once there were cowboys…

copyright cwmartin 2011

those lights
once lit up
the night sky
for miles
a small corral
became an arena
where western gladiators
marshaled the strength
to bring down
bulls to the ground
while wide-eyed children
memorized each move
to practice on family pets
no need to ask for
some foreign beer
it was budweiser
or nothing at all
except for
the occasional
miller lite
smuggled in
by some tourist
those fancy
filtered cigarettes
not only raised eyebrows
but smiles
but land developers
and county officials
eager for progress
as measured by profit
have turned off the lights
only the lingering scent
of wet leather
can be found
this place now holds
only the ghost
of christmas past

deimos inn…

Final Challenge Image from Jade


with the lights on
there is nothing to fear
this is just another hotel room
a place for
an itinerate soul to visit
everything seems in place
when the lights are off
this place becomes a prison
nothing is where it’s supposed to be
the floor
is quicksand beneath my feet
the door has bars of anger
holding back my freedom
my thoughts rattle
around the room
seeking a familiar corner
the air is foul
stale with formality
my misery
has no place to hide
it cannot find
a warm spot to rest
so it paces
back and forth
in my mind
refusing to rest
until the dawn
when i release it outside
where it can run away from me
and swing in the trees
with childish expectations
but it is hours
before dawn
so i sit alone
with the lights

This poem represents my last response to  the second challenge series between Jade and I.  As you may recall, each poet provides the other with a series of photos, visual prompts,  from which the poet is to write a poem.  Jade has written her response which can be found here