just a thought
an suv story
if your friends...
the stool pigeon
ascension of the ladder
a walk across the deck
inviting pool of water
figger'd what the heck
jumped into the wetness
my body soon afloat
heaven stretched above me
wish i had a boat
descending to the bottom
surroundings getting dim
body encased in water
gee, thought i could swim
bubbles floating upward
along with them my breath
mind is getting peaceful
as my thoughts are put to death
glorious seconds passing
euphoric peaceful state
sudden bursts of screaming
sounds quite irrate
open eyes reveal
is it angels calling
or someone having fits
i leave the slimy bottom
ascend the whole four feet
my body disturbs the surface
for the silhouettes to greet
"you had us scared!", they shouted.
"we thought you might've drowned
when we looked into the pool
where on the bottom you were found!"
i told them not to worry
drowning was not the case
i just prefer the pool's bottom;
my happy quiet place.
how two little words,
cause such a fuss,
and beyond grade school,
aren't recited all that much.
a little speech,
a pledge, if you will,
written by a minister,
but these two words
aren't part of his pledge,
do they become wedged.
and if 'GOD' be the problem;
the Word that offends,
then read it as an acronym
to make amends...
Government of Democracy (GoD)
i awoke to find that all i am
is a thought inside me head,
and if i don't remember me
then all i was be dead.
scary thought be a thought like that
me thinks, amoungst the others in me head;
wonder who'd i be inside
if this me thought now be dead?
demons gone; but memories, too,
or would they still remain,
while i be but no thought at all
deep inside my brain?
and if i vanish from this earth,
does a memory of me remain,
or am i cleansed completely,
from everybody's brain?
i best be mindful of this me,
this thought inside me head,
or else perhaps another me
may render this thought dead.
and if this other me becomes
the new thought in me head,
how long will it be before,
he also winds up dead?
your demise is the source from which i write,
for t's sad to read of your final plight,
and though you be just remote-controlled cars,
death awaits you upon the face of mars.
distance will silence you from us;
as your energy panels collect dust,
causing your batteries to lose their power,
and freezing your components in your final hour.
but perhaps a surprise could occur,
a chance encounter could deter,
your need to die alone in space,
as you become a pet of some martian race.
nine o'clock; the time it seems
for this boy to go to sleep.
a quiet night of rest i seek,
and a prayer for not a peep.
but as we climb into the car,
for that is the bed's shape,
there's thrashing all about
and a prayer for duct tape.
little fingers in the eye;
a headbutt to the nose;
demands to lay a certain way
and a prayer for eyes to close.
two hours later, i awake.
time to leave the car.
quietly creeping to my bed,
and a prayer to make it that far.
early morning drive.
need to stay alive.
in to get coffee, i go.
beverage in hand;
i move from the stand
to a seat at the window.
small handprint i view
while sipping my brew;
starring at nothing it seems.
a handprint says "hi",
to this weary guy
reflecting upon his dreams.
a smile does rise
that lights up my eyes,
as the handprint seems to wave.
left there by a tot,
who will never know what
life their little handprint gave.
bridged to unite.
poised to divide.
memories, their arsenal,
assualting logic thought.
logic's weapon, time,
heals memory's sting.
as time is overwhelmed.
logic's losses heavy,
it begins to retreat.
in bleakest hour; hope.
William Holden arrives.
the bridge yields
to his explosives.
to logic's now deaf ear.
logic leaves the chasm
and begins life anew.
in your arms;
binds me to you.
let not go
till death's grasp
takes me from you.
as is mind,
given to you.
but soul not
mine to give,
when called from you.
fare thee well,
as i must,
me without you.
i 'm still there,
always with you.
she pins my shoulders to the bed.
cascading curls surround my head.
she sits astride, leans in to kiss.
she's taking aim, this shadowed miss.
i view her there, for i'm awake.
this be no dream, make no mistake.
her form is solid, her grasp be real,
she descends to my lips, a kiss to steal.
my heart be racing, should i resist?
with pressing lips, i am kissed.
her tongue she plays upon my mouth
and all resistance has now gone south.
with abandonment, i do accept her.
eyes close, lips part, tongues encounter.
my surrender seems to be her wanting,
but i'm awake and this is haunting.
soulful fear brings the realization
that this is a spirtual visitation
and as sudden as she had arrived
she spirited off from this truth to hide.
lift me upon that upper shelf,
where my spirit be displayed.
the place of peace and harmony,
from which i must have strayed.
in consciousness i wallow,
negativity has me caught.
lift me upon the upper shelf,
above destructive thought.
subconscious pure and gentle,
please let me here reside.
placed upon your upper shelf,
true spirit, be my guide.
to clutter on the lower shelves,
no attention will I pay,
for I’m upon the upper shelf,
and here I plan to stay.
we climb within our armor,
our own private space,
and drive upon the asphalt,
trying to keep the pace.
thousands of others join us,
though never do we speak,
for in our little sanctuary,
their intrusions never leak.
we’re surrounded by devices,
that cause the mind to stray,
but miraculously enough,
on the road most can stay.
there are those of us however,
who succumb to the distraction,
of all those toys surrounding us,
begging for interaction.
of course this causes problems,
or at least that’s what i’m told,
because these people usually,
drive completely off the road.
too many doors ajar
in the halls of my mind.
doors that need closure
before peace i can find.
childhood’s door i close,
to conceal the pain
of those awkward years,
for which you held blame.
adolescence’s door slams!
powered by your angst.
you awakened me.
you’ll always have my thanks.
of adulthood’s doors?
way too many to shut,
though close them i must,
to escape from their rut.
what doors are open?
you may hazard to ask.
only present and future.
for what has passed is past.
remember schoolyard bullies,
how obnoxious they could be?
well they exist in adulthood,
and they’re driving SUVs.
the highway replaces the schoolyard,
where they intimidate us now,
with their gigantic vehicles,
through the traffic they plow.
no regard for safety,
nor rules of the road,
they nudge and shove us,
with their oversized load.
and you know why they bought one?
notice the next time ones near.
its because no mere car could ever
accommodate that spreading derriere.
as the heated hand of the demon
plunges into my chest,
removing my soul and eating of it,
wishing to devour what I possess.
but my soul resists,
it's purity torching the demon.
then Death comes to reclaim his pet.
as for my soul...
Death apologizes for the interruption,
and the drool...
and replaces it within me.
Once clean and new,
Laid with such care,
Smoothed and sculpted,
And dried by the air.
Now covered in gum,
And butts and spit,
Animal droppings, bird droppings
And all your discarded sh.. (stuff).
Why are you so careless?
Why throw upon me your debris?
Why can’t you use trashcans?
(And don’t blame gravity!)
Bet your homes are spotless.
Bet your floors are neat.
You’ve made me your keeper of garbage,
This surface beneath your feet.
C’mon you smartest mammals,
Known as the human race,
Control that urge of dropping it,
Use trashcans, not my face!
they look around but never see.
they're in a hurry but have no place to be.
they're pressed for time but don't know why.
they are oblivians.
they cross the street against the light.
they'll glare at drivers who don't yield the right.
yet in their cars the opposite holds true.
they are oblivians.
watch them walk around the malls,
colliding into others or into walls.
they don't seem to think anyone exists at all.
they are oblivians.
I feel for those who have the curse.
never seeing the best, only the worst.
they are blind to the beauty that surrounds.
they are oblivians.
perhaps one day they may awake,
and view this world that God did make,
and wonder how they missed it before,
once again being oblivians.
His IQ was 215,
Before his addiction to nicotine.
To cover the taste, came chewing gum,
And his IQ fell to 101.
He then discovered alcohol,
And his IQ continued to fall.
To stave the hangovers, came caffeine,
Thus reducing his IQ to just 18.
His addictions kept him barely alive,
And his IQ seemed to hold at 5.
He lost his remaining 5 that day,
When driving in the rain, washed his IQ away.
Now at zero behind the wheel,
He chatted on the phone and fumbled with his meal.
He read his news and drank coffee, too,
Never noticing the construction crew.
As he leaned down to light his smoke,
He never heard what the flagman spoke.
All attempts to stop him had seemed to fail,
As his car plunged off the bridge due to the missing guardrail.
shatters the illusion
of the peace known as sleep.
another day beginning
finds my heart still beating
and my consciousness is pulled from the deep.
confusion slowly waning
as water starts it's raining
and awakes my human vessel to the dawn.
quickly I am dressing
and breakfast soon digesting
for in twenty minutes time I am gone.
I sit in quiet and await the need,
to perform per my design,
to ease the pain and begin the healing
of the injury I must bind.
she reached for me in her pain,
I comforted her wound.
she and I were one,
throughout that afternoon.
in remaining day and all the night,
we had never parted,
but with the dawn she was healed,
as for me, I was discarded.
from my warm chamber I am removed.
violently shaken, I yield to gravity
and fall upon the hard surface.
alone, in a foreign environment , stand I.
the one who created me with dust and moisture
now stands poised to slay me.
His stainless steel blade savagely rips through
my skin and layer upon layer falls from my body.
vivisected I lay, my oneness severed.
my creator and tormentor not finished.
parts of me are tossed into a chamber
and lowered to the flames,
my softness quickened by the heat.
suddenly, I am ejected back to coolness.
my creator wraps his fingers around me
and lifts me from my torture.
am I spared?
once again I am laid to rest.
He applies a salve to my wounds.
as this cure melts into me, my creator
lifts me from my resting place.
a smile spreads across my creator’s face
and his mouth opens, perhaps to speak.
I am placed within Him and bitten.
ripping me apart with His teeth.
chewing me into fragments.
swallowing me into His body.
I come to understand that He wishes
us to become one.
He, on the other hand,
is merely having toast for breakfast.
each morning starts the journey
be it cold or wet or fair,
his trust is put upon me,
to get him from here to there.
the asphalt ribbon awaits
with holes and things that gash,
I try to keep my grip
as he steers me through the trash.
I see it ahead,
but his reaction is too late.
my body is dragged over it
and I feel myself deflate.
and with this puncture to me,
and the escaping air,
I know my life is over,
as I am replaced by the spare.
they come in winter,
upon invisible cloud,
to conquer this battlefield,
these warriors of the crowd.
all other thoughts retreat,
only thoughts of the battle within,
my army meets the challenge,
yet for days these warriors win.
I aid my army,
with a barrage of medication,
trying to destroy this army,
or to lessen their occupation.
my demeanor becomes cold,
as unfortunately does my heart,
and within I'll dwell deep inside,
until these warriors depart.
how I dislike being sick.
we search without,
we search within,
for pieces of the whole.
some call them facets of who we are,
these fragments of the soul.
for each of us possesses,
a piece to a puzzle,
of a picture we cannot see.
and with each of our encounters,
we see if our piece interlocks,
and many of these are blind attempts,
for there is no picture on the box.
but sometimes we are lucky,
when a sudden twist of fate,
connects us to a matching piece,
a compatible soulmate.
soulmates complete our picture,
and our connections become more strong,
for we see and think and feel as one,
throughout our whole life long.
with centuries of gathering,
through lives upon this earth,
our soulmates multiply,
with each of our rebirths.
and as we build our puzzle,
we finally see the picture,
of what we have come to be.
homeless wish my pity
as I walk the city.
I cannot find this in me,
for homeless is not what I see.
total freedom is what they possess,
I possess so much less.
they, freedom to roam,
I, mortgage and home.
they, freedom from greed,
I, material need.
they, freedom from employment,
I, slavery to the government.
they, freedom most immense,
I, stressed intense.
the thing that makes me wonder,
about these beings who shun society,
if they are so free,
why do they wish anything from me?
On this particular Saturday afternoon, my brother decided that the snow on the roof should be removed. His house was very old and had an additional room added that had a roof that didn’t allow for good drainage. He asked for my help, and though I have a fear of heights, or is it more a fear of falling, anyway, I reluctantly agreed to aid him.
My brother retrieved the aluminum extension ladder from the metal shed that was near the back of the house. As he adjusted the ladder’s height for the roof, I stood, looking at all the ice that had formed on the sidewalk and was hidden from view by the snow. As he placed the ladder against the house, I suggested that we anchor the ladder to the house somehow, so it would not slip. He tested the ladder, was satisfied that it was secure and ascended to the roof as I held the ladder. Once on the roof, he held the ladder for me by grasping the top rung. I cautiously made my way up to the roof. As I secured my footing on the roof, we both realized, simultaneously, that we had forgotten the shovels. As we fell into the snow on the roof, laughing hysterically, we heard the sound of metal hitting ice. We both stopped laughing, looked at one another, looked at where the ladder had been, then back to one another. We must have laughed for ten minutes.
Once we calmed down, my brother suggested, since I weighed less than he, that I should jump to the roof of the metal shed then down to the ground to retrieve the ladder. I told him "you’re nuts!". Five minutes later I found myself bracing to jump from the house to the metal shed. A good ten feet, though it could have been one hundred feet for one who has a ‘fear of falling’. My brother reminded me of the scene from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when Butch and Sundance see no way out other than to jump from a cliff. I reminded my brother that Butch and Sundance BOTH jumped.
I drew a deep breath, crouched down, prayed to God and jumped from the house, fell to the roof of the metal shed, rolled over, fell from that roof and landed in a huge mound of snow in the back yard. This would have been a perfect time to make snow angels, but my brother’s call to me brought me back to the task at hand. I got up and retrieved the ladder. As I held the ladder, my brother began to descend when his foot slipped off the rung of the ladder and he, the ladder and I all ended up in the snow. After he and I reassured each other that all our bones were intact and nothing was bleeding, we decided that we had both had enough excitement for one day and that the sun could melt the snow off the roof.
So there I was. Water twenty-five feet below me. Hands clinging to the handrail of the bridge that united the bayou’s shores. Friends urging me to jump. Fear gripping me firmer than my hold on the handrail.
A part of me wanted to attempt this insane act. But questions kept surfacing. How would I feel as I fell? How deep would I plunge into the bayou? Would I be able to resurface? Would anyone rescue me? Would I have a nice funeral? Several times I angled my body from the rail, knowing that a split-second impulse sent to my hands saying ‘let go’ would be all it took to start this adventure, but I couldn’t give the command. I just wasn’t sure about this entire idea.
Then the first of my friends let go of the rail and fell to the water. He seemed to fall forever before the water swallowed him from view. One, two, three, four seconds passed. More questions rushed to be heard inside my head. Where was he? Just how deep is this bayou?
Suddenly he popped from the water like a fish that had just been hooked. he gasped for air then yelled up to us how ‘cool’ his trip had been. With that recommendation, the older of our group stood up on the handrail and with an Olympic-style dive, plunged into the water. He sliced through the water’s surface without even a splash. I was amazed at the pure lunacy of what he had just done. As he resurfaced, he joined our other friend in encouraging the remaining two of us to just do it.
I looked at my handrail-clinging companion and asked if he thought this was still a good idea. He told me to just close my eyes and imagine that I was about to walk down a hallway. I was secretly hoping that the hallway he was speaking of wasn’t the hallway referred to by people who have had near-death experiences.
I took my friend’s advice, and with all the inner-strength I could muster, I walked away from the rail. The sensation of falling tickled my insides as I quickly fell through the air. A strange peace washed over me … then I was surrounded by water. A lot of water! I opened my eyes and looked up at the distancing surface of the water. It seemed to be fifteen feet over my head. Without panicking, I began to swim to the surface while my companion from the bridge plunged into his own deep hole in the water.
As we all swam to shore, I was asked if I was ready to ‘do it again’. I told my friends that even though the entire experience had lasted only a few seconds, I had had enough of that type of adventure to last me a lifetime.
Today we associate the label ‘stool pigeon’ with a person who tattles on someone. But the original ‘stool pigeon’ did more than just get someone in trouble. He unwillingly aided in the extinction of the passenger pigeon.
Now you’re probably thinking that pigeons aren’t extinct because you see them everywhere. Those aren’t passenger pigeons. Passenger pigeons weren’t considered ‘rats with wings’. Graceful and attractive, these slate-blue winged, pink-breasted birds were considered a food source.
What would make people eat pigeon? The first people to rely on the passenger pigeon as food were the pilgrims during the bitter winter of 1648. With failed crops and severe weather, the pilgrims looked to the plentiful flock of passenger pigeons to survive. Recipes for these birds listed roasting them, baking them, or simmering them in a stew, among the ways they were prepared as main dishes. And yes, you guessed it, ‘they tasted just like chicken’.
As the years progressed, passenger pigeon pie became ‘the meal’ to eat in New England society. But how could someone kill huge amounts of pigeons in order to satisfy the demand? Leave it to the accommodating nature of the passenger pigeon and the dark side of humanity in the 1700s and 1800s.
The passenger pigeon’s one flaw was that they traveled in huge flocks. And what flocks they were. We’re talking two billion birds in one flock. Imagine that! When these birds migrated from one forest to the next, they would block out the sun like an eclipse. The founders of American Ornithology, John James Audubon and Alexander Wilson both witnessed these migrations. Wilson watched as the passenger pigeons took two full days, non-stop, to fly over his Kentucky home. He estimated the flock’s length at two hundred fifty miles. In Audubon’s account, which he called ‘ a torrent of life’, the birds passed at three hundred million birds an hour, and blocked out the sun for three days. When the birds landed, they occupied areas some forty miles long and three miles wide. That’s a lot of birds!! That also meant a lot of money to be made in the New England food market, so the killing began. And since the passenger pigeons flocked together, they became easy targets.
Human ingenuity created some clever ways of destroying the pigeons. Some hunters waited until nightfall, while the pigeons were resting in the trees, then surrounded the area with a circle of dry grass and sulfur. Once that circle was set ablaze, the smoke suffocated the birds, ending the lives of millions of them in one night’s work.
Another ‘clever’ way of hunting the birds was by getting them drunk and then clubbing them to death. It was a simple trap, soak grain with alcohol and spread the grain around the bird’s nesting area. The birds would eat the free food, then become dizzy and clumsy, making it easy for the hunters to bash them. It was said that one shotgun blast could kill two hundred birds.
And then we come to the ‘stool pigeon’ (I can’t even imagine how they came up with this one). The hunters would capture one of the pigeons. Somehow they sewed the pigeon’s eyes shut then placed the blinded bird on a perch, called a ‘stool’. Blinded and unable to fly, the bird would scream, (wouldn’t you?) attracting the rest of the flock into the barrage of gunfire that awaited them. Perhaps it is here where we can assess that many of these hunters had way too much time on their hands.
By the 1860’s the passenger pigeon was no longer in the skies above Coastal America. Where did two billion birds disappear? Into the Midwest. But that escape would only save them for fifty more years.
In 1878, the last great passenger pigeon hunt was executed. One billion pigeons populated a twenty-five mile long forest near Petoskey, Michigan. The pigeons clustered into an area five miles long and one mile wide. Hundreds of hunters encircled the forest and tightened the circle as they shot the pigeons. Pigeons that took flight seemed to return to the same spot after dark. Each day’s kills were loaded into five railroad cars and sent to New England for food. It took the hunters thirty days to extinguish the lives of one billion pigeons and perhaps a mere forty days for the people to devour the pigeons into an extinct food source.
But the passenger pigeon wasn’t extinct yet, though their days as a food source were over. The last wild passenger pigeon in Ohio gave up the ghost on March 24th, 1900. They disappeared from Maine in 1904, from Arkansas in 1906. And on September 23rd 1907, a Canadian hunter in the woods of St. Vincent, Quebec, would be the last human ever to be able to kill the passenger pigeon in the wild. None of these deaths resulted in a need to complete any recipe.
With only three passenger pigeons remaining on the planet in 1907, they were captured and sent to the Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, where they would live in peace. Two of the pigeons died of natural causes, leaving only one, who was named Martha.
Did human compassion finally surface? Depends on how you view what was done with Martha after her death on September 1st, 1914. The last passenger pigeon, that had graced the earth for 29 years, was frozen in a three hundred pound ice cube and sent to the Smithsonian Institution. There she was thawed, gutted, stuffed and mounted. Though she is shown somewhat like the ‘stool pigeon’, Martha remains on display today, perhaps tattling on the people that ate her entire species into extinction.
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