Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
I

As I ride, as I ride,
With a full heart for my guide,
So its tide rocks my side,
As I ride, as I ride,
That, as I were double-eyed,
He, in whom our Tribes confide,
Is descried, ways untried
As I ride, as I ride.

II

As I ride, as I ride
To our Chief and his Allied,
Who dares chide my heart’s pride
As I ride, as I ride?
Or are witnesses denied—
Through the desert waste and wide
Do I glide unespied
As I ride, as I ride?

III

As I ride, as I ride,
When an inner voice has cried,
The sands slide, nor abide
(As I ride, as I ride)
O’er each visioned Homicide
That came vaunting (has he lied?)
To reside—where he died,
As I ride, as I ride.

IV

As I ride, as I ride,
Ne’er has spur my swift horse plied,
Yet his hide, streaked and pied,
As I ride, as I ride,
Shows where sweat has sprung and dried,
—Zebra-footed, ostrich-thighed—
How has vied stride with stride
As I ride, as I ride!

V

As I ride, as I ride,
Could I loose what Fate has tied,
Ere I pried, she should hide
As I ride, as I ride,
All that’s meant me: satisfied
When the Prophet and the Bride
Stop veins I’d have subside
As I ride, as I ride!
Stephen S Apr 2018
Ride for the distance
and tear up the track.
Ride for the distance
and never look back.

Ride on the thunder,
and blast through the storm.
Ride on the thunder,
The sound and the form.

Ride for the horizon,
Unhindered and freed.
Ride for the horizon,
and crank up the speed.

Ride through the fury,
and come out unscathed.
Ride through the fury,
take control of the day.

Ride through the darkness,
in the deep of the night.
Ride through the darkness,
with the stars shining bright.

Ride through the mountains,
and hold a firm line.
Ride through the mountains,
you're one of a kind.

Ride for the moment,
There's plenty of gas
Ride for the moment,
The worst things have passed.

Ride for the sunset,
The battle is won.
Ride for the sunset,
The struggle is done.

Ride on forever,
There's no keeping score.
Ride on forever,
The world is yours.
sandra wyllie Jun 2019
There comes a time in one’s life
when you must ride
Feel the air whip through your hair
as if it were a sail/blaze a trail
Set all things aside
Ride like wild horses into the unforgiving night

Ride across the ocean
until the salt splashes up in your eyes
Ride across the prairies
until the breeze kicks off the flies
Ride like wild horses into the unforgiving night

Ride through droughts and scorching heat
when you’re thirsty and tired
Ride through storms and brush fires
hot as an electric iron
Ride like wild horses into the unforgiving night

Ride into the sky
Part the clouds with your smile
Ride into your unconscious
Ride! Ride! Ride!
Ride like wild horses into the unforgiving night
Wesley Willis Jan 2014
It's Wednesday, April 2, 1997, at 12:00 PM
I took a Greyhound bus to Des Moines, Iowa
It was a six-hour profanity demon hellride
At 6:00 PM, the Greyhound bus arrived at the Des Moines bus station
Two of my music fans picked me up and drove me to Fort Dodge, Iowa

Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride

At 2:00 PM on Friday, April 4, 1997, I went on a radio show joyride
I whipped out my Technics KN3000 keyboard and sung four rock songs on 88.1 KICB
At 6:30 PM, I rode with my friends to Knights of Columbus for sound checking
At 9:30 PM, I got up on stage and sung twenty rock songs in front of 200 rock fans

Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride

At 11:20 AM on Saturday, April 5, 1997, I caught the Greyhound bus to Chicago, Illinois
The Greyhound bus left Des Moines, Iowa at 11:30 AM
It was an eight-hour profanity demon hellride without music
At 7:30 PM, the Greyhound bus arrived at the Chicago bus station
I then got off the intercity bus and yelled like a stupid fool

Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride
Hell Greyhound bus ride

Kinkos, it's the new way to office
I said—Then, dearest, since ’tis so,
Since now at length my fate I know,
Since nothing all my love avails,
Since all, my life seem’d meant for, fails,
  Since this was written and needs must be—
My whole heart rises up to bless
Your name in pride and thankfulness!
Take back the hope you gave,—I claim
Only a memory of the same,
—And this beside, if you will not blame;
  Your leave for one more last ride with me.

My mistress bent that brow of hers,
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
When pity would be softening through,
Fix’d me a breathing-while or two
  With life or death in the balance: right!
The blood replenish’d me again;
My last thought was at least not vain:
I and my mistress, side by side
Shall be together, breathe and ride,
So, one day more am I deified.
  Who knows but the world may end to-night?

Hush! if you saw some western cloud
All billowy-*****’d, over-bow’d
By many benedictions—sun’s
And moon’s and evening-star’s at once—
  And so, you, looking and loving best,
Conscious grew, your passion drew
Cloud, sunset, moonrise, star-shine too,
Down on you, near and yet more near,
Till flesh must fade for heaven was here!—
Thus leant she and linger’d—joy and fear!
  Thus lay she a moment on my breast.

Then we began to ride. My soul
Smooth’d itself out, a long-cramp’d scroll
Freshening and fluttering in the wind.
Past hopes already lay behind.
  What need to strive with a life awry?
Had I said that, had I done this,
So might I gain, so might I miss.
Might she have loved me? just as well
She might have hated, who can tell!
Where had I been now if the worst befell?
  And here we are riding, she and I.

Fail I alone, in words and deeds?
Why, all men strive and who succeeds?
We rode; it seem’d my spirit flew,
Saw other regions, cities new,
  As the world rush’d by on either side.
I thought,—All labour, yet no less
Bear up beneath their unsuccess.
Look at the end of work, contrast
The petty done, the undone vast,
This present of theirs with the hopeful past!
  I hoped she would love me; here we ride.

What hand and brain went ever pair’d?
What heart alike conceived and dared?
What act proved all its thought had been?
What will but felt the fleshly screen?
  We ride and I see her ***** heave.
There ’s many a crown for who can reach.
Ten lines, a statesman’s life in each!
The flag stuck on a heap of bones,
A soldier’s doing! what atones?
They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones.
  My riding is better, by their leave.

What does it all mean, poet? Well,
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell
What we felt only; you express’d
You hold things beautiful the best,
  And pace them in rhyme so, side by side.
’Tis something, nay ’tis much: but then,
Have you yourself what ’s best for men?
Are you—poor, sick, old ere your time—
Nearer one whit your own sublime
Than we who never have turn’d a rhyme?
  Sing, riding ’s a joy! For me, I ride.

And you, great sculptor—so, you gave
A score of years to Art, her slave,
And that ’s your Venus, whence we turn
To yonder girl that fords the burn!
  You acquiesce, and shall I repine?
What, man of music, you grown gray
With notes and nothing else to say,
Is this your sole praise from a friend,
‘Greatly his opera’s strains intend,
But in music we know how fashions end!’
  I gave my youth: but we ride, in fine.

Who knows what ’s fit for us? Had fate
Proposed bliss here should sublimate
My being—had I sign’d the bond—
Still one must lead some life beyond,
  Have a bliss to die with, dim-descried.
This foot once planted on the goal,
This glory-garland round my soul,
Could I descry such? Try and test!
I sink back shuddering from the quest.
Earth being so good, would heaven seem best?
  Now, heaven and she are beyond this ride.

And yet—she has not spoke so long!
What if heaven be that, fair and strong
At life’s best, with our eyes upturn’d
Whither life’s flower is first discern’d,
  We, fix’d so, ever should so abide?
What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity,—
And heaven just prove that I and she
  Ride, ride together, for ever ride?
kim Jan 2019
I was on this ride
this beautiful, exciting ride
it was colorful, wild, and crazy
But I didn’t know it

I didn’t know I was on this ride
and neither did my friends nor family
Think of this ride, as the ride at the back of an amusement park
So far that you can’t even see it when it’s lit

I entered this ride when I was eleven years old
and no one rode with me, my blood ran cold
My palms were all sweaty and shaky, as we neared the first drop
Then, after staring for countless of hours at the edge, I dropped

As the ride looped around countless of times, I got less lonely
My friends climbed on and sat beside me
I wasn’t as scared anymore
I even let out a roar

Some people didn’t approve of me riding the colorful, exciting, wondrous ride
But I have to show my pride
They tried telling me to get off
But that didn’t work, and I looked at them and scoffed

The colorful, exciting, wondrous ride, is something I won’t ever tire of
It has received all my heartfelt love
And even though some people will disprove
I’ll just get out of their way and move

Because I am proud of who I am
And I’m gonna scream it out loud
Because I am Me
and that surely fills me with the purest form of glee

So here I am, thirteen years old
still on the ride,
filled with even more pride
And I don’t think I’m getting off anytime soon

Oh, the name of the ride?
It’s called the rainbow ride
I wrote this for our English class which required us to perform a poem we made in front of class
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



The room would have been a cold ,dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back." Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The sauve, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.


Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the ferris wheel."



"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.

I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday. Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why? I had so many questions and you know what?
I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"Maybe if you knew the reasons, now, it wouldn't matter anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."


2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is and adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


Paul Keater has a room above Maloney's Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.



                                           Chapter 3


"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells the boy, they're all out of them."

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sergeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.

"Mommy, mommy, I want an ATTACK HELIOCOPTER, MOMMMEEE, I WANTAH TTTAAANNNK..."

Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


                              
     

The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You re not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."

                                        
     

It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Sue says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I did nt want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


                              
     

As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and restitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

"Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."



                                           Chapter 5


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."


Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When is reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Teresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head.

"Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and sqeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Teresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Teresa mother has stopped crying. Her father just stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the night, odd circles of light that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the Big Dipper and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, the shadows erased the dreamer and its dream.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over.

Perhaps he saw his reflection in the night.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Nothin," Delleto tells his friend, "Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.


                                          Chapter 6


"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up at him, what should I call you."

"How about, Darlin?"

"Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"

"Nothing."

"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes."I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"

"No."

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match, "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth  across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.
"TELL YOUR DREAMS TO ME, TELLME YOU LOVEME, IFYOU LOVE ME TELL ALL YOUR DREAMS TO ME."


                                         Chapter 7


An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "how are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and  gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifys his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now because when you are dead you are going to be dead a long, long time."

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he whats to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells like ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back.The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real and what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the old man's heart.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he can not determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching. Joseph grabs the crow bar he keeps under his pillow. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms and kisses her and they walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above treeline heralding a brief season of son and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the key into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the kitchen.

Dell, standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts. "It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. Her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Spectre singing the back up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend." His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

"*** always ruins every thing," Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. He pulls her to the edge of the table and Ronnie sings, ",O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BAABBBY NOOWWW."


Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."



                                             Chapter 10



All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you." Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder and Kate pulls away.

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"Your an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

The lingering silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.


"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all she has she clings to them.


On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind. He continues up the  dark street to his Harley.

High in reachless branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and  the singing goes on and on.



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

"Who the hell is this?" The clock on the dresser says 5a.m.

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, He ran out the door when I screamed."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6,"Says jack The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead. Jack starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. "What is it with you , two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on he T.V. he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"

"Fine."

Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, stands close, smiles, and Jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



"Daddy,"the little girl her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, Sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.


When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform , grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the rise starts. Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughters hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."


Kathleen concentrates on the rain soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever present waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride stops, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the  Casino amusement park door."****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all the her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the  street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the empting lot of scattered thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.




                                      
     

"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside his head, Delleto sees two spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, intuitively he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbles back. His girlfriend in the tight  black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto to stop, but Jack does not let up on the man,  stepping forward, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

"It's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more." He hands the rolled up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder.

"Tom sold the house so you're upstairs? O Malley asks, and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear. Straightening up, he looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell , I'm sorry, I'm sad about Kate, too."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine. "We have a winner, "the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard. Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, lost consciousness in the dressing room, and died at the hospital."

"What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you loose all track of the clock."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure they do, "O'Malley asures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? Sure they do, june bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals and you'll produce love and dreams."

                                          
     

Jack Delleto goes into the room, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the night stand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the over hand right, three left hooks. He punches the wall and his knucles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood stained wall.

At last he is exhausted, collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy. The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the night stand, finds it, and turns off the light. Red and blue, blue and red, the neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks soft neon into his room. The sign seems to pulsate to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar. Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifys. Jack slides into the night.



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into the abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the  mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbl;y to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.

"Da DA DUN, DA DA DUN, HEY PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND  MY BRAIN."

Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in strumming his ice axe like an air guitar, singing, shouting, "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM,  WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE, PURRPPLLE HAZZEEE."


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A belly that's empty hurts, I miss you Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you ,too."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why, you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bare to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I m love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


                                          
      *


The dread grows into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.



                                            Chapter 15


Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and the for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway steps.

Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, glad to see you're still alive."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you."
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is  startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The dog has him pinned down, goes for his face. And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.
Alex Vice Aug 2014
The World is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real, because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round, and it has thrills and chills and is very brightly colored, and it's very loud. And it's fun, for a while.

Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they've begun to question, 'Is this real, or is this just a ride?', and other people have remembered, and they've come back to us and they say 'Hey, don't worry. Don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.' and we **** THOSE PEOPLE.

"Shut him up! We have alot invested in this ride! SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account, and my family. This just has to be real."

It's just a ride.

But we always **** those good guys who try and tell us that. You ever noticed that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter, because ... It's just a ride.

And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear wants you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead see all of us as one.

Here's what we can do to change the world right now, to a better ride:

Take all that money we spent on weapons and defense each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing, and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and WE CAN EXPLORE SPACE, TOGETHER, BOTH INNER AND OUTER, forever ... in peace.

-- Bill Hicks (1961 - 1994)
Bill Hicks is amazing and everyone should listen to some of his stand up
it's funny, it's social critique and philosophy and   a beautiful example of what humans can do when they think
other great men include Alan Watts and George Carlin
some of my favorite men, who've said what i've always thought and more
Grab the keys
The truck is full
Let's head out
hit the road
It's Friday
Time to party
A teenage
secret code

Tweets are out
Friends are set
It's party time
tonight
We're going
out in secret
We'll be home
Before daylight

Going on a back road ride
Deep into the night
Going on a back road ride
It will be out of sight
Going on a back road ride
Won't be back until the morn
Going on a back road ride
In the fields beyond the corn

We're teenagers
It's what we do
It's how we find
out who we are
Like our parents
did before us
We're following
Our star

We learn
about each other
We learn
Where we should go
We set a path
Into the future
With the star
From long ago

Going on a back road ride
Deep into the night
Going on a back road ride
It will be out of sight
Going on a back road ride
Won't be back until the morn
Going on a back road ride
In the fields beyond the corn
guy scutellaro Oct 2018
(Kathleen's birthday, part two,  unedited version)


"Daddy," the little girl has her hands folded and is looking up at her father. "When will it stop? I want to get on."

"Soon, darling," her father assures her.

"I don't think it'll ever stop." The little girl says.

"Sweetie it'll stop." Daddy takes her gently by the hand, gently squeezes. "See it's stopping now."


When the carousel slows down but has not quite stopped, Kathleen steps onto the platform and grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride and into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette, she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot into the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. The ride trembles and starts with a jolt.

A man is staring at Kathleen. Sitting on the pony has made her short skirt ride well up on her shapely legs, but she is too drunk to care. When the man comes over, she hands him her ticket.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her daddy who are sitting in a gold chariot pulled by two red horses.

The little girl looks at her father, and says, "Ooooh, daddy, I love this."

The man smiles back and strokes his daughter's hair.


The heat makes the dizziness that Kathleen is feeling grow worse and as the ride picks up speed, she begins to see two of everything. There are two rows of pinball machines, eight flashing signs, and too many prize machines. The red , blue, and green lights from the ride signs blend together like when a car drives at night down a wet street. She feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But honey the ride isn't over yet."

Kathleen finds that if she concentrates on other things the dizziness and the nausea become less severe. She tries to perceive the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or life. When she does this, and as she becomes accustom to the movement of the machine, the floating , spinning objects come together. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze and the blurring of lights becomes a beautiful waterfall.

The horses in front are always becoming the horses in the back and the horses in back are always turning into the horses in front. All horses gallop ahead. Settling back into the saddle, she follows them riding her white pony towards the receding waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock and who you are and that is alright with Kathleen. That is the way she feels. She has left something behind her. She does not know what, but whatever it is, the merry-go- round will chase it away.

She leans forward to embrace the ride.

Then just as suddenly as it started, the ride is slowing down. The music stops playing.

First she feels the heat and then the sickness in her stomach as the dizziness returns. Kathleen climbs down off the pony. She goes careening backwards and then she lunges for balance falling forward. The merry-go-round trembles, starts with a **** , and rights her. Slowly, it picks up speed bringing her to the exit of the building. Kathleen stumbles down off the platform and goes through the  exit door careening into a railing and almost falling into Wesley Lake.

All the terrible things that people did to her comes crawling back to her like the sounds of an animal dying in its hidden place. The wisdom is heavy and centers just below her naval.

She takes a few steps to the curb, hears the carousel music and knows the ride is beginning again. Kathleen sits down on the sidewalk curb and it all comes out choking her, taking her breath away. The ****** abuse, self doubt, the alienation and loneliness, it all comes out, and she is enlightened.

There is so much of it so she lies down facing a world of decaying buildings and broken dreams. Her marvelous mind holds a perfect picture of the memories. Years in various foster homes where she felt like she never had a home. 

 Her son comes and sits with her on the couch. Her arm around him as they listen to the din of thunder.

Jack's sad face stares up at her from the table where he is sitting on the night they met. "I'm one -third Sioux, " she tells him, tasting the smoke from her cigarette as she exhales, and he smiles at her so she sits down.

But the mockingbird is singing from the world of scattered thoughts and empty lots. The images shoot off into a dark land, exploding, illuminating, then growing dim and dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.

(next part resumes with Jack  playing pool at the bar)
guy scutellaro Aug 2019
(Kathleen's birthday, part two.  )


"Daddy," the little girl has her hands folded and is looking up at her father. "When will it stop? I want to get on."

"Soon, Darling," her father assures her.

"I don't think it'll ever stop." The little girl says.

"Sweetie it'll stop, the ride always stops." Daddy takes her gently by the hand, gently squeezes. "See it's stopping now."


When the carousel slows down but has not quite stopped, Kathleen steps onto the platform and grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride and into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette, she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot into the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. The ride trembles and starts with a jolt.

A man is staring at Kathleen. Sitting on the pony has made her short skirt ride well up on her shapely legs, but she is too drunk to care. When the man comes over, she hands him her ticket.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her daddy who are sitting in a gold chariot pulled by two red horses.

The little girl looks at her father, and says, "Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

The man smiles back and strokes his daughter's hair. "So do I."


The heat makes the dizziness that Kathleen is feeling grow worse and as the ride picks up speed, she begins to see two of everything. There are two rows of pinball machines, eight flashing signs, and too many prize machines. The red , blue, and green lights from the ride signs blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street. She feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But honey the ride isn't over yet."

Kathleen finds that if she concentrates on other things the dizziness and the nausea become less severe. She tries to perceive the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or  a life. When she does this, and as she becomes accustom to the movement of the machine, the floating , spinning objects come together. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze and the blurring of lights becomes a beautiful waterfall.

The horses in front are always becoming the horses in the back and the horses in back are always turning into the horses in front. All horses gallop ahead. Settling back into the saddle, she follows them riding her white pony towards the receding waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock and who you are and that is alright with Kathleen. That is the way she feels. She has left something behind her. She does not know what, but whatever it is, the merry-go- round will chase it away.

She leans forward to embrace the ride.

Then just as suddenly as the it started, the ride is stopping, the music stops playing.

Kathleen climbs down off the horse as the Merry-go-round is slowing down. She stumbles off the platform and staggers out the door of the amusement park.

"****, *******," Kathleen yells, still too drunk, careening into the railing and almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She walks a few steps, sits down on the curb, hears the carousel music, and knows the ride is starting again, and all the terrible dreams that people do crawls into her like the sounds of a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up taking her breath away. There is so much of it so she lays down on the grass facing the street of broken buildings full of broken people. From the empty lot of scattered thoughts the Mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into the dark landscape, exploding for an illuminating moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold darkness.
st64 Jun 2013
V1
Oh, how the moon shines on me tonight
Always needin' some stimuli
Gettin' used to it, you say to me
Just another life under the stars.

Chorus
Love to ride the see-saw
Yes, love to ride the see-ee-saw
You love to ride the see-saw
Up, down....up, down.....
Up, down....oh up, down.

Rode it many times
Always get away
Always flying high in the sky to lo-o-ve!

V2
Tomorrow, we ride the rhythm of another wave
Lying, facing each other, so close
Silently staring into each other's eyes
Nothing said, 'cos words fail soooo bad! CHORUS

V3
Listening out so well for your steps
Don't be such a fool, it's only a car
Kiss your feet and touch your heart
We need to ride our chakra together.

Chorus
Love to ride the see-saw
Yes, love to ride the see-ee-saw
You love to ride the see-saw.

Up, down....up, down.....
Up, down....oh up, down.
Rode it many times
Always get away
Always flying high in the sky to love.



S T, 02 June 2013
Written many years ago....

Just a silly ditty, is all :)
THE PROLOGUE.

This worthy limitour, this noble Frere,
He made always a manner louring cheer                      countenance
Upon the Sompnour; but for honesty                            courtesy
No villain word as yet to him spake he:
But at the last he said unto the Wife:
"Dame," quoth he, "God give you right good life,
Ye have here touched, all so may I the,                         *thrive
In school matter a greate difficulty.
Ye have said muche thing right well, I say;
But, Dame, here as we ride by the way,
Us needeth not but for to speak of game,
And leave authorities, in Godde's name,
To preaching, and to school eke of clergy.
But if it like unto this company,
I will you of a Sompnour tell a game;
Pardie, ye may well knowe by the name,
That of a Sompnour may no good be said;
I pray that none of you be *evil paid;
                   dissatisfied
A Sompnour is a runner up and down
With mandements* for fornicatioun,                 mandates, summonses
And is y-beat at every towne's end."
Then spake our Host; "Ah, sir, ye should be hend         *civil, gentle
And courteous, as a man of your estate;
In company we will have no debate:
Tell us your tale, and let the Sompnour be."
"Nay," quoth the Sompnour, "let him say by me
What so him list; when it comes to my lot,
By God, I shall him quiten
every groat!                    pay him off
I shall him telle what a great honour
It is to be a flattering limitour
And his office I shall him tell y-wis".
Our Host answered, "Peace, no more of this."
And afterward he said unto the frere,
"Tell forth your tale, mine owen master dear."

Notes to the Prologue to the Friar's tale

1. On the Tale of the Friar, and that of the Sompnour which
follows, Tyrwhitt has remarked that they "are well engrafted
upon that of the Wife of Bath. The ill-humour which shows
itself between these two characters is quite natural, as no two
professions at that time were at more constant variance.  The
regular clergy, and particularly the mendicant friars, affected a
total exemption from all ecclesiastical jurisdiction,  except that
of the Pope, which made them exceedingly obnoxious to the
bishops and of course to all the inferior officers of the national
hierarchy." Both tales, whatever their origin, are bitter satires
on the greed and worldliness of the Romish clergy.


THE TALE.

Whilom
there was dwelling in my country                 once on a time
An archdeacon, a man of high degree,
That boldely did execution,
In punishing of fornication,
Of witchecraft, and eke of bawdery,
Of defamation, and adultery,
Of churche-reeves,
and of testaments,                    churchwardens
Of contracts, and of lack of sacraments,
And eke of many another manner
crime,                          sort of
Which needeth not rehearsen at this time,
Of usury, and simony also;
But, certes, lechours did he greatest woe;
They shoulde singen, if that they were hent;
                    caught
And smale tithers were foul y-shent,
         troubled, put to shame
If any person would on them complain;
There might astert them no pecunial pain.
For smalle tithes, and small offering,
He made the people piteously to sing;
For ere the bishop caught them with his crook,
They weren in the archedeacon's book;
Then had he, through his jurisdiction,
Power to do on them correction.

He had a Sompnour ready to his hand,
A slier boy was none in Engleland;
For subtlely he had his espiaille,
                           espionage
That taught him well where it might aught avail.
He coulde spare of lechours one or two,
To teache him to four and twenty mo'.
For, -- though this Sompnour wood
be as a hare, --        furious, mad
To tell his harlotry I will not spare,
For we be out of their correction,
They have of us no jurisdiction,
Ne never shall have, term of all their lives.

"Peter; so be the women of the stives,"
                          stews
Quoth this Sompnour, "y-put out of our cure."
                     care

"Peace, with mischance and with misaventure,"
Our Hoste said, "and let him tell his tale.
Now telle forth, and let the Sompnour gale,
              whistle; bawl
Nor spare not, mine owen master dear."

This false thief, the Sompnour (quoth the Frere),
Had always bawdes ready to his hand,
As any hawk to lure in Engleland,
That told him all the secrets that they knew, --
For their acquaintance was not come of new;
They were his approvers
privily.                             informers
He took himself at great profit thereby:
His master knew not always what he wan.
                            won
Withoute mandement, a lewed
man                               ignorant
He could summon, on pain of Christe's curse,
And they were inly glad to fill his purse,
And make him greate feastes at the nale.
                      alehouse
And right as Judas hadde purses smale,
                           small
And was a thief, right such a thief was he,
His master had but half *his duety.
                what was owing him
He was (if I shall give him his laud)
A thief, and eke a Sompnour, and a bawd.
And he had wenches at his retinue,
That whether that Sir Robert or Sir Hugh,
Or Jack, or Ralph, or whoso that it were
That lay by them, they told it in his ear.
Thus were the ***** and he of one assent;
And he would fetch a feigned mandement,
And to the chapter summon them both two,
And pill* the man, and let the wenche go.                plunder, pluck
Then would he say, "Friend, I shall for thy sake
Do strike thee out of oure letters blake;
                        black
Thee thar
no more as in this case travail;                        need
I am thy friend where I may thee avail."
Certain he knew of bribers many mo'
Than possible is to tell in yeare's two:
For in this world is no dog for the bow,
That can a hurt deer from a whole know,
Bet
than this Sompnour knew a sly lechour,                      better
Or an adult'rer, or a paramour:
And, for that was the fruit of all his rent,
Therefore on it he set all his intent.

And so befell, that once upon a day.
This Sompnour, waiting ever on his prey,
Rode forth to summon a widow, an old ribibe,
Feigning a cause, for he would have a bribe.
And happen'd that he saw before him ride
A gay yeoman under a forest side:
A bow he bare, and arrows bright and keen,
He had upon a courtepy
of green,                         short doublet
A hat upon his head with fringes blake.
                          black
"Sir," quoth this Sompnour, "hail, and well o'ertake."
"Welcome," quoth he, "and every good fellaw;
Whither ridest thou under this green shaw?"
                       shade
Saide this yeoman; "wilt thou far to-day?"
This Sompnour answer'd him, and saide, "Nay.
Here faste by," quoth he, "is mine intent
To ride, for to raisen up a rent,
That longeth to my lorde's duety."
"Ah! art thou then a bailiff?" "Yea," quoth he.
He durste not for very filth and shame
Say that he was a Sompnour, for the name.
"De par dieux,"  quoth this yeoman, "leve* brother,             dear
Thou art a bailiff, and I am another.
I am unknowen, as in this country.
Of thine acquaintance I will praye thee,
And eke of brotherhood, if that thee list.
                      please
I have gold and silver lying in my chest;
If that thee hap to come into our shire,
All shall be thine, right as thou wilt desire."
"Grand mercy,"
quoth this Sompnour, "by my faith."        great thanks
Each in the other's hand his trothe lay'th,
For to be sworne brethren till they dey.
                        die
In dalliance they ride forth and play.

This Sompnour, which that was as full of jangles,
           chattering
As full of venom be those wariangles,
               * butcher-birds
And ev'r inquiring upon every thing,
"Brother," quoth he, "where is now your dwelling,
Another day if that I should you seech?"                   *seek, visit
This yeoman him answered in soft speech;
Brother," quoth he, "far in the North country,
Where as I hope some time I shall thee see
Ere we depart I shall thee so well wiss,
                        inform
That of mine house shalt thou never miss."
Now, brother," quoth this Sompnour, "I you pray,
Teach me, while that we ride by the way,
(Since that ye be a bailiff as am I,)
Some subtilty, and tell me faithfully
For mine office how that I most may win.
And *spare not
for conscience or for sin,             conceal nothing
But, as my brother, tell me how do ye."
Now by my trothe, brother mine," said he,
As I shall tell to thee a faithful tale:
My wages be full strait and eke full smale;
My lord is hard to me and dangerous,                         *niggardly
And mine office is full laborious;
And therefore by extortion I live,
Forsooth I take all that men will me give.
Algate
by sleighte, or by violence,                            whether
From year to year I win all my dispence;
I can no better tell thee faithfully."
Now certes," quoth this Sompnour,  "so fare
I;                      do
I spare not to take, God it wot,
But if* it be too heavy or too hot.                            unless
What I may get in counsel privily,
No manner conscience of that have I.
N'ere* mine extortion, I might not live,                were it not for
For of such japes
will I not be shrive.           tricks *confessed
Stomach nor conscience know I none;
I shrew* these shrifte-fathers
every one.          curse *confessors
Well be we met, by God and by St Jame.
But, leve brother, tell me then thy name,"
Quoth this Sompnour.  Right in this meane while
This yeoman gan a little for to smile.

"Brother," quoth he, "wilt thou that I thee tell?
I am a fiend, my dwelling is in hell,
And here I ride about my purchasing,
To know where men will give me any thing.
My purchase is th' effect of all my rent        what I can gain is my
Look how thou ridest for the same intent                   sole revenue

To winne good, thou reckest never how,
Right so fare I, for ride will I now
Into the worlde's ende for a prey."

"Ah," quoth this Sompnour, "benedicite! what say y'?
I weened ye were a yeoman truly.                                thought
Ye have a manne's shape as well as I
Have ye then a figure determinate
In helle, where ye be in your estate?"
                         at home
"Nay, certainly," quoth he, there have we none,
But when us liketh we can take us one,
Or elles make you seem
that we be shape                        believe
Sometime like a man, or like an ape;
Or like an angel can I ride or go;
It is no wondrous thing though it be so,
A lousy juggler can deceive thee.
And pardie, yet can I more craft
than he."              skill, cunning
"Why," quoth the Sompnour, "ride ye then or gon
In sundry shapes and not always in one?"
"For we," quoth he, "will us in such form make.
As most is able our prey for to take."
"What maketh you to have all this labour?"
"Full many a cause, leve Sir Sompnour,"
Saide this fiend. "But all thing hath a time;
The day is short and it is passed prime,
And yet have I won nothing in this day;
I will intend
to winning, if I may,               &nbs
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Come, we have a story, said the Old Man. Come, sit and I shall tell you all a little tale of a donkey, a boy and his father…and of strangers too…and many a busybody…
And the children sat round the campfire and the Old Man began his tale…*



One day
(and this is many, many
uncountable days ago)
Father called Son
and he said:
‘Son
you are grown now
into a fine young lad
and you must learn
how to buy and sell
and make a profit


‘So, come let us go
you and I
to the market to see
what silver coins we can get
for this old donkey
in our shed’



2

And so Son and Dad
set out for the town market
across the sandy and rocky miles
and some way off
Dad grew tired and he said:


‘Ah, Son
this walk tires me and so
I shall ride the donkey
while you walk by the side;
so, come let us go
you and I
to the market to see
what silver coins we can get
for this old donkey
that I shall ride’







3

‘**, **!
What do we have here?’
came a voice
as the Dad sat riding the donkey
while the Son walked by the side
‘A cruel father you are,’
said the Family Standards Officer
‘Get down, you grown man
and let the child ride!’

And the Father was ashamed
and so he let the Son ride the donkey
and he walked beside

And the Family Standards Officer
was extremely pleased
and he filled up his forms
and he bade the Father and Son safe journey:
‘Ah, this is another
success story
of the Family Welfare Dept
where conscience has won the day
and the Son rides the donkey
and the Father walks beside’








4
And the Father and Son are gone but a mile, a mile - when another interruption came their way, heading straight their way….


‘What do we have here?’
came a scream
and the Mandarin of the
State Morals Education
stopped the trio
and the Mandarin glared disapprovingly
at the boy riding the donkey and he said:
‘Where is your filial piety?
Know you not the son must do his duty
by the father?
Get off the donkey -
you young donkey!
and allow your father to ride
while you walk with reverence
and duty beside!’


And so now we have the
Father on the donkey
and the Son walking beside
all three slowly on and on
Father and son
to the market to see
what silver coins
they might get
for this old donkey
that they have taken turns to ride




5

Then comes an old woman
and she mutters to herself as she passes by:
‘Ah, what’s come of life
that a father should ride and
allow the young to walk.’

And so the Father bids his Son
be a pillion rider with him on the donkey
and so they ride
merrily, merrily
on to the market
to see
what silver coins they can get
for this old donkey
that they both ride





5

But no sooner have they covered
but a mile, just a mile
with the respectable Father
and the filial Son
(both on the hapless donkey)
when a voice thunders out from the bush
and the Animal Rights Activist stands out
and he screams:
‘Oh, you cruel people
that you should ride a helpless donkey !
Shame on you!
Much better that you both
carried the creature!’


And of course
the Son and Father
so reasonable and
always with an open mind
they jump off the donkey
and they carry
the donkey all the way
all the way
just four more miles
just four more miles
and they soon come into the market
carrying the donkey
and shouting:
‘Donkey for sale!
Donkey for sale!’




6

And the buyers
at the markets
they see
this Father and Son
carrying the donkey
and screaming:
‘Donkey f or sale!
Donkey for sale!’


And the buyers they say:
‘But it appears, Sirs,
there are
three donkeys for sale
three donkeys for sale!
In declaring
“Donkey for Sale!”
when there are clearly three
are you offering three
for the price of one?’
an Old Tale re-told - because we make the same mistakes again and again..
Jackie Mead Oct 2017
Prince Simon, Prince Jason and Princess Sophie lived a regal life.

Slaying dragons and battling witches by day, monsters and beasts by night.

Each day brought adventures new, trips on boats and to the zoo.

One particular day when feeling bored, Prince Simon decided to explore.

Down to the basement, he slowly sneaked, quietly to take a peek.  New adventures he did seek.

A rickety old wardrobe he did find and suddenly an adventure sprang to mind.

Prince Simon shouted excitedly, "come quickly Prince Jason, Princess Sophie the Wardrobe holds an adventure new, one for me and why don't you join me too?"

The three children didn't hesitate into the Wardrobe they climbed, "where are we going today? do you know the way? Prince Jason chimed.

"The way is West" Prince Simon declared "to the Wild Wild West in the days that were best, in the morning I have a history test."

Quickly buckle up, hold tight, the wardrobe will soon be taking flight.

No sooner had they entered the wardrobe and buckled up, then the wardrobe began to rock and shake, the wardrobe began to lift and quake.

The rocket started rising higher and higher, faster and faster , picking up speed and going faster and faster.

Higher and higher, faster and faster they rose into the sky.

Higher and higher, faster and faster until they were 30,000 feet high and heading in the direction of the Wild Wild West.  
All three children were delighted, the rocket ship made them so excited.

Prince Jason and Princess Sophie said, " what do we need to wear on this adventure?"

Prince Simon said "cowboy hat, jeans, boots, and vest, that's all that's required for the wild wild west"

"mmm said Princess Sophie what about cowgirls or squaws that is what an Indian Girl is called"

"Well," said Prince Jason "their very similar, a cowhide dress, boots and Stetson hat for cowgirl, a cowhide dress, boots and feather headdress for the Squaw, let's look around and explore what the wardrobe has hidden for us all"

The children started looking and everything they required they did find Prince Simon and Prince Jason looked very fine as Cowboys with their hats, jeans, boots and vest they would fit right in, in the Wild Wild West.

Princess Sophie decided to dress as a Squaw and donned Cowhide dress, boots and feather headdress turned to her brothers to see if she passed the test.

"Perfect" Prince Simon and Prince Jason declared "come join us  now," they both said," it won't be long" Prince Simon stated "until we land back in time of the 1870's in Deadwood Gulch, USA, the Sheriff has a campaign to rid the county of its bad name "

Prince Jason and Princess Sophie were so excited they began to laugh and squeak, Princess Sophie did declare that "her knees were feeling weak"

10 minutes later the rocket had slowed down and was starting its' descent, Princess Sophie got so excited as she spied a teepee tent.

"Look" Princess Sophie shouted "a reservation down below, where Indians are settled and warm fires are all aglow"  

"Can we please stop and speak, I would like to ride a horse and a canoe, I have read stories and I know that's what they do, in the land of the Sioux!"

Slowly the rocket did descend, landing near the reservation, all three children opened the door, their eyes grew wider at what they saw.

5,000 Indians greeted the visitors with big smiles, and their leader, name of Crazy Horse asked them to join them for a while.
“Stay a while,” Crazy Horse said we’ll make some food, teach you to ride a horse ******* and a canoe, teach you the ways of the Sioux.

Princess Sophie replied, “we can’t wait” looking at the leader’s headdress Princess Sophie sighed “how come your headdress is as tall as it is wide?”

Crazy Horse smiled and sweetly said “I am a leader of these people and I do not hide; my headdress makes me stand out from others at my side”

Crazy Horse led the children to the teepee tent and signalled them to sit on the floor in front, cross-legged.

“We hunt daily for fish and meat, the food you are going to be given is precious and prepared with care, please do not wait, dig in, enjoy, there is enough to share”

Prince Simon, Prince Jason and Princess Sophie dived in enthusiastically, tasting everything, they could, from rice and beans, fish and meat, everything was so tasty and cooked in a *** hung over the wood.

“when you have finished “Crazy Horse declared we have horses ready for you to ride, don’t worry someone will walk with you at your side”

The children excitedly climbed upon their horses, Lakota for Prince Simon, Kamanchee for Prince Jason and Quil for Princess Sophie, they each clicked their heels and off the horses trot.

Just as Crazy Horse promised, each of the children had an Indian by their side, walking and talking about the best way to ride.

After an hour the children did decide that as much as they enjoyed it they had to end the ride.

Prince Simon said to Crazy Horse “thank you for your hospitality but we really must leave right now, we are meeting the Sheriff man of Deadwood Gulch” he said with a bow.

Crazy Horse bid them adieu and said, “say Hi to Wild Bill for me, last time I saw him he was wagon master”

The three children said their goodbyes and walked along the White River to their destination town, Deadwood Gulch.

Suddenly wooden huts appeared and horses pulling carriages, people and cargo shared the inside and Wells Fargo in writing on the outside.

Prince Simon, Prince Jason, and Princess Sophie looked around the town, found a sign that said Sheriff’s Office, rang the bell and entered.

Wild Bill Hickock with his long hair and Stetson hat, looked just as the children remembered from their history class.

“Hi,” said Wild Bill as he rose from his seat, stretched his hand out to greet the three children.

You must be Prince Simon, Prince Jason and Princess Sophie come to learn the ways of the Wild West before your history test.

“Yes” said Prince Simon, wildly shaking Wild Bills hand “we are delighted to meet you and lend a helping hand”

Wild Bill said, “follow me, I am about to take a walk, meet the local folk and welcome visitors to the town, would you like to tag along with me as I walk around?”

The three children agreed excitedly and followed behind, “First stop” said Wild Bill is the Post Office look for the Yellow sign”
“I see it,” said Princess Sophie as she ran across the street “let’s all go inside and meet the postmistress, make sure she’s got what she needs, if she requires any stationary we may have to place an order to arrive with speed”

“Next stop,” said Wild Bill “is the Blacksmiths down the road, if you are lucky he will show you how a horse is shoed”
The children watched quietly as the Blacksmith plied his trade, treating all of the horses to pairs of shoes fit for a parade.

“Last,” said Wild Bill “off to a rodeo we go, you will see cowboys riding their horses and using their lassoes and if your very lucky they will let you try it too”

Prince Simon, Prince Jason, and Princess Sophie were so excited they hardly said a word, watching the rodeo in silence, watching every move.
Finally, Wild Bill shouted from the side, “hands up who is keen to have a ride around the ranch? Try their hand with a lasso and maybe get some lunch.

The children’s hands shot up in the air and all three children gave a very loud cheer, Wild Bill laughed and replied, “Follow me and I will hook you up with three horses for a ride”

For the second time that day the children rode horses, this time in a circle around the corral, keeping time Wild Bill always by their side, they loved the ride.

Last but least Wild Bill put on a feast of a show with rope in his hand he threw the lasso over some cans set up on a fence, pulled the rope tight and without a second glance, felled the tins to the floor, the children let out an appreciative roar.

“That is the end of your day” Wild Bill did say “I am sorry to see you go but you must run along home, you’ve been gone a long time and your mummy will be worried”

The children shook Wild Bill's hand and thanked him for his time, sadly the day had ended and they climbed back in the wardrobe, set the destination to their home a million miles below.

As they approached their home, the roof started to open wide and the rocket began to slow, the ride was nearly over and they did not have far to go.

Very soon the wardrobe landed safely on the floor, the children were exhausted and ran to open the door, out they fell full of excitement and looking for their mummy, headed straight to the kitchen.

Mummy looked at all three children and declared “there you are, I was searching for Prince Simon as he has a history test in the morning on the Wild Wild West and I was going to help him revise for it.

The children laughed and cried, Princess Sophie, sighed, “no need mummy” they all declared “we know all about it, we’ve all been there”

Prince Simon said “Can we just have some tea and go straight to bed, I promise I have all the knowledge of the Wild Wild West clearly in my head, at least enough to pass the test.”

Of course said Mummy wash your hands, tea is ready.
If you have children, you may wish to know this is now available as a book. As is the Two Princes and a Princess fly to the Moon
THE Roaring Tinker if you like,
But Mannion is my name,
And I beat up the common sort
And think it is no shame.
The common breeds the common,
A lout begets a lout,
So when I take on half a score
I knock their heads about.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
All Mannions come from Manannan,
Though rich on every shore
He never lay behind four walls
He had such character,
Nor ever made an iron red
Nor soldered *** or pan;
His roaring and his ranting
Best please a wandering man.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
Could Crazy Jane put off old age
And ranting time renew,
Could that old god rise up again
We'd drink a can or two,
And out and lay our leadership
On country and on town,
Throw likely couples into bed
And knock the others down.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.

II
My name is Henry Middleton,
I have a small demesne,
A small forgotten house that's set
On a storm-bitten green.
I scrub its floors and make my bed,
I cook and change my plate,
The post and garden-boy alone
Have keys to my old gate.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
Though I have locked my gate on them,
I pity all the young,
I know what devil's trade they learn
From those they live among,
Their drink, their pitch-and-toss by day,
Their robbery by night;
The wisdom of the people's gone,
How can the young go straight?
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
When every Sunday afternoon
On the Green Lands I walk
And wear a coat in fashion.
Memories of the talk
Of henwives and of queer old men
Brace me and make me strong;
There's not a pilot on the perch
Knows I have lived so long.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.

III
Come gather round me, players all:
Come praise Nineteen-Sixteen,
Those from the pit and gallery
Or from the painted scene
That fought in the Post Office
Or round the City Hall,
praise every man that came again,
Praise every man that fell.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
Who was the first man shot that day?
The player Connolly,
Close to the City Hall he died;
Catriage and voice had he;
He lacked those years that go with skill,
But later might have been
A famous, a brilliant figure
Before the painted scene.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
Some had no thought of victory
But had gone out to die
That Ireland's mind be greater,
Her heart mount up on high;
And yet who knows what's yet to come?
For patrick pearse had said
That in every generation
Must Ireland's blood be shed.
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.
Benji James Dec 2019
VERSE ONE
Can't shake the feeling
when I look at you
in the front seat
And see you smiling 

And then you glance 
back at me lovingly 

I love the sound of your voice

As you turn up the volume dial

To sing out loud really proud

I love the way you make me feel

CHORUS
You can take control
Of my stereo
As long as I can ride with you
We can go wherever you want to
As long as I can ride with you
Into the city, out to the country
Along the coastal roads
You can take control
Of my stereo
As long as I can ride with you

VERSE TWO
I've got one hand on the wheel
As you put your hand in mine
And there's no other place
I'd rather be but by your side
Whether it's on a late-night drive
Or a scenic cruise through the day
We can have the windows down
Let your hair flow in the wind
Or windows up with the A/C on
Blowing a gentle breeze
It's all your choice baby

CHORUS
You can take control
Of my stereo
As long as I can ride with you
We can go wherever you want to
As long as I can ride with you
Into the city, out to the country
Along the coastal roads
You can take control
Of my stereo
As long as I can ride with you

VERSE THREE
Tell me, girl
Where would you like to go tonight
Do you have a place in mind
Or should we let the stars be our guide
Tell me, girl, would you like to take a drive with me tonight
I like the way the music lights up your face
When your favourite song comes on
I like the way you sing along
To every word through every verse
I love every moment spent with you
This is why I'm so in love with you

CHORUS
You can take control
Of my stereo
As long as I can ride with you
We can go wherever you want to
As long as I can ride with you
Into the city, out to the country
Along the coastal roads
You can take control
Of my stereo
As long as I can ride with you
deyrah Jul 2019
If wishes were horses, than i hope yhu ride and never come back, move away and never turn back. If wishes were horses I'll ride to the land where there z no yhu, and catch a flu. If wishes were horses, i hope yhu ride to yhur own doom. I hope yhu get neglected like yhu did me and scatter like a bunch of broom, if wishes were horse i hope yhu never get to ride! If wishes were horses i should ride away from yhu and everything yhu stand for. If wishes were horse I'd wish for yhu to meet someone who will treat yhu the exact same way yhu did me, and drench yhu in an unending agony, so yhu can know nothingness. If wishes were horses I'll ride into the past and take yhur ability to wish! If wishes were horse I'd hope yhu ride, turn and twitch! If wishes were horses, i pray yhu ride out of yhur happiness and bump into this pain yhu left behind while taking this route... If wishes were horses i hope yhu ride into the wish that'll undo the wish i made, for yhu to be mine. If wishes were horse I'd like to make an empty wish and just let the horse roam free! And because of yhu... If wishes were horses...
   I'll **** my horse! So i may never ride again, or wish! Cause anything right now, z better than yhu!
STANLEY HENDRIX Apr 2014
Standing by the rodeo bleachers a cowboy named Stan
Watches the penned bulls with his bull rope in his hand.
The cowboy is trying to get his nerves to subside
Because his turn is next for his eight second ride.

The cowboy freezes and stares in awe,
As he hears the announcement of his luck of the draw.
The cowboy’s fear flows like the ebbing tide.
He tilts his hat and plans his eight second ride.

The bull he has drawn is mean and wild.
This cowboy has drawn a monster named Flower Child.
The cowboy stares at the majestic creature in the shoot;
He knows if he can stay on this bull, he will win all the loot.

The cowboy moves toward his nemesis with a long fast stride.
He climbs on the gate and readies himself for his eight second ride.
Flower Child is also ready and dances side to side with pride,
Ready to make this seem like the longest ever of his eight second rides.

The cowboy slowly mounts Flower Child from the side,
Wraps the rope around his hand and raises the other to signal ready for his eight second ride.
There aren’t many rules that the cowboy must abide,
But he must keep his free hand up and high for his eight second ride.

ONE: The bull jumps from the shoot all four legs off the ground.
Before its legs touch down Flower Child has spun completely around.
TWO: Airborne again Flower Child turns to the left and jumps to the right.
After a complete spin his hind legs hit the ground with a jolting might.

THREE: Jumping up, the bull comes down like a charge of TNT causing the cowboy to slide.
Trying to keep his balance and not end his ride, the cowboy shifts from side to side.
FOUR: Flower Child spins in a circle, like a dog chasing its tail,
As he turns, his hind legs kick up trying to make the cowboy bail.

FIVE: Flower Child, as if set to music, dances to and fro,
Jumping up and down he tries to give the cowboy a throw.
SIX: Moving left then spinning right the bull become airborne.
The cowboy is thrown forward, very close to the horns.

SEVEN: Flower Child begins to spin, spin, spin.
The cowboy’s hat flies off in the wind.
EIGHT: The sound of the whistle hits his ear,
And now there is a new fear.

The cowboy sits on top of this beast all alone.
There is no escape, there is no help; he must get off this monster on his own.
With the bull flying high, the cowboy throws his leg to the side.
In a cloud of dust he hits the dirt hard ending his eight second ride.

The bull snorts and saliva flies as he charges the cowboy that’s down,
But he is intercepted by a wild and crazy colorful clown.
Running, the cowboy grabs his hat and into the fence he collides.
On the other side of the fence he dust himself off and gets ready for his next eight second ride.

STANLEY HENDRIX
05/2008
Jon Eric Dufrene Jul 2015
May all who i have lost ride with me
Their hands steady on my shoulder
I ride for them though they not know
that when i ride it isn't for show
I ride for the escape, to flee my chains
To ride the wind and outrun the rain
I ride for being greatful i am still alive
and am saddened for all who never try
And on a sunny day within a mile
i drop a tear or two above a sly smile
To ride is to honor the thrill within
Acknowledge the fear and accepting it in
and if i lay over or my rear stray away
let my allies of angels rite my way
Jordan Hudson Jul 2019
I be rolling in my ride
My Maserati so fine
Polished and clean
Better then it seems
Got the white paint
Limo tint
You can't
See inside
Up in my ride
I can hide
In my ride
Maserati so fine
I be rolling in my ride
My Maserati so fine
Maserati
Sedan
I can
Flex on haters
Waiters, dream seekers
Follow me to the end
And we will reach goals
Beat dreams
As a team
Let's go
I be rolling in my ride
My Maserati so fine
Polished and clean
Better then it seems
Got the white paint
Limo tint
You can't
See inside
Up in my ride
I can hide
In my ride
Maserati so fine
I be rolling in my ride
My Maserati so fine
All polished and white
Maserati so fine
Maserati my ride
Driving in the night
Let's go for a ride
In my Maserati so fine
Styles Sep 2015
have you ride it,
teach you how to move your hips, as it slide it,
between your lips until you hide it,
press against entrance -  guide it deep inside
the tip brushing up against your insides
pressing your walls apart as it glides
rolling your hips as you roll your eyes
I tighten my grip on your hips and then you slide
like a wave against the current our bodies astride
rocking back and fourth, whining side to side
watching you ride before closing my eyes -
enjoying the joy ride as I come
satisfying my craving to be inside
deep inside, feeling it pressing against your stomach and you love it
grip your thighs the look in your eyes reads divine
goose bumps running like a up-n-down your spine
our universes converse then our stars collide
Haylin Apr 2018
have you ride it,
teach you how to move your hips, as it slide it,
between your lips until you hide it,
press against entrance -  guide it deep inside
the tip brushing up against your insides
pressing your walls apart as it glides
rolling your hips as you roll your eyes
I tighten my grip on your hips and then you slide
like a wave against the current our bodies astride
rocking back and fourth, whining side to side
watching you ride before closing my eyes -
enjoying the joy ride as I come
satisfying my craving to be inside
deep inside, feeling it pressing against your stomach and you love it
grip your thighs the look in your eyes reads divine
goose bumps running like a up-n-down your spine
our universes converse then our stars collide
Cecil Miller Feb 2016
There was a woman with an ecclesiastic body.
I found out I was just one member of its congregation.
She was a soothsayer when the lights were down,
When she proved she was a succubus -
But what the ****, I've never been a saint.
She put the screws to me.

She used to belong to another man.
Now she's putting me through my paces.
If I had paid attention to the signs,
I could have seen my fate before it happened.

There was this dude I knew who was hard pressed.
I thought I might could offer him a place to crash for awhile,
So he could get his **** together.
Apparently demons have an appetite for gutter ****.

They took a ride in my ride,
And didn't forget my checkbook.
They didn't neglect to clean my house
Of nearly everything inside.
It was just a reminder,
Cause it really ain't no surprise.

That there's a burning lake
And gnashing on flesh,
Yeah, it's nothing but any empty, cold black well.
It's a Godless place,
You're on your own.
There ain't no honor among thieves.
Remember this,
There are no friends in Hell.

There are accusations to bring me down,
It's like I'm already dead.
They throw down their gauntlets,
They make every pledge.
I don't trust a word they say.
They're liers and deceivers.
All they want is whatever they can get.

They prey on fools and their believers.
They'll prophesy, then pass you by
Unless you've got an edge,
The dusty demons, dryer than a dessert segde.

They took a ride in my ride,
And didn't forget my checkbook.
They didn't neglect to clean my house
Of nearly everything inside.
It's just a reminder, but it really ain't no surprise.

That there's a burning lake
And gnashing on flesh,
Yeah, it's nothing but any empty, cold black well.
It's a Godless place,
You're on your own.
There ain't no honor among thieves.
Remember this,
There are no friends in Hell.

She never failed to cause me woe.
But, I'm not an innocent soul.
I guess what goes around,
Comes back around.
When it's harvest time, they'll know,
They done ****** with the wrong one.
Everybody reaps what they sow.

They took a ride in my ride,
And didn't forget my checkbook.
They didn't neglect to clean my house
Of nearly everything inside.
It's just a reminder, but it really ain't no surprise.

That there's a burning lake
And gnashing on flesh,
Yeah, it's nothing but any empty, cold black well.
It's a Godless place,
You're on your own.
There ain't no honor among thieves.
Remember this,
There are no friends in Hell

There is no such thing as kindness here.
I'll save troubles for another day,
They only multiply.

The more I see, the more I know
That strumpets belong with urchins.
They never will know,
Until they are each other's paroxysm,
But even then, they won't care.

No good deed is without a price to pay.

They took a ride in my ride,
And didn't forget my checkbook.
They didn't neglect to clean my house
Of nearly everything inside.
It's just a reminder, but it really ain't no surprise.

That there's a burning lake
And gnashing on flesh,
Yeah, it's nothing but any empty, cold black well.
It's a Godless place,
You're on your own.
There ain't no honor among thieves.
Remember this,
There are no friends in Hell.
Last night my song writing partner(I do the Lyrics, he works up the music)  gave me the proverb "There Are No Friends in Hell" and asked me to write a treatment for another hard rock tune. He loves to rip on guitar. We talked many concepts. I reference some of the elements as a starting point, and built the lyrics from inside out.
I figured people don't get to hell by being good people. So the guy in my song is not an innocent victom. He kind of stole a woman from another guy, and in turn, she and another guy ends up ******* him over big time.
As soon as I could get home, nearly midnight, I wrote this piece. I retain ownership of the lyrics. I posted it to hellopoetry as soon as I finished it, around 1:36 the next morning. It is purposely jagged and rough because I wanted to leave a wide option for vocal styling, wailing, growling, moaning or screaming. We will make it fit whatever music he has in mind.
Initially, I wanted our collaborations to be more jazzy and r&b; routed, but our styles are kind of rubbing off on each other. Since all rock music comes from the same place, they fold well into each other.
*one final note - this song has to be very edgy if it is going to work. When you build a song around a cliche, it could easily become campy, or could be a "send up" comedic piece instead of being gritty. Sometimes I like the tounge-in-cheak outlandish approach and work toward an over-the-top affect. This is not the case with this song. It is a little thematic, but I think the real cleaverness is that hidden within the occasional expletives, the deeper subtlety of ****** innuindo can be found if you want to look for it. It is not really hidden.
Destiny C Apr 2019
"You're next up"

Anxiety,
Doubt,
And ultimately the inevitable reality of what's to come fills your head.

You're next up on life's rollercoaster ride,
but you don't know what lays ahead.
You hear the laughter,
screams,
and shouts,
but you don't see it yet.
You don't know what it's about.
Instead of enjoying the wait -
you stand there,
guessing your fate.

But now it's your time.

"Sit tight"

"Keep your arms and feet inside the ride at all times"

So you buckle in -
Not quite ready,
and as the ride takes off,
you sit back steady.
You laugh as you go up & down,
side & around.
The exhilaration of moving at such speeds,
seem to be all you really need.

But then you **** too hard -
Arms and legs nearly flailing outside the ride.
You begin to feel scared,
but you have too much pride.

Then you drop down 400 feet,
the only thing the leaves your body is a deafening scream.
Fear,
Anxiety,
And uncertainty of your willpower to finish this ride set in.

You didn't know you would feel so scared,
when you chose to begin.
And just as you calm down,
another drop happens,
making you wish you'd  hit the ground,
just to escape this rollercoaster ride.
Because buckled in,
there is nowhere to hide.
You wait for it to get better,
but it only gets worse.
You start crying and seeing visions of a hearse.
You see one last loop ahead,
wondering if this is when you'll be pronounced dead.

But you make it through,
upside down and all,
only seeing good things ahead -
so now you're glad you didn't fall.

The rest of the ride is smooth sailing,
no drops,
no arms flailing.
Just the wonders of life taking you to new heights,
but you're no longer scared.
You've been through all the terrors & frights.

So when it's all over,
said & done,
you can look back at the rollercoaster.
With pride now,
instead of fear,
encouraging the young who dare to travel near.
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life


times are tough
more than ever;
bills come at the speed of bullets
taxes gather like summer flies
and debts ricochet against our walls;
the banks want more and more
but there's just air in our pockets


hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life


the jobs dry up and
the dollars dwindle into cents;
permanent becomes temp
and temp becomes non-existent;
full-time goes into part-time
and part-time into casual
and casual into zilch


hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life


nature conspires with the economy,
sweetheart:
she sends rains and fire and landslides;
she claws sands off the beaches and
all we have left are
government ******* and *******
who care a hoot about our fish and chips


hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life


time's not on our side either, sweetheart;
mind you, with mighty puffed cheeks
he blows H1N1 flu round the globe
and so sends people and customers away
and those who remain turn cheap and nasty
and all these pigs want are discounts and freebies


hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life


the collection agencies are knocking, dear -
it sounds much like the knock of death
in Beethoven's ninth;
the mortgage barbarians are on their horses
and they send writs and auction threats
and re-possessions


hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life


O hang on, sweetheart,
hang on tight:
many will fall, many will bleed
but those who hang on tight
and those who can love
those who can dream together
they will ride the nights out into clear day


hang on tight, baby -
keep your senses wide
for we're going on a roller-coaster ride;
scream as much
but just hang on tight, baby -
hang on for dear life
a song for our times, that is, during this world credit crunch (1st published online 2009/05/31)
A bicycle is the most efficient transportation machine.  A little input and I’m gliding, moving a useful measurable distance but more than that. I like going fast enough so the wind in my ears is louder than my thoughts.  On a tough day I like riding until I can be grateful again; sometimes that takes a couple hours but every ride is a good ride.

My youth’s independence was a banana seat Huffy pulled from an under-appreciated pile of rust in the back of St. Vincent’s Thrift Shop.  No school bus meant riding to school, the first 45 minutes of every day in all weather. Afternoons were exploring detours; summers were expeditions to the city limits, sometimes beyond.  I needed an upgrade for high school; I found a spotless antique 3 speed Raleigh, the cultural English workhorse collecting dust in an unlikely garage for $50.

I kept it through two foster homes. The first one kept me busy with farm chores, but the second was back in town. There, I had the bike back, and as an aside, they had a phenomenally sophisticated wall sized sound system: reel-to-reel and amazing headphones. I would forget myself in records: Sgt. Peppers, Genesis, Yes, etc, and another favorite. Just a guitar and piano instrumental album with a simple melody called Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter. Something about that one song in particular I heard faint glimmerings of contentment that was denied to me.  I would replay it to cling to this hint of a simple happiness I didn’t understand; that if it was in the song, it was somewhere deep in me.
Without a car for 10 years, one used 10-speed or another got me to various eccentric jobs.  

Fast forward to the life-changer, after a divorce. Needing to reconnect with myself, I searched for a decent bike. I found it hanging dusty in the back of a cluttered boutique shop smelling of tire rubber, quiet with racers’ confidence. They had a Lemond thoroughbred on consignment, assembled custom 5 years earlier to race. It was slightly outdated, but a dent on the top tube put it out to pasture. It was steel though, so rideable enough for me.  My entire $300 savings and it was mine. Then I discovered the special pedals needed special shoes, so another month saving for those.  I wasn’t going to wear those silly spiderman outfits, until I started to ride more than 10 miles and my **** demanded it.  And those pockets in the back of the shirt were handy.  I met a friend who taught me how to draft: my skinny wheel a few inches behind the bike in front at 20 mph, to save precious energy in the slipstream. Truly dangerous, vulnerable, and effectively blinded; but he pointed at the ground with various hand signals to warn of upcoming road hazards. I was touched by this wordless language of trust and camaraderie. This innate concern is essential to the sport, even among competitors, so it seems to attract quality people I liked.  My new life expanded with friends.

I discovered biking exercise could stabilize the life-long effects of brain injury, lost some weight, grew stronger, and started setting goals.  First longer group rides, then a century (100 miles in one ride), then mountain biking: epic fun in nature, unadulterated happiness.  Then novice racing, then the next category up with a team, then a triathlon.  It became an admitted obsession but I won a pair of socks or bike parts every now and then.  Eventually tattooed two bike chains around my ankle, one twisted and the other broken.  I loved the lifestyle, and had truly reinvented and rediscovered myself.

A 500 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles with fellow wounded veterans helped dissipate the old shame from the military.  I had joined the ride to raise money for a good cause.  I respected the program and knew personally that cycling had changed my life.  They turned out to be inspiring, helping me more than I could have helped them.  Some had only just started riding a bike for only a few weeks, some were amputees fit with special-made adapters on regular bikes, some had no legs using hand cycles.  They all joined on to the task of riding 500 miles. No one whined, and helping each other finish the day was the only goal.  While riding with them, I began to open up about my experience.  I found a few others who also had TBI, and we could laugh about similar mishaps.  The other veterans didn’t judge me about anything, like when I was injured, the nature of my disability, how much I did or didn’t accomplish. I had signed up just like them, had to recover back to a functioning life just like them.  It was the first time in my life that whole chapter in my life was accepted; I wasn't odd, and they helped close the shame on that old chapter.  (Thank you, R2R.)  The next year I took a 1500 mile self-supported bike trip through western mountain ranges with my husband and soulmate, whom I had met mt. biking.

There was one late Spring day, finally warm after a long winter, when I just wanted to ride for a few hours by myself.  No speedometer or training intervals, just enjoy the park road winding under the trees. I had downloaded some new music on the IPod, a sampler from the library.  I felt happy.  Life is Good.  Rounding a bend by the river, coasting through sunbeams sparkling the park’s peaceful road, my earphones unexpectedly played Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter.  I hadn’t heard that simple guitar tune in three decades.  My God, time suddenly disappeared.  I was right back in the forgotten foster home, listening for the faint silver threads of the contentment I was feeling at this very moment on the bike.  The full force of this sudden connection, the wholeness of the life and unity of myself in one epiphany, brought me to tears. I found myself pouring my heart into praying hang in there, girl, hang in there, you’ll find it and I felt my younger self hearing echoes of birds singing in new green leaves.
Terry Collett Jul 2012
Jim’s younger sister
Followed you everywhere
and stood watching

as you rode the old car
around the field
or whizzed around

on their motorbike
to the cheers and shouts
from the fence

Monica why don’t you
go off and play
Jim said

yes
said Pete
her other brother

go play with your dolls
go take a run and jump
she said

and still stood watching you
her eyes fixed on you
like wasps on a jam jar

I want to watch him ride
she said
and stood with her hands

on her hips
waiting until you stopped
the bike and got off

and wandered over to you
and said
I like the way you ride

like how you sway
and swerve on the bike
and you smiled at her

and took in
her short stature
her dark eyes

her determined expression
and as Pete rode off
on the bike

and Jim stood
on the fence
calling to him

Monica put her hand in yours
and said
wish you were my brother

I know you’d let me ride
the bike or car
and not tease me

or bawl me out
I guess I would
let you ride the bike or car

you said
and sensed
her small hand in yours

her thumb rubbing
against your skin
but seeing

as you’re not my brother
she whispered
maybe you could

marry me one day
and we could ride off
into the sunset

like they do in the movies
in Jim’s old car
yes sure maybe

you said
knowing inside
that’d be a bridge too far.
jeffrey robin Jul 2015
"                                                                ­                                    



                                                             )
(                                                  
                                        )
(                     ­     
)
\/
/\
/   \

##         ##

                                                           ( like the wild ponies ride )

::

~~             ~~

Bold  

                                                            ( heart of pure pride )

//              //                                  

oh  sweet day

Please

Honor my true intentions

Tell those who call My Name

That I am surely on My Way

:::

come YE cow girl !
Come YE cow boy !

There's so much pain

The rivers are dry

And love is a weakness

Just a cheap place to hide

People huddled in fear

Just waiting to die

//

We come out of the sadness

And return unto Life

/:/

Ride

Ride

Ride cowboys ride

Ride the wild ponies

Into the light

Ride the wild ponies

(I'll see you tonight )

//
In the love of creation

Free and so mild
Julia Betancourt Feb 2019
This train ride
Is the only thing that connects us now
It is the only thing left that’s running
From me to you
It is the only thing that’s still moving

For once I am back,
I am not leaving again
Once I am home
I am not leaving it behind

I made this mistake once
Of thinking I could have left
Everything that killed me
That tortured me and pursued me
All of the pain that subdued me
But escape isn’t possible for the thing
That is in me
You need to know, my love
Because I know, now
This pain created me

And I owe it to this pain to let it destroy me

See I am sitting and I can tell something isn’t right
This train moves too quick and the breaks seem too tight
And as a whole the train itself is shaking to be loose
And if this train tips over, there is nothing you or I can do

We have to let this happen
We have to let us die
I keep thinking of how many people are on here
With more valuable lives than mine

It’s not because I’m lonely
And it’s not because I’m me
It’s because even back in my small space there with you
I’m so insignificantly free

I’m going back
Because I realize this is all I’ve known
This feeling of being nothing
Makes it so much more plausible

Makes it so much easier to understand
I have lived this way forever
And it only makes sense
To go back to feel it there

It only makes sense
To leave you behind
Because if I take you with me
Then we’re both going to die

This train ride
Is the only thing that connects us now
These tracks that run through the one island we’re on
You are on my island, the island I’ve lived on my whole life
And there’s so much of it you haven’t seen
And there’s so little you know of me

Your entire life in a different state
Is my entire life with you here
Because although you have come to me
You know nothing of what I used to be

You know nothing of what I’ve done,
What I’ve become
Where I’m going
What I want
In this life that keeps insisting otherwise

I realize this train is my lifeline
Once it stops, the movie is over
The song is done
And there are no more wonders about
If we’ll ever be something

No more worrying
No more drinking
No more thinking of me
But never being open to talking

Maybe you don’t think of me
As much, I thought you did
I thought you would
I thought I could do it

I thought I could do this

This train ride
Is like my veins in my body
Like the alcohol that runs throughout his sitting next to me
I am looking away from him and pretending it is you, instead
I am pretending the smell
Is the taste and array of your breath
This is our connection
Watch it go, farther away

Watch it disappear
Watch it get smaller and smaller
Watch it move on to something other
Than what’s always been right here

Watch it sway, watch it crumble
This train is me
And I realize you’ll be sad
You didn’t get to see it leave

Once I am done,
I am not starting over again
Once I am here,
I am not ever leaving

Once I am alone,
I have pounded this road in, jack
Once I am home,
I am not coming back
Joe Cole Feb 2015
Traveling in the last hours of darkness
Down this long and dusty road
Looking up I see the moon so full
On her journey through the night

I want to leave my earth bound life
And on her take a ride
For she is traveling westward
And would take me to your side

I continue on my lonely way
The sound of road noise in my ears
But if I could ride upon that golden orb
It would wipe away the years

To ride the road of the milky way
To your side where I belong
No radio or CD playing
Just the sound of angels songs

Is it just a dream I'm dreaming
Or could it become reality
To be with you my own sweet love
Just us, just you, just me
Val Vik May 2015
Night's a sweat,
I'm breaking wet
Love's a thrill
O can't you feel

The thrill you feel
When you hear...

Bikes rumble down the road 2x

Tubs up high
I need a ride
Someone who can ride all night

The wind blows
And there he goes
Free spirit biker
You got a hitchhiker

Ride me all night long
Ride me x2
Ride me some more
Ride me x2
Ride me all night long

The trill you feel
When you hear

Bikes rumble down the road 2x

He got a thunder steel
On his motor machine
Come on! Ride me dear

Round and Round we go
The dragons screeching sound

Those long long hair
The smile that we share
We'll last forever
It's only fair

The trill you feel
When you hear

Bikes rumble down the road 2x
Song (Ride Me version 2)
I'm on a train.

One of those red ones with black trimmed windows you can imagine rolling through the suburbs on the way to NYC. Not a subway car but a classier vintage with proper rows of cushioned seats and a lever to pull if there is an emergency. There are sparse shrubberies on one side of the tracks and the ocean on the other. Young trees and bushes stroll by.  A little wind is pushing off the ocean, massaging the car ever so gently back and forth as we move along. A gentle click-clack is on the tips of our ears.

We got on together. I hadn't known you for very long but the connection was stronger than anything I had ever felt or have since. You practically sat on top of me for the first few miles. Couldn't keep your hands off me,  staring in my eyes like you were searching for something lost but you couldn't remember what. The edges of your lips turned upwards permanently as if you were always at the verge of a laugh. You interlaced my fingers with yours and held on like you would be ripped away if your grip loosened for even a second. Slender fingers holding so tightly that they were becoming red.

You were excited to to be riding with me, about where we were going and all the things we would do when we got there. I would see you peer out of the corner of your eye, then lean over to brush your soft cheek against my budding stubble. Kissing and gently biting my lips insatiably. The suns rays coming in at an angle and lighting up your perfect smile and dimple.

I had to remind you we were in public.

I was lost in your blonde curls and the incense of your neck. I had fallen incredibly hard and so fast that my face hurt from smiling and my heart beat with vibrations I had never known. Not even a whiff of anxiety or neurosis. Some of the best memories of my life, as fleeting as they turned out to be.

I yawned and you put your finger in my mouth. I bent over to tie my shoe and you would poke my **** and laugh with your own reflection in the window, like this was the first and best joke of all time. Maybe it was and maybe it is.

The waiter came and informed us that a thing called "the bar car" existed. We both jumped at the idea. I didn't exactly notice at the time, during our excitement, but that's when the train started going faster and everything out the windows began to blur.

The bar car was a wild ride and we took advantage of our lo'cal. All kinds of fine wine, liquors and illicit substances were available. We tried them all. You were beautiful, your laugh infecting everyone around you, I was charming and held a captive audience.   It was a dark, loud and glorious blur. We were the life of the party and it chugged on till dawn.

We woke up in our seats, disheveled and discombobulated. It was dark out already. Did we sleep through the entire day? The train was slowing down, maybe approaching a station. The party was amazing but we were certainly paying the price for the black out. You moved over to the seat across from me to have some more space and lay down. I saw myself in the reflection. My hat, charm and smile from the night before had vanished. I must have left them in the bar car the night before.
      You had changed, beauty uninterrupted but different somehow. I couldn't put my finger on it. Irritated maybe? I invited you to cuddle and battle the hangover together but you ignored me. Like you couldn't hear me or didn't want to. I decided to let you be.

I got up to use the bathroom and thought I would go look for my scattered belongings. Maybe I could find a scrap of leftover dignity while you rested. I inquired to the conductor who directed me to the bartender in the bar car. He hadn't changed a bit, somehow untouched and unaffected by last nights antics that had effected me so dramatically.  Same black suspenders and white pressed shirt with impeccably slicked hair. I asked him what happened and if I had an open tab. While slowly polishing a rocks glass he looked up and made eye contact for a split second before looking away.
He said:  "Oh the bar car takes its toll. In the end we all end up paying one way or another". I still don't know what he meant by that or if he knew.
      I asked him if he found my hat and he said he would check the camera. We walked in to a small back room, while he was reviewing the tape, over his shoulder I noticed a tragedy.

We were drunk. I was going on to a group of new friends on one side of the bar, they were hanging on my words and I was eagerly explaining whatever nonsense they were drooling over. You were in the corner wearing that red dress I love, with your hair up in a tight bun. A few curls had escaped and brushed your high cheekbones, a thin line of pearls dancing delicately across your perfectly symmetrical collar. You were stunning and inebriated, swaying with each bump and motion of the train. A man wearing my hat put his hand on your side to keep you from swaying over and then he left it there.
I took a sharp breath.

It looked like you put your hand on his hand to move it but then it stayed and you both swayed together. As the air left my lungs and the blood drained out of my face I watched your lips touch the strangers. A small piece of my soul slipped away forever. I couldn't watch any further. When I asked the bartender how long it went on he fidgeted for a moment and uncomfortably muttered "quite some time". I never found my hat or the other part of me that left that day.  

The train slowed. I walked to the back, as far away from you as I could get, in utter disbelief. How could you? I thought to myself.
I mourned the loss of the you as I knew you yesterday, quietly and to myself. A tear  escaped my eye and rolled down my now fully formed stubble as I fell in to a random seat in mild shock. There were a few passengers back there so I had to pull together relatively quickly. After gaining some composure I knew it was time to get off. I knew we could never get back to yesterday morning though I would have said or done anything to do so.

The train had stopped. I went back to my seat and you were sleeping. I took my coat and gathered my things. The conductor looked at me confused as to why I would leave something so magnificent, I assume he had no idea what had transpired.   

I walked to the rear of the car and slid the door open slower than required. I stepped to the stairs and put one foot down on the step and the other on the ground. I stopped, rooted with my hand on the railing, lingering between two very different paths.
     I knew that it was time to get off, I knew this was the sensible thing to do, that I couldn't get past this offense regardless of how I had felt earlier the day before. The whistle screamed from the locomotive. The conductor looked at me and shook his head, I'm not sure if he was trying to tell me to stay or go but a decision had to be made.

The train lurched forward and I watched as the station slip away slowly. I sat in between the cars for a while and watched the ocean and birds. With a heavy heart and shoes I walked back to my seat. You were waiting. Crying. You knew. The bartender had told you. You didn't mean do do it, didn't realize what you were doing and thought it was me. He was wearing my hat and the whole world was blurry and dark.

I believed you. Self anguish mixed with alcohol was dripping from your pores. I knew you didn't mean it and were drunk, but could I ever forgive you or trust you again?

I loved you still.

I caught a glimpse of my reflection, a weaker version of myself looked back. As if an invisible chip in my teeth had developed and my shoulders lowered. The charming, confident man from the bar car the day before had been replaced. Something was off but not enough for anyone else to notice, just enough to know a change has happened.
       The train started to pick up speed again as we distanced ourselves from the station.  I second guessed my decision to stay but I didn't look back.

I found the man with my hat and punished him with a few blows in the dark. He knew he ****** up, apologized and took the beating like a man. I never got the hat back.

The engineer announced that we would be going through a tunnel soon and to turn on our lights and keep our hands in the windows.

It would be dark.  

We stayed away from the bar car for a while but the draw was irresistible. After a few hours we were there again but you never left my side.  Then you did. I was looking for you but you would disappear and not answer me when I called you name. The tunnel went deeper and darker and I didn't know where you were and I suspected you liked it that way. The train began to slow down again as we exited the tunnel.

I finally found you back at our seat, you had moved one row away from me. I asked you to come back, tried to hold your hands but you pulled away with vehemence. When I came back from the bathroom you had moved another row farther.
I knew I was losing you.
I begged you to return but you told me calmly that it was time for you to get off. At some point in the tunnel you had decided that you didn't want to go anymore . Your mind was made. You were going to catch another train at the next station.

When the train stopped I thought for sure you would reconsider but you didn't. Didn't even give it a thought. You just grabbed your coat and hat with one big bag under your arm. You kissed me on the cheek like a french stranger and were off. Going somewhere else on a different train. Just like that.

I rode the rails for quite some time by myself , many people getting on and getting off, passing me by. Every once in a while I would think I saw you at a station or in a **** though the window of another train. I often thought I could smell you but when I breathed deeper it was always gone. A ghost dancing on the edge of my senses.

A young girl in a headband got on the train. She was listening to headphones and dancing to herself as she bobbed along. She sat down in the seat next to me flashing a smile. She had a wedding ring on and I dismissed her immediately.  She didn't move from the seat or stop glancing my way. Eventually she confessed that she wanted to talk. I told her I wasn't interested but she persisted.  I hadn't talked to anyone on the train for quite some time and after some more mild persistence, I gave in.

We had a lot in common. We were both riding alone, desperately wanted attention and were thrilled to receive some.  After a few laughs she slid her hand in to mine and interlaced her fingers. I left it there. It was warm, comforting and wrong. She was married but I had been riding alone so long it felt good to have some company. She stayed and we talked. She was broken and I had a knack for fixing things. After a few hours of dramatic conversation I fell asleep with her head on my shoulder.

When I woke up  the train was flying up the track on the side of a mountain. Trees and rocks were a blur of green and grey. The engineer must be trying to make up for lost time I thought to myself.

The girl was asleep with her head on my lap. I looked down at her hand and the rings were gone. I woke her briefly to ask where they went. She said she didn't need them anymore and had thrown  them out the window.  She could of sold them, I said, but she said she just wanted them gone so she could be mine and fell back to sleep.  All of a sudden I couldn't breath. This train was roaring down the tracks, the once gentle click clack had become a loud hum. Suddenly too loud. This girl in my lap who had just gotten on the train wanted to stay. I considered her for a while as she looked up at me with big blue eyes, shining and wet, like a puppy in the shelter, terrified of rejection and desperate to be adopted.

At the peak of the mountain, just when the train began to even out, you waltzed back in to the car with a champagne flute in one hand and your bag in the other.

I don't know when or where you got back on, must have been a few stations ago when I stopped looking for you. Maybe you were wearing a disguise, who knows what you had been up to while you were gone. I'm not sure how long you were away but it was quite some time. That you had been through something was obvious, a new wrinkle had formed on your brow and you're once confident stride had changed to a cautious stroll. What actually happened out there I don't know.  I never asked and I don't want answers.

You looked at me and smiled. It was good to see that smile, like sun on my face on a brisk day.  You took a step toward me and then I looked down in my lap at the girl at the same time you did. I looked up. You and your smile were gone.

Everything I had begun to feel for this broken, head banded girl in my lap dried up like a puddle in  the dessert.  I quietly and gently nudged her awake and told her I had to use the bathroom. She put her head down on my coat and fell back into what ever trance she had been in, eyelids gently fluttering, eyes searching beneath them for what I would never give her.

I dashed up the isle and threw open the door, almost shattering the glass. The conductor glared at me and rolled his eyes as I barged past to the space between the cars.

There you were. Standing on the stairs with your head out the opening. The wind was blowing your perfectly formed curls around your head like a blonde explosion of familiarity. I yelled your name and you dove in to me. My senses erupted, my mind went numb as the train was nearing another station and I inhaled your essence greedily.

We moved to another car. I abandoned my coat with the married girl and never looked back. I hope she found what she was looking for. I  never could have been the answer she was so desperately seeking but I know I  helped steer her towards it.

You told me you had encountered some other people out there on the rails and they had reminded you of what we had when we first left the station. I never forgot.  

The train started to rock and get going again. We were back in the bar car and starting to brown out. We had to get off of this train right ******* now. In a desperate moment we looked at each other and put our hands, together, on the emergency brake cord. I looked in your eyes with your hand on top of mine. You kissed me while yanking down on the cord. Time slowed, the breaks squealed and everything exploded throwing luggage, people and the entire contents of the bar car in to a nondiscriminatory chaos . We got up off the ground, ran to the end of the car, dove off the side in to a soft patch of grass and rolled down a small incline. We watched as the conductor sifted through  the mess and interrogated the passengers, trying to ferret out the party responsible for pulling the brake. He spotted us off the side of the tracks and shook his fist while shouting every conceivable obscenity combination.

We laughed, held each other in the grass and kissed deeply.

We watched the train pick up speed and disappear in to the hills as relief spread over me.

You interlaced your fingers in to mine and we both looked out to where the tracks disappeared into the horizon, wondering how far of a walk it was to the next station.
Isoindoline Dec 2012
I opened the car door, tossed my bag in
I was just about to slip inside when
An older man, 60 I might guess
limping down the sidewalk paused to ask:

"St. Mary's Hospital?"

My head snapped up
"What?" I asked.

"St. Mary's Hospital.  Is it this way?"

I frowned
"Yes," I replied.

"Do you know how much farther?"

"About half a mile.  Why?"

He raised his hand up, wrapped in white
red stain seeping through

My breath caught

"I've cut my finger, and I think I may need stitches."
Then he turned and limped away

"Wait," I called.  "Are you sure you'll be alright?"

He nodded, hardly turning around.

I asked again, "Are you sure?"
Should I offer him a ride?
It's only a minute out of my way.


He didn't turn or nod then, just continued on
His steps were slow, erratic, but determined
Should I offer him a ride?
I watched his back recede

Should I offer him a ride?

I could no longer hear his shuffling feet

Should I offer him a ride?

Should I offer him a ride?

I didn't.  I got in my car and left.  And cried.  
Because I wouldn't offer an old hurt man a ride.
This happened this morning.  I was too afraid to offer a hurt stranger a half-mile ride to the hospital in my car because I am female and I was alone.  If he had been an old woman it would have been different.  I felt (and still feel) horrible, because my decision was informed by fear, and the fact that I have been sexually harassed by various men recently.  Those are things that I have always said would not inform my decisions.  Today I was tested, and today I failed.

— The End —