Friday, November 16, 2012

In Memoriam

I think of the freshly born child, new to this world. Eyes bright, arms stretching out. He needs me. He needs my protection. He needs me to teach him. To look out for him. His little body, breathing, his cries pleading.

Pleading with me. Pleading that I will do all i can to make the world the best i can. To help him have all the benefits i had, and then some. It is my responsibility to make sure he has the joys of childhood, to explore a forest, to swing on the swings near the park, to feed the ducklings.

To grow, to experience the fear and rapture of a first love. He will have a whole world to explore and live. To have a job, and someday have his own son, who he will teach, and the circle will go on, and on, and on, long after my bones have decayed, and flesh worms eat my carcass.

Then I come back to the present, see the child in my arms--he's sleeping now--unaware that I have failed him.

For his world will not be as rich, or as full as mine. And as i have failed him, so have we all failed those who come after us.

I weep, first a single tear, but then a deluge,

for my child will never experience the Twinkie dog. and for that, he will blame me

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

For the A.F Canyon Poetry Fire

The children gather in the canyon to read from the book of their mind
deep secrets, harsh precepts flow as they turn the minds spine
as darkness grows and inhibitions flee, the subjects to macabre and morose
til the book they read from, isn't from one of the assembled living hosts

but the story escapes from their mouths open gaped as a tale is spun out of the chill
of a pioneer saint, who sure a saint aint, who retreated to this place right here
and hatched a plan, to steal the bishops land, by marrying his daughter Karyanne
and murder her family, with wrath of a banshee, he's captured in old Ir'land

The bishop did come, along with a son, to discuss the impending betrothal
the fire did his, in the dark nights abyss, as the man waited hiding with shovel
It's wasn't that long, til the sound of a gong, came from the mans implement
the bishop did fall, and full of dark gall, he turn to the sole remaining heir

But the son wasn't dumb, choked out the dark one, and rand to his father's pointless aide,
but this saint of a son, when the father was done, choaked back the anger and tears,
and bound up the dark man, with a filed master plan, and took him intown for a trial

the darkman was perturbed, for when in the dark he stood, the banshee left him all alone,
but the banshee was free, and between you and me, still flys through this canyon of bones

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

For a greiving Mother

There is a graveyard where the children play,
hid from mothers' eyes
There is a patch of freshly turned earth
let the new playmate arise.
The ghost kids play and rollick and sport
away from the pain and disease.
there is a graveyard where lost children play
their fun is a chilly breeze

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old Man Brakken

March 1926
High Desert of eastern Idaho

Journal of Clyde Preston Merrill Berrett Packer
(Spelling and Punctuation modernized)

I still remember the day old man Brakken lost his courage.

It was early spring of ‘26. Dad papa had headed off to the war, and money was tight for a family of eight kids. Mom had been doing Old man Brakken's laundry and we kids were his hired labor on his ranch, where the desert meets the buttes. When the bank took away our house, Brakken let us live with him. That’s just he way he was, could cuss up a storm, and chew you out til you couldn’t find a corner small enough to hide in, but looking back, i can see he was a good man. Takin in this family of Mormons, when his preacher told him we were of the devil and he’d go to hell with us.

Living with him, I saw just how old fashioned he was. I seen him stand between a mama cow with her calf and a bear. Only his shot gun protecting him. I seen him pull the wood sleigh by himself in the dead of winter, when his horses refused to go further. I seen him break a chicken’s neck and eat her raw, when we was out on the range, and needed food.

But this was different. It started about a week before. The animals started acting really weird. horses’ colts being still bourne. The chickens stopped laying eggs. The cows milk turned sour. And they were on edge. I couldn't get the bull to follow me to the new pasture. When Brakken came, thought he’d get mad. He couldn’t get him to move either. And not for lack of cussing and kicking.

The goats started attacking my little sisters whenever they left the house. Lil’ Ruthy, fell and broke her arm. Brakken got real distant. Spent a lot of time talking to other ranchers, late into the night. Ain’t none of them knew what was going on.

Then came the stench. Smelt like you took rotten eggs, mixed it with cow dung, and let it set sun for a month, in a puddle of rotting potatoes. First thing I wanted to do in the morning was retch, last thing in the evening too. And you can't’ sleep all that well when you dream of being stuck in the bottom of a latrine for the entirety of the evening. We all took to wearing kerchiefs around our nose and mouth. Not that it helped. The stench permeated everything. inside the ranch house and out.

There were tracks too, large tracks. Looked like that of a man, but too big, and the balance was all wrong and the gait too long and tufts of moss like hair, in the trees and caught on the barbed wire. Of course then the livestock started to get ate. Old man Brakken had had enough.

It was about ten pm. When we the cows started acting up. Sounded like every single one of them, male and female, was given birth all at once. And there was another scream. An unearthly howl that reached from the solid core of the earth to the wispy firmament above. A howl of deep primal hunger, and rage.

I wish i’d been man enough to go with him. But when he grabbed his hat and gun, I froze. He looked at me with disgust, told my mom to hid the children (and he looked at me as he said it) in the cellar and to bar the door.

He was gone for the better part of the night. Even though the air was still, and we were deep in the cellar we could still hear the moos, and the breas and the gunshots. And that deep howl, the guttural groan, entering every nook and crevice of the ranch and our souls.

It finally stopped. All of it. We stayed nestled in the cellar next to the bean and spuds. Come morning, i found courage to see what happened.

The scene was out of the bible, when the Lord commanded the entire land to be destroyed. The farm was down, the carcases of heard stretched across the entire back forty. Not a single cow was left alive. it was utter desolation.

Took hours to find old man Brakken. When i finally did, he was at the bottom of the latrine. Babbling incoherently. curled up like a baby. “so big, so big, so hairy, “ we fished him out, and noticed the smell was gone. He stayed in his room for days. When he finally could speak he told a tale of a beast. In the form of a man, but larger, stronger, and unnatural, like it came from the depths of the earth.

We moved back to the city soon. I prefer it. Sure there is the noise of the cars, and the people, and the occasional stench of the hessian. But Nothing like the night hell rose up on old man Brakken's farm.

Writers note. I’d like to thank my Dad who introduced me to Bigfoot Lore and told stories much more engaging than this one to youths camping on the trampoline in the back yard.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I am Jake

NOTE: here is an intro i wrote for a new blog i got invited to write for.

Hear me roar.

So someone pulled a really good trick on me. They said we had this blog we were going to post on, and set up a schedule and everything. Each day i got up to see what posts we had, each day I found nothing. But i've got a post for ya'll. First an intro.

I come from the Land of Spuds. My first memory is of my dear sweet mother giving me a raw potato to chew on instead of a Binky. I'm sure she washed it first. I would describe my early years as starchy.

As soon as i could walk, I joined my ten brothers and eight sisters in the potato orchard. Being small, and easy to throw, they would heft me high into the top of the potato tree. Dispite my protestations, i was left there until i had made the tree "nekkid as your bum on bath night."

Father was a proud man, proud of his prize spuds. After careful cleaning and applying our secret Packer Potato Polisher to each spud by hand, he alone would take the job of wrapping them in the crocheted spud blankets dear mother spend her life making. She must have crocheted tens of thousands in her life time working late into the night, neglecting her own needs so that each potato knew it was loved. But that was our way, that was the way of the spud.

I remember the first time Dad allowed me to attend the potato auction. Each potato rancher would bring his harvest. The Archibalds, our long time spud rivals, would sneak through the crowd, claiming we were actually selling potato bugs. Day Dad had had enough. I don't know if it was because his youngest son was there or because he loved his potatoes so much, but challenged Steve Archibald to a duel.

You might think our little spud hamlet a little backward for allowing duels, but when you insult a man's spuds you insult him. He reached for the baker he always kept at his side. Steve grabbed a russet that looked like George Washington. The Potato rachers, spud hands, and high society, who had come from the big city for the auction, all formed a circle. Dad bit off a chunk of spud and spit at Steve's feet. Steve snarled. I struggled to see but was crowded out by large crowd. In the end the constable ended things before anyone died, but plenty of pride was injured, thus began our life long feud with the Archibalds.

I finally escaped potato land when i went off to college. I found a girl, and kept my starchiness to myself. Somedays when I'm stuck in I-15 in traffic, I yearn for a simplier place, a place where the russest grow on trees, where the women and men are equal in the potato grove, and where every meal has potatos served four different ways.

Some days I yearn for Idaho.