Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Song of the Eternally Caged – a poem


  The Song of the Eternally Caged
[a poem,  from   ~burning woman~  ]

 Am I free?
or trapped in an illusion of freedom?
The song I sing this day,
beside the mountain on the River
is it the song of Joy I recall of pre-earth days
or the song of the eternally caged
of those trapped in the labyrinth of time?

Do I have a home?
Am I ever the outcast on the street?
This box I live in this day,
beside the street in this rumbling city
is it the home I would have built for myself
or a body’s parking place
waiting for someone to return – or die?

The world beckoned and I came
willingly, oh so willingly,
full of trust and wonder:
I saw what I took for an endless dance
until my eyes grew strong
and I recognized the chain gang —
it slogged sadly past my stroller —
no one looked when I screamed.

The chain gang’s dead and gone now
its chains rusting in rows at the end of its way.
It served its purpose, no doubt — and the guards:
those who wielded the guns, sticks and whips,
they are all dead too – their chains rusted with the others.
But I remain, I, too young then to put in the chains:
That, they knew, would wait another day.

And the day came — it always does.
They put on the chains and led me to the line.
That should have been the end of the story —
but a rebel taught me well and I remembered a trick:
the locks were simple to pick, the chains dropped
and in the honeysuckle scented night I slipped away
to sail upon the seas.  Oh what a fool!

I learned to sing upon the indifferent breeze
as it swept freely upon open decks after a storm;
sad songs that filled my heart with doubt:
‘Twas there, looking at the stars, I heard, and learned
to sing the song of the eternally caged.
It floated up from slaves chained below decks
who dying, sang the songs from their lost worlds. 


No One is the Only One – the Song of Madness


No One is the Only One
  The Song of Madness

No! Insists Mauroy of the Mauroy.
I will not do as I am bid
For of No One do I come
And to No One do I go.
Therefore and as before
No One is the Only One
I answer Only to No One

To No One, to No One
Do we not answer to No One,
One and all to No One?

And all the little Ones
Tossed their green-mopped heads
From long spindly stalks of necks,
Every four head in unison of One
Nodding agreement to No One.

The Others sit silent in the meadow
Under pale starlit moonlight.
They wait, as always and as before
They wait for No One to not appear

For the Toulie always know
And the Mauroy always decide.

Therefore as always and as before
To No One must they all answer
And the answer predictably as before:
I will not do as I am bid – and
There in moonlit glade they remain

To One by One
Fall into the Nillness .


What now World? a poem by ~burning woman~



Basically, I have three piggy banks.  One, the biggest one, contains a haphazard (emphasis on hap, not hazard) collection of essays or pseudo-essays, depending on the definition.  The other, only half the size, contains another haphazard collection of short stories and the third one contains a dog’s breakfast collection of poetry, or as some generously label it, truncated-lined prose.  So, by turning upside down and vigorously shaking my truncated line poetry piggy bank, this fell out:

What now, World?
Well here I am, world.
Yes, I have returned to you
because you begged me —
and I must certainly be a fool
for listening to your pleading
and trusting you again —
but who knows the ways of the heart?
What now, my great lover?
Will you bare my soft shoulders;
caress them with your calloused hands?
Run your fingers over my skin
and drag your straggly beard
over my slender arms
to make me tremble and shiver?
Or will you take your whip
and rip my flesh open
as you did the very last time?
Will you despise me for what I am;
be jealous of my beauty,
despise my kindness
and give me no chance
to defend myself?
Will you walk me to your bed,
lay me gently upon silken sheets
and make love to me under the moon?
Or will you tie my wrists
and beat me black and blue
as in every other time
since neither of us can remember?
I haven’t changed you know.
(And I do wish I had —
though I do not know which way)
I’m still the same old me
though in a different body.
And you — how have you changed
beyond your tearful promises?
Ah well, I’m here now
once more in your power —
whether by choice,
foolishness or ignorance —
and how well we both know
you may do with me
absolutely as you wish.



The case of “The Truth, the Whole Truth and What the Hell”


There’s been a lot of talk lately about corruption in high places, particularly in the justice system.  I want to use the following story to once and for all demolish that baseless accusation: our courts of law are incorruptible.  They are, as the following will clearly demonstrate, the epitome of honesty.  Without further ado, I present (drum roll)…

A really, really, really short dialogue short story, in short, quite short.

Known as “The One Perry Mason Episode that did not make it into Prime Time TV” here is (the entire audience is now sitting on the edge of their seats, and with bated breath to boot  *note to self: look up “bated breath, or is it baited breath?*)

 The case of “The Truth, The Whole Truth and What the Hell”

If I may, your honour, I wish to cross-examine the witness one more time.

Don’t you mean the defendant, your client, Mr. Mason?

Yeah, sure, what the hell…

 Give me good cause why I should allow further questioning, Mr. Mason.

 Certainly your honor.  

 (Mr. Mason, standing tall, imposing and in his best stentorian voice). *note to self: look up stentorian in conjunction with voice*

Your honour, the accused, my client, is nothing but a little shit.  He’s a fraud, a cheap-skate, a pimp, a drug dealer and a murderer and couldn’t tell the truth to save his life in a hostage exchange.   The only reason I took his case is because he bribed me to bribe the jury and offered me an extra $800,000 after my fee, a trip on his yacht to Barbados and all the women I could ever want. He also said he’d buy me an island where I could rule like a king.  

 Commendable.   Very well, Mr. Mason, you may continue to question the witness, that is, the defendant.

 Thank you, your honor.

 Now Joey, is it, or isn’t it, true that you murdered Bobby “the Weasel” Kellskrieg in cold blood when you became convinced he was a police informant?

Never your honour, I swear. I killed him for sending a love note and one long-stemmed red rose to Janet Leigh, my favourite ho. Also when I stabbed him, his blood was quite hot. Please believe me, I’m telling the truth – just this once, I promise, I won’t do it again.

 And do you know anything about Janet Leigh’s body having been pulled out of the bay the day after “the Weasel” was murdered?

It’s not my fault, your honor. She told me she liked the guy. I dunno, I may have overdone the lead Pradas, but I didn’t know she couldn’t swim, she never said a word after I gagged her. I plead self defense.

 Your honour, based on this new evidence, I wish to move that the case be dismissed.  It’s obvious my client is under a great deal of stress wondering where he’ll get that bribe money to pay me.  I beg the court to show some mercy, some sympathy in this case. 

 I tend to lean in that direction myself, Mr. Mason. Your client did tell the truth, even if in some small way it did appear to incriminate him. I think there’s sufficient lack of solid evidence about this case to dismiss.

 (A moment or two elapse in silence, then the gavel bangs – once, very loudly and breaks)

Ah, shit, that was a present from Benito Casino. He presented it to me after I let him plead self defense when he shot and killed the District Attorney in this very courtroom. Such fond memories. But never mind, he’ll get me another one, surely.   Case dismissed!

Thank you, your honour.

All rise!  (and his honour leaves the court room to make a phone call: “Hi, Ben?”)

And that’s it folks.  I rest my case: there is no corruption in our courts of law. You have seen the evidence for yourselves. 


The Spectral Voice – a short story



The Spectral Voice

[voice from the shadow worlds — Sha’Tara] 

I’ve been feeling rather forlorn for some years now.  I don’t get much in the way of meaningful dialogue.  In fact I get little dialogue of any kind, at least not with the humans.

 I still frequent the quiet places of Earth but those are becoming rarer and rarer.  Of late I’ve taken to walking the top of the mountains and swimming the rivers and lakes.  I was conversing with a couple of ravens the other day when several of those jet airplanes roared on past overhead and the ravens flew off because the noise hurt them.  It’s OK, it hurt me too. 

There aren’t as many fish now as there used to be and the waters are full of strange and alien vibrations.  Also I find man-made garbage, mostly chemical effluents, spoiling the waters.  The larger boats create much turmoil and the waters are murky.  Many of the young fish die because their environment is no longer healthy for them.  The waters of Earth are becoming a death trap for those who cannot live anywhere else.

 I still find forests to walk through, but they too are dwindling.  Most of the people I find here are bent on some sort of destruction.  Either they are logging the forest, or hunting and killing what remains of the animal population or they are just out there “joy riding” in their ATV’s and four wheel drives.  Needless to say the larger animals are too busy between catching a few moments of badly needed rest, protecting themselves or their families, finding new sources of food or just running scared from the human predators to have much time to chat with me.   

 So as you’ve gathered I mostly spend my time observing it all, not trying to communicate much of anything to anyone.  What is there to say to the remaining non-humans just trying to survive?  I sit quietly for days on end and watch a beaver family build a lodge for the winter.  Or I watch the antics of squirrels gathering nuts and burying them.  I follow sparrows and other small birds with my eyes, listening to their chirping and for some brief moment I enjoy a respite of heart from their boundless enthusiasm and child-like faith in life.

Today I went into your city: any city.  It’s all the same city, so the name you give it doesn’t matter.  This time I thought I’d concentrate on your thoughts and find someone with whom I could converse simply and clearly.  I wanted to express what I’d seen of the destruction of the wilderness.  You see, without your wilderness – large untouched forests, green prairies, pristine river valleys and clean seas – this planet is going to become poisoned and in a short time it will look like your neighbour, the one you call Mars.  I wanted to tell you this hoping you would acknowledge my right to say this, and would respond to my deep sense of knowing in these things.  I was, you might say, longing for a meaningful conversation with an intelligent, sentient and self-aware being.

 It was a very long day, tiring even for me.  I went from your business districts to your suburbs, to your industrial areas and finally I wandered among your destitute and homeless.  But everywhere there was what you call music playing from radios, or there were computers and TV’s talking and all of you were plugged in to cell phones, or i-somethings, and not one of you heard me or even felt my presence. 

I really wanted to speak with you about your ways.  You are about to commit genocide.  I think you already know this but you have a way of slipping into denial as if that could fix everything. Already you destroy hundreds of non-human living species each day, without qualm, fear or guilt.  I wanted to tell you that you are all linked together on this tiny world.  With each species you destroy you also destroy a vital part of your own culture, of your own life.  You, as a people, are dying.  The most terrible aspect of your death isn’t in the physical, it’s that you are killing your own spirit, becoming less and less alive even as you frantically seek more activities.  

 I know what I have to say to you does not appear to be good news.  But at least, had you listened, you would be empowered at this moment to do something, if not for the planet, at least for yourselves, as individuals.  You could have changed your ways. But, let me recount the excuses I hear in your minds: you were too young, too old, too busy, too afraid, too comfortable.  It’s just too easy to believe that all the bad signs given off by your natural environment are the product of conspiracy theories. 

Oh, you were listening to this?  Interesting.  Who am I, you ask?  You don’t recognize me?  Have I been hidden from your awareness for so long?  I am the one your ancient ones called “Wisdom.” They knew where to find me and we had interesting and deeply meaningful conversations long ago.  Yes, I suppose you are right, I’m out of date.  I should have left this world long ago.  I’m too old and spectral to impress anyone today.  But thank you for listening.  I very much desired to share good things with you.  Alas, it was not to be.