Monthly Archives: May 2012

To Carolyn by Jeffrey Littrell

Thirty years have past

yet, when I heard your voice

I was back in my teens

emboldened and ablaze

with the fierce fortitude of youth

with remembrance

of a passion that once raged true

long ago, before the years

aged my countenance

and wrinkled my brow

It is still within me

immersed in shadows

a chrysalis awaiting flight

and sweet release

from its aortic prison

 

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SCATTERED FRAGMENTS ( an emotional scrapbook ) by Jeffrey Littrell

I had thoughts of writing a poem about childhood memories and the like, but found myself too restricted in that format to get my points across properly. The end result is this short, rambling, essay/stream of consciousness piece. Faded memories. Vague glimpses of a past. Scribbled asides. Forgotten snapshots.

If you have never seen the Albert Brooks comedy ” Defending Your Life “, you should pick it up at the video store or Netflix. Essentially, Albert’s character is killed in an auto accident and arrives in Judgement City, where his life is judged by viewing video clips of his time on Earth. He has an “attorney”, played by Rip Torn, who presents Albert’s case and defends his actions. It’s one of my favorite movies, and it makes you reflect on your own past and how well your actions and behavior might stand up under such scrutiny.

Now, when I think back through my time in this life, it all seems so surreal. It seems like it was happening to someone else entirely. As if everything that was happening was pre-ordained and expected almost, and I was just reading my lines. I see my memories played back in a hazy video montage. Everything was always headed to where I am now and where I am going next.

I remember watching old reel to reel home movies on a big white screen when I was a child. Captured glimpses of family reunions long past. Riding my Grey Ghost bicycle. The men, who all had buzz-cuts and played yard darts, acted goofy, giving beer to the dog. The radios were tuned to the Indy 500. Cousins splashed in the sprinkler. A baby’s first awkward steps and little fingers in the birthday cake. Pencil marks on the doorframe of new heights attained. A 9 lb. Flathead caught out of Lake Priscilla. Vacations. Tennessee. Persimmon trees. Chickens. Mules. Outhouses. Georgia rain. Florida Sun. Feeding squirrels in the mountains of Colorado. Hammerin’ Hank catches the Babe. My first kiss. It was the neighbor girl, Debra, on the forehead, while she held her eyes tightly shut. The Hardy Boys. Batman. Striking out Willie Mays in my back yard, in my vivid imagination. Having my heart broken in the second grade by Carin, when she decided she only needed six boyfriends, not seven. My first motorcycle, a Honda XL125. My first car, a 1974 Ford Comet with a scoop on the hood and a 302 engine. It had a cassette player, although I only had one tape, which was Bad Company’s first album. Saturday nights in high school with my friends. My first electric bass. My first band. Singing ” Paranoid” and ” Jumping Jack Flash ” between bits of band drama. Sneaking cigarettes from the machine at Fire Station No.4.  A cool October night when I became a man. Prom night. Memories of Minnesota, L.A., Chicago, Savannah, and the bright colors of a  New England autumn. My first poem published. Laughter. Tears. Herbs. Pills. Powders. Addiction. Harley-Davidsons. Depression. Hating my job with the Postal Service. Wanting much more. Marriage. Births. Divorce. Loneliness. Abigail. Loneliness. Rediscovery. Magic. Hope. Heartbreak.

All was so innocent back in the beginning. I had no idea of the joys and sorrows that awaited me. The minutes and the years passed by as if in a dream state. I’m now an actor in need of direction. Who am I now ? Where am I going ? What is my motivation in this scene ? Do I get to pick my next co-star ?  The final curtain awaits me.


SYNOPSIS by Jeffrey Littrell

there’s a restless longing in my soul

my vices long have taken their toll

with broken wings I’ve walked through fire

few people possess the will or desire

to go where the path is never true

to fight where the strong in number are few

to stand beside me and suffer this life

for these reasons I know I can’t take a wife

 

I’ll never have another fight

have someone screaming late at night

when I neglect to text or phone

the downside is I’ll be alone

I only have myself to blame

for standing too close to the flame

I can’t expect someone to care

my wanderlust they do not share


TENNESSEE MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE by Jeffrey Littrell

 

her heels click on the cobblestone

goodbye to the university

sighing quietly against my ear

mesmerized, I draw her near

 

down the bright mosaic avenue

around the corner to the bistro there

smell of firewheels clinging to her hair

dazzled by espresso almond eyes

 

music from the band soon sets the mood

Tennessee midnight interlude

I am wrapped inside her effervescent glow

enamored of her charlatan smile


” MOTHERS DAY ” by Jeffrey Littrell

This poem was written for my mom back in 1995 for Mothers Day. She still has it framed on her bedroom wall. I’d like to reprint it on here for her and for all of my friends that are wonderful mothers themselves. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY !

MOTHERS DAY  by Jeffrey Littrell

a fragile, tiny life within

pure innocence and free of sin

a little fetus in a womb

like a flower waits ‘til time to bloom

 

I, a laughing little boy

with words of praise, she’d bring me joy

and every craft I made in school

was treasured as a shining jewel

 

I wanted most that she be proud

and sometimes she would say aloud

that always a success I’d be

for I was special, I was me

 

then I grew up and left the nest

and though she’d always done her best

the wrong roads I would often take

and many times, mistakes I’d make

 

determined that I knew it all

I’d stumble and I’d often fall

but I always knew where I could go

to ease the pain I’d come to know

 

there’s no stronger bond I’ve ever known

no greater love that I’ve been shown

than that of a child and a mother

to each there’s nothing like the other

 

sometimes when I’m with her now

the laughing child returns somehow

and all the things in life I fear

inside an instant disappear

 

 

 

 

 


THE LIGHT by Jeffrey Littrell

the light has always been

it has shown the way

even when enveloped by darkness

when pursued by encroaching shadows

it was a beacon

of glowing truth

of illuminating love

when I turned away my eyes

it remained

never dimming, ever vigilant

vibrant and holy

the light has always been


ASPHYXIATION BLUES by Jeffrey Littrell

I walk around the mesa
the desert floor an endless tapestry
of sand and stone
weakening, I forge ahead alone

I reach a tree as old as time
where the outcasts once were lynched
left to die with a thirst unquenched
as vermin and leeches crawl
amidst the bile and the stench

carrion scavengers pick at the flesh
beneath my death shroud
while the blind harpy
mocks my final prayer
and I lay broken on the ground

with my final gasp of breath
my eyes freeze in death
my tears drying
in the hot desert sun


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