Monday, February 28, 2011

A Cowboy's Song
by Kevin L. Harrington

Chapter 1

When he had his fill of food and drink, he felt weary and lay down to rest beneath the sparkling sky. It was in the moon when roses bloom and their camp was in some cottonwoods by the river. A fire was still blazing: blue-black smoke turning up to touch the face of stars in darkened evening. Sarah returned from the river and stood back to him in the leaping orange glow of the flames. Hard work in hot sun had tanned her lean frame and toned her muscles. He watched silver rivulets run curving paths down long bronze thighs. Then this: the swift passing of the brush as she bent to comb her sandy brown mane. Her ass was a firm, pale glow beneath the moon. For a moment he thought he saw Orion through the crook of a multi- bangled arm. Then the brush fell and she was with him. There was the earthy taste of wild river water in her mouth.

Chapter 2 ... And young willie's eyes were sharp as any eagle's
he could spot a rider from a good full mile's run
not much for the big towns or the ways of all the people
the only law he knew was when the smoke came from a gun.

William E. Johnson walked slowly around the bar and stood, back to the wall, in a place where he liked to watch the door. He tipped the back of his hat brim up and stared wordlessly for a moment at the roughly hewn wood; waiting for the sound of beer being poured. Shortly there came the thud of his jar upon the bar and Liam O'malley, the bar man, took just enough coin from before the young cowhand. Inside the "Souls of Poets Tavern" the air was warm and redolent of stale beer, smoke and whiskey. Outside a sadistic sun was baking the earth into dust. It rose in tiny cyclone swirls from the road at the slightest hint of hoof or wheel or rare breeze up from the river.
The room was empty save for the two men and a prostitute named Maria. From over at a corner table she called him with her eyes. " Why don't you cume n seet weet me weelie?" And he had a thought to join her, but before he moved a gaunt black man had pushed through the swinging doors and moved silently over to her table satchel in hand. she raised her head as the man bent to whisper some thing in her ear. After stopping at the bar for a bottle, the two of them moved without shyness up the rear stairs towards a small bedroom above.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Down by the Pond

a song to the tune of "lord Franklin":

Summer is gone now. The Autumn is on
with the red, gold and green colored watery dawns.
My friends and my family i care for each one.
I am riding my bicycle down by the pond.

I recall a time it was just around the bend
i'd been bugging my dad to take me fishing with him
We didn't get nothin till on the far shore
We saw them all jumpin by an old cabin door.
We were reeling them in. it was easy and free
When i felt the old man smile over at me.
With the moon on the water not much was said
about the "keep out sign hung over our heads.

When we were kids we would drive far away
To a pond in the pines where mom swam in her day
When long day ended stars littered a dome
there was dreaming and singing
all our long way home.

My wife and i married then rode the north hills
to a spot near the border where the water was still.
Evenings we swam in a bottomless lake
These many years later i still think of that place.
and i took our young boys on mystery walks
up through the ball fields and on toward the docks.
Each weary way home would come their refrain:
Dad why are mystery walks always the same?

now as my body it does give me pain
i'm turning my bicycle t'ards home in a rain
i know i've been lucky.. i know it's been grand.
my friends and my family, they're who i am.
and winter is coming now; make no mistake
i'm watching two swans slide low across the lake
all of my money i would freely spend
to know we could live those old times again.