Friday, May 27, 2016



Finally the trees have come to leaf.
The damn new street light is mostly blocked.
The shadows of safety grown for the summer months.
I stand quietly in the dark.
Cupping the orange glow from my butt in my hand.
It has become habit to keep the eyes always in motion.
The dog silently sits with me on the concrete.
She is using ears that do not constantly ring to watch.
She will roar at any movement.
I do not care if others sleep is disturbed.
I feel safe in the deadly hours.
I have two guns at the ready.
Safety off, one in each pipe, ready to fire.
Some fear spiders, bears, or death.
I do not.
Not the bites, mauling, accepting or giving.
I have learned from this city that fear is a burden.
I choose to not carry burdens of others.

In the far off I hear that damned train.
It is blowing its horn too long.
Fools must be going around the safety gates.
I curse it for I cannot leave on it.
I’d like to travel away from this place on it.
That will happen only if I ride on the front of the engine.
Bug like crushed on the hood shroud.
Nope, not me, still too damn mean to take that particular journey.
Trains are good for fantasy.
Fantasy is not good for standing in the dark watching.
Same as dreams of better days ahead are distraction.
Reality will not change while those of my generation live.
This odd thought keeps coming to me.
My generation, like all before it, fought a war.
That war has not yet ended.
It is still ongoing without even a truce in sight.
There isn’t any 38th parallel for my generation.
Only the great expanding divide between wealth and poverty.
Wealth and poverty both bring their own crimes against humanity.
Loss of humanity being the greatest crime of my generation.

I think sometimes “I am too old for this shit.”
I am not.
I know the older one gets the more the shit piles on.
I accept that.
I find comfort in my small comforts.
Poetry, others and my own, being one.
The touch of the ones I protect another.
Outliving them who would do harm to another comforts me.
I do not believe in a cold cruel world.
Hell is here, hot and always burning.
Only a hard, granite hard heat is felt here.
I spent my first decades being soft.
Alleyway beatings make the skin leathery, weathered.
I am if nothing else, weathered to hardness.
Same as the bones of long dead cadavers preserved in ice.
Though I do not miss the cold death of weakness.
I know my place in life.
I have planted my flag on it.
It is my place to defend.
I do so willingly.

© M Durfee


  1. Makes me think of the song, welcome to the jungle.

    1. That would be an appropriate theme song Charles but the hood rats would here the word jungle and immediately assume racism and never here the lyric.

  2. This reads like a tribute to a life well lived, from softness to hardness filled with wisdom and grace to accept things in life ~

    The ending lines specially moved me ~ Have a good weekend Mark ~

    1. Dear Grace, I did live long as a gentler person but I have adapted to a changing environment. Evolution is allowed within the heart and minds of humans. Love and Detroit are two words i will never be able to use in a sentence again with any positive connotation.

  3. My dog does not growl nor roar at anyone ... My guns are locked up ... I still walk 2 blocks to work at night without fear ... extra sandwich and smoke for any one helped me to survive so far ... Love, dear meowpoppa ... cat.

    1. Meowmomma--My dog does roar and my guns are only locked away when my grandson visits yet even then I am still carrying one. They target children here for revenge. I do not fear this place, this place fears me for the reputation I have visited upon it over the past 3 decades. Hell of a way to live. That said I see no reason to not be kind to them who wish it but I also do not see a reason to subscribe to victimhood.

  4. I hope when I reach that stage in life I will feel no need for guns.

    1. I don't know what to say to you Alice, I don't really know what stage of life I am in or if I have ever been in a stage that did not reflect my reality. I never owned a gun until 6 or so years ago but then the great slide from mere ghetto to true slum happened.

      You most likely will never know what it's like to see the aftermath of someone walking up to a car and shooting the inhabitants. Or what it does to a neighborhood when babies for Christ's sake are shot as revenge for a beef with the parent.

      And I pray you never do live in this stage or reality.

  5. the night brings so much more, lack of sight helps me to see, sound travels the way it wants, not how it should, with a gun by my side. Pays to not be stupid *grin*
    Time brings wisdom, brings a certain harshness too, seeing through things too easily, am I wiser or is society just more stupid? Ignorant? Mad?
    Meet me on the porch, the moon will share all...

    1. I believe we stand on the porch together Shadow. I do not know if I am wiser or the world even more lacking than ever before. I do know I am different than what I was at one time. Less willing to excuse them who wreak harm on others more willing to return that harm in equal amounts.

      The Ghandhists of the world may say I should be willing to die for protest, i think I should be rather willing to live as protest.

  6. I am a huge critic of average people having guns but i completely trust your judgement. I guess that means I have some adapting to do.

    1. Kylie--people are not going to be less violent when disarmed, they may be less murderous but they will still find ways to rob, cheat, kill, and destroy. I simply have chosen within the past year to not be eaten by the madness without at least being able to deliver a sting to the tongue.

      Just on my street, not counting the surrounding streets but just one mine within 1/2 mile (3/10ths of a kilometer) there have been 3 shootings 2 deaths) in the past four weeks. I would prefer no one lose their life this way, that all simply grow as old as they can and pass peacefully in their sleep--but like the next aphorism says about dreams and wishes. They are not constructs of wisdom.


So Walking Man I was thinking...