the fifth man, who had been silent during all this.     "What he said about eating his flesh and drinking his blood was meant to shock you," the tall fifth man said. He looked shrewd, like a man used to working with his hands and his head. "He meant it literally, in that you must eat his flesh with an earnestness you never had to eat anything before. It is the only way you can be made to face the crisis of corruption that is all around you. Propriety, living in conformity by eating correct food, having correct rituals or correct politics, like the Pharisees, blinds you and puts you on the road to Hell."     "How could that be true?" The first man clawed at his wavy hair. He looked like he wanted to tear out the image he had of himself as a ghoul raiding a cemetery to eat another man's flesh. "Cannibalism and Anarchy to reach salvation? Everything of value caste into the ditch to gain his salvation?"     "If the lion eats the man, the lion is blessed with life," the fifth man responded. "If the man eats the lion then the man is blessed with life. Despite this blessing, either the man or the lion will soon become hungry again. But if the man eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of Man, the Lion of Judea, then he will be blessed with eternal life and never really go hungry again."     "There goes two of his disciples now," the fourth man said after they had all been silent for what seemed a long time.     "What is your name?" the first man meekly demanded. "Who are you?"     "I have no more time for talk," the fifth man said and started off to catch up with the two disciples.
Archived comments for Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
jay12 on 29-03-2013
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
Reading this has made me hungry. Nice read. I wonder if Pizza Hut do a Jesus stuffed crust?

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, well Jay If they do offer it i would double check to make sure they're not substituting with horse meat... Happy Easter!

Ralph

Weefatfella on 29-03-2013
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
 photo bfa015ef-03f8-441a-953a-e17b9b577756_zpsda0c5131.jpg
Aye, Well done Wow, good sub for this time of year.
Thank you for that.
Weefatfella. photo Thelight oftheworld_zps8073e35c.jpg


Author's Reply:
Happy you enjoyed it Weefatfella.
Happy Easter

Ralph

Hekkus on 29-03-2013
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
It's well written, and topical for Easter. I enjoyed reading it. My only criticism would be that it could maybe somehow have done with more of a "punch" in the ending: but others might disagree. I would like to read more of your stuff.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the thoughtful comment Hekkus. I was thinking about having the fifth man call the first man by name, maybe the first man's name was Saul. Will think about it some more.

Ralph

CVaughan on 29-03-2013
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
Good writing that's the Gospel truth CW.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the great comment CVaughan.
Happy Easter.

Ralph

Mikeverdi on 31-03-2013
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
Excellent,but too short; I would have liked more. Mike

Author's Reply:
Hey thanks Mike. Time only allows me so much writing. Happy Easter.

Ralph

cooky on 31-03-2013
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #4
Very topical indeed. A story which is written with more common sense than the Bible. I like this

Author's Reply:
It does seem topical, Huh? Thanks for the great comment cooky.
Happy Easter

Ralph


Good Friday on the Rez (posted on: 25-03-13)
Pondering why the violent animus towards children, in the form of mass killings, all around the world. Nobody's going in and hacking up or blowing away old farts in nursing homes, the target is kids. Luckily some cultures still value them...

A pair of Ravens One on the road One on a pole In Chicago The children Are slaughtering Each other Out on the rez The children Are made to run After the Good Friday feast To escape the demon Diabetes Just south of the border Right across the line The children Are being mowed down Cartels like the hawks That hunt in packs Filling up mass graves Quinceanera girls All dressed up With no place to go But under the dirt forever Somewhere out on the rez They are making babies! The kids like ripened fruit Are falling from the trees Plumb colored, roly-poly, Hit-the-ground-running, kids! In Connecticut they are shooting down The little Children In China they are hacking To pieces their little children Outside the rez Vultures are gathering Better keep moving! In Russia The mothers Forced to watch Their children Blown apart With grenades Meanwhile, out on the rez The running little boys Make silly faces And the little girls laugh Then the running little girls Make silly faces too! Way out on the rez The elders pray In the name Of someone Out loud in public ceremonies No "Supreme Court" stops them! Way, way out on the rez The pair Of ravens soars High above The hawks and vultures
Archived comments for Good Friday on the Rez
Kat on 25-03-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
A very impressive write. A serious subject that needs serious attention.

Like the repeated use of 'rez', if this is the short form of rezone, as they are so many layers to what you are saying, and even moreso with this, underlying the fact that no-one is really taking responsibility to stop things (like in the US and the present gun debate), though Obama appears to be trying.

Often it's 'children' killing other children (Columbine). And then there are child soldiers or children with mental health problems or psychopathic children who kill.

'We Need to Talk About Kevin' by Lionel Shriver deserves its accolades, because of how well it shows how awful things like mass killings by children can happen.

Your opening stanza and symbolism is so clever and this continues throughout the poem.

A really excellent write and much food for thought.

Kat

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 25-03-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
The subject matter is very emotive and this is very well written indeed. it portrays your feelings and the horror of children being killed. A nice powerful piece.

Jay.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the great comment, Jay.

Ralph

Nomenklatura on 26-03-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
Yes a splendid effort. I liked the alliterative 'demon Diabetes.'

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the complement Nomenklatura. Yes, diabetes is a real killer on the reservation I work at.

Ralph

stormwolf on 26-03-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
Hi Ralph
great to read you again. You have a profound style that works because you are bold and know what you are doing.
Doesn't it just get you to see the terrible evil everywhere. The contrast to the kids who are allowed to be kids on the reservation very nice. I like the way you wove in the elders and the natural world too.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much for your perceptive commentary Alison. Yes is does get to me being a parent. The Beslan Russia massacre was the worst one. Haunted me every time i dropped my daughter off at grade school.

Ralph


Kat on 27-03-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
Ah... now I understand... rez for reservation. Have been rereading with this in mind, and what joyous observations you make. The way I was reading it was a bit off kilter, but I still got loads from it.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks a bunch Kat for the extended commentary and selection of the poem into your favs. Your initial comment was still on the money. I wanted to use the term 'rez' instead of reservation because 'rez' has connotations of being a negative term for a negative place, which i was attempting to flip around by showing that at least on the rez, despite some serious difficulties, there will be a future because children are still valued.

Ralph

Ionicus on 27-03-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
Hi Ralph. A serious and impassioned cri the coeur that ought to motivate politicians and world leaders to action to prevent the needless loss of life of children be it because of the gun culture, or the crazy ambition of certain African tribesmen who force kids to fight for their cause.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. I feel that the problem underneath all this violence is a cultural devaluation or rejection of children for some reason.

Ralph

Andrea on 04-04-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
Brilliant stuff. Rez = reservation, no doubt. Excellent write.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Andrea.

Ralph

Hekkus on 04-04-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
A serious piece, very topical in view of recent tragic events. There was a feeling throughout of something ominous lurking, waiting to happen. Good imagery.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment Hekkus

Ralph

Pronto on 04-04-2013
Good Friday on the Rez
Very thought provoking poem indeed. I wrote a poem on the gun culture in USA on an American site and took flack for it from some quarters. The need of some to feel powerful does so much damage.

Excellent ink poet

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the nice comment Pronto. Not sure what an "ink poet" is.

Ralph


Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes! (posted on: 18-03-13)
Narrative poem based on a "true legend" about a cannibal mountain man from the wild west. Story is good for terrifying teenagers at the campfire. Story(minus the cannibalism) is the source for the Robert Redford movie "Jeremiah Johnson." Heroic statue of Liver-Eating Johnson stands in Cody, Wyoming.

1849--What is now the Idaho-Wyoming-Montana border. Dreaming Moon summoned her son. Cougar-in-the-Tree dutifully stepped into the teepee out of the snowy night. "Yes Mother." "You have been chosen to guard the great white warrior," she said smiling. "You mean the mountain man they call 'Liver-Eating Johnson,' who is said to have murdered over one hundred Crow and then ate their livers like they were animals, not men. That white man?" Cougar-in-the-Tree queried. "Oh, you must not insult the Whites!" Dreaming Moon berated him. "His actions must be put in the proper context. The Crow murdered his pregnant Salish wife. You must accept that the Whites are coming to this country. They will fill it up and make it their own, bringing their many marvelous ways!" "But this is our country, Mother. This land, these rivers and mountains and plains belong to our people, the Siksika!" "That is intolerant!" Dreaming Moon shouted, "We have been arrogant people, have attacked and oppressed so many others we don't deserve this land." "But why can't the Whites stay in their own country?" Cougar-in-the-Tree asked, "We didn't invite them!" "It is insulting to even ask that," Dreaming Moon continued chiding her seventeen-year-old son. "We have so many privileges just for the color of our skin the poor Whites could never imagine! We have the cleanest water, the best food, so many delicious bison, rivers swarming with nutritious salmon. The Whites are stuck in ignorance, their children are so many they can't get proper educations. It would be inhumane to not let as many as would like to come here. How could you want to send those poor Whites back to live in those stinking cesspool cities of London or New York? Those places are full of crime and disease! The sky is so dirty there they die young because it is too hard to even breathe! Your xenophobia should make you ashamed of yourself, Cougar-in-the-Tree!" "I am sorry, Mother," he said with bowed head. "Now go and get to know Mr. Johnson," Dreaming Moon said with a sudden smile. "Ingratiate yourself with him and find out if he is interested in a new wife. Tonight I, with some of the other women, will petition the Chief and Council to not give this great white man over to the Crow." >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Cougar-in-the-Tree entered the prisoner's teepee. on the other side of the circular fire-pit the big white cannibal sat with his arms tied in front of him and, behind him, his legs tied together with a cord attached to his neck. His great yellow-red beard combined with piercing blue eyes so different from the serene eyes of his father, and Cougar-in-the-Tree wondered how his mother could be attracted to such a strange version of a man. His father had told him years ago on the day he left her that his mother's spirit had been captured by dreams that could never be. "Water," Liver-Eating Johnson demanded. "First a question," Cougar-in-the-Tree said. After studying the young brave for a minute with his manic, piercing blue eyes the white cannibal said, "All right." "Did you greatly love your Salish wife? Is that why you take vengeance on the Crow?" "I traded fairly for the Flathead woman, two good horses and several Sioux scalps. She belonged to me and was obedient, so when the Crow killed her I began killing the Crow, one-hundred and thirty-seven so far. I have decided that when I have killed three hundred I will cease and become brother to the Crow again." "Why do you eat their livers?" Cougar-in-the-Tree asked with his head down. The white cannibal paused. "I eat their livers because the Crow believe they cannot get into the Happy Hunting Grounds without their livers. I eat their livers to strike terror into their souls." "My mother is pleading for your life before the Council. She wants to know if you are interested in another wife." Cougar-in-the-Tree paused then went on, "She says that we Siksika have so many blessings and privileges, the best food, the best culture, the best water, and healthy air, that if we share it all with you you will be transformed and we will live together in harmony." "Cougar-in-the-Tree, there is only one real privilege," the white cannibal said with an almost warm smile through his great blood-soaked beard. "Forget about wealth or superior culture, good upbringing or good food, the one true privilege is having in your heart the diamond-hard resolve to do what-ever violence is required to subdue your personal enemies and the enemies of your people. Now I would like you to get me some water." >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Cougar-in-the-Tree re-entered the Teepee with a bowl of melted snow. As he tipped the bowl to give the prisoner his drink he noticed too late the big white man had chewed through his wrist binding. Liver-Eating Johnson brought up his great fist in a powerful uppercut that knocked the young brave semi-conscious. The white cannibal scooted around to get to Cougar-in-the-Tree's large knife. He cut himself free then sawed off the young brave's right leg at the hip joint, cut his way out the back of the teepee, and ran out into the snowy night with the bloody limb. Other braves heard Cougar-in-the-Tree's screams. One tracked the cannibal white man into the blackness beyond the campfires only to be stabbed after turning around in the blinding wind. Liver-Eating Johnson escaped into the blizzard. He could not be tracked in the blowing snow, and subsisting on the raw haunch of his former guard, trudged over two-hundred miles into the Rocky Mountains in the dead of winter without sleeping or making a fire, made it to his partner Del Que's cabin. Liver-Eating Johnson is said to have reached his goal of three hundred Crow killed, after which he became their brother again. Later, Liver-Eating Johnson came down out of the mountains and joined Lincoln's army, went to fight on the Western Front. Confederate guerrillas in Missouri managed to shoot him multiple times but the bushwhacker bullets were no more effective than the Crow and Blackfoot arrows and spears. After the war he went back to fighting Indians, mostly Sioux. Some say he never died and still lives in the Rocky Mountains where no one else can go, always ravenous for anyone who talks loosely about their "privilege."
Archived comments for Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes!
amman on 18-03-2013
Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes!
You got me hooked early reading this stomach churning piece, Ralph. A most enjoyable read. Poor old 'Cougar-in-the-tree', he didn't have a leg to stand on. (Well, perhaps one).
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, you're right about poor old Cougar-in-the-Tree. Always a pleasure to read a comment on one of my subs from you, Tony.

Ralph

Mikeverdi on 18-03-2013
Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes!
Great story telling. I know of this man and a few others like him. Bear paws Meek was another, he was also in the film. There was a book called The Big Sky also about the 'Mountain Men. Mike

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the great comment Mike. I'll take a look at the novel you recommend. My favorite mountain man novel is 'Seven Rivers West' by Edward Hoagland.

Ralph

Weefatfella on 19-03-2013
Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes!
 photo 390a8c45-a359-4a79-8c64-82ba272f2b94_zps941dd6b6.jpg
A terrifying story to tell kids.
Bad enough to be killed but to be eaten. Aw Naw.
Great story and brilliantly told.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Hey thanks WFF. Yes teenagers like to hear terrifying stories and watch scary movies. Something about puberty probably...

Ralph

roger303 on 21-03-2013
Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes!
I enjoy(ed) writing poetry about historical events and people - the research as much as the writing. I wish that I could do it this well.
Excellent!

Author's Reply:
I agree with your comment Roger. When you're researching you often find more little nuggets that you can use for something else later. Thanks for the great comment.

Ralph

Andrea on 21-03-2013
Liver-Eating Johnson Escapes!
Just brilliant CW! I remember that movie (Jeremiah Johnson) - long time ago now, though, '72 I believe.

Thought you might like this πŸ™‚



Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment and rating Andrea. Yes it's one of my favorite movies and i own it. THe thing is the real story is so different from the movie character i had to explore it further. I guess 1972 was still too innocent a time to have a Western version of Hannibal Lecter on the big screen.

Ralph


Girl Trouble (finis) (posted on: 04-02-13)
Lost in the Nahanni wilderness, our hero attempts to flee a female Sasquatch who has a crush on him, but then decides he must abandon his self-centered ways when he discovers someone who needs help more than he does. But the right course of action is elusive when your perception of reality has been commandeered...

     "Abigail, I need to see what this Skook is; I have to see what I'm up against," I said but she didn't respond. "Take off then. Go back to your cabin." I turned and started out towards the screams that were really roars. Abigail reluctantly followed.      We hiked down a ravine and crossed a hot spring seep, climbed as stealthily as possible up to a ridge that looked down into a little valley. Got down on my belly and pulled out my small but powerful binoculars from my parka. There were six figures picking huckleberries down below. I studied the biggest figure, obviously Skook. Ugly, mean, nasty-looking brute. Over nine feet from the top of his smallish, pointy head to his over-sized hinged feet, greyish-white hair covering his whole body except the mostly hairless face gave him an eerie, hobgoblin look from a distance. He had no neck, was about eleven hundred pounds that packed in as much testosterone as two Superbowl football teams put together. He uttered sinister, rapid-fire orders to the others that sounded kind of Japanese, a lot of rolling R's. Yeah, a giant hairy Samurai on meth. No way I wanted to go up against him even with a gun. He could have torn a silver-back gorilla apart.      Scanned over to the two next biggest figures, both were female. They looked kind of mangy and weather-worn compared to Skook or QK. One looked pregnant. Still, they were both way bigger than me and couldn't be disregarded. The next two figures were juveniles about five-and-a-half to six-feet-tall and they were both pug-ugly. Most baby mammals look cute but not those two. They ran around on all fours for some reason, I guess because their arms and legs were the same length. Made them look even more creepy.      A small snowstorm hit just then, nothing serious, the kind of weather that passes through mountains in late summer. A tiny reminder of coming attractions. I thought this is good, will help keep them from picking up our scent. I wiped the snow from my hair and forehead then went back to studying them. Skook didn't pick any huckleberries; he visited each of the other troop members in turn, each one had to give up a handful or else Skook thumped them a good one with the back of his ham-sized right hand. I guess Skook was a high-tax, big-government proponent.      "We have to get out of here now," Abigail whispered behind me. "It's a miracle Skook hasn't picked up our presence yet."      "Fuck him," I said. "They're all preoccupied picking berries now anyway." I finally put the binoculars onto the small last figure who was farthest from the others in the huckleberry patch. My mouth dropped open. I couldn't even cuss. It was a naked human girl, about ten or eleven. Her black Indian hair was long and disheveled, her face swollen from mosquito bites and scratches all over her arms and the rest of her body. Her mouth made the same kind of noises the others did and her eyes just looked like some kind of animal with a hint of sadness. The sadness of missing out being what she was supposed to be: a human being.      I back-crawled down the ridge then turned to Abigail. "You knew this troop of Sasquatch kidnapped a human child, didn't you?"      "What does it matter? There's nothing you can do about it anyway." Abigail kept nodding towards the ridge. "Skook is gonna kill us both."      "Look, Diane Fossey sacrificed her life trying to conserve the mountain gorillas she was studying in Africa but she would never have allowed them to snatch a human child. There is something bad wrong with you."      Abigail stood up and marched down the hill. I got up and followed her. Crossing the wet spot where the hot springs seep was I noticed some lynx tracks and my boot prints in the mud, next to mine Sasquatch tracks. No small, Italian hiking boot prints like Abigail was still leaving in the half inch of snow on the other side of the seep. Oh shit.      "Hey Abigail," I said, trying to act like I was an always-in-control, fearless bad-ass. "What's four times four?"     She stopped, turned slowly around and then walked back down to me. Looked like she was going to gently caress my chest but then I was knocked back about fifteen feet and got one mother of a quick flashing headache. When I could open my eyes again Abigail was standing over me but now Abigail had Queen Kong's face. The backpack on the ground transformed into my ball cap. She slowly turned and strode away, gradually the illusion she had put in my mind dissipated.      Queen Kong/Abigail turned and with one Sasquatch hand stuck her stubby middle finger up at me and then with her other hand showed me that she had my .40 caliber pistol. Looked small in her enormous hand. She strode away and disappeared into the trees. Flipped off and ripped off by a love-lorn Sasquatch. Almost got down and dirty with her too, when she disguised herself behind her Abigail illusion. Yuck.      I stood up and rubbed my temples. Now I had a decision to make. Take off and try to make it back then lead in a rescue party or go try to get the little human girl right now? Starting to think I was put here on purpose to make this choice. Was this upsurge of conscience a remnant of college humanism or of Sunday school? Maybe guilt over abandoning Nasrine? Remembered as a little kid how I snickered when the pastor taught the God of the Bible picks some unlikely characters to do important stuff, like Moses having a speech impediment and still had to lead the People Israel out of bondage. But how could somebody with my personality be a chosen hero? For whatever reason I decided I would have to do it, put aside my Asshole self, just on a temporary basis, to rescue that little girl. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      I scooped up my baseball cap and ran crouching to a brushy, concealed spot downwind of Skook and his huckleberry picking troop of Sasquatch plus kidnapped human child. I duck-taped three .40 caliber bullets from my extra pistol clip to one of my road flares then lit it, left it on the ground, and ran crouching around the ridge again. The snow was down to flurries now and I had to move fast when I got upwind of them or they would catch my scent.      I ran until I got to the other end of the huckleberry patch then got on all fours and moved as fast as possible through the underbrush. The little girl was farthest from the others on this end of the berry patch. When the first round went off they all stopped and immediately stood upright facing where the bullet explosion came from, away from me, waiting for Skook to decide what to do.      The little human girl was about ten feet away when she noticed me and gave a weird warning cry. I jumped up and tackled her. She was scratching and trying to bite through my parka like a wildcat but I gave her one good punch on the chin and knocked her out. The other two bullets exploded and the Sasquatch scattered. I wrapped the girl in my emergency blanket, picked her up and ran, headed for the Nahanni River.      Threw her over my shoulder and tried to pace myself. If Skook vocalized I didn't hear it. Probably gave them a psychic message. If we get to the river I'll start a big fire. That should get somebody's attention. Hopefully keep these bastards back. Since they don't use fire they probably would be scared of it.      Followed an animal trail next to a growing stream that flowed fast down towards the river. Just when I thought we were maybe clear of them, one of the juveniles, a jet black one, ran up out of the brush and nearly tackled us. I whipped out another flare, lit it, and had in right in his face.      "You don't like this, do you Junior?" I said. He disliked the smoke more than the flame, got up on two legs coughing, turned tail and ran. I threw the flare after him. Left me with a little buzz between my ears but that was about it. Walked for a while with the girl more comfortably in my arms. Trying to get my breath back then Skook stepped out from the some trees in front of us.      Supremely formidable, intimidating, overwhelming, like the whole Nahanni River valley come to life and striding up to swallow me up. I put the girl on the ground up against a boulder, turned and faced Skook with my last flare and my extra clip that had five or six rounds in it. Was going to burn off the bullets aiming at him as I held the clip. Didn't get to light the flare. I was down on my knees puking just from him looking at me. Seemed like he didn't want to touch me though. Maybe worried about catching something infectious from me?      The torture continued and grew more intricate, progressed from nausea to overwhelming dread. Then he put images in my mind of him tearing off my head or chewing on my genitals, really got old as he seemed to relish these two scenarios and made me go through them over and over. Just when I couldn't take it any more I remembered how Queen Kong reacted when I asked her the math problem, how it seemed to make her illusion dissipate.      Started asking him in my mind simple math problems then moved up to algebra. The projected nightmares into my mind ceased. He really didn't like math. Kept thinking about more complex equations from geometry and then calculus, which I despised myself but was now glad they made me take it.      Skook now looked like he was the one that was going to puke. But then he shook it off and came at me in two great strides, put one hand on my shoulder and one giant hand over my head, ready to decapitate me, but then something big flew in on top of him and got his grip off of me. I couldn't believe it! Queen Kong jumped him to save me!      I was knocked back to the boulder and couldn't do much but watch. Skook threw her down pretty quick but then QK's wolverine friend came out of the bushes and attacked Skook. Forget wussy grizzlies, wolverines are the bad-asses of the North. He chewed on the white Sasquatch's leg like it was a chew toy; Skook repeatedly kicked him away but the muscle-bound mustelid kept coming back for more.      Queen Kong got up to make a run for it; then turned and threw something at me which turned out to be my pistol. The female Sasquatch disappeared into the trees as I picked up my gun. The wolverine retreated now too and it was just me and Skook. Got the gun off safety and started shooting at his feet; at this point I decided against wounding a big aggressive animal like him, just wanted to scare him.      Punk-ass Skook made himself invisible as he ran off, except he was too unsettled to keep his tracks from appearing in the half inch of melting snow. I shot twice more behind the tracks to keep him motivated to go in the right direction, which was away from me and into the brush. Now a Canadian military helicopter buzzed out of nowhere. Another mind trick? I waved and the chopper came back and hoovered. I did a bunch of mental calculations but the helicopter stayed in the real. So me and the wild little girl were now rescued, sort of. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      Three Canadian Special Forces soldiers jumped out of the helicopter pointing their assault rifles at me. No introductions, didn't say anything, with the chopper so loud couldn't have heard them anyway. I knelt down, put my pistol slowly on the ground then put my hands up. The kid was coming to and one of the soldiers got to her and injected her with a sedative. Seemed they knew she would be hostile. The other two finally got to me, patted me down then handcuffed my hands in front of me, picked me up and got me onto the the chopper. Not gently I should add. I was being treated as an enemy.      No talking as the chopper gained altitude. The soldiers all business as they secured us and began giving first aid treatment to the drugged little girl. I sat cross-legged on the floor, looked out as we were about to clear the highest ridge. Out of nowhere Queen Kong jumped onto the helicopter, hung onto a skid. The special forces guys and the pilot were immediately overwhelmed by whatever illusion she was putting into their minds. They dropped their weapons and clawed at their own faces. The pilot lost it and we started spinning in circles, going down pretty fast.      "Look, this obsession on me is poison for both of us," I spoke to her with my mind. "You have to get a realistic attitude about relationships. Forget the alpha males like Skook or the mysterious tall dark strangers like me. Those kind of dudes just wind up hurting you. You're just like a lot of girls I've known. You're sensitive and your smart, but for some reason you keep making bad decisions about guys. Give yourself a break! Find a kind of shy Sasquatch guy that you can invest in, if you know what I mean. You help build up his confidence and he'll be grateful and give back the emotional support you're craving." The chopper was just about to crash. "I want you to be happy," I said with my mind real quick.      QK gave the saddest but accepting look I ever saw and then let go of the helicopter skid. I didn't see where she landed but I know we were close to the ground. The pilot got it together and stopped the chopper from falling, stabilized it, and then got us out of the valley. The special forces guys slowly recovered and then acted like nothing had happened. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^           "So tell us again, Wong, what were you doing in the western part of Nahanni Park?" The Captain asked for the tenth time. I was in an orange prisoner's jumpsuit in the security interrogation room in the Yellowknife Airport, my hands still handcuffed in front of me. The five special forces guys glaring at me across the table. The biggest, a corporal, let off some inappropriate laughter at hearing my new last name of "Wong."      "For the tenth time, I didn't know what part of the park I was in. Had no way of knowing. Something dragged me there after I had a wreck on the Laird Highway." I decided to play dumb. Was always my first choice when confronted by authorities with guns.      "No way something dragged you seventy kilometers through that terrain in a couple of hours. You had a handgun. You were in an area that's off-limits, quarantined, not even First Nations or biologists go in there. Bush pilots aren't allowed to even fly over the area." He paused before hitting me, finally, with what he wanted to know. "Are you a merc, yank? Did an American corporation or the Chinese or somebody else send you in there? What were you looking for?"      "I'm no yankee," I stated very convincingly. "I'm Canadian. Was adopted by a French-speaking Chinese couple from Montreal. Grew up in Vancouver. You have my I.D. The permit for my pistol is in my billfold. I'm no mercenary; there's a public health job waiting for me here in Yellowknife. Check it all out if you don't believe me."      "You talk like an dipshit from West Virginia," the corporal said. He kind of looked like a down-sized version of Skook.      "Never been there," I said. The corporal was really irritating me with his sloppy bad-cop routine.      "You have serious knife-wound scars on your chest," the Captain shifted gears. "You ever in the service? Ever in the 'Stan? Seems like you know how to handle yourself."      "Never was in any military," I said. "Was over in the U.A.E. for a few years as a civilian contractor, non-security work. Been in some tight places, learned how to deal with it. I don't take orders very well so I never considered joining any military." The Captain really didn't like what I just said about not liking to take orders. Must have been a sore point.      "So was it a female Sasquatch or a male that dragged you off to be a love-slave?" the corporal asked. "How was it?"      "It was a big hairy hermaphrodite, just like your mom." I replied and glared back at the corporal. Had decided to try to provoke them into roughing me up so I could go for a lawsuit, get something on them.      "You got a real mouth on you," the corporal said, eyeballing me intensely.      "You know...someday it might even get me into trouble," I said. He tried to cuff me but I got my hands up and stopped the minor blow. There was a scuffle that was not very graceful and it took a minute or so to get me back in my seat. Unfortunately no bumps or bruises.      "Look, I just want the truth, Bret Owens. Yeah, we know your real name. What were you doing in the Valley of Headless Men in Nahanni, a place nobody comes back from? How did you get that little girl away from them? Why did you have a handgun?" The Captain suddenly looked ripe for a deal.      "I'll talk just to you," I offered. "No hired hands need to know my business. No recordings."      The Captain stood me up then led me out by the arm into the hallway. It was just me and him. I looked carefully around then started talking. He took it all in, only asked me to repeat a few things.      "So you had the handgun because you were worried about your girlfriend's male family members?"      "That's right. I committed a big insult to a family's honor over there. The family is pretty important in the royal hierarchy; they wouldn't let it slide no matter how decadent they are. I have to carry protection." He looked satisfied with what I said.      "How did you get that little girl away from the Sasquatch?" The Captain seemed impressed.      "It was a lucky turn of numbers on the roulette wheel, I guess." I said. "So are you going to get the little girl back to her family?"      "No, she's going to a secret military base in the States for quarantine. Close contact with an unknown primate is serious business. Novel viruses and who knows what else she's been exposed to. They'll take good care of her but she'll never see the light of day again."      "Sounds like they have other cases there, other wild kids," I said but he didn't answer.      "I'm letting you go," the Captain said. "I don't have to tell you that if you open your mouth to anyone about this, try to sell your story, you'll end up where no one will ever find you."      I nodded my head affirmatively. They gave me back my stuff, minus my .40 caliber pistol. As he escorted me to the door that led out of Airport Security he stopped me to say one more thing.      "The reason we found you is that you had a tracking device in your baseball cap. Someone from Chicago, a young lady named Stephanie Pergroski, was in a panic to find you. Just thought you should know. Good luck to you, Mr. Wong."      Of course when I walked out into the airport terminal there was Nasrine bundled up like it was the middle of winter, waiting for me. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      I walked with Nasrine up to the life-sized sculpture of the polar bear hunting a seal. There were a lot of people coming and going for a small airport terminal.      "You here to make me a dead man?" I asked her. Suddenly felt really tired. No more running.      "I am sorry I threatened you," she said. Sounded like a completely different girl. "I am not a bad person. My father and half-brothers were making me crazy. They wouldn't let me go live with my mother in Stockholm, wouldn't let me go to a university. They wanted me to marry an old cousin. The man is fifty-three! If I didn't they were going to put me in a whore-house."      "So what do you want to do?" I had to fight back an urge to hug her.      "I want to be with you. I swear I will give you no trouble. When you come home from work I will bring you tea." She was giving me the doe-eyes. Had to admit it was working.      "What about your family?"      "I ran away when we went shopping in Dubai. No one knows I'm here. I bought a false identification. I have an American passport now. My new name is Stephanie."      "You saved my life, Nasrine; I am much obliged. Clever girl, putting a tracking device in my hat." I smiled and then she did and we both started laughing. "So do you want to be a mom?"      Nasrine nodded yes and I did hug her, then gave her the End-of-World-War II-Sailor kiss. Delighted the Passersby. You can guess the rest. Not exactly happily ever after but close enough.      On these long, northern Canada winter nights when it's my turn to walk my new daughter to sleep, I wonder about the Sasquatch. What if there were a few that could weave intricate illusions? What if they came in out of the wilderness and learned to fool the masses, make themselves popular without any achievements or real talent. I'm not saying the Kardashians or W. or O. or Sarah P. are really Sasquatches, but I'm not saying they're not...                                                                         Finis?                                        
Archived comments for Girl Trouble (finis)
Weefatfella on 04-02-2013
Girl Trouble (finis)
Photobucket
Absolutely loving this.
Is it a wee girl?
Is it Skook?
I never know what's happening next or even if it's happening, brilliant.
Can't wait for next installment.
Thank you for Sharing.
Weefatfella

Author's Reply:
Happy you enjoyed it WFF. I wanted to finish it in this sub but couldn't get the time to do it. Will finish soon. I think the payoff will be good.

Ralph


Girl Trouble (cont.) (posted on: 28-01-13)
After trying to escape a bad relationship by fleeing into the far-North, things get really complicated when our hero gets kidnapped by a female Sasquatch and taken to the beautiful, isolated Nahanni wilderness of the Northwest Territories, Canada.

     I thought for sure Queen Kong was gonna bite my face off but instead pressed her forehead against mine for what seemed like minutes and then gently let me down. Felt there was buzzing inside my head, between my ears, couldn't think straight for a little while.      Q.K. left the pit, returning shortly with a gutted porcupine. My mind was clearing up. I noticed now there were lots of small animal bones scattered in front of a den. Mostly marmot and porcupine. She wasn't a vegetarian but the fact there was no big game and especially no human bones was a relief. She pulled the porcupine apart with expert dexterity, leaving all the quills on the ground, threw half of it not to me but to the grunting, hyperactive wolverine that emerged from the den. They seemed old friends; maybe even worked together as partners. The wolverine walked right up to me sniffing and then, like I was no big deal, went about his business.      Not knowing what else to do I sat down on a log and started munching on one of my power bars. How far was I from the highway? Dozens of miles certainly. Hundred miles from the closest settlement, the tiny village of Dene Indians called Nahanni Butte. I was in the middle of the Nahanni wilderness for sure. No one knew I was out here. No search party for a long time, maybe ever if the Toyota completely sank in the muskeg.      I looked Q.K. over again. Her intricate chattering sounded more emotive than informative to be a real language but it was close. What the hell was she? A leftover side branch of the Hominid family tree? Somebody experimenting with human genetics? Who knew. But then something like a movie popped into my head: I saw a large tribal group where all of the adults were killed off by hostile neighbors a thousand generations ago leaving little kids hiding in the forest to grow up without proper language or fire; each generation passing on more and more animalistic traits that helped them stay alive. A new species descended from us Homo sapiens. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      After an hour or so of clearing my head and getting my strength back, I decided it was time to go. Sixteen hours of daylight this time of year up here but it was already half wasted I could tell by where the sun was at. Amazing how fast you can go from terror to shock to something close to Stockholm Syndrome to building rage. She was, after all, just another female trying to trap me, keep me from where I needed to be. I pulled out my .40 caliber Kimber pistol from my sleeping bag, cocked it, and cleared my throat.      "Look, darling, I know you know what this is. I know I don't have to make any ugly bang-bangs with it to impress you. We're all grown-ups here. I'll just put the whole thing down to you were just rescuing me from an accident, had no malicious kidnapping intent, got a little carried away and carried me away." I threw Q.K. my ball cap with the Arabic name of the public health agency I used to work for, should have gotten rid of it when I left the Mideast anyway. "Something to remember me by. Never met a girl like you before and I'll always remember you." Put my right hand over my heart and said, "Salam alikum." Thought that was a pretty classy kiss-off. Leisurely collected some flares and power bars, stuffed them in my parka but left her the expensive sleeping bag.      I went straight for the easiest rock wall to climb, put the pistol in my belt and started climbing. Used to do some rock climbing in school. Wasn't too worried about her coming after me. Her expression wasn't anger or fear when I pulled the gun it was more disappointment. Still I did a few quick glances back to make sure she was where I left her.      Made it to the top and started jogging downhill. Mackenzie Mountains all around, top half snow covered. White specks that were a mountain goat herd moving to my left; I headed straight down to what was certainly the Nahanni River. Might be able to get rescued from a party of late-season whitewater rafters. Rounded a bend around a copse of white spruce and there was the most gorgeous enticing girl I ever met in my life. Red wavy hair that fell about her shoulders, blue eyes that sparkled with intelligence, big smile that came from a generous soul who was not materialistic. Like someone read my mind and put together all the attributes that would make the ideal woman. She waved and I stopped in my tracks. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      "Hi there," the girl said.           "Hi." I walked up to her and she slid her backpack off of her shoulders and put it on the ground.      "I'm Abigail," she said.      "I'm Bre..., I mean As..., I mean Francois."      "Francois?" Abigail said.      "Yeah, you can call me Frank. Hey, I don't want to come off like a nutcase out here but I'm trying to get away from a big animal I had a run-in with this morning."      "You had a run-in with an animal? What did it look like?" Abigail looked bemused.      "What it was isn't important. Seriously, we have to get out of here. You have a phone that works? A satellite phone or something? Mine got wet when I got dragged through a river. It couldn't get reception out here anyway. We need to call for a rescue, like right now."      "I don't carry a phone," Abigail said still bemused. "I have a two-way radio back at my cabin."      "Where's your cabin? Let's get going." I looked at her with my best serious, not-a-crazy-guy expression but she just smiled.      "It's ten miles away, down by the river." She nodded her head the general direction I was running when I first saw her.      "I'm telling you we're in danger standing here. We have to get moving!" I almost pulled out my pistol. Started looking around thinking Q.K. might change her mind and come after us. This girl Abigail was starting to tick me off.      "It must have been pretty scary to get dragged off by a Sasquatch," She said with a straight face.      "You know what happened to me?"      "I knew she snatched somebody this morning. I was tracking her carrying something about as heavy as a man."      "So you know they exist?"      "I'm a primate behavior doctorate from the University of Toronto," she stated. "I've been studying Sasquatch out here for two summers now. I know your girlfriend very well. She's a great big wild girl, the kind of girl who knows what she wants, but nice as long as you don't try to hurt her."      "How long has your university known they really exist?" I started walking towards the river. She picked up her backpack again and started walking beside me.      "A lot of people and governments have known they existed since the Patterson film," Abigail explained. "Hard for there to be legal protection for something that's not quite human. There's enough problem between different types of humans. But there is a bigger problem with letting the world at large know they exist."           "What would that be?"           "They have special powers that could be militarily significant. They've evolved some unique abilities. Their nervous system, their brains evolved in a different direction than ours. There are a lot of powerful world players that want to get their hands on a live one. They have to be protected."      "Like who? What could a military do with a Sasquatch?"           "The Chinese military, the American defense industry corporations, the Russians, just to name a few. They want the secret of how Sasquatch changes the perception of reality in humans. Anyone that learns that ability will be able to defeat any enemy."      "Sasquatch can change the perception of reality in humans? That sounds like ESP bullshit. ESP is a pseudoscience. No one has a theory to explain it and no one can validate, reproduce studies that support it."      "Think about it. Human brains evolved to be good at behaviors other animals don't have, like ah..." Abigail couldn't come up with an example for some reason. Figured she was speaking a little awkwardly because she hadn't seen another human in a long time.      "Like math," I helped her out. "Controlling fire. Making complex tools."      "Right. Think about what a human brain is. It's a machine, like a car. Somebody has to drive it. You could say it is a machine built to be used by a ghost. Inside humans there is a conscious ghost and the subconscious ghost. When you sleep your subconscious ghost makes your mind build new realities. Most of the time when you're sleeping those realities seem as real as anything else. You can't tell the difference. Sasquatch has a nervous system that can project out their consciousness to operate a human brain. Under the right conditions they can make you think they are a tree stump, a boulder, another animal like a cougar. Think about how advantageous that would be to an animal competing with humans who use overwhelming technologies like guns and helicopters."      "It sounds interesting but a little too Jungian for me," I said. "I would have to experience it to believe it."      Abigail gave a sly smile. She spread her arms and turned in a freedom-loving spin with her eyes closed and her face in the sun then went back to normal walking again.      "So, do you have a guy back in Toronto or out here with you?" I asked because she was making me smile.      "No boyfriend. Field research is tough on relationships. How about you Frank? You hooked up with anyone?"      "Not currently," Looked back one more time to make sure Q.K. wasn't following. Was starting to feel less jumpy. "I have to say that your Sasquatch female friend, even after taking me home against my will, probably treated me better than the last two women in my life."      "So where were you heading to?" Abigail asked. Clouds were starting to roll down from the mountains.      "I was driving up from Dawson Creek B.C. trying to get to Yellowknife. Landed a new public heath job there."      "You could work here with me if want," Abigail said out of the blue. "I could use a partner. You obviously have a connection with the primary female Sasquatch in this valley, can get way closer than she lets me get. We could really gain some valuable knowledge with you interacting with her."      "Working conditions are a little harsh out here. Aren't you afraid of the grizzlies?" Suddenly a silver gyrfalcon dove out of the sky and hit a ptarmigan that had been invisibly hidden in the bunch-grass just twenty feet in front of us. Abigail ignored it.      "Grizzlies don't come into this valley. The Sasquatch keep them out."      "You're not afraid of getting kidnapped by the Sasquatch then?"      "Only the dominant males are dangerous and they don't live around here most of the year. They travel far and wide, sometimes migrating way down into the States where they scare hillbillies in trailer parks." We both laughed and then she said, "There is one I call Skook who has a family group that passes through. When he does I clear out. Other than that it is pretty safe. So what do you say to my offer? You have a science background, this would be your chance to participate in some research that would make you famous when it finally is released to the public." She stopped, turned and looked me in the eyes.      "Right now staying anonymous is what my ambition is," I said but she was melting my resistance.      Abigail reached out and took my hand in her warm hand, "You can stay anonymous then. But I really could use you out here with me."      That about sealed the deal. I started moving in for the embrace but at that moment an echoing scream rose up so dreadful and piercing it nearly split the sky apart. Instead of jumping into my arms Abigail backed away, a look on her face I had never seen on anyone's face before.      "It's Skook," she said. "He's here." (To be continued)               
Archived comments for Girl Trouble (cont.)
Weefatfella on 28-01-2013
Girl Trouble (cont.)
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Oh My! the husband returns?.
Reads and flows very well.
I'm loving this.
Thank you for sharing; looking forward to the next installment.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Yes! the husband returns, but husband to who? Thanks for the comment, Weefatfella.

Ralph

amman on 30-01-2013
Girl Trouble (cont.)
Ralph.This continuing story is really enjoyable. The writing flows well and just carries one along. Good stuff. More please.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Hey Tony,
Glad you are enjoying it. I do think the prose is coming out pretty good on this piece, if i do say so myself. Will get the final written shortly.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 31-01-2013
Girl Trouble (cont.)
Hehe, Ralph! Aye, your imagination/creativity is marrying up well with your background in science.

Was that roaring coming from daddy who is planning a shotgun wedding fer you and the "tainted" lady Sasquatch?

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Hey Greg, I guess you'll just have to read the final installment to find out. Appreciate your comments Texasbro.

Ralph


Girl Trouble (posted on: 25-01-13)
Sometimes no matter where you run there is no escape...

     Call me Asshole. A great beginning to a picaresque adventure, huh? Of course my real name is not A-Hole it's Bret Owens and I'm not chasing a great white whale. Truth is I'm on the run from anything female. Driving north on the Alaska Highway to a place called Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada after cashing out from my last job in the Middle-East, my most recent run-in with Girl Trouble.      Back up. Despite being raised by my grandparents, I had a normal life until graduating college. With my B.S. in public health from the Frontier University of Central Kentucky (that's right, F.U.C.K.) I was set to go out and stamp out disease and pestilence. Be one of the good guys. But my first mistake was marrying my college sweetheart right after graduation. Annabelle was a doll until we got hitched and then her hidden bi-polar disorder emerged suddenly when, after a long Saturday of me out inspecting special event food stands in Louisville, she decided I was really cheating on her and tried to stab me to death when I got home. Ruined my favorite leather jacket. The divorce was ugly, false accusations of abuse, etc.      After I healed up and the divorce was finished I had to get out of the state of Kentucky, shit, get out of the same hemisphere she was in. Landed a high-paying gig as a health inspector in one of the rich rich rich Gulf States. Everything went swimmingly for two years until I got a housefly complaint in one of the harems. So I go to this all-female complex, get escorted to this eighteen-year-old girl's private cottage.      Nasrine was half Arab half Swedish and was not in a veil. Fact is the girl was wearing next to nothing, cut-off tee shirt and short shorts. She turned down the screeching Scandinavian black metal music and then led me to her little kitchenette where there was one lonely housefly she demanded I dispatch with insecticide. I did and left, didn't think anything of it until the next day she called in another fly complaint. I go back out to that harem, no escort this time, walked by myself up to her cottage in the 120 degree blast furnace they call a normal day there, and she answers the door in a bikini.      Tried to play it cool but heck, I'm a healthy twenty-six-old dude who hasn't had any in two years, and anyway they always know when you think they have a great body. She led me back to the kitchenette and pointed to the dead fly in the window. I look at it close-up; it's definitely dead. The window sill like the rest of the place sparkling from the slave labor of a poor Filipino lady house cleaner; which means Nasrine saved the dead fly to get me back here.      I look up and she is there blocking the doorway out of the kitchenette. She had a smirk I'll never forget when she said, "Come to me and do what I say or I will report you."      So I was quasi-raped by an eighteen-year-old girl. Really shook me up, delicate cultural situation I was in and all. But the very next day she called the office and requested me specifically to come back out again. This went on for weeks, one time four days straight. Then silence, nothing, no contact. I thought this must be it; I was safe, she had found another victim. No chance! One Tuesday afternoon I was secreted a note that read: "ASSHOLE-AMERICAN! YOU GOT ME PREGNANT! YOU ARE DEAD MAN! ASSHOLE!" ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      Of course I panicked. Imagined her hiring some foreign laborer to off me for peanuts or her family finding out and doing it officially. That afternoon I bribed the red-bearded Scotsman M.D. at our ex-patriot health center to say I had a terminal case of prostate cancer. One fifth of contraband Jack Daniels was all it took. Then I purchased airline tickets and collected my pay. That night flying out of Dubai instead of feeling relieved I started playing out the scenarios for Nasrine. Probably she would just catch a flight somewhere and get an abortion. I doubted that her ultra-rich family would honor kill her if they found out; the males had pretty decadent reputations. She would certainly end up in whoredom though. Didn't really like the thought that now I'm just another bad guy looking after his own hide but that's the way it was.      After getting back to the States I got on a Greyhound bus, the most anonymous form of transportation, and headed west. Took about a week to figure out what I was going to do. When I finally came up with a plan I sneaked north across the border into Vancouver, British Columbia; tracked down a Chinese guy who sold me a high price, high quality fake Canadian identity. Only problem was the name: Francois Wong. I don't look like a Francois Wong.      Next I did some calling around at some far north public health agencies and landed a phone interview with a department director in Yellow Knife, Northwest Territories. It went well and he called back the next day telling me I had the job. The community was growing by leaps and bounds up there because of a new diamond mine. I converted the rest of my American cash and used it to buy a late model Toyota Land Cruiser and some expensive sub-arctic gear. I was broke but starting to sneak in a little survivor smile every now and then. Sometimes it's fun to be the asshole. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      I turned off the Alaska Highway onto the Laird Highway. Thirteen hour drive ahead if a sudden snowstorm didn't hit. This newly paved road ran through some of the most serious wilderness left in the world. It was a partly cloudy but still cheery late August day and I was blasting out some old school Nirvana. Starting to transition from the sneaky asshole fun feeling of getting away with all my body parts intact to a flat-out everybody-can-kiss-my-ass euphoria.      The scenery was spectacular and there started to be a lot more wildlife. After the occasional browsing elk and bounding black-tailed deer in B.C., there now were serious-looking bull moose with their following herds of cows. Not long after spotting a few lone woodland bison near the road there were big herds blocking the road I had to stop and wait for. A black bear at one curve, a high-stepping herd of caribou around the next bend. No Ursus horribilis (grizzly) presented itself for viewing yet but they were out there. It was like traveling back to the Ice Age. Would have been no surprise to see a shaggy mastodon lumber out of the mysterious black spruce forest. Nope, no girl trouble out here!      I drove into the night but the aurora borealis was giving an incredible show so I drove off the road to park by a waterfall on the river to watch for a while. Through my small but powerful binoculars I studied the green and aqua and red veil undulating and shimmering across the far north night sky. Wolves started serenading and I decided to sleep here for a while. Just as I was dozing off the distant wolves stopped suddenly and then something else vocalized close by. Eerie, lonely wailing, long and drawn out, something with a diaphragm more powerful than anything I knew could be out here. I drifted off, but my sleep was tossing and turning. Incredibly I dreamed Nasrine was trying to warn me of some horrible danger.      When I woke up it was a foggy morning and I still had a bad feeling something wasn't right at this place. Stepped out to relieve myself and heard some weird grunting and whistling coming right out of the trees close by. That was it. I turned and jumped into the Land Cruiser and took off. Driving too fast and then some tall animal walking on two legs appeared out of the fog onto the road in front of me; I swerved to miss it and went over a hill and down into muskeg that stopped the SUV cold. Banged my head pretty good. I tried get the vehicle rolling again but it was half sunk in the muck and wouldn't budge. Felt like I was going to pass out, there was a little blood dripping from my forehead so I crawled out with my thousand-dollar sleeping bag, a few flares, some emergency food bars, my weapon, and laid down not far from the road but not too close, hoping one of the truckers going past would see me. I managed to get inside the sleeping bag and blacked out.      When I woke up I was moving, fast. Still inside the bag bouncing up against a big, muscular body that was carrying me. A bad stench came off it that made me woozy and unable to do anything or even call out for help. Got drenched going across a large river. Twisted and turned through the forest until we reached a narrow box canyon that had lots of hot springs and even some geysers. My kidnapper climbed down a sheer canyon wall holding onto the sleeping bag with me in it like a sack of potatoes. I blacked out again.      I woke up on the ground. Sat up and looked around. Lovely little box canyon with a meandering creek and some beautiful aspens but too much like a pit. It was sunny now. A pebble hit my head and then another. Picked flowers covered me, blue crocuses and other flowers and even an orchid which I didn't think could grow in the far North. Turned around and there she was squatting fifteen feet away. Face more human than simian but not by much, covered with about an inch of dark auburn hair from pointed head to the broad feet, muscular arms and legs the same length, thick torso, and large black eyes that were looking off to the side coyly. She had pendulous hair-covered breasts, was definitely female. Something that could not and did not exist, according to everybody except the hundred or so people who claimed they saw one every year. A frigging Sasquatch.      She gave a sneering grimace with her mouth that I guess was supposed to be a smile, clacked her white teeth together and then stood up. At least seven and a half feet tall, seven hundred pounds. Then Queen Kong took two strides, bent down and picked me up, lifted me to eye level. Couldn't move, just kept repeating my alma mater's acronym over and over... To be continued...     
Archived comments for Girl Trouble
Weefatfella on 25-01-2013
Girl Trouble
Photobucket
Hey! That's what happens to babe-magnets.
I suffer badly myself.
Loved it.
Thanks for sharing.
Weefatfella

Author's Reply:
Nice to see somebody else knows the score. It is a curse being a lady's man. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

amman on 26-01-2013
Girl Trouble
Hey Ralph. You do have a way with (fictional) women! Good prose and excellent descriptive writing. This is very entertaining; can't wait for the continuation.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Tony,

Thanks for the great comment. Hope you enjoy the rest as much.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 27-01-2013
Girl Trouble
Good Lord, ArizonaBro!
I hope that was your imagination, not proof of existence, Lol.

Superduper and awaiting the next, asshole!

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the concern and Superduper comment TexasBro. By the way, that's Asshole with a capital A. πŸ™‚


Virgin Births (posted on: 14-12-12)
Now for something completely different...

The evangelical atheist with fire in his eyes demands I renounce the Advent, the virgin birth of Jesus, at the same time insisting I proclaim everything exploded out of nothing for no reason.
Archived comments for Virgin Births
butters on 14-12-2012
Virgin Births
nicely counterbalanced πŸ™‚ a zealot's a zealot, no matter their "religion", and the atheist's not immune from human passion πŸ˜€

Author's Reply:
Well put Butters, my point exactly.

Ralph

amman on 15-12-2012
Virgin Births
Hey Ralph. This is really clever, coupling the birth of Christianity with the birth of the universe, and very good poetry too. Great first line.

Cheers

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment and rating Amman.

All the best to you

Ralph

Andrea on 15-12-2012
Virgin Births
Excellent! And loved the first line.

(also 'bout time you started posting regularly again :)) Hope you, daughter and job are all fine.

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, I wish I could make the time to post as often as I used to. Thanks for the comment Andrea.

Ralph

barenib on 15-12-2012
Virgin Births
Well expressed, I know exactly what you mean, those atheists/scientists can be very smug sometimes! I don't think we're as near to knowing all there is to know as they'd have us believe. Good poem - John.

Author's Reply:
Yes they can John. Thanks for the perceptive comment.

Ralph

Bozzz on 15-12-2012
Virgin Births
An atheist talks of likelihood because there is no proof, a religious person talks of certainty where there is no proof. Both can be happy - that's the real test. Great poem....Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Bozzz.

Ralph

bo_duke99 on 17-12-2012
Virgin Births
i will defend the best current hypothesis as inarguable fact...

Author's Reply:
Yeah, that's the way to stay safe and in style at the same time. πŸ™‚

Texasgreg on 20-12-2012
Virgin Births
Aye, ArizonaBro!
That's why I merely refer to myself as a man of hope. Can't argue the point...

Good job, indeed!

Greg πŸ™‚

Photobucket.

Author's Reply:


Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 3 (posted on: 26-11-12)
A "sick and intriguing take on the zombie story." Twenty-somethings Ray, Stacy, Robby, Samone, Tony, and Clarence continue their desperate fight to save a small Missouri city from a horde of horny undead. Warning: very disturbing images depicted.

     "What are we gonna do; what are we gonna do?" Stacy spoke loudly over the din of dead arms banging against the front door of Robby's house. They were under attack by at least twenty living-dead, sex-fiend ghouls, outside on the front porch of the small house.           "We'll go out Robby's back bedroom window, get in his pick-up and lead them back up into the cemetery," Ray said. "We need some way to get their undivided attention. We can't let any of them wonder down the street into the neighborhood."           "How are we going to get their attention, Mr. Zombie Expert?" Stacy cocked the HK assault rifle, readying to unleash bullets through the front door. Now there was wild moaning along with the banging on the door and it was overwhelming. Tony stood in the corner of the living room hyperventilating. Robby and Clarence pushed back against the front door but it was just a few seconds away from caving in.           "You and Samone get in the back of Robby's truck, stand up and make out with each other while we drive up the minibike path."           "What?" Stacy's mouth dropped open. "Are you serious?"           "You heard me Stacy!"           "Listen, I'm not gay; I'm not bi. Just because I fought with marines and shot at scum-bag Taliban in Afghanistan...Anyway why not have Clarence and Tony make out. That homoerotic color coordination is big now."           "I know you're not a lesbian. You two have to do it, Stacy. Only a very small percentage of the population likes seeing two guys, and they wouldn't do it anyway. Two hot girls going at it is what brings down the house and you know it. It will save a lot of lives, Stacy." Ray stood there giving her the look. The look that he did whenever he wanted something, like a little kid's innocent mug. The front door cracked. She gave in.           "Oh, all right," Stacy turned to Samone who was standing on the couch as if it were mice about to come crashing in. "Are you up for this?"           "I'll do anything," Samone spoke quickly, the tall, beautiful, red-haired singer's wide eyes like a doe in the headlights as she clutched a baseball bat. "Just get me out of here!"           While the others banged against the walls and shouted in the living room, Robby and Clarence slipped out the back bedroom window and made it to the pickup truck. Robby drove the truck around to the back, the others came out one by one through the window and into the bed of the pickup.           Stacy and Samone stood up and hesitatingly began caressing each other and then started French kissing as Robby carefully drove the four-wheel drive pickup up the rutted minibike path. The zombies all followed, bellowing like rutting bull bison when they saw the tall redhead girl and the short blonde going at it. Tony tried to keep both girls upright by sitting and wrapping his arms and legs around both of their legs, still they almost fell out of the truck bed twice. Several fresh rape-ghouls trotted up to the back and sides of the truck but were kicked off by Ray when they tried to climb inside. Robby's skillful driving got them to the summit of the cemetery hill; he drove over some graves and made it to a dirt road that ran down into a little wooded valley with a creek, headstones as far as could be seen in the half-moonlit night. This was the largest cemetery between Saint Louis and Kansas City.           Robby drove them down into the valley of the great cemetery slow enough for the sex zombies to follow. Ray told him to stop at a place by an ornate metal bridge spanning the creek. Stacy and Samone disengaged; Stacy scooped up the HK rifle and then jumped down out of the bed of the pickup. Ray saw by her squinted eyes that she was pissed off and he jumped down after her.           "What's a matter? Did your perfumes clash?" he tried to joke.           "I just didn't like her make-out style," Stacy replied. "So this is it? This is where we make our stand?"           "Yes, this is it. When they come down the hill we'll have a clear field of fire with the side of the valley for a back-stop." Ray looked at her but she didn't look back at him. "What do think, 'Gun-Ho Doc' Masters?"           "I think all these granite headstones will make the little .223 ammo ricochet back at us." Stacy watched the sex zombies coming down the hill in two large, separate groups. About a hundred in each group.           "It looks like all male zombies on the right side and all women zombies coming down the left side of the hill," Robby said.           "It's like a cheesy singles nightclub," Ray said.           "Why don't they just go after each other?" Samone asked.           "Zombies don't do each other," Clarence said. "Don't you ever watch any movies?"           "Maybe it's the smell? The way we move? Who knows?" Ray shrugged and shook his head.           "Let's end this meat-market dance club of the living dead and get out of here," Stacy said. She was still pissed off, Ray could tell. ***********************************************************************************      Ray passed out the ammo to Clarence and Tony. They split into two teams: Stacy and Clarence on the left flank and Ray and Robby on the right. Tony, still unnaturally quiet, seemed to be rebounding after helping Stacy and Samone stay upright in the back of the truck as they escaped from Robby's house. Ray now told him to stay with Samone to guard the pickup. Tony finally got to light up his cigar, pumped a fist salute to Ray and Stacy as he sat puffing away in the back of the truck.           "I know you're not happy about what you had to do back there." Ray got her aside right before the battle was to commence.           "No, that's not what it is, Ray. That was just a joke I'll laugh about. The problem is this whole thing, this whole mess is something I'm always going associate with you. It's a war thing, like in Afghanistan. If somebody gave you bad luck there it didn't matter how nice he was you didn't want anything to do with 'em."           "We make our own luck, Stacy," he said back but she had already turned to walk out to meet the first wave of sex-zombies.           She let Clarence practice shooting the first sex-zombies with the short pump shotgun. Ray and Robby were now shooting their pistols too. When she thought he had mastered the shotgun she said, "Stay behind me off to the side, don't let them get behind me."           Stacy opened up with the HK, precisely putting shots into the genitalia of pant-less onrushing rape-ghouls. The first wave was male zombies and she piled up the bodies. Shooting them made her relationship-jinx angst explode inside her and she started screaming at the zombies: "Look at you!" she shouted to the tenth zombie, "Yours looks like a cocktail weenie; how am I supposed to hit that?" to the next one she shouted, "Yours looks like a moldy pickle!" "How do ya like that, lefty?" she yelled after shooting the next.           After pushing in the fifth clip she heard Clarence shout, "The girl zombies are coming! The girls can't be as bad as the guys!" She turned and watched him run off to meet the onrushing wave of female zombies.           "Get back here, Clarence!" but changing the clip allowed the last male rape-ghouls she was fighting get too close and she had to trick-shoot like Annie Oakley to keep from getting tackled. She heard the shotgun go off three times then too long of a pause and then Clarence was screaming over the banshee-like, orgasmic din of dozens of female sex-zombies piling up on top of him.           "Get off of him!" Stacy charged the pile-up, hitting the gal zombies with the hard composite plastic butt of her futuristic-looking rifle, fearing any shooting would hit Clarence. She made no progress getting them to stop their attack and backed off. Clarence quit screaming. Horrified, Stacy watched a desiccated female ghoul hitch up her mildew covered dress then ram a hand with Clarence's class ring again and again into her vagina. Many other girl-ghouls were now masturbating with Clarence's other body parts. Three were fighting over his head.      "Oh my God," Stacy said. "The girls are worse than the guys; the girls are worse than the guys!" She put a new clip in and proceeded to mow down the girl-ghouls that were now coming for her. After she expended her last rifle clip she pulled out her pistol. She finished the girl-ghouls off, turned to run but Robby was right behind her. The look on his face was grave and without him explaining they made for the pick-up truck were Samone was alone locked inside. Looking sea-sick, Samone pointed across the bridge. Stacy and Robby got in the truck, Robby turned around to drive across the bridge. She spotted Ray standing near a pile of inanimate male rape-ghouls. Tony's motionless, bloody body was on the ground.           Robby drove the truck right up to them, parked and he and Stacy jumped out of the cab. Stacy ran to Tony's body, she did a quick examination, saw the six gaping open holes in his back and stomach and then the former navy corpsman who had seen several road bombings with screaming maimed victims and multiple human body parts in Afghanistan, turned her head and vomited.           "What happened to him?" Robby asked as Samone walked up and hugged his waist, pressing her face against his chest.           "He saw a group of them coming up behind us and ran over here to stop them. When he tried to put in a new clip they got him, about fifteen of them. They chewed holes into him and then sodomized the wounds until he bleed to death. They were still on him, standing him upright when I got here. I pulled them off and blew their nasty asses away."      "This is one sick fucking nightmare." Stacy looked up after finishing retching.      "Hey where's Clarence?" Ray asked.      "He didn't make it," Stacy replied and wiped her mouth. "The shotgun must have jammed. Girl zombies tore him apart and used his pieces for dildos."           When Robby heard that he fainted into Samone's arms, and she struggled to lay him down on the ground. After she did she stood up and pointed at Ray's shoulder. He was bleeding badly.      "Ray, did they bite you? What happened?" Stacy got up fast and went to Ray.      "No, I didn't get bit. One of my bullets ricocheted off of the tombstone over there and nailed me."      "Damn it, Ray why didn't you say something? It looks like it went clean through and missed the bone, but you're losing a lot of blood." Stacy sanitized her hands then dug into her rucksack and pulled out a tampon. She cleaned both entry and exit wounds and then gently pushed the tampon into it then covered both with large gauze.      "Great, now I'm on the rag," Ray quipped.      "No jokes, Ray. We have to get the hell out of here, now. It's done. We finished them." Stacy completed tying a sling around his left arm. She looked up at him with glistening eyes.      "Listen, quiet," Ray said. They did and all around, like the plopping of old snow falling from bare black trees, was the sound of a thousand sex zombies digging themselves out of their graves in the vast cemetery valley.     
Archived comments for Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 3
stormwolf on 28-11-2012
Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 3
Hi Ralph,
I don't usually read prose but seeing the number of people who have read you and not a single comment was too much for me πŸ˜‰
This was very thrilling and horrible combined. The mixture between dry wit and the carnage made it very readable. The graphic descriptions of the fate of the two people was maybe grim reading but totally in keeping with sex mad zombies (or so I would think)
I thought I have come across a few sex mad zombies in my time but I see now they were reasonably harmless;-)
You sure have a fertile mind and I could see this as a horror film..
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Hey thanks for the comment Alison. I haven't had time to comment on others writing and this isn't even finished yet. Time is a bully, I'm starting to think.

Ralph

Andrea on 28-11-2012
Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 3
Great to see you posting again, Ralph. This was truly 'orrible, as were parts 1 and 2 πŸ™‚

If you turn it into a horror movie, I'm not sure I'd want to see it πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, thanks for the comment and rating Andrea. As zombies are 'an evergreen objective correlative for the obsessions of the masses' like consumerism, I thought I'd go for writing about zombies obsessed with the final horror taboo--Sex! I have to say E.A. Poe would have a hard time getting to post-modern folks today who yawn at aliens exploding out of chests and Dr. Lecter eating brains out of the opened skull of a living victim. Appreciate everyone tolerating my experiment.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 02-12-2012
Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 3
Well I don't think it was 'orrible at all, ArizonaBro! Gonna get around to lookin' at parts 1 and 2 now. Is there more girl-on-girl? Just Joshin'-kinda πŸ˜‰

Greg πŸ™‚

Photobucket.

Author's Reply:
Hey, you're not supposed to like that part! It was done strictly to move the story line which is that everyone is getting too much like zombies when it comes to that sort of thing. I'm trying to get the ending to be a triumph for good old-fashioned romance over unattached sex.

Ralph


The Importance of Forgetting (posted on: 15-10-12)
Forgetting the right things is an art...

In the secret corporate biotech laboratory, two white coated men watch the sixteenth mouse tremble with fear, immobile after one mild electrical shock that would not have fazed a normal mouse. The subject another prime specimen from a new, multimillion dollar, genetically-engineered, super intelligent, memory enhanced, lab-mouse bloodline that solves problems, learns mazes faster, remembers cues like no other rodents in history. After the mouse dies in a final paroxysm of shaking terror, the senior PhD says to the junior PhD, "Well, I guess it's important to be able to forget."
Archived comments for The Importance of Forgetting
Andrea on 15-10-2012
The Importance of Forgetting
Very clever, Ralph. Hope the job's going well!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea.

The job is an adventure. I work on an American Indian Reservation that told the federal gov Indian Health Service to take a walk, used their own money from their casinos and water rights to create their own public health and environmental protection agencies. I see herds of wild horses all the time. None outside the rez. A lot of challenges but they are taking their destiny into their own hands and i am very happy they hired me to contribute to their community.

Ralph

Andrea on 19-10-2012
The Importance of Forgetting
Aptly named Mr Wow! That is fantastic, Ralph, so happy for you. What a great initiative.

No wild horses here, but we do have wild cows (I kid you not!)

Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 24-11-2012
The Importance of Forgetting
Playin' catch-up. Aye! Guess that's why we humans keep making the same mistakes. Not as advanced as the mouse.

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Hey Texasbro thanks for the comment on this one. Still trying to find time to read let alone write...

Ralph


Presidential Smack-Down Round 4 (posted on: 08-10-12)
Epic final round

"...I only hope that the verse I leave behind, like the captain's sword, may be remembered, not for its maker's art, but for the virile hand that gripped it once."                      Antonio Machado (from Poem 24, translated by Alan S. Trueblood) *    *     *        *            *             *                * 1828--Lower Mississippi River a few miles upriver of New Orleans. Nineteen-year-old Abraham Lincoln fell into a fitful slumber, blanketed in oppressive Louisiana mugginess. For many weeks working on a flatboat, cruising south with the current to escape his father in upcountry Illinois, Abraham on this day had witnessed his first slave auction. Black men, women, and children in chains being sold out of an enormous stockyard. Those forlorn and wretched people deprived of basic dignity, a sight he would never forget. Abraham dreamed he was ten again, a year after his mother's death, working the farm alone with his sister and little brother in the Indiana wilderness twenty miles from anyone. His father returned after abandoning them for months just in time to collect the money from the meager harvest. He asked his father that some of the money be used to get a doctor for his ill sister. His father proceeded to beat hit kick him to the dirt floor of the cabin, hollering like a lunatic, "You, Abe are nothing but a lazy, worthless scribbler of words, a sneak-reader of useless books, with no say in where my money goes. I own your work, what little work you do and don't you ever forget it!" Abe awoke in a flash of pain. His father's enraged wide-eyed stare became the seething hatred in a black man's eyes as he reared back to cudgel Lincoln again with a hefty hunk of wood. Abe rose to his full height in fury, barely out of his bad dream, and with his flatboat pole hit his assailant on the chin so hard his jaw almost came off. All around shouts and screams as the gang of escaped slaves attacked his party. Abe fought so precisely with his pole, knocking several others to the ground, that soon they all ran. Lincoln pursued, his friend Allen Gentry, who had also been fighting well, ran after him, called him back. "Lincoln, I have never witnessed the likes of that before. You hear men bragging about fighting off a half a dozen men, but it's all horse shit. This daybreak on this river bank I watched you do it!" "They picked the wrong dawn to waylay me," Lincoln responded, still in a fighting mood. "Can't wait to get to New Orleans, the 'Queen of the South,' get paid and get in one of them fancy cat-houses and see what those high-class girls can do." Gentry smiled, trying to prevent the onset of melancholy he saw coming in Lincoln's face. They started walking back to the flatboat. "Yes, the sooner we get there the better," Lincoln said as he bandaged his bleeding head with a dirty bandana. *    *     *        *            *             * Purgatory--near future. "...Abe will, Abe will, rock you! Sing it!" The singer in the checkerboard jumpsuit, long wavy black hair and overbite finished the song in Lincoln's corner and then slid over to the opposite corner of the fighting ring to begin the next song, playing the piano with dramatic gestures. "...George Washington is the champion of the world..." After finishing the song, amid thunderous applause the singer did a cross-legged bow and exited. The piano was removed and the announcer entered the ring still clapping. "Let's hear it again for Freddy!" The roaring crowd erupted again. "Can't wait for the rest of Queen to get down here so we can have a reunion concert! And now, from the Heart of Purgatory, the Soul of Sheol, the event you've all been waiting for! The POTUS Maximus final championship! A clash of Titans! There can be only one!" The crowd went insane for the fight as the two contestants entered the ring. "Hailing from Springfield, Illinois at six feet four inches, weighing in at one-hundred-ninety-nine pounds, the Rail-Splitter, the Greeeaat Em-an-ci-pa-tor, Honest Abe Lincoln!" Crowd roar is deafening. "And in this corner, hailing from Mount Vernon, Virginia, at six foot-three inches, weighing in at two-hundred-ten pounds, first in war, first in peace, and first in the heart of his country-men, the Father of the most powerful nation in the history of the globe, General George Washington!" Crowd roar is again deafening. George Washington bowed to the announcer then turned and bowed to the singer Freddy Mercury sitting in the front row. He turned and faced Lincoln. "You sir, I will not shake hands with you, a war criminal that has sullied the name of the United States. It is always prudent to study your opponent. Learning how you refused to see your father after he called for you on his deathbed taught me much about you." "Why don't you tell everyone 'bout my crimes," Lincoln said. "Spell 'em out, General Blue-Blood. I'm not afraid to hear every last one of them." "You wrote pretty words about 'malice towards none, charity for all,' while at the exact same time your army was burning out of their homes women and children in villages and cities across South Carolina in the middle of winter! To their deaths from starvation and the elements you sent those helpless innocents! Your cannons were trained deliberately on civilian houses in the great city of Atlanta; the bodies of women and children, black and white alike, were stacked up like cord-wood." "I did what I had to do," Lincoln said. "You threw out the Constitution, in order to save it, you claimed. In every state of the union you imprisoned without trial men who spoke out against you, even pastors!" "They were nothing but a bunch of trouble-makers," Lincoln replied. "And now across the globe, from Germany to Japan, to Persia and Syria, the many despots ruling African nations, all point to your army's example of 'Total War' on civilians to justify their atrocities! What have you got to say for yourself?" "The poetry in my speeches abides," Lincoln responded. "The only thing that never died on me or went crazy on me were words in books. They were my salvation. The poetry in my words are the nation's salvation. If our people go to the stars or to another Dark Age they will still have my words to inspire and comfort them. Despots will always have Attila the Hun and a hundred other miscreants to blame their 'Total War' on; they don't need me. But my words abide and are the salvation of America and Americans forever." "Well, it is true you kept the country from disintegration, but I intend to avenge your depredations on Southern people in this ring." Washington took off his white gloves and stood ready for the battle. Despite Washington's manners and affectations of aristocracy Lincoln had never come face to face with a more formidable man, used to command and physically dominant. The perfect father figure. "That sounds good, General Blue-Blood. Let's quit jawing and get this show on the road! Like they say up in the living world nowadays, 'Bring It!'"
Archived comments for Presidential Smack-Down Round 4
BATEMAN on 08-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 4
Wow very good and very long lol, a brilliant poem xxxx

Author's Reply:


Presidential Smack-Down Round 3 (posted on: 01-10-12)
This is political satire. No deceased former American Presidents were harmed during the writing of this piece.

"From the Heart of Purgatory, we now re-join the 19th Century POTUS Maximus wrestling championship!" Towering, brooding Abraham Lincoln and the fire-haired Andrew Jackson battled for hours. Finally, the gaunt but wiry Jackson grappled in close and with his file-sharpened teeth bit off Lincoln's left ear. Enraged, Republican Lincoln power-surged with a ferocious arm twisting, tearing out Jackson's left arm, proceeded to beat the Democrat to the mat with the bloody end of his own limb. The referee stopped the match. The judges, most of whom were former U.S. Supreme Court judges, ruled both contenders disqualified. Amid the ugly chorus of boos and catcalls that erupted at the announcement, Lincoln stood over the imploded Southerner, pointed the bloody end of Jackson's arm at the Judges. "The judges have made their decision," Lincoln mocked the Tennessee accent as he parodied President Jackson's famous defiant pronouncement to the Supreme Court, "now let them enforce it!" "Look what you did, Lincoln!" the referee said, pointing to the unconscious Jackson. "This is the afterlife," Lincoln shouted back, "He'll heal up quick enough." The 16th American President strutted across the ring, raised his arms and Jackson's arm high like he had been declared the winner while the audience in the millions chanted, "Lin-coln! Lin-coln! Lin-coln!" The judges grew pale at the audience's exponential anger, reversed themselves, and called the match for Lincoln. Not even bothering to acknowledge the judges reversal Lincoln shouted, "Bring that 20th Century sorry excuse for a Texican out here right now! Everyone's gonna know I'm the Top Buck at this watering hole!" *     *        *          * Lyndon Baines Johnson stood before Abraham Lincoln in the ring looking as humble as he did in 1968 after Tet. "I created the Great Society, transformed America in the 20th way more for the better than you did in the 19th," Johnson tried to rabble-rouse. "Both you and your policies were about as useful to the country as a pair of tits on a bull," Lincoln quipped. He pointed to the words on Johnson's tee-shirt: "'Guns and Butter'! What rot. Dropping bombs on yellow men half a world away that hadn't done anything to the United States. I spent blood and treasure like nobody before or since to stop slothful cretins from living off the forced labor of other men and you turn around a hundred years later and re-instate it all over again!" "We do what we must," Johnson said plaintively, perspiration heavy on his brow. Oh lordy, he thought. The Lincoln that stood before him, white streaks in his brown hair and beard like Moses come down from the mountain, blood-stained bandanna around his head to bandage his ear, was not the man from the old photos. How he died had changed him. His eyes, his terrible dark penetrating eyes see everything, communicate every brutal truth. Not knowing what else to do, Johnson attacked. Lincoln threw him to the mat so hard he went semi-conscious. Abraham picked him up, cradled him in his arms like a son about to be sacrificed, tossed him up high into the air spinning like a chicken on a spit. The Great Emancipator knelt down, his long gangly knee waited for Johnson's back which hit hard, breaking. Johnson gasped, "We do what we must!" and blacked out.
Archived comments for Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
roger303 on 01-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
Excellent piece. Informative and thought provoking.
Cleverly crafted - the old champs come-back in the wrestling ring to set a few things straight was brilliant.
Perhaps history should be taught this way?
Thanks,
Roger

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Roger. Perhaps history could be taught as a wrestling match of politicians, cultures, maybe even philosophies.

Ralph

Weefatfella on 01-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
Photobucket
My Knowledge of U.S. politics is very limited but I agree with Roger303. This Gladitorial Arena and it's participants had me hooked.
Maybe a TV thing here?
Much enjoyed Wow.
Thank You for sharing
Weefatella

Author's Reply:
Interesting comment. Maybe it could be a comedy skit on a sketch TV show.

Ralph

franciman on 01-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
Hi there,
This is incredible. Satirical verse at its absolute best.
I love this: 'His eyes, his terrible dark penetrating eyes
see everything, communicate every brutal truth. '

I found this atmospheric, totally absorbing and I read it again almost straight away.
Bravo,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Jim,
I appreciate greatly your perceptive comment.

Ralph

Andrea on 01-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
Absolutely brilliant.

All I can say about the next one is that I sincerely hope it isn't Romney, or we're all...



Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Andrea. Is there an election going on or something in the US? Seems like a lot of advertisements i keep turning the sound off pop up on my TV. Like the doomed bit.

Ralph

CVaughan on 01-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3

Oh yes agree with other comments, this is a terrific piece, must catch up on the previous. Great fun and seriousness, some nuances sadly beyond my historical US knowledge, enjoyable nonetheless. Frank

Author's Reply:
Thanks Frank. Try to stay out of the American wees but it is what i know... Glad you had fun reading it.

Ralph

Vilgax on 02-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
Got to say I enjoyed this piece very much. David

Author's Reply:
Thanks David.

Ralph

Pelequin23 on 02-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
incredably intellegent satire well done

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and the great rating.

Ralph

stormwolf on 02-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
You're the man!

brilliant.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
That's right! Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

amman on 03-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
Great satire indeed. Loved it. Small typo - lose an 's' outa Mosses.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Hey thanks Tony. Can't trust those spell checkers around Old Testament names.

Ralph

Ionicus on 04-10-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 3
I must confess my ignorance of U.S. history and political controversies but this piece is quite impressive and informative.
Well done Ralph.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. It is a disgrace that many living in the US know absolutely nothing about their own history let alone the history of anyone else. Glad you enjoyed it.

Ralph


Georgie Couldn't Go Through the Door (posted on: 24-09-12)
April 1945 Germany--newly liberated medical research concentration camp, a satellite camp of Buchenwald.

"What is going to happen to me?" That sunny spring day touring the camp General George Patton strode forward, as always, forward, towards the door of the lab where Nazi doctors tortured to death children in bizarre experiments-- Poles, Russians, Serbs, Jews, children of German political prisoners. He reached the door put his hand on the doorknob but stood frozen. He had seen mangled little bodies dead from war, smelled their death stench before but this was different. Suddenly he was rushing down a waterfall of disgust splashing into a nausea whirlpool. The question he knew the children asked became his, the savage fact that no one had to train the doctors to do unspeakable acts it was already inside them like it was already inside the Japanese like it was already inside almost everyone. Long ago he fought down with fanatical tenacity his fear of death in combat as he fought down his learning disability as a boy but his sickness at facing this uniquely concentrated cruelty he could not overcome. So many times reading history he emphatically believed he had lived many ancient soldiers lives so strong his empathy but now he was the child led to this torture chamber and he could not open the door. "Send in the son-of-a-bitching krauts from the town to clean it up," he said to his aide after he turned and walked away. "Make that bastard-Burgomaster and his wife go in first," he added. Patton ordered so it was done. The Burgomaster and his wife committed suicide soon after.
Archived comments for Georgie Couldn't Go Through the Door
Weefatfella on 24-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
A terrible time.
My old Aunty Maggie used to say about then.
' The devil walked the Earth and didnae care whit uniform he chose tae wear'
.Lest we forget. Thanks for sharing.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Like the quote. Your Aunty Maggie was right. Million civilians killed by the Allies the last year of the war.

Ralph

stormwolf on 24-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
VERY harrowing exposure of what man is capable of.....and it's not in the past but very much in the present. In fact, it's just waiting the chance as we speak.
Some things are so disgusting, it makes me wish I did not live on this earth and what people do to children and animals in the way of cruelty, is one of them.

A brave poem.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. I've worked with child protective services here and i am not really surprised at any atrocity. Am thankful for the majority who still keep it together.

Ralph

amman on 24-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
Nice to see you posting again Ralph. You have portrayed the horror, brutality and sheer depravity of the deep, dark side of human nature so graphically. Suffer the little children...
Regards.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tony. Working full time does me in, me being the head of the household have to do it and i'm thankful for the work. Appreciate your keen comments.

Ralph

Andrea on 24-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
This is a historical period which is of great interest to me - WW11 - and I have done quite a bit of research into it. May I say your poem captures the revulsion and horror of that particular time extremely well.

Great to see you posting again, and I hope things are working out well for you and sprog πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. me and the kid are doing great. i feel like a kid out of college again with this new job on the Indian reservation. Don't have much time for writing though...

Ralph

Texasgreg on 25-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
Aye, my friend! Remember well reading of this. Can you believe that there are still sons-of-bitches that say the holocaust was a propaganda machine? We still teeter in my opinion. Welcome home!

Photobucket.
Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks Greg. You gotta love a story with Patton in it. WE do teeter and by We i mean the whole frigging world.

Ralph

cooky on 25-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
Excellent write documenting the moment which many a soldier faced.

Author's Reply:
So true. We are losing that generation so fast. I always felt they gave us stability. Now all the wise men are baby boomers? God help us.

Ralph

niece on 26-09-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
Horrible facts!!!Fantastic poem!!!Pity that hatred can reach such levels and worse still the fact that there are people like that even now...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the thoughtful comment, niece. To me this was worse than ethnic hatred; it was a perverse bureaucratic denial that being human even meant anything. The children became things.

all the best

Ralph

dancing-queen on 03-10-2012
Georgie Couldnt Go Through the Door
I felt quite emotional reading that! Such horrific things happen during war. To know that some humans are capable of behaving with such depravity, such sickening, evil actions, makes me want to throw up.

A very thought-provoking read - thanks!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment. I just found it.

Ralph


Lovers At the End (posted on: 23-07-12)
Another stab at a lyric poem.

I was the mighty river You the hard ground We shaped each other Sculpted a spectacular canyon Eternal because it is finished Now it is time For me to flow into the sea
Archived comments for Lovers At the End
niece on 23-07-2012
Lovers At the End
A beautiful poem, Ralph...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks niece.

Ralph

Andrea on 24-07-2012
Lovers At the End
Ahhh, reminds me of the Colorado Rockies - once seen never forgotten...nice pome, Ralph.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment Andrea. Vale is one of my favorite spots in the Colorado Rockies.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 25-07-2012
Lovers At the End
Wow! I don't remember seeing this in latest 50 and looked as it was in recent comments.

As far as short poems go, this was super-duper!

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Great job, Ralph...



Photobucket.

Greg πŸ™‚

P.S. I like "You, the fertile ground"

Author's Reply:
Interesting suggestion TexasBro. "Hard ground" is the point of this poem though.

Ralph

ValDohren on 26-09-2012
Lovers At the End
Lovely poem.



Author's Reply:


Old Book at the Crying Tree (posted on: 20-07-12)
Best documented witnessing of a ghost, ever. Happened one hundred years ago in central Illinois where I grew up.

--1912-- It was awful but it was real, Doctor George Zeller wrote: I saw it, one hundred nurses saw it and three hundred spectators saw it... He had gone mad at the printing house where he worked, they said, when they brought the sturdy but mute man from the Chicago poorhouse to the Peoria State Hospital. A. Bookbinder was now his name. He soon came to be known as Old Book. Doctor Zeller, the new superintendent, a reformer, removed the words "Incurable Insane" from the name of the asylum, removed the bars from the windows, and the restraints from the patients. Gave Old Book the job of digging the graves for the deceased. At each funeral, after the choir, Old Book leaned against a great elm tree, in the middle of the cemetery, removed his cap and wept vociferously for the dead man whether he knew him or not. The years passed. One day Old Book died. After the choir sang "Rock of Ages" the four pallbearers heaved up the ropes under the casket and fell flat on their backs. A baleful wail rose up. When the hundreds of mourners in broad daylight turned to see Old Book was there at the Crying Tree. Panic ensued. Doctor Zeller ordered the coffin be opened. As soon as they did the keening apparition vanished. Old Book lay inside and the man's weight returned to the casket. Soon after the great old tree died from disease. Doctor Zeller ordered the Crying Tree cut down. But when they tried a grim moan rose up with each chop until the workmen could not stand it and ceased. Later they tried to burn the dead tree but an even worse wailing erupted so Doctor Zeller ordered that they leave Old Book's Crying Tree alone.
Archived comments for Old Book at the Crying Tree
stormwolf on 20-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Wow! I LOVE ghost stories and this is as good as it gets!
That would be a great one to recite round the midnight camp fire..
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed it Alison.

Ralph

Andrea on 20-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Fab! Can't blame 'em for leaving it alone πŸ™‚

(although I do think 'weeped' should be 'wept' :))

More info for the curious --> Peoria_State_Hospital

Author's Reply:
I can't blame them either Andrea. Thanks for posting the link.

Ralph

Weefatfella on 21-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Homeric.

Author's Reply:
High praise! Thanks.

Ralph

cooky on 22-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Spooky stuff indeed. I like this. Ghosts are everywhere. Watch My Ghost stories on the Bio Channel and you will see some very disturbing things.

Author's Reply:
Yes, TV is full of reality TV ghost hunters. Interesting stuff sometimes.

Ralph

Ionicus on 22-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Lovely ghost story also known as 'The graveyard elm'.
Nicely done, Ralph.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 22-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Aye! Cool story to tell the kids. I used to believe in ghosts 'till I heard rumor that they didn't believe in me...

Good job, Ralph!
Photobucket.
Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
I love telling scary stories to the kids when we're camping. Especially like to get the older ones scared that think they're tough. Appreciate the comment TexasBro.

Ralph

niece on 23-07-2012
Old Book at the Crying Tree
Ghost stories are always fascinating...this one was really good...scary but sad poem, Ralph...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment, niece.

Ralph


The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant (posted on: 16-07-12)
Ninth Dynasty ancient Egypt, rural area near Herakleopolis.

Khun-anup led his donkeys around the large linen sheet the overseer Nemtynakht maliciously spread across the public road. While crossing the fields the donkeys began eating the landowner's wheat. Like a bird caught in the snare, Khun-anup was whipped under the blazing sun and his donkeys were confiscated by Nemtynakht. Khun-anup went out to find the landowner, Rensi son of Meru. He found him at the banks of the Nile, in the heart of the fashionable city, began by addressing him with great praise, lauding his fields of rich amber grain, fine livestock, and the benefits of his successful industries. "Only those who truly work the land will truly posses the land," he repeated, continuing in this fashion for nine days, eloquently stating his case for justice. Finally, believing he was being ignored, he insulted the rich landowner: "My children will go hungry because you have stolen my donkeys. A thief rich or poor does not work the land. Only those who truly work the land will posses it!" Khun-anup was punished with another whipping. Rensi, after sending the Eloquent Peasant away, went on a tour of his many enterprises and grain fields, visiting last his freshly hewed tomb, which compelled him to read the transcript of Khun-anup's last speech. After reflecting on all this Rensi changed his mind. He ordered the donkeys returned to Khun-anup, along with all of Nemtynakht's property and his job. Thus the overseer became in one day as poor as the peasant he oppressed.
Archived comments for The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
niece on 16-07-2012
The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
A very interesting story, Ralph...loved the way it ends especially ...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment niece.

Ralph

amman on 16-07-2012
The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
I don't know how you find these Ralph. Skillfully composed tale of morality. Would that today's leaders were so fair and compassionate.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
The story comes down from ancient Egypt. I added imaginative details to help explain the landowner's change of heart.Appreciate the comment.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 16-07-2012
The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
You been munching peyote there, bro? LOL. Now did you find these characters somewhere, or make 'em up?
Regardless, it was a fun-reading write on a subject that will never fail to disappear.

Good Job!
Photobucket.
Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Texasbro, you are right about this being a never-ending subject matter. Sometimes to focus on what's close you have to look far away.

Ralph

Andrea on 16-07-2012
The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
Peyote in that Arizona desert, eh?

There's a moral to this story, a moral to this song (as Mr Dylan once said).

Great stuff - much enjoyed. Served the bastard right!

Author's Reply:
Actually peyote is only found in Texas... Thanks for the discerning comment.

Ionicus on 16-07-2012
The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
Nothing new then, Ralph. There was injustice in ancient Egypt as there is in modern times all over the world.
It was reflecting his own mortality that made Rensi change his mind. Perhaps he was afraid of the consequences in the after-world. A nice morality tale.

Author's Reply:
Your comment sums it up very well, as usual, Luigi.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 20-07-2012
The Desire for Justice In the Eloquent Peasant
Just like you to redirect attention to the poor, defenseless Texan.

Photobucket

Author's Reply:
i'm your huckleberry πŸ™‚


body English (posted on: 13-07-12)
Some lyric verse for a change; need to give myself a break from the epic narrative verse I've been experimenting with.

The mind is the muscle twisting you forward. Follow through and immortal She calls time-out. Grey matter muscle tension crackles, static under blanket on an Illinois winter night. Exert all scribe athlete, and sacrifice-- no, travail. I refuse it, will not become the high flying champion who lacks only song and dance.
Archived comments for body English
Texasgreg on 14-07-2012
body English
Aye! The picture I get of being under a blanket on an Illinois winter night is just huddling underneath, teeth chattering. Raised in Iowa, so I'm familiar with those. Wind a howlin', fighting to keep yer toes under the covers. The only pictures in yer head were of how white and unforgiving it was outside. Is that why you live in Arizona? LOL.
Photobucket.
Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
You hit the nail on the head Greg

Ralph

chant_z on 15-07-2012
body English
Excellent. Very compact and impressive write. The wording fits very well. Being a francophiliac I of course enjoyed the word "travail" tremendously :). Never been to Illinois though but it's a suggestive piece.

Fredrik

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment Fredrik. Writing can be isolating and getting back in the game instead of just writing about stuff is important.

Ralph


Presidential Smack-Down Round 2 (posted on: 09-07-12)
In an opulent stadium located in the heart of Purgatory, the first semi-final of the POTUS MAXIMUS wrestling contest of deceased ex-presidents has begun!

The River of Memory flooded over its banks like the Mississippi in spring washing me up here, a muddy old shoe that can't forget the foot that wore it, Lyndon Baines Johnson marveled to himself as he watched William Howard Taft dance around the mat, too much of an overhanging gut under the tee-shirt that read "TRUST-BUSTER" for a clear shot at racking the Republican's balls. I set foot in Washington without a penny in my pockets, left D.C. with forty million dollars. That's the legacy that counts, not the failed brush-fire war I fed to the right-wing or the failed welfare state I fed to the Left. Certainly not the stolen election of 1960! They'll never know all I did, how close I came to indictment right before Dallas...plausible deniability. He charged into the rotund Taft, grappled with sinewy arms. The match went on and on. Finally Taft tired and Johnson got his fingers inside Taft's mouth, pulled his cheeks apart where the referee couldn't see. Panic registered in Taft's eyes, Johnson delivered unyielding pain and Taft tapped out desperately. The Twentieth Century POTUS championship won but Johnson felt no victory just a longing to leap into the River of Forgetfulness which surprise of surprises does not exist.
Archived comments for Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
Texasgreg on 09-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
Aye, Arizonabro! We tend to forget the details of a legacy 'till reminded. You do so in a very clever way.
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Super Job!

Greg πŸ™‚
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Author's Reply:
You are right about forgetting a legacy, even though the results are with us every day. Thanks Greg.

Ralph

amman on 09-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
Hi Ralph. This is a very cleverly written satire/social comment and imo much better than Round 1. Don't particularly like 'surprise of surprises' but can't think of an alternative. I'm probably full of s... anyway.
Regards
Tony.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate your comment Tony.

Ralph

cooky on 09-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
I learn more about america everyday. Particularly enjoyed the second verse for nothing has changed in politics no matter what country your in.

Author's Reply:
Your comment is right on the money.

Ralph

Andrea on 09-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
Oooooh, biting! Wonder what you'd have to say about Mr Romney πŸ™‚

Great stuff!



Author's Reply:
I have to say I believe the time is past for personalities to effect events on the ground. Thanks for the comment Andrea.

Ralph

soman on 12-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
Excellent satire, Ralph. Kudos. Soman

Author's Reply:
Thanks Soman

Ralph

Ionicus on 12-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
The kind of satire that will resonate more with U.S. citizens who are cognisant of their politicians' skulduggery than European like me who are a bit hazy about foreign affairs but I can recognise the mordant comment.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment Luigi. I try not to get into the American weeds too much but sometimes can't resist.

Ralph

Nomenklatura on 14-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 2
Inspired lunacy... most entertaining.

Author's Reply:
Exactly what i was aiming for. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph


Presidential Smack-Down Round 1 (posted on: 06-07-12)
While awaiting final judgment in Purgatory the deceased, bored ex-presidents decide to hold a wrestling tournament to find out who is who; all vying for the title POTUS MAXIMUS. THere can be only one.

There were four elimination matches set up for each fifty years of the American republic. The first of the first half of the twentieth Century POTUS MAXIMUS contests ended fast in a complete surprise. An enraged, three- hundred-pound-plus William Howard Taft jumped off of the top rope corner turnbuckle and flattened Teddy Roosevelt before the latter could shout,"Bully!" After breezing through Calvin Coolidge, bookworm Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, and a surprisingly game Herbert Hoover, Taft faced the feisty Harry Truman. He finally used his weight advantage to pin Truman's face to the mat, putting the bantam ex-president's arm in a painful submission hold. Truman's face had gone cardinal red when he finally tapped out. The referee almost disqualified Taft for not releasing Truman fast enough. The last match went quicker than any other; FDR thrown out of the ring and he lost in the countdown to get back in. Dick Nixon with his black Irish moody countenance, eyes still with that hunted look, was the surprise in the second half of the Twentieth Century match-ups, beating Jack Kennedy to a bloody pulp after both contestants cheated worse than any of the other Twentieth Century POTUSes. Next Nixon chased down the recently deceased Jimma Carter, who ran around the ring screaming, "There should never have been a United States in the first place!" Carter didn't fight back until he was cornered and then only slapped wildly until he was swiftly routed. Carter gave that familiar ashen malaise face to the booing crowd as he was carried out. Nixon continued to fight like a madman but lost to Gerald Ford, the former football hero, who tied him up in knots and punted him out of the ring. "You won't have me to kick around any...," Nixon screamed as he flew, complete with Doppler effect. The next match with Eisenhower was a great valorous contest. Ford was the physically stronger but rather clumsy and Ike outmaneuvered him. Eisenhower went on to take out a slightly absent-minded Ronald Reagan in an almost clean match-up except at the end Ike pointed behind Reagan and said, "Look Ronny!" The former actor looked over his shoulder; Ike finished him off quickly and mercifully. The recently deceased Bill Clinton didn't show up, dodged his call to glory to run off with Jackie O. and Marylin Monroe, taking advantage of JFK's disoriented state. Stately Eisenhower wasn't ready for the down-and-dirty Lyndon Johnson who hit so skillfully below the belt the entire male audience groaned in unison. The recently deceased George H. W. Bush sternly warned "Read my lips; this below-the-belt aggression will not stand," right before he stepped into the ring, but when he entered he doubled over and vomited onto the mat, collapsed and surrendered before Johnson could touch him. After recovering he shouted, "Read my hips," and jogged out of the ring amid loud jeers.
Archived comments for Presidential Smack-Down Round 1
cooky on 06-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Part A
How you thought of this I do not know. Definately interesting and entertaining, but was their drugs involved. Would have liked to see this on the Silver screen with one extra Maggie Thatcher. Now thats a wrestling match.

Author's Reply:
A little surreal narrative is all this is. Maybe I will try to fit the Iron Lady and Mr. Churchill in in a future installment.

Ralph

Andrea on 07-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Part A
'Read my hips' - hahaha. What an imagination you're got πŸ™‚ Was Jimma Carter deliberate, or a typo?

Great stuff, anyway.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. "Jimma" is the pronunciation in Mr. Carter's native rural Georgia dialect.

Ralph


Texasgreg on 07-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Part A
When did you move from Texas anyway, Arizonabro?
LOL, looks as if you've made your own batch of prickly pear wine.
Photobucket.
Good stuff!

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
We have lots of prickly pear out here in the Sonoran desert for sure. Eating the mescal worm at the bottom of the bottle is what does it for me. Thanks for the comment Texasbro.

Ralph

niece on 10-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 1
Hilarious, Ralph...I wish we could actually place our own politicians (tho' live ones) on a wrestling ring and see what would happen...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:

soman on 12-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 1
Thoroughly enjoyable read. Congrats. Soman

Author's Reply:

soman on 12-07-2012
Presidential Smack-Down Round 1
Looking forward to the next round. Climax?

Author's Reply:


The Mysterious Castaway (posted on: 02-07-12)
Based on a Legend from Maritime Canada.

1863 Nova Scotia It was a misty summer noon. The children playing on shore watched with gaping mouths as a sleek metallic vessel, lines unlike any ship the progeny of experienced seafarers had seen, cruised into Sandy Cove and deposited a man into the water. The gleaming ship sped off into the haze and was never seen again. They rescued a man a few minutes later. A fine figure of a man, regal face with a Mediterranean complexion but light blond hair. Both his legs had been amputated below the knees, cauterized expertly, the doctor admitted. When the young man came to he spoke in a language no one understood. The doctor later made notes on the syllables and his peculiar uniform. Once he was made aware of where he was the mysterious young man never spoke willingly to any adult. They decided to call him Jerome. For a few years the Acadian villagers tried in vain to get Jerome to speak. He voiced only to children or when surprised by a stern query, and then would give an angry reply in gruff but dulcet tones. They brought in expert linguists from America but the witnessed snatches of words that Jerome used were related to no known language. He spent most of the rest of his life in a wheelchair doing one of two things: watching the distant ocean vista in all weather conditions, sometimes speaking to children in his mellifluous tones when no adults were present; or when the weather was too bad for months at a time he sat before a mirror like a man watching himself being tortured by life's natural aging process. Eventually Jerome was put in a pay-to-see exhibit, fierce rage in his eyes, like a man who awakes to find he is displayed in a zoo run by baboons. He died in 1912, an enigma never reveled.
Archived comments for The Mysterious Castaway
Texasgreg on 02-07-2012
The Mysterious Castaway
Had to look it up to make sure you weren't "pulling my leg", (pun not intended, but noted-hehe). You preparing us for subs., (again, coincidental), on Unidentified Submerged Objects?

Cool stuff!
Photobucket.

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks Texasbro, i gets a little science fictiony now an again.

Ralph

Andrea on 02-07-2012
The Mysterious Castaway
How strange! Poor Jerome. I had to look it up, too.

Fascinating info here: www.canadianmysteries.ca/sites/jerome

Good stuff!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. It was a strange story, couldn't resist it of course.

Ralph

niece on 03-07-2012
The Mysterious Castaway
What a sad life to lead...interesting information, Ralph and a lovely poem !!!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
It is a big and mysterious world we live in. Thanks for the nice comment niece.

Ralph

cooky on 05-07-2012
The Mysterious Castaway
A very curious story indeed. Some one out there must no the truth. Excellent write.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the great rating. Facts are stranger than fiction sometimes.

Ralph

Ionicus on 08-07-2012
The Mysterious Castaway
A very interesting and intriguing legend, Ralph, described with your usual verve. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Luigi.

Ralph


Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3 (posted on: 29-06-12)
A short history of man-corn in the USA. Looming insolvency of the local, state, and federal governments has made the casual cannibal jokes take on a more anxious tone...

It sounds like the beginning of another morbid joke: Cannibal eats homeless man's face. Just like the one about Jeffery Dahmer walks into a bar, orders a beer with a little head on it. No one sees the horror latent just below the surface, waiting to emerge when things get bad. The fattest people in the history of earth including the poor obese poor, moving in ambling herds between the malls and sports stadiums like self-satisfied woolly mammoths who cannot imagine any real danger until they are chased off the cliff with fire, straight into the cooking pits. Right from the beginning, in the winter in Jamestown 1609, was the Starving Time. "One ravenous man fell upon and ate his loving wife." In high school history class the moving story of the stranded Donner Party wagon-train from Springfield, Illinois, the poignant funerals in the deep Sierra Nevada snow, agreement that after singing "We shall gather at the River" the first to sneak back at night could dig up the body. The wise guy who sat behind me interrupted class to recite a limerick he made up: "Donner led his friends out to find new land freedom. But instead he sat down to eat them." Potatoes fried in melted Indian fat from a burned down Creek Lodge; Davy Crockett said he and his comrades ate them until they nearly burst. Mountain man Liver-Eating Johnson, the real "Jeremiah Johnson," visualize buckskin-clad Robert Redford slicing open a Crow Indian's gut and feasting on the raw liver in glorious technicolor! In 1878 after another too-late-in-the-year-to-cross-the-mountain-pass screw-up Alfred G Packer killed and ate: James Humphrey, Frank "Reddy" Miller, George "California" Noon, Shannon Wilson Bell, and Israel Swan. The judge, a Democrat, spoke at the sentencing: "When you came to Hinsdale County there were seven democrats here. But you, you man-eating son-of-a-bitch, you ate five of them! I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you're dead! dead! dead!" But Packer the Republican cannibal went to a higher court and had his sentence reduced to forty years. He got out early for good behavior, became a vegetarian. 1968 the students at the University of Colorado named their cafeteria the "Alfred Packer Memorial Grill." They hung up a sign that read: "Have a friend for lunch!"
Archived comments for Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
Texasgreg on 29-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
LOL, have a friend for lunch indeed!

Good Lord. I recall that during new-hire training we did an exercise on teamwork. We were to imagine that we were in a plane wreck and had a list of items salvaged we could use to survive. The items we could save were limited to a certain number. One man's idea to contribute was to simply kill and eat the weakest. No, he did not continue with the class.



You're doing some really good research and conveying it in such a fashion that a Texican can understand it.

Photobucket

Super stuff, Arizonabro!



Greg πŸ™‚

Photobucket.

Author's Reply:
You can't make this stuff up Greg. Sometimes i think real life has already written stuff for me.

Ralph

niece on 29-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
A morbid topic turned into good poetry...that itself is an amazing achievement...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Niece.

Ralph

amman on 29-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
Ralph. Morbid indeed. Graphic examples in this well written poem. Today, serial killing seems to be the new fashion. Heaven help us.
Regards.

Author's Reply:
You got that right. Serial killers like Charlie Manson get tons of fan mail. it makes you wonder about the true nature of celebrity worship.

Ralph

Andrea on 29-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
Crikey, I could see you spitting with disgust!

'...moving in ambling herds
between the malls and sports stadiums
like self-satisfied woolly mammoths who cannot imagine
any real danger until they are chased off the cliff
with fire, straight into the cooking pits...'
- lovely!

Eating five democrats musta given him dreadful indigestion πŸ™‚

Fantastic stuff!

Author's Reply:
You're probably right Andrea. Maybe it's why he turned to vegetarianism after he got out of prison. Thanks for the perceptive comment and great rating.

Ralph

cooky on 29-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
Interesting topic. In New Guinea the sailors they ate were called long pigs. So I guess we taste like pork. Good job it is still cheap to buy or we would all be at it.excellent write

Author's Reply:
Yes long pork. i once accidentally ate part of the inside of my jaw when the klutz of a dentist i had botched taking out some wisdom teeth. Tasted like raw hot dog.

Ralph

franciman on 29-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
Hi Ralph,

Wonderful change of voice. Superb use of anecdotal humour that raises both a smile and a hackle.

The proof of the pudding, as they say. Simply great verse.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great rating and the comment Jim. I will be taking a break from this subject matter for a while.

Ralph

soman on 01-07-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #3
Hello Ralph, read all 3 in one sitting. Wonderful satire indeed, congrats.

Cheers, Soman

Rated 9

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading all three at one time. i would like the subject matter in each to have a different aspect that in combination gives a deeper insight to humanity involved in this subject matter. Appreciate the great rating.

Ralph


Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2 (posted on: 25-06-12)
Warning: this subject matter will be hard to read for many. The second installment of my series of poems dealing with cannibalism, most notably in places advertized as utopias.

CAMP 22 50,000 prisoners Christmas Day 2010 "This is a day like any other in our glorious workers' paradise. The winter sun shines majestically for our Dear Leader. You must give thanks to him for the food you eat." The radio blares on as it always must Seven days a week from waking until sleeping. Chin Kim clears the table. Her guest says, "Some would not understand why we eat this. But I think it tastes good." Chin thanks her friend for sharing the feast. The two young women go back to work. Walking slowly from the prisoners' hovels, each step deliberately measured to conserve energy, past guards with machine-guns, men trained to not treat or even think of them as human. At the end of the work day, frozen wind screaming past her ears, Chin takes her newborn's head to a secret place ten minutes walk up into the small hills behind the latrines where others bury their children hoping no one finds them. The frozen earth is hard to dig. Finally she breaks ground and buries it without feeling anything but satiation, her stomach still full. From out of nowhere a big balloon drops down from the iron sky dangling a package. Chin looks warily around then unwraps the present. It is a book. "Holy Bible" the cover reads. She opens it randomly and in the twilight squints to read a story about a starving city under siege, a woman complaining to the king that another woman promised to boil her baby if she boiled her baby first. The woman agreed and they killed and ate her infant but then the other woman hid her baby. Chin begins to laugh. "Thank you highest Heaven, thank you Dear Leader! Thank you China and thank you America and thank you South Korea! Thank you Russia and Japan and England! All of you clever ones who hide your babies! Thank you! I am awake now! I have awoken to my insanity! I pray everyone awakes to my insanity and to their own insanity!" She puts the Bible down on the fresh grave, walks fast down the hill past the latrines, breaks out into a run straight for the guards, shouting "Thank You!"
Archived comments for Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2
franciman on 25-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2
Hi Ralph,
This is, as your say, terribly hard to read. The lines razor to the emotional bone, and l, the reader, feel scourged.
Great poetry does this, that is its one true purpose, garnering emotional response. Your verse does this. It prays for understanding whilst questioning the slant of morality imho.

I love it And hate it, if that makes sense?
cheers,
Jim


Author's Reply:
Jim, it makes a great deal of sense. Of course the intent here is not a horror movie gross-out but to go underneath the surface of what happens when human beings are pushed to the limit. As a writer living in the comforts of the First World I think sometimes we have to delve into these realities or risk being irrelevant or worse. Thanks for the perceptive comments.

Ralph

franciman on 25-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2
Hi Ralph,
I am trying to nominate this but the system will not register my nomination I will keep trying.
Jim

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the Nomination Jim.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 26-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land 2
Ralph,

You should subscribe to my theory on conspiracy now, LOL. Is it your birthday? Sure you don't even know what I'm talking about...yet. Good to see the issue nominating your work isn't singular.

Yeah, you have quite a wicked imagination. Best get outta the sun.

As was previously stated, it was gross, yet in a way that seemed "natural"?

Anywho,



Good stuff!

Photobucket.



Greg πŸ™‚

Edit in reply:Good God! I'm ashamed as a news hound. Googled, and now remember. I should've known better and Googled before reply.

Good shit!

Author's Reply:
Greg,
Unfortunately it's not my wicked imagination. Men, women and children are imprisoned at Camp 22. Average life expectancy is seven years; no releases, they are there for life, sometimes because a relative said something. Cannibalism is common not just in the prison camps but happens throughout the rural countryside of N.K.

Ralph

amman on 26-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2
Hi Ralph. I find this very disturbing. Franciman says it all and I concur with his analysis. This must have been emotionally draining to write but you have penned it so well.
Regards.

Author's Reply:
Yes it was emotionally draining to write but i am glad i did. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

cooky on 26-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2
The mindset of the people. Fascinating how a nation can accept such conditions as normal. The power of the State. Seems like a dream but we know it is real. Thank you for the journey in this write. This type of write floats my boat.

Author's Reply:
You are welcome, Cooky. Your comment sums it up.

Ralph

Andrea on 26-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #2
Horrible. What a world we live in, eh? When people have no access to any media whatsoever, they have little choice but to believe what their Dear Leader wants them to believe.

Excellent (if painful) stuff, Ralph. I see the nomination was finally successful - congrats

Author's Reply:
Harrowing stuff to write. Struggled to write it since i started writing again last November, finally pushed and got it done. Thanks Andrea.

Ralph


Lightning Ball Courting (posted on: 22-06-12)
Narrative poem based on a family legend about how my grandparents in Tennessee got together. Lightning balls are mysterious but documented meteorological phenomena that science has not explained yet...

June 1921 rural western Tennessee Heat lightning lit up the tree-lined road periodically as Leonard Hopper rode his horse. He dropped the reins, loaded his pipe, flicked his doughboy lighter over the bowl and pondered the new night. Heading out to call on Annie Hensley, the girl with long hair down to her waist as black as a crow's back. Chickasaw blood, they said. Her father the owner of the trading post where Leonard sold his furs. The Hensleys lived in a brick house high on a hill, had a piano in the parlor and Annie played guitar better than anyone. Leonard a white sharecropper and trapper lived in a dog-trot cabin down by the river. Annie liked to listen to his stories though. Her dark eyes lit up when he told her about the panther hunt. For a week Leonard and twelve others in the hunting party tracked the big cat deep into the cypress swamp. The panther had screamed sleepless terror into countryside, like a woman being stabbed to death, tore out the throats of dozens of cattle and two mules one full moon night without even eating, just left them like a calling card or a dare. One man was lost when he fell into a sinkhole. They pulled him out his legs covered with biting cottonmouths still hanging on. By the time they got the snakes off he was done, couldn't speak just moaned and expired. Leonard shot the panther out of a tree an hour later after noticing it staring down at him and grinning just like a maniac man, he swore to Annie, and she shivered. He reached into the saddle bag and felt the mink stole he had made for Annie from the finest fur he had ever trapped. Remembering what his grandfather had told him when he was knee-high, "You can't git away from a tornado or a war when it's coming straight at ya but you can read the trail and stay out of the quicksand or trouble with a woman if yer careful." Quicksand. Trouble with a woman. Leonard put his pipe away, picked up the reins and turned his horse. Folks that owned an automobile, lived in a brick house would have no use for poor white sharecropper. She was probably just leading him on anyway, pretending to like his stories and the smell of his pipe. Just then, right in front of him, a white streak of lightning looked to hit the ground but instead deposited a ball of light as blinding as a spotlight, blue to orange to blue-green, tendrils on top of it like other-worldly puppet strings, and then it bounced after him, never hitting the ground, like a ghostly medicine ball. His horse screamed and reared high but he turned it around, got it running full out. The lightning ball was right behind him when he got to the road that ran uphill to Annie's front porch; he turned the horse but the ghastly effulgence turned after him. He jumped off his horse; it followed him right up to her door. He didn't knock, just threw open the door and ran inside. Leonard, glowing and scintillating like the Fourth of July, stood facing Annie Hensley. "Leonard, that was the most amazing entrance I ever have witnessed in my life," but she didn't seem surprised or scared at all. "Brought you a present, Annie," he spoke out, tingling but not lightning struck. He handed her the mink stole he hadn't realized he was holding and she put it to her cheek. They eloped five months later and raised nine kids before they were through with this life.
Archived comments for Lightning Ball Courting
amman on 22-06-2012
Lightning Ball Courting
Very interesting Ralph; thanks for sharing. This kind of narrative poem reminds me of Robert Frost.
Regards.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the high praise amman.

Andrea on 23-06-2012
Lightning Ball Courting
Fabulous! What a great story! And of course I had to look up ball lightning :)) --> Ball Lightning

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and great rating Andrea.

Ralph

stormwolf on 23-06-2012
Lightning Ball Courting
Hi Ralph,
I have to be honest here and say that I do not think this comes over best as poetry. That's only my opinion but like Cooky's entry this week, this would have made a great short story. It's full of poetry in every line but laid out as a poem it looks a bit long.
It's fantastic writing however, and kept me enthralled all the way through. Loved it and the last bit will stay in my mind long after reading.

Bravo!
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Alison, I was considering writing it out as a short story. Maybe I will do that at a latter date. Thanks for the great rating.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 23-06-2012
Lightning Ball Courting
Aye, that was good, really good folk writing for the soul. That’s the sort of stuff I remember reading as a young reader and believe it helped fashion my respect for nature, humanity, and bonds between man and woman. Hope it finds its way into the hands of many outside UKA.
Photobucket.
Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Greg, your comments sum up what i was trying to accomplish. Thanks Texasbro.

Ralph


Nomenklatura on 24-06-2012
Lightning Ball Courting
Hi,
I have to disagree with Storm here, I think it does fine as a poem. I'm a big fan of Eliot, whose poems are not so long as say Dante's Inferno, but can be some big chunks of writing. A good narrative poem.

Are you sure about 'reigns' at line 1 in stanza 5, shouldn't that be reins. I'm pretty sure 'reigns' are for royalty. πŸ˜‰

Yep, good poem

Author's Reply:
Hey thanks Nomen. I thought i fixed the reigns before i posted it but it was my dyslexia . Sometimes i read long poems like Beowulf. There is no real limit for verse except the material you are working with.

Ralph

niece on 25-06-2012
Lightning Ball Courting
Reminded me of the good old Westerns of years ago...I've watched a documentary on these lightning balls as a kid and freaked me out quite a bit :D...enjoyed reading this poem of yours, Ralph πŸ™‚

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment Niece.

Ralph


Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1 (posted on: 18-06-12)
Since the homeless man in Florida had his face gnawed off by a cannibal thug I have been pondering this widespread human behavior...

Once there was a tiny green isle in the vast South Pacific, eleven by seven miles, isolated but lush. One blood-hued dawn, heroic people rowed ten sturdy canoes out of the misty sea and landed. At first they prospered, grew to over one hundred thousand souls. They learned to chisel larger and larger monuments to themselves, giant stone faces that they believed mocked death. But soon the last trees were downed for fishing boats and the people began to starve. "I am using your mother's splintered bones for my toothpicks!" became the common insult. Only two dozen, ragged, manic people greeted the landing party when Captain Cook set foot on Easter Island. Once there was a tiny blue planet in the vast cosmos. Clever people emerged from the mists of time. At first they prospered, grew to over eight billion souls. They built greater and greater monuments to themselves, giant steel and glass skylines they thought mocked death...
Archived comments for Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Andrea on 18-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Yes, quite. Very cleverly and ironically put. What an idiot man is, bent on self-destruction, and what a beautiful planet he's trying to destroy. I say 'trying' because I don't believe he'll succeed - the grass will still grow through the concrete cracks long after he's gone...

Puts me in mind of this song...(and that was in '65 - not much has changed, eh?)







Author's Reply:
TRue Andrea. Most likely scenario is extinction of man along with animals man-size or larger. But then evolution will take over...

Ralph

Andrea on 18-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Forgot to mention in all the excitement - I think 'sat foot' should be 'set foot' πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
I fixed it. Thanks.

Romany on 18-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
A gently reflective poem considering your inspiration. There have been two cases of this face chewing off now apparently, (probably more no doubt) which the authorities attribute to the effects of a new 'leisure drug,' - forget what it's called. It is utterly horrific of course, but it nevertheless fascinates me that this specific act of violence can be precipitated by a drug and have virtually the same effect on different individuals. DO much yet to learn about the human mind.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
They blame it on "bath salts." Apparently a new hallucinogen. Nothing man creates can be just a positive there is always a negative side to our creations.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 18-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Aye, Can I say "Good Shit!", here?

That was really thought-provoking and so very real to my sun-warped mind, Bro.
Those who write sci-fi are missing out by not capitalizing on the really scary stuff. Real life.

Great Stuff! Photobucket.



Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment Texas Bro. Plenty of scary stuff out there.

Ralph

Ionicus on 19-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
You put forward a doom scenario wonderfully well, Ralph.
I still hope, and I am with Andrea on this, that Nature will prevail and thwart the idiotic attempts by Man to destroy our planet.

Author's Reply:
I agree with you both but all those nuclear waste sites that have to be contained give a lot of concerned people like me pause.

Ralph

amman on 19-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Nothing changes Ralph. History shows us that humankind is destined to make the same mistakes over and over again. Really like the way you have thematically portrayed emergence from 'the misty sea' and 'mists of time', and the building of monuments to showcase their immortality. Your message is very skillfully penned.
Regards

Author's Reply:
History is cyclical. WE dodged a massive nuclear war between the West and Soviet Union. Maybe we can dodge world civilization collapse as well. Time will tell. Thanks for the rating.

Ralph

madmary on 19-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Very clever and slightly scary poem. Just shows that humankind don't learn from their mistakes as history repeats itself.

Mary

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment madmary.

Ralph

cooky on 19-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
The circle of life and our arrogance. Nature will punish us, that there is no doubt.

Author's Reply:
What comes around goes around, for sure. People have to learn to live within limits.

Ralph

barenib on 20-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
Yes, I read about the Easter Island people recently, and thought that if ever there was a parable... The money makers will never see until it's too late. A sad, but good and true poem - John.

Author's Reply:
John, in my opinion our "limiting factor," the resource we will run out of first, before oil or phosphorous, or using too big a percentage of the photosynthesis crop will be simply the good will between people. Appreciate your comment.

Ralph

stormwolf on 20-06-2012
Man-Corn In the Promised Land #1
You are singing my song.......................

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Alison.

Ralph


Should Have Been A Nightmare (posted on: 15-06-12)
A dream poem. No Freudian animal-in-dream analysis please.

The sky had all the vibrant colors and textures of javelina road kill. Should have been a far future nightmare, about half a billion years ahead, I'd say. On the rocky, barren landscape that had long forgotten human beings, a German shepherd-sized scorpion emerged from a trap door burrow. So much detail. I could tell evolution finally gifted our arachnid friends with a closed circulatory system so now they could get big. It did not speak but I knew by its intricately clicking mandibles that the brain contained sentience, its pinchers able to do complex tasks but I could not imagine what. It froze to stare at me, an astro-projected specter to it no doubt, and heart-breaking terror overcame it. The eight legs scrambled for its trap door, sliding sideways in the dust, crashing into a boulder, finally escaping down into the safety of home. Amazed, I woke up feeling happy and powerful.
Archived comments for Should Have Been A Nightmare
Andrea on 15-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
Well, I would analyse it thusly...nah, just kiddin' πŸ™‚

Not a pome for any arachnophobes out there. Happily I am not one, so I thought it was very enjoyable (and slightly sci-fi) πŸ™‚

Nice to see you posting again by the way. Hope things are working out.



Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. I remember you liked spiders. I will be finding out what happens shortly.

Ralph

stormwolf on 15-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
"No Freudian animal-in-dream analysis please."

You party pooper, you! I could have had a field day with this great dream;-)
It's so good to see yopu posting again. I was wondering wha had happened to you.
To me, this is powerfully descriptive and captures the horror really well

It did not speak but I knew
by its intricately clicking mandibles
that the brain contained sentience,

One of your best for me.
Alison x


Author's Reply:
Thanks Allison. My analysis of this dream is that things are going to work out. In due time i will know!

Ralph

cooky on 15-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
No matter how big they are, a good bug spray will win the day.

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, scorpions are notoriously resistant to pesticides. They just make the scorpions mad.

amman on 16-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
Hi Ralph. No nightmare this with a chicken-liver scorpion as evolution's earthly inheritor. Had to look up javelina - ugly looking smelly beasts by all accounts. Cleverly written, as always.
Regards

Author's Reply:
Great comment, Amman. An ugly brute of a javleina attacked my dog one night. Haven't had any use for them ever since.

All the best

Ralph

Texasgreg on 16-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
LOL, I don’t have those as often when I cut back on caffeine at night. With me though, it’s always one of those wicked brown tarantulas we have around here. I always wake up just as he’s throwing me off his back. πŸ˜‰

Photobucket.

Good stuff, Ralph!



Greg πŸ™‚


Edit for reply:Got me there! Gotta lay off that prickly pear wine πŸ˜‰
Used your sub. for inspiration. Look for it tomorrow. Hint: It's about the nightmare of waking up...

Author's Reply:
Hey Texas BRo. Riding the bucking tarantula, great image. Not sure if that is caffeine though, ha-ha.

Ralph

Ionicus on 16-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
Nice work, Ralph.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi.

JackKoozie on 19-06-2012
Should Have Been A Nightmare
Some dream, CW. Very sci-fi and intriguing. Nice one.

JK


Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment, JK.

Ralph


Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae (posted on: 30-04-12)
The line between creativity and deception.

Catherine the Great in plush carriage rides with her favorite Field Marshal, Prince Grigory Potemkin, on warm sunny days. Farther and farther into the Russian hinterland each summer, touring villages that are only perfect facades, empty ghost towns built to fake progress in the empress's realm. Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon writing at his translator's desk, rejecting the crowds at the fascist parades, creates separate poetic personae. His "Self," "The real Me," "My Soul," gives them names, and explores the richness and depth in those quite different but real personalities. In our own time authenticity is absent all around us. Integrity eludes. So many mocking the sincere artistic efforts of others, snide glares at honest work, sneers at faith and love of family. The future they promise is another Potemkin Village.
Archived comments for Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
Nomenklatura on 30-04-2012
Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
As usual something thought-provoking from you. Is it Fernando Pessao?

I saw what you were trying to do in bringing the two ideas together at the end, but the last line jarred a little for me.

Always a pleasure to read your work.
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan. I corrected the typo, not sure how it got through. Will think about the last line as everyone has agreed it sticks out.

Ralph

Andrea on 30-04-2012
Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
Nothing had ever obliged him to do anything. He had spent his childhood alone. He never joined any group. He never pursued a course of study. He never belonged to a crowd. The circumstances of his life were marked by that strange but rather common phenomenon – perhaps, in fact, it’s true for all lives – of being tailored to the image and likeness of his instincts, which tended towards inertia and withdrawal. -- Fernando Pessoa, from the Preface of
The Book of Disquiet, tr. by Richard Zenith.


Wonderful stuff Chairman, echo Ewan's sentiments (also agree with him re the last line :)). Another cracker from your expert pen.

Author's Reply:
Andrea, excellent quote from Mr. Zenith. (I own Zenith's Pessoa & Co translation).

Ralph

Bradene on 30-04-2012
Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
I'm not really qualified to comment on the content of your work this week, I shall have to google these people. I can only say that again you write with great authority which makes everything you produce interesting and worthwhile to read. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. What's interesting is no one knows if there ever were "Potemkin villages" or not. History can be a mood more than a list of facts, in a lot of cases.

Ralph

amman on 01-05-2012
Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
Thanks again for the historical context of this poem and also to Andrea for the analysis. As usual, you show great scholarship. Also agree re. last line.
Regards

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Amman.

Ralph

Ionicus on 01-05-2012
Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
Another poem that shows what a rich source of inspiration history is. You have made good use of two separate episodes to produce a superb poem.
I think that you could leave the last line out without losing the true meaning.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Thanks a bunch, Luigi. i amputated the last line and will see how the patient fares.

Ralph

stormwolf on 02-05-2012
Potemkin Villages and Poetic Personae
I second what Val said πŸ˜‰
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison

Ralph


''So When Did You Stop...?'' (posted on: 27-04-12)
N

Science fails to explain how the stomach keeps from digesting itself... Matrimony is not for every body. The tightly wound groom sweats next to the best man weighed down with the ring. Finally the showcase couple pose before the tall white cake. Two months later at a sweltering August party the recent bride's long sleeves scream out of her sullen indigo eyes. "You hate us, don't you?" she asks best man, hidden bruises she knows he sees. Acids churn in the kneading smooth muscle grip but still the stomach does not digest itself. Six months pass. The phone screeches in the cold night. Best man answers groggily. "You all right?" Groom asks. "Yeah," says Best Man. He is not alone. "Just wanted to make sure you're all right." "I'm fine. What's up?" "I just wanted to make sure you're all right; 'cause if you were with my wife I'd have to come over with the fireplace poker I'm holding right now and finish you!" "Any time. I'm always an easy man to find." He wants his ex-best friend to come over, wishes to make him wear long sleeves and sunglasses at night. "You hate us, don't you?" Groom plaintively asks then hangs up. Science has not explained how the eyes can fail to see the self...
Archived comments for ''So When Did You Stop...?''
Bradene on 29-04-2012
So When Did You Stop...?
Ouch! I suppose at some time or other we all experience folk like this pair, can't live with each other, can't live without each other and they always have to have someone or something other than themselves to blame. Good solid writing Ralph. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and rating Val.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 26-05-2012
So When Did You Stop...?
I'm positive I viewed this once before some time ago and thought I provided comment...Old Tymer's disease? LOL. I see a short story in there somewhere.

Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks Greg. Appreciate the great rating.

Ralph


The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings (posted on: 23-04-12)
My response to form rejection letters from lit mags.

The seine that nets out the life you need to live must not be allowed to rot so I spread it out to dry. The sleek, crow-sized bird flew into my net as I slept. A mysterious feathered creature: sensitive gaze in her knowing sepia eyes. strong beak, scarlet crest, ivory streaks along her black neck and face. Music singing from her wings when she flew. I wanted to immediately release her. But to set free the mysterious bird without permission was impossible. "It is a new species!" the authorities barked (like small dogs in trailer parks). "What if it is a bird that pecks out the eyes of lambs or infants?" "What if it is beauty in disguise?" Such a dangerous corporeality cannot be allowed to fly free in this overcrowded country that survives only under the strictest discipline. Wherever I went the answer was the same: "We don't want that new bird soaring over our back yards." Surprisingly captivity with me seemed to suit her even though I know nothing about the proper care for such an avian. I only know she likes to nestle inside my shirt, next to my beating heart. Sometimes unnatural habitats are ideal.
Archived comments for The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
Andrea on 24-04-2012
The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
I think this is amazingly good

"It is a new species!" the authorities
barked (like small dogs in trailer parks).
"What if it is a bird that pecks out the eyes
of lambs or infants?" "What if it is beauty
in disguise?" Such a dangerous corporeality
cannot be allowed to fly free


Indeed.

As for those rejection letters, I keep mine in a folder entitled 'Rejection letters I have known and loved'.

Author's Reply:
Thanks you for the great comment and rating, Andrea.

Ralph

sunken on 25-04-2012
The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
Wonderful stuff, Mr. Chairman of Wow. If that's what a rejection letter sparks then bring it on I say. A very clever and well written piece.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
THanks for the Bernard, Sunken.

Ralph

Bradene on 25-04-2012
The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
Very Clever, colourful piece. Be comforted to know you must belong to one of the largest literary clubs in the world, even the greats get rejection letters. Nice work as usual Valx

Author's Reply:
Happy you like it, Val. I've read somewhere there are a million people with unpublished manuscripts in their desks in the U.S. alone!

Ralph

amman on 25-04-2012
The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
Wow (no pun intended). I always like reading your stuff, it is so clever. Especially liked this one.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment and rating, amman.

Ralph

cooky on 25-04-2012
The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
A unique write which I fear the authorities could not possibly understand. Enjoyed this.

Author's Reply:
The "authorities" have their own agenda, i'm afraid. Thanks cooky.

Ralph

Ionicus on 25-04-2012
The Bird Who Sings With Her Wings
Excellent work, Ralph. Enjoyed it.
By the way, there seem to be a lot of discussions about birds this week.

Author's Reply:
Luigi, i noticed the bird theme as well. Must be spring. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph


Nine Words Is All I Got (posted on: 20-04-12)
This piece has something to do with my problem with authority.

Ten word fetish screams, "Not enough!" "One is universe."
Archived comments for Nine Words Is All I Got

No comments archives found!
The Feast (posted on: 16-04-12)
As a health inspector I got to know an Italian-American gentleman who ran a gelato ice cream plant. (His wife ran a fine Italian restaurant). He liked to talk about the quail he would hunt and prepare for friends who would fly in from Italy to Phoenix once a year for a feast and conversation.

Back when cooking was an art, you ate the feast and were part of it at the same time; all delicious.
Archived comments for The Feast
Bradene on 16-04-2012
The Feast
Hope the wine flowed freely too. Nice little cameo. Valx

Author's Reply:
I'm sure it did. Thanks for the comment, Val.

Ralph

sunken on 18-04-2012
The Feast
I swear I'm hungrier after reading this, Chairman of Wow, wow, wow, wow. Ahem. Sorry. Your name always triggers that song by Kylie in my head. I enjoy these little pieces. Small is where it's at if you ask me. You didn't ask though, so I'll do one. One day, Mr. Wow, wow, wow, wow, I will write a comment worthy of your sub. Until that time I will leave you with a flea bitten old smelly mongrel named Bernard. Life's tough I know.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Hey thanks, Sunken.

RAlph


Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 2 (posted on: 16-04-12)
Ray, Stacy, Tony, Clarence, Robby, and Samone are all that stand between a small Missouri City and a plague of walking dead sex fiends. Warning: Not for minors or the faint-hearted.

"Remember, if the government finds out I told you three about this top secret torture chemical turning lab animals into sex crazed zombies, it's life in prison for me." Ray got out of the SUV followed by Stacy with the assault rifle. Clarence and Tony got out and Ray had Stacy give a 9mm pistol to Tony and a short pump shotgun to Clarence. Ray led them up the walkway to the small house. "There's no bullets in it yet, but don't point it at anyone, shithead," Stacy said to Tony. "Dang, no respect," Tony said, as he held the pistol sideways, posing like a goofy gangster in a cheap exploitation movie. From the dark, humid night far up the hill in the cemetery, only Tony caught the faint, faraway sound of wailing. It shut him up. "Why give me the shotgun?" Clarence complained as they waited for Robby to answer the door. "You just think I can't shoot straight enough to handle a pistol." "I just don't think an accountant that's never shot a gun before can handle a pistol." Ray said as he lightly rapped on the front door again. "Shotguns are easy, point and shoot. Takes a few shots to get used to the kick." "Watch you talkn' 'bout." Clarence pushed his nerdy glasses up the bridge of his nose with a chestnut brown hand. "We C.P.A.s are O.G." Ray almost laughed. Robby, shirtless, finally opened the door. He was a couple of inches taller than Ray. He put his hands up when he saw all of them openly carrying guns. Ray led everyone inside as Robby backed up towards his bedroom door. "Listen, I'm sorry I didn't make it to the poker game tonight, but don't you think this is a little bit of an over-reaction?" Robby looked half joking and half serious. Just then a lovely young girl stepped out of the bedroom behind Robby. Her red hair was disheveled and she looked like she had gotten dressed in a hurry. Robby finally put his arms down and introduced her as Samone who happened to be the lead singer of an all red-head girl band called Amber Orgasm. Robby's band had played on stage with them at the last open air concert in the park. "I've heard... so much about you." Stacy side glanced at Tony as she shook hands with Samone. This caused Tony to guffaw in his irritating, self-indulgent way. Tony finished snickering and then lined up with Clarence to get Samone's autograph. Over his shoulder Tony partially overheard Ray talking in a low voice with Robby about the situation. Apparently Robby knew about the zombie monkeys Ray used to work with. Realization hitting that this was for real. Dang, Tony thought, I need some weed to deal with this. Or maybe some whiskey. Creepy that sound coming from up the hill. "So you guys saw our show last Saturday night?" Samone asked. "No," Clarence answered. "But we've heard all about your awesome vocal work." "Thanks, I guess," Samone looked around very aware that these people were all acting weird. "What's with the guns?" "Listen, Samone, you stay here and keep the door locked. If someone other than one of us starts banging on the door don't open it no matter what, okay?" The girl looked wide-eyed but shook her head in the affirmative. Ray then looked around at the others. "We have to move fast. Hopefully there won't be too many of them." As soon as they stepped outside a series of wails greeted them from up the hill. Tony came out last. "This is some shit; this is some shit," he kept saying out loud to himself. He watched Robby slip into the garage and come out with a sledge hammer. "Do we go for the head, smash their brains?" Clarence asked. "No, aim for the genitals," Ray said. "A good crushing blow down below should do it. We don't have big enough weapons to do enough damage to their skulls. For some reason a shocking hit down in the privates worked on the zombie monkeys. The only way a live monkey stopped a zombie monkey was by biting hard on the zombie's genitals." "There you go Tony; if you get into a tight place just bite their balls!" "You can bite me, Stacy!" Tony responded. At Stacy and Tony's exchange, tension relieving laughter broke out between everyone but Ray. He hushed them as the wailing and now groaning moved closer. Ray led them up a minibike path. Before they got to the first row of tipped over headstones they saw the emaciated figure silhouetted against the half moon lit night sky. "The rules of engagement are that Robby will try first to take them out with the sledge hammer. He has the longest reach. If there get to be too many I will shoot them one shot at a time. If there are too many for me then Stacy will go after them with the HK rifle. If we get like a hundred I'll have Stacy give you guys ammo. It's one week until Fourth of July; maybe the cops will think it's just kids setting off fireworks or if they do believe it's real gunfire then they probably will be too chicken to come up here without a lot of backup which will take hours. Any questions?" "Ray, if this is for real why not get the Feds in here to take care of their own problem?" Stacy asked. "The Company(CIA) contingency plan is to make it our problem," Ray said, anger dripping from his voice. "The government is going to quarantine the city and let everyone get killed. That's their plan, to blame it on a new chemical formulation for a meth-type drug. Their black opts agents will set up a phony drug lab up here in the graveyards and blame us semi-rural fly-over people for the carnage. Think of all the families with little kids in our neighborhood, Stacy. They don't deserve to be raped to death and then have a corrupt government blame the victims." *********************************************************************************** They walked up to the first figure that was awkwardly making its way down the cemetery hill towards them. At least a dozen other moving silhouettes were visible now starting about a hundred feet behind the first one. About twenty feet in front of it, Ray shined his hunting flashlight in its face, beam with a red filter to keep the light inconspicuous. It was a short, wrinkled faced man dressed in an old fashioned suit, probably buried in the 1950s. His face was discolored to a dark mildew blue coloring Ray had never seen before. Dessicated and slowly shuffling with his pants dragging, still around the ankle of his left leg, sunken eyes that probably couldn't see anything anymore. "How can that thing have an erection when its heart isn't working?" Stacy asked. "Men die with erections all the time," Ray responded. "You never saw that episode of the cable TV show about the family of morticians? Smoothing out corpse erections is one of the first things they learn." Ray could tell she believed him now. She hadn't though until right this instant. "Okay, Robby." Robby walked up with the sledge hammer and swung it but the blow was an inch too high and the thing doubled over forward onto the hillside with a gigantic dry weez. Suddenly Stacy ran over to the zombie, bent down grabbing it by its wrists like her Navy corpsman training had taught her to do with a wounded hostile combatant. "Stacy, don't touch it!" Ray yelled. "I have to know this is really happening, Ray," she said and then stood up. "Destroy it, Robby, it doesn't have a pulse." Robby stood close in front of the writhing thing and brought the sledge hammer down hard between its legs. The smack sounded wet and it let off a quick grunt and then a slow expiration of air. Old embalming fluid smell filled the air. "Man, why don't they shut up!" Tony said and covered his ears. In front of them up the crest of the hill dozens more had appeared and they were all wildly wailing in unison, the closest ones grunting and groaning. Most were moving faster than the one Robby just took out. "They are waking themselves up," Ray said. It had probably been just a few very close graves that the girl Samone had awakened. If only we had gotten up here sooner. He could tell Tony was about ready to loose it. Guys with the biggest mouths are almost always the most insecure, his father had told him a long time ago. "Let's get them." But after just fifteen minutes of hammering down two of the faster pantless rape-ghouls, all five of the zombie slayers were running down the path towards Robby's house with Tony in the lead.
Archived comments for Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 2
expat on 16-10-2012
Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 2
This sort of zombie comedy-adventure thing often comes up on sidestream UK Saturday night television channels and they're a good diversion after a working week.
Pretty good dialogue throughout and I almost felt the gruesome genital hammering. :-0
Steve

Author's Reply:


My Daughter's Dog (posted on: 13-04-12)
I gave my daughter a nine-week-old puppy for her sixth birthday. He's ten now and going strong.

Any adult raises an arm near her, including her father, my daughter's dog bares fangs. In the park no matter what head start or how fast she runs he always catches her and she laughs. Greets her first when we come in. He never hollers at her: "Why don't you get it?" when it's math. Never forbids her from hanging out with the exact same risk-taking crowd her father had. Absorbs the acrimony "Just like your mother!" blasting out at her until he lies shaking on the floor. When everything is going smoothly he silently curls up at her feet as she sits at the computer, makes the mood perfect.
Archived comments for My Daughter's Dog
Andrea on 13-04-2012
My Daughters Dog
Lovely! I used to have a black lab when my eldest was about that age - no-one could go near him (the kid) without intense scrutiny πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Andrea. Labs are great dogs. Our dog is a soft-coated wheaten terrier.

Ralph

dylan on 13-04-2012
My Daughters Dog
Very well written.
Only suggestion-(I`m sure you know this)-show, don`t tell.
Orrabest,

D.

Author's Reply:
Hey D. I agree but sometimes, especially with kid's type narrative, telling can be the thing to do.

Ralph

Bradene on 14-04-2012
My Daughters Dog
Lovely moving and nostalgic poem. Nice write. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val

Ralph

Ionicus on 14-04-2012
My Daughters Dog
Not so much a man's best friend as a child's best pal.
I can picture the scene.

Author's Reply:
Luigi, you are right. It is amazing what a dog will take for his master.

Ralph

Texasgreg on 08-07-2012
My Daughters Dog
In a slump myself, so I'll be visiting some oldies from others hoping to hit inspiration. Everything I have started, (and I have many in works), just falls apart. I chose to view this 'cause it's kids and dogs...can't miss, eh? I'll hafta look up soft-coated wheaten terrier, but do not need to guess that you have written a lovely memory for your daughter and future grandchildren.
Photobucket.
Greg πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Well thanks for the comment Greg. Myself i like slumps 'cause then i get back to living. Frustrating though when you have something half finished that won't give up the ghost.

Ralph


Bad Little Boy Percy Meets Gustave (An Easter Miracle) (posted on: 09-04-12)
Two of my re-occurring anti-hero characters collide head-on. Part I of only II parts, I promise.

                                Just Another Day in the Life of a Bad Little Boy "Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad, Percy kicked Schuyler in the nards! Percy kicked Schuyler in the nards!" Seven-year-old Harley Mae Le-Grue came running up to the house from the tire swing down the hill by the creek. "I think Schuyler's gonna die!" When Mrs. Le-Grue ran down the hill to the creek that balmy last weekend of March she found her eleven-year-old son Schuyler writhing on the ground and her nine-year old son Percy still sitting in the tire swing with that smug, self-satisfied look on his face, a look she knew all too well. "What happened?" she asked as she knelt down next Schuyler. "I hate him," was all Schuyler could spit out in falsetto as he held his crotch. "I hate him with all my heart." "Young man," Mr. Le-Grue spoke with stern patience to Percy later that afternoon. "You are going to donate your Easter vacation week this year to help poor people that are less fortunate than you. I'm sending you with Pastor Fletcher and his volunteers to the poor country of Burundi so you can help those poor people build houses so they have a place to live. Hopefully, when you see how those poor people have to live you will think about how you've been acting and come back a different young man."                              The Journey of a Bad Little Boy from Tennessee to Africa Memo: to the State Department From: the Department of Homeland Security RE: Possible bio-terrorism incident on transatlantic flight 117 from New York to Johannesburg, S.A., 4/1/08 ...by mid-flight passengers were complaining of nausea and teary eyes from "a powerful, foul, rotten egg smell." Five passengers eventually vomited and one elderly lady passed out and had to be hospitalized upon arrival. Passengers in the central seating area of the 747 all pointed to another passenger in row 5 section C2, one Percival Andrew Jackson Le-Grue, a nine-year-old boy from rural Crockett County Tennessee, a member of group of church volunteers on route to a charity house building project in the nation of Burundi. The subject was taken into custody at the airport by South African security officials and was interrogated. After extensive questioning Mr. Le-Grue admitted that he had taken "Super-Fart," a flatulence inducing tablet from a gag-gift store sent to him by a Ralph Jones, his uncle who resides in Peoria, Arizona. (This same Ralph Jones has been on the National Security Agency Watch List for decades, see attached dossier on this individual). A determination was made from the Justice Department that flatulence cannot be considered bio-terrorism at this time and so the boy was released to the church group.                             A Bad Little Boy Gets to Meet a Former President It was a gloriously sunny, breezy Easter Sunday morning when the former president of the United States stood at the podium giving his toothy smile for the video cameras at the site of his latest house building project on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. He looked over at the Baptist church group from Tennessee and pointed to a young lad with spiky blond hair and a face he thought would be photogenic. The pastor had a frightened look on his face as he hesitantly brought the boy up to the podium. The former president put his arm around the boy and asked him his name. "Percy." He spoke up into the microphone with no apparent bashfulness. "What a fine young man from Tennessee, coming all this way to help his fellow man. Why don't you tell us about how you decided to contribute your spring break to such a noble cause?" "Well, I was sent here because I kicked my older brother in the nards when he tried to pull me off of our tire swing." Percy looked up at the former president with scorn in his big blue eyes. "Yo, Dog, I know you. You're from Georgia. My Dad says that Georgia is full of peanut-headed, inbred geeks, and you are the biggest in-bred, peanut-headed geek in that whole state." When the two Secret Service agents dragged Percy away from the podium he tried to kick one of them in the groin but then the other shot him with a Taser and Percy rolled down a small hill into a rubbish pile and lay there twitching for twenty minutes before the humiliated Pastor Fletcher finally walked down and scooped him up.                              A Bad Little Boy Meets the Great Gustave "Gustave has eaten the blond boy!" The little Tutsi girl yelled as she came running up the hill to the construction site where the Americans were hammering nails into the framework of the new houses. Pastor Fletcher and most of the adults ran as fast as they could down the hill to the lake shore. "Who's Gustave?" Pastor Fletcher asked with a twisted, horrified look on his face. One of the locals explained that Gustave was not a man but was a giant Nile crocodile, a notorious man-eater in the region for over twenty years. The search party fanned out and soon found Percy's blue tee shirt under two white, human legs, still with socks and boots on, in front of a tree with an enormous low hanging branch. An excellent croc ambush site. Closer to the lake was the tire Percy had rolled in down the hill. The pastor fell to his knees and clasped his hands together, his voice quavering with more fervent emotion than anyone in the congregation could remember. "Oh Lord in Heaven, why have you taken this young boy so young and in the prime of his young life with such a ghastly instrument as a vile, inhuman, man-eating monster? Oh, if you could only bring him back to us, if I could only see his sweet face again alive, I promise I will never raise my voice to him ever again! In the glorious name of Jez-sus I am asking for a miracle!" "Hey, Percy was wearing tennis shoes not boots," Holly Fletcher, the pastor's twelve-year-old daughter said. "And there is a camera here too. I think the crocodile must have thrown up." A shirtless Percy jumped down from the nearby tree he was hiding in. The Americans screamed for joy but most of the villagers ran up the hill thinking Percy was a ghost. "All right, all right, if you stop hollering at me I'll tell you what happened, Pastor Fletcher!" Percy put his fingers in his ears until Pastor Fletcher quit yelling at him.
Archived comments for Bad Little Boy Percy Meets Gustave (An Easter Miracle)
Andrea on 09-04-2012
Bad Little Boy Percy Meets Gustave (An Easter Miracle)
Ah, poor Mr Carter, doomed from the start really.
Not autobiographical, I hope Mr Jones?

Slight typo - I think 'groan' should be 'groin'?

What a card, that Percy is! Amusing piece, Ralph πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks for catching the typo, Andrea. Glad you were amused.

Ralph

TheBigBadG on 10-04-2012
Bad Little Boy Percy Meets Gustave (An Easter Miracle)
Certainly gave me a giggle, can't imagine where it will end having got to Burundi by para 3. Also, I know someone who could make the Justice Department reconsider their determination, no performance enhancing drugs required...

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the read THeBigBadG. Hopefully your acquaintance won't be on any flights i take...


Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime (posted on: 09-04-12)
Waterfall Trail is a short hike in the White Tank Mountains a few miles from Luke Airforce Base west of Phoenix. Written 21 years ago shortly after the start of the First Gulf War (the major event that set the stage for the post Cold-War world).

Narrow gulch Flies buzz Petroglyph rocks Sky shrieks Fighters low Waterfall dry Pool stagnant White belly Toad floats Dead end
Archived comments for Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
Bradene on 09-04-2012
Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
very succinct and visual. Very Different from your usual poetry, I liked it Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. Different is good, sometimes.

Ralph

Andrea on 09-04-2012
Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
Stark, graphic and visual. Very impressive.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. Desert hikes are a good source of inspiration for me.

Ralph

sunken on 11-04-2012
Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
Hello Chairman. This is my kinda stuff. A one inch punch of a poem that does the job just as powerfully as something a hundred times it's length would. It seems, thank god, that length is not everything. Great stuff. Well done, fella.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Sunken. I was hoping you would catch this one. Minimalism is good for the soul sometimes.

Ralph

Ionicus on 11-04-2012
Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
Nice and compact, Ralph. Good show.

Luigi

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed it, Luigi.

Ralph

stormwolf on 11-04-2012
Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
To me the poem is full of symbolism and portent. It has contrast and starkness that is quite unsettling. I love short poems like this.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. Desert scenery is stark and inspiring for some reason.

Ralph

Alphadog1 on 15-04-2012
Hiking Up Waterfall Trail During Wartime
what I liked about this, is the impression that rests in the words... this gives images of speed. the fighter planes, liked with flies, being buzzing suggest swatting and this leads to bombs falling... there is not time to think, just act. you have done something here that not only shows the pain of conflict, but the problem that exists at the heart of conflict, namely the inability to think through pain. well done Ralph.

Author's Reply:
Great, thoughtful comment, Alphadog1. I was trying to duplicate the trudging gate of hiking with two word lines. Sometimes simplicity works, gives an indication of the unseen immensity below the tip of the iceberg.

Ralph


Mafia Landfill Part 3 (posted on: 06-04-12)
.

Combat Rock blasted out from the stereo sound system as Don Jones drove down the inky black county road. "Should I stay or should I go?" Rock songs asking questions but never supplying answers. He hit the stop button on the cassette player, steered his Dodge pickup truck onto a cow path and parked behind some malevolently bare trees. Jones got out with the expensive camera his boss had just bought; he suspected Ken purchased it more to play with than for Don to document his inspection reports. It was starless, moonless, still, winter cold; the digital display on the camera read 3/15/85 and 3:47AM. He looked carefully around then headed for the gravel road that led up to the landfill. God it was cold and black. A longer walk than he thought it would be and it all looked different in the middle of the night. His footsteps crunching down too loudly. Definitely longer distance than he expected. He was all business though and kept trudging up the road until he found the place he was looking for and slipped into the woods of the neighboring property. Now he wished he had a flashlight. Usually his night vision was good but in these woods in this wee hour there was just no light and he stumbled around for the proper direction. A car came up the gravel road and he froze, but the passing headlights a hundred yards away helped his orientation and he found his way to a slight rise at the north edge of the landfill. An owl or a coyote was making a weird racket off to the left. Screech owl probably. Owls first to make nests, laying eggs even when snow is still on the ground. Funny what you think about. Twigs snapping behind him now. That's no owl. Not a big person but for sure bigger than a raccoon or any other animal out here except for deer. He opened his lock-blade knife still in his coat pocket. I'll take the asshole down with me, ran through his head over and over like a mantra, but the twig snapping steps ceased and he waited almost patiently, hair on the back of his neck not rising or anything, his breathe even. Why hesitate, why not just come on? But nothing came. He was still waiting, facing the pitch-black spaces between the trees instead of the open wasteland of the landfill when the first semi-trucks started pulling up to dump their loads in a humongous pile before the parked bulldozers. Must be nothing in those woods after all. Imagination combined with heightened senses combined with doing an investigation that was not exactly legal since he hadn't gotten permission to be on this private property. It was still very dark but the semi's kept coming and slowly the glow in the east increased until he made out the tomatoes and lettuce and other vegetables displayed in the mural on the sides of the semi-truck trailers that were dumping out the garbage. PRODUCE POWER was the name of the trucking company. It hit him like a slow motion sledge hammer. "Nasty bastards," he whispered. When it got light enough he used the camera's extended telephoto lens to take some pictures and to read the phone number on the sides of the trucks. All had New Jersey license plates. A pack of coyotes, still with luxuriant winter coats, patrolled the edge of the landfill. The putrefying rubbish was a windfall to them. Just like it was for the Mafia. In a decaying world the coyotes and the Mafias will do just fine. They will be the last ones standing. Don did some wildlife photography for the fun of it and then left. As he made his way through the forest he caught a whiff of something not supposed to be there, for all the world like a perfume. Who knew what the complex combinations of rank odors emanating from this landfill would smell like in any given place, but perfume? He walked right past the New Jersey truckers waiting in a long queue down the gravel road. No one paid any attention to him. When he made it to his pickup he just got in and drove off to his favorite diner in Havana, Illinois. He liked the eighty-four-year-old owner, Billy Mason, who told stories of Al Capone and his entourage stopping in this very same diner sixty years earlier when Big Al went on one of his many fishing trips on the Illinois river. Billy let Don use his phone to make long distance calls. He called the trucking firm in New Jersey, restaurants in New York City, and then his boss Ken Olson in Springfield. "No, they're not midnight dumping hazardous waste. This is what they are doing, Ken. They haul the garbage and asbestos out here from the East Coast then haul fresh produce or corn back from the warehouses here to restaurants in New York City. The same semi-truck trailers hauling the garbage are hauling the open crates of food. Yeah, I talked to some five star restaurants that do business with them. You'd think the chefs would pick up on the putrid odors the veggies must be absorbing. But get this, I couldn't talk with the owners of the trucking firm because they both died in a fire in their office last weekend. Yeah, a very mysterious fire that took out all their records too. It was the receptionist I talked to. Crazy, huh? We going to bring in the FDA and FBI on this? I thought so. No, no problems out there. I'm gonna take the rest of the day off Ken, I need to crash. Alright, let me know what they say, bye."
Archived comments for Mafia Landfill Part 3

No comments archives found!
OLD Age (posted on: 06-04-12)
Another birthday has come and gone. Happy Easter!

When I hit OLD age I will not golf bingo or shuffleboard. I will sit outside in the late evenings and fly a model plane, learn all the aerodynamic tricks so that when my time comes my soul will know how to sky-write my farewell message above all the people I have loved on this beautiful and suffering world.
Archived comments for OLD Age
Nomenklatura on 06-04-2012
OLD Age
Ha... dare to be different... the purple clothing awaits me very soon, I think.

Short and bitter sweet, a bit like life, really. πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment, Nomenklatura.

Ralph

teifii on 06-04-2012
OLD Age
What an improvement on most ideas of old age.

Author's Reply:
Yes, most aspirations for old age are passe.

Ralph

Bradene on 06-04-2012
OLD Age
I love this one, another triumph for you I'm sure Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much, Val. This is the latest poem I've written and it is fun to see my newer poetic concerns are getting a positive response.

Ralph

Andrea on 06-04-2012
OLD Age
Beautiful!

Author's Reply:
Thanks so much, Andrea.

Ralph

Ionicus on 06-04-2012
OLD Age
Nice sentiments Ralph, well expressed.

Author's Reply:
Appreciate the comment and the rating, Luigi.

Ralph

amman on 07-04-2012
OLD Age
Wow. Beautifully expressed. Love the composition of this poem.
Cheers

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the great comment, amman.

Ralph


Eternal Universe? (posted on: 02-04-12)
This speculative piece was inspired by a shabby, materialistic resurrection I came across in Carl Sagan's last book "The Demon Haunted World."

If this universe were eternal you would be reborn. Approaching but never arriving infinity would sooner or later randomly bring your scattered atoms back together to remake your exact body. More than that: eventually one of your multiple rebirths would happen in exactly the right circumstances so that the same life experiences would give you the same personality you now have. Some day a re-birth giving you your body and persona back would happen at a time when death is banished by technology, made illegal by some cosmic super-state bureaucracy, and you will seek death but not find it. Even more than that: ultimately the high-tech cosmic super-state will latch all your memories of past lives onto you until your mind is overwhelmed with eons; your soul a game piece, a library entry, or currency, or some other resource to be used and abused by those with ultra-intellects. But this universe is not eternal. It was born painfully and grew gloriously with risings of stars, nebula, and creatures. End, built in, the entropy built in, life span death sentence like in our DNA. And with its demise my Christian anarchist heart soars as high as the geese flocking over the Himalayas.
Archived comments for Eternal Universe?
Nomenklatura on 02-04-2012
Eternal Universe?
Ahh.. I like this. I like poems with the cosmos,science and all the ineffability that these things contain for me.
Splendid!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Nomeklatura.

Ralph

stormwolf on 04-04-2012
Eternal Universe?
and you will seek death but not find it.


That, to me, is a very scary thought. It reminds me of a bit in revelations which talks of the same thing.
Great expose of your creative mind yet again Ralph.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Yes, Allison, Revelations was on my mind when I wrote this. A thought experiment, letting a concept play out in your head, can be a fun exercise.

Ralph

Andrea on 04-04-2012
Eternal Universe?
Good stuff as usual Ralph, much enjoyed!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea.

Ralph

Bradene on 04-04-2012
Eternal Universe?
Great work as usual Ralph, I actually read this very early Monday morning but I've had a couple of days where I have had to be out all day hence the reason I'm behind with commenting. However, back to the piece! Years ago I read a theory like this and it fascinated me then and still does. You've done a great job of explaining it here. Nib well deserved. Valx

Author's Reply:
Hey Val. Thanks for the great rating!

Ralph


Extreme Fisherman (posted on: 30-03-12)
Doctor says i'm not allowed to watch extreme fishing programs anymore.

Been watching River Monsters DVD. Jeremy Wade, "Extreme angler and biologist," casting his line in exotic rivers of terra incognita... That lucky s.o.b. stole my life, the one big adventure I was supposed to live after graduating college. He takes on magnificent, seven-foot-long wels in a Spanish reservoir-- a catfish big enough to swallow a basketball-- while I change diapers, losing testosterone with each scented wipe on my infant's butt. He cruises the Congo River in a dugout canoe for beautiful and fierce tiger fish no one has filmed before, while I haul a bunch of gabbing eleven-year-old girls to the Halloween Superstore, in a minivan, a frigging minivan! Like an invisible doppelganger I stand next to him in spirit reeling in my imaginary tackle as he hauls in for real a five-hundred-pound bull shark from a South African river. He pulls in a wondrously indigo striped Nile perch, sacred fish to the ancient Egyptians; the only aquatic life I saw for years in this forsaken wasteland is the drain-fly maggots spewing out of the backed-up shower drains in the county jails I had to inspect monthly. What a Christmas present. Makes me question the reality of justice in this unfair universe!
Archived comments for Extreme Fisherman
Bradene on 30-03-2012
Extreme Fisherman
Oh Poor you, Look, she won't always be dependant on you. One day she'll be the responsiblity of some other lucky man and you'll be free to follow your dream. In the meantime keep on watching River Monsters DVD. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and rating, Val. This is just a humorous poem. I'm not really institutionalized.

Ralph

Andrea on 30-03-2012
Extreme Fisherman
Ah, the grass is always greener Ralph. Just think, she'll be able to look after you in yer dotage, long after Jeremy has disappeared into a croc's belly πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Oh yes, the grass that is greener. Thanks for the comment and rating, Andrea.

Ralph

Ionicus on 30-03-2012
Extreme Fisherman
What's there to envy, Ralph? Going to all that trouble for a monster fish? Once you have your picture taken with the beast you have caught there is no lasting memory of your glory.
'Sic transit gloria mundi.'
But people have different outlooks. I lead a quiet life myself and prefer to put my tackle to better use.

Best, Luigi.

Author's Reply:
Well, i have to admit i love fish, specialized in ichthyology at the university. To me those fish he has been catching (and releasing) are works of art. Almost every large freshwater fish i would be fascinated with seeing has been shown on that video series. All glory is fleeting, though. Glad to read your tackle is put to good use.

Ralph

amman on 31-03-2012
Extreme Fisherman
Very profound. Really like the insistent tone. I watch films of people climbing very tall mountains and would love to join them, but life gets in the way. Anyway.I'd be s... scared.
Cheers

Author's Reply:
Know what you mean, amman, life does get in the way. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

sunken on 31-03-2012
Extreme Fisherman
Hello Mr. Wow. Enjoyed your poem. I've never been fishing. I have been to Leighton Buzzard though. Both quite similar I would venture? An original piece with a philosophical edge. Bloody marvellous.

s
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cillit bang bang mon amour

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Sunken. As i wrote to Ms. Val i am not really institutionalized, but i do enjoy fishing. i live in a desert so there is not much opportunity. I did sneak into a private lake with my daughter and her friend and we caught and released coy and tilapia. Pretty fun to see a kid catch their first fish. We got out without being caught too. Leighton Buzzard? i'll google it.

Ralph

Romany on 01-04-2012
Extreme Fisherman
Full of gentle ironic humour. I know it's ard to believe, but there will come a day when you will probably write poetry harking back to the days when your kids were little. In the meantime, at least you are there with him in spirit!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the perceptive comment, Romany.

Ralph


The Ballade of Jasmine (posted on: 26-03-12)
Ballade about a young man sowing some wild oats with an exotic dancer and getting into big trouble.

Deep in the wilds of the Great Alaskan Bush a Seoul Venus prancing naked 'neath a Kodiak bear. She was the leader of band's one wish but no roses or guns were her fare. Jasmine twirled Lydian lace, flower in sable hair. Used to take in seven hundred dollars a night then ran away with me forsaking the hot spotlight. Kicking up sand in the long dead river, exploring voluptuous sand on our long dark flight. Dance for my freedom silky lady, slip your foot 'neath the slicker.                                      Envoy She was used to big money so I tried ripping off the meth lab blight. But tweaker flunkies turned out to be undercover might. Now stuck in county jail--aching heart like a toe with a sliver. Only chance is if she goes back to the light. Dance for my freedom silky lady, slip your foot 'neath the slicker.
Archived comments for The Ballade of Jasmine
orangedream on 26-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
A truly atmospheric poem, Ralph and almost lyrical in its style.

Particularly these lines:-

"She was the leader of band's one wish
but no roses or guns were her fare.
Jasmine twirled Lydian lace, flower in sable hair. "

Great stuff;-)

Tina


Author's Reply:
Thanks for the nice comment, Tina. This is an old poem and it is fun to see it still works.

Ralph

Andrea on 27-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
Fab! Love the second stanza...talking about meth labs, have you been watching 'Breaking Bad'?

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the rating, Andrea. Haven't seen "Breaking Bad" yet but it is in my Netflix queue. Meth labs started in Phoenix (first place in US) about 1990 when the poem takes place. I used to have to do complaint investigations on possible meth lab houses as part of my job as an inspector for the health department back then.

Ralph

Bradene on 27-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
Creatived some images in my mind. Some I'm not too sure of! your writing is flawless as usual but my interpretation may be all wrong, there was a lot I didn't quite understand, would that be a cultural thing or an age thing? (-; Valx

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, well some of this is references to things only i would know and poetic license. The "Great Alaskan Bush" was a world famous strip joint in Phoenix. It had a gigantic stuffed Kodiak bear in the front hallway but for this piece i put it on stage with the exotic dancers. Takes place about 1990.

Ralph

stormwolf on 28-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
Hi Ralph
I also did not understand some of it but I caught the gist.
Enjoying your many inspirations to write poetry.
Congrats on the nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison.

Ionicus on 28-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
The impetuosity of youth! One should always be wary of 'femmes fatale'.
A good one, Ralph.

Author's Reply:
The siren song is was going on back then (1990) and is going on now and will be going on long after we're gone, my friend. Femmes Fatale make life interesting (in other words dangerous).

Ralph

Andrea on 29-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
Well, you've got some catching up to do, there are 5 seasons to date http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Bad

Set in new Mexico, which looks just about as dry and dusty as Arizona πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
5 seasons? I thought the premise was a chemist with terminal cancer turns to cooking meth to set his family up for after his demise. 5 seasons seems a long time for a terminal cancer patient. Have to watch it when the kid isn't around.

Ralph

Andrea on 29-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
I is (the premise) but it gets very complicated πŸ™‚ The kid who plays Jesse (Aaron Paul) is brilliant!

Author's Reply:
Sounds intriguing, Andrea. New Mexico is no where near as beautiful as Arizona though.

Ralph

Andrea on 29-03-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
While you're at it, you might like to try the following :

The Sopranos
Six Feet Under
Dexter

New Joisey, California and Miami respectively - all brilliant.

Arizona looks a lot greener than NM.

Author's Reply:
Oh Andrea, you should see Arizona this time of year. The deserts south of Phoenix are covered with poppies, short-lived of course. They color whole mountains. More species of flowering plants for this desert level of rainfall anywhere in the world.

Ralph

sunken on 01-04-2012
The Ballade of Jasmine
Those wild oats have a lot to answer for, Mr. Chairman of Wow. Best stick to the porridge variety I say. Much less troublesome and tasty too if you get the consistency right. I trust this has helped? Hello?

s
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speaking words of wisdom, cup of tea - cup of tea

Author's Reply:
Words to the wise, Sunken. Unfortunately your comment was addressed to me. Proved i could write a rhyming poem, anyway. Sir Paul know about you re-writing his lyrics?

Ralph


A Plague of Lions (posted on: 23-03-12)
An experiment in alliteration. Poem is about what happens when UFOs parachute tens of millions of cloned lions down to earth.

Glinting white mushrooms sprouting out of the summer sky sapphire become parachutes with roaring cargo. Beaming throughout the great land a bureaucracy burlesque of bulletins, bulwarks, and bullwhip cracking buffoons. Blue metal barrels melting from nimiety, still the leonine rain pours ready-to-hunt prides. Tawny maned fury mauling our neighbor in his own back yard as we look down from the attic window like griffin vultures waiting for our turn at the kill.
Archived comments for A Plague of Lions
Andrea on 23-03-2012
A Plague of Lions
Ahhhh....alliteration! Don't you just love it (well, I do anyway).

Love that last stanza too!

(Strange idea, roaring lions raining on your head)

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, strange ideas are my forte, Andrea.

Ralph

orangedream on 23-03-2012
A Plague of Lions
I just have no idea how you got this amazing idea, Ralph. 'Raining men' or even 'raining frogs'...but raining lions...wow - what a thought;-)

Loved the alliterations. Brilliant stuff;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina.
The inspiration for this was the 1993 flooding in Illinois, my home state. Many old towns there for over a hundred years were wiped out. It is the idea of "what Next?" and the media exploiting it along with that feeling "how can i profit from this?" that secretly gets asked in a lot of people's heads when a disaster strikes.

Ralph

Andrea on 23-03-2012
A Plague of Lions
Must be all that Arizona sun, Ralph πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Andrea,
I think it was true long before i moved to Az but admit this sun can effect your brain if you work outside for years like i did. πŸ˜‰

teifii on 24-03-2012
A Plague of Lions
Presune the watchers are waiting their turn to eat the neighbour, but feel the lions might well eat them too.

Author's Reply:
Oh the lions will definitely eat him, but i think the neighbor is thinking about how can this benefit me. Can i get his property cheap now? Now i have a chance at his wife; maybe i can get his good job. All kinds of ways for people to be vultures; only one way for a lion to be a lion.

Bradene on 25-03-2012
A Plague of Lions
Love the alliteration idea for the poem interesting. Must have been a scary experience, So many of your weather patterns are in the extreme. We have them rarely our climate being moderate. Good work Ralph. Valx

Author's Reply:


General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence (posted on: 19-03-12)
Reincarnated General George S. Patton, Jr. is called on to give a morale boosting talk at a conference of poets dealing with an outbreak of plagiarism on poetry posting websites. This is of course a parody of the speech General Patton gave to the U.S. Third Army on June 5, 1944.

"Attention!" "At ease, sit down, lay down, stand on your head if you want to. Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever wrote a great poem by suffering for his art. He wrote it by letting the other poor dumb bastard suffer for his art while the true poet lived life in a celebration of passion. This English language the Bard-of-Avon bequeathed to us four hundred years ago has the best metaphors, best alliteration, best imagery, and finest objective correlatives in the world. "You know, I almost pity the poetaster and copy-write infringing bastards we're going up against. By God I do. We're not just going to figuratively shoot the plagiarist bastards; we're going to symbolically cut out their living guts and use them to grease the chains on our bicycles before we peddle off to Starbucks to get our morning lattes; we're going to metaphorically murder those lousy Milli Vanillis by the bushel. "Now I know some of you guys and gals wonder if you'll chicken out when it comes time to stand up and recite your poems in front of other people. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that when you get on stage you will perform. If it's real it's in your blood. "Truth and beauty are our objectives; we are constantly advancing towards them. Life lived authentically is the strategy we use to achieve them. Anything that cages human aspirations for love and freedom is the enemy. Weigh into oppression with your verse; shoot their pet dogmas in the belly! "I don't want to hear about any holding on to the past. Let the poetaster do that. We are hanging on to only one thing and that is the reader. When he absorbs our stuff it's going to knock him around until he doesn't know what hit him and his life is changed forever. "And you can forget about recreational psychoactive drugs, Doors of Perception and all that. Once you've tried to put your hand in the goo you think your best friend's face has turned into you'll know drug hallucinations are not inspiration. "And there's another thing I want you to remember and you can thank God for it. Thirty years from now at your fireside with your granddaughter on your knee and she asks you, 'What did you ever do that was artistic?' you won't have to say, 'Well, I just phone voted for the least shitty singer on "American Idol."' "Now you know how I feel. Go-on. I will be proud to stand and deliver my poetry on stage with any one of you wonderful guys and gals, at any poetry slam, any time, any where. That's all."
Archived comments for General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
Andrea on 19-03-2012
General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
Hahaha, that's brilliant! He'd be spinning in his grave if he read this πŸ™‚ His original speech was rousing (and quite brutal) stuff...

Here's the original... PATTON'S SPEECH

"f you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!"

Oh yes, siree!

Another winner!

Author's Reply:
Andrea,
I can only say that I'm having too much fun, especially writing this, and that someone should probably stop me.

Ralph

Bradene on 19-03-2012
General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
Wonderful stuff. A very cleverly constucted piece and worthy of the nib and nom'. Valx

Author's Reply:
Val,
thanks for the comment and the rating.

Ralph

orangedream on 19-03-2012
General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
Congrats on the nib and nom. Great stuff.

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina.

Nomenklatura on 20-03-2012
General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
I'm just imagining George C. delivering this poem, wearing an Eisenhower jacket and a bone dome, .45 pistol being brandished overhead. A terrific poem and worth it's nib and nomination. Well done, indeed.


Author's Reply:
Exactly the image i was trying for. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

Ionicus on 20-03-2012
General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
An absolute side-splitting parody, Ralph. I particularly like:
"Thirty years from now
at your fireside
with your granddaughter
on your knee
and she asks you,
What did you ever do that was artistic?'
you won't have to say, 'Well, I
just phone voted for the least
shitty singer on "American Idol.'"
Brilliant.

Author's Reply:
Yes Luigi,
i was snickering to myself as i wrote this and no one around me could figure out why. Glad it gave you a chuckle or two.

Ralph

cooky on 09-04-2012
General Patton Addresses a Poetry Confrence
Now this is my kind of poetry. A write to inspire proper poetry. This is very memorable and the style oozes a bit of class.

Author's Reply:
Cooky,
Thanks for the great comment.

Ralph


Marilyn Monroe Triptych (posted on: 16-03-12)
A reaction to the Cecil Beaton triptych photograph of the actress Marilyn Monroe reclining holding a rose.

There are three sides to every thing. Janus plus one and then the black and white photograph of you stops me like a still frame. It is you are variations on an elemental theme: water ice steam. Thrice sounding from the towpath. Your liquid eyes imploring, deaf-mute scrivener's hand griped by your snowy fingers, steamy lips calling out. Weary calling to weary from the towpath.
Archived comments for Marilyn Monroe Triptych
Bradene on 16-03-2012
Marylin Monroe Triptych
This piece compliments Beatons photograph very well Ralph. I am a Monroe fan, along with Lombard and Harlow. All were tragically young when they died but still beautiful. That's the way they will always be remembered, Young and vibrant. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Val. I also like the classic movie starlets, including Rita Hayworth and B. Bardot.

Ralph

Andrea on 16-03-2012
Marylin Monroe Triptych
I love Beaton, and that was a particularly beautiful photograph. A lovely poem to compliment the pic.

Author's Reply:
Andrea,
i agree Beaton is a great photographer. Thanks once again for the comment and rating.

Ralph

Ionicus on 16-03-2012
Marylin Monroe Triptych
I think that Marilyn Monroe was an interesting character and not at all a blonde bimbo. I wrote a poem about her called "Marilyn Monroe Reading James Joyce" on this site on 26-6-2009 which was inspired by a photograph of her reading "Ulysses". It was a natural snap and not posed. The Cecil Beaton's portraits and your poem are very inspiring.

Author's Reply:
Luigi,
Thanks for letting me know about "Marilyn Monroe Reading James Joyce." Appreciate the compliment in your comment.

Ralph

mef on 17-03-2012
Marylin Monroe Triptych
I thought the final verse was stunning and especially loved the final line. I ended up readin git several times.

I really liked the idea of Janus plus one and you get the impact of the photgraph across.

I was less sure of the middle stanza more in terms of layout than content. My eye and sense of meaning were both distracted by:

'It is you are variations'

This line took me out of the poem and into analysis - I wasn't sure if it was a typo and if not, then what effect was it supposed to have. The flow of that verse from variations on was wonderful and certainly took the Janus metaphor forward.

I have mixed feelings about Munroe as an icon (love her films). I am not sure many photographers got past her defenses.

Author's Reply:
mef,
thanks for the extended comment. "it is you are" was intended to convey the conceit of the poem that the photograph was more than a photograph, a representation, it is M. Monroe as she comes to life and the viewer is turned into a still life. Glad you gave the poem several reads.

Ralph

stormwolf on 18-03-2012
Marylin Monroe Triptych
Hi Ralph πŸ˜‰
Another wee gem from you!
I did not get line 2
Janus plus one and then the black and white
surely that makes 4?
Anyway, such a tiny thing in the appreciation of this lovely poem that spoke to me of a metaphysical bonding taking place across time and media.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Allison, I think Janus Plus one "and then" stops the addition. But in a way there are 4 sides, the 4th being the viewer. Thanks for making me think about it though.

Ralph

teifii on 24-03-2012
Marylin Monroe Triptych
On the whole I thought it very good but found beginning of stanza 2 confusing --It is you are variations. The grammar disturbs me 'is+are'. What is the subject of 'are variations'? or am I missing something?

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment. The intention of this little experimental phrase is to show the photograph 'coming alive,' becoming the three-dimensional Marylin Monroe instead of a flat representation. 'you are' thus becomes a noun phrase, something that it 'is.' As with all experiments it may or may not work, but taking the language where the language hasn't been before is the business us wordsmiths are in business for. πŸ™‚


Future-Snake (posted on: 12-03-12)
A geologist named Dougal Dixon came out with an illustrated book called "After Man: A Zoology of the Future." In it he speculates on what forms animals would evolve into 50 million years after the extinction of Homo sapiens. There was no highly evolved rattlesnake in it though...

One November on a cool afternoon in the Arizona desert foothills I saw the biggest rattlesnake. A lengthy western diamondback coiled tight over a rodent burrow. I threw pebbles to make him slither. Forked tongue eased out then he knew what I was. Sluggish he moved, as if to say "You son-of-a-bitch," unwound down into the hole. When only black rings and rattle were visible there came a vision:                              Snow covered mountainside                              Twilight outside a village                              Of ragged pygmies cowering in tunnels                              Camouflaged dragon-ferret without legs or ears                              Nightmare sixty feet long                              Bright amber eyes                              Covered in soft mottled down                              Complex tail organ that could sound like:                                                                                      a baby crying                                                                                      a woman in distress                                                                                      seductive music                              Undulating in and out of the snow                              Around the pines and into a grotto                              Warm-blooded cunning killer supreme                              Hunting the scattered descendents of humanity.
Archived comments for Future-Snake
Bradene on 12-03-2012
Future-Snake
This is brilliant, it's so vivid I could feel the heat of the desert. Your writing reminds me of the writings of Dean Koontz he has a remarkable talant for imagery and you have it too. Valx

Author's Reply:
The Arizona desert is a great inspiration. Thanks for the comment, Val.

Ralph

Andrea on 12-03-2012
Future-Snake
I was quite overcome with the desert heat, there! I always thought sidewinders were remarkable snakes (and what a lovely name), and leave amazing patterns in the sand.

Clever form here, too - nice one!

Author's Reply:
Sidewinders are very cool specialized small rattlesnakes that live in the sand dunes on the Arizona-California border. Can't touch that hot sand too long so they have to keep their bodies high. Thanks for the rating on this one, Andrea.

Ionicus on 12-03-2012
Future-Snake
A good one Ralph. Well done.

Author's Reply:
Thanks, Luigi. THis was an old poem (20 years old now) that I brought back out and re-worked. Nice to see it still has an impact.

Ralph

stormwolf on 12-03-2012
Future-Snake
very dark and wonderfully hideous imagery. the thought of the sinister intelligence that can mimic what would bring people running...ooooooo too awful!
Great job
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. There are poisonous snakes that use their tails for bait here in the states, juvenile copperhead snakes. Someone else who read it compared it to the Time Machine Eloi being hunted by a snaky Morlock. i'm no prophet but it is fun to speculate. Who knows what wonders another billion years of evolution would give us?

sunken on 14-03-2012
Future-Snake
Hello Chairman of Wow. Another top write, another nib. I believe you weren't sure what I meant on your last sub by "well done on the nib". A nib referres to the 'Great Read' icon that's been placed on your poem. No one knows who dishes out the nibs (great reads) but they seem to be on the ball. I've seldom disagreed with them. I kinda like the mystery too. So, I can say it again - well done on the nib. You're getting quite a collection.

s
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Author's Reply:
Well thanks Sunken. Can't tell you how much i enjoy posting on UKA. Will have to go back to work soon if i can find a job and so you all may get a break from the Chairman of Wowow, but maybe you won't. Can't say if what's coming out will slow down or not. Never could do two things at once though.

Ralph

RoyBateman on 14-03-2012
Future-Snake
This is the stuff of nightmares, and very cinematic too...with today's technology, it could be brought to life in an all-too-realistic fashion. The Lambton Worm reborn? Anyway, a highly effective and skilful piece - if I wake up with the shakes tonight, I shall know who to blame!

Author's Reply:
Lambton worm, was that the inspiration for the 90's horror movie "Lair of the White Worm?" Anyway good analogy. If you are awoken in the wee hours by seductive music or the cry of a woman in distress check around before you step outside; you never know when a time travel worm hole may pop up and let something nasty in! Thanks for the great comment Roy.

Ralph


Thunder Over Aravaipa Canyon (posted on: 09-03-12)
My stab at a male mid-life crises poem. Strictly an imaginative exercise.

The no longer young man splashes alone through laughing water, hiking upstream beneath impossibly tall pink canyon walls. Crazy desert creek, frogs jump everywhere, schools of iridescent fish bump into his shins. His tennis shoes soaking, a happy orphan with no parent to scold him. Then he hears thunder echo from the rocks above. Stops and stares into the clear blue, fearing the deluge: a flash-flood wall of water and mud and logs that hits faster than any man can run. Then an enchanting wood nymph hauling a backpack wades downstream from around the bend. He smiles because she is young and beautiful and asks her if it is storm coming or maybe dynamite exploding at the mine ten miles away? She answers no; neither of those. It is bighorn sheep the rams butting heads battling for their harems. She doesn't explain all that, just says it is bighorn sheep. For a second his desire to make something happen with this young woman standing there in the pristine stream kicks in. He questions her with his eyes. She just gives a slight smile he hadn't received before and heads on downstream. Then he knows. Time to don the tragic mask of a washed-up lover boy. Never again the alluring young voice calling from just around the bend. Growing pitch black on his way back downstream. He misjudged the daylight, was in stumbling trouble, the crashing again. Looking up towards the heights he couldn't see and could never reach it comes back: four years old lost in the department store.
Archived comments for Thunder Over Aravaipa Canyon
Andrea on 09-03-2012
Thunder Over Aravaipa Canyon
Imaginative exercise, eh? Hope you didn't buy yourself a long, sleek, expensive automobile and sport a thick gold chain πŸ™‚

Much enjoyed, as always.

Author's Reply:
No expensive auto for me, Andrea, as am a practical guy. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

Bradene on 10-03-2012
Thunder Over Aravaipa Canyon
This has some wonderful imagery I could see you there wading and splashing in that river, even though it was maybe a metaphor for lost youth. I found it poignant too, especially the last two stanzas. Great read once again, Valx

Author's Reply:
Val, Aravaipa Canyon is one of the most beautiful places of many beautiful places in Arizona. Got to hear the bighorn sheep butting heads just as described in the poem. Really was so loud i thought it was thunder.

Ralph

Nomenklatura on 05-04-2012
Thunder Over Aravaipa Canyon
Like many good poems, this can be interpreted in a number of ways. Eliot said good poetry should have seven layers: I think he set the layer awfully high, but as usual you have managed more than most.

Ewan

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ewan

Ralph

Nomenklatura on 05-04-2012
Thunder Over Aravaipa Canyon
layer??? level awfully high! Doh!

Author's Reply:
Layer or level i'll take the good comment. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Nomenklatura.

Ralph


Mafia Landfill Part 2 (posted on: 05-03-12)
.

"It's at least a dollar a mile to haul anything interstate, at least a dollar a mile," Don repeated. He sat before his obese supervisor enthroned behind the massive oak desk in the big corner office on the ninth floor of their headquarters in Springfield, Illinois. "They are trucking in baled garbage and asbestos all the way from Jersey to here. It's costing them almost two thousand dollars a load. To haul garbage. Sure Jersey landfill space is used up but there must be a hundred closer landfills just in Pennsylvania. Why would they haul it all the way to central Illinois?" "How do you know the East Coast is where it all comes from?" Ken Olson, Don's supervisor, asked. "I know it. Every manifest I've seen is from Jersey or New York City. They didn't deny it. They're doing something illegal, Ken." Don couldn't help staring at the miniature rock garden on his supervisor's desk. It was a calming tool his newly Buddhist boss was using these days. Before Don had been hired two years ago Ken had almost been fired for having an anger management problem, he had heard. Ken did something Don had never seen before; he stood up forcefully, the girth amazingly squeezed out of the armrests of the undersized desk chair. Didn't the tight compression of his flab cut off his circulation? Don always wondered. The supervisor pointed angrily in Don's face. Ken's face flushed immediately until the supervisor appeared to be a raving beet. With a raised voice Don had never heard before Ken said, "What do you think they're up to?" "I, I, I don't know. I've never seen the garbage trucks that are hauling the loads in. They've always been gone no matter how early in the morning I get there." Don shook his head, hating to predict something he didn't know for certain but at the same time the significance attached to this excited him like no other investigation. "Maybe they are midnight dumping hazardous waste illegally into this little non-hazardous waste landfill." "Okay, Jonesy, I want you to go out there tonight before dawn and find out if that's what's going on," Ken still sounded pissed-off but at least now Don knew it wasn't directed at him. "Wait a minute. You want me to go out there by myself at night, unannounced? These guys act like Mafia, Ken. That goombah a-hole Roger Sharko threatened me." "Oh, they're just blowing smoke. They're not real Mafia. They're just wannabes." "How do you know they're not for real?" Don squirmed a little in the chair. "They're not; you're here right? If they were for real you wouldn't be. Now you gotta go out there tonight. From what you're telling me about their reaction to the report today something's changed. If they are all of a sudden agitated about getting a bad report when they haven't been giving a damn for over a year something important is going on behind the scenes." "This was their worst report. But maybe you're right, Ken. They never worried about a bad report before; just acted like paying our fines was a part of doing business." Now Don's mind whirled. If something was changing then time was probably short to get evidence on them. This was big. Maybe the biggest case he'd ever get a chance to solve and get himself into the limelight. "Eco-warrior defeats the Mob," he could read the headlines in his mind now. He decided nothing would get in his way on this. Ken sat back down, or rather, squeezed back into his chair. "I want you out there tonight. Make sure the flash on the camera works, stay in the trees on the property line, and see if you can get something on these junior broken-noses." "Do I get overtime?" "No, comp time." Ken began re-arranging the pebbles in the sand in the miniature rock garden with his miniature rake. "I've already got a hundred hours of comp time you won't let me take," Don pleaded. Ken didn't look up from his Zen meditation and Don knew their talk was finished. As he walked out of the office Don wondered if a new desk chair that fit his fat ass might be better for Ken's anger problem than spiritual enlightenment.
Archived comments for Mafia Landfill Part 2
Andrea on 05-03-2012
Mafia Landfill Part 2
Eco-warrior defeats the Mob - lovely! Shades of Tony Soprano, eh?

A Buddhist boss with a mini rock-garden - what a vision. Sounds like he needs to go on a fast, though πŸ™‚

Much enjoyed!

Author's Reply:


The Face From the River (posted on: 05-03-12)
July 1918. Excursion steamship Columbia on the Illinois River. Five hundred passengers. Disaster hits.

Steamboat capsizes Eighty bloated bodies beach Near Peoria Searchlights scan the fog Upriver the coroner Records notes on teeth Now under black earth Once under the dark brown flood They found all but one Stench of rotting flesh Bleached ghost white from sun Floating ever down Netted his corpse while Seining for gizzard shad, face Covered...crawdads...
Archived comments for The Face From the River
Andrea on 05-03-2012
The Face From the River
I do love these forays into US history. had to look it up of course --> PEORIA DISASTER

Seining for gizzard shad, face
Covered...crawdads...


Had to look it up too - love stuff that makes me do that. Luckily, I did happen to already know what crawdads are :))

Fab stuff, as usual...

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea. I love to find new words in poems too.

Ralph

Alphadog1 on 06-03-2012
The Face From the River
I really liked the very strong visualisation here; in this raw well drawn the links between the corpse's and the craw fish ...very clever.

I particularly like the stanza below:
Searchlights scan the fog
Upriver the coroner
Records notes on teeth

i


Author's Reply:
Thanks Alphdog1. It is fun to write squirm-in-your-seat, gross-out poetry.

Bradene on 07-03-2012
The Face From the River
I too have had to google, but I've not studied it thoroughly yet as I wanted to comment on the poem, I found it very intriguing. I don't know what crawdads are yet but I'm sure I'll find out. I'm all behind with my commenting this week. Another great read Ralph. Valx

Author's Reply:
Val,
Thanks for the comment and rating. Crawdads are crayfish, miniature freshwater lobsters. I've been working on this poem since college, a long time now.

Ralph

sunken on 08-03-2012
The Face From the River
Another very well written piece, Mr. Chairman of Wow. If I had my way you'd have been nibbed for this. I had my placards out all day on Tuesday. Sadly no one noticed. And people wonder why I suffer with low self esteem. Please except a smelly Bernard by way of compensation. This week he is mainly smelling of caramel. #JustSaying

s
u
n
k
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n



Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken. Sad to say after three months i still don't know what nibbed is. Afraid i'd look dumb if i asked. Oops, let the cat out of the bag.

Ralph


pOlItIoN (posted on: 02-03-12)
"If a society must have an ever-expanding list of laws to survive it doesn't deserve to." Me

I'm not supposed to be loyal to you. Look, you're a hired hand at best, a gargantuan flesh-eating bacterium in a suit and tie at worst. I've watched you kidnap the Constitution, our precious Bill of Rights, and like a skilled pimp snatching a blond Moldavian peasant girl beat her down and then groom her with false praise, rape her repeatedly until she's perverted into some pliant, omnivorous whore that just exists to make money for you and your unctuous cronies. The fiercest pirates cruising the Arabian Sea hang their heads in shame when comparing their piddly million dollar ransoms to your extortion and squander of trillions and trillions! The worst are you, you mild-mannered shape-shifting, middle-of-the-road fascists with your polling data and focus-group-approved soundings. Constantly culling passionate debate and passionate people so you can move the rest of the heard into the slaughter pen without undo incivility. After you've passed about ten million convoluted laws that make everyone a potential felon you pick which of them to enforce on who you want targeted, squeezing that much closer to complete control. When you're finally faced with your treason you just spout standard condescending palliation, standing stiffly between the armed guards in dark shades and blue suits, about how no system is perfect, it could be worse, be mature about this, don't criticize the mainstream media even if they get caught spreading lying propaganda because then you'll give extremist media a foothold, and at least you all ain't in some North Korean concentration camp fist-fighting for the undigested corn kernels picked out of the latrines. False choice. You didn't make this country we did. We didn't make it with lobbyists and PAC money. We made it with the most heroic word in human language.
Archived comments for pOlItIoN
Andrea on 02-03-2012
pOlItIoN
Stirring, passionate stuff, Chairman - really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward with interest to the US elections, I always follow then closely...we shall see.



Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and rating Andrea.

Ralph

dylan on 03-03-2012
pOlItIoN
Powerful and stirring-can see it means a lot to you. Well written, as ever.Orrabest,

D.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment D.

Ralph

Bradene on 03-03-2012
pOlItIoN
I think we all follow US elections with great interest, they are after all almost as important to us as our own, though I have to admit I find the whole thing difficult to fully understand.
you write about everything with such passion and fervour. you are indeed a very gifted writer. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment and rating Valx. American elections are designed to be complex marathons but have become so grueling i am afraid our best leaders do not bother to run.

Ralph

Ionicus on 04-03-2012
pOlItIoN
A biting satire, Ralph, that should make politicians stand up and be counted.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi.

Ralph


''So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?'' (posted on: 27-02-12)
Smart-mouthed kid makes me think.

Taking her to school out of the blue my daughter says, "You're only happy because you live in your own world."
Archived comments for ''So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?''
Bradene on 27-02-2012
So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?
If I were you I would definitely live in my daughters world
(-; of course I realise you were attaching a much deeper meaning to this, but me, whenever I hear what kids have to say I go along with the face value remark, because kids see life through honest and simple eyes. Valx

Author's Reply:
How true, Valx. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

Andrea on 27-02-2012
So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?
Hahaha - priceless, ain't they? Val's right, but it makes you think, nonetheless πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Andrea, yes they are, and yes it does.

Ralph

chant_z on 28-02-2012
So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?
Hmm. There is indeed a logically possible world where Donald Duck is wearing pink leather pants and is working as a salesman for a company selling home insurance for tent equipment in the kingdom of Singapore. I don't say it's very likely but it iIS a logical possibility. πŸ™‚ Only in your case I would suggest that you avoid words like "possible world" and "logic". SHE's likely to know the latter already :). In my case every second time I crack a joke people tend to think I take weird substances (I don't *lol*). Thus be mindful...it can happen to you too πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
I know what you mean, chant_z. Don't want the duck wearing leather pants image in my head though.

chant_z on 28-02-2012
So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?
Young children are exceptionally logical; don't neglect that. Later on they get more and more irrational...there's adulthood for ya πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 28-02-2012
So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?
Children have more wisdom than we give them credit for.
What insight your daughter has. Cherish her, Ralph.

Author's Reply:
You are so right, Luigi. Yes, my daughter is my inspiration.

Ralph

barenib on 28-02-2012
So What World Am I Supposed To Live in?
There are some who say that the whole world is just a construct of the individual consciousness, so any notion of reality is meaningless. I'd rather have a beer. John.

Author's Reply:
John, i thought i replied to your comment already. mind playing tricks again will have to give it whatfor. I guess what i thought i wrote was maybe beer is only a mental construct and not real. God, i am losing it.


The Boone Cycle Part III: Boone's Lament (posted on: 24-02-12)
Ironic fact that Daniel Boone and Tecumseh, the great Shawnee general, were briefly step-brothers when Boone was adopted by the Shawnee in 1778. Tecumseh's prophecy of a devastating earthquake actually happened in 1812; it was so powerful that the Mississippi River reportedly ran backwards.

God is constantly moving faster than a blur except briefly where true beauty is perceived God stops. *                    *                    *                  --1811-- "I grew to hate the government of the United States for the lawsuits and debt it loaded onto my back, so with my loving wife Rebecca we escaped across the great Mississippi River to the freedom of the new wilderness of Missouri. But after just a few happy years Napoleon sold this country to the United States. They took away our Spanish land grant, and we were made homeless until we were taken in by our loyal daughter Jemima, the one they used to tease me about, slandering her legitimacy, calling her 'Boone's Surprise,' what gossipers! "The United States court-martialled me-- claimed I was a traitor, an Indian lover, whilst others writing books about me luridly described me as reveling in spilling Indian blood. It was never my intention to become an Indian nor was it my aim to wipe them out of this country. In truth I desired for us Britons to merely live alongside the Indians in small villages to mutual benefit as had the French for two generations in the Illinois country. "Would it be too late now for us to join the great Shawnee general Tecumseh and throw out the United States? No, Tecumseh has grown insane with bitterness at what has happened to his people. I knew him; he had been adopted as a young boy by Chief Blackfish who adopted me into the Shawnee nation after my capture in '78. The fire of God's wrath was in his eyes even as a boy. But he had always fought a humane war until now, sparing women and children and forgoing torture of prisoners. Lately he travels to Indian towns of all the nations the entire breadth of this continent, making speeches prophesying that soon he will stomp his foot and there will be a horrific earthquake that will usher in a doomsday war ending in the elimination of all whites from Indian lands. He might as well be a Mad King George luxuriating in the thousand scalps taken from American frontier men, women, children, and babies. "The Revolution I sacrificed two sons for is now soiled. Mister Jefferson has given us back our freedom to criticize the government but his wisdom is unique. The rich few in the government in Washington and the stock jobbers on Wall Street in New York City will always have their persons and wealth protected whilst the poor masses always pay the bill for the wealthy's sins whether for rampant speculation or the trade in African slaves. "The future will be like a night terror. Cities will grow into the millions. Citizens will not be able to walk with their feet on the ground or see the horizon through the foundry smoke. Lawyers like locusts will descend on families until even the love between a man and a woman is poisoned. A man will have no friends, trust no one and walk alone. "Clever inventions such as steam power will sustain them for a while but soon debt will crush our posterity down. It came into my mind that two centuries from the present time this debt will even crush the United States. The legislature and the President will be paralyzed, bankruptcy will ensue and all will be auctioned off to some tyrannical foreign empire. "It was in the throes of this feeling of lamentation that it came to me last year to embark on one final exploration, against the protestations of my family, up the Missouri River to see if some good might be hidden in the future. Even through my old man eyes the summer sights amazed me every day. Buffalo herds not of hundreds but of millions. Cities of prairie dogs, creatures that seemed to speak to each other with great intelligence. Delightful pronghorn antelope, like impish sprites, dashing about faster than I imagined any living thing ever could. Grizzly bears, the size of bulls, that you did not hunt but had to declare war on. "But the most curious thing on the upper Missouri was the Mandan town. Indians the like I had never seen before. Many had grey or blue eyes; children with wheaten hair. The lovely girls swam out to our boats to meet us. The village was like no Indian dwelling place I'd seen or heard about in my long life. Instead of canoes they made skin boats like the Welch. They put up rock walls and dug trenches for their sewer. Their earth lodges were permanent, not teepees. Indians I am familiar with on these great plains do not live like that. It was like walking into a medieval village from a story book. "The Mandans had heard of me, considered me an honored elder and so assigned one of their young maidens, a charming young girl called Mint, to be my translator and personal helper. They even allowed her to accompany me as we set out for the the sacred mountain range they called the Shining Mountains, what we call the Rocky Mountains. Towering, majestic summits dwarfing anything in the Alleghenies or the Ozarks, truly put to shame what I thought mountains were. "We pushed on into the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, gigantic sky above us in a land like no other on this Earth. Paradise and hell had collided here, it seemed. Hot geysers that pulsed a regular spouting, as if a heart beat inside the earth and these were the wounds of a great artery. Steaming muddy caldrons that kill instantly if you fell into them. But such vast beauty all around in the golden valleys. More wonders, a vulture-like bird with a wingspan as wide as a one-man canoe is long. On the first evening I shot an animal I never saw before but had heard about, a great antlered beast the French call 'l'Original.' As I stood over it peering up in exultation at the colors in the sunset, Mint praised my hunting skills with a song and then began the butchering. "The ancient Mandan medicine man approached us, pointing at the setting sun, speaking in their sacred language that for all the world sounded like my mother's soothing Welch. 'First Creator is that,' I thought Mint said when she translated. 'The First Creator is the sun?' I asked. 'No!' she mildly exclaimed at my misunderstanding. 'He is in the beauty of the sunset right now but First Creator is constantly moving. Whenever you perceive real beauty First Creator stops...'"
Archived comments for The Boone Cycle Part III: Boone's Lament
Andrea on 24-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part III: Boones Lament
Another fascinating slice of US history, Chairman. Much enjoyed.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting Andrea. Looks like everyone else is Booned out. πŸ™‚

Ralph

Bradene on 25-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part III: Boones Lament
Absolutely enchanting. I was enthralled and held captive by this story. Your descrptions of the vast and varied landscapes were vivid and magnificent. It was truly awe inspiring. Thanks again for another absorbing history lesson. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Valx. A lot in these three pieces are folklore mixed in with actual history and my own poetic license.

Ralph

Ionicus on 25-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part III: Boones Lament
Another interesting piece about the life and tribulations of Daniel Boone even though a tad too long. A gripping story nonetheless. I hope our hero appreciated adequately the charming maiden Mint.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting. You have a point, the length definitely challenged my attention span. As for D. Boone and his Mandan helper, i think it's safe to say that a family man with ten children would appreciate still all the good things in life even at 74.


The Boone Cycle Part II: Fathers and Daughters (posted on: 20-02-12)
This narrative poem contrasts the parenting styles of two of history's great men. The rescue incident depicted in this piece was the real life inspiration for the "The Last of the Mohicans" novel and movies.

                         --3 B.C.-- Caesar Augustus, supreme ruler of all the known world, walks alone the dark streets of Rome searching for his only child, his daughter Julia. What god to pray to? How to name this humiliation? Who would he find her with this time in the public forum? A political enemy? A dusky, unwashed pleb? Worst of all, a red-bearded German cannibal who would grin at the helpless ruler of the empire even as his lopped off head rolls across the marble floor. How easy to dispose of a lover or an ally, like changing a garment, but how hard to be rid of a daughter. How impossible. Oh Julia, oh Julia, oh Julia. *                            *                            *                         --1776-- Daniel Boone, the supreme explorer of all the unknown world west of the Alleghenies gave this answer when his second daughter Susannah's fiance complained of her flirtations: "If the stallion is a racehorse and the mare is a racehorse then the filly's gonna be a runner." Bottled up in his fort for weeks, Daniel Boone and the other marksmen kept the Shawnee war party back away from the walls. No flaming arrows could reach; only the dull arrows of boredom. "Boone!" cried out the Shawnee war captain from the treeline, "Show us your daughters!" "All right." Boone called down, "Girls, get up here!" On the parapet of the fort appeared three creatures from paradise. Fiddles and clapping wafted up around the three teenage girls as they high-stepped back and forth across the top of the walls. Levina laughed, waved down at the Indians like they were old friends. Jemima, the youngest, the one gossipers claimed wasn't his daughter but whose risk-taking spirit was more like him than anyone else, cavorted happily, threw the hem of her dress up and gave them a shot of firm calves. Blond Susannah didn't look out as she sashayed back and forth, just that crooked little smile in profile with head held high. The Shawnees with painted faces and their fine crescent-moon-shaped silver gorgets across their russet chests came out of the trees whooping and hooting, waving ornate tomahawks high until one by one they slipped away back into the forest, homesick for the smoky aroma of the girls waiting in their lodges. The siege of Boonesborough ended. Months later, midday on a hot July Sunday, Jemima, the water-loving Boone girl everyone called "Duck," sneaked off on a dare with her two best friends the Callaway sisters. Horsing around in a canoe on the far bank of the Kentucky River, a place they knew they weren't supposed to be, thirteen-year-old Jemima splashing her feet in the cool water looked up and watched the two Cherokee and three Shawnee emerge like phantoms out of the trees. They were all captured. The Indians used their big knives to cut their captives long Sunday dresses high above the knees so they could move faster, bound the girls together with a leather cord by the wrists then drove them hard through the summer heat towards the great Shawnee towns north of the Ohio River. When the Indians believed they were not being followed they camped at last. To the frightened girls surprise their captors turned out to be shy young teenage boys who did not try to rape them but instead demanded that the girls pick out the nits from their long, shiny black hair. Late on the third morning the Shawnee standing closest to Jemima spun around and landed face first in the camp fire. A split second later the shot cracked open the hazy blue sky. Jemima stood up and cried out, "That's my father's rifle!" The two Callaway sisters hit the dirt and covered their heads but the Indian's burning flesh and piercing screams sent fleet-footed Jemima running, abandoning her two friends to disappear into the underbrush. Daniel Boone's companions saw Indians behind every shrub. When the wild-eyed, thorn-scratched figure with long, jet-black hair stumbled out of the cedars one of the men tried to shoot but Boone knocked the barrel aside and he missed. "Pa!" Jemima cried out through sobs of burning tears but Boone was busy berating the man who had almost shot her. "We travel all this way to fetch her back and you almost put lead into her!" "Come here, Duck," Boone said and he finally hugged his ragged, mini-skirted daughter. "Oh Pa, oh Pa, oh Pa!"
Archived comments for The Boone Cycle Part II: Fathers and Daughters
orangedream on 20-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part II: Fathers and Daughters
I always get so much from reading your work, Ralph. History has never been my strongest point to say the least, but since reading a few of your pieces I am inspired to learn more.

These two narrative poems sit admirably side by side, and the theme of fatherhood works excellently.

Very much enjoyed, and now I shall go back and read them again, and try and digest some of the finer details.

Tina;-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your encouraging comment, Tina.

Ralph

Bradene on 20-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part II: Fathers and Daughters
Great writing, Fantastic to read, I love history but my knowledge of American history comes only via Hollywood and as we all know that is not always strictly true. Thanks for the lessons, please keep them coming. Valx

Author's Reply:
Brandene, you are so right about how Hollywood misrepresents not just American history but human history. Luckily we have some great books to set them straight. The real story, at least as close to it as you can get, is more interesting and insightful!

Ralph

Andrea on 20-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part II: Fathers and Daughters
That was my favourite Roman period - Augustus to Nero. As I recall, Julia The Promiscuous was banished to a tiny island for years.

And Fenimore Cooper's novel was one of my favourite books as a kid. Have to confess I didn't know about the Jemima Boone story, so looked it up --> JEMIMA BOONE STORY - fascinating stuff!

Wonderful write!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the rating and the comment, Andrea. History is a rich source for inspiration.

Ralph

Ionicus on 20-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part II: Fathers and Daughters
Fascinating tales, Ralph. I am very familiar with Julius Caesar's history but utterly ignorant of Daniel Boone's so it is the latter that I appreciated most.
Best, Luigi.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. A great biography is Daniel Boone by John Mack Faragher. Interesting history.

Ralph



The Boone Cycle Part I: Boone's Surprise (posted on: 17-02-12)
Narrative poem based on some American folklore.

                 --1762-- Daniel Boone walked into his cabin after two years gone in wilds of Ken-tuck-ee to find his pretty, dark-haired wife Rebecca nursing a three-week-old baby girl. "Daniel, I thought you dead!" "Whose is it?" "Your brother's. Her name is Jemima." "The human race goes on," he mildly spoke. "Manys the time I had to marry Delaware-fashion." But Daniel Boone couldn't speak of his surprise, what had brought him home after a year of war with the Cherokee and then a year of blithe hermitage. Not until the snow-haired winter of his life did he recount when he was alone in the fertile, unexplored country which the Indians had forsaken because they feared a race of hairy giants-- beings they had exterminated but whose vengeful spirits still dwelled in the vast canebrake wilderness. That feeling of being watched in his one-man camp, hunting elk in the uplands, working his trap lines along beaver-rich creeks when the birds and insects stopped--even the duck-sized, ivory-billed woodpeckers ceased drumming. Returning to camp to find his gear placed differently than when he left, not missing or strewn about, just moved. An hour before dawn it skulked into the dying firelight of the guileful hunter's camp. Boone hidden above in a great chestnut tree barely contained a groan at the sight of the nine-foot-tall, two-legged creature who seemed curious and intimately menacing as it crept near his decoy baited lean-to. The long rifle shot provoked an echoing scream from the creature louder than a pair of mating panthers and Daniel Boone fell out of his tree. When he got up he warily edged closer to the downed creature, saw his rifle ball had smashed into its forehead and then said out loud: "I have killed a Yahoo." Although it was covered, from strangely pointed head to its wide, three-toed feet in shaggy, grey-white hair, he couldn't bring himself to skin it, as it seemed man-like. The face contorted long ago in the hideous way of a being tortured by loneliness; a visage burning into Boone's soul as he quickly broke camp and then made east towards the rising sun and Rebecca.
Archived comments for The Boone Cycle Part I: Boone's Surprise
e-griff on 17-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part I: Boones Surprise
you made me read up on him (having remembered him from the 50's when we used to pour out of the cinema on saturday morning shooting each other and riding horses, and Davy Crockett was famous).

this, I really liked:

I can't say as ever I was lost,
but I was bewildered once for three days.

Daniel Boone


Author's Reply:
I always like that quote. Repeat it when I get miss the exit, almost every time, trying to drive through the Oklahoma freeways to get to Illinois. Thanks for the comment.

Andrea on 17-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part I: Boones Surprise
Always loved the story of Daniel Boone. Lived to a ripe old age, too, unusual for those days and his profession.

Great stuff, thoroughly enjoyed!

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the rating Andrea.

Ralph

Ionicus on 17-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part I: Boones Surprise
An interesting take on an American legend.

Author's Reply:
I love legends, must admit they inspire me. Thanks for the comment.

Ralph

orangedream on 17-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part I: Boones Surprise
Nice one, Ralph. Much enjoyed;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Glad you like it, Tina. Appreciate the comment.

Ralph

ruadh on 17-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part I: Boones Surprise
Enjoyed this and piqued my interest enough to look him up πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Glad you enjoyed the piece, Ruadh. A great biography, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was Daniel Boone by John Mack Faragher. It is the source for this narrative poem.

Bradene on 19-02-2012
The Boone Cycle Part I: Boones Surprise
Just like Griff I too used to come back with my brothers and sisters from the Saturday cinema and play at Davy Crockett, but Hollywood style, I know hardly anything about the true man. So it looks as though they'll be someone else googling today. Thanks for the teriffic read. Valx

Author's Reply:


Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish? (posted on: 13-02-12)
Happiness is a difficult fish to catch...

The three-year-old little girl and her young father sit on a small hill under a tree as the suburban park slips into darkness. They both hold long twigs as imaginary fishing poles and pretend to fish. "Fish, fish, fish, who can catch a fish?" the young father picks up two varicolored leaves from the ground. "There's one for me and one for you." She takes the leaf and puts it in her pile. "Fish, fish, fish, who can catch a fish?" He picks up three leaves. "There's one for me and two for you. That's a fine how do you do." "Ha-ha, I got the most!" Fish, fish, fish, who can catch a fish?" The father picks up one big leaf from an evergreen tropical plant. "There's zero for me but one for you. Boo-hoo-hoo." "You got none. I got a big one!" "But you know what?" "What?" "This one's a shark." "What's a shark?" "It's a big fish that likes to bite little girls!" The father pinches her on the side then tickles her. She squeals and then asks, "I wish Momma like to play Fish-fish." "No, your Momma doesn't want to play Fish-Fish." "Is Momma too sad to play?" "Yeah, your Momma is very sad. Okay, let's play. Fish, fish..." "Is Momma going away?" "Yes, your Momma is going away," the young father says after a short pause. "Okay, let's play," the little girl says. "I think it's time to go in now." "No, again, please!" "Fish, fish, fish, who can catch a fish?" He doesn't pick up any leaves. "Are you going away, Papa?" "No, no way. I love you too much. Who would I fish with?" He hugs her and then picks her up. "Do you get sad?" she whispers in his ear. "I get sad but not like your Momma." He walks her across the street to their dark house.
Archived comments for Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
orangedream on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
This is so very poignant. Beautifully and sensitively written.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina,
THis one is personal, if you know what I mean.

Ralph

Andrea on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
Yes, very emotive and rather sad. Lovely, Chairman.

Author's Reply:
Andrea,
Thanks so much for your comment on this piece.

Ralph

Romany on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
Yes I think poignant is the word. Very moving actually.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment. Would you have an opinion as to whether it is too dark for a children's picture book?

Ralph

Romany on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
Hi again Ralph,

Yes, to be honest I think that this is not only too dark for children generally, but that the subject matter might be way over their heads. I know we often underestimate children but this poem is written from the pov of the adult - children do not have the life experience or maturity to identify with the father here, I don't think. It would have to be written from inside the child's head, and I don't believe this is. I assumed from the off that this was written for adults.

Sorry if you were hoping for a different response but this is just me after all. Others may feel differently.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your honest take on it. Don't know quite why i imagined it as a kid's picture book. My nephews loved the "Series of unfortunate Events" books which I thought were too dark for kids. I think you're right about the point of view being the problem.

Ralph

Bradene on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
I agree with all above but I feel Romany is so right, Have you thought of trying to write it from the POV of a child? It could work very well, but finding a childs voice can be a challenge, I have managed it myself a few times, particularly in this piece of flash fiction Written from the POV of a Down's Syndrom child. https://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=22213

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
Sorry I thought that would give you an easier link to the right page, but if you highlight the url and copy and paste it into your browser I think it should take you there if not, go to my home page and go to the 5th page and look for the story called Shana. Just to give you an idea of capturing a cilds voice. Valx Sorry about the ramble (-;

Author's Reply:
Thanks Valx. i'll take a look when i get a chance.

Ralph

Bradene on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
Sorry I thought that would give you an easier link to the right page, but if you highlight the url and copy and paste it into your browser I think it should take you there if not, go to my home page and go to the 5th page and look for the story called Shana. Just to give you an idea of capturing a cilds voice. Valx Sorry about the ramble (-;

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 13-02-2012
Fish, Fish, Fish, Who Can Catch a Fish?
The make-believe situation is well described. I am not so sure that a three-year old girl would be acutely aware of the undercurrent but I concur with the suggestion of reading the child's point of view.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Ionicus.

Ralph


Chaste Goddess of the Hunt (posted on: 10-02-12)
Updated take on Diana, the virginal Roman goddess of hunting and of the moon.

Sleek mink in the moonlit night, agile and keen, scampering from rock to rock along her riverbank hunting ground. Swooping down, the great horned owl shrieks out a silent blast stunning her right before talons embrace. This same night a blonde huntress gracefully sidesteps through the trees, climbs over a log, pauses at the edge of the clearing-- her crossbow with night vision scope poised to shoot. The early September oak trees still have katydid numbers too great to count fiddling their raucous tunes but now someone else is out there. Taught to hunt as a little girl, a true blue daughter of Dixie. You loved the pursuit, loved more the consummation, the necessary violent act. Slowly squeezing the trigger on your first whitetail buck made you breathe out, the tingling electric shock rushing from your fingers to your toes. Nothing else, no helmeted hero boy of the Friday night lights, only the hunt made you feel so alive since your first kill. Now that tingling rush turns around and comes back. Hidden camera trap takes your infrared image. No way to hide your heat. His mossy cave voice makes you hold your breath. The tall, lean man's footsteps are on your trail. Half smiling huntress now hunted in the wilderness of her own heart.
Archived comments for Chaste Goddess of the Hunt
Nomenklatura on 10-02-2012
Chaste Goddess of the Hunt
Yes, nicely done in the grand tradition of revisiting myths. This update worked for me.

Author's Reply:
Thanks. Mythology is a rich source to tap into.

e-griff on 10-02-2012
Chaste Goddess of the Hunt
I found the last two verses very good - effective images/meaning. The beginning didn't quite have the same thrall for me, especially with the intrusion of a word like 'infrasonic' which I feel is out of place.

verse 1 sets the animal scenario, verse 2 introduces the huntress. verse 3 has the huntress and the hunting again, and verse 4 has the change, the interest, the huntress hunted etc.

Why should not verses 3 and 4 stand alone? Ditch the first two, pretty as they may be.

Taught to hunt as a little girl,
a true blue daughter of Dixie.
You loved the pursuit, ...


is a cracking start to a poem, which will grab the reader right off IMO. Give it a try ...

Just a thought, JohnG


Author's Reply:
JohnG,
Thanks for the extended commentary, it helped. Took out infrasonic. Didn't need it anyway. As a biologist those kind of words sound great to me which is why i love to get revision suggestions in commentary.

orangedream on 10-02-2012
Chaste Goddess of the Hunt
I too enjoyed the last two verses, and also the first. I liked the opening, two lines of it especially. They really grabbed me:-

"Sleek mink in the moonlit night,
agile and keen,"

I can see most definitely, what John means with the word 'infrasonic', except that is does make a rather pleasing internal, half-rhyme with 'talons'. Maybe think about changing its position. I.e.


shrieks out a silent blast
of waves...infrasonic,
stunning her
right before talons embrace.

The word seems to jar less, as the rhyme with 'talons' is more pronounced.

Just a thought;-)

A much enjoyed poem.

Tina





Author's Reply:
Tina,
I have to say I like very much your repositioning of these words. I believe I'm going to revise the poem along those lines.
Thanks

Ralph

Andrea on 10-02-2012
Chaste Goddess of the Hunt
Very nicely done, Chairman - much enjoyed.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea

Ionicus on 11-02-2012
Chaste Goddess of the Hunt
As you rightly said, Ralph, mythology is a rich source and you tapped into it to the best advantage. Well done.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ionicus.

Ralph


Random Thoughts (posted on: 06-02-12)
This poem is an attempt to get away from my usual linear style.

Is time the only mystery left? How about adding this to the list of profound mysteries: Why did I go to that New Year's Eve party? Reading Eugenio Montale translation. The man was obsessed with memories. He believed the masses who were not were not really alive. Something vital but blurry, about to put magnifying glass between mind's eye and it. Must go out and make more money. Hated losing the chess game to that architect.
Archived comments for Random Thoughts
orangedream on 06-02-2012
Random Thoughts
It's good to break the mould, sometimes, as you have here. An interesting and intriguing poem, despite its brevity.

Tina

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 06-02-2012
Random Thoughts
Don't take this wrong, I find this just like that short period before sleep claims me. I get what you're saying. An unusual and interesting poem. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Valx

Andrea on 06-02-2012
Random Thoughts
all the 'if's, eh? 'what if i hadn't gone to/done that/said that...'

better to lose to an architect than an Emanuel Lasker, though πŸ™‚

much enjoyed...



Author's Reply:
That's right, Andrea. Kids bugging me and champagne and other random thought distractions so Frank Loyd Wrong won. Who's E. Lasker?

Ionicus on 06-02-2012
Random Thoughts
To save you time googling, Ralph:
"Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 – January 11, 1941) was a German chess player, mathematician, and philosopher who was World Chess Champion for 27 years. In his prime Lasker was one of the most dominant champions, and he is still generally regarded as one of the strongest players ever."

A good string of random thoughts. Did you mean to repeat 'were not really alive.'?

Regards from someone who read Montale in the original language.

Author's Reply:
Envious of you for being able to read Montale in the Italian. I meant to repeat the "were not" but am open to suggested revisions. I like a little surprise repetition in poetry sometimes.

Andrea on 07-02-2012
Random Thoughts
Emanuel Lasker, mathematician, and philosopher who was World Chess Champion for 27 years... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Lasker

Author's Reply:


Holy Present (posted on: 03-02-12)
Everything doesn't have to be perfect for a moment in time to be valuable. (Revised version)

Pleasure boats leave the riverside marina and do not come back. Other boats cruise in and out at will. Milkweed along the river bank is heavy with striped caterpillars and emerald chrysalis. Breeze gusts stronger and the sandbar willows sway. No monarch butterflies yet. Heat lightning in gathering clouds portends no thunderstorm. The fuse is lit for the firecracker that does not explode. You capture this moment, study it like a languid bumble bee in a jar and let it go.
Archived comments for Holy Present
Nomenklatura on 03-02-2012
Holy Present
I enjoyed this lyric poem and the zen-like sentiment of enjoying the moment as unique in itself. However, I found the last line a little clumsy. It could be omitted, I believe without changing the concept of your poem, since the title helps us with that in any event. Nevertheless, I enjoyed your imagery and the sense of place and time that it evoked so well.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Nomenklatura. I will consider a revision. I have to say i do like the idea of each moment being its own universe but i do see your point as well. Maybe it doesn't need to be stated upfront.

Andrea on 03-02-2012
Holy Present
agree with nom. the last line is a bit superfluous - lovely poem nonetheless.

Author's Reply:


Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 1 (posted on: 03-02-12)
Horror writers have been wrong all along about what the undead are really after when they come back...

"Your little brother Robby is getting some pussy," Stacy Masters announced when she came in through the front door. The short, twenty-six-year-old blonde was stronger than she looked. She walked through the dining room and into the kitchen lugging a case of Mexican beer for their usual Friday night poker game. "How do you know?" Ray Llywellyn looked up from divvying out the poker chips at the big round table. Clarence Carter and Tony Thomas sitting on either side of Ray both snickered. "I heard serious love hollering when I drove up there to see if he was coming over tonight. That's why he wouldn't answer the phone." She was speaking from the kitchen, clanging out bottles from the case to put into the refrigerator. "So he was being noisy?" Tony asked. His leering grin forced his shaggy dark brown eyebrows up into what Stacy always thought looked like devil horns. "No, she was." Stacy came in the dining room and gave each of the three guys an opened bottle with a sliced lime. "Girl has a pair of healthy lungs. It was operatic. I could hear her all the way down the block." "Who's his new girlfriend?" Clarence asked. "Is it that red-head girl he met from..." "Never mind all that," Ray's grey eyes stared way too seriously up at her. "What do mean you could hear her down the block? That house is right next to the graveyards." Stacy stood there in her tight "Gun Ho Doc!" good luck tee shirt her commanding officer had given her when she left Afghanistan. That had been her nickname over there for thirteen hellhole months. She studied her boyfriend Ray's face for a second then took a long swig from her own long neck bottle. "Yeah, sooooo?" she finally asked. It had always been easy to be friends with guys but hard for her to start a romance. Of the three previous serious relationships she'd had so far two had ended when the guy had started acting up in lunatic ways she couldn't figure out. Now this from Ray, a guy she'd been with longer than anyone else and who she really cared about, to the point she had just about decided he was the one. Please don't say anything deranged, she thought. "Get the guns out of the safe," Ray ordered. "We've got to get up there right now. I'll tell you why on the way." *************************************************************************************** "Damn, when you said get the guns, Ray, that made me nervous, man." Clarence looked confused in the back seat of the SUV as they drove up the darkly lit road. Ray for all his hurry was driving very slow. He slowed down even more when they passed some guy walking unsteadily on the sidewalk of the oak tree lined residential street. Ray looked the pedestrian over with a strange, pensive look on his usually fun-loving face. Stacy saw he judged the guy walking was a normal drunk and he sped up again. She was putting her blond hair up into a ponytail while keeping the H&K assault rifle barrel upright between her legs. This was just nuts. Only Tony looked unfazed, a cigar hanging out of his mouth. She pointed into the review mirror. "Don't you light that thing in my car, asshole." "Okay, okay," Tony said and chuckled. He loved to yank her chain. "This is what's going on," Ray started. "When I graduated from college five years ago I was recruited by the C.I.A. My job was in a top secret lab on the other side of the graveyards, up the bluff between the golf course and the Emergency Management bunker for the county. All I really did was take care of the rhesus monkeys they used in the experiments. "The second month I was there, these black ops guys brought in this weird chemical they said they got from the Israelis, who said they somehow stole it from the Iranians who got it from the North Koreans. They said the chemical was used by the North Koreans for torture, to keep the tortured person from passing out when the pain got to be too much." "Obama banned torture years ago," Stacy said. "If we don't use torture anymore why would they want to experiment with stuff like that?" "Of course Obama banned torture," Ray said with a faint smile. "The way they justified working with it was claiming we are only developing counter measures to it, just like we keep manufacturing nerve gas supposedly only to find ways to deal with that. Anyway, the C.I.A.. chemists working up there improved it, made it so the nervous system of those monkeys wouldn't stop functioning even if all their other organs were dead. Heart stopped, no blood circulation, kidneys stopped, liver stopped, lungs stopped breathing, everything stopped; the fucking monkey would still be screaming and jumping around inside the cage like they'd gone insane. That's why I quit. I couldn't take that animal abuse they were doing." "Dang, that's raw," Tony said. "That's fucking raw!" "So what's that got to do with your brother having some good sex at his house by the graveyard?" Stacy asked. This story was nuts. She knew he had worked for the federal government before they met but this was just whacked. "They let the containers leak. Gallons and gallons of that crazy chemical went down into the dried up creek bed that runs through the middle of the graveyard. That bad spring flood last year turned the cemetery into a swamp for a month. All of the corpses buried in cheep, flimsy caskets would have been contaminated then. If something is dead already and then gets contaminated with that shit they will get reanimated if they get the right audio stimulus." "What kind of 'audio stimulus' would 're-animate' them?" Stacy was just trying to humor him. How could she have not known she was living with a paranoid-delusional guy for a year and a half? "What did you hear coming out so loudly from Robby's open bedroom window when you drove up to his house tonight?" Ray slowed down to look over another pedestrian. They were almost there. Robby's small, one story house was at the end of the block, the last one before the graveyards. "Oh, give me a fucking break, Ray." Stacy said. "Her loud moaning is going to wake up the dead?" "What are they gonna do when they come back, Ray?" Clarence almost sounded gleeful. He loved horror movies. "They gonna come out and start eating people?" "No, not eat people." Ray steered the SUV into the driveway of his brother's house. He craned his neck out the driver's side window to stare into the darkness uphill in the woods at the border of the graveyard. "What they are going to do is rape people. Rape anybody they catch to death."
Archived comments for Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 1
Romany on 11-02-2012
Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 1
Novel (and revolting) idea that zombies come back for sex. don't want to think about which bits might drop off during the process!

I think you could do away with giving your characters surnames - at this point it is not really necessary and would be a more natural read without them.

In order for Stacey's reaction to Ray's words to make sense, I think Ray would have needed to say something much more obviously strange than, "What do mean you could hear her down the block? That house is right next to the graveyards." For me, that is not enough for Stacey to suddenly imagine he might not be all there or to start praying he doesn't say anything deranged. Also, Ray's words don't make much sense to the reader at that point either. So the house is by the graveyard? So what? It needs to be something more sinister and less obvious I think, to both draw the reader in and to justify Stacey's response.

"strange, pensive look on his usually fun-loving face." Fewer adjectives would make this much more compelling. How is a face fun-loving?

A novel reason for reanimation of the dead! All offered with respect,

Romany.




Author's Reply:
Romany,
Thanks a bunch for the extended commentary. I will take what you wrote into consideration. Part 2 will be horrific and revolting, i think, since most are so used to cannibalistic ghouls.

Icequeen on 08-04-2012
Sex Zombies Must Die! Part 1
This is both a sick and intruguing take on the zombie story. Love your writing style; the dialogue flows very naturally but perhaps the rape theme being used as entertainment and not a serious part of the story could upset someone who has suffered such an ordeal?

Author's Reply:
Icequeen,
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. My response would be that horror is supposed to be an unblinking look at what happens when taboos are crossed, as when the zombie/ghoul genre started with the cannibalistic walking dead in Romero's "Night of the Living Dead." I understand the sensitivities of rape to victims and their families (I have a teenage daughter) but it is also a fact that most adults since the 1990s living in the US know someone who was murdered. I do not believe that sensitivities of the family members of murder victims are an argument against entertaining murder mysteries being written. Besides, zombies have been great symbolism for a variety of artistic concerns, for instance consumerism in the Dawn of the Dead where the zombies are drawn to the local mall. Besides, what traumatized victim of rape would bother to read "Sex Zombies Must Die!"?

Ralph


Gustave Speaks (posted on: 30-01-12)
Monologue delivered by the notorious man-eating Nile crocodile Gustave; the same beast described in my previous poem "New Blood." He's said to have killed over 300 people and is 21 feet long.

"Why do you wonder at the messages I leave for you? You pretend not to know that the predator longs for the prey as the prey longs for the predator? Even now part of you longs for my great gaping maw... "We crocodiles were the first creatures on this planet to dream. I dream of my hunts; my eyes glowing from the light of tourist hotels on the great lake shore. I see myself erupt from the water and the human I catch releases screams cascading up into the starlit night sky until my death roll finishes him and we sink together into the abyss. "New blood, new prey is sacred. Crocodiles do not feel love, hate, jealousy, remorse, or pity. But we do have pride and can get angry. Your 'crocodile biologists' with their nosy binoculars make me loose my croc-cool; claiming I am only a man-eater and hippo- killer because I am too big and old and slow to catch 'normal' crocodile prey. "I say let them put on their running shoes, come down here and stand before me on the banks of the Ruzizi River and calculate how fast I gallop while I eat them alive. Those egg-headed, mammalian mother-fuckers wouldn't have any idea how much raw mojo is in me if they could study me ten thousand years. "The only humans that are hard to catch are the local children. When I explode out of the water they seem to jump out of their skins. The dim-witted and daydreamers I snap up quick but some are so full of life that I have to let them go. It's not that I go soft on kids--you should know better than that-- it's just that is the way the game has to be played. I pose for them with my great jaws agape as their stick-figure legs effortlessly propel them forward while they look over their shoulders in unbelieving terror. Often they run into a tree or a wall and knock themselves out. It would be bad form for me to walk up and scoop them up after letting them go so I don't. After all, humans are here to tell the tales and someone must be left to tell the tale of my magnificence when I am gone. If I could laugh I would."
Archived comments for Gustave Speaks
Andrea on 30-01-2012
Gustave Speaks
Crikey, that's some croc! I had to look him up - here he is: GUSTAVE

Love this: Those egg-headed, mammalian mother-fuckers
wouldn't have any idea how much raw mojo
is in me if they could study me ten thousand years.


And the last line πŸ™‚



Author's Reply:
Andrea,
Thanks for the comment and rating. Incredible beast, they have been after him for over 20 years.

orangedream on 30-01-2012
Gustave Speaks
Well, I must admit to never having heard of Gustave before, but I've sure heard of him now.

Great poem, if but gruesome;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina. I have a degree in biology and unusual animals have always fascinated me.


Afraid of Heaven (posted on: 27-01-12)
I learned from reading Annie Dillard's book "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" that those born blind but are given sight have a very hard time adjusting. Got me thinking about the concept of heaven and how that too might be hard to face.

Those born blind and are given sight after growing up often commit suicide. The startling beauty of colors and movement incessantly battering their minds through their new eyes is overwhelming. No man knows or can imagine the splendor of heaven that awaits. I only know it is you, my love, who gives me courage to endure and a preview of heaven itself.
Archived comments for Afraid of Heaven
Andrea on 27-01-2012
Afraid of Heaven
I think this is lovely. Odd thought that people would commit suicide when they can finally see - one of my biggest fears is going blind! Good stuff.

(wonder if 'that gives me' wouldn't be better as 'who gives me' - just a thought)

Author's Reply:
ThanKS Andrea. I thought about who for that but thought there was a you too close making a cheesy rhyme. But now that you mention it i might replace who for that and see if it reads better.

Andrea on 27-01-2012
Afraid of Heaven
It wasn't so much the proximity of the 'you', as the fact that you're referring to a person, who is a 'who' (person) rather than a 'that' (object) πŸ™‚

See you changed it now - I do think it's better...

Author's Reply:
You're right, Andrea it does read better. I do have a fear of cheesy rhymes like you and who in a love poem but that isn't a problem in this case.

Kat on 27-01-2012
Afraid of Heaven
I love the sentiment and beauty in this and think the 2 stanzas complement each other well. Really like the finish.

Kat x

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 27-01-2012
Afraid of Heaven
As Kat says, this is a beautiful poem, and I admire its sentiment greatly.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Thanks Tina.

stormwolf on 28-01-2012
Afraid of Heaven
Thought provoking and nicely presented.
Glad you found a touch of heaven.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison. It is a wonderful thing to have someone to buy red roses for on Saint Valentine's Day.

e-griff on 28-01-2012
Afraid of Heaven
nice thought. appreciated.

small comment: there's a tense problem between
'it was you', and 'who gives me' (past/present)

easily fixed either way

Author's Reply:
You are correct; will fix. Thanks e-griff.

chant_z on 18-02-2012
Afraid of Heaven
Very interting piece. I wrote an alternative end to it if you like.

Those born blind
and are given sight
after growing up
often commit suicide.
The startling beauty
of colors and movement
incessantly battering
their minds
through their new eyes
is overwhelming.

No man knows
or can imagine
the splendor
of heaven that awaits.
I only know it is you,
my love, who gives me
courage to endure
In a simple flower
where I see
a transcendence
being you

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the suggestion, chant_z.


Living Memory (posted on: 23-01-12)
Interesting how close you can get to important historical figures. I knew the lady depicted in the poem who knew Pancho Villa. She owned a tortilla plant in Phoenix and was in her nineties, still with a keen mind, when I inspected it. I knew another inspector who knew the old Apache in the 1960s.

When my heart started beating the last soldier who fought in the War Between the States, a Confederate, was still alive. In Arizona, an Apache, ninety years old, renewed his driver's license. As a boy he rode with Geronimo, took scalps from whites and Mexicans, but in 1959 he's a frugal man, drives his pickup to the supermarket, coupons in hand. When she was a barefoot little girl, she made tortillas for Pancho Villa and his Villista revolutionaries. They lived on their horses, lined up on horseback as she stretched on tiptoes to give them their rations. By the time my heart beat she owned a tortilla plant in Phoenix. Her middle-aged son, now a religious fundamentalist, is an irritating fanatic. At night when the plant closes she sits at her desk and weeps for the past glory of all who bravely fought against the invincible giants arrogantly striding across stolen lands.
Archived comments for Living Memory
franciman on 23-01-2012
Living Memory
Hi there,

This is such a powerful piece of work. The apparent improbability of the links makes it really thought provoking. It's poetry I will keep coming back to. It really sings.

cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 23-01-2012
Living Memory
Wonderful, atmospheric stuff, Chairman, you've excelled yourself here!

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 23-01-2012
Living Memory
A very strong depiction of a bygone era and of three people linked by age.
The only criticism I would make is the nickname of JosΓ© Doroteo Arango ArΓ‘mbula, who, to my recollection, was called Pancho Villa and not Poncho.

Author's Reply:
You are right. Should have known that. Thanks.

barenib on 24-01-2012
Living Memory
An excellent read and I agree with all the great comments you've had so far! One observation is that I'm not sure about the line break between Pancho and Villa - it doesn't sit quite right in the middle of a name for me. Otherwise a totally enjoyable poem - John.

Author's Reply:
Thanks John. I redid the line break. I split the name on purpose but agree that took away power from the name.

Kat on 24-01-2012
Living Memory
Excellent - love this.

Kat

Author's Reply:

sunken on 25-01-2012
Living Memory
Well done on the nib and nom, Chairman of Wow. Well deserved and no mistake. Bernard will now rain on your parade. Please accept my apologies. Well done again.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken.

stormwolf on 26-01-2012
Living Memory
Super poem and full of such interesting info as well as feeling and observations. Congrats on the nomination and the nib.
Alison x

Author's Reply:


Mafia Landfill Part 1 (posted on: 20-01-12)
(Central Illinois March 1985. Leachate is a nasty, toxic liquid waste that leaks out of improperly covered landfills).

"Don, on this report, you're trying to make me look Like a bad guy." Joey Sharko was skinny. He wore a gold chain around his neck that glinted light to contrast his black turtleneck sweater. The office, desk, chairs, and carpet stunk of putrid garbage just like the landfill outside. He kept staring at the report.      "You've got leachate flowing off the property," Don Jones, the state landfill inspector stated. As he sat across the desk from Joey he wondered how to get the smell out of his new jacket. The landfill was getting horrible. This was going to be the worst inspection for them, the biggest fines yet. Four thousand dollars for this month alone.      "Look at him. Look at his hair; look at his jacket. He looks like one of those guys from that MTV. What do they call those assholes? Yeah, new wave punk rockers. Yeah, like Johnny Rotten; he's Donny Rotten!" But Roger, Joey's dumpy cousin standing next to the office desk, wasn't finished yet. "I bet you went to a Baptist church."      "I went to Baptist Sunday school." Don hadn't thought about church in a long time.      "See, what I tell you," Roger said. "He's a fucking Baptist. Everything is either right or it's wrong. He's a fucking Baptist."      "I'm just doing my job," Don replied. "You need to get that leachate flow plugged and you better get a bulldozer down there and push up a good strong berm. It's a two thousand dollar a day fine for leachate flowing off site."      "We should use him to plug up the leachate." Roger's forehead was damp. He always found a way to sweat even though the office was chilly.      "Either sign the report or whack me," Don said. "Let's get the show on the road. I'm supposed to be back at the office in Springfield in two hours."      Joey finally looked up from the report. "I like you kid. You got a pair. But you're trying to make me look like a bad guy." He picked up a pen and scrawled lines across the signature space at the bottom of each page of the report. "You fucked me up the ass with that report. You got me just like those rednecks reemed that fat slob's asshole in that movie 'Deliverance.'"      On his way out of Joey's office, Don the state inspector stopped at the desk of Debra Russo. She always winked at him when he came in. Today she sat back in her chair, her long crossed legs in that short miniskirt, eating meatballs out of an imported can for lunch.      "You can tell I'm Italian, huh?" Despite her close cropped Pat Benatar hair style she looked hot wearing that short skirt with her black leather jacket. He leaned over her desk to talk to her, pushing papers apart with his fingers as he pretended to listen to her complain that there were no good restaurants in the small hillbilly city she had to live in.      Roger sauntered out of Joey's office with a leering grin on his pudgy face. "What are you two talking about so quiet over there?"      "We're just talking business, Roger," Debra said. Don slowly stood up and stepped away from her desk.      "Yeah, monkey business." Roger held his leering grin. "Everything is either right or it's wrong."      Don faced Roger, towered over him. "Funny, all the manifests on Deb's desk come from the East Coast. N.Y. C. and New Jersey. My boss is going to be interested in that." He watched Roger's grin drop to a frown then back up to a sneer but when he glanced down at Debra he couldn't read her look at all. Surprise, he thought the revelation would have earned her a tongue lashing from Roger. "What is it, a thousand miles from here to New Jersey?"      "More like nine hundred," Debra said.      "Might as well be trucking it in from the moon. How are you guys making a profit hauling baled garbage and asbestos all the way to central Illinois from the East Coast?"      "You better watch your wise ass, Donny Rotten," Roger said with a quiet voice. "I was wrong. You're not even a hillbilly Baptist; you're just a giant Welsh prick."      "I'll catch you later," Don said back and smiled. He winked at Debra then backed out through the outside door, got in his state car, tires flinging mud as he drove fast out the dirt road.                    
Archived comments for Mafia Landfill Part 1
bluepootle on 21-01-2012
Mafia Landfill Part 1
I'm interested in Don. As it says in the story - he's got a pair...

I had to read the first paras a few times to work out who was speaking, so maybe that needs attention, but generally I felt it's a good intro to something longer. Not the usual topic, either! Love the title.

Author's Reply:
Thanks bluepoodle. I was an inspector of landfills in central Illinois for years. This is based on a true story I have not been able to get anyone to listen to but i think it should be a movie.

Andrea on 21-01-2012
Mafia Landfill Part 1
This is very...American. In a good way, I hasten to add! Trucks 'n' dust 'n' dirt roads. Almost Steinbecky (who I love), which can only be A Good Thing. I like it...

Not that keen on 'non sequitured.' and shouldn't 'out of can' be 'out of a can'? All in all, though - nice.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, Andrea. I'm not that keen on non sequitured either. Will think about it. Yup, should be out of a can.


Why Don't Charlie Get Mad? (posted on: 20-01-12)
Serious questions for the diminutive Mr. Brown.

Why don't Charlie spike that football upside Lucy's head? He should tear away Linus's blanket, and holler, "You're ruining your life with this insecurity crap!" If I were Charlie I'd just hose off Pig Pen. Charlie should yell at his haughty dog, "You're not going to have a better life than me anymore!" If he got mad enough I bet he would take an axe over to the kite- eating tree. On the family vacation to Mexico he should sneak away and get a tattoo that says, "BAD HOMBRE." Charlie is dumb if he don't tell Peppermint Patty, "Stuff it, quit obsessing on me and go hang out with Marcy." If I were Charlie I'd look the Little Red-Haired Girl in the eyes with a look she'll never forget.
Archived comments for Why Don't Charlie Get Mad?
Andrea on 20-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
For some peculiar reason, I thought this was about Gordon Brown when I read the description (although he's not exactly diminutive). Got a bit if a shock when I opened it and realised it was about Charlie πŸ™‚ Sadly, it means I can't really comment as I'm not too familiar with CB - I'm sure it's excellent though! Hope this helps (as Sunk might say).

Author's Reply:
I forgot the UK has a Mr. Brown for PM. Maybe this ties together in a weird synchronicity. Maybe not.

deed on 20-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
This is a great poem. I see it as a human failing that we have when we think that somebody should be angry about something and they don't seem to bother - the narrator gets more and more frustrated. I always enjoy your poems.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Deed. THe Peanuts comic strip used to frustrate me a lot when I was a kid reading it, although I also loved it.

Ionicus on 21-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
I used to love the Peanuts comic strip. For me it read like philosophy for beginners. It conveyed the unfairness of life, Charlie Brown representing the eternal looser: waiting for the football to drop repeating 'I got it, I got it!' with the ball inevitably eluding his grasp; never being able to connect with the red-haired girl etc., etc. and all along passively accepting his fate.
A splendid write. Enjoyed it immensely.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 21-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
Really enjoyed this, it's a tight poem and well written, nicely done...Leila

Author's Reply:

Zoya on 22-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
Poor Charlie Brown! He is so adorable and naive... He represents a whole world we could identify with as kids...
Great way to depict your feelings and thinking of Charlie Brown to symbolise it...
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:

sunken on 22-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
Don't ya just hate those kite eating trees? Nice work, fella. Well done on the nib and nom. Commiserations on the Bernard.

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Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 22-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
Love it!!!

Author's Reply:
Good grief! Thanks

Albermund on 23-01-2012
Why Dont Charlie Get Mad?
Used to like the dog (I think) but that apart am clueless 'bout the strip. Still, nice fun idea and love the ending. cheers A.

Author's Reply:


Coyotes Again (posted on: 16-01-12)
Coyotes have been waking me up in the middle of the night all winter. OVer a hundred houses in this subdivision, why me?

Pack of coyotes woke me up again last night. Howling right behind my back wall. Not just howling: gibbering, jabbering, hyena laughing, talking some canine language evolving into sentience as I look down out of my bedroom window to spot them. Like a party of miniature mocking werewolves that know something I don't.
Archived comments for Coyotes Again
Andrea on 16-01-2012
Coyotes Again
I think it must be marvellous to have coyotes outside your window at night (expect they're after food?). Try living in super-crowded Amsterdam, where all you hear at night are rats, cats and neighbours πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
You are right Andrea. We have a lot of great wildlife in Arizona. No cats, the coyotes get them all!

stormwolf on 16-01-2012
Coyotes Again
I would love it too πŸ˜‰
You captured the scene well and the conclusion I would have come to as well ie you just feel excluded coz you don't speak Coyote.
Alison x

maybe go to night classes and learn?

Author's Reply:
You are right on. The first time they woke me up I thought the neighbors had thrown a party and didn't invite me. WE are all pack animals.

stormwolf on 16-01-2012
Coyotes Again
Yes and they are my cousins! πŸ˜‰

Author's Reply:
Your little Cousins!

deed on 16-01-2012
Coyotes Again
I love the way that your poems evoke clear images in the mind. I fell asleep on a train in Germany and believed in half-sleep that I understood the conversations going on although I didn't understand any German - just like the coyotes talking! I went for a walk on Mount Diablo in California starting at first light and I realized, for the first time, that coyotes calling to each other sounded like the 'Indians' in the old Westerns!



Author's Reply:
Thanks, great comment, Deed. THese coyotes have such complex vocalizations. I have to wonder what they need them for. All the other predators, wolves, cougars, bears were all exterminated by government policy in most of the states but coyotes took the persecution and their populations expanded! They expanded east until now they are in Central Park. Indian legend says they will be the last animals on earth.

Ionicus on 16-01-2012
Coyotes Again
Great imagery, CairmainWow. I can visualise that pack of coyotes in conversation and perhaps, judging by the din, having a heated discussion. Good one.


Author's Reply:
They certainly were having a heated discussion. Wish I could have recorded it and posted that too so the eeriness of their vocalizing could be heard.

barenib on 17-01-2012
Coyotes Again
The nearest I get to exotic animal noises are the crows that sit in nearby trees auditioning for a horror movie! This poem captures very well that sense of trepidation of the unknown/uncontrollable that animals can conjure in us and takes us right back to the caves! An enjoyable read - John.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment, John. You describe precisely what i was attempting to get across with this piece.

All the best

Ralph

sunken on 18-01-2012
Coyotes Again
Blimey! Coyotes? All we get here are drunks, prositutes and drug pushers. Thankfully, none of these people frequent the area directly below my bedroom window. I think I could live with coyotes. Not sure Bernard could though. Neat piece, Chairman of Wow.

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Author's Reply:
Thanks. Be sure to give Bernard a nice pat on the head for me.

Leila on 21-01-2012
Coyotes Again
Excellent...Leila

Author's Reply:
Thanks!

Capricorn on 22-01-2012
Coyotes Again
Excellent writing!

The nearest thing I have here in UK are the foxes that sometimes make awful noises at night.

I love your word choices!

Eira

Author's Reply:
Thanks Eira


Undertaker (posted on: 13-01-12)
Narrative poem based on a true story told by my physiology teacher to our class in high school.

Twenty-one, so broken-hearted he barely passed his college finals. His dream girl Lori broke up without a reason the week before. Forlorn, he wandered the old paths through the woods of his hometown until his father put him on a plane to Florida to spend the summer with his mother's brother, the mortician. The first night as he worked cleaning up, the corpse on the slab sat up and moaned. He ran outside, crossed the street to the phone booth and called his uncle who told him to calm down, it was natural, sometimes gas and muscle contractions made them do that. He finally went back inside and finished. The weeks passed. He stayed away from the beaches, didn't know anyone his age anyway, concentrated on learning the business of death. Against the law he traded human blood to charter boat captains for free fishing trips. Sloshing out buckets of maroon grume to chum the Atlantic for frowning sharks. Nothing better, death becomes life becomes death becomes life for him. Feeling stronger with each shark head he clubbed. Learn a lot about life on a fishing boat. Learn a lot about death in a mortuary. He grew accustomed to the occasional corpse that moved under the tarps like they were not ready to be immobile, as well as the invisible ghosts that prowled the mortuary night. Learned how to sternly but without fear or anger dismiss them if they grew too pesky with their skin chilling presences. The last night before he was to fly back to Illinois, his uncle called and told him there had been a fiery automobile crash; a car full of out-of-state college kids driving drunk had ended up dead. Could he handle the prep for the burned up victims? Sure. The five charred bodies arrived an hour later. The second body bag contained a face he recognized. A face he had loved and shared life with for over a year. Lori. He started but couldn't bleed her. Her essence was too strong, right beside him, almost touching his hand with icicle fingers. He walked away but didn't cry.
Archived comments for Undertaker
Andrea on 13-01-2012
Undertaker
Love 'maroon grume' (had to look up 'grume' though - what a word!)

What a sad tale, though (although I was half expecting it)

Author's Reply:

Harry on 13-01-2012
Undertaker
A jim-dandy Andrea. Ghoulish in the best tradition ... the kind of thing that would be dynamite on film.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 14-01-2012
Undertaker
Fiendishly dark and effective.

As someone who has dressed more bodies than had hot dinners....I understand. There are always some...who, for whatever reason seem different.
It does haunt you...
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Alison, it is great to get a comment from someone with your experience. I worked with two cadavers in college but they were long dead and never seemed like they had ever been real people.

deed on 14-01-2012
Undertaker
An unusual poem but a true story. Your writing was so fluent it was very easy to read. Definitely deserves the 'Great Read' - well done.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 15-01-2012
Undertaker
A good, well written story, ChairmanWow. A jim-dandy as Harry said.
You might want to put a capital letter at the beginning of the third line or change the punctuation at the end of line two.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ionicus.


Crazy Haiku #1 (posted on: 09-01-12)


My skull cracks open Painfully, wet and gooey A condor emerges
Archived comments for Crazy Haiku #1
Andrea on 09-01-2012
Crazy Haiku #1
Ooooh, crikey! But better a condor than a sparrow πŸ™‚ Well done on the correct number of syllables πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

deed on 10-01-2012
Crazy Haiku #1
It is most interesting that you chose a 'condor' - a beautiful bird which is in danger of extinction and about which there are numerous myths. I like to think that the condor refers to your poems and that they are as great as that bird.

Author's Reply:
Thanks a bunch Deed. Yes, I think a condor represents my work well. Something that turns unpleasant road kill back into a magnificent flying being. That's the idea anyway. Saw one up close at the Grand Canyon once. Landed right in front of us.

chant on 10-01-2012
Crazy Haiku #1
neat little piece, liked it.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 10-01-2012
Crazy Haiku #1
A slight departure from the classic haiku but quite an original concept.

Author's Reply:


That Feeling (posted on: 06-01-12)


Sleepless night. You climb up to the rooftop telescope to look out into the inky ether; focus on your own soul so far away, so vast, mysterious as a quasar. You track the dainty hoof prints in the sand down the dry riverbed to the water hole. Spot huge cat pug marks fresh in the moist dirt and slowly look over your shoulder. Sky empty of planes. Your ears make up their own noise out of raw silence. Still the void fills you up. Abandoned silver mine, timber beams dry rotted. This desert lacks the water you need to sluice out the precious metal that is your life.
Archived comments for That Feeling
deed on 07-01-2012
That Feeling
I like this poem very much - I would love to have a roof top telescope - but of course, you mean- the mind-which often needs to think about the wonder of being. Then you continue with the wonders of nature - the beautiful but potentially dangerous (symbolized by the Cougar). We often make up our own reality - everybody slightly different, a continuous noise. I just enjoy reading the final verse - it could be about our hidden potential and how little of it we actually realise. Thanks for sharing this poem.

Author's Reply:


Bali (posted on: 02-01-12)
Island of romance and extinction.

Woman, you still believe I could never leave; just as on the dreamy Isle of Bali the people refuse to admit the revered but persecuted miniature tigers that roared magic into their lush hills are gone forever.
Archived comments for Bali
stormwolf on 03-01-2012
Bali
A short poem with a deep message. Makes the reader think.
Alison x

Author's Reply:


The Dance of the Giants (posted on: 30-12-11)
Actually gave something like this as a toast at my best friend's wedding reception.

"When the elephants mate it is the grass who suffers," is an African proverb that describes what biologists call "mating pandemonium," behavior the rest of the herd does when two elephants are in the act. Young or old, they shake their great heads to mysterious rhythms, stomp around on the grass and small trees like a choreographed dance of giants, trumpet their rampaging songs, pull down big trees, and generally carry on wildly in a protective circle around the mated pair. It's only right that we emulate those majestic creatures to a point. After all, we and they are the only beings on the planet that morn for years their lost family members--they've been known to visit the bones of their mothers-- and so we should boisterously celebrate our two dear friends union and let the grass look out for itself.
Archived comments for The Dance of the Giants
deed on 30-12-2011
The Dance of the Giants
A great poem for a wedding reception- unique, creative, imaginative and guaranteed to produce roars of laughter!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Deed.


Reliquary of Happy Bones (posted on: 26-12-11)
My cardboard box of happy Proustian memories, experienced as clearly as if I time traveled.

22--Beachcombing the banks of the river      the week before graduating college.      My arm around Betsy and no need      to talk; the quiet water whispered. 3--The diesel air of a Greyhound bus.      My mother taking me to Tennessee      for the first time. My first adventure.      Out in the boxed up night a neon      cowboy giant drank coffee as we      crossed the long bridge. 18--My first time. A vermilion maned      hoyden at a drive-in. The prelude      afternoon was through. The night      of the living faun was on! 12--I imprinted hatching mallard ducklings      for pets. When I whistled they lined up      and marched behind me. Other kids      awed, even frightened, as if I were some      sorcerer Napoleon creating an animal army.      Startled when they saw the huge snapping      turtle, enormous crawdads, and water snakes      in my wading pool menagerie. Their wide eyes made me smile.     
Archived comments for Reliquary of Happy Bones
deed on 26-12-2011
Reliquary of Happy Bones
A very enjoyable poem. I like the way that you didn't put the memories in date order since that not how memories come anyway - we think of some past event then that leads to another etc. You give very vivid pictures - I loved the story of the ducks and how proud you were - then of a boy's love for animals. I like the 'diesel air ...' - our early memories are so much dependent on smells. Yes, I love this poem.

Author's Reply:


Paradox #1 (posted on: 23-12-11)
Your "real life," how you perceive and react to the true story, is always an internal impressionistic approximation, hopefully close enough to allow you to function. Merry Christmas from Arizona!

Real life is based on a true story.
Archived comments for Paradox #1
deed on 23-12-2011
Paradox #1
Another philosophical poem - all depends on the meaning of 'true.'

Author's Reply:


Riddle #1 (posted on: 23-12-11)
Of course humans are not arachnids, but the question still is: even with the presents life gives us, can any one of us really escape our true nature?

If spiders were given beautiful wings would they become butterflies?
Archived comments for Riddle #1
deed on 23-12-2011
Riddle #1
Well, that depends on what our 'true nature' is. A deep question you pose!

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 27-12-2011
Riddle #1
Spiders sometimes get a raw deal. I love spiders, especially those huge orange and black European ones which build a new web every day. To me they're beautiful anyway πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:
Ha-ha, so do i. Almost got a tarantula for my daughter for a pet. We have a terrier so i decided against it. She was really disappointed.


What It's Like To Die In A Mega-Mall (posted on: 19-12-11)
Shop 'til you drop!

Black Friday, not even supposed to be here, checkout line in a mega-mall store. I suppress a hiccup from the Pepsi and pecan pie then blackout... A hole in gravity sucking me up into white ceiling tiles like reverse breasts. Leaving behind the warped Christmas music and wailing toddlers-- pure light essence strangely familiar... "Emergency--checkout aisle number three!" Pell-mell movement of matter disturbing space and I have to come back. "He doesn't have a pulse!" the blue-vested paramedic panics but I jerk my arm away. "I don't need one," I state and sit up. The crowd surrounding me backs away as if I were the zombie.
Archived comments for What It's Like To Die In A Mega-Mall
deed on 19-12-2011
What Its Like To Die In A Mega-Mall
I was fascinated reading this poem - and can believe that it is a real rather than imagined situation. There are lots of memorable lines and I particularly enjoyed the ending.


Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 21-12-2011
What Its Like To Die In A Mega-Mall
This is either a metaphor about how abhorrent and overwhelming shopping is or, as deed suggests, a real event.
A situation well described with fine language.
Personally I would express the last three lines in the present tense to correspond with the preceding one '...paramedic panics but I jerk my arm away.'
Good read, thank you.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the suggestion, Ionicus. I will see how it reads that way.

teifii on 23-12-2011
What Its Like To Die In A Mega-Mall
Very well observed. Reminded me how much I hate shopping.

Author's Reply:


Original Santa (posted on: 19-12-11)
THe real stories of St. Nicholas are the most inspiring, I think.

No sleigh-bells Nicholas ran red suit ate ground three pretty little girls almost sold sex slavery he arrived doors barred he threw three bags gold coins through window first present Freedom!
Archived comments for Original Santa
deed on 19-12-2011
Original Santa
The poem describes the wealthy bishop (hence the red Santa Suit) saving girls from prostitution (due the destitution of their father) by throwing gold coins through the window for a dowry. The first line tells us that it is not the Hollywood Santa that is being described. I don't understand 'ate ground' though. When this poem is spoken we get the impression of a person running up breathless and telling a story - there is only a short time before Christmas comes to tell the 'true' story of Santa.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Deed. You hit the nail on the head. i was going for a breathless effect. "Eating ground" or "eating pavement" is just southern US slang for moving fast.

sunken on 21-12-2011
Original Santa
Oo. I like that eating ground phrase. Is there any gift greater than freedom? Hmmm.... *an iPhone 4s comes to mind. I'm joking, I'm joking. Neat little poem and no mistake.

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tank top advisor to the stars

Author's Reply:


And They Said I Ain't Romantic (posted on: 16-12-11)
Good romantic one-liners are hard to find.

You are the Pepto Bismol that relieves my existential nausea.
Archived comments for And They Said I Ain't Romantic
deed on 16-12-2011
And They Said I Aint Romantic
A startling metaphor - but when you think of it, quite reasonable. Very good.

Author's Reply:

dylan on 16-12-2011
And They Said I Aint Romantic
Excellent-worthy of Bukowski himself!
Orrabest,

D.

Author's Reply:
Thanks D. Old Buk was great.

Ionicus on 17-12-2011
And They Said I Aint Romantic
A good metaphor that has the ChairmanWow factor.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 18-12-2011
And They Said I Aint Romantic
oh! you sweet talker, you! πŸ˜‰
Short and sweet but meaningful.

Alison x

Author's Reply:

Capricorn on 21-12-2011
And They Said I Aint Romantic
Love it! What more can I say?

Eira

Author's Reply:


New Blood (posted on: 16-12-11)
The candiru, also called vampire fish, is a toothpick-sized parasitic catfish found in the Amazon River. E. Coli bacteria were all harmless a few decades ago but overcrowding in feeding pens and slaughterhouses allowed it to get genes for a very bad toxin from another type of bacteria. Gustave the notorious man-eater Nile crocodile was last seen in 2008. Evolution delivering bad news to the human race all over the globe.

--Brazil-- Pellucid filament ascending, shadow with substance, undulating up from the murk towards the hordes of impoverished children playing in the fetid river. You think nightmares are not real life until the candiru secretly swims up your urine stream, raises its gill cover and sticks out its retrorse spines inside your penis. Spectacular pain and then they must amputate before your bladder bursts. --USA-- The five-year-old little girl lies surrounded by a million dollars worth of hospital equipment and a team of doctors that can not help her. This is a hostage negotiation not treatment for bacterial infection. The E. coli 0157 bacteria communicate with each other, coordinating to respond simultaneously, readying to dump a brutal toxin into the child's bloodstream and kill her immediately if the doctors should dare to use antibiotics. The bacteria somehow know the doctors know they hold a gun to the child's head. --Central Africa-- At night Gustave the twenty-one-foot-long Nile crocodile cruises under the water of Lake Tanganyika, like an invisible dragon, right up to the shore of a city of over a million, hunting for fishermen, policemen, tourists with cameras, French herpetologists, anyone available. He weighs over a ton and has killed over three hundred people. Machine gun bullets scarred his side and head but did not stop him. He was filmed once from a distance just after killing a full grown female hippo. The locals accuse him of hunting people and then not eating them; just leaves their dead mangled bodies on shore, easy to find, like some kind of message.
Archived comments for New Blood
deed on 16-12-2011
New Blood
A powerful description of some of Nature's horrors. You could write poetry for the rest of your life on this topic alone - and then another life-time about the wonders of Nature and only have scratched the surface. In 'Brazil' I like the fact that the river is sort of worshiped but contains such a horror. In 'USA' all the wealth of medical knowledge and equipment is useless against the new strain of Bacteria. In 'Central Africa' how the crocodile escapes all the experts and hunters. The respect we have is shown by giving him a name- 'Gustave.' Altogether a really interesting poem that, as I say, gives the feeling that it can never be complete!

Author's Reply:
Thanks deed. You're right about being able to write about stuff like this ad infinitum. I write about a lot of other things too but am working on a monologue from the the crocodile called "Gustave Speaks." I want to get some cheerful Christmas stuff in first.

sunken on 18-12-2011
New Blood
Both scary and fascinating in equal measures. I once had a goldfish that apparently went mouldy. The vet was unable to do anything. I don't think there's much money in goldfish. I never quite got over it. I've not had a goldfish since. I couldn't put myself through the anguish of losing another. You'll get used to my comments, ChairmanWow. Others have. They put up with me, a bit like the flu. Good stuff. Your piece, not the flu. The flu is awful. I hope this has helped. Thank you.

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don't talk to me about chicken soup

Author's Reply:
Thanks Sunken. Sorry about your friend. We have ten thousand dollar goldfish in artificial ponds called coy. Herons swoop down and gulp them up. The coy-eating birds have caused high-end properties to go bankrupt. Was going to include that horror with the other three but eye strain prevented me doing any more on this subject for now.


Bad Little Boy Named Percy! (posted on: 12-12-11)
A true story I used to tell my daughter about her cousin.

"So, my little Kookaburra what kind of bedtime story would you like tonight? A singing kangaroo? The magical shampoo? Or old Scooby-Doo?" "None of that rot will do. I wanna hear the story of the bad little boy named Percy Le-Grue!" the tucked-in little girl exclaimed out loud. "Cousin Percy again?" "Yes!" she almost shouted. "Well, okay, once upon a time there was a bad little boy named Percy. He stomped down the halls; he wrote on the walls; he broke all the laws; and he spat in the vase. He had tussled blond hair; big blue eyes that stared like he just don't care. He even ran up and down the stairs! One day he did a deed that everyone agreed was too mean to be believed! He sneaked upstairs to Grandpa's private commode with a jar of Vaseline. Later when Grandpa went to sit on the loo, he slid right off and yelled 'WOO WOO WOO!' 'If you cut that boy's hair you'll find horns!' Grandpa declared as he rubbed his derriere. Grandma just stood, her eyes open wide. 'I'm gonna get a hickory switch and tan his hide!' Percy overheard that last and was quite aghast. He wiped off his smirk and went down to lurk for the very best place to hide in the scary dark basement. They searched high and low. Where did that brat go? Couldn't find him all that afternoon. Finally brought in Lexy the dog who sniffed and sniffed until his nose took him down to the old furnace room. There was Percy curled up fast asleep, inside the furnace about to kick on! They barely got him out as the flames lashed about and poor Percy was burned on the bum! Treated like a king for surviving everything, despite not being able to sit down, he went right back to slamming all the doors tracking mud on the floors, getting lost in a crowd, and talking too loud. Percy remained a bad little boy!"
Archived comments for Bad Little Boy Named Percy!
stormwolf on 13-12-2011
Bad Little Boy Named Percy!
This was very heart-warming. Children do like to hear this sort of story (I know I did) The Grimm's fairy tales were much more exciting than the Dysney types.

Alison x

Author's Reply:


A Naughty Lady (posted on: 12-12-11)
Not sure what this about. Maybe the moon?

The world renowned lady-about-town shaves the face      of night      and trims the hair of dawn, one lover darkness and one lover light.
Archived comments for A Naughty Lady
woodbine on 12-12-2011
A Naughty Lady
Instinct beats certainty every time. Intrigue is what you want and what you've got in Spades.
John.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 12-12-2011
A Naughty Lady
A busy lady indeed, methinks.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 13-12-2011
A Naughty Lady
hmmm need to think on this one a bit πŸ˜‰
Alison x

Author's Reply:

sunken on 15-12-2011
A Naughty Lady
Tell me, ChairmanWow, does the lady in question wok in a kebab shop? Dont worry, I'll work it out in the end. Neat write indeed.

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hibernation nation

Author's Reply:

discopants on 15-12-2011
A Naughty Lady
Interesting one- slightly reminiscent of albermund's short, snappy verses!

Author's Reply:


How Can You Trust a Poet? (posted on: 09-12-11)
Li Po (701--762) was China's greatest poet.

Li Po was very drunk. He tried to capture his own reflection in the water and drowned. They say he wanted to bring another Li Po out of that reflection so that his verse and his new self's verse would combine to conquer China. How can you trust a poet when he will do anything, break any rule, to bring more beauty into this world?
Archived comments for How Can You Trust a Poet?
Kat on 09-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
*jumps up and down* I can't really say too much about this poem because I love it. What you manage to pack into 52 words is masterful. Very skilful and a pleasure to read.

Kat

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 09-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
I really like this. It is economical with words which makes it all the more condensed in its message. Well done on the nib too.
Alison x

Author's Reply:

sunken on 10-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
Hello ChairmanWow. Welcome to Uka. I once tried to catch my reflection in the huge glass door of an Argos Superstore. I got very alarmed when it suddenly vanished. It took three members of the public and a security guard to calm me down. I had not, as I thought, disappeared into thin air. Oh no, my reflection had merely been swiped away in a swoosh by nothing more dramatic than the efficient glide of an automated door. There's a lesson to be learned here. A moral. A wisdom that we can draw on. I shall leave that in your capable hands. You are, after all, ChairmanWow. Neat poem.

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freelance embroidery consultant to the stars

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 10-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
I can empathise, or empathize as you might say, with this poem
as I too am a poet, allegedly, who breaks all the rules - as my critics are keen to point out.
Many thanks for an enjoyable and original read.
Oh, welcome to UKA BTW.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 11-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
Welcome to UKA I like your poem very much and agree Li Po was a great poet, so much beauty and gracefulness in his work...Leila

Author's Reply:

Albermund on 12-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
Even today liposuction is no picnic. Daft story nicely told. cheers Albert πŸ™‚

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 13-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
Short and well balanced/poised for it, like the Confuscian article. As Basho said some years later, a donut with no hole is a danish. Very good.

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 13-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
Short and well balanced/poised for it, like the Confuscian article. As Basho said some years later, a donut with no hole is a danish. Very good.

Author's Reply:
Thanks richardwatt. Was your double post a Li Po type doppelganger?

richardwatt on 14-12-2011
How Can You Trust a Poet?
A wise man once said: Do not hit F5 when comments page does not respond.

Author's Reply:

deadpoet on 26-05-2015
How Can You Trust a Poet?
Your poem has a taste of Confucius- now how do you spell that? Li Po spiced. Very clever poem- you must be intelligent! A poet at least and at most.

Author's Reply:


In The Valley of Lost Souls (posted on: 09-12-11)
Heard this story on National Public Radio.

At night in the mist gauzed, mountain rainforest the villagers set out bowls of food for the ghosts of soldiers, both Vietcong and American. The villagers claim to have seen Yankee specters, big and tall in their wandering transparency, and say that when they set out American food the American ghosts devour it all, too hungry for the USA to ever be satiated.
Archived comments for In The Valley of Lost Souls
Kat on 09-12-2011
In The Valley of Lost Souls
Welcome to UKA, ChairmanWow. Great username.

I like this poem which I'll reread, along with the other poem you have posted, and get back to you with more...

Kat

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stormwolf on 09-12-2011
In The Valley of Lost Souls
LOVED IT!
Where do I start?
I love the story and the villagers' generosity to provide for both sides. I love the indigenous feeling and wisdom in it, that not only do they do this but of course they also see and acknowlege the spirit world
American ghosts,
big and tall
in their wandering transparency,

The understanding that

"American ghosts
devour it all,
too hungry for their homeland
to ever be satiated."

This is very moving and speaks to me of the futility and the obscenity of war. In fact it highlights a humanity in these people that would maybe not be there on the other side.

A really lovely gem of a poem, beautifully written. My one criticism would be the use of the word 'ghost' 3 times in a short poem so maybe think about using a synonym ie spectre etc.
Into favs for me.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the advise Alison. i took you up on changing a ghost for a specter. Also, i changed an American for Yankee as there were a lot of American in the piece as well. Although i do think repetition for effect is sometimes good, in this case your advice made the piece stronger.

Ionicus on 10-12-2011
In The Valley of Lost Souls
Nice one but I agree about the criticism of repetitions.

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Kat on 11-12-2011
In The Valley of Lost Souls
Came back to read and comment some more. The use of one less 'ghost' is good, which makes the second mention of the word even more effective/'spooky'.

I feel this poem is such a strong metaphor in many ways/levels, really speaking to me about the present state of the US, or at least the one I feel Obama is still trying to heal after the Bush years. It's going to take a bit of work to iron out the societal anomalies - the 'beautiful' side of America, and the not so beautiful side.

'in their wandering transparency,
and say that when they set out
American food the American ghosts
devour it all,
too hungry for their homeland
to ever be satiated.'

The above is quite amazing - love, 'wandering transparency' which speaks to me of, and for, the more liberal-minded in the US who clearly see the hypocrisy within the country.

Anyway... have to put this in my cocktail cabinet.

Kat

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woodbine on 12-12-2011
In The Valley of Lost Souls
'in their wandering transparency'
has all the lingering potency of
of an incredibly evocative image.
John

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teifii on 23-12-2011
In The Valley of Lost Souls
Excellent. I agree with the improvements. I wanted to save it in my favourites but that option seems to have vanished. or I'm just too tired to see it.

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