prose

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At 30000 Feet

The air is clear up there, they said.

Big becomes small, drama left behind, they said.

But what of the terrified child,

the one who’s never done this before?

But what of the foreigner,

the one who needs deodorant, like right now?

But what of the business man,

the one who’s talking over the safety spiel?

But what of the obese man,

the one who’s rattling my brain with his walrus tongue?

But what of the distracted stewardess,

the one who’s hips slam my not-so-funny bone?

And closer to home, what of the two boys, the ones arguing

for technology with rolling eyes like Vegas slot machines?

Charlie Brown’s teacher mumbles something, then we descend.

Wheels search, then grab, pavement. I crave coffee. Its embrace

obliterates the lousy flight, and instantly I’m grounded once again.

C. L. Swinney (c) 2015

HAIKU

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Sweet Nothing

Carmel drips from her

perfect lips, but her sour

words kill the flavor.

C. L. Swinney (c) 2015

Crushing Tin chap book Release! http://o

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Crushing Tin - Cover

Crushing Tin chap book Release! http://ow.ly/O29GT June 22, 2015. How many cops do you know writing poetry?? This is blue collar poetry and prose and I guarantee it will shock you. You may even get emotional from the words…

 

***EDIT***

This chap book made #1 on amazon for inspirational poetry. To celebrate, I’m gifting ten paperback copies. I’ll sign all of them. Here’s how to get involved:

Check me out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grayghostotp

Share the Facebook link for one entry, purchase a copy and post a review on Amazon for two more entries (for a total of three entries).

BOOM. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Chris

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What I Saw Before It Was Too Late

Normally clear eyes sting then blur.

Pedestrians scamper dodging siren echoes

smashing off buildings. Radio waves disappear,

my head flutters with life’s thoughts:

the dog needs her teeth pulled, my

wife is mad at me, the kids

start school soon, my cover car

is miles away…Calm down, you’ve

got a matter of minutes to save her.

She’s trapped in a burning vehicle

and I’m queasy. I’m there, she is not.

Tiny hair stand up on the back

of my neck. Is someone in

the shadows? What the…boom! It’s

over for me. A second Boom!

It’s over for him. Two

dead bodies, no answers, no purpose.

Law Enforcement Anthology Submissions

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**EXCITING NEWS- I’m going to publish my first piece of work and I’m looking for SUBMISSIONS FROM COPS OR RETIRED COPS. Let me explain. I want to collect poetry, short stories, and prose from the point of view from an officer. I want the stuff that makes you think, solicits strong feelings, and is REAL. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see your name in print, contact me via email, theclswinney@yahoo.com, and I’ll discuss the particulars. **I will not accept submissions simply because you are a cop. I need top-shelf work. If I think we can clean up your submission or it already rocks, boom, you’re in. I’ll do my best to work with all submissions. Timeline I’m looking at is May or June 2015.

Thanks,

Chris

Joe

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Joe

Blood and other miscreants

struggle to move through capillaries.

A faux-wood kiosk shields

the bevy of people lined up

like candy bars in a vending machine

anxious to be selected.

Lifestyles clustered in a tumbler

seek purpose and motivation to face

the grind stone, rough and unrelenting.

A loud gum-chewer smacks and twirls

surveying tempting pastries.

I grovel with sullied thoughts.

The machine infuriates my needs,

clamors, but not for me.

Finally I reach another like me.

My heart palpitates seeking true weakness.

Caffeine, and whatever I adulterate it with,

is stirred, always clock-wise,

immediately drawing every sense erect.

Cautiously, I cradle the tin cup

up to my lips and tip ever so slightly.

-C.L.Swinney COPYRIGHT 2014 by CLSWINNEY

That Look.

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That Look.

It happened again last night. A little boy, well behaved and brave, shed only a single tear as he kissed his father in handcuffs good bye…it’ll be years before he gets out. I had to turn away because my eyes were misty. I’d be devastated if I was in his shoes. The pain I feel for the child is crushing. I’m supposed to serve and protect. But I can’t, not this time. I can’t scoop up the little guy and take him home. He’s not a puppy, he’s an innocent child, born into the wrong situation, and now, after it’s all said and done, he’s ushered off with his backpack and very few belongings to a relative’s house. He won’t have a father figure in his life, and it’s gonna take a miracle for him not to end up like the man in handcuffs. His formidable years will be wasted. You can’t raise a child through jail visits and letters. When the little boy turned and looked at me, asking me with his eyes why I was doing what I was doing, I had to turn away again. It’s that look that makes me question why I continue. I let down a three year old child tonight, and it hurts. Try dealing with this guilt. Try putting on a badge and see what it’s really all about. It will haunt you.

Joe

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Joe:

Blood, and other stuff in my veins, is lethargic. I negotiate a kiosk and lumber toward the bevy of people lined up like candy bars in a vending machine, some anxious and some fearful, to be selected. A myriad of lifestyles gather in a tumbler seeking a reason to punch the clock another day. A loud gum chewer smacks and twirls surveying temptation, while the rest of us grovel with sullied thoughts. The espresso gadget’s clamor infuriates my needs, since it’s not for me as it chimes for another. My time comes. My heart palpitates without the need for narcotics. Then caffeine, and whatever I adulterate it with, is stirred, always clock-wise, immediately drawing my palate erect. Cautiously I cradle my tin cup up to my lips and tip ever so slightly.

Paradigm

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Perched above the light radiating anger he stalks, clenching fists and grinding his jaw muscles fiercely. A man in blue wearing a star, oblivious to the ticking time bomb, coasts to a stop preoccupied by time slipping by.

The tormented man hears a voice, “Yes, do it!”

Another of his voices says, “You can’t, you mustn’t!”

Zombie-like, he slowly grabs the luke-warm handle of his safety blanket, and cooler than the other side of a pillow, marches on to entertain the war that rages.

The traffic light remains red longer than normal, causing the unsuspecting man to curse and examine his surroundings. He peers left, and then right, noting nothing spectacular.

Again the voices scream, “Do it!”

“No!”

“Do it you coward!”

“No!”

The volley of pain finally consumes him. He lifts borrowed steel, aims, and fires. The crackle erupts, scattering feet drowned only by screams. The waiting cop never had a clue. At the foot of his cruiser, weathered life escapes the victim, while a mixture of gunpowder and smoke become one. Slowly they ascend to salvation seeking refuge for his soul.

Dying Set Me Free

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Dying Set Me Free.

I was nine when I died.

I trembled while lying in bed,

wide awake, suddenly the door opened.

He slithered in, fueling his needs,

and did the unthinkable by taking

his son’s life. Once I felt

his touch, my soul fled from

my body. I tried, but could

not stop it. I watched as the

carcass of my body gasped for

oxygen as the demon left my

sanctuary. My mother, she knew nothing.

I dared not mention such things.

Awake, or asleep, it always persisted.

When it ended, unknown, but I

was reborn, more evil, more angry.

I’m thirty-nine now. My soul

sleeps with the fishes, while the

mental war rages, even a generation

could not save. I lie in

bed, awake and trembling, searching for

the nine year old helpless me.

 

C.L.Swinney