Breaking Words


The first episode of Breaking Words is out! You can click on the RSS feed to the right on the main page here, and listen to it there. The first poem is “The Fiddle Player and The Dancer”:

As he packed up to leave, an old women approached.
“Can you play that thing?” she asked,
motioning toward the fiddle.
“I can, but I can’t make any money here,”
he said, showing her the empty cup.
“Put that fiddle under your chin, boy.
Play somethin’ gypsy, somethin’ that moves.
And as he played, she began to dance.
Bells appeared on her fingers
tinkling in the breeze.
Swaying and swirling to his rhythm
her ragged clothes suddenly seemed new.
Sequins and colors flashed brilliant in the sun.
The people came, and fell in love with her
that day. She twirled, and the sound flowed,
entwining together to become one thing.
Finally the music faltered, as if nothing
could compete with her beauty.
As she twirled her last,
he offered her the money from the cup, now full.
“You keep it boy,” she said with a smile.
“I only wanted to dance.”

And the second one is, “Blue Moon”:

After sending her 2.3 children to play
with the neighbors down the street, the
housewife, in her new, crisp, pink pastel
dress, serves her husband ice tea on a
sunny, suburban, Sunday afternoon.

When yellow foam mixed with blood
ejects from his mouth, wetting his
gray trousers, and he falls from his
lawn chair in agony gasping for air,
she kneels beside him, grass staining
her new dress and asks him if his tea
is as spicy as his new secretary.

As her husband dies on the freshly mown
lawn, she calls her mother, to pick
up the children and then calls the police.
The children of course, will not
understand, for they are to young
to know that the blue moon, is not blue.

I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I did making it! If you click the “subscribe” button, each new episode will be downloaded automatically. Have fun, and Thanks!

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New Book

I have just sent the manuscript for my new book of haiku poetry to the publisher for review! Now comes the waiting. I hate waiting. I’m rather impulsive, and impatient. I try hard not to be, but it doesn’t always work. More to come!

Mirrored


She was a contradiction in terms.
A lack of confidence gave her doubt

but she would pound you to dust
if she thought you were wrong,

needed you desperately
but didn’t need you at all.

Having no trust in love,
she loved fiercely.

Who was she who gripped my soul,
and gave her’s to me so freely?

Who was she who is reflected
in those she left behind?

Know us, and we’ll show you.

Breaking Words


Episode One of Breaking Words is finished! When I have three episodes, I’ll release them. This is going to be a weekly poetry podcast. I’ve been writing poetry seriously for about six years and now you’ll be able to hear me read them all on this podcast. I have found that I really like doing this, and I’ve got enough material for about a years worth of podcasts. So that means I better get writing if I want to keep up. I haven’t been writing much since Ann (my wife) died. Not sure why other than her passing has occupied my mind completely since then. I’m coming around now, slowly, so it’s time to get going. As always, I’ll post everything I write here. Each post for the podcast episodes will include some photos and the words to the poems on that podcast! Enjoy!

A House

At the end of a dirt road with corn fields on each side and woods behind, sits a house.
Shingles are missing, windows are broken and the gate hangs by one hinge.
It’s been like that for some time now. Empty. Alone.

The house was built 100 years ago by a young man and his bride. With trees cut
from the property, love and care, a home was raised. There were 10 children. And
happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, Christmas’s and birthdays and funerals.

And many years later, times grew hard and a Great Grandchild lost the house to the bank.
It sat empty for a time and then a young couple came along. There is a picture of them
in a broken frame on the floor. Two women and a young girl, their daughter.

And they made this house a home. There was happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears,
Christmas’s and birthdays and funerals. The daughter grew up and went across the country
to college. The couple moved to be closer to her. And the house has been empty since.

Until just this very day. A car was seen driving up to the old house. A man got out with a
SOLD sign in his hand. And also out of the car came a women, three children and a dog.
And there will be Happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, once again.

The Trees And The Sky

The bare trees of Winter like ancient hands
with gnarled fingers, reach up out of the earth,
reaching for what they cannot grasp,
and observe the Sky above.

The bright blue sky taunts the trees, saying,
“Look at me! Look at my clouds and wind.
They can go anywhere! While you,
rooted to the ground cannot move.”

And the trees reply, “Our roots
grow deep and we are a part of this world.
Children play in our branches and leaves.
And you, can only observe.”

“Alas, it is so,” said the sky. “But without my light
and warmth in spring, you would not grow leaves and
would wither and die. What then?” said the sky.
“Where would the children play?”

“It seems We need each other” said the trees
and sky together. “So I shall go on,” said the sky,
“providing you with warmth and rain so you
will live, and children will play and grow.”

“And we shall grow and live,” said the trees,
“giving leaves and life and shade so people
will thrive, and you sky, will have
many things to see and care for.”

And so the sky and trees work together,
making sure that the world goes on.
But they need our help to succeed.
And these things we must teach our children.

1:00 a.m.

At 1a.m. because he couldn’t sleep
he sits at his piano
cigarette in the ash tray
smoke curling up
trying to decide what he wants to write
what he wants to say, what he wants to play.

At 2a.m. the ash tray half full
his elbow rests on middle C
chin in his hand he tinkers with the keys
an F a C back to F
it’s not coming.

At 3a.m. he naps on the couch
the ash tray is full the room in a haze
eighth notes dance in his mind
like a playground full of children.

At 4a.m. he is hammering on the keyboard
the ash tray emptied the windows open
his mind is clear but he’s not there yet.

At 5a.m. a cigarette in the ash tray
smoke curling up, the notes are coming now.

At 6a.m. it’s done, he has it, and he sleeps.

A New Life Podcast

The podcast is doing well. People are listening to it and it feels good to know that maybe they are getting something out of it. That was the whole reason for doing it. I don’t get paid for any of this. The reward comes from being of benefit to others. Woo Hoo!!! So just a reminder, the podcast can be found on: anewlife.libsyn.com. It is also on Spotify now and Google player. Awesome. More later!

“A New Life” Podcast

All four episodes of the podcast are available now on my feed. On the right of this page, under my photo you’ll find an RSS feed. Click on the top entry to access all four episodes. Please feel free to leave comments there or here as I really want to know what you think! Thank you everyone. This podcast was a lot of work to produce but it was a lot of fun learning all the new things I need to know. I sincerely hope that it will be a help to people going through grief.

RSS Feed

I’ve posted an RSS feed to the “A New Life” podcast under my photo on the right side of this page. The podcast is about surviving the death of a loved one and starting your life over. My wife died from cancer a year ago and the podcast is about how I handled the grief process. Check it out.

A New Life Podcast


I’ve been writing on this blog for about six years now and while it has been fun, enlightening, frustrating, etc., it has never become very popular. Since my wife Ann died a year ago, (I can’t believe it’s been a year) I’ve done my best to create a new life. So a new venture is in the works for me. I’m getting into the world of podcasting. Podcasting has grown exponentially over the last ten years and it seems there’s no stopping it. One of the reasons it is so popular is because people can listen to podcasts while they’re doing something else. When reading a blog, you have to sit down at the computer or with your phone and read. It’s very hard to do anything else when you’re reading. In our modern American society it seems everyone is pressed for time so to be able to listen to a podcast while you’re working out, taking a walk or whatever is a handy thing.

I’ve assembled the equipment I need, as you can see in the photo, and I’m learning all I can about the ins and outs of podcasting. Before too long, I’ll be recording my first episode. I will keep this blog, and post from time to time but my main effort will be with the podcast. I’ve created a page here on the blog for the podcast. If you look at the black header bar just below the photo at the top of the page you’re on right now, you’ll see a page called, “A New Life Podcast.” That’s it! For every podcast episode I do there will be commentary from me, photo’s and the ability for everyone to comment about the podcast.

The podcast will consist of me talking about creating a new life after the death of a loved one. Because that’s pretty much what I’ve had to do. If you’ve ever lost someone who was a huge part of your life you know what I’m talking about. Everything changes. Everything. Everything you do, think and say becomes different because that person is no longer a part of it. For some, this can be very traumatic to the point of not being able to function.

My hope is that by talking about my own experience, I can provide some insight to others who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Podcasting will open up a world wide audience for me and hopefully. I will be able to reach people who need to hear this. It’s also therapeutic for me to be able to talk about it. As the details of the podcast become clear, I’ll keep you all informed. Thank you so much for being here with me and joining me on this new ride!

Breakthrough Story


I made spaghetti today. When I finished, it looked like a bomb had exploded on the stove. Sauce sprayed in a blood splatter pattern, noodles and bits of hamburger like scenes from a horror movie. Unfortunately, it often looks like this when I cook. I think of children in countries where they don’t have enough to eat and feel guilty writing about my food exploits. But I do it anyway. We do a lot of things we shouldn’t, and justify them in various ways to feel better about ourselves. Just another day in the life.

What if being human is a mental illness? What if all of us so called “normal” people who go to our jobs, raise families, and cook our dinners are mentally ill? Maybe we were shipped here from some distant planet, some place where they decided to rid their society of their less than desirable people. Like the British did when they sent boat loads of people to Australia. Maybe we are the descendants of the worst of an alien society that now enjoys life without people who routinely blow up their stoves at mealtime. Are they watching us, do you suppose? Are they wondering how long it will be before they have to intervene to keep their refuse from infecting the universe?

I scanned the radio dial this morning. I heard conservatives screaming about liberals. I heard Nirvana songs. Lots of talk about the environment and children in cages. I heard Hip-Hop music. I turned the radio off and went out and stood in the rain. But the radio still played. Lots of sounds and voices and screams. And music. Country and Rock and Rap. And more voices telling me what I didn’t want to hear. I longed for the sweet sounds of water lapping at a shore and the calls of loons across the lake. Life is like a radio that never shuts off. And half the time there’s too much static to discern what I’m hearing.

So I cleaned up the stove, and ate my spaghetti. I used fresh Basil from my little herb garden. Turned out pretty good. As all these words started swirling around in my mind I knew I was on the edge of a breakthrough book or at least a prize winning article. I sat down at the keyboard, electricity tingling my fingertips. I felt like Edward R. Murrow about to break an earth shattering story and then what came out was this. A story about exploding my stove and the guilt of writing about eating. Who are we, anyway?

Heat


It is the end of May. At this time of year in my part of the world, outside air temperatures should be in the low to mid seventies Fahrenheit. For the last several days we have been in the low to mid nineties. It is hot. Attributable to climate change, no doubt, but that doesn’t help how it feels. We have actually been blessed with low humidity during this period which has made it more bearable, but still. A couple days ago I turned on the air conditioning because I was going to be gone for four to five hours and my dog, Sophie, who is half Malamute, half Husky, suffers from the heat. I set it for seventy four degrees and came back several hours later to find it was eighty degrees in the house. The air didn’t work. With that comes the possibility of spending a lot of money getting the unit fixed or replaced. Although, if the temperature goes back to normal, I can get by without it.

At the end of April I bought a small greenhouse. I have it set up in my back yard and have been growing herbs and tomato’s so far. I’ve actually started a new blog to document my adventures called, conveniently enough, Greenhouse Adventure. You can find it by typing “Greenhouse Adventure.com” into the search bar on your computer. It’s only just begun so don’t expect a lot just yet.

As some of you may know, my wife died of cancer last July. It’s been a rough period for me but I seem to be coming out of it slowly. I want to do more writing, but I just haven’t felt up to it for quite some time. I think now I’m turning a corner, as it’s said, And you may be able to expect to hear from me more often. I hope so. Thanks for the help and support I’ve received during this time. It means a lot. See you soon!

She


And now I sit alone,
with reminders of her everywhere;
rocks and pictures and paintings.

And now I sit alone,
not lonely, but sad.
Sad at the loss of her,

who shared my life
and sang with me in the car.

She who shared my bed,
and my most intimate moments,
is gone now, forever.

She, who’s laugh made me laugh,
who’s tears made me cry,
is gone now, forever.
I don’t sing in the car, anymore.

The First Time

There has never been anything
quite like a boy’s first slow dance
with a girl. The feeling of her breasts,
pressed against your chest.
The warmth of her body, held close.
Her breath, tickling the hairs on your neck.
And the lovely smell of her freshly washed hair
filling your teenaged senses
with indescribable feelings.
The song you danced to didn’t matter,
and it was over way too soon.
And the only thing you could
think at that moment was that
you wanted to do that again.
And again, and again.
No, there has never been a feeling
quite like that.
And there never will.

Nine Pelicans

Standing along the river bank,
dignified in their ungainly grace,
nine pelicans stand or sit and watch
like some prehistoric judges
as the river parades slowly past.

A little further along the bank
geese, flapping, fluttering, and
stomping in the mud, voice
their discontent, loudly, as if
the river is wholly unacceptable
in its proceeding and stance.

A deer, on the opposite bank,
lifts its head and observes
both groups, with measured
indifference, as it chews something
it found among the weeds.

One pelican raises its orange
bill in the direction of the deer
and then away, as if to say he’s
bored and determines this river
to be insufficient for his needs.

But he cannot align himself with the
unruly, peasant-like geese, he
being, after all, a pelican of
some standing, among his group.