I woke into a frightful terror
That lasted until noon
Two eyes of spoken yellow glowed
Terror to my soul
Then wafted into my study so soon
A fragrance of the beast
Leaving me to recollect
My passing there that noon.
It was hard work
Very hard work for a traveler
Mostly used to walking for hours
I could see that Frank was used to this labour
But I could also see
How glad he was to have help
At such a labour intensive job
Both of us enjoyed a dip in the stream at noon
Frank was a silent man while working
Focused on the motion of the saw
Or the point his axe was to come down on the block
I could tell he was a precise man
By the way his axes were kept
A perfect bevel upon their edge
That split through wood
Like butter on Amy’s warm bread
I commented on this a few times
And he just kept saying
A real man must look after his tools.
Clarinet would come around
With the dogs once and a while
But Frank would tell her it was too dangerous
Around the chopping blocks so
And she would wander back to the house
Amy and her would bring sandwiches to us
Roasted beef with cucumber and
Amy’s secret sauce she wouldn’t give me the recipe for
Who was I kidding though,
I wouldn’t be making it any time soon
I think it had radishes in it.
During the evenings we would sit around the oven
I’d ask just enough questions
To keep Frank talking as he liked to,
Always with a story of childhood
Clearly fond memories for him with his brothers,
But always with his sweetheart close by
Smiling, just as I watched her these fond evenings
Clearly full of love,
I’d fall asleep smiling every night.
In the end of all of it I had a reason.
There were two dots crossed off a long list of imaginations
And the cowboy had everything left to lose should it fail.
But that wasn’t the event there that day, you see,
A long riflesman came staggering in as the town watched
Thinking to themselves about a memory they all-to-quickly refused to listen to.
I couldn’t help but think that I was an envelope,
A whisper sealed away awaiting some sort of lucky ticket holder.
My eyes remained calm as time’s length pushed on.
Crimson was the colour of noon’s high sun.
Picking pockets like a Bazaar thief in Catholic quarters;
The city clinched tighter.
There once was an island inside of my dreams,
Floating with unseen amounts of impossibilities.
I was homesick. I wasn’t allowed to be there anymore.
So for now they sang, in cool shade of a willow tree.
And a stable meant for their local butcher
Fed the gatherers, who all at once came.
Dust kicked up my hallow heart’s worms and sheered into the edge;
At once I was offered fine takings
And imagined I was an elder.
I was gambling at the Big Gun Saloon.
A lone mescalito biting the fat end,
Lookin’ for a chance.
I gambled often, too often.
A riverboat of floating luck
With legalized six shooters
Yelling my splashing soul goodbye.
I danced with happy Jacks
In a smoking gun saloon.
Ladies with rumpled tushes
Blowin’ kisses on good nights.
Everywhere: adultery in bedackled gems,
Fishnet in blackened stockings,
And a room awaiting cowboy’s boots.
I loved her like a riverman,
Steady and full of piss
Navigating curls running this stream long.
And then she whispered:
“If you ain’t out by noon,
I’ll be throwin’ in yer boots,
Or if you fancy another ride
I’ll be you’re shining star all night.
But either way, it’s been two days
And I ain’t seen you high stack all ride.
So if it’s all the same to you, Sir,
I’ll have mine paid: fair share.
So I can find myself a meal,
I’m hungry and loveless,
Waiting on this ordeal.
Now I trust you, and don’t be puttin on,
This was the deal we made, my trust.
Now do me kind and have it out,
And I’ll be on my way.”
Those were the words I heard sung again
As my splashing soul went out,
And the legalese was spitting up
Lead tipped water kisses into my eyes.
Beads of sun break through this holy day
Glistening everything it hits, including my weathered desk
Plants scream out for more, reaching out with reckless abandon
And the flies all attempt to break free through the stained glass
Leaving their motionless debris scattered along the ledge
Meanwhile, deep in the distance
The blinding sun races it’s distance
Breaking through and burning any who dare impede it’s travel
And the morning cries
Like a loose canon that’s locked and loaded
Throwing tantrums at the glistening grass
Ready to dry with the midday sun
“Collapse” say the trees, your time will return very soon
Spreading wider to bask in the newly angled rays
Slowly spreading further into the distance
And graying with distance that hasn’t yet decided
Which angle it likes best
For night begins to roll the skies into brilliant spectrums
But throws it’s shadows like passing butterflies
Quietly and silently and at times omnipresent
And for the love of it all
The morning waits its turn in line
While noon pouts a silent whimper
Evening spreads out a blanket with some nice wine
And cooly entertains the fleeting thoughts of the moon