In his fiery funk, he asked,
“Why don’t they quake at my every flame?”
The bartender, not terribly concerned, countered

“Hey Beelzebub, this is a dive bar, remember.  Anything can happen here.”

He went on serving gin.
The devil started another drink,
The best of the top shelf.

Wondered again, “But, but, but, but,
They don’t even look up from their scotches
I’m just old hat.”

“You’re not even a hot dog.
Make the best of it.
Maybe they’ll kick you out of hell.”

“I would like to kick you out of the Derby.
Got to get rid of this sulfur smell somehow
Before All Saints Eve – Scram, buddy, scram.

But what the hell, first have a drink on me.”

Golden Tangles

Autumn descends
like a golden veil
Strong as chainmail, light as silk.

Strand upon strand, entangles.
The only way.

The veil,
So light

Gentle’s gossamer sleep.

By Charlene James Duguid
With Assistance from John Richards
Photo by Jane Conteh-Morgan

Notes Sublime

Lilies of the field
Forgot how to worry
A long time age
Moment on moment
They forgot
There they are, merely
Growing on
Happy hours take over.
No one knows
But as they spread their index
In a library of love
The secret songs
Echo anew.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
June 4, 2022