Fathers and Sons

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

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

Reblog: Memorial 1 and 2, by Stephen McGuinness

1.
Remember
The human.
A curse on
The uniform.
Isn’t it enough that
He is dead?
Torn from his
Mother’s grasp.
Rent asunder,
Ripped,
Shredded,
Buried.
He shall not
Grow old….
As if he had
A choice.
Glorious dead?
There is no glory
In fear, in pain,
In cold wet clay.
They are all the same
These memorials.
Old men cry out
For the next generation
To poison.
2.
Don’t poison my boys
as we were poisoned
with dreams of freedoms
that never occur.
Heroes puddled in blood.
Monuments, graves to visit,
murals to the dead.
The notion that they
can gain by sacrificing
themselves for a nation,
as if any scrap of ground
is worth their beautiful lives.

Continue reading “Reblog: Memorial 1 and 2, by Stephen McGuinness”

Some Thoughts At Fifty — Writing from poetry with a small p.

Stephen McGuinness reflects on turning fifty. Tiny waves, in circles, Ripple the surface, Fading to shimmers, Melting gently into Each other. I am fifty years old. One half century. Fifty years before My birth World War one raged still. We are but specks, floating On an ocean of time. For fleeting instants We brush our fingers Through still water. I am […] via Some Thoughts At … Continue reading Some Thoughts At Fifty — Writing from poetry with a small p.

Book Release Party! Join the author of “Unconfined Delusions,” the latest book from Angela L. Lindseth

Everyone! My friend Angela Lindseth is hosting a Book Release Party! Please visit her blog and Facebook site to help celebrate the release of her book Unconfined Delusions. Just in time for Hallowe’en, Unconfined Delusions will dim your courage and dial up the fear as Angela makes your skin crawl and blows your mind with tales from an alternate universe of the human mind. Take … Continue reading Book Release Party! Join the author of “Unconfined Delusions,” the latest book from Angela L. Lindseth

Writing While Walking, by Stephen McGuinness

Stephen McGuinness makes me happy humans were given the gift of words and thought.  To read more of Stephen’s work, please visit poetry with a small p. “Quiet confounds me. I search through a Clam-tight mind To find something, A thing, a piece, a collection Of words, to explain, To describe, to myself Most of all, what, If anything, is going on. Hush rushes, quietly, Through … Continue reading Writing While Walking, by Stephen McGuinness

Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Alternating POV / Reality

I’m feeling my way through this “dabbling” in experimental writing.   The last time he visited Barcelona, he was alone. I was dead. He returned to our beloved city knowing he would find pain but hoped the numbness would lift as he remembered me in the neighborhoods of my youth. Instead, he found the city also in mourning. The warm glow of Gaudi’s lanterns had … Continue reading Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Alternating POV / Reality

Pitching Your Novel to Literary Agents

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

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Thirteen

I left the Command Master Chief’s office practically walking on air. I wasn’t going back to Vietnam. They said I needed a break and would be replaced by another Chief who needed the time in-country. The tension had drained from me like shedding a layer of skin. The feeling of doom lifted from my shoulders and I felt twenty pounds lighter. What a relief. Sam … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Thirteen

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twelve

Dense clouds of cigarette smoke assaulted my lungs as I made my way to the exit, already missing the scent of the beautiful woman I’d left in the back room. I had reached the door when I heard my name called above the screeching noise of the jukebox. “Frank! Hey, Frank. Over here.” I waved my way through the smoke; Sam gestured to me from … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twelve

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eleven

I’m glad Frank didn’t see my mouth hanging open as he left. By the time I collected myself the door had closed and shut him out of my sight. I understood then what people mean when they say their heart sank. I had lost something wonderful and my body was letting me know what a fool I had been. Instead of smiling politely and gazing … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eleven

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Ten

I stayed behind after George left and played pool with the barmaids. When that grew tiresome I went into the bar and nursed a warm beer while deflecting playful propositions from the girls. It didn’t take long before they caught on and stopped pestering me to buy them drinks. I’m no prude, but I was never one to pick up women in bars; heck, I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Ten

A Wished- For Love, Chapter Nine

George’s iron grip dug into my shoulder while his other hand crushed mine in a hand shake. “Hey, Frank, great to see you, buddy. Come on in and join the party.” I looked back to see if Marie might be following me. She wasn’t. “Come on, come on,’ George said tugging my arm. “Don’t be shy. You know everyone here, don’t you?” His southern accent … Continue reading A Wished- For Love, Chapter Nine

Status: A Wished-For Love

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

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eight

. Book Two Chapter Eight Olongapo, Philippines 1970 Frank and Marie The orange-red sun was setting on another sweltering day in the Philippines when our C-130 touched down at Cubi Point Naval Air Station. The war in Vietnam was nine-hundred miles behind me and I could finally relax as the target on my back melted away. The creepy feeling that I was a sniper’s target … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eight

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Seven

I pumped my fist. The stars had aligned in my favor. The Gods had smiled on me. Clean living; that’s what did it. I could have kissed Steve. “What happened? How did he break his leg?” “He fell off a jeepney.” “How do you fall off a jeepney?” “Yeah, that’s what I asked. He was drunk and coming back from Subic City with some other … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Seven

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Five

Shit River. Whatever the official name for the brown sliver of putrefaction that separated Subic Bay Naval Station from Olongapo, the Sailor’s crude, but descriptive, nickname stuck. I held my breath to avoid breathing the noxious odors emanating from the slow moving, vile smelling, lumpy ribbon of waste. Halfway across, a Sailor in civilian clothes tossed a few pesos to the river princesses sitting below … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Five

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Four

I rolled my eyes and shook my head when the gate screeched. I had done so the same thousand times Tom had promised to bring home oil for the hinges. The gate would screech again when he returned from work and I would know he had forgotten the oil once more. His proposal the night before at Grande Island surprised me. We had talked around marriage … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Four

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Three

“Baluuut. Baluuut.” The trembling voice of the old Filipino squeaked across the courtyard and through the bedroom window. “Baluuut. Baluuut.” I yawned and rubbed my face and squinted at the clock through one eye. The numbers swam in the dim light, but the balut man was never wrong; he came every morning at five. Memories of the weekend floated up from the fog of sleep. I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Three

Writing in “The Zone”

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”

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Two

Whatever thoughts lay hidden behind Aida’s wide, brown eyes, my words pushed them away. The long hoped-for proposal had barely left my lips before Aida’s face broke into a smile so bright the moon might have blushed with shame. When she could no longer contain her emotions, when the smile alone could no longer express the rapturous joy overflowing her tender heart, Aida’s eyes filled … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Two

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

(. Re-written in First Person Past POV.) Book One Chapter One Olongapo, Philippines 1991 Aida I lived while I knew Susanna and I died when her soul withdrew with a sigh. She brought meaning to my life, meaning and purpose. And having brought meaning and purpose to my life, she took them with her when she died. They were the only things she ever took … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-Two

I glanced up at Sasi’s balcony as I approached her building. Her rooms were on the top floor directly above the pool. I wasn’t surprised to see her waving to me. I returned her wave and walked faster. When I looked again she had gone. I pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby. The clerk called out but I ignored him; I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-Two

Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

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!

On Love: Its Toll and Reward

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

On Writing, and the Four-Minute Mile

Roger Bannister, the first athlete to break the four-minute mile, said this about his record-breaking run: “The world seemed to stand still, or did not exist. The only reality was the next 200 yards of track under my feet. The tape meant finality–extinction perhaps. I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well. I drove on, impelled by … Continue reading On Writing, and the Four-Minute Mile

Of Love and Fragrance

Your fragrance often wafts into my head guided by the metaphysical pinings of two souls and the bond between spirits not tethered to temporal moorings. Mortal boundaries span six feet of earthly separation but the heavenly plane exists within our senses. Comforting, that thought, and breathing your scent brings thoughts of your heaven wafting through my mind. For heaven is where you took me taking … Continue reading Of Love and Fragrance

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

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

Of Love and Memories

I wish there were more moments to recall, the ones that show us naked and afraid. Instead, I recall our time together as projections of idealized portraits, retouched and photo-shopped by minds unable to bear the sharp edges and blunt-force trauma that lovers stumble through along the boulder-strewn road of romance. I don’t want to recall only the good moments but the ungood moments too, but maybe it’s better that … Continue reading Of Love and Memories

On Life: What Does It Mean to Repeal the 8th? — cultureshift

All Life is precious. To march for the right to take life is inimical to healthy society and serves to continue the breakdown of the moral code that sustained human beings since they first learned to live together in groups. The ability to take life without penalty of law is the greatest evil ever perpetrated on civil society. Those who choose to take life in … Continue reading On Life: What Does It Mean to Repeal the 8th? — cultureshift

Strings, by J. A. Allen, Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

What a beautiful story. The end surprised me.   He remained warm a long time. Warm and still. I lay with my head on his chest, straining to hear the heartbeat that had lulled me to sleep so many times before. Only this time, I wasn’t trying to sleep. I wasn’t tired. I was engulfed: drowning in the tide of arrangements I’d have to make … Continue reading Strings, by J. A. Allen, Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins