Historians

Beneath the rubble of civilizations past

ancient souls cry out to be remembered

from great societies that didn’t last

their wisdom buried in history’s ashes

their lives that passed too fast

who will give those souls peace?

and tell their stories?

of past glories?

historians are the bridges

connecting the past to today

their tireless work

a timeless passion play

***

A Brief Look at Redemption

He rocks back-and-forth on the rickety wicker porch chair. He’s everyman, late in life with wrinkles distorting a once smooth face, and body. His life wasn’t spent seeking redemption in real time. His subconsciousness never gave a hint of being interested in the subject.

Memories did sometimes rudely intrude upon his daily routine and reality. As a combat veteran he was intimately acquainted with death. The sight. The smell. The moment he fired at a human being. The horror.

But he just keeps on rocking in his wicker chair every day, a modern response to Old Man River who just kept rolling on.

He isn’t plagued with regrets on not being “saved” by any religion, or by being led to redemption like a sheep on the way to being sheared.

Freedom is his redemption for being alive and having survived many perilous times in his long life. His arthritis a badge of honor. His physical scars medals earned during a long life of adventures. His silver hair a crown of achievement.

He makes no claims of having redeemed others from sins and stupid moves in their lives. He never wanted to lead others to the top of any proverbial mountain. He’s unaware of ever being anyone’s leading light in life.

He just keeps on rocking in his wicker chair every day, a modern response to Old Man River who just kept rolling on.

the end

The Colors of Curiosity

A kitten’s proclivity

to curiosity

comes in shades of tabby

black, brown, gray, white

some tall and some small

all hunters at night

curiosity

gleams in their agate eyes

multi-colored felines

who like to fraternize

curiosity

in every slinky movement

nothing is left unexplored

or spared their amusement

***

Wanton Thoughts

Lava lust

molten desires

steamy romance

pulsating

inside

crazy love

sending shockwaves

down my spine

with hot passion

and naked yearning

sensuality and carnality

embodied

with salacious thoughts

coursing through veins

throbbing with need

I yield to impulse

***

Love in the Air

He looked across the classroom at her luxurious golden hair

lost in daydreams that come to young men

all he could do was stare

he wasn’t sure what it was that held him so

what marvel moved him to sweat

even though a breeze through an open window did blow

his heart felt light

she was a pretty mystery

and a beautiful sight

he told himself a day would come soon

when he’d be brave enough to say hi!

and not appear to be a buffoon

love was in the air

but it wasn’t sticking soon

***

Long Pig

A thick sea fog crawled up onto the shore and billowed out along the ragged coast like a creature from native folklore. Confused seagulls called out to one another as the rain increased in intensity. A lone figure blindly staggered through the slushy sand on the coast.

He was the only survivor from the “Wild Countess” a pirate ship that was shattered asunder by a terrible storm at sea two days prior. His clothes hung in rags off of his frail body as he limbed along the beach trying to find his way inland and possible shelter. The gods were angry at Sir William Treacher, who was once a respected member of the English Court before turning to piracy as a profession. If it wasn’t for the damn storm he’s still be sailing the high seas in search of easy prey.

Sir William was not a religious man, despite feigning to be one for most of his life. So he had no supreme being to pray to. He cursed his fate and kept walking through the driving rain.

The island that Sir William walked on was New Guinea but he didn’t know that. All he knew was that he hoped the inhabitants -if there were any – were friendly.

The village chief, Loo Kaupa, patiently listened to the eager young messenger Vihaan Tali, tell his tale. The excited young man was reporting that he saw a stranger on the beach and he was a white man. This was big news. It had been a long time since white men visited their island. Chief Loo Kaupa had to strain his memory to recall when the last time it happened. His chief advisor, and oldest man in the tribe, Ewanga-Goiba Ani, said it was a special event – just like the last time many moons ago when five sailors had washed up upon their bountiful shores.

Other elders in the thatched hut buzzed like bees remembering encounters with the white men and their wisdom. Some talked about the white man’s ability to navigate by the stars and to read the heavens for their position. Some pointed out other amazing technologies they shared, like the mangled telescope which stood in a place of honor in the chief’s hut. Alongside of it were two pairs of spectacles whose power of magnification awed the simple natives. A map of the world was proudly displayed upside down on another wall. No doubt about it, the tribe had benefited from the visitors and treated them like valued guests.

Sir William cursed when he stumbled again. His legs felt like leaden weights and he was hopelessly disorientated. He was hungry and thirsty. Finally he sat down on a boulder. The rain stopped as suddenly as it started. Steam rose from the ground as he looked around in disgust.

“Damn me eyes if this isn’t a poor turn of events,” he grumbled out loud as he emptied sand from his shoe. Nearby at the tree line that Sir William hadn’t discovered yet, two natives watched him with wide-eyed curiosity as the fog slowly dissipated under the sun’s warm embrace. They were instructed to observe him and not reveal themselves.

After an hour Sir William worked up the energy to walk to the tree line that was revealed between wisps of stringy fog that doggedly clung to the ground. When he found a running stream he collapsed beside it and greedily drank the fresh cool water until he involuntarily vomited. As he lay recovering on the river’s bank he saw a wild pig dash through the underbrush. The sight heartened him. There was at least one meat source on the island. He suspected that he’d find eatable tubers and berries to supplement his diet. His spirits raised as he relaxed by the stream and listened to the calls of exotic birds overhead.

Sir William’s first instinct was to run when he saw the heavily tattooed chief Loo Kaupa emerge from the dense undergrowth to greet him. The chief’s face was painted in a fierce grimace but he was smiling and holding up one hand as he approached. Even more reassuring, the chief was speaking in broken English.

Ahoy, Englishman!” he called out merrily.

With a sigh of immense relief Sir William hailed the chief and smiled broadly. His luck had finally returned.

On the way to the village other natives joined them. Some had dead wild pigs on wooden slings, while others had baskets of red and black berries. It was a festive group that hummed native tunes as they traveled further inland. Sir William’s thoughts turned to how he could exploit the naïve natives as he followed them into an enclosed compound.

Chief Loo Kaupa proudly ushered Sir William into his spacious hut and called for drink and food to be laid out on a long wooden table in the center. Naked and nubile young women brought in baskets bearing various eatables, from reptiles to mystery mushes whose smell made ones eyes water.

When two brawny naked young warriors brought in a whole roasted pig everyone enthusiastically clapped. Especially Sir William whose mouth was watering at the sight. It was a memorable night where everyone got drunk on the villagers favorite fermented coconut concoction.

A week later chief Loo Kaupa announced that Sir William would have the honor of taking messages to the villagers loved ones. It seemed a bit odd that the villagers themselves couldn’t visit their loved ones but Sir Will’s mind was fogged with the excesses he was indulging in.

Beautiful young women were selected to sexually please Sir Will for six straight days. On the seventh day chief Loo Kaupa informed him that he was a “long pig.”

“What’s a long pig?” Sir William hesitantly asked.

“They’re special offerings to please the gods,” the chief beamed happily.

Sir William’s heart quickened and he dropped the wooden gourd he was drinking from as several strong warriors edged closer to him while the chief was speaking.

The Great Spirit Father is honoring you tonight above all others. As a long pig, your sacred flesh will be consumed by everyone in the village this night, allowing you to carry messages to their beloved ancestors.”

Sir Will’s scream of horror rose to the heavens as the warriors closed in around him with long knives.

The end.

Trapped in a Dream?

I’m ready to wake up now.

It’s been fun surfing on monster waves in Hawaii in weather so beautiful it was post card perfect. Those two beach bunnies were a nice touch. Literally. Heh! heh! Everyone was real nice to me, and smoking pakalolo with those two Philippine fishermen was a cool experience, but I want to wake up now.

There must be rules.

Nothing is wrong with me. I’m healthy and happy. Just sleeping. So why can’t I get up? Shakespeare wrote,

“Are you sure

That we are awake?

It seems to me

That yet we sleep,

we dream”

In The Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This quote haunts me because I’m sure I’m awake, yet somehow dreaming at the same time. It stirs instincts from other lives that were hidden from my consciousness and are now scampering about like free rabbits in the wild.

What am I doing wrong?

Is it possible to forget how to wake up? Is that little piece of information in code somewhere in my unconscious? Did it grow tired of waiting for me to open my eyes and shrivel up? Way too many questions here. I have to pull back and not panic. I appear to be stuck in a nightmare. As soon as I get the right neurons to move from my cerebellum to the cerebral cortex it will go away.

I’m waiting.

Maybe I’m having the mother of all daydreams. Daydreams. That’s it. I’m having the most intense daydream ever experienced by a human. I don’t know why I was singled out for this dubious honor, but I’m over it. Time to move on. I have a life to live. Is anyone out there listening?

Im still waiting.

The end.

The Speaker in the Park

I watched in wry wonder

the speaker in the park

with a voice like thunder

some family’s patriarch

preach about end days

as the crowd gathered around

in the smoggy haze

waiting for salvation

and better days

not condemnation

guessing he was mad

the crowd drifted away

many feeling sad

and others feeling led astray

***

Tidbits of Truth

there is only one truth

in reality

there’s no guarantee

on what you hear or read

is not a partisan screed

facts are often muddied

with lies

that galvanize

people’s bias

until

tidbits of truth

break through

people must make do

with the tried and true

**

Words

Words are birds

that take flight

with everything you write

they ride the wind

all free to fly

in the blink of an eye

into the blue sky

words travel as far

as the north star

and as fast as a race car

civilizations built on words

by nerds

who believed they could fly

like birds

***