© Christopher Raine

Splendid One-Act Play



Found upon the empty shelves

of a grocery store,

inspired by

the squalor of scribbles

Jack Kerouac

left behind,

a toilet-paper manuscript

unrolls to reveal

a splendid one-act play.


Hush Now.


The curtain opens

a spotlight breaks

to a Samuel Beckett

inspired scene

where a protagonist named, ’Fear,’

reveals thoughts

in panic-hushed soliloquy,


to an audience

of gaping mouth-breathers

left alone in the dark


Spot Light Out.


What’s happening?

the rumours begin

like the flicker of dominos

falling in a sneaker-sweat


the inevitable,

the predictable,


of echoes

and gasping-hardwood


End Scene.


The spotlight returns

with a clunk,

illuminating stage right

It follows an elderly man

in a perfectly tailored suit

with a matching hat

he waves and smiles

the audience cheers

he graciously nods

approaching center stage

where a Martin ®

acoustic guitar awaits


He tells a self-deprecating joke,

the content doesn’t matter

ad-lib something

if you must,

as he secures the instrument’s strap

over his shoulder

An Angelic Choir Sings in harmony.

The old man plays the guitar

and sings with the authority

of wisdom and a voice

from the dead:

“I'm hoping these days,

for a positive spin

in a way that a master

draws from meanings within

I’m not afraid of the world

I’m still chasing a grin

I’m still listening to reason

and not caving in

I’m rationing fears

and keeping them thin

averting disaster

praying that reason will win.”

praying that reason will win”

The audience cheers

and throws fresh-cut flowers

over a bridge of gratitude.

He continues in crescendo:


“Keeping it cool

and dreaming in pastures

dressing maudlin skies

with sanity’s rapture

being cruel can’t be kind

if your heart’s beatin’ faster

take your breath,

take your time,

when averting disaster.”


The tempo slows.

The man takes a knee,

removing his fedora,

placing it over his chest.

He recites:


“It takes the blood of a lamb

over a doorway

to pass.


It’s a desperate thing

for a hope

dying fast


Keep to your reason

better start

thinking fast


Only listen to sirens

when you’re tied

to the mast.”


Lights Fade.