The view that she’d get when the passenger jet
made a bank for its final approach
was a fine sight to see even though it would be
through a small plastic-portal in coach.
The isle – but a strand, was surrounded by
and encased in a halo of green
that feathered to blue with the translucent-hue
of an ocean so clear and pristine.
She held on to Kent as they made their descent
to a runway just feet from the shore,
but the squeeze she’d invest was symbolic at best –
just a neighbor and not a bit more.
She was here for the fun – for some time in
where she hoped to go home with a tan –
the suit that she packed was designed to attract,
so the last thing she’d need was a man.
It was all very new since her travels were
was the first time she’d been on a plane –
but she’d gotten a pass to go south with her class
who attended a school in Fort Wayne.
Once on the ground, they would all gather
to review all the chaperones’ rules –
which were there to insure they’d be safe and secure
from the traps for American fools.
Together, they’d dwell at a beachfront hotel
that was only a few miles from town,
but a colorful bus that was driven by Gus
would be making its hourly rounds.
It was always at night – when the temp was
that the town was the right place to be
for the kids from the states who were looking for dates –
and a little romance by the sea.
Both she and a friend found a bar to attend –
was a spot that the tourists all knew,
where most of the isle would drop by for a while –
for a dance and a bottle of brew.
The music was loud and the Saturday crowd
was rambunctious as one would expect –
and some hot local studs in Caribbean duds
would be seeking a chance to connect.
They drank to excess as the night would
and a little bit out of control –
they’d attracted the eyes of some much older guys
who invited them both for a stroll.
She couldn’t believe that her friend chose to
that she left her to be on her own –
an adventurous-gal who’d befriended a pal
that her parents would never condone.
Suave and demure, he suggested a tour,
so she jumped in the seat of his car –
and the next thing she knew, in the back would be two
of his friends who were there at the bar.
They took a short ride – just to witness the
at a cove, both secluded and dark –
where he spoke to the two in a tongue that was new,
as he looked for a good place to park.
He seemed a bit drunk as he reached in the
then a blanket appeared in his hand
and a little ways down, it was spread on the ground
so they wouldn’t be covered in sand.
He built a small fire with the sticks he’d
so it wasn’t as dark as before –
but the light that it threw on the eyes of the few
made it clear – they were hoping to score.
Events would occur that were more like a blur
and she wasn’t real sure how they went,
but the sex she’d recall had been more like a brawl –
and was certainly lacking consent.
If the act that she’d done was confined to
she could neither confirm nor deny –
and it might even be – she’d been done by all three,
she was scared and believed she would die.
A sound would appear – of a boat drawing near,
then a hull would be scraping the beach,
and the voice of a man who was now on dry land
would be giving the others a speech.
From the words she would hear, it was
that the men were discussing a trade,
then he lifted her skirt with a look that was curt –
and agreed on a price to be paid.
They bound her with chord, then they put her
and shoved off with some help from the three,
then he let out a shout as he brought her about –
and the two of them sailed out to sea.
To be continued…..
Amber Rae was born that way,
with eyes so big and blue,
with golden hair and skin so fair –
as soft as morning dew.
Painted toes of scarlet-rose,
her sandals couldn’t hide –
behind would sail the ponytail
her older sister tied.
Amber liked to ride her bike
the mile or so to school
when traffic flow was fairly slow –
on mornings dry and cool.
Before her trip, she’d stop to clip
some blooms for Mrs. Berne,
the small bouquet was Amber’s way –
her thanks for all she’d learned.
Off she went, a brief descent
and then a hill to climb –
a steady pace – no need to race,
she’d get there just in time.
But half-way there – between a pair
of trees that lined the street
was Orville Wells – just tossing shells
of peanuts at his feet.
He’d learned about this common route
that children took to school –
he’d stand and wait in hopes that fate
would send a precious jewel.
A prior charge, but still at large –
he’d fallen off the grid
and thought it best to travel west,
where he grew up as a kid.
A broken home was all he’d known,
and raised more like a pet –
there came the day he ran away,
but swore he’d not forget.
Thoughts he’d keep were buried deep,
but spoke from time to time –
he’d follow suite and execute
a truly heinous crime.
He had no choice but feed the voice
that raged inside his head,
with little girls in bows and curls –
he’d rape and leave for dead.
His twisted mind could always find
a rational excuse,
despite the tears that came from years
of torment and abuse.
Poised to strike – he’d spot a bike,
an angel on her steed –
a treat to clinch, that’s sure to quench
the beast he had to feed.
Amber Rae was on her way
and now in Orville’s view –
he’d grab the lass before she passed,
and down the road he flew.
Left behind, the search would find
a bike – out in the street,
a basket filled with daffodils
and the sandals from her feet.
But passersby had heard her cry
and glanced at Orville’s plate
that cops would trace by database
to the home of a prior mate.
They reached the site by dark of night –
a cabin on a hill
where Orville brought the girls he caught
when he got the urge to kill.
The subtle hue a candle threw
suggested he was near –
a team of SWAT would comb the lot,
all dressed in special gear.
The stark abode was off the road
and far from neighbors’ view,
where scent of death would take their breath –
like a nightmare coming true.
They stepped through waves of shallow graves
in freshly-harrowed ground –
where each contained what still remained
of children never found.
They’d softly trek to reach the deck,
and when they first arrived –
they paused to pray that Amber Rae
would still be found alive.
Then the team would hear a scream,
and crashing through the door –
a muzzle placed at Amber’s face
would even up the score.
They tried to bait, negotiate,
do anything they could –
but nothing said would lend a shred
of doing any good.
Orville’s choice would quell the voice
he’d heard for quite a while –
his pistol-lead would strike instead,
a tortured pedophile.
He hit the floor, a threat no more,
a killer now at peace –
a fatal blow would cause a flow
his body would release.
Annabelle had cast a spell
on the one she’d grown so fond –
her feelings clear since their junior year,
as seniors – and beyond.
Little Joe, as friends would know,
had found his love for life
and soon he’d tell his Annabelle –
she’d make the perfect wife.
He took her to their favorite view –
a place called Lover’s Leap,
where legend told – a shattered soul
had sought eternal sleep.
Was not the first she’d been coerced
to make that scenic run –
to kiss and spark ‘till after dark,
the way they’d often done.
But now he’d be on bended knee,
with a diamond brought to bear –
and then he’d tell his Annabelle
the reason they were there.
A loving man – he took her hand,
romantically proposed –
she told him “yes”, her love professed
at the special place he chose.
They took a seat and hit the heat
to remove the evening chill –
and filled with bliss, the two would kiss
as they motored down the hill.
But the narrow road where water flowed
from a rain the night before
would quickly serve a twisting curve
they had chosen to ignore.
Despite his rate, he’d compensate,
but failed to pull them free –
with no control, the car would roll
headfirst into a tree.
The violent crash would leave a gash
that dripped on Joseph’s brow –
all in all, he’d braved the fall,
though he wasn’t sure just how.
Annabelle was hurt as well,
but her wounds were more severe –
a metal part that pierced her heart
was protruding like a spear.
A rescue team would intervene
and whisk his love away –
their last resort was life support –
machines would help her stay.
Beyond repair, the heart she’d bear
would have to be replaced –
in grave decline, they had no time –
the search commenced post-haste.
In just a day, one came her way,
they found a perfect match –
they’d operate for hours-straight,
install and reattach.
She cracked her eyes and tried to rise,
but when she looked around,
her fiancée had slipped away –
was nowhere to be found.
A note they’d show from Little Joe,
addressed to Annabelle,
was left behind for her to find –
a lover’s last farewell.
A rash dispose – while still enclosed,
she tossed the note away –
she’d never read his final creed,
there was nothing he could say.
A heart so new would break in two
from the grief she felt inside,
and tears of rain became disdain –
for a man who chose to hide.
A week would pass and then at last,
they moved her down the hall –
she took her gloom to a private room
with a TV on the wall.
First, she’d choose the local news,
she’d been so out of touch –
a choice designed to take her mind
off the one she missed so much.
But then, a scene on the TV screen
from a place she knew so well –
was a sad repeat from the prior week
when a man named Joseph fell.
A rescue team was on the scene
before he hit the ground –
he’d left a clue that would lead them to
the place where he’d be found.
Tears of grief and disbelief
at the grave mistake she’d made –
his love was true and at last she knew
that she hadn’t been betrayed.
The note she’d tossed and thought was lost
was there beside her bed –
she was so relieved it had been retrieved
from the time she’d lost her head.
On the note were the words he wrote:
“My dearest Annabelle,
I love you so, but I have to go,
so I bid you this farewell.
I’ll soon depart and a healthy heart
will be my gift to give –
it’s up to me to set you free,
it’s your only chance to live.
Shed no tear for me, my dear,
just know with every beat –
my love for you will pull you through –
‘till once again we meet.”
I've just released my new book - Corporate Crap on Amazon. This latest work is a collection of rhyming stories about issues related to the workplace. Examples of topics include - The Performance Appraisal, ISO Certification, The Corporate Acquisition, The FCPA, The IT Geek and a host of others. I warn you in advance that this book carries an "R" rating due to the many "colorful metaphors" I used to spice up the delivery. The cover alone is worth the investment!
By Tony Radford
She woke every morn like the day she was born
with no knowledge of prior events,
she couldn’t recall Sunday’s trip to the mall –
or the flowers her granddaughter sent.
Like an angel she slept, but nothing was kept,
her memories fizzled away,
none would remain – all her joy and her pain
would only exist for a day.
Her kids were all grown, so she sat all alone
in the house that they build long ago
and one day a week I’d drop by – kiss her cheek,
oh how that old woman would glow.
Talking to me over cookies and tea,
she’d drift back to earlier years,
her life as a girl in a whole different world,
touring photos that brought her to tears.
How bright she would shine during “old movie time”
as she rode with the lows and the highs,
though the same one would play three or four times a day,
the ending would be a surprise.
Thirsty for news, but always confused
had a hard time remembering names,
except one she knew since before World War Two,
a dashing young fellow named James.
She’d spent all her life as an army man’s wife –
never hungry for fortune or fame,
when an unhealthy heart caused her man to depart,
she never would be quite the same.
With every new day she slipped further away,
until finally her past disappeared,
away they all went – every treasured event,
the moment that everyone feared.
Was early fall when he hit the mall –
a year past Y2K,
a jewelry store on the second floor –
a final bill to pay.
He’d bought the ring he planned to bring –
it’d be a big surprise,
some wine, a rose, romantic prose –
a question would arise.
They’d set the stage at an early age –
on the playground after class
where he won her hand with a plastic band
and a diamond made of glass.
Again he’d be on bended knee –
just like his last appeal,
the way he did when just a kid –
but now the ring was real.
The place to spark – a local park
‘neath blue Manhattan sky,
he’d lend no clue of what he’d do –
just lunch with her favorite guy.
left the mall – a frantic call,
“There’s trouble, please come quick!
A massive crash left fire and ash –
the smoke is really thick!”
A second blast while pleas were cast –
then silence stoked his fear,
he called her phone, but a busy tone
was all that met his ear.
When he made it through to Tower-Two
there was havoc on the ground,
panic, screams and rescue teams –
debris was raining down.
A scene from Hell – he reached the well
and a thousand stairs to tread,
he coughed and choked from heat and smoke –
but still he forged ahead.
He wasn’t fazed by fires that blazed
or the opposite stampede,
he was mission-bound, she must be found –
he’d die or he’d succeed.
A few steps more – he reached the door
where her office used to be
and despite his doubt she made it out –
he hoped she’d gotten free.
The door was blocked, but wasn’t locked –
so he kicked it off the frame,
with a runner’s stride, he rushed inside
and began to yell her name.
The room’s décor was on the floor
and beams from up above
had fallen down to formed a mound
and beneath it all – his love.
Like Superman – with just his hands,
he tossed them one by one,
a man possessed – he wouldn’t rest
until the job was done.
His task revealed a piece of steel
that weighed a ton or more,
with all the sway, had given way
and pinned her to the floor.
He did his best to clear the rest –
then tried to pull her free,
but her pain inside intensified –
so he had to let her be.
His vest, he shed then propped her head
and by her side he lay,
she loved so much to feel his touch –
her pain seemed far away.
Lying close, in still repose
and neither feeling strife,
he’d much prefer he die with her
than live a separate life.
And with that thought, the ring he brought –
he held where she could see,
“Please be my wife – I’ll pledge my life
for all eternity!”
Tired and weak – she tried speak,
but words were not required,
she had a glow that let him know –
their bond, she too desired.
As lovers kissed through teary mist –
she did her very best
to fight the pain and reach the chain
that lay upon her chest.
She pulled it free to let him see –
it held a tiny band,
the plastic toy a little boy
once placed upon her hand.
He sat and gazed – was so amazed
she’d kept it all this time,
from ages-past – that jewel of glass
he’d purchased for a dime.
He never knew she moved it to
a spot right near her heart
and kept it there – a secret prayer
they’d never be apart.
Words not told since eight years old
would bring a fact to light,
that solitaire could not compare –
would never shine as bright.
In a state that’s named for
a king who reigned
in the eighteenth century
is a southern town that’s world renowned
and rich with history.
But long before her
and buildings stories-high
was virgin land with forests-grand
and unpolluted sky.
From Rabun Gap where rivers
the land in strings of blue
to coastal plains where mountains drained
and fields of cotton grew.
The Cherokee were first to
those hills of north GA
when tribes who came in search of game
decided they would stay.
They built their mounds,
they settled towns,
they hunted, farmed and fished –
a place to be, where living free
was all they ever wished.
But with the train, the
settlers came –
they brought the white man’s creed
and gold that shown on land they owned
would stoke the fires of greed.
The State would pass a law
the Cherokee aside
and while their land was changing hands –
their stay would be denied.
Forced to leave without
they left their home of years
and thousands killed by winter’s chill
would line the trail of tears.
A rose of white would mark
with petals – seven each
to symbolize the native tribes
whose lands they’d never reach.
The Cherokee-Rose still
and marks our darkest hour,
immortalized, forever prized –
the state’s official flower.
Overnight, the city’s might
would grow a hundred-fold –
when thousands came, their only aim
to find some Georgia gold.
By ’45, the town that
was known as “Marthasville”,
but then the name “Atlanta” came –
the name we call her still.
A path for freight would be
and all the tracks they laid
would bring her fame as she became
the hub of southern trade.
In time, that boom would
bring her doom
when the nation went to war
and the Union’s might would bring the fight
right to Atlanta’s door.
Her many routes supplied the
made sure the Gray was stocked,
and Sherman knew just what to do
to see those routes were blocked.
General Hood did what he
to keep the North at bay,
but then he’d leave from months of siege
and Sherman had his way.
Post-retreat, he cleared the
made all civilians flee
then put a torch to every porch –
he hardly left a tree.
Atlanta burned – the tables
and soon the war would end –
a town once graced, then laid to waste,
would have a chance to mend.
And mend, she would – with
time, she stood
as though there’d been no war,
as from the flame, the phoenix came –
much greater than before.
Her streets were lined with
and lights so all could see
and like a flash, she went from ash
to the town she used to be.
On Peachtree Street, old
headaches with his brew –
he launched the brand and soon demand
for “Coca-Cola” grew.
The Depression came and
doused the flame –
it knocked her to her knees
and desperate men who couldn’t spend
would see Atlanta freeze.
Her pain was felt by
as he watched the city wilt
and homeless cries were subsidized
when Techwood Homes was built.
A grave affair, no jobs to
when banks were all in doubt,
that local brew would see her through –
when Coke would bail her out.
By wintertime of ’39,
the town was on the mend,
and stars would meet on Peachtree Street
to see “Gone With the Wind”.
Again she grew in World War
when soldiers came to train
and aircraft jobs in northern Cobb
began producing planes.
Hordes of feet would crowd
as the population swelled,
while racial lines had been defined –
not everyone excelled.
The blacks and whites for
would rip the town in two
and leaders lead while blood was shed
when riots would ensue.
A preacher’s son would be
to jump into the ring.
To lead the fight with passive might,
was Martin Luther King.
A guy named Ted would start
the news by satellite
so TBS and CNN
could reach us every night.
Olympic Games propelled her
to those who didn’t know,
and local news misread the clues
when a hidden bomb would blow.
Other things would serve to
more population growth,
the jobs that be, her history –
or maybe some of both.
A town that spun some things
you’ve done –
you didn’t realize,
like drinking Coke or watching Hoke
take Daisy for a drive.
So many souls would set the
for what she’d come to be,
the pioneers, the engineers
and the noble Cherokee.
Great tycoons would lead the
and rebels would defend,
a King would fight for civil rights
and Mitchell took the wind.
Forever grand, Atlanta stands
with the symbols of her name –
that special rose that freely grows
and a phoenix from the flames.
at sea is the place for me –
with a crew at my command,
in quarters small for a man that’s tall –
and food that’s less than grand.
peace I’ve found from the mellow sound
a sailing ship can make
as the ocean spanks her wooden planks
with the waves we overtake.
hear her speak with groans and creaks
as I write by candlelight –
a final slog through the captain’s log
as I bed down for the night.
often dream when all’s serene –
on nights the sea is still,
when the summer fare of humid air
gives way to autumn’s chill.
dream’s appeal – it begins so real,
then ends without a trace,
but while inside, I can take a ride
to another time and place.
I’ve had – I’m just a lad
who spends his time on land,
a land of lights, of sounds and sights
I just don’t understand.
But then –
slumber quelled – a piercing bell
rang out from up on deck,
I quickly rose and grabbed my clothes –
I thought I’d better check.
cabin boy yelled “Ship ahoy!”
and pointed out to sea,
so I grabbed the ropes and climbed in hopes –
a friendly ship she’d be.
made the nest and peered due west
to confirm the message sent,
my greatest fear – a ship so near
might harbor ill-intent.
my glass – atop her mast,
a flag with bones and skull
and open doors revealing bores
of cannons lined her hull.
crew on board was waving swords,
their eyes shown fires of greed,
it seemed to me, if we didn’t flee –
an assault was guaranteed.
to run, we were way outgunned –
we could never match their might
and in our hold were kegs of gold
to fund our country’s fight.
line was drawn, the race was on –
though a Clipper’s known for speed,
the haul we bore from our time ashore
would slow us down indeed.
prayed a squall would save us all,
but the winds that day were tame,
though we made our break, they’d overtake
and try to lay their claim.
pirates now, off our starboard bow –
so close I could smell their breath,
and while the horde would attempt to board,
we’d fight them to the death.
cannons’ blast could end us fast,
but they planned to take us whole –
their cause for war – to capture stores,
to sink was not their goal.
waste no time – the hooks and lines
would fly from deck to deck,
and one-on-one with blade and gun,
we’d keep the scum in check.
heard the cries as sailors died
and I saw the sea turn red
while both my crew and pirates too,
ensured the sharks were fed.
was eye-to-eye and my gun was dry
so I used my sword to kill,
I relieved some dregs of their arms and legs –
the pirate-blood would spill.
made a dash as a muzzle flash
went off just feet away,
though I felt the heat, I’d not retreat –
‘cause a captain leads the way.
shoulder bled from the musket lead
that barely grazed my skin
and the shooter knew when I ran him through –
his life was at an end.
saber’s blade was custom made
by the best in Williamsburg,
with an edge so sharp, an angel’s harp
was likely all he heard.
battle raged, the crew engaged
‘til all from deck to keel
had either killed, or themselves been drilled
with a piece of lead or steel.
– a fight so grand,
my heart was filled with pride,
they stood with me so valiantly
and bravely fought – some died.
stood outmanned when the clash began –
they had us three to one,
but better skilled, we maimed and killed
until the fight was done.
rats withdrew – the remaining few
had lost the will to fight,
their ship was burned from bow to stern –
her flames lit up the night.
wake was held for ours that fell –
their bodies cast to sea,
we’d toast with rye and tearful eye –
those men were dear to me.
hour was late and my body ached
from a battle so extreme,
so I laid my head when my boots were shed
and I slipped into a dream.
voice would sound from all around –
like words fired from a gun,
as if the Gods were all at odds
with something I had done.
of bed, you sleepyhead!” –
came a voice so loud and bold.
“It’s time for school, you know the rules –
you’re almost ten years old!”
rubbed my eyes and I realized
that I wasn’t out at sea –
that the whole ordeal wasn’t even real
and the captain wasn’t me.
looked around and all I found
in that messy room of mine,
not the polished sword that I had on board –
but a toy one made of pine.
ship to tend, no foe to fend,
no battles raged at sea,
my only fame – from the pirates game
I played on PS-3.
day at school was so un-cool –
I tried my best to blend,
another day of boring play
I thought would never end.
so depressed when I got undressed
and I put myself to bed,
the fantasy of life at sea
was playing in my head.
As I tried
to sleep, I could feel the seep
of damp and salty air
and the gentle sway of a ship’s ballet –
but I knew I wasn’t there.
sounds and feel – they seemed so real
that I opened both my eyes,
I was almost floored, I was back on board
in my space of modest size.
stroked the skin of my stubbled chin
and searched my shoulder blade,
I’d not get far ‘till I felt the scar
that a pirate’s pistol made.
face begrimed – an old man climbed
from a tattered cardboard box
to a sight he knew – an alley’s view
beneath the loading docks.
morning light would end the fight
he always had to face,
though just a dream, to him it seemed
so real it left a taste.
soon that taste would be replaced
with a little shot of rye –
some needed aid he took in trade
at a little bar close by.
reflection cast on his sacred flask
was another fallen soul
with mussed up hair and a sullen stare,
to survive – his only goal.
bustling pace around the place
was the sign he had to leave,
or he might be thrown from his makeshift home
and place of his reprieve.
meager needs and life’s proceeds
would fit in one small bag –
some cherished things like a wedding ring
and a tarnished metal tag.
nomad’s plight – he traveled light
and was always on the move
as he searched the street for food to eat
in a way most disapprove.
crippled leg, but he wouldn’t beg –
though his pride was hard to see
through the shirt he wore that shrapnel tore
from a mine in old Quang Tri.
walk each day past a quaint cafe
as they served their daily fare
and the folks that dined would pay no mind –
they’d pretend he wasn’t there.
survival’s sake – his lunch he’d take
from the dumpster in the rear
if his search revealed a discarded meal
or a warm, half-empty beer.
café staff would only laugh
as he rummaged through the cans,
they couldn’t see what he used to be
with a weapon in his hands.
warrior slain by a tortured brain
from the sacrifice he made,
his only truce – a life reduced
and a valor prone to fade.
dark, at the city park,
when the cops had left their beat,
he’d sit alone on a bench of stone
and survey the empty street.
silent town where the only sound
was a little band that played
at the dingy bar where his Silver Star
brought a little cash in trade.
streetlights threw their mournful hue
on the flickering neon light
of the old motel where the patrons dwell
with the ladies of the night.
clinched his fists as he reminisced
of a place so long ago,
of a family life, a loving wife
and a child he didn’t know.
recalled the night he left to fight
in a war he couldn’t win,
to spend his days where the battles raged
would kill ten thousand men.
he made it back, for the most – intact,
some demons deep inside
would take their toll on a troubled soul
he would try so hard to hide.
rarely slept, and he sometimes wept
from images he held
of battle scenes, civilians’ screams
and his only brother – felled.
tried to cope, there was just no hope –
when all was said and done,
there came the day that he’d walk away
from his wife and only son.
had been so long since things went wrong –
now it all seemed so surreal
that a man so brave could be a slave
to the scars that wouldn’t heal.
he had his fill of the evening chill,
to the alley he’d return
to his tattered box beneath the docks –
another day adjourned.
candlelight, he sat upright
and he opened up the bag,
then softly cried as he reached inside
for the little metal tag.
touched the name that was much the same
as the one he always wore,
a fallen lad with a common dad –
born just a year before.
as he wept, a promise kept
was playing in his mind,
when he shared a plane with a kid’s remains
in a box of a different kind.
futile life was filled with strife
that he thought would never end
and another night beheld a fight
that he knew he couldn’t win.
desperate man with a simple plan
he kept inside the bag,
not tag or ring – but another thing
all wrapped in an oily rag.
night he wrote a special note
to the ones he’d leave behind
and his final say was stashed away
in an easy place to find.