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.

Day 30 – This Poem is not a Poem

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This Poem is not a Poem

This stanza’s not a masterpiece

This stanza’s not a golden fleece

This verse is not a tribute to dead parents who raised me

This verse cannot contribute to treaded paths dreamt amazing

 

This stanza won’t shake Mt. Olympus from its mythos

This stanza won’t make an ambitious bum less vicious

This verse won’t disperse the curses from my broken heart

This verse won’t traverse the forces forcing us apart

 

This stanza’s not a blueprint for earning Osiris’ favor

This stanza’s not a movement for learning from misbehavior

This verse was the penultimate one, earning no solace

This verse is an obstructionist, returning to lawless

 

This stanza is the end of a missive with no fulfillment

Bonanza of fool’s gold, omissive in truth’s distilment

This verse is the penultimate, returned to souls porous

Reversing the discourse can’t be earned with no chorus.

** *

Thanks for hanging with me through this year’s NaPoWriMo. See you next year, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

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napo2017button2

Day 29 – Widow’s Bay at Sunset

mUSASHImIYAMOTO

Image source: Google

Widow’s Bay at Sunset

“Turn back, dear heart,”

said the young spear-wielder

to her warrior lover.

The setting sun bathed her in ethereal pastels,

giving her the air of a beautiful archangel,

standing on the path

between the warrior and the bay below.

She continued carefully,

perfectly articulating each of her next words,

hoping to drive them home for effect.

“I must confess; I have deceived you.

I’m no bodyguard; I am an assassin.”

 

“I know,” the warrior replied,

slowly reaching for the hilt to his sword,

sunset enveloping his

tormented countenance in silhouette.

“And I hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

But across the bay lies my lost father,

and answers to questions

that have driven my lifelong ambitions.

You and I have fought side-by-side

and shared much until now.

You’ve seen my heart,

and you know I cannot turn back.

Why betray us now?”

 

“Oh, how I’ve dreaded this moment,

my love,” said the spear-wielder

with a mild quiver in her voice,

deliberately lowering the tip of her weapon

to bear-down on the warrior,

widening her stance for balance. “And yes,

I’ve seen your heart and offered you mine

in quieter moments.

I know you cannot turn back.

But I have a sworn duty to eliminate

anyone who gets too close to the truth.”

 

“Sworn duty?” The warrior’s voice rose

and shook incredulously. “To whom?

Who sent you?”

 

“If you set foot on that cove,

the Syndicate will find out,

and it will be over for you, me,

and everyone else close to me.”

The spear-wielder spat those words

like rancid milk.

“Please,” she hissed,

almost in a shout-whisper. “Turn back.

We can run away together,

start a new life.

No one else has to die,

no one would know- “

 

“I would know!” yelled the outraged warrior,

now in mid-crouch. “Now please! Stand aside!

Forget your bounty, your duty

and I will forget your betrayal!

I promise I will protect you and your family

when this is over.”

 

“You know you cannot!”

the spear-wielder shouted back,

gathering better footing.

Then, much softer,

“You know I cannot.”

 

The air between them slowly faded

from sepia to soft fuchsia as

blackbirds returned to tree lines

to roost for the night.

Even the evening breeze paused to contemplate

the star-crossed combatants’ predicament.

 

“I am most regretful

that it must come to this,

dear heart,”

conceded the warrior,

the grip on his hilt now firm, resolute,

the fire of outrage in his eyes giving way

to misplaced compassion

and the near-perfect serenity

of pre-combat Zen.

 

“As am I, my beloved,”

the spear-wielder wearily replied,

twirling her weapon, brandishing it,

coiling into an attack stance,

she, a reluctant cobra,

preparing to battle the only man

she ever loved enough to die for

to the death.

“Don’t hold back.”

 

“Oh, how I loved you so,”

the warrior lamented,

drawing his sword.

 

“That is a lie,”

the spear-wielder said

with a morbidly-amused sneer.

“You still do.”

 

The calamity of their weapons meeting at near-dusk

roused roosting birds from surrounding tree lines.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Penultimatums: Voyages’ End (Almost), imagined by Brendan.

Day 28 – Lies of the Boogeyman

dmitry-ratushny-64773

Image source: Unsplash.com

Lies of the Boogeyman

The Boogeyman’s a liar

he taps at windowpanes

the fear that he inspires

are but tree-limbed shadow-veins

 

His thunder rattles senses

his lightning shows me ghosts

his wind-howl rattles fences

but his silence scares the most

 

He waits for me to slumber

pacing my bed at night

at first birdsong of wonder

he vanishes from sight

 

Sunlight breaks his dominion

quite childish, as I look back

for its my adult opinion

he’s with me, in light or black

 

The Boogeyman is real, it seems

the liars, my own eyes,

I find grown-up peace in sleep-filled dreams

the birdsong terrifies

 

The Boogeyman that I despise

indeed, the very light I see

the darkness I surmise, I see

embedded inside me.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Boogeyman prompt, imagined By Rommy.

Day 27 – Five Dirty-Swirl Limericks

blazingSaddles

Image source: Google

Five Dirty-Swirl Limericks

Insufficient Arrangement

A woman whose fiancé lacked

a physical lust fully-packed

she winked at a bro

girls called Mandingo

her engagement was spent fully-Blacked

 

Spaghetti History

I met a young girl at a rave

who said she loved 12 Years a Slave

but in her tale of woe

confused it for DJango

and thought that’s how all Blacks behave

 

 

Not All Shrews

A snow-bunnied, fancy, fair shrew

who fancied a fanciful screw

fancied-up a plan

netting her a man

screwed into a fancy new hue

 

Truth or Consequence

A virgin from wagon-worn trails

was told that all Back men had tails

she asked one for fun

now they have a son

some answers come with more details

 

 

He Can Dig It

Not picky, a man who spoke Jive

loved all girls, white, brown, and alive

he knew of no crime

for two-at-a-time

so he hoochie-coochied with five

Nymphs and Satyr

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – Nymphs and Satyr (1873) – Public Domain

** *

Written for dVerse Limericks form, hosted by Frank Hubeny .

Other dVerse poets contributed their takes on this form, and though I’m always impressed by the talent displayed, there are surprisingly few dirty ones. Guess it’s up to me to rep the “Dirty Old Man” demographic.

You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. 😉

 

 

 

 

Day 26 – Why I Suck at Physics

worthy-of-elegance-6723

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Why I Suck at Physics

Ruefully, I inhale lavender,

knowing it’s physically impossible

to inhabit her space simultaneously.

 

Still, I’d be most grateful

to rebreathe her air,

exchanging molecules

like the yin-yang symbols,

with a smearing of her bird-winged light

inhabiting my darkness,

and a drizzle of my unruly dusk

dwelling upon her rising mornings.

 

When I wanderlust,

it isn’t always about wandering,

not the journey nor the destination,

and that last part is a lavender-laced lie

as she is the journey’s end

I crave exploring most,

the waypoint where yearning removes its coat,

unpacks, and settles in as longing unfurls,

curling into her,

straining sinew

to rewrite our laws of physics.

***

via Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

 

Day 25 – Universal Truth

john-towner-159744

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Universal Truth

Crust moves, Earth-grooves, Jurassic pace

orbiting, spinning, winning annual race

sun streaks along axis, galactic arm

Milky Way hurtles away

from its collective farm

 

Infinite universe expands

under universal demand

I land on my back, dreamland,

earthbound in my remand

knowing nothing’s ever still.

** *

My second still poem for dVerse Quadrille #31, hosted by Grace. I normally try not to go to the same well twice in a row during NaPoWriMo, but I’m sapped for ideas. I’m running on fumes and limping to the barn, but racking my brain is helping with my depression a bit, and I think I can make it to the end! Five more, people!

Drop by and check out everyone’s contributions to this prompt.

Day 24 – One Day, While Sprinting to Check the Mail

frantzou-fleurine-16978

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One Day, While Sprinting to Check the Mail

I spied a nonagenarian

struggling to our mailboxes,

sluggish enough

to be considered

still-life.

 

I offered to help him.

 

He unhurriedly

glanced my way.

 

“Young man,

don’t worry,”

 

he said with a wry

twinkling smile.

 

“None of us are getting out of here alive.”

** *

Written for dVerse Quadrille #31, hosted by Grace. The word for quadrille Monday is still.  

Drop by and check out everyone’s contributions to this prompt.