My Work

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Banner Year

We made it past Groundhog Day, welcomed Spring, and passed by Tax Day, not to mention the first third of the year has almost slipped away. Along with that, my novel, Jacob Chance, U.S. Marshal will be released through Solstice Publishing some time soon, and two of my short stories will be published in up coming months.

Duke Pennell, editor at Frontier Tales has my story “Justin’s Hole” scheduled for the May issue, and Yellow Mama editor Cindy Rosmus will publish “Dead Man Talking” in June. From my point of view, 2015 is looking to be a banner year.

Notes from around the J bar P ranchero: I have plowed the vegetable garden areas, we have two, and need to make them rabbit and ground squirrel proof. I’m not big on killing animals I’m not planning to eat, so that is out. Can’t shoot them here anyway, too many people living too close, and can’t poison the little thieves, too many domestic animals running around.

So, looks like I’ll do some chicken wire fencing around the plants most likely to be attacked, beans and peas for sure. Not to worry about squash, melons, cuckes, cuz they don’t much care for the stickery leaves, and I’m putting them in raised beds anyway. We plant several thousand square feet of corn and those plants are only susceptible to rabbit attack during the first couple of weeks and we don’t have that many wild rabbits.

Tomatoes are safe, but none of the peppers are. They’ll be plotted out, Bell and Chili, along with cauliflower. The big worry is the ground squirrel attack. They ate dozens of onions from underground last year. Hmmm. Beets, carrots, and turnips can go in raised beds, but what to do about the onions?

Maybe, like with the corn, overwhelm the little buggers with numbers. Instead of more than a hundred onion sets, how about several hundred. Go for the percentage.

I’ll keep you posted. Until next time, read good books and stay regular.

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Or Tweet with me, darlin’?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To Be Human? Why?

Many years ago there was a wonderful little literary journal called The Iconoclast, published out of Mohegan Lake, New York and edited by Phil Wagner. In the early years of this century it was one of the journals that were difficult in which to get published. Mr. Wagner had very high standards. To keep April, Poetry Month moving forward, I offer “To Be Human, #3.” It’s #3 because it took three re-writes before Wagner would accept the work. This came out in Issue #80, in 2001.

To Be Human, #3

Oh, to be human, such a magnificent thing.
Born ignorant, dumb, and with no morals,
No understanding of right and wrong,
Gloriously selfish, with passion and
Fervor to “Have.”

Oh, to be human, so wont of life’s choices.
To desire that which we don’t have,
And kill for it. To demean that which others
Have. And steal it. Original sin is only
A concept of others.

Oh, to be human, such a magnificent thing.
History teaches and we won’t learn. The
Elders are just names, with no meaning.
Stars are what we reach for. Again, that
Zeal to “Have.”

Oh, to be human. It’s just unfair.
Morality to be learned from the immoral,
Intellectual dignity taught by the uncouth.
Oh, the injustice of being human. Then again,
You might have been born the snake.

So, we ask, who might your favorite poet be? Over the time of recorded history there have only been ten or twelve million writing in every means of communication this world has known.

Another question to ponder: Will our first visitors from outside our planetary system have and enjoy poetry? As always, read good books and stay regular.

Will you join me on facebook from time to time?
Or Tweet with me, darlin’?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Life is but a Desert Love Song

April has been set aside by those that make such decisions as Poetry Month. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to have had poetry published in many literary journals, as broadsides, pamphlets, teeny tiny booklets, and been lucky enough to have been invited to conduct poetry readings at some fine upstanding locations in Nevada and California.

This is one my offerings in honor of Poetry Month. If you would like to offer one of your best, contact me on Facebook. I won’t guarantee I will publish it here, but you can bet I will read it. Remember, by getting published on a blog, it is considered “published”, and other journals would need to know that.

Desert Love

For one barricaded by concrete and asphalt, roped, chained, held in the grip of mass humanity and architecture, denied a beauty not brought forth by man, the desert can be a forbidding and foreboding experience.

The sights are splendor with rippling waves of pulverized mountains, one on another, as at sea; glorious chasms sculpted by millennia of vast storms, water cascading, sea upon sea; creatures scurrying and bounding, dithering and fluttering, schools upon schools, as at recess.

And the sound, my God, the magnificent sound. One’s ears stretched thin by strains of wind passing through those waves of sand, heaving and pitching through those seas of rain, desperately trying to pick out the movements of living animals and birds, recessing at life.

When one’s olfactory equivalent of bliss is diesel, a mid-summer rain in the desert is rejuvenation. Pungency from Sage and Rabbit brush; soft and sensuous scents of Cedar and Pine; harsh sunlight softened on Lichen covered rocks glistening in the mist offer a scent never found in a city cell. Even the sand dust, wetted thoroughly, seems to offer its own contributing piece of peace.

No steel, no concrete. There are no diesel brutes shoving their way around. Asphalt is an unknown item here. Peace. Calm. The only rage is from a storm of nature, not a storm of hate. Listen quietly, closely, and you’ll hear those oceans of sand speak and sing to you late in the evening, serenading even the lush choral offering of a coyote clan, or the sprightly ballet of a near by thunder fed stream.

Foreboding, indeed.

Until next time, read good books and stay regular.

Join me on facebook from time to time?
Or Tweet with me, darlin’?