The Price of Poker, poetry by Gerry Stefanson at
Esteban Lopez

The Price of Poker

The Price of Poker

written & performed by: Gerry Stefanson


Heavy haunch head in hand
forlorn at a desk gazing upon the bleak outside,
from the bleak, inside my breast.

the time for demise at the hand
headed to rethink the stains of life
only to self confess.

Glow forms a meter from me,
between the glass and my face
ethereal floating in space.

two hands, one left and one right
no rings or affiliations,
suspended by air
stretch then entwine
dancing in space
even in time
a dog barks (in the distance),
an Owl crows (if there is a future)
gravestones crumble
an angel tumbled.
hell fires simmer to below
smoke and fire above.

temperature departs
pounding of heart
short of breath
fear with Joy collide
judge call to witness
my pitiful soul
now not rest
heaven and Hell
now will attest.

A heavier hush, then what fell
on Dan Magrew when he was shot,
thicker air than a Tull brick
darker the sky
behind those, three on their cross’s
question, time, hope and total loss.

the players arrive.

a silence that shouts
a roar that bequests,
the longest of nights
strangles unknighted,
unblessed, confessed or

figures ballet begins
cards of tarots and spades
dimly self light
softly portray
hands that shuffle
stack, prance and loot
the 1st hand is dealt
the last game of stook.

assembles of souls
stacked as chips,
“I swear o mothers grave
I smelt cigars, whiskey and shit”.

jokers and trumps
danced fast and lied,
hearts sporting diamonds
clubbing spades into swords
souls gladiating,
no hope to survive.

I’ll raise you a 100,000 babies soul
and see your ½ million pregnant nuns.
I call in 666,666 slamming conquistadors,
million of honest priests.
and the souls of the world
alive so to be dead,
dead so to be alive
were mounted at their feet.
they then argued for the
“prince of peace”
and Dante’s levels of Hell
were added to the heap.

all that is holy
and all that is not.
was now at the table
of the creator
and the greater have not.
all cards were dealt
ballots are cast
in this last dance.
the air hands folded
as the players passed,
all in called.
all bets were on
all dies were cast.
the END was HERE
at/or LAST.
the doorbell rang
I awoke,
voices screamed
“Trick or Treat”
“Happy Halloween”.
one air hand placed itself on my shoulder,
the other tripped and toppled my feet.
I knew again,
we would meet.



The continuum of evil and good with a wink and a nod to The Headless Horseman and to the inspiration of Chris DeBurgh.

Latest posts by Gerry Stefanson (see all)