The town sheriff

one black lonesome partner

tilted back in a chair

by the hanging tree


Sheriff Isom Dart

got so lonely there

he packed a few things on a burro

melted into the brush


When the train

chug-chugged around the bend

it blew it’s whistle but kept going

without even slowing down



there’s nothing there

whatever town was there

has melted into the earth


A couple lizards

dart from bush to bush

a bird perches on a cactus

   whispering wind…


(Copyright Clyde Collins 2012)



Mary’s Saloon beckons Ghost Face…



Mary’s Saloon rebuilt & doing well

beckoned to me

a divine finger c’mon


I approached in slow motion

the newly reconstructed bat-winged front door

one early evening


The band was chortling Ava Maria

Lady Magdalene was perched on a wooden barrel

outside the door as a rainbow feathered

mystical crow


The wooden sidewalk creaked a

love song to worn-out boots as

I placed a winged-heel there

& I fondly nodded to the Jesus factor

in the Magdalene’s diamond eye






The consequences of which were lost

due to my sudden awareness of

a mountain lion sitting upright

on the planks half a store front away

& the beast’s ferociously hungry eyes were on me!


I tossed the large predator a

swift secret-agent move

then dashed the other way into the saloon

the inside of which resembled a Spanish cathedral


I found Mary sitting serenely in a back pew

she made a motion with her hand

that induced me to sit nearby &

we enjoyed the music eternally


I happened to look around & sure enough

that cougar had quietly stretched out on the bench

to the other side of me with her tail swishing

she lay on her back, placed her foot on my thigh


A couple drops of water from a broken pipe

dripped onto the mountain lion’s head

& aghast!

the critter was really Diana Longtree

in her new saloon dress


We three bozos


& laughed

& had a fun time together


Until Diana slowly grew solemn

like the flossy critter that she is &

glancing at Mary, she said to me, “Tell her”

& I grew solemn too


“Dear Mother of God

Diana & I

want to get married”


Mary’s eyes grew brighter than

they already were

she smiled benignly but

rolling her eyeballs toward the colorful murals on the ceiling

she said, “Ghosts can only get married

in heaven”


A magnanimous rooster

strutting back n’ forth on top of the bar


cah cah cah cahhhhhhh



(Copyright Clyde Collins 2012)





The sheriff was sitting in the locked jail cell

with the key in his pocket

chewing on cactus &

gulping down hot coffee


Some one knocked on the door of

the Sheriff’s Office

“Come in!” chortled Sheriff Isom Dart

from the safety of the cell


Another Martian.

Before the creature said anything

Dart erupted, “I’m already

registered to vote!”


The creature from Mars peered at Dart

quizically with its third eye

& beeped, “But are you going to

vote for Obama?”


“Of course I’m voting for

Obama!” cried forth the

harried lawman.  “You critters

are driving me crazy!”


The green man wrapped a tentacle around

a jail-cell bar &

peered into the gloom

at the Earthman


The Martian said, “It’s best for the galaxy, the solar system,

my planet, your planet & your nation that

President Obama

serves 4 more years in the White House”


Sheriff Dart almost said

something but didn’t

the Martian turned around

   dissolved right thru the wall…


(Copyright Clyde Collins 2012)


The Sheriff



He sits on the bunk

heart goodly sunk

on the table a cactus chunk

& a pot of coffee


He sits in remorse

thinks about his horse

the one that died

desert fried


He’s the sheriff

the last human alive

in a ghost town called

you know what


He sits in a locked jail cell

he’s got the key

he’s most comfortable in here

a total urbanite


Oh but woe oh woe

is he & all those others who

wait for the show to begin

under the hanging tree


It’s a terrible disappointment

to oh so many in the nation

the sheriff’s name is

Isom Dart


However there is one lady

in this rocket on the launching pad

of intergalactic travel

whom it does not bother


Yes, one woman charmed by

the futility of living in

a town run amok

by a spooked sheriff


This woman who desires him

is Diana

my Diana

Diana Longtree


She’s a ghost

I’m a ghost

we’re the ghosts in this

   dusty old western movie…







(Copyright Clyde Collins 2012)





Realization looms

in her eye

she didn’t wanna


but with everything done

and everything said

here she is






in a ghost town called




is to blame?

he’s crossing the street

what’s his name

oh yes

years ago

on memory lane

a favorite ‘bo

now he’s at the door

his steps are slow

he’s in the room

his eyes aglow

in another time & place

she wham-banged his tongue

& yesterday

the fool got her hung

in a strange place called



He sits down

they’re eye to eye

he says


she says


he says

“I guess it was mean’t to be”

her eyes

look around regretfully

in this twilight zone called



(Copyright Clyde Collins 2012)


The other ghost arrives…


Nobody around

no gold found

a creaking sound

it’s a ghost town!


Diana stands next to her corpse

that hangs from the tree

it sways back n forth

how’d this come to be?


A haunted saloon over there

abandoned church down a tumble-weed street

faded-blue hotel over here

nothing but nothing for her to greet


She steps thru the wall of the hotel

the jack rabbits high-tail it as she arrives

she swoops into the hotel cafe

no service here is about all that survives


She sits at a table anyway

in her mind she orders a cup of tea

nobody serves her anything

   and then across the street she sees me…


(Copyright Clyde Collins 2012)



A Ghost Town Called Love

Entire verse narrative finished & refined!


Soundtrack to A Ghost Town Called Love:






Remorseless, I arrived

too disheveled to kneel and pray

but on time for the celebration

of hallelujah…


An outcast desperado without a penny

I stood amongst those who had many

blessings children jobs and a handful

of hallelujah…


I found myself corralled also by pretty

females, young & not, who reached forth to

shake my hand & the jitters disolved in a hail

of hallelujah…


Courage deployed ~ deployed its soldiers

throughout the fort of my dismay

so I leaped for the chalice, the body, the blood

of hallelujah…


How does this all add up in this

this church in which I finally prayed

this ghost town through which I’ve been wandering

ahhhhhhh this ghost town called Love



(Copyright Clyde Collins 2011)



Another High Noon (#1)



T’was bad ground & holy ground

in this American ghost town

in which the haunted saloon whistled its tune

which sounded forth shrilly especially around high noon…


There was no more whiskey

no more tables no more chairs

one wall was missing & half the roof

dust was thick where a rooster roosted

I wobbled on the last stool at the counter

Holy Mary the barmaid poured me a shot

a shot of grace

& I gulped it down.


In one corner stood some Tea-Party fumblers

in another some Occupy-Wall-Street tumblers

all were a-worry over the top 10% of the rich paying a fair share

but the flapping of the right & the rapping of the left

these wingers of the left & the right

never got together & that afternoon was icy as dark dark night


in the ghost town called Love.


There’s bad ground & holy ground

in this American ghost town

where the haunted saloon whistles its windy tune

which sounds forth so shrilly especially around high noon…


(Copyright Clyde Collins 2011)