Monday, January 26, 2009

A Tiger For Tea

Furthermore, it was not I who let the tiger inside, so I don’t really think I should be the one who’s to blame. No, as a matter of fact, it was my uncle who actually opened the door. But of course, once the tiger WAS inside. I admit that I was the one that invited it to stay for tea. I mean, I’ve never had a tiger over for tea before and I thought this opportunity might not come again. Even still, I wasn’t sure that the tiger would accept my invitation. So when it purred a genial “yes,” I must admit that I was overjoyed. 

The one weakness of tigers it seems is hospitality.

Oh, we talked about many things. That you can be sure of, but one thing the tiger kept coming back to time and time again was how certain he was that things would turn out well for Lois and Dan (my next-door neighbors who were having a bit of trouble). It seems that tigers are very sensitive to that sort of thing.

As the evening wore on, the conversation ranged far and wide. We talked about how excited we were about the upcoming year. How we much preferred the dry British humor to the wacky American style. He talked with great intelligence about literature and fine wine and fine art and opera.

When it got late, he excused himself and vanished back into the jungle. I thought nothing of it for many years, until one day when I woke up to find, my original oil paintings mauled and my collection of fine wine completely stolen and dragged mercilessly into the jungle. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Misunderstandings

"No, Steve. I said to wear a biking helmet."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In The Land of Sand

In The Land of Sand
There's a paper man,
And he's blown by the breeze
Wheresoever he desires.

In The Land of Black
There's a lumberjack,
And he chops down trees
Counteracting forest fires.

In The Land of Flight
There's a royal knight,
And he sails the seas
With his multitude of squires.

In The Land of Love
There's an ivory dove,
And it sings the reprise
In the holiest of choirs.

In The Land of Dust
There's a marble bust, 
And it makes its decrees
On the punishment of liars.

In The Land of Fog
There's a motley dog,
And it flies the trapeze
Using polyphonic wires.

In The Land of Sand
There's a paper man,
And he's blown by the breeze
Wheresoever he desires.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Roc

Orin was now completely flummoxed. He had tried to do the double knot that Master Georg had taught him and had created, instead, a tangled mess. Unfortunately, he had bitten off all his fingernails the night before in anticipation of today’s test so the rope was proving even harder than usual to untie. Finally, even though the whole royal court was watching, including the princess, he had to resort to using his teeth, succeeding in working the knot loose just in time to dive out of the way of the giant bird’s talon which was clearly aiming for ripping his heart out.

The downside of diving away from certain death is that usually one ends up with a mouthful of stadium sand. The upside is that you don’t usually die. Today was no exception. As he coughed up the sand, Orin noticed that the bird had in fact drawn blood, though just on his shoulder, where he could both successfully ignore it, and more importantly, look good while doing so.

He saw the shadow turn on the ground and rightly assumed the bird was coming around for another pass. He crouched low and reworked the rope, this time tying the knot correctly. As the giant bird flew toward him, Orin braced himself for the impact.

The bird’s talons scraped into the ground sending up clouds of sand and the crowd gasped as the Roc’s wings blocked their view. The great bird clutched Orin in its claws and took to the air once more. One thing that it did not notice is that Orin had slipped the rope around its leg and pegged the rope to the ground.

The Roc only got so far before the line went taut and it fell to the earth surprised. Luckily it had dropped Orin who was now in the process of getting the saddle ready. After that it was just a matter of stealth as he adjusted the belts and buckles to the bird. Finally, he drew his father’s sword and cut the rope sending the bird skyward with a screech. He could hear the roar of the crowd as he looked down from the back of the bird, wind blowing through his hair. He caught sight of the shining yellow hair of the princess as he flew away to thunderous applause.

“After all that,” thought Orin. "She’s still talking and laughing at the stupid count Drummond’s jokes." He sheathed his sword and turned the bird towards the west.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Perspective

"Wow! From up here everybody looks a lot like ... Well, me actually."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Have Heard the Trumpet

I have heard the trumpet as it called me in,

Calmed the killers in the lion’s den,

Whispered secrets to the wind.

Spied the cat behind the Cheshire grin.

 

I have sailed solo through the stars,

Sliced my way through prison bars,

Jailed dreams in mason jars,

The struggle left unsightly scars.

 

I have seen myself through others’ eyes.

Buried truths behind my lies.

Saw angels fall through scarlet skies.

Seen heroes fall and villains rise.

 

I have climbed the highest mountain’s peak.

Fetched the feather from the raptor’s beak.

Struggled boldly week-by-week.

But have not found the thing I seek.

 

 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Early Pyramid Schemes

"If you find someone who will donate two bricks, and I find someone who will supply two bricks, and those two people find two more people each ... Why, we'll have our own tomb in no time!"


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Undercard

Now, I put my pants on one leg at a time. Just like any other cold-blooded American male. I brush my teeth at night. And I brush ‘em again when I get up in the morning. I comb my hair with the part to the right, but I shave with a butcher knife and I punish my body for a half-hour every morning. Up and down the stairs in the stadium. I do 500 sit-ups and 200 push-ups every day so that if for some reason my opponent happens to make a lucky swing, I can take it. 

And even though I saw it coming, it was hard to take that one punch. It came in fast, curling down toward my right eye.  Ol’ Hardy had to be at least six-foot-five, which was rare in those days. So there was a lot of gravity coming at me. I didn’t fall, but it rung my bell sure enough. It was then that I saw her.

I wasn’t even sure if she was real at that point. You know how some people see stars or how they claim the background spins? I might be getting the terminology a little wrong, but I’m pretty sure what I saw was, or at the very least, used to be called: a pixie. Though she insists on being called a “sprite” and is constantly correcting me.

She hovered just over Hardy’s shoulder when that blow came down. I don’t think she was expecting me to see her there, because she immediately blushed and fluttered away into the darkness behind the flash-pop-fizz of the cameras, but I’ll never forget her. A little over three inches tall and glowing blue. Sometimes even though things have changed so drastically since then, I still think about her as frozen in time. Pink wings glowing blue, just over Darren Hardy’s shoulder right after I took his left hook to my right eye; right before I returned him an uppercut and sent him to the ground; right before I took the undercard bout on the fourteenth of December in the frigid winter of 1933.