The Returning Knight’s Story

(Editor’s note: I’m experimenting with a hybrid writing genre combining Flash Fiction/Poetry – let me know what you think. Does it work? Input appreciated – 326 words)

after years he returned from his duty as a crusader in a foreign land, riding a weary war horse in battered and bloody armor, the knight struggled not to think about the terrible things he saw in the Holy Land, where massacres of innocents were common and his soul shriveled watching and participating in…

the sun bore down mercilessly on his and his horse’s rusting armor, and his tortured brain, as he stared from behind unblinking eyes down the long dusty lane, where clusters of cobblestones laid by Roman engineers still existed after hundreds of years, reminded him of the rubble he left behind…

lurking behind his empty eyes was a shadow of recognition that he was once a husband and a father living peacefully in a green valley, where he and his bride were born so long ago, before the Catholic church came by and said he had to go, and defend Christianity for the sake of humanity, or be excommunicated by the church…

that man was just a memory as the knight rode down the road and considered what lay ahead with no emotion like he was dead, but instead he plowed ahead with no plan in mind, no speech to give about his harsh life when he thought about his young wife…

finally the day arrived and the familiar landscape of home rose like a blessing in green rows of trees surrounded by grassy knolls and a farm house at the bottom of the hill ahead, as the knight’s powerful horse picked up it’s gait unconsciously for his master to see his wife standing by a tree…

no Muslim warrior ever wounded the knight so badly

than after talking with her by the tree, when she said she thought he was dead and married again and was happy, with a tear in her eye that he could see, she turned and went back to her new family …

the knight got back on his horse, and rode into history.

***

7 Questions I’d Like To Ask You

Why is there always one clown in a crowd who asks people witnessing an entertaining, strange, or scary event, Did you see that?

Why do some men and women wear pants so tight they rip if they bend over? And, for God’s sake, why are so many of them huge?

Why would anyone buy a wristwatch that just tells the time?

Why do some Evangelical Christians today get to pick and choose which of the 10 Commandments to follow?

Why does America have more people in prisons than any of the other top industrial nations in the world?

Why don’t train boxcars only carry boxes?

Why are you taking the time to read these silly questions?

Riffing on Living

205 words – free verse

life in the fast lane of concrete jungles weaving through cities and states seeking altered states and the key to paradise while cities burn from fires caused by climate change and a whole range of environmental disasters brought on by corporate behemoths that breath life into Wall Street’s secrets corridors of power looking down on the average citizen nearly powerless trying to fight Goliath with a cell phone tapped by the FBI and marketers vying for the masses money in cyberspace a dangerous place where saints and sinners trumpet their wares to the unwary visitors responding to special sales for limited times – but wait there’s more – in the pursuit of happiness religions and cults seek converts with promises of saving souls and access to elite Hollywood parties where the wealthy meet to greet one another and brag about big contracts and casting beds while women fight for equality and freedom from perverted movie execs soaked in their huge egos looking for the next star in an industry of dreams where viewers suspend reality to escape a world of lies that have formed like cobwebs in our society holding the average person victim with fake news and rhetoric straight from hell and premiering near you soon.

205 words – free verse

Mouse Rules

100 words – essay

Don’t trust the cat is the number one rule, wise city mice tell their country cousins. Number two is that not all cheese is created equal. Sometimes cheese is deadly bait, and when they find out it’s too late.

The third rule is to stay near quick exits when exploring for food. Mice have modes of communication – squeaks and peeps – that warns them if any danger creeps.

As long as they follow mouse rules they can play night and day.

I hope your not surprised that mice are so organized. At some point in evolution they became unionized.

When Street Rods Were Rad

essay – 140 words

I still remember when the ’32 Ford Coupe ruled the road for street racers in the fifties and early sixties.

It’s hoodless engine and nitro tank strapped to the grill gleaming with polished chrome and promises of power were worshiped by teenagers who gathered in groups to watch the street rods race on lonely roads.

Butch haircuts competed with James Dean’s classic looking hair. Jeans and t-shirts everywhere. Girls wore pumps with pleated skirts and short bobbed hair. Teenagers were going steady with class rings and varsity jackets. Wolf Man Jack called the races at the right places and passed messages on to lovers and the lonely.

The need for speed was a tremendous thirst that made local heroes famous nationally when they came in first. These lords of the road have long disappeared or sold out.

Memories can be so poignant.

On Feeling Different

essay – 160 words

My earliest memories are of feeling different. An alien, an outsider, hiding my inner thoughts carefully so people couldn’t see the real me. So people wouldn’t know that my imagination was a wild beast with no rules.

From an early age, I learned not to outwardly stray from the path of normality laid down for me by my parents. I bowed to reality, but secretly set it aside to explore other worlds, to seek the mysteries of life, and to go where I didn’t think others would.

I still awkwardly navigate from fact to fiction when I write. The idea of other dimensions is real to me, because I’ve been to them many times in my history. Opening doors and stepping through is nothing new to someone who has felt different all their life.

I walk through the world with eyes wide open, hoping to fine other people like me. Seekers unafraid of mysteries and what their imagination can see.

The Rise of Poetry

Essay – 1 minute read

The traditional gatekeepers of poetry, professors and such, have longed considered themselves quality control experts. Their narrow interpretation of what constitutes worthy works comes with constrictions and different restrictions.

Examples include:, Haiku, Ballad, Stev, Ode, Free verse, Blank verse, thematic, limerick and nursery rhymes. Spoken out loud, they provide powerful images within the confines of each style. A feat many writers haven’t bothered to try, poetry, was once deemed elitist and a byproduct of scholarly snobbery.

But The Beat Generation came along in my time and showed that not all poems have to rhyme and that provocative word pictures could be painted without formal meter or stanza standing in the way. A revolution that is still happening today.

Even more important to me, is that everyone can feel free to write poetry on their own websites or social platforms without conventional publishers dictating terms to them.

This, because of the growing poet population online, is the new Golden Age of Expression