In the beginning

I haven’t seen you in 20 years
except in my mind’s eye
the hurricane center of the hot black night
when I slip to our trip to

Galveston. We drove all night,
knowing already it was the end,
and rode the ferry at daybreak,
the sound of the sea and the sad
cry of the gulls
scored upon us.

Then earlier, the southward journeys
past rice farms and shrimping towns
the thick humid patio nights
catching lizards
and laughing.

And earlier still, in the beginning
when we took LSD and lay
all night in a field of sugar cane
tasting the forbidden fruit

afraid

       but liking it

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Lost song for Meng Jiao

I too have seen the winter stream,
waves beating the swords
of ice, dreamed

of imperial jade, green and blue,
of topaz the color of honey.

Cold streams crumple
the ragged banks of dreary forest,
Above the stream the swells of snow,
Further still, the stars by time and distance frozen,

as far away as your language from mine,
as your solitude from mine.

Spring comes on apace.
The waves beat harder. The swords
of ice break like paper branches. We turn
inward, you and I, creatures of the winter, to seek

someone or something approaching,
cold comfort in translation, here,
the icy clarity of the mirror.

Meng Jiao (751–814) was a Chinese poet during the Tang Dynasty.

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#1, #2, or #3

Here are 3 versions of the haiku poem I posted last week. No need to read the original post. Just pick one of the 3 here 🙂

#1
a million falling
stars at once, filling the sky,
hands catch the hot ash

#2
a million falling
stars at once, filling the sky,
the ash they leave us

#3
what dreams may come

A million falling stars
at once, like angels they light
the sky against darkness, but some
thing is wrong. Unlike angels they burn.
Open your hands. You can already
feel, maybe taste,
the hot ash.

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Love’s Ragged Claws 99c

My short novella, Love’s Ragged Claws, is featured and discounted for instant Kindle download this week (99c on Amazon US, still cheap on Amazon internatl 🙂 ) Warnings: [1] one character has a filthy mouth, though I think she’s still lovable 🙂 ; [2] it is neither pro- nor anti-Catholic but definitely not the orthodox Catholic story some early readers presumed after reading the description below.
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Shortlisted for the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RSNTR2B/

A stop at the confessional becomes a life story. Fifty years, three sins of the flesh, all of them unique, touching, funny, and remarkably real. From their hippie lives in the 1970s to their old age today, the characters pull out the little epiphanies that would become reference points of meaning for the rest of their lives. Adult language.
Featured on the sites below:

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Day’s end

Who needs gods or heaven or moral philosophies?
Your body at rest on the hammock is worth
more than all the imaginary heavens
of all the religions
ever invented

more than all the first principles
of all philosophies. All you
need to do is look at it
and see. If you listen

closely

you can hear the birds singing

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At the mirador in Noria Alta

Dragons of the earth flashing
red and green and gold
once moved to the galaxies
above cry out, they rage
against fate and thrash
their tails in a glitter
of fiery stars.

Sirens of the ocean weaving
seaspawn and seawrack
removed to the same
night sky, they rage
against time and weep
for their watery home
in teardrop stars.

And we, what have we to do
with dragons, with sirens, we
who see only the stars, only
beauty, we who’ve lost the exquisite
pain of those elemental beings?

We have nothing to do but
await the next wound, await
being ripped aloft from the earth,
soothed for now in soft forgetfulness,
in the bare beauty of the night sky,
where sirens silently weep the more
because they cannot
weep for us.

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A brief narrative interlude

Who was I to be working on a trail?
I know nothing of trails. But
I do know one thing. Trees
have no hearts. But
there it was.

A deformity, a fleshy blotch, something
primeval, excessive, root and stem, something
ludicrous, abhorrent, something that shouldn’t be there.

Raging, I tore at the thing,
the thing that could not be a tree, a heart,
that could only be a ghost of a thing, a word,
a high-sounding phrase said and stupidly repeated

(to correct it, I had
no other intent).

My fury opened a thin purple line, a drip,
then a flow, pumping out a silk road
of opulent red, cambering down
the broken skin of bark.

It seemed a thousand years
swept by, countless passings of moon
and stars, blood and bone, in their great cycle.

And the thousand years filled with weird
dreams of life being lived, food trucks
and book shops and dancing under
the steady moon on a small plaza
up high, with lights of a village
below, then of doors opening
downward into something
bottomless deep, then
closing.

I grew thin, I aged as I watched
the slight silky line of red now
trickling across the earth,
now into the earth.

Then the parched earth cracked,
a pain long forgotten pushed
its wobbly head through,
unsure of whether
to lean this way
or that.

I went back to my work
changed and satisfied.

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Free love, free hippies

HIPPIES FREE this week. Download now.

4.2 stars on 50 Amazon ratings. Selected for Oregon community radio interview.

Follow Jazmine and Ziggy as they stumble through the sights, sounds, and ideals of the 1960s toward a dramatic personal climax.

Go ahead. Click it. Release your inner hippie.

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Read it. Share it. Drop a rating on Amazon.

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