When I was a boy, we caught garden snakes in a field next to a place called the Tub Factory over by the railtracks.
We trapped the snakes by stepping on their tails. Pinching them behind their heads we picked them up, looked at their flickering tongues and peered into their angry, cold eyes.
Their teeth were little bumps. You didn’t bleed when bitten, but they wouldn’t let go.
We’d collect six or eight of them in coffee cans, all writhing at the bottom. I took a can home to my mom once. She wouldn’t let me keep them as pets.
The field of snakes was behind the rambling old Eden house with its clapboard exterior that time had painted weathered and grey where seven brothers and sisters lived.
Their father Mit, a full blooded American Indian was a mean, hard drinking railroad man cruel to people even outside his family.
His oldest son John was a bad apple. He combed his greasy black hair into a pompadour, wore cuffed jeans, points, white t-shirts with cigarettes rolled into his sleeve. His half smile and white teeth belied angry, cold snake eyes that said he could kill you if he wanted.
People said he even scared his father.
Legend was he tied cats’ tails together, threw them over clothes lines and set them on fire.
Later in life he changed his ways, married a nice girl and became a Baptist minister.
There’s a place upon the hearth
never bare of lovers hearts with shattered
madness, torn desires, love’s broken promise
gladness flogged to death with sheer delight,
every step along the road of
kindness given …
ask the floggers, the madness drivers,
the ones who make the hurt
they’ll tell you
It’s non of their concern.
I see them now I’ll see them again
hidden from the sight of gentle awareness
stealing the fruit of their desire.
I see lovers besieged,
held prisoner in bonds of despair and sorrow,
false love turned shrapnel with cruel intent
injurious to the soul
rotten to the core with usury
the flesh of gladness taken then
Those unstable lovers,
those usually male forces they
lose bits of their lives every
single day they reap the sacrifices that are made for them.
A bleak reminder to all who seek love
look first before you leap for love
grab and hold to what you know is real
not what you long for
be patient for what you seek
impatient for love’s deceit all who
seek to steal your precious
life away with their conceit.
Those lovers of deceit
they never hold on
they squander what is good they
convince the good they’re good to
serve their fleshy purpose
they maintain their facade
they are masters of disguise those mean
users, abusers, confusers, bastard misers, thwarted useless
pliers of lover’s wills, stolen hearts broken bonds
of trust and truth, thwarting lives of Hope.
within the realm of its desire ..
Rotten fruit given in return for
life’s most precious