Hesitation Wood

EndofSummer_posteredges copy


The nights have gone cool, the days not as warm.
Sundown slips backward,
A coward’s daily retreat.
Dawn awakes later, shivering …by minutes,
Do they think we don’t notice?

The summer has been rainy, more than usual,
“Can’t complain, wouldn’t do no good,” my neighbor says.
We squint up at the sky –as if a moment of somber nods would make a difference–
Shake our heads wisely but think the same thing:
Another year has almost gone, hasn’t it?
Regrets chitter, time races faster.
We don’t dwell on it, or talk about it, but it’s in the backs of our minds.

We mark it most when the hours of darkness lengthen,
When the nights are cool.
When the sun rises behind stubborn clouds and
Fog blooms between trees, sits in the valleys,
Blankets the highways with obscurity.

We know what’s coming, near and far. It connects us
For a moment, then it’s gone, lost in thoughts of
Winter’s chores, and sins unconfessed
And the sweet, sweet days that slip through

Our fingers like the strings of a child’s balloon,
We cherish, even as it floats away.

Everything is temporary. Everything changes. Everything must pass.

It was just after dawn, at the edge of the woods.
I stood in the hazy boundary light, breathing in the musk of damp leaves and
Pine needles, listened to critters scurrying through
The careless litter of oak and maple and locust and walnut trees,
Feeling the big pause.

The forest felt it too, and lay hushed by the mist.
The fog came last night on its little cat feet,
Conjured up from the ground and the air.
I hesitated, taking in every detail.

This moment, this place, the path ahead, hidden, but inviting,
The textures of the rough bark on the railings, the lichen and moss
On the trunks, spots of green and brown and grey and muted reds and yellows.

A great feeling welled up and tears
Ran down my cheeks unnoticed, unchecked.
I was one with the moment, joyful and melancholy,
One with the world, on the edge of the wood filled with mist and mystery,
Like any path. Any of thousands I’ve traveled. With something new up ahead.

What was is ending, as always.
Every ending is a beginning.
The place from which we start anew.

The rough bark of the railing scrapes my palm,
Grounds me in the Now,

I step onto the path, leaves crunching quietly.
Where does this path lead this time, I ask the trees?

They don’t speak, but thoughts whisper through the mist:

“Why don’t you find out?”

© Hemmingplay 2014

Old Blue


Old Blue

by William Stafford

Some day I’ll crank up that Corvette, let it
mumble those marvelous oil-swimming gears
and speak its authority. I’ll rock its big wheels
till they roll free onto the drive. Nobody can
stop us then: loaded with everything, we’ll pick up
momentum for the hill north of town. Mona,
you didn’t value me and it’s too late now.
Steve, remember your refusal to go along on
those deals when you all opposed me?—you had
your chance. Goodby, you squealers and grubbies;
goodby, old house that begins to leak, neighbors
gone stodgy, days that lean casually grunting
and snoring together. For anyone who ever needs
the person they slighted, this is my address: “Gone.”

“Old Blue” by William Stafford from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 1999. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

*DISCLAIMER: I don’t own a Corvette, I don’t harbor resentments against anyone named “Steve”, and don’t know anyone named Mona (but you’re better off without her, buddy). But who among us hasn’t had the urge to take off one day, say goodbye to the squealers and grubbies and days that grunt and snore together. The day’s coming…. I can almost hear the the crunch of big wheels on gravel, the burbling, throaty rumble of an old ‘Vette… Ah, yesssss.

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Picture of the Day: Embrace Impermanence


Celebrate the temporary.

Originally posted on TwistedSifter:


Photograph by TREY RATCLIFF
Website | Flickr | Google+ | Facebook | Prints

Embrace was a 72 ft wooden, cathedral-like sculpture of two human figures, “in celebration of all our relationships”. The site-specific artwork was created by the Pier Group for Burning Man 2014.

It was the largest project to date for the Pier Group, which gained acclaim for its previous Burning Man installations The Pier, Pier 2, and the Ichthyosaur Puppet Project. Crews began construction on Embrace in October 2013 at the Generator community art space in Reno, and in studios in Vancouver and Portland.

During this year’s festival the massive wooden sculpture was set aflame and Trey Ratcliff was on hand to capture the incredible moment. Below you can see what the interactive sculpture looked like before it was burned. You can also see a video tour of the interior here. For more information…

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A Novel is Like a Marriage

David Foster Wallace world copyright Giovanni Giovannetti/effigie

David Foster Wallace 1962-2008

Novels are like marriages. You have to get into the mood to write them — not because of what writing them is going to be like, but because it’s so sad to end them. When I finished my first book, I really felt like I’d fallen in love with my main character and that she’d died. You have to understand, writing a novel gets very weird and invisible-friend-from-childhood-ish, then you kill that thing, which was never really alive except in your imagination, and you’re supposed to go buy groceries and talk to people at parties and stuff. Characters in stories are different. They come alive in the corners of your eyes. You don’t have to live with them.


Too Late to Start Over

MilkyWay_Java_justin Ng

“My soul is in the sky.” ― William Shakespeare

“The signs are all around me,
The storm is raging still.
The wind brings sounds of battle,
From that far distant hill.

“I thought this all was over,
I thought my race was run.
But just as I was resting,
My peaceful life’s undone.

“So. Now one final trial:
My guts recoil in fear.
He’s coming soon, despite me,
I feel him drawing near.

 “Comes weary resignation,
And anger pushing blood,
Determined to leave honor,
Where once foul evil stood.

Theodore “Ted” Duffy, “Running Girl”

Perfect Love


“First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you. Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had. …And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

— John Steinbeck

The Romulan Right of Statement


“…No one forced me to keep my mouth shut and my fingers still for all of those years. It was my choice…. Today I can face the question: how badly do I want to speak my story? Am I willing to do it imperfectly? Am I willing to do it even if it’s not deemed important? While I stand (as we all do) awaiting my death, am I willing to put passion into my statement, even if it might only be filed away with a myriad of others?…”

Originally posted on Not This Song:

How much does our story matter? In a world with billions of people and billions of other stories, why spend time and effort shouting ours into the aether? Will it not be drowned out by the shrieking multitude, so aptly portrayed by the human zoo we find online?

Storytelling is part of our basic nature, of course, but we overthink it. We think our story is only worth telling if it’s inspirational enough, or shocking enough, or has enough commercial value. And after we’ve told it, we think it’s not good enough unless it’s promoted enough and gets enough positive responses. We idolize a select few paid storytellers, aspiring to be like them and seeing ourselves as failures if we aren’t.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a better storyteller! There’s nothing wrong with lusting to be the person who makes the tribespeople whisper excitedly that you’re going to…

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It’s Because I like Pears


Up too early. Everything hurts because the dog was hogging the middle of the bed and it was easier to let her than shove 45 pounds of dead weight, grumbling, to the floor. This has got to change.

It’s time to hit the shower and drag my carcass into Hormone Central. I’m stalling, of course. But I would like to share one last thing, in case I don’t come back. ….

Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer

by Jane Kenyon

We turned into the drive,
and gravel flew up from the tires
like sparks from a fire. So much
to be done—the unpacking, the mail
and papers … the grass needed mowing ….
We climbed stiffly out of the car.
The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.

And then we noticed the pear tree,
the limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass;
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.

“Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer” by Jane Kenyon, from Collected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2005. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


I’m insulted in several ways.


Great post. And the comments are hysterical.

Originally posted on The Bloggess:

I think most cats technically already have great mustaches, but you just can’t tell because we don’t shave the rest of their bodies, and I think that’s probably very sad for them because they can’t show off their dapper kitty facial hair.

Or at least, that was the reason that I gave Victor when he asked me why I kept trying to stick a fake mustache on Hunter S. Thomcat.

PS. This is unrelated but I thought I’d share.  You know when websites use algorithms to figure out what you’d be most likely buy and then they put those recommendations on your front page?  Yeah.  So this is what Amazon personally suggested I’d want today:

amazon wtf

What they said:

“Get Yourself a Little Something” 

What they’re really saying:

“Hey!  CHECK OUT THIS straight jacket!  Buy some lizard feet!  Treat yourself, ya FREAKY lunatic!”

And I think the most insulting thing here is…

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Conspiracies against progress: why the rise of the modern conspiracy theory should concern us all


Plane Lands Safely

Originally posted on Scholars and Rogues | Progressive Culture:

by David Lambert

Contrails are the wispy white clouds of frozen water vapor that streak across the sky in the wake of jet engines. But according to 17 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds—my generation—contrails are actually “chemtrails,” poisonous chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons. As the world becomes an increasingly scary and complex place with no simple answers, the temptation to create narratives explaining all of its evil will grow. And here lies the heart of the modern conspiracy theory. Yet when fantasy overtakes reality, progress suffers.

Whenever anything bad happens in the world today, from September 11th to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, there is a growing gaggle quick to cry, “wake up sheeple!”

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Connect the Dots Later

steve jobs quotes

I usually spend some prep time reading– books, poems, other bloggers, quotes — before writing. The quote at the bottom is one that hit me today as I was looking for something to help a young friend find the courage to plunge ahead, not knowing how things will turn out. We just move forward, into the mist that is the future, and if we’re lucky, we learn to embrace the unknown with love.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

—Steve Jobs


Taking v. making

“You know we’re constantly taking. We don’t make most of the food we eat, we don’t grow it, anyway. We wear clothes other people make, we speak a language other people developed, we use a mathematics other people evolved and spent their lives building. I mean we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful ecstatic feeling to create something and put it into the pool of human experience and knowledge.”

–Steve Jobs, in a Nov. 1983 interview with Steven Levy two months before the launch of the first Macintosh. Levy wasa freelance journalist for Rolling Stone at the time and later wrote a book about Jobs and Apple, “Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything.”


We Can’t Be Anything We Want To Be


Or can we? I’m not sure who started this, but I’ve heard the message all my life that a wish is as good as it needs to be. We live in a Disney fantasy. Wish to be an astronaut and it will happen. Want to be a billionaire hard enough and the dollars must — must — eventually roll in.

Well, it is all bullshit, isn’t it? I know people had good intentions and wanted to be encouraging, but this led to children getting ribbons for just showing up, and trophies for “participating,” even if they sucked at whatever game it was. I don’t think that’s such a good thing to do to a kid. I’m not advocating cruelty, but merely truth. “You are going to need to practice a whole hell of a lot if you want to play the piano in a way that doesn’t hurt people’s ears.” What do you think?

My own experience and thinking falls more in line with Pressfield’s, below. We are the sculptors of much of our own destiny, taking the raw clay of us and scraping away things that don’t belong, and shaping the rest into the true realized self. It takes a lifetime. It’s frustrating for the young, but this is something that just takes time. A lifetime.

But we can’t control everything. By no means all, as others act upon our lives and random chance acts on the paths we’re on, and the Universe has a perverse sense of humor.

But isn’t it a big enough job to just be active in our own creation, using whatever raw materials we’re born with or find around us?

“We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.

“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

“The artist and the mother are vehicles, not originators. They don’t create the new life, they only bear it. This is why birth is such a humbling experience. The new mom weeps in awe at the little miracle in her arms. She knows it came out of her but not from her, through her but not of her.”
― Steven PressfieldThe War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Meditation on Purpose


“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?

—But it’s nicer here…

So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doings things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

—But we have to sleep sometime…

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.”
― Marcus AureliusMeditations

Again and Again

“Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.” 

Your Daily Devotional for August 20, 2014


And it’s only Wednesday. …

Originally posted on Scholars and Rogues | Progressive Culture:

My list of pet peeves just keeps growing. Here are my latest: “people who say ‘less’ instead of ‘fewer’,” “people who whistle in public” and “people.”
Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich

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Good at Puzzles

Originally posted on Still Light:

Maybe –
and there is always
this sort of
in the truths
we do not tell,
or in the
holding back.
Because I could
always feel it;
when the tongue
had tied itself,
into too many knots
that it reaches
so far down,
it starts to strangle
the heart.
And that’s what
this is; this;
this holding back;
this keeper of the self.
And I always said,
it was like a maze
I’d lost myself in,
but somewhere
close to the end,
not quite yet out,
when all I needed
was just a little help,
from someone else,
who was also
good at puzzles.

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Temporaryianism: Standing In The Stream

MilkyWay_Java_justin Ng

I am my own worst enemy,

And my only companion.

Running images behind my eyes

Like a manic, runaway film reel.

Nothing complete, nothing but bits and confounding distractions,

Nothing but hints, rushing by, hurried and then gone,

A fucked up flurry of emotions,

Stabbing me with images, sadness, beauty and pain,

Courage and struggle and triumph.

“What is that”? “Who is she”? “What can it all mean?”

Constant frustration, knowing that I cannot

Capture a fraction of it all, standing in the gush of a stream

As salmon leap and surge all around in an orgy of

Need and creation.

And the clock keeps ticking.

The surprised wonder at some unknown beauty or distant galaxy, exploding,

Twisted sandstone canyons, galaxies found in

A young woman’s eyes.

One minute depressed, the next filled with unqualified love, desire, longing, certainty, then doubt.

If I were to be able to just list this passing parade,

You might turn away, embarrassed or repulsed.

You might hear an echo of your own madnesses and flittering fantasy parade,

Drawn to it, curious to know that you aren’t the only one.

But am I?

And the clock tick, tick, ticks…

Oh, To See Alien Worlds One Day

New Zealand is on my bucket list. I may never get there, but I will try.

I saw this video today and was reminded why. There’s something there that is so different from the world I know here in the Eastern U.S. –yet familiar, too– that it would give me what I crave above almost any other guilty desire: I long to know what it is like on another world. The thought makes me feel like I was 10 years old again and reading Isaac Asimov.


Science fiction captured me when I was very young. I came of age during the Apollo missions to the moon. To my young eyes, John Glenn was Christopher Columbus, John Paul Jones and King Arthur, all rolled up into one package. My martyred hero’s challenge still gives me goosebumps.



Frilled Shark Photograph by Awashima Marine Park, Getty Images Humans rarely encounter frilled sharks, which prefer to remain in the oceans’ depths, up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface. Considered living fossils, frilled sharks bear many physical characteristics of ancestors who swam the seas in the time of the dinosaurs.

The mystery of what’s out there, what swims or flies or slithers or walks across another world touches something deep in me. I don’t know how anything there can be more weird than what we have here, but such a discovery would change us and our souls, would it not?

Would You Buy/Read an E-book?

Trying the poll function in WordPress for the first time, and hope you’ll take a couple of seconds to help me out a bit.

Would you please let me know what your preferences are when it comes to buying books? I’m researching the option of publishing in an electronic format versus trying to go the traditional paper route with an established publisher.

Other things I wonder about…. If you have bought e-books in the past, how do you decide whether to spend your money? Do you only buy known authors? Do you need samples and excerpts? What is a price that seems right for a full-length novel? What’s the most important thing you’re looking for? Any comments on these questions would be great. And if you’re a published author, tips would be awesome. I’m obviously a total newb at this. :-)


To Be Fully Awake, I Must First Surrender to Sleep

cathedralCove_New Zealand_Yan Zhang

The Cave of My Unknowing Self

If you want cheerful, you might want to move past this one. I’m not feeling morbid, just in the mood to sink into some things that will lead to other things. I’m like the person who hasn’t had enough sleep for days, but had to keep moving and now am a little crazy.

We’ve all known those sleepless dark hours, where “I have counted my own fears, like carved beads on the string of the night.”  (This line is from a fabulous person and writer and Southerner who blows me away every time with lines like that. Her talent makes me insanely jealous, but then is so good that I just have to step back and applaud. )

I’m just getting started on this, a cleansing ritual of sorts. I need to make sure that I remember that looking in the mirror and seeing what’s really there is the only useful starting point.

To be, or not to be, that is the question—

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep—

No more; and by a sleep, to say we end

The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks

That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,

To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,

For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There’s the respect

That makes Calamity of so long life:

For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,

The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,

The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,

The insolence of Office, and the Spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his Quietus make

With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn

No Traveler returns, Puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have,

Than fly to others that we know not of.

Best quotes of Robin Williams

Originally posted on Eagle-Eyed Editor:

rose for Robin Williams

A rose for Robin. Image courtesy of Qedem1611, Morguefile.

As part of my usual routine this morning, I flipped on my computer and checked my social media sites. I discovered from Facebook this morning that Robin Williams passed away, and I’m saddened. I checked Twitter early this morning as well, and something astonished me. Almost all of the trending topics were about Robin Williams and his movies. I’ve never seen that happen before on Twitter.

I join the rest of the blogosphere in mourning the loss of this talented mimic, serious actor and comedian. I’ve rarely seen anybody who could mimic other people as fast and as effortlessly as Robin Williams. My personal nickname for him was “Quicksilver”; he could pull out all these other accents and put together a stream of words with ease.

James Lipton of Inside The Actor’s Studio put it best. In an interview with Robin Williams, James asked Robin…

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You Will Be Dead Soon Enough

“The most solid advice . . . for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.


On Acatenango



I awoke early.  Too early.
Before the light came, before the day.

I set the pot bubbling, the grinder releases aroma.
My eyes barely see.
I put the open bag to my nose and
Inhale deeply, eyes closed.
The memory of someone washes over me.

I breathe in again, my mind flies  to cool, sunlit slopes
Covered in jungle, the coffee trees planted in rows,
Under the high canopy.
Brilliant-colored birds call and wheel,
Up there, at 6,000 feet, on Acatenango,
Antigua far, far below.

A family climbed all night from their village,
A winding trail, moving in single file in the dark.
Everything is on their backs, or on the donkeys.
A woman and a girl, a man and two young boys,
All nut-brown skinned, black hair and eyes.
Mayan-built, descendants of those who
Climbed these slopes for 15,000 years.

The crimson coffee seeds are the ripe ones,
Red pearls aching to be plucked.
The rains have been good, the volcanic soil rich
With hot minerals belched
From the ever-churning Earth.
But they must be picked one by one,
The ripe ones only.
Calloused fingers search, pluck,
Return for the next, there
At 6,000 feet on ancient
Acatenango, above the mist,
Near the sky.

This is where the coffee grows,
Waiting for patient hands,
For legs that climb all night
Up narrow winding paths.
Hands that choose only those whose time has come,
Red with full promise,
Fertile and swollen, eager.

When the donkeys can carry no more,
The man and the woman, the girl and the two young boys,
Put everything on their backs and turn down the winding, stony trail,
Coffee cherries swaying in burlap on the backs
Of donkeys.

Up behind, brightly colored birds wheel and
Call among the tall trees,
There, high on Acatenango, sleeping Acatenango,
Looking down on Antigua far, far below.

The grinder is finished. I inhale the aroma of
Far-away places once more,
And think of Acatenango.

Death of Spirit



Hardline, drive-by corporate blinders,
Power lines in danger, so kill the trees.
Strip mall grocery store chain did nothing.

They had plans to build another store and stood by as
Brain-dead high school grads, bellies hanging over belts,
Cigarettes dangling, trading insults and missing the world,
Took chain saws to the blooming
Trees that every spring draped an ordinary street in uncommon beauty.
Cut them back to stumps,
Thrilled by the power of the engines, the noise,
But the power company has the right.

Now they’re all gone.
And the chain grocery that could have done something has
Abandoned the old store, which sits vacant and ugly.
Empty, mutant decay, no cost to them, no punishment for the blight they left behind.

If they had just left the trees behind, to grace the street in uncommon beauty,
It would be easier to forgive.
But they don’t think that way.
The chainsaws don’t tell the man/boys, joking and eating doughnuts and coffee
“Leave this tree, boy. Take care, boy. Don’t be such a boy, boy.”

“Once you kill the tree that paints this ugly street with uncommon beauty,
Life goes on, the grocery moves down the street and drags it’s captive
Audience down the street.

But uncommon beauty, the grace, has died. And the power lines don’t care.”

The Wakened Muse

Originally posted on Being Southern Somewhere Else:

August 4, 2014, 11:21 pm. Atlanta, Georgia

I have done much talking about muses here, lately.  I think, before you read the text below, it’s important to understand the difference between human muses, who inspire me to create, and my Muse, which is the spirit of creation that resides within me.  She–and she most assuredly is a woman–is a constant companion, a rider, almost an extra soul.  I do not conceptualize this aspect of my talent as wholly a part of myself, but rather as an interface with the divine and the universal Soul.  For some time, I thought I had lost her, run her off or killed her.  I though I would face the rest of my life without her presence, her wry and perceptive observations, her sweetness.


(from Latin genere, gignere, to ‘beget, bring forth’). Genius in Roman mythology (corresponding to δαιμων in Greek) referred to “an…

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In the Tombs, In the Dust, In the Cool Tombs

WHEN Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs, he forgot the copperheads and the assassin … in the dust, in the cool tombs.

And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street, cash and collateral turned ashes … in the dust, in the cool tombs.

Pocahontas’ body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in November or a pawpaw in May, did she wonder? does she remember?… in the dust, in the cool tombs?

Take any streetful of people buying clothes and groceries, cheering a hero or throwing confetti and blowing tin horns … tell me if the lovers are losers … tell me if any get more than the lovers … in the dust … in the cool tombs.

–Carl Sandburg