Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Blackthorne Episode 137

image from 


Cinemagenic 137


“Good wombs have borne bad sons.”

--William Shakespeare.

1(sound cue) banjo and harmonica.

2( wide shot ) as twilight was becoming dusk.

The TRIPLE B sprawled out at the mouth of a

small canyon, a canker sore masquerading as

respectability, hidden and rotten.

Behind it rolling hills seemed to crouch, then to

stand erect. A gorge. like an open vein, sliced

through the foothills at the base of magenta peaks

that loomed in the east.

3(slow tracking shots) It was a big spread. The

ranch house was three stories, with fancy Victorian

gables and new shutters on all the windows. It was

built at the intersection of two roads; one to

Blackthorne, the other to the gorge. There were

multi-colored plants and well trimmed bushes on

all sides of it. It was painted white, and the paint

was fresh. The prairie grass had been weeded and

it was reseeded into a gorgeous verdant lawn in

front of the mansion. A low unbanistered porch

stretched across the west end of the place. Two

large windows, one to each side of a huge oaken

front door, gave the occupants a sweeping view of

the Prairie, and the opportunity to witness the daily

descent of the sun of blood.

To the north of the main house, a vast two-story

barn stood. It’s hay loft door was thirty feet from

the ground. Nearby, two rough hewn work sheds

nestled together. Alongside one of them a tall

wood pile filled an open pen, its roof piece-meal

and rustic. The sheds were butted up against a 

steep clay bank that rose quickly into dense timber.

South of the mansion was the over size bunkhouse,

three hundred feet long with a flat roof and ten

windows facing the main house. Beyond the big

bunkhouse, one could see three expansive corrals.

4(cut to a one shot) Rod Buck stood in the deep

shadows of the timber behind the sheds.

5(sound cue) snare drum and seed rattle.

6(close-up) Buck scanned the place carefully.

He stood there as the darkness gathered.

7(medium wide shot) the forest shadows linked

arms and hugged each other, as a bright half

moon ascended. Lights came on in the main

house and the bunkhouse. The barn and the

outbuildings were unlit. Two punchers stood

in one of the doorways to the bunkhouse,

having a smoke. Loud voices filtered out of

the mansion.

8(sound cue) Voice Over: I ought to join the

damn party, Buck thought.

9(medium wide shot) Buck melted back into the 

shadows, moving through the dark forest like

a specter. He came up on the dun mare,

tethered to a low branch. In the moonlight, she

was a warm spot in the ink of the woods. He

rummaged through a burlap sack hanging from

the cantle. He extracted six slender sticks of 

dynamite that had fulminate caps already

tamped on, and he slipped them into the back

of his gunbelt. He left the horse picketed, and

journeyed back to the edge of the clay bank.

   No one moved in the ranch yard below. Half of

the house lights were out. Buck glided into the

moonlight and began climbing down the bank.

the sticky clay collected on his boots. At the

bottom, he cleared the sheds, and swiftly 

crossed the distance to the barn.

10(sound cue) harmonica.

11(cut to interior of the barn) Buck entered from a

small rear door. He stood for a moment allowing

his eyes to adjust to the dimness. Moonbeams 

found their way through the countless rifts in

the rough hewn walls, There were strong over-

lapping odors of alfalfa hay, horse manure, and

oiled leather.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub OLN

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Juneteenth Cometh

painting by John Phillip Simpson

 Juneteenth Cometh

“Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

Ernest Hemingway (1926)


in Art and Life

is a driving force,

and yet...

If you were born white

in the America

of the 40’s,

you had a Mt. Everest of inequity

to climb, to overcome.

White privilege was a given.

In 1962,

in my High School

in White Center, a suburb of Seattle,

there were only two black students

in my graduating class.

To be a bigot was hip.

To do otherwise meant

you were a nigger-lover.

Cruel black humor was vogue.

“Did you hear about the colored dude who drown

last week?”   “Yeah, ain’t that just like a nigger

to steal more chain than he could swim with?”

Then came the 60’s

with Viet Nam, Civil Rights, and college.

Thankfully, my eyes were opened

and I had to tolerate the bitter taste

of my shame for years.

I made black friends,

I dated black women,

I studied black history,

I gave up hillbilly rock and roll

for jazz and the blues

until my prejudices began

to subside and erode.

In the last fifty years,

we have made measurable progress,

but in the tepid wake

of Trump’s narcissism, populism, fascism,

sexism, and naked unabashed racism,

I see America profoundly divided.

I have always leaned left in my politics,

and I believed in and championed

women’s rights, LBGT issues, civil rights
and the breathless beauty

of interracial children.

I still believe in the equality of all men,

the Marxist dream (though never a reality)

of a classless society,

but in the face of capitalist greed,

dark money, crooked dishonest politicians,

white supremacy, domestic and international

terrorism, and of course the grand chasm

between the top 1% who own everything

and the rest of us, I wonder

if the bloody daggers of division

will ever be sheathed?

I sincerely hope so,

but I really doubt

I will live to see it.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Monday, June 21, 2021

Death From the Deep

Image from Wikipedia.

 Death From the Deep

“The same water than can kill you, drown you, give

you hyperthermia is still capable of helping you to

survive.”--Joe Teti.

As a youngster, on the first day of summer, I 

remember being at Alki Beach, across the width

of Elliott Bay from the Seattle skyline. Often it was

quite warm, in the 80’s--but Puget Sound is a 

kissing cousin, and is connected to the Pacific

Ocean 100 miles to the west; all salt water, and

never much over 45 degrees. While swimming in it

your lips turn numb and blue within 15 minutes. They

say that on the hottest day in August, if you happen

to fall off a Super Ferry, you will have about thirty

minutes before hypothermia will kill you.

Our myriad of lakes is more manageable, the water

temperature is in the 50’s. We are a hardy bunch up

in the Northwest. Your body can adjust to lake water,

and you can stay in it for a lot longer--and if you are

lucky, there aren’t a lot of ducks around, and you can

avoid swimmer’s itch. If you are brave enough to swim 

in our many rivers, prepare for a quick dip, for the water 

is coming off glaciers.

To be an Orca

for a day would be fantastic,

slicing through the Sound.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Weasels, not Lemmings

image by

 Weasels, not Lemmings

“Followers, followers. Sometimes, with some things,

it’s best to keep your tally down.”

--Donna Lynn Hope.

We live in a world

only half-healed.

The beast using us for a feast,

it is still a vicious killer.

Only half-healed,

we forget the dangers afoot,

and people are still dying.

The beast using us for a feast,

seems to be insatiable.

We need to quit feeding it.

It is still a vicious killer,

never tamed, or leashed or house-broken.

We must put it down.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub MTB

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Porte Rouge

image from

 Porte Rouge

“The imposing red door towered over me. It had

no handles, only opening from the inside.”

--Glenn Buttkus.

In the Quarter Pigalle

      there are red doors aplenty,

          in the sex shops, Adult Follies.

               titty-bars and steaming cat houses.

                      American GI’s, during WWII dubbed

               it “Pig Alley”, and they hung out there 

           in lustful battalions. The Moulin

        Rouge is there, with no less

than a dozen red doors,

and the Divan du Monde.

Josephine Baker built am nightclub there.

Toulouse Lautrec had a studio there,

which makes me think

of Jose Ferrer playing him

in John Huston’s Moulin Rouge,

constantly on his knees

to approximate Lautrec’s stature;

red swollen knees behind

lacquered red doors.

The Grand Guignol theatre was there.

Van Gogh and Picasso,

Hemingway and Sartre

lived there.

This is the end stop

for the public bus line.,

the Montmartrobus.

So if you have a thing

for red doors

and French kisses,

wanting a space port

for the rocket in your pocket,,

wanting to see “Paris by Night”,

come to the Place Pigalle.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub

Monday, June 14, 2021


image from


“Wisdom does not necessarily come with age.

Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.”

--Tom Wilson.


is my birthday,


it is Flag Day,


it is the birthday

of Trump,

which applies

a smudge

upon my joy;

but I share it

with Boy George

and actor

Sullivan Stapleton.


wave your flags

and forget about

the Human Stain.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub