Black Petals Issue #92, Summer, 2020

The Green Man

BP Artist's Page
Mars-Chris Friend
Misty Page-A Game of Chess
Sean M. Carey-Chilled Bones Under Lovely Skin
Roy Dorman-Death in the Round Room, Part IV
Lael Braday-Magical Perspective
Matt Spangler-Master Smasher
Lena Abou-Khalil-The Nowhere Man
Grace Sielinski-'Port
Gavin McGarvey-The Black Petals
Marc Dickerson-Theater is Dead
C. S. Harbold-The Whispering
Dean Patrick-Vincent's Warning
Doug Park-We Get Him Together
Joseph Hurtgen-Worlds to Conquer
Mickie Bolling-Burke-The Bringer of Darkness
Aaron Hicks-The Last Days
Cindy Rosmus-Out of Juice
Matthew Wilson-Endless Men's Hate
Michael Steven-Hell Rift
Sean Goulding-Hypnagogic
David C. Kopaska-Merkel-In the Land of Giants
Loris John Fazio-The Thing in the Woods
Loris John Fazio-The Beggar Knows
Richard Stevenson-Peg Leg
Richard Stevenson-The Alkali Lake Monster
Richard Stevenson-The Green Man

The Green Man


Richard Stevenson


His name was Raymond Robinson.

A real man, not some Green Lantern

costume-wearing escapee

from Ping Pong University,


but an ordinary guy.  Blind from age nine

when he was horribly disfigured

in an electrical accident.  Out for

a nightly white-caned stroll.


He may have dressed in green

or suffered from a molten, ropey

no-eyed glow-in-the dark

skin condition.  Sought only privacy.


Didn’t want to scare folks

walking sidewalks in his neighbourhood

in broad daylight, his white cane

twitching round corners like some insect antenna.


But kids will be kids.  They teased

and taunted him.  Tossed beer cans

at his head.  Made up crazy stories

about their encounters with a monster –


Some alien being in a green lamé onesy.

Maybe he applied a little make-up

to get in on the joke; maybe he

just wanted to belong to this world – again.


Even if it meant green leotards

and a mask or Halloween ghoul paint.

He could go door-to-door with an adult,

fold up his cane, pretend to be a kid again.


Or he could wrap a molten paw around

pints he cadged out of hangers-on

in the local pub for the tall tales he spun.

Get drunk enough to pose for selfies.

Crack a cracked grimace for a smile.

Maybe eat crackers and try to whistle

for a bowl of soup, cheap pub food.

He could have pretend friends that way, at least.

Richard Stevenson recently retired from a 30-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College and is in the process of selling his house in Lethbridge and moving to Nanaimo, BC.  His most recent publications are Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders (2016) and A Gaggle of Geese (2017).

Action Dachshund! and An Abominable Swamp Slob Named Bob are forthcoming.

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