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Back At The Ranch






ghost town



newspaper office

Old Timer Chronicle I

Old Timer Chronicle II

Old Timer Chronicle III



code room


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Where’d Dat Waskly Wabbit Go?





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Hello & Good-bye

by Cloyd Campfire



Sleep deprived

Down a canyon

Rocks big as skyscrapers

Giant faces peering down

Painted by man in the moon Indians

& the ancient code of



On the empty highway

The first week of  Spring

Tumbling down Oak Creek

The only thing alive

Is me

And the ghosts

They are saying

Something I don’t understand

Until a milk bottle

Come floatin’ across the pavement

Right at me

I stop it stop

We look at each other

I say, “What are you?”

Then, then it keeps going

T’is the most gourmet skunk

I’ve ever come across

Big pink eyes full of what I will never know

A silver toupee atop the head

Not to mention a tail

So beautiful it only come out

Under a full moon

The little critter leaves me with a little whiff of

gorgeous perfume


Copyright Clyde Collins 2016


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Waskly Wabbit on the Twail


The sun was a
hollerin’ hot
jalopeno pepper in
the sky


Ahhhhhhh, the sky
all that blue
all it
did was fry


Fry my brain in my
head and
all the bramble
all around


Was thick as
spilled across
every inch of ground


The little pack
upon my back
a weary load


For all I owned
was in it
this weary road



Ohhhhhhh, this road
of dust
and dirt


Thru the bramble
it done ramble
n’ all
it did was hurt


It hurt
my eyes
it hurt
my feet


It even hurt
my younger


Who in San Diego
miles away
was sipping from
a tall cool glass


When for
what seemed
no reason at all he
exclaimed, “Ouch! Alas!”



It was




Good for nothin’
be cussed


For not a track
fer days
had been layed in
its dust


And where it
could not trust


For up its spine
the weeds
higher n’ higher


mile after mile
trudged along


Full of wonder
at how
I up n’ done gone





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Spring Arrives

goddess of spring




Stephanie was quite a gal, cute as a button, and verily verily efficient. And she didn’t like unions. That’s all I knew about her ~ that she didn’t like unions & she was the deputy boss.

One late afternoon, I think it was Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 (five days into spring according to the calendar) I was sitting next to her desk in her office that had no window. Stephanie’s office was so small it must had been at one time a closet. I wanted to get her a window ~ or a technicolor photo from a calendar of a hawk perched on the end of a busted tree branch surrounded by blue blue sky. I had this color photo hanging on my side of the room back at the Veterans Integration Center (VIC). The bird was a pretty impressive hawk. I wanted to frame it & hang it in Stephanie’s office & declare, “There ~ now you got a window.” But I never did. Instead, all I did was bring in a doctor’s note in my futile attempt to get out of doing extra hours.

Now I was sitting in her office, watching the deputy boss who didn’t like unions toss this note aside. There sat I, watching this note glide through the air like a trapeze artist missing the trapeze. It landed fatally injured in the unwanted-doctor-notes pile on the corner of Stephanie’s desk.

“You can still work extra-hours on a split shift according to this note,” said Stephanie. And there it went ~ flying threw the air.

“Yes, but but…”

“If that’s not the case, you’ll have to have the doctor clarify what he means,” said Stephanie. Ye olde run-around.

“But, Stephanie…”

“We have a new worker starting tomorrow, Clyde. And 4 more next week. So maybe you won’t be getting any more extra hours for a while. You made an agreement.”

“But, but, what about tomorrow morning?”

“You’ll have to come in.”

“Can’t the new guy do it?”

With eyes cast down studying something lying dead on the corner of her desk, Stephanie slowly, solomnly, shook her head.

“Well, then, I have to qwit,” gritted I ~ and sprang to my feet, a new-found slave to the Season of Spring. There was no turning back. I had just made the announcement. I had just made the commitment. I was quitting ~ and now I was totally abducted by the totalitarian mother of seasons. Yes! The heavenly half-naked she-bitch of Spring had me by the neck, captured in the crook of her slender arm. She was pulling me away. The rest of the conversation didn’t matter ~ it just didn’t matter.

Stephanie leaped from behind her desk. She scurried after me as I was whisked out of her office. Cheek to cheek with the warm breast of Mother Spring was I.

Yes! Yes! The goddess Spring transformationed into a gorgeous giantess of sunshine, rain, & bloom. She picked me up like a babe, swaddled me in her refulgent arms & carried me away. Scurrying after us, Stephanie called out, “We have an exit procedure!”

I peered back at my darlin’ deputy-boss, who appeared to be, now, a midget. I replied, “I’m sure you dooooooo!!!”



Going To Prescott

by Cloyd Campfire


goddess of spring



La Esmeralda


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Jackrabbit Waltz


If you haven’t gambled for love



In the moonlight



You haven’t gambled at all




Beth Neely Art








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The White House’s Other Favorite Secret Agent


from the short novel

Gun 2013




     Sooner or later when you ride Greyhound the pretty woman gets on the bus.  This time it happens in Yuma.  She come walking across the shopping-center parking lot arm-n-arm with her stud ~ a Hispanic skin-head in a baseball cap & t-shirt.  They look smug and happy…  The young lady jiggles along in a sleeveless low-neckline tight black-denim fit.  She looks pretty good from a distance.  She looks even better bobbing alone up the aisle ~ slender & long & pale & freckled & strands of long red-hair falling out of a sloppy bun…

     She sits directly across the aisle from me.  I rip off the glue and avert my eyes ~ look out my own window at a quaint Jack In The Box across the street & think, “Oh my oh my.”

     Once the bus gets out of Yuma, the desert landscape gets significantly enthralling, the sacred feminine entity gets significantly relaxed, and I find myself to be a dirty old man glancing there & here & staring there, in Picture Book Heaven.

     Then the plot thickens ~ like a brick slammed up against the side of the head.  It absolutely knocks me out ~ when her warm thigh bumps into the suddenly no longer empty seat next to me & a voice girlishly bubbles & perks next my ear, “Are you Rawclyde?”

     I turn my head and boom ~ I’m out.  The blackout is complete.  Apparently I can’t handle pretty women in my old age.  I don’t know how long this blackout lasts.  When I come to, her hand is squeezing my knee & she is worriedly asking me, “Are you okay?”

     “No, I am not okay,” growl I.  “And, yes, I am Rawclyde!”

     “Glad to meet you.”  She holds out her hand.

     Limply I grab it.  My head is spinning.

     Her delicate fingers are warm and cool.  Point-blankly & with outlandishly green green eyes she says, “I’m Submissivania Whapp, your partner on this mission.”  When she smiles, her teeth magnificently ricochet the desert light from outside our galloping coach.  With a roll of her eyeballs she adds,  “I’m the White House’s other favorite secret agent.”

     She has knocked me out again.


photo courtesy of

Evelina Galli

“Use things.  Love People.  Don’t Switch.”


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Note III From The Editor

Hello Cherished & Kind Reader!

It’s not always easy masquerading as a jack rabbit.  It’s hard on a secret agent.  But it works well as an undercover ID.  So I suspect a jack rabbit I shall continue to be.  Besides, I got a ranch now ~ on Cyber Highway.

In my old age loping around here n’ there all over the great wide world, or the southwest anyway, isn’t what it used to be.  Seemingly I am also done writing works for the big picture.  We’ll see.  For right now, let’s just expect a promo now & then for what has already been “conceived & published.”

However, don’t sell me short.  Just about everything still functions.  The joints are loose, but not broken.  The brain is slow & forgetful, but yours truly can still think ~ somewhat.  And don’t be too surprised by a sudden heroic leap into action around the corner some time some where, maybe tomorrow.

I’d like to say something about ISIS ~ the real ISIS ~ the elegant & bountiful Egyptian goddess ~ not the thugs who adopted her name ~ although I might say something about them too.  Not so long ago the U.S. invaded Iraq pretty much illegitimately (2003), causing bogus death & the uprooting of homes on a humungous scale.  The bogus killers known as the Islamic State (ISIS) have now resulted.  Their forgiveness of the U.S. isn’t going to happen overnight, to say the least.  So expect the worst from the Islamic State as they might carve out a little piece of desert for themselves.

As for the goddess ISIS ~ expect only the best!  Her tears of sorrow annually flood the Nile River so that the people of Egypt can grow food & eat & live.  The worship of  this bountiful goddess spread throughout the ancient world until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era, which gained momentum about the 5th century.  The popular motif of the beautiful divinity suckling her son has evolved into frescoes of a humble village girl, Holy Mary, embracing infant Jesus…










Yours truly



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A Visit From The Quixote


by Chris Finn



‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the Garage

Not a creature was stirring.  It was like a mirage.

No stockings, no hats, no gloves were in sight.

They had been given away to help guests through the night.

I hoped that those guests would be safe in their camps,

That no visions or critters would upset the tramps.

I thought of my truck, with a bit of a frown.

I might close Christmas day; perhaps I’ll leave town.


Then out in the yard there arose such a clatter,

I jumped from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I ran ‘cross the floor,

Opened the blind and pushed up the door.

The sun still shone bright on the rocks just outside

And I knew that out there, there was no place to hide.

Then what to my skeptical eyes did appear,

But a guy on a bike.  His intent was not clear.

He looked pretty grumpy, not lively or quick,

And I knew in a moment he wasn’t St. Nick.

More rapid than turtles, he climbed off his bike

Calling me names I sure didn’t like.

“Now, Soup Nazi! Witch! Now, Devil! Now, Saint!

Whatever you are, my job just can’t wait!”


He rolled through the gate, then up to the door.

I gauged he was not just a man who was poor.

I drew back inside and was turning around,

When into Quixote’s he came with a bound.

He was dressed from a free box from his head to his feet,

And surprisingly clean for a guy on the street.

He had lots of stuff all packed on his bike,

And he looked just like you.  (We all look alike.)

His eyes were quite clear, but his cheeks showed some stubble.

I had nothing to say; I wanted no trouble.

The butt that he’d found he held tight in his teeth.

He hadn’t a light, which was quite a relief.

He seemed to get past a slight nicotine fit.

Maybe all that he needed was to rest just a bit.

I heard a loud grumble rise up from his belly,

And knew all I had was peanut butter and jelly.

He looked almost happy, but clearly no elf,

So I smiled and relaxed, in spite of myself.

This was a nice guy, not some nameless jerk,

And quick as a wink, he went straight to his work.


He cleaned the whole place, including the toilet,

While I kept my mouth shut so I wouldn’t spoil it.

He finished the work he had come here to do,

Washing the windows, removing the goo.

As fast as he came, he left the Garage,

Leaving me in what others would call a mirage.

He rode off on his bike, no worse for the wear,

Calling “Quixote to all and to all a good year.”

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