Take a Knee

abcnews.com

Photo by abcnews.com

When my son
Was little
I’d tuck him in
Assure him
There were no monsters

Only to fall in bed
To fight the ones
In my own head

War torn villages
Stench of death
The buzz of flies
Cries of a lone child

I worked hard
So my son
Wouldn’t
See the horrors
I saw nightly

Now in my seat
Of honor
A young man
Turns and waves
I wave back

“Oh Say Can You See …”
I watch him
My white son
Link his arm
With his black teammate

They take a knee

I begin to cry
Tears of pride
I grip the railing
Arthritic joints creak

I take a knee

Back straight
Proud I raised
A good man
Who understood
What I fought for

Wild Thing ©September 24, 2017

 

 

Advertisements

Naught to Fear

Halloween Smile

Halloween Smile – photo by Wild Thing

Pumpkins gleam
Witches fly
And Ghosts appear

Rest assured
There’s naught
To fear

All a sign
That Halloween
Will soon be here

Wild Thing ©October 20, 2017

The Legend of “Stingy Jack” (Where Jack O’Lanterns Came From)

Stingy Jack

Stingy Jack – digital art by Wild Thing

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O’Lantern was not a pumpkin. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow’s Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits.

Stingy Jack, a blacksmith by trade, was a miserable old drunk, who took pleasure in playing tricks on just about everyone; family, friends, his mother and yes, even the Devil himself. One night he invited the Devil to have a drink with him. During the evening together, the Devil in his vanity, was showing Jack how he could transform himself into anything he wished, first a barstool, then bird, and so on.

After a time, true to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his wallet next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form.

Oh, how the Devil yelled at Jack. Cursing and telling Jack to let him go. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. Desperate to gain freedom, the Devil agreed. Opening his wallet, Jack let the Devil out.

The next year, the Devil arrived as promised. Jack agreed to follow him if he would only climb up into an apple tree and bring him an apple before he go with the Devil. So, in this way, Jack tricked the Devil into climbing into the tree to pick an apple. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, while upset by the trick Jack had played on him kept his word not to claim his soul, and would not allow Jack into hell.

“But where can I go?” pleaded Jack.

“Return to where you came from!” the Devil snarled.

Windblown and lost in the dark night, Jack pleaded with the Devil to give him a way to light his way. The Devil, wishing to get rid of Jack, threw him a glowing ember from the fires of Hell. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. So, if you see a light in the far off distance wandering here and there on All Hallow’s Eve, tis Stingy Jack roaming the countryside.

The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

In Ireland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. Immigrants brought the Jack O’Lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

Wild Thing

Bricks

Crumbling

Crumbling – photo by Wild Thing

Walls built

Brick by brick
Through
Hard lessons
Heartbreak
Deception

Crumbled
In one night

Left down
All sides open
Believing
Trusting

The world
Has not evolved
Deception
False faces
Still exist

Brick by brick
The walls
Are rebuilt
This time
Re-enforced

Stopping
Head rests
Brick pillow

For a moment
A wish

Starting over
Brick by brick

Wild Thing ©May 16, 2017

Spirit Freed

Villagers gathers
All come
Mourning begins

Honoring
That life

No matter
How meager
Or great

Sending it on

Old loves
Grudges, debts
Die with it

The Spirit
Now free
Of pettiness

Through
Laughter,
Song, stories,
Love
Fills
Empty hearts

Wild Thing ©July 29, 2017

Please Vote

The above photo is one of my most popular photos. Currently it is in the World Photography Contest at Viewbug.com . . .

If you like it, I would greatly appreciate your vote on this image. You can click on the caption below the image, or just go here:  “Here I Will Abide” and scroll down. The vote blue button is just below the awards section on the lower left of the page.

Thank you so much . . .

Wildly Yours,

Wild Thing

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time
A few mistakes ago
Off to market I went
A maid born low

Basket in hand
List in the other
Humming a tune
Taught by my mother

On the wharf
Looking at the fish
The master required
Fine meals on his dish

The farmer’s stall
With veggies and beef
Though closer to home
Would make my trip brief

The sea called
With its salty air
Blue green waves
Breeze lifting my hair

Fish wrapped up
I stop to eye a mussel
Grabbed by the waist
I began to tussle

Then darkness
A bag on my head
Trussed up like a hog
Heart filled with dread

Tossed into a boat
Men shouting, rowing
Off we went
My fear growing

Time has passed
Too much to tell
Each day a challenge
Aye, a true hell

But fight I did
Despite difficulty
I gained my ship
Yea, my liberty

The men? They
Now fight for me
Together we travel
Over the sea

A female captain
Of a pirate ship
Those who know me
Fear my whip

Aye, a pirate lass
And fearsome I be
Raise your glass
Give a toast
To Pirate Captain Me!

Wild Thing ©August 11, 2017

Body and Soul

Stacked Rust

Stacked Rust – photo by Wild Thing

He saved everything …

Phone would ring
Often as not
It was family
Friend or neighbor
“Jim, my . . .”

It was always something
Car, sink, furnace
What have you
That was broken

He could fix anything
Nine times out of ten
He had the part

Back then
It was always about
Keeping body and soul
Together
Food on the table
Clothes on our back

He’s gone now
The parts rusting away

Wild Thing ©2017

no limits

No Limits

no limits – photo by Wild Thing

the world
safe / asleep
invisible

we drift
side by side

not of day
of dreams

this world

this world
of no limits

Co-written by
Cletis Stump & Wild Thing
©August 18, 2017

The Elemental

The Elements

The Elements – photos by Wild Thing

Wild untamed
Free to roam

Fierce
Both in love
And spirit

Like the wind
Hard to capture

Born of the
Energy of fire

Fluid emotions
Powerful

It’s strength
Of earth, itself

Unobtainable
It only comes
If it chooses

A rare gift
To those it’s
Given

It remains
For as long
As you wish

Send it away
It may never
Come back

Like lightning
It seldom
Strikes twice

Wild Thing ©May 3, 2017

Elemental

3 am

darkness

darkness – photo by Wild Thing

3:00 a.m.
darkness
      . . . truth
               has nowhere
                         to hide

Wild Thing ©2017

My Daughter

Light in Dark

Light in Dark – photo by Wild Thing

My darling girl
If I could
I would bear
This sadness
For you

Comfort
I would offer
With open arms
Healing your
Bruised heart

As I hold you
Crooning softly
Telling you
Of your ancestors

How the pain
You feel
Not different
Than the women
Before you

Those tears
In your eyes
Are tears of
Countless others
Stifled at night

Whispered advice
I would give
Borne of wisdom
From these
Strong women

In your veins
Flows courage
Tenacity . . . Power

When adversity
Or death calls
The backbone
Of your heritage
Will be there

Close your eyes
See them
Standing firm
Behind you

Callista, Elizabeth,
Veronica and Ruth
Margaret, Bridget,
Mary and Frances

These women
Keened their loss
Then stood up
Pushed on

You . . .
are never alone
With you
They stand
Forever

This heritage
This lineage
Of endurance
My daughter
Is my gift
To you

Wild Thing ©August 3, 2017

Downtown LA Life

I just wanted to post a quick reminder that my short stories are featured at Downtown LA Life online magazine only.

These short stories are of my life, my family and/or whatever else may take my fancy. Each month I write a new story for this wonderful and extraordinary online magazine.

I encourage you to visit this wonderful site, not just for my stories, but for all the submissions that are made from around the world. Here you can read, view, and experience art from various cultures and unique people.

The gallery of Victorian Women of Color is feast for the eyes. Beautiful women of color from that time period, caught in portraiture are featured here. You have to visit this page. Each are posed in the manner of the time, but study them . . . don’t just speed through. It’s one of my favorite pages and ends with a tribute to Bridget “Biddy” Mason. Read her amazing story that began as a slave and ended as a successful businesswoman.

Then jump to Achilles Greece for some out of this world street art! I have no words to describe this fantastic work. You have to see it to truly “feel” it!

Want a great movie review? Stop by Mel Nuehaus’ page for Cinema Noir & Off Beat reviews! Mel gives you the 411 on some of our old favorites. Currently he gives you his review on “I Lust Lucy”! I love his reviews and have found them to be not only insightful, but a great guide.

Top it off with a true treat by my friend Annie. Go to Annie – America’s Short Story Monthly. Annie writes with a flair of a touch of Flannery O’Connor & Eudora Welty. Her stories always leave you wanting more. This month, her story, “Living & Dying” grabs you from the very opening and draws you in!

The life stories of Dr. Don More are the gems that surround the big sparkle in this crown of creative people. You will enjoy them as you laugh, cry, and lament with him as he shares pieces of his life with you.

I could go on an on about all the talent that is featured here, of all ages, color, and places! Photos, art, writing, and cooking! It is an explosion of taste, a feast for the eyes and a banquet for the mind.

It is an honor and a privilege to have my little bit of thoughts, lore and photos to be included with such an auspicious group of talent. Thank you Downtown LA Life for providing such a valuable space for creative people to show the world what they offer.

Wild Thing ©July 24, 2017

 

The Healer

Healing Light

Healing Light – photo by Wild Thing

Vials of oils
Lined up
Candles too
Incense placed
Into holders
The healer begins

Low chant
Circle cast
Calling out
Inviting in
Elementals

Lit candles
Scented smoke
Create focus
Lyrical words
Raises energy

Becoming light
Bright
Silver
With direction
Out it goes

Connected
Time falls away
Light carries
Life force
From one
To another

Burning
Illness away
Giving comfort
Strength
Weaving health
Soft croon
Creates peace

Healing energy
Flows freely
With pure love
And intent
From an open
Heart …
An honest soul

Wild Thing ©July 8, 2017

A Woman

The Wild

The Wild ~ Digital Art by Wild Thing

A woman
Will stand a lot
From a man
When she knows
She is first
In his heart

Coming home
Late from fishing
A wildflower
Softens her eyes
Over the burnt
Offerings of dinner

Words of love
On a busy day
To let her
Know she’s
Being thought of
Makes the hours
Fly by

Holding her close
Swaying to
Imaginary music
To tell her
She’s beautiful
As she cleans
And watch her
Become so

Surprise her
With laughter
When life becomes
Ordinary
Then James Dean
For a little
Danger
But never cruel

Know her ways
The signs
She gives
That tells you
Of her needs

Late at night
Love her tenderly
Madly, wildly
Over and over
Until finally
Sated, she sleeps

Yes, a woman
Will stand a lot
From a man
When she knows
She is first
In his heart

Wild Thing ©July 5, 2017

 

Bouncing Pumpkins

Bouncing Pumpkins

Bouncing Pumpkins – digital Art by Wild Thing

No moonlight
October chill
On a dare
Two girls shiver
Just beyond the field

Farmhouse dark
Stealthy crawl
Damn dog barks
They freeze

No lights appear
Big exhale
They continue
On their mission

Hands find
What they seek
Stifled giggles
Each girl grabs two

Duck waddle now
Back to cover
In darker shadows
Of the trees
Breaking into a run

On the road
Finally, deep breaths
Made it!
Down to work

Each takes one
Raises it
Above her head
Smashes it down
It bounces!

Stunned looks
They pick them up
Do it again
They bounce

Clouds break
Moonlight shines down
Damn pumpkins …
Were green

Wild Thing ©June 19, 2017

Swamp Witch

Swamp Witch Dwelling - photo by Wild ThingDeep in fog
Surrounded by water
A silent
Dwelling tilts
On rickety stilts

Broken steps
Lead to a missing
Front porch
While flotsam
And jetsam
Float underneath

One thinks
It is empty
Legend says not

They say
In these parts
Go when
The moon is full
You will find
The Swamp Witch

But beware
You must know
The secret signal
Else nothing
Will change

Two barn owls
Their clicks
And screeches
Warn her
And tell you
To go away

Should you
Still go forward
Without the
Magick signal
You will regret it

For then
The witch’s
Most powerful
Protector appears

Toads, crickets
All, go quiet
Owls on a branch
Air heavy
Even the moon
Seems to hide

As the dark
Becomes black
Two blazing eyes
Will freeze
Your blood

Final warning
A loud roar
Last chance
Give the signal
Or . . .

Wild Thing ©May 7, 2017

Snowflake

Snowflake

Blue Drift – photo by Wild Thing

Snowflake
An odd insult
So beautiful
Unique
Each different

Delicate, yes
But devastating
In a group

What is a blizzard
But thousands
Of snowflakes

It shuts down
Roads, schools, cities
It transforms
Entire landscapes

It will burn
With a deceptive
Icy cold

Wild Thing ©October 3, 2017

Halloween Night

Skeletal Tree

SKeletal Tree – photo by Wild Thing

Witches ride wild
Under moonlight
They fly on brooms
To Goblins delight

Oddly shaped gourds
With gruesome smiles
Light the way for
Jack’s weary miles

Bats fly above
Owls hoot below
Eerie noises
Walking slow

Down the road
In the haunted manse
Spectral visions
Do a macabre dance

At the boneyard
The gate groans
Spirits singing
Their ghostly moans

Wind picks up
To add its howl
In harmony with
The hoot of the owl

Shadow shapes
Are monsters waiting
To grab you quick
Your fear pulsating

If you find yourself
Filled with fright
Have no care
Tis Halloween Night

Wild Thing ©October 14, 2107

The Witches’ Spell

SuperMoon

SuperMoon – photo by Wild Thing

Foreword . . . At this time of year, what could be more
perfect
than a reading from the bard himself?

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
Harpier cries: ’tis time! ’tis time!

Round about the caldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first in the charmed pot!

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d in the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

by William Shakespeare