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.

Palatine Hill

Once the center of a thriving Roman empire

Palatine Hill still stands silently

majestically

a former home of emperors

conquerors

of the known world

chipped alabaster idols whisper

about ancient days

amid marble columns leaning sidewise

the Circus Maximus gazes

at the palatial structures

with their underground mazes

the birthplace of Romulus

Rome’s legendary founder

near

the Triclinium Domus Flavia’s marble floors

remnants of glory gone in long ago wars

***

The Champion

The Roman arena on display with the blood of humans and animals on a scorching August day…

we see a massive iron gate rise and out strides two gladiators in armor with killer eyes, ready to find out which one dies…

the blistering heat from the sandy arena floor shimmers on their swords as they walk through the gore and stand before the emperor, listening to the crowd’s roar…

“We who are about to die…” is drowned out by the crowd’s excited cries from spectators with blood in the eyes…

the emperor gives a slight nod and sat down, and the combatants turned around until they faced each other in the open ground, weapons held high, both hoping the other would die…

metal rang against metal in the raging heat, as each athlete refused to retreat so that blood covered each from head to feet while spectators passed out in the terrible heat…

finally one of the men clove open the other’s head, striking him instantly dead, leaving the victor the champion for the day, a title he’d be forced to defend again and again until his last day

****

The Meteorite

(132 words- flash fiction/poetry)

In the chronicles of Narmer the first King to unite the Upper and Lower Nile, a strange thing happened one night when a brilliant light streaked across the desert sky…

the light, which was actually a meteorite, hit a site near a Hittite temple hundreds of miles away, glowing where it lay, night and day, with a mysterious inner fire that attracted followers by the day…

who listened to the priests gathered there to pray to the meteorite, creating rites and calling it a god for lost souls seeking their way to eternity, a powerful entity that soon inspired a new prosperous Hittite city…

The inevitable clash of nations happened within a century, as the dark gods of both civilizations clashed, like opposing meteorites created by ideologies that couldn’t survive future centuries.

*****

Seeking Serenity #1

when it comes to

seeking serenity

each one of us has

a choice to make

a path to take

sometimes serendipity

determines fate

on our trail

resulting in

an eternal

fairytale

Bubble Troubles

we all live in a bubble

seeking verification

on cable TV

because we live in

an insecure society

there’s bubbles for the wealthy

and bubbles for the poor

there’s bubbles for races

and more

someday hopefully

there will not be

all these bubbles

with their troubles

in our country

Radioactive Love

the powers that be

are always telling you and me

who to love

they say

two women are a sin

and two men are a sin

almost any relationship we’re in

is radioactive love

according to the powers above

but love has no limits or restraints

people are not some church’s saints

living in an unreal society

full of ridiculous propriety

no rules or money

are needed

love is free

allowing you

to be happy

Graffiti In High C

golden lightning bolts streaking along ghetto walls like a snake in the Garden of Babylon intent on conveying anarchistic values to the viewers who gaze upon the colorful buildings in shock and awe...

graffiti in high C playing in the neighborhood

it’s art to the homeboys who make noise while spraying their gang names and playing games and it’s all understood

graffiti in high C playing in every city

the world is crazy

about an artist called Banksy

who secretly

paints murals of damnation in every nation

but the critics don’t get it

because they think it’s about money and fame, but graffiti’s real message is not so tame, it’s a reality check warning things will not always remain the same

School Of Hard Knocks

when I was growing up my grandfather use to say

that boy is going to find out everything the hard way

if he comes out of his childhood alive

there’s a damn good chance he’ll survive

I was an eager student of the School of Hard Knocks

my troubles were never pebbles they were always rocks

taking the least traveled pathway had a price

I come close to losing my life twice

there was never really a choice for me

I’ve always been on the verge of tragedy

but in these later days of my life

I look back and appreciate the strife

and accept my past and my destiny

whatever that happens to be

Gold Fever

In the beginning…

mankind sought gold, a precious metal capable of destroying civilizations and creating new one’s from their ashes …

he works tirelessly in his search for gold

the miner willingly take risks and is bold

as his fever for the yellow metal soldifies

he never keeps his eyes off of the prize

but

gold fever turns good men into bad guys

willing to kill and tell numerous lies

it’s glitter

sets hearts a twitter

it’s weights

seals fates

kingdoms fall

big and small

but

men will always lust

for that glittering gold dust

or dream of that mother lode

putting them on a yellow brick road

with luxuries that’ll pave their way

to a better life until their last day