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There was a shooting in Redstone
Only one man dead, none hurt
He was found dead in the morning
With just one hole right through his shirt

He was lying in the main street
Face down, right there in the dirt
He was found dead in the morning
With just one hole right through his shirt

I'T WASN'T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THIS
FACE DOWN HERE, IN THE STREET
I'M A GUNFIGHTER OF MUCH RENOWN
I'M JUST A GUN WHO CAN'T BE BEAT
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE
LYING DEAD, SHOT IN THE BACK
I WAS GUNNED DOWN BY A COWARD
I DIDN'T HEAR THE GUNSHOT CRACK

The crowd had formed around him
Lying there, all hard and cold
No witnessess to the shooting
At least not one so bold

They knew him from his weapon
The sixteen notches on the grip
He came in on the Flyer
He won't be on the return trip

I'T WASN'T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THIS
FACE DOWN HERE, IN THE STREET
I'M A GUNFIGHTER OF MUCH RENOWN
I'M JUST A GUN WHO CAN'T BE BEAT
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE
LYING DEAD, SHOT IN THE BACK
I WAS GUNNED DOWN BY A COWARD
I DIDN'T HEAR THE GUNSHOT CRACK

He was staying at The Belfry
He only brought one bag to town
No one knew why he had come here
Except to shoot somebody down

The papers ran the story
The next morning in THE SUN
They ran a picture and a story
Of the "Man With The Pearl Gun"

I'T WASN'T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THIS
FACE DOWN HERE, IN THE STREET
I'M A GUNFIGHTER OF MUCH RENOWN
I'M JUST A GUN WHO CAN'T BE BEAT
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE
LYING DEAD, SHOT IN THE BACK
I WAS GUNNED DOWN BY A COWARD
I DIDN'T HEAR THE GUNSHOT CRACK

The story was quite lengthy
Considering no one saw him shot
But, as usual there was someone
Who had a story to be bought

He'd been shot from an end window
Above the Local Mercantile Store
One bullet from a rifle
And the gunman was no more

I'T WASN'T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THIS
FACE DOWN HERE, IN THE STREET
I'M A GUNFIGHTER OF MUCH RENOWN
I'M JUST A GUN WHO CAN'T BE BEAT
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE
LYING DEAD, SHOT IN THE BACK
I WAS GUNNED DOWN BY A COWARD
I DIDN'T HEAR THE GUNSHOT CRACK

Turns out the gunman's killer
Was the one he'd come to find
The shooter was the killer's child
The only son, he'd left behind

They never met before this
He'd never ever met his Dad
But, The Gunman came to find him
And in the end, it's kind of sad

I'T WASN'T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THIS
FACE DOWN HERE, IN THE STREET
I'M A GUNFIGHTER OF MUCH RENOWN
I'M JUST A GUN WHO CAN'T BE BEAT
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE
LYING DEAD, SHOT BY MY SON
I WAS GUNNED DOWN WITHOUT KNOWING
I GUESS HE'S NOW THE WANTED GUN.
I'm a graying aged gunfighter
Time to get out of the game
I can not see to shoot my gun
I can not see to aim

I used to be the best there was
The top of every list
Now I can't hit a **** barn door
I shot at one and missed

I could out draw anyone
Who faced me on the street
Now, I'm more than likely
To put a bullet 'tween my feet

I play a little poker now
Spend my days just passing time
I break even mostly
The way I play, well, that's a crime

No one round here knows me
They don't know about my past
To them I'm just a codger
I don't do one **** thing fast

I noticed things were changing
Ten years back I'd say
I had a gun fight in Dodge City
And it didn't go my way

I threw down with some punk kid
He was drunk and really ******
I got my gun stuck in my holster
He fell down, he shot, he missed

I walked to him now laying
In the street, out cold, not dead
I took his gun and holster
And then went home to bed

A gunfighter of substance
Would have killed me where I stood
Was I lucky he was drunk then?
Or was I losing it for good?

I packed my stuff up in the morning
I left the town later that night
The next fighter might be sober
And I'd not survive that fight

I took off for the desert
Made plans just where I would go
A state where I could hide out
Where my past, no one would know

On the way I stopped and practiced
Shot some cactus and some trees
I was shooting though at rabbits
I can't survive here eating these

One day, a rogue coyote
Came and took me by surprise
I shot a tree, it fell on him
I aimed between his eyes

The sooner I got settled
The safer I would feel
Too much longer in the desert
I'd end up some varmints tasty meal

I rode on in to where I am
I can't tell you just what town
I've got to keep it secret
Or I may just get shot down

I have a small room at the hotel
I play cards to pay the rent
I speak with a slightly muddled accent
I try to be a southern gent

I've been here now for near six months
The town is growing fast
So, my time here might be cut short
With the future, comes my past

For now I just play poker
An old gunfighter at heart
One day I know they'll find me
I'll go to boot hill in a cart

I'm an aged old gunfighter
There's not many still around
I'm hiding now from my last gunfight
That will put me six feet in the ground.
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
"Anyone who wants to fight me all the time"
committee meetings, board meetings.
Facing death was how they knew they were alive
or was it more about allocating resources
like yr Dad said.
It's hard to step outside what yr DNA tells you to do.
Nice ****.
Family farm, fight club. It's all one yet distinctions are
what separates the librarian, reflective man, from the road and bridge
      crew.
That's a class statement. Us guys love
our children and will, circumstances dictating, fight for you.

                                 --------------------------------------

"Anyone who wants to fight me all the time"
is more important to me than my wife. But there is no one left to fight
and no one knows me and I know no one well. That's good,
"there is more space between people than I'd ever dared to hope."
I'm confused.
Meditator or gunfighter. Either could come to know himself,
flat abs, clear sight
with patience and discipline.
What's this:
know yourself?
Once yr knee or neck is smashed there's no getting up to fight.

                                 --------------------------------------

"Anyone who wants to fight me all the time"
will grow old alone once I'm in the ground. He will live
with the question what was our purpose? He was managed by
the molecules we're made of, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, DNA.
******* DNA.
I'd rather be a rock.
But the rock is subject to
its elements. Thus, the periodic table and particle physics,
meiosis and mitosis and yes, democracy and self-governance,
all the colors of anthropology and ecology, windmills and sundials,
fission and fusion for evil and light
and the devil who exists to carry the load when we misbehave and
      fight
among ourselves.

                                 --------------------------------------

"Anyone who wants to fight me all the time"
is how I know who I am.
Because the truth is always changing, depending on the meeting.
What's good.
Service to others is a safe bet. That service
may take many forms: fighting, meeting, teaching, making.
The fighting may be part of holding community together. Limited
      scope, defensive posture.
"How broadly we define community says everything." So,
we come to Mexico, a violent border and an unhappy history.
Or Gaza and Israel. Or Russia and just about everybody.
"How can a people become a nation without resorting to violence or
      incurring violent reaction?"
Does it matter? Accept violence like any EMT and devote yourself
      to
what, beauty?
Why do I write about violence, I've almost never
had to fight.

                                 --------------------------------------

"Anyone who wants to fight me all the time"
is nothing compared to the ocean which can take your children any
      time.
The Nazis or janjaweed.
In peace we have our meetings.
"When violence comes to the neighborhood the hierarchy of
      communicants will hold or fold
it is then the peace work proves relevant."
Hold your clod of land.
Give way to the waves.
All I do not know.
I admire the writer who penetrates the unknown by describing that
      which
is not himself.
His enemy,
anyone who wants to fight him all the time
helps him live outside himself.
"Soon I will know who I am." --Borges

www.ronnowpoetry.com
mikecccc Jul 2016
An old drunk
with a rusty pistol
took an age to the grave
probably for the best
good song
The trigger is bigger than my desire
to pull it.
perseverance is about the sweat
get it?
I do.

So we push it to get through it
and it's Saturday
all day,
I'll stay until I go and
that's one truth I do know.

The gunfighter on a night a
darker shadow in the shadows
waits for me
the barrels have spun for me and
come up on empty
chambers,

and
at the feed store
raw grain
in sacks
I can relax
the season is
underway.
Matterhorn Apr 2019
It's been twenty minutes
And I haven't seen his eyes.
He blew his nose twice,
Sneezed once.
One time,
I saw him eat—
That was days ago, though.
His fingers tip-tap
On the click-clacking keys,
Hands moving faster
Than the greatest gunfighter.
He would never have
The patience or desire
To duel me, however.
I can't decide which I want:
To smash his face into the keyboard
Or to wrap him in fraternal embrace
Until he remembers he is human;
So I just sit motionless on the couch,
Guiltier than he.
© Ethan M. Pfahning 2019
Anais Vionet Jun 2020
My mom's passionate about Newton's second law of thermodynamics.
She uses a "mom" version which can be stated as:
"Daughters tend toward disorder if not managed."
If I'm nothing else, I'm vigorously, meticulously managed like a tiger that must be turned judiciously from one situation to another lest a foot be forfeit.
"You're too young for"... is more than a formulate, it's a knife-like rule-tool, to dampen upheaval, banish trespassers, and put the "new" under glass" just out of reach. It's forever primed, there in the parenting tool-belt and can be thrown with the gunfighter's liquid, skillful ease.
So when I say I'm into something "new," I mean I've tiptoed into that Tartarus where you find the scandalous, like short skirts and Internet *******.
The "new" is prima-facie proscribed until it's proven cold, safe and harmless then blessed like an old Disney movie.
Our impromptu confinement in suspending the world has allowed me unaccounted moments to sample and measure how this "new" might fit into my life.
So it is  now that I wake up every morning ready for crime and I live but a hairsbreadth from punishment yes, I've discovered one of God's greatest gifts and seductions - coffee.
After about a week, my brother, while I'm reading the news, transparently focuses my mom's attention on the cup by my iPad, by glancing, slowly with his eyes. My mom is fleetingly lost, then she alights:
"You're too young for coffee," she says.
I look up and groan.
Then, as she moves to collect the now-banned item, I send a sisterly glower to my brother who stands blithely and innocently sipping from his cup.
a poem about growing up, parenting and coffee

— The End —