Warned ya: F-word used cuz I do.
A Blaze of Glory
I should be dead.
Hush! Be quiet.
Listen to me.
I shudda been dead years ago.
Every rock wall or cliff I ever saw
was for climbin’ up or down
got kinda hairy sometimes, ripped pants,
scrapes, scratches, and snakes
got bee stung once.
Every train was our ride, tracks for playing
and high trestles for wide river crossings.
A train’s comin’?
I knew two guys who
jumpin’ off a them bridges.
Every roof was to be jumped from
after a building’s been climbed, got
wrenched, twisted, and sprained —
Me and Jimmy swam
in that filthy, dirty, Susquehanna
in our bathing suits, which means naked.
We climbed up shit.
Like towers, bridges, trees, buildings.
Shinnied up rusty poles. If we fell,
we’d die. Motivation!
If a train came, we’d die.
Fucking people jumped
into the river
to kill their selves.
My uncle did – Dad’s brother,
Was his name? James maybe,
Something. Yes it was James. Same as Dad’s dad.
His sons said he was trying to save a dog.
Uncle Jimmy weren’t savin’ no fucking dog,
But glorious if he had.
We poached – fish. Got shot at!
Fuckers missed us – on purpose likely.
When you get shot at,
you hear the bullets buzz past.
We left — pronto.
Fish were prolly scared anyway.
It was fun to be
scared. And nothing
scared us more than
But Jimmy and me – we
would live forever.
Then Jimmy died
after heart surgery.
Took him off a machine that
for him – how fucking
I’ll die too.
Too fucking late for
Or is it?
Tom died too. Jumped
off a tower. ‘chute didn’t open.
BASErs say gear malfunction.
Midnight. New Year’s Eve.
BASE jump. Glorious.
Jack died of fucking cancer.
He knew. He called me cuz
he knew. I knew too. When his
wife called to tell me. I
fucking couldn’t talk – I
went totally fucking Dumb.
Give me the Light Brigade.
Fuck pas. Gimme a rifle,
a cause, a revolution, a reason.
Teach me how to
die. All the lessons of
life – not one teaches
me how to die.
Love hard, live fast,
die old. But die for a reason.
If yer gunna die, have a cause.
¡viva la revolución!
Aces’n eights ain’t my hand.
I’m not motherfucking dead yet.
More to tell, more to do.
I toast my comrades: to their glory. Salute!
(Bill Reynolds, © 14 May 2018)
In life, there is a reason for each season. Look both ways and mind the gaps.
NOTES: While I think a poem should stand on its own without gloss, my editorial reconsiderations include these.
If you like, read the Charge of The Light Brigade (esp. last stanza) by clicking here.
Pas is physician assisted suicide.
Fernando is the song by ABBA, click here to listen.