Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Fall of Rome





image from timemag.com

The Fall of Rome

“If you must break the law, do it to seize power.”
--Julius Caesar.

When I was in college,
I played a Roman
general in CALIGULA.
I had my girlfriend
give me a permanent
for the part, since my
hair had always been straight.
The next morning when
we took the red rollers out, 
I had a ton of curls.

Looking in the mirror,
I freaked. I looked like
little Lord Faggleroy.
I begged her to take out
the curls on top, leaving them
on the sides and in the back.
Oh, now you want an impermanent?
She reversed the process,
burning my scalp, and
reclaiming my straight bangs.

I did finally enjoy the look
and the play, but it put
the Romans in my head
like a pop song. They had conquered 
most of the known world, ruling
for centuries; until their empire fell,
crumbled into tourista dust.
By the 20th Century, Italy had
become a joke.Even the absurd
rise of Mussolini and Fascism
could not return things
to its former glory.

History teaches us
that the one consistency
mankind enjoys is
imminent impermanence.
The Greeks,
        British,
        French,
        Spanish,
        Dutch &
        Germans,
everybody took turns
at ruling huge chunks
of the world.

America is still a young country,
and our imperialistic impulses
have been kept on the down low,
in Cuba, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Of course greed has always been
the prime motivator, but we’re now
restricted by technology, when
atrocities become breaking news
in mere minutes. It has become
much more difficult to conduct
clandestine operations.

Led by the Trumpeteers,
wounded by partisan wedges,
much of the world has
taken chaos to its bed,
has made hate a mantra,
and gobbles stupidity for breakfast.
I sincerely hope,
like the thief who’s swallowed jewels,
that this too will pass.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Monday, February 24, 2020

Fish Guts




image from pinterest.com


Fish Guts

“The corridor couldn’t have smelled stronger of 
fish guts if we had been inside the fish.”
--Arthur Golden.

Sometimes politicians
are like an onion,
that looks great
on the outside,
but it is ten
kinds of rotten
in the center.

As we peel back
the layers,
the putrid stench
of lies, cons
and fish guts
assaults our senses;
the truth can stink.


Glenn Buttkus

Quadrille; exactly 44 words.

Posted ,over at d'Verse Poets Pub

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Blackthorne--Episode 109




image from pulpcovers.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 109

Scramble

“I must not stand back shivering from the danger--
no, I must jump with gusto and scramble through
it as well as I can.”--Og Mandino.

1(sound cue) piano and guitar.
2(medium wide shot) Buck, Wallace, and Sheriff Hop
picked Johnny up carefully, and moved toward the
wagon. Doc Sweeney had arranged the pillows and
blankets by the time they reached it. They gently
placed the Eagle onto the low wagon. Buck got up
next to the Doc, as the four of them scooted him
all the way in. Doc slid a pillow under his head.
3(close-up) Sweeney: Damn it, his belly wound is
starting to bleed again. Hart, get over here. (to Buck)
We need to get a move on.
4(two-shot) Buck: I could drive.
Sweeney: No, it’s better if you take Salina, and follow
us in my carriage.
5(three-shot) Hart trotted up out of the darkness.
What do you need, Doc?
Sweeney: Johnny’s bleeding again. We need to 
leave right now.
Hart climbed quickly up into the seat, unwound the
reins, and put his foot on the brake.
Sheriff (to Wallace): Henry, you go with them; just
leave your horse--we”ll bring it to town. Billy and I
will nose around, take a tally and meet up over
at the Doc’s in a couple of hours.
Salina gave her father a hug, and he got up into
the freight wagon. The blacksmith swung the pair
north, and started for town. Hop walked with Buck
and Salina over to the doctor’s carriage. As the
couple climbed up into the sleek black carriage...
Hop: Mr. Buck, please do me a favor.
Buck: What’s that, sheriff?
6(sound cue) Banjo and harmonica.
7(two shot) Hop: Don’t go after Bronson, until I
get back to town.
Buck: You’re asking a lot, Joe. If it was ordered
by him, if he sent these men, my blood will boil.
Hop: If he’s guilty, he’ll be ready for you.
I’d prefer that you don’t get killed before
we get to the bottom of all this.
Buck: Perhaps you’ve noticed--I don’t kill
easily.
Hop: If Cash sent these men to attack you,
he is desperate, feels his back is to the wall.
If you let me help you, your chances of success
will double.
Buck: Bronson dictates the law in these parts.
Hop: He thinks he does. But he seems to be
several cows over the line. If we prove him to
be guilty, I promise you I’ll take him to Silver
City myself, and you can shove him into the
prison wagon.
Buck, eyes meeting the sheriff’s: This is a big
step for you..but I have to say, you sound pretty
convincing.
Hop: The time is right.
Buck: Alright, I’ll do my best to wait for you.
8(sound cue) guitar blues riff and castanets.
9(medium wide shot) Hop stood there watching
them pull away, a coal black carriage rolling into
the black of night.
Hop: Billy, what’s the count?
Deputy: I count six so far.
Hop, sotto voce: And two more hunks of charr from
the fire makes eight; Christ.
10(sound cue) French horn bleat.
11( medium wide shot) cut to the travelers.
Buck caught up to the freight wagon below the great
boulder, halfway through the four bends. He and 
Salina could make out their shapes in the ebon
shadows of the trees. The brake on the freight
wagon clunked, metal on metal, each time Hart put
his boot on it. The stars were clear, and there was
almost a full moon. When they rolled out onto the
flats, the moonlight was bright, and they had no
trouble staying on the road. The freight wagon 
plodded along slowly. He could hear faint mumbling
on the night air. The couple were silent. Salina had
hooked her left arm in his right. She could feel the
muscles flexing as he handled the two-up pair.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Star of Fire



photo by Jimmy Chuck Smith.

Star Of Fire

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.”--Buddha.

Hello.
You’re probably not
used to conversing with your plants,
so this would be a good time to start.
I am one of your favorite flowers
but you don’t know much about me.

I am Astrantia,
often nicknamed
Masterwort,
Melancholy Gentleman,
and Hattie’s Pincushion.
You like me
because I’m a hardy perennial
that grows happily in moist soil
in the shade of trees. 
I’m considered floriferous and vigorous.
I adore all pollinators
and I attract butterflies.

We have been cultivated
in Britain and Central Europe
since the sixteenth century.
I have distant cousins
that grew in Shakespeare’s garden
near his cottage in Stratford.
I am among 8-9 species,
and my splendiferous blossoms
come in shades of pink, red and white.

I have been labeled Star of Fire
                                 Star of Beauty
                                 Star Of Africa
                                 Star of Love &
                                 Star of Claret.

I blossom in late summer
on tall wiry stems, with
rounded buttonhead flowers
and star-shaped colorful bracts.
I sport aromatic roots,
mine have a ginger odor,
and palmate leaves.
My dried stems and leaves
are used for herbal medicine.
You have a fondness for pink flora,
so not surprisingly, that’s my hue.
Hot dry summers make me wilt,
but a wet Fall perks me right up.

Wisely, you’ve planted me
near a small stream,
and in the shade of your elms.
So now, when you pass me,
or fuss with me, give me a wink
and a smile. I have spoken up first,
so don’t be afraid to stop by
and have conversations with me.
Believe me, it can get lonely
with taciturn gardeners.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, February 17, 2020

Munchkin's Dirge




image from amazon.com


Munchkin’s Dirge

“There is a sacredness of tears. They are the
messenger of overwhelming grief, of contrition,
and of unspeakable love.”--Washington Irving.

In 1965, my sister had five children. The youngest
boy was named Marc. He died of SIDS at three 
months old. My sister’s mother-in-law blamed her for 
the death; claiming neglect. 

Funerals are rarely fun, but this one was 
heartbreaking. The white child’s coffin was so tiny,
like a pet store box for a white rabbit. Marc’s
siblings,  dressed in their starched funeral suits, 
were bored and confused. They fidgeted and 
complained. The youngest boy held on to a 
Spiderman doll. 

My sister sobbed like she was attending Christ’s
crucifixion. The minister droned on about how God
had called this cherub home early. Suddenly, I too
was sobbing uncontrollably. Time seemed to slow
down, and I found that some moments are caught
between heartbeats, moments that conjured images
of other innocent dead children from famine, war, and
abuse, moments to curse God for his shoddy
shepherding.  



Glenn Buttkus

Prosery

Posted over at dVerse Posts Pub

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Jackass the Ripper




image from time.com


Jackass the Ripper

“Reason obeys itself, and ignorance submits to
whatever is dictated to it.”--Thomas Paine.

Most of us were shocked, even embarrassed, 
when Trump stole (won) the Presidency in 2016,
because every poll labeled him a joke and a loser,
even he did not believe he could win, yet way too
many Hillary-haters who had voted for Obama,
dropped their votes into Trump’s shit-stained lap,
catapulting a cosmic moron, a Populist pussball
into the most important job in the free world, which
he pissed on immediately as he launched his
larcenous litany of pernicious and asinine lies,
acting like a madman taking over the asylum,
projecting his ignorant world-view, his immoral
behavior, his racist, xenophobic, misanthropic,
wanna’ be autocratic, treasonous, Godfather
complex onto the blindfolded lemmings in
America, gathering to himself a cunning cadre
of dishonest bought henchman and most of the
shell-shocked fearful subservient sychophantic
Republicans, hiding behind the new ruling that
a sitting President can not be prosecuted and
that he is permitted to use the DOJ, CIA, and
the FBI as his personal lap dogs and thugs, to
strong-arm, silence or manipulate anyone with
the temerity to stand up to him, spending two
years attacking the Mueller Report, laughing
at the nine counts of abuse of power it outlined,
declaring it an exoneration, paying no attention
to the hundreds of lawyers who signed a letter
stating that if he wasn’t the President, if he had
been anyone else he’d have been put in prison
scoffing at the 23 women who are united in a 
law suit accusing him of rape and harassment,
disregarding the dozens of pending litigations
regarding his questionable business practices,
successfully hiding his tax returns--all this
overshadowed by his belligerent bellicose bullying
on the world stage, his insane saber rattling and
his propensity for threatening nuclear annihilation
of Korea, Syria, and Iran, because many believe
that in one of his immature blind rages he could
actually start WWIII--and even if he failed to do 
that, it’s painfully evident that he desires to
become “President for Life”, and he is not
afraid to handcuff Lady Justice, pardon Roger
Stone, continue to add to the coffers of the
very wealthy, to sell out the middle class, to
gang-rape Lady Liberty, to disembowel the
sacred cow of Democracy, to outlaw freedom,
the press, and all forms of dissent, finally
ripping the throat out of the Republic.
  


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Blues for Baldwin




image from time.com


Blues for Baldwin

ME: Hey, Mr. Baldwin, I really appreciate you taking
the time from your eternal sleep to jaw with me.
JB: Dig it. I’m just pleased that February has been
designated as “Black History Month”. I would have
preferred August, my birth month.
ME: Is it true you wrote a play when you were ten
years old?
JB: Yup, and one of my teachers directed it for me.
She wanted to take me to see real plays, but because
she was white, my family wouldn’t let me go.
ME: They say that when you were a kid, you spent a
lot of times alone in the library.
JB: You think your pain and your heartbreak are
unprecedented in the history of the world, but then
you read. It was books that taught me that I was
connected to all peoples.
ME: What was your religion?
JB: Nothing. I am a writer, a poet. I like doing things
alone. The hypocrisy of religion angered me. My father
was a preacher. I was behind the scenes, and I knew 
how the illusion was worked.
ME: When did you realize that you were gay?
JB: Hell, man, when I was still a teenager. That’s why
when I was 24, I moved to France, where I could be
free as an artist and as a man.
ME: Celebrities seemed to flock to you.
JB: Not really. I mean I went to school with Brock 
Peters and Bud Powell. At my place in Paris I got
to know Miles Davis and Nina Simone, Ray Charles
and Josephine Baker. Later I hung out with Sidney
Poitier and Harry Belafonte. After I learned to speak
French, I became friends with Yves Montand.
ME: Did you return to America very often.
JB: I lived most of my life in Europe, but I came back
to the states in 1957 and 1963, to get involved in
Civil Rights. I was real proud of my Time cover in
May of ’63.I met Marlon Brando that year.
ME: But you’re buried in New York City.
JB: Yeah I died in France in 1987 of stomach cancer,
but they brought my body home for posterity.
ME: You can see that black folks still have to fight for
their equality. How do you feel about this? 
JB: We can disagree and still love each other, unless
your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and
denial of my humanity.
ME: How do you feel about America today?
JB: It’s a jive time with an ignorant racist in
the White House. You all need to tighten up
on that shit--but I still love America more than
any other country in the world.
ME: What do you think about how tribal and
divided we are at present?
JB: Believe it or not, this too shall pass, and black
folks are going to have a big say in things. I
imagine that one reason people cling to their hate
so stubbornly is because once hate is gone, they
will be forced to deal with their own pain. People
are trapped in history.
ME: What kind of changes do you think we need
to work on.
JB: That’s a bullshit question, man. You are out
in the world, you and everyone else can see what
needs to be done. It’s just that most of us are about
as eager to be changed as we were to be born.
ME: I can see you’re not a Trump fan. How do you
feel about how he treats anyone who disagrees
with him.
JB: Yeah, he’s something else, 16,000 lies and
counting. You have to understand that from his
ignorant feeble point of view, any victim who is
able to articulate their situation is no longer a
victim; they become a threat.
ME: Thank-you for spending this time with me.
JB: My pleasure.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Monday, February 10, 2020

Fillet of Stupidity




image from time.com


Fillet of Stupidity

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends
to produce ferocity toward those who aren’t 
members of the herd.”--Bertrand Russell.

Phil,
who lives
in Philadelphia,
has had his fill
of narrow-minded
xenophobic reactions
to the South Korean
film PARASITE
sweeping the Oscars
last night.

Twitter lit up
with bitches and moans
about director Bong Joon-ho
speaking in Korean.
This is just
damned ignorance.



Glenn Buttkus

Quadrille

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Blackthorne Episode 108




image from pulpcovers.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 108

Help Arrives

“Not for ourselves alone are we born.”
--Cicero.

1(sound cue) A pair of wagons and several horses.
2(medium two shot) a night choked with stars, a full
moon, everything dipped in silver clinging to their
long shadows.
3(tight two shot) Buck woke up, and he could hear
help coming for a long time. The night was very
still, punctuated by cicadas. 
4(sound cue) piano and harmonica.
5(medium wide shot) They rolled in out of the darkness.
First came Doc. Sweeney’s carriage; Salina rode with
him, her hair wind-blown, her eyes damp. Bob Hart, 
the blacksmith followed them, with silver road dust
swirling on the freight wagon’s metal wheels. Henry
Wallace and sheriff Joe Hop rode alongside. Hop’s
skinny deputy rode in the bed of the freight wagon,
holding onto a shotgun, sitting on a colorful pile of
blankets and pillows. Johnny lie unconscious, as if
peacefully sleeping, the small smile still on his lips.
6(tighter medium shot) Buck did not stand up to
greet them. He sat up, his arms still around Johnny.
Salina leaped down from the black carriage and
rushed to Buck’s side. She knelt down, and Buck
stroked her cheek. She hugged his hand to her
breast. They did not talk.
The doctor reined up, and stepped down. He was
an elderly man, short and stoop-shouldered,
sporting white bushy mutton chops under his
battered derby
7(Three-shot) Doctor, whistling: Holy Christ, it’s like
Lincoln County all over again. Billy (to the deputy),
light that lantern and get your bony butt over here!
The doctor put down his satchel and opened it.
Wallace held up Buck’s lantern. Christ in a wheel
burrow, shake a leg, Billy.
Buck: He’s still alive. I can feel him breathing.
Doctor: Sam Sweeney’s the name. I’m the 
sawbones here. I was going to meet you
tomorrow.
Wallace squatted down alongside Buck: How many
of the sonsabitches were there?
Joe Hop stood behind them, staring at the smoking 
embers left of the house and barn. Billy came over
with the new lantern, and the Doc began examining
Johnny.
8(sound cue) guitar and clarinet.
Buck: I don’t know, a half dozen or so. I think a 
couple of them are Texas Toast in the fires.
Joe Hop: Did you recognize any of them?
Buck: No, but I was kind of busy killing them.
Actually I got here when it was almost over. 
Johnny dealt with most of them by himself.
Wallace: This was all Bronson’s doings.
Hop: You know, we’ll have to prove that.
9(two-shot) Buck, to the doctor: How is he?
Doctor: He’s in a coma, but damn, I have never
seen a man so shot-up and still breathing. He
must be one tough hombre.
Buck: Can we move him?
Doctor: We’re going to have to. He needs an
operation and I can’t do it in the yard.
Buck: Are you positive? We could take him into the
bunkhouse, and send for the things you need.
Doctor: Try to calm down, son. This man is in shock,
and for now the bleeding has stopped. Yes, he’s
packing more lead that most men could stand. But
he has a much better chance at pulling through if
we can get him to my surgery suite.
Buck: My mind is shell-shocked, but my heart tells
me to trust you.
Doctor: Good decision. I'll give him something for
infection, and we’ll put him in the wagon, and wrap
him in blankets. I’ll ride in the back with him to make
sure he doesn’t get too jostled about.
10(sound cue) snare drums and coronet.
Joe Hop: Light up a torch, Billy. Let’s locate all
these bodies, and drag them all out into the yard.
Let’s line them up like cord wood, and see what’s
what.
The deputy went to the wagon to get a torch.
Johnny moaned as the doctor examined the wound
in his solar plexus.
Doctor: Let’s move him now.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Thor's Day




image from comicfan.com


Thor’s Day

“I am Thursday’s Child, not born on Monday,
Tuesday or Wednesday, no,no--but nothing could
prepare me for your smile.”--David Bowie.

Thursday is a workhorse,
like Tuesday,
but it’s harness has gold bells,
and it is majestic as a Clydesdale.
It’s never blue, or humped,
or something to thank God for.

Being retired,
every day feels like Saturday,
but there is something magical
about Thursday. It stands out
in bolder font; for me
it is the massive gear
at the top of a rollercoaster,
and from that apex,
we drop into a three day thrill ride.

It has a rich heritage.
Quakers call it Fifth Day,
most of us call it Fourth Day.
It was named after the Norse God of Thunder;
Thor, Thunor, Donar, and Thundraz.
Roman’s named it for their god Jupiter,
God of sky and thunder,
Jupiter’s Day, lovis Dies.

The Thursday before Easter
was the day of the Last Supper.
40 days after Easter
is the day Christ ascended to Heaven.
In Islam, the prophet Mohammad
fasted on Thursdays.
In America, the fourth Thursday
in November is Thanksgiving Day.

Perhaps I am Thursday's Child myself,
and it might be my death day.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Ice Bear Cometh




painting by Mark Adlington.


The Ice Bear Cometh 

“ ‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast’ and it
is as necessary to life as the act of breathing.”
--Lewis Howard Latimer.

I used to think that only radical Muslims wanted to
return society to the ignorance and tumult of the
Middle Ages, but this winter we have witnessed
democracy receiving a gut shot, while the party
of Lincoln has turned their backs so they don’t
have to watch her bleed out.

My three-year nightmare is continuing, while the
madness of King Trump deepens, rotten to the
core, and it springs like a rabid carcinogen toward
all the vital organs of the Republic. Tiny Trumpian
ice cycles try to freeze my eyes shut. Dystopian
snow banks outside are already piled up over the
top of my doors and windows, and all I have is a
teaspoon to dig myself out with.

Housebound, I dream of the Spring that is to come,
but I see all the blossoms and bounty blacken with
authoritarian blight, while the cantaloupe skies swirl
with malicious locusts, bats and flying monkeys. What 
could spring me from this bear trap insanity--not the
next equinox, not even the sun of summer. I hope
that a tuft of emancipation awaits me in November,
when I will reach out to an Election that may already
be tainted, twisted, manipulated and violated by the 
dark denizens of MAGA. One clean pristine vote
tossed into a maelstrom of malice and 20,000 lies

Polar bears are hungry,
coming indoors now to sate
their taste for humans.


Glenn Buttkus

Haibun

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, January 20, 2020

Freedom Rocks




image from fineartsamerica.com


Freedom Rocks

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth
Rock landed on us.”--Malcolm X.

If rocks could talk, the one at Plymouth,
Massachusetts would have a lot to say. Long
venerated as the site where William Bradford,
and the Mayflower pilgrims landed in 1620. Yet
the 20,000 lb. gob of granite was more a
landmark than a stepping stone.

It’s considered a symbol of both the virtues and
the flaws of the English immigrants who colonized
New England. But the writings of the time never
mention the Rock. Today only one third of it remains;
chipped away by tourists. 

I would like to think of it as Freedom Rock, a real
symbol of repressed immigrants who sailed to the
New World in small ships, who searched for religious 
freedom and a new start; something that’s been 
overlooked by populists at present. The Rock cries out 
to us today: You may stand upon me, but do not hide
your face.


Glenn Buttkus

Prosery

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Thursday, January 16, 2020

From Calabria




image from italia.it.com


From Calabria

‘Not every father gets a chance to start his son off
in his own footsteps.”--Alan Ladd.

Midnight, June 14th, 2019. I sit alone in the
darkness, weeping.

“My heavy heart has developed helium stanchions.
My disabled feet have new ankle wings. My troubled
soul is now mantled in rainbows. My DNA is no longer 
lost, it now has the gift of a musty helix map. My
malevolent curiosity has slain no one. My quest has
ended with treasure. My inexorable inquiries have
born blossoms. My lungs fill with Mediterranean 
love mist.

My father, 25 years post-mortem, has reached out
from beyond the stars to hug me with his dead arms,
to embrace me with his dead lips, to recognize me
with his dead eyes, for, it turns out, I am his first
born son--whom he was aware of, but never met.
I have spent 74 years weighed down with ignorance.
plagued with dark doubts--but for my birthday, the
universe and Ancestry.com filled in the blank over
“biological father” with the most wonderful of names,
Frank Herman Pellegrino. 



Glenn Buttkus

Soliloquy

Posted over at  dVerse Poets Pub

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Lion Hunter




Ernest Hemingway from pinterest.com


Lion Hunter

“The old man was dreaming about the lions.”
--THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
Ernest Hemingway.

In the 1950’s, Frederick Brightburn hunted lions.
He traveled to Africa with Hemingway’s and
Hollywood’s depiction of the “Great White Hunter”
carved into his cortex. He booked his first safari, 
and showed up with marksman skills using his new
.375 H&H Magnum rifle, bolt action, peep sights,
holding six CZ 550 cartridges.

He only killed the male lions, having their heads
stuffed for displaying in his trophy room.
On his fourth safari, in 1962, he had a guide who
chose to educate him about lions. He learned that
lions are the only big cats that live in family groups
called prides; three males and a half dozen females
and their cubs. It turns out that the females do all
the hunting. The males are only good for procreation
and pride security.

He became so enamored of lions that he retired his
rifles, and began using Nikon cameras to hunt with.
His photographs became so popular that National
Geographic put him on their staff. For 40 years he
traveled across Africa shooting his wonderful images.
His pictures of the maneless males in Kenya won
several awards. In his 80’s, his health declined, and
he was restricted to a wheelchair. He became an
activist, fighting against the killing of lions.

The lions came to play
only in his dreams now; they
were never afraid.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, January 13, 2020

Lion versus Bear




image from nationalgeographic.com


Lion versus Bear

Lions and tigers, and bears, oh my.”
--Dorothy from WIZARD OF OZ.

When the Romans
used to pit
a bear versus a lion
in an arena,
the roars were
deafening.


The bear would stand
10’ tall, and swat
the lion down
repeatedly.

With each swat
pounds of flesh
were torn off;
bears always
were victors.



Glenn Buttkus

Quadrille

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Blackthorne--Episode 107




image from pinterest.com


Blackthorne

Cinemagenic 107

Brotherhood

“We have never preached violence, except the
violence of love, of brotherhood, which left Christ
nailed to the cross.”--Oscar A. Romero.

1(two-shot)
Johnny: Yes, it hurts to talk, but without
the talking, there is only the pain.”
Buck: Do you have a woman somewhere?
Johnny: Am I not a man?
Buck: Muy bueno.
Johnny: Mucho senora, and sons--but none like you.
Buck: I am honored.
2(sound cue) harmonica and Indian branch flute.
Johnny: The pain dulls, but I tremble with chills
and sweat. I do not want to close my eyes.
Buck: I will hold you and share my light.
Johnny: Yes, yes, for the darkness closes in, and
it is full of red eyes and white fangs.
Buck: I am here.
Johnny: You know I love you.
Buck: And I love you, brother.
3(steadi-cam shot during the conversation,
slowly circling the pair)
Johnny: I waited for you. I promised your father,
with the freight wheel tracks across his chest, 
with his dying breath.
Buck: Voices on the wind compelled me to
return, to pick up the pieces of the past, to
rebuild this rancho.
Johnny: He knew you would come, and I knew
it too; besides, I had nowhere to go. Waiting for
you became my sunshine.
Buck: You had never met me, how could you wait?
Johnny: I had met you in my heart, through your
father’s stories. But you are wrong--I did see you
once.
Buck: When?
4(sound cue) piano and guitar.
Johnny: It was after the death of your father. I was
camped near here when you showed up. I watched
you visit the graves, and I followed you into town--
but I never approached you. If you were to
stay, you would have, but you didn’t. You drank
and then rode like hell into the night on a black
horse. I had already been where you were
going, so I waited for you to come back.
Buck: Thank-you.
5(medium close-ups) lantern light flickering in
their faces, shadows dancing in their eyes.
6(sound cue) coyotes yipping and howling.
Johnny: Some men are together for ten minutes,
and things are in balance, blue sky in an eternity
of blow sand.
Buck: So true for us, and you are a poet.
Johnny: We see the same buffalo, we share the
same pain.
Buck: You may close your eyes, old one...rest.
I will let nothing pull you from my arms.
Johnny: Never, I will not even close my eyes at
death. I will see past death. I will watch the 
vultures pick at my body on my scaffold.
Buck: You talk much of death
Johnny: Because it is near.
Buck: It comes for these scum we have killed. 
They lie all about us like slaughtered sheep.
Johnny: Put me with your family.
Buck: I tell you that you will live to put me with my
father. Do not befriend death; not yet.
Johnny: For you, I cannot die. I need to take your
sons fishing.
They laughed, but it sounded like a whimper. He
relaxed, and put his own head on the saddle next
to Johnny. Suddenly he was very tired. He could
hear a chorus of coyotes over the faint crackle of
hot embers. The smell of charred flesh was in the 
air. Buck closed his eyes.
7(medium close-up) Johnny stared unblinkingly,
as he lie cuddled in Buck’s arms. He slowly let
his heavy lids flutter, then close. He had a small
smile on his lips.



Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What's the Matter?




image from reddit.com


What’s the Matter?

“I think that God, in the beginning, formed matter
in sold, hard, massy, impenetrable moveable
particles.”--Issac Newton.

Do we really understand
much about the basic 
properties of matter?

I mean
what the hell
is the difference between
a lead pipe and iron bars?
Is steel stronger
than both of them?
If so, of course
the Man of Steel could
kick Iron Man’s ass?
When does lead
morph into graphite?
When your libido wanes,
do you have less lead in your pencil?

Why did they pump helium
into dirigibles, but blow
oxygen into balloons?
Is aluminum lighter than tin?
What kind of metal
made up medieval suits of armor?
The modern copies are made of steel.

Why is gold more fetching than silver?
Yet silverware is more popular than goldware.
Why did Paul Revere choose
to be a silversmith rather than a goldsmith?
Are there gold tea sets?
Are Trump’s toilets only gold plated?

Is there any silver in chrome?
Actually chrome is an alloy
made from steel, aluminum, copper or zinc,
then it’s applied to bright nickel plating.

Coins can be confusing too.
Is there any nickel in a nickel?
Is there much copper in a penny?
When did they start putting copper
into the middle of silver dollars?
How much gold was put into
a twenty dollar gold piece?
Strange that statues and lamps
are made out of brass, but old
plumbing is made out of copper.
I guess brass is an alloy
made out of copper and zinc.

I wonder how much different
the elements will be on Mars
or beyond, on astroids and in
other star systems?

Metaphysically, matter only exists
because we will it to, since we shared
in God’s creations as co-creators.
As per usual, the more we learn,
the less we can grasp.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

Monday, January 6, 2020

Sieve of Eratosthenes




image from matematiklase.com


Sieve of Eratosthenes

“Hang onto your dreams,
for if dreams die, 
life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly.”--Langston Hughes.

My wife and I worked with the blind for decades.
We felt that the year 2020 would have special
significance for us. 20/20 represents perfect
visual acuity. 2020 is the inception of a new
decade that could/should represent Hope--
like those Obama campaign posters; contrasted
to the Trump posters that read Nope, Dope, and
Trope.

But 2020 dawned like a dangerous dragon, bring-
ing chaos, fire, and death. Trump hovers over our
nuclear arsenal like Dr. Strangelove on opioids. The
Middle East remains a bellicose quagmire, a bloody
cauldron, swaying to the tune of Death to Infidels.
From space, Australia looks like a nuclear bomb test
site, an angry lesion on the bottom of the planet.
Trump’s deserved impeachment remains half-done,
like legal divorce papers missing a second signature,
like slapping your bad dog with a rolled-up newspaper
after he just killed 500 chickens for sport.

So here we are, holding funerals for extinct glaciers,
rattling our sabers in time with the strident Farsi
throat warbles, attending fascist rallies, and killing
Jews during High Holy Days. Before we can tout
new beginnings, we must push Capt. Bly into his
lifeboat, choose a new captain, and chart a new
course; for the edge of the world beckons.

Holidays wither.
We must make ready, planting
strong seeds and grand hopes. 



Glenn Buttkus

Haibun

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub