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Editing - draft

Dismantled ~ Canto 4

For five years and an aching score
Had dragged the life of Emindor
Within the Arena’s confine.
He, as one of the Mirkem nine
Fought to retain his place and rank.
The only way that Mirkem sank
From their position of renown
Was when a warrior struck them down
And they were slain for place of fame;
A chance to play this lethal game.
Sometimes an ambitious fool
Would challenge a Mirkem to duel.
Such men nine in ten times would die,
A warning that ‘twas naught to try.
More often now the Master chose

The Cowboys’ Scary Halloween Night

(a Ballad about Dental Hygiene
Sung to the tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky).

It was a balmy summer night,
I cooked some pork ‘n bean;
the cowboys chewed tobacco cud,
their teeth were not too clean.

They brushed them only twice a year,
not caring 'bout hygiene—
hen, from the hilltop came a sound—
the scream of someone mean:

It was the Haunting Dentist Man
who came down from the hills;
in tow he had a hundred men
who hadn’t paid their bills.

Kisses Through The Window...

Kisses through the window
Her frail lips are pursed up tight
My eyes squeeze out the tears
So I can see the sight

Of a mother that has nursed me
Through many troubled days
And now, I can't even help her
Though she doesn't need; she says

The speaker-phone is tinny
Not her sweet tones I hear
But I can still recall her voice
Singing soft and clear

Dismantled ~ Canto 3

Dark red the twisted wheels burned:
The bloody stripes Emindor earned
For not exalting in the gain
Of arms wherefore his friend was slain.
“You must excite and rouse the crowd,”
The Master hissed. Emindor bowed
To take the lash; his grief’s reward:
The cracks, the cries, the bloody cord.
At last, when twenty blows were spent
Emindor was released and sent
Down to a lonely, barren cell
Where he would wait until the bell
Summoned him and his warrior friends
To another match of ends.

The Treasure Seeker (a translation after Goethe)

Penniless, in deprivation
I face my lot each endless day.
As utter want is my life’s plague,
the search for wealth leads me astray.

To end my, oh, so wretched state,
I set out to find rich treasure,
content to give my soul to Satan,
sign a contract for good measure.

Within a circle I drew circles
lit up by trembling candle flames,
placed therein old bones and incense,
then cried out unholy names.

Cage of Words

See me peering through the letters
That are swarming down this page.
See me struggle in the fetters
Of my Muse’s authored cage:
‘O’s are manacles, and ‘T’
The cross-bar braced by double-‘V’;
‘C’s are chains linked to a ‘Q’
Which is the keyless lock I drew;
‘L’s are bars – ‘D’ one great floor;
‘X’ joins the walls without a door;
Periods are scattered dust;
Commas, colons – flakes of rust;
Exclamation marks are blades
Upon which my ink is made;
‘F’s the quill wherewith I write

The Hidden Hell In Me

Within my Muse’s back bedroom there stands a bed and chair,
A table and a lampstand – paper scattered everywhere.
And in the darkest corner, so as to be no eyesore,
There looms the shadowed outline of my Muse’s closet door.
Behind that door, wrapped up in night, fester my old regrets,
My pains, sorrows, bitternesses – that’s where it all collects.
So when, at night, my Muse unlocks and opens wide that door,
The messes of my twisted mind spill out across the floor.
The sticks and stones that broke my bones, the beasts that claw my heart,

Pull Back The Curtain...

The Windows of The Soul
Are not the eyes, it seems
They are the ears that hear
Spoken, broken-hearted dreams

Doors can be locked up
Against the breach of trust
Fling them wildly open
Do not fear an honest thrust

There is no better way
To tell of an honest man
Than to hear their words
Speak of an innocent plan

So, do not meet in darkness
Speak out in brightest day
Let your truth be known
It is the only way

Signora Teddy's Passion Food Spell

(Teddy speaks:)
Oh, husband, lover, does your heart
no longer flutter at the sight
of your dear Teddy?
Does her form
no longer fuel the old delight
that twirled you into passion’s fit?
Perhaps cruel years have all-too soon
transformed once youthful skin into
That of a shriveled, mildewed prune?

(Husband:)
I sputter and assure her, No—
my sluggish hormones simply failed
to tumble and scramble in their former rush;
they rest there in a state of jumble.

Sonnet to utter Frustration

Am I a bard? I ask as I arise
In hope that, somehow, I had been inspired
By muses, once so helpful, kind and wise—
The ones this dried up poet had admired.
But scattered sparks are just too faint to burn,
Extinguished embers can’t be re-stoked
No matter how I yearn, twist, toss and turn—
From trash—a noble verse can’t be evoked.
Dismay grows with my ink pen’s every scratch,
I have the kindling—talent—I have not.
Whatever can one do when no thoughts hatch?
I curse each muse that brought my lines to naught.

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