(Editor’s Note: In beginning 2016, NonDoc has rebranded its Sunday feature as Sundaze. We remain resolved to provide this space for poetry, short prose, visual art and other ideas pitched by creatives in Oklahoma and around the world. If your new year’s resolution is to take more chances, submit your work for publication by contacting

A comic from Mike Allen

(Mike Allen)

Ballad of Joe and Misty Sue
by James Coburn

Young farm hands a humming.
Okie storm’s a coming.
Purple skies mixed with gray,
drench prairie bales of hay.
Country boys work all day, love all night
save their pennies for Okie life.
Across the bridge of Cottonwood Creek
Joe left his love under white sheets.
Lightening splinters across the sky;
green twigs in red dust fly by.
Joe’s long legs are running,
His newly-wed heart’s a thumping.
Joe leaps through a field
of ready-to-harvest wheat;
cyclonic wind can’t be beat.
Crosses his heart in slanting rain,
knowing life without Misty ain’t the same.
When ya work all day, romp all night
ya need some prayers to set life right.
Joe loved all night with Misty Sue.
What else is a country boy to do.
But then, oh misery —
not a dime in his blue jean pants.
So work a day extra by chance,
’til raging storm disaster
breaks Joe’s walls of plaster.
Wind kicks Joe through front door
panting for breath, lungs sore.
Life’s got reckoning to do.
Old farm dog shows wet nose
from under a blanket and Misty’s clothes.
Joe searches for Misty Sue.
To a storm cellar, she already flew.
Still simmering on stove is chicken soup
as he runs through “balk, balk,” chicken coupe.
Dashes with his yellow lab;
lifts shelter door to something sad.
Misty’s arms wrapped around Johnny Blue
after telling Joe, “I’ll be lonesome for you.”
Johnny and Misty kissed all day,
romped passed noon,
got naked in the morning dew.
Joe caught Johnny with Misty Sue.
What else for a friend named Blue.
For two fellers across the range,
simple lives without a lick of change,
there’s some expense with Misty Sue.
Life’s got reckoning to do.


NonDoc’s 2015 Sunday Funday review” by Mike Allen et al

Mike Allen is a graphic designer, painter, printer and tailor. He has a fine art degree from the University of Oklahoma.
James Coburn is an Oklahoma poet, photographer and journalist. His first book of poetry, "Words of Rain," was a 2015 finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards. His work has appeared numerous anthologies. A long­time journalist for The Edmond Sun, Coburn is a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.