Ten Thousand Bees

They came in August, like an army from the north

a large droopy bundle

on a limb they held

an old man’s beard they

became full of stingers and

wings that beat

I ran out of breath to see them

like that, they pulsed, they moved

as one they did think

their center was lovely

so strong and yet weak

they gave us their nectar

we gave them our fear

The keeper came and told them to

wait, he was housing them soon:

but they did not hear

but they wanted to go

but they did not know

he was their friend

Ten thousand bees came to live

with us now, their ghost was gone

so they wouldn’t tame

so we are their camp

so they let us dine

honey and comb divine

page 19 from Western Soul by John K Bucher

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From the Earth

In the Oklahoma Dust Bowl

My grandfather toiled

His back toward the sun

Diamondbacks coiled

Hard labor he knew

Even from his birth

Not destined for a bank

Or any kind of mirth

Loved to hunt and tell

Stories as he went

He looked you in the eye

Said what he meant

But the blessed earth is what

Drove him on and on

Cotton, corn and wheat

In the early dawn

The earth, plowed so

Fresh and brown

Seeds and water, till

The sun went down

Then came the harvest

The gathering, the sale

Another year of blessing

Another prayer prevails

His life from the earth

The only one he knew

He never owned a new car

Material things were few

He had to work when

He was old, still very proud

The earth he loved so much

Still spinning in the clouds

page 116-117 Cowboys and Witches by John K Bucher

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Yellow Roof

On thick clay tiles lay a man

A yellow sea in a far away land

Watching the sea he looks at the sky

A flock of birds descend and then goes high

He relaxes his thoughts reaching for a beer

The ships look tired as they draw near

He sips and shoos the buzzing of a fly

He wants a job but knows it’s a lie

The air is moist with beer and salt

A Hemingway afternoon down to a fault

On the beach two girls bathe in the surf

A man is selling fish knowing their worth

The trouble began in a much younger life

He used to have children, a home and a wife

Now only a saloon, a bed and the roof

He used to exist but now there’s no proof

But inside him there stirs a new sound

Maybe tomorrow from this roof I’ll come down

But until then I’ll drink and I’ll sleep

Yesterday’s gone and not even the angels will weep

Page 166 Cowboys and Witches by John K Bucher

The Everwinter Files

Page 70-71

Cleo Wolfe was raised on a diet of armadillos, squirrels, possums, doves, stolen eggs, RC Cola, regular beatings from his bootlegger father, and Pentecostal beliefs from his mother. Educated along the Red River in a wet Oklahoma county inside a rough schoolhouse, he completed the sixth grade, far above his siblings and parents. The Wolfe house was barely a house. Four rooms in a shotgun layout crafted from cheap lumber and unpainted so it looked a dismal gray/brown color with a sagging porch and roof. The seven dwellers got used to loud arguments and rotten smells from their unwashed father and spoiled food he brought home in a gunny sack occasionally.

Cleo was small for his age and bullied by older boys as long as he could recall. When he turned twelve his mother sent him to Charlie’s Bar to fetch his old man. His father was drinking heavily and got angry when Cleo showed up to bring him home. The old man slapped him so hard Cleo’s mouth bled, and a customer took him to the dingy toilet to wash him clean. After wiping the blood from his face, the man proceeded to lock the door with a hook and take Cleo’s pants down. Cleo fought hard and the man had been drinking all afternoon. The man tripped as Cleo rained down blows hard into his groin and fell against the filthy commode. Cleo Wolfe unhooked the door and ran out the back door. He headed for the Farm to Market Road and began to hitchhike.

A car finally pulled over and stopped after about three hours into a long dark walk for Cleo Wolfe.

“Need a ride, son?” By this time Cleo was tired, afraid, hungry and disoriented from his hasty decision to run away from home.

“Yeah, I guess.” Cleo reached for the door handle and let himself in. The car started up and took off down the Oklahoma back road into a dark night. The man was wearing a suit that looked like he slept in it but had a cheerful attitude.”Where you headed son?” The man smiled at him.

“I…I just want to head out of here, out is this country.”

The man driving the car didn’t say anything for a least five minutes. When he spoke again his tone was lower and serious.

“Running away from your folks?” Cleo felt he had no choice but to be honest.

“Yeah.”

For the next twenty minutes Cleo recounted his poor and abusive young life. A cafe came into light as Cleo finished and the man pulled the car into the gravel lot under a neon sign that blinked green “Lorene’s Good Eats.” he killed the motor and opened the driver’s door.

“Hungry?”

“Yes sir.”

“My name’s Elmer J. Johnson. I’m a preacher.” He stuck out his had and Cleo shook it.

“Cleo Wolfe, nice to meet you.”

Cowboys and Witches

Inside the Stanley Hotel

Here is an excerpt from the novella Foster’s Fall, found on page 47.

“My name is Chas, Mr. Tennenbaum told me to expect you.”

“Foster Everwinter.”

“You are our house detective, in charge of security?”

“Yes, at your service.”

“He has told you about the black peacocks?”

“Yes, he has.”

“Dreadful business. The entire staff is just sick over it. We are all very fond of them.”

“Who do you think is responsible?”

“A madman. It couldn’t be an animal.”

“Why not?”

“Don’t you know? They are locked up every night. Someone would have to unlock their barn and take them up into the woods.”

“An animal couldn’t manage it?”

“Not unless he has a key and walks upright.”

“It’s a riddle, I admit, but who would want to do such a thing?”

“Like I said, a madman.”

Cowboys and Witches, along with my other books are found on Amazon.com.

Rainy Days and Coffee

Denver cloudburst

rusty chain

Soaked to the skin

hung over brain

Parked and shivered

old brick alley

Familiar jazz window

’bout a gal named Sally

Pedaled down Eighth

corners flooded

Sedan out of nowhere

comical but sudden

Pushed her hard

both tires went flat

Found the java

there I sat

Safe and dryer

window glazed

Sheets of rain

lightning blazed

Mountains in the distance

blurred by the storm

Flecks of snow

winter born

Piles of books

known and unknown

Stories of desires

under the stones

Thomas Wolfe speaks to me

faded cover

Turn the page

plot discover

Rain declined

remarks toward the night

Pushing up Broadway

faded street light…

This poem is found on page 35-37 in Old Photographs and Wild Dreams by

John K Bucher Sr. The hardcover version is available on Amazon.com

Baker Street Boys

Baker Street Boys

Some days …I awaken to still being

a Baker Street boy

A Texas fog of childhood

memories

Old run-down house …slowly remodeled

basement shared with brother David

Tree house construction – injuries

paper route days

Rock and roll came to town

Dallas concert

Shot guns by the railroad tracks

black bass dinners

Cousins next door…funny fence stories

Thanksgiving

Growing pains…Daniel’s asthma pump

James playing under the Christmas tree

Transformative time in our childhood…personalities

….likes and dislikes…longing again for Amsden

Mrs. Cook’s History class and trips to Colorado

Funerals to remember and riding the bus

Bicycle Saturdays at the Rialto…six Pepsi caps

Mowing grass at Tanglewood…one dollar per hour

Fifty hours a week…chiggers all over…sulfur tablets

Hot summers and cold winters…sleet

Leaning to drive…drivers’ ed…license

Thinking and planning…dreams

Memories of Baker Street …boys

page 95 – 96 Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

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The Notorious MLG

Melrose Larry Green on Hollywood Boulevard

Old Photographs and Wild Dreams – Page 177

THE NOTORIOUS MLG

Year after year he smiles and sells

orange vest and winter shorts

Greenblatt kid from Brooklyn ….Melrose Avenue

sandwich board life

Talent out the ass from piano to singing – comic

politico

Howard Stern’s WACKPACK spitfire mouthpiece …pot stirrer

Bobo & Mary Ann

No stranger to conflict…village town crier…MBA Cornell

Celebrity accountant

In spite of all the bluster, the sandpaper beliefs – heart of pure gold

gifted entertainer

Larry inspires me when I see that smile – that GRIN

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Riding the Katy

The first time was special, remembering the cold

funeral in Dallas, for someone not so old

Fresh from the round house, engines did race

Denison station, big scary place

Mounting wrought iron steps to find the right seat

train car so full strange rendezvous meet

Shiny steel sculpted with curtains and wood

ladies in hosiery swishing a lilac good

Hearts beat as one when the whistle blew loud

feeling the movement riding a steel cloud

Sherman came fast fields of black dirt

gentlemen in their newspapers starchy white shirts

Gathering speed across empty winter grounds

foxes dance in the sunlight scatter at the sound

So elegant a world on heavy round wheels

windows in the dinning car table cloth meals

McKinney came next and then Dallas station

husbands and wives foreign relations

Riding the Katy a distant recall

dead rusty cars behind a rotting wall

A sweet dream of Texas gone for the time

only in dreams can you ride the Katy line

Page nine – Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

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