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

No Holds Barred; Poetry by Will

I don’t have the pain of some I know, though Blood flows rather freely from my wounds; Piercing the blister releases the fluid inside as Pressure drains away and brings blessed Relief; no, I tread that rocky, winding path Atop the jagged, knife-edged mountain, the Path that shows me either side at once– Arid on one hand, thick lush vegetation on the Other; occasionally, I … Continue reading No Holds Barred; Poetry by Will

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

Craving – Poetry by Will

Still, unmarred, nothing spoils the tension of its surface; no disturbance in graceful spreading waves, no waterbugs to dance, entrance, engage the eye, no underneath, no rules exactly scribed to guide the cutting shears; Perfect in shape and thickness, intended as a tool, aged in desperate need, useless as a fool; Spilled upon its surface then, in circles, cuts, and symbols, springs from mind, craving-driven … Continue reading Craving – Poetry by Will

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

Cast the First Stone

From my amniotic nest I emerge untainted into the cold metallic light and harsh steel voices disconnected from the comforting lullabies that whispered through my forming bones; with the cast of a stone I become a changeling and tremble wailing before those who will taint me with their jealous love and solemn oaths. Some things we learn and some we’re taught, others are innate; defenseless … Continue reading Cast the First Stone

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 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 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