When I was young (summer poem)

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(Photo by Aaron Burden)

I was younger once

In days of lilac blue

Upon the yellow sand

Of a fresh water sea

I sat with my feet

In the water turned green

By its warmth
There, little silver fishes

Darted among my toes

And disappeared into

The black mineral depths

Of, oh, maybe a foot?
The air fell downward

In an invisible woosh

That rippled across the surface

And sent white paper plates

Tumbling from grey

Picnic tables
The red roof building

Upon a green grass hill

Stood sentry over summer revelers

As smells of corndogs and pretzels

Filled the air
Red, white, and blue bags

Filled with charcoal

Sat next to brown pine trunks

That cast cool shadows that

Brought relief to hot sand burnt feet
Where, underneath, an old patchwork

Blanket was spread out

And a body reclined safe

Save for the occasional curious

Honey bee
Children, myself included, found friends

Among the sun-bleached playground

Of swingsets, monkey bars, and silver colored slides

That burnt pink the legs of someone unwise

Enough to slide when the sun was high
Through the shadowy woods in the back

A long walk brought you

Through the marshes where

The blue dragon flyer alighted

Momentarily upon the water

Living ripples behind
That was the colour of my summers

With sunkissed shoulders

Worn out senses

And a day that lasted for years

When I was young

A Time To Rise by Tal Bauer (Book Review)

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Wow.

 

What a ride that was.

 

This was a horror romance novel, written by Tal Bauer, that’ll send you reeling into a nightmare world of nighttime creatures.

And it’s bloody.

Blood.

Just all over the place.

But it’s also intriguing as a concept.

Vatican Vampire Slayers.

Wraith chasers.

Sexy guardsmen

And an Ass- kicking Pope.

Yes, you read that right.

 

And in the midst of it a sweet love story. That was sweet. And lovely. And tender.

 

This was incredibly well researched and a surprisingly face paced book. The only drawback, from my point of view, was the grunting and the snarling and the growling – from non-undead people. Overly Alpha written personalities make me roll my eyes a bit -it’s sort of like – when you shop for boneless chicken breast – they have rib meat and water added in? We know they’re men. They don’t need extra water added in to make them menlier men. The menliest men who ever manned. That feels a little forced.

 

I felt like the story could have been broken up and extended to delve deeper into the mythos. Like maybe this book should have been two and then slowed down. Like a sip of wine should be rolled over the tongue to experience the bouquet?

 

But overall, it kicked ass. It was a good gory bloody disgusting and intelligent book. I think fans of The Witcher and Dragon Age Series’ would love this.

 

 

Orpheus prophet

​Orpheus

See it? Out on the horizon ahead of us

Lightning dances across the sky like a wicked ballet dancer

While the thunder crawls outward from our chest
Listen to the ghosts crying out their wretched grief

Cold water on parched lips sighing

Barren wicked world slowly dying

For a taste of sweet relief
The world beneath us rumbles

Like a chrome engine roaring

Down abandoned interstate blacktop 

Shimmering phantoms in the  heat
Can’t you hear the orchestra playing

Your muse begging to be sung to?

Your rock N roll lover needing to be clung to?

Armageddon’s silverbacked dragon begins to  roar
Feel that tremble, rock it gently

Sweet perfumes wafting in the window

Hells headbanging riff crescendos

Knocking on your bedroom door
And just like magic the shows over

Soaked and sated it rolls over

The song is sung the poem spoken

Leaving room for one drop more
But that’s Orpheus’ magic

Dancing daring desert lightning

Could be frightening if you’re easy

Throw your pistols out the door
Now we peel out tires screaming

Rocks jumping tires spitting 

Fire flaring out of tailpipes 

As you stomp it to the floor
Then we race on through til midnight

Chasing fire on the skyline

Rock N rolling devil dragons

Chase that muse straight on til dawn

Is this your version of heaven? (poem)

Is this your version of heaven
whites only, men only, women BACK TO THE KITCHEN!
where everything at least looks good
looks calm, looks clean, looks almost pristine
but like a sarcophagus everyone else, everything else
rots underneath


Is this your version of glory
where Christ was a murderer and the thief
where big teeth preacher take social security checks
to fly private jets across the smog filled sky?


Is this your version of paradise
empty spaces where beauty once was
empty places where people once roamed
bland food bland life bland world of all white?


Harken back to the days when…
you were less because you were ignorant
when you were too slothful to think for yourself
and you sat in your own stench in your Sunday’s best
while the book of Exodus gathered dust on your shelf


You know among the N word’s many meanings
one was lazy, right?
if we take that word with all its twisted roots
which is ironic in a gut-punching way
a term you used to make black folks feel less than
when those who used it lived in glass houses
who now make up the majority of the welfare line


Is this your version of heaven
good grief If the world only knew
what golden calf garbage you don’t hesitate to peddle
and here I am Thanking God
that the heaven I’ll be in will be different
Because the Jesus I worship
was a brown skinned, woolen haired, sandal wearing, 

Jew

It’s strange days when Jesus and Rock and Roll are on the same side….

Where the truth is (Poem)

The truth is in the middle
between what he said what she said
bullets flying over my head
the screaming is driving me mad
 
No the bible didn’t make this country
but essential oils haven’t healed a thing
they only thing you agree on is how much you hate
the center
mainstream, lamestream, that place where everyone else is
 
You’re addicted to being different
in love with the taste of your own tears
you find new names for things that never existed
and you apply old methods to things you don’t understand
as you’ve done for years
 
Tumblr and your preacher are not experts
what you believe is not what is regardless how much
you scream and shout about it
You have a right to an opinion but if it’s empty of fact
as an empty jar is void of substance
You also have a right to be wrong about it
 
When it comes to one side, I’d be atheist
if the atheists didn’t murder all that’s beautiful of religion
I’d be vegan, if I wasn’t afraid I’d starve
I’d be a religious, if you didn’t murder all that’s beautiful about the world
Some days I’m even scared to be queer
 
There is no one as loud as you
as freaky and hateful and burning the world down as you
but that doesn’t save anything as you end sentences in exclamation points to express your point of view
all you do is make refugees beaten bloody by
your brand of extremism
 
Revolutions don’t come from men like me
We just try and try and try and try to be
Watching out for wolves on the right
and starving wraiths on the left
as we make our way down the road
hanging on to truth
slap down in the middle
where it’s never once moved

The Honesty of Tigers (Book Review)

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I’ve never read a book like this before.
This is a very magical yet realistic enough story about a man who is reincarnated to live his life again. And in doing so sets out to avoid the mistakes – or what he sees as mistakes – of the first life. Slowly and deliberately the writer crafts for us this man’s world as it is now, and compares and contrasts it to the life he once lived. And in some instances he does it side by side.
Which is – genius.
This isn’t a fast paced book of worn out themes and two dimensional characters. This is a character study of a man who got to do it all over again. And then – again.
This is a glass of Johnny Walker Black, on ice, while you sit in front of a fire as you read on a day when its too wet outside to do anything else – book. This is a , ‘you let the whisky soak your soul and fall asleep because the fire made you warm and you dream about the book, book.
There are a lot of large themes, beautiful landscapes, incredible writing, and love. That is what shines out of this in it’s entirety.
Love.
I’ll be thinking about this book for a long while. And I’ll be thinking about what I could change on my next go ’round.
Big. Brilliant. Beautiful. Gentle. Different. And all lovely.

Five stars

Anxiety (poem)

I can feel the shattering blow
glass breaking in the air as the trees bend
something is different now
wolves prowl the shadows

it has set our teeth on edge
and our nerves are finely tuned to the change
our blood thrums as the chord is struck
something, something
but what is it?

It is as if the whole world has inhaled
waiting for the hammer’s blow
waiting for the cock to crow
waiting for the sickle’s stealthy swish

the worst of man has just stepped through
black knights on carrion horses
long dead rumors left unspoken
now find ears to listen to its song

There is light and hope
but the devil’s in the details
because truth is something chosen
and what was once pure has turned to pitch
and what was once black now glitters in the sun

This isn’t the fairy legend fables
nor nursery rhyme of brother’s Grimm
this is concrete level modern madness
as the feeling of uneasiness sets in

But where oh where do we find repose?
the rest of the wicked and worn out heart
in a place where even the daylight feels funny
and a nightmare where everyone is afraid of the dark

Is valiance an attribute buried deep in us all
awaiting the chance to break through and empower our sword-swinging arm?
or has high hopes blinded our eyes from seeing the world as it is
a contrast of light and of dark?

I don’t know, I don’t know! I can’t even venture to guess
as I wait and listen and watch the gathering storm
and like you I can only sit still in the moment
will Tomorrow bring help or will it bring harm?

I’ll wait here, like you, I’ll wait here to see
brave enough to look up toward the skies
to see what happens to a world that cannot rest
that cannot even, not for a moment, rest it’s eyes.

A Rock and Roll Generation (Post-Election blues)

So, today I spent the day listening to old rock and roll. ‘Old’ is sort of relative here, but music like Skid Row’s ‘I Remember you’, The Nelson brother’s Album ‘After the Rain’, some Joan Jett, Some Pat Benatar, and I just followed this YOUTUBE rabbit trail song after song. I found great stuff, Bon Jovi’s ‘Always’, Bryan Adams’ duet with Tina Turner ‘It’s only love,’ and on and on I went.

I sat here in a stupor mouthing the words to those songs. But I was doing more than just that, I was feeling every word and every guitar riff, and was swaying in my chair as I sang along.

Now, I’m a music freak anyway. I love music. I have since I was a kid. Like reading, it was a way out. And I was always attracted to the lyrics and the drama of the production.

(Lyrics like, “…with an Iron clad fist, I wake up to French-kiss the morning,” from Bed of Roses. Nobody writes like that anymore.)

And I was sitting in my chair as I started choking up and I started to cry.

And I realized at that moment what I was doing.

Like many of you, I was hurt. Am hurt. Hurting in the present tense.

This election took my breath away.

We had it soo good this past 8 years, like someone who falls in love, it rips your heart out when that lover leaves and I think that’s what I was feeling.

Last night we did what Tom Petty sang, “Free fallin’,” until the end when Trump was announced as President. That was our sudden stop. And just like the old saying goes, ‘It ain’t the fall that kills ya.”

I was looking for unrestrained expressions of love. Just these great old songs that express without boundary – this undying, unyielding passion that as a kid – attracted me to that music to begin with.

I wanted to be reminded of this other time when the worries and stress I had wasn’t so breathtaking.

So, I started researching Rock and Roll and found that, after the 1950’s and especially in the 1960’s – when Rock and Roll hit mainstream – the music was an act of defiance.

Firstly, because Rock and Roll was invented by a black lesbian by the name of Sister Rosetta Tharp.

It gave voice to the angst of a generation that was struggling with Vietnam, with The Civil Rights movement. It gave voice to a generation of people – who, like us – were dealing with insurmountable odds. And because it allowed them to vent, to lash out, to put to music their raw emotions – it shook the foundation of the establishment.

It was called, ‘the devil’s music’, by religious.

It was banned on radio stations and played in underground clubs.

It led to Woodstock. It was anthems as culture began to shift – much to the old guard’s chagrin.

Even when I was a kid, in the 1980’s, the leather clad, glam rock, big haired men and women head banged and crooned out about passionate love during their parent’s love affair with the Reagan revolution and the height of the Moral Majority (which we found out later, was neither moral nor the majority).

There were two worlds struggling for dominance.

And today, that struggle is here – again.

I have concluded that the reason why those songs were so hated was no simply because of the riffs of the guitar or the beat of the drums, not because of the raw sexuality of it – but because it was human beings speaking to other human beings and stripping down barriers the establishment (church, government, society) put up to separate us. And those songs gave us – hope. And they gave us an outlet for our fears, dealt with social issues, and set our hearts searching for the heights of love.

It was unifying.

While I am not suggesting we all should try and squeeze into the clothes we wore back then, maybe we should go back and listen to some of that music. To recapture the feeling of that music that wasn’t afraid to stare into the face of certain doom and say, ‘fuck you.’

We blamed the millennials for this.

That’s crap. This isn’t their fight.

It’s still ours.

Look at the actors:

I am saying this because we’re not fighting some new age-y wave of intolerance. We’re fighting the same ol’ raggedy ass bullshit we have fought since the 1980’s. Donald Trump is seventy fucking years old

Putin is KGB – you can’t get any more 80’s than that if you were to put that motherfucker in polka dots and a poofy skirt. ((although I think that shit would be funny)).

Liberty University – ran by Jerry Falwell before he died and now run by his son.

The religious right.

Clinton was a vestige of the 90’s.

This is our fight. And although we’ve aged right along with them, we already know their language. We know their moves. We know – essentially – how to fight back.

Gay marriage is a new reality – and if we’re going to guard this next generation’s right to marry – we’re going to have to make ourselves uncomfortable again. Angst, again. Needing again. Hungry and horny and unsatisfied, again.

Donald Trump tapped into an old hate in this country. And old anger. And old fear. People who didn’t want their world to change now as much as they didn’t want it to change then.

We must fight these people back now, like we did then. We must be the counter culture.

And that’s by being unafraid to speak. To be. And I’m not just talking to my writers. I’m talking to everyone out there who jammed out to Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, The Styx, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, Rush, John Fogerty, people who knew Motown, people who knew Cinderella, Lita Ford, Bad Company, Tina Turner, Queen, Scorpion, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, and so on.

David Axelrod described this election as ‘…. a primal scream.’

Let’s scream back.

We owe it to our kids. We owe it to the millennials.

Let’s meet their primal scream with Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.”

When it hurts, lets beg for more.

When they push, let’s push back.

Let’s show ‘em how it’s done.

And to my writers out there – the pressures on us to become the rock stars, now. The words we write are important now more than ever.  Not only to provide an escape, but to also reflect the world around us.

Here’s Joan Jett not giving a damn about her reputation.

Let’s chuck ours.

This is still our fight to win. Let’s protect them millennials who aren’t ready yet, from a job we haven’t finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Sanity (Poem)

oh sanity
thou mysteriously thin wisp
elusive and gone like the morning mists
on a still lake as the sun breaks over the horizon
and burns away quickly

when fever catches and burns the body
till air the skin finds abrasive
there’s nothing to do but let the fever break
in rest and repose we sleep

Yet I fear a temperature too hot
can scorch the mind like fire burns the grasses
when lightning strikes parched and drought-starved places
till nothing remains but black and charred earth

But even then through the smoke stilled remains
of charred and desolate corpses
new life springs anew and curious
after the passing of March’s sweet first rain

Sanity, my darling
our tender frail little spirit
leave us, all of us, in times like these
that we may face our life with a drunkard’s sobriety
tis the least that you can do.

We are Gay (poem)

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(Photo by Elaine Li)

Like fog lifting off a still lake
in the first break of daylight in pink skies
spirits rising with arms flung back and chests proudly barred and bruised
above blackwater surprise
ready to be reborn
murdered, slandered, left for dead
we escape you
we elude you
when your iron fists clamp down
we slip, laughing in our nakedness, in our brazen sex
our daring
right through and past you
You made the word functional, gears grinding upon steel
clockwork humanity
black and white it rolls out in front of you
one, two, three, four
we came along and made your necessary, fantastic
and you ask for more, more,
please just a little more…

Through your love, we are made
when your man parted your tender milky thighs
we are not a thought, a choice, or a decision
we are a species, a truth, creatures of light and dark
from your womb, you’ve given us life
these princes of heaven touched by grace
fallen in your eyes
but closer to god than you can imagine
ambassadors of heaven
in our truth, we revel, like imps
fairies in trees casting spells over the word
laughing and feeling and weeping over the break of day

you love what we do for you
hate what we make you feel
you twist and writhe to the songs we sing
yet through bared teeth, you grit our names in anger
at the love we make, the sexuality that rolls off of us in waves
as we dangle our souls over perdition’s flame with our dangerous truths, heads thrown
back in
delighted laughter
and with iron fists, you come to take our life from us
tie us to wooden fences to freeze,
hated for what we do even to you and dying in our privilege
left for dead in the worst of your clockwork world, behind steel, and thrown from rooftops

but morning dawns and the spirits rise
and we rise once again when dawn breaks over the hills
and the seed dries between her thighs
black, white, Arab, and Irish
Catholic, Muslim, and Hindu
there’s no telling where we’ll come next
or who we’ll make blush
to whom or when will we appear
but you’ll know us when your clockwork world becomes softer at the edges
but these gentle beings befriend your women
will remind you to love
and will take your breath away
unconnected by blood
but connected to god
we are, we are, and will be again
whispering in your ear poems, songs, and sweet things

we are the fog that lifts above still waters, elusive
and the leaves that fall upon the face of the world
we are beauty and light and song
laughing and making love in the dark, and in the day, and in the heat of the afternoon
we are majesty
passion
we are, we are …
gay
And You, and you are,

Welcome