We Darkness

We Darkness
© 2013 – Kirby Sanders

Are we darkness?
Yes
but no.

We are but people
standing in the darkness
developing keen eyes.

Anyone can see in the sunlight —
sufficiently so to be blinded.

But the wise eyes are those
who can pick out tiny shadows
and illuminate them in their minds.
Those who can cast inner brilliance
into a bleak landscape.
Those who can shine their eyes
on a difficult path
and reveal pitfalls
impossible to see.

We darkness
are those who will lead
not when the day is
shining with cunning.
Not when the path
is even, straight and narrow.

We are the ones who will lead
when situations are dire
and twisted
and the sun might not rise tomorrow.

We are the prophets willing
to tell you what you need to hear,
not the profiteers
who tell what you want to hear.

Do not damn those who can see in the dark.
Thank them for helping
to raise the sun
and bring about better day.

Death of the American Dream

Death of the American Dream
©2013, Kirby Sanders

Yeah — in a way I could miss the 1950s. But only in childhood dreams.

I was born in 1952. It wasn’t easy. I was kind of sickly. But Davey Crockett, Daniel Boone and Lone Ranger on the radio and later on the teevee were good guys — righteous. So were Zorro and the Swamp Fox and Robin Hood. They defended the weak and downtrodden. They were voices for a growing nation — reliant in the knowledge that everyone’s efforts would be needed to bring a society to greatness. They gave me things to live for. Purposes and goals.

Frontier women were respected and strong figures. Often as fallible as the men themselves. NOT the June Cleavers who wore pearls to vacuum the living room. Those women were jokes (as were their weakling husbands).

Sometimes I still smile at old pictures of me in my kid get-ups as a cowboy or in scruffy slacks and a coonskin cap. I was barely aware of Joe McCarthy (Dad thought he was “nut” — and disillusioned with Eisenhower for not standing up.)

Moving into the 1960s, I thought John Wayne was a schmuck; Roy Rogers was a live-action cartoon — but Sky King and Penny were cool, as were Chuck Connors as “The Rifleman” and Crusader Rabbit. Crusader Rabbit was a cartoon cartoon that eventually morphed into Rocky and Bullwinkle and (one might argue) even later Calvin and Hobbes.

Come about 1963, I was 11-years old. President Kennedy was assassinated and the downtrodden were being murdered just for not being white. The police were hiding the murders (if not complicit) — and everything I learned from Davey and Daniel; Lone Ranger, Swamp Fox and Zorro; Chuck Connors started to appear as though it had been lies.

Through the latter 1960s and into the 1970s, the lies became blatant. Murders were perpetrated and hidden by the powerful. Vietnam was an obvious quagmire with no higher goal whatsoever. Nixon was a crook who declared “I am not a crook” – and a bunch of idiots bought it.

Come the 1980s, I saw Reagan parlay “voodoo economics” into a dismantling of the American economy — trading with enemies to enrich his own goals. By time of the Savings and Loan collapse, I had a small bit of money built up with which to pursue dreams. It disappeared overnight when new policies did what they were intended to do and tanked the small investors.

1990s – the Bushes built a power base on old school bigots, Nazi sympathy money and people who bombed doctors’ offices. The transformation was almost complete. America was no more.

The rich and powerful bought the nation — with the intention of driving it to ruin for their own profit. If you ain’t in — you ain’t gonna get there.

Yeah — in a way I could miss the 1950s. But only in childhood dreams. Contemporary TeaBag reality has strangled them all — gradually and intentionally.

RIP, Davey and Daniel and Zorro, Rifleman and Swamp Fox. We who remember will join you soon. The American Dream is over.

Bed In A Shoe Box

©2013 Kirby Sanders.

If I could recapture
one small shred of innocence,
I would build it a beautiful bed
in a shoe box filled
with feathers, foam and scraps of silk
or velvet —
whatever treasures I could scrounge.

… Place it gently in that bed
and leave the cover off of the box.
Let it fly when ready
to grace someone else’s day.

Weep for a moment my loss
then rejoice
to know my loss
was someone else’s gain.

A Mystery Near Yellville!

©2013 Kirby Sanders

July 14, 2013
12:15 p.m.

NEAR YELLVILLE AR —  Residents of rural Searcy County southeast of the town of Yellville, Arkansas, are reporting a strange phenomenon this morning. According to residents of the idyllic but rugged area along the scenic Buffalo River, a strange “whooshing sound” rattled windows and shook homes early this morning.

Said one rural resident, “It weren’t no wind up and they was no sound like jets or aeroplane motors. Just this big whoooosh sound that come out of the southeast and went on to the northwest. Skeered my blue tick so bad he hid under the bed.”

A Yellville pastor noted, “I was in early to get the church ready for services when the winders started knockin’ and this crazy sound come up like the wings of an army of angels or demons swooping over town! It swooped off kind of westward toward Harrison and Bentonville.”

Air Force officials at the nearest bases in Little Rock AR and Springfield MO denied any military training activities were taking place, as did Air National Guard units in Batesville AR and Fort Smith AR.

The Searcy County sheriff reported, “took me by surprise. I was hauling on my britches, tripped on my Sam Browne and smacked my punkin head on the washtable in the bedroom. I got no clue what the (heck) it was.”

An unconfirmed report from an intern at the area Federal Aviation Administration offices said, “We don’t know what it was either. There was no incident reported from commercial aircraft in the area. We suspect it may have been logic and reason flying over the heads of area state and federal legislators.”

Books by Kirby Sanders

Book Catalogue

The following books by Kirby Sanders are available via CreateSpace at the following links:

Fiction

• Nusquam Res, Nusquam Esse; The Final Journey of Ambrose Bierce • Historical fiction  –  A fictionalized accounting of  the final months in the life of the famous American  journalist and author of “horror” tale leaidng to his mysterious disappearance in Mexico during the  Revolution in 1913. https://www.createspace.com/4177092

• A Death In Texas • Crime / murder mystery – Based on actual events, officials and a reporter for a small town newspaper unravel the strange events surrounding th death of an “Average Joe” factory worker in an apparent murder-for-money scheme gone badly awry.  https://www.createspace.com/4196001

History

• The Butterfield Overland Mail Ox Bow Route Through Missouri; 1858-1861 • Reports as filed under the auspices of the National Park Service establishing the preliminary parameters for further study in future preservation of this iconic Old West stagecoach route. https://www.createspace.com/4216629

• The Butterfield Overland Mail Ox Bow Route Through Arkansas and Oklahoma; 1858-1861 • Reports as filed under the auspices of the National Park Service establishing the preliminary parameters for further study in future preservation of this iconic Old West stagecoach route. https://www.createspace.com/4224063

• The Butterfield Overland Mail Ox Bow Route Through Texas; 1858-1861 • Reports as filed under the auspices of the National Park Service establishing the preliminary parameters for further study in future preservation of this iconic Old West stagecoach route. https://www.createspace.com/4225431

• The Butterfield Overland Mail Ox Bow Route Through New Mexico and Arizona; 1858-1861 • Reports as filed under the auspices of the National Park Service establishing the preliminary parameters for further study in future preservation of this iconic Old West stagecoach route. This volume is illustrated with modern or recent photographs of station sites and vicinities.                                                            https://www.createspace.com/4228907

• The Butterfield Overland Mail Ox Bow Route Through Southern California; 1858-1861 • Reports as filed under the auspices of the National Park Service establishing the preliminary parameters for further study in future preservation of this iconic Old West stagecoach route. This volume is illustrated with modern or recent photographs of station sites and vicinities.                                                            https://www.createspace.com/4236238

• The Butterfield Overland Mail Ox Bow Route Through Northern California; 1858-1861 • Reports as filed under the auspices of the National Park Service establishing the preliminary parameters for further study in future preservation of this iconic Old West stagecoach route. This volume is illustrated with modern or recent photographs of station sites and vicinities.                                                            https://www.createspace.com/4240002 

All of these books are available to the public via amazon.com at the listed links with order handling and fulfillment via amazon.com. Bookstores, online resellers, historical societies and non-profit groups, libraries and educational institutions may purchase copies at industry-standard discounts by establishing a wholesale account with CreateSpace Direct – order handling an fulfillment also via amazon.com. CreateSpace Direct information is online at https://www.createspace.com/pub/l/createspacedirect_terms.do?rewrite=true

CreateSpace resellers application  is online at https://www.createspace.com/pub/l/createspacedirect.do?rewrite=true

Two New Novels by Kirby Sanders

I am happy to announce that I have two new novels available via CreateSpace or amazon. They can be purchased through Amazon CreateSpace or normal AmazonUSA sales channel in the United States. Also available on most international Amazon. Retail resellers, bookstores, libraries and educational institutions may purchase at industry-standard discounts via Amazon CreateSpace Direct or Ingram standard distribution channel.

Nusquam Res, Nusquam Esse; The Final Journey of Ambrose Bierce is historical fiction based upon the last months in the life of acclaimed war and horror writer Ambrose Bierce before his mysterious disappearance in Mexico during Revolution in 1913. Details / availability at:
https://www.createspace.com/4177092

A Death In Texas, set in 1995 in rural Henderson County, Texas, is a crime / murder drama based on actual events whilst working in the area as a newspaper reporter. Probably the weirdest murder case I ever reported. Think along the lines of a Redneck “Fargo”. Details / availability at:
https://www.createspace.com/4196001

Stone Soup — My version

Stone Soup

Adapted by Kirby Sanders – 28 Feb. 2013

Once there was a village. Hard times and drought had hit. The people were starving and everyone was hoarding what food they had. They were becoming distrustful and envious of one another for who had what and who had too little.

One day, a stranger came to town and the village elders met him — as they did with every stranger who came to town.

“Y’all look hungry,” he said. “Do you know how to make stone soup?”

“?Stone soup?” the elders asked, “what the hell is stone soup?”

“Well,” the stranger said, you make a big fire in the village square. Get a big pot of water to boiling. Wash off three large rocks and cook them up in the pot. Then everybody in the village comes out and shares the soup when it is cooked.”

“That doesn’t sound very tasty or nutritional,” the elders concurred.

“It is better,” said the stranger, “if somebody throws some potatoes into the pot and somebody else throws in some meat and somebody else throws in some carrots and other folks throw in some shallots and onions  and  turnips.”

“I don’t like turnips,” one of the elders said.

“So,” said the stranger, “when the soup is cooked and served, pick out the turnips from your bowl and give them to someone who likes turnips.”

The elders, being wise and judicious, were skeptical of the stranger’s fancy new idea but decided to try it. They built up a fire and put on a big pot of water with three clean large stones at the bottom. Soon enough a passer-by inquired about the big pot of boiling water and offered some extra potatoes that he had. Another added a big ham bone. Another put in some spare onions. Others added stray carrots and tomatoes and a couple of apples – and, yes, some turnips. The stranger just stood at the pot and stirred it all day long.

Come evening, the entire village turned out with plates and bowls in hand to taste what they had all created. The stranger stood at the pot and dipped out ladles of soup onto every plate and bowl. By late of the night, the envious and the greedy alike were all full and happy — dancing with one another and singing silly songs.

The stranger dipped the very last ladle of soup into his own bowl.

The elder who did not like turnips asked the stranger “who is going to clean up the pot?”

“Everyone who ate – if you resolve to make another pot of stone soup next week. I leave that to you. Thanks for dinner.”

The stranger finished his bowl, washed it, gathered up his own few possessions and left the village.

On the last day of every week thereafter, the village created and shared a big pot of stone soup and celebrated what they came to call “Stranger Day.”