Monday, September 24, 2018

Tempest




painting by Daryl Joyce


Tempest

Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”
--William Shakespeare.

Huge Congressional waves
are crested with malevolent chaos.

For over two years,
calm seas have been rare.

The helmsman is mad
as Lear,
and the oarsmen row
as obedient lemmings;
their strokes uneven--
the ship wandering
in circles;

no safe harbor
on the horizon.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 79




image from pinterest.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Seventy-Nine

Prudence

“In our country, we have three unspeakably
precious things--freedom of speech and
conscience, and the prudence never to
practice either of them.”--Mark Twain.

1(overhead crane shot--medium wide) the
confrontation and the crowd. In the 
peripheral a freight wagon lumbers past.
2(sound cue) French horn and cello over
hoofbeats and wheel squeaks.
3(two-shot) over Thor’s shoulder--Buck moves
toward him, walking easy; the red and green 
shotgun shells on his chest bobbing.
4(medium close-up) Buck: What do you want,
badass, an apology?
5(four-shot) Cash stepped in front of Thor, and
the sheriff stepped in front of Buck. Cash waved
his gloved hands in the air.
6(medium close-up) Cash: Alright, alright! Is this
any way for neighbors to behave?
7(two-shot) Cash, over Thor’s shoulder: Back off,
Thor. Quit fighting your little brother’s battles for
him. I’m sure that, for now, an apology will suffice.
I will even walk over to my place and convey it to
him--although he probably will be hiding under
some whore’s skirt.
8(sound cue) faint saloon piano.
9(medium wide-shot) Buck moved out around the
sheriff, and Thor stepped out from behind Cash.
10(close-up) Buck: Listen, gunhand, this is my
home now, and I really want to settle down here.
As for you, I believe that you won’t live to be as
old as me.
11(jump-cut close up) Thor, taken aback.
12(medium close-up) Buck: Yup, someone will
kill you--but I’d rather it wasn’t me.
13(close-up) Cash, biting his lower lip, sucking
his teeth: Just cool down, both of you.
14(close-up) Buck: So, hey, you can tell that 
sweet little tinhorn brother of yours that I am
real sorry I tossed him out of a window. I can
see now that it wasn’t any of my business
that he was pistol-whipping his girlfriend--and
you tell him to enjoy riding that stallion I 
caught for him, and to remember all the time
that he is riding it--what good friends the Bucks
and Bronsons are going to be.
15(two-shot) Cash, stepping in front of Thor:
Do you mean that?
16(sound cue) banjo & harmonica.
17(two-shot) over Cash’s shoulder, Buck: Most
of it. Some of this depends on you.
18(two-shot) Cash, over Buck’s shoulder: Hell,
there’s a fair chance we can get along. Some
of that depends on you.
19(medium wide shot) Buck: Right now, in front
of all these good folks...I want you to know that
you can keep using the lake on my property for
your herds. All I ask is that you don’t graze too
long on my land. I’ll need some of that grass for
my own horses.
Cash, smiling and nodding: A damned fine start.
He pulled the glove off his right hand and they
shook on it. Buck turned on his heel, and started
up the street toward the General Store. Hop and
his deputy lowered their scatter guns. Johnny
Eagle stood for a moment, still returning Thor’s
menacing stare, Then he turned and followed Buck.
20(medium close-up) Be seeing you soon, neighbor!
Thor yelled after them.
21(sound cue) branch flute and snare drum. 



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cirque du Vitam et Mortem




image from cinemasterpieces.com


Cirque du Vitam et Mortem

“Time is a circus, always packing up
and moving away.”--Ben Hecht.

Who can ever forget
their first visit to the circus?
Mine was in 1952,
in the Big Top,
set up in a farmer’s field
outside of Seattle--
Ringling Bros--Barnum & Bailey.

I remember
fresh sawdust,
wooden bleachers,
tall vendors in red striped pants
selling peanuts, cotton candy & popcorn,
the distinct oder of exotic manure--
elephants, horses, lions & tigers.

There were three big rings,
about 50 feet in diameter
circus is from the Latin for circle.
We sat by the middle one,
so that we could see the ringmaster.
There was a thrilling opening parade,
complete with marching band & clown cars.

Lion & tiger trainers
and the trapeze/high wire acts
were my favorites, amidst
a cacophony of brass instruments,
crowd clatter, lion roars, & elephant trumpeting.
Huge colorful balloons were tethered to everything.

Being an inquisitive eight-year old,
I wanted to know the history of the circus.
My Mom told me it was a tradition
that started in England in 1770,
and that most of the high wire/trapeze acts
that we had just seen were
recruited in Europe.
“The clowns too?” I asked.
“No, dear, they have their own school in Florida.”
“Can I go to clown school?”
“You don’t have to,” she said,
“You’re a natural clown already.”

She may have been right,
but when she died at 39,
the copious tears of a clown
flooded the neighborhood.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Crazytown




image from theurbantwist.com


Crazytown

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide
the madness.”--Allen Ginsberg.

Aardvarks on golden leashes are
Becoming a common sight in Crazytown;
Cats wearing snake skin zoot suits,
Dancing the bop with their kitties,
Every one of them with slick-backed hair
Fighting other Toms in back alleys.

Gyrating pooches howling the blues,
Having a ball in their pork-pie hats.
Inside the station the rat police plot
Jacked-up charges and bogus fines.
Kind kangaroos are the court judges,
Leaving leeway for folks in Crazytown.

Many of us fear being there late at night;
Nobody, certainly, carries very much cash.
Others are drawn to the spirited melee.
Prostitute opossums wear those short skirts,
Quite ready to offer love for sale, cuz wild
 Rendezvous’s happen often in Crazytown.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Together We Fell




image from Business Insider


Together We Fell

“At Shanksville, where many people who were
given no time at all to decide, did the right thing.”
--Bill Clinton 2011

It felt like we all lived through
the same nightmare on that
Tuesday morning in 2001.

A plane had crashed into
one of the twin towers
blared the news report.
I immediately remembered the many planes,
in foul weather, that have crashed into
the Empire State Building--but hey,
it was a beautiful morning, cold and crisp
and electric blue.

Then the second plane
hit the second tower,
and it suddenly dawned on us
that we, that America was under attack,
just like that gorgeous Sunday morning
at Pearl Harbor.

The rest of our morning was a horror show,
people jumping, both towers falling,
the crash at the Pentagon,
and the courage shown by the passengers
who brought their plane down 
in a field at Shanksville, thus preventing
an attack on the White House.

Then we experienced the aftermath,
where tens of thousands of volunteers
pitched in to clear the rubble
and search for survivors;
when the whole world sent
their prayers and support.

Every year on 9/11
we celebrate Patriot’s Day.
For the first several years
there was a reading aloud
of all the names or those who perished.
It took over an hour.
I recall in 2003, when Mayor Bloomberg said:
So many names--there is hardly room
on the walls of my heart.

Today, 17 years later, I listened
to Trump bumble his way
through a well-written tribute;
like listening to a fifth grader
reciting Shakespeare.
He mentioned the 7,000
men and woman in the armed services
who have died in the Middle East
fighting in the war that never  ends.

I don’t know what makes me sadder,
remembering that tragic day,
or trying to fully grasp the nightmare
we are once again all living together.
The 21st Century has yet to rise
off its knees.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dawn Patrol




image by Thomas Pollart.


Dawn Patrol

“I am but mad north-northwest; but when the wind
is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.”
--William Shakespeare.

The white-out is coming
said the squirrel
to the hare;

Put on 
your white winter coat
to fool the hawks.

The flapping wings
are already
in the gray clouds.

Death can be quick for
rabbits in the snow; talons
dropping from the sky.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Blackthorne--Scene 78




image from icollector.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic Seventy-Eight

Stalemate

“Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs--
better than all the stalemate ifs.”
--Robert Frost.

1(Medium close-up) Thor: I’m not interested in
dirtying my hands by touching you. I don’t touch shit.
2(two shot) Buck, over Thor’s shoulder: So let me
get this straight--you’re afraid to use your fists?
3(two-shot) Thor, over Buck’s shoulder--clenching
his jaw: I said, I fight with my gun. You know what 
a gun is don’t you buffman? You got enough iron
hanging on you to lame a damn mule.
4(sound cue) piano & harmonica.
5(medium close-up) Buck: Well...what if I don’t
feel like fighting today?
6(close-up) Thor:  What?
7(cut to overhead drone shot) the whole crowd
standing in the street.
8(tight close-up) Buck: What if I just don’t feel like 
killing you this morning?
9(two-shot) Thor, over Buck’s shoulder: I would
have to say that your feelings don’t mean shit
on this street today.
10(medium wide shot) Buck: Look around you,
gunfighter. The whole town is watching--dozens
of witnesses. A town pretty much owned by your
brother, I grant you, but maybe today will be
different. Maybe today if these folks see you
kill a man in cold blood, a man who refused to
fight you, maybe they will become angry, and pull
down on you, and shoot you to pieces like a
rabid skunk.
11(sound cue) banjo & snare drum.
12(medium close-up) Thor: I wouldn’t bet my
life on it.
13(two-shot) Buck and the Eagle--Johnny:
Shoot him in the guts!
14(medium wide shot) Thor tensed, but didn’t
budge. Cash looked on, smiling, his hands on the 
fence for all to see.
15(medium close-up) Thor: Don’t think that
I won’t pull first.
16(two-shot) Buck, over Thor’s shoulder: Oh,
I know you are capable of murder, but I don’t
think you will do it today.
17(close-up) Thor: I’ll shoot your eyes out!
18(close-up) Buck, calmly: OK, asshole--
now’s the time.
19(medium close-up) Thor’s right hand began
to move. Stop! someone yelled.
20(medium wide shot) Sheriff Joe Hop stepped
out of the crowd, with a scatter gun aimed at Thor.
The tall deputy, also armed with a shotgun, stood 
on Hop’s right, holding on Buck.
Cash Bronson: What are you doing in town, Joe?
Joe Hop: Keeping the peace.
Bronson: Seems like you’ve had a bad case of that
lately.
Hop: It’s time.
Bronson: You don’t say. Time for what?
Hop: Time for someone to say no. Buck is saying
it, and I‘m backing him.
21(close up) Thor: So you’re going to nursemaid
this sorry sonofabitch?
22(two-shot) Hop over Thor’s shoulder: Yeah, it
sure looks like it.
23(sound cue) Indian seed rattle.
24(close-up) Buck: There’s only four of them.
25(two-shot) Hop, smiling then drawling: Yeah,
I know--but some innocent bystander would have 
got plugged sure as hell. So I figured to stop it.
26(medium close-up) Thor: Is it stopped?
27(two-shot) Hop: It is--unless you want your fancy
belt buckle blown out through your ass.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN