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Jack of Hearts - Skeet Big John - John Snake Eyes - Rich
Diamond Jim - Craig Hinemoa - Ngaire
Dedicated to you all.
The players were hangin round but were all headin for a fall,
The room was quiet except for the drillin in the wall.
The curfew had been lifted and the "No Gamblin" signs torn down,
Anyone with any sense had already left town,
They were shakin in their boots starin at the Jack of Hearts
Now Jack was no-one's fool, he said "I've come to take what's mine",
He made his usual entrance lookin so sharp and so fine.
With his waistcoat and his hat and his eyes so dark and cold,
His card playin was feared, his legend widely told,
And everyone watched in awe the great Jack of Hearts
"I know I've seen that face before" they were thinkin to themselves,
"Maybe down in Pare' or in a book upon somebody's shelves".
The boys began to twitch and a hard drinkin voice was heard,
"I'm lookin for an honest game", Jack gave 'em all his word,
But no-one was takin any chances with the Jack of Hearts
One by one they drifted in, "let's get this show started" he said,
And everyone eyed the stash hidden under Big John's bed.
Then he walked up to Diamond Jim and he asked him with a grin
"Could you kindly tell me, friend, what time this game begins",
Then every sphincter at that table clenched at the Jack of Hearts
The cards were shuffled and dealt, there was high tension in the air,
Diamond Jim had two aces hopin for a third to match his pair.
He said "you gotta be in to win" and raised the pot with a dopey smile,
Snake Eyes folded, but Big John, he was takin his sweet while,
But the man they all had to beat was the Jack of Hearts
Hinemoa, the queen of spades, was an easy mark tryin to find,
The drillin in the wall kept up but no-one seemed to pay it any mind.
It was known all around town that Hinemoa had Big John's ring
And that nothin would ever come between the queen and her king,
No, nothin ever would except maybe the Jack of Hearts
Hinemoa started drinkin hard and her tongue cut like a knife,
She was tired of losin, tired of playin the role of Big John's wife.
She had done a lot of bad - with a wild bunch she did ride,
Was lookin to win one big gamblin stake before she died,
She was gazin at the pot bettin against the Jack of Hearts
Diamond Jim wiped his brow, looked at Jack then looked away,
"Has your luck run out?", Jack laughed, "you must have known it would someday",
Then Snake Eyes winked and said "stranger, I think you're buffin",
And Jack just winked back at that muppet on his big cigar puffin,
"Read 'em and weep fat boy!" said the smilin Jack of Hearts
"Bugger me!" Big John groaned, "these cards are jinxed I swear,
There's somethin funny goin on" he said, "I can feel it in the air!
If I catch anyone cheatin I'll shoot 'em where they stand",
Everyone was hopin they they weren't holdin a dead man's hand,
Everyone that is but the cocked and loaded Jack of Hearts
No-one knew the circumstance but they say it happened pretty quick,
The lights all went out and a nickel plated revolver did click.
Big John was layin there, a bullet hole between his eyes did burn,
Hinemoa on top cryin "you dumb bastard, my luck's about to turn!",
She was with Big John but she was gunnin for the Jack of Hearts
Two doors down the boys finally made it through the wall,
And cleaned out Big John's stash, they say they made off with quite a haul,
Jack said "cash me out, I've drunk too much and it's gettin late",
Diamond Jim said "screw you Jack, I've got an inside straight"
But that cowboy never stood a chance with the Jack of Hearts
The sun was risin, it was time for one last hand before the dawn,
This was Jack's game and the rest were all just his pawns.
They were thinkin about a killin, thinkin about what they saw,
Thinkin about gettin rolled and thinkin about the law,
But most of all they were thinkin about the Jack of Hearts
The next day was judgement day, the sky was overcast and dull,
Big John lay covered up, killed by a pistol shot to the skull.
They all pointed at Jack and stared, but Jack wasn't the kind to blink,
Diamond Jim and Snake Eyes were sober, they hadn't had a drink
But they were wishin they had when they saw the Jack of Hearts
Jack just winked and said "so long clowns" then hit the trail singin...
"You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run,
You never count your money while you're sittin at the table,
There'll be time enough for countin when the dealin's done!
My version of Bob Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts"
Copyright © Keith Trestrail | Year Posted 2015