Time for Time-Out

timeoutimg002

Time for time-out it’ll end soon.

Dug in the yard with mom’s good spoon.

She’s had it since her wedding day.

Used just for holidays, not play.

*

I said that it was shaped just right,

to dig a trench where armies can fight.

Needs to be deep but not too wide.

Had to dig fast so they can hide.

*

Buried far down just like a tomb.

Guarding treasure found in your room.

Found in a box high on a chest.

It’s the booty pirates like best.

*

I must protect those shiny things:

chains, charms, bracelets, baubles and rings.

Hid them good, remembered the map.

But then forgot after my nap.

*

To help me dig I found a pet.

The best digger there is I’ll bet.

Finished our yard then went next door.

Found nothing, ran off to dig more.

*

Chased our cat high up in the tree.

Grandma called the police for me.

Her nurse had to help make the call.

The police came, that isn’t all.

*

While chasing his dog that I found,

the man fell from holes in the ground.

He said he’ll sue, just wait and see.

I said it was his dog, not me.

*

His face was red, limping away.

But grandma’s heart will be okay.

And I have some more good news.

While digging today, I wore no shoes.

*

They’re nice and clean and tucked away.

I’ll try no pants some other day.

Though mess was made with my bare feet,

I cleaned it up with hose and sheet.

*

Pushed all the water out the door.

Then to your room, I cleaned some more.

Too bad the hose didn’t quite reach.

I luckily then found the bleach.

*

You’ll smile when you turn on the light.

I know you like things clean and white,

with spots of color here and there.

You’ll surely hug your little dear.

*

I’m glad you’re home early today.

Don’t believe what the neighbors say.

The rescue came, Dad’s all right.

Not much pain, he’ll wake by tonight.

*

Go to the doctor, I’ll just wait.

I’ll be good and won’t stay up late.

I missed lunch; I’ll make us a snack.

Fix the chair dad broke with his back.

*

He climbed too high to find his keys,

lost his balance from wobbly knees.

I found some socks to wrap dad’s head.

Then found soldiers under my bed.

*

Recalled the mission to be done.

Ran downstairs to start the fun.

Found no spoons not already bent.

But then found yours and out I went.

*

And that’s where my story began.

Now come sit close mom, hold my hand.

I know that time-outs hurt you too.

But when it’s done I’ll still love you.

*

The End

sck2014

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468259

A Christmas Tail

sleepy town

Chapter 1 ~ The Beginning

All’s quite this early winter’s night.
Embers fade in the candles dancing light.
I was thinking of Christmas, many years past.
Those fond old memories’ now fading fast.

I recalled when our home came alive.
I was just a small girl of about five.
It was a grand old house for mom, dad and me.
Sat perched on a hill overlooking the sea.

It’s still a museum in our little town.
It was built by a General of historic renown.
Shared with his bride Martha, she had a sad life.
The General’s a hero, she a young widowed wife.

h varnum door 2

We cared for the house and gave the tours.
All year long we opened our doors.
We welcomed the guest to step back in time.
So come on in and share our rhyme.

I lay awake and tossed and turned.
Thinking of school and all I learned.
Letters and numbers and new friends,
I hope kindergarten never ends.

My thought disturbed by shapes on the wall,
a moonlit dance, shadows big and small.
It pranced to my table that’s set for tea.
There’s a seat for Teddy and Dolly plus one for me.

It climbed the chair with a dancer’s grace.
She must be a girl with a whiskered face.
Dolly left some crumbs on her plate.
When I remembered it was too late.

I Left a treat each night for a week.
I tried staying awake to catch a peek.
I’ll call her Martha, like our homes bride
But when I giggled she ran to hide.

Chapter 2 ~ New Friends

The days passed, she’d visit most nights.
She kept unseen until I turn out the lights.
She knows I’m cozy in my warm bed.
She smiles and winks, thankful she’s fed.

One night I waited, still in my chair.
Starlight warmed the chilly night air.
Eyelids dropped like the falling moon.
I hope my visitor gets here soon.

Night turned to day, feet cold on the floor.
I missed my friend but goodies no more.
The next night I brought a cookie to bed.
I woke with my new friend by my head.

Days got colder, Christmas was near.
I looked forward to the snacks we share.
Each passing night our friendship grows.
We chat and laugh, I scratch her nose.

h 3

Thanksgiving’s past, Santa’s on his way.
The tree goes up, brighter each day.
We’re happy to welcome all our new guests,
while I wore my new colonial dress.

I tell them of the homes long past,
Of all that’s lived here, my family last.
I tell them of their history.
But never a word of Martha and me.

On the last day of school before the break,
we celebrated with carols and cake.
We shared cards and hugs then on our way.
We’re off to the bus and our long holiday.

Glad to be home, much to be done.
Baking and wrapping with mom will be fun.
I think Christmas is the best time of year.
There’s lots of visits from friends far and near.

Chapter 3 ~ Good and Bad

tree 4

It’s not just gifts that makes Christmas best.
It’s all the excitement, no time for rest.
One snowy day mom and I went to town.
Main Street’s so merry, never a frown.

When we returned from our last minute shop,
we saw a truck with a light on top.
A man in a hardhat talked with my dad.
They both spoke quietly and looked very sad.

My parents whispered, thought I didn’t hear.
Something’s was broken too much to repair.
Said we’re leaving, where they don’t know.
I loved our home and didn’t want to go.

I gave the last tour on that very sad day.
We finished our cocoa with little to say.
Mom read aloud then kissed me goodnight.
Dad tucked me in, turned out the light.

I lay sobbing at the loss of our house.
No new friends, no Martha the mouse.
I then had a plan and ran for my bank.
Shook out the coins and my little heart sank.

Martha came close, she knew I was sad.
I forgot the snacks but she wasn’t mad.
We counted my pennies in moonlight,
then crept downstairs later that night.

We tucked my bank under the tree.
It’s for our old house from Martha and me.
But one last thing and then back to bed,
a snack for Martha and a pat on her head.

My dad woke me early that Christmas day.
I knew he was sad, he smiled anyway.
We met mom in the hall, headed downstairs.
We all acted happy while holding back tears.

 

Chapter 4 ~ New Beginnings

The cookies were gone, Santa was here.
Beneath the tree, present are there.
But shocked to see something I’d never seen.
There are stacks of coins, sleeping mice in between.

They ate Santa’s cookies then took a nap.
All snuggled together in the Christmas wrap.
Sleeping soundly until mom screams.
Then all were awakened from their dreams.

Martha stood out front and winked at me.
She waved me over to come and see.
The piles of treasure they found last night.
That was lost under the floorboards out of sight.

The Generals treasure, his coins of gold.
There’s enough to fix our homes splendor of old.
Martha saved our house and Christmas too.
She helped write this rhyme to share with you.

mouse 5

From all of us here at our house of fun,
we’re glad to have shared our time as one,
We wish you the all best this holiday.
And may all your days be just your way.

The End

Steve Kittell 120114

 

Broken

The switch broke, lights went out.
Now I sit alone in doubt.
Morning comes, eyes stay shut.
The feeling’s gone in my gut.
~
Hours pass with no refrain.
Only mush fills my brain.
My body’s weak, pain is strong.
Life is short, death is long.
~
Lips parched, breathing slows.
Numbness reminds of fingers and toes.
Into the light my soul roams.
Blood consumes yesterday’s poems.
~
Silence heard with no heartbeat.
Time knows no defeat.
If tomorrow I shall see,
a better person I will be.
~
If a poet when I rise,
this world anew before my eyes.
Nothing lost is nothing gained,
only regrets leave us stained.
~
Second chances are often rare.
Today’s success is meant to share.
The past gone, ends unknown,
cherish all you have grown.

~*~
SCK112920

Could Have Been

‘Twas the dawn of the new,
where a seaside village grew.
Novice and native confused.
From each the other felt used.

Forests deep or oceans wide,
betwixt’s unknown, where demons hide.
Hovels cluster to brave surrounds.
Perils beckon with all new sounds.

Ships multiply within the decade.
Promises broken to many made.
Seeds planted and families grown,
with the first of the babes now on their own.

One such named Sam while out to fetch wood,
kept up with his mom, best he could.
Yet he dallied about and lost his way,
the first of many an enlightening day.

Surrounded by darkness, Sam was afraid,
he awaited death from his errors made.
The silence broken by crackling leaf,
eaten or captured will soon end his grief.

There in the moonlight to Sam’s surprise,
a scared young squaw was before his eyes.
Sam huddled close with his new friend Fawn.
They shared the warmth till the new day’s dawn.

Their words spoken with only a glance,
parting as friends made by chance.
Fawn pointed toward Sam’s path home.
He turned to thank her, yet she did roam.

Sam soon safe, years soon pass.
Herds dwindle, slaughtered in mass.
Danger dies when dangers burn,
for dreams of freedom we all yearn.

With hardy to fore, lessor the back,
prey’s all around for the attack.
Muskets in hand they hunt the beast.
The fallen the joy of this autumnal feast.

Alone in the wood, sun’s fading fast,
Sam’s in a daze lost in the past.
He sat and pondered without any fear,
recalling Fawn, his long lost dear.

Thanks to her, Sam’s here today,
assisting her ruin to make his way.
The silence broken by crackling leaf,
there stood his Fawn, ending his grief.

Sam rose in the moonlight reflecting her eyes.
Her pain carved deep by years of cries.
The pair ventured north, far as they could.
Their legend ends there and all was good.

~*~

Sck113015

Cold Fuzz

It’s been a month or maybe more,
it could be less but I’m not sure.
Perspective’s fuzzy, mind’s a blank,
creativity’s done and mood sank.
~
At least today I wrote a thing,
I hoped that some joy it’d bring.
I wasn’t wrong though it’s not great,
reflecting on these times of late.
~
Perhaps tomorrow will improve;
I’ll jump out of bed in the groove.
I’ll run downstairs to greet the sun,
damn this chill, let’s awake the fun.

~*~
SCK112320

Posthumous Futures

~

To all the writers never known
To the few from which we’ve grown
From their words the future’s sown
Rearranged to call our own

~

To all of those that do it now
From palette pure to graven brow
Investing all we dare allow
Divesting that we can’t avow

~

Time records in poem and prose
Imagined journeys no one knows
From euphoric highs to deadly lows
The tide of emotion forever flows

~

Looking back at history
Or hypothesizing infinity
Sensations felt we can’t see
Ink bled sets us free

~

Where to start, that depends
Our time alone shared with friends
Yet all stories must have ends
Well submerged is where life blends

~

Write the dark to see the light
Time always wins the fight
And when you lay awake tonight
Rest assured our future’s bright

~*~

Sck112315

Shunned for life

Instantaneous conception

Darkened suspension

Quintessential isolation

Thrusted illumination

Blissful termination

Trusted dedication

Explored dimension

Forced memorization

Infinite confusion

Rising tension

Tense deliberation

Lofty ambition

Numbing frustration

Occasional jubilation

Generational creation

Much tribulation

Restful justification

Deserved relaxation

Diminishing pension

Perpetual hibernation

But so far mostly fun

Sck120812

None Today

~

There’ll be no daily sonnet today.

Thought has wandered and gone astray.

Nimble quill won’t dance on parchment bare,

seducing lonely on table near.

 

The well is dry from which I must drink.

Chair is empty were journeys to think.

No inky tears shed, blotted or smeared.

No blackened hands bloodied and feared.

 

Letters scrambled all over my mind.

Their chosen order I cannot find.

Brittle wax puddle proves candles death.

The darkness swallows my daylights breath.

 

Blindness shackles a masked and heavy head.

I shrink into my unwanted bed.

Heart and soul content for tomorrow.

When ink, I hope, once more will flow

~*~

sck082614

A Poet’s Desire

~

If I could turn my words into the finest wine

We’d sail on those balmy seas until the end of time

If I could print money on all the paper that I use

Our sky would rain confetti any time you choose

~

If my wishes granted for all that I desire

We’d spent our moonlit evenings cuddled by a fire

If my fantasies could ever be reality

All I’d ever need is for you to be with me.

~*~

Sck101214

Why

Why do writers write,

why do lovers fight,

why the lonely night?

`

Why do we ask why,

why must we say good bye,

why must we even try?

`

Why do demons taunt,

why do ghosts haunt,

why does beauty flaunt?

`

Why do dragons fly,

why’s the moon so high,

why does all life die?

`

Why dream of things afar,

why does life leave a scar,

why is why who we are.

`

Sck111014

Bountiful

~

Summer’s at its end, no paths leading home,

memories haunt, hunger leads wherever he does roam.

The hazy starlight setting, the sun’s ready to rise.

A frightened little orphan wipes dreams from sleepy eyes.

~

Soon the bells will ring calling all’s return.

The timid sure to flounder, the hardy always earn.

Darting through the alleys, the bay comes in view.

Ships aplenty ply the piers promising something new.

~

Upon these docks seabirds feast,

sharing the waste with all other beast.

Flies swarm, rats persist and hungry dogs bark.

There are many unseen faces lurking in the dark.

~

Survivors all, as is he, sharing the spoils of a bountiful sea,

no masters’ switch or mothers’ screams when a life is free.

Two pockets and a mouth full will feed for a day.

Fancy cord or carved wood may even bring some pay.

~

Scavenging for a morsel, a meal comes in sight.

Tis crated fruits from afar, a taste of pure delight.

Brushing off the larvae and peeling rotted skin,

sweet sensations pass the lips, a smile grows within.

~

Then giggles gurgled from his blissful throat.

Till greed consumes and bellies bloat.

Euphoria swells and inhibitions subside.

The bustle begins there’s no need to hide.

~

While hunger had made his mind alert.

Gluttony now makes his body inert.

Guard lowered, feet slow to run,

this young boys’ journey’s now just begun.

~

Sailors seized the well fed thief.

Then shackled aboard to ease their grief,

a gift for the captain from his loyal crew.

A cabin boy’s needed, there’s much to do.

~

Soon underway and far from land,

the mate unlocks the orphans’ hand.

The boy then runs toward sun and air.

On deck he cries watching land disappear.

~

Formalities scant then forced to chores,

His long nights stowed behind locked doors.

They voyaged south where weather’s warm,

when the waters grew bumpy ahead of a storm.

~

The captain commanded his capable crew.

And the boy was forgotten with so much to do.

The bright sun fell with the dark rising sea.

Freedom escapes when nowhere to flee.

~

The howling winds and roaring waves,

called heroes and fools to watery graves.

The skipper stood bravely at his battered helm,

barking out orders to all in his realm.

~

He called for his servant to secure a line tight.

The boy climbed too high, falling into the night.

The bosons’ pipe blew and bells rang out,

muffling the sounds of the orphans last shout.

~

The boy sank fast with his final breath.

When suddenly snatched by the jaws of death.

In a cage of tooth and tongue for seat,

waiting was he to be something’s treat

~

Swimming as fast as ever she could,

the serpent’s intensions were soon understood.

Diving through darkness then leaps in the air.

A long journey had, till the weather was fair.

~

He awoke on a beach, the serpent close by.

Being baked in hot sand to be eaten and die.

Before he could run the beast came near.

She patted his head and said “Have no fear.”

~

She gazed into his scared little eyes.

Assuring him serpent myths were lies.

“We’re not all monsters or killers you see,

though maybe a few but certainly not me.”

~

“Serpents get angry when harpoons fly their way,

or when dragged ashore for a tasty fillet.

Bounties are had that pay by the pound,

riches await when a big serpents found.”

~

The new friends chatted the rest of the day.

They shared their pasts till no more to say.

Dozing they snuggled on a bed of soft leaf,

dreaming of a life without any grief.

~

Wakened to sunshine and breakfast pre-made.

The grinning pair feasted on greens in the shade.

Then time for a swim in their private lagoon.

They frolicked together till the rising full moon.

~

Days and weeks then years soon past,

the happy young boy was growing fast.

The pair traveled the oceans and faraway lands,

their life’s serene with no demands.

~

They ate and slept and played on a whim,

till the boy grew curious of others like him.

He asked many questions, to the serpent unknown,

her boy a young man, now twice grown.

~

His name, he had none, he could recall.

He was always called boy and that was all.

The serpent, a serpent, there’s no need for a name.

The boy called her mum just the same.

~

The wise serpent knew their time couldn’t last,

The boy’s now a man and still growing fast.

Mum was ashamed of keeping the boy,

to coddle and cuddle and treat like a toy.

~

They played together, she watched him grow,

all the time knowing he’d eventually go.

A plan was hatched she couldn’t admit.

If her boy found out he’d have a fit.

~

She would swim close to shore then into the bay.

She’d crash on the beach for her boy’s big payday.

A hero he’d be and rewarded a bounty vast.

But she had to be quick for her nerve to last.

~

The day was perfect and the sky was clear.

Boy was napping when land came near.

The plan underway, Mum turned the last bend.

The town grew closer, her life soon to end.

~

Flapping her flippers as fast as she could,

splashes seen as she knew they would.

With one last thrust she lunged for the land.

The boy awakened when thrown to the sand.

~

The town folk scattered, guards quick to arrive.

None had seen a serpent alive.

Bruised and battered the boy came to.

Quickly he knew what he had to do.

~

He knew his friend would have a plan.

The boy’s time was now to be a man

Fearlessly facing his many foes,

standing with mum to shield their arrows.

~

He called for the general to make a deal.

“Spare your feasts now for many a meal.

Or a battle we will have with much to lose.

Life or death sir is for you now to choose.”

~

The general perplexed requested his king.

A long hour past, mum started to sing.

The crowds joined in and fears were eased.

The deal was sealed and all were pleased.

~

The general was spared potential bloodshed.

The serpent was spared her intelligent head.

The boy made an admiral though a scant crew,

with a fleet of just one and we all know who.

~

His beloved town prospered, called the boy Beau.

Replacing the name he didn’t know.

Beau got married, had many a young.

The eldest’s in a band with a grand mum who sung.

~

The End

~*~

SCK092015

Wood of Gray

Rocks and trees look the same in a wood of gray.

They share a darkened sky that wraps a fallen day.

Crackles and snaps taint silent air with sound.

Where collages of colors melt into the ground.

~

Then the chilly breeze and the early night,

That awakens all to the same hazy light.

Seasons end when another begins,

Some icy cold with freezing winds.

~

Some blooming buds and misty showers,

turning tiny seeds into mighty towers.

These longer days we all must grow,

then starlit nights will be aglow.

~

With heat enough to turn green red.

Then yellows float to golden bed.

To share their dreams in patchwork mind,

of sunny times with shade that’s kind.

~

 To rest among where fallen lay,

and ponder together this wood of gray.

~*~

sck110614

Cats with Balls

Balls of yarn in a basket rest,
tightly wound await their quest.
Cats a-pouncing, a playful pest,
balls unwound are surely messed.
~
But if to be a ball at rest,
is to be without life’s zest.
To unwind, we humans blessed.
Perhaps the cat does know best.
~
But we’re not cats, as you’ve guessed.
And if to pounce we’re addressed.
Our winding road we’re obsessed.
And our time is surely pressed.
~
But like a basket we welcome guest,
receiving all to our cozy nest.
Though when full we get stressed,
perhaps to knit, but surely I jest.
~
Our paths in life we can request.
Our destinations we manifest.
But our time we must invest.
Or simply the litter we’ll digest.

~*~
SCK061120

Symptomatic

The day was young and the coffee’s old.
The season’s new and the outside’s cold.
The inside’s warm so in I’ll stay.
I’m not feeling well this chilly day.
~
I brewed some more and drink it all.
Saving none then duty did call.
Then back to bed, or at least I thought.
I forgot what excess has often taught.
~
I tossed and turned for a little too long.
Then to the bathroom, but nothing’s wrong.
I needed a tissue for a sneeze I felt coming.
Proven right the sensation was numbing.
~
My plans now nixed, the sniffles persisted.
Medicine taken, their side-effects listed.
I’ve started to doze and none too soon.
Please wake me up before the spring moon.

~*~
SCK092320

What’s Up Doc?

~

I think we should all have bunny ears,

designating our merits over the years.

Lengths long lost hurting others,

heights higher helping sisters and brothers.

~

Success’s measured in fractions of a hair.

A few points added for additional flair.

Color’s welcome, natural’s best.

Blue’s unseen when none’s stressed.

~

A bunny ear board could endorse promotions.

The bunny brigade would enforce demotions.

The lazy whither though no harm’s done.

Evil ones snipped for they deserve none.

~

Straight-up or floppy, some tied in a knot,

eerie presentations always say a lot.

Sadness droops and lies alert,

the bigger the hop the less inert.

~

Nothing’s unheard of or misunderstood,

when all’s heard and all heard is good.

A world’s more sharing when more’s the same,

less careless flipping of coins for the game.

~

Life could be more than winning the bet,

when what you see is what you get.

That’s why I think we should all grow a pair.

Then tend our garden with the greatest of care.

~*~

Sck040116

The Return

Outside my window perched in a tree
Tis a winged demon that caws at me
At me it caws and caws all day
Till darkness consumes then caws go away

Tis then a candle lit, awaiting peace
Creative spark await release
The hourly chime hourly chides
This spark within creatively hides

Searching I pace in this tiny room
From shadow to shadow returning to gloom
Going in circles around in a square
Till wearily I slump back into my chair

Through random lacy limbs I spy the moon
With gentle breezes the patterns I swoon
Patterns swooning dance on dingy walls
The net surrounds and the demon calls

Consciousness concedes, silence relieves
In the dark the dark the mind believes
Rest and wait or rise and scream
Choices few at the edge of a dream

Wax drippings lapping pages bled
Of serpentine spine and heavy head
Blackness cloaks the demons night
Their quills aplenty shade the light

Demon, oh demon please let me be
Yet still they tap, tapping for me
Tap tap tapping on my foggy pane
Tap, tap tapping with no refrain

Without refrain demons tap in kind
Tapping demons tap, tapping my mind
Is this tapping, tapping to remind?
Or is it tapping to seek and find?

Oh demon cloaked with hidden face
To take from you is my disgrace
Your gifts adored left on my sill
Yet to rest on your back I am still

To be only still is reverse
Dive or fall, a lover’s curse
To soar or sink is to immerse
The spirit wishes to guide the verse

This spirit and I of common goal
Each to rise from the hole
One to fly, one to scratch and claw
Each may fall, one to caw, caw, caw

Our bond’s made to find a link
If to trade my soul I wish to think
I wish to think another’s ink
Of golden quills and wine to drink

In gilded glass I wish to wink
Then step away until I shrink
Till all is gone with a blink
But for the ink, I wish to think

I think I think, I think I see
I think I see light shines on me
Sight and sound now distortion free
The path’s clear toward tranquility

If to be a final rest, now’s to be the time
Drifting in an open mind is to be sublime
Or if to rise and most joyfully find
I’ve awakened as a different kind

To be warm of heart and cool of mind
Forward moving and never behind
Of filigree hands to align and chime
Tis then the taps return, tapping in time

Taps on the window from arms of the past
To embrace their grip the future’s cast
When cracks appear in my shield of glazing
The demon swoops for the dawns hazing

With inky beak and beating wings
Caw, caw, caw the demon sings
They dance upon the empty pages
Quills ablaze their fire rages

Then morning breaks the lidded seal
Illuminating all thought real
Am I to be taker or to consume?
Or wake to sunlight returning to gloom

Betwixt the shadows exposed by the light
Tis demons craft conjured last night
With nary a blotch nor stroke askew
Flawless leaf scribed by I know not who

I dare not share these words unknown
Through my window they have flown
The prize of demons cawing in a tree
Thus return I must this gift given me

Sck122315

Forest of Hell

Colorless leaf crackle beneath sole-less feet.

The smell of death lingers sweet.

Bramble thick draws blood on paper skin,

digging more deeply the deeper within.

 *

Then starlight fades to the darkness I fear,

moonlight shadows disappear.

Columns abound supporting endless night,

numbers multiply consuming the light.

 *

Welcome dew hangs heavy in unseen air,

to drink deep I do not dare.

Outstretched hands replace teary useless eyes.

Senses heightened, alert of endless cries.

 *

Vibrations of night; soft, loud, far and near,

distant from all, we all hold dear.

Wanting now only to curl-up and weep,

my soul is still for the sickle to reap.

 *

Return to the path I lost yesterday,

blackness turns slowly to gray.

Long nights journey in the forest of hell,

surviving again, except for my shell.

 *

The End

*

sck~ c.2014

Sleepy Town

Dusk shrouds foggy walks
Whispers heard when no one talks
The old town hall shines felicity
Its library shares the pageantry

Main Street bristles with conspicuous zeal
Spirits roam unseen when unreal
Tales abound of young maidens kissed
Faces unknown for souls unmissed

Yarns be spun of their tiny cove
Time surrounds, the mind does rove
Behind every door lie stories untold
Life in a village three hundred years old

High on the hill sits a Queen Anne alone
She’s peaks of copper and footing of stone
Her windows boarded to hide the view
Abandoned by the town, seen by few

The home once a school for wayward boys
Most had no families, none knew of toys
A cagey couple was completely in charge
Both small in stature yet looming large

The mistress taught letters with pointer or switch
The master kept numbers making them rich
Gruel’s fed to the students, the master’s meat
The boys froze; the pair warmed by their heat

Ablaze was the furnace ahead of each storm
The lads safely locked in their cold attic dorm.
Their sniffles and sneezes all kept at bay
The masters swept all the sickness away

Each year had runaways, never to be found
Searches end at the edge of school ground
Then came a young man sheltered in error
He promptly escaped and reported the terror

Inquires made, investigations were had
The masters left freely, the mayor glad
The school was closed with little fanfare
The boys sent away with little a care

Rumors lost from days long past
Horrors are hidden all too fast
No more’s said of the young boys plight
And another sun sets on a sleepy town’s night

~*~

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Spooky House

At the end of my street, quite near,

Sits the source of all that I fear.

Now a horror, once a jewel,

I run fast on my way to school.

`

Looms alone behind a high wall,

Watching me pass, the house sees all.

Hidden by trees most of the year.

But when fall comes so does my fear.

`

Autumn leaves drop, crunch under feet.

Out pops the house that haunts our street.

Halloween comes, chill in the air.

But trick-or-treaters won’t go there.

`

Lights never on, no cars in drive.

Shades always down, nothing alive.

I’ve heard stories, sounds in the night.

Of the house that causes our fright.

`

The shutters bang and hinges creak.

But no one dare to take a peek.

Many a ball lost over the gate.

Remember the score, game can wait!

`

Spooky shadows in the moonlight.

Ghostly shapes in the dark of night.

The vines on the porch creep and crawl.

Been scaring kids since mom was small.

`

Bats in attic, mice in the shed,

Phantoms inside or so it’s said.

Some say it’s empty, some say not.

Either way I’m worried a lot.

`

Off to bed one dreary fall night.

A bad time to turn off the light.

Mom tucks me in, we chat awhile.

She kissed my cheek, left with a smile.

`

My sleepy smile soon fades to fear.

When spooky house dreams soon appear.

I close my eyes and try to sleep,

Ran out of numbers counting sheep.

`

Outside shadows all a quiver.

Howling winds making me shiver.

I peeked from under my blanket,

The darkness said no sunrise yet.

`

I turned on the light to just wait.

For morning to come, that’ll be great.

Awoke to good news, called my friend.

Our sleepless nights where soon to end.

`

Someone bought the spooky old place.

Hopes to restore its former grace.

House got painted, bushes cut down.

What a great home, what a great town.

`

Windows fixed fresh grass on the ground,

Sunshine and flowers all around.

New families in, kids galore.

And I’m not afraid anymore.

`

We play in the yard, ride the swing.

We make up rhymes for us to sing.

Now my favorite place to be.

But once I thought the house spooky.

`

The End

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Left Behind

Lost in a wandering state of mind,
returning to memories I thought left behind.
A campground awaits from decades of yore,
There’s a lake nearby and nature galore.

Summers there filled with family and friends,
as the specter of youth unknowingly ends.
The journey’s now short to a time long past.
My cabin soon appears while the sun fades fast.

The sky was clear, blues deepened to black.
The stars shone bright, they welcomed me back.
I relaxed on the porch and sipped iced tea,
my friends due tomorrow the night was for me.

With waning moon the damp mist rose,
crickets serenaded, eyes started to close.
Blissful sensations then the start of dreams,
when startled was I by familiar screams.

Dolly, Dolly, Dolly! was all she ever said,
her childhood taunts now flooding my head.
She’s the ghostly remains of horrors we’d share.
The truth is haunting when better a nightmare.

She would scratch at the screen above my bed.
I’d shriek and shiver and cower with dread.
Mornings would come, I’d report of my fright,
“that little girl’s ghost came to take me last night”.

My brothers would tease and mom consoled,
dad says they’re figments of tales I’ve been told.
But when evenings cool and crescent moon high,
dense fog rose and that child would cry.

Dolly, dolly, dolly is all she would say,
Her bony hand summoned and pointed the way.
Never dared I answer her mournful request.
Silently I’d wait, ignoring my guest.

It’s been many years since last we met.
Time I’ve tried hard, but to never forget.
Now I’ve matured and conscience will decide.
Am I to seek or again shall I hide?

I know not what of this phantoms despair.
Yet together there’s grief we seemingly share.
Her woe is death while mine’s the living.
Each is assured though neither forgiving.

Our paths have crossed, all have an end.
My choice is made by this spirited friend.
With eyes open wide follow I must,
forsaking not, that lost child’s trust.

I rose and leaned forward, held out my hand.
Our fate’s to obey and to command.
We dashed through the field and into the woods.
A moment imagined of pleasant childhoods.

Each step echoes with brittle twig snap.
Till the shadows of trees soon overlap.
To guide my way mere slivers of light,
pursuing my phantom into the night.

Thicket and bramble claw at my skin,
bleeding the courage from deep within.
The worn paths end at fresh fallen leaf,
this forest beyond, beyond my belief.

Spirits roam free where the living don’t tread.
My friend had returned to her life of the dead.
I wished again to hide safe behind closed eyes,
trading this vision for dreams of blue skies.

The girl then pointed at boulders stacked high,
interwoven with brush to hide from the eye.
All layers of shadow, grays deepened to black,
foretelling the depth of crevice and crack.

Her hazy glow grew brighter, eyes more intense,
repeated cries for dolly now making sense.
She’s lost a dear friend and I’m chosen to find.
To abandon now this child was beyond unkind.

Exited are we, our quest’s nearly done.
‘Twas a test of persistence, both surely won.
My mind’s now a flutter, heart beating proud,
grasping in darkness through thick thorny shroud.

Our search going well till that last step was taken,
the ground then vanished, I was tumbled and shaken.
I awoke sometime later to whispers, mumbles and cries.
My new friend stood close as I opened my eyes.

I saw Dolly held tightly and a bustle nearby.
Mourners had grouped where a still body lie.
A lifeless figure with a familiar shape and size.
The live too are familiar, all saying goodbyes.

The little girl thanked me for my many good deeds.
As slowly she faded having found what she needs.
I begged to be taken for I’ve been truly kind.
When last she said “You need first find needs left behind.”

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