Bowling for Fireflies

bjphil

Bowling for Fireflies

Dad looked cool as hell throwing his first strike, shocking absolutely no one. I expected no different as I tried emulating his movements during my turn. I got a split and left a pin on the spare.

Then it was Lil Phil’s turn.

The lightest ball they had seemed to weigh more than his tiny ass. We watched him struggle, wind up, throw the bowling ball like a shot put, and fall flat on his ass. The ball sounded like it would go through the floor when it landed about a foot from Phil’s Pocket-Herculean toss, before creeping towards the pins at an obscenely leisurely pace.

 

spring becomes summer

sunlight stretched to horizon

I shall keep this day

 

Dad and I fell over each other laughing hysterically in spite of ourselves. After a moment, Phil started laughing too. The ball was almost halfway to the pins as we helped the little guy to his feet. Phil was grinning; always with that grin that seemed to know where mom hid the last of the cookies. Dad reassured Phil that one day he would be bigger and strong enough to handle a bowling ball instead of it handling him. The ball was nearing the end of its journey as I playfully ruffled his hair.

Then we all turned our attention to Phil’s ball as it slowly, painstakingly nudged each and every pin out of its way; an uncanny microcosm of Phil’s unhurried, determined, free-spirited personal philosophy.

My brother had thrown a strike. The heavy ball made a mockery of him, but per usual, Phil got the last laugh.

 

starlight blinks awake

they salute the setting sun

gently, fades the dusk

 

We laughed even harder at the absurd luck as we all high-fived.

I’m certain we had other moments, but I will cherish that instant forever as my favorite mental snapshot; the three Dawson men just kickin’ it in the bowling alley, smiling, laughing, and politely debating whether rap music was actually music (Phil and I were absolutely hooked, but Dad held back, thinking it was just another fad, like disco.) We genuinely enjoyed ourselves and each other in a transcendent night at the bowling alley.

A little over one and a half score later finds Lil Phil a grown man, a devoted husband, amazing father, and wise far beyond his 38 years. But in many ways, he’s still that determined little guy throwing strikes with a grin while laughing at the idiocy of fate.

 

fireflies dance with stars

I cup them with my mind’s hands

captured memories

***

big Phil

Big Phil with his son, my nephew, “Thundercat”

Happy birthday, Big Phil, my plucky little brother.

Collecting the Toll

garak

Image source: Google

Collecting the Toll

What’s that, you say?

You’re ready to confess, are you?

 

Oh, my dear man,

you must’ve confused me

for someone else.

 

There’s no need for that stuff.

I know your vile sin all too well.

That’s why I’m here

 

smiling over your broken body, after all.

 

In fact, had you not

picked my kin to prey on,

you wouldn’t be bowed before me

praying for mercy I’m ill-fit to offer.

 

But that’s the dirty trick, isn’t it?

They’re all my kin, all worthy of

gentle respect you denied her.

 

Like you, I won’t be gentle.

 

Hell, you might’ve even gotten away

clean, virtuous and intact

had you abstained from your perverse lust

and craven need to rip through consent,

admittance neither given nor heeded,

but entry forced, vandalized,

left in pieces, droppings left by some

repugnant, lecherous litterbug.

 

And so, here we are, you and I,

together one last time

before I send you on ahead

to be judged by the Other Guy.

 

She will never be the same.

Your fate will be far worse.

 

Oh, my dear lad,

but of course I’m

going to hell too.

 

An eye for an eye,

and whatnot and so-forth.

 

But unlike you,

I have manners,

so, you first, sir.

 

And there you go again

with all that

mercy and forgiveness talk.

 

I fear that I’m fresh out of that stuff.

 

I wonder if my kin screamed out similarly

as you parted her knees

and had your way with her.

 

I imagine she lacked a vocabulary

macabre enough to adequately describe

or protest against the criminal

things you did to her,

 

but oh, how many more decibels

you’ll shatter in tenfold retribution

for her terrified shrieks

that went unanswered!

 

And suffer you will, my man!

Just as she did, just as I am suffering

at this very moment, for there is no mercy

for you, only justice, dispensed by yours truly

with a smile, and I promise you that

 

your suffering shall be put to a swift end

just as soon as my pain ends.

See how fair and just that is?

 

I should warn you though;

watching my kin weep at

what amounted to a viscous force of nature

answerable to nothing but your own ill nature

has left me in a catastrophic amount of pain.

 

This… could take a while.

** *

I know the tone is disturbing, but this poem wasn’t born in a vacuum. My friend trE wrote a harrowing poem on her blog that resonated with me and should resonate with everyone. You should check it out.

I debated sharing this one, but trE encouraged me to do just that.

via Paying The Price — a cornered gurl

A Dry Word from the Thirsty Gentleman by the Bar

flirting (2)

Image source: Classical Art Memes

A Dry Word from the Thirsty Gentleman by the Bar

I don’t want to

burden you

with overflowing

echoes of my emptiness,

 

but if your efflorescence

yearns for my warmth,

I’ll fill you with

my want

until

 

we’re both spilled,

replenished,

wrung.

 

But if

your echoed thirst

is misread

 

please enjoy this free drink.

** *

Written for dVerse’s Quadrille #32, hosted by De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo. The wordplay of the day is echo.

When most of us think of the word echo, haunting, wistful imagery tends to come to mind. I wanted to try finding a silly counterbeat.

Go here to read other poets’ contributions to this prompt.