More RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot
The philosopher sat back in his chair on the roof, watching the urban sprawl.
He soon began to notice the obvious – he saw the history of man.
He saw the old churches, testament to when the biggest buildings reflected God.
In the far distance, he saw now silent factories, as industry ravaged the planet.
And he saw the towering banks, as money ravaged society.
And finally he looked below him, at the squalor on the edge.
And he thought: nothing changes.
WHERE HAVE ALL
Where have all the millions gone …
The old man hadn’t a clue. One minute they were there, then …
Covid 19 – or was it inevitable after the Downturn, or this, or that …
… or maybe – just maybe – his own greed.
He cried as they towed away his Rolls Royce, repossessed his mansion.
And designer suit swapped for jeans and t-shirt …
He was on the road again.
Back to his roots – his destitute roots.
‘When will they ever learn?’
The question nagged at him as the days passed, his stomach empty.
Slowly his depression increased, until …
He mouthed: ‘When will I ever learn?’
The sun shone then. He was back in the Beat Generation, Kerouac his guru.
He remembered the lines of the Beat Poets …
‘Gone to graveyards, every one.’
And their dreams.
Maybe it was in the name.
Their hopes of changing history.
Why does life always beat poets?
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94 comments on “Rattler’s Tale #5”
Very true, Anthony, we just trade one god for another – religion, power, money, drugs.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose .
Thanks for that, CE – and I agree.
We must hope everything changes
Hopefully – but I doubt it.
I liked the use of history and bringing it to the now. Nothing really changes.
Thanks for that, Tannille. Glad you liked it.
As Solomon wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Well created atmosphere in your piece.
Thank you, Rochelle.
A lot of truth in this! Nicely done, Anthony.
Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photoss
Many thanks, Susan. Much appreciated.
Scarier than the current global situation is what comes next. As your story suggests, it is likely that it is the poor who will once again suffer the most during the recovery.
‘Tis always so.
Watching history from the rooftop. Repeat. Repeat. . . .
By the way, I’ve learned to bounce my eyes off your snake and just not “see” it. What a relief )
Very true, and I’m so glad you’re still visiting.
So much said in so few words. We do still have hope… right?
Oh, I’m a great believer in hope.
There is always a higher pillar to be raised for Gods and Greed… but I think it always grows out of squalor
So very true.
The tallest buildings are still for the gods. It’s just the gods have changed.
Indeed. But not their habits.
Humans are the best and the worst of creation; the gentle philosopher the best and ravening powermongers the worst. Good story.
So very true Jade.
Great story! So true.
Thank you, Cathryn.
Oh so very true, that we are an amalgam of all that, and then some …
Thanks for that, Na’ama. By the way, I’ve just been on Jade’s blog and I thought you’d like to know that I comment on yours using my twitter acct because the automatic wordpress comment form is different on yours and several other blogs. Why, I don’t know, but I’m happy to comment on yours thru my twitter,so no problem.
i guess the more things change, the more they change the same.
They do indeed. sadly.
The poor are with you always. So sadly, are the those who profess to care. Well done.
Thanks for that, Sandra. A sad reality.
We just swap one demon for another,
Great idea behind this – nice one!
Thanks for that, Draliman.
Thank you so much – and welcome here.
Poor philosopher! He looks at squalor and fails to see the beauty of the love in the lives being lived there.
Many thanks Penny.
Ah but this is sad indeed.
It is indeed
Nice line: “And he saw the towering banks, as money ravaged society.”
Thanks for that, Frank.
Yes, and the cycle of decay and renewal continue, well said.
Many thanks, Anna.
Well, actually things do change–change never sleeps, but human nature does not change. Trump builds towers, then defaults on paying for them, and chaos and corruption make poor foundations. You and Bjorn were of the same mind tonight, it seems.
But the change is only thru culture and tech.
So sad how we never seem to learn! We only look out for ourselves! A sad commentary on humanity.
So it seems. Maybe one day …
And finally he looked below him,
at the squalor on the edge.
And he thought: nothing changes.
And so it is, and history repeats itself only the players are different every time
Very true, Hank.
Well observed and thoughtful story, Anthony. Civilisations rise and fall and the nature of man remains the same.
Thanks for that, Lynn. Much appreciated.
It is interesting that the philosopher is looking down from the roof, where he has a chair and is able to see everything – buildings that have become symbols. It is true, nothing changes.
Sadly, yes, Kim.
Ahh, how true, the ravaging greed of industry and banks.
Yes, so very true – unfortunately.
Sometimes it feels as though there is little left that is civil about civilization. It’s all just history repeating.
So very true.
As Leonard Cohen sang, “we are ugly, but we have the music.”
Yep, it was all going on at the Chelsea.
Love both of these Anthony! Thought provoking like the image with wisdom flowing from the lines.
Thank you for that, Carrie.
This was a killer Kerouac poem today. Anthony. Here he’s on the Road again.
Thanks for that, Jim. Much appreciated.
Humanity certainly has a few faults mainly because it doesn’t learn lessons from the past because they are overconfident thinking they have it all worked out. Oops ! That sounds as though I am talking about the Covid crisis!
I think you could be talking about any crisis, past, present and future.
Nothing changes, except camouflaged greed, that monster always seems to get bigger…
It does indeed.
And yet, we must keep fighting for a change, because what else can we do?
Two very expressive poems, encapsulating so much of what is happening right now. The last line of your Kerouac piece is almost fateful, and taken together, the two make a powerful didactic tool.
Many thanks for that, Hedgewitch.
Interesting conjuction–I find myself wondering how the philosopher managed to both see and overlook the snake-eating-its-tail of the second poem.
Infinitely possible, Chrissa 😉
A great write! The late 50s early 60s were my heyday however my small town roots kept me firmly grounded.
Thanks for that Helen. Much appreciated.
Luv the image of the persona today, looking out at his history, this is incredible
Happy you dropped by my sumie Sunday today Anthony
Many thanks Gillena. Glad you liked it.
Humans seem to have a thing for repeating history.. I hope after this pandemic we can open our doors and walk into change.
I hope so too, Susie.
Very enjoyable read! And I chuckled at your witty but serious last line. [But really, you know, it was the wonderful Pete Seeger, not one of (equally wonderful) beat poets, who wrote that ‘graveyards’ line.]
Many thanks Rosemary. And yes, I knew the line was Seeger’s, but bearing in mind the title and 2 earlier quotes from the song, I decided I could get away with a little poetic licence.
Maybe life IS a beat poet!
The last line could be the origin of how the beat poets were named. What came after the Beats? The
Boomers? Let’s start a new literary generation.
How about the Pop Lit Generation?
We are doomed if we don’t learn from past (and present) mistakes. Then I see members of the media and I think, “We are doomed, anyway.” Cheers!
You could be right there.
Thanks for that, Kerry
Wonderful storytelling. A pleasure to read … both pieces being deftly penned. ‘Why does life always beat poets?’ … a line with haunting authenticity.
Thank you for that, Wendy, very kind.
Very true, it’s always been that way and always will until we find a different solution. I can’t see it coming anytime soon
Sadly, I think you’re right.
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