Friday, May 25, 2018

Flight Plans

Three Fates
—Poems and Visuals by Smith, Cleveland, OH


There are dark things that live in caves
and real trolls beneath real bridges
that'll eat you
eat your brother
your sister
your parents
your dog
some of them aren't even monster monsters
just humans mis-wired or mis-raised
the bad side of Darwin
trash compact
low class low act
it ain't personal
it's just you're food
and they're hungry
or inadequate
or bored
perhaps it's karma
you're eaten by what you once ate
so you move up or down the food chain
reborn soft and chewy
or teeth and chomp
and maybe it's pure chance
you're here
hungry stomach's there
just the way it goes
nothing to worry about
but you might want to get
some good running shoes
rear view mirrors
and say your prayers to the players of fear

 Lotus Blossom


I play this game
where I get up before dawn
sit in dark brooding
sipping coffee
taking a toke if I'm lucky
pop pain pill
trudge to mountain
see which rock I've been assigned
which worthless route up which hell hill
and begin the begin again
roll rock up
watch it slip back down
roll rock
lose rock
aim't no rock 'n' roll
just me up here and loss below
day after day
again and again
pain in brain
pain in body
pain in pay
today... and today... and today
forever and ever

 Che Day


Life's this big one-way tree
you're born at bottom
crawl up trunk
get to first branch
and pause in worry wonder
this way or that
that's if you're paying attention
cuz sometimes you miss
and vectors carry
but once past
no going back
done do been did
so work the forward
prepare for branching
higher you climb older you get
till branches thinned smaller weaken
disappear into sky
where flesh falls
spirit flies

 Cover, Artcrimes 1


And speaking of the emissions of sin
and their moist ever after
what's with Dorothy of Kansas
defeating the Wicked Witch of the West
by throwing water on her
making her melt?

Makes me wonder
how Witchy got though years previous
without getting wet.

She couldn't walk in the rain,
or go swimming,
nor take the bath,
which means not only was she wicked
but smelled bad.

In fact how could she urinate
without melting her nether regions?

No teenage French kissing,
no getting hot and wet with sex,
no sweat no tears
nor water dare she drink,
moist cookies probably scared her,
as did cunnilingus and fellatio,
and tearjerk movies were a fatal horror set.

Couldn't cry couldn't salivate couldn't spit
and god forbid one of those flying monkeys
got the shits



Happy is
farm 62 years ago
wild grass and flowers
between the wheat and woods
lying on my back
sun on face
eyes closed
buzz of fly
lowing cow
chicken cackle
wick wick of windmill
distant drone of dog bark
and propeller of plane
growl of tractor
people miles away
no there where to be
all here
all now
all me

Safe is
four years old
lying on back in back seat
soft glow of headlights
and dashboard light in night
late ’40's car swaying side to side
motor droning
tires moaning old highway
parents protection in front seat
no fear
no where
no why
no safe since

Now is
CEO crooks
death by cop
rape by priest
thug in White House
customer-killing corporations
dying body politic
cancer water
cancer dirt
cancer air
movies music TV
no there
no fair
no fly



With wife and cat,
I'm the man with two sweeties
and we paid $100
to have one of them killed.

We were told she would let us know
when it was time to go
and the day before she rubbed my ankles
looked up into my eyes
let out a piteous howl of enough.

At the vet's
I got down on knee
put my fingertip in her paw pads
looked her in eye
she looked back
squeezed my finger
they injected
she looked up startled
and left.

Old kittencat girl
go to sleep
dream love that's yours
from she and me
which always will be
dream deeper
sleep slower
slip from ache of day
unburden bones
free fly from fur
sleep and slip
sleep and slip
away to play.

(for Mandy, 2002-2016)



On street unlit in town unknown
nowhere here to somewhere gone
looking for the light
after hours over
time moved on
down the line
awaiting the unarrived
grateful for disaster's delay.

I see sad women
husbands fallen from hope
exit failing houses
to meet at the well
where forgetting pain
they laugh in gossip giggle
wetting buckets
warming heart
knowing they are not alone.

Darkness sparkles stars
harsh with heart
pearls of diamond night.



I flew in 1953
when I was seven and fell 50 feet
down a hundred-foot cliff
in Mullen Idaho
if my knee hadn't wedged into an outcrop
I'd have hit the rapids below
in hundred-foot belly flop
not knowing how to swim

Seven years later
I flew in my hundred-foot Ponderosa Pine
atop the tallest tree
on the highest hill of our farm
outside Spokane Washington
I'd lay back in my trunk-branch seat
and sway with the wind
with the tree
with me

I tried to fly a prop plane
into a cloud in Navy flight training
Florida 1967
but my instructor wrenched control
told me it'd rip off our wings,
then handled a helicopter,
and passengered in a jet
landing and taking off
an aircraft carrier
boy are they small
from high

1977 left the road upside down 100 mph
in high arc of first motorcycle crash
landed in meadow with minor scratch
but 1977 hit concrete speed bump
too fast on last crash
too high on grass and alcohol and acid
killed bike when I landed
broke collar bone, ribs, cracked pelvis

Little minor flights when
I rolled my first stolen car
1960 in the golf course
and 1977 when I rolled my second car
in my driveway

Finally 2002 jumped from airplane
two miles high
thought I went for the mile freefall
but the treasure is when ‘chute opens
you hang in silence
floating in the wind with the wind
motionless    weightless    quiet
looking down on Amish farms
green-jeweled fields
sun-danced ponds
slow-sway trees
people too far away to bother you
until you land in the ache
of wanting up again

And I fly high in my head every day
waiting for the fame that never comes

 Scar Tissue

Today’s LittleNip:


Clean sheets
New-made bed
Bathed body—
Joy drops in the sorrow

We weep when a child is born
Make merry when they die
For freedom to prison to freedom they fly


Our thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s poeting/posting, and may he fly in peace. And a reminder that Speak Up: The Art of Storytelling and Poetry meets tonight at The Avid Reader on Broadway in Sacramento, 7pm, where storytellers and poets will riff on tonight’s theme, “Making a Home”. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 Pick a Card...
....and Celebrate Poetry!
—Collage by Smith

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.