A Sailor’s Favorite Bar

The Sailor has a favorite bar, in every port of call, A favorite girl too, slender, stout, or tall; I’m no exception to the rule, immemorial in its time, Not so very particular, though her beauty be sublime; My favorite port of call, my favorite among the dozens, Rota Spain and sweet Susanna, and all her pretty cousins; Black hair my green-eyed beauty, and tiny … Continue reading A Sailor’s Favorite Bar

Honey

Pressed against glass, face down, born again in the cloud. Another memory retained for…what? “Marianne loves Bobby. 12th Grade. 17 Years old.” That lasted nine months before ending in bruises, abortion, and divorce. Yet, the photos remain, reminders of erstwhile lovers and friends, a past suffused in shade. Sadness the emotion as album pages flutter by, the memories that began in happiness later viewed from … Continue reading Honey

The Filing Cabinet. And a Poem

What began in fellowship of open arms, broad smiles and welcoming words soon fell into routine. The wonder of the inchworm’s humped-back crawl faded as attention drifted elsewhere. Like a prairie dog village, heads sank into oblivious existence as curiosity waned. \ I could not describe the Bavarian village, framed by towering Alpine mountains and last seen as a child, well-enough so you’d know it … Continue reading The Filing Cabinet. And a Poem

Curled Up In You

Curled up in ringlets Electric parts of you, Shoulder length distractions Thoughts are all askew, Hope for sleep abandoned Your pillow’s made for two, Nose to nose connection Our favored point of view. Random touches, random whispers, Fingers playing finders keepers, Hidden fragrance in your smile, Let me breathe you for a while. Chastened by your virtue Encouraged by your sighs Midnight flame rekindled My … Continue reading Curled Up In You

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

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

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

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

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

Every Night With You

Enchanted by the stars, like smelling roses, Anticipating the rush of a meteor flash Or Saturn’s rings in full-on view and Europa, Like Andromeda’s spiral, in ageless lights of time, And my heart pumps a million times a minute When sun bids day adieu amidst a host of glory, And that spinning dance and flash of white That reveals your teeth in brilliant, ecstatic smile … Continue reading Every Night With You

Absolution

absolution hmmm hhuhhh hmmm hhuhhh bundled and warm     cold crisp air     stings with each inbreath hmmm hhuhhh tears drawn away by the cold     or are they hmmm hhuhhh hmmm hhuhhh muffled     but heightened     as within the confessional     silence descends as Nature dons her alb hmmm hhuhhh a puff of warm air     echoing     as through a long narrow cylinder  … Continue reading Absolution

Fretting

Ripples in a pond fretting amid damp earth’s fragrance whose deep-anchored tendrils curl around and around and up and up to caress and nurture. Focused on the footpath. Rigid muscles and throbbing temples. Panting. Impeding scales fall away as sunlight breaks through a misty veil of sweat. Pause. Beyond the trees a beckoning forest and a horizon, and mountains soften into hills. Renewal. Gaining the horizon. Footpath … Continue reading Fretting

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

. Olongapo, Philippines 1991 Aida, sweet and lovely like the opera, a pretty and petite Filipina in the full bloom of her twenty-one years, searched bare-footed for treasure among debris washed ashore by the late storm. She collected her treasure, a bright and colorful smörgåsbord of seashells, pebbles, smooth-worn glass, and curious shapes of driftwood, in a net bag that let sand fall away rather than … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

My Little Story

I feel so much satisfaction watching the word count grow in the little story flowing from my pen. This joyful enterprise, this crafting of a universe built from memories of a lifetime. This imaginary world I have peopled with those I’ve grown up with, played, schooled, worshiped, worked, and served with. Decorated with scenes that have thrilled my eyes and my mind and lifted my … Continue reading My Little Story

Critique My Pitch: Part Four, A Wished-For Love

“Two dead women, a death in Vietnam, and an infant hastily given up for adoption stand between Aida and marriage to Tom, the man of her dreams.” This is the pitch I’m using in the pitch event over at SavvyAuthors blog. The Pitch Event runs through midnight 17 September. You may pitch to both agents and publishers. Continue reading Critique My Pitch: Part Four, A Wished-For Love

Critique My Pitch, Part Three: A Wished-For Love

“Decades after their tragic deaths, two women haunt the lives of two men broken by grief and a hasty adoption. One of the men finally comes to terms with his loss and finds love again. One cannot.” I didn’t provide a description of my story in previous posts, so I’ve added one here to help you critique my pitch. You’ll note there are two Susannas. … Continue reading Critique My Pitch, Part Three: A Wished-For Love