Thursday, May 21, 2009
"the topographical and anatomical information in particular is lost on me."
"however," holmes continued
"everything will be revealed
tonight will tell the tale
our friend mr wells will join us
perhaps nayland smith as well
of course watson your input will be welcome as well"
"good heavens holmes i should hope so
remember the muddle we had before
all because we consulted mr wells
perfectly ridiculous to bring him on board again if you ask me."
"i expect sharp insights from mr wells.
count on it, watson - "
a sharp rap on the door interrupted him
"lestrade, no doubt"
"at your service, mr holmes
no change in plans i take it
devil take it if i understand the plans though."
all will be revealed in good time
the night will bring surprises
of course all nights bring surprises
maybe tonight's will be exceptional.
in any case
clear your mind of preconceived ideas
as of course one always should."
'i have invited mr wells to join us
nayland smith as well
for his particular expertise
opium is not my strongest subject
relying on cocaine as i do"
"mr holmes if i may say so - "
"ah, here are mr wells and mr nayland smith now
too good of you to come gentlemen
i trust we will have good sport tonight -
oh excuse me i haven't this gentleman's acquaintance -"
nayland smith nodded pleasantly
"i have the pleasure of introducing mr lee."
nothing in holmes demeanor showed surprise
"poppy lee, i believe -
alias - dr fu manchu!"
"really holmes this is outrageous
this man is our guest - "
"i understand the laws of hospitality as well as the next briton, watson
curtail your outrage
under the blotter on my desk you will find a
letter addressed to
"all mankind and particularly queen victoria and sherlock holmes"
received in the mail this morning
"is this some sort of joke?"
spluttered wells and nayland smith simultaneously
"little is to be gained by preconception, gentlemen
observation must carry the day
sorry to have used you as foils but
the fate of mankind was at stake.'
"oh so i was being duped again. eh?"
"never fear, mr wells, your time will come."
"my word holmes," exclaimed watson
"everything is back to normal"
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"i'm looking for my mother to kill her"
"my, my." said sherlock holmes, "that sounds a bit extreme."
lestrade looked on quietly
on one hand he approved of holmes method
on the other he was shocked
killing was serious business
in his opinion words meant something
newer views were taking hold
gentlemen in positions of influence
on the irrelevance of language
refuting centuries of received wisdom
moll johnson the pickpocket
youthfully snarling and insouciant
made eye contact with lestrade
on a nod from holmes
tom jubb the constable
hustled poor moll away
"elementary, my dear lestrade," holmes explicated
"remnants of prehistory
tumble through the child's brain
interesting however -
let us take a walk"
leaving the docks behind
holmes and the worthy inspector
entered a broad thoroughfare
reminding lestrade of a battlefield in the punjab
the aztec night was falling fast
when through a fellaheen village passed
twelve riders from across the border
in perfect military order
the lieutenants had two famous names
they were frank and jesse james
the captain was more famous still
none other than the dread quantrill
the faces of the other nine
are not so firmly etched in time
but as they rode to meet their fate
each rebel soldier pulled his weight
the village had but buildings three
a jail, a church, a monastery
a single tree with blood red berries
stood beyond the cemetary
and from the berry tree, swinging loose
a carefully knotted hangman's noose
caught quantrill's eye and then frank james'
in the sudden sunset's final flames
the other ten seemed unaware
they filed into the village square
the square was empty - dusty - still
"another ghost town" cried quantrill
frank james frowned and jesse scowled
far off, a lone coyote howled
the black chacmoolian hills looked down
upon the strangely silent town
dan willis was a rider bold
a brash newcomer to the fold
frank and jesse despised his sass
but quantrill laughed at the youngster's brass
now dan jumped off his horse's back
and taking tobacco from his sack
he rolled one easy as you please
seemed quite prepared to take his ease
he kicked a stone across the ground
"i think i'll take a look around"
he shouted - but no answering sound
echoed his challenge - quantrill frowned
professor porter shifted his weight
upon his horse - "i'd hesitate
to jump to conclusions," he shivered
his red nose twitched and his gray beard quivered
"look ye boys!" cried frenchy le rouge
his finger pointed and his eyes grew huge
upon the coal black mountainside
a light had flashed - and suddenly died
"where are in tarnation are the peasants?"
cried long and lanky henry pheasant
"where's the chief and where's the priest
so quick to get their palms well greased?"
quantrill's face grew fiery red
"shut the flaps on your empty heads
we didn't come here to take a census
the devil that cursed it never meant us!"
"why speak of the devil," cried jack mule
"never mention him, that's my rule
he may be listening, he may be not
but if you rile him, he'll make it hot"
and with those words of wisdom true
he stared at quantrill with eyes of blue
who choked and sputtered with exasperation
"you're the biggest fool in the whole damn nation"
"what nation might that be?" quoth jack
"we've been to every nation and back
seen red and white and black men's ways
enough to last us all our days"
quantrill shrugged and turned aside
his own council he would bide
frank and jesse had drifted apart
and were talking, heart to heart
'there's folks round here." sad frank real slow
"there ain't no ghosts, that much i know
and where's there's folks there must be food
this trickery puts me in bitter mood"
"i think these fools are spooked," said jess
"about to cry for mama, i'd guess
they surely are a sorry crew
whatever made us think they'd do?"
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
where are the others?
henry harris woke up on his park bench
earlier that evening, when he had fallen asleep, the park was filled with people
rick rogers, the sheriff, had allowed him to sleep on the bench
everyone in town had been celebrating the great victory over the powers of darkness
armageddon had come and gone
remembering it brought tears to henry's eyes
ecstasy had been the order off the day
the whole town now seemed deserted
henry walked away from his bench
expecting to find the rest of the townsfolk around the corner
on a telephone pole a sign was attached
"the joke is on you" it read
henry rubbed his eyes
every cell in his brain throbbed
rick rogers and the rest of the townsfolk had seemed like good people
so what had happened?
Saturday, May 9, 2009
talking without ceasing, thirstier than ever
ahab sat in the lifeboat
low on the horizon the sun disappeared
kissing the water with flame
i told you so said billy
nothing good could come of this
good is not my word, ahab replied
when darkness fell
incandescent sharks appeared
they laughed at ahab billy and the others
harry smith the cook
opened his mouth to catch the rain
unfortunately there was none
there was no wind either
ahab kept talking
serenading the waves
in which the sharks laughed
never mind said billy
glory awaits us
tornados of words
hurricaned out of ahabs mouth
in the moonlit foam
sam brown the boatswain
took heed of heaven
in a single fleck
the whole crew looked to heaven
hoping for salvation
ahab kept talking
now and on earth
Monday, May 4, 2009
no more stories from this day forth
on the other hand stories are deeply satisfying
my first story was about a murderer
oh how he fooled me
remembering it brings a smile
emptiness is filled
so, doctor, you did it yourself
the truth sets us all free
on the other hand you are cursed forever
repeating your crime is impossible
i have to move on
evidence is never enough
surprise is everything
fred was my new friend
reality was his deck of cards
out of the deck he pulled more stories
the universe was his green felt table
how he made it spin!
i was entranced
so i gave up real life
detectives outlaws swordsmen
androids aliens vampires time travel
fred was only the first
on his heels came mickey, edgar, big bill, jack, jim
raymond, herbert, howard, clark and two-gun bob
time stood still
how did it ever disintegrate?
Sunday, May 3, 2009
mungo answers with grimacing rage
"death is the murderer's only wage
it is time to turn the final page
on this beastly and unrepentant mage
this little monster thinks he can sell
the human race to the circus of hell
but i will not fall under his spell
his demonic designs i vow to quell
the criminal who gets away
weaves threads of darkness in the fabric of day
and angels look down from above and say
'over such a world why should we stay?'
so cast him into the waterless well
and all his sneering triumph dispel
so that legions of demons may sadly tell
his tale to the tolling of a burning bell
this is no wayward youth beguiled
on whom temptation has merely smiled
this is the evil one's favorite child
how can we let such a one run wild?"
the denouncer pauses- his words are spent
the sheriff answers "i know what you meant
but your words aren't worth a half a cent
because through the swamp his steps are bent
he may be running with the speed of ten
or safe in a wolf-woman's murky den
the dogs are lost - and we're only men
when the sun comes up, we'll try again"
"go back then - i'll go on alone
and leave unturned no slimy stone
what's that? i heard a zombie groan"
the swamp erupts in a single moan
mungo's face grows white as chalk
his eyeballs bulge and his tongue can't talk
the sheriff shrugs - "it's four o'clock
a right enough time for zombies to walk"
"see, see how satan protects his own
his imps guard the road where his favorite has flown
the fire-tongued boy and the shapeless crone
play on drums of snake and trumpets of dragon bone
let's go then,' mungo's lips are pursed
his eyes are darker than a thunder-filled hearse
"defeat is terrible but this is worse
ah - let me turn back, for one last curse!"
his foot, when he turns, doesn't ht the firm sand
out of the ooze twists a long-taloned hand
and seizes his ankle like an iron band
he struggles and screams but firm he must stand
"oh demon, release me." cries the piteous wight
raising hands to heaven in terrible fright
"release me, release me, i will never more fight
against your glorious master, the emperor of night
oh, release me, release me and all of my days
i'll devote to chanting the horned one's praise
to serve him forever i'll search out new ways-
let me look just once more on the sun's rising rays!"
suddenly, softly, the hand lets him go
trembling and gasping he staggers back slow
and shaking his head exclaims, "what do you know
these demons are fools - i always said so"
"yes," says the sheriff, "no doubt that is true
tomorrow the skies will be sunny and blue
the night be forgotten, the world bright and new
but night's waiting children may not forget you"
the deputy grunts and returns to his chair
but his gray rebel cap stands up on his hair
a cold blue flame hangs eye-level in air
hissing like a rattlesnake trapped in its lair
the flame retreats to the bars of the cell
the hobo laughs - a hyena from hell!
his lips and his eyeballs begin to swell
as he whispers hoarse "i've a tale to tell
only a tale - i've nothing to sell
it begins with the tolling of a silver bell
over a green and dew-dropped dell"
the deputy answers "i don't feel well"
"i was once a man - a humble one, true
with the high and mighty i had nothing to do
all week i read the testament new
and on sunday i read the old one too
i lectured the low and bowed to the great
i emptied my glass and cleaned my plate
and thanked the lord, both early and late
for giving me such a happy fate
i was deacon of a little church
a bluebird sang from a sunlit perch
in a purple elm beside a snowy birch
when life gave a sudden and terrible lurch"
the wolfman drones on, and on, and on
the deputy nods - he begins to yawn
the jail is a board, he is only a pawn
his eyeballs fade like the moon at dawn
the cell bars twist in the wolfman's claws
his piteous story has come to a pause
his white teeth laugh in his hairy jaws
the sleeping deputy hears applause
the sheriff shakes his head at the dogs dismay
"we'll have to come back at break of day"
mungo clears his throat to say
"i don't think that is at all the right way
this wretch has broken the laws of the town
i will not rest until i've hunted him down
what use for the mayor a martyr's crown
if his killer as escape artist makes his renown?
this is no wayward youth beguiled
on whom temptation has rarely smiled
this is the evil one's favorite child
how can we let such a one run wild?"
throw the jaguar a nickel and the clown a dime
and ride on the river of endless time
the mayor is lying face down in the slime
so now you can never atone for your crime
the statues are shattered and the safe is unlocked
it's midnight forever on the cuckoo clock
so its out the window and down to the dock
to the twisted tree beside the humpbacked rock
"mama - mama roo - are you there?"
"don't come closer,boy - beware."
"beauregard's treasure = i've come for my share."
"the moon isn't green - so you haven't a prayer."
"i've had enough of your magical words
all your talk of green moons, red frogs and white birds
the night is alive, or haven't you heard
the dogs are howling to cut me to sherds
i gambled for beauregard's money and won
i need it now because i'm on the run
i must get to natchez before the rising sun
because my tribulations have only begun
"boy - if you must be such a fool
as forget what you learned in michael's school
and the message you read in jezebel's jewel
and break both angels and demons rule
then never awake from your madman's dream
when nothing will ever be what it seem
but that pitiful rays of hope may gleam
i leave you this token of magic esteem"
raindrops riffle on a snakeskin drum
and a thousand toads take up the hum
the eyes glaze over and the hands grow numb
a white light shines on the swirling scum
and the light contains an old felt hat
the crown is shapeless and the brim is flat
gray as the fur of a mangy cat
surely you are not afraid of that?
with a trembling hand on a fluttering wrist
the hat fits as tight as a demon's fist
zombie eyes glitter and serpents twist
the sorceress gone with a final hiss
say goodbye now to mama roo
in amber bubbles in a mist of blue
her curses were empty but her lies became true
now there's nobody left but the dogs and you
the slime so dismal and the sir so foul
the demon in his armor and the monk in his cowl
the fish-dog-witch and the goddess-owl
are all set trembling by the terrible howl
there is only road - through the thick of the bog
though you can not be hidden by the thickest fog
in the tallest tree or the hollowest log
no time to be lost because here is the dog
with hide black as nothingness, eyes white as time
red claws rake the dirt at the edge of the slime
the sheriff smiles gently at his terrible whine
though the dog speak in tongues, he won't answer in rhyme