The Bow-Man

July 14th, 2014 by George Martorano

“well, I shot an arrow in the air…

and where it fell, I know not where

I shot another arrow in the air…

and… where it fell, I know not where

I shot another damn arrow in the air!

and where, that friggin’ one fell, I really don’t care !!”

by: Poor George the Bow-Man

Backstreet

July 14th, 2014 by George Martorano


It was a street lost within a large city. Houses all ordinary brown, the front steps all having the same shape. There were also back yards of the bigger, more expensive homes that faced busier streets. Their garbage brought out those back doors once a week. The bigger homes have more trash, of course. Larger cans, compared to the smaller homes.

The poor up the crooked back street enjoyed their front steps. Sitting upon them through most of the seasons. What went on around the big city didn’t matter much. How could it, there were bills to pay.

Yet, Roseanne always dressed the best she could, sitting on her step. She liked to talk to the Combs family next door.

They had a back yard door. Grandmother Combs preferred the common people of the ‘back’ to sit and talk with. Out in the front along the main street. Where other well-to-do families sat, she didn’t like those conversations. No, the folks in the ‘back’ were more to her liking. Grandmother Combs could always top them on any topic. She liked to be the best. She wasn’t a bad sort, only wanted to be the boss of the small crowd in the back. So, she too spent her seasons back there in her soft high back chair while all the others sat on small steps near by.

Roseanne always waited for Grandmother Combs because of the large Combs’ family. Lots of the family members will always come in the back to join in; especially the one Roseanne waited for, Jarret, Grandmother Combs’ oldest grandson.

Roseanne loved every thing about Jarret. His smile, the way he walked, the way he talked, the way he dressed.

Yes, he had a certain gate to his stature.

Roseanne took notice of a lot of human gates. At least she did in her younger days. Now, seventeen, she put all that out of her mind along with the hope the doctors tried to imply years ago. She has gotten used to the leather and iron strapped to her legs. Gotten used to the constant red marks upon her flesh. The long dresses down to her ankles and right above the stiff, thick shoes attached to her braces. She was born with M.S. and that was it! However; the Lord was kind, Roseanne-Celeste, had a beautiful face. Long brown hair, never cut, so long that it reached the back of her knees. Hair so lovely, millions on earth would wish for it. Eyes large and brown that introduced one thing, a trance. Yes, once she smiled and looked at you, one wanted, needed to hear more of her silky voice. Yes, beautiful Roseanne could do most anything…..But dance, that she’ll never do. Though she dreams moving so lovely across a dance floor with Jarret. Even if she could just stand there, let him hold her, would be heavenly.

When Jarret is around, she is always sitting on her pad, legs together just right, back straight as all ladies should and smile.

In all the years, she’s known him, Jarret, being the same age. She only let him see her move in that odd way once, or twice. Human nature being an unwanted friend on those horrid days. That second time she did look back at Jarret, his face was purposely turned away.

Yes, all Roseanne had was a fine manner, the step and her love for Jarret. A love she never spoke to him about. A love only her and two other begged for, her mind and heart.

Her schooling didn’t come from public school teachers. The neighborhood school had a tutor program, just on Saturdays. So Roseanne’s’ learning life was books, lots and lots of books. In time, she became a good typist also and that was the way she earned her living. Yes, she and her mother had a nice existence. As long as the winters were kind. Having bad winters meant lots of snow. Long gray days, one after another and no Jarret. Only through her window, of God’s timing were kind. Only spring, summer and pleasant falls were true friends. Rain and snow brought frowns upon her pretty face. In the mornings, she even had a few hours of direct sun on her door step; to make a face and arms tan. She dreamed of a beach and a bathing suit, something that will never be.

The newest of dreams actually started in her head two weeks ago. When she learned Jarret was driving. He worked two jobs to buy a used car. He talked to her at length about where he was going to venture one day. Then, as he talked, he suddenly stopped. She wondered later if the wanting-look on her face had made him sorry of a sort. In their years together, he sometimes world just stop on a topic, knowing he was hurting her soul. The boy never knew Roseanne would take the hurt, any feeling relayed from his was fine with her. As long as she could see him again

[to be continued ]

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973
7/12/14

Benjamin

June 29th, 2014 by George Martorano

“Dear Lord, it is I, Benjamin. It has been forever since Thee has heard from me…..I was afraid, afraid of Thy mighty raft. So I fled down to earth and hid among those people…..But now I ask for much forgiveness; for I have come to the end of me Lord. For I have been in prison upon this earth, sorry, I mean Thy earth Lord and kept locked away for 31 years.”

“And Lord, I feel as though a single leaf upon a barren road. Just there, no wind forth coming to push me upon gentle grass or field. A leaf alone and only knowing the hard hard road upon which I stay.So pressed down by rain, beaten by the sun, buried under snow…..Ooh Lord, for you can not know, you can not know. And Lord it is as if I am chained to the prison wall. There, before me a dark, cruel sea. A sea sending wave after wave whipping against me, for I can not move. The steel of their chains tearing my flesh. Yet, I am sentence to stand, stand just facing the roll of coming wave….. after coming wave.”

“And that is why I beg Thee, forgive me Lord. Forgive me for my worst deed so long ago. You my Lord had instructed me with the Blessed Sack….And you said …..”

“Benjamin, keep and care for this Blessed Sack, until I complete the earth and all living things upon it. For the sun and moon now dwell. Yet, I wish to place forever more the mightiest Cross, there, up in my night skies, so all the living world can see. See and know what shall come’th.”

“And and I Lord. Foolish as I was. Only went here and there so amazed of what you were creating below; forgot to pay attention to the Blessed Sack…… Ooh and the woman Eve! Imagine ,the very first woman Eve Lord!….. And and I did not see that hole nor pay attention at all to the bottom of Thy Blessed Stack. Yes, I Benjamin, I alone am the cause of all those stars that now be, be up in the long long night instead of Thy Cross. All the shining glory from the Blessed Stack, by my mistake just sprinkled down across Thy sky….. I am so so sorry Lord. Wont You have mercy on me, please please bring Thy servant back home Lord, that that ‘s all I asked for Lord….. You see earth sweet at it was, so lead me down the wrong path but but I have suffered Lord. Suffering this Hell upon earth for 31 years in a cage…. Lord, I humbly asking with my so head bent in sadness….. And I weep Lord. Ooh how I now weep….. Yes I,I as if before a cruel sea ,chained as wave upon wave beat upon me….. Just me Lord, just simple me….. Thy Benjamin.”

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“Why world….. Please now let me go in another direction….. World, foolish foolish world…..Don’t you know that there is a little of Benjamin in all of us…… And when the unjust decisions of those in power, destroy one’s very soul….. In doing so….. One destroys his very own soul.”

By: George Martorano
Copyright:12973
6/27/14

Bellafair

June 29th, 2014 by George Martorano

The fog hung waist high. The earth was silent where he went. The color of night, this night was the shade of, desperate. In that, the only sound came with the passing of places. And the very pounding of each foot as he ran. Oh, not the running of any normal man. No, the absolute running of and for life….. or death…..

The colors of coarse fabric upon his flesh were black and white. The white stripes of his prison garb, dirty just plain dirty from the killing and the guard’s blood. From the killing of the mean hound and the dog’s blood. From the falling upon , crawling upon swamp mud. From the running, sweat, lots of it….. And the escaped convict runs and runs. Looking, eyes darting here and there. Lungs expanding till they hurt…..The night has no end for him. The fear and run has no end for him. To kill again can and will have no end for him. No, only to be free. Free from the brutal chain-gang in the year of our Lord, 1923. The evil land that the hard prison dwelled on and where he runs upon now, is, the Louisiana Bayou. And the place he heads for….. Just deeper and deeper in an unknown swamp…..

He runs in high summer. The dry of it giving more good running ground than deep wet marsh as he goes. More snakes and less gators. More of a chance, a chance to maybe know the where’s and maybe the nothing’s, only to run. His thirst, is pain. The swamp-water he passes would only destroy his stomach, destroy some chance at all. Yet, he must drink. Yet, he moves, he must or die. There would be no taking him back, he has killed. Just a rope and a tree for him and his neck to dangle from. And maybe just maybe a tree that has been waiting for him for ‘ all-his-life ‘……

He feels coolness…..It brings thicker fog, making harder to see….. He breaks, crashes through hard brush. He yells, for he has tumbled into a pond. A fresh water pond. The water even smells sweet…..Up to his waist, he bends, he drinks and drinks. It makes him feel he can make it…… A breeze from nowhere comes, making the thick ,fog shift…..He jumps, afraid!…..There! Before him! Across the pond, the statue of a beautiful woman….. Simply emerging from the dark green water. Yes, just a statue, here, in the middle of God’s forsaken land…..

She’s looking at him, staring at him, the statue…..And he backs up…..When his feet touch the bank, he falls over a small log . Now, on his back he looks up at the black sky, no moon nor stars, no, just dark and nothing as he. He also knows he has to keep running….. but just a minute he tell’s himself, rest he tells himself. He closes his eyes, thinks from where he escaped, Hell…..He grunts and sits up, his mouth agapes…..For the statue is gone. He thinks it was his mind maybe the fog playing tricks on him. He then stands, turns to run…..

“No, don’t go, pleaseee stay”, came a woman’s soft voice…..

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The authorities hunting Morris Whittle, found the escaped convict, clean, naked and lying upon a made-shift bed of dry moss. What killed him, was, a large thorn embedded right into his heart…..Carrying the body off one of the dog-handler’s lingered behind. What got his attention was the smell of honeysuckle upon the moss-bed and made from nature not of these parts. Even more puzzling was finding the long ,strand of blonde hair there. You see, Morris’s hair, was coal black.

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Always in winter at the very break of dawn she came, the old, gypsy woman. In winter the bayou was more kind to her old, worn body…..Tired, she stood before the pond….. The beautiful statue there. There with wind pushing gentle ripples across the dark winter water, water giving off a crystal sheen…..The old woman began unwrapping the old cloth. What appeared was a exquisite blue dress. “Here Bellafair, I brought this one this time. I hope you like it . I hope you let me live longer and longer.”…..And the old woman spoke , then began walking away….. Leaving the garment as so many other lovely dresses before, for the forever, Bellafair.

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No human eyes have ever seen the words, words chiseled in French on the statue below the surface of the pond….. Craved there, it states , ‘ la belle dame sans merci ‘ [ the beautiful merciless lady ].

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973
6/20/14

Cell and Conscience

June 29th, 2014 by George Martorano

It is just past early evening. A summer storm howls evilly over the prison. Orders and shouts come! Some prisoners run, some just walk to their small place. Once in the cell, my cell…..”Hello conscience.” I say.Then, I sit on the toilet as a seat, nothing else just to sit. I do this to stay away from the steel bunk; too early you see….. As I sit. My conscience and I go over much…..He knows me, I he. My eyes find a spot and I look, I think….. I let my conscience come along. We think of things. I think of sunset and sunrise, for it touches off building tops here too. It welcomes and farewells days gone,days to come…..Sitting still, I place my hand under my chin, elbow to my knee. My conscience goes deeper…..Oh, there in the corner are newspapers, magazines and old radio…..Yet, it is not of that time nor moments for that. No, it is the time for soul-searching through contemplation. “…..Are you all right George, now, tonight I mean?” Asks my conscience…..I smirk to that, go on thinking…..I think of high tide under a full moon. Me,just a boy in lazy summer at the end of a slanted, crooked wooden-dock…..And the dark green bay out there, ooh the bay…..The early night still hot from the hot day. The moving water calling. I am alone, alone with the same conscience that has been forever locked away with me…..I stand. My toes touching the dock’s very end…..And I dive. Ooh, how the cool water swallows me up. I stay under and pull and kick…..I hold my breath…..And when I surface, I inhale and giggle. I tread water and look up at the full moon and vast purple sky; I feel so alive. I begin to swim with the current, head for another near-by dock. I think of Lora, a teenage girl older than me…..I giggle more.My conscience tells me I am a good swimmer…..My conscience now tells me to jerk, I reach out for the cell’s sink,I run the water just for sound….. I have moved my hand from my chin. I have straightened my back…..I look around the dim cell. For some reason I begin to choke-up…..My conscience gets mad at me now, we were having a good time…..I wipe my eyes….. “I’m sorry”, I say. I get up from the toilet and begin pacing the cell…..”That’s better”, says my conscience…..I think of love. I stop and look at the empty bunk. If there was a lovely woman there. I pass her by. Never would I kiss and hold someone upon a steel bunk, never. For to do so would forsake all the romance within me. My conscience laughs to that, I can hear the laughter. I wave with my hand as if to say, oh you so and so. I stop pacing and I lean up against the wall. I, I…..

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973
6/13/14