My Bangkok Tour Guide

Essay – 246 words

While walking down a street in the Kingdom of Thailand where ex-pats from around the world land, blending seamlessly into the local 1970 economy, I met a young boy with a man’s eyes.

He was probably ten – going onto forty – with worldly knowledge far beyond his tender years. Anuia was a frail street waif with the wisdom of the local marketplace for sale. He promised the best place to stay, my drug of choice, and prostitutes with breathless beauty, if I hired him throughout my stay.

We toured a banana plantation, and a red light district called
Pattaya, with outrageous sex acts they were not even considered risquΓ© in the day. Creedance Clearwater Revival rocked the bars with “Looking Out My Backdoor.” I smoked some of the best weed in my life, comparing it to the Vietnamese strain that made you forget your name.

We watched kick fighter’s knock each other out, only to get up afterwards and respectfully bow to one another. Anuia shared his best curse words to get quick results, and bargained over every transaction like it might be his last. He was shrewd and a survivor, with no parents or family.

The thing that impressed me the most was he was always smiling – except when he negotiated a deal. His smile seemed to defy the life he led. When my time was up, and I had to go, he shook my hand, then turned to greet another group of visitors deplaning nearby.

TV and Reality

we have to be careful not to believe everything we see

on TV

the line between reality shows and reality

has become murky

a parade of partisan petty bourgeoisie

on TV

from entertainment to ideology

a warped view of what the world should be

based upon viewer popularity

on TV

where talk shows hosts spew witty repartee

and political pundits dramatically can’t agree

instantly becoming must-watch insanity

on TV

where we can be fooled by technology

into seeing something entirely phony

gleefully watching a bunch of baloney

I think that I’ll never see

anything more deceptive

than a TV

Dial for Love

Flash Fiction 400 -words

Deuce McCutcheon went to her funeral a year ago, but was still having trouble believing she was gone forever. Freyja was the love of his life. She was the first, and only, woman who could see behind the hideous mask of his contorted face, which was a result of a terrible childhood injury.

She never hesitated to kiss his twisted lips in public or private. They were soulmates, spending endless hours talking through sleepless nights. Sharing their dreams and inner desires until exhaustion overtook them both. Their years together flew by like days as the lovers languished in the security of one anothers embrace.

As lovers often do, they talked about life after death and what they would do when the horrible time came when one was left without the other. They weighed in on his Christian Heaven, and her Norwegian Valhalla. They explored the concept of life energy moving from one host to the next. They planned elaborate ways of communicating from one realm or dimension to the survivor’s world.

But nothing worked. Deuce grew more depressed every day. On the anniversary of her death he visited her grave. Pulling out a sprig of sage he lit it and passed the smoke back and forth over her resting place. Next, he pulled out his pipe and packed it with a strain of their favorite cannabis, and puffed on it thoughtfully as he looked at her photo which he brought with him.

A thought entered his grief. Hazy and unformed. He realized that he had saved more than just photos of her. He had saved her old cell phone number. He was fumbling for his old-fashioned flip cell phone when the sun parted the dark clouds that hung over the cemetery.

Opening it, he went straight to his address book. There it was. Freyja’s phone number. The chill seemed to go away and he took his jacket off while staring at the number. He was experiencing a strange sense of peace. He pushed her number…and waited. It rang three times. Then he heard Freyja’s high voice…”I wondered when you would call,” she teased him.

The next day a ground’s keeper discovered Deuce’s body, curled up on a grave. He was still clutching his cell phone. Later when asked about his discovery by a reporter, he said, “You should have seen the smile on that guy’s face!”

Tech-Challenged Retiree’s Poetic Reverie

keeping up with 21st century technology

isn’t easy for a retiree like me

I’m in awe of the computer community

and their popularity

but I’m doomed to be a forever trainee

and not a true devotee

I say this unapologetically

it’s who I happen to be

technology does makes me happy

to a certain degree

making life less of a mystery

as the internet sets me free

with a world class library

The Ripple Effect

the consequences of our actions cause ripples in a cosmic sea

reverberating further than our eye can see

they echo in the myriad corridors of eternity

and find fertile hunting grounds in diversity

they spawn revolutions and bring prosperity

sometimes they point out things inadvertently

as you watch helplessly

with uncertainty

as the ripples spread out mysteriously

entwined with your fate in history

Childhood Photo

I looked like a defiant little boy

staring into the camera with his toy

with my serious eyes and curly hair

it could have been taken anywhere

a black and white memory of days past

a glimpse of youth that didn’t last

no trace of a smile on my chubby face

it appears I’d rather be in some other place

what caused me to look so grim?

something serious, or just a whim?

I can’t remember what I thought that day

it appears someone interrupted my play

childhood photos are ghosts from our past

while memories fade, they’ll always last

A Close Look At Opinions

as we all know, opinions are like assholes

we all have one…

in a world of critics and skeptics

opinions are subject to fact-checks

based upon disbelief

or the PC police

few opinions stand the test of time

and the rest are borderline

people naturally opinionate

it’s in our DNA to debate

you’re either right or wrong

making it hard to get along

opinions have led to war

destroying lives and more

peace-loving people say

it doesn’t have to be this way