Tuesday, August 28, 2018

railroad men


by horace p sternwall




railroad bill
railroad bill
had a dog named harry
and a cat named phil

railroad bob
railroad bob
never drank whiskey
except on the job

railroad joe
railroad joe
got up in the morning
and took it slow

railroad mike
railroad mike
never flew an airplane
or rode a bike

railroad tom
railroad tom
hated his pappy
but loved his mom

railroad jim
railroad jim
played poker with the sheriff
who cheated him

railtoad bill
railroad bill
caught a big old catfish
down by the mill

railroad john
railroad john
never came home
before the break of dawn

railroad dan
railroad dan
the railroad was the railroad
but he was the man

railroad men
railroad men
ask for eleven
they will give you ten

mothers, look out the window
at a duck and a hen
don’t raise your sons
to be railroad men



Sunday, August 26, 2018

paths... (5)

by human being

illustrations by rhoda penmarq and human being

fifth of five parts

to begin at the beginning, click here






34

if the path is blocked by stones
i'll become water

بر سر راهم اگر سنگ بود
آب می شوم








if the path is blocked by water
i'll become the wind

بر سر راهم اگر آب بود
باد می شوم







if the path is blocked by the wind
i'll disappear into thin air

بر سر راهم اما اگر باد بود
نیست می شوم




35





my heart
throbs
to the rhythm of the path











36


along the path
i always find some generous hands
growing among thistles






37


sometimes i sit on a rock by the road
and watch people pass by







she's a beggar, some say
and throw some coins for me
i pick them up
one by one
to watch
then i throw them back to their owners
but they never land in their hands
or at their feet
in midair they change into butterflies
and fly off
she's a trickster, some say





if you happen to sit on a rock by the road
ask it
and it will tell you who i really am









38

i never leave a trail on the path
to find the way back home






all paths are circles
all goings are returns







39


i turn
and turn
yet i go upper and upper

my mind gathers 'n gains
my heart joyfully unlearns






40

just when the path turns in re
verse
you find the secrets of the uni
verse







Thursday, June 7, 2018

me


by ricky joe sternwall





i don’t mean to whine
i just want what’s mine
i want my fellow humans to realize
that i am one of those special guys

i am not like those other folks
those losers, wasters, mopes, and mokes
those fish in a barrel waiting to get shot
i am not like them - honest i’m not

i’m the one who knows the score
the one you have all been waiting for
if i could just catch a break
the world i would remake

it is really elemental
if i could just reach my potential
if i could just be wild and free
the world would revolve around me

the way it was meant to be
why can’t you all see?
stop saying no to me and say yes
and recognize my uniqueness

i’m the one who was prophesied
through the universe to glide
wiping out the whole world’s frown
if you would only stop bringing me down



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

in a churchyard


by horace p sternwall




on a dreary rainy eve
a hand plucked at my sleeve
i turned to see a pallid sprite
flickering in the fading light

and though i made protest
it put me to the test
and as the rain did drip
it did not relax its grip

and down a muddy lane
like a runaway train
he proceeded to tell a tale
old and sad as a rusty nail

he was a sad and lonely cuss
of whom the world made little fuss
the desires with which he was torn
met with society's scorn

he became an incubus
possessed with sodden lusts
vainly seeking peace at last
in the worlds through which he passed


the particulars of his tale
sought my pity, to no avail
perhaps we all have stories
but their resonance and glories

are best left to our own selves
everyone else leaves on the shelves
the narratives of others
so let me go, brother

let us each go our own way
perhaps on judgment day
we may our acquaintance renew
until then - adieu

so i reasoned with the shade
who, in fact, began to fade
with a look in his pale eyes
more of sadness than surprise

i looked around the gloom
at the wet grass and the tombs
the faded words scribed on the stones
again - happily - alone



Saturday, May 12, 2018

walking past you


by horace p sternwall




remember people
when you are feeling blue
whether you are sad or happy
you are only you

the fellow walking past you
with his briefcase in his hand
inside he may be weeping
because his dreams have turned to sand

the kid behind the counter
at subway or burger king
do not tell him your troubles
to him they don’t mean a thing

sadness is all human’s fate
sung by heavenly voices
whether you walk the dusty roads
or ride in rolls royces<



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

bob and bill and brad


by horace p sternwall





a guy named bob and a guy named bill
lived in a shack on top of a hill
they were watched by a guy named brad
whose binoculars were all he had

brad kept an eye on bill and bob
because it was his job
he watched their actions ebb and surge
and a certain pattern emerged

bill had the upper hand
and abused bob to beat the band
bob did all the work
and bill claimed all the perks

this went on for about a year
and brad began to fear
there was nothing more to see
in this here territory

brad was ready to move on
and then awoke at dawn
at the shack he took one last glance
and what should he see by chance

but bob pounding on bill!
suddenly the air grew still
brad looked on with surprisement
as bob gave bill his chastisement

from then on bob was king
and bill was the underling
bob cut bill no slack
and watched the sunset with his feet on bill’s back

brad made out his report
and tried to keep it short
had everything changed?
or were they still the same?

brad looked out at the sky
white clouds drifted by
somewhere a child scraped its knee
and a bird sang in a tree