For Whom Everything Is In Question [poetry]

Rain bundled like hay,
hit like bricks that obliterated homes to sea;
now she lives home-wrecked with her bony children
and colorless neighbors on a tropical dune
where they search for old haunts
in sand,
on waves
and in the sky.

I tell you this in memory of dancing bears
and the drunk in the furnace—
they who look for the old
always find the past,
but when they look for the new,
whatever they do has just begun.

Girl On A Train (Echoes Again) [poetry]

embracing

(© 2016)

I awoke this morning to voices on the wind,
Echoes of past,
present,
and future—
Modern times when I was living the year of the cat.

The blonde girl from Finland smiled at me
when I missed my southbound train to Rome;
We were homesick for home,
So she chased away our blues with her northern songs.

She sang like sugar on my tongue.

She sweetened our cappuccino lunch
under an umbrella in the sun
on an alabaster beach,
Turned the day into a weekend of carefree romances,
And danced like an angel in a night
when stars never stop shining.

But our trains were on time.
We waved our last goodbyes,
Never to meet again
Until I awoke this morning to voices on the wind,
Echoes of when the blonde girl from Finland smiled at me.

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Throwback Thursday [art]

While I have been busy working on my latest book project, I come up for air every few days to post here and at Facebook. Today I posted two events from my past. The first is from 1974; the second is from 1984.

It is fun, interesting, and painful to look at works from the past. But it also reminds me of the arduous work I have done to get this far.

The first illustration below is a colored pencil drawing from high school. I was 17, hooked on surrealism, and everything I drew had a fantasy dreamscape look to it. My mom covered it with plastic wrap and kept it hung in the kitchen, though it clashed with her kitchen knickknacks and décor.

Colored pencil on paper, 1974

Ten years later, I was drawing wildlife. But I wanted to paint, so I bought watercolor and gouache paints and set about learning to illustrate the deer and wildlife in my backyard. This is one of my earliest attempts.

Watercolor and gouache on paper, 1984

In 1984, I was also developing my talents as a cartoonist. While going to Art Instruction Schools, I studied cartooning under Charles Schulz, an alumnus of the school and the creator of Peanuts. The illustration below was my final assignment for that class.

Pen and ink on paperboard, 1984

Remembering [poetry]

Do you remember how we crept along fences young together
stumbling through to the other side of eternity
never thinking we would ever become middle-aged

Do you recall homesick high-school weeks making us feel gentle
like days of a last breathless uncertain chord played—
a warm rich memory from an old woman’s concert piano

Do you remember solos
Where did they go

Too much, too many are stored within the unraveling fabric of a vanishing time

Solid silver lively youths are gone to now grace hopefully this little time for writing verse

Neither of us will ever be really old
or wholly separated as we move into our later years
clutching at our memories
unless we do forget