Suicide by God
He slumped down
By the side of the road,
His face twisted in a grimace
That quickly became a frown.
Lifting his eyes
Towards the dark cloudy skies
Approaching from the southwest,
He raised his arms and said:
Send a tornado,
Send a barrage
Of deadly hail,
Or if all else should fail,
Drown me in a deluge.
I wish to die today.”
The ringing phone
Back in his apartment
Had nothing but creditors
On the other end of the line;
And a visit from the Sheriff’s department
Was in his future
Because his rent neared
Its third month in arrears,
And the envelopes with “Final Notice”
Stamped on them in red ink
Kept piling up on his desk,
Reminding him every minute
Of how deep in debt
He had begun to sink.
Growls of thunder reached his ears,
And he looked upward again and said”
“Lord, I cannot kill myself
With my own hand,
Because everyone says it’s a sin.
Even if you are rich and famous,
They will still come and say ‘Shame on you’
If suicide is something you decide to do.
So I beseech you, oh Jehovah, kill me today.
I cannot live anymore.”
Thunderclaps assaulted his senses,
And a heavy deluge began to fall.
He thought of all his unpaid expenses,
And the looming threat of the sheriff,
And opened his mouth wide,
Willing the rain to pour on in
And fill his lungs…
But the deluge ceased
As suddenly as it began.
The man looked up,
And an incredulous look
Sparked within his eyes
As he looked towards the southwestern skies
That now had nothing but blue behind them.
Instead of taking it as a good sign
That everything would be all right,
He glared up at the heavens,
Oblivious to the parting drops of rain
That stung his eyes,
“Damn you, God!
Why didn’t you kill me today?
I have nothing left to live for
So why do I still breathe?
You are slowly killing me
With all those damned bills
And that double damned unpaid rent,
So again I say:
Why did you not finish
What you have started?”
Then the clouds parted
And the man was bathed within a circle of light
So intense it was blinding
He fell silent at the sight…
And felt a spark of belief in a benevolent God.
(Poem originally published on Bubblews.com August 25th, 2014.)
Colonel Mitchell’s Heart of Oak
Colonel Mitchell wanted all the airplanes
Of the Army, Navy, and Marines,
Under the command of just he.
He did songs and dances before the U.S. Congress
To press his cause
And wrote so much
About the power of air
He finally got entangled in his superior’s hair.
He kept on opening his mouth,
And putting his pen to paper,
In a manner akin
To a stubborn as a wagon driver
Lashing at his team
While fording a creek
Even as his hubs sank even more deeply into the mud.
He used fragile flying machines
To sink a mighty dreadnought
And then led mock air raids
All over the place;
Like a prophet, forecast an attack by a foreign power
On the harbor which has waters of pearl;
And had a glimmer of an idea of the mass slaughters
That would one day be inflicted by flying machines.
But finally ol’ Colonel Mitchell opened his mouth one too many times,
And got hammered flat
Right to the mat
By the 96th Article of War
During a court-martial the secretary of war said
Was not a “vaudeville show”
But at which humorists and politicians appeared
To spread mirth and hot air
Whilst they sat in the witness chair
(Sure sounds like vaude-ville to me buddy).
Many a military man, politician, and air power advocate
Thought Colonel Mitchell was a jerk,
And that nothing but self-serving ego lurked
Beneath all he would do or say.
General Jimmy once served under the man
And thought whilst looking back
That ol’ Colonel Mitchell
Was man who needed more bamboo
And less oak in his emotional makeup.
But the colonel went to his grave
With his heart of oak intact…
I cannot help but wonder
How many of us have such a heart.
(Poem originally published on Bubblews.com November 14th, 2014.)