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I do not speak to you
as a poet or a prophet,
but as a simple, humble man.
One who is forever searching,
one who is eager to find,
one who always asks
if there is a master plan.

I peer through the darkness,
through the storms of the night,
looking to the distant hills,
looking for a flickering candlelight
that may lead me on my way
through all my tormented years,
through the Vale of bitter tears,
through the valley of death
overflowing with my endless fears,
to the brightness of a new day.

Is there a powerful spirit being
that is loving and kind,
that offers hope, salvation,
a quiet peace in heart in mind,
someone that will be our eternal guide?

Or are we no more
than scraps of flotsam,
bits of empty nothingness,
to be tossed, turned, and scat-tered
by the rising and the ebbing
of some relentless, endless tide?


From my book of short stories: Forever More

Ojibwa Woman

The persistent agonizing throb of my phantom right leg pulls me out of a fitful sleep, into the raw reality of a newborn morning. I struggle to pry stuck eyelids open, my eyes dulled by an unbearable ache drink in the sunlight pouring between blue lace curtains.
Heavy eyelids snap closed, shuttering out burning brightness. A nearby robin’s trill blends with the mewling of wheeling hungry gulls, with horns honking impatiently, gunned engines growling, distant laughter, and loud angry voices. This cornucopia of city songs separates me further from sleepiness, overwriting the fear of a familiar nightmare.

Eyes squint open, slowly adjust to the light. I turn my head, and stare at the clock on our bedside table. It stares back at me, and its black minute hand ticks, ticks, ticks its relentless way around the round white face.

Seven-thirty registers through the December molasses of my mind, and I sigh with relief because I don’t have to go to work until tonight. I revel in the fullness of the day stretching out before me, the way a ribbon of asphalt stretches out over wide prairie land without seeming to have an end, and I want nothing more from it than to lie in my cocoon, wrapped between that soft glow of being half asleep, half awake, but the pain sharpens, nags at me like a toothache.

My left-hand fumbles around the top of the bedside table, but I fail to find my pills. The hurt from missing flesh pulls groans from my belly, drags me further into the day. I ease out from under the sleeping girl, trying my best not to wake her.
She mumbles soft, too low for me to hear, and rolls over on her back. My eyes rest on the high cheekbones, partially hidden by long messy hair, darker, shinier than a raven’s wing, softer than a summer mist. My breath catches in my throat, holds at the sight of rising copper colored breasts.

My mind remembers last night’s magic, and my body responds to the memory. For a moment, the need to return to her, the need for me to take and own the wonder of her, is greater than the pain, but only for a moment.
I struggle to a sitting position, begin yanking drawers out one at a time, rummage through them. When I fail to find what I need, what I hunger for, the panic deepens.

Frantic shaking hands shove blankets aside, and a bare foot lands on a soft deep white carpet. Hands fumble, slide the plastic sheath of my metal leg over the padding protecting the stub, fasten it into place, and pull myself upright.

The agony spikes, drawing animal like cries from me. I whimper, “Sweet Jesus, have mercy on me,” through clenched teeth with every stumbling step I take across the bedroom floor, through the living room to the kitchen cupboards. It grips me tight as I fling doors open, pull drawers out, and empty them onto the blue tiles, but there is no help in sight, no bottle with little white pills; no hope of relief from the agony burning through me.

For a moment, it strikes me as funny how much something that doesn’t exist; something that hasn’t existed for two years now can still make me cry, well maybe not funny, ha, ha, but certainly funny in an ironic way.

I pull out the final drawer, ready to dump it onto the mess when I remember that I didn’t fill my last prescription because of my fear of becoming addicted, of losing myself to oblivion, and becoming one of those blank eyed, pitiful wretches willing to do anything for a fix.

Forever More is now available on Amazon. Just click on any of my book covers and you will visit my author page where you can purchase any of my books to enjoy.

From Keeper of the Sword: book two

Chapter Twelve: The Last Battle
Adelard turned to the walls of the citadel, and watched a beam of light lance out towards him.
He whirled to face the Gleg, when he heard a sword sliding out of its leather scabbard. As he whirled, he jumped backwards, and reached for his weapon.
Adelard didn’t wince or cry out as a blade sliced into his left arm above the elbow. Ignoring the pain, ignoring the blood dripping down his arm, he drew his weapon, and swung it in time to parry the next blow.

If you would like to know more, then just click on the book cover.

That Which Binds (inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Love is the cement
which forever binds.

Love is mercy.
Love is forgiveness.
Love is kind.

Love does not boast
about things
we have done.

Love shall last
far past
the ending of our sun.

Love is more
candlelight dinners,
and wedding rings,
for love endures
all things.

Love is the balm
that heals
the wounded heart,
and replaces pride.
always walks
at loves side.

Love gives
all there
is to give,
and with love
one will
gladly die
another one
might live.


Always speak words of kindness,
and sing out songs of love.
Build a nest in your back yard
for a snow white dove.

Quench the flames of hatred.
Stomp out bigotry beneath your feet.
Give a budding olive branch
to everyone you meet.

Love all peoples as your neighbor.
Treat everyone as your friend.
Carry high the torch of peace
until intolerance comes to an end.

Lift up high the burning candle
so that everyone may see
that hope still lives in this world,
and that one day we’ll all be free.

Color Blind

Red and yellow,
black and white,
we appear
all the same
in the deep
watches of the night.

The only differences then
that we can truly find,
are within the cupboards
and the closets
of our twisted, distorted mind.

Would not the world
be a far better place,
if we had all been born
color blind?

Tomorrow’s Dream

Stone cold and gray the newborn day,
and children have no place to play.
No parks no fields of green.
No bubbling brook, no fish filled stream.

All that is left is brick and glass,
and dreary, dark, smoke filled sky.
No wonder children just stand and cry.
In their minds, do they wonder why?

This is our legacy of greed,
our all, consuming need,
to rape and pillage our mother earth,
to take from her anything of worth.

There are no growing trees.
No place for children to swing up high.
No singing birds fill the morning sky.
No wonder, children just stand and cry.
In their minds do they wonder why?

We do not see this, as we sleep,
in our graves, so cold and deep.
We do not see the smoke filled sky.
We do not hear our children cry.

But this matters not, for they too shall die,
and all that will be left is brick and glass,
and dreary, dark, smoke filled sky.
No wonder the children, just stand and cry.
In their minds, do they wonder why?


Eye of the tiger.
Eye of the lion.
Eye of the dreamer.
Which one beholds?
Which on holds?
Which one sees
a child’s tears?

Ear of the mouse.
Ear of the elephant.
Ear of the warrior.
Which one listens
as the wind
creeps across the veldt?

Wings of the eagle.
Wings of the dove.
Wings of the chicken.
Which wings fly the highest?
Does it really matter?

Kiss of the lover.
Kiss of the rapist.
Kiss of the child.
Which one is the sweetest?

Foggy Night, Raindrops on the Window

Foggy night, raindrops on the window
candlelight, fire burning low,
here’s to our love of yesterday,
and to our dreams of tomorrow.

Baby I just don’t want to go
into the foggy night,
raindrops on the window.

Thank you for the glass of wine
and thank you for talking
about the good old times,
But baby
I just don’t want to go
out into that foggy night,
raindrops on the window.

You look so good, in the candle glow.
I just wanted to see
if you were still doing fine.
I’m sorry I took up
so much of your time,
But baby, I just don’t want to go
into that foggy night,
raindrops on the window.

Foggy night, raindrops on the window,
candlelight, fire burning low,
here’s to our love of yesterday
and to our dreams of tomorrow.

Baby I just don’t want to go
into the foggy night,
raindrops on the window.

Where the River Runs Deep

The sun hung between day and night, painting the wispy clouds sailing in the western sky, pink and gold, dappling little wavelets dancing down the river, wavelets splashing on the old log dock, curling over broken boards, splashing onto bare feet, soaking into frayed bottoms of patched jeans.
Tom Warden squinted against the rays of the sun burning into dark grey eyes, raised a nut brown right hand to shade them from its brightness; looked deep into the darkening blue, seeking for an answer, seeking for hope, but like always, the sun, the wind, the clouds and sky kept their counsel to themselves.
For the tenth time in ten minutes a troubled mind turned to Abigail, returned to this morning, returned to their fight, a fight about the same old thing, a thing that lay below the surface of their minds; a thing that had no resolution, a thing that seemed like it could never have a resolution, not for him anyway.

Her words rang through him, rang crystal clear, “But daddy I just have to go to the dance with Billy. I’ll die if you don’t let me.”
His answer had been the same answer, given in the same old way, in the same angry voice. “You’re too young to go to town and stay overnight and…..” His voice grew colder, “And you’re too young to be dating someone three years older than you are.”
“But,” the blubbering began, the water works that always worked started, tears formed in baby blue eyes, eyes the same colour as Anna’s. “But,” she began again, sounding more like a two-year-old than a girl of almost sixteen. “But, Mary’s parents let her go out with Rod Williams and he’s almost four years older than she is.”
He growled, “I’m not her father, I’m yours.”
The foot stomping began, “She’s lucky. I wish you trusted me like they trust her.”
His grin softened the lines around his mouth, softened the square angle of his jaw, “I trust you baby girl, it’s your hormones and a male three years older than you and Mary with her I don’t give a damn attitude and the party afterwards with the drugs and booze that I don’t trust.”
Her voice softened, a wan smile burst through the storm, “Can’t you come into town and stay at the apartment then? I’ll just go to the dance and come straight home afterwards. Please, please daddy, I promise I’ll come home right after the dance.”
“I can’t come into town.”
Abigail sniffed, stomped her foot, rattling the dishes on the counter and wailed, “You don’t love me,” through a torrent of tears.
Tom remained resolute, ignored the desire to give into his girl, ignored the tugging of his heart to rush over to her, to brush her tears away, to hug her and say, “Of course you can go to the dance, now hurry up and change and we’ll go into town and buy you a new dress, that blue one you’ve had your eyes on,” but he didn’t move, didn’t even blink.
“Mum would let me go,” the tears faded to be replaced by dark cloud filled, anger filled eyes.
He shouted, “Your mum’s not here,” and bit his tongue after his words filled the room with an absolute finality.
“And whose fault is that?” the words came out full of accusation, full of anger, full of an aching empty loss.
“I suppose you’re still blaming me for her death?”
She retorted in her mouthy insolent way, “If the shoe fits, then you should wear it.”
He screamed, “It wasn’t my fault,” clenched his hands until they turned white.
“Whose fault was it then? Who had one too many drinks, who knew that the baby, my baby brother was due any day and yet drank most of the day, celebrating the sale of a short story. Was it worth it, was it really worth it.”
He shouted, “Shut up bitch,” turned on his heels and stormed out of the house and now he was here alone, confused, angry, ashamed and afraid that the gulf between them could never be bridged.
The fault of his wife’s death, his unborn son’s death, a son he wanted, longed for, weighed heavy on him, too heavy for him to bear anymore. He looked down into the dark blue water of the river, looked down into its depths, looked down into its beckoning hands; looked deep into the peace it offered him.
He murmured, “She’d be better off and for darn sure I’d be better off, because there wouldn’t be any more pain or suffering,” in a voice reeking with self pity.
A poem danced through his mind, a poem of his early days, of when he and Anna owned the world, of when Abigail was a little girl and he was her idol. “I know where the river runs deep/where the waters lie cold and still. It’s where I so hunger to sleep and very soon I will.”
The memory of a long ago day, the memory of Anna came to him, reflected in the choppy waves, came out of the waves, her face a face of frowns, of a wrinkled up pert nose, of a grimace that stole away some of her perfect beauty. “That’s so sad,” her voice, an angel’s voice filled with sadness and tears dripped from baby blue eyes.
He hugged her, kissed the tears away one at a time, laughed, “It may be sad darling, but sad sells these days,” and the poem had sold, had brought him the reputation of an up and coming poet.
But that was another day and this was today, this was now, this was his moment of decision. It would be easy to tie the old boat anchor and rusty chain around his body, go out into the middle of the river, expel his breath and fall over the side.
His mind said, “Yes do it now. You know you want to find peace. You know that the river offers you peace, peace forever. Surrender, accept its gift and have rest.”
His heart thudding beneath the brown shirt, the shirt Anna gave to him on his thirty-eighth birthday said, “No,” said it loud and clear.

The tug of war, the war between life and death lasted through the untying of the boat, through the pulling of the starting cord, through the motor roaring into life and through the journey down the river into the lake and down to the lake mouth to his home, to his Abigail.
The old wicker basket full of fish, full of wriggling pike and pickerel landed with a thud on the kitchen floor, rod and reel were placed against the table. Tom put a smile on his dour face, called, “Abigail, Abigail, please come here.”
No answer, no angry words, no pleading and no sobs came to him. He called again, louder this time, still no answer, still no sign of life in the house.
Tom sighed, strode across the hardwood floor, strode into the living room, strode over to the stairs leading up to Abigail’s sacred loft and took the steps two at a time. A shaking hand paused in front of the oak door, paused in front of a sign that had, “Private, keep out and this means you,” printed in bold black letters across its face.
He girded up his loins, mustered the little courage he could and knocked timidly. There was no answer to his intrusion, but there were the faint sounds of a body stirring on a bed, Tom knocked again, bolder, louder this time.
A grumpy, “Go away,” came out through the keyhole, rolled out from underneath the door.
He knew a faint heart wouldn’t bring her to the door. Tom put determination and resolve into his knock.
A snarled, “What do you want?” only made his mind and desire to talk to her stronger.
He kept the anger out of his voice when he spoke, tried to fill it with the love he felt for her. “I want to talk to you, please open the door. I’m not going away until you do.”
A grumbled, angry, “Oh all right, just wait a minute,” brought a grin to his face and put a slight twinkle in his eyes.
The door opened without making a sound, her anger filled stare; her sour looking expression would under normal circumstances have set him off again, but not now, not today. He smiled his best I love you sweetie smile and spoke in a soft voice. “If you still want to go to the dance you better change your clothes so we can go into town and buy you a new dress. After all a dad can’t have his daughter going to the harvest ball looking like a girl that doesn’t have a home, now can he?”

The end

  • Keeper of the Sword

    It is often a simple thing, the roll of the dice, the turn of a card, or a chance meeting that can change one’s life forever. For Josh Campbell, and Morgan Connelly it was a seemingly harmless chain of events, a fight after school and performing a ritual that neither one of them believed in.

  • Fairy Time Ball

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    Full of fear and excitement Keeper of the Sword (The Sword of Kings) Josh notched an arrow to the bow string, pulled it back to his ear, took careful aim and released the shaft of death, and before it reached its target, a second bolt sliced through the dark. (To find out more, just follow the link.)
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