The Writing Lion

The Writing Lion

The Writing Lion,
who is creative,
bold and fearless,
strides the jungle path
of poems, eager to eat,
ready to sink his teeth
into the meat of
a good metaphor.

Behind him, Dog
holds the pen ready
for Lion when he tears
into the main courses
which, naturally,
will be verses.

Queen of Pens

Queen of Pens

The British bulldog who once helped Britannia rule the waves

Holds high with honor the Queen of Pens in all her pearly blaze

Splendid, as she is, all trimmed in gold and stolen from India.


In regal glory (and with a consort or two) the Queen rules, then,

o’er her court of princess pens: blacks, browns, reds and greens.


And when she says, “Girls, let’s uncap ourselves

and write a story!” The princess pens all clap with glee

and begin the hunt for metaphors and allegories.


A Fighter Pilot’s Son

A Red-Tailed Voodoo

A Fighter Pilot’s Son

(Knodishall is a little village of a couple hundred people
on the east coast of Britain just in from the North Sea.
I lived there as a child for two years.)


“Come, children. Your father’s going to visit us today.”

Huh? You say. She takes us three boys by our hands

into the yard, points to the sky and says “Stare hard.”


And we do. At nothing. “Keep looking,” she implores.

Then a dot, a tiny pinprick of a dot on the horizon

gets larger and larger with the rumbling roar of a

mighty war bird, a military airplane fast and low.


Mother shouts: “Here comes Father in his jet!”

Then he’s overhead dark and swift, the shadow

of death. You can bet it’s the coolest thing

we’ve ever seen – an F-101 Voodoo with

a huge red tail sprinkled with white stars.


A most awesome flying machine streaking

in now at hundreds of miles an hour and I

am like six years old. Holy cow and wowzers!


The gods of thunder and the gods of war all

bow down to the mighty roar. Thor himself

stops hammer in mid-blow to nod approvingly

at the majesty of two Pratt and Whitneys

turning raw jet fuel into blazing afterburners.


The Earth shakes. Birds stop flying. Dogs howl,

think they’re dying. Dad pulls ‘er up, nose to the sky,

twenty-foot flames shooting out the back end.


Crawling things stop crawling. Rabbits stop dead

in their tracks. Dad? He’s spinning round and round

on his back in the cockpit, grinning I suppose, pointed

straight up until he disappears in the thin blue sky.


Mother says: ”Well, children. Did you wave to Father?”

Us? First we had to pick our jaws up off the ground, shut our

mouths from drawing flies and get our eyes back in our heads.





Finally the leaves must surrender

To a will far greater than their own

Desire to dance on limb and bough.


With timid tumbles and cautious flips

They commit themselves from the heights

Nervously uncertain of the seed’s promise.


Old Stone Lion


Old Stone Lion

(14th Street, Omaha, Nebraska)

Old Leo, it’s always good to see you

no matter the time of day or season

I enjoy staring at your regal bearing

as you guard your spot on this empty lot.


You sit alone and I, your kindred spirit,

walk alone, sometimes stopping by

to see if you have anything to say.

I believe you must, for I look at you

in all your kingly glory and think

“I’ll bet that fellow has a story!”


Your furrowed  brow bears marks

earned from years of wisdom; therefore

I beg you, Sir Leo, share your vision.


But what worries you so? You look inward.

Something you forgot? Did a bad thought

get caught in one of your regal dreadlocks?


You big cat. What happened to your passion?

I’m certain in your day you were quite dashing.

Shouldn’t you be out romping and roaring

all over the savannah, humping lionesses

and tearing into those damn hyenas, then

ending such pleasure with a royal snooze?


That’s the path I’d choose if I were a lion

like you. Wait. Don’t tell me. Those days.

Not over for you, are they? Oh my gosh!


They are, aren’t they? Caught up in a coup,

chased off by a younger version of you.

Your days of roaring decidedly through.

Now I know what makes you blue.

You’re a deposed lion, aren’t you?


Friend, we can’t break bread. You’re stone

and can’t eat. No worries. I’ll sit. We can

share stories, enjoy a mental feast instead.


And if it’s tears you want to shed, we can

get to crying. For I, too, am a deposed lion.


#Omaha #poetry


I’M BACK!!!!

I’M BACK!!!!

Friends, amigos, Freunde! Sorry for the absence. I got manic in August and poetry took over. Seriously. And I do mean took over. Sometimes four a day. It was so bad, one night I was leaving my son’s place and he said: “Damn, dad, the Muse is raping you.”

The next morning I wrote a poem about “My Muse.”  And you know, some people say: “Poetry?”

And I reply “Well . . . yeah.”

Did you know in forty years of writing I’ve been a military journalist, a city hall reporter, a news service editor, a magazine feature writer and college writing instructor? I’ve written a volume of short stories (Ganja Tales);  a novel I couldn’t sell (“Free Fall”) and three marijuana screenplays (I’m trying to sell): Ganja Tales, Southern Bud and The Osipenko File.

Now poetry.

Thus, you can see I’m a writing fool. Not too many of me left around. This statement leads me, in effect, back to my topic, which is: What’s your blog about, Craig?

Hell, I don’t know! Stuff. Stuff you like to read; stuff I like to write for you. Things that hit home.

Truths others avoid. A sense of humor through all the pain. Kind, like you I bet. Because we’re all living the same life, breathing the same air, hurting over the same things; we’re all just loving and crying; living and dying, winning and losing and trying to keep going. So yeah, plenty to write about there!

Thanks again for reading. Your eyes are worth more than money to me.  


Cherries with a Whiff of Death

Cherries with a Whiff of Death.

My wife does most of the grocery shopping because I am either too depressed or too creative to go out. In the first instance I just don’t feel like talking to anyone, and in the second I’m too busy running around with a net trying to catch all the words tumbling out of my brain.

So the outer world for me is a real push-pull deal. On one hand, I know I need to get out and interact with other human beings (I sometimes go for days without ever leaving my apartment). On the other hand, such interactions more often than not  remind me that I am a dog in a roomful of cats, a rabbit among wolves.

Besides, when I do get out I find new concerns to get depressed about. Why? Because someone I care for is hurting, and that makes me hurt. This happened the other day when I went to the grocery store. You can shop at a lot of places, so I shop where I get along with the people, right? Just like you do.

So there’s a woman who supervises the front end of the store where I shop. She’s so gay; I just love her so. She gets my sense of humor and always makes me laugh.

She’s not tall and she’s not big, so I’d say she’s just above petit. Neither is she a stroller: her walk is more of a diddy-bop with a dash of bounce in it. I’ll bet she’s a great dancer.

Quick to smile and take a joke, she’s got a round face suggesting Cancerian underpinnings. Her straight hair comes down just below her ears and over the back of her neck, and I’d say she’s around 50.

Her hair … that’s how the repartee between her and me got started about three years ago when I began shopping there. You see, she puts a streak of color in it. Constantly. So I got to saying to her when I shopped: “What color is your hair today,” and it would be pink, but blue tomorrow and purple the next.

From hair color it was easy for me to slip into my shtick about how I’m imprisoned in the basement each day by my horrible wife (whom she can plainly see checking out with our groceries), only to be let up for supper IF I’ve hit my quota of writing pages for the day.

And she says “Well, you must be a very bad boy.”

The nerve of that woman!

So the other day I was talking with her and she asked me how long my wife, Sandy, and I have been married. More than forty years, I replied. And she looked over at Sandy checking out at the register, then back at me, put on a sad face and said: “I feel so sorry for Sandy.”

I flared in mock outrage. My great golden dragon eyes blazed like dual suns, almost setting her on fire. “I am going to get you for that!” I cried.

I just love her so. Have I told you that? She is one of the few who “get” me.

So I went to buy a few things the other day and the new front-end supervisor told me my friend was in the hospital with her 11-year-old granddaughter who just had a brain operation, one of many. No!

I felt so sad leaving. And of course later, at home, my mind drifted to her as I ate some of the cherries I’d purchased. And they were delicious. I therefore couldn’t help but think that life can be sweet, but bitter, too.


Good News!

Good News!

My Southern Bud cannabis comedy was one of 17 winners at Scriptapalooza’s worldwide comedy short contest, putting me in the top 4 percent of the entrants. Bottom line? Winning scripts are sent to their network of producers, managers and agents to start relationships with the new writers. As for me, I’m ready, willing and able. LOL.

And just last week I thought Atlas Entertainment Director of Development Topher Rhys-Lawrence was going to jump at the full-length Southern Bud screenplay when he said it has “humor and heart.” Alas, I believe the genre mashup threw him: Antebellum cannabis comedy. What can I say? My freaking mind goes all over the place!

 Moreover, back in June Southern Bud was a quarterfinalist in ScreenCraft’s annual comedy feature competition.

 Ah swear, this li’l ol’ Antebellum comedy featuring five gorgeous Southern Belles keeps turning heads, just as the ladies do! Only a matter of time now.


The Writing Begins Every Morning at 5

The writing begins every morning at 5. Grab a pen and jump on in!


Hey now Mary, Jane or Simon

Are you handy with your rhyming?

 Matthew, John, and maybe Saint Peter

Can you hammer Iambic pentameter?

 If that is you and you won’t be late,

We’ll hand you a pen and say Welcome, Mate!


~~ by Craig Pugh