Early Memory


Swinging side by side

How high into the sky we did ride

Dirt under the swing bare and flat, grass all elsewhere green and leaves fat

Rusted bar swings into sight

Chains go slack and pull up tight

Finally falling out of synch

                  Sister and I sing out loud

                  Mrs. Robinson and Michael row your boat ashore

                  Mom watches from the kitchen sink window

                  Sing loud and swinging high

                  Watch the sun and clouds hang loose while they fly

Slow down with your feet, always keep your seat, when Mom is watching

Free and unseen let loose the chain,

fly from the seat like a bird on the wing

All too soon the ground and dirt come up sometimes to sting

Swing side by side

Happiest memory

The little princess and me





Grass is green and seems all the same

Flat and dull just all so plain

Trees have brown stalks and green splotches

Leaves I know but no details can I see

Sidewalks are white, grey and brown

Separated by green and grey lines around

Return from the car

My god what a sight

Grass is green and no blade the same, even tiny flowers

I see lizards and bees

Corn flowers and buttercups against my knees

Sidewalk clean white, brown and grey,

Tiny rows of grass and pebbles between each slab


Amazing what glasses do for a childÕs perception so grand


Okinawa Green, Habu, Jets and Play


Trees topped flat and green

Branches wide to run on feet so fleet

Laughing, yelling, jumping and sliding

Hang from your hands, far, far down

Geronimo and roll on the ground

Diamond boulder on the hill

Habus are waiting to make a kill

Run up the trail, hide in the rocks crack

Jump out and ambush your friend's attack

Run down the trail

Slithering beside red touches yellow

Stop, freeze, quiet now, the colorful habu steals the show

Back across the street, the big two door house

Cement walls, and roof lizards only, never a mouse

Dirty ditch along the road

Binjo, nasty smells all fallow

Fences high with barbed wire rolls

Jets flying low

Window and dishes vibrate and roll

Sonic boom, maybe earthquake

Four oÕclock bugle stand tall quiet and straight

Just being a child of a military man


The first beach


Beach's Kin, red, blue and yellow

Pacific side clear and shallow

Rocks and tides trap and release

Fishermen carry tangled squirming big headed octopods

Stone fish spines give great grief

Sneakers to swim on your feet

Giant jellyfish that sting

Waves to jump in,

keep clear of anything

Walk along collect the shells,

transient and beautiful not a strong spell

Tide rises quick, sucking under tow

Feel the tiny rocks tingle under your feet as out they go


Claremont Mesa


Mealy worms fly in a rocket high

Way too smart, three grades one class

Readings and class work on Monday assign

Play all week then Friday work hard

Flat open dusty, rocky sand,

swings and slides too hot to stand

Chase the kid with the ball,

tackle and steal it and run from all

Slide down on the slick succulent weeds,

into the arroyo green stains on your knees






Two houses side by side green on top and white all outside

Rainy days droplets march like soldiers

Lilac thicket higher than your shoulders

Church down the street, big playground too

Crosswalk guard, badge of silver and blue

Mass at 8, old Father there, fulsome crazy white tangled hair

Tough as nails, gentle as a leaf, magic and faith internalized no thief

Class inside brick hard building

Sisters teach and young loves blooming

Playground at last, swings, and fields of grass

Gentle giant is there too, always happy to greet and smile to play with you

Noon siren sounds back to school grounds

Math, science, religion, history all taught by symbols of strict propriety

Last bell now, off we go

Home first, then up the hill, who knows

Special basement room for play, green carpet, low pipes and toys for play

Sitting on steps with a working man,

smell oil and steel dark stains ingrained in his hand

Dinner what a feast, beans, gravy, chops and beets

Butter and Karo on your bread, maybe one more hour to play then bed

The princess and mom all in one room

I sure hope Dad is back real soon


Interrupted Play


They just wanted to play

You know, invisible pretend rifles and pistols

Fight the invisible despicable Nazi soldiers in the woods.

Crawling around tree stumps, wiggling up low branches, whooping and hollering as they jump through the underbrush.


Crashing down the hillocks into clear-cut construction fields, dirt clods for grenades

Everyone the hero, everyone the best

Green berets without hats, Marines without camouflage

Chasing invisible and evil Nazi soldiers over hill and flat.


Running full tilt, jumping over creeks,

Hiding below a low mound under dappled maple shade

Breathing hard, gasping and laughing

                                    Then the sun is darkened

                                    Two booted feet stand on the top of the mound

                                    Trucks grumbling in the near distance


Looking up slow and afraid, maybe they should not have played

                                    Washed out blue jeans, pointed toe cowboy boots

                                    Huge belt buckle, heavy revolver on the belt

                                    Crisp starched shirt, open collar,

Mirror sun glasses shaded under cowboy hat


Not quite trembling in fear, but suddenly quiet and awestruck they stop and stare

The voice rumbles from deep in his chest,

ÒYou boys ought not to be playing hereÓ

Over the mound behind the authority
Open clear grass and dirt field with long low building

Fenced with chain-link topped with concertina wire,

Recognize a prison work camp that was never thought to be there


Thank-you mumbled, slowly rise, respectfully smile and turn without goodbyes

Who knew they were so close; homes and bikes just cross the road behind and through construction cleared fields.


They played a lot closer and all the opposite way for all the rest and the very next day.



Night of the bears

Park the car carry it all in

Clear open space with rotted wood from trees

Tent pitched, fire swallows fuel

LetÕs cook some bacon in a iron skillet

That smell is soooooo, whewww

Hey whatÕs down that way

Snorfling, grunting, staggering right this way

Closer and the smell is rank

It three black bears walking up the grass bank

Douse the fire, throw out the bacon,

grab the tent away weÕre making

Flashlight poking through the night,

fast paced passing

missing trees suddenly grown so tight

back at the car, throw everything in

sleep inside, at dawn weÕll leave then


Later when not in a panic read about bears

Discover their scat resembles rotted wood

Never camp and cook bacon where the bears toilet has stood.



Eagles nest night

Drive away, though rocked hills and glades

Climb the first ridge, through a gate cross a bridge

Park, tramp, hike and climb

Tree tower high green leaves some wet to shine

Brown earth and roots twist under the feet,

stones and moss hummocks taste each step

a clearing, a field see the river below

pitch the tent, with the view just so

fire grumbles and snaps with delight,

dinner is done not a creature in sight

in the dark a snorfle and grunt

something moves around and in front

Firelight hidden in moving shadow

Peak out, no way, be quiet and hopeful

Scouts shouting and yelling loud

Snorfling, grunting shuffling moves away

Dawn and light

No time for stay, the nights noise was warning not to tarry

Who ever knew a night on a mountain to be so scary



Vikings and jesters thatÕs what we are

Stretching minds with hormones and learning to drive a car

Subjects are foolish, no relevance

Time to take off, search beyond the fence

Tank full of gas, beer, soda and chips

Who else to the ShenandoahÕs goes to skip

Park and wander on dappled trails

Climb a mountain to look out at dales

Trees of leaves and needles too

Hide a hawks journey now and again from view

Quiet the doe walks ahead,

Behind just see the fawns tiny head

Chittering skittering in trees above

busy squirrels give alarm and not much love

Drink a beer and look over the valley

The river below glitters, slithers away and again

Another day when class is mundane

Take off again

Another day trip but not the same

To the storied battled run that saw battles two

Drive down the dirt to the big rocky edge

The dam to the right over which waters fled

Blue gill, perch, cats and carp

Anything that bites gets gutted with knives sharp

Late after football under lights bright

Gather together is the dark of night

Share a smoke, a beer or two

Talk about deep subjects

Knowledge of which none of us knew

Race down the Devils backbone, cruise highway one

Never alone, breaker, breaker

Coffee stop, at the big plaza not to shop

Monday start all over a new, Jesters we were and Vikings too.



Aim High -- Military Training

Legionaires March or die

Air Force Squadron sings going by

Rainbows, Green Pickles, 15th day in

blue against our skin

dawn breaks on athletic flaps

eat all you take no going back

Duty, Honor, leadership learn

Needed for every stripe you earn

March in blue, pass in review

Buses again, School and then?

Ropes green yellow and red,

donÕt march all day or to bed

Fully up ready to go

Travel someplace new

Start a mission

guarding the peace for the free



Duetsch Tags

River flows South to North

Wide and narrow, fast and slow

Rocky bend, boats must slow

Cathedrals, castles, forts and chains

Impede the floating trade just so

Rocks just out below a cliff

Upon which fraulien sirens did sit

Steins und bergs, Schlosse und Ritter, Barone und garten

Climb the cliff, find the peace statue

Wien probe und fest, protecting the west

Deploy and maneuver,

some in harmÕs way did travel

Through a gap armor might roll

Our jobs protection in a war cold

Desert sands, cold northern climes

Warm Atlantic shore,

winter fields and snow

Weapons ready, equipment too

Mount up and roll another day and mission to do

Family behind, Blitzkreig bears could rumble in

24 hours to get out, that will never begin

Cars explode

Riots and protest, red brigade and anarchy is near

Living and working in low grade fear

C-130 travel now, Equipment, no stripes,

Dog tags tapped, web gear just right

No PX, but bunkers and scorpions

wild dogs run, machines guns fire,

Flares, smoke, concertina wire

I joined for a job not to be a friend of fire and strife

German tags and defending whatÕs right,

Who knew that to wear green was the same as Air Force Blue



Sssssssisssin sand

Sssswishshshshshshs wind

Ssssssssssssssssssssssss sub sssssssssssssssssss surface Sleep

Turbo Prop slicing thru roaring air

Brown, Sand, Rock, Sand Brown

Hot sssssssssssssssssssssssssoooooooooooooooooo heated

Shimmering air

Warmish wet tickles chin

Crawl back under the ground again

Daily check, all systems green

No Pyramids, no Nefertiti IÕve seen

Dogs run thru the night

Barking howling out of sight

Rapid fire Kchunking noise

Turn about and turn again

Sun blisters on skin

Return the big cavernous plane

Sssssssssssssssssssssssssss sand

Ssssssssssss swishhhhhing wind

Sssssssssssssssssssss slither lizard

Sssssssssssssssssssssssssss mission success again



Objective found

High above the fleeing rats

I stand alone where IÕm at.                        

The lowly height IÕve reached

Is only as high as I seek.

Once big dreams,

Became realities sighs.                     

A soul content, life seeming well spent.

Soaring above the mundane affair, Providing my familyÕs welfare



The Kids

Blonde hair

Fine finger nails

Pursed soft lips

Pink finger tips

Boy and girl Mother different

Both make all days the best spent

Orange body, too many carrots

Free air fountain

Sliding across the table

Throw high, catch and laugh

Frilly dress, petticoats

Blue, red, green overalls

Watch birds sing, make the creek a note

Climb rocks, swim free,

Capsize a canoe, stand-up your free

Fish out of the river, squat and watch and see the innards

Cook in fry pan, a wonderful dinner

She returns after many years

Catch up as the daughter she was, no fear

Together sister and brother,

amazing how some much yet different from the other





What is the dream?


         King, Queen, Knight, Master, Mistress,

         Pondering these titles give one distress.


Being chivalrous, filled with courtesy,

Is truly a wonderous thing to see.


         Arthur and his Knights,

         Richard, heart of lion and might


Seigfried and his rings

Roland, the Knight who sings


Charlemagne with Kingdom and kin

Sforzas, Borgias and Condittori rise again


Tolkien and the three rings

Speak out with tales of chivalric doings.


         The tournament of Rene,

         A Pas dÕarms to see out the day.


Creating arts and pieces to show,

Expounding and reciting tales for all to know.


         Teach and learn

         Yea, to be a Knight, Master, Mistress some do yearn.


For all, aye a dream to be

To itsÕ service and support we give for free


         Follow the path

The dream is a yen

                           Yet of service to the dream

Is what keeps us together as kin.




Bangkok impressions

Shuttered buildings,

Raw high cement gray crumbling curbs

Can you touch the car next to you?
Satay Streets,        Smoking motorbikes      

Glimpse a western face

Tuk Tuk roaming,

Billowing fumes foaming

Gag and retch      

Exhaust in throat catch

Chili and cumin, other nameless spices,

advertisements for all lifeÕsÕ vices.

Broken beggarsÕ body step over and around

Beggar lays open sores, tourists leave and close all stores.

Beggar stands and walks away

Dark passages to safety

Night market, everyone buys   

Can you see my western eyes?

Hard hats and flip flops, 

Banana tree and bamboo scaffolds

Telecom, IT buddha in the machine? 

Shoes off in computersÕ presence     

CanÕt find the tool, cables no have,

Sawasdee kaip

Bangkok Life


Living Like rats

Working like Kings

Buddha and the Gods get most everything.

Dying is cheap, living expensive.

Eating the leavings, farangs have wasted.

Flip flops and suits, Silk everywhere,

not bought in the market, TVs to share.

No toilet fixtures

Beds roll up to stay

Cooking in woks, or soups in pots

Living in Bangkok


HeartsÕ lament


Small things IÕve done

No thoughts of future won.

Live with no regrets,

ThatÕs what to say, but always in a sweat.

Heart and thoughts never the same

Till life is lived to the end game.

When alone we all stand

with no partners hand.

Heart, Mind and soul

Bended in toil

Love is a fierce god

Plays with life, is it a fraud

Smile when your sad,

Cry when your glad.

Take it all, but swallow whole

What you get youÕve earned, for all youÕve yearned.

Small things IÕve done

Serendipity, everyone


Tour dive leader

Drop down, slide up, slap the wave

Motor out

In spray smell salt

Blue green brown and yellow

Light enow for all your fellow

Mermaids cling to a barred line

Swim, snorkel round

They enjoy the ride

Dolphins swirl, dive and skim

Nuzzle and gently touch life holding within

Release the noxious tanks we hold

Brown rippling strong sea lions become so bold

An hour out in the bay

Sea lions cavort and play

Dolcet deep brown smiling eyes

Deeper you dive, play twist and espy

Bring her round

Into the spray, dolphins, sea lions and gulls done with play



The two-wheel ride


Rumbling engine

Shaking bar

How close are all the cars?

Roadways slick with oil and water

Riding along heart beating like thunder

Daggers of spray from wet road tires

Stinging droplets of summers light shower

Wind buffets head and chest

Eye water and cry from the test

Boots scuffed dirty and black, pulling up on the gear shift to gain speed and tack

Leaning into curves and turns

Trucks push up close from behind

As if to permit on their road and power define

Slide into a stop, gas and a pop

walk off the vibrations and wet tiny daggers of cold


On the street sun high

Road dry, feel the buffet and slap of the heat

Wind writhes and twists around your face and cheek

Fingers numb from exertion

Feet and boots hot with exhaust

Finding the groove on the street

Keep the ride up do not drag feet

Open clear, but bugs hit hard

Finally glide into a bed stop



To fence


Sword and helmet, jack and glove

Dance deaths pirouette and guard from above

Parry, thrust, riposte and deflect

Shoes floor squeak with each following step

Mask and cloak defend and protect

Lunge and thrust

Beat and thrust

Engage to disengage

Foot work tight and no fluff

No piste

No electric

Circled duello is the floor plan

Score is honor and cuts accepted

Buckler with swash

Gloved hand to push

Sheath empty, but parry

Masters yes, Instructors too, books to study and routines to go through

Learn some and then some again

Bout with all, learn to defend

Mask, jack and glove

Epee, cutlass,

saber, rapier

back and broad

cuttoe and cinquinetta

My tools and lifeÕs blood


© Richard "Rick" Allison

Bio:  Rick lives in Lansdale, PA, with his wife and their four cat kids