Wanna see how empty I can get.
I can leak out all feeling.
No nerves left.
I taste and stiff every person I see.
I cringe crunch the cartilage of every baby I meet.
Heartless and artless old codger.
Cramming damming the spam filled sandwich,
of ancient architects.
The tall statue of an empty shell, old malt glass,
Spewed upon the face of mother earth leaving acid mildew.
Shower of rain with a pH of less than 7,
maybe to the negatives, raising havoc on the crop lands.
If my plants would be watered.
I would whole.
I could stand upon the ground lain staked like a scarecrow.
I wish the emptiness protected all that I loved.
I could forever be the watering can providing my molecules with spirits'
The aluminum in my body.
Will calcify or solidify (whichever's easiest)
Spontaneously, to create the fluids of osmosifiying mechanical dilution,
Into greater things.
Old Gruff Texan to a Yankee transplant.
Spitting phrases of old.
A 'Heavens to Betsy'.
Or, a 'You little devil'.
Any man who wears a belt and suspenders has seen life through
Rose colored eyes.
We never found the cover that was 'Ate up'.
Though I suspect you put the piece on upside down,
I will not argue.
Your poor Step daughter dying at 46.
I'd buy that '99 Chevy for a thousand dollars,
Though I believe I know some one with less luck than I.
Perhaps you treated me like a human,
Because I offered you that cup of Java.
Perhaps you are just of a dying breed.
44 of you on that High School Graduation,
And so many of you dying off.
Loosing a good friend.
Death surrounds the codger, I'd say.
But, what life you have to tell.
I do believe I'll drop the fifty dollars on the window unit repair,
Just to hear more of this old time Texas life.
Maybe I'll even get to Denver and look her up.
Just to get more tales.
I have waited
with breath baited
far too long for you
to tell me a lie
oh, my soul it will soothe
to feel just for once
that I was the one
feel like the hand
that fits in the glove
to be the one
that lights up your night
being the sun
burn away your night
yet again I can see
this will not be
just a lonely old codger
not a gull on the sea
chasing a dream
can never attain
a dance with an angel
to feel young again
a walk through the valley
never hurt any one
can only become stronger
when this day is done.
'Where are all the rough men?'
Said the codger to the son
'For it's time we were home again
And daylight's almost done
For though this park is fair
To look upon in light
The shadows truly fill the air
With goons who long to fight
Where are all the rough men
Who used to walk this park?
For it's time we were home again
Before it grows to dark
They're gone, i tell you lad,
And we'll never get them back
And you should be remorseful
And mournful for our lack
For now we're watched by half-men
They're eunuchs one and all
How can these skinny jeans stand
When the blows begin to fall?
Show me the thugs of yester-year,
Those bold and brawny men
Who'd hear the war drums pounding
And come running glen to glen
Bring me back my brothers,
And these villains one and all
Would run back to their mothers
And seek no other brawl
But my eyesight now forsakes me
And my hand forgets its wrench
And my legs will not allow me
To go far beyond this bench
Were that i was sprier
And still retained my brawn
But now I simply tire
And the last rough man is gone'
The old priest sat
in the dark of the
confessional. A girl
had entered on the
other side and knelt.
A rustle of clothing,
breathing, a cough.
He was prepared for
the list of sins, the
the soft voice verbal
sprouting, the usual
Yes my child? He said.
Mary on the other
side stared at the grille,
tried to make out which
was the priest. Bless me
Father she began, then
the list ran. The priest
placed his hands over
his ears. The list was long,
indelicate, touching on
the obscene. He fumbled
with his beads, tried to
make out the voice,
the owner, which girl?
He thought, peering into
the grille, his eyes searching
through the semi dark.
Mary pushed her knees
together; she sensed the
need to pee. She knelt holding
herself in, pushed her hands
between thighs. How long
was the old codger going to be?
She mused. The priest coughed.
Sniffed, tried to discover the
scent. He said the usual words,
about trying to avoid the occasion
of sin, have faith, and so forth
uttered in a strained voice.
He peered hard. The outlined
figure fidgeted, moved from side
to side. Never in his born days
had he. He uttered the absolution,
made a sign of the cross. Then
she was gone. The light there
then not there. A smell of sin?
What was it? No, not urine?
Said the Codger in the corner
Of the pub at Avonlea
“There’s a missus, who I’d kisses
If she’d sit upon me knee”.
“But I’m eighty, like me matey
And I’m too inclined to pee.
So I’ll leave her to another
And keep my faithful Tennessee!”
Said the barman to the Codger
“Well you see here my old friend!
You’ve been sitting in the corner
Since ya leg would no more bend”.
“You’ve been drinkin all me whisky
Yep your love from Tennessee!
Don’t ya know ya have a misses
And she’s looking out for ye.”
Said the Codger to the barman
“Mate now you just let me be
I’ve paid ya all good money
For me love from Tennessee!”.
“And me misses whom I kisses
Who is waiting home for me
Is all weathered, worn and weary
And she naggeth poor old me.”
Said the lady at the counter
Who’d not sit upon his knee.
“Mister if you loved and kissed her
She’d no longer naggeth ye!”
Said the Codger to the lady
“Well Ok! Now let me see
I’d go home to see me misses
But will not leave my Tennessee!”
Martha had this thing
about the Crucified.
The image, the cross,
the stretched out arms.
The one in the convent
school along by the chapel
always caught her eye.
Stood there staring.
Get a move on Martha,
the nun said. Don’t gape so.
Or the image in the dining
room stuck up on the wall
above the abbess’s table.
Painted on she thought.
Not the same. Her mother
had the one her mother
gave her on her deathbed.
Old wood and plaster.
The plaster peeling from
the hands of the Crucified.
Martha gaped at Him,
at His wounds, at the wound
in His side where the spear
went in. Forgive them for
they know not. They did so,
the bastards, she muttered,
putting her fingers on the wound
in the side. She had an ebony
rosary in her skirt pocket. Black
Christ on the small ebony cross.
She fingered in her pocket, said
the prayers, felt the stiff body
on the cross. Sometimes she
took it out and kissed it; the ebony
body, the head, the arms. Once
she had a cross around her neck,
silver, small, given by some old
codger. She felt it warm between
her small breasts. Lost it when she
took it off to wash and it slipped
down the plughole in the convent bog.
She knew her mother had this wooden
crucifix on her chest of drawers.
A dark wood, a fleshy plastered Christ,
nails through and hands and feet.
She kissed the hands when her mother
was out, her lips touching the smooth
plaster, the eyes closed, the feel of
smoothness on flesh. Not the real
Christ of course. Least not yet.
She’d wait her turn. The real thing.
See what death and Heaven bring.
A creaking, crotchety, crooked old man
walked down a wide, winding path.
He saw a poor pig poised high in a tree,
so he let out a cackling laugh.
“You sweet, silly swine.
How did you get there?
My old puzzled mind must know”.
The plump, pink pig
from his roost in the tree,
raised his head and started to crow.
The old, crafty codger clapped with delight.
“What a weird wild wonder is this!”
“To see such sights at this time in my life
is surely a cause for bliss.”
“Maybe a wicked wind whisked you there.”
He laughed as he spun round and round.
“Or might Mama eagle, on her way home,
dropped you where you are now?”
The poor pig peered down at the thin, old man
bent in the bold, bright sunlight.
When he heard the man laugh,
the pig got mad,
flew up and popped out of sight.
© 2000 Guy Workman
A bored old codger from the East
One day ate a barrel of yeast
He began to perspire
The prelude to expire
But he rose quite well, at least!
Like rusty nails peeking
through thin slats of wood
that have seen better days
A rooster too old to crow
at the top of the roof
stares idly at the young chicks
Sitting in peaceful solitude
I muse the passing days
in an old rickety rocking chair
The pesky ding ding
of a crack door bell
brings me out of my senile reverie
Heaving blubber under loose skin
this old codger grumpily rises
to confront and confound
Uninvited guest a rarity these days
could it be the neighbor's wife
who's got a thing for me
Rising my heart beat as I amble along
the bellicose bell continued ringing
on this hot and humid day
Reaching for the doorknob to steady myself
a moment's respite to calm the nerves
I open the door to my everlasting regret
Avon lady in a radiant shining halo
with Handel's music playing in the background
a walking wet dream on my front porch
Heart beating wildly..I can feel my rpm rising
compression and fire breathing piston
valve ports ignite into combustion.......
the last hurrah as the old valve finally conk out......;(