Black & White Yard© by Bob Shallenberger

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Men walk in pairs on the concrete trail with scuffed steel-toed boots and warn-out soles, drab green shirts and khaki pants with brown tops. In grey sweats and shorts they share dull tales and impractical plans, their silver or flecked manes and rough long beards move with each step and word. Some sport colorless athletic shoes or brown hiking boots …

The Man© by Bob Shallenberger

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Sweat trickles beneath a black shirt, untucked, vintage, and well-worn for years with guests and substitutes always beside the other ones. Magnetic beats echo long side by side, above at back, throbbing tempos call out the middle faithful, mics high logging each and every set. Crowds filing and moving to the rhythmic cadence of a dying man, voice brash and …

Served Up© By Bob Shallenberger

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Homes stripped from once proud families by government-funded, too-big-to-fail banks with cash reserves the size of third world regimes. Their futures ripped away without consideration or compassion, devoid of support from multi-termed elected pen pushers who live off their pain and misery in their mansions discounted by promises and favors, their mounting portfolios of insider trades and equity scraped off …

Solar Shacks© By Bob Shallenberger

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Hey you, Disconnected Global Elite: they don’t need solar panels on their shacks! The sun won’t feed the billion people who go to bed hungry every night, the masses of starving children dying from contamination, devoid of vaccinations, treatment and supplies. Feed the children then redecorate the neighborhood with your fancy gizmos, your precious overpriced gadgets bolted on the roofs …

The Silence of Stoke© By Bob Shallenberger

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The waves shimmer under the fading moon as the ocean starts its day just before its dawn. Glowing shades of turquoise, calm, bright and clear, with waves expanding, the sun climbs above the horizon beyond a palm-framed, postcard-perfect island. No one around to enjoy nature’s majesty but dolphins and a couple sharks: not another surfer for hundreds of miles. Relaxed. …

Rolling© By Bob Shallenberger

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Gravel hides on the winding asphalt as the curve looms innocent. Signs stream together, red and orange blur without warning. Rubber clenches, grasps, releases and repeats — eleven times. Tracks swirling behind, the striking metal skates in rhythm. Expert reflexes turn to anxious panic providing no relief or hope. End over end the rubber and steel bang. The tires touch …

The Merry-Go-Round© by Bob Shallenberger

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Sun-bleached dreads striped by homespun bands, tousled and muddled from the resilient north plains wind. Long beards tattered, peppered white and gray. Tattooed skin, red from the Dakota sun. Bifocals plastic, thick and brown. Tee shirts faded mauve and sage. Shoes pale, old and tattered. Sweatpants frayed from countless miles and myriad hours training, circling the oblong track. Radios pinned …