My Catalan Love

Susanna Avila, my Catalan beauty, woman of Spain. Coy smile held mystery, Unknowable history, Too briefly our souls entwined; This beauteous love, my destiny. Soulful gaze, emerald eyes piercing, Black hair dancing with night, Skin purest translucent white, Slender and graceful, slim elfin form, Delicate, raven-haired sprite. Ivory shoulders, smooth marble breast, Face fairer than Venus’ race, Spirit virgin, chaste, Ethereal, supernal essence; Tender, enchanting … Continue reading My Catalan Love

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

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 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

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 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

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

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

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

On Poetry: Digging in the wrong direction, by Joseph Emerson,

This dark and deep poem from Joseph Emerson comes from the soul and brings to the surface the fears we all have about living life to the fullest without wasting a moment. I scratched and I clawed my way, several feet up intuitive, survival instincts had quickly kicked in, I punched my way through the tamped surface a ghost of a chance, that I’d let … Continue reading On Poetry: Digging in the wrong direction, by Joseph Emerson,

Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Chapter One

. Chapter One Susanna Avila   The last time I visited Barcelona, I was alone. Susanna was dead. I had returned to our beloved city after her death knowing I would find pain, but hoping the numbness would fade as I remembered Susanna in the places we had visited. Instead, I found that the city, too had died. The warm glow of Gaudi’s lanterns had … Continue reading Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Chapter One

Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Chapter TBD

The days drifted slowly by, each one passing with the speed of sap drip, drip, dripping from a maple tree. Then, as the feel of Susanna’s body dissolved into particles of memory, each particle carrying a different part of her, and it took longer to call her face to mind, and I had to strain with my eyes closed to feel her lips, the days … Continue reading Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Chapter TBD

Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Chapter XX

Death came gently. The glow of life dimmed gradually until the candle that was Susanna snuffed out. The painful, wracking cough subsided and her breath became less labored. As death gathered her into his jealous arms, a calm repose relaxed her features and the lines in her face smoothed away. Her body seemed to sigh with relief. Susanna died peacefully in her sleep as her … Continue reading Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Chapter XX

Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

I’m pretty happy with this chapter 🙂 Ten minute read Tom grinned when Sasi waved and called to him from her balcony. He returned her wave and walked faster. When he looked again she had gone. He pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby to the elevator. The clerk called to him but the words didn’t register. The elevator doors opened and … Continue reading Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

The Wedding Band

They bury their dead in vaults. Long rows of casket-sized holes stacked six bodies high. Mourners shuffle along behind the men struggling beneath the weight, the dead weight, inside the casket. Mostly, they do. Her casket was featherlight, the body inside so nearly weightless it seemed heartless to call it dead weight. The men carrying her body stood ramrod straight, as men are wont to do … Continue reading The Wedding Band

Re-Blog: Elegy for a Drowned Girl

Exquisitely painful and beautiful. For a moment, echoes over the ocean sound your obituary — these jagged cliffs are your gravestones, and perhaps the algae the rolling waves offer to the shoreline is the water’s apology. For sending your casket deep into the corals. For seasoning the ocean salty with your panic. For surging your lifeless limbs away from […] via Elegy for a Drowned Girl … Continue reading Re-Blog: Elegy for a Drowned Girl

Sam and Susanna & Tom and Aida

Like two red eyes, the imperfections in the ruby blinked in the sunlight. He pressed the jeweled medallion to his chest to keep it from swinging on the necklace. The sun burned his back as he walked along the rock-strewn beach hunched over looking for seashells. The best ones he placed in a red, plastic cup that smelled of San Miguel. “Look, Aida.” he called. … Continue reading Sam and Susanna & Tom and Aida

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

For my father, John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. US Navy WWII; 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 forty-nine … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty