Monday, April 30, 2012

Susie Clevenger's Photograph of Night Poems!

I recently sent Susie Clevenger a fellow friend and writer at Confessions of a Laundry Goddess, Susie's Sentences, And There is More, a copy of my poetry chapbook Night Poems.  She took this marvelous picture after getting it. I might frame it!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

An Ode to Those Who Never Felt the Rain

Hide yourself inside
A yellow hood.
Tell me how it feels
To know the rain
By sound alone.
Perhaps you've
Never been alone
Or felt the cold
Against your back
Pattering then pounding
You to weathered rock.

Friday, April 27, 2012


She was fire
with a heart of ice,
aflame yet cold.
Her touch melting
before freezing me.
Ember snowflakes
In the breeze;
The sky exploding
From behind my eyes;
Passions we both felt
Before the plunge.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ditmars Mystery Theater

I need your help. When I was a kid, I read a short story about a gnome catching a sunbeam. It was an old story my mother had read when she was young. For a long time I forgot about it. Just recently my mom and I were talking about it. We couldn't remember the title of the book it came from or the author. Then, out of nowhere, we found it in my grandmother's drawer we were clearing out. She had died several years ago and unknowingly to us placed the story's pages in an envelope. It had her writing on the front as well. But, we only had the words. The cover, author and title were lost and I cannot seem to find any trace of the story on the internet. So, please, if you know anything about where the following story comes from let me know. My mother had said it looked old even in the sixties when she was growing up to give you an idea of chronology.


The Gnome Who Managed to Catch a Sunbeam
by ???  pg.160-69

THERE was once a little gnome who managed to catch a sunbeam. It was not a very large sunbeam, but he did not mind that. For he had been trying for days and days to catch a sunbeam, and now he had caught one.

He put it in a box of fairy glass,
And sealed the corners up;
And there it shone as bright as gold, or brass,
Or any buttercup.

The little gnome put the box of fairy glass on his mantelshelf; and when he looked up at it, he thought it was the most beautiful sight in the whole world. But he could not look at it very long, for the sunbeam shone so brightly that it filled all his little kitchen with sunlight.

"Now I am the happiest gnome in the world!" sighed the little gnome. And he skipped about as he made his porridge, and laughed and sang as he scrubbed his floor. And he made his little kitchen very clean indeed, since the sunbeam had to shine on it.

But when evening came, and all the streets grew dark, the little gnome's kitchen still shone with sunlight. And when he drew his curtains he had no need to light his candle.

And the sunbeam seemed to shine more and more brightly as the night became darker. He could hardly bear to look at it.

The little gnome tried to sleep in his wee warm bed in a corner of the kitchen; but he couldn't, not a bit.

So at last he got up, and placed a dark cloth over the box of fairy glass.

Then it was just as if you had drawn the curtains on a very sunny day; for the little kitchen was dark, but not very dark.

"Ha, that is a lot better!" said the little gnome to himself. And he went back to his wee warm bed in a corner of the kitchen.

And he was just nearly falling asleep when he heard a little voice crying out in a wailing kind of way, "Let me out, let me out!"

He knew at once that that must be the sunbeam in the box of fairy glass crying out. And he said, "Don't make such a noise. Got to sleep at once till morning."

But the sunbeam said in a sad little voice, "I can't go to sleep, not with this dreadful dark cloth covering me up. I want a cloth made of cloud."

"I haven't got one," said the little gnome. "So please be quiet, for I want to go to sleep."

"But the sunbeam only said in a sad little voice, "I can't go to sleep, not with this dark cloth covering me up."

So at last the little gnome got out of bed again, and took the cloth away.

And then the sunbeam shone even more brightly than before. And when the little gnome went back, to bed, he could not sleep, because of all the sunlight in his little kitchen.

Although he knew that it was really night,
He somehow doubted it;
And though he shut his eyes up tight as night,
He could not sleep a bit.

Now he could not put the sunbeam in the box of fairy glass outside, lest some one should steal it before morning. So he had to lie awake the whole night through.

In the morning he was as tired as anything. And as he made breakfast porridge, he heard a little voice crying in a wiling kind of way, "Let me out, let me out!"

"Oh dear, is that you again?" said the little gnome to the sunbeam. "Please don't make such a noise, for I am as tired as can be and my head aches like anything."

But the sunbeam said in a sad little voice: "I can't be quiet when I have to shine all the time on a little kitchen and never on trees and grass and flowers."

Then the little gnome saw that he was not going to have any peace with that sunbeam on his mantelshelf. So he took a piece of fairy twine; and he carried the sunbeam in a box of fairy glass into his garden.

And then he climbed the tallest apple tree,
And to the topmost bough
He tied that sunbeam bright as bright could be,
I cannot tell you how.

Then the little gnome went out to look at it himself. And immediately he heard a wailing little voice crying, "Let me out, let me out!"

"Oh dear, is that you again?" said the little gnome to the sunbeam. "Please don't make such a noise, or everybody who passes by will stop to listen."

But the sunbeam said in a sad little voice, "I can't stop making a noise, not when I am tied to this apple tree, and must all the time shine on trees and grass and flowers, and never on water."

Then the little gnome saw that he was not going to have any quietness, not with that sunbeam tied to his apple tree.

So he made a pond in his garden. And he stuck a long bending rod into the ground by the pond.

And he took a fairy pin; and he carried the sunbeam in a box of fairy glass down to the pond.

He fixed it to the rod, I don't know how,
As fast as fast could be;
And cried, "O sunbeam, please be happy now,
And glad to stay with me!"

And then he went indoors to tidy his kitchen, and he could see that everybody who passed by stopped for a moment to look at the sunbeam shining on the water.

Then the little gnome went out to look at it himself. And immediately he hard a wailing little voice crying, "Let me out, let me out!"

"Oh dear, are you crying still?" asked the little gnome. "Do be quiet for a moment and let me watch you shine!"

But the sunbeam said in such a sad little voice, "How can I be quiet when I have to shine on a kitche, or an apple tree, or on water, and all the other sunbeams can shine where they will?"

Then the little gnome wept two large tears. "I can see that you want to leave me," he said.

And the sunbeam said, "I will come back sometimes and shine on your little kitchen, and your apple tree, and your pond; but I want to be free."

Then the little gnome took the sunbeam in the box of fairy glass from the bending rod by the pond.

He opened up the box-'twas quite soon done,
Though very hard to do;
And, like a golden arrow, to the sun
The little sunbeam flew.

Then the little gnome threw the box of fairy glass into the he had made, and said, "I will never again catch a sunbeam!" And he wept several large tears.

Then he went into his little house, and threw himself on his wee warm bed and slept.

And a little sunbeam came and danced on his wall.

So he dreamt of the land of sunbeams; and that was a dream indeed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May You

Another for my niece:

May you never regret
Not taking a chance.
May you always see
The sun through shadow.
May you feel love unclouded
And unjaded by experience.
May you believe the best
Of people at their worst.
May you still see rainbows as a
Miracle through all you learn.
May you stay yourself and
Realize you are beautiful.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

All About Guitar, Babeh!

I've finally got around to making a new playlist. Returning from the moment of silence, I grant thee guitar. Of many forms and genre. I threw in some bluegrass, mixed with Spanish guitar and Hendrix. Also, some solos from no one particular. As always, if you have a suggestion I'll add that too.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Signed Copies for Sale!

Hello, bloggers, I'm selling signed copies of various books. I'll mail them to you if you send a check. As simple as that. No added shipping costs. I'm doing it all! Just $10 for a novel, playbook or chapbook of poetry. If interested, I've opened a Post Office box. I figured this was the best route since my blog is rather public. You might want to write which book you want on the check too and an address if it isn't there.

PO Box 340
Marion, OH

Also, if you want to start some correspondence up with the Ben man, that's cool too. I love getting and sending letters.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old Man on the White Pony

It was late, around one-thirty in the morning when I realized how much I needed socks.  Naturally, it could not wait for morning.  The alternative was doing laundry.

I walked into the all-night store, past greeting cards.  It took all the will power I had to avoid reading them.  The slightest deviation could prove terminal to my sock quest.  Yet, secure in my conquest of temptation over Hallmark, something entirely different caught my attention.

The store like several others featured an automated pony; this one was white.  It took just one penny for a lower-middle class kid to feel like a millionaire.  But this was not the case.

An older man, looking at least in his seventies, placed a penny in the coin receptacle.  Having no shame he then jumped on it.  I had trouble believing it at first for not only did he ride; he rode with gusto.  He held the reigns, waving his arms wildly and screaming.  None of the employees took notice.

“He does this every week,” one said.  “I think he regrets not moving west.”

“That isn’t it at all,” another replied.  “His wife left him for a rhinestone cowboy.”

“That’s stupid!” the first retorted.

“You’re stupid!” interjected the second.

I didn’t stay to hear the rest of the argument.  Between them and the man on the pony yehawing at the top of his lungs I was getting a headache.  Also, a pair of Hanes comfort soles awaited me in their respective aisle.

After finding the right size and value I headed back.  The old man was dismounting the pony.  Curiosity getting the better of me I asked why he returned every week.

“I just like to ride,” he said, putting on a cowboy hat with the price tag attached.  He then walked out the door whistling an old west tune into the moonlight.  I never saw him again nor did the employees.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tasting Time

I grasp for time
Like straws;
It's in the air
And all around.
But I can't hold it.
Everyday I see,
An aging face or
Weathered stone cracking
Just a little more.
I hear a voice that's
Lost exuberance,
Or taste a recipe
More dull.
My hands empty
Of the force,
Changing and reducing me
To photographs in albums
You won't care to open,
For fear of what I am,
Less a man than your mortality.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Really Long Story that If You Read All of You Get a Cookie

The oil company wanted me dead. I had said some less than kind, though totally true remarks regarding sick pelicans. This precipitated a major slide in stock prices. In accordance with the thirty-fourth Amendment my actions therefore amounted to treason against the state, whom the company was a majority shareholder.

Legal protection was out of the question. The Supreme Court had been privatized and bought up with everything else. Even my lawyer was emblazened with Mountain Dew and Valvoline stickers. My chances did not look good,. Rumors circulated a long procedure could further hurt the oil company's market share, thus increasing my charge of treason as well.

Luckily, they were not the only ones that wanted me killed. A large beverage company had come under fire for unrelated remarks from yours truly. I had merely commented the additive Green-16 was responsible for priapism in laboratory mice. It might have been true. Regardless, it would seem two of the largest economic entities of the country wanted my head piked up atop the Brooklyn Bridge.

The only thing working in my favor was not justice but two warring corporations. There had been intense speculation and betting over who would get the honors. So much so, neither could afford to merely let the other succeed. I had become their prize pig or dare I say Helen of Troy with less fantastic breasts.

Their assassins were of course the best. Each thought they could pick me off in secret and minimize the damage, while still getting credit for the kill. The first was a Russian, who only just missed me as I went to tie my shoe. The second would have hit me if the first had not spotted her. He quickly began to fire rounds off at her direction. His cover was blown, but he apparently thought the sheer barage of bullets might do me in in the process of killing his foe. She was clearly too good for that.

They battled for what must have been ten minutes before calling a stalemate. I was not aware such a formality existed amongst assassins. Nevertheless, the procedure seemed so natural I thought they must have tried it before. Both walked up to one another wordless as one got out a coin and flipped it. The women said tails as it entered the air. I never managed to hear the result, however. As both were concentrated on each other I got out my own pistol. They clearly underestimated me and that was their undoing. I shot both from underneath a table and high tailed it out of there before any more paid killers could find me.

I managed to stay low-key until the trial. The good people at I Can't Believe It's Not Butter decided to put me in protective custody. It turned out the negative publicity for the soda company resulted in people buying more fake butter. It didn't entirely make sense but I went with it.

The trial went as expected. I was called communist and berated without getting much time to defend myself. In the end though the judge decided hanging was too good for me and I got off with a few nights inside the Iron Maiden followed by some light whipping.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cone Skippin'

We threw pine cones
in the river
like we were young
and years between us
had not took their toll
on our demeanors;
unfamiliar pauses
and uncertain glances
becoming our relationship
in spite of history and
bloodshed in the room
we shared together.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cat Prints on My Car

He crawled onto the hood,
Gazed on us with yellow eyes
And wondered why I petted you
Instead of him;
He’s bathing her,
The kitten thought of kisses.
But he had seen his owner shower.
None of it made sense.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


In the next few days I plan to update my pages (those tab things up top). Mainly, adding new bloggers to my blog roll aka In ewiger Liebe. Also, Quotes & Mentions, my new page will have a radically different purpose. I initially thought a boring old quote page would suffice. Now, I want to do something more interesting, namely, quoting you! That's right. It's no secret I love you guys (and gals). And your words. But if you ever feel uncomfortable, just let me know and I can take whatever down. In the mean time, though... cheers!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

And Now an Easter Poem!

My brother found Jesus
One late afternoon
Bleeding in the street
Without a cross.
His disciples ran off
By the cops.

My brother found Jesus
Scared and alone
The Son of God, or
One of many given up,
Forgotten, surrendered to
But not for sins.

My brother found Jesus,
Crucified inside of him;
A spectre baking in the
Sun of Golgotha.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Apples to Oranges

I compared apples to oranges,
Divided by zero, went past
The speed of light
For you.

Where I can see us
Smiling to escape
The pain but it
Increases and we
Need it to survive.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

See Me & Others on the Typing Tank!

My friend Taryn's journal The Typing Tank is up and running with submissions posted! A new poem by yours truly, Heat Lightening in the Barn at Night, is one of them! A local favorite, inspired by Chris, The Chiclet Scourge, is also up. So check those out and the other great works! I especially enjoyed the Belly Button Slot by Merimée and Fleeting by Katrina K Guarascio.

Image Source: 'Inside the Typing Tank'

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A Eulogy For Death

I wrote this a couple weeks ago and forgot about it. So, now, I present with limited commercial interruption, A Eulogy for Death

A lot has been said on dealings with Death.  Generally speaking, its standard depiction is most often a hooded figure in pursuit or shadow.  Sometimes it talks, others merely gestures.  I knew Death for a time.  The depictions aren’t untrue.  She could be cold.  But not always.  I found her capable of great mercy on many occasions.  Death spared countless from continued agony.  “It only seems all roses,” I recall her saying.

Relations with her brother, Life, were tense to say the least.  He was less pragmatic.  Everyone should live forever was his motto.  Of course, it was impractical but did not stop him from trying.  There were victims screaming from hunger, wounds, diseases that would never heal.  Life was the optimist, always intervening.  Death came slowly in most cases, if she came at all.

“A greater burden rests on my cloaked shoulders, than he will ever know…” she said one night at dinner.  Her delicate fingers ran through pages in her black book of names.  I never asked where mine was placed.  I could catch it in her eyes from time to time and I knew that she had looked for me.

The last time that I saw her was an August morning.  She said that she had work to do.  I never asked questions on such things.  Somehow, things were different.  Her resolve seemed weak; she slightly shook and I knew her destination was far from routine.  “You don’t have to go,” I said.  “This time, just stay here.”

She smiled.  It was obvious her eyes were filled with tears.  “We won’t be seeing each other for a while.  Read the papers and I think you’ll understand.  I can deal with a great many things but I won’t put them on you.  Maybe in time the world will forgive me… and you will too.”

The truth was anything but certain as she walked out the door.  I recall it as the worst August I had ever had.  I was alone and I doubted her.  Anger filled my heart.  The paper did not help:

Atom Bomb Hits Japan! I blamed myself.  I should have talked some sense into her, boarded up the door or held her hostage.  Only after many years passed did I come to terms with the reality.

Death could have no friends except the tortured souls that she relieved.  The living cannot understand the great significance of death.  I tried and failed.  I’d try again.  But I can only know for sure the day we meet again.