I remember it was back in 1976, I was in high school, sixteen years old, and drinking Jack Daniels right out of the bottle, chasing it with Mountain Dew, just before the bell sounded and class began. One of the straight kids, one of those students who didn’t drink alcohol, and didn’t smoke pot, looked at me, and it was like he was seeing a snake crawl out of the earth, or maybe an alien landing here, hard to say.

“How can you stand to drink before school?” he asked.

“How can you stand not to?” I replied, and neither of us had an answer.

Of The Sun

Somewhere, in a past so distant that the human brain cannot comprehend the matter, some tiny and insignificant organism was exposed by the tide, yet survived, for being a tidal creature, it could more handle a drier environment. It needed moisture, and when the tide returned again, it was saved from desiccation. Over millions of years, the descendants of the tiny would-be land creature grew more and more tolerant of being away from the sea, and plants were born.

The sun knew nothing of this, knowing nothing of something so tiny as the earth, so far away that its gravitational pull would capture it, but not be affected in any great way. The sun spun on  away to wherever it would be guided, the earth spun around the sun, millions and millions and millions of trips around and around. Billions of creatures lived and died, dinosaurs rose and fell, species evolved or went extinct, and finally, in a space of time so incredibly tiny, so minute as to not be noticed by anything capable of notice, I arrived, and you did, too.

Here are some photos of the nearest star, captured in a moment, the descendants of the first land plant growing around us. To me, and perhaps to you too, the Live Oaks are giants, and perhaps, to them, we are but flashes of life, brief, dangerous, yet temporary.

The morning starts cold, the sun trekking Her way towards the north now, longer days, yet not warmer, not yet. The light slashes through the darkness, feeding the trees, giving heat to the earth, brightening the sky, and I am there to see this, as I am wont to do, very early to greet the sun.

In some way, every living creature is kin to all others, to the first, to the last, to all who were and all who are, and all who will be. The sun spins, spiraling to a tune that lives inside us, too, as we make our way to wherever it is we go.

I greet the sun early, as I am wont to do. The light of the day begins like a liquid, flowing into the spaces it can, then overflowing to the rest of the earth, and into the sky. I greet you too, fellow beings, kin of the first creatures, survivors of your spins around the star nearest to us all.

Enjoy your day, of light and warmth if you have it, and if you do not, may the next spin of the earth, bring you a moment in the sun.

Take Care,


The Light of Fog

Jessica Elizabeth heads into mom’s room after breakfast but Budlore Amadeus wants to go out. An odd species of weather sits over Hickory Head, directly above the stars blaze, but water droplets like rain fall from the branches of the trees, and when I turn the flashlight on the beam of light is home for thousands, maybe even millions, of tiny specks of floating water. Bud has disappeared into the wet darkness, and where he had gone, and why is wants to go there, will never be known.

The Big Dipper high in the sky, is clearly visible, but the fog hides the woods, the world quiet except for the sound of water dripping from the trees, and for thousands of years, maybe even millions of years, before humans, this sound was one of the loudest any animal might hear, other than thunderstorms.

This water, these water molecules, hydrogen and oxygen, do these individual molecules last millions of years? Could they have seen the dawning of dinosaurs, the extinction of those dominant beasts, and now watch as humans destroy themselves? Is water eternal? Are the tiny droplets I inhale in the darkness those same particles who have passed through the lungs of a T-Tex? Did a Stegosaurus, whose species died off into extinction long before the T-Rex arrived, breathe this same fog?

Budlore makes no sounds in the woods that can be heard, but he’s been out there for half an hour now, and light begins to seep into the edges of the woods, and the sky is becoming more defined. My clothes feel cooler, heavier, as they absorb the moisture in the air, that which is dry becomes wetter, that which is wet becomes drier, that which is darkness becomes lighter, that which is light becomes darker, somewhere, someone watches the sunset right now.

I hear Budlore now, running at speed, he realizes I’m on the deck, and he leaps onto the wooden boards and heads for the door. Whatever it was is no longer holds his interest, and Bud returns home again. He rubs noses with me, a greeting as older than language, touching faces, exchanging breath and moistures, and then he heads for a morning nap.

My compulsion is just as you see, to write, to put into symbols this dawn, that dogs, the water, the trees, and light of the stars, from which we are all made.

Take Care,


Jessica Elizabth, Sam Elliot, and House Cleaning.

Last night began innocently enough, with a dream that Jessica Elizabeth, had gotten on the bed and was sleeping beside me. All through the night I could sense her being there, until I woke up this morning and she wasn’t.

The scene shifted. I was in an old west setting, with an honest to dog posse, on horses, with cowboy hats, .41 long barrels, and we were in an abandoned town looking for some bad guy that had done some bad things. The man riding next to me was trying to get something out of his pocket and a finger got stuck.

“Cut it off! Cut it off!” he gasped in pain.

“Got to cut quick fore it turns black,” someone else said.

I reached over with my knife and cut a small slit in the pocket and freed the man’s finger. Everyone was impressed, and the man thanked me, over and over, for saving his finger.

Sam Elliot (yes, really) eased over and said, “Don’t know if I would have taken that sort of chance, but good job.”

Then I was talking to a friend of mine. I haven’t seen her since 2004, and she wanted to get paid for cleaning my house. We agreed on a price of seven thousand dollars. So, this morning, when I woke up, I started worrying that I owed her seven grand. It took Wrex wanting to start the ritual of early morning petting to bring me to full awake.

Take Care,


Zebras in the Grocery Store.

The Christmas crowds are finally gone from the grocery stores, and the roads. A brief yet smaller wave of people who are not usually in the way will appear this weekend, disappear, and then we’ll be fine until Memorial Day, when the summer crowds begin. But for now, things are almost normal on the roads.

The parking lot of the store is free of the frantic frenzy of the holidays, and I scan the area, looking for free roaming humans. I try to get from the truck to the door without having to come in contact with people, and it’s strange no one else I know does this. I can’t control what happens at the door, but getting there, yes. I can avoid people to a large degree. Where I always park is key to this. I can go in three different directions, three paths, depending on where people are.

The panhandlers like to set up just south of the entrance. I make sure none are around because approaching from the south is the shortest way to go. Otherwise, I head north and cut back in, or go in at an angle sort of north by northeast. Once inside, there’s little to do but adjust quickly but not too quickly, or it turns into a game of pinball.

The aisles of the grocery store cause choke points, and shoppers who are blissfully unaware of their surroundings make it worse. I can go all the way around someone causing a jam in the middle of the soup aisle before they can figure out there’s a problem and move. Children are the worst, for they are the product of people who lack situational awareness, so they have no idea it exists, much like the kids who have never seen a blacksmith or a miller.

If human beings were magically turned into zebras on the Serengeti, the first lion to charge the herd could simply stop and wait. All of the zebras would run into one another, fight over who was going to be first, deliberately interfere with others, and some would just stand and stare off into space. In the wild, human beings would be extinct in about three days.

Take Care,


Last night was filled with garden variety anxiety dreams.

The metallic sound, repetitive, sharp and rhythmic was familiar, personal, and somewhere being awake and sleep, dreaming, hallucinating, dying, that point where anything that can be defined, I realized it was the sound of a wedge being hammered into firewood in order to split it. One of the chores I had when I was growing up. I don’t remember being warm. I don’t remember comfort. I remember the sound of the maul’s flat head hitting the wedge, driving it deeper, tearing the wood open, breaking it into pieces, so it would be easier to burn.

With most of the country in some sort of surreal deep freeze on Christmas morning, remember that each car accident requires law enforcement, EMT’s, 911 operators, Emergency Room doctors and nurses, road crews to clean up the debris, wrecker operators to move the cars and trucks, firemen to put out fires, electric company people to repair damage to poles, and none of these people will be home for Christmas morning.

In the meanwhile, somewhere out there is a young man or woman, who is wearing a uniform for the first time on Christmas and they are far, far, away from those they love. Or it might be someone who has been in uniform for years, who is once again missing their family today.

Those who go out and do things we do not see, those who serve this country, those men and women who have jobs that keep our world running the way we like it, are rarely thanked, but to those who love them, at this time of year, they are always missed.

Merry Christmas, to all who are out in the cold, or in a uniform, of who are performing some task so the rest of us my travel more safely.

And to those people, and their families, too, Thank You!

Writing is ricocheting all over the inside of my mind. So much stuff bouncing around, like rubber balls in a metal room, and although it’s fun to watch, and to listen to all of this stuff, it’s difficult to sit down and writing about one thing at a time.

Rough Draft, New Idea

The limb collided with her face and stopped the panic running. Nearly unconscious, she found herself facing up, looking at the sky through the limbs of the trees, and suddenly, fear returned. The bear was still out there. It might arrive at any time.

            She tried to stand, fell, then lurched to her feet. Trees, more trees, and trees was all she could see. The sky was still there, seen in patches through the trees, tall evergreens, but even as the idea of being lost struck, the light of the sky seemed to be fading.

            Her shoulder hurt. The bear, huge and brown, had grabbed her pack and dragged her into the woods. She managed to get the pack off, and ran, and ran and ran, but now where was she? Where was the bear?

            Downhill would be toward water, but the ground sloped down, then back up, or did it? Too many trees were around to tell. But standing still seemed wrong. She walked without any idea what direction.

            The darkness seemed to close in tighter with every step. Now she was the terrain was getting steeper, but turning back seemed to be a terrible idea. The air was growing colder, too. She heard a noise, a voice, a woman, maybe, then a man’s voice, a light, a small light, she stumbled towards the sound, and the light, and saw a man and a woman having sex by flashlight, no, the man had his hands around her neck, she was pleading for him to stop.

            She approached the two, saw a rock on the ground, and hit the man in the head as hard as she could. The woman on the ground was half naked, gasping for breath, but could stand. They walked to the man’s truck, the gasping woman could only point now, but they got into the truck and started backing out of the woods.

            The man came out of the darkness, a knife in his hand, lumbering towards his truck and she screamed. The bear was behind the man, charging, snarling, and grabbed him by the neck and took the man down.

            “You okay?” the cop asked at the Emergency Room.

            “Yeah, I think so, how’s that woman?” she asked.

            “Bad, but alive. You saved her life. You know who that man was, the one you fed to the bear?” the cop looked serious.

            “No, I ran from the bear, I had no idea where I was,” she shook at the memory.

            “He’s killed six women. We’re calling him the Green River Killer.”