Mike Ball has recently started self-publishing short stories and longer work fiction. He is excited about exploring new publications and seeks your response to these first efforts. Bon Appetit!
Escaping A Life Without Art
Never in his adult life did he wish to be famous On the contrary He wanted, more or less, anonymity It was his life’s philosophy
People always talk of How we affect The children in our lives But they have it backwards Their impact on us is greater
Mind and Body
Sometimes, mercifully, my mind Gets distracted With the business of the day But in the stillness of the night, my body
My Midsummer Madness
I dreamt of how we’d do it It would take some magic And we might use up our allotment for this life But I know it would be worth it
Negative Bash-Ads Got You Down?
It’s time to take back America. Greed and corruption surround our elected officials and politics no longer has much to do with public service. No sooner are candidates elected than they have to start fundraising to pay for their re-election campaigns. We need to stop treating our elected representatives like products for sale. Honest campaigning has been supplanted by slick advertisements filled with propaganda, and outright lies. As a result, to get elected, a campaign is almost always forced to “go negative” and spend as much as possible to degrade the competition. This results in election-time bombardment of radio and television programming with the never-ending bash ads we ALL hate. After being brow-beaten and brainwashed by these abbreviated and derogatory views of the candidates and issues up for election, we go to the polls erroneously convinced we know who and what we are voting for. Sadly, it takes so much money to produce these misleading campaign ads that politicians are already “bought and sold” by the time they take office. Virtually every politician must answer to the special interest money that paid for the costly media advertising required to win. This vicious cycle of money and influence has corrupted our political system. In short, the average American currently has no representation.
Bell or Belt
Bell or Belt My mom had a cow bell as her better-get-your-butt-home signal. It was most often used as our call to dinner. It was a real cow’s bell and was all clunk-ditty-clunk—not like someone baking the hell out of it with a drumstick in a late sixties rock band—she would just jangle it from the handle, and if you were outside and pretty nearby, you could hear it, get home in a matter of minutes, and not get in trouble. But if you were inside a friend’s house, especially with the radio, stereo or tv on, you were pretty sure not to hear “the bell,” and catch hell for it when my mom had to send a sibling to find you, or worse, if she came to find you herself. And there was no excuse good enough. Saying you couldn’t hear the bell inside was surely countered with, of course, “Well you shouldn’t go inside then,” and, “Stay where you can hear the bell.”
Selling The Out
We played a lot of street football in my neighborhood. I say neighborhood, but it was really just us and the Proctor kids, our nearest neighbors, playing on the semi-rural road between our driveways. Sometimes some other kids might play, but it was pretty much the next-door-down Proctor kids and us, the Balls. That’s right, the Ball kids, mostly my brother and I, were referred to as “The Balls.” And Steve, my beloved “big ball” brother, and I (yup—“little ball”) would play street football with the Proctor boys, Jim and Bruce. Now Jim, the older brother was slim as an eel in Winter— he could have been in our family; Steve and I were always thin, long before our distance running days— and Bruce was much the opposite, and as it turns out, the only actual football player of the lot. We would choose sides, filling in with whatever sisters were around, and play till we couldn’t see the last game-saving long bomb.
word count: 1157 “The Benjamin” By Mike Ball Kyle could feel his face contorting as he removed the tissue paper from atop his gift from his Uncle Karl. His face, now frozen in an unblinking smile, must have mirrored the one looking back at him from the package as he heard his mother gasp, “Oh, no! Not the clown…”