Tag Archive for ‘prose’

A Boy and His Horse

I bought the truck from some guy up in Greeley. Cash in hand. The owner wore a white cowboy hat and held a firm handshake. Mid-sized truck with a toolbox in the bed. Manual transmission. 4X4. Exactly what I wanted. I named the truck Cthulhu.

Cthulhu is a bit old. Over 200,000 miles. The air conditioner doesn’t work. His frame groans when driving over ditches, though he never complains about his aching bones.

Cthulhu is a bit beat up. Massive dents like the surface of the moon. A door handle that broke off long ago. Claw marks along the side from a massive tree on a narrow road that was more rocks than road.

But Cthulhu has heart, grit, and fortitude. He attacks each mountain pass with the loud growl from a rusting muffler. He jerks the steering wheel out of my hand, driving us off onto a dirt road—any dusty path that’s far away from hot asphalt.

I bounce around in the cab of the truck with a broad smile as we ricochet across washboard roads walled by trees and steep cliffs. The windows are cranked all the way down, and I can smell earth. Radio off. Wild wind whirling about the cabin with dust that swirls and burns bright in the sunlight.

We rest inside a thick nest of evergreens, split apart by a babbling stream that rolls down distant hills. Cthulhu sits covered in dust—and he smiles, having escaped the heat and chaos of crowded city streets. I lay down nearby in the shade of aspens that shake in the breeze.

I wonder if those vagabonds who wandered through the Rocky Mountains with only their horse felt the same way. A silly notion perhaps. The fondness of a steed with oil for blood. A steel horse with a heart of fire named Cthulhu.

I close my eyes, and we listen to the serpentine wind glide through the treetops.

© Mike Yost

Loss and Meanness

Loss and Meanness

 

 

 

 

 

Loss and meanness

They are what fill
this world

Though, a few beautiful, tender moments do thrive
Though, not all of us bare witness

Moments flung into our path, spinning out sharp colors that cut the eye
Moments flung out as stars, swimming across the deep surface of a yawning midnight sky
burning against all that inky, boundless black that greedily consumes the light

Moments separated by vastness itself
and burning alone—
in sight of one another,
but void of their warmth
Drifting in a black ocean with tongues of fire that lick obsidian waves

All this loss and meanness

They push against the skin
against the shoulders
shove us into the earth

Soil broken apart beneath bare feet
the lungs fill with dust as we breathe in
as we reach out

Fingers stretched wide apart
grasping at a cluster of nearby flowers
palming petals just to smell their profound fragrance

And only a few,
So very few,

Brush with fingertips those blooms that burn bright violet
and shake without concern in the arms of a warm breeze

 

© Mike Yost

 

 

Mere Words

Sometimes these words fail to convey a true experience
And their precision strikes as a blunt blade
Unable to pierce down deeply into that . . .
That which turns beneath his chest
That which pulls at his bones
That which hides in the cornered, obsidian shadows
Cast long by a mind locked tightly inside a fragile skull
With a hidden universe of memories and concepts looking out through a lens
Gazing through glass at . . . something he can’t really describe with mere words

© Mike Yost

A Cavern in the Heart

There’s a cavern in my heart

Carved out by the biting knife of lost loves

Splintered futures

Echoes of nights falling asleep beside him

Sheets and legs tangled in hope and contentment

Those warm moments now fading, ever so slowly

Slinking into the deep corners of my skull

Lost in the company of frozen shadows

 

Yet . . .

 

I breathe, slowly, inside this vast emptiness

The burden of forging hope

Now held tightly in my weary hands

The crack of a hammer against stony walls

Deafens the cold surrounding me

As loud sparks illuminate meaningful experiences forgot:

 

Watching the moon burn a white crater into the night sky

Swimming in the roar and ferocity of a live concert

A hug from a close friend

 

These images painted on rocky, damp surfaces like pictographs

Flash out of the darkness with each crack of the hammer

The sealed entrance now a pile of inert and fractured rocks

 

Faint whispers float on the shoulders of air anew

Beckoning me

Into the blinding sun, or

Into a blinding storm, or

Into a blinding, moonless night

 

My bare, cracked feet stumble over shattered stones

Carrying me forward

I find myself under a boundless canopy of timeless stars

Looking up into the depths of black infinity with a faint smile

I breathe, slowly, inside this vast emptiness

 

© Mike Yost

Pete’s Kitchen

[Old Poem. New Photograph]

Pete’s is a place to warm our hands on a snowy afternoon, to wrap our fingers tightly around a thick mug of hot joe that burns the tongue.

Pete’s is a place to find company among the friendless, to nourish a lonely heart with the unspoken words of weary strangers.

Pete’s is a place for derelict souls, for those Denver denizens who feel endlessly lost—even at home surrounded by those we love.

Photograph and Prose copyright Mike Yost 2017

Dedicated to the Master Literary Prankster

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“Say what, dear boy?” Mark replied, still staring out to sea.

“’Be good and you will be lonesome,’” I said.

Mark blinked his eyes and took a long pull on his cigar. Waves crashed against the side of the haul. The salty sea air almost flung the hat off his head.

“It’s April Fools’ Day, you know.” Mark set his feet on the railing. “As if being a fool only happens to a man once a year.”

Mark looked back out at sea, his gray curls shaking in the wind.  “As if being lonely only happens when you’re alone.”

“You . . . ” I asked pensively.  “You make it sound like every day is April Fools’ Day.”

“Because it is, dear boy,” Mark replied with a wide smile, now looking at me while tugging at his cigar, strings of smoke curling around his mustache.

Prose copyright Mike Yost 2017