DARK SHORT POEMS
Here are some poems I wrote some years ago, and more recently. They are a much shorter read than my short stories! Tom.
I'm just a shell casing
by a .44 magnum
Alive, dead, confused
Empty casing full of
too hot to hold
Never knew love,
--by T. Jackson King, 2008
Dead cars litter parts of the Mojave,
their silvery mirrors turning with you
even as you look away.
Hot, dry and suffocating
close by those steel bones.
Sometimes it seems like they could awaken
and make it to Needles
for a beer and a pizza,
a dip in the Colorado.
Carcasses stay dead
in the Mojave.
Been sittin' in my '57 DeSoto
nigh onto thirty years now.
--by T. Jackson King, Epitaph: Tales of Dark Fantasy & Horror, No. 2, 1997
IN TRIBUTE TO NAPALM
From the sky once so friendly
your flames descend so randomly.
Bright with ember smile eternal
you belie thy source infernal.
No favorites do you play--
young and old, mother and child--all pay
The terrible price of almond eyes
and life lived without lies.
How tight the furrowed flesh
where once the liquid fire did eat
Its frenzied route through frame so fresh
with promise born of love's white heat.
Now all that's left of life divine
are scars and bones hardly so fine.
But then, 'tis no great loss nor blight
to one who died learning freedom is white.
--by T. Jackson King, in Shinjuku Sutra, 1978
THE PRINEVILLE NINE
Fire runs too fast
for simple bodies to escape
its thirst for flesh cooked black and crinkly.
But men and women who fight fire
soon tire, and lie down to rest at last,
their lungs steamed like clams,
their eyes hard-boiled,
their lips to kiss no more.
They put up a fight, those Prineville Nine,
full of fright but still they fought and ran,
fought and ran
uphill to the ridgeline
bare and black and oh so lonely.
Hot Shots they were called.
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, lovers
and others dear, called them flesh so near.
Words won't bring them back to life
nor offer up much of an epitah
worthy, for flesh cooked raw and black
by fire so red all fled
its angry embrace. All but
the Prineville Nine.
Some buddies survived that Colorado fire.
So still they live in memory golden,
the Prineville Nine.
Let not their sacrifice be undone
in picnic careless, in camping unmindful,
or by arrogance prideful.
Black baked corpses
are never a joke.
Except when people far away from fire
forget the Prineville Nine.
--by T. Jackson King, 1992
Copyright retained by T. Jackson King 2009