Paid to Puppet


Paid to puppet… hands, strings, and things

Paid to puppet… horns or halos with wings

I’m paid to puppet all season long

Don’t forget the dialogue; gotta’ sing the songs

Paid to puppet

We’ve got the shadowbox and the silhouettes

We’ve got the hand puppets and finger-puppets too

We work with strings on the marionettes

And don’t forget the dummies, cuz’ they won’t forget you

Paid to puppet

Full-figure… half-figure… bust only

Black light… no light… don’t matter

Little boy… little girl… white pony

Fat cat… winged bat… Mad Hatter

Paid to puppet

You’ve got traditional, like nursery rhymes

They’re good for a laugh with the whole kid crew

And there’s original for contemporary times;

How ‘bout the shoot um’ up… we just got you?

Paid to puppet

Kid party… big party… buck only

Babe party… sex party… adult matter

Fantasy… fancy-free… skull boney

Shakespeare… Galahad… blood spatter

Paid to puppet

So much better to be a puppeteer… than a puppet.

© JW Thomas


Life’s a Bitch!



Mike is sitting on the couch in his living room. It is the only undamaged piece of furniture remaining. The stylish ranch home he spent fifteen years remodeling into the perfect dream home took less than six hours to destroy. The ax and sledgehammer he used lay on the floor beside the sofa.

He is drinking heavily. There are photos of him and Dell, along with several stacks of money, scattered atop the cracked and leaning coffee table to his front. There is also a pad of paper.

“You fucked me, now I fuck you.”

He begins to write what he says.

“And a system that continues to reward… No. Scratch that. Continues to pay-off whores long after their services cease, will reap a whirlwind of hate spawned… Nope. Scratch, scratch, scratch… A whirlwind of revenge inspired acts by those seeking justice. And blood will flow freely in this cesspool of society.”

He pours another drink and gulps it down, then throws the glass at a wedding picture on the mantel. Both shatter and rain down on the hearth and bounce on the carpet. Just like his dreams and memories. As he stares at the freshly torn picture he recalls the day he carried her across the threshold, in this very house. Now, the pictures and the house are nothing but the shattered reminders of so many broken dreams.

He grabs the bottle and points at a picture of Dell.

“You and the system screwed me.” He almost falls sideways, and has to right himself. “Well, you dirty stinking two-faced whore, how do you like this?”

Mike tosses the stacks of money into a metal waste basket. He pours some whiskey into the container, grabs a lighter, flicks on the flame… after a few tries, and drops it in. The contents immediately ignite.

“Y-you and the Gestapo and that fucking lawyer you’re screwing won’t get any future payments either—cuz’ there won’t be any.”

Mike reaches down by his leg and retrieves a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.

“W-who has the last laugh now?”

He lifts the gun to the side of his head, and without hesitation pulls the trigger.

He hears the click… but nothing happens.


He looks at the weapon, places it back to his head, and pulls the trigger again.



He looks in the cylinder.


He looks at the waste basket where the fire is slowly going out; all the contents are burned.

“Now I don’t even have enough money to buy bullets.”

He looks and points at the picture of Dell.

“You make me so mad, bitch, I can’t even think straight,” he said. “I can’t even plan my escape from your money-grubbing clutches.”

He stands, staggers, but regains his balance.

“What the hell am I going to do now?”

He takes a long swig from the bottle.

He turns, catches his foot on the broken coffee table, and crashes down atop it and the junk strewn about. And his head hits the sharp corner on the way down.

Mike heard the cracking of his skull. He saw the splatter of his blood. The bottle falls from his hand, hits the floor, and the remaining fluid begins to drain onto the carpet. And his last conscious thought was simply: Ain’t life a bitch!



[The is a collaboration between Mary Cathleen Clark and myself. She’s a very dear friend. Please check out her other great writing at Southern Highways and Byways .]


He is the Yang; masculine and positive, the light to guide her way

when her past or present threatens or hinders her…

or their future together.

She is the Yin; feminine and negative,

the dark that creates a harmonious balance in him

so that he does not surge to an emotional blackout.


He is the Sun that ignites her passions, lights her way,

guides her from a place of aphotic mindlessness

and initiates her growth.

She is the Moon that reflects his love, eclipses his heart,

emits an emotional gravity that pulls him close to her

and prevents him from burning out like a supernova.


He is the Sky; both spirit and wind,

made for protection and procreation…

the closest thing to salvation from her sin.

She is the Earth; both nature and nurture,

and the mother of passions

that spews forth with orgasmic volcanic eruptions.


He is real; genuine, authentic, true-to-life; a problem solver,

the one who provides an anchor to prevent or draw her back

from tendencies to detach, disconnect, withdraw, and become isolated.

She is abstract; conceptual, hypothetical, idealistic; non-concrete,

the one who elevates him from a life of stagnant one-dimensionality

where methodical repetition transforms the living into automatons.


He is simple; straight-forward, singularly-focused, transparent, absolute,

a provider of boundaries and rules to tether her unfathomable and convoluted character

so she does not completely lose touch with reality.

She is complex; intricately circuitous, elaborate, multi-faceted, cryptic,

a constant and perplexing challenge to keep him pushing beyond the familiar,

inspiring personal growth in an effort to be a better man.


He is Fire; the true flame that tests and tempers all that is precious,

pops the pods and spreads the seeds for love’s new growth,

is the blaze of glory and the heat of passion that melts her.

She is Water; the giver and sustainer of life,

a mover of mountains, she erodes, washes, and cleans away

the filth that would seek to bury him.


He is the Hunter; the predator; masculine and primal; attuned to all his senses

he sniffs out his prey, pounces on her, plays with her, captures her body, heart, mind, soul,

ravishes her with wild abandon and unadulterated lust.

She is the Hunted; the prey; feminine, sensual, and sexual; equally attuned to her senses

and the pleasures ready to be experienced through them

she willingly abandons herself to his lustful ravishing.


He is the Alpha; the dominant; the leader, mentor, protector, the purveyor of pleasure and pain

whose strength and power begins and ends with her freely given love

in their chosen relationship dynamic.

She is the Omega; the submissive; the life-long mate and receiver of his love and protection,

cherished and adored, the passion-partner, radiating sexuality,

the sole object of her Alpha’s affection, and his deepest and eternal desires.


Together, they are the Storm; joined in a seething mass of need

they tumble through the heavens colliding, entwining,

the magnitude of their passion sparks lightning that pierces the clouds,

elicits moans of rolling thunder,

the fierceness of their shared obsession lays waste to everything

that dares stand in the path of two being one.


Together, they are the Ocean; ebbing and flowing,

drawing apart, and crashing together,

aquamarine touch, smooth, salty taste,

a blending of essences, a liquid saturation,

no beginning, no end…

they are one.


[If you like the collaboration please give Mary Cathleen Clark

a like as well at Southern Highways and Byways.]

Endless Shore

A Broad Sky


Wandering white wisps

meander above

Horizon due west

Line unbroken

between peripheries

Sea of mysteries

cloaked in harmony

with gravity

Playing it cool:


Blue, gray, green –


emotional hues,

thoughts and dreams

Transition peaceful

gentle lapping sounds


parade of pups


Lap, lap, lap:


salty foam,

sand, shells, and pebbles

To shore

for sure

they return once more

Circle of life

A solitary witness


Loves me, loves me not

No one to see

if she chose not to be

cloaked in black wool

strolling towards the sea

(*note: inspired by photographic image from Carrie Mae Weems entitled “A broad an Expansive Sky – Ancient Rome from Roaming, 2006)


© JW Thomas

Waya: See the Wolf

wolf cub1


See the wolf.


See the wolf pup.

See it nip.

See it yip.

See it roll.

See it grow.

See it cute.

See it cuddle.

See it whine in the mud puddle.

See its fur shine in the sun.

See the twinkle in its eye,

the joy of life,

and first howl at the sky.

He told Moon a magnificent tale,

how he circled and circled

and caught his own tail.

He ran fast… and then faster

until his tail was in reach.

He bit down and he yelped

and Hawk gave a screech:

“a lesson it is,

a lesson to teach.”

Moon did agree

and spoke quite plain:

“Don’t bite your own tail,

don’t cause yourself pain.

The ruckus you cause

could easily bring Man,

and at this point pup,

you’d fit in his hand.”


See the wolf.


See the wolf grown.

See it bay.

See it play.

See it prowl.

See it growl.

See it chase.

See it bound.

It’s canis lupis:

much more than a hound.

See it hunt:

part of the Pack.

See how deadly:

Nature’s way,

removes the weak

each passing day.

Strength of limb,

strong of heart,

oh how he thought

he’d make a new start.

A challenge he did make

with the Alpha of the Pack.

It was brutal… and muddy

and they both ended bloody.

But he failed in his attack.

Ousted to roam


a lone wolf.

He bit the paw

that led them all

before his time to lead.

He failed the test,

now begin the quest,

maturity is earned in the deed.


See the wolf.


See the wolf rogue.

See it stare.

See it glare.

See it hide.

See it glide.

See its effort.

See its ease.

The smell of prey born on the breeze.



He wins a mate

and makes a stand:

marks his turf,

defends his den.

Alpha male, he bears it well:

this scar and that scar

record his whole tale.

“How goes the Wolf?”

asks Moon of Hawk.

“Waya is good

as you yourself know.

I’ve watched you guide him

with your light and your glow.”

Wolf did howl

to Hawk and to Moon:

“One with insight,

the other so bright,

you both taught me well.

It’s time to take leave

and leave me to live,

go seek a new tale

for you each to tell.”


© JW Thomas

Grandfather’s lesson

sad indian2



            no like talk

            with exception

            one only

            inquisitive child


            like to teach

            oral tradition




            cultural cues




Depth of reason


            one with Earth Mother

            Sky Father

            four seasons







            vision quest

            cannot hide

            Spirit Guide


Warrior Way


            at a loss

            out of time

            out of prey

The World




            so they say




            before eyes

            enough to appease

Era of “please”

            still compete

            against thyself

            and thine own

We still call

            reservations “home”

Have we not learned – anything?

Raping Mother Earth

Mother Earth did not need Freud to come along with words like Oedipus Complex.

She has known, intimately, many men born of Earth with inner desires to wed and bed their mother.

The immaturity of such fantasies foolishly mistake lust for love.

And when rebuffed they respond in infantile manners for that which Mother Earth knows will lead them down a destructive path.

Some go no farther, but many team with likeminded siblings and violently rape Mother Earth.

Greedy, lustful, spoiled children addicted to their deranged desires based on selfish motivation and the misinterpretations of what constitutes treasure, wealth, and the real riches of Mother Earth.

Mother Earth’s daughters are not innocent; they share responsibility for the ongoing rape.

Much of what is ripped from beneath the skirts of Mother Earth – in every orifice and deep within her bowels – is used to tickle the fancy and fashion of women worldwide.

And if they encourage the rape of Mother Earth in order to enjoy the pleasure bought through greed, should they really be surprised when the same childish men rape them?


© JW Thomas