ABOVE THE BUNCHES

Luanna Santana
crossed the savannah
in her beloved
Banana Sedanna,

Ate miles in bunches,
took other cars’ lunches,
threw combos of speed-style
automopunches.

It fused F1 power
and Rolls Phantom class,
Lu’s sui generis
yellow cabulance.

And if already that didn’t
make onlookers shout,
the screams came once her
Banana Boat peeled out,

Leaving smoke in its wake,
making foes gasp and quake,
clear their day just got tough
as a two dollar steak,

Facing fearlessly skilled
Luanna Santana,
and her world famous
Banana Sedanna.

THE MANY INSPIRATIONS OF GARETH C. HUGHES

The many inspirations of Gareth C. Hughes
Outnumbered the sum of the notes in the Blues
And the Rock and the Jazz
And the Strings and Hip-Hop
He was sparked by them all
And still didn’t stop

He read ALL the books
Or certainly tried
Watched ALL the films
Chasing laughs, scares and cries

Got moved by ALL art
As much gallery kind
As the stuff made of frosting and fresh orange rind
And destined for pastry experimentation,
The midnight-to-dawn shift a daily vocation
At Olde Mrs. London’s Confection Shoppe
Where like everywhere else
Learning never stopped.

Picture miles across England! Alone on a bike!
So much to discover,
So what’s not to like?
Not even a coaster closed after hours,
What a chance to share Conversation Superpowers!

Because there in his words were
Where Gareth’s inspirations
Underwent their unlimited proliferation
With listeners, friends,
Viewers who never knew him,
But still got to enjoy
All the things that had moved him

Until THEY’d become
We learned after he’d gone
The actual inspirations,
all along

Not the things he ingested
All the things he took in
But the things his creations injected within
The people, all ages, who shared time with Hughes
and knew it or not
Were engaged with a muse
The effortless sneaky true influencing kind
That without trying
Leaves things behind,

His interests were seeds
Hughes transformed into starts
His inspirations were
the bits he’d impart

And after he’d gone
Together they joined
With their laughs, scares, and cries
To share phrases he’d coined

“Always a Hoot!”
And “It’ll take you places!”
And “Gareth would approve” lit them all,
The too-young-to-be-grieving-faces.

And they left that day something
None wanted to choose:
Living inspirations of Gareth C. Hughes.

 

OFFICER BROWN

Imagine for a week: You’re going out of town
And not one of your neighbors or friends is around.
Have you considered for home security
The Great Jim Brown, of Football Immortality?

In his orange cape and helmet
In the window he could sit,
Without a weapon or a word,
Protecting every sit—

-uation at your place
from invasion by a stranger
Who if he burglar-ed upon Jim Brown
would be in a world of danger.

The only problem might be
When Jim was really feeling right
Well, there’s a chance he could retire early
On a given night.

Though even in his sleep
Peaceful, powerful and sound
He’d give bulletproof protection
There’s no doubt
Would the great Jim Brown.

brown_edit

PLAY CLOCK – A Tweed Typewriter Short

 

The rhythm and hum of pigskin season is at the heart of this short film, exploring the wondrous life cycle of football. PLAY CLOCK features narration by Charlie, music by iMovie, and is written, directed and edited by Paul Camarata.

For more Tweed Typewriter Shorts like this, click here.

WHY NOT THE EGG? – A Tweed Typewriter Short

If we’re not counting The Egg among the Great Wonders of the World, what are we doing?!? That’s the question explored in this Tweed Typewriter short film. Hatched from the historic skyline of Albany, New York’s Empire State Plaza, it’ll leave you saying I Heart The Egg.

ESCALATED

“We’ll bring it up later,”
We said about our underwears
Then we left the pile of’em
On the bottom of the stairs,

And on the step above’em
Rolled neatly into pairs
We left a dozen socks
And three brushes for our hairs.

On the 4th step from the bottom
My stack of comics went
Right below my sister’s piggybank
Chock full of Lincoln cents.

A tennis racket and mobile device
Were on the next step up.
Three picture frames followed, two candelabra,
Then one antique porcelain tea cup.

Mom don’t love when we put stuff there
We don’t get what’s the matter
Though to climb up the steps
The way that they is
We sure could use a ladder.

BOBBY’n’DOAK

It may seem there’s no mixing
Leather and feathers
But this here’s a tale
How those Misfits got together:

To Bobby the Bull
Doak Mockingbird said,
“Say, what’s with those spikes
sticking outta yer head?”

To Doak with a chuckle
Bobby replied,
“Those’er my mighty longhorns.
They can’t be beaten’er tied!”

Said Doaker to Bob,
“Is that the case?
I thought they were a bird bench
Attached to a face.”

“Buzz off, little bird,”
Bob said with a sneer.
“Your best interest is not in
messin’ with this here steer.”

“I have no intention
of making a mess,”
said Doak.  “All I’d like
is a safe place to rest.”

“Then I recommend, pilgrim,”
said the giant beef beast,
“that you go so far west
that you reach the Far East.”

“No thanks,” laughed the bird.
“This is my home.
From the Red River Banks
To the Gulf Coast’s white foam.”

“Well I reckon from horizon,”
said Bob, “to horizon,
Around here I’m in charge.
That can’t be surprising.”

Above Bob’s head Doak floated,
Attempting to land,
While angrily the longhorn
Pawed his hooves in the sand.

“On the ground,” said the bird,
“All would agree:
You are king ….
But in the sky? I think you need me.”

“About as much,” said the bull,
“As beauty queens need pimples.
Longhorns don’t need mockingbirds
It’s simply that simple.”

“You mean not even if,”
The dancing bird inquired,
“Mr. Long’s horns were on
the wrong side of barbed wire?”

At that a latch clicked.
The sound made Bob frown.
He knew what the bird had done
Without looking around.

“Okay feathered friend,”
Bob hissed, shaking his head.
“Tell me again what you want.
What was it you said?”

At that moment an unlikely
Friendship was born
Between two Texas strangers,
The mockingbird and longhorn.

From their bond the bigger buddy
Got a latch-lifting pal,
Who if need be could free Bob
From a pen, without fail.

And L’il Doak was now backed
By the strongest force on the prairie.
And that freed the bird
To always mock and be merry.

Once their forces combined,
Their Texan statures would grow.
And how it all happened?
Partner, now you know.

 

SPINNING THE GLOBE

Our parents filled
Our house with traditions
From First Day School Photos
To Birthday Cake Wishings,

Easter Egg hunting,
Super Bowl gatherings,
July 4th bunting,
Dad’s New Years Toast blatherings.

Among all of it Christmas
Came with the most:
An Elf on the Shelf,
Those chestnuts to roast,

Stockings and trimmings,
Caroling, punch
For my sister with the Christmas Eve birthday,
a brunch.

They were all great
But each year the best
Was what kicked off our annual
Red and green fest.

It took place the night
We put up the tree
Then with tinsel and lights
Made it bright and shiny.

We added the ornaments:
Bells, candy canes,
Small wood nutcrackers,
Cool metal trains.

Then those gorgeous glass globes,
Too many to count,
From the trunk to the star,
An amazing amount.

Mom loved them so
They were her cherished prize,
It was tradition just seeing
How they glimmered her eyes.

All but one, every year,
The last left in the box.
Spotting it, Mom’s eyes and
Smile thinned like a fox.

We all sat to watch,
Dad was included,
Knowing Christmas couldn’t start
‘Till this moment concluded:

Mom removing the final
Gorgeous glass globe
And carefully lifting it
Beside her ear lobe,

She made like her fave
Doc Gooden on the hill,
Kicked her leg high
And fired a pill

In our open brick hearth
Where shattering mixed with flames
Made us cheer as if Doc
Just tossed a perfect game.

“Now Christmas time’s back,”
to us exclaimed my Mother.
“And we’ve broken one globe.
Let us not break another.”

In our family everyone’s a bit
Different from the rest
But no one in our house
Disputes which tradition’s best.

TO ARMS

What a year it’s been for elbows,
Such an age to be alive!
When we germ-free mid-arm hinges
Like no other time have thrived.

While our hearts go out to handshakes,
palms and fingers – What a run!
There’s a new joy in the world:
It’s we elbows having fun.

Sure, in the past we did get bent
At other extremity fuss.
While we were tucked away in sleeves
No one would humor us.

But humerus heaven it’s been of late,
Leading goodbyes and greetings.
Everywhere you go an elbow is
Central to folks’ meetings.

It’s the joint I think you would agree
Keeping the world spinning.
Like never before there’s no one
Who can slow the elbows winning.

Nope, no Tommy, John, or Macho Man,
No arm patched coat or sweater
Has ever had an elbow that
Has ever had it better.

MOMMY MATH

Mom helps with math
And is usually good
But subtracting sometimes
She takes more than she should

Like when I take ten
Candies out of our jar
And she says “Give them ALL back!”
That’s taking too far.

So I say, “If you take one
Then I’ll have nine.
Not great, but a difference
I guess will be fine.”

Then she says “I think
That I’ll take all ten now.”
That she ever passed math this way
I don’t know how.

JACK SNIFF

Jack Sniff
With his nose
In he hales
And out he blows

Scent-detecting
Far and wide
From Jack Sniff
No smell can hide.

Hounds called Jack
When they were – welp!
Investigating and
Needing help.

Jack would come
And in a jiff
Solve the case
In just one whiff.

Folks asked Jack
‘Do you feel stuck?’
‘What I feel,’ he said,
‘Is luck.

‘That Sniff’s my name
and as you see
smelling to me
comes easy.

‘Rivers versus
themselves swimming
have a hard time
ever winning.

‘That’s why I, Jack Sniff,
always stay
with a heart full
of smelly play.’

RETURN OF THE ROUND TOP

Shift attention from the whales
Disregard the Barrier Reef
There’s a new endangered species
Needing focus and relief

At one time its abundance
Rivaled all the Earth’s insects
But nearly never now does one spot
Sweatshirts with classic crew necks

Where hoodies have not overrun them
Vests nip at their cuffs
So crewnecks get almost no love
On streets, beaches or bluffs:

For their nifty circle collar
For their lack of drawstring knots
For the Farmer Tans they gift
(If Farmer Tans are what you want).

So sing a song for crew necks
Say a prayer that they’ll come back
The Return can happen slowly,
starting on the discount racks,

Until more than Moms and rowers
Sport’em and help lift the hex,
on the classic crew neck sweatshirt:
comfy, harmless, unisex.

THE LION-LAMB BRIDGE

Every year on the 16th
Of the 3rd month
Just before noon
Two dear old friends meet,

A baton passing tag team
Without whose exchange
The long march from winter
Could not be complete.

The first to arrive
Wears a top hat and tails,
Holds a chair to keep big cats
Tuned like a clock

The next at all times
Will take wools over wolves
And is expert at how to
Keep tight-knit, a flock.

They are the Shepherd
And Lion Trainer
And March is the moment
Their paths come together,

To smoothly transition
Best as can be done
The fierce-cranky-cold
To the pleasant-warm-weather.

Standing halfway between
February and April
These two get the Lion
To shake with the Lamb,

And say these magic words,
“Hocus-pocus-snowkiss-crocus:
Now spring us from winter,
AbbraCalendar-zam!

Some years their spell
Has an instant effect
Others it works
As if on delay,

But quickly or not
On the journey toward summer
The Lion-Lamb Bridge
Is the only way.

And to navigate it
Needs the Shepherd and Trainer
The duo that meets
Every noon, March Sixteen.

How lucky we are
For their teamwork each year
Making the March
Wacky Weather Swap clean.

THE BIG DOG – A Tweed Typewriter Short

Zo is the canine king of the block. Until the morning he moseys down a different street and discovers a new world view. A humorous story for lovers of pups, Albany, or pups from Albany.

NOTE: This story was published originally on this site as a poem only, then again in Steller Stories format. To see the progression from script to screen, click here.

JOHNNY CORKFORBRAINS LOST HIS CUP OF TEA! 3.0 – A Tweed Typewriter Short

The migration of this Johnny Corkforbrains story continues – from its original form as a word doodle, to a hand drawn Steller Story, to here now as a short film. Includes my new adventures in sound design and music production – truly a homeMADE movie.

THE IRON HOG STREAK

East of Ohio
West of New York
Lived an old hog,
The “ground” kind, not the “pork”.

Yes, a groundhog he was
By the name of Phil
In the town of Punxsutawney
Living under a hill.

Known to all as “The Iron ‘Hog”
For his unbroken streak
Of predicting if winter
Would have six more weeks.

Well, one year just as
His big day drew near
Phil’s “Iron ‘Hog” streak
Was in danger, he feared.

That’s when Philippa Aliquippa
Elsewhere in PA
Heard her phone ring
The night before Groundhog Day.

“Hello there, Pippa?
It’s your old pal Phil
Here in Punxsutawney
And feeling quite ill!

I tried not to call
I tried to hold out
But it’s nearly tomorrow
And my health is in doubt.

Shadowed or not, a groundhog must be here
Shadowed or not, a groundhog must go!
To sort out the seasons,
So everyone knows!
Tradition … the streak …
To put on the show!”

Philippa Aliquippa
Detecting desperation
Said, “Phil, if you’re extending,
I accept the invitation!”

Then off to Punxsutawney
From Aliquippa, PA,
She set out for a surprise trip
On Groundhog Day,

And at old Gobbler’s Knob
Still dark before dawn
Pippa met Phil
On the calm, moonlit lawn.

In between sneezes
He talked through each step,
Then one at a time
Had Pippa review it
She listened and nodded
And played along well,
Keeping to herself
That there was nothing to it.

Then as the sun rose
And a buzz filled the town
Pip and Phil peered out
From below the ground.

“Any questions?” he asked,
“Any last minute stuff?”
“Yes, I’m really” Pip said
“Craving marshmallow fluff.”

She smiled then giggled then laughed,
Phil did not.
“No worries, Pux-pal.
This old i, I can dot.”

Then upward she climbed
And outward she went
And spotting no shadows
Away winter she sent.

A top hatted fella
Then held Pip aloft
There were cheers and snapshots,
In his den, Phil joy-coughed.

That was the year partnership
Saved old Pux Phil
When the Iron ‘Hog Streak
He could not solo fulfill.

Still the problem was solved
In time for Groundhog Day
The Philippa Aliquippa
Turned Punxsutawney Pippa way.

oN transformatioN

Never forget the fella

who sits after M, before O,

without him, my friend, you’d be fried,

all things nice would feel like ice: cold.

Happy sand would be sad,

every band would be bad,

and bananas, like sheep, 

simply baaa.

So respect that letter,

just one past halfway,

who keeps windows from being widows,

everywhere, everyday.

MIGHTIER, INK

When an old forgotten pen 

in a pocket is discovered

A fresh opportunity 

has been uncovered,

To unlock and empty 

the full idea cage

Onto an endlessly 

possible page,

To draw a new door 

Where before none had been,

Such a find is more precious than 

Finding a ten.

THE LEMONADE LINK

We kids wanted to open
A lemonade stand
Smack dab on the corner
Of Flagstaff and Grand.

But when we arrived,
Supplies all in tow,
Right there on our spot
Was a telephone pole.

Should we relocate?
Give up our plan?
Set up mid-Flagstaff?
Or further down Grand?

No way, we kids said.
That corner’s our goal.
So what if they just….
Moved the telephone pole?

Could that even happen?
Not if we don’t ask,
We agreed then proceeded
To take on the task.

We filled out the forms
Began a petition:
“The Lemonade Kids
Seek Pole Reposition.”

We carried the papers
To City Hall
“This isn’t a thing
we’ve considered at all,”

Said the Receptionist,
Mayor and Clerk.
“Well, I have!” said the Bureau Chief
Of Lemon Work.

“Lemonade was around
long before those phone wires –
which the need for, admit it,
will quite soon expire.

“Look to the future,
These kids are our link!
Invest in their vision:
Wireless lemon drink!”

The Receptionist, Mayor
And Clerk were dumbfounded.
And though trying to hide it,
We kids were astounded.

Our once barely crawling
Lemonade stand
Suddenly had grown legs,
Sprung up and ran.

With a stamp and a seal
And a chorus of “Aye!”s
Our motion was granted
Right before our eyes.

What-if became why became how then
KAPOW!
On the corner of Flagstaff and Grand
We sell now,

Where that telephone pole
Did not go to waste,
After we chopped it up
Into seats for our place.

A place people stop
To sip a cool drink
And to hear the old tale
Of the Lemonade Link.

THE VERY FABRIC OF PETER COTTONTAIL

The life of Peter Cottontail
Would not have been the same
If Leather was the fabric
At the start of his last name.

Imagine Naugahyde or Burlap
Where “Cotton”’s always been
And how Pete’s kid-soft-lap-snapshot-biz
That would so badly spin.

How would Pete be received as
Satintail or Denimtail?
Would then on a motorbike
He ride the bunny trail?

If those pastel egg deliveries
Came from Peter Polyester,
Around Easter lots of sketchy feels
Might every springtime fester.

Yes, the life and times he’s mastered
Might have truly faltered
If Peter Cottontail’s old tailor
His name even slightly altered.