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Random Thoughts


The Crossing

Mom's Pond

Patriot Act Video


Last Road Home

I turn left and start at the end of the last road home. Time passes straight by this narrow lane of blind curves hiding just ahead what my mind already sees.

A flat rock carves a space in the trees, a natural bed for those in search of solitude. The crickets still sound the same, but the lovers have been a little spooked since a man blew his brains out there. People don't remember him much. He was from another town. Sometimes on my way by I'll wonder why, but it wouldn't be a bad place to die if you didn't want anyone to remember your name.

The house with a chicken coop out front was the home of the pregnant Amish woman who was raped by a boy named Bernie, who signed a confession they said he couldn't read.

He used to live down the road. His parents still live there with the hollowed-out elms in the front yard. They had always kind-of wished they were maples, but they weren't. Now the disease had killed them all.

The public defender failed to make a case, but life in prison is short when you hang yourself with your shirt.

The Amish woman had the misfortune of being raped several times before, so they moved yet again in search of a safer place.

Details and death echoed round the p.d.'s head ‘til he used a 22 to clear his mind.

I continue on, passing by abandoned barns built ontop solid rock hills overlooking swamps - leaving what little farmer is left in my soul to marvel… “what were they thinking?” How proud would you have to be not to realize the end of the road is where hopes die?

The shade of the maple in front of the clapboard house with peeling paint welcomes me to swing awhile with the long-haired girl on the tire that used to hang from its lowest branch. As the world spins gently back and forth, I have the urge to look back down the road.

Amazingly, it's not that long.


Of Mice and Men

Soft and warm in Lenny's pocket.
not a bad place to spend a rainy day.

Stroke after stroke,
it would have felt so good.

Until it didn't,
and she was dead.

But outside the pocket,
it was cold and wet,

Soft and warm in Lenny's pocket,
not a bad place to die on a rainy day.



Gertie Pinkerton

I thought of Gertie Pinkerton the other day.
Thick brown stockings with holes too many to count,
standing in her doorway at ten below,
just to hear the carolers sing off-key.

You'd think cat urine is a smell most anyone would notice.
But, I guess that's just not true.

I gave Gertie a ride to town one day.
With bright red lipstick on crooked lips,
she was grateful for the ride.
Ten miles was a tad much for brittle legs.

You'd think she would have a friend to call,
But, I guess that's just not true.

Gertie said she enjoyed our chat,
and wasn't worried about her trip back.
Just shows you never really know,
what makes us live on long past the time anyone cares.

You'd think you would die from loneliness,
But, I guess that's just not true.


Pete Poore

I couldn’t remember his name. The old guy, down the road, up on a hill. Like a Matthew Brady still, I could see him on his cot. A narrow wooden frame, with legs draped down the side.

His was a toothless smile, framed by a wooden wall feebly shielding the winter peaking through its slats. A wood stove stood so close he could rest his feet against it, in futile attempts to rid the permanent chill.

It settled in his bones by November and wouldn’t disappear until May. It’s the damnedest thing, that chill that will never leave.

Finally understanding my vividly vague memories, my dad looked up from his lunch. “Oh, you mean Pete Poore. He’s a relative of yours.” Well, that sounds about right for a lineage that knows the chill.

If he was young once, did he know what would become with a name like pete poore? Or is it that it always was?

He lived just down the road from Gertie, a quarter mile away - in individual solitude that settled in with the chill.

Maybe they were children in the same school house. It was there that they made fun of each other, sensing the other’s foretold descent.

Unwitting disciples, following god’s inequitable plan of a free will predestined towards cat-infested mayhem, and a house too cold for cats. They should have befriended another god.

Someone should have loved them, or if they did, how do we know? Perhaps they could have loved each other once, long ago.

But they left us with that permanent chill, wondering if all there was, was all we could see.


Sleep well, Danny

Floating inside a bottle,
riding the waves,

No distinction of light and dark,
through amber-colored glass,

Poetry written in the foam,
vanishing within our grasp,

Full of nectar and piss,
oblivious to the waves crashing into us,

We tried to save you from the wake,
But you ignored the fuss,

you just wanted to float away,
into peace, love and happiness.



Paint me
against a wall
in a garden,  

In strokes that blend me
and you
in colors colliding,  

Paint me
on a walk
stepping lightly into dark,  

Fade my outline
in vibrant lullaby's
kissing day goodbye,  

Paint me
with the flowers
in me and beyond,  

Whisper colors
of a ship on water
buoyed by the artist's rhythm,  

Paint me
so I never cease to be,
Paint me.


I don’t think Jimmy Stewart is sexy

Tweed coat excepted
I'm resistant to your charms

Always found brown bags intriguing
when clarinets play though

Talk to me, Jimmy.

Intone my fears away
make him admit it all

With his hand in the cookie jar
you knew it all along

You know best, Jimmy.

On a little journey
where our pasts collide

Beyond a eucalypsis grove
in sweet San Juan Batista

Come with me, Jimmy.

I was there once before
and bought an ice cream cone

Today a bell tower
seems much more enticing

Follow me, Jimmy.

When vertigo blurs my mind
and ghosts climb the steps

You'll know I’m not crazy
they killed me long ago

Catch me, Jimmy.

But you’re dead now
and that really never was your thing

Still, the ice cream was sweet
and the sky so blue

So long, Jimmy.


A Mona Lisa Moment

They never knew where she went or how she got there. With a smile on her face, she clearly wasn’t here.

And poetry would tumble round her mind,
thoughts not quite words.

A friction between,
‘til they flowed energy.

A sensory music,
turning the mind into itself.

Perspective within,
sensing senses.

In this place she could no longer see the sunlight in the clouds or hear the Air on a G String. She could only float on a sunbeam and know the music she could never sing.


Penny in her shoe

She was in a movie,
a dream sequence.
She should have written it down,
but couldn’t find a pen in the dark.

It was a classic,
her movie.
In black and white, of course.
Too much light and it would be gone.

“We need to talk,”
“Okay, but not now”, he said
“No, not now,  I have nothing to say,” she replied
They should have looked at the script.

If it were Bogart and Becall,
she would stand by his shadow.
Humphrey is so sure of himself,
always gets the best lines.

And we have to love him.
They write it that way.
It’s always about the man.

"I fucking hate you”
was her most memorable line,
but so out of character,
they called for intermission.

She can only star,
if she lost one,
or is looking for one,
or found one.

She found a penny once,
hidden in the dirt.
No, actually a man did,
and put it in her shoe.

It didn’t make any sense,
to put it in her shoe.
But still,
she left it there.

But, black and white blur.
Movement in gray,
or shades of,

Lights, action in slow-mo.
play it again,
as time goes by,
fast-forwarding through subways,

An underground railroad,
on its way,
to a promised land,
imagined from a dry and dusty field.

It is just the thirst,
that makes it so vivid.
Oppressed and liberators,
exchanging roles with a glance.

She never wanted to star.
He didn’t either.
Supporting characters,
with a cast that forgot their lines.

Symbols and nuance,
fading in the light,
and still there’s a penny in her shoe.



It said so in the self-help section


Don’t be afraid
to stand on the edge,

Push yourself

Get a running start
breath deeply,

Take a chance

You have to jump off a cliff sometimes
to feel the air as you soar,

and Learn

That some things
are so much better left as a metaphor.



I Don't Care Much for Poetry

I don't care much for poetry.
Random thoughts,
running together or apart.
Convention, be damned in poetry land.

Pretentious from inception,
universal emotions,
claimed unique,
borne by the poet's conception,

Passionate supplication,
so serious,
in its whimsy.
Contrived manipulation.

A rythmic rumination,
of incomplete thoughts,
thrown together with commas,
climaxing in uncertainty.

Without a plot
and little point,
arrogant indifference,
to each passage.

I don't care much for poetry.
Random thoughts,
running together or apart,
and half the time they don't even rhyme.


Valerie Kelly - personal website