A Small Town’s Pride

the residents of Rogueville loved listening to their bell ring out from the town’s highest tower, the church spire

but the bell had a history

it was a thing of mystery

it’s origin hotly debated

the bell was silver plated

over brass and steel

that mighty bell did peal

three times a day

calling people to pray

until the word got out

what the bell was about

a souvenir from a war

a symbol of the horror

so the town took down

their symbol of pride

sadly setting it aside

Requiem for a Hoarder

decades of newspapers and magazines cluttered every room, silent witnesses to bygone eras, nestled alongside a lifetime of eclectic collections in the gathering gloom

when the coroner came to collect the old man, his worn-out body in his favorite chair in front of a fan, he was surrounded with trinkets and displays from his good old days

every room was piled high with one man’s treasure yet another man’s junk, standing lamps, piles of clothes from ages past that stunk worse than a skunk

boxes and crates with no labels butted against couches and tables, towers of books with subjects ranging from science to early fables, rolls of cables, and an assortment of turntables

souvenirs from other countries, plastic children’s toys that still made noise, clocks off all kinds, dried food, ancient weather vines, and assorted other sundries

missing were photos of family, a lonely man severed from humanity, living in an alternate reality, his life a mere triviality, his collections becoming his center of gravity

they said the old man had a mental disorder, a condition not unknown to many people trying to install order into their chaotic life, and turning into a hoarder

School Of Hard Knocks

when I was growing up my grandfather use to say

that boy is going to find out everything the hard way

if he comes out of his childhood alive

there’s a damn good chance he’ll survive

I was an eager student of the School of Hard Knocks

my troubles were never pebbles they were always rocks

taking the least traveled pathway had a price

I come close to losing my life twice

there was never really a choice for me

I’ve always been on the verge of tragedy

but in these later days of my life

I look back and appreciate the strife

and accept my past and my destiny

whatever that happens to be

Found a Nickel One Day

back in the black-and-white 50’s, money went a long way

so that’s why I was thrilled to find a nickel on the street one day

I thought about things I could buy that would be handy

and narrowed it down to what interested me most…candy!

Mar’s Bars, M&M’s, Snickers, Atomic Fireballs, and Paydays

were just some the favorites that came to mind

and Butterfingers, Clark Bars, and Bit-O-Honeys

Peter Paul Mounds, Baby Ruth, and Sugar Babies

Oh Henry! Necco’s, and Zero bars

my head swam with all of the possibilities

among those sugary stars

when it came to the moment of truth

I took that nickel and bought a Baby Ruth

The Hitchhiker and the UFO

some people are meant to travel by whatever means

cars, trucks, buses, biking,

trains, planes, or hitchhiking

which was one man’s favorite mode

to take off a load

traveling free

across the country

was the only way to go

until one day when

the hitchhiker met a UFO

which offered him a ride

to wherever he wanted to go

so he took a quick tour of the galaxy

to see what wonders he could see

like the red dunes of Mars

and the shooting stars

with their ancient history

but the time soon came

to go back home again

with new traveling tales

of space and cosmic trails

The Lighter Side of History

when technology found a way to start a flame with a flick of the finger

the lighter emerged like a metal Prometheus sharing the secret of fire

with designs that reflected the times, lighters lit the way for cigarette and cigar smokers to conveniently fire up wherever they were

the styles evolved over the years reflecting society’s luxuries and utilities

from the start, lighters have told a story about their owners history

carrying their burdens for the world to see

lighters have more purposes now than ever before

they’re cheap, flashy, and in every store

lighters can be works of fine art

or cartoonish art

there’s so many designs to see

that reflect our history

I leave you with the following three…

Gold Fever

In the beginning…

mankind sought gold, a precious metal capable of destroying civilizations and creating new one’s from their ashes …

he works tirelessly in his search for gold

the miner willingly take risks and is bold

as his fever for the yellow metal soldifies

he never keeps his eyes off of the prize

but

gold fever turns good men into bad guys

willing to kill and tell numerous lies

it’s glitter

sets hearts a twitter

it’s weights

seals fates

kingdoms fall

big and small

but

men will always lust

for that glittering gold dust

or dream of that mother lode

putting them on a yellow brick road

with luxuries that’ll pave their way

to a better life until their last day