Red-tailed Rescue

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Red-tailed Rescue: an excerpt from chapter six

“Actually, Kate said, “I think it’s impossible to like school too much. If you want to know the

real truth, little buddy, I love school. But, I’m not fond of broccoli, I abhor war, and pretty much

detest the New York Yankees. They think it’s perfectly okay to buy all the best players just so

they can win the World Series every year. Their attitude really stinks. I want to be a veterinarian,

a writer, or a librarian when I grow up. Since I don’t have a brother though, I may end up as a

rancher when Dad gets too old to run our acreage. Ranching is in our blood. And you are?

Orville had remained silent during Kate’s lengthy family history lesson and her pointed editorial on war and baseball; but nonetheless he appeared keenly interested, taking it all in,

politely bobbing his head in acknowledgment and understanding. Orville clearly understood Kate was introducing herself to him, and when she stopped talking, he tried his best to respond to her last question appropriately.

He opened his beak, blinked his eyes, and a sound remarkably close to Oorrvuule flowed out. “Hunting is my family blood,” he added.

. . . j

Unanswered Prayer

Photo by Engin Akyurt on
Unanswered Prayer

When I was a boy Mother insisted I attend Sunday School and Church 
each Sunday, though she never once stepped through the door. 

I occupied a pew beside my sisters, and thought about baseball, rocks, 
golf, fishing, and just about anything else but our Lord and Savior. 

One fine morn there was a special feature—a woman came from afar 
to play glorious music on her harp for all to hear. 

Wait a minute, i thought. Harp is a light Irish beer, and I'd much rather 
have a cold glass of it right now than her and that danged harp.

from the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j

A Military Pilot’s Dilemma

Photo by Radovan Zierik on
A Military Pilot's Dilemma

What you aim at,

is not an
empty barracks,
the enemy fled,

nor is it a 
munition's dump,
a  hidden reservoir of 
chaotic destruction.


your hand steady,
your eye focused,
your finger gentle

on the trigger,

the landscape
roaring by, 

you plot 

to create bloody rubble 
of a  merciful hospital 

and end the lives of

pregnant women,
unborn children,
and those who tend them

lest they

live another

From the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j

No Wrist Slaps

No Wrist Slaps

We  outraged poets demand
governments around the world
install the most excruciating
sanctions possible against the
dictator and his power hungry
henchmen. The Russian people
are innocent of this crime 
against humanity. We stand with
them against tyranny. 

John E. Irby

Oral Hygiene

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Oral Hygiene

If the only

his daughter 
could share about his life

for the obituary 


“He still had most of his teeth,” 

we can be quite certain 
he had wronged 

at least one woman,

neglected his children, 

and didn’t much like dogs.

But still, 

some credit is due because,


he managed to brush 

three times a day.

from the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j

Shopping Trip

Photo by Mareefe on
Shopping Trip

Little baby bunting
Mother's gone a hunting
for broccoli
and garlic
and onions
and wine
and cheese
and bread
and eggplant
and ground beef
and pasta
and evoo.

evoo, Mama?

pay attention, Child.
extra virgin olive oil.

from the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j

Unmerited Finery

Photo by Anna Shvets on
Unmerited Finery

She said, "Open wide."
I did.
She said, “Close down.”
I did.

Even though I'm barely
a commoner,

much more the 
or serf,

she treated me as


placing a crown on
an exhausted molar.

"Thank you," I said, 

and hurried home

Buckinghorse Palace


I be found out.

from the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j


Photo by cottonbro on

Toward the end of 6th grade,
on a school field trip, 

much larger than I, 

grabbed me hard by the throat 
and kissed me full on the lips. 

I recoiled in horror 
and wiped my mouth of it. 

She's gone now, 
and she never gave me another.

Some nights, 
late and alone in the dark,

I long for one more,

but, it was a once in a lifetime event.

from the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j