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Ted Scheck Dec 2014
I rode my bike, fat, bloated 4-inch
Tires un-skating across
Frosted ground.

A degree below
(You know what)
Not ice, or icy,
Exactly, but...
As if some mythical
Dude named...John?
Jorje? (****-hay)
Ok, Jack, then - breathed
Almost-frozen breadth
Over much of Downtown

The sun was diffuse, low
Easterly, barely a lighted
Presence, as I pedaled through
The little pathway that perimeters the
Zoo, the muffled cries of
The furry and wrinkly-
Skinned high above
And safely ensconced
Past huge limestone walls.

Dapples of light struck my
Eyes as I passed leaves who
Stubbornly refused to relinquish
Their stemmed hold onto
Mother and Father tree.

Past the little zooey pathway,
The big bridge leading to the
Downtown canal, ordinarily
Crowded, but only I crowded
This time and place and space.

Where the sun wanted to shine,
But was stubbornly blocked by
Such insubstantial things as
Bridge abutments and pillars;
Shadows outlined the muted
Rays of a bleak post-Christmas
Sun, contrasting
Outlining them in a
Frosty embrace.
All around that little ******
Of ground, the light of day
Melted and softened Jack's
Iron-like grip. But not
That little piece of ground.

I stopped the bike and looked
At the squarish rectangle of
Frost that stubbornly refused to
Give up its hold from the
Relentless, though much less
Powerful sun.

The clockwork
Universe ticks and tocks,
And moves and shakes, and
This morning, snug in my many
Layers, I got to ride my bike
On top of a battle
I'd never witnessed before
Ted Scheck Dec 2014
I was driving
And thinking
(Dangerous, I know)
Thinking, hard, fast,
And even, slow;
(Did I slow down)
That is a question
Best answered for
Another poem.
(My driving?
My thinking?)

You distracted me.
I wish you would
Stop doing that.

I was thinking about
Of the armed persuasion.
Why 'armed' robbery?
Weaponized sounds better.
More exotic.
Wrong limb classification.
Handed robbery, unless
Prosthetics are involved.
Hooked robbery?

Unarmed robbery-
(Unhanded? UnHAND, me,
Is that just simple
And is a simple
Theft ever really
Ah, the philosophy of theft.
I think I want that,
Therefore, I exist,
Because want cannot
Exist on its own.
(Or, maybe: Want
Has pre-existence;
Minus the virtue-part
Until it becomes…

I’ve stolen over
My years.
I’ve taken things
That pretended to belong
To someone else.
They belonged to me
Even less.
Ad Victorum Spoilas
(To the victor, goes the spoils)
Spoiled is right.
I still feel
Residual guilt over
These crimes.
I’ve never witnessed
A violent crime.
Never been in the holdup
Of a middle.
Never seen a man
Wearing a ski mask
Running perpendicularly.
(Why are women never
Mentioned running?
Away from the scenes
Of robbery?)
(Men are, I mean)

Stanley Kubrick Scenes
Of Robbery:
The Shining: Uncut
Take 146:
“This time, Jack,
Pretend you're a ballerina
Holding up a
Leotard store.”

I cannot wrap my
Mind around the thought
Fathered by the impulse
Grandfathered by the
Desperation of needing
Something so badly you’d
Wager your ability
To wander, to mosey on
Along the boulevard, up
The hill, past the
Graveyard that you only
Remember was the dead
Sleeping a mile past it
In the car with which you
Are legally able to operate.

Hey! I think I’ll grab
This gun, and put bullets
In chambers, and possibly
Hide my face behind
A silly mask, and then,
Possibly, point it at
Bank Tellers?
Pregnant Ladies.
OK, I can see threatening

Besides appearing to
Be the most harmless of
They get paid peanuts.
And they get guns
Stuck in their faces
All the time.
So step 1 goes with
Hitches, glitches galore.
Video surveillance.
Dye-marked money bags.
Security guards lurking.
Dudes with cameras.

So you’ve stolen
The public’s money.
You’re in the getaway
Car, ineptly named,
Because whatever the
Of bank robbers who
Free, clear, and cleanly
Get away has to be
Impossibly low.
What do you have, now,
Now that you have
What you risked sharing
A cell with Bubba
To steal?

Sadness. Grief. Guilt.
Stained hands.
Equally stained heart.
(And oh yeah, lots
Of marked/unmarked
Do you feel anything
Anything at all?
Having your fun
Stuffing bills into the
Garters and ******* of
Bored strippers?
Buying expensive alcohol
And, later, waking up having
Vomited and voided yourself
In the back of a limo
That has, on top of it,
A giant chicken?

None of us,
Not ONE of us,
Knows the time of
Our demise.
We will be gone
One moment,
And Here before Jesus
The next.
At the Foot of the
Judgment Seat of Christ
Himself. Almighty God.
Quaking, trembling,
Feeling the truest form of
Respectful fear,
Fearful respect.
Shed of our human skin
Our spirits filled with the
Substance from the choices
We omitted and committed.

I know Jesus Christ
As and Is My Savior.
The god of money
Will not be there
To Judge me.
God has ears, eyes.
He sees, hears.
Every thing.
Little gods are both
Blind and deaf
(If the blind and
Deaf can be said
To exist for non-
Existent things).

Jesus will recognize me
As one of his own.
Satan might be skulking
Around, looking for
Those who chose anyone
Else but Christ as
(Like the green cottony
Stuff that many think causes
The world to rotate)

The sweetest words I’ve
Ever dreamt of hearing
I will hear from the
Mouth of the Man who
Created everything
By speaking it aloud.
The ore in the ground
That eventually went into
The gun that I never pointed
At someone else
While taking things
That didn’t belong to me.
The trees that yielded
Some of the paper
(Most of it’s linen)
That was the money
In someone else’s
From the bank I never
Robbed because I was
Too afraid of the
Ted Scheck Dec 2014
Some thing unreal
Bit a corner of my
While I pretended to
I imagine the
Pain was something else
Ted Scheck Nov 2014
It's the week of Giving
Thanks, and I'm thinking
Of the magical place of
My Dreams, the
Dream-state I existed
In my childhood.
Google maps is SCI-
Finite, and does this place
Justice like a squid
Quoting Revelation 1:
9 - the Island of Palmos.
But at least the squid
Was half-right -
Middle Park Lagoon
Had an island.

It wasn't just the little farm
Pond full of alligator snappers,
And indelible fish (carp, anagram:
It was the surrounding woods,
The Leopard Frogs I could not
(And really didn't want to)
Catch. It wasn't the shoe-
Stealing muck-mud, the
Barely-4-foot deep water.
It wasn't Duck Creek flowing
Next door, flooding often,
Its waters spilling into the
Waters of the Lagoon, depositing
And withdrawing wildlife
At will.

It was my escape-pod in the
Mysterious Spaceship Earth
That was 1968-1984, for my Dad
Ed Scheck, was Supt. of Parks
And Rec in Bettendorf, Iowa.
He oversaw all the parks, the
Pre-Waterslide-Pool, the Bike
Trails connecting Davenport
To its bro/sis city.
My Dad had to work a lot
And me in the park was like
Me visiting Dad.

The Lagoon frozen when we
Had Iowa winter, and a very
Popular place to skate. I think
I loved the Lagoon more frozen
Than liquid. At night, I would
Cut through the houses on
Fair Meadows Drive, listening to
KSTT-AM blasting on the speaker
Attached to the light pole.
It was the scariest part of my day,
That little freezing trip from
Lagoon to Home.
And about the best.

In 1979, at sixteen, I applied
For employment with the
Parks Department, and that
Meant summers working at
Palmer Hills Golf Course.
And, winters, supervising
Middle Park Lagoon.
I got to skate out on the
Ice, the ice that would turn
To the watery body I loved
Most of all, and miss, to
This day.
From 1968 (5) to 1984.
The math doesn't add up;
Magic has no columns that
Add up at the bottom, because
Magic is bottomless.
Ted Scheck Nov 2014
You would think that
Light is always bright,
Shining, Luminescent,
Searing, burning, illuminating,
Perpetual dawn rolling across
Earth's lopsided expanses.
You would think.

Light and Darkness
Were once perfectly melded-
Molded together, in the
Time before time,
In the cusp of God's hands
Pressing together and
Held apart in infinite
Pressure and density and love.
They were one yet separate,
Filling the mindless firmament between
The Left and Right Hand of God,
Before He created Earth.

You know the Beginning:
When the Heavens came into
(So that the minds
Of men and women could
Acknowledge their existence)
And then the Earth was

God moved His hands
(And Spoke through Them)
The earth, formless, void:
The Light in God's Hands
Marveled at the Living Light,
The Source of all things
Whom the light had dreamed about,
In its cupola that it thought to be
Infinite, but was somehow, beyond;
God, it seemed, had more,
A Higher Purpose for The Light

And The Darkness, seeing his
Brother distracted and occupied,
And uncomprehending the why
And how of God’s Light and
The Light (his brother?) standing
Close, so close, in perfect
Conversation, and why?
Why was not The Darkness a
Part of His Conversation?

Darkness, in the infinitesimal moments
After Creation had begun,
Turned his back on God and
Saw what was beneath him.
Streaked blackly down to the new
Thing God had made simply
By Speaking.

“What is The Darkness doing,
The Light asked, confused
For the first time.
“I don’t understand.”
God spoke, a gentle,
Soothing whisper.
And The Light looked,
Shining the barest part of
Himself down, so that
The Darkness could see.

The Darkness saw itself
Hovering over the waters.
The round globe that
God created was covered,
Filled with something
Mysterious and liquid
And like itself, Dark,
Deep, and brooding.

Dark and Void
Were now one.
Away from the Presence
Of God.
The Darkness had never
Flown, or streaked, or
Zipped like lightning before.
And Darkness saw that it was

Now Darkness was doing it.
Darkness was all OVER this
Planet-thing. Darkness had
And Darkness saw that it
Wasn't moving. It had never
Been so big, so
It circled the entire planet,
A giant ring of Itself,
For thousands and thousands
Of miles. Looking at the deep
Dark wet stuff,
Darkness saw its face
For the first time.
Not GOOD, Darkness thought
To Himself.
But before The Darkness
Could get a longer
(And much more detailed)
Look, becoming more and more
Connected with the Void…

Four of God's Words
Split the whole of existence


The Light of Creation
Exploded outward and
Imploded inward
Scalding Darkness' eyeballs black
And God took The Darkness
In His Hand and Threw
Him to the other side
Of Earth,
12 hours
And 12,500 miles away.

God favored the "Light"
And called it "Good"
Darkness wanted to hear that
Spoken about himself.
But God further divided
And delineated them
By changing their natures.

The Light, now powered by a nearby
***** Yellow Star
Almost a hundred million
Miles away
(So as to not cook or
Freeze them to death)
God explained cryptically
Who is THEM
(The Light wondered)
There are OTHERS
Besides God?
And us?

But when God was doing His
Business, and it involved you,

And God's Pure Light
Was now intimately linked with,
Among other things, the creatures
That God was even now filling the
Seas and the Land.
The Light’s new name was

The Darkness changed simply
By God Willing It.
The Darkness liked his new name,
Closer to Light's old one
And Night thought he might be
Happier, after all, since
God placed so much
MORE of him, far, far out
In the Heavens, in the
(Though fathomable to him)
Empty spaces between the
Stars that gave birth to
Day every single itself.

But God punished The Darkness
For being Prideful, and marveling
At the beauty of his face
So God banished The Darkness
To reside alongside, and
Even, with, the Void
Who had been cast down
An Eternity before, waiting,
Waiting for just such a planet
To come along, so that Void
Could rule the air
(Like a Prince,
Deposed to his
New kingdom).

The Dark had never before
Felt something so different,
So ‘Off-Natured’ from God
Night was afraid, so Night
Kept his head down and
Out of sight and
Did his job.
The Light shone through
A tiny yellow orb, and
This light bathed the planet
In a veil of brightness.
Night was only one
Aspect of The Darkness, like
A Cousin created to do a
Very specific job, which
Left The Darkness to explore
Earth and the Surrounding

The Light had other aspects,
A nickname, if you will:
“Daylight” and
Daylight, in spite of
All he could see
(But Daylight praised God for this,
And knew God was the Source of All Things)
And all the creatures and
The Man and The Woman
Daylight missed his brother,
The Dark.
But the Stars would only shine
Him in the Way God Intended,
And not a little brighter more.
So Daylight did his job, too.

One itself, as Day again
Chased Night away
(Always on Night's heels,
But never EVER catching him!)
Day was shining on a patch
Of water that seemed familiar.
But the water was, well,
Watery, and diffuse, and it
Slowed down Light's usually
Terminal Velocity, and bent and
Diffracted and distracted his
Straight-line nature. Light asked
God to tell Night he was sorry.


Thank You, Light of Heaven,
Day said, feeling the Star
Sol going into a brief and
Exciting supernova,
A thin yet ultimately powerful
Ray of Sol’s tremendous
Energy shining down
On that little familiar patch
Of water.

Day shouldered its
Way through thick clumps of
Seaweed (now dead) and down,
Ever down,
Deeper than any light had
Ever penetrated the Dark
Down, the light went, down,
To its breaking point,
Where Daylight was barely
Discernible as itself.
It got to the place
Where He ended,
And his brother began.
With its last photon of energy,
Daylight gave itself to
His long-lost Twin.
"I'm sorry, Dark"
A patch of exceptionally black
Darkness wobbled a nod.
(Me too, Light)
It seemed to say.
"I miss you, brother,” sobbed
The Light.
And God have Light his request,
Allowing him to shine just
A little more brightly,
And the Light gave of himself
To his Brother Darkness.
“God, may I please
Keep this little light
Of mine
To remind me of
My Brother Daylight?

Dark was no longer so very
As God put a bit of
In the strange, strange
Creatures who lived with
And in total
And the Dark
Loved those creatures
So much so that when
(Or I)
Capture a Dark
It cannot,
Will not
Survive the Light
On the Surface
Of the Ocean
Ted Scheck Oct 2014
I used to hear the word
And immediately, Ratman or
Bobbin would lamely
Limp into my mind.
1960s Shtick
Shtuck in my
Noggin, until...

I met a Holy Man
Whose name means
"Asleep" or
"Wild Man"
He was/is/
From just past
Cross the Border,
Bordering Cross.

He spoke of the
That part of God Who
Communicates with us
And us, HIM...
Of an unquenchable
FIRE that yearned,
Churned in the hearts of
His Children.
His smile was wide,
His eyes, shining, but...
But his words soon after
(Were not his own)
Not natural, but
From the Great
The Lord Jesus Christ
Spoke inside this man's
Heart, Soul,
Mind, Body-
Spirit Holy.

Were written in
Indelible ink
Upon the surface
Of my
Human heart.

Had never met before
Our paths
But he knew, He
He shared it with me.

Now when I hear
I no longer think of
That common Red-
Breasted avian creature, but

The man whose
Breast and
Heart were on
Holy Cleansing Fire,
That burns brightly
Ted Scheck Aug 2014
Can't tell you.
However, lettuce

You can't plan
A poem any
More than being
Preparing for the
That will randomly
Hit your home town
300 miles and 4.5 hours

A poem has
Like I used to, before
I went to a picnic with
Dad and left with

Poems are unborn
Twinkles in God's

Virtual, string-
Tree-like things
Screaming, Who-like:
"I'm here! I'm HERE!
That will be born
As thoughts
(I think)

Poems are the
Idea-seeds, already
Planted in the fertile
Brain-soil, and ideas
Are the paradigm-
Shifters of the Universe.
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