Free Range Poetry

Don’t Eat Me, Big Dinosaurus!

Way, way back in the Jurassic day,
all the dinosaurs would come out and play!
But when they get hungry, if you're in their way,
You have to yell really loud as you bravely say:

Don't eat me, big dinosaurus!
I don't want to be punctured and porous!
I'll take my bones and hide in the forest
so you don't eat me, big dinosaurus!

The biggest teeth has the tyrannosaurus,
He'll eat you up with a gigantic roar-us
unless you sing him a rousing chorus
of don't eat me, big dinosaurus!

Don't eat me, big dinosaurus!
I don't want to be punctured and porous!
I'll take my bones and hide in the forest
so you don't eat me, big dinosaurus!

The velociraptor is fast and fierce,
with tongue to taste and teeth to pierce!
She'll eat up your lips and your nose and your earce
unless you sing with great jumps and jeers:

Don't eat me, big dinosaurus!
I don't want to be punctured and porous!
I'll take my bones and hide in the forest
so you don't eat me, big dinosaurus!

Another big mouth is the Allosaur,
no fun at parties, he's a terrible bore!
but when you go to sleep you'd better not snore
or he'll hear and he'll eat you - unless you can roar:

Don't eat me, big dinosaurus!
I don't want to be punctured and porous!
I'll take my bones and hide in the forest
so you don't eat me, big dinosaurus!

The Stegosaur is an herbivore,
and Triceratops loves belly flops!
With great big beaks and their chubby cheeks
We sing them ballads about salads!

Don't eat me, big herbivore!
I'm not a leafy green vegetable store!
I'll hide my bones and you'll hear me roar:
Don't eat me, big herbivore!

Yeah, don't eat me, big dinosaurus!
I don't want to be punctured and porous!
I'll take my bones and hide in the forest
so you don't eat me, big dinosaurus!

Moon Blooms

Sunlight, brilliant bright, is staggering to see,
The moonlight, though, is just enough - after all, there's only me.

The sun's reflection like a mirror, so cold and pale and full,
the moon hangs heavy, like the snow. I can't resist its pull.

Out here, the snow is crisp and cold, the night's a starry dance!
My feet are freezing, though, and I wish I'd worn my pants.

The moonlight shining on the snow makes glitter diamond gems
And the shadows of the trees are huge, just branches and bent stems.

The leaves are gone, the trees are bare, as naked as can be -
Something that I never thought I'd have in common with a tree!

Mom and Dad might yell and shout if they saw my empty bed...
"Good night, my love, and stay inside," was the last thing that they said.

Snow angels are just crazy eights while laying on the ground.
They keep me warm while working out, and I don't make a sound.

But I'm chilly now and really should, I guess, get back to bed.
I've heard the cold can make you sleep, and sleep until you're dead.

But all these angels! I've made art! Oh hey - I need to pee.
So before I go I'll sign my name. That way they'll know that it was me.


Back in 1997, my wife grew tired of my bashing her country music tastes and challenged me to pen a country song myself, if I thought it was so easy.  I apologize for the results.  I still hear it as a duet with Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton.

I turned on my computer just like I do every day -
Kick-start to the power and the video display.
I'm waiting for an e-mail from my baby in LA,
Hoping that her little message finds its way.

I logged in and checked my mail -
This waiting had my heart in jail;
I sure hoped we'd be together soon.
My server said I had new stuff -
I couldn’t download fast enough -
But what I read there made me sadder than a loon:

She wrote:
Do you really need me underneath the Texas moon?
Do you really need me later?  Do you really need me soon?
Mister, I must tell you, before to Texas I do roam,
I need to know where your love's coming from.

My heart skipped a mighty beat
I was glued right to my seat
and I felt there, as I read that, I could cry.
My fingers flew right to the keys
to put her nervous heart at ease
and I typed out, through my tears, this swift reply:

I wrote:
I don't wish for you on every star - just the ones up in the sky
I don't need you every day - just the ones that end in 'Y'
My heart burns for you like stars in Heaven up above
And I'm sending you this e-mail from:!!
You're the one girl that I'm dreaming of!
No virtual girlfriends,
No diamonds and pearl friends,
Do for me what you do, my Love.

Well that’s pretty much just how it went,
and I felt much better when it was sent,
and sure to check reply return receipt.
So I knew she’d read it right away,
and I wondered what her reply would say,
and more, what she would say, when next we’d meet.

She wrote:
Our hearts are both like stars above, they burn with equal heat,
And since you really need me, I’ll be moving from my street,
I’ll pack up my computer, and off from LA I will shove,
I’ll see you very soon, my dear:!!
You're the only one I'm dreaming of!
No diamonds and pearl friends,
No Wide Web and World friends,
Do for me what you do, my Love.

You know I really need you underneath this Texas moon!
I really need you now my love; I really need you soon!
My heart burns for you like stars in Heaven up above!
I’ll see you very soon, my dear:!!
You're the only one I'm dreaming of!
No diamonds and pearl friends,
No Wide Web and World friends,
Do for me what you do, my Love.!!



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Right Now Once More

When she was young, she'd listen to the radio
Waitin' for her favorite song
When it played, she'd sing along.

When I was young, I'd listen to the radio
Waitin' to hear her
When she came on, I'd sing along
Just like she did.

In your youth, a few weeks ago, you've never had to wait
to hear your favorite song
to hear your favorite artist
to sing along

It's never yesterday.
It's not even today.
It's always Right Now.
And Right Now Once More.
And once more after that.
Right.  Fucking.  Now.

We're doing 75 miles an hour down the highway and a song pops into your head.  You, Digital Native, are only a few clicks of your radio dial away from every song ever recorded.

"What's a radio?  Why do they call it a dial?"

That's when we get to the part
Where you're breakin' my heart.

Shooby doo lang lay, kid.
Shooby doo lang lay.

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Merry Christmas, Eight Fifteen!

(Major 8:15 started over Montezuma and was routed down through Amarillo.
We join him now, at night, over the Pacific Ocean.)

This is Major 8:15 hailing anyone to hear
I've been over open ocean for what seems like half a year
I see a spot of land below, thought I'd give this thing a try
It's pretty lonely here, the only car up in the sky!

A little north of Lubbock, the wind had turned me west
I fell asleep behind the wheel, which’s prob’ly for the best
I yawned as I passed Gallup, and I dreamed I saw LA
T’was all decked out in lights for the coming holiday!

It's dark and getting darker, as I fly into the night
but I'm sure there must be land down there, I think I see some light
I'd love to hear a tower, or at least a friendly voice
And I'd sure love to land this car if I had any choice!

(radio static)

Aloha 8:15, this is Honolulu Field!
You're a little bit off course, so we’ve had our traffic yield
You’ve been in that car so long, it’s hard to quite believe!
Just so you know, it’s Midnight, and today is Christmas Eve!

Thank you Honolulu, it is good to hear your call!
I was starting in to wonder if there was anyone at all
If you’ve got some festive spirits, I could a healthy dose:
All I want for Christmas is to see the ground up close!

(radio static)

We read you 8:15, but we haven’t got a clue
I wish that there were something else or more that we could do
Your altitude is steady and your vector path is fine
You’re accelerating past us heading toward the World Date Line.

I gotta tell you tower, I don't know what the Seven Hells…
I swear to you my iPod's off, but Tower, I hear bells!
I can’t see a thing, I haven’t seen a plane go by
But I’ve got a funny feeling I’m not alone up in this sky!

When suddenly a brand new voice just broke across the air,
an old voice, half remembered, his accent sounds like everywhere
"Tower, you can take a nap.  This metal bird's all right;
I'm deputizing 8:15 – he's helping ME tonight."

“Now 8:15, you just relax, everything'll turn out fine.
You see, it’s Christmas Day on the far side of that line,
and I’m a shy a couple reindeer, ‘cause Rudolph has the flu
and Dancer broke her goddamn leg – I need your Malibu!”

Santa, if that’s really you, let’s hear a Ho Ho Ho!
I’m not sure this car’s equipped to pull a sleigh, you know?
I’m glad to help and all, but tell me, what’s the deal?
The toys, and elves, and everything – really, are you real?

(radio static)

This is Honolulu Tower calling Major 8:15,
I think that you should know we’re tracking two birds on our screen.
You are not, repeat ARE NOT, alone up in that air,
And we’re getting word from NORAD we should all proceed with care!

“Eight fifteen, just pop your trunk and I will do the rest.
The elves are real, the reindeer fly, I’ve got the big red vest.
We’ll fly across to Christmas with all these heavy toys,
And you can help me drop them off to all good girls and boys.”

I popped the trunk and felt a jolt, and fast as I could think,
A reindeer pulled up next to me and gave a little wink!
Then what next to my wondering eyes should suddenly appear
But a fully decked out sleigh in my rear-view window mirror!

Then the windshield went all white with a shimmer and a glow,
with a curtain-like aurora from the ocean down below
to the stars up overhead - and it was coming up real fast.
I guessed that all my flying luck had run out on me at last.

“Calm your tits now, 8:15, and don’t sound so damn tragic,
you’re not gonna die because of some old Christmas magic!
Now you lean on and honk your horn, and I’ll give mine a jingle,
and we’ll let the world below us know you’re flying with Kris Kringle!”

I tried to stay calm’s I could, since he sounded very certain,
And quick as Dasher’s little wink, we’d flown right through that curtain!
We were off to every house, and spreading gifts around
and I forgot a little while how I’d wished to come on down!

The night was shaping up a blur, we rose and dipped and soared
The reindeer pulled their heavy weight as my Chevy’s engine roared!
From Fiji to New Zealand to New Guinea to Bel Air
Old Santa kept us flying:  Destination, everywhere!

Every house in both Koreas, every address in Japan,
each apartment down in old Shanghai and every home in all Hunan.
From Russia to Australia, all of Asia, every 'stan,
and every town in Africa, from Cape Town to Sudan.

We hit 'em all, we hit 'em fast, we made a blur across the sky!
We left those gifts across the world for every girl and guy,
From Europe up to Iceland, Venezuela and Peru,
From Mexico to Canada, and Puerto Rico too.

That evening took a live-long day, but it seemed like just an hour,
Those reindeer really have some awesome staying power!
Next thing I knew, my wheels were down and my speed was nearly nil -
Santa Claus had stopped his sleigh just down from Dead Man's Hill!

"Merry Christmas, 8:15!  I think we'll do the rest.
There ain't that many houses left, since we're out this far west.
About that car of yours, from now on, please keep it on the soil;
check the brakes and change the tires, and don't forget to check your oil."

I stepped out of the car as my seat belt snap unlocked
and stood, a bit unsteady, as my view was partly blocked
by a team of seven reindeer and a massive bright red sleigh.
"Thank you, Santa!  Merry Christmas!" was all that I could say.

I sold that car on Christmas Day!  Since then, I walk or stroll.
And I sent cards to all my friends in air traffic control.
When I tell this story to my crew, they say that it's all talk -
But I'm here to tell you, brother, that's the reason that I walk!

A Walk in the Morning

The sunrise is muted, subdued, as if the day is embarrassed about dawning.
A patch of purple-blue there, a patch up of almost-pink here.

Through a sky studded with bruises, the sun makes its slow way to the horizon.

The frogs and crickets have no shame, but the birds are oddly silent, as though they know some unholy secret about the morning.  With their silence, they become complicit in its guilt.

As I pause, I realize that my steps have been careful, deliberate, making as little noise as I can.  I, too, am guilty.  I would rather not discuss it, this black and blue sky, this oh-god-it's-you-again dawn.  I'd rather turn away, talk about something else.

The crickets are without blame; the frogs have no cause to hide from the sun's justice.
The birds hold their song, unwilling to pipe up the dawn a moment before they have to.

A dog barks, and I think my god, what have we done?

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open to interpretation



then again,


I mean, perhaps, on Saturday, if it's fine.
But it probably won't be.

Soon, though. Very soon.  Promise.

And no phones this time.  For once.  For me?  Thank you.

Everything tastes like metal. Joy, pain, despair, delight - all acrid, chewing tinfoil with iron teeth, a mercurial tongue clucking its disappointment in my choices.

So, yeah, sure, why not?  Yes.


But probably no.

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Rain on Seahorses

the rain
from the sky it falls
the beautiful notice it
most of all

the beautiful
up from the earth they spring
they bring us the sun in the bluest sky

the Moon's bright blood flows through the sea

the beautiful people
in the blood of the moon
with the horses
under the water

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fry cook in hell

one fry joint looks pretty much another
they all really sorta look the same
everybody knows you need to work there
but no one seems to need to know your name

the greasy spoon, the diner, and the truck stop
they all attract the self same clientele
they greasy kid, the trucker, and beat cop
the teen-aged temptress with her sales to sell

she walked in and i said, you are an angel
she laughed a throaty laugh and said, do tell
and I'd always kinda known that i had fallen
but I never really guessed how far i fell
that is when i knew i'd found my callin'
that's how i know i'm dropping fries in Hell

old Scratch has got a fryer full of oil
just waiting to find out which way you roll
and he's got that sucker up so hot it's smoking
so he can bite into my battered, breaded soul

i'm cooking here while devils want their munchies
i'm safe as long as the job and tips don't fail
i smile at the girl, hair back in scrunchies
and pretend that i can't see her teeth and tail

she tells me that she started as a fry cook
that she worked her way above the ranks from there
that i could do the same just like a boss
but looking in her eyes, i didn't care
i fell into her gaze and i was lost
such beauty that my soul could never bear
my battered soul reached out for hers, and fell,

deep-fried and golden brown

bobbing in the oil vats

of Hell.


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The Ghost of Old Oxford Road

Old Oxford Rd, Durham, NC

Old Oxford Rd, Durham, NC

The old ghost of Old Oxford Rd,
he "fell off his horse," so I'm told...
But his wounds look quite vicious,
which makes me suspicious
that they just might have been caused by gold.

Jack Hewett, in life, was his name,
and women his typical game.
He'd bet on a horse
And on dice thrown, of course,
But he usually bet on a dame.

Jack came to Durham one year
hunting for rabbits and deer.
On George Clement's farm,
he stayed safe from harm,
and usually stayed for a beer.

He'd come over from Hillsborough way
looking for game, for to pay
for his room and his board.
But, in hunting he scored
more with his staff than his sword.

He rode over to Chapel Hill
(which, you know, is remaining there still),
where he charmed a young thing
into having a fling -
even though she had ne'er inked a quill.

A young nun known as Sister Rowanne,
she saw only a big handsome man!
She'd been wedded to God
before puberty's nod
had changed her, as puberty can.

In the Chapel for which town was named,
that poor nun wound up quite ashamed -
for to do what she done,
while being a nun,
was a sin that was not even named!

Her order did not take it kind,
but old Jack, he paid never mind.
He'd won and he'd wooed her
and rightly he'd screwed her
and he put her straight out of his mind.

She tried to forget the damn stud,
but the moon waxed and waned without blood.
She swore and she spat
when she knew she'd begat
and she cursed that his name should be mud!

Her order said they would disown
when they saw how her belly had grown
With no star in the East,
They declared her a beast
and she reaped what the man Jack had sown.

Her cousin up at Knap of Reeds
could do what a young mother needs
He delivered the lad
but the story turned sad
for Rowanne's buried out in the weeds.

No grave consecrated for her,
for the church said her soul they'd abjure.
Her last words to her kin
were, "commit one more sin,
and somebody kill me that cur."

Her cousin had made goodly pound
and, as doctor, was easily found.
He made known that Jack Hewett
should be hard pressed to it
should anyone see him around.

A bastard named Will Arendell
Was the fellow who first "saw Jack fell!"
But an erstwhile nun
with oven... and bun...
seems to have paid him quite well.

Rowanne's cousin had furnished the purse
but, dying, she uttered the curse:
"Let his personal Hell
be the spot where he fell,
regardless of body or hearse."

Arendell, he knew Hewett from dice,
and had heard that his head had a price.
Out near Clement's farm
with intention to harm,
he startled Jack's horse with some mice!

The horse reared and the rider, he fell,
and the cobblestones did their work well.
On the road to Oxford
William drew knife and sword
and made sure that Jack went straight to hell.

So Jack Hewett haunts Oxford Road
and he will, while his debt is yet owed.
While the sunlight can shine
on his only son's line,
those cobbles remain his abode!

Jack's spirit is seen when the sun
lights this path through this deep forest run.
But when the ghost sees a habit,
he will run like a rabbit,
rather than gaze on a nun!

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