STANDOFF EXCERPT 9.12.19


Walking with a Dead Butterfly

Come fly away now gentle butterfly

Open your wings and capture a breath of wind

Set sail and say goodbye to the world below

Let not your heart in pain deny

Your right to sail the summer sky

For you are special, my valiant friend

You’ve come so far in life in so few days

And changed your coat of moldy gray

To joyfully spread rainbow colors in patterns rich

While sharing your beauty in wild, tumultuous flight

So short your life has come and gone

Come dance with me as I watch you twist and spin

Until your energy has been spent and you start to fail and fall

As you struggle with the pending doorway of death

No matter where you could have landed in the end

You somehow fell to earth beside the path

That I was silently walking there upon.

Clay Pots

How like shattered clay pots

They were when seen from close at hand

Clay pots fresh from the kiln that day

Broken when each mold was cast upon the cold

That lingered where the air was fresh and clean

And seen from heights where eagles dare soared

When they were sudden sent away amid the roar

Of surf spray that clutched the hand of sand

And layered about in nameless lots

Slowly became a collection of shrinking tired dots

Spread loosely upon the blue above the fading land

There floated they then above the heavy depth of sea

In all their fractured banquet were then to death led and bled

When thought the world had set them free

Above the green and sleeping spaces where Sightless watchers looked and not one was really seen      

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STANDOFF from the book 8.31.19


It’s Four O’clock in the Morning

A light rain falls on the grass and pond outside my window to the world

It falls on the street and shines in a nearby streetlight glow

And silence is the answer to the falling soft wet mist

Swirling more like tiny snowflakes than rain in a gentle calming glide

While my mind unfolds, unwraps itself in slow and troubled wakefulness

While breaking all about me is the pure but retched silence of life

Struggling to reach the sky

While the sound of growth is smothered by the gentle rainfall’s echo

Of the rain in a mist falling about me all around

And my mind recalls the simple fact

Of other times I had found like that

When many times I sat alone in the darkness my friend

With no one or place for me to be in the end

And a light rain falls upon the grass

It falls on the pond in the clearing behind the house

As the first car this morning drove slowly past

The driver takes and grips a plastic packaged paper from a sack

And without aiming he tossed it out to land

Where it falls on the driveway just off the street

And in the morning shower’s wet it shines

In a nearby streetlight’s gentle glow

Outside my window to the world.

STANDOFF excerpt 8.28.19


Crushed Cigarettes Left on the Floor

I met her years back in a local tavern

A bar, a pub, a gin spot, liquor room

And she followed me home without speaking

Without asking, without knowing who she was or

From where she had come from or going to

Her arm draped in mine holding

A cold six pack of beer in a paper sack

Her black knee length skirt bouncing there

While high heels clicked

And left a trail of music as we walked

Then she slipped past as I opened my apartment door

Not speaking, just looking, with a wink

And made her way into the stillness of the room

And came in visit to my bed

Where we sang songs of love for hours long

Until there was no more strength in us to carry on

And we drank the beer then gone warm

From the six pack left in my dead fridge

And lit a cigarette in the dark

A cloud of smoke swirled our heads

Glowed lightly from the light of the moon

In the morning she was gone

And I was left so all alone, so alone

With the scent she left behind slightly hanging in the air

The sheets left were ruffled and wet with sweat

With empty beer cans on the floor by the bed

Where a half smoked cigarette lay crushed upon the floor

She became just a memory then for months to a year

Until she chose to visit once again

She followed without speaking and slipped past me in the hallway

Going in the open apartment door

Where she slipped into my bed in the dark

And nestled with her head upon my neck

We loved each other like it was the day before the end

Then she was gone again in the morning light

Sheets were ruffled and wet with sweat

Empty beer cans beside the bed

Near a half-smoked cigarette that lay crushed upon the floor

Left me with there with the coming of the day and just a memory of her scent

She came and went at times with my not knowing if she would ever come again

While our hearts raced and melted together in the room without any air

With a window wide open to let any breeze in to cool our naked bodies lying there

The moon peeking in at two lovers adrift in moments of sexual wonder

And in the morning, there would be empty beer cans lying on the floor

Near a bed empty without her lying there

While a still smoldering cigarette lay crushed upon the floor

Left me empty somehow with just a memory of her scent.

Standoff post 8.27.19


Two more from the book Standoff. The book can be found on Amazon or can be ordered through me at http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com . Bought through me and I sign the book for you.

Nightfall, the Lovers’ Dance

I recall the night when the rain came

And settled in bringing a coolness to the room

Where two lovers met and never were the same

In an apartment in downtown Sarasota

Where they danced to a scratchy record on a player

While drinking stale beer in a dim light

From the only bulb left working

And somewhere in the world a wall was being torn down

Somewhere a child was being born

Water dripping from pipes to the foundation two floors below

Somehow, they found each other and in a simple embrace

Shared the last cigarette in a crushed pack tossed to the floor

While singing a song neither knew.

Yesterday’s Child

Yesterday’s child was born with a patchwork brain

Filled with paintings that would never be brought to view

For a painter, a drawer, he simply could not be

Overrun with songs that would never be sung

For they melted or collapsed before being born

Adrift with poetry that would struggle to be heard

But some broke through to live a day

Yesterday’s child was born to others to view

While about him his life slowly colored with stain

His sense of security and being loved flung

To the woods where sense lived in the leaves

That surrounded and filed the world with color

Buy at amazon.com or http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com

Standoff Post 8.26.19


My birthday was 8.23 and I got off track. Here are two more poems from Standoff which is available at Amazon or on my page http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com.

Bare

Flesh laid back,

Bare!

Raw, no cover to protect

From salt thrown upon there where the whip struck

Beneath the layer thin and thick

Atop with matted hair that hides

Emotions deep run and amid course shall stall

As the owner fails to know the path laid out

Laid out, but not in common diagram of visual plane

Leaving the direction needles spinning mindless there

Nor can one tell or master the storms drifting path

Should path be there hiding beneath a lacquer veneer while

The stronger weather yet to come as emotions gather

As they gather well before the bow that dips deep

So very deep, and then sliding down the hill so steep

Deep down, deep down, falling into the trough beneath emotions towers

Towers without sight of top, nor bottom have

Crashing then they upon decks wet awash with memories tossed

As the pilot fights to stay the line invisible before them

And fails to see the coming of the loss of light

As clouds of thought weigh down the saddened soul

While deck and hold covers fail to stop the rushing waters in

The ship stalls, shudders, shatters from within, rolls, and sinks

beneath a wall of tears.

She had Fame

No one knew her name

This simple woman who walked alone

In the rain and sun, she walked alone

On Sarasota’s streets, she walked alone

And no one knew her name

She walked in light and in the dark

She walked in sun and in the rain

No one knew her name, but she had fame

As she walked barefoot and alone

She had local fame as she walked alone

This woman who had no name

In a dress that was a hand-down

From a local church charity store

Where they didn’t know her name

In the rain and sun on Sarasota’s streets

She walked until death closed her eyes

One night when the rain fell along her way

And the wind drove others off the streets

She was there when death claimed no name

And no one was there as she fell on her path

And there she lay until the break of day

This woman without a name

But death came, found her with its cold hand

A wet bundle in the rain found with a cold hand

And claimed her without knowing her name.

STANDOFF by Gordon Kuhn @ http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com

Music for you to listen and enjoy.

Standoff 8.20.2019 Post


The Old Undead of Poets

And thus spake true, the old undead of poets long forgot

As the grass they stood upon withered and the trees nearby did rot

For surely they had never ever thought

Nor in this life had ever sought

The substance of less passion

For clearly was not their fashion

And this indeed was what left them freed

As the world about turned slowly to withered weed.                             

Only the Rabbit Knows

There’s a place where I go

That no one knows exists

A place so private and hidden

So tucked away from everything

So removed from the world

That even a mouse hunting cheese cannot find it

Where I am all alone, just me and my thoughts

And with no one else, no one at all.

There’s a stone floor and empty pictures on the wall

A fireplace that burns without a trace of smoke or flame

To identify its private special space

To the world, so no one knows its place

And it’s where I can sit all alone

And yet be with you, and them, and they, and it

And you’ll never know where I am

You’ll never sense that I am there

Because the place is so very secret and hidden

And it is where I go, have gone, and will go

Where I go to be alone

When others are in the room

Where I am not afraid

Where the bed is unmade

But no one sleeps in it

Where I can cry in the night, and in the day

And you’ll never know, nor see a tear

You’ll never hear the scream

Or see the bodies lying on the floor

That are all me lying there

All different ages with no pictures taken

None to hang upon the wall

The fucking wall with empty frames there

For me to simply sit and stare at

But you’ll never know

And neither will they, or them, or it

Nor the hungry mouse hunting with its nose

Because it’s a secret place

Where even a starving mouse seeking a meal can’t find

The entrance within, but —  if one did, — if it did

I would welcome it And happily feed it a piece of cheese.

MUSIC FOR YOU.

Ragdoll Man C-2


MUSIC FOR YOU TO LISTEN TO WHILE YOU READ
———————————————————————————-

And so, alone in the glen, but unaware of the world beyond where he sat, he searched through the rags hoping to find another such as he hiding there in the maze of color and thread. But he found little that appeared to be quite like him. No, you see none such as he could he find in the pile of cloth he had discovered himself to have been born from, if born you could say as there was no one there other than the Ragdoll Man.

No. Nothing else, no mother or father appeared to be. No sister or brother. Although he would not have recognized such as that for, he was not educated in such, you see. And, so the Ragdoll Man stopped searching through the pile and, not knowing what to do, sat quite still for there was nothing to do but just to sit quite still and so that is what he did — he sat very, very still.

And then, as wonders could ever take place, amid his sitting quietly a miracle occurred.  Well, I suppose you could say it was a miracle and, maybe it was, if you understand that miracles are such and this certainly seemed to be such — that is — a miracle

STANDOFF, bit by bit


Standoff is a book of poetry and short stories. I will be placing posts here as I go. It is published and available at Amazon. You can also buy it directly from me by visiting one of my websites. Questions? I’ll be happy to answer them. Oh, if you buy it from me it is autographed by me to you personally. What a fantastic deal. No extra charge.

STANDOFF

A book of poetry, short stories, and insanity.

By Gordon Kuhn

With one exception[1], this is a work of fiction. The characters and events described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or to living persons alive or dead.

No part of this publication can be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical method without the prior written permission of the publisher except for brief quotations embodied in critical reviews.

Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn, All Rights Reserved

ISBN-13: 978-1724853844

ISBN-10: 1724853848

Published in the United States by Poet in the Rain

PHOTO CREDITS

Cover: Photographer Mr. Derek Stillwagon: A Mother and Her Son by permission Allison Hart

Dedication Photo of Chuck Van Durme by Unknown Soldier

Illustration on Page 2 of Mother and Child from Istock Photo

Helicopter in Flight on Page 51: Charles Van Durme

Charles Van Durme in D.C. Page 56: Ms. Brandy Van Durme

OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR

Predator Book One “Do You Know How to Fly?”

The Pelman Murders

The Widow’s Cliff and Other Poems

Rabbit in a Box

DEDICATION

Dedicated to a personal friend who passed away June 15, 2015. In this book is his story of a night when his helicopter was shot down.

Charles “Chuck” Van Durme

Oct 20, 1950 to June 15, 2015

Two tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with a V, 16 Air Medals, and a Purple Heart.

Too soon the story of his life was taken from us. But we are left with memories of a man that we called a friend.

His story can be found on page 48.

Contents

POETRY. 1

A War Had Broken Out. 1

Imaginary Horses. 3

There Were Clouds, Weren’t There?. 4

Once a Boy. 4

The Old Undead of Poets. 5

Only the Rabbit Knows. 5

Bare. 7

She had Fame. 8

Nightfall, the Lovers’ Dance. 9

Yesterday’s Child. 10

Crushed Cigarettes Left on the Floor. 10

It’s Four O’clock in the Morning. 13

Walking with a Dead Butterfly. 14

Clay Pots. 15

By the Side of the Road. 16

Questions. 17

Yesterday. 17

Williston. 18

The Wino and Me. 19

The Tree Across the Street. 20

The Tortoise and I 22

I Wish. 23

The Never Meeting of Lovers. 24

A Long Time Ago in the Great Faraway. 25

The Locket. 27

Leave Me Alone. 30

The Spiral Stumbles. 31

The Passion. 32

Lost. 33

Time in the Mornin’ 34

Paper Kites Flying in the Rain. 34

He Let Her Go. 36

Waitresses. 37

Sometimes. 39

Undead Memories. 41

Hidden Moments. 42

Just another Day with You. 43

It’s Five in the Morning. 44

My Daddy’s  Old Ford Truck. 45

Six Years Old. 46

SHORT STORIES. 47

Shot Down in Laos: A true story of death and survival. 48

The Intersection. 57

The Confession. 68

Awake. 73


POETRY

A War Had Broken Out

“Allison’s Poem”

A war had broken out between them

More a skirmish than a war, I suppose

Between a mother and her precious precocious son

Not with weapons, not with bombs, not with guns

But with thought                        

It was a standoff of sorts

Eye to eye, silence ruled

And the boy who thought he would surely win

Soon realized the ice beneath was very thin

He on his side of the table,

Sitting tall in his seat

Fingers resting on the round top

French fries on a plate before him

Or were they tater tots?

A drink beside, he was good to go

But his eyes showed surprise therein

For he had someway crossed his mother just then

Who sat across from him, hands resting on her chin

as she quietly considered the facts

—and him

Her precious precocious son

She was serious, the eyes told all

The son wondered if this war would be fun

And believed he would surely be the one who won

But it all fell into place with just a silent look

The kind that freezes a lad from his toes to the sun

She was right, but he was all in for fun

At least he thought so!

Mom would surely understand, he mistakenly believed

But she was serious minded and not in the mood for games

He foolishly felt he had the right to make a run

To see just how far he could push it

Like we all in life have done at least once

With our mothers there across the table from us

A dangerous place if she could just out and reach

And pop you on the chin

But not all moms are like that today

Sometimes it is just in a certain way

That gets the point across that it is not play

While oddly thinking such was so

And then came the look you see

The look mother’s give their sons, at times

And the room sudden turns quiet and a chill is in the air

It’s that teetering point we all have faced

The edge of the cliff, if we wisely sensed

When a certain line is crossed and the fun is sudden done

For a mother’s precious and precocious son.                                       

Imaginary Horses

I hear the pawing of their hooves

Their breathing in and out of the cold night air

As they stand close beside me in the dark

But are in hiding to my sight.

Even though I wish with all my might

That I could somehow in the dark each one see,

My imaginary horses that come at night;

And I wish I could touch their manes

And that they would remain into the coming light.

But they are there in the night when I need them to be;

And even though I cannot see them I know they are there,

Standing close beside me in the dark,

In the cold and deadly dark,

Gently pawing with their hooves,

Gently breathing in and out the surrounding night air

Their breath floats over and warms me 

My imaginary horses that come and are real to me

With their breath moving in and out in the cold night air

And the soft pawing of their hooves tells me they are there

Standing near in the dark, standing near in the cold night air

My imaginary horses that I cannot see

But I know they are there

My imaginary horses

Pawing

Breathing

in the cold and deadly dark.

There Were Clouds, Weren’t There?

There were clouds, I think, as a child

Weren’t there?

I recall skies and rain.

I recall thunder and lightning

I remember the smell of coming storms.

And the thud of big drops striking the ground all around

As I ran as a child seeking shelter

But I don’t recall clouds, do you? 

Once a Boy

There once was a boy who lived on a boat

The boy was small and the boat was not

Upon a sea of strange waters sailed the two

The boy and the boat until one day the boy forgot

That the boat would float and he would not


Not the end, more to come. Enjoy the music.

The Ragman Files E – 1


There once was a man who saved rag dolls, he saved them as he felt their lives were doomed, and yet, the reality was that he himself was a rag doll. As time went on the neighbors began to call him The Ragdoll Man.

MUSIC FOR READING

He had been born alone in a magical glen frequented by gypsies and elves and other such magical folk. His mother and father had been a pile of variously colored rags left by accident alongside a deeply rutted wagon trail that cut a path across the glen. As he sat there, alone, he looked about himself and at the remaining rags not part of his being and wondered at it all. He had no knowledge of who or what he was or how he had come to be. He had no knowledge of gypsies, or elves, or any of the creatures who lived in the surrounding woods or who flew in the sky. He had no idea of what it was to be alone. He simply was.

This is the opening. More to follow.

Simply hit the button on the left and listen to the music.

7.24.19


Tomorrow Jan, Tread, and I drive to the U of F in Gainesville to the Internal Medicine Department to get a reevaluation of the fungus problem in Tread’s hip and tail bones. 3 hours up and 3 hours back plus the time there. Long day.

Yesterday we drove down to Port Charlotte. I lived there in the 1960s when it was a sleepy community. Today it is overgrown and very commercial. I really dislike it. But we were there to visit a friend of Jan’s who owns a store there. Jody has had a great business there but has decided after many years there is more to life than running a specialty antique, unique furniture, jewelry store to enjoy her life and so the store will be closed in another week.

We then travelled back through a pounding rain (stayed off of I-75 as when had driven South to Port Charlotte we had seen two wrecks where drivers had left the road and gone into the woods) and so went US 41 into Venice and had dinner there. I phoned a friend, Dick Harrison hopping to meet but weren’t able to do that as we had a time constraint and had to get home. Dick will probably make comment here. I have to say that if you go to Amazon and look him up in the book sales section (put in his name in the search bar in Amazon) you will find some of the most wonderful writing. He is a great writer and I am very proud to have him as a friend and mentor.

So, after a great dinner at Abbys in Miami, we headed home (this time on I-75 as the rain had stopped) and saw where other cars had gone off the road and into the woods.

At Abbys we met the owner and discussed his problems with fake service dogs. He told us that Tread was welcome anytime. He hates the fakes that come in there and has had to tell people to leave. Sad. That hurts it for us with real service dogs to have people take untrained dogs into a business like that and they don’t go under the tables, get in the way of waiters and waitresses, sniff people, and more. Anyway, tomorrow Gainesville.