Shooting from the Heart

Let your heart be the shutter Moxie Pond. The Forks, Maine. Photo Credit: Will Pennington If I ever see Michelangelo’s David or Pietà sculptures in person, I will, without shame, bawl my eyes out. Artistic beauty, those works created by the human hand, exert such a pull on my heart and mind that I cannot stop the flood of emotion that overwhelms me. This extends … Continue reading Shooting from the Heart

Time’s Up. Two Silver Coins for the Ferryman

I’d like to cross over here. Kennebec River. The Forks, Maine. Photo Credit: Will Pennington What if we knew when we would die? I guess that’s everything. Are you sure? You haven’t forgotten anything? Let’s run through the checklist again. No. I’ve treble-checked it. If I have forgotten something, I won’t need it where I’m going. What if you get lost? Get lost? I hardly … Continue reading Time’s Up. Two Silver Coins for the Ferryman

Father Time Comes Knocking (Don’t make Eye Contact)

Photo Credit: Will Pennington. Lake Moxie. The Forks, Maine. Inspired by a writer friend’s post about her 50’s being the cruelest decade – loss of old friends to sickness, Alzheimer’s, aging poorly, giving up, and to my own recent loss of two friends from my childhood church, one 12 years younger than I, one 12 years older. Time knows no Master. Time was, is, and … Continue reading Father Time Comes Knocking (Don’t make Eye Contact)

San Diego: Almost Home

Point Loma from NAS North Island, CA. 1986 Photo Credit: Will Pennington My business trip with the Navy to San Diego last week was like going home. The joy began when, while riding the bus to the rental car center, I spotted the USS Carl Vinson — my last ship — tied up at North Island. Ohh, the memories. USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Photo Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist … Continue reading San Diego: Almost Home

Saying Goodbye to My Dying Parents, Part 2, Mom

Dad wasn’t an affectionate man, while I know Mom craved his touch and sweet words. Dad always signed off on phone calls and letters by saying “We love you.” Mom always signed off saying “I love you.” I should have mentioned this in Part 1, Dad’s story: His father was a cruel man not above humiliating his children in front of others. He once ridiculed … Continue reading Saying Goodbye to My Dying Parents, Part 2, Mom

Saying Goodbye to My Dying Parent, Part 1: Dad

We were three days sail out of Pearl Harbor in November 1994 when the Red Cross message clattered from the teletype: Mother of servicemember requests return home. Father in coma after heart attack. Not expected to survive. “Sixty-seven isn’t old. How can this be?” Were the USS Tripoli an aircraft carrier, they might have flown me off on the C-2 Greyhound. But the Tripoli was … Continue reading Saying Goodbye to My Dying Parent, Part 1: Dad

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

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?

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

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?

Frames – Trespasser (Sample Fragment 1)

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)

Self-Marketing a Self-Published Novel

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

On Love and Self

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

The Roof

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