Three Poems

by Dancing Bear

"Stumbling into Scotty's" -- "Life Spent Traveling" -- "Another for the Young Woman at the Front Desk

Dancing Bear notes: I am a Native American who has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. I practice Shotokan Karate and compete in local tournaments. I also am an active participant in local poetry groups and events, and am the Senior Editor of Toth Press.

Stumbling Into Scotty's Looking to Shoot Arrows

on the juke box, Ministry
(not the whimpy disco stuff)
bluesilver smoke clouds
five lanes -three open
Old Peculiar in stock
and me in arrow heaven
I assemble my set
with marksman's care and respect
players -- good players -- are watching me
to see how I treat my darts

I throw threes, ones and fives
so the gallery knows I know
what I am doing -
wannabes and marks will think I'm easy
(and it will cost them)

Challengers come (they always do)
"diddle for the middle"
I lose it so he calls Cricket
throwing his two fast twenties
and a five
at the line bending my knees a bit
staring at the board
still hearing the gritty grumbly
the three packs five pints a day
voice of the shark/master who taught me
As with every master I learned from
I honor their attempt to tutor me
tonight, the master would be proud
In this moment, I am everything
pin-point on the board, dart, spinning flight,
American Spirit cig tucked behind my ear,
my steady guide-finger, molecules of smoke,
of oxygen, smirking smug know-it-all challenger,
juke box blaring out psalms 69 -- "praise Jesus",
Billy Barkeep's silvering hair,
a pint of Guiness still settling

the perfect flight released from my finger
single twenty, dead center,
a sloppy one for drama
-- don't want to look too good,
triple twenty for clean up
my opponent concentrates on the sloppy one
making my triple look lucky
I play a couple steps ahead of him
play him close, play him tight
shut him out of each number
even bulls are just much of the same
Then he wants to partner up
go after the others, being how
he and I are so evenly close and all
-- smart lad
We win our way through 501
301 and more Cricket
Tonight I drink for free
tonight we are closers
all 2am lost
in Friday morning fog
not a real winner amongst us

Life Spent Traveling

Elementary traveler
touched by wind

Eternal, eternal tourist
through the old stones of cities

milestones of old greed
and exploitation

A wanderer of lands
oceans rivers and the old roads

adept in the vagabond ways
wrinkled smile

ever present sparkle of wise eyes
With walking stick and bag

the writer is motion, the writer is motion
fluidity and flow

following road signs and indicators
only his ilk may read

Star-light sleeper
in fair summer breezes

a bundled huddled dreamer in doorways
when winter winds howl

Autumn and Spring, the seasons,
the seasons of discretion

A keeper of folk tales and lore
the listener of local stories

teller of tales
time weary and worn

an old frame silhouette against setting sun
looks for a smooth patch to bed

Rest finally arrives
under exquisite stars

bones already forgotten
settling to soil -- bed of flowers

Previous Page

To TOCE-Mail the AuthorSerendipity Link