767 Pin-Ball History 5-25-18

Whenever I feel the need
to be beaten,
at chess,
I call my neighbor for a tournament.
We’ll play two games,
a third
if we need to break the tie,
though usually, we don’t.
He always wins.
I learn some strategy by losing.
He gets pleasure by crushing,
that “young whipper-snapper from next door”.
He’s ninety five,
sharp as a trench-war bayonet,
but it’s incumbent on me
to walk to his house because
he’s ninety-five,
aging towards immobility,
while I am merely seventy,

So, when I hang up the phone,
(I know, that’s anachronistic! Phones don’t get “hung-up” anymore.)

having procured an invitation
to a chess Armageddon,

I have a choice:

I can step out my front door,
stroll up my driveway to the top,
turn left on the newly paved road
and walk up to Mr. Alexander’s home.

( He calls me “Ken”, but he’s old enough
to warrant a “Mister” from me.)


I can go out my back door,
to wander the mile or so through
our shared wood lot.
Except in inclement snow or rain,
I take the forest.
It intrigues me.
So I risk the pain.
There is no path.
No mulched trail leads me
to my humiliation,
though I have trod that Green Mile
many times before.

I ricochet
from one pine to another,
stumble over a protruding root,
skirt that granite-walled-gouge
to my left,
sometimes sliding down the slope,
sometimes curving away,
step-stone skip across the little brook,
babbling in Spring,
but by early Fall
dry enough to hop through.

I am arbitrary in my meanderings.

Sometimes, it is good just to wander.

It reminds me of the first half
of my peripatetic, vagabond life.
A pin-ball,
bouncing around existence,
tacking through time.

Rather like
the History I have my retirement to study, now,

when I’m not being
schooled at the chess board,
or chipping out a poem.
I’m learning from my reading that,
we may choose
to impose an iron grid
upon the centuries,
to trace God’s Ironic Hand in it all,
or Fates,
or some dialectic necessity
or some evolutionary insistence
on some sort of grand


to grant our journey into tomorrow,


I can blame some
unpredictable tripping over
some recently dislodged rock,
rolled down a slope in secret
(after a torrent has washed the soil away)
to the
where it catches my toe,

so a million bleed at the Marne,
or we might voyage to Mars,
or we are,


“Damn! I didn’t see that coming!”

in jeopardy,

Queens Knight takes Kings Rook –


About Ken Greenman

Married and Happy. Retired and busy. Living in NC. 71 and counting. December 12, 2020 and it's 72! ... I would love some written comments, critiques, adulation or kind suggestions.... If you have the time and or inclination, please feel free! Not in fear but by faith. We will see. See you later! If you ever want to talk for real, email me and I will send you my cell number.... I am enjoying this!
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