Monthly Archives: March 2012

Pisto Lee (excerpt)

salamander yellow pad

,Pistol Lee

We’d just been saddling up the horses, like we done how many times before? Just another day, morning still stiff on our fingers we fumbled around with buckles and leathers . I wasn’t paying much mind to him, we were saying few words as the day was far too early to have eased our aches and pains of haven rid for miles and slept hard on stony ground. He was in mid sentence about something I don’t remember, when all of a sudden he let out this “son of a bitch”. All I caught was a glimpse of that mare, one of our spare mounts, s kitting away from him. Still holding his back he turned hissing ” You son of a bitch.” She didn’t seem to notice the irate man intent on murder stepping towards her until he lost his balance and in attempting to correct it, threw too much weight back on himself and fell sitting into an invisible chair from where looking up at me he said ” I’m gonna kill that god damn horse.” I dragged em over to prop him against the boulder that had sheltered our camp from last night. He didn’t make much sounds except I figured every inch of the way hurt something inside him. I shifted him around so I could pull up his shirts and see where he been hurt. There was hardly a mark, not even black and blue just, the red shape of a horse’s shoe. I set him back against the rock, He groaned a bit and told me he was feeling dizzy and just needed to sit a while,”Then I’m gonna kill…” but he just seemed to stare, his voice gave way so “that son of a bitch” came out a whisper. I got em to drink some water. Then I just stood there not knowing what to do. He was mostly saying he was sorry to delay us, that he was just so tired, that it was just so hot, that he just needed to lie on the cool ground for a while and thanked me for putting em in the shade . Now I didn’t know too much about medical things, but I knew it wasn’t shady where Jake Rogers sat, legs straight out in a V, back straight as a board, head slightly back against the rock. It wasn’t shady, but it wasn’t hot neither – there were still flecks of frost clinging like crumbs to any small shady thing . When I touched him now he felt cooler. His skin paled and he breathed heavy and raspy as if he couldn’t exhale enough no more to get any new air in. Jake Rogers just sitting there died from a kick from a dishonest horse that we had taken on because she was all there was and we couldn’t do the kinda riding we needed with but one horse each. He died from something that had hardly put a mark on him. I cant say he died in my arms ’cause I didn’t even know he was dying’ . So I left him from time to time, first to settle the horses, then rebuild the fire, made us a cigarette, but when I went to put it in his mouth he just waved me away. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do when a man is dying’ some folks say you pray n talk to em seeing if there’s any messages to be left for family and such Some say you’re supposed to have ’em tell their sins so you can find a priest, tell the priest so he can have god forgive ’em so they don’t go to hell. I smoked cigarettes and made coffee while Jake Rogers was dying’. I tried to bury him right where he died but I hit ledge on the first scrape. I did manage a place not too far off. I didn’t really want to be dragging dead Jake around too much. I guess I was dumbstruck over the whole thing. No matter how much you try, death always seems to surprise and no matter how often you’re surprised you don’t, or at least I never did, get used to it. I figured his gear was mine by some kinda right of our riding together but the stuff that was on him? I didn’t know what to do? I was just about a mess cause he was my friend and that god damned horse killed him and here I was wondering if you were supposed to bury a man with his boots on or off. There was an envelope addressed to his sister. It was a good thing I found it cause I knew he wrote but I wouldn’t have known who to. It seemed I should write her about the way Jake died, some words about his good character and such. Maybe she’d want to know where he was buried and – where? That’s what put me to my knees there by the shallow grave of Jake Rogers, my friend, kicked to death by a puke horse. See I didn’t just didn’t know where we were. After a while I did manage to get on with things . It was fairly shallow, but I could do no better Besides I would spend the next hours of the day stacking stone over it. Meanwhile I had decided I would indeed shoot that god-damn horse But I didn’t want to have the carcass too near in case the scavengers attracted to it might get ideas about Jake, so I commenced to hauling stones instead. I didn’t go nowhere that day. I don’t know how long it really takes for a man to die, or how long it takes for another man to scrape out a hole to put him in, but by the time I was done I was tired. All I wanted to do was to sleep . I wasn’t too concerned sleeping that close to Jake’s grave. I figured if his ghost came visiting we’d just talk a bit. And once I explained to him how I would shoot that horse, but not right now cause I was tired, and how it’d be best to leave the carcass farther on, any animosity the ghost of Jake Rogers might have had towards me for delaying in my avenging duty would be appeased. However I did awake just as the first bits of sunlight was hinting at the day, relieved that his ghost did not choose to visit or if he did that I had slept through it. I sat up against that rock, pulled the letter from my pocket, my blankets up around me, unfolded the envelope and was relieved to see he had fully addressed it. Her name was Sadie, she lived in Tennessee, in some town I could not pronounce . I had resolved not to read it, believing that would be some breech of privacy, but I had to open it up because I had no paper and I hoped there was enough space for me to add my post script of woe. As I did so out slipped a fairly new fifty dollar bill. How ever Jake did put together a spare fifty I don’t know, but I took it a a sign that he held his sister in high regard and while this made me smile, it also made the thought of writing her more difficult. I rummaged out the pencil stub, glad I had had the good sense to take it too from Jakes pocket and there against the same rock on the same ground I proceeded in the same pencil to write to Sadie Rogers. I told her I was sorry to say her brother was now dead. That he died quiet with hardly a mark on him. That he had been a good friend to me and I had killed the horse that killed him. I was also sorry I didn’t know the date but thought it was somewhere near the end of September, and was even more sorry to be unable to explain where his grave was. After all how do you say to someone in Tennessee ride four days north of Durango a half a day west then cut north again following right of the red ridge for another day and then start looking. So I simply said I was sorry and that while I didn’t know a whole lot about her brother’s relations to his family, it might comfort them to know that he was on the whole a very decent man to those who deserved decency and loved the life he lived out here. I wasn’t sure if I should have told her I had buried her brother with his pistol on his hip, some folks have funny ways about guns. I had buried him with this weapon because he once told me how his ancestors believed a man would not be well received into the after life without one. When e’d asked about my ancestors I said I just believe in god . He said all people believed in some other type of things before they believed in god. I replied that I thought god was eternity and that eternity worked both ways, forever before and forever after. Pulling up his horse he said ” Look out there” ” I looked out over the mesa far off jagged fingers earth, all shadow red and purple rare round jewels passed by ancient hands as sun made games with what was left of night ” What does that make you think of?” Without hesitation I said ” Being in it” ” That there, what draws you to it, that’s your god.” And I thought he’s crazy, god lives in some clap-board house with a bell on it, where everyone’s supposed to come visit on Sunday morning, that’s god. “No.” he went on “That’s you god out there. Everybody’s god calls em home. Calls em to be part of it, to be in it.” I didn’t say no more, but found myself thinking maybe somehow he was right, the thing in me that was being drawn to the thing out here was like my little soul being called by the big soul of god. Well thinking like that does my head funny so I called out “Come on then, race you to god!” and we kicked our ponies into a reckless gallop aiming toward the rising sun of whatever god there might have been out there … I did send Sadie Rogers her fifty dollars and her letter, I don’t know that she got either. If circumstance had been a little different I would have probably kept that money but I went from having thirty cents to being able to sell his saddle and etceteras, so I figured it best not to be greedy and while maybe Jakes ghost might forgive me for lying to his sister, I don’t know that he’d forgive my stealing from her. See, I never could shoot that god-damn horse.

Siane. Part 3 of 3 (from basa nuvo poems by pd lyons)

Real magic has the quality of knowing. By paying attention you get to know things and when they will happen. With this knowledge you can create the illusion that you cause the inevitable to happen. Real power is when you have people convinced that they can’t get along without you. But there are other things, things beyond people. Once I convinced the wind that it couldn’t get along with out me.
I’d go out to the top field where the horses ran free. Where they worried themselves with petty grievances, grazed as they wished regardless of day or night and sometimes lay like dead things strewn – lulled by whatever dreams it is that horses dream. On a grey out crop of lichenined stone I stood, turned my face to the sky and this is what I said:
“If I could be anything in the world
I would be the wind.
To kiss the sea.
Embrace the sky
Caress the earth.
Come wind I call you
Bring the rain, bring the storm,
The lightning and the thunders roar.
Come wind I love you!”
I tried this several times and sometimes the wind would come up strong while others calm and quiet. In other words I made no impact what so ever. But I did not give up. By now the horses took notice of my antics and drew around as if seeking inspiration from my sermon on the mount. Perhaps they found some but the wind did not. Once I got so angry this is what I said:
“If I could be anything in the world
It would never be the wind,
Insignificant bastard of the heavens
Ignorant victim of a manipulative earth,
Carrier of piss spit bird droppings
Owner of dust and ashes….”
At this did the wind hesitate even for a moment before it went back to ignoring me? Eventually the horses too lost interest in my daily ritual. After all I brought no carrot or apple, I didn’t respond to their sparing for attention and I was as bored as they with their rearing, bucking, bluffs.
Finally I decided to give up. I decided that if I couldn’t be master then I would surrender. So I said when the wind was quiet,
“As the wind is quiet and still, so am I.”
And too if the wind moved from the East I would say,
“As the wind I too move from the east.”
So it was with every direction and with every temperament. As gentle breeze or herald of the storm and too through the seasons such as that of summers comfort or raging winter’s howl. For a whole year this was my daily practise. There were times when I thought I ‘d be carried away, dragged along the ground or else motionless so long I ‘d drop from fatigue but this did not happen. I began to know the wind, a scent on the air, look of the sky, temperature from yesterday compared with today, slight almost invisible trembling of leaves – all were signs. So closely did I follow that I became as a shadow to the wind.
In time my movements became just slightly ahead until it was I who cast a shadow called the wind. Until once more it was late autumn
When finally I could say “Follow my hands as I have led you this way forever.” And the wind, having no memory of forever, believed that this was so and therefore had always been so. How could it doubt I was who I claimed to be? After all had we not moved together and had it not now been reminded that this had always been?
So once again I spoke, my purpose being to keep my image in its fragile memory,
“I have known you with whisper, shout and breath,
Shared with you submission and mastery,
Shared with you the gift of motion and stillness
Now know and remember me!”
And the wind enveloped me and inhaled andfrom the breath of my voice to the scent carried on the tiny hairs between my legs, I was known! Quiet then rocked with shivers head cradled between my knees my own steamy urine puddles around my toes
before trickling down to where a bald faced chestnut mare stood watching like a ghost.




Siane. Part 2 (from basa nuvo poems by pd lyons)





Siane. Part 2 (from basa nuvo poems by pd lyons)

When I was born I saw the world through the eyes of a crow. For at least three maybe four days. On the day the crow returned my soul to my body I was able to see through my own eyes. The first person I saw through such eyes was she who was my nurse. When I was older she told me of this event. Explained how I was special because usually crows do not return such a lost or stolen soul. That children’s souls are so sweet they are usually eaten right away. But she had this feeling about me and stayed by me constantly during those days so that my worried parents might try to get some rest. I asked her if it was because my soul was not sweet that it wasn’t eaten. She laughed and told me that even the most wicked person was born with a sweet soul.
So what did I see when I saw through the eyes of a crow? Well one day as I was still child enough that all chairs were big enough for me to curl up in, I did so in the kitchen. Staring into the fire I heard the voice of my nurse, softly, tenderly she spoke and quietly falling asleep still hearing her voice I began to dream. and she, from whom I have never had reason to doubt and from whom I have only known loyalty and love, this is what I told her from my dream state about those days when I saw through the eyes of a crow:
A great grey sky almost to rain. Leaves gone to colour muted by soft and steamy morning. While Below, arched like great green cat backs, farming lands bordered by trees rowed up like man soldiers behind walls of stone which long ago toilers of these fields had so piled. Then as if in memory I saw them, those man-things building walls. Stones like teeth, roots like tendons pulled from a dark open earth. Then as if in further memory I saw those same lands in a time before the man-things, a time when all was tall forest, hard wise wood forests before the man-things came….
But now its only overgrowth, sapling and briar borders along these scrubby pastures where I must keep my attention. Now my vision follows the lay of the land, rolling down to a small valley curling with a silver stream then over again until directly below me a field just before the water slips into the woods. It is a field now for the dead of men. Vivid in an otherwise dull landscape their blood pulls at me. A rare moment – Not only much flesh but none among them upright, none to bury these fallen in the ground as if some seed to sprout anew. Now they are still, delicate, exposed, but I cannot let my vision linger long. There are my comrades feeding, they will leave aside some favourite scrap for me. But I cannot let my vision linger long. I the watch must keep… Until, finally I hear their call “Come. Come. Come.”. my legs tense with a will of their own, push off, the earth happy to see me rushes up in greeting and with a jolt I’m standing wide awake before the kitchen fire.





Siane. Part 1

Part One
He truly loved the land more than anyone ever did, as if this loving could make the land forget how he had come, as one adopted through the wedding chamber. With scepticism and disdain the land responded, for this sentimental tender love – this was not enough!
And the horses? Well they adored him.Their noses quivered at his presence,they raced, stood up on their hind legs, sang for him even took bites out of each other to draw his attention. But they would not let him ride. For they were brothers and sisters with him,
beloved companion, never to be considered master. And he? He admired the land for its strength, how it showed to him its true face and for that he said “What great spirit, a terrible beauty. How fortunate I am to be chosen to see the true face of the land.”
Towards the horses he was also grateful and for that he said “What noble blood, what rare beauty. I am so fortunate to be allowed to know their secrets.” While the land and the horses both looked to one another and said “Well what can you do with a man like that?”
    Now she, who had taken the man to her wedding bed, she held the land tight with her own hands and so marked it with her own blood. That was how the land was won. Her own flesh protecting and defending and willing to do so over and over – That was how the land was kept. It was she who led the horses to shelter when the sky burst at midnight, kept them from prairie fires, dipped her hands into their mothers at the time of their birth and with a voice of smooth leather and singing bees subdued even the most bold among them. To the land she was forgiving. Admiring its resilience she would say “So beautiful yet so obstinate – you are the breaker of my heart but I will never leave you.” To the horses she was wise and often amused would say “You make me laugh when you try your tricks on me but I won’t let you forget our bargain.” While the land and the horses long ago had looked to one another and said “Well what can you do with a woman like that?”
The man of course could not understand all the ways of his wife. In his opinion her discipline kept her from appreciating the beauty that surrounded her. But he would also say, as was his nature “I admire her strength and abilities. Truly this is a magnificent woman. If she were not my wife and therefore part of me I should envy her these things.”
The woman at first was quite perplexed regarding her husband. She suspected perhaps some flaw in a man who would refuse to master such things in a way similar to her own. On this she pondered for some time before concluding that because of his way, surely he had never known loneliness. So then she did say “My husband has this nature which I cannot my self afford to indulge in. Yet it is also true that being joined to me he can do this for us and we will both benefit from the balance.”
So their wisdom of what marriage truly is prevailed and luckily for me because that is what I was born into. My parents of course taught me their ways.With the horses my mother taught me how to ride, my father, how to share their secrets. She, how to hold the land,he, that I could love it more than anyone who ever saw it. And I, being a true issue of their wedding bed, understood both and formed a way of blending each, a way of my own.

new fiction blog by pd lyons

New Blog Pd salamanders a fiction

a coming of age drama of the 70’s & 80’s. trials and emotional trauma of teenage artist/writer in small town new england.

ocassioned by bad words and sexual stuff – protect yourselves accordingly

a coming of age drama of the 70’s & 80’s. trials and emotional trauma of teenage artist/writer in small town new england.


Dharma La Fay

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dharma La Fay

What if I told you , instead of healing – I killed? In order to heal the land I killed the man. He sleeps no sleep of dreams that’s for sure. But think, what came after? The land replenished, nourished well those who lived upon it. Their power grew, spread, places I never knew existed owed allegiance. But now, these days, here we go again only this time no worthy sacrifice. Besides I’m tired of it. Maybe they should learn the lessons of their history. Either way they’ll not see me involved this time. I’m just too tired to go through all that again – and for what? I did the best that could be done and all I ever got was a bad rap for being the woman. Maybe I’ll go find that Merlin? Sure he’d still go for me and after that? Couldn’t we lay together for awhile? Wrapped in one another’s arms perchance to dream and dream and dream again? Ah well now, where was it I left him? A tree? A cave? Or under some stone stuck like a sword waiting once more for my strong guiding hands…

Where does it all come from?

Where does it all come from? walk through the grocery store look at all the stuff. Where does it all come from? How can there be so much? Coffee; there’s’ about thirty brands on the shelf, instant, ground, whole bean, decaf, French roast and etc. roasts. Then figure at least a half dozen grocery stores in town all with similar shelving plus IGA’s, convenience, starchuck’s, mcburger’s, duncandodo’s, diners and various etceteras all selling coffee and coffee product. Multiple by number of stores doing this in Connecticut, then multiply by number of stores in USA, Europe, China, Australia, world. Figure all their stock plus wholesalers warehouses and how do they do it? How can there be that much coffee in the world? How is that much of a product that is so labour intensive to produce, and in limited geographical and environmental areas, exist in such massive amount as and for such a cheap price? You can but a can of store brand for two dollars, name brands average about five bucks. Ok then what about shrimp/prawns? Think of them in the same way. How many pounds of shrimp are hanging around in an average US grocery shop? You got fresh, frozen, canned, farmed, wild  and about a half dozen types/sizes. Where does it all come from? How did Thailand get so big? How can even the ocean so vast grow so much of one creature? remember not just grocery stock but restaurants, diners; not just your town but the whole USA and the rest of the world. Shouldn’t shrimp be extinct or else very very expensive? How can they be so cheap? You know wild caught cod fish fillets can be caught processed shipped to Connecticut and I can buy it for less than seven dollars a pound. So oil, petrol, gasoline; how many gallons do I use a day driving my Jeep about hundred miles daily average? How many gallons do you use? How many gas stations are there in my town, your town, the world? Where does it all come from? How many cars? How many people who drive them? How many people who want to get one? Where does it all come from? Where is it all going?

Poetry Breakfast

The Girl Next Door
By PD Lyons

When I remember
Third floor windows
Tall white lace sails
Summer all running in our veins
Her mother in the kitchen
Making cool aid and plate full of something
Cookie sweet to eat

She wanted me to stay
I was afraid, wanted to go home
But didn’t want her to know
Not wanting to be in this house of too many windows
Overlooking this mill town valley

But she wanted me to stay
Besides the rains begun
Going to be a real storm
Already rumblings from darkening horizon

And her mother agreed
I’ll call your parents. They won’t be worried.
You can stay for supper. You like hot dogs don’t you?

And that was how I learned not to be afraid of storms
Not to hide from thunder or lightning
Frances and her mother, exuberant
Ohs and ahs and joy over every

View original post 65 more words

He walked the tracks



Friday, March 9, 2012

He had walked


He had walked the tracks  too easily swayed by their constant star totaly surprised how quiet the train appeared soft bells languid clangs hardly time to move behind him. lazy metalics roll rumble roll steady inevitable quiet follows and brwon scented autumn bright sunlight returns knowing small song birds better than anything. Alone polish steel so like smoke heat the days aura-ed fingers hands en-wraped each movement of himself and every inch of the world around him. Eventually insect sounds all that accompanys him. Eventually unable to cross the trestle, intimidated by the too far below river, cut back to the highway crossed over at the park, coffee at the diner used to be a bar when the factories ran three shifts and this was a neighbourhood. It was his fathers first job, helping tend bar here, almost married the owners daughter, instead at seventeen got his mother to sign for him, a marine. Ship out to basic same train tracks crossed this same river, crossed country San Francisco tolerated the navy all the way to Eniwetok. Coffee to the train, coffee to the way things turn even on a straight track, to the trains of his father, those that brought him away from brass city New England and eventually back home in time to met the woman he would really marry.


morning hawk


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Morning hawk


Morning hawk on a derelict barn catch the sun reddish on her breast. Puritan crows complain the driveway, flit from tree to tree to ground to strut. How quick and occasional favour of scraps became an expectation a habit to be demanded. She’s on high alert now, breakfast is a thing we have in common, hunger, hers a more urgent affair. Mine a thing to be numbed by coffee delayed by choice; what will I have? what do I want? So unlike her, everything I eat dead long ago and far away as if shadow boxing karma makes a difference. So unlike her even at my age still not learned to fly. It was my mother taught me about small birds, names and feeding. She thought blue jays were bullies but I liked them for their colour and their secret sound. There was always bread saved for the birds, every morning coffee by the kitchen window she’d watch birds before the day began quiet days before there ever were siblings and sometimes we would watch together. My father was an Audubon man, the huge book of colour plates near as big as I was. Bald eagles with cat fish, great blue herons spearing frogs. But he made time to hang feeders filled with tiny seeds, teach us grackles, cow birds and spotted the first oriole we ever saw.

%d bloggers like this: