Tag Archives: revenge

High Plains Drifter


I’m feeling destructively productive today – or to put it another way, I’m irresponsibly putting off doing all the practical things I need to do before going away to hold my daughter’s hand while she’s in labour. After all, why do today what you can regret not having done today, tomorrow? Oh yes, I’m in the grip of madness, alright.

Having already written one Terrible Poem this week, please forgive me if this little effort is no worse than mediocre; I seem to have used up most of this week’s supply of Terrible Poetification. This time, my poem is for the current Terrible Poetry Contest. Apologies to Chelsea for wasting her time; I know this rhyme doesn’t achieve the required extremes of cringiness, but I couldn’t resist…

This week’s specifics:

  1. The Topic‘s The Old West. Or, do The New West. Heck, do Midwest if that’s how you ride. Think of a song to sing on a campfire-smoke night, a shout to yell at those darn coyotes, or a rhyme to a cowboy from his sweetheart back home.
  2. Length is up to you, but many a cowpoke will doze off mid-ride if the trail gets too long.
  3. Rhymin’s up to you, partner.
  4. Most importan’ly, Make ‘er terrible. I don’t wanna see yer sorry hide back here till it is.
  5. Many a rough-rider can have a rough tongue, but sometimes lady folk read this blog. Keep yer comments to a civilized PG-13.


A drifter came whose hooded eyes
bore a hole through town-folks faces
and though the distant cloudless skies
revealed no darkening, shadowed traces,
and dusty streets withheld a warning,
the tides of change were set that morning.

Puffed up folks with secret past
came dressed up all respectable,
but in his soul, his truth held fast
he knew they were despicable.
They placed a star upon his chest
and paid him well to do his best.

He vowed that he would free the gang
of an opposing, greedy clan,
then chose a stunted, clownish man
as deputy, to serve his private plan.
Yet no-one but this man could see
the mist that held a mystery.

Though no-one guessed his hidden aim
his friend came close and boldly did say
“Stranger, you never spoke your name.”
The drifter squinted and turned away
towards the boneyard on the hill,
where recall held his gaze so still.

The townsfolk rallied to his call
to learn to shoot a rifle straight;
he fooled the people one and all,
and then he ordered scarlet paint.
They dipped their brushes when he said
that they should paint the buildings red.

A heavy gang rode down the hill,
and stared upon a scarlet joke.
They came to raid and maim and kill;
amid the mayhem, the foreshortened bloke
recalled the townsfolk’s shameful past
and recognised the drifter at last.

Some years before, one rain drenched night
a man was beaten in the square.
Although he begged with all his might,
he could find no mercy there.
Declared as dead, they buried him
beneath the bone-yard on the hill.

Corpse and drifter were one and the same;
vengeance was wrought by the man with no name.

high plais drifter

©Jane Paterson Basil

Blood on the Streets


Like a tough flint
honed by a hungry stone-age hunter
two million years ago –
faithfully chipping off slivers
that winked dully in the midday sun –
you sharpen your rage, poke at
your gangsta habit of revenge,
cold to the sabre-tooth-marks in the one
who you hate and blame, not stopping to think
that though chance has led you to be foes,
your histories are the same.

Compassion is banned;
you stick the killer and you slink away,
the new abuser; in one foul move ceasing to be accuser,
taking your place as the accused –
just a slim link in the striped chain of retribution,
the latest player in a city game, unhindered
by guilt or shame.

The opposing team is obligated to whip up
its hate, to ignore the history of pain that emaciated
your better nature.
They paint your sticky crimson fate
across a careworn street where angels whisper benedictions
and a lone mother listens.

As your blood rusts in the gutter,
happenstance brothers take their deadly place
in the self-defeating spiral
of vengeance.

The sane man proselytizes from a sagging soapbox.
Raising his hands in supplication, he claims
that all which flows from our veins is red,
all of it smells the same,
all death leaves a similar bitter taste,
and we are all related.

Declaring he’s crazy, friends and foes
unite to chase him away.
Nothing changes;
loading their guns,
they shoot another brother.


©Jane Paterson Basil

No Strings

I read a something that could be loosely called a cruel, damaging joke a couple of years ago – by that I mean it was cruel and damaging, and could, on some inane and insane version of Planet Earth, be called a joke. It was shared on FaceBook by a woman who I’d known for almost forty years, someone who I’d always considered intelligent – but intelligence is not necessarily a sign of good character. She, in turn, had got it from another of my FaceBook friends, a woman whose son I hold in high regard. I’m sure he couldn’t have been very impressed with the horrible, inflammatory ‘joke.

Every so often I remember this offensive ‘joke’, and it sends me raging again. Well, I’ve finally come up with my revenge. Yes – revenge, it’s an ugly word and an ugly way to behave, but, hey, what harm can I do? I’ve re-written the joke, but changed one teensie weensie word. It’s only a joke – it’s not like I want to hurt anybody, and you must bear in mind that it was an extremely offensive piece of unfunny humour. I’ve made it far less offensive by changing that one itsy bitsy word, and making it an attack on anyone who was viscious enough to laugh at the original disgusting, racist horror of a jest.

I know I’m bringing myself down to the level of the  destructive racist who wrote the joke which offended me so much, and that’s neither clever or helpful, but please forgive me, just this once. I don’t ask your forgiveness for not sharing the original joke. It should never have been created, but you may have picked up the odd glaring hint as to who it was aimed at.

I’ve also changed the image and the format. If I was able, I’d happily credit the inventor of the joke, for giving me the idea. Unfortunately, I don’t know who that is.

So, without any further ado, I give you my version of The Joke (Drum roll please).




Har de har har.

There, that feels better. I’ll go back to being the sweet lady who loves good people, nature, chocolate and things that are funny, and loathes racism. I’ll make us all a nice cup of tea and we’ll stop thinking about the nasty racists. Would anybody like a humbug? Here’s a nice flucket of bowers to make up for clotting my boppybook – uh-oh, looks like the Reverend  Spooner is trying to make an entrance. Let’s hope it’s an act of solidarity.


©Jane Paterson Basil

The power of my brain

I tried to keep it peaceful
when you stabbed me in the back;
but you rose up and hit me
with a secondary attack.

So now I face a battle
that I can only win;
and you’ll be sorely punished
for your most recent sin.

because you cast the first two stones,
it’s me who gets to choose
what design of weapon
I would like to use.

Should I shoot you with a gun,
or cut you with a blade?
Should I drown you, garotte you,
or with a pillow suffocate?

Should I kick you from a rooftop
or push you from a plane?
Should I tie you to a railroad
to meet the noontime train?

Should I chop you and drop you
into an acid bath?
Should I relieve you of your life,
to avenge my seething wrath?

It’s not much of a dilemma,
as the truth is plain to see;
even when I’m broken,
you’re no match for me.

No, I don’t need to touch you;
I’m clever, you’re insane.
I can win this battle
with the power of my brain.

The Daily Post #Dilemma

©Jane Paterson Basil