Thursday, December 31, 2020

poem - creature

by dog e relaford

people look at me pityingly
what is it that they see?
can’t they see i am only me
and can only be what i can be?

just because i have two heads
does not mean my soul is dead
and because my ears are pointed
dies not exclude me from the anointed

just because i have five legs
must i then sit up and beg?
if you could look inside my brain
many things might be explained

every creature is a creature
with their own distinctive features
some are born with second sight
others walk the roads at night

but no matter who you are
in the sky there is a star
and its light shines just for you
some are green and some are blue

some are red and some are white
ain’t no use to fuss and fight
i have lost my train of thought
so come and get it whole it’s hot

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

poem - heaven

by dog e relaford

let’s all go to heaven
and leave earth and hell behind
and climb the golden mountain
to the universal mind

we will leave satan on the highway
to follow it as best he can
he will finally find us
because there is a master plan

we will wait for all the sinners
and the souls who have been led astray
and even the false prophets
will find the true way

who are these false prophets?
you may well ask
to cast them from the mountain
has never been our task

with one foot on the highest step
and the light in our eyes
let us wait for all our fellows
before we grasp the prize

Monday, December 28, 2020

poem - dark

by dog e relaford

the road is dark
the night is cold
the game is over
the farm is sold

the battle is ended
the war is lost
in a distant city
they count the cost

a weary traveler
carries a sack
full of gold and diamonds
upon his back

as dawn approaches
does he not realize
that the gold will turn to spiders
and the diamonds turn to flies

Saturday, December 26, 2020

story 6

by nick nelson

a woman wearing a blue dress and a large hat with a bird on it was eating an ice cream cone with delicate bites in an outdoor cafe in front of the railway station at seven o'clock on a summer evening in a small but ancient city in europe.

a well dressed gray haired man seated at another cafe on the other side of the square observed her as he sipped his coffee.

a croissant lay untouched on a plate before him.

a walking stick was balanced against the table that held the plate that held the croissant.

the head of the walking stick was carved in the form of a scene from the epic poem "moloch" by the 13th century poet tomo de lobo, from whom the well dressed gray haired man had been led to believe he was descended.

the man's name was don pedro de lobo and when the sun went down he would be transformed into a ravenous beast.

don pedro de lobo gazed with increasing intensity at thel woman eating the ice cream cone.

the woman gave no sign that she knew she was been gazed at with intensity.

don pedro had made up his mind to practice his beastliness on the woman, when suddenly -

- the elderly waiter appeared at his side

- another woman, the twin of the first, but wearing a pink dress instead of a blue one, and a hat with a white mouse on it instead of a bird, appeared at his side

- his old enemy, don guzman de cervantes, appeared at his side

- the chief of police, don toledo, appeared at his side

don pedro knew the game was up.

he had been betrayed.

as he always knew he would be.

his only regret was that he might never know who had betrayed him.

he opened his mouth to ask who had betrayed him.

but no words came out of his mouth.

only a river of pure blue water.

on the river was a boat.

and on the boat, the woman in the blue dress, the woman in the pink dress, don guznman de cervantes, and the chief police sat in deck chairs being served by the elderly waiter.

when the boat receded over the horizon, don pedro found himself back in the cafe in the body of a waiter.

a single customer sat at a table by the rail separating the cafe from the street .

the customer was an old man whom pedro recognized as his grandfather.

pedro approached his grandfather.

would you like an absinthe, grandfather? he asked.

of course, my boy, what else would i have?

Friday, December 25, 2020



the swoop of tires at 3 am
no different than another night
but the crumpled moon
in pools of wan light
busy with a swirling snow

motorists scraping windshields
true to their impulsiveness
hiding destination more or less
from high in the sky prying eyes
mounted every quarter-mile

try to imagine - just imagine!
an ultimate authority
`some secret command
relayed down a long dark hill
to hand you your futility ...
who's - watching - now?

is it in
the steady drip of melt-off
from your damaged eaves?
`or the blackness of worn asphalt
to find the fault, mete punishments
all that obsidian world can offer?

` not likely, I'll proffer, don't take it lightly

the ceaseless bleat of a car alarm
that nobody does turn off
that staccato 'whoop!', the police car's siren,
it's Detroit iron, but you slept right through,
motor racing, strobe lights tracing,
in full speed pursuit down REM avenue

or maybe
when the night's people
merge street to street to shadow,
`petulant menace in the carriage of their voices,
their dope, their lies, their guns,
their chips on their shoulders, their choices?

see me motionless
in the alleyway
`quiet, hooded smoke
from a roach thrown away
a little joke spoke'n'toke I dare say
names and authors scratched in soft brick

do they wonder then, am I
the final authority?
`a look over the shoulder,
fear on hold but colder,
defiantly reliant enough
to amble down the street

then I realize
no one's in charge here
`nobody is... it is what it is -
the snow turns back to rain,
cold light reflects off a dark road,
and that moon - well, its just gone





poem - the road and the star

by dog e relaford

mary had a little scam
and said, do you know who i am
to pilgrims walking down the road
when it rained, and when it snowed

i am she who knows the score
and what we are all here for
you, on the other hand
do not know where you stand

me and my little lamb bill
have a way and a will
let us take you by the hand
and lead you to the promised land

not to keep you in suspense
we are the spirit of innocence
that you are trying to regain
but can never explain

a pilgrim named big john
recognized mary’s con
but before he could give a shout
the sun went out

but it will come back
don’t know how, so don’t ask
and mary and her little lamb bill
will get by, you know they will

a star hangs in the sky
waiting for the earth to dry
after the endless rain
ready to start again

Thursday, December 24, 2020

poem for grandma

by horace p sternwall

i wrote this poem
i wrote it just for you
i really wrote it for grandma
so that is not strictly true

once there was a little dog
who lived in a far away continent
he barked like he hated the world
but that is not what he really meant

the little dog had a friend
who took the form of a cat
but life is a dream
so do not make too much of that

the dog and the cat were owned
by a merchant named mr smith
and that is all i know
i hope it is enough to go on with

i could tell you a long story
if you have nothing but time
it may not make much sense
and it may not even rhyme

mr smith had a secret life
in which he was a wizard
but everybody has a secret life
so that is not so surprising, is it?

the dog’s name was doctor doom
and the cat’s name was plain jane
and i forgot to mention the canary
who was isabella, queen of spain

there was a cow named dolores
she was empress of portugal
and a duck named walter worhington
who was everybody’s pal

there was a worm in the back of the garden
named harold trumbull the third
and a sheep named little gus
who was always true to his word

they all had secrets
from the authorities and from each other
and i will finish the story some other time
because that’s all for now, brother

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

poem - wild and free

by dog e relaford

i want to be wild
i want to be free
i want to live forever
i want to be me

why won't they let me
be what i want to be
because all i ask
is not to wear a mask

as the moon directs its beams
the gypsy in my dreams
in her gossamer disguise
leans over me and cries

o who did this to you?
just because your heart was true
you only wanted a little time
and not be treated like lowlife slime

every wave in the sea
wants to be free
and wants it more and more
until it crashes on the shore

Monday, December 21, 2020

poem - an angel appears

by dog e relaford

a guy named bob was a guy named joe
he went to work every day and went with the flow
he never wrote a poem or painted a picture
he read the sports page but mot the scriptures

one night an angel appeared to him
and said, how is it going, jim?
he said my name is not jim, it is bob or joe
or something like that, i don’t really know

some folks say the world is ending
and to the devil’s will is bending
i have never met the devil so i can’t say
but tomorrow might be another day

jim, said the angel with a frown
i was not trying to bring you down
i was only giving you a heads up
but maybe it was not good enough

don’t worry about me, said joe
i am in for the duration, rain or snow
coors light is my favorite drink
and everything will be all right, i think

the angel turned into a sandwich of roast beef
much to joe’s immense relief
he had not found the angel’s message shocking
but was tired from so much talking

Sunday, December 20, 2020

poem - redeemer

by dog e relaford

don’t think of an ectoplasm
don’t think of a frog
don’t think of a gerbil
or you will fall in a bog with the hogs

don’t play the piano
don’t play the flute
don’t play the violin
because your mother wears army boots

don’t throw a snowball
at the dog of the king of spain
and don’t talk politics
or he will leave you out in the rain

don’t buy a prairie dog
at the pet store at fifth and main
it will turn into a princess
and leave on the next train

don’t tell uncle jonathon
there is a python on his back
don’t tell aunt sally number nine
is coming down the track

if cousin edna ever knew
what really happened that night
she would run away to paris
and develop second sight

don’t tell the governess
her dress is on upside down
she will steal your refrigerator
and you will be the talk of the town

i had so many things to tell you
but my brain has turned to pasta
my fleas ain’t got no circus
and my vista ain’t got no hasta

don’t think of an elephant
he won’t remember your name
don’t ask st peter for a dollar
because to him it is all a game

i have so many memories written down
in my notebook carved from wood
your toaster is in the pawnshop
i would redeem it if i could

Friday, December 18, 2020


by anonymous

let me introduce myself

i almost said, allow me to introduce myself

or permit me to introduce myself

but i caught myself just in time

those terms are old fashioned

and i am not an old fashioned guy

i am up to date

i’m hip to the scene

i did not just fall off a banana boat

so as i was saying

let me introduce myself

i am the center of the universe

i am the emperor of the universe

notice i say “the” universe, not just some little “a” universe

if you wish to address me, please address me as

“your most celestial and all-encompassing majesty and holiness”

i have seen many things in my time

and done many things

and am many things

i rode the rails with jesse james

and hitchhiked through south america with ambrose bierce

and crossed the frozen tundra with jack london and an old mama lion

i play right field for the los angeles dodgers

and center field for the new york yankees

and left field for the boston red sox

and quarterback for the new england patriots

and point guard for the golden state warriors

i won the nobel peace prize for literature ten years in a row

and the nobel peace prize for mathematics twenty years in a row

i am the world’s funniest comedian

and the world’s greatest actor

and greatest lover

i spent thirty years on top of a mountaintop


and directing the flow of planets and galaxies through the heavens of the universe

which was thirsty work

right now i am working on a screenplay

of the world’s greatest movie

which will be watched a thousand times

by every creature in my universe

well, that is enough about me

for now

i’ll see you around

hasta la vista

just win, baby

Monday, December 14, 2020

poem - imagine

by so so johnson


imagine a world where everybody gets along.

a world where everybody is a rebel.

a world where everybody does their own thing.

a world where nobody tells anybody else what to do.

a world where everybody thinks for themselves.

a world where nobody cares what anybody else says or thinks, and where everybody says exactly what they think.

a world without bosses.

a world without slaves.

a world without money.

a world where nobody takes any grief from anybody else.

a world where nobody is a waiter or a waitress.

a world where nobody sits behind a desk all day.

a world without factories.

a world where nobody drives a truck or a bus or a cab.

a world where nobody has to depend on tips, or has to panhandle.

a world where nobody has to sell themself.

a world where nobody says yes, sir, or no, ma’am.

a world where everybody is a poet.

a world where everybody is an artist.

a world where everybody is a filmmaker.

a world where everybody is a singer/songwriter.

a world where everybody is famous.

a world where everybody is a billionaire.

a world without police, and prisons, and courts, and lawyers, and prosecutors.

a world without homicide detectives.

a world without murderers, or thieves, or muggers.

a world without bad people.

a world without jerks.

a world without people who think they know everything.

a world without ignorance.

a world without advertising.

a world without racism, or sexism, or homophobia.

a world without liberals or conservatives, red states or blue states, republicans or democrats, karens or deplorables.

a world where nobody is out to get you.

a world where nobody is watching you all the time.

a world where you can go anywhere you want, and do anything you want, and be anything you want.

a world without lies.

a world without so-called truth.

a world without laws.

a world without so-called laws of nature.

just a world.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

poem - things

by so so johnson

an ice cube is a thing
so is a cup of chamomile tea

and the freckle on the back of a person’s hand
lifting the cup of chamomile tea to their ruby lips

is a billion dollars a thing?
a fantasy about having a billion dollars is a thing

a person fantasizing about having a billion dollars is a thing

i wish i had a billion dollars
i could do a lot of things with it

a bluebird is a thing
whether it is happy or sad

the happiness of the happy bluebird is a thing
the sadness of the sad bluebird is a thing

the universe is a big thing
the bluebird is a smaller thing

let’s all get together and be things together
that would be quite a thing

Saturday, December 12, 2020

story 5

by horace p sternwall

it was the day of the big game.

the one everybody had been waiting for.

the tigers against the wildcats.

the tigers came out fighting. they had the wildcats back on their heels.

the tiger fans went wild. you could hear them in the next county.

the wildcat fans were stunned.

a few of the wildcat fans started chanting “defense, defense!”

but the game was not over.

the tigers were on the verge of blowing the game open. the wildcats needed somebody to step up and make a play.

and they got it! they got the stop! bud jones, the heart and soul of the wildcats, made the play!

the mood in the stadium seemed to shift. the tiger fans were not quite as loud.

alvin york, the lunch pail all around player for the wildcats, ran over pretty boy floyd, the prima donna superstar of the tigers, and scored!

it was a whole new ball game! the wildcat fans came to life!

and then it was half time.

both coaches called their teams out.

coach hoover of the tigers blasted his team for not showing some stones and putting the wildcats - the wildcats, their traditional rivals! away. didn’t they want to play? he particularly laid onto pretty boy floyd, and challenged him to play like a man and show some leadership in the second half!

coach purvis of the wildcats was almost as tough. sure, they got a few breaks and came back in the second quarter, but what were they doing in the first quarter? four quarters, ladies, you have to play for four quarters! play like you want to win and not just get the game over with! and play like you got something between your ears besides between your legs! nelson, that play you made at the end at the first quarter was the dumbest - the absolutely most godawfully dumbest i have seen in all my years of coaching!

back on the field. a north wind had sprung up, and a few drops of rain began to fall.

the fans on both sides had gotten warmed up and juiced up at halftime.

and it looked like both sides wanted to play!

the wildcats came out with fire in their eye!

the wildcats score! before the tigers had a chance to blink!

will the tigers lose heart and pack it in ?

or will they dig down and deep and start playing some tiger ball?

the tigers score on a once in a lifetime play by pretty boy floyd!

the tigers rally around pretty boy and now we have a ballgame!

back and forth it goes, neither team giving an inch!

the rain begins to fall and the wind begins to howl!

but nobody in the stands leaves their seats.

what a game!

with the game in the line, in the closing seconds, alvin york gets knocked out for the wildcats!

binky mcguire, a little used sub who has hardly played all year, goes in to replace him.

the tigers run a play for pretty boy, right at binky!

the noise in the stands rises to a crescendo! the wind howls!

you can guess what happens next!

game over! wildcats win!

a happy bunch of wildcats fans, eddie wilson, jerry smith, sal profumo, and buck headwind, head for the exit. buck has lubricated himself a little too freely and has to be helped to stay upright by his buddies.

safe and warm, and sitting in a booth at the point spread with beers and burgers and buffalo fries in front of them, they all agree that it was the greatest game they ever saw.

“the only problem,” says eddie, “ is we will never see another as good if we live to be a hundred, so they might as well go home and hang ourselves.”

“but we can die happy,” says jerry, and they all agree, even buck, who is beginning to feel a little better and grabs a buffalo fry.

the place is packed with wildcat and tiger fans. even the tiger fans agree it was the greatest game they ever saw.

outside, in the darkness, one man is not joining in the general euphoria.

al capone, who got a special favor from the big herb to put a bet down on the tigers at even money, though the book was tigers by two and a half, is doing what he always does after he loses a bet - blaming the refs and realizing the fix must have been in.

that call against clyde farmer of the wildcats with two minutes to go - that changed the whole game!

al could have paid off mike miller and had something to spare for a big dinner and a massage - but now his life might as well … might as well… might as well what?

at least it’s stopped raining. al doesn’t want to go inside the point spread and listen to a lot of idiot jabber from of punks who don’t remember the days when a man could put an honest bet on an honest game…. he heads to burger king for a cup of coffee.

later that night, bob mcnamara, the assistant offensive coordinator of the wildcats , arrives home after watching four hours of game film with the other coaches.

his wife is up, the tv is off, and she is playing solitaire at the dining room table.

“how did it go?” she asks him.

“all right.”

“did you win or lose?”

“we won.”

“that’s nice. do you want to play gin rummy?”

“no, i just want to go to bed.”

“want something to eat?”

“no, we had pizza when we were watching the film.”

“i hope you don’t get indigestion.”

“i got a plain pizza, nothing on it. and plain fries.””

“that’s good.”

“i just want to go to bed.”

“all right, good night.”