Monday, November 30, 2020

poem 29

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

peace on earth would be nice
but who wants to pay the price?

if heroes never went to war
what would a story be for?

no more enemy faces in the dust
no more triumphs of the just

all your toy soldiers would go back in the box
if peace talked

the sun would come up every day
in its usual way

and the clouds would drift around
occasionally watering the ground

and the sun would go down
over the sleepy little town

but who would sit enraptured
at tales of maidens captured

and rescued by warriors bold
epics that never grow old

if the drums were never heard
to arouse the slowly chewing herd

next poem

Sunday, November 29, 2020

poem 28

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

my hat was gray
and my briefcase was brown
or maybe it was
the other way around

the people in the street
all wore a frown
i was lost
in a strange town

down the avenue
flags were flying
messages flashed
but they were all lying

drums were beating
players were cheating
i had to get back
to the important meeting

i could not
very well
ask my way
back to the hotel

because to my
eternal shame
i had forgotten
the hotel’s name

the grand? the biltmore?
something like that
a bird flew past
and stole my hat

next poem

Saturday, November 28, 2020

poem 27

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

a flower said to a raindrop
why have you traveled so far?
why have you strayed from your homeland?
do you not know who you are?

the raindrop replied to the flower
who are you to ask?
you do not even know me
or what is my appointed task

i have traveled from the heights
with the world spread before me
and you who have never been anywhere
can only hope to bore me

well excuse me, replied the flower
with a nod and a wink
while you have been busy traveling
i have has time to think

to contemplate eternity
and all that has happened in it
i could tell you all about it
if you could spare a minute

so spoke the flower firmly
while waving in the breeze
but the raindrop had dried up and gone
just as cool as you please

next poem

Friday, November 27, 2020

poem 26

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

i went down to the river
to see the gypsy baker
to buy a jelly doughnut
before i met my maker

i went to the mountain
to see the candyman
i was no expert cardiologst
i was only a handy man

i crossed the burning desert
to see the boddhisatva
i asked him for his wisdom
and he only said ha ha ha

i put my thumb out on the highway
and was picked up by old joe
i asked him where was mercy found
and he said, how do i know?

i went down to the dockyard
to sail the seven seas
i asked the captain for a message
but forgot to say please

i went down to the corner
to bet on the last race
i put two dollars on armageddon
and judas laughed in my face

all these saints and sages
could not give me the time of day
i scan the ground for dimes and nickels
as i go my own way

next poem

Thursday, November 26, 2020

poem 25

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

i write this little rhyme
of a long ago time
of lovely ladies and lordly lords
and knights with flashing silver swords

in it i am sir john
standing on a green lawn
expounding in a manner adroit
on my heroic exploits

to princesses enraptured
by my words they are captured
like myself they wish to flee
to a world of magic and mystery

eternally unsatisfied
from their own world they would hide
why does it distress them so?
where fo they wish to go?

and so i tell my tale
until the moon grows pale
and the princesses depart with sighs
no more enlightened, no more wise

i am no longer sir john
in the cold dawn
the dragons and ladies have departed
before the story even started

next poem

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

poem 24

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

in my old kentucky home
i built a pleasure dome
with lots of toys and games
and hundreds of friends with no names

i was number one
and had a nice run
but i tired of having fun
and knew my day was done

one dark morning before dawn
i put my best clothes on
and packed a bag
mostly with rags

and hit the highway alone
i no longer had a home
and put my trust in fate
because i could no longer wait

to find out who i was
and if i had a glorious cause
or was only a shred of muck
running out of luck

i came to a building high
outlined against the sky
i knew i would find inside
the humbling of all pride

the truth revealed at last
of future, present, and past
all you malcontents may scoff
(here the manuscript breaks off)

next poem

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

poem 23

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

arthur had a lion
mary had a lamb
mickey had a monkey
who liked eggs and ham

morris had a goldfish
who was named big al
donna had a python
and treated him like a pal

eddie had a rabbit
who treated him like dirt
georgie had a million friends
but still he felt hurt

laura had a cadillac
and polished it like the sun
nick had a billion dollars
and hated everyone

olive lived in a little house
outside the city line
pete asked olive to marry him
but she politely declined

they all lived together
in a planet in the sky
things were supposed to be different there
but i don’t know why

some folks will complain
if you hang them with a brand new rope
others are always smiling
so maybe there is hope

next poem

Monday, November 23, 2020

poem 22

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

i am a child of the stars
a wanderer in the night
when the world is asleep
my soul takes flight

what care i for riches
or the unhappy joys of fame
if the spirits of the earth
and the angels know my name

the ancient spirits speak to me
of days of long ago
and whisper to me secrets
that humans dare not know

if you see me walking
down the street on a cloudy day
how you would be astonished
if my mask were torn away

the golden age returneth
sooner than you think
the cup of wisdom will be offered
will you dare to drink?

next poem

Sunday, November 22, 2020

poem 21

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

joe had a friend named jerry
jerry was pals with jack
joe wanted jack’s girl billie
and stabbed jack in the back

this left poor jerry
with nowhere to go
to tell his troubles
and unpack his woe

and no shoulder
to cry at night upon
he tossed and turned
and woke at dawn

the sun did not shine
and it rained all day
why did things
have to be that way?

jerry decided
to start over again
he might find a new friend
but he did not know when

he turned on the tv
and watched the news
not the best way
to lose the blues

the market was down
and the bad guys were winning
jerry felt sleepy
and the earth kept spinning

i wish this story
had a better finale
dogs fight in the street
and cats fight in the alley

next poem

Saturday, November 21, 2020

poem 20

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

the world might be a nicer place
if everybody wore a smile on their face

people might better get along
if they sang a happy song

no sense being glum
it won’t make better days come

if of happiness you can summon a ray
and put it in play
do it, i say

if in the darkness you grope
do not give up hope

if you can dream happiness
your life won’t be such a mess

write a happy thought on a page
you might start a golden age

next poem

Friday, November 20, 2020

williams, part two

by nick nelson

part two of two

to read part one, click here

walt walked up the hill, toward the broad front door of williams’s castle.

the lights in the lower floor were off.

there was a big tree just to the left of the front door and a man stepped out from behind it.

it was connolly.

what are you doing here, walt? connolly asked.

i came to see williams.

you are a little late.

oh? and why would that be?

some of us have prepared a little surprise for williams. he’s done too many guys wrong.

that’s for sure. and nobody wronger than me, walt said.

that’s true, walt. that’s so true. why don’t you come on upstairs. the meeting is just about to begin.

i came to put a slug into williams’s rotten guts.

connolly laughed. maybe that can be arranged.

walt followed connolly into the house, and up a long winding staircase to the top floor.

there was a light on in a room. connolly and walt entered it.

williams was sitting in an easy chair in the center of the room. but he was not sitting easy.

a bunch of the boys surrounded him, with guns drawn.

look who is here, connolly said.

walt! a couple of guys exclaimed.

walt wants to do the honors, connolly said. i say, let him. nobody got done over as bad as him.

that’s a fact, motelli said. any of you mugs disagree?

sounds right to me, big shoulders said. none of the others said anything.

all right, then, connolly said. do it, walt.

walt drew his gun and stepped in front of williams.

well, boys, walt said, i would like to do this nice and slow but i know you guys must want to celebrate so i will just get it over with. i won’t no speech because he ain’t worth it.


down in the car, harry heard the single shot. he had kept the motor running and took off like the rabbit at a dog track.


harry smith is waiting for me, walt said. i should go down and invite him up here for the celebration.

i’ll do it, connolly said. benny and dave, you guys go get the booze. don’t wait for me to start.

connolly returned in a few minutes. there’s no harry down there, he said, and no car either.

the rat! walt exclaimed. the yellow double crossing rat! he ran out on me!

connolly shook his head. i don’t like it either, walt. i’m in change now, and i will make sure he pays. we will hunt the sorry bastard to the ends of the earth..

hear hear, motelli said. we will drink to that, won’t we, boys?

connolly continued. i swear to you he will spend the rest of his life, what there is of it, running, always running, from town to town, always looking over his shoulder, never able to relax, to enjoy a good night’s sleep, always waiting for a sound at the door, never able to sit in a bar and enjoy a drink without looking at the door… always on the move… down a hundred dark highways… in the wind…

in the wind and the rain… forever.

the end

poem 19

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

i had a parrot named joe
who had no verbal flow

i had a cat named patch
who never scratched

and a cat named billy price
who never caught mice

i had a dog named al clark
who never barked

i had a cow named jude
who never mooed

i had a bull named porter
who never snorted

i had a lion name laird
who never glared

and a lion named joe ford
who never roared

i had a tiger named bob
who never held a steady job

i had a lamb named sam
who liked strawberry jam

and a goat named cy
who was fond of apple pie

i had an uncle named morris
who liked girls in the chorus

i had an aunt named claire
who liked to polish silverware

i had a cousin named jake
who never gave me a break

fred was my best friend
he came to a bad end

we all lived together in the branch of a tree
which never made much sense to me

next poem

Thursday, November 19, 2020

williams, part one

by nick nelson

part one of two

you know, walt, this doesn’t make much sense.

i didn’t ask you if it made any sense. i am asking you if you are with me. you owe me, and i am asking you if you are with me.

of course i am with you, and i admit it - i owe you everything. but just hear me out, all right?

all right, say what you want, if it makes you happy.

you just got out of prison. you were in for fourteen years. your health is not the greatest. if you go back in, you will never get out. never get out alive.

i know that.

now consider williams. he owns half the state, has owned it for a long time. he’s lived the life of a king, surrounded by servants and babes and bodyguards, all the time you were in prison. and now he’s an old man. how long has he got to live? if you leave him alone, he might die a long slow miserable death. .you might be puttng him out of his misery. are you with me so far?

of course. keep talking.

he’s surrounded by cops and guards. his own, and the taxpayers. even if you get to him, they are just about sure to take you down. and if, somehow, you manage to get away from them, and they don’t kill you, and they don’t sent you back inside, they will hunt you down forever. how will you like it, walt, a man of your age, in your condition, running, always running, from town to town, always looking over your shoulder, never able to relax, to enjoy a good night’s sleep, always waiting for a sound at the door, never able to sit in a bar and enjoy a drink without always looking at the door… always on the move… down a hundred dark highways… in the wind.. in the wind and the rain… forever.

o k, harry, you’ve made your point. but i don’t care about any of that. i only care about one thing. one thing. and that is seeing the look on that son of a bitch’s face when i point a gun at him and he knows he has two or three seconds to live….after that, i don’t care what happens. do you understand?

all right. when do you want to do this?

tonight. if you can fit it into your busy schedule

tonight it is, then.


three o’clock in the morning, twenty miles of town, in the rolling hills where the rich folks live.

harry parked the car, which had been outfitted to look like a cab, at the bottom of the hill that williams’s mansion stood on.

walt got out and headed up the hill.

there were only a few lights on, in the upper floors of the mansion.

it was quiet, but harry knew that the place must be swarming with invisible guards.

at any minute one of them would shoot walt, or at least shout at him.

harry had promised walt he would wait for him. yeah, right. with the brooklyn bridge and a bottle of champagne and a couple of babes in the glove compartment to help walt celebrate.

at the first shot, or the first shout, harry would have his foot on the gas and be on his way.

if williams’s men, or any cops or state troopers stopped him he would just say he had been paid by walt to drive him out here. he had a roll of bills to prove it. he had cleverly arranged for walt’s fingerprints tp be on the bill on the outside of the roll. not that it was likely to come to that, but harry prided himself on anticipating all possibilities.

walt, of course, would be dead.

part two

Boris Yeltsin Standing On A Tank

poem 18

by dog e relaford

for previous poem, click here

to begin series, click here

in the eighteenth minute of the eighteenth hour
jonathon watson picked a flower
then the hitchhiked into town
because the country was getting him down

jonathon’s driver wore a frown
his name was william brown
his brow was furrowed and his visage grim
something about jonathon bothered him

as they pursued their destination
william tried to start a conversation
he tried more than once
but jonathon responded with grunts

outside in the darkness a snake slithered
william felt his being wither
why he had done this he could not say
would he live to see another day?

the road sped by like a cat
smooth black and flat
william looked from the corner of his eye
jonathon looked like he was starting to cry

suddenly william’s brain was clear
he knew there was nothing to fear
in the nineteenth minute of the nineteenth hour
he would pick his own flower

next poem