Sunday, January 31, 2021

poem - catfish

by horace p sternwall

i dreamed i was tom sawyer
fishing in a muddy stream
and tom caught a catfish
but it was not what it seemed

the catfish was abe lincoln
and he tossed tom a dime
and said, hold on to it, my boy
it must last you for all time

be wary, said walt whitman
for all this will be forgot
what is seen will be wiped clean
but what is whispered will not

then up stepped henry ford
wearing a necktie made of worms
for he was not george washington
and certainly not george burns

do not cut down the cherry tree
lest all this glory end
tom paine is in the parlor
making huey long his friend

mr vanderbilt has four aces
and grant a pair of kings
jesse james looks over his shoulder
as boss tweed pulls the strings

a new book will be written
when the old world returns
but the children will not read it
for no one ever learns

tom reeled in the catfish
and took the hook from out its mouth
custer set out for the territory
ambrose bierce went south

Saturday, January 30, 2021


by genghis gilgamesh

the sun came up like red daffodils.

a lone traveler rode across the desert.

he could see the fortress on the horizon.

but his steed was almost done.

the steed was a mighty goronian lizard, and had done the rider good service since he had acquired it in a bazaar on the border of the empire.

but now it fell to its knees and could not go on.

the fortress loomed, dark and silent, on the horizon.

the rider got off the beast.

he had one bullet left in his pistol.

he had been saving it for the monster in the fortress.

the rider had always prided himself on showing mercy to the beasts who served him.

but he could not waste this last bullet to put the poor creature out of its misery.

he started on foot across the sands.

he could hear the great lizard whimpering behind him.

after he had gone a hundred yards he turned back.

taking a deep breath, he fired the bullet into the lizard’s brain.

the shot echoed and reechoed across the plain.

looking up, the rider saw the awakened monster emerge from the fortress.

the monster was even larger and more terrible than he had been told.

the rider drew his sword.

the monster rushed upon him in a few great bounds.

it was quickly over.

the sun rose higher in the sky.

the only sound in the desert was that of the gastric juices of the monster, dissolving the rider.

it would get to the lizard later.

Friday, January 29, 2021

poem 55

by dog e relaford

clouds drift through the sky
nobody asks them why
birds hop around in the grass
they don’t put their foot on the gas

people hurry down the street
other humans to meet
they wear starched collars
and make billions of dollars

they had a master plan
before the day even began
i wish i knew what it was
my head is beginning to buzz

i wish i lived a million years ago
so i could watch the sun move slow
over a hill of green
in a happy primal scene

beneath a sky of blue
with nothing at at all to do
except find a few berries or grapes
and hang out with the lions and apes

with no taxes to pay or loans to beg
i would let the ants crawl up my leg
and the bees float around my head
and listen to what the breeze said

Thursday, January 28, 2021

poem - deep inside

by dog e relaford

why doesn’t everybody love me?
i am not a bad fellow
my shirts are white or pink or blue
my ties are red or yellow

my shoes are brown or black
my manner is sincere
i do not step on people’s feet
and pay my taxes every year

you who sit in cafe windows
and laugh as i walk by
so mocking and superior
so knowing and so sly

would it knock your organic socks off
and your ecofriendly sandals too
if i said that deep inside
i was really just like you

you can order wokeness by the spoonful
and enlightenment by the pound
but ordinary guys like me
make this world go round

i work for a soulless corporation
that insures the mighty ships
that carry the hundred brands of coffee
which you thoughtfully sip

that is just how it is
so i do not mean to complain
and keep a smile on my face
as i walk through the wind and rain

although i speak the truth
because my heart is true
what i really want deep inside
is just to be just like you

Monday, January 25, 2021


by bofa xesjum

bootsie was quite a character.

everybody loved bootsie.

well. almost everybody.

a lot of people, let’s leave it at that.

people would shout, hey bootsie, when bootsie walked down the street.

some people would.

the kind of people who shout on the street.

most of them, a lot of them, would shout hey, bootsie at bootsie.

they don’t make them like bootsie any more.

bootsie was one of a kind.

the kind they tell stories about.

long after they are gone.

for a while after they are gone.

some people still remember bootsie.

and tell the old stories.

mostly the old stories, but sometimes new ones, too.

which is kind of strange, when you stop and think about it.

and makes you wonder.

the people who tell the stories, old and new, they will be gone themselves pretty soon.

and maybe stories will be told about them.

but not as many.

not as many as about bootsie.

because bootsie was one of a kind.

they broke the mold when they made bootsie.

you can take that to the bank.

good old bootsie.

Friday, January 22, 2021

poem 53

by dog e relaford

everybody hates me
i have no friends
this is how
the universe ends

people are bad
they should be good
this has always
been understood

and yet they keep on
being bad
i think it is really
really so sad

they go to parties
and drink champagne
and laugh at
misery and pain

how i wonder
did it all begin
the wind is howling
may i come in?

can i tell my tale?
will you promise not to laugh?
i want the whole world
but will settle for half

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Life On Mars


 Cabin fever come to its fruition 

– almost lost my head to the Empress this morning – 

the sky is falling down as rain, 

the snow has melted,  

 the Mississippi is about to consume the town, 

if not the entire world.

References to ‘magic lanterns’, 

‘floating worlds’ and 

‘backwards tintypes’ 

... applaudable, in my skewed view. 

Yet, should we exit on a ‘celebratory note’? 

golden years --
loose change in a jar
on top the 'fridge

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

poem 52

by dog e relaford

if i could write a poem
and paste it on the wall
i would send everybody a message
including you all

humans are lost now
but back in the day
they knew who they were
and what they had to say

and who to say it to
and at the proper time
they would throw a bum a nickel
and sometimes even a dime

and if the bum said thank you
or even if he did not
they looked up at the sky
and thought beautiful thoughts

there is only one road
and everybody is on it
there is only one blue sky
so smile, doggone it

Sunday, January 17, 2021



a wish, a cloud set adrift, it floats, 

beset by chill winds, 

a feeling, solipsistic, 

exhaustion is your friend, 

a sleepless amble, 

a dream awakened by a frown, 

through the mist, across the flume, 

an idle mind wanders, 

searching through each room 


poem - never

by dog e relaford

i am just a bunch of atoms
smashing around forever
but i will always love my mama
so never say never

i tried to love everybody
but could never make it work
in the morning i got stuck in the muck
and at night i got lost in the murk

the. sheriff came and got me
and took me to the county jail
the night is as dark as a rainbow
and the stars are growing pale

i asked him for a cup of coffee
and he told me to watch my mouth
the bears are going north
and the birds are flying south

i hope grandma comes to visit
when they open up at dawn
even if i had my mojo
i would put my tuxedo on

i will offer her a donut
though it might be a little stale
custer rides into the sunset
jesse james robs the mail

Friday, January 15, 2021

the dragon and the duck

by dog e relaford

what a terrible life you lead
said the dragon to the duck
never sailing above the earth
but just flopping around in the muck

who are you to say that
the duck carefully chose his reply
there are many things upon the earth
but mostly emptiness in the sky

what is wrong with emptiness?
the dragon sincerely sneered
you have a philistine love of detail
just as i feared

the duck declined to argue further
but calmly walked away
the dragon flew away alone
though he had so much more to say

Thursday, January 14, 2021


by anonymous

last night i had the strangest dream.

or maybe it wasn’t a dream.

it’s hard to describe.

it was so real, and yet at the same tine it was totally unbelievable.

i was in this place.

it was all lit up, but it was dark too.

and there were these things, they were hard to describe.

they were scary, but i couldn’t keep my eyes off them.

and i had to do these things. if i didn’t do them i was in trouble.

it was all so fantastic and unreal.

i didn’t know how to do the things. the things the things wanted me to do,

everything was all lit up, and just kind of moving around.

i didn’t know what i do.

like i say, it was hard to describe.

if i had to use one word, i would say it was fantastic,

absolutely fantastic.

and maybe it all really happened.

or maybe not. how am i supposed to know?

go ahead and laugh, it might happen to you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

in the wind

by timothy t jones

american dog
waiting on windy corner
where is my old friend?

american bum
standing in coffee shop door
i need a new friend

no more sable coats
or nights at the opera
for you or for me

right and proper, sir
perfect room temperature
the way you like it

a good martini
like a good faithful puppy
should not disappoint

but my dear fellow
you expect me to believe
you have no old friends

when i was your age
i had conquered the old world
and threatened the new

but now all is lost
in the american night
on the gray sidewalk

in the rain, the rain
outside on the gray sidewalk
where are my old friends?

Monday, January 11, 2021

september 29, 1946

by nick nelson

johnny allen liked apple pie, and picking apples.

betty bradley like to pick blueberries, but dd not much like to bake blueberry pies, or any kind of pie.

cecelia carter liked to look out the window at the passing scene, but the scene did not pass as much as it used to.

dave davis was one of the last of the old time door to door salesmen.

ed smith was a wandering hobo. he claimed he was looking for work.

sheriff fred brown had his work cut out for him.

george washington was the first president of the united states.

how was anybody to know that herb howland was not who he said he was?

irene jenkins was the town tramp.

joyce jefferson was married to no good tim jefferson, had six children, and wrote poetry in her spare time.

ken harris had been in love with joyce madison in high school, and hated to see her married to tim jefferson.

abraham lincoln wrote the gettysburg address on a piece of paper.

a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

nick norris ran out of gas just outside the state line of nebraska.

o say can you see by that rocket’s red glare?

st peter had his hands full on that terrible day.

it was quiet out in the graveyard.

the rain began to fall.

since you’ve been gone, the sparrows never come around to the bird feeder.

take a minute, son, take just a minute to think about what you are doing here.

rita underwood, “miss underwood” to generations of algebra students, had a funny feeling when she woke up from her nap.

general robert e lee would have approved of this fine virginia ham.

the wind began to howl.

excuse me, sir, are you from around these parts?

yellow. i say you’re yellow.

a rabbit zipped across the road, followed by a -

Saturday, January 9, 2021

poem - the house

by anonymous

when the sun goes down
the trees disappear
the road is dark
but it must go somewhere

did a king build the road?
or did buffalo wear it down?
is there a house at the end of it
or only a tree?

does anyone live in the house?
is anyone hanging from the tree?
do bandits live in the woods?
is there anything left for them to steal?

i have so many questions
and no sand to write them down in
and no rocks to throw at the windows
of the house that may be only a tree

Friday, January 8, 2021

poem 51

by dog e relaford

a porcupine and a rainbow
went fishing in the deep blue sea
the porcupine said, you’re a thundering bore
and the rainbow said, who, me?

sheriff john brown and rasputin
flew by in a red balloon
the sheriff said, please vote for me
and i will see you see all soon

moby dick and jonah’s whale
were lying in the weeds
they overheard the conversation
but paid it little heed

the duke and duchess of fare thee well
overturned in a canoe
and swam home with their straw hats over their faces
because it would never do

albert einstein and robin hood
set up an honest game
but their teddy bears turned into army boots
and floated away in the rain

when the pope woke up in the morning
he discovered his wallet was gone
he shaved with his rusty old razor
and sadly greeted the dawn

little bo peep and schopenhauer
argued whether life was a dream
after a while they got hungry
and went fishing in a muddy stream

everybody has a moment
when they see everything in a flash
so carry your credit cards everywhere
but always pay in cash

Thursday, January 7, 2021

fifteen fricasseed orangutans

by nick nelson

johnny woke up.

the rhinoceros was gone.

he got up and went to the refrigerator and took out his 333.

it was loaded with 17 b-5 pellets.

johnny stuck the 333 in his pocket and went downstairs,

outside in the wilderness the street was dark and silent.

but three blocks away the top floor of hogan’s headquarters was lit up like a birthday cake.

because sometimes the prime minister of england has to put ice in his own drink.

hogan’s gorillas were patrolling the sidewalk outside his headquarters.

i got a message for hogan, johnny said to the biggest gorilla.

sure you do, punk, the gorilla laughed.

tell him the time for action has passed, johnny said. everything is frozen now. we are all our own ice cubes, no matter how pink or green or blue we were.

the gorillas pretended they had not heard him, but johnny didn’t care.

he went down to the river.

it was quiet.

he could see a single canoe on it, slowly making its way toward him in the darkness.

he remembered the county fair.

he remembered winning a teddy bear for nellie.

but now the good times were over, and he had to do what had to be done.

the canoe reached the shore.

johnny got in, and the blue kid turned the canoe around and headed back across the river to the mountain.

the blue kid thought he had johnny’s number was johnny was hip to the scene.

when they were halfway across johnny took the 333 out of his pocket and wrote the kid a new ticket.

he threw the kid in the river and started paddling himself.

a star came out from behind a cloud.

when johnny reached the other shore, nellie was waiting for him.

she was wearing the pink dress she had worn to the senior prom.

it started to rain.

they went on up to the big house.

bascomb had built a big fire in the library fireplace.

tell me what happened with the president, nellie said, after bascomb had served coffee and closed the library door behind him.

fifteen fricasseed orangutans went to the county fair, johnny said. thirteen of them got on the ferris wheel.

the fourteenth went to the shooting gallery and won a raggedy ann doll for his girl.

the fifteenth hid behind the big tent. when night came he went down the country road and started hitchhking to columbus ohio.

i guess that says it all, nellie said.

not quite, johnny told her.


i know all about the president. and about hogan. you should not have worn that pink dress.

you can guess what happened next.

johnny went back down to the river.

the sun was starting to come up.

but it did not stop.

it kept coming up and up and up until it filled the sky.

i could have told this story a trillion ways, but this is how i told it.