Standoff Excerpt: By the Side of the Road


By the Side of the Road

Little boy standin’ by the side of the road,

Lookin’ down beside hisself in the gutter at a dirty old toad,

What was sittin’ there all covered in dust with its eyes slowly flickin’

Looking for lunch, the boy, he did so suppose,

A guest to share the moment the frog surely did propose,

some fly, might be, for itself to go on chewin’ and lickin’,

Snatch that movin’ black spot clean outta the sky.

The little boy wondered what it would be like to die,

All caught up in a gooey tangle of tongue curlin’ there and stickin’

Like a June bug buzzin’ past fat and sassy like,

Not knowin’ that old bull frog was about to strike

Or maybe a crawler with its legs all a kickin’.

What matters most, I do suppose, is what the kid wasn’t thinkin’

Why did he feel such a sense of bein’ so old

Standin’ there all by hisself by the side of the road?

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      

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 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

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 Gospel Hour


The Gospel of Micah, AKA the Gospel of Enoch. Micah was a goat herder on a planet known to us as Heaven. He was a simple man but became prominent in the politics of religion when he challenged the idea that the earth was flat. “It’s not,” he spoke up in a class he was taking on Goat Herding that was required of all goat herders. “It is curved, like a woman’s breast, but not soft, hard as concrete.” 6.23.19 Copyright Gordon Kuhn, Poet in the Rain.

With apologies to the Mormons: And it came to pass that Micah was summoned forth to meet the highest council having been through the lower courts to argue that the earth was round. “You still claim the earth is round?” An aged sage sat forward and waved his cane in the goat herders face. But Micah held his ground despite the waving rod thrust up against his nose.”Excuse me, sir, but yes, it is round.” The council sat back and were grave all around. “But don’t you understand that we’ve been teaching humans for centuries that the place is flat? Then you come along and wish it to be known that this place, this Earth is round? I say to my brothers on the council, are we not in motion to send the herder down to the planet in banishment?” Whereupon God’s younger brother Phil entered the central room and to all did astound. “I am here to speak on the goat herder’s behalf.” A murmur did raise among those in the hall and one said, “I thought he had been banished or…..or locked up somewhere.” But Phil stood forth with an askew grin, “No, I have escaped and come to stand before you this day. For surely this herder, this gentleman who tends our sheep and smells like them needs defense from such plotting here.”

Constant Comment Newsletter


Hi,

I have started a newsletter through Constant Contact. If you wish to receive postings like are on  here then I suggest that you write me and give me your email address for inclusion into my newsletter posts. My email is GKUHNWRITES@AOL.COM and I look forward to communicating with you.

 

Sincerely, Gordon Kuhn

A CAST OF ELVIS


A CAST OF ELVIS

It was early in the morning
Before the sun had chosen to rise
While in the West there was reported the coming of a storm
For the clouds were stacked up to the top of the sullen sky
Thunderheads stood out in darkness forming
Telling a sleepy paperboy to carry a slicker in his backpack
Flashes of electricity free-formed in their announcement
While the church bells proclaimed early communion
As the priests in robes of silk left their hidden dorm
Down the street above where the butchers cut up fresh meat
And one of their number walked briskly along
A hidden pair of still warm panties gathered and out of sight
Tucked in the folds of his blessed priestly cloth
An overnight present from a grateful parish member
Given freely for blessings and release from her sins
But it was the early rising newspaper vendors that set off the alarm
That Elvis was dead!
And so the lines to meet him would be shorter later that day
But curiosity was peaked about the bathroom floor
And so, the restaurant cast a statute of the man to be blistered by the sun
As it sat upon a bench with an open arm to fit around a fan
It was covered with bird shit during the day
And then stood waiting for the coolness that would come with the rising moon
While wishing for rain to wash the bird slime into the gutter towards the sea
And in the dark of the secret time
The statues in the park would be set free to dance around in glee
While others found a need to kneel and pray.

10/17/18 Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn Poet in the Rain All Rights Reserved

Priestly Arrives —- Ragdoll Chronicles. 1.25.18


Ragdoll Chronicles 01.25.18
“Throw him down the chute!” The five merged on Chase who was trying to get out what appeared to be the front door but it was in fact a door to nowhere. The storm he had ventured through and from which he had sought refuge by entering the restaurant was not visible through the glass——actually, nothing was. The door was locked and on the other side of the glass it was just like a giant fog had settled in blocking everything out from view.
Just as they were about to grab Chase, a mist formed in the room and when they all turned to see what was the cause they found a massive crow that stood as tall and as broad as any of them present.
“What the hell?” the raccoon shouted. “Where did that come from?”
The crow looked around himself. “Where is the pond? Where is the glen?” He stepped towards the others who were backing up to avoid contact with the bird’s sharp beak.
“Who are you?” the mouse asked while trying to hide behind the orangutan.
“Priestly,” the crow replied stiffening up quite regally. “And who might you be?”
“This has to be Runa’s doing,” the brown bear said looking around the room nervously. “We need to get clear of this or we will be sucked into this mess as well.”
“I say we toss both of them down the chute,” suggested the mouse trying his best to not be seen by the crow. “We need to get shut of this before the inspectors arrive.”
“Inspectors?” the crow asked surveying the room while stepping closer to the five who were doing their best to find an avenue of escape, but the crow, as large as it was, blocked them and held them there with the boy shoved up against the wall behind them.
“Let me go,” the boy shouted, but his voice was muffled as he was slightly compressed behind the brown bear who was pushing the mouse forward almost as an offering. The mouse, of course, was squealing with complaint and trying to get back behind everyone including Chase.
It was then that Priestly discovered a part of the ribbons that had been Nouveau were wrapped around his left leg—and, he heard a muffled voice. As a matter of fact, they all heard it but couldn’t make out what was being said and so they all dismissed it until the mouse took note that wherever Priestly walked the ribbon that was wrapped around his leg extended back to the point on the floor where he had appeared and it then disappeared into a slowly forming pool of water there on the floor.