The Curse

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Our kids are outside, the snowballs are flying

Next to the woods where someone is dying

Then rushing of leaves

And thunderous heaves

Before a grizzly growl sent them scurrying and crying

 

The wind, rather chilly, was rustling through trees

But the howling they heard left the kids with knock-knees

A horror to behold

With a heart that’s stone cold

Comes a werewolf so mean it even repels fleas

 

Out of the tree-line and into the clearing

With eyes that are soulless, hate-filled, and leering

Fur covered in crud

And fangs dripping blood

Driven with bloodlust that’s painful and searing

 

The fear is bone-chillin’ for daughter and son

With but one thought between them, get home on the run

Then our son and our daughter

Let go of their water

While yelling for Daddy to bring out the big gun

 

The gun is Old Betsy; I’ve had her for years

A masculine heirloom that was blood bought with tears

When Granny Bigbooty

Was doing her duty

And saw her death coming in the reflection of mirrors

 

She’d been warned of a curse in our family tree

She gave it no thought—just an old fantasy

A human-type wolf

Conjecture—no proof

Till feasting on her flesh like a delicacy

 

I grabbed up Old Betsy and chambered a shell

I had but one thought, send the creature to hell

I took careful aim

At our family’s shame

And then pulled the trigger, intent on the kill

 

Old Betsy erupted with buckshot through fire

Saw blood from the beast, its condition is dire

The pellets were Sterling

Hit the beast while still twirling

Next to me it falls down in the muck and the mire

 

The crisis is over, our children are saved

With a tale to tell, and boy how they raved

So I hid the fear

That the curse was still here

I was nicked by the fangs; and blood I now craved

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Compatibility of the Sexes

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When a good girl and a bad boy get betrothed,

he glimpses heaven while she catches hell,

their sex life is fast, furious, sporadic, and fleeting,

and the only heavenly treatment she’ll ever get

is during recuperation from her injuries in Saint something-or-other Hospital.

When a bad girl and a good boy get hitched

it is heaven up front but hell in the end

when he finds out the “good” sex was only her way

of gaining financial security through divorce of another love-struck fool.

When a bad boy and bad girl get together

their marriage is hell on Earth… but

with a sex life so heavenly satisfying

it must inevitably damn them for eternity.

When a good boy and good girl join as one

their marriage is the perfect union, heaven on Earth

with a sex life so hellishly boring

it can actually earn them sainthood…

unless, of course, they pretend to be bad in the bedroom.

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© JW Thomas

The Pageant

 

Maximilian Panderpoop leaned forward and kissed the top of his daughters head as she sat in front of the mirror adding last minute touches to her face. It reminded him of his days in construction using putty, caulk, and other fillers to patch and repair.

“Oh, Daddy,” said Penny. “You’re gonna mess-up my hair.”

“There you go worrying again over nothing,” said Maximilian. “You’ve been painting on the perfect little princess face and hair for as long as I can remember; ever since your momma first allowed you to play in her make-up case.”

“Momma said old farts like you can’t remember stuff that far back,” said Penny, while making eye-contact in the mirror, “except perhaps when you had your first erection.”

“You know how filthy your momma’s mind is,” said Maximilian. “You see it every day as clear as the nose job on your face.”

“Touché,” said Gwen Panderpoop, as she came up and stood beside her husband and stared at her daughter’s progress. “But let’s forego the word war on cosmetic reconstruction or Penny will miss her entrance.”

“We can’t have that,” said Maximilian. “This is your year to win, Princess. I just know it.”

“You’ve said that every year, Daddy.”

“And it hasn’t happened yet,” said Gwen.

“But she’s gotten closer every year,” said Maximilian. “And this year I feel it in my bones.”

“You’ve had that condition for years, and you know it,” said Gwen. “Always acting like you’ve got one foot in the grave.”

“Stop picking on him,” said Penny. “At least he’s rooting for me.”

“Oh, honey,” said Gwen. “You know I’m rooting for you.”

“You have a funny way of showing it,” said Maximilian.

“I always want her to do good,” said Gwen.

Wanting her to do good, and believing she’s going to are two different things,” said Maximilian.

“I’m just a realist,” said Gwen.

“Would you two go to your neutral corners,” said Penny. “You’re not exactly creating a stress-free environment for me to prepare my perfect look.”

“You don’t worry about a thing, Princess,” said Maximilian. “Daphne, the only girl to beat you last year, isn’t even here today.”

“Oh, my god!” said Penny. “And did you hear what happened to her?”

“Spill it,” said Gwen, always in the mood for gossip.

“Word is that she went down on her boyfriend, Luther,” said Penny. “And the freakiest thing happened.”

“You mean she was the slut that maimed Luther?” said Maximilian.

“I heard they were both maimed,” said Penny.

“Dammit!” said Gwen. “Just tell me what happened.”

“Well, I heard that when she was doing the dirty deed she developed lock-jaw,” said Penny.

“No way!” said Gwen.

“It gets worse,” said Maximilian.

“Yep,” said Penny. “Luther didn’t realize she was in trouble, and thought she was just giving him the tightest B.J. ever, which really turned him on, and he got bigger than he’s ever been.”

“Don’t tell me he…” said Gwen.

“Yep,” said Maximilian, nodding. “It got stuck.”

“Ouch!” said Gwen.

“And that’s not the worst of it,” said Penny.

“That’s for sure,” said Maximilian.

“Dammit!” said Gwen. “Just tell me what happened.”

“Well it ain’t pretty,” said Maximilian. “He yanked.”

“And she yanked,” said Penny.

“Simultaneously,” said Maximilian. “And something was bound to give.”

“Oh no!” said Gwen.

“Oh yes!” said Penny. “She is jawless and missing her front teeth…”

“Awaiting reconstruction,” said Maximilian.

“And what about Luther?” said Gwen.

“He changed his name to Luthinia,” said Maximilian. “And she’s competing here tonight.”

“Dammit!” said Gwen. “Then how can you possibly tell Penny this is her year?”

“Because she’s prettier, smarter, and more talented than any other contestant,” said Maximilian.

“Yeah, Momma,” said Penny. “You always tell me I’m pretty.”

“Well, of course I think you’re pretty, Baby-cakes,” said Gwen. “But this is an election year and Luthinia is obviously going to get the politically correct vote.”

“Oh shit!” said Maximilian, looking forlorn.

“Daddy?” said Penny.

“Sorry, Princess,” said Maximilian.

“That’s not fair!” said Penny, staring at her reflection in the mirror. “I’ve worked my ass off recreating my new image.”

“We know it, Honey,” said Gwen. “But you know how these pageants work.”

“It’s just not fair,” said Penny. “How much reconstruction does a girl have to get before they finally give her what’s coming to her?”

“There’s always next year, Princess,” said Maximilian.

Penny dropped her head into her hands, and Gwen gave her husband a dirty look.

“Now you listen to me young lady,” said Gwen. “Don’t you dare give them the satisfaction of seeing you at less than your best.”

“You listen to your mother, Princess,” said Maximilian, making sure he didn’t put his foot in his mouth again.

“You go out there and show the rest of the world who the real winner is here tonight,” said Gwen.

“Damn straight!” said Penny, looking at herself in the mirror with confidence. “This is my night to shine.”

“And you won’t even have to break a sweat doing it, Princess,” said Maximilian.

“It’s not like she can anyway,” said Gwen.

 

“All contestants to the stage,” yelled the stage manager from the doorway.

 

“This is it,” said Maximilian.

“Do us proud, baby,” said Gwen.

Penny hugged her parents, gave herself a last minute scan in the mirror, and headed for the stage with her folks trailing behind.

Penny hit her mark just as the announcer began.

“Ladies and gents, and all the rest of you worm-eaten roadkill,” said the announcer. “I welcome you to this year’s Miss Teen Necro Pageant.” He began to walk along the line of females in their tattered evening gowns positioned on the stage. “As you can see the contestants are all eager to compete; and don’t be surprised if your eyes drop out like mine, because they are all Drop Dead Gorgeous!”

Creative outlets

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(Had to learn guitar to put music to my lyrics.)

Utilizing your creative talents can be just as beneficial physically as they are spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.

Pat Snyder, author of “The Dog Ate My Planner,” has taken her ability to inject humor and creativity into the stressful areas of her life, and organized it into a complete series of wacky workshops to teach others how to do the same.

There are numerous humorous books, CDs, and DVDs on the market to satisfy every personality and taste; such as Laughter from the Pearly Gates, Healing Through Humor, or any family-oriented comedy special. In fact, Healing Through Humor, by Charles and Frances Hunter, has been used by medical professionals during laughter therapy sessions. The forward was written by Dr. Francisco Contreras, who is quoted as saying, “Positive emotions invoked by humor have healing effects.” And Dr. Don Colbert claims, “Laughter is absolutely the best medicine as it charges the immune system and triggers the relaxation response.”

Here are some other positive effects from laughter:

  • Your heart and lungs are stimulated.
  • Your heart beats faster and your blood pressure rises.
  • You breathe deeper and oxygenate more blood.
  • Your body releases natural pain killers called endorphins, and you produce more immune cells.
  • You burn seventy-eight times more calories than when the body is in a resting state.
  • Your diaphragm, facial muscles, and internal organs all get jostled in what some professionals call “internal jogging.”

And after laughing your muscles and arteries relax, which is great for easing pain. Likewise, your blood pressure subsides and your pulse drops below normal: all of which researchers attribute to aiding digestion.

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(One of my fine art pieces called “Life’s storyboard #1)

However, creativity doesn’t have to be combined with humor to be beneficial at releasing stress, or for any number of other creative healing therapies, such as Veteran and Educational institutions, like Montclair University, having programs for veterans and military students to relieve stress and exorcise pent-up emotions through creative art and writing.

Dr. Marie Cascarano, Coordinator of Health Promotion for the University, claims, “Everyone experiences stress throughout their daily lives, but the key to managing daily stressors is finding a way to take breaks throughout the day to take care of you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Creating art and discussing the process can help you increase your self-awareness and relieve stress while using your creativity.”

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(My first attempt at negative etching.)

Another creative outlet used extensively by novice and professional alike is the various forms of music therapy: an outlet I utilize for stress relief and healing.

Sung-Chi Chen, BSN, RN, says, “Music therapy has shown positive outcomes on physiological and psychological well-being among older people.” However, music therapy is clearly beneficial to everyone, not just the elderly. For instance, on Art Drum.com there is a list of twelve ways drumming benefits students: everything from physical benefits to helping them focus and become better students.

All forms of music can be therapeutic, but I am strongly attracted to percussion and drum therapy, including drum circles.

When you have individuals like Babatunde Olatunji quote, “Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm,” it is not simply a statement off the cuff. These are words backed by thousands of years of human culture utilizing percussion instruments to communicate, celebrate, instill a strong sense of social community, worship, heal, and even bid their last farewells. After all, who of us does not know of the strong role drums have played in many communities like the African tribes, Australian aborigines, and Native American tribes?

Modern-day professionals, medical and otherwise, have discovered some fascinating facts regarding percussion and/or drum therapy. For instance, Ben Schwarcz, a professional music therapist with Alternative Depression Therapy, claims “Drumming Therapy taps into layers of the mind and body that other modalities cannot. Studies have shown that repetitive drumming changes brain wave activity, inducing a state of calm and focused awareness.”

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(My favorite instrument to play.)

One of the best studies done backing the benefits of drumming was published in Alternative Therapies in January, 2001, entitled, “Composite Effects of Group Drumming Music Therapy on Modulation of Neuroendocrine-Immune Parameters in Normal Subjects.” Some of the key discoveries for this research are as follows:

“Both neuroendocrine and immunologic alterations were found in drumming subjects following this composite intervention compared with controls. These changes appear to be immunoenhancing (increased DHEA-to-cortisol ratios, increased NK cell activity, and increased LAK cell activity).” In other words, not only can it immediately reduce stress, but it “has the potential to produce cumulative or sustaining neuroendocrine or immunological effects that could contribute to the well-being of an individual facing a long-term condition in which elevated NK cell activity is known to be beneficial.”

It would literally require volumes of text to do this subject justice. However, there is enough evidence shown here to come to the conclusion that all forms of creative therapies or outlets have some form of positive effects that can be acquired through personal or group participation. So be sure to make some time during your week to let your God-given creative juices flow.

 

Works Cited

Bittman, Dr.Barry B., et al. “Composite Effects of Group Drumming Music Therapy on Modulation of Neuroendocrine-Immune Parameters in Normal Subjects.” Alternative Therapies. Jan. 2001 Vol.7 No.1 P.38-47 Print.

Hunter, Charles and Frances. Healing Through Humor. Creation House Press. Lake Mary Florida 2003. Print.

Phillips, Bob and Jonny Hawkins. Laughter From the Pearly Gates. Harvest House Publishers. Eugene, OR. 2004. Print.

Rodak, Denise Y. “Stress Relief Through the Creative Arts.” Montclair State Univ. Web. 8 May 2011.

Schwarcz, Ben, MFT. “Drumming Therapy: Healing Through Rhythm and Sound.” Alternative Depression Therapy. Web. 8 May 2011

[* Originally published on another blog in 2011.]

Sensory Overload

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When she smiled in my direction…

I was flooded with visions of grandeur

that would make the Seven Wonders weep.

I was flooded with the sweet sounds of soulful symphonies

accompanied by the caw, coo, and shrill born on the wind

with Raven, Turtle-dove, and Whippoorwill.

I was flooded with an odoriferous emanation

so intoxicating and sensual I was sure Chanel

concocted a signature scent for her and her alone,

at least 180-proof.

I was flooded with salivating flavors so exquisite and exotic

that the sensory pleasure to palette could only be compared

to the royal feasts of ancient empires.

I was flooded with a sea of sensations,

like the caress of newborn skin,

the wind-swept kiss of angel’s wings,

and the orgasmic release of all species

that bond with life-long soul-mates.

But Sixth-Sense shouted, “It’s too good to be true!”

And when she tickled the tonsils of Beaver Sue,

I knew he spoke the truth.

© JW Thomas

Freelance Stuntman on the Western Fringe

[Memories from my past.]

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[What’s a stuntman without his trusty steed?]

Beginnings often span generations.

Pop dreams of Hopalong Cassidy,

Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers.

Junior imagines Audie Murphy,

John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood.

Pop vacates the country,

no more dung to sling.

Junior starts his dream in a barrio,

a suburb of L.A.

City boy with a country heart,

no stables to muck or rake.

Lone Ranger’s mask,

two white-handled cap guns.

Bonanza lunchbox until the age of eight:

hold onto them any longer and even the girls

would give tear-jerking wedgies.

What a surprise a dozen years make:

paid to play childhood heroes:

bang-bang shoot um’ up.

But the only stars attached to Junior’s name

come with impacts and concussions.

It helps to be an adrenaline junkie,

plus hustle here and there.

Fights, falls, fire: their willing to pay,

Junior’s willing to play.

Skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba:

give him the check, he’ll hit the deck.

Car crashes, chases, motorcycle jumps – Stop!

Jerry stunt #15

[Damn! Here comes another bruise!]

Hold everything! Where are his westerns?

“Sorry fella…

but he ain’t never rode a horse.”

What?

Don’t years on a carousel count?

The S.O.B. just walked away.

Junior proved him wrong –

he could fall off a horse

better than he could ride one.

Next, he bought a stunt pony

that could fall along with him.

When both go down

neither feels like such a loser.

When they fell together

they finally got the westerns.

Live shows, exhibitions,

documentaries, stunt competitions.

Jerry stunt #19

[Brotherly love… stuntman style!]

Yippee ki yay – blankety-blank.

Hero cheers – villain jeers –

sexy ingénue whistles and catcalls.

Stunt actors receive the loudest ovations.

Pointing guns at an audience

has an influential effect.

The western fringe

is both blessing and curse.

No fame or fortune would there be.

But more fun than a Sci-Fi wife

at her first alien abduction.

Non-western stunts are in demand,

and pay much better.

Junior doesn’t care –

at least not much –

at least not when asked publicly.

Junior’s living his dream.

A childhood fantasy:

It comes with every call to

saddle-up, spur um’ on,

shoot um’ down, and roll um’ over.

Though he still ends up with

a wedgie or two

while performing a stirrup drag and release.

Jerry stunt #26

[Hey stop! I got wedgie!]

© JW Thomas

Jerry stunt #17

[Some days you get off on the wrong side of the horse.]