Posted in Diary of a Man, Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 8 Chapter 5: Diary of a Man

(Author’s Note: Early on in my blogging, to honor the old pulp magazine serials, I began a weekly serial series of various of my stories. I have decided to repost those stories. Each Friday will feature a new chapter until a story ends. Then I will begin a new story. Enjoy!)

Chapter 1 – All Is Still

Chapter 2 – I Crawl

Chapter 3: I Weep

Chapter 4 – I Hear

Chapter 5 – We Sleep

June 7

Forgive me for these short entrees. I just don’t have the strength to write much anymore.We made it to the Tree today. We were right, it is alive. How, I don’t understand. Eveline has fallen into an exhausted sleep and so soon shall I.

June 8

Eveline died today.

I felt Life cease coursing through her hand, and I real­ize that soon I too must . . .

Written Sept. 12, 1985

Part of the Cold War Kid collection

Posted in Diary of a Man, Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 8 Chapter 4: Diary of a Man

(Author’s Note: Early on in my blogging, to honor the old pulp magazine serials, I began a weekly serial series of various of my stories. I have decided to repost those stories. Each Friday will feature a new chapter until a story ends. Then I will begin a new story. Enjoy!)

Chapter 1 – All Is Still

Chapter 2 – I Crawl

Chapter 3: I Weep

Chapter 4 – I Hear

June 2

I awoke to a scratching sound. A sound? A sound! A sound means life, doesn’t it? It took me awhile to figure out that the scratching came from behind me. I spoke and remembered how weird my own voice sounded in that gray dawn, “H-H-Hello.” Like an echo, it came back. The same huskiness from dis­use, the same uncertainty, the same disbelief. Another person? Someone to share my hurt, to lean on? Another to talk to?

The scratching became louder as the other began to dig more frantically. I too wished to help and began to eagerly cast boulders here and there. No boulder, however big, was a match for the awesome strength that coursed through my veins. Soon a tousled and dirtied head of hair appeared and then a face and then shoulders, arms, legs, a body! Suddenly, two strangers were embraced in each other’s arms. So began the happiest days of my life.

Eveline and I shared so much this afternoon. How she had struggled beneath tons of concrete to find a way outside, always clutching the book so special to her. She read from it today, sharing her favorite parts with me, and I too am finding that it is becoming special to me.

“Lo, I am with you always.”

“Come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

“Aren’t you worth much more than sparrows?”

In deep contentment, we fell asleep in each other’s arms.

June 5

Eveline and I have spent these last couple of days just simply sharing with each other and to my shame, I realize that I have been neglecting this diary. Eveline feels it is impor­tant too. Maybe another future generation will read it and not make the same mistake our generation did.

June 6

Eveline and I have decided, realizing that our strength is almost gone, to crawl toward a distant pine tree outside of Town. It symbolizes the new life we shall share together soon. From what we can tell from here, it is still living. We start­ed today and slept on the outskirts of Town.

(Originally posted here March 2012. Written in 1985 at age 18).

Posted in Diary of a Man, Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 8 Chapter 3: Diary of a Man

(Author’s Note: Early on in my blogging, to honor the old pulp magazine serials, I began a weekly serial series of various of my stories. I have decided to repost those stories. Each Friday will feature a new chapter until a story ends. Then I will begin a new story. Enjoy!)

Chapter 1 – All Is Still

Chapter 2 – I Crawl

Chapter 3: I Weep

May 31

I have done nothing for the past few days but lie here and weep. The tears I have shed on this hill shall be my last, there are no more to cry. I only feel a nauseating feeling deep down inside. How long must I suffer? I am begin­ning to realize that those who died were the lucky ones.

June 1

A new month. Who cares. No one is keeping track.

It has come to me that I must explore the city before I die. Perhaps I will find a reason, an explanation, to justify this man-made ignorance other than the childish ones I heard all my life.

I spent the entire day crawling through the ruins of this lifeless city. Don’t know if there was anything important to see. Had my eyes closed.

Bedded down amongst the rocks and remains of a skyscraper that now barely scrapes the ground. ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” I wonder who said those things.

(Originally posted here March 2012. Written in 1985 at age 18).

Posted in Diary of a Man, Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 8 Chapter 2: Diary of a Man

(Author’s Note: Early on in my blogging, to honor the old pulp magazine serials, I began a weekly serial series of various of my stories. I have decided to repost those stories. Each Friday will feature a new chapter until a story ends. Then I will begin a new story. Enjoy!)

Chapter 1 – All Is Still

Chapter 2 – I Crawl

May 26

Began crawling as soon as I awoke this morning. It’s the easiest way to forget about how still everything is. I crawled a few more precious hundred yards. At least I’m making some progress.

I hope the berries I’m eating and the streams I’ve been drinking from aren’t contaminated. It really doesn’t matter anyway. I’m probably contaminated.

I stopped crawling earlier today, knowing that my strength is giving out. Good night, or is it? Day is night to me and my days definitely aren’t good, so why should complete darkness be so much better? Perhaps because I can’t see the complete and total destruction about me. Well, it’s getting too dark to see to write so this definitely is, “Good night.”

May 27

All I did today was crawl, crawl, crawl. Don’t know how long I can take this constant pain. How much time do I have? W ill I ever know what really happened? Who am I gonna tell any­way?

May 28

Didn’t think I was even going to be able to move today, but I managed. It paid off.

I reached the bluff overlooking Town around midday as far as I can tell and just stared in horror. The city that had been considered the most beautiful in this part of the country lay in desolation. Nothing remained of Westminster Heights and the sprawling estates that had lain along its luscious, tree-lined avenues. Emerald Fountain, which had glittered like a beautiful jewel in the green velvet of abundant foliage that had surrounded it, now lay in ruins; a stony mass from which a meager trickle of greasy water ran. The mammoth office buildings that had risen so gracefully into the blue sky were no more than twisted hunks of concrete and metal.

The . .

Oh, I can’t go on. Such desolation and destruction only melts my soul within me and makes me sink into the pit of my waning existence. I know that all mortal things must return to the ashes and dust from which they arose, but why? Why so pre­maturely? “The answer’s blowin’ in the wind.”

(Originally posted here March 2012. Written in 1985 at age 18).

Posted in Diary of a Man, Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 8 Chapter 1: Diary of a Man

(Author’s Note: Early on in my blogging, to honor the old pulp magazine serials, I began a weekly serial series of various of my stories. I have decided to repost those stories. Each Friday will feature a new chapter until a story ends. Then I will begin a new story. Enjoy!)

Chapter 1 – All Is Still

Below, in a dark expanse of treeless land void of all life, stands a lone pine. Its needles are dying and begin to cover the two forms below it with a soft, brown carpet. The humans lie with their backs against the pine’s trunk, their hands clasped firmly even in death. In her other hand, the woman holds a small black book with worn edges close to her breast. The man grasps a sheaf of fast-yellowing papers. A broken pen lies on the ground beside him. Those papers hold a story that will soon be forgotten, but you must hear it anyway.
May 24

I awoke to a stillness I have never felt before, or shall again. I couldn’t hear the birds’ sweet singing or even the wind rustling through the trees. Where were the robin’s glad song and the pine’s whisperings?

My curiosity aroused, I struggled, with much pain and a­gony, to raise myself to my knees. This feat accomplished, I brushed the dirt and ash from my eyes and looked around. The sight that met my eyes made me begin to weep.

Of the pine? All trees I could see were but charred black stumps in a blackened ground. No longer would the breeze whisper through beautiful green foliage or waft a tree’s fresh scent throughout the land. The only scent that came through the air on the wings of the wind was the nauseating smell of . . .

Of the robin? The only bird I saw was a corpse lying in front of me, its beak still opened in song. His brightly­ colored feathers would no longer glisten in the sunlight. They were forever blackened by fire and ash.

Exhausted from the effort of getting up and with hope­lessness in my breast, I fell into a fitful slumber, weeping.
May 25

I awoke again to that same awful stillness. I probably will for the rest of my life. I suppose this is May 25, though I can barely see the sun through the dirty, hazy blanket Earth’s atmosphere has become. Anyway, I will enter this ac­count under that given date. It doesn’t matter what day it is anyway, I doubt anyone’s keeping track anymore. From what little sun I can see and the slope of the land where I lie, it seems tome that town is to-the north of me. I find that I haven’t the strength to get up so am beginning to crawl slowly and painfully northward. After crawling a few hun­dred yards through still-smoldering sand and ash, I collapse in an exhausted heap. There will be no more progress today. Still thinking about “progress” and where it had gotten humans, I fall into a fitful slumber. Darkness.

(Originally posted here March 2012. Written in 1985 at age 18).

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Pitfall

“We will dig a pit,” the men shouted.
“And it will be beautiful.”
“We will fill it with our treasures.”

The bent their backs in labor.
The toil was great.
Dripping sweat,
they strained against the dirt.

In a while, the pit was dug.
The men reveled in its beauty,
for the sides were smooth and
it was very deep.

“Let us get our gold,” they gasped,
and turned from the hole.
But they turned too hastily,
slipped,
and were swallowed by their work.

What good was their gold now?

1985

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

US Soviet Summit – A Word from the Past for the Present (NEWS)

image

While going through old files, I came across a newspaper article I clipped from the Meridian Star dated October 13, 1985. Thirty years ago, almost to the day, the events have a lot to say to us in light of current political realities. The transcript of the article follows:

Americans back from mountain-top summit with Soviets

WASHINGTON (AP) – William Garner and Randy Starrett, back from their own summit with the Soviets, may have a useful lesson for Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, one they learned on the windswept peak of a 24,406 foot mountain in Soviet Central Asia last summer.

It is the same message the two young Washington area residents left atop Pik Pobedy – or “victory peak” – the Soviet Union’s second highest mountain which they conquered August 22nd along with an American movie cameraman, David Breashears, and a dozen of the Soviet Union’s most skillful alpine climbers.

On a piece of paper, sealed in plastic and left inside a World War II Soviet artillery shell casing hauled to the summit, the two Americans wrote in English and Russian:

“We, the American team on the first joint Soviet-American expedition up Pik Pobedy, have climbed this mountain to illustrate for the people of our two countries how much greater value there is an our learning to take risks together, then in our continuing to put the world at risk through mutual confrontation.”

Perhaps mindful of the scheduled November 19-20 summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland, the Soviet climbing leader put it another way during a celebratory exchange of vodka and champagne toast on their return from the peak.

As Starrett recalls, one of his Soviet comrades said that “if the world’s leaders were alpinists and could come together in the mountains, the world’s problems would vanish.”

The harrowing, nine-day climb made Soviet heroes of Garner, 36, an independent consultant and Soviet affairs analyst here, and Starrett, 43, a trial lawyer from suburban Fairfax County, Virginia.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Meadow Green

I gazed back upon my life
and like a bright green meadow,
it stretched behind me,
scarred and blackened in places
where failures had ascended,
fire-scorched points dotting
the plain where the fiery darts
of the Evil One had found
their targets.

I was sad as I viewed these failures.
There were so many.

Then the thought came to me.

When fire comes to a meadow,
death and ashes reign for only
a little while.

Green grass begins to grow and
cover the scars.
Soon they are no more,
swallowed up in new growth and
victory.

June 19, 1985

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Forces of Creation

On this cold black night
across the gray mass of pasture
I walk.
The dark trees about me
whistle and shake in the wind.
Heavy clouds roll overhead and the
storm hangs in that intricate
balance before it unleashes its
fury.

I am afraid.
I have no flashlight and so I
stumble.
Shapes move in the twilight where
there are none.

Then I remember.
Do I fear the Creator?
Why fear the Creation?

June 18, 1985