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Poetry Magnum Opus

Deadly Zest

Frank E Gibbard

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Frank E Gibbard

Ricky my son

his father said

be careful as

you blaze on

down the road

in a bright new

car; don't let

your zest for

speed implode.

To me you are

so dear that

you may stray

is my constant

fear. But did he

listen? Not this

son, went far too

near a deadly ton

rashness filled a

bold young head

too soon a sacred

scion was dead

and when the jag

was sadly found

severed wings lay

on the ground.

A family tragedy

as he weaved

at too great speed,

fatherly good advice

boy racer did not

heed. Ricky thus

is needlessly killed,

a weak pilot just

too strong-willed.

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My middle name came from a family friend (my uncle's friend) who was killed in a motorcycle accident. The quick, short lines add to the effect of speed; the interspersed rhymes do, too. Sad story, and my sympathies go out.

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Read this a few times. Familiar tale. Pondering the form - not sure if it helps or hinders.

from the black desert

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Hi Frank, The first part of this poem reminded me of my son, born with a lead foot, growing up with his Dad first a cop then head of security at Sears Point Raceway, now Sonoma Raceway. He road motorcyles on the track and went through the race school before he was old enough to get his driver's lisence. He also totalled 3 vehicles plus ended up in the ER with injuries after putting down his bike to avoid being hit, all before he was 19 years old. (2 of the accidents were single car collisions in which he took a curve too fast and flipped, "if the road was just 2"s wider Mom, I wouldn't have flipped, don't tell Dad". You'd think he would have learned after the first time.) (Once he was rearended, not his fault and the motorcycle accident he put the bike down to avoid being hit by a guy who ran a stop sign.) Gratefully he escaped Ricky's fate.


I used to think my number one job was get him to survive his teens. But I guess it was all good training for his future. He is now a cop. He was a motor cop for 7 years and while on the motor he was in pursuit of a speeder at 70 miles an hour with lights and sirens and a lady changed lanes right into his side (she didn't see him?) sending him sailing through the air 100 feet and the bill of his helmet had to be pried out of the asphalt. He was lucky he suffered only a concussion and broke his wrist. He is fine. Now he is on a special team in street clothes and unmarked vehicle (with all of the bells and whistles when he needs them) investigating, surveilance and busting car thefts and chop shops. We kid him that he lives a TV show. I have to trust that he has matured, is well trained and is doing what he loves. But that "zest" is really hard to tame.



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Hi, Frank. This dredges up many memories for me. A favorite uncle, finally got his Corvette, over 30 years ago, his mother said, "Bobby, that car will be the death of you." She was right.


You handled this one quite well.



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Frank E Gibbard

Thanks all - I hope the memories were not stirred badly by this fiction but daily story - based on a reworking of an old Greek one- I should give credit to Ovid, "Rick" and "thus" rhymes with the mythical flier whose wings melted was the clue.

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Icarus! Of course. A lesson taught to all, learned better by some than by others.

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