The Crane Continues IV


The Verdict 

continued ….. I hate them for saying that.  Who are they to decide whether another living thing should live or die?  

They look at each other then back at me.  Without saying a word I know the verdict. 

I look at the crane, its head feathers tousled by an on shore breeze remembering the moment I saw its head above the cat tails such a short while ago.  So much had happened during that brief span of time.

Then I have an idea!  I open my mouth to tell them I could take the crane back to the swale where I found it so it can die in peace but, it’s too late.  Jake is already more than halfway to the curve.

Waiting for Death

I follow Jake to his house where I sit hunched over on an old wooden bench made from two tree stumps and a thick board facing eastward toward the lake, waiting for Jake to emerge from his house not knowing what to expect.

Halfway between where I sit and the the top of the rise at the far end of the lane, the crane stands motionless on one spindly leg, the left side of it’s body in profile it’s long neck and beak sharply defined.  

The lake appears as a grayish blue ribbon between the top of the dune at the end of the lane and the pale blue afternoon sky reflecting off the horizon line.“

I’m wondering if the crane was aware of my presence back when I stared into its unblinking eye thinking I had seen a flicker of awareness?  Had we really made a connection back in the swale where Gray had made her discovery?

The crane seems lifeless now almost like a statue. Maybe I was imagining things.

I hear Jake approach.

Jake’s Gun

The double barrels of Jake’s shotgun appear pointing skyward to my left.  Jake lowers the gun barrels so that they’re pointing at the ground while, with his thumb against the locking lever he jerks up sharply. The barrels, one on top of the other crack open.

Jake cradles the open shotgun against the left side of his body.  I see into the black holes of the ‘over and under’ shotgun barrels waiting to be loaded with the fat red shells Jake holds in his right hand.

With one continuous motion, Jake’s thumb press the two shells into their chambers then, pulls up while pushing down at the same time locking the double barrels into place. 

The barrels of the shotgun move upward disappearing from my field of vision as I continue to stare at the bird its head feathers ruffling in the breeze as I had seen them do back in the swale after Gray’s discovery brought us together.

Red Feathers 

I can’t take my eyes off of those dancing feathers it feels like I’m in two places at the same time.

In some strange way maybe those feathers are acknowledgement that, there HAD been a connection between us. Things can be funny like that sometimes can’t they?

The air is still.. I’m not breathing.  

Unable to move I feel frozen in place and time.  

The only sound? Deadly silence when, without warning an explosion lifts me off my seat!.  I’m falling over backward but manage to regain my balance.  

At precisely the same moment the explosion rocks my world I witness the most amazing sight I’ve ever seen.  

continued …. Inanimate 


Steel Wedges/Smoke and Distant Thunder

After a lifetime a grown man attempts to discover the secret behind his his creativity and problem solving abilities.  

Were in large part because of the challenges his father put before him when he was a boy.  

 Riding the winds of change, through smoke and distant thunder the man returns  through the light of time when, as a boy he was made to work, despite tears of pain and resentment on Sunday afternoons during the coldest days of winter splitting elm logs to be sold as firewood.

His days of youth gone forever the resentment he felt toward his father, still remains.

Through his inner eye the man watches his father temper a boy’s life teaching persistence splitting fire wood from elmwood stumps using steel wedges and a heavy maul.

The elmwood stumps not quite dry, the wood stringy and difficult to separate took two, three or even four wedges strategically placed to split apart three or four pieces of firewood from each two or three foot stumps.

With each stroke of the heavy maul, the wedges forced into the elmwood stumps bring with them a constant flow of creative challenges; reasoning to be explored, better ways to do the work.

The man realizes that the creative thought he has used throughout his life stemmed from the challenges his father gave him on those cold, gray Sunday afternoons splitting wood next to a fire fueled by logs the boy split apart from the elmwood stumps.

The split logs neatly stacked into cords each piece, imbued with separate lines of thought, different patterns of creative thinking he realizes as a grown man, became the standard for ingenuity he carried within himself for the rest of his life.  The result he realized, of his father’s efforts to give him the gift of highest distinction,

the power of creative thought.  A way of thinking emanating from those cold, cold days of work the man realizes, had sparked the fires of his creativity.

Lessons the boy took with him into adulthood lessons learned while working with his father next to bonfires fueled by the stringy elmwood he split from tree stumps using steel wedges and a heavy maul on those cold, gray Sunday afternoons during the dead of winter.

Nick and Jessica Talk Sex

… I had to play the role of a bad ass for years after that. It was pretty hard to it pull off sometimes  … especially when I was confronted by a REAL bad ass …

Hey Nick!  We’re going back to the ”Mall Planet”  aren’t we?

Yup …..  soooo, ok., ……………… where were we? ………

End of Part V, continued …

Part VI –

Nick and Jessica Laughed About Their Favorite Subject …

….. you know …  ….. nothing really that significant ever happened to me before you came along Nick … (jessica is smiling) …

Bullshit, jessica.  I lived four blocks over.  I knew about you a lot sooner than we knew about each other.

And you’ve told me just about every memory you’ve had since the beginning of time. (smiles).  Like, i know about the time you tried to set Lana Cole’s house on fire because she teased you about peeing the bed.

And you’ve given me a clear look into the past by telling me what it was like when Woody Woodhouse showed you his  d__k when you were four y ears old.

so, what are best friends for when you’re four years old other than getting a first time glimpse at a c_ck or a pu_sy?  You should have seen the look on his face when he looked down at mine.  

Pretty surprised huh?

Yeah, I don’t think that he thought there’d be that much difference between us.

… i always thought his name was so appropriate for that occasion, don’t you, jess?

I thought you hated that term Nick.  You say that every time the subject of this story comes up.

But we get to make these snarky remarks … like, I get to call you a dumb shit ..and it’s funny so i say it to poke you because you give me those fucking physical pokes.

Jessica suddenly lurches at Nick’s rib cage with her finger extended … you want a little poke huh ..   she start  poking Nick in the side.

With Nick bent over laughing Jessica stops, stands up, smiles, thinks….  hmmmm …

“Listen Nick, this is serious business. I was thinking,, i’m sure woody has the sight of my … well, you know … p_ _sy — etched in his mind.  It’s probably the template he has used for every girl’s  p_ _sy  he ever saw from that point forward throughout his whole life which …. this is not a bad thing is it nick?   

I wonder if Woody Woodhouse even saw that many p_ssys in his whole life, Jessica?  If i were a betting man I’d say he hasn’t even looked at his wife’s pu__y in a looong time, if at all.

After seeing mine, probably not Nick.  He probably just glanced at his wife’s  a couple of times in the beginning to see how it stacked up against mine … then went ahead and took the plunge. .. 

… the plunge?

Yeah … It must have looked ok compared to mine so he asked her to marry him!

You’ve got some mighty high standards for marriage don’t you  Jessica. ”Hmmmm … Her p_ _sy looks almost as  good as Jessica’s did when we were 4  years old so, I think I’ll ask her to marry me.”

Nick and Jessica dissolve into laughter …

continued …

Going Out With A Bang: The End … Or Is It?

continued … Before exiting the band room door I looked back at the carnage … 

Ron, the tuba player grimaced while rubbing both knees ,  Bethany was yelling at Bill Acheson her new coronet inches from his face.  Above the din of laughter it sounded like she called him a ‘sock sucker’? Greg laughed hysterically while staring at his bloody handkerchief.  Candy and Marilyn were crying. Tears streamed down Marilyn’s face.  Nancy was still on the floor exposing herself.

I looked at Green, half way to the door where i stood,  crouched low, his arms and fingers extended, his face beet red, that pulsing vein on his forehead sticking out like a finger that had grown below the skin, his jaw pushed forward, the bottom row of his teeth visible.

In a last ditch effort to save face I shouted, “But it wasn’t my fault!’’ But he was beyond reason.

With all my strength I banged the door shut.

When I turned to walk away, the school principal appeared pirouetting away from me.  I realized I hit her with a full body block.

I was prepared for the worst, but she didn’t fall.

She regained her balance by grabbing the edge of a table.  I felt a sense of deja vu.  Not five minutes prior I had grabbed the edge of a table. The only difference? A 250 pound anvil, was not slowly sliding toward the edge threatening to drop onto her foot.

The End … Or was It?

Going Out With A Bang: There Were Pink Panties (Revised)

A split second before Green leaped off the podium to come after me, a white dot appeared.  The dot kept getting larger.  When it streaked past, not six inches from my face, I realized he had thrown his baton at me!

Strange as it seems, I pictured myself wearing a black patch over my left eye while Green, a look of despair on his face, pleaded with the school board to keep his job.

While Green moved toward me Nancy’s head reappeared from beneath her chair.  Startled at the mad dog look in Green’s eyes she lost her balance and tipped to the left.  Her chair shot sideways from beneath her toward the percussion section.

She succeeded at cushioning her fall but her clarinet hit the floor first.  She lay on her left side, her broken clarinet inches in front of her face Marilyn’s piccolo held high in her her right hand, a triumphant look on her face.

While Green struggled to squeeze between a tympani drum and the glockenspiel I made my move toward the door.  On the way I saw a snare drum embedded within an open gash on the side of the bass drum.  I think when Nancy’s chair shot out from beneath her it hit the snare drum with such force that it broke through the head.

Before exiting through the band room door, I looked back at the carnage.

continued …

Frozen Memories Locked In Time

No words to write/no stories to tell now …

Only experiences that happened; the day I peered into a robin’s nest, eight gaping mouths/the eerie sound they made/begging to be fed/  the night our house burned to the ground.

The reality of what I remember/the words i yearn to write/the forms and spiral hectographs that make it all so real/lost behind smoke in distant silence/the fog of stubborn beauty unrevealed/a gray curtain in front of a play that was forgotten/but will not go away.

The war of seasons past lost somewhere behind the sun waiting to be re-discovered; too unsure of myself, no light to guide my way/unable to continue what I hold so dear.

No arrows that I can fly through space and time/filled with color, action, the innocence of boyhood memory, the reverence for all that is real, lost in time now …  forgotten?

The glue that bound it all together grows brittle sticking to nothing.

The clouds above merely clouds now floating by.

I wonder if it will rain?

Visions of Didn’t Know

images copy 31

There was that moment when parentage grew wings … when each gave their life so urgently exchanged for their delight … then came storms and sorrow for all the right reasons … a child their only receipt … they became like minded authors on the road of their procession watching them on the field of play the days they shared the child of their creation … brief moments clutched together their pride worn like the finest clothing among like minded throngs … through eyes of momentary glory … the field they all had played on … the field of youthful  glory  …

it didn’t matter how they played … all spaces counted when seen between the lines of who they were … from pole to pole they took their rightful place in exchange for  the delusions … passed on through time and space …

everything i’ve told you could possibly be true and i know you feel the same …

it’s not the knowing that gives life its meaning …

it’s the life there could have been seen between the lines … it’s the Life we thought we didn’t have that

makes it all

worthwhile …

When We Were Young

images copy 16

When we were young

our world spoke to us and

we did mostly what it told us to do …


 … and life was good.


Of course we didn’t know the difference …


But that’s beside the

point …..

 we were alive and we moved about

living to the nth degree because

 we had no reason to plumb the

depths …


When we grew big,

the reality of our world

changed …

 don’t ask me why, it just did …


In any case we turned away from the light …

we began to look only at the

clock …


We blundered through the world after that …


 We kept asking for the light to return but

we couldn’t see the

Light that was always

there …


 So, we prayed for it ….

we even made a person out of it,

 so we could ask him to return the light to

us …


We pledged ourselves to the Light …  we built

great stories around the

Light …


But the truth within was never understood,

 so it didn’t make a



Then came the day when we

sold ourselves to the

future …


We lived each day for the tomorrow and the tomorrow

 and the tomorrow after that …

 until there were so many tomorrows

we forgot what day it was and

that’s when


consumed us …

Do You Want A Banana?


Do You Want A Banana?

 One time her brother came through the back while we were


next to the

sink in the kitchen.


We heard the back door,

thought it could be her mother,

disengaged our tongues,

stepped away from each other …

 (our hearts racing)

leaned back against the

kitchen sink

tried to act as nonchalantly as possible …

and waited …


 Within a tenth of a second (or less) after

disengagement she said,

’’Do you want a banana?”

I thought it was the funniest comment I had ever



Dumbstruck, my mouth open, I


at her before hearing laughter

stream from my mouth,

felt my head tilted back, while

seeing her kitchen ceiling for

the first time in my life …

The Preacher


 Her father

the Minister,

taught the world gathered next door

to live clean lives but he often

visited my house to smoke cigarettes with Him (my dad) in the screened in

porch where, I was able to put the final nail in the

coffin that buried any misconceptions I had about whether the

preacher was human or not.

He was human!  He smoked!  He even lied!!

The Rectory


The Rectory

One cool Autumn night a

three quarter moon above the trees

at the age of 14 or 17 or 21 .. (does it really matter … ?)

against the brick wall along the side of that hospital I gave my first

True kiss and made the Great Discovery.


Across the street on the opposite side

corner sat a place of worship with the tallest spire in town where one night

fire claimed the bodies of both the church, the

rectory next door and by doing so,

stole the real world representations of

all that happened in that house on the front

porch and kitchen and wherever else we could

steal away, suspend time and lock our faces together in

adolescent passion …


Thrown out shit, ridiculous, almost worthless works combined into one stupid, bullshit and not a LITTLE fricking  brilliant (at times) collection of; poems, incomplete thoughts and ideas .. very brief stories all told in the most esoteric way.



Looking At the Future Ten Years Ago From Today

So looking back ten years, how would looking back

ten years have changed your life plans?

 It wouldn’t have changed anything!  If that happened people would 

cling to the present even more! 

No one really knows what their life would be like.

People living in time discard how they could change their present lives anyway! 

O.k. … so, 

looking back ten years before ten years ago when we were 

ten years younger than the following ten years

How would looking back have changed things?

Would waking up every ten years change your life?  

Look …..  

people wake up every day feeling 

ten years older especially when they 

think back ten years at some of the 

shit that happened and they 

realize that they really HAD 

been asleep

all that time.  

(It’s esoteric!  …. it’s so




Thrown out shit, ridiculous, almost worthless works combined into one stupid, bullshit and not a LITTLE fricking  brilliant (occasionally, very occasionally) collection; poems, incomplete thoughts and ideas .. very brief stories all told in the most esoteric way.



They lived in one of those big mission style houses with the dormer windows out front.  Just inside the front door you walked up creaky steps, to the second floor where two bedrooms to the right, a short distance down a hallway,  sat next to each other … where death changed my life.  

Downstairs just inside the front door at the end of the hall, the kitchen looked like a lighted rectangular picture with yellow walls, a red melmac table with curved chrome legs and the shadows of moving mothers.  

Halfway down the hallway to the right you entered what we would call the living room where the best birthday party I ever attended, happened.  

We played a boys version of spin the bottle and we dropped clothes pins into milk bottles and we played pin the tail on the donkey and it was all boys and we were very much in tune with what boys do best which is to cavort around, while something has given it’s attention to us, for brief periods of time until whatever it was we were doing became the least bit boring (you wonder why we channel surf?) … when we dropped what we were doing and continued the search.  

On this day, we all channel surfed around the room at a pretty good pace!  

It was fun and we didn’t get bored because games and things carried us along when suddenly … the cake appeared with candles burning and we all stood around watching it get cut, every one of us hoping at the same time, that we would be lucky enough to get the corner piece.  

Within seconds cake was in my hands and I was eating it.  

That party;  one continuous strand of low level activity drawn through a crowd at a very lackadaisical pace, moving forward .. always moving forward.  

So I was familiar with the house downstairs and I may have gone upstairs to go to the bathroom so I was familiar with where it happened upstairs .. beginning to end.  

Songs of City Blue/ the Songs of Midnights Past


We ate and smoked the evening air.  We

danced the steps we knew so well, with

flames of heart’s desire when

life had just begun.


‘Round and ‘round the room of souls we

danced with youthful abandon.

Little did we know we

didn’t know;

and even less,

we knew it all.


When time has all but reached the end,

we will

met again on city streets to

sing the songs we knew so well …

the songs from

all our midnights past when

time had just begun.

Space Devoid of Time: A Larger World, Part IV, Life Seen Through the Eyes of A Boy

– A Larger World –


The field where earth crabs lived is part of a larger world. A world I see in exquisite detail; the green house where the stormy girl and her mother lived,  other houses grown up on the meandering streets of the little “subdivision”,  houses sparsely planted on curbed fields, the spaces between waiting for future homes grown from grains of sand taken from the earth not far away.

St_Chads_Church,_Sutton_ColdfieldI see the block long church that flanks acres of brown field grass where pheasants, snakes and monarchs live alongside the the crabs who lived in the black,  marshy earth alongside the path that lead to the creek where I played.

I see beyond the creek to tracks on risen ground and I hear the rumble and groan of a behemoth slowly rolling it’s captured, boxed freight past me.

images copy 4I hear its deep throated backdraft of sucking air – its resonant cleansing breath – after a long run on steel ribbons,  a sound so powerful and deep and for a brief moment – terrifying – that it seemed to lift me off my feet.

At times it seems these worlds float and swim around me; they draw close,  then move away again and again.  We pirouette through space and time as dancing partners.  We share eyes and light streams.  We flow into each other.

 And even when they are dim and far away I sense them behind the veil.