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TMReed Dec 2019
In the back-alleys o’ the Baker’s house, past the boatyard in Balley Streets,
the town’s only iron-boy sang farewell to the town’s only creaky-feet.

Since Chicken Feet was but a rusty coupling, those lanky chatterboxes
have stirred up whispers, whines, and more than their fair share of problems.

They leaked such an unbearable racket, the sea-folk of the Balley Streets
dubbed dear, unfinished Chicken Feet—the carrier of creaks

For he did. Everywhere he went.  

But on that foggy morning, the iron lad stumbled ‘pon a touch of fortune.
A magic-man—an honest fellow by Chicken’s careful estimation

Wandered ‘to the Balley Streets. And, boy, did he have jus’ the thing!
From out his bag o’ opportunity, a pair o’ human feet would spring!

Snapping up those lanky lookers for all the coins in his pockets,
Chicken rushed to empty those noisy devils from his sockets.

At last! At last! Daydreams bounced around Chicken’s iron bean.
The carrier of creaks would finally have his handsome feet!

Though dressing in those fondest forelegs would prove quite a twister.
Joints fell loose. Buckles stuck. Casings cracked between his fingers.

He forced-n-frowned, frowned-n-forced, until his lookers had enough.
The patient pair had played their part, but Chicken’s madness grew too much.

Thus, the handsome human feet leapt on their softest soles.
They danced past Chicken’s grabbing hands and skipped right out the door.

Surely, there’s still time! Chicken shouted with-all his heart,
for the blindest hope was pumping steady through his iron parts

His future ‘scaping by the minute, he reached down to the floor,
pawing for those squawking crutches he wore so thoughtlessly before.

But the walking, talking migraines were nowhere to be found.
Somewhere ‘long the way, the creaks had tottered outside on their own.

Too legless for the chase. Too legless now to stand.
From that day forth, Chicken Feet carries creaks on his hands.
Out with the new. In with the old.
Fate does not always favor the bold.
TMReed Dec 2019
Afraid of her waves,
I steer into the trees,
fashion a humble nest
of shattered oars n’ leaves.
Teach oldies to the birds,
the mice, the harmonies,
and squander afternoons
hiding from the breeze.

Afraid of her waves,
I fly toward the heavens
to roam with pilgrims
crying rivers and oceans.
I listen to their stories
of ruin n’ misfortune.
to discover gods can be
both frightened n’ broken.

Afraid of her waves,
I crash into the moon,
bug the man who lives inside—
he’s a bit of a recluse—
with questions surrounding
how the ocean moves.
He bellies, how my head aches!
But I know it's just a bruise.

Afraid of her waves,
I spin off seven rings,
sling-shot out this galaxy
on black n’ speckled wings,
tumble through a universe
where no n’ every-thing
look so eerily the same,
my little boat begins to sing.

Afraid of her waves,
I row straight into Hell,
where waves crumble down,
where boats sail themselves.
At long last, I scale her,
nearly gobbled by her swell!
Proudly peek over my shoulder,
and find the sea stands ever still.
TMReed Dec 2019
Once there was a boy who couldn’t start talking
who stood on the corner each morning,
advertising all the words he knew,
but never selling one.

Who took his sorrow home,
night after night, complaining
of the stories he didn’t sell,
of the words he didn’t say.

Who dared, one morning,
to open his mouth
without a dollar in his hand
and forgot how to close it.

Who talked through the sunrise
through the morning rush,
through the whispers and the foot traffic,
through the sirens and the rotten weather.

And there were shadows who couldn’t stop listening
who opened their ears,
with dollars in their pockets,
and called him interesting.

Who found something extraordinary
who claimed they would listen forever,
but the longer they listened
the less remarkable he seemed.

There was a boy who couldn’t stop talking
who rambled so long
the stories out his mouth
had spun themselves in circles.

Who jabbered until
they had heard all the words he knew,
and the shadows couldn’t stop leaving
and he lost his his voice

There was a boy who couldn’t keep talking
who stood on the corner each morning,
without a dollar in his hand,
out of words to sell, out of words to say.
TMReed Dec 2019
What professions could you aspire,
with your sky-wide hands—a mountain for hire?

A stepper, a stomper, a mammoth barbarian?
Surely there’s something—must you be a librarian?

Look at your size! It doesn’t make sense!
You sat just now on the library fence!

The ‘brary doors open ‘low even your knees
The shelves at your toes! The people like fleas!

You could never succeed as a little librarian.
No less than a lion could eat vegetarian!

I told him all that. Fact, I told him twice!
But a dream is no more a gift than a vice.

For my giant had dreamt of a future so long
filled with books-upon-books, snug where they belong.

He’s clung too far n’ too fast to simply comprise,
‘for he’ll give up his dream, he’ll alter his size!

Thus he searches the land for the littlest books,
hoping each tiny page will change how he looks

One day, he imagines, he’ll fit through those doors.
He’ll walk through the stacks—how a dream can endure!

With thousands of little books scooped up in his arms,
the giant starts reading ‘til he’s learned every word.

But a thousand, a million, no number of verses
could shrink down that giant to the size of a person.

Closing the cover, his dreams ‘gan to fade
the shelves and the stacks—the future he’d made.

‘til a comforting voice squeaked all of a sudden
What a wonderful book! Could I check out this one?

The giant looked downward, right under his nose
at a thousand odd books shelved right in his toes

I warned and I cautioned, now I must carry-in,
no ‘brary keeps books like the giant librarian!
TMReed Dec 2019
On route from Maryhook to Widows-end
Hard notes echo ‘round the bend
To find a mutt, a mason it seems
Singing to a cottage with stalks in its beams
Built from supple bark and ****** blooms
Hidden safely under berry-shrooms

He pipes his tune of hearth and home
Til spotting us, “Where did you come from!?”
“That’s not my home It’s just a dream,”
He clarifies of the cottage with stalks in its beams.
“That’s not my home. It couldn’t be!
How could such a sight belong to me?”

Hadn’t he noticed the walls of crusted rind
Around his toes – does it come to mind?
And the castles built into his palms,
Above chasm-dwelling catacombs
Where foreign bodies suffer and sleep
In clumsy coffins wrought with debris

Yet his wide and wanting eyes
Swelling planets in disguise
Ignorant and out of mind
Can’t see it’s not one-of-a kind?
Not three-of-a-kind or even four
Twenty-of-a-kind, maybe more.

“Oh, I do wish this home were mine.”
He cooes, plucking weeds and vines
While his pockets sink into his knees
With a hundred-one forgotten keys
His smile bathes in drizzled sweat
For another home he’ll surely forget.
TMReed Dec 2019
Some will drown in a shallow sound
When the gavel swings for silence
Some will lie in the lost and found
They’re hoping for some guidance.

Walk them down to a quiet town
and give the streets their conscience
find them a door, their hearts to pour
these moments stained with violence.

They stand up tall, don’t slouch too long
when a wary world is watching
they march in the band and they follow the plan
but I find I'm always falling.

Forever on high let me fly through my time
Can't a feather fall much faster?
Forever on high with this fire inside
take my dime, oh hide the answers.

They’re raising a flag, while I’m packing a bag
‘fore I case my life in amber
Climbing the stairs, you could take them in pairs
but I think myself a gambler.

I stand up wrong, and I slouch too long
when a wary world is watching
I ran back the band, out a plot or a plan
Oh this train shows no signs of stopping

Forever on high let me fly through my time
Can't a feather fall much faster?
Forever on high with this fire inside
take my dime, oh hide the answers.

Please give me a twist ‘cause I’ve gotten the gist,
another pack of expectations
You call and you climb ‘til you’ve paid for your crimes
In this petty game of aspirations

Can I stand, can I slouch from my grave, from my couch
when the weaker world is heaving
Break up the band, play the drums with your hands
Oh I’m dying to see when I’m leaving

Forever on high let me fly through my time
Can't a feather fall much faster?
Forever on high with this fire inside
take my dime, oh hide the answers.
TMReed Dec 2019
There’s one train in Cherrywood
a heaving, hooving hound
limping down its wild tracks
hacking blackened clouds

There’s one train in Cherrywood
the only in, the only out
a traveler of lands and time
wrought with smoky lungs and gout

There’s one train in Cherrywood
stuffed with heavy-headed spirits
sleeping off a dozen generations
of hiding from their dreams

There’s one train in Cherrywood
somewhere I have a ticket
buried in these crowded pockets
lost but farthest from forgotten
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