Honey Ko, (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 7: Frank Bailey. 1968

Approach to Cubi Point Naval Air Station, Olongapo, Philippines. The sun set on another blistering day in the Philippines as our C-130 touched down at Cubi Point Naval Air Station. The war in Vietnam was nine-hundred miles in the past. I could finally relax and put the horror of that last, bloody attack behind me. For the next week at least, I wouldn’t have to … Continue reading Honey Ko, (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 7: Frank Bailey. 1968

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 6

Author’s Photo. The view from the apartment bedroom. I edged the gate open with a gentle push, but the squeal of the rusty hinges gave me away. I uttered a silent oath when Aida poked her head out the window. Oh, Tommy, she cried. You forget again the oil. I’ll bring the oil home tomorrow, Aida. I promise. Yoshi had run ahead, barking at the … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 6

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 2

Back in the apartment, I put away the picnic supplies while Aida unpacked and put away the clothes, a quantity of clothing since she had taken advantage of the laundromat at the cottage rather than wash them by hand at the cement sink in the courtyard. After we were settled on the sofa, she nestled against me and watched television while I read. Soon, her … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 2

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 1

Romance and a sexual tension made the air surrounding us buzz with expectation and fulfillment of some deep-seated desire or need. Holding her suddenly seemed so much more than just an embrace between two people. I saw Aida now as a necessary part of me, an essential element in what made me who I was. At the time, I didn’t realize what had happened. Only … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 1

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 2

The flicker of lights along the arc of the shoreline to Subic City snapped me from my reverie. The rising moon with the mountains in silhouette, the soft lapping of the waves, the warm night, all induced a languidness I didn’t want to disturb. Satisfaction with the moment, the weekend, the treasure hunt with Aida all combined to lift my spirit, and for a moment, … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 2

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 1

***Author’s Photo. Ferry launch to Grande Island (No, not the big one!) Officer’s Landing, Subic Bay Naval Station, Olongapo, Philippines 1983. Aida, sweet and lovely like the opera, searched for treasure among the debris washed ashore by the latest storm of the monsoon. Her breasts filled her top as she leaned over to examine a bright and colorful smorgasbord of seashells, pebbles, smooth-worn glass, and … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 1

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 3

**(Photo provenance unknown) Shit River Bridge between Subic Bay Naval Station and Olongapo. The banca boats hold Shit River “Princesses” who entice coins from passing Sailors and Marines. The young boys dive in after the coins.** The sun rose blood-red through the ash drifting from Mount Pinatubo’s smoking crater. Enough moisture filled the air to quench a dying man’s thirst. The wind pushed the sun’s … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 3

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 2

Photo by Dominik Simecek The balut man’s quavering voice penetrated my sleep-filled head, and I squinted at the clock. My brain read zero-dark-early, but six a.m. glowed bright and cheery in the dark. He called out again as he wobbled away, pushing his creaking handcart. Baluuut. Baluuut. Aida peeked at me from behind the edge of the bedsheet. She scratched the side of her nose and … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 2

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1 , Chapter 1

Photo of “Aida” by the Author I’ve decided to serialize Honey Ko, my first novel, here over the next few months. I’m also serializing the novel on my page on Medium. If you write on Medium, let me know and I’ll follow you. Tom Nelson It’s funny how the heart aches the same way in grief and love. It’s as if the heart refuses to … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1 , Chapter 1


Photo by antonio filigno Concealed, earthy memberhidden ‘neath modest skinburied by bashful eyesbidden there in fear of sin,yet let a growing urge recall to mind the farmingof the seed without which,good lord, no mouths tofeed; but do not let the urge subside ‘neath somemoral ambiguity; take heart,take hand, maneuver ’tilit come and spill and fillthe well from which all pleasure spring Continue reading Eruption

How I Maximized My Productivity

When I was thirteen or so, Dad told me to get off my derrière and earn some money. Up to that point my responsibilities consisted of emptying the household trash and helping dad maintain our gargantuan lawn I called Sandspur Central. I was productive in a minimalist way. So, understanding Dad ruled the roost and would probably begin taxing me soon for room & board, … Continue reading How I Maximized My Productivity

Hurtful Words and a Father’s Pride

I don’t remember the last time my dad and I shared a father-son moment. I can’t recall a time after childhood when awkwardness, discomfort, and suspicion didn’t taint our relationship. The father-son times we shared before I entered my teens weren’t yet memories by the time I turned thirteen. I learned at various times as a teenager that I was no good, that I would … Continue reading Hurtful Words and a Father’s Pride

Putin on the Blitz

Apologies to Irving Berlin’s Puttin’ on the Ritz Have you seen the Russian troops Wearing bloody combat boots? As they’re marching on the West Earning medals for Vlad’s chest. Vlad’s seeking who knows what? Looking for his billionaire’s cut? Money’s no object in his war Biden’s billions help kill more. If you’re bored and don’t know where to go Why not go and declare a … Continue reading Putin on the Blitz

Life Sucks…May I Have a Glass of Whine?

Well….. You….. Live in El Dorado And your pocket’s full of gold You live a life of ease and peace of mind You pay the taxman whining And you cuss at the TV Your favorite singer’s twerking While you quaff your pale ale Your lobster bisque is tepid And the ice in your tea melted Well….. Your….. World crashed around you Your day is beyond … Continue reading Life Sucks…May I Have a Glass of Whine?


Riddled through with eyes Dogs my furtive footsteps Creeps my sweating skin Turns me round and around Though, unseen, I think, by any, Or, maybe seen, perhaps, Yet does my anxious mind See shadows in the dark Concealment is my friend My prison too, at that Hidden from prying eyes But nervous of surprise Too fearful to confront Lest give away the deed If blackmail … Continue reading Guilty

Inky Blackness and the Faintest Glow of Light from Around the Door

Inky blackness, and the faintest glow Of light from around the door, Reminded me again Of the people I was serving for The blackest of night Devoid of light But for the faint patch Around the ship’s hatch Within the gray, steel hull Five thousand people Live, laugh, and, occasionally, cry When loneliness creeps in as it does by and by Funny, I think, how … Continue reading Inky Blackness and the Faintest Glow of Light from Around the Door

“Raining Words On the Piano”

I am excited! excited! excited! honored, humbled, and – did I say excited? – that my poem, Perfection, arranged for piano by composer and pianist Margin Alexander, will be presented in concert February 27th in New York City alongside works by fourteen other international poets. I can’t be there in person but I provided a recording of myself speaking the poem. I’ll join the concert … Continue reading “Raining Words On the Piano”

How are you?

Originally posted on Her Writing Haven:
There are days when you are close,but mostly days when you are far.And sometimes, even the starsseem to wonder where you are. This pushing and pullingdue to some odd gravitational forcealways leaves me to wonderif you’ve just gotten off course. And my soul is forever searching,looking for a definitive sign,to show me you’re alright,in the midst of this decline.… Continue reading How are you?

The List, Part II, First Draft

The picture window in the richly appointed office of the Secretary for the Elimination of Fascist Activities overlooked the National Mall. The Secretary left his mahogany desk and stood at the window, hands behind his back. Outside, off to the left, the tall, black National Oppressed Peoples’ Monument stood needle straight within the Ring of Flags representing countries liberated from capitalist oppressors. The gray sky … Continue reading The List, Part II, First Draft

The List

They came in the middle of the night. Expletive-screaming teams of jackbooted, black-clad List Enforcers battered down doors. Family pets were shot as Enforcers dispersed to round up sleeping children and parents. Bound and blindfolded, whole families were herded into cattle trucks, crammed in so tight taking a full breath was impossible. The weak and elderly succumbed quickly. They were fortunate. The wailing of terrified … Continue reading The List

Dancing with Orange Blossoms

A very rough draft of the opening chapter to Dancing with Orange Blossoms, the prequel to Honey Ko. I’m not sure I could write an entire novel this way, or if readers would enjoy it. Maybe I could bookend it this way but write the rest in the traditional manner.Thoughts? Is the italicized portion disconcerting? Is narration by a dead person too much. Finally, is … Continue reading Dancing with Orange Blossoms

William Goodfellow, Farmer

Here’s a very rough draft of the opening chapter of my next novel, William Goodfellow. A tale of hope, self-discovery, disillusion, repentance, acceptance, and peace William Goodfellow dashed the hoe from his hands and stared at the earth packed beneath his torn fingernails. “This is madness. I am a man, not an animal,” he cried, and fled his field of corn and the blazing sun … Continue reading William Goodfellow, Farmer

Random Thoughts – Writing and Writers

A loud, noisy grateful shoutout to Ana P. Rose for the post idea. Thank you, Ana! 😊 My first foray into writing was a poem I wrote when I was 15. I still have it. English was my favorite class. I dedicated my first novel, Honey Ko, to my High School and College English teachers. Mr. Grundy told me I could write, Mr. Karlin taught … Continue reading Random Thoughts – Writing and Writers


Soft curl of a sweeping wave breaking on a sandy beach; crystal clear dew drops dangling from a leaf; wind- whispers leaning on pond grass with feather-tips softly sighing for the dragonflies hovering near; random dreams while dozing in the warmth of a sunny day in May; rose petals’ intimate, layering spirals; the delicate filigree of your ear; soft caress in the touch of your … Continue reading Perfection

Gentle Dove of Sweetly Cooing Breast

Green, green of eye, with strangled cry and knuckled mouth, chasm-echoed tricks of thought, devil-filled, of shadows in the dark Behold the crack of heart’s desire, where love is thwarted, thinking he, she seeks another, one not he, but he his brother He must fly at risk of thunder from fool well-versed in blunder, bethought a man, beheld a cripple weak of heart and branded … Continue reading Gentle Dove of Sweetly Cooing Breast

What is Freedom?

Did the Greatest Generation sacrifice for nothing? The further removed we are from that era the greater the life of ease we’ve gained. Returning Sailors and GIs came home to an American economic machine powering the world. Old military barracks were turned into housing while the forerunners of Levittowns were built. Suddenly, suburbs were springing up all across America, dads were using the GI Bill … Continue reading What is Freedom?