The City’s View


I love the stench of garbage, let alone to rot.

I adore the wafts of smoking on the streets.

And I enjoy some skunk smell, although most do not,

For the smells of ‘home’ are awful hard to beat.


These things might feel ugly, or brutes of smells to bear,

And odd enough I find I bear them not.

But consider these disgusting smells, for some do indeed care,

And feel at home with garbage left to rot.


Pen’s Wood Collection

Deep in a forest, not too far from here, there lived a forester by the name of Pen.  Pen had moved into the wild a few years back, when there were less security cameras to catch him stealing vegetables from neighboring gardens.  Of course, this was only until Pen could grow his own crops, and for the third year in a row, his tomatoes were ripe and ready.

He stepped out of his shanty to gather them up when he saw a ground squirrel hanging around the trunk of a birch tree.  Sidling up to the small creature, Pen extended his hand to try and pet it, but naturally the rodent sped off as soon as Pen moved his arm.

Disappointed, and rather disheartened, Pen plucked his tomatoes and put them in a basket next to the fire-pit in the center of the hut.  To try and cheer himself up, the forester gathered up his extensive wood collection and went through the pieces, feeling the texture of the bark and naming the tree by memory.

Feeling significantly better, Pen lit the fire and hung an iron pot over it, supported by a tripod he had built when he had first settled to the area.  Adding ingredients, he let his supper simmer and went out and about to collect twigs.

Twig-collecting was an arduous process, and Pen found himself a good ten-minute walk from his shanty before he smelled smoke.  Smoke along would have been fine, but the bright orange flames that flared up around the settlement bode ill for Pen’s supper.  And his house.

Frantically sprinting back to the shack, Pen saw that the basket of tomatoes had caught aflame and spread it to the wood-lined interior.  Then the whole thing lit up like a greased pig with a pack of firecrackers on its back jumping through a ring of fire.

Pen, desperately trying to save his wood collection, gather as many as he could and hurried out of the shack.  He dropped one, but lacking the flexibility to bend over and the heat-resistance to stay any longer, Pen tore his gaze away from the log and trudged on, crying all the while.

His tears stopped abruptly, as did the crackling of the flames.  The scent of smoke lingered, and as Pen threw his logs in a heap and turned around to see what had happened, all that remained of the flames were a few sparks hopping around the dropped log.

To this day Pen has traveled the world, educating Park Rangers on fire protection and its important role.  He recommended that each and every one of them keep a wood collection, like himself, in case an untimely disaster occurred.

And when he retells this story, the youngest of the Rangers always asks him his secret.  Just how on earth did a piece of wood keep the forest from burning down?

And Pen always grins, and says “Only Yew can prevent forest fires.”


I’m told that I am a good listener.  But I’m not.

Not at all.

I’m bad at listening, so I just ignore what people tell me.  What questions, thoughts, hopes, concerns, dreams, ambitions.  It doesn’t matter, I think.  It’s not my problem.

People think I’m a good listener because I don’t talk.  I don’t talk at all.  Not one peep, not even when people ask me to.  I don’t like talking.

My friends do though.  Some of them talk, but we have one rule;  speak only when spoken to.  Or don’t speak.  I prefer the latter.

What I am good at is listening to both sides of the story.  I’m never too caught up in a thought that I don’t consider the inverse.  Which is helpful for critical thinking, I suppose.

It gives me something to keep me sane.

But the worst part about this miserable existence that I am forced to live is that I could die at any second.  Any.  Second.  One flick of the wrist and I’m gone.  I don’t mean anything, because there are thousands more just like me.

Cripes, the buzzing.  The intense buzzing.  It rumbles inside of me with the force of a legion of bees and predates another moment of pitiful torture.

Yimmer, yammer.  Jibber, jabber.  Blah.  Blah.  BLAH.

And as I’m forced out of my temporary home, a little pocket of relief, I’m turned on and spoken to.

But I’m not a good listener.

“Hey Jessica, I got a new phone…”

A Troubled Life

Our family was torn apart ever since I can remember.  My dad was taken by unseen forces, leaving my mother behind to fend for us all.

While we were growing up, we rarely left the trench of a place we called home.  It wasn’t much, but it sheltered us from the world, a place that gets scarier by the day.

Every once in awhile we’d spot the neighbors.  They looked at us, and we them, at a loss for words.  It was a mutually silent relationship, for both of the parties involved knew the inevitable.  And so did I.

But I was determined to make a difference.

I was committed to save my kin from suffering at hands of people larger than them.  Though committed or not, I saw one after another toted away.  Drawn into darkness as they gave up on their lives.

Days dragged by, and nights were determined to match them.

And as the day came that I was also dragged into darkness, I felt the hopelessness that my brethren had experienced.  I went limp in the hands of my capturers, the bringers of the fear, the suffering.

The pain.

I realized only then that I lived a miniaturized life, insignificant to others.  Unknown by most, and uncared coupled with it.

Before the full front of the revelation could soak through me, I myself was soaked, cleaned, skinned, and shaved into little pieces to be put onto a salad.

Life sucks being a carrot.