Near 500 words: Red’s Dilemma

a fairy tale grown up

It was in all the papers.
Red Riding Hood was on trial.
She said it was the Wolf;
she was in denial.
She’d done her granny in.
The evidence told the tale.
Not a pretty one it was.
Folks were not buying her sale.
“The Wolf did it,” she cried out.
But the Wolf had a defence,
“I wasn’t there. I was about.”
He proved that he was a prince.
He removed his wofly mask
and revealed his princely teeth
The crowd ooh-ed and ahh-ed
and gave Red a big defeat.
The prosecutor showed
the crowd her very red hood.
“The evidence will prove
Red did her granny in for good.
Is this your hood and cape?”
She said, “‘Tis what I wore
on that very sad day
when Granny was nevermore.”
Then the man placed on the table
a bowl of solution
to prove Red done the deed
of Granny’s execution.
He lowered the red cape
into the gray substance
and stirred it round and round
with a very long lance.
The broth did a great fizz
and spewed out its bubbles.
Soon it was obvious
Red was in very bad trouble.
The prosecutor lifted
the cape from that messy stuff,
unmasking Riding Hood
and calling her bluff.
For the cape was now white
and streaked with a dark blood.
“Too bad,” the man said, “we didn’t
nip your crime in the bud.
Look what you’ve done without
any reason or rhyme.”
Guilt written on her face,
Red confessed her terrible crime.
“But there was a reason.
Of that you must believe.
It was the three bears made
me murder and deceive.”
“Three bears? What are you saying?
Bears are a gentle folk
who keep our forests safe
for the pine and the oak.”
Then Red went on confessing,
“It was out of desperation
they came to me and pleaded,
‘Give us a cessation.
Your granny is driving us
out of our minds with distraction.
We don’t know what we shall do
‘less you take some action.’
Then they told me their tale.
It was really not nice.
They told it to me once,
a second time, and a thrice.
Their house was invaded
while they cared for the forest.
So when they came home
they were hungry for porridge.
But the porridge was eaten,
their chairs were broken,
and a girl in their bed.
And she offered not a token.
It happened not once
but many times over.
Each time they came home
there in bed under a cover
lay my very own Granny
all nice, comfy and warm.
As the years passed the bears by
this became a weekly norm.
Gran got older but this
didn’t end her obsession
to visit the bear’s house
and break their possessions.
They begged and they pleaded,
‘This is our home, don’t you see?
This isn’t a hotel,
nor an Air BnB.’
At first I resisted.
I wouldn’t intervene.
Then I thought, ‘What the heck.
Granny couldn’t be that mean.’
I went to her one morning
with the birds a-chirping.
I found her in her underwear
with a spell of birping.
I birped her till she was
all birped out and done.
Then I poured her some tea.
We played chess just for fun.
When she was in a good mood
I proposed my proposal.
I’d take her to a hotel
and be at her disposal.
She flew off the handle,
‘The bears put you up to this.’
This was not my granny
once gave me a nighty night kiss.
This was a demon who rushed
me with a pick and a knife,
ready to stab me hard
and slice me in half.
We fought for hours it seems.
Then I made one last rush.
When it was over and done,
Granny spoke not a hush.
So you see why I had
to dye my white cape red.
To hide the blood my granny
bled when she was all dead.
Next time you visit the bears
be sure to knock.
So you won’t end up
Like my granny, Goldilocks.”


Poem for the day: Lonely

It’s been a bit of time since I have posted a Poem for the Day. So here’s a poem I just finished over the last few days:


Lonely stands in the shadows
‘tween dusk and the dawn
Lonely is a shade of gray

Midnight and an apple drops
One a.m. a meteor streaks the sky
Two in the morning a newborn laughs

Three a.m. is three a.m.
and Lonely cannot sleep
Soon there’ll be another sunrise

Just no not yet

Celebrating Father’s Day

I want to give a shout out today for all the Dads out there. I did not know my father. My mother left him when I was six months old for what many would consider dereliction of duty. He just wouldn’t work and take care of the family. So my mother got the hell out of Dodge and never looked back.

In all the years after that, not once did he make an effort to contact me. I heard from my older brothers that my mother had refused to let him see me. But even as an adult, he never gave the old college try. And I can’t see my mother refusing him from seeing me.

So fathers, Dads, have always been a mystery to me. But I think they are mysteries to those who have Dads.

Anyway I have two poems and two songs here that celebrate children’s relationships with their fathers. The first is Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”.

The second is Seamus Heaney’s “Digging”:

Here is Dougie Maclean’s “Scythe Song“:

And finally Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son”:

Happy Father’s Day, y’all.



poem for the day: a tribute to cats

My, I do love the poem, For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry. This is from an excerpt from an excerpt of a much longer poem by the eighteenth century English poet Christopher Smart:

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having considered God and himself he will consider his neighbor.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: Amherst

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight is the band Quoting Napoleon singing their composition “Amherst“:

This song is a beautiful tribute to the great American poet Emily Dickinson.


Scraps of Emily everywhere
no single room unattended
nor corner of the private worlds
hidden in New England shadow
unstudied by the thorough eye
of that reclusive brilliance
who gave Amherst a name.