. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Kansas Massacre

This is a poem about a fictional time in the history of Kansas, where within a period of a couple of years, an extremely violent and blood-thirsty gang of outlaws (if they can even be called by that civilized of a definition) would set fire to the forests surrounding the city; and just as the smoke settled on the streets and cut off the outside world, this band of killers would come a'hunting for blood and loot. What brought an end to this era is perhaps fit for another poem some other day...

Wichita’s wild-eyed citizens awoke to the smell of smoke,
her dusty streets day long,
her sleeping salons,
the marquee of ‘Milfred Mann’s Gambling Cantina and Whores’ awash
     in the dim sea foam draw of blood,
covered in campfire light colors of a fading sunset,
distant flames reflections in the town windows,
in the eyes of fearful children,
her dark forests burning in the night.

Morning found Wichita lost,
waking citizens like ghosts ambling through the sunless dawn,
a grey world vanishing on choking air,
glowing embers and ash like a twisted winter storm,
black snowflakes falling,
her streets and shops dusted with a painter’s brush of feathery soot,
no prairie bird sang sad notes,
no horse lifted hoof to work,
so it was that the town stood still,
women lost sight through cloudy kitchen windows as life disappeared,
o’ world of men,
o’ uncertain future and dull light,
all feared the coming night,
that which walks under the shadow of such rolling smoke.

Twas when the moon replaced the sun,
at a broken time no man knew,
the lions came hunting,
a group of silhouettes like transparent wraiths in the haze,
dark visions in a darker night,
they prowled the vacant thoroughfare,
German Deschtoll pistols of heavy iron and wood slung low on their hips,
worn road clothes,
eyes bent to killing and a foam on their lips,
in no hurry,
apt to drift away with the smoke if the wind turned.

No father let his son to the window,
no wife let her husband to the door,
every citizen of Wichita heard the gunfire,
a distant discharge,
foul evil thunder crack like a demon on the wing,
its alarming sound echoed down the alleys,
reverberated in the chests of the hiding populace,
wreaked havoc in their heads,
no one was spared the sound.

Sheriff Elwood Street was dead,
his heart cut from his chest,
and his eyes taken,
dead at his post,
so was Mayor Cardinald Pope,
his wife Mary Esther split in two,
Dean Prichard and his family,
the banker Barty Goldenstein,
the vault broken,
the general store marauded,
Wichita left crippled,
bleeding out,
to wonder why,
to wait in shambles for the next fire,
to forge on in the face of unexplained evil,
picking up the pieces in the lifting smoke.


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