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Best Stark Hunter Poems

Below are the all-time best Stark Hunter poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Melissa Lont 1825 - 1911

Melissa Lont

1825 - 1911

How does one as low and humble as I
Sum up my life of 86 years
In a mere poem as brief and short-lived
As life itself?
And what is the secret to my long life?
What do I know that you, my friend,
Would like to know
About success and survival?
About good health and good luck?
My answer is this:
Do not complain and do not explain! Never!
And as for being married all those years to Doctor Lont?
Well, truth be known, like Hera,
I knew of my husband’s infidelities.
But I also knew to look the other way
And pretend to not see or know!
I admired Ida Kincaid for her sacrifices to maternity.
But I loathed Ida Kincaid for her matrimonial mendacity.
At her funeral in June of 1903
I aloofly stood across the way
There on dusty Broadway Street
Under the bulbous blue jacarandas
Screaming hallelujahs!
As Mr. White lowered her cream-colored coffin into the Netherworld!
And when Doctor Lont, my husband of 41 years, died of the consumption,
I did not cry nary a tear!
Why should I have?
Now I too am resting within this hard ground next to him.
Next to the man, my man in perpetual suspenders from Springfield,
My man who never ceased being a boy.


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Chucko is Dead



Chucko Is Dead

It was on Columbus Day, 1962
When Chucko the Birthday Clown
Sang in tones most glorious and free.
“I’m Chucko, I’m Chucko
I’m Chucko the Birthday Clown!”
I was  comfortably ensconced on the couch.
A feigning 10 year old with a pseudo fever,
Sister Mary Daniel was probably making the sign of the cross, 
Up the street at St. Mary’s,
When Chucko the Birthday Clown
Stared into the camera and saw me,
Insignificant me,
Just a freckled punk kid;
Hater of sadistic nuns and boring dry lessons
Of crowded sweaty stinky catholic classrooms
With crucifixes of a dead bloody Jesus.
And the sweet salvation of the universe was not yet apparent.
But Chucko knew all about that.	
He knew the future and the past.
He knew about Kennedy and Kent State
He knew what was coming so imminently,
He looked into that camera at Channel 7
And saw the children of the 50’s
Coming home in body bags from
The jungles of hell,
From the other side of the world,
From the bloody backside 
Where all things are vile and evil.
He saw fear, and an ocean of tears.
He saw ten thousand sunsets
And 50 thousand funerals of the crazy brave.
Even in 1962 
When the country was still a damn good country,
He rode the highways and byways with a pockmarked grin.
But he knew he could never tell of what was coming,
Of the madness and corruption and the greed,
“I’m Chucko, I’m Chucko,
I’m Chucko the birthday clown!”
Mother! Please! Take my hand.
I’m afraid!
Chucko the Birthday Clown is dead.


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George Washington Cole - 1827 - 1911

George Washington Cole

1827 – 1911


So here I sleep.
Buried in this dirt.
Covered in this earth.
Returning to the dust.
Finding heaven in the whispers of the wind.
And as for all my friends here,
All these stilled silent voices of Clark Cemetery,
We represent just a single sand pebble
Just a minute solitary dust particle
In an ever expanding infinite universe
Of shadows and scant tracings.
Travel to any city or town in the United States,
Or any sovereign country on Terra Firma,
And you will find the endless names of us,
The dead,
Who lived and died since the onset
Of the Gilded Age of Bessemer steel.
And those endless lists of the dead are nothing,
Nothing in comparison to the endless lists
Of the by-gone personages before us,
The past generations,
Who breathed and sighed and spasmed
Since the onset of Eden’s first heartbeat.
My friends, we are all so small,
And so minuscule.
Does it not behoove us to dance
Even while the music plays?
Does it not behoove us to be kind, 
Even when the cruel day
Finally slaps us on the side of our faces?
So here I sleep.
Buried deep in this forgotten grave
Just a whispering shadow of a former man
Awaiting with baited breath
The blare of the last trumpet!


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Ode to the Madman

Ode to the Madman

It was heaven in hell, both.
It was 115 degrees and I was in hell.
But heaven was in sweltering Palm Springs.
And I tasted nectar and ambrosia, both,
Under the dauntless palms.
I took in the majesty of the gods
As they bowed to each other,
Like kow-towing Chinamen in white robes.
I took in the flames and the feathers, both.
I took in the shadows and the spotlights of the stabbing sun.
The book was Women by Bukowski.
I lounged by the winking, blue-eyed pool,
Eyeing the half-naked women in bikinis,
Reading the drunken madman,
Sipping daiquiris on ice
Brought to me by the big-breasted beautiful girl
From behind the bar.
The way she walked as she brought me my drinks,
Was a Revelation and a turn-on, both.
It seemed, as I discerned from her big-breasted body language,
That she already knew the answers to life’s unasked questions.
That she had already traveled 
To the farthest star in the galaxy.
That she had already tasted the wine of eternal wisdom.
Yes, it was the way she walked.
Bukowski would’ve smiled and said:
“Comon honey, let’s dance!”
I was in heaven and in hell, both.
It was 115 degrees, and I sweated.
But I saw paradise under the dauntless palms.
Ode to the madman!
“I sip this daiquiri in your name.”
Brought to me by the big-breasted beautiful girl
From behind the bar.


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Jeremiah Clay 1831 - 1897

Jeremiah Clay

1831 – 1897


To my friends in the faith:
In life, I often observed the ants.
Great profound lessons can be learned
Within the microcosm
Of their silent movements 
And relentless deliberations.
I have seen the sanguinary Argentines
Invade the nests of the weaker ones
Have watched them trespass and kidnap and enslave
The lowly ones,
The vulnerable ones,
The perceived inferior ones.
I have witnessed the regal queen
Taken and murdered by her captors.
I have been appalled and dumbfounded
By their muted acts of savagery and cruelty.
And I have been utterly devastated
By the enforced bondage of the black ones,
The nether ones,
The rejected ones.
Great God in heaven!
Where be thy justice?
Great Jehovah, my Lord!
Let the last now,
Be the first!


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Edwin Van Dusen - 1831-1903

Edwin Van Dusen

1831 - 1903


Come closer my friend
Come closer to my forgotten grave, 
Here in Clark Cemetery.
You’ll find me enclosed beneath the hardened dirt here,
Beneath the grassy terrain.
My soul enveloped in infinite dust,
Remains alive still.
I fondly remember Christmas time
And hunting birds of prey in Turnbull.
But now I sleep in this eternal death world,
In the eye of Orpheus
Staring downward ever downward
My eye lids inside this cushioned casket,
Flutter and wink again and again,
Wanting love
Or the beginning of an amazing thought.
The thought that I lived and loved,
That I experienced every day of my life
With a mad joy.


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Lula Pickering - 1887-1906


Lula Pickering

1887 – 1906


Have you seen my bluebirds today?
Have you fed them a few crumbs of stale rye bread?
I must have taken a hundred walks as a young girl
In search of my freewheeling friends.
And with only my slender shadow at my side,
I recited a million silent invocations to my Lord.
I greeted the noon tide on those many happy occasions
As if in flight myself.
And my only friends,
Regaled in flying blazing blue,
Flew with me to fantastic heights
And I kissed the rising sun a hundred times
But received not even a smiling sigh in return.
And it was in Black Canyon 
That I discovered the one true answer to my only question in life.
I discovered that love is a clinging cloud
That arrives and sometimes lingers.
Or it is a cloud that moves on quickly
Like a late train to Los Angeles in 1904
Leaving only a faint wisp of windy dust in its wake.
Roscoe Settle was that cloud;
A cloud at once full of light and rare beauty.
A cloud that stood still and refused to wink or budge.
But I gave Roscoe Settle my pursed lips
And like a silly infatuated fool
I gave him the hidden treasure within my bosom.
God knows that I pleaded and begged like a panhandling maniac
For my handsome boy to stay.
To stay forever with me in this town of sensational sunsets
And of soaring spiraling bluebirds
In search of a lonely jilted girl 
Who now walks as an ethereal restless ghost
Amongst the crosses and stone lilacs of this dead land.
Only my parents knew of my untimely demise.
Only the sheriff and Mr. White knew that I took my own life.
And that I ended my life over Roscoe Settle.
I found the old rope in my father’s barn
And the last thing I remember
Was the quick snap of the rope
And of my soft svelte neck
As I threw myself,
Noosed and sad
From my father’s hay loft
On a moonless August evening.


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Mornings in July

Mornings In July


Mornings in July are oblivious.
They know nothing about the newspaper headlines
Or the relentless crashing of ocean waves
Under a pissed off crescent moon.
They see nothing. They hear nothing. They feel nothing.
Mornings in July are incognizant about everything.
Except for the ever silent bruising rise of the sun.
But they haven’t heard the orgasmic screams of a billion lovers
Seeking mindless sanity on a darkling pillow.
And they haven’t seen the struggling caterpillar
Spin its bloody violent cocoon.
They could care or less if you breathe or sweat.
They ceased to be concerned
When the big wrecking ball of Earthly existence
Came crashing into the big neon Psyche
Six thousand years ago.
Mornings in July know nothing, absolutely nothing.
Except for the ever silent bruising rise of the sun.


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Nellie Gray Holland 1885-1899

Nellie Gray Holland

1885 – 1899

I was never aware of the clock ticking
Or the spring spreading of the rose bud in my mother’s green garden.
I never saw the moonrise on a gray October night,
Or tasted the tart fruit of first love.
I never heard the cry of my baby
Or felt the warm heartbeat of a husband next to mine.
For birthdays and holidays
I lit the candles,
A dozen scented red candles,
And watched the ghostly shadows flicker on the walls
Of my mother’s special sitting room.
Shadows that danced and swayed and galloped.
Shadows that understood me
And listened to me.
They knew of my weak diseased heart
And of my impending early exit from Earth.
Clark Cemetery is beautiful in the fall.
The owls in the trees screech loudly
And the western winds make a music only I can hear.
My friend, will you kindly light a candle for me?
I am in the dark here
And I wish to see the dancing shadows again.


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Ruth Helen Uhrig 1888-1908

Ruth Helen Uhrig

1888 – 1908

I remember the Indian summers most of all.
The drowsy balmy days of late September and early October.
I remember the calming chorus of the trees,
Especially here in Clark Cemetery,
With the benign wind caressing the still branches,
Teasing and tickling the leaves,
Performing masterfully,
The silent music of a thousand lazy afternoons.
Listen. Can you hear it?
And I recall that afternoon in 1903
While standing under the shady pepper tree,
Here in Clark Cemetery
That moment of sweet virginal bliss.
That long-forgotten one second in time,
When that blue-eyed fox named Roscoe
Kissed me, a mere girl of 15, on the lips.
There, on the threshold to my very soul!
Oh, the true joys of life are so simple and so fleeting!
And finally,
To my friends in old Whittier town,
I discovered after my demise that, 
There is a happy way to die and a sad way to die.
And it will all depend on how well you treated people while alive.
Thankfully, I died the happy way.
In my sleep.
Dreaming of the silent music,
On a long-ago afternoon in September,
Under the old shady pepper tree,
Here in Clark cemetery


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