Friday, January 9, 2015

dead man's cliff

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by roy dismas and konrad kraus






some said his name was billy
some said his name was biff
but they had to pick up the pieces
when he drove off dead man's cliff

he drove a 57 'vette
the coolest car invented yet
he came down highway 101
as the sun began to set

the boys thought he was a stuckup clown
the girls desired him for a mate
he drove through town like a conqueror
he drove through town like fate

the girls rushed out of the soda shoppes
and gathered around him like flies
and melted like cotton candy candles
when they looked into his eyes

he said he had been to paris and rome
and lived in a mansion in l a
his dad was the king of hollywood
and his mom was the queen of the may

he had wealth to toss around like confetti
enough money to burn a wet mule
he had sat at the feet of wise men
but knew there was only one school

and that was the school - of love
the school of love - and regret
for he had had his heart broken
by someone he was trying to forget

the girls were thrilled with his story
they wept to hear his tale
they elbowed each other for his attention
but his love was not for sale

the stars stood still in the heavens
as billy made his pick
he settled on shirley stevens
the others drifted away - heartsick

they had to watch as shirley
so rich, so blonde, so blasé
had the corvette's door opened by billy
and watch as they sped away

of all the girls who were shattered
peggy smith took it the worst
when the race for billy's heart began
she was sure she would come in first

she slunk home to the little cabin
where she lived with her drunken dad
she had never been so late before
this time he was really mad


he told her she was a harlot
and had blackened his good name
and told her to hit the highway
when the next daybreak came

peggy lay in the darkness
hoping that she would die
when she head a tap on the window
in the sweet bye and bye

there was no time for romantic words
there was no time for palaver
it was peggy's desperate prayer come true -
it was billy come to save her!

his blue eyes blazed in the darkness
his spine it stood up stiff
"i have come to save you, my darling
but my name isn't billy - it's biff

there is no time to explain my deception
you will have to trust me, i fear
but wait for me in the moonlight
i will be back for you , my dear

but first i have to clear my name
there is one thing i have do
just wait for me, my darling,
and to you i will be true"

he vanished into the darkness
lit by a single star
a star like peggy's wildest dream
so near, and yet so far

the f b i was on biff's trail
for a bank job up in spokane
so far he had eluded them
in the night and wind and rain

peggy waited by the window
until the sunset glowed
her teardrops fell like silver jewels
alas, biff never showed

no one ever knew for sure
if his name was billy or biff
they had to pick up the pieces
when he drove off dead man's cliff



No comments:

Post a Comment