While hiking southern Africa, I encountered a man mourning over the remains of his friend, a Kalahari guide. The poor tribesman been torn to pieces, obviously by a lion, his friend could only stammer incoherently.
“What happened?” I asked. “Cat got your !Kung?”




The heartwood has rottted, the tree must come down.
Our families watched her grow
Since we obeyed the crown,
Since we slaughtered the Buffalo,
And dragged the Red Man Down.
The tree has been here Since the slaves’ first years,
Since the first of our wars caused its share of tears.
This citizen, now laid to rest,
Now sharing the fate of so many forests,
Survived disease, drought and wars.
Despite weary limbs, it stood tall and scarred,
Proudly defiant, over the town she stood guard
Our tree fell long after it died,
Weakened, unseen, on the inside.
But fewer cared to reason why
Than found cause to weep and cry.


The Lodger’s Tale

Who doth brake wynde wan this hutt is shut tighte,
Wan the aire doth not move on this warme humid night?
Ye made no sounde on your giving of vente,
Lett loose onn the slye what twas not heaven scent.
Wat manner of victuals compos’d your repast,
Ande gavve ye the gravest of cases of gas
Ande teared uppe our eyes upon fleeing your asse?
Could ye notte havve stept outsyde, on to the fen
Orr, mayhap, preferred too sleep in a tent?
Ach! Mine eyes doth burn anew, the bloke hath farted againe!
A Drunkard’s Rappe
Oh, Mother Meade, what didde I do in your name?
Didde I bring unto mye selfe and mye familee, great shame?
Orr, bye chance, were all as potted as me?
Deff as stones, blynde as batts, as eagre to disturb the peace?
Were all besotted, loose of lippe, and open-hearted?
Wan I tolde the wife I was going to help a frend,
Her eyes did rolle as she sayed I knoe howe thiss ends
You, brotte home inn a waggon,
A’cuddlin your flagon like some pagan whore
And a promise of never again, slurred words abowte making amends
Now you’re pied as a piper, delidver’d like freight once morre. This is thee ende!
I should say darling please, while ime onn my knees,
Butte my gutte churns, and yearns to expresse its owne ideas.
Ande this paine inn my pate maye never cease.
Peece outte
{drop quill}


Blood can be sold, given, or spent
And blood will most certainly be let
By both hellbound and the heaven-sent
Blood gives life to both good and bad
Keeps going the greedy, the evil, and sad

Births and deaths, whatever they mean,
Happen to all, and are both bloody scenes.
Blood isn’t a judge, it carries no grudge, of history it hasn’t a clue
Your bloodline doesn’t matter to the blood in your lines,
Nor, my friend, do you

If only people were that judgment free,
And charged with giving life to another.
Nurturing, energizing, reviving, alive-ing!
All in their path,
Blood gives life to the Mother

Not all ideas for parodies pan out, I write them anyway…
Love’s like a nose, you’d better not pick it
You may not love what you might find
Though its hard to see it when you blow it
You’ll know by the mess thats left behind

I want my nose to be real clean,
Not too large and not to lean
I want my nose with me all the time
Never want to leave my nose behind

Never leave my nose behind

(Repeat 1st verse)

My love knows shes like a nose
I follow her wherever she goes
She powders it when it glows
Hopes that freckle doesnt grow
I ran out of similis two lines ago
Two long lines ago….
What Do We Tell The Children?

Be brave, hijo, and do not cry
Let go of Mama’s shirt, and tell her goodbye.
The two of you should not have come
Things can’t be that bad where you’re from

Inside, boy. TENT 34, where you belong
Wipe off those tears you better be strong
The older boys in here see you as fresh meat
Here is a toothbrush, some soap and a thin sheet

Hold still, child, this wont hurt you
It’s only a number I have one more to do
You can trust me, I’m Mexican too
Now, don’t wash your arm for an hour or two

Hush, my little ones, Mama’s not far away
Unless she was on the bus that left today
Hey Sarge! Wasnt bus 41 headed for Santa Fe?
Maybe my relief can help you, I’m calling it a day

Cohen walks with his head down, he’s feeling pretty low
Got no family by his side, just a dozen lawyers in tow
He looks dazed, he looks petrified, as stares down at his feet
Trembles a bit as he sees the doors through which justice he will meet.

But at least he cut a deal,
Broke down and cut a deal
Hes going down, but not alone, because he cut a deal

He tried his best to get no time like Flynn,
Or a presidential pardon
But Trump was slow, or said no go, so for Trump Cohen had a hard on
Trump calls him a rat, calls him weak, says he wasnt one of the best
But most of his pards are folding their cards,
And getting things off their chest.

Another one cut a deal
Mueller’s winning this for real

Faced with facts, another one turns, once again The Donald is spurned
By this one might think there’d be a lesson learned
Trump needs a guide, who gives wise advice, a veritable Svengali
Instead in a fit of suicidal pique, he hires Rudy Giuliani!
Trump, this a bust,
In shackles you’ll be trussed….(fade…)


As more members of the large cat families enter the work force, they find that their independent and violent ways are unsuitable for today’s modern work environment.

“They sleep all day, their breath is atrocious, and they growl and grumble whenever you ask them to do anything.” So says Norbert Klaiber, personnel manager at Intra-State Warehousing, when asked why he refuses to hire any member of the cat family. “Oh sure, they are naturals in the security field, but they can’t tell a groundskeeper from a burglar. And Last year, a lion in accounts receivable ATE our FedEx guy.”

Norbert was not the only nerd with a funny name to open up to our reporters. Hortense McGillicuddy, branch manager of a local securities firm, had this to say. “While they do have some sales skills, they are very poor losers. They do not like the word ‘no’, and bear markets drive them into a frenzy.”

There Have been problems”, Admits Ray “Ray” Swanson, counselor at a temporary employment agency. “But mainly the problem is people, people who hire big cats to work in occupations for which they are unsuited. “I have had some success in placing the big cats in factory jobs, assembly-line stuff, and leopards are great at sniffing out spoiled meat in grocery stores and meat-packing plants. We give them the ‘kill’ and they climb up in a tree out back with it.

And the labor isn’t the only pool the larger felines swim in. “Tigers, especially, have the qualities we look for in group leaders and department heads.” says Patrick Kimmel, a corporate ‘head hunter’. “They are aggressive. single-minded, and don’t care if they are well-liked or not, as long as they are respected. And respect they got. They know how to motivate a team. “Believe me”, Kimmel averred, pointing to his newest client, all newly pin-striped and eager to get the interview over with, “After you’ve seen Rajah here toy and play with an unprepared presenter, batting his carcass around the room until he gets bored, you do NOT want to be an underperformer on his team.”

Unfortunately, one can’t seem too eager to move up the corporate ladder, as tigers are fiercely protectiveof their status once they have attained leadership. Last week Rajah was questioned in the mauling death in the parking lot of his co-leader, one Thurston Formoare, but was released due to insufficient evidence. And women on the board are advised to ‘consider their monthlies’ before deciding to attend meetings. “Just  a precaution”, adds “Ray” Swanson, “Tigers do love to add to their harem when possible”. There has also been a disturbing number of purported links to organized crime involving, yes, lynx.

Night clubs have experienced a decline in police calls since owners began hiring lions as door personnel and bouncers. “Hey, we run a legit business heah”, says Lou “Beer” Barrel, owner of the Pussycat Lounge and Men’s Club. We don’ need no cops bargin’ in whenever a customer gets…a little outta hand. My guys, Gautama and Buddha, stay nice and calm until there’s a fracas, then they jump right in the da middle of it. A coupla times, yeah, it got messy, ‘sall I’m sayin’. But once word got out, no more friggin’ fracases! And I just hired their buddy, Siddhartha, to keep order in the parking lot.”

Animal right’s groups have asked the government to investigate several reported cases of unsafe and cruel working conditions. Your reporter managed to get inside an office where lions were made to do data entry in cramped cubicles, threatened and harried by ‘trainers’ carrying whips and wooden chairs. The defeated faces on these poor creatures told the story, these lions had no pride.

Senator Tom “He-Cat” Muldoon has introduced the Feral Wage and Labor act to address this and other problems connected with integrating members of the Panthera genus into the modern American workplace. “While some feline-Americans have done quite well, the majority are still paid well below median wage, and the impediments to advancement enormous; lack of a spoken language, inadequate schooling,poor social skills, etc. On the positive side, nearly all parties admit that the grooming habits of the large cats are, by and large, impeccable. I’m afraid,” Says Senator Muldoon, “That most of our newest taxpayers will looking up at the glass canopy for decades to come.”



Cold trickle showers, hot coffee on the grill
The storm is forgotten, its effects linger still
Havent seen a TV in a week or so
We could be at war, and I wouldnt know
Devastated forests as far one can see,
Toilet paper could possibly become a new currency
And ice more precious than the Queens jewelry.
The curfew is needless, i claim
There’s nowhere to go, it all looks the same.
But with the neighbors trees gone, I can see the sunrise
And with the city lights out, stars fill the sky.
With the shade trees gone, a garden can grow
And I have new places for fruit trees to go.
That fence was rotten, beginning to sway,
We needed a new roof and paint job anyway


  • Frank barely heard the soft, arrhythmic tapping on the front door over the bedlam of the cartoon show Davey and his friend were watching. He picked up the pistol, which lay on the table between his beer and ashtray. The young ones ignored him as he stood up, walked over to the door and put his eye to the peephole. It was zombies, two of them. Frank pulled the door open with his free hand, keeping the gun pointed low and his finger off the trigger.

    The first creature extended his arm towards Frank, and slowly turned his palm up.

    “You finished, already?” a slow shake of the head, accompanied by a death-rattle of a breath, that Frank took as a yes.

    “Front and back? Another painfully slow nod.

    “You trimmed the hedges? Cleaned the gutters?”


    “OK. Honey!” Frank yelled down the hall. “Can you bring me the package of synth-flesh on the counter?”

    While he waited, he looked over the twisted shoulder of his gardener, and assessed the one behind him. “You brought help this time.”

    ‘Rattle, sssss’

    “Not with you?” Gina handed him the paper-wrapped square with the US FDA approved sticker. It was still cold. “We are down to three kg’s, hon. Should we order more?” Frank grunted a yes.

    Frank passed the package to the zombie, whom he caught looking at his wife’s neck. He brought the gun to bear on the undead-American’s rotting cheek. “Don’t even think about it.”

    It hissed and twisted its mouth; what may have been a growl escaped the loose, spittle-shiny lips. Then it quietly turned and shuffled down the walk, past the second of its kind who carried an axe in one greenish hand.

    “Yes, what is it?” The news was coming on, Frank wanted to hear if the Supreme Court had decided the case of  gunther vs. gomez. If they decided that zombies were entitled to the rights and assets they held at the time of their conversion, lawyers will have a cash cow on a verdant pasture.

    Frank noted that two fingers were missing on the hand that pointed at one of his maple trees. “No, I don’t need any trees cut at this time. Not today, not next week, okay?”

    A nod of understanding, then out came an expectant hand. “We’re short, sorry.” Frank backed into the house and began to close the door.

    “”RATTLE!”The flesh-eater had inserted the axe in the doorway, preventing Frank from shutting it completely. Frank opened the door wide enough to allow the axe-holding arm all the way inside, then he kicked the door shut, pinching the arm between wrist and elbow. The hissing scream started just before the axe hit the faux-wood floor. The hand formed into a fist and beat the wall. One more solid kick, and the limb fell beside the axe, the still-twitching hand seemed to be trying to grab the handle. Frank managed to lock the door as the zombie repeatedly threw himself against it.

    “Should I call the police?” Gina was in the hallway with a shotgun. Behind her the young ones had stopped watching a coyote getting flattened by a steamroller in order to check out the real-live action.

    “Kids! Go watch TV! It’s all over!” More quietly, to Gina, he said, “Get another pound of synth-flesh. No, make it two. I’d rather he split than mess with all the damn paperwork the zigger-lovers require.”

    Gina came back with the flesh-substitute. She chastised him for using that slur, a corruption of Zombie re-Integration Act. “Especially in front of Davey and…”

    He cut her off, it was an old argument. “Yeah, sorry.” The thumping had stopped. Gun ready this time, Frank opened the door, and whistled to get the retreating figure’s attention.  He threw the package at the zombie’s feet, noting that only one was shod.

    “Tomorrow.  When you walk by tomorrow, there will be an old pair of shoes for you by the street. Understand? Don’t come in the yard, just take the shoes, keep walking.”

    The screaming had stopped, it, Frank saw that ‘it’ had been a woman at one time, held her good hand over the wound, which had already stopped bleeding. Their wounds don’t heal, exactly, the zombie just keeps going until it becomes structurally unsound.  “The axe will be there too.” Last year, romero vs. kruegerhad established their right to own property, as long as it wasn’t used to ‘procure, steal, bargain for, or in any otherwise obtain human flesh for the purpose of consumption…‘ One last snarl and, the government package tucked under it’s shortened appendage, she/it walked across the yard to the street. Two houses away, Frank saw the gardener pushing his mower with one hand as it tore off and swallowed hunks of the test-tubesteak that it held in the other.

    Frank sighed. The world was changing too fast for his taste.

    First there had been the accidental release of the zombie-virus, and humanity’s existence had been threatened before a vaccine was invented. Then, advances in recombinant-DNA engineering had led to the development of an alternative source of food for the zombies, whose numbers were astronomical. They took to the synth-flesh readily, as it beat chasing down emaciated prey that fought back.  And slowly the bartering system had developed; was still developing, as the afternoon’s events showed.

    He went back to his easy chair, set the gun down on the table again. He no longer had a yen for zombie news, so he left the TV on the cartoon channel, and settled back as a car of some sort transformed into a robot of some sort. On the floor in front of him, Davey and his friend were eating from a tray of snacks Gina had brought out. Davey, transfixed by the action, absent-mindedly ate a cookie. His new pal rasped out a hideous laugh as he dipped a synth-flesh nugget in a glass of synth-blood. Yes, things are just changing too fast, he thought, and upended his can of beer until the contents had settled in  his stomach.