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Passions in Poetry

The Legend of Jenny Lee......last one for the book

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Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
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Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 02-20-2003 09:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


There have been many legends penned about the early West
Lawmen and desperados, boom towns, ghost towns and the rest
But one stands out above the rest within my memory...
The hooker with the golden smile by name of Jenny Lee.

The wild west was a very special era of our past
There weren't too many luxuries and life was hard and fast.
In Cottonwood, when days were long and over-filled with stress
The wranglers could unwind at Mary's House of Happiness.

Mary was a lady with a million-dollar smile
Who ran her House of Happiness with dignity and style.
A dozen ladies met the needs of all who had the fee
And, best above the rest, the sweetheart known as Jenny Lee.

Young Jenny was a pretty girl who had a certain flair
Of making cowboys feel special when they entered there.
She treated all with kindness and a sense of dignity
And everyone for miles around all worshipped Jenny Lee.

Piano music filled the house with joy on Friday nights
As cowboys came to sample House of Happiness delights.
A warm bath washed off trail dust and whiskey quenched the thirst
As voices sang in unison old tunes of naughty verse.

He came in on a Tuesday, late in June, as I recall
That stranger out of nowhere that nobody knew at all.
Five decades had carved wrinkles on a face made out of stone
Belonging to the kind of man who always rides alone.

He tied his horse at Mary’s, knocked politely on the door
And Mary smiled they way she had a million times before.
She offered him a drink and asked what might his pleasure be…
He said he came to see the girl the boys called Jenny Lee.

She sent a boy to fetch sweet Jenny, then walked to the door
And led him upstairs to a bedroom on the second floor.
He sat down on the bed and waited, quiet as could be
And, in no time at all appeared the face of Jenny Lee.

She said, “I’m honored, sir, that you would choose to seek me out.
I’m sure you will be satisfied. Of that I have no doubt.”
He rose and tossed a twenty dollar bill upon the shelf
And said, “ There’s just one thing I want –to know about yourself.”

This took her by surprise a bit but one thing she had learned
One never knew the crazy pathways that a man’s mind turned
And if he chose to pay for conversation, that’s ok
She’d humor him and hour or so and then send him away.

“My name is Jenny…I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee.
As near as I can recollect, my age is twenty-three.
I never knew my pa….ma said he was a travelin’ man.
She did her best to raise me up according to God’s plan.”

“Though we were poor, my momma always kept a happy mood.
She hunted game and raised some corn and cabbages for food.
She taught me how to read and write and do arithmetic
And then when I was seventeen, poor mama came down sick.

I wandered after momma died, just traveling around
Until one day I wound up in this little, one-horse town.
That’s when Mary saw me and gave me a place to stay
And that’s the story of my life and why I’m here today”

“Oh, I am not complaining, mister. Men like me a lot
And give me temporarily the love I never got.
I’m grateful for the life I have and I thank God above
For finding me a special place that’s filled with so much love.”

The old man got up slowly and, to Jenny Lee’s surprise,
She saw a trail of lonely teardrops falling from his eyes.
His face took on a saddened look – his shoulders slumped and fell
And she could tell his soul was falling through the depths of hell.

He said, “I’m just a drifter….been a drifter all my life.
I’ve had no time for family or time to take a wife.
I’ve done things I ain’t proud of but I never broke the law
And, Jenny Lee, I had to see you once ‘cause I’m your pa.”

“There was no way that I could know the day I rode away.
Your mama never told me she was in a family way.
She sent a letter ‘fore she died that I got just last year.
I’ve spent this whole time tracking you. That’s why I showed up here.”

“You needn’t say a thing, sweet girl.I’m glad your life is good.
I’d gladly change the past and make things different, if I could
But fate gave us this hand to play and play the hand we do.
I’m glad I finally had the chance to tell you I love you.”

“Tomorrow I’ll be riding out to find a little spread
Where I can build a house and have a place to rest my head.
It’s going to be quite difficult….I just know how to lose
But it is time I plop down and take off these traveling shoes.”

Jenny hadn’t moved a muscle all the time he spoke.
If she had tried to talk, she had no doubt that she would choke.
She saw him bend and kiss her cheek before he walked away
Then heard his footsteps echo out into the heat of day.

The legend has it Jenny Lee just up and disappeared.
Murdered by a jealous wife, some of the townfolk feared
She ran off with a millionaire, some other folk opined
Some others thought the fever got her and she lost her mind.

One young boy said he saw her in a buckboard with some guy
Her arm around his shoulder, smiling as they passed him by
But no one paid him any mind….a childish fantasy
Yet there was never found a single trace of Jenny Lee.

Mary’s House of Happiness still packs them in at night
As cowboys put their money down for fantasy’s delight
And, right above the fireplace, placed for everyone to see
There hangs a picture ofthe sweetheart known as Jenny Lee.

© Copyright 2003 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
Joyce Johnson
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Washington State


1 posted 02-20-2003 09:55 PM       View Profile for Joyce Johnson   Email Joyce Johnson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Joyce Johnson

Wonderful.  I enjoyed it to the end.Joyce
Janet Marie
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since 01-22-2000
Posts 18986


2 posted 02-20-2003 10:03 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

ONLY YOU could turn out the story telling theme and carry out the cadence while ya melt us with your heart on sleeve tenderness.

The master Balladeer has penned a masterpiece.

"Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky ...
We fell them down to turn them into paper that we may record our emptiness."

K.Gibran

Duncan
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since 08-07-2001
Posts 5716


3 posted 02-20-2003 10:14 PM       View Profile for Duncan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Duncan

Well, I'm glad you opted to include this one Michael.  And you know I loved the story!  Very cool.
Earth Angel
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since 08-27-2002
Posts 40647
Realms of Light


4 posted 02-20-2003 10:15 PM       View Profile for Earth Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Earth Angel's Home Page   View IP for Earth Angel

...and that is why you are known as the balladeer!!!
Your sensitivity and story-telling ability, along with your fine poetic talent, come together in this wonderful saga.

Humble hugs,
EA
Mistletoe Angel
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City of Roses


5 posted 02-20-2003 10:35 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



(smiles) Oh Balladeer, this is wonderful, sweet friend, an absolute masterpiece, all of the wonderful tales you write are worthy of publication and I am so happy you chose this for the book! (big hugggssssssss) Sonme legends are forgotten as are heroes, but she is bound to ncharm the cowboys and drifters forever with her cheerful uplifting smile, God Bless You, I love this, you have my hearty vote, yay, we all love you so much! You have such a beautiful heart, sweet Balladeer, thank you for sharing!



May love and light always shine upon you!

Love,
Noah Eaton

"Underneath your clothes there's an endless story..."

Shakira

Seymour Tabin
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since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla


6 posted 02-20-2003 10:38 PM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

This one I never read before and it's as good as any of the others. Don't know about your golf but your a damn good poet.
Enchantress
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since 08-14-2001
Posts 37801
Somewhere in time~


7 posted 02-20-2003 10:55 PM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

Sy said it and I agree....
You're a damn good poet....sir.
This one has to be in the book!

~ Trace my body with your words..
And in doing so, you touch my heart. ~

SEA
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with you


8 posted 02-20-2003 11:15 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

this is absolutely one of my favorites from you....and the list is quite long...
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


9 posted 02-20-2003 11:20 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Having thought I'd read all you'd written, you took me by surprise with this one dear Deer As with any of your poems, this one is certainly worthy of print and has my vote. I'm just gald to see someone is even more long winded than I when it comes to writing You know you'll need three times the votes to get this in the book, does that mean I can vote three times for it?
hugs,
Ruth
Justbleu
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since 08-31-99
Posts 3430
Oregon, Originally From Alaska


10 posted 02-20-2003 11:37 PM       View Profile for Justbleu   Email Justbleu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Justbleu's Home Page   View IP for Justbleu

Bal dear you do it too me every time....

This is also the second incredible read that I've read in just the past 5 minutes!!!!

You'll go down in my books as one of my all time favorite poets of all time!!!!

VERY NICE!!!!
HUGS,
Bridgette
Dark Angel
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since 08-04-99
Posts 10270


11 posted 02-20-2003 11:52 PM       View Profile for Dark Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dark Angel

Love your story tellin Deer.

Excellent as always

Vote's in!

Maree
Lighthousebob
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since 06-14-2000
Posts 4792
California


12 posted 02-20-2003 11:53 PM       View Profile for Lighthousebob   Email Lighthousebob   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Lighthousebob's Home Page   View IP for Lighthousebob

No need for me to announce the obvious here, so I'll just mark the box in humble support of your master story telling.

-Bob
Mysteria
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British Columbia, Canada


13 posted 02-21-2003 12:12 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

You had to do it didn't you?  Kleenix alert.

          
~* Carpe' Diem *~  

Chanson
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since 08-19-2000
Posts 1608
Up Creek w/Out Paddle


14 posted 02-21-2003 12:20 AM       View Profile for Chanson   Email Chanson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Chanson

Your poems always
bring a smile, if not
an outright hearty guffaw,
but this one...definitely
a smile. *s
Bill Charles
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since 07-11-2000
Posts 11011
highways, & byways, for now


15 posted 02-21-2003 12:41 AM       View Profile for Bill Charles   Email Bill Charles   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bill Charles

Balladeer - Now what would the book be without yours included, my vote is a click...

BC
garysgirl
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since 09-29-2002
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Florida, USA


16 posted 02-21-2003 02:55 AM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Michael, you have my vote...

And you'd have my vote no matter how many submissions you made for the book....why did you say this is the last one????
Hugs,
Ethel
Sudhir Iyer
Member Rara Avis
since 04-26-2000
Posts 7206
Mumbai, India : now in Belgium


17 posted 02-21-2003 03:46 AM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

I salute you Dear Sir...

how often do you do this...

tell wonderful stories in the most pleasant way with the class of the poet that you are...

I'd say all the time...

Thanks for the treat...

regards,
sudhir
Charisma
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Posts 6029
lost in blue pages


18 posted 02-21-2003 03:56 AM       View Profile for Charisma   Email Charisma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Charisma's Home Page   View IP for Charisma

ah Balladeer what a treat to read, but then all your poetry are that way......

Charisma
LngJhnAg
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since 07-23-99
Posts 3654
Boot+Kitty=Poetry in motion


19 posted 02-21-2003 10:33 AM       View Profile for LngJhnAg   Email LngJhnAg   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LngJhnAg

Yer gonna make me sniffle and whimper, ya scalawag.  I love this story.  You have a great gift for writing Mike.  I wonder if you can write other names as well.  lol  I really enjoyed this.
Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


20 posted 02-21-2003 11:22 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


It never fails...
when you pluck at heartstrings
I seem to have to try to find my way
through the mist in my eyes...

bsquirrel
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since 01-03-2000
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21 posted 02-21-2003 12:56 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

I hope it makes it in. This reads like a fine-tuned novella.
suthern
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on the threshold of a dream


22 posted 02-21-2003 03:09 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

yes yes yes yes yes yes yes... And an extra YES for making Long John snivel... I mean sniffle! *G*
Titia Geertman
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since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297
Netherlands


23 posted 02-21-2003 03:40 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman


Mmmm...I think Ron should set aside 6 pages in the book for you Deer, all three deserve to be printed.

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

SPIRIT
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since 12-29-2002
Posts 1778
California Desert


24 posted 02-21-2003 04:01 PM       View Profile for SPIRIT   Email SPIRIT   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SPIRIT

I sit here with my mouth open totally in awe of the marvellous storytelling here. Brilliant! Certainly gets my vote. My one regret is that I only get one vote.

I be me BUT who does me be?

 
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