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
Eleven days of relentless killing of innocent Ukrainians by a madman obsessed with rebuilding the glorious USSR and the West still dithers over whether to stop buying the madman’s oil. I feel the pain of four dollar gas, but at least I’m not feeling the pain of family and neighbors dying in a hail of bullets, shrapnel, and, soon, what, gas? Mustard gas? Nuclear fallout? … Continue reading At What Price?
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
Shadows hover above me grasping at my heels swiftly pulling me into an unfamiliar sky; wailing at the light that blinds I’m unwilling to abide while slapped then cradled until my cries subside; fear and wonder fill my head as I leave the world to which I’m tied slate clean and pure as snow and casting the first stone at fate; by the time you’re … Continue reading All Love is Colorblind
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”
The oath I took when I enlisted in the Navy and, for twenty-seven years, re-affirmed to at each re-enlistment and promotion, states that I will defend the nation against all enemies foreign and domestic. That hallowed oath resides in me until I leave this Earth. My veteran friends who align with me politically often state that they are ready to take up arms to defeat … Continue reading What the…?
Originally posted on Writers Envy:
1984 came and left; people wondered at the commotion. As it turned out, 1984 was only a prophecy of the brave new world to come, an inferno that we’re entering now. We wanted a republic, but we’ve built an animal farm ruled by self-righteous pickpockets in a world where the temperature creeps ever closer to Fahrenheit 451, a degree of… Continue reading 1984 Redux
Haha 😂😂😂😂 Continue reading Hindsight
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?
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
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?
My first attempt at a video ad. Thoughts? Continue reading Honey Ko Video Ad
Originally posted on Ana Linden:
“Help yourself. You still smoke?” Pointless question, stating the obvious, so it would fill the air between them… He tilted his head apologetically and smiled back, that embarrassed half a smile of his, when she’d catch him doing something she didn’t approve of and she’d point it out. He lit up and inhaled deeply, turning to ashes a good portion… Continue reading Frames – Trespasser (Sample Fragment 1)
I was but a boy of seventeen, Still wet behind the ears When I waved goodbye to mom and dad And manned up against the tears Twas then my first time on my own Not counting Camp Hiawatha I knew no one on the Greyhound bus As we rolled south out of Tampa The ride was long into Miami The motel sure wasn’t home But … Continue reading My Dear Sweet Lady
Nailed it! Continue reading Social Distancing 101
Writing a novel is easy. Marketing a novel is hard, especially when you’re not fond of selling yourself or trying to get a stranger to buy a product. It’s a special type of person who not only enjoys enticing people to buy their products, but who can also smile in the face of rejection. I disliked going door-to-door as a young boy and selling things. … Continue reading Self-Marketing a Self-Published Novel
Away the wood, I walked on Granite Shore Pounding waves, like knuckles rapped upon a door Lobster boat, weather-worn in winds that tore And red-faced men, like fishermen of yore Whose raw ripped flesh labored evermore To work the sea that swept the granite shore Continue reading The Frog and the Granite Shore, Part III
Each Movement Measured Note by Note Continue reading The Melody of Your Soul II
There are stages of love as well as grief. I suspect more people know the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Few people understand that love has stages as well: infatuation, passion, routine (or restless), partnership, companionship. If grief comes about through loss of loved one, where does love come in? Love comes with loss of self, meaning love causes self to become … Continue reading On Love and Self
Nighttime. Lights out. Darkened ship. Sitting on a bollard in the catwalk. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Miles below, ships of exploration and discovery, of war and peace, ships of commerce and pleasure, luxury and poverty, abandoned to the deep by the souls that manned them, destroyed by wind and wave and battle. Men and women, just like me, a’rest at sea. From tools of … Continue reading A’rest At Sea
First posted in October 2014. I flew from you last night, Reluctant, bound to her despite The dimming of the light That lies, and die vows of troth and love. Joy hastened sweep of hand, Relentless, bound to her demand And damning of the band That lies, and die vows of troth and love. Miles increase my desire, Reliant, bound to her cold ire … Continue reading I Flew From You Last Night
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Margery Lucille Gillard, and to all the moms– neighborhood, church, school, little league, Air Force–who raised me. I am a little piece of each of you. Continue reading Moms, All of Them
My family invaded Holland in June, 1964. I have heard that The Beatles invaded America that year, too, but I had no idea who they were and probably would not have cared had I known. At four years old, I cared only for the ice cream freezer in the lobby of the old hotel we took rooms in, the cheese-man and his horse, the walk-in … Continue reading Huis Ter Heide
The truest test of patience is waiting for the pizza to arrive… (it’s here 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ Continue reading Patience
Even the Navy knows good grammar rules. I pulled this from the Navy Correspondence Manual at work. Continue reading Aaaaaargghhhh, Matey. Write Tight or I’ll Keelhaul Ye.
I tried to take rubbings of his tattoos-the hula girl, the palm trees, the sailing ship, the crossed cannons, the anchor. The hula girl danced for me when he flexed his forearm. He never told me where he’d got them. He was in the war when he was eighteen, and he was an old man when he came home at twenty. His ships pulled into … Continue reading Tattoos – A Poem
I grew up with Zebco 202’s and caught quite a few bluegill, shiner, and catfish with Billy and Eddie in the pond next door. I even snagged a gator once but that was nothing compared to the nasty snapping turtle that tried to take his wrath out on my fingers. But I always preferred my bamboo fishing pole with the line tied to the tip, … Continue reading The Bamboo Fishing Pole
I love ramen. I could eat it every day. My wife is Japanese but that isn’t why I love ramen. Her mother was a wonderful cook, but she isn’t the reason I love ramen either. Her dad was born in Honolulu to immigrant parents. Nor he or they. They worked in the pineapple fields and later cut sugar cane. Mr. Ono was a WWII hero … Continue reading Ramen
Is it just me, or have you noticed Follow buttons have disappeared. Normally the button appears either int he upper right hand corner, lower right hand corner, or if in Reader on the left where it shows the site name and number of followers. Am I crazy, over overcaffeinated, or going crosseyed? Continue reading Follow Buttons Missing?
Get up, get out, go back to him Do it now it’s sink or swim I am not the one you want You’re just tired of the hunt It was all a mistake, I see it clear What looked like love was only fear Of going out on my own, alone, I let you put me on a throne You stick to me like dried … Continue reading Get Up, Get Out, Go Back To Him
Birthed in promises unspoken, on a bed of dreams and ghosts, I grasped the pleading in his heart, but faltered at the post; Desperation’s embattled prayer in a father’s grasp for fate, For all of that I could have done it’s too little and too late. Hiding from the ancient child weeping alone inside my head, Looking down at no one, looking up at those … Continue reading Fathers and Sons
On the flight deck, broiling hot sun, bright blue sky, blue sea, whitecaps throwing spindrift with the wind, another day in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I’m standing between eighty thousand pounds of Hornet and sixty thousand pounds of thrust at full throttle, two fighter aircraft held back against their will, straining to break free, to pierce the sky, my head on a … Continue reading The Roof
Feeding me shrimp from a paper cone Throwing french fries at me across the table Drinking my sangria Picking green peas from my plate of fried rice. Taking my hand as we stroll through town Humming when words just won’t do Caressing my stubble; Leaning on me when cold seeps through her sweater. Gazing at me with a quizzical look Peering side-wise with that special … Continue reading Little Things
Holy cow, that was fast! I submitted my query letter (and first three pages of my novel) yesterday afternoon about 5:00 pm using Query Manager according to the agent’s submission guidelines. Most agents take weeks, if not months, to respond to a writer’s query. Not this one; by 7:00 pm I had emailed the agent asking for any information about why the agent rejected my … Continue reading Pitching Your Novel to Literary Agents
Thank you to everyone who read, liked, and commented on my recent flurry of Novel posts. Most were long reads–over 2,000 words–so I appreciate that you took the time to read them. I’ve finished revising the novel from third-person POV to first-person POV and the difference is remarkable. It was a lot of work, but the story is now a much better read. I’m working … Continue reading Thank You
Thank you so much for reading along and supporting my effort. This novel is thirty years in the making and has been a journey of remembrance, blood, sweat, and tears. Most of the characters are based on real people. Tom’s and Sam’s Susanna was my girlfriend when I was stationed in Spain; yes, she died. Aida was a girlfriend in the Philippines. Lek was an acquaintance in … Continue reading Status: A Wished-For Love
God, how I love writing in the zone. That period when your whole mind is so focused on the story that the story absorbs you and you become your protagonist. His emotions are yours, the blood racing through his veins is yours and the poundpoundpound of his heart is the poundpoundpound of your heart. The dialogue pours out, the conversation moves forward, the emotions tear … Continue reading Writing in “The Zone”
Somehow I’ve contrived to lose a draft post of a little over 200 words. It’s quite deflating to see a work of two months flushed away into WordlessPress Land and not know how it happened. When I left the draft yesterday evening I felt it was shaping up into something I would be ready to post this weekend. My six verses of lyrics titled “Shake … Continue reading Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!
Have you ever wondered why a blog goes silent? I get worried when bloggers I particularly love have not posted in a while. I become concerned when I try to visit their site to see if I’ve missed a new post and the site doesn’t come up. Such is the case with Victoria. I’ve followed her blog for several years and find her posts, especially her … Continue reading Wherefore Art Thou?
Poor Fervor His neighbors thought him rude He never could remember The Spanish words for Please. (Silly, ain’t I 🙂 Word of the Day Continue reading Poor Fervor
Love isn’t cheap, although love can be cheapened. Love at any cost exacts an incalculable toll on the human soul. A five-dollar short time will get you love in Olongapo City, but what kind of love is that? Even a ten-dollar long time, an all-nighter, gets you nothing but relief, one more conquest to secure your manhood, and another sea story for the guys at work. Where’s the love? Where’s the … Continue reading On Love: Its Toll and Reward
Smiling at someone takes less effort than avoiding them. Who knows, you might make their day…get asked out, get married, honeymoon in Tahiti, have kids, grandkids, buy an RV, roam the country. Or, just walk on by and smile at someone else 🙂 Continue reading Smile
I may not know your story But I’ve had my troubles too, I may not know you’re suffering But I have suffered too, I’ve ached so hard inside my soul I thought that I would die, –No– I hoped that I would die. We all have our stories, None are cut and dry; No two people cry the same Or know the reason why; So … Continue reading Souls Like Yours Are Precious
This post from Ana. P. Rose inspired me. Art is truth. Telling the truth is art. When the rejections roll in and it seems like nobody likes your story; when it seems like your work is going nowhere; when you feel like giving up and smashing the keyboard, remember you are an artist and you are writing the truth. Van Gogh’s success came only after … Continue reading Dear Artists, by Ana P. Rose
For Dad John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. GM2C US Navy WWII; SSGT USAF Korea, Vietnam There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty
Reposted in memory of my shipmates. The Navy Hymn connects the paragraphs. An orange fireball blots the sky, a mass of white-black cloud shot through with flame. The Navy P-3 Orion yaws as the #3 engine burns and trails an undulating line of black smoke. The starboard wing folds up and shears away; with lift gone the aircraft rolls to starboard. The Orion rolls and rolls, … Continue reading Lima Charlie 85
No boy is raised by only one mom. He’s raised by his friends’ moms too. Happy Mother’s Day to all of my second moms. Continue reading Second Moms
“Thank you for submitting your query for A WISHED-FOR LOVE to (this) Literary Agency for our consideration. Unfortunately, we’re going to pass at this time, as your beginning just didn’t hook us. We know you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your project, but do keep at it! The publishing industry is very subjective, so what may not work for us could be just … Continue reading We’re sorry…