Samurai Millionaire

in Samurai garb
sword at his side
playing Millionaire
with Regis
the world watches
he answers
in Japanese
Regis’ face
implies it’s wrong
Samurai Millionaire contestant
ejects from his seat
pulls out his sword
points the blade towards
his abdomen
Regis says his answer
is correct
he sits back down
and resumes playing
his dangerous game

Mizippihippi 2005 White Bluff, TN

nature, Poetry, storytelling, Trees



I was sitting in Shady Haven
beneath and between
two gigantic trees of
which I’m certain
had for generations
offered shade
to other woolgatherers
like myself.

I was contemplating
whether I should
attempt to start a painting.
it had been awhile since I’d
tried my hand
at creating what I call art
(though there may be some who
refer to my effort
as “shit”.
but ask me if I give a damn).

I was having trouble focusing through
the nagging presence
of overwhelming Sadness.
so I succumbed to that
intruder and
allowed that he
keep me company for awhile.
you know…
just to humor him.

he began to overstay
his welcome
and I began to cry. so I felt compelled
to move from my chair
to lie supine
in the striped hammock held securely
by the giant branch
of the tree I’d named

I peered through her enormous branches
at the clear blue
of a perfect sky.
I wiped away those ridiculous
I closed my ungrateful
and pondered some more
whether to paint
and what to paint should I
decide to do so.

my mind was yet again
hijacked. I was dragged away from
focusing on art and my
noodling around of
style and subject
by the pesky intruder
who meant to spoil my day…

once more I indulged his
uninvited call
on my ADHD brain.
I didn’t cry this time. instead I allowed him
to feed my frustration.
I began to feel hopelessness
and doubt. then a cool breeze
made its way
through Luna’s massive branches
and found my face.
my furrowed brow relaxed
as the wind ran its fingers
through my hair.
I sent Sadness packing.
I’d attend to him

as I returned to my pondering
of what to paint
my eyes fixed on
the big beautiful tree that easily
my 150 pounds.
I began to study
the aged tree
which had invited me to rest
had summoned the soothing breeze
and had offered a shade from the
unrelenting sun.

I felt her whisper, “All better now? Go and
play with your paints.”

then my grateful soul smiled
on Luna
for her gift of solace.
gently she had revealed
once more to
one who often forgets
that Sadness
can be conquered by
the beauty of a tree
an easy summer breeze
and the inner strength of
a woman.
I thanked her for the reminder.
I painted an old man.

Mizippihippi 9/2/2016

Poetry, storytelling



She doesn’t own a car
so I agree to pick her up
at her late mother’s house she shares
with her daughter
and her daughter’s boyfriend
and her daughter’s children

She tells me to turn at the yellow
house on the corner
across from the apartment complex
Says she’s the fourth house down
on the right
She thinks it’s the fourth
Third or fourth
Just look for the pit tied up
out front

I tell her I’m on my way

I pull up in front of the
tiny house with the tethered
pit bull

She sees me and heads out
to meet her ride

She’s crowned with a toboggan
her hands in her coat pockets
looking as if she just
robbed the 7/11

My canine, Curtis, has the front seat
so she jumps in back and responds to
my “good morning ” with
an almost inaudible

Curtis turns around and sniffs
her direction
He smells bacon
I give her a glance in the rear-view
I smell weed

I try to make conversation but
she doesn’t reciprocate
only giving forced
one-word responses
Avoiding eye contact
The air is thick with tension
and weed

We arrive at my modest abode
and I give her a tour
pointing out what needs cleaning
She removes her jacket
rolls up her sleeves
and gets to work

I tune Pandora to
some Marvin Gaye
and take a seat at my desk
I can hear the dishes clanging in
the kitchen as she goes about
her duties

I’m thinking she’s probably in there
mouthing the words
Wanting to dance
She might be dancing

What if she’s dancing?

An hour later she’s sweeping
around my chair trying
not to disturb me while I work
Still acting a little paranoid

She can’t know what I look like
since her eyes haven’t once
leveled mine
I wish she could know how laid back
I am
That she has no reason to
feel uncomfortable
I thought putting on her choice
of music would have helped
but not so

She forgets where she put the
dust pan and searches and searches
and searches
Retracing her sweeping path

“Are you sure you got it out of
the broom closet?”

“I know I did. I just had it.”

She opens
the broom closet and
her search comes to an end.

“Lawd, I’m half crazy. I reckon I’m
gettin’ senile.”

Then I had to say it
After all
she had just set up my chance
to give a clever response

“Might be smokin’ too much weed,” I said.

At last! Eye contact!
A giggle
A gold-toothed grin

The ice was broken

She told me about her time in
the army and in jail

I gave her my old stash box and one-hitter

On the way back to her house she
had me swing by a quickie mart
so she could buy “Sunday beer”
She ran inside and grabbed a
12-pack and some chicken wings

I pulled into her driveway
and we bade each other good-bye
She tossed a wing to the bony pit

It was the fourth house.

Written while woolgathering at Shady Haven 😉