This Poem was Submitted By: Howard D. Palmer On Date: 2012-03-19 14:43:20 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The Ballad of Jackson G.

One evening in a hunting camp, a couple years ago, A friend told me a story ’bout a guy I used to know.  I couldn’t keep from laughing when the tale came to an end, I guess that’s why I think it’s worth the telling once again.  Old Jackson G. was dieing, had cancer don’t you know. Nothing could be done for him--- his doctors told him so.  He spent awhile denying, then accepted it as fate,  Deciding he had things to do, before it was too late.  He decided on cremation as the way that he would go; Didn’t want to spend eternity with folks he didn’t know.  The Great Bear Wilderness is where he would abide If he could find a friend to spread his ashes far and wide.  The problem was that Jackson, a cantankerous ornery cuss,  Was one that folks avoided ’cause they didn’t like the fuss.  But Jackson was persistent, cornered everyone he knew,  He begged them and he pleaded, angered more than just a few.  After several months of pleading, his time now drawing near,  The man who told the story lent a sympathetic ear.  He agreed to take his ashes and spread them far and wide;  Jackson was so grateful that he broke right down and cried.  Well the ashes were delivered to the fellow later on, Not many tears were shed for Old Jackson when he’d gone.  The urn sat on his mantle waiting for the falling snow  And the opening of Elk season, when he’d have the time to go.  He saddled up the horses and the mules of his pack string, Gathered all of his equipment and packed up every thing. Led the string down to the water and let them have a sip, ’For they started up the trail on their annual hunting trip.    He mixed Old Jackson’s ashes in a bucket full of oats And fed them to his pack string while he had himself a smoke--- Then sitting in the saddle, laughing till he nearly cried, He started up the mountain spreading Jackson far and wide.

Copyright © March 2012 Howard D. Palmer

Additional Notes:
This is a true story, only the name has been changed to protect me from the guilty as I know everyone of them.

This Poem was Critiqued By: cheyenne smyth On Date: 2012-03-24 17:35:20
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Howard, I have never attemped a ballad but you have done a fine jub with this one. Even though your syllable count isn't consistent the meter has a good cadence. You have a flawless rhyme and your words choices are expressive. You have told an interesting story and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Well done. Best wishes, cheyenne

This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2012-03-19 16:24:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Howard, a striking story that would make a great vignette screen play. You ought to consider writing one. I believe it would sell. The story is unique and the style of your verse very retro-Disney pleasurable. Your rhymes were well done, and I never felt a forced rhyme except for S2L1. Even that often used method didn’t detract from the piece. Were it my piece, I would choose a syllable count, and edit the meter to better roll off the tongue. You have more lines of nine than any other (8,10,12) and probably that would best suit the piece. A little editing and O Henry will have nothing on this piece. Really an enjoyable piece.
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