Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dollars to Dimes

Messed this shoulder up one winter.
Blew this knee out chasing streets.
Had my heart attack one autumn
And it knocked me off my feet.

My right hand is nerve damaged.
Got that with my TBI.
Family all gathered at my bedside.
Guess they thought that I would die.

Got shot at in Chicago
When I was trapped in a crossfire.
Thank the Lord that guy missed me.
Shoulda aimed a little higher.

I’ve got lots of scars you can’t see
‘Cuz they aren’t carved upon my skin.
Guess I’m responsible for most
But I’d do it all again.

But, mister, don’t call me “boy.”
And I sure ‘nuff ain’t your son.
I can tell you don’t know me
Or you’d go home and get your gun.

I may smile when I want to.
I may frown from time to time.
But if you really want to try me
I’m holding dollars to your dimes.

Like No Other

Riding beats walking
Most every day.
But flying beats riding
Don’t care much what you say.

I’ve done a lot of both
Worn down lots of heels
But I’ve never worn wings out
Can’t say how good it feels.

Climb up there in that seat
Spin up that old prop
Reach out for those tall clouds
You’ll never want to stop.

Pull that old stick back
Give it a bit of rudder
Fall back in a tight spin
It’s a feeling like no other.

Stand upon your right wing
And look down at that ground
Pour on a little throttle
Just listen to that sound!

Chase the angels ‘round the sky
And get lost among the clouds
Let the sun spin you crazy
I swear, you’ll laugh out loud.

You can walk if you want to
Or you can ride instead of fly.
But if it’s all the same to you
I’ll soar until I die!

Three in the Morning

Three in the morning
It’s the loneliest
Time of night.
The time when memories
And haunted dreams
Take flight.

They scurry ‘round
The ceiling
Slither across the floor
Even though they
Come unbidden
They come all the more.

Three in the morning
Dragged from
My deepest sleep
Dreams and memories
Taunt me
Seeking which I choose to keep.

It’s a ragged, rugged
Lonely hour
Come darkest 3 a.m.
When dreams and memories
Wake me
And play me at their whim.

Wish I'd Said That #4

Nothing is more dangerous than an obvious fact.
~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The West Wind*

The sigh in the eaves
Is nothing but the west wind
I remind myself.

There’s nothing human
In the sound
But it’s so damned close.

I listen to the vocabulary
Syntax and sentence structure
Of the complaining wind.

The sigh in the eaves
Is not the moaning
Of the lost I could not save.

It is not the open-mouthed dead
With sightless eyes
Looking to me for explanation.

That’s what I tell myself
When the west wind sings
And the leaves of autumn scatter.

*PTSD is a terrible partner and a tall price to pay for the good one attempts.
 There are thousands whose struggles make mine seem silly. God bless them.


Guess He Forgot*

Late last night
My best dog bit me
Just before he
Grabbed the dinner off my plate.

I snatched that
Critter up
By his collar
And made him throw up all he ate.

It ain’t no good
When I can’t trust
My little pal
To keep his distance from my food.

Tell ya what, though
The worst part
Is that he
Put me in a rotten mood.

But I forgave him
And started feelin’ bad
That I reacted
The no-good, crazy way I did.

I packed his things
Then showed him to the door.
Buddy musta forgot
When it comes to chicken, I do not kid.

*Yeah, Buddy did bite me. And he sure 'nuff grabbed the chicken off my plate. But I didn't make him vomit (he did that on his own), nor did I pack his gear and head him out the door. But I thought about it. Reckon he loves fried chicken as much as I. We time he gets a leg or a wing. Maybe both. (But, according to the treaty, I get one tooth for every bite he gives me). Wink/Grin.

Rebels in the Rafters*

Got a few
Rebels in the rafters
That don’t wanna go away.
Doesn’t much matter
What I want
They sleep there night and day.

I hear them singing
Tunes I thought were dead.
I’m not sure I actually
Heard them.
Maybe it was all just in my head.

It feels like
They belong there
Like that’s their rightful place.
I don’t know
What I’d do though
If I ever met one face to face.

I listen to their weeping.
They all sound so melancholy.
Reckon I’ll just
Leave them in peace.
They’re just Rebels in the rafters to me.

*Pvt. Thomas Wood
[ X ] 5th Mississippi Vol. Inf. Co. A, 1861-65  [ X ]

Monday, November 21, 2016

Nothing Less Than Forever

This tour of duty
Has no end.
Somewhere in the distance
Parallel lines converge.
That is the point
I disembark.

What I said I will do
I will do
And I will do it
For the term of my enlistment.

My term of service is
Nothing less than forever.

The way I said that.
I meant no bravado
No pitiful sense of greatness.

That understanding leaves me
A bit tired.
Weary even.

But I enlisted
A long time ago
And I will remain enlisted
Much longer than you may imagine.

I am the eternal soldier
And I will serve
Nothing less than forever.

A Cold Burn

There is a certain feeling
Accompanied by
A slap in the face.

Call it
A cold burn.

It telegraphs from your face
Down your neck and spine
And ricochets around
Your spirit
While you deliberate whether
To strike back
Or walk away.

So far I’ve walked away.

But I think the heart has a limit
To the number of slaps
It can sustain
Until it does something reasonable.

But I may be safe.
I’ve not done one thing reasonable

'49 Merc

Chopped and raked.
Black metallic.
It growled
Across the intersection
Its framed lit
In purple light.


I fell in behind it
Noting its plate
Bright in the gloom

It was a translation
Of a ’49 Merc.
It slithered rather than rolled.
Every window tinted black.
Four chrome pipes jutted
From each side
Blue flame
Whispering from each port.

There are moments when feeling
Is the dominate sense.
The wise man knows
When to obey his gut.

I pulled beside him at the light
And rolled my window down
Indicating the driver
Of the ’49 Merc
Do the same.

In a moment
His window hissed down.

I looked into the face
Of the fool behind the wheel.
He tilted his head in question
Wanting to know the reason
For the interruption.

I’d been eating an apple
When I’d noticed the ’49 Merc.
All that was left was the core
Which I tossed like a grenade
Onto his buttery leather seats.
His eyes flared in malevolence.

You can have your apple back
I said.
Then I turned right
At the light.