CK Baker Jan 2017
He filled his week bag
with quick picks
from the commissary
cover blades
and skull caps
canned goods
and half stated pearls
liquor bills
and bleeders
for the flight of weary

Into the ****** bunks
of the western front
past sivana
and nurture sage
past the pomp
and ceremony
out of robe
and into jumpers
and casings
and masks of gas

Light infantry
and yelling men
muscled
and scorned
fly boys high
in 3 wing flight
mounted gunners
filling the night
in hawkers and packards
and scabbard chape

Tarrant tabers
and camels
dodge the vicker gun
skeleton hands
grease the mill trap
carnage makers
mark the rhineland
(buried in bunkers
and pile bags
and earth pack)

Trench helmets
and metal backs
under machine fire
minefields burn
in muzzle and coil
deep in the shadows
and shrapnel
and spear
the razor wire
and dead cold
despair

Slouch hats
and burning rats
kerosene lamps
and droopers
the soldier stares down
the broken line
and limb
a ****** holds steady
(shelved at a distance)
on ripped pipe
and beam

It was an all in
end game
a grapple for the ages;
*** in the
fokker pursuit
over rolling hills
and fallen comrades
into the bishop bullet
(and sporadic cheer)
which sealed the deal
in an empty field
near the brae corbie road
Daddy liked his whiskey
Momma liked her smokes
Momma cursed like crazy
Dad told ***** jokes
To all the people 'round here
They was ordinary folks
Momma puffed on camels
Dad drank whiskey cokes

I dropped out of high school
By the time I was fourteen
I had no direction
And I got mighty mean
Sis, she had two babies
But neither one was seen
And to all the people 'round here
We were just both normal teens

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
You do not want to grow and be like me
Listen to what I tell you, don't you do the things you see
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Nope, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

When ever there is fighting
Folks 'round here go  blind
They all have got their secrets
they don't want us to find
That apples in around their house
Are not quite as designed
It's best to look at others
For the truth, it isn't kind

Momma kept on smoking
Daddy drank his rye
sis and I both left here
No one ever asked them why
Nothing changes ever
so nobody will try
and all the folks around here
live inside this little lie

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
You do not want to grow and be like me
Listen to what I tell you, don't you do the things you see
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Nope, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Lawrence Hall Jul 2018
A white tee shirt with a pack of Camels
Tucked up ‘way cool in the left-side sleeve
And new blue jeans, the cuffs exactly right
And in my back pocket a happenin’ Ace comb

For keeping that duck tail so hot for the chicks
To swoon about, so High School Confidential
A cheap tin switchblade hidden carefully away
More Sharks than the Sharks, more Jets than the Jets

Even Kookier than Kookie, oh, my! -
While swaggering home from junior high
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Paul Hansford Jun 2016
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages ***** and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
Pagan Paul Aug 2017
.
i.
The morning mist dissipated
as the ships keel ploughed a furrow
through the Great Green of the Aegean,
leaving far behind the magick isle.
Vigilantos stood at the prow,
marvelling at the accompanying dolphins,
curious and playful,
schooling with purpose to the ocean.
Ahead, waiting, a grand tour.
Of Sumer, Abyssinia and desert lands,
to glean hidden knowledge,
regain the mysteries of the ancients,
read the Necronomicon and old scripts
from a time when power crackled,
and the storms of the gods
belittled the existence of mankind.

ii.
The twilight Moon peeps
from behind the brazen grey cloud.
And she weaves hap-hazard
through the crushes of the crowd.
A high-born daughter of the desert,
a vision of beauty from the sand.
With silks and satin and perfume
richly obtained from foreign lands.
Through the colourful bazaar she threads
with occasional glances thrown at stalls,
priestess jewels sparkle in the night,
its her Name the sirocco calls.

iii.
Cobalt blue water, an illusion of light
where the sun slides through the meniscus,
and the harbour of Tyre was alive.
The bustling of boats around ships at anchor,
snatching glimpses of a turquoise sky
and the quay throbbing with the pulse of music.
It would be another 3 thousand years
before Rome was even a trading post on the Tiber,
let alone an empire conquering the east,
or building hippodromes and columned avenues.
Vigilantos drank in the atmosphere,
his magicians instincts bristling, noting all.
Meandering through the narrow streets,
loosely following direction, getting lost.
Seeking his retinue and camels, ready to start,
across the desert to Ninevah on the Tigris.
To speak to tribes, pray with the priests of Ur.
To find the secrets of mysteries, and treasure,
reaping the knowledge of the Old Gods awe,
amongst the shifting dunes of history.

iv.
Vivid colours of silks and dyes
adorn the tents of cloth and stick.
The summer sun beats down lazy,
heat as oppressive as mist is thick.
Her charms and delights are hidden,
with misery and pain, the last week spent.
The dark, the quiet, the inane chatter,
deep within the women's red tent.
Free from the curse, her moon-cycle complete,
she wanders with mood sombre and slow.
A powerful man from a western place
will arrive at the camp as the sun sinks low.
He had seen her in the main bazaar
and decided to stake his claim.
Whilst confined away, behind her back,
her father had bartered for riches and fame.

v.
His travels around those beautiful lands
had yielded books of law and scripts.
He had heard the oral traditions of elders
and gazed in wonder at the Moon's eclipse.
Then he had seen the greatest treasure
wending her way through crowded markets.
With tact and guile he discovered her Name,
and vowed to grace her father's carpets.

The desert folk live a simple life
but far from simple are they.
Sharp of tongue and quick of wit,
erudite in a most unusual way.
The father was the elected leader,
King of the tribe that he now led.
Vigilantos had bargained hard
to purchase the girl for his marital bed.

vi.
The sun sinks, falling from the sky in the eve.
Spectacular reds and orange colliding with the dunes.
The azure twilight sky lit and sprinkled with stars,
and the tribal camp fills with laughter and tunes.

vii
He walked with purpose toward the campfire,
his features silhouetted by flickering light.
The sudden hush of the assembled camp
echoed strange, deep into the desert night.
His eyes beheld her most beautiful form,
half in the shadow, half in the light.
For her families benefit he had traded,
agreed bargains, and come to claim his right.

“Princess of the desert, Daughter of the sand,
step forward gently and take me by the hand.
For my island home calls out loud to me,
so come, let us away across the sea”.

Head bowed in fake submission
she boldly makes her cold admission.

“I am a Woman of the free,
these sands are my home to me.
With all good grace; I could not face
life on an island in the sea”.

viii.
Black and red, darkness and rage
descend upon his fevered mind.
Humiliated, spurned by a maiden fair,
and pride will not be left behind.

“A curse. A curse. 'pon thy beautiful head,
prowl and creep as do the undead.
Evil deeds are now thy course,
henceforth our contract is now divorced”.

But something made Vigilantos start,
a pang of something from his dead heart.
With such feelings he could not contend,
so a caveat, for the curse to amend.

“Thy deeds and crimes maybe invested
'pon mortals only who invest the same such evil
'pon their fellow mortals”.

ix.
Leaving far behind the desert
he turns his face to the sky.
The ships keel ploughs a furrow
as the evening mist draws nigh.

And now she prowls the dark night,
her Name lost in the sands of time.
Seeking out the mortal sinners and
punishing their evil with her crimes.

... and thus it begins ...
Judderwitch.


© Pagan Paul (08/08/17)
.
Prequel to The Judderwitch poem (posted in April).
I fear this may create more questions than it answers.

My Judderwitch poems are now in a collection :)
https://hellopoetry.com/collection/28451/judderwitch/
PPx
.
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