Ben Rasnic – Four Poems

Of Hillbillies, Hobos & Poets

Following the beaten dirt path
past dilapidated barns
with wood planks gapped
like missing teeth;

down by the creek
where campfire flames lick
blackened cans
of pork & beans;

they take refuge
in the east Tennessee
summer night–

a myriad of voices
exchanging stories
over catfish shish-kabobbed
on nylon stringers.


Finding Place

Without shelter,
you find your place
among the sleeping trees
in woods of your own nature.

Let rest your tired,
old bones— park bench
among the artifacts
& brittle leaves.

A few sparrows come to greet you,
hopping hungrily at your feet,
mulching the bread crumbs you left them
from the lunch in yr brown paper sack.

You tell them stories & they listen—
a smile in yr white beard
for things having lost
their usefulness.


just before leaving

these days
gray cloud cover
over Appalachian
once a homespun quilt
to blanket
my insecurity
shrouds me
an angler’s seine
to snare
stray fish;
a black widow’s
cruel artistry
to secure
my foolishness
as to think
that simple
could hold me
like a


Of Kuhlken

Stopped in for a few
beers at some
outoftheway saloon
north of Cheyenne,
neon flickering
a crosswind
hurling tumbleweed.

Trail dust fever—
rode that Pontiac
all the way from Virginia
without a hitch,
two weary soul mates
in search of
a new frontier

Crossed the Dakotas, dreamscape
of the Badlands—tracked sand dunes
for artifacts, teeth of arrows
scoring hard evidence of Indian
blood ties, legends of grandfathers
excavating their magic, secrets
from the skulls of geology,
essence of mind spirit.

Camped for hours
without the benefit
of peyote, witnessed
a fleeting glimpse
of cavalry brigade retreating
from the leaping flames
and the strange gray passage
of time dispersing into
distant mist of horizon.

Coyote nearby,
siren breaking the fortress
of silence,
worshiping the new moon,
pissing on dry prairie……….

You passed thru
the swinging wood doors
grinning like a Cheshire cat,
a modern day Billy the Kid
in Muddy Waters clothing.