Posted: October 19, 2016 in poem, poet, poetry

Thoughts of burning candles
Bright candles that will soon lose their wicks
Each stared into with wonder
Movement of the flame watched as if alive
Flame so hot but too weak to resist the slightest breeze
or puff of an old man’s breath.
Lighting the way or burning the hand
Reminding us that long shadows can be cast
from the light of very small flames




A Chance Of It

Posted: October 17, 2016 in free verse, Life, poem, poet, poetry, story, writing

I’m not sure there is any lesson at all.

On one side there is life, on the other, our frail and fragile frames and searching minds. Life never changes. It is that big square edged shiny monolith looming over us, that says nothing, does nothing and appears occasionally out of no where. And we spend our time hovering around it, feeling its perfectly smooth texture, rubbing our cheeks against its cool hard sides and all the time wondering what its made of and what it will give or take away from us this time.
Yes, indeed, life could well be a rock.

As one man dies, another child or two are born and life just keeps moving along. Who knows, that man may have invented penicillin or that child may be the one who will harness nuclear fusion but more likely as not that old man and that spankened new child will probably contribute nothing earthshaking at all. They both just spent their time here on earth admiring the monolith and hoping for just one feel of its smooth cool surface. They were just glad to be alive and felt fortunate to have had a chance of it.

And there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.


My friend Carolyn, doesitevenmatter3, has unofficially declared this week “Donkey Week”. Here’s my contribution.










My father with his Donkey Baseball team’s MVPs. Really! They call it Donkey Ball.

In the 1930’s local baseball teams were organized in most American towns. Baseball was truly the national sport. Practically every town, from the smallest to the largest had at least two baseball teams. My father, and many others, felt the game boring and needed “a little spicing up” so he and a partner added to the spectacle of the game, the donkeys.

Donkey Ball, as it was called, became very popular in the Midwest. His donkey team traveled throughout the Midwest for a few years. His partner was the advance man who would “sell” a town a night or two of donkey ball and organize the time and date and put up posters and newspaper ads of the coming attraction and then a few days or weeks later Dad would bring into town the donkeys and organize the entertainment.  The towns had to furnish the players.

Really the donkeys were well-trained animals that he and his partner spent months training. Each animal had its own specialty. One would not move an inch if directed to “stay” by my father. Another would only let a child sit on its back but bucked if an adult tried to ride it. ( the child was given candy to give the donkey before they mounted it.) One would run the bases even if the player fell off, one would totally carry the player off of the field and back to the stock truck. Another would just lay down on the ground if anyone tried to ride her. The towns people loved seeing the local gentry, the police chief or the mayor thrown off the donkey or kicked or disobeyed. Really an evening of fun.

My father had an added attraction of a bull-whip act that he performed sometime during the show which the donkeys also participated in. Similar to a circus lion taming act, where the donkeys would line up and perform tricks at the commands of my “lion tamer” father.

Here’s a YouTube of how the game was played. This is not his team playing, it is just one of the only documented films of the game in the early 1930’s when he was in the business. There are Donkey Ball teams still today but this film best represents what my father described it to be in the 1930’s. Wish I had a film of his. There are still donkey baseball and basketball game promoters in business even today. My father’s and others were among the firsts.

Such is the life of John.



Posted: October 2, 2016 in poem, poet, poetry
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Happy October, you Octoberians!

Another month, another 31 days of suspense . A lot can happen in 31 days. That is over 4 weeks.

October, the eighth month, in the Roman calendar. It really should be Decober in our modern Gregorian calendar. I hereby proclaim that the tenth month of the year be called Decober. I think the Romans allowed a slight oversight so many years ago. Now what shall we call December? November and September? Another reason March should  still be our first month of the year.

See what happens when you add a couple of months to an otherwise well organized year. Everything gets all screwed up and you end up paying for it for centuries.





Days of Went

Posted: September 26, 2016 in poem, poet, poetry
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While others ponder, frown and squint
I wonder  where, the days of went
Of bare-foot toes and soiled clay
Of corn stalks high and alfalfa hay
Rolled in grass with Sheppard pup
Drank from the well of the windmill’s cup
When I stood fast , refused to talk
And stood my ground on Mounting Rock

Worn ripped shirt and patched blue pants
Mush, cold eggs or pancakes – can’t
Brother, sisters many fed
climbed board ladder to their bed
That’s all there was , there was no more
In a sawed board house with linoleum floor
But our 5 foot 2, our Mother Nurse
Saved us all from that poor-house curse.


Peanut Butter

Posted: September 22, 2016 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry

04:17 AM, dark, quiet, only the glow of the laptop illuminates my fingers as I write. My eyes sting and water, from the contrast light and tears roll down my cheeks. Removing my glasses helps a little but the eye strain of tired eyes may force me to lean to the side of the couch, shut them and catch a few moments of rest. Sleep, glorious sleep, I’ve forgotten how.  How can a man forget how to sleep peacefully. How can he put aside the previous day and stop planning the next. How fast can the mind run from one subject to the next , retracing what he has done and placing in order  all the things that need done the next day. Hell, the next week, the next month, the next year. When did sleep turn into only rest?

04:33 AM, I’m reminiscing  about the year spent in Colorado, re-drove the trip I took to Seneca, KS yesterday, every turn, every road, every quick stop that I had passed. The medium black coffee I picked up at the drive through cost $1.07. Gas was $2.08.9. The date …..the 21st. Sun straight out of the east, Equinox is tomorrow, wait Equinox is  today. The street light is intermittently turning on and off. Why is my mind racing? Why do I feel so alive?

04:43AM It is so quiet, my mind is producing its own sounds . Man can not stand total quiet. Try it the next time you find yourself without the surrounding noises of life and the world around you. You must wait until after midnight, usually by 3:00AM most noise stops in my area.  But the next time you are left with no outside noise, listen , not hard just listen, you may hear yourself, your stomach growls, your heart beat, your breath. You may even hear what I call your mind sounds, listen, there may be squeaks, pops, level tones or hums.. Your mind makes them because it is not getting any outside stimuli . When you are going deaf, your mind makes up for the loss by making its own noise and perhaps mourns the loss of  it..  But if you are hearing voices……. well, we all know what that means.

04:56 AM   Maybe if I would just listen to some music.

05:07 AM Enough with the music… why is it OK to get stuck with and hear repeated music in your mind but it is a sign of craziness to hear voices? Hummm, I’ll have to look that one up.

05:12 Well, time for coffee, toast and jelly today or toast and peanut butter?  Peanut butter.




My Piece of Joy Pie.

Posted: September 7, 2016 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry
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I’m not sure what is going on out there. It may be the weather. It may be this dumb founded election season or maybe it’s just life, the way things are. Hell, for all I know it may be frickin’ magic.

We are born, we grow up, we get married, we have kids, land that job that can support the whole clan, move to a location because that’s where the job is, not particularly where you wanted to settle but it will do, the kids get through school, they marry, have our grandkids and the cycle continues with them.

In between, we mow our lawns, wash our cars, go to weddings, school graduations, buy insurance, move a couple of times, change jobs, lose jobs, get sick, go to hospitals, get well, have hobbies, make friends, lose friends, go to funerals of friends and parents and grandmas and grandpas and uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters. Life then no life.

We try to laugh as much as we can, even though there’s not really that much to laugh about. So we tell jokes, pull pranks on one another, laugh at how people look, dress, walk and talk. We are constantly looking for something or someone to laugh at. That’s why sports, television and the internet ( or what ever else that you get a few jollies from) were invented, we needed to find laughter and joy in what otherwise would be a pretty dull, hum-drum, hard existence.

What can I say, it’s life. We need food and shelter and clothes on our backs in the hemisphere that I’ve landed on. There is no way around it. But we need that one other thing, just as much as we need water to drink , food to eat or shelter to keep us warm, we need joy. Just a couple of moments of joy each day or month or sometime in our life. Just something that happened or something we saw or read or noticed or someone we talked to that we can look back on and say, “You know what? I had fun that day”.

When I was a confused teenager and was feeling down on some old lonely Wednesday night, a stick of Juicy Fruit gum and an 8 oz. bottle of Coke was enough joy to keep me going for the rest of the week, I still search for those props. It doesn’t take much and a little joy can go a long ways. Every once in a while, we need to find that piece of joy, that one little piece out of life’s joy pie. It’s there, it may be hard to find, don’t expect it to be big, it will probably be very little. But you need just a tad. Search for it, just like we search in the refrigerator for that last piece of dessert, roast beef or left-over chili. Open those doors and peek around every old bottle of mustard and ketchup, keep looking, it’s there. Hell, it’s fun just looking for it, that piece of joy.

Such is the life of John


Well, the Dog Days have got me. I’m taking a few days from work and maybe I will write a little. Until the inspiration hits me or my muse slaps my lazy face and throws out a juicy bone that I must gnaw on and hopefully it has enough meat on  it to give me a few paragraphs, I will have to settle on a re-blog of a piece I posted a couple of years ago.  I think there are still a few billion people who haven’t read it yet.

Really, I’m trying, I really am. It’s the Dog Days for gods’ sake, I have about 30 drafts started but so far I’ve got nothing. Nothin’ I tell ya! This will have to do for now. OK, I may add a picture or something.

The kid and his pet chicken.

The kid and his pet chicken.

Dog Days
1 : the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere
2 : a period of stagnation or inactivity

The Dog Days of Summer. That’s where we are in time and space, the Dog Days. In my space and at my latitude the corn is just starting to naturally dry. Kids are walking to school again, some enthusiastically, some more reluctantly. The drone of the air conditioner is still common, continuous and mostly unnoticed. The morning rains are light and the winds are southern. Weather only reaches boiling point in late afternoon when the sun, the breeze and what little moisture in the air mix into a concoction of violent storms. Then afterwards turns into sultry heat before the sun starts to go down.

Summer projects should now be well underway and reaching completion, certainly if not started by now they will soon be kicked out of the schedule, whether it’s for new pavement, back porch or swimming pool. I get the sense of winding down, although I’m as busy now as anytime of the year. But the sense of having finally settled into the year is dominant and the realization that we, with just a little more luck, have probably made it through another 12 months. People have just learned to slow down and tolerate the heat but must soon ramp up and prepare for the hustle and bustle of school activities. Those with and without children are thinking about what fall will bring and are instinctively musing of exchanging mower for rake and later snow shovel. The smart ones are preparing for winter. If we were squirrels, we would be starting to work at a feverish pace.

Such is the life of John

Inland Seagull

Posted: August 27, 2016 in poem, poet, poetry
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This week in the life of John ( as if anyone gives a damn)

The last couple weeks I have been to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois  and of course the Ol’faithful and backward Kansas.

I’m noticing a trend, I have reached an age where young clerks and waitresses are calling me “Hon” ,”Honey”, “Darlin” or “Sweetheart”. It strikes me in a bad way whenever I am called any of “those names”. I feel it is condescending, sort of being familiar. I don’t mind being called Sir. But man if you knew me, I ain’t no Honey, Hon or Sweetheart. It happened to me three times in three different states this week. I think it may become a trend in the service industry.  I can stand it and say nothing, I may just give them a puzzled look when they call me that. I don’t think I look that old to be called a name usually reserved for older gentlemen in open back gowns residing in hospital rooms or nursing homes that may need a sympathetic word or two to soothe their physical or mental pain.  I can remain silent when I am called that, but OC, if he notices it, he comes out and goes a little ape-shit wild.

It was Colorado, an airport that I’m sure hundreds of thousands of travelers pass through each day. All walks of life are seen there. I waited in line to pay for my purchase and paid close attention to what the girl clerk was calling the customers. Overwhelming nothing, not one of “those names”. Tens of people waited on, not one “name”. I step up to the cash register and maybe took a little longer than the others to count out my change, but not more than a second or two, and it came “Thank you Honnnn”,  and a weak smile.  I felt puzzled by it, but OC took over… and asks “What did you call me? ” and she sort of smiled and says “Honey”. And OC says ” Thank you Baby, and you smell good and have very nice Tits” .

I , of course was appalled and turned to quickly leave. The older gentleman waiting directly behind me was laughing his ass off and said “Right on Brother!!” He and OC traded fist bumps. Maybe that will become a trend.

Such is the life of John

(OC reappeared about a year ago. To learn more about my other alter-egos , go to my About page)

Heavy Metal

Posted: August 8, 2016 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry
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Beneath the soft stretched fabrics
are the hard bodies of youth’s firm human frame,
Judged by fast changing clocks
and watchers and lovers of perfect style and form.
They win or lose by hundredths of seconds
or fractions of subjective points.
On podiums they bow their heads with broad white smiles and joyful tears
To begin wearing medals as heavy as the egos of their national anthems.
And to be known forever as having the heart of an Olympian.