The Kissing Bandit

The kissing bandit he was called.
He’d take the teeth of any man.
He’d rob and plunder any town
Yet kiss the ladies on the hand.

The sheriff chased him there and yon
That quicksand frame, that mind of quartz.
He’d steal the sheriff’s very badge
But only steal the women’s hearts.

They had to catch him while he slept.
At trial he smiled from mouth and eye.
And when his hour came at last,
He slowly sauntered out to die.

They walked him to the tower green
The priest came forth and Sam was blessed.
The sheriff said, “Before you die,
Do you have any last request?”

Sam smiled his last, no humor now.
He only said, “Untie my hands.”
Then Sheriff pulling out a knife,
Complied with his demand.

He pulled the cord and Sam went down
While men folk cheered and ladies cried.
Sam drew his hand up to his lips
And blew a kiss, then died.

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A Note

“I’m at the end of my rope.”
The note gave the cause.
They looked in the bedroom
And he was.

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In case you got a Valentine’s Day poem

To girls I give a warning
It’s easy to confide
When a boy writes poetry
You’d better run and hide.
For when his soul is laden
With sweet and mushy rhyme
If you plan to leave at all
Believe me, that’s the time.
When he writes you sonnets
Inspired from above
Sister, he means business
And you know that he’s in love.

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A Valentine’s Day poem

When you snored last night in bed I got a bit excited.
I thought about it long and hard because I had decided
That though the snoring keeps me up
And I’d rather see that you quit,
I realized how sad I’d be
If you weren’t there to do it.

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Big Operation

I think that I have never seen
Two eyes so white or face so green.
Reflections cast upon the glass
Remind me of the distant past
When life was full of vibrant power
To enjoy each rushing hour.
And now I wait a certain end.
I sit alone without a friend,
Remembering days when I could shout.
Now I must have my tonsils out.

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Apologize

You little member who boast great things
You who no one can tame
You who spout forth sweet water and bitter
You who weep for what you want
And thank not for what you get
You scourge with your deadly stings
Crawl forth, broad-necked beast,
And douse the fire you have kindled.

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It’s MY poem

To a teacher who said my poem’s rhyme was out of kilter in one place, (which it was):
You criticize my work of art
A privilege free for all.
But say my rhyme scheme falls apart
And you’re beyond your call.
A critic, brilliant though you be,
With great poetic spirit,
You set no law ensnaring me
Don’t speak, I just won’t hear it.
And so I’ll say it one more time
And please–remain on friendly terms
My poem doesn’t have to rhyme
If I don’t want it to.

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FIRST GIFT

Some think that Christmas only comes
But once a year when monstrous sums
Are spent to try to make a dent
In what we should have spent on rent.
But Christmas came but once for all
And stayed, but not at the mall.
The Christmas Spirit’s everywhere.
Inhale it, though it’s not the air.
It’s in your heart and in your soul,
Not in some fat guy at the Pole.
Among the first gifts we infer
Were gold and frankincense and myrrh.
But God’s gift came when first he smiled.
In Bethlehem he gave a child.

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For My Viewing Pleasure

I have no problems with the plots or acting of most of the television and movies that I have watched.
My problems spring from technicalities that make it difficult for me to know what is going on.
First, when a scene takes place in a darkened room or at night, I usually cannot tell what is happening. Someone gets shot, but who? If the characters can see, I want to see also. So, lighten up the scene so I can see what they see. I just watched the Captain Marvel movie where much of the fighting was done in the dark. I seldom could tell who was winning until a later daylight scene.
Westerns from the 40s simply shot action in daylight and simply darkened it a bit to give us a nighttime scene. The reverse would work for me in shows today.
Second, if a character gets a note or a report and acts on it, we often get a glimpse of it–but not clearly or long enough for us to read it. Perhaps they could do a voiceover of the person who wrote the note or enlarge the report for us hapless viewers.
Third, if a person is in a foreign country speaking that nation’s language other than English, don’t bother to make them speak in an accent. In real life they wouldn’t be speaking English with a foreign accent. If the makers want us to understand, just have them speak in plain unaccented English or at least give us subtitles. If a foreigner is speaking English, say, in the U.S., it would be natural for him or her to speak in an accent, because they would be doing that in real life. By the way, British English and American English are quickly becoming separate languages.
And fourth, I see a problem in films and in audiobooks. The narrator or actor does not allow us to hear the last word in a sentence. The voice often fades out nearly COMPLETELY. Please teach your actors and narrators to enunciate all the words, and at the same volume throughout.
And, finally when I am watching something on TV with my wife, we often look at one another, saying, “What was that?” We can easily rewind to try to figure what we missed. When I go to the movies, I want a clicker so I can rewind at my leisure.

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My intruder

I had been broken into once before, with thieves kicking in my kitchen door. Apparently, I came home from night school a bit early and saw the door ajar and lights on where I had not turned them on myself. I backed out of the driveway and went next door, called the police and my neighbor and I entered the house. My neighbor had a baseball bat and I had my grandfather’s WWI bayonet. The intruders had seen my car lights and had run out the back door without any loot that I could ever discover.
Lots of stuff was on the kitchen floor, ready to be absconded with. When the police arrived, they asked what was missing. Of course, I had no idea. Most of us cannot do instantaneous inventories of our stuff. It takes a while to realize that minor items are gone. So, I suggest that you take some photos of your stuff—shooting into your closets, into dresser drawers and various shelves.
Flash forward a couple of years and note that it was a few days after my birthday. I was living alone and falsely feeling secure in my domicile.
I don’t know what woke me, but in the middle of the night, in the stygian darkness of my bedroom, I looked toward the bedroom door and saw someone sneaking in, obviously intent on killing me while I slept. He—or she—was doing what I recall as an exaggerated sneak, apparently lifting one foot high, then the other, trying to keep silent before the death blow. The effect was a bouncing walk with that person’s head bobbing.
I immediately sprang into action. I whirled off the bed toward the dresser opposite the door, taking the blanket, sheets, and mattress with me. I jumped up, ready to defend my life to the death—well, you know what I mean.
Instead of a murdering burglar, I discovered that one of my birthday balloons, a metallic one still filled with helium, had followed a draft from my living room, down the hall, to my bedroom, where it attacked me.
I suffered only bruises, but the regaling tales had to wait a bit for my pride to un-grip from my heart.
That selfsame balloon took one more shot at me. A day or so later, I had left it on top of a lampshade, it would heat up and re-aviate, then settle down on the shade again, a living room perpetual motion machine, of sorts. I walked into the house to be attacked (again), with an unholy odor this time.
The metallic balloon had lost enough of the helium to deflate-onto the light bulb, melting it against the bulb and stinking up the place.
And that is why I do not want balloons in my life. A Peanuts cartoon laid it out for us. One character asks another, “What are balloons for?” And Edwin Starr, almost wrote, “Balloons. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing.”

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