Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Barnsley Boat

Photo "Joy Riders" Credit: Artist Bob Barker 

Short Story By: Stewart Brennan

The Barnsley Boat

Stonefield, the home of my precious guarded memories and immortal youth; its been so long since I was home, so the first sight of the long row of tenements today, gave me a warm feeling with a little shiver as if I had gone back in time.

All my youthful memories came flooding back as I passed by the homes of friends and families I once knew, calling out the original owners by name as I drove by. They’re still there in my mind as sure as it was yesterday.

Down a small side street within our little village of row houses, was my destination and the place I called home, Barnsley Street.

Barnsley was on the outskirts of town and descended into a marsh that served as a young child’s hunting grounds for frogs and pollywogs but also for our tree forts and games of hide and seek.

The voices of children’s laughter and merriment echo back to memory and paint the scenes of a street I grew up on in the mid 1960’s as I emerge from the car and look down the road.

The long row houses on either side of the cobblestone street had small yards just big enough to hang the laundry to dry so most of our time was spent playing on the back street that declined into the marsh. When it rained, the water would pool at the bottom of the road, which is where the undefeated Barnsley Boat was. An old rusty 1939 P8 Plymouth automobile that was our unsinkable ship, a boat that won every battle it faced.

The old steel and aluminium garbage cans across the road served as the enemy ships and sounded lifelike when we made a direct hit with a rock. Many times the old Barnsley boat was hit by subs that silently snuck up on us with their torpedoes, but we always stayed afloat by the brilliant and magical engineering of our crew.

We played outdoors, morning, noon, and night and never came inside until family would call us in for supper.

August would bring the fireflies, an alien invasion by night that we and old Barnsley held off to eventually save the world…and at wars end, we decorated ole Barnsley for the victory parade that passed by an endless row of people on either side of the street and waved until our little arms grew tired.

The old boat belonged to Peters father, Mr Wing, who left it parked outside his gate after it broke down for good. That is, until one day, Peter who had just been in the marsh with his rubber Billy boots jumped onto the hood of the car and slipped off hitting his head on the road. I saw it all unfold as I had just closed the gate to my front yard when Petey called to me and slipped.

I quickly ran towards Pete but was beaten by the lightning quick strides of Mr Wing who scooped Peter up and brought him inside his house.

I stayed outside on his back steps worrying about my friend when a lime green station wagon ambulance pulled up, followed by all the neighbourhood kids running behind it. Concern was shared by everyone as I relayed the story to them…we all stayed there in Pete’s yard waiting for word…

Within fifteen minutes, which seemed like an eternity, the ambulance attendants and stretcher came out of the house with concerned expressions and a reply to our questioning faces, “Don’t worry boys, Peter will be alright, he just has a slight concussion.”

Relief ensued then as the group of us waited for the ambulance to pull away, and as it did, we all ran behind it to give Pete a protective send off as any good Barnsley crew would for their shipmate.

A week later Mr Wing had ole Barnsley towed away to a junkyard, a sad ending for our old boat and stalwart champion…

Old memories give way to the grey skies above and drizzle falling on Barnsley road. Our marshland now turned into a cemetery holding stones with the names of people I once knew, including Mr Wing and Petey, who sadly passed away last year in a car wreck.

Here now, a crowd gathers with black umbrellas in the cemetery, with a priest waiting for the last few of us to arrive. Tom Fisk, Dave Fallen, his brother Mike, and Sylvain de Bruit, whom I hadn’t seen in years till today…no one had changed, it was like we never parted, the spirit within each of them remained so recognizable…as if it was yesterday.

A melancholy atmosphere pervades the murmur of voices gathering as another soul from Barnsley Street is laid to rest. Ashes to Ashes dust to dust, we will all meet again here, to revisit our guarded memories.

The mourners slowly dissipate and walk from the graveyard onto Barnsley Street and pass by two young saluting boys standing on top of an old rusty 1939 P8 Plymouth automobile…”another successful burial at sea captain!” “Eye first engineer, prepare to take the ship into battle!”
Story Summary: A Man revisits his childhood home with vivid memories.

Please Visit the extraordinary Artist "Bob Barker" @ the Following Links:

Artist Bob BarkerOfficial Website

Bob Barker Art on Facebook

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Forty Below

Forty Below

Oh my goodness, it’s forty below,
Winds are high, cars covered in snow.

I put on my boots, coat, and hat,
Walk to the car, feeling flat.

Come on baby, the sky is clear,
Please start for me and quiet my fear.

Frozen checklist, runs through my head,
Oh God, I hope the battery's not dead.

Key in ignition, I’m crossing my fingers,
Reciting my prayers, but worry still lingers.

I turn the key; the car begins talking,

Face turns white, and drops like stone,
Reality kicks in; I don’t like this tone.

I remove the key, slunk back in the seat,
wish there was a way to generate heat.

New round of prayers, eyes in the air,
Turn the ignition and begin to swear.

Car repeats position; oh this cannot be,
Show starts in an hour, please start for me.

Come now baby, I’ll take care of you,
Just turn the engine, for good ole Stew?

Yes, yes, yes, concerts on today!

Car engine running, heater on max,
Vows made, to preserve my pax.

I step out of vehicle, scraper in hand,
Slam the door shut, smiling grande.

As the door closes, I hear that clop,
Oh my god, my spirits then drop.

I realize quickly, it was the locks,
And spare car keys, are in the glovebox.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dan’s Return

Dan’s Return

Daylight crests the dawn, as clouds scurry across the bay, the country’s in midwinter, and filled with anticipation.

Horse and cutter clears the snow, mail sleigh is a go, lifting hopeful spirits, with letters replied in tow.

It’s been weeks since Dan returned, but today the mail cart is coming, and Phil’s reply should relieve concerns, that all is well and running.

Dan’s thoughts go back to wars end, when they said their goodbye’s, they made a pledge to redress old times, carry them back to Maine, and open up that damn wood shop.

Phil’s ship left port, two weeks ahead of Dan’s, as he recalled the singing, the excitement and the boat filled with brimming smiles. Life was in celebration and the future was ours.

Clopping hooves and sleigh bells break the frosty air to ring in mornings excitement, as the postman shakes guarded memory, places a single letter in the box and slips away with his team.

Bandaged hands excitedly waving his thanks, Dan moves swiftly towards the letterbox. “Damn these dressings, my hands don’t work. I can’t open a simple letterbox, how will I tell Phil the shop will have to wait? Here’s my Martha now to help me with these tricky things.”

“These darn hands don’t seem to work with these bandages dear Martha, could you open up the letterbox dear, so we can both take a look?”

Bundled warm in coat, boots and sweater, Martha retrieved the postman’s delivery. Eyes round and glowing, she turns with letter in hand and makes for the house.

“Yes, let’s go inside to read it, it’s too cold out here, we’ll certainly catch our death.”

Inside the kitchen, with woodstove all alight, Martha opened the letter to read Phil’s writing.

Dear Martha,

…the letter wasn’t for me! What’s that devil up to, thought Dan…and so behind Martha he stood to read Phil’s words…

When I left your Dan in France, his wounds were healing, the Great War was over, and the future was all ours to build. Dan spoke of you often with such love in his eyes, and was heading back to ask for your hand.

I went to greet his boat a day early, and booked two tickets to Maine. Dan wanted to introduce me to his future bride, so I waited at the station in great anticipation for news on his arrival. I waited long, but was truly looking forward to the reunion when the news came…Not one day out, their ship was hit by a mine, the ship sank…and all aboard was lost…there were no survivors…I’m so sorry…

Martha broke down in tears, and tossed the letter aside. Dan looked down…”but I made it home, I’m with you here, now…”

Martha, distraught, got up and ran from the empty room, leaving the letter behind…

Dan sat down in his usual spot and stared at the tear filled paper on the table…


About Dan’s Return: Phil and Dan were comrades who survived World War I and on Phil’s departure pledged to meet up back home in the States. Although Dan’s return is not as expected…

Stormy Journey

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Stormy Journey

Old tormented mind fastens thrice around failing rudder, gripped tightly, clinging to a solitary vision, on the tempestuous seas of insanity.

Anxious fragmented thoughts gather to navigate safe passage towards calmer waters, mind firmly anchored on storied horizon as a rain soaked determined face boldly faces the storm, cursing to change the weather.

Two pale gaunt lanterns stubbornly flicker on into the tumultuous headwinds of gnashing thoughts, resolved to continue the journey, else the fathoms of the deep await should he drop his pen.

About this Poem: The Poem was inspired by a quote from Ray Bradbury, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” – The Poem is my personal testament to the truth of these words…the need to keep writing, or the establishments reality will consume me to my death…I fight on…

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mission’s Imprint

Mission’s Imprint

All is laid bare before empyrean essence; a tiny world succumbed by the dark scourge of distance and absence of universal communion.

See here the world of brave spirits fallen, who fend off cumbrous curtains of darkness to blindly erect temples of fear for their salvation, in hopes that they are not alone…the thunderous results of shock by severed umbilical to the source, and so exists a sole world, birthed in the desolation of consciousness unconnected.

Animal essence, born as fractal shards, billions of seeds swimming in egoic thoughts cutting their way through time towards astonishment, regret, and surrender; to never understand the pain of their spiritual grounding…the blindness of life is thus…

Come with me child, child of light, embrace the fathoms of essence in a world imploring salvation. Heal the disconnected and break the void of shadows that dark mirrors cast.

Accept this guidance willingly and become the healer who awakens the sleeping in reconnection with the placenta of universal community, and be part of the healing salvation of a lost world.

Pray forth your wisdom for this creation, so that empathy may be processed, measured and inscribed with magnetic ink, into the framework of missions imprint.

Remember, in moments of reawakening, to bathe in the wisdom left in dreams. Listen to the voice of reason that shall guide you always and purge you from melancholy burden, for we gift you your souls imprint. A whispered voice of guidance to remind you of purpose, tucked away in familiarity, this enlightened moment gathered with strong purpose to accompany you on births transition. Go with this awareness, and upon awakening seek cognate beings tasked with grand healing…

…First bloom and brilliance of baby’s cry springs to life, remembering, for a moment, shadows gathered as if in a dream.

Though ego then forms in newborn’s mind, to blind the soul in a viral decay of spirit from first sting. An awakening now awaits its time, to recall empathic mission.

About this Poem: We are born with a “knowing” that eludes us until the moment of our re-awakening. I call it an imprint, as I have seen it within myself as have others in their mission in life. Every one of us has an imprint, and if you look deep inside, once all fears and illusions are cast away, your purpose re-emerges from your imprint…and your mission then begins…

Monday, February 15, 2016

Corporate Pestilence

Corporate Pestilence

Corporations gather, they plan the coming year,
Sales are down and falling, invoking massive fear.

When mega corps collapse, economies begin to rumble,
Companies go out of business, and stocks begin to tumble.

Corporate direction requires, decisions in a flash,
Like new improved products, marked up for bigger cash.

But exponential growth, brings an apocalyptic curse,
famine, war, and pestilence, followed by the hearse.

Breaking news at six, six, six, with a new scientific study,
Funded by corporate memes, their hands are really bloody.

Zika virus mosquitoes, now spreading massive fear,
Mediums break to tell you, disguise how they appear.

What they say and how it is, are very different things,
pesticides are responsible, for the calamity that they bring.

In truth there’s growth inhibitors, in pesticides released,
to stop larvae from growing, is the nature of this beast.

Masked disease unleashed, they poison the water table,
Approved by rigged inspections, rubber stamping label.

Inventive little stories, now carried by little bugs,
that reproduce in water, to sell new twisted drugs.

I wonder how they do it, just in the nick of time,
poison groups of people, to save their bottom line.

When Wall Street falls I worry, about what they’ll do that day,
for moral accounts are empty, and people are their prey.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Free at Last

Free at Last

Freed from bondage, you broke my chains,
Lifted my spirit and removed the pains.
Setting sun melts earthly planes,
And plants the ground with my remains.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Eternal Light

Eternal Light

Come to me…

You my child, who toils in light and darkness,
I am here in brilliance, as a reminder of our bond.
Remember me, when you are weary,
when confusion blocks your way.

You are of me, and I of infinite fire,
our light is one, the candle of all souls,
light never extinguished,
that lives in thoughts and dreams.

I am the father of life, and the son of eternity,
the well of souls, replenishment of mind and spirit.
I am the light that glows, and creator of shadow,
the conscious energy of our essence.

Come to me…

James Yuill – No Surprize

Video Source: World United Music



Misplaced compass, coherence gone,
Obscured vision, spirit withdrawn.

Listless ship, mind astray,
Stormy seas, burdens weigh.

Cumbrous keel, sails fall,
Identity vanished, in the squall.

Ballast sinks, spirits tossed,
Emotions plunge, all hope lost.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Program Crash

Program Crash

01010011 - 01110100 - 01100101 - 01110111 - 01100001 - 01110010 - 01110100
Programmed mind, soul and life,
All systems go,
House, Car,
Wife, Kids,
Job, Credit, Debt,
TV distractions,
Events happen,
Events unprocessed,
Anxiety builds,
Anxiety builds,
Crash 2001,
Awakened 2002,
Systems failing,
Marriage crash,
Employment crash,
Family Crash,
Housing Crash,
Software overload,
Lost in Space,
Lost in Space…
Floating in new waters,
Paths less travelled,
Dots connecting,
Unscrambled mind,
Vision clear,
Old Roads closed,
Time on Hands,
Children cherished,
Creative Strands,
New roads open,
Vision clear,
Earth is Prison,
Escape found,
Light embraced,
Consciousness discovered,
Consciousness released...

For details, see NSA…
01010011 - 01110100 - 01100101 - 01110111 - 01100001 - 01110010 – 01110100

About this Expression: The poem above is my reply to the following question I was asked, "If your life crashed and burned today, what would we find recorded in your Black Box?"
Also: In case you were wondering, my Name "Stewart" in ASCII code = 01010011 - 01110100 - 01100101 - 01110111 - 01100001 - 01110010 – 01110100

Shadow Empire III

Shadow Empire III

Long shadows of night descend on cities of broken dreams,
Where supremacists seize power in a coup revoking rights of existence.

A perverse, wicked neoteric Rome rises in the west,
Empowering its faithful greedy hordes, with promises never meant to keep.

Battle lines reach antediluvian empires, as Imperial malevolence is unleashed,
Ancient cities have been set on fire, for a pocket full of gold.

Yet, awareness flows through empathic vision,
filling passions of those who uphold morality, freedom and justice.
The army of righteous now rises, to the last lines of defence,
We rise, we rise and stand on guard.

About this Poem: Current world events reflected in 100 words...It's part of a longer write I made a while ago called ”We Stand on Guard”. This one was for a contest with the subject line, "World War III" in 100 words or less. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Love is not a Waste of Time

Love is not a Waste of Time

Wagging tails and soulful eyes,
rising sun in morning skies,

Gibbous moon with its embrace,
a child’s giggle and smiling face,

The passing hours here with you,
all the things we had to do,

Patience with a heart of gold,
always mindful growing old,

Slower walks in memories made,
singing songs that never fade,

All within our life’s assent,
treasured moments, time well spent.

Poem influenced by Phil Common's song, "Love is not a Waste of Time"

Video Source: Stewart Brennan
Music By: Phil Common

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Light of Life

The Light of Life

Life awakened
in captured time,
spirits brightly shone.

Tempus formed,
ego rose, battles raged,
I was alone…

Then you came,
removed my shell,
oh brilliant light!

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