Saturday, January 31, 2015

52 Weeks of Art - Week 05 "Flight"

As I've mentioned before, I am part of a group of artists committed to creating something new each week for the entire year. This week's theme is "Flight," and a friend created this amazing drawing.

"Flight" (shared with permission of the artist, Debi Dempsey)

I can't explain why, exactly, but I was immediately inspired by this picture. And this is what I wrote:

The Adventures of Fiona

Fiona, child of Mullaghmore
Too short, too plain, too rounded
Had dreams that she would leave the shore
In truth, though, she was grounded

For she was born the serving class
To tend and care for others
And she would be just one more lass
Turned into wives and mothers

There was so much she longed to do
And places she longed to see
But kept so busy all day through
Traveling was not to be

And still the thoughts raced ‘round her mind
Every day when she awoke
“I will leave this place behind”
Was whispered, but never spoke

‘Twas fifteen klicks to Binn Ghulbain
Might just as well been eighty
For everyone around her said
That’s no place for a lady

And so she longed to see that hill
Mountains that were so well known
"Forget it, girl, you never will,
Not now, not when old and grown."

She thought that this would be the way
Day in, day out, would remain
Until the stars aligned one day
And all in her world would change 

It started when she said a prayer
Aloud and of a fashion
“Gods and faeries, if you are there,
You know my heart’s true passion”

“I cannot stay long in this place
I cannot live and die here
The mountain dream’s what I must chase
And I so want to fly there.”

That night, like all the rest, she slept
But the faeries toiled and schemed
They took all the tears she had wept
And turned them into her dreams

She felt, at first, the wind rush by
The she heard a lone bird sing
In disbelief, opened her eyes
And she gazed upon her wings

They were beautiful, wide and strong
But to her touch, they were soft
And as they carried her along
Their strength kept her aloft

She traveled cross the open sky
Convinced she had lost her mind
She did not know the how or why
But her dreams were hers to find

Committed now and moving fast
Behold the sounds and the sight
No looking back, she left her past
Fiona, a girl in flight

Friday, January 23, 2015

Words From My Novel

"It was just like him, to consume my every thought yet not have a clue."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

52 Weeks of Art - Week 03 "Paddock"

Three Horses

Three horses, on a hill
Ran back and forth and round until
Their world became a bigger place
And now across the fields they race

Three horses, daily stood
Contained, constrained by walls of wood
Each day the same, nothing was new
Until the winter cold blew through

Three horses, then one gone
A soul that pure could not go on
So gentle, calm, its heart so true
Touched by the evil others do

Two horses, as they do
Would run and play the whole day through
The colt was strong, its spirit bold
But flesh was weak and failed to hold

One horse, stood all alone
Angry and bitter to the bone
One day he stumbled and he fell
Not sad at all, was just as well

Three horses, once were there
With shiny coats and golden hair
But all things change and nothing lasts
This paddock and ghosts of the past

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

52 Weeks of Art - Week 02 "Flesh"


I hear them. They’re all talking at once, it seems. Some talking about me, others talking across me. But no one is talking TO me. It’s as if I’ve become invisible. No, that’s not right. I’m not invisible. No body that looks like mine is invisible. I’m more the stuff of nightmares.

Have you ever seen a burn victim up close? It’s bad. And the skin never really heals. No matter how many grafts and surgeries and treatments, the flesh is always a little different. And there’s no hiding it. So I sit here, not invisible but not really seen at all. I think it just hurts everyone too much, so they look away, up or down… anywhere but at these wounds.

It’s not a surprise, really. It’s been months. But you’d think I’d at least merit a hello or how are you today. Nope. The best I get these days is the ever-so-annoying monologue of my cousin Ellen’s morning pity parties.

“Everyone’s pretending they don’t want anything, but I know better. It will be just like with my own mother. No one cared enough to come by, but they were right there with their greedy hands outstretched for her jewelry. And who is Sarah, anyway? She’s not even family, she just married in. Why Tom thought she should have Mom’s gold and emerald brooch is beyond me.”

Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

She doesn’t hear me, though. No one does, anymore. I’m silent, the only sounds in the room the steady beep-beep-beep of the heart monitor.

I wasn’t always like this, of course. There was a time when I was normal. Hell, I was better than normal. Everything about me was strong and powerful. And I liked it. I was tall and handsome, and the ladies liked me. Heck, some of the guys liked me, too. And I ate it up. Not gonna lie, it was a damn thrill to know that people wanted me. Who doesn’t love Marines, danger, and tattoos, right?

Tattoos. I’d almost forgotten about those. I remember them all, from my very first Eagle, Globe and Anchor to the last one I got when I was home on leave, a memorial to my fallen buddies. They all mattered and they all meant something. They were the story of my life, bright and dark and a part of my flesh forever. Supposed to be, anyway.

Of course, all of my ink is long gone, left on the ground when the flames melted the skin from my bones in a shithole village halfway around the world. Not exactly something my battle buddies could pack up and ship home to me, you know? And there’s nowhere on this body now that isn’t already marked in some way by the fire. There will be no more ink for this guy.

So I’m stuck here in a body that looks nothing like the me I knew. And what’s left of me is beginning to fade, too. I’m barely aware of the days passing into night. And to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll see another sunrise. Each day, I feel less and less tethered to this flesh and bone. I don’t know, maybe this how it all ends somehow.


I hear the beeping again. That damn heart monitor. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Wait. There’s something different. There’s two different monitors. One is the same slow steady beep, but the other one is much faster. And there’s energy in the room. So much motion and everyone’s talking at the same time and what’s with all the people in this room?

I feel different. I don’t know what’s happening, exactly, but I feel… different. I feel light, so damn light. It’s like every part of my body is free, somehow. I’m moving. Holy crap, I can move again. My arms, my legs. It’s like everything works again.

Whoa. My fingers look so small. What happened? How did my toes get so damn tiny? And my flesh… it’s… all… so damn pink. And I’m chubby. Somehow I’m fat and small and what the hell is all of this?

I don’t understand. What is going on? I was just laying in my bed, drifting off again. And now, I’m tiny and shiny and new and…


“Mr. Allen, would you like to hold your son now?”

Nervous, the man barely stammers out a yes and holds out his arms.

“Relax, Daddy. You’ll be just fine.”

Je Suis Charlie.


It means "I am Charlie," and it shows that we all stand in solidarity with the artists, editors, and staff of Charlie Hebdo.

I share these images on my blog because I value the freedoms of speech and expression.

Monday, January 5, 2015

52 Weeks of Art - Week 01 "Winter"

Winter Kills.
It’s true. Every good thing I ever had and loved has ended in winter. Different reasons, sure. But the timing is always the same.
It’s as if the cold days steal away every bit of warmth and the long, dark nights extinguish any glow of light. And it’s just me at the end, now numb to the inevitable loss.
There was a time… before… when I believed in happy-ever-after. I loved him then. The days were drenched by the sun and loud with laughter. Even the nights were alive with starlight and the glow of the moon. All around us felt eternal and abundant, the very ground we stood on teaming with life. It was an obscenity of riches, and I was so steeped in it I was unaware that any other reality could exist.
But winter comes with its own certainty. And I am powerless to do anything but observe as dreams crash, hope crumbles, and darkness closes in.
And the song. Always the song. The same one I’ve heard since I was a child.
In your eyes
Makes me cruel
Makes me spiteful
Tears are delightful
Welcome your nightfall
How winter kills
I tear at you, searching for weak seams
And it finds them.