General Poetry posted May 14, 2018

This work has reached the exceptional level
An American Tragedy

A Photographic Journey

by Artasylum

A Friday like any other,
A Friday like no other,
Summer Solstice!

The hotel phone wakes me...
its haunting tone won't stop.

Groggy, I recall 
that I'm in Napa Valley,

breeching room number four-0-four.

Centurions insist on invading my inner space
Both wear masks--grim and somber faces.
They order my presence--I scoot across the floor.
Appearing rigid
They're about to change somebody's life.

Resigned, I guess what's coming next. 
We greet each other by sizing one another up.
The female cop is speaking, I don't hear a single word.  

A phone number is pressed into my hand.
"Call Johnny (Rick's dad,”) they said, "do you understand?"

June Twenty-First at dusk
Rick arrived at Morro Bay;
his photographic safari was underway.

The tripod was waiting to capture a panorama,
of birds, trees, a sparkly cove--mountains by the bay. 

Tragedy loomed large,
brake failed, fifty foot drop.
The Pathfinder flew off a cliff. 

Johnny swore Rick's death was quick.
He never saw it coming!

Holding a loupe to my eye, I study images left behind. 
Scanning through negatives, I fathom,
his legacy is intact as is his perfect vision!  


Rick Carson was Johnny Carson's middle child. Johnny was the King of Late Night in America. He was kind enough to track me down in the greater San Francisco area all the way Santa Rosa. John found where one of my friends... A twilight moment for me because I had no idea how he John had no information to go on. He wanted to make sure I didn't hear about Rick's death on the evening news.
Rick and I were together for 12 years until he was killed on an auspicious Summer Solstice.
A parent should never have to bury a child.

Cliffs and Sailboats by Mama Mia1 thank you!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Mama Mia1 at

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