Rusted Dreams

Rusted Dreams

How am I going to have a farm,

now, that I am this old?

Stiff lower back, gray hair,

knees cracking, and creaking,

rust, with medications.

Thinking, because of the old plow,

abandoned in the yard,

of the antique store.

Nostalgic decoration,

that’s the way I feel sometimes.

I miss the yurt,

I never lived in

and the Kyrgyz,

of Central Asia,

the smell of goats,

family around the fire.

I may never live with

the Lakota or the Cheyenne

on the Great Plains,

but I could still have a farm,

and some sanity, with fresh air.

Tenderly coaxing the soil,

reaping the rewards,

of hard work,

getting up the same time,

without driving to the city.

I’d be taking care of animals,

an occasional cow

stepping on my foot,

but no insults, no pressure,

from the boss.

I may yet buy a farm,

just for spite!

Fighting against the rust.

Time, for me to take another pill,

blood pressure,

missing the outdoors.




© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree



I was laughing, at Cary Grant,

and Katharine Hepburn,

black and white,

until I started remembering,

the history.

Madmen were alive then, drunk,

on power and racism,

speaches of hate, war,

twisted cross, fire and bombs,

millions of dead bones to their credit.

Accountable for each fragment,

each ruined life.

I also noticed

there were no African Americans,

in that movie,

prosperity was for whites only.

Decades later,

the struggle, protests,

sitting, in the front of the bus,

Rev. King being a light,

water cannons,

turned on humans. Marches.

“I have a dream…”

An entire group of people,


to be considered equals,


So the movie isn’t funny,


A lot was about to happen,

1938, and beyond.


© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Fruit Stand

The Fruit Stand

Going northbound on RT 322,

it was on the right,

before the village,

known as the Cloister.

Fruits and vegetables,

you could smell their freshness,

next to the farm they came from.

I especially liked the cantelopes.

A young Mennonite woman working,

something different here,

a lifestyle of peace and love –

internal quiet,

and external kindness.

We made our choices,

plastic bags and money,

then we noticed her younger brother.

He had a bike and a smirk,

on his face, he shook his head,

like “these crazy tourists”.

I wanted to yell,

“What is wrong with you!”

“Love and hate in the same family?”

“How can you not love people,

of another color?”

I didn’t say it though,

biting my tongue.

He was just a kid,

so I let it go.

Besides – I was hoping

he would learn

from his big sister.



© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Dove in the Morning

Dove in the Morning

A sign was sent to me,

just after sunrise.

A dove landed

on our back porch railing.

He was still, but looked around

surveying the landscape,

backdrop of green,

leaves of the oak tree.

He turned his head,

this way and that.

He stopped and looked at me,

staring straight at me he said,

“Why do you worry so much?

the hawks in your life,

are not real, they are shadows.”

He paused then said,

“Do not be afraid.”

I thanked him, grateful,

enveloped by relief.

He flew off

into another shade of green.


© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree



Ratchet turning to the left

taking off the valve cover,

scraping off the gasket

with a putty knife.

Thinking of Tracy while

putting on the new.

Underneath the monolith,

draining the life blood – oil,

new filter.

Up top, adjusting the carburetor,

right mixture of fuel and air.

Where did I put her phone number?

Closing the hood, and wiping off smudges,

looking her over, and starting her up,

glass pacs on the exhaust roaring,

mag wheels jumping, ready to rumble.

Does she like me?

There was no time for peace,

too busy looking cool or trying,

it was all about power and speed.

Revving, pushing the clutch in,

taking it out of neutral, putting it in

first gear,

then stomping the gas pedal.

Wheels spinning with smoke,

incredible noise and power,

fishtailing, dragster.

Should I take her to the movies?

It was 1976.





© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Peace Calling

Peace Calling

Peace started calling early,

when I was young,

but I still wanted the thrills.

My mini-bike was fast,

very fast, and I loved the sound,

of the engine roaring,

pulling back on the throttle,

and riding secretly down the street.

Then there was Jeannie Crawford,

I could not believe that girl,

was real. Awestruck.

Still, we had moved to the country,

and something there was real.

It faced me everyday –

as I looked out of my bedroom window,

fields, and woods, and further out

corn fields with deer. I felt it


The trails and trees became my friends,

especially in the winter,


enveloped by the whiteness,

and silence,

drifting to another world,

somewhere out there.

Was that a Cheyenne warrior?

He looked at me with questions,

in his eyes.

I said, “I do not know why”.

I thought of history with tears,

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Snow falling,

I was still – inwardly,

until searching made me cold.

Peace in the cold felt right though.

I headed back for some tomato soup,

and peace followed me for awhile,

until I saw Jeannie Crawford.


© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Tribesman

The Tribesman

When I was 14,

I joined a tribe in Central Asia.

I stayed briefly with the Turkmen,

traveled the area, but stayed

with the Kyrgyz.

Living together in the yurt, I loved

them, raising goats and horses, and family.

Flowing, traditional clothing,

language, and beautiful women.

I briefly considered the Berbers

in North Africa,

Bedouin, of the Middle East,

desert and tents, still raising goats.

But I loved living with the Kyrgyz,

until I was captured by Native Americans.

They took me to the Great Plains,

and great peace,

along the Rocky Mountains,

riding horses and hunting Buffalo,

I loved the lodges, painting symbols,

camp fires cooking meat.

The Cheyenne, Lakota,

Crow, Arapaho, and the Nez Perce.

Loving the people and their ways,

I studied the maps for hours,

sent to me,

from the National Geographic Society,

it was 1972.



© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Courage Under Fire

Courage Under Fire

War could not remove

her smile,

her face, shining,


In spite of mortars exploding,

we embrace.

Machine gun fire over our heads,

Rocket launchers, grenades,

Johns Hopkins.

They said she needed a transplant,

I once saw 3 people,

from the best hospital in the world,

take 45 minutes to get a line started,

in her hand. Puncture wounds everywhere,


Holding each other, we keep standing,

my heart breaks, and falls on the floor.

I will never forget the artillery,

the lady two rooms down – died.

We fight on, up the hill,

Dark night.

Suiting up with gown, gloves, and mask,

to visit her.

Chemo is next, we use our flame throwers,

screaming for help

we cross the river, fall in the trench,

hand to hand combat, side by side.

Air support, reinforcements.

Battle raging…

and then smoke… but calm.

Dawn on the horizon,

she puts on a mask, N95 by 3M,

no hair, skin peeling,

we walk out of the hospital,

for healing, we kiss.

And now…

She turns to look at me –

and sends healing my way.

I see new skin, not much hair,

but I am stunned by how beautiful she is,

she radiates,

we embrace again, and more…

I love her skin, her lips, her smile.


from the Garden of Eden.



© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree



The 2 inch plastic soldiers died,

terrible deaths, off the back porch,

or by being crushed with rocks.

Some medieval knights perished too,

on a regular basis.

Throwing my baseball against a wall,

and through the neighbor’s window,

is about the worst thing I ever did.

Row after row of houses, hopeful,

strong with brick, working hard.

Foundations. Italians and Poles,

and everybody else,

so close you could smell the sausages,

cooking on Sunday.

Mrs. Di Paulo cooking with limburger

cheese again.

I ride by on my bike in the alley,

Norman Wells playing Johnny Cash,

over and over again, A Boy Named Sue,

Folsum Prison,

somewhere Janis Joplin

singing her heart out,

at least she was alive then.

I never knew Jimi Hendrix

until later. It was the 1960’s.



© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree


Sometimes small towns can captivate us. They can have the right combination of history, art, shops, and people. This about a small town in Pennsylvania, that my wife and I enjoy.


I like Lititz.

Hand crafted chocolate,

red caboose museum,

no shops with pick pockets

reaching for you money.

A small, classy hotel,

a café.

Pizza and subs down the street,

a barber shop,

people without plastic,

they seem real instead.

Ducks in the fountain and crosswalks,

faithful bricks,

large church in the middle.

I can still hear the history,

of fireplaces crackling,

with sincerity and truth,

and community.

I pray the flame never goes out.

I like Lititz.


© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree