Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And Now, for Something REALLY Different

Welcome to the Big Blog faithful readers. Because one of the reasons I started The Big Blog was to spread my creative wings, I thought I would offer up something different for your consideration with this posting. Below, you will find three poems I recently pulled out of mothballs and tinkered with a bit. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to comment—unless you don’t like them…just teasin’, of course. I had fun stretching my poetic wings for a while; I hope you have fun taking flight with me.

PS: Keep your eyes out for the Halloween Blog, “A Ghost Story”—coming soon to a Big Blog near you.

On Discovering Rocks

The whistle atop the coal breaker
Beckons the shanties to rise.
Slowly at first,
Like a dance rehearsed,
Dirty doors open.
Tired feet and sloped shoulders
Sag down the street
Of the little patch
Called Lost Crick.

Seamus takes his stock while
He waits for mules to
Drag him down to the darkness
For another day in dank depths:
A yellow canary in a cage,
And his lunch pail filled
With feeble fodder
For a hungry soul.

Here, in this hard land,
Shadows rule.
Black is the sky before dawn breaks,
Dark is the shaft that descends.
Black is the coal calling for release,
Dim is the sky when you return
For resurrection at the day's end.

Seamus digs in solitude
Lost in his temporary grave.
Coal crumbles from the vein,
And he fills his cart.
Toiling to meet today's tally,
For the mine boss will accept no less.

At lunch, he lounges
As the canary keeps company
With a chirp,
Strangely out of place
Deep in Mother's womb.
Leaning back,
Seamus lights his pipe
For a quick smoke before
He begins back breaking again.

The match light lumens
Something strange in the vein.
Seamus looks aloft.
The dark and the dram of rum
Must be playing tricks.
But still,
He rises for a closer look at
An anomaly in anthracite.
A smile crosses his coal-caked face,
And he begins to sing back to the canary
As he reaches for his pick.

The young mine boss
Stares strangely at Seamus.
The shift is not over,
Yet this miner has surfaced in sunlight.
Shamus tosses the trimmings of his
Past life--
--Down at the feet of the Boss.
He opens the cage,
Kisses the Canary,
And sets him free,
While the Boss looks on
With furrowed brow.

Seamus looks the young Boss
Square in the eye, and cracks
A wily, coal-caked smile.
Speaking, then,
With the air of a rich man:
“I'm done with you, Lad.”

Fleece and Fatality

The lorry jockey tosses back
The dregs of his last pint.
Upwards, he casts an unsteady glance
At the blurry clock on the wall.
At midnight,
He could see the clock clearly,
When he bellied up to the bar
For just one beer.
--It had been a long week.

The lorry jockey squints
And belches a behemoth burp.
The clock isn't clear any longer
But he thinks it says five a.m.
At five after five,
He rises slowly from his stool
And steadies himself on the bar
For one short moment.
--It will be a long ride home.

The lorry jockey finds fog
Shrouding his truck at dawn.
Upwards, he climbs into the cab
And brings the engine to life.
At eight after five,
He shifts into gear and
Forward he moves.
--It is bad to drive drunk and tired.

The farmer shoos his sheep
Out of their pen just after dawn.
His Border Collie chases
And bids them with barks.
At fifteen after five,
They begin to cross the road
Moving to greener pastures
Forward the sheep move
--The sheering time is nigh.

The lorry driver lunges
Up and down unsteady roads
Of rolling countryside.
At seventeen after five,
Asleep at the wheel,
He rumbles round a turn.
Seeking a final resting place,
His lorry finds the flock.
--Fleece and fatality fill the air.


Denizens of the dark
Dance with solemn decorum,
Into a makeshift meeting hall.
They gather not on a lark
But congregate with purpose of forum
Like lovers at a renaissance ball.

From all four corners they arrive
Sporting the finest nocturnal threads,
And seize seats at the round table.
These select symbolize those still alive
Heads bow for the myriad dead
Silence is shrouded in a coat of sable.

“Hear ye, hear ye” the crier calls
When the moment of silence has passed,
“We must address the task at hand.”
A murmur mumbles in the makeshift hall
In earnest the assembly begins at last,
For this is no lovers’ renaissance ball.

The velvet viscount stands to speak
Rising rigidly on noble toes,
He commands the attendees’ attention.
“Talk is for lovers, for the whiny and weak,
Too long have we loitered in repose!”
Voices affirm and rise in raucous ascension.

The Scarlet Lord leisurely chimes
His way into this curious conversation;
His voice so small, yet appealing.
“Is violence a retort to these crimes?
Are we not a civilized nation?”
His silky syllables seep with strong feelings.

“Lord Scarlet do you tender a solution?”
Queries the sergeant at arms,
“For the daybreak is close at hand.”
“Yes,” says the scarlet, “But not revolution;
“Violence does naught but harm,
And brings bloodshed to our simple land.”

The army ant roars to life
His nature can endure no longer.
This talk of peace makes him ill.
“There is only tranquility through strife;
Though some may call me a war monger,
I would rather kill than be killed!”

The Cockroach, the June bug
And the Mantis pray
For guidance from spirits divine.
A cry goes up from brother Slug
For he never dreamed of the day,
When his brethren’s reason declined.

Near dawn’s first light
The final decision was made
None knew of the ultimate effect.
The army ant let the troops to the fight
When the orange truck parked in the glade,
The battle cry resounded—death to Terminex!