Another one of my works, included in my book POISON PEARLS, is The Skeleton, which should be of special interest since everything in it is related directly from my own experiences as I traveled around the country, mostly as a hitch hiker during the late 60's and early 70's. My disability prevented me from driving until I was 27, but that didn't stop me from leaving home and becoming my own man. The skeletal remains that I describe were found by me in 1996 when I was hiking alone through the woods on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and I describe them exactly as I found them.
The thought occurs again...
That those skeletal remains
Could have been my good friend Lynn,
If she had been with me
Like she wanted to be...
Then again they could be mine,
Lost in the woods without a sign,
If I hadn't turned about and spurned
That Redneck's crude advance,
Telling him he had no chance,
Backing my statement with my fist
So that he understood the gist
That there was no doubt he would let me out.
I was the one that got away,
Sadly, that's all I can say,
For he was a predator
And he probably found more
Acquiescent prey on another day,
Who allowed him to have his way,
Though it led to an early grave...
Lynn knew of my adventuring
And all the interesting things
That I had seen and places I had been.
She wanted badly to come along,
Not knowing how it could go wrong...
For there were other things I had seen,
That told me of what could've been
And this skeleton was only one
Of the ways our trip could have ended
For the girl who I had befriended.
As a hitch hiker I had found
That the roadside abounds
With sad stories and mute testimony
To tales of Tragedy
Ending in Brutality...
These bones were with a bloody t-shirt,
lying near them in the dirt...
Of other clothing there was nothing...
Then there were the cords that bind...
Recognizable... From Venetian blinds...
Beautiful, bouncy, buxom and blonde,
Lynn would've been great to have along!
Until some trucker wanted to fuck her
And he had a gun or a knife...
To fight could be worth your life...
I'd seen sad things by the roadside,
But this time someone had died.
The bones weren't complete-they had no feet,
The head and hands were also missing
And no trace of them was to be seen.
By roadsides other than here,
Torn clothing and a child's brassiere
That I had found lying on the ground
Were an open book that spoke volumes
Of how something wicked this way comes,
But never of Death and Mutilation,
Following naked Humiliation...
Forced to endure cruel torture,
Leaving only bones to tell the tale
Of a twisted mind from beyond the pale.
I've lost touch with Lynn...
It's been years since when
She tried eagerly to accompany me,
Those times that I ventured out
And managed to travel about.
With my duffel and my thumb,
I went out and saw the nation,
The Grand Canyon and Apollo Eleven,
But now that's long over
And these bones are a sober
Reminder of days long past,
When we thought youth would last
Forever and we never
Thought that we could possibly
Meet Death and die horribly
Much as I'd have liked her to come,
I'm glad that she stayed at home.
I said, "NO!", she couldn't go and so
Scattered amongst these stones
Are someone else's bones...
Karl Stuart Kline,
Approx 3AM, 10/11/01
Reading 10 stanzas from this poem in direct competition with approximately 1,000 other poets at a convention in 2003 was sufficient to win me a recording contract! Later that year my book that includes this poem,Poison Pearls, was accepted for publication.
All three of my books are currently available through most online book outlets or they can be ordered directly from my publisher at a discount. The links are:
Going Without Peggy...
Brain Stemmed Roses...