Zuzuni on the badlands
Montana's muddy badlands spread for thirty seven miles
along a cleft of sandstone bed, eroded years before;
the chestnut paced upon the bare of grass and well worn aisles
and I wore two new Navy Colts, of gauging forty four
beneath the noon light that defines but also eyes beguiles.
An anchorite, some years ago, upon the ridge of Grapes
where monasteries in the clouds are reaching out to God,
I learned to draw and shoot amidst the fog's white waving drapes
and prayed til the time was ripe t' abandon this abode,
cause solitude was molding deeds, constringing, thus, escapes.
I saw them waiting on the trail; three bandits stood apart:
Coyote Chit, Cheesecake Labif and Mambo-Jumbo Crock
with cross-tied low their pistols stood, assumptive and upstart
bemocking fools who patented their e'er noetic block
that teachers, tho', could not explain; not even wise Descartes!
My shots intended at their guns, the hoisted hammers broke;
I ordered them to start the dance that turns the clouds to rain
the land was in compelling need, as turf and plants evoked
the sympathy of Heavens that magnanimous ordained
the good ol' boys (and volunteers) to dance the rain's refrain.
Coyote was allowed to dance a prominent gavotte
meanwhile Labif's romantic soul preferred a marigold
but Crock's mazurka had untied the nimbus' Gordian knot
and rain began to pour upon those who the skies extolled
heroic men were meant to be, defining, thus, a blot.
Zuzuni, the Algonquin chief, had noticed this ordeal
and marveled at the outlaws forms, that caused the skies to rain
in order so, to buy the fools he offered a good deal
fourteen strong horses for each man, who danced to ascertain
that rains returned upon the slopes and also on the plains.
© 2014-10-15, G. Venetopoulos, All Rights Reserved
Contest Name: Sketch a Character
Sponsor: Gautami Phookan
I know my supervisor thought I lied, the day I said.
The reason that I had been out was I was stuck in bed.
I tried explaining desperately the rain had been to blame.
He looked at me like I was nuts, it really was a shame.
I told him that the night before it had rained cats and dogs.
So much that by the morning time the flooding hit the bogs.
And seeing how my little house is near a swampy creek.
It wasn’t long before my house had sprung a great big leak.
His face got twisted when I said my house got washed away.
And pretty soon my house was floating on Big Hollow Bay.
I told him in great detail how the planks began to break.
And how I wound up floating in my bed in Big Bear Lake.
I finally was rescued by the firemen in town.
It took them many hours just to pull my bed in ground.
So like I said, I told him that the rain had been to blame.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that he believes my claim.
Every fall the birds begin to fly south for the winter.
This one particular bird hated the journey and would do almost anything to get out of it.
He decided to wait until the very last possible minute and told the rest of the flock
that he would stay behind for 4 more weeks and that he would catch up to them later.
Four weeks later the snow began to fall and the little bird thought it best to finally leave.
After about 6 hours into flying, it started to rain and the rain turned into ice on his little wings. The birds wings froze up and he fell out of the sky straight in to a barn yard.
Freezing and almost dead, the little bird was lying there barely breathing when out from behind the barn a horse walked up to the little bird, squatted and crapped all over the poor thing. The little birds only thought was that he never emagined ever dying like this.
After a few minutes the manure started to warm the little fella and he started to move around and began sing-ing his little heart out.
A big cat came running from the house to investigate where all the noise was comming from. He dug in to the pile of crap until he found the little bird. He cleaned him off and then ate him.
There are three morals to this story
(1) Not everyone who craps on you is your enemy
(2) Not everyone who takes your crap is your friend
And (3) Whenever you are rolling with excitement;
even if its in a big pile of crap, Keep your big mouth shut.
Standing in line at Wally-world I suffered through this exchange of views.
The cashier asked the man in front of me, "Which of these will you choose?
Paper or plastic for you, sir?" and with a snarl he said, "Plastic will do for me!"
Then he proceeded to proclaim for all to hear, the plight of the forest tree!
"Don't you know that cuttin' down all them trees will leave the forests bare,
Deprivin' them poor hooty owls of a place to roost - now don't you really care?
Just think of them dwindlin' rain forests that supports monkeys, birds and such!
But them greedy companies keep cuttin' and sawin' - they're so outta touch!"
The gum-chewing cashier looked him dead in the eye and had this to say:
"My old man has been a lumberjack fer twenty years and works hard fer his pay!
I don't give a hoot about yer owls, yer rain forests or yer ring-tailed monkeys!
I ain't politically correct and you can relay that to all yer tree-huggin' junkies!"
I clutched my loaf of Wonder bread trying to look nonchalant, staring into space.
(We were in an express lane - he had two full carts, showing his lack of grace!)
Should this get out of hand I expected to hear, "Cleanup on Express Lane Five!"
I was beginning to wonder if both parties were apt to come out of this alive!
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
© All Rights Reserved
Placed No. 4 in Susan Burch's "Paper Or Plastic" Contest - March 2012
I remember it like it was yesterday and I think in fact it was
A beautiful spring morning that could not go wrong because
The sun it was shining brightly way up in the sky
So I thought I would cut the lawn or at least give it a try
The lawn mower was pristine clean as I took it from the shed
The extension lead I uncoiled and to the mower it led
I started on the back lawn to mow my way around
I listened to my IPod as I pushed the mower across the ground
The cloud began to gather the light began to fade
It was just as if I managed to walk into the shade
Now the wind began to rise blowing grass cuttings in the air
I looked up to heaven thinking this just isn’t fair
A rainy may day was about to ruin my big mowing plan
And as the heavens opened suddenly I ran
Gathering up the mower the extension cable to
Emptying the mower box in to the recycling bin it flew
Then back into the shed all the bits and pieces went
As I ran back in the rain in the garage door I leant
So my mowing day was over the rain was pounding down
Even with my IPod on I had a dreadful frown
A rainy May day washed away my plans to cut the lawn
Yet I know I’ll get another chance a dry May day will dawn
Till then the lawn will stay half cut at least until it’s dry
Then I will get the lawn mower out and have another try
So what's your status,
Are you here to stay, like old Aunt Gladys?
- To rain and rain until we're glad it's
Not for you to own the day,
But eventually must fade away
Before the steady strugglings of the sun
Which must break through once they've begun
To tear apart your greyish gloom
And give the sunlight proper room
To push along those friendly, fluffy clouds
Through blue skies where you're not allowed.
So go thy way, ignoble cloud!
Carry off that misty shroud
Below which you have so confined us,
And let us put thy wet behind us
And revel in the newborn sun,
It's warmth welcome to everyone.
You overstay your station here
Far beyond what would appear
A decent spate of soft rainfall;
Your prescence doth begin to pall
When you hover close from day to day.
All caught beneath wish you away,
And confer on you non-gratis status,
O aggravating nimbostratus!
Once my leather shoes made me proud with their softness and luster,
but after eleven months of heavy usage they have lost all glamor;
even small thorns and nails can penetrate their worn-out soles;
ah, squeaky, squeaky shoes...you annoy me when steady rain falls!
I walk on slick shine streets
in the night with my lover.
Freshly out of bed and ravenous
for other food, he pauses and
licks the tears and rain drops
from my face.
Rain in its many moods
quickens to sweep the earth and
Settles on the skin like a damp
kiss. Cold, warm, sweet, clean,
Is designer bottled water
merely rain drops from afar?
The dog romps through the rain,
in his perfect raincoat, oblivious
to the wet.
Blinking owlishly when a drop
should fall into his eye.
Mysterious primates of the forest
sit forlornly, beneath the
Forever patient as the skies
rupture with a torrential deluge.
Human-tender eyes reflect their
disgust and sadness at the wet,
messy coats they must wear.
The equine turn their haunches
to the storm to show their scorn
for nature’s tantrum.
Cats run for cover, sit
majestically removing the
wet rain from their person with a
Wild fowl dance across the circle
patterns of the pond’s face,
beating their wings and singing.
They frolic and dive celebrating
the sublime circumstance of
Man spends energy and money
to keep himself dry and safe
from the rain, darting from
doorway to doorway.
What does he fear? He won’t
melt if he gets soaked, he won’t
become ill or grow fins, and he
just might get clean.
Snow is rain in its wedding attire;
no two brides alike.
The rain drop falls into a rivulet
of other rain drops atop the
The rivulet runs into the creek,
the creek into a stream.
The stream rushes to the river
and the river falls into the sea.
The rain drops turn to salty tears
as the journey ends.
It is said that chickens, if left out
in the rain, will lift their heads up
to the sky and watch the rain
until they drown.
Butterflies and Bullets
A drought has been declared, no hose pipes can we use
There has been such light rain for two years, but I think it is a ruse.
The day the drought was declared the heavens opened up
They have not stopped precipitating; one certainly dare not look up.
The water flows as free as lager at a barbecue
Constantly pouring, persisting it down, and the same problems ensue.
We are drenched in all sorts as drains do rise, and rivers flood their banks
But the drought warnings still apply there are supposed empty water tanks.
The spring rain is falling not like tears on babies’ cheeks
But pouring and pouring constantly, and has been now for weeks.
Still the drought does linger but I think I know the ruse
They will put the bloody price up, and watch us blow a fuse.
There's black storm clouds outside
and if they should let go
it won't be rain reigning down,
it will be the ice cold snow.
Ominous and black the clouds
that blanket the sky overhead
and if their flurries they let fly
I think I'll hide in bed.
Black clouds hover overhead,
threatening and dark.
Time to go find the shovel in case
Old Man Winter leaves his mark.
I do not mind the rain too much.
It has it's uses , true.
The snow has no appeal for me.
I'll be glad when winter's through.