Introducting Scarlet Clover

Introducing Scarlet Clover Publishers!

On Monday authors of Blue Feather Books, Ltd., received an email. The nearly decade-old publishing company is to be dissolved.

For me it was very sad news. A book company would be lost. On a personal note, I grieve for what made Blue Feather Books special – Emily Reed, and the staff of Blue Feather Books, cared. Em cared about the authors and about the readers.

Emily took a chance on my book about a sixty-year old woman finding romance in Appointment with a Smile. She took another chance on a book that was uncomfortable – it talked about two war. There were Hippies and a Concentration Camp – good and evil of life. Careful Flowers might have gone unpublished if not for Em. She is a hero to me, and I thank her and wish her the best.

I wish Em, and all the authors of BFB a happy future. Speaking of authors, and the world of publishing – there are so many magnificent women providing today’s Sapphic literature. I’m so very proud to be part of this ‘golden era’ of words.

Ann Bannon wrote a few books that changed many of our lives. Emily Reed reconstructed a publishing company – and gave so many of us an opportunity. Beth Mitchum created not only her own brilliant work, but she’s promoted women’s poetry and fiction with her amazing publishing company, Ultra Violet Love, and Sappho’s Corner Series.

Blazing the way in the enormity of Sapphic literature, these leaders have forced the best in us. As writers and as readers. Each book written makes a commitment to the future. So I thank all those who read and who write. I also thank the Reader – they support our cause.

For me there is no competition. I truly admire each of the publishing houses, and the authors. We all make one another better, and stronger. So let’s keep constructing words, and our love of the scrambled alphabet. I wish you all good fortune.

Monday, after reading the email that took a little part of my heart, I became determined to contribute in some way to Sapphic writing. I put a dream together in my mind. I’m a technologically imperiled. Uncertain how I could realize this dream, I talked with my mentor and dear friend, Beth Mitchum. She has always encouraged me. And that was when Scarlet Clover was born.

The name, Scarlet Clover – well, yes, it is after my dog, Clover. The scarlet part – well, I know that red clover comes in varieties. Scarlet (the most intensely red), crimson, and pink. My sister loves the Scarlet Clover.

Fields of Scarlet Clover are not bashful.

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WAR CLOUD WORDS

At times it seems that we are surrounded by war. Explosions rob us of one another. Countries, with mad posturing, aim their threats across the world. And I go along with little-to-no understanding of war.

I caught the flowing thoughts that stampeded through my mind. War Cloud Words is written with pain, with hurt, and with ingredients I admit not to know how to decipher. My vision of a world filled with war cloud words has a flip side. I can also hope for humanity’s long reach to finally hold a sky filled with love and peace.

WAR CLOUD WORDS

Words, no louder than a wasp emits, were sighed.
Vividly detailed hatred shouted its message.
Each nation’s declaration was galvanized with stealthy resolve.
When trepidation converted to fear –
terror became a shiver announcing there was no way back.
Such a small deed was required – barely a blemish.
Watchdogs suffered from the violent feeding frenzy.
A veiled cradle had been leavened into time’s mud.
Metal twisted stick-figures.
Uncoiled trinkets were barely identifiable as they
anonymously cascaded to earth.
Hollowed-out lands, homes, people were estranged
from their mission of life.
Death remnants of pungent air, and hovering souls
were reinvented.
Exalted, vile, and evil laughter claimed sad victory.
A desolate calendar continued digging earth.
Naked flame of once bright ceremony
duplicated blisters of excruciating agony.
Life was haunted by love converging
in a cobwebbed corner.
Delusion invaded destiny.
Rushing away was the fake charisma
of a well-armed circus barker.
All songs smashed into their own silent stone of anguish.
No one had truly conquered the darkest day ever created.
War exploded – while love imploded.
Emotions were folded between crease of flesh.
Drills scratched the globe to find the depths of blood.
Hate’s taste had forever fouled the air.
Yet perfumed trails of love curled toward heaven.
If we pressed our lips to kindness,
would unkindness not hide?
Such a searing microcosm had ushered in disruption.
The clasp of love could assuredly will peace with simplicity
and with the majesty of perfect care.
Yet villainy intruded with deliberate intent
to scar that very decency and carve it away
Hostilities, so chaotic and cruel seemed ever-present.
So honorable was trust and benign hearts.
Prayer from the sky above sent utterances of charity.
And war cloud words were shrieking ever louder.
At least until the world became weary of listening.
And then without contrition,
without pseudo-justice,
yet with compassion for victim, and not villain –
reason lived.
The sky cleared.

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the best-selling poetry collection, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Roses Read, Volume 3; and Wet Violets, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum, the books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you are interested in romantic fiction, please consider the 2013 Lambda Award Finalist, Appointment with a Smile, by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are available through Amazon. York’s latest book is titled Careful Flowers, and will soon be released by Blue Feather Books.

When Evil Visits

After writing a poem years ago, I’d believed it to be completed in six pages. And it had provided me with a small national grant.

Years later when my community was impacted by the Columbine High School massacre I took the poem back out of its file. The school is less than a dozen blocks from where I’ve lived the last forty years of my life. I added a thousand words to the poem after the emotional addendum of reality that was Columbine. I believed the event had irrevocable changed our future – it had softened our hearts, and yet toughened our resolve to make certain it couldn’t happen again.

Yet our nation braced with pain as we endured 9-11. Again, we interviewed our souls, and I added another two thousand words – making my poem a volume. Each time, my own certitude was dimmed.

Now, another loss of innocent victims. This time equally unthinkable – small children. My heart breaks with the loss of these youngsters. My prayers and good thoughts go to their families.

In Columbine, we had signs, and bumper stickers inscribed: We are all Columbine. Today, in our hearts, we are all Newtown.

We inhale both rancor and vengeance. We exhale sympathy and regret. Our country endures, and hope is smudged. But perhaps it is time we examine what the violence is telling us. My poem, “We, An American” is now just under 4000 words. I can locate violance and evil. But I can’t describe it.

Years ago I’d gone on a quest to search out the soul of our country. Perhaps it is now complete, yet I feel the subject matter is still as unknown as it was before. For how does one ever understand a mind gone so far away from empathy. Here are excerpts from WE, AN AMERICAN:

WE, AN AMERICAN

We, an American
as written by a cynical jester,
as written by a melted stoic –
We, are the heart and soul of an American.

Printed in desperation,
hoping for a storybook ending,
yet we realize our conclusion
is a fragile and fated gift.
For we are published by accurate reason.
We are strung with beads of confidence.
We chain with an adhesive grasp
to a heritage believing in possibility –
thwarting impossibility,
often confusing the two.

We are a masterpiece community of Americans.
We interlock a continent with our wealth.
We often ignore poverty,
and we blend and believe together.

We are in concert with our own self-deception.
We are in unison with the brief reality
of our covert hearts.
And of our candid souls.

Spirituality ripens us;
false god concepts rip us.
There is the lonely rift that persists
when worship evolves.
And when crowds insist on perfection
of their belief.
There is the genetically charged armor
made of knitted humanistic love.
We are rocked by changes
brought by louvered rules

We recoil from dreams
that become a trap-door.
Sin inherits the caves of our minds.
Indiscretions are stationed within the limitlessness
with which crime allows itself.
For murder diseases humanity,
as corruption become intolerable.

Humanity, with transgression,
harkens as an instrument of its evidence.
A fine-tuned perception is in error too many times.
A tribe, we are, of selfless altruists.
A community, we are, of egotistical misers.
A citizen, we are, of autonomy and amazement.
Our cities are ransacked,
as our weakest are brutalized.
With contusions, we await praise.
With abrasions, we trace our ambushed pride.
Behind the guard rail hides silence.

Treasures are lost to looters, and lovers.
They become our religion, our residence, and our heart.
With a see-through soul, we wish to be located.
Yet our heart is cloistered.
We become disenfranchised from our own tranquility.
We do not understand the main ingredient of our fortune.
It is a simple blessing.

History prods new formats with which to grapple.
Youth grants permission.
For we, an American, are pious and pugilistic,
and self-loathing, and tyrannical.
And all is a primordial and authentic description.

Violence consumes us.
We bolt from the deep grief of it
but are transfixed by the mystery of it.
How can the wild musculature of hatred
and its expletives,
wander across our lives?

We advocate objectivity,
and philosophize about subjectivity.
Maximizing doctrines of isolationism,
we minimize program of selflessness.
We sample what is synonymous
with empty words in majestic speeches.

Above all, we, an American,
are members of a two-hundred year journey –
mapped in misery,
and highlighted in esteem.
We touch today’s disarray,
financial crisis,
secular and religious aspirations,
and we often exclude reason.

We are guided by hopes
that we execute in daily smiles of youth.
The homily of those with integrity is often lost.
We are obscured behind actuality,
as we view it and as it is.
Explosive, intimidated, prodding, and generous, we are.
Crowned, corrupt, well-staged, and clandestine, we explore and expand.
We insulate opinions, we polarize into sub-cults.
We act as conduits for humanity’s irresponsibility
as we fracture kindness.

Automatic public relations smiles that we wear,
and we believe, meet the world.
We are angered, and then we continue on.
We extend our hand in friendship.
We bribe and we are bribed.

We, an American, take up causes,
and we charter beliefs,
and we climb toward optimism.
We elevate humanity;
we enrich the arts.
We structured truth,
and through gaping holes,
we fall, and keep falling.
We remain arrogant, productive, portrayed as fools
and monsters and saviors and saints.

We, an American,
are sometimes involved in our red, white and blue wrappings.
We are sometimes uninvolved in our impassioned trust.
But always, we are fortunate in our own way.
Though that way be blurred and steaming and singed,
and stretching
as we are poured
out onto the red coals of existence.
We stand again and again.
With our ballads sung by a cynic jester.
With our anthems chanted by a melted stoic,
We, an American, are.

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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Please check out some of my other poetry in a collection called Wet Violets, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 2, edited by Beth Mitchum. Books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or ordered through Bella Books distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

The Win Column…

Life is remarkable!

Last night was no more or less remarkable than any other night.

I stood on my deck looking out at the constellations above. Through a wrap of tree branches, I spotted a thin curvature of the moon’s glimmer. Both moon and stars seemed to be punching out through the darkness.

I wondered, as I examined the heavens, if those great constellations ever gave themselves a self-exam. Probed around, checking celestial interlopers?

When it got too cool for shivers not to have arrived on my arms, I closed my eyes. For whatever reason – well, my mind scurries at times, I was thinking about life. Large screen, double-wide – well, my mind races at times – I was thinking about 2012’s win-loss column. A bittersweet spring, summer, and autumn, to be sure. Wanting now, to turn my thoughts back into happiness, I thought about my nine wonderful great-nieces and great-nephews.

For whatever reason, my mind sprinted to when my five and seven-year old great-nephews and I played kickball. One of our favorite events, for sure. Cooper, Brody, and I get plenty of exercise.

Brody, the seven-year old is, just as they all are, very special. He was diagnosed with celiac disease a couple of years ago. So he is on a rigid gluten-free diet. He has never complained when being served something different from everyone else. I’ve never heard him complain – period.

He’s a tough kid, and tough contender. When he’s on a field, a court, or in a conversation, he gives it his all. And when we play kickball, he is a champion. I am no such thing, but the exercise and enjoyment does me a world of good.

I recall one game when there was a lot of scoring. I’d lost track. I asked Brody what the score was. He replied, “I don’t keep score – but I know when I’m winning.” Although I smiled at the time, I hadn’t allowed the wisdom of his words to resonate.

Last night, on the deck, I allowed them to ricochet through my mind. My world is family, friends, and writing. I count my schnauzer, Clover, in both family and friend category. My world is rich, and wondrous with what I do have. I should never consider what or who I don’t have in my life.

For instance, I wrote most of the day, yesterday. Words flowed through my brain faster than they could be transcribed. My body performed in every way that I needed it to – including a couple hours of raking leaves. I love the melody of crunching leaves mingling with birds scolding me for intruding on their world. I love the fresh air and exercise.

So last night, as I looked up at the sky, I realized how truly splendid the world is. It probably is a good thing I don’t keep score. Yet as my little hero, Brody, would say, “I know when I’m winning.”

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Appointment with a Smile is a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in the Romance Category.

Books are available through www.bluefeatherooks.com. Or order through Bella Books distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon. My latest fiction is called Careful Flowers, and will be released in the autumn of 2013.

Please check out some of my other poetry in collections called Wet Violets, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 2,and Roses Read, Volume 3. Edited by award-winning poet Beth Mitchum. Books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

 

Ranger’s Cough

I’ve always believed narrative poetry is perhaps the most difficult to write. Maybe it is just difficult for me to write. It should tell a relatable story. The narrative is a simple subject with a meager plot. 

The surface remains effortless. The hidden event, however, must more substantive. It should touch nerves far deeper than the story line. It requires that both the writer and the reader become cognizant of other profound levels.

There is a need to delve into thought. The mind’s plow should drag upon earth’s hidden trenches of stone and of rich loom. The sharp instrument should carve within to expose some circular, formerly indigent belief, thought, or dream.     

It should guide us to our own wisdom, making us finer, and more engaged in life – and living life with one another. If “Ranger’s Cough” discloses any part of us – the collective humanity of us, I have not failed. If I have failed…It’s okay. It certainly hasn’t been the first time, and It won’t be the last time.  

RANGER’S COUGH

Limping on a swollen paw, with torn pad, was beneath his dignity.
He’d hobble before when vicious fights nearly incapacitated him.
Years ago he would lick his wounds like a pedigreed canine.
He was barely aware of oozing blood.
Now, each crevice of his foundation required tenderness.
Ranger was a scrawny, piebald-colored mongrel who had lived forever.
Startled, he paused, gasping for breath.
His blurring eyes were matted.
He watched the once familiar woman emptying trash in the dumpster.
A rattling cough escaped from Ranger’s throat.
The young medical resident pivoted to see the bony, old dog.
Hey, Ranger, Justine called out.
Still tormenting everyone in the neighborhood?
Stooped, Ranger backed away, growling as he cautiously retreated.
The young woman laughed as she indicted, you’re a miserable old mutt.
Walking nearer, the woman inspected the torn, matted fur.
Clumps of bloodied matter smeared his haunch.
Clotted splatter nearly covered his paw.
Droplets of pink spittle strung from his teeth.
He wobbled with each breath.
The woman suggested, you could use a dose of antibiotics, pal.
Her words were hollow of confidence and optimism.
She would treat him, and bring him some food.
At least we could give you a chance, old fella, she called out.
Ranger snarled with recognition.
This was the girl, now grown to a woman, who had given him his moniker.
At twelve, young Justine had referred to him as the Lone Ranger.
‘Lone’ perfectly described Ranger.
He had no pack; he had no friends.
Nor did he encourage canine or human companions.
Justine recalled how Ranger had never resided at any one place.
A neighbor took him in for awhile, thinking Ranger could be a guard dog.
Ranger had been tied to a post in the backyard.
Justine’s mother had instructed her daughter to take
the poor, mistreated pup some table scraps.
When the preteen girl offered Ranger food, the mottled pooch took it.
But it was with a menacing glare.
After gulping dinner, Ranger barked.
Girl Justine had garnered courage enough to untie the rope confining Ranger.
With a dangerous, warning whine, then howl, the dog snapped at the youth.
As the rope loosened, Ranger’s caustic rage exploded.
Justine’s hand was torn.
With a quick retreat through the gate, Ranger fled.
The girl was left behind, tears and blood streamed.
Now, memories took Justine back to childhood.
She looked down at the scar on her right hand.
Dozens of stitches, and two surgeries had knitted her shredded flesh.
Suspiciously eyeing the woman, old Ranger coughed again while crouching.
The hack released a hollowness in his lungs.
As he staggered, there was a sound of his deeply ragged panting.
Stay, fella. Let me get my bag,  Justine instructed.
I’ll give you something to help,
she promised as she hastened back to her parent’s home.
The young doctor devised a plan as she retrieved her medic’s case.
She would first throw her jacket over Ranger’s head.
She would then jab antibiotics into the old dog’s hip.
It might give him some relief.
She returned several moments later.
Justine hoped her other hand wouldn’t be torn apart.
She was confident that Ranger was so far gone,
he wouldn’t have the strength to harm her.
Yet even as a youth recovering from a vicious dog bite,
she’d recognized the terrifying emergency room event had changed her life.
After surgeries and stitches had repaired her hand,
the girl was determined to become a doctor.
Now, glancing around the empty alley, she wondered where Ranger had gone.
Justine wadded across a weedy field to Ranger’s favorite hiding place.
She stopped momentarily, summoning youth’s bravery.
Then she entered the leaning henhouse.
Inhaling the stuffy stench inside a dusty, rickety hen-coop, she blinked rapidly.
The young medic’s eyes flooded.
Her throat constricted.
Ranger had folded himself into a tight, motionless circle.
Death’s mask had converted his muzzle to the smile of a benign puppy.

COPYRIGHT Poetry of Kieran York

Please check out some of my other poetry in a collection called Wet Violets, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 2  edited by Beth Mitchum. Books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

For an excellent poetical experience, please don’t miss the link of Meli’s Musings: https://www.facebook.com/melismusings. Acquaint yourself with a true poet’s heart.

In you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

Prelim Insights on Book Creation…

There is always more than enough to do with house, yard, my trusty schnauzer – Clover, correspondence, watching and interacting with my nine great-nieces and nephews, etc.

I’m between a major project (book writing) and next major project (book edit) – and it is a book heavy on my mind. Although it will probably be out Spring of 2013, I wanted to share my preliminary thoughts on this book.

It is titled Careful Flowers. I began writing it a couple years ago, and it is a story very dear to my heart. All an author’s writing becomes important, if not – how can it be important to the reader? As most writers know books of fiction become personal – and we think of them as family. Selecting a favorite is difficult. I’ve come to conclude that each of my endeavors is most loved when I’m writing or rereading it.

When the growing of CF began blossoming in my mind, I felt it was something very important that needed writing. As it began blooming, it took on its own meaning and messages. Uncertain if it would be of interest to my publishers, I wrote only fifty thousand words. But more was needed to be said.

I am so blessed! Blue Feather Books courageously takes chances on controversial material. With my last book, AWAS, Blue Feather Books published a romance about a senior Sapphic woman.

After submitting CF, I was encouraged by Blue Feather Books to write an additional fifteen-thousand words, expanding on my universal messages. They are bravely willing to publish controversy.

Fleur Hamilton is a botanist, is in a relationship, and finds crossroads before her. Life isn’t as simple as she had believed before she entered her fourth decade. For me, her story was written through my own obsession to detect and relay historical truths. Love, hatred, kindness, evil, and the decency of both forgiveness, and remembrance, became my starting point.

A manuscript that means so much to me was expanded to allow the flowering of my completed fictional treatise. Interweaved with the main character’s emotional journey, a tour of history is included. It takes her on an odyssey to discover both her personal past, as well as her unique humanity.

She locates her true past as she glances back into the unwrapping of her parent’s Hippie Era. She more importantly uncovers her beloved aunt’s understanding of both love and hatred, as the world of a Holocaust survivor unfolds. And as these two worlds converge, Fleur Hamilton locates herself.

________________________________________________________________________

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

Please check out some of my other poetry in a collection called Wet Violets, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum. Books are available through http://www.ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

LOVER WOMAN

I preface this poem with a message. “Lover Woman” is about someone in my past. 

I think it takes viewing the early days of a poet, to understand the updated version of poems. And so, I’m inserting a days-gone-by poem. I have also written another poem to this woman, which was included in Wet Violets, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum. The poem in Wet Violets is titled “Bluejean’s Youth Blues.”

It is one of many poems I’ve written for her over the years. It was self-delusional to have lent my heart to a Sapphic butterfly. Perhaps it better prepared me for understanding the relationship in which I am happily involved. .

The book I refer to in the final lines of this poem, is a book written, yet not published. I hope one day it will be. For knowing BlueJean, as with every brushing touch of life, impacted me. She is someone every woman who loves butterflies should know. She is indeed a lover woman.

I have been blessed in my lifetime to have known many wonderous women. In my past, yes.  And I’ve never been more blessed than I am at this very moment. 

For now, regressing –

LOVER WOMAN

BlueJean extracted my vow.
I was to write poetry by taking a direct line
through my heart and soul.
Then, I was to dedicate that trek to her.
The heart is a muscle
and the soul is perhaps softer than air.
What path was it through my beating sack of a heart?
What trail leads across my mystical, compartmentalized soul?
My lover woman’s description defied explanation, or excuses.
I’d witnessed some of her casualties with grumbles on their lips.
She’d left sad women in her wake.
Those poor left-behinds warned me with garbled, static messages.
Warnings told me to beware.
Rational inquiry didn’t help irrational decision.
There was the passion of her.
Her smiles deflected my doubt.
Caresses were not platonic.
We’d both maneuvered away from love’s clutch.
So taking a chance on a bad bet was a two-way gamble.
Answers came in mildly adequate proportions.
Depth, width, breath, and mystery were all visible.
Audible were her words, philosophies, and hidden gazes.
We pointed toward the skies and swore on constellations
we would remain within one another’s hemisphere.
Communication was from her skin to her soul.
She’d unlocked; then I unlocked.
Belonging was an exploration into sensory paradise.
We were both blatant transgressors in the land of love.
She taught me nothing is absolute.
We undressed; we occupied one another’s loneliness.
I’d believed in inertia.
We were saturated with our garbled thought’s best promise.
We believed, at least until morning when our star-ride ceased.
My Lover Woman’s previous Love Stats had come and gone.
That was little consolation for either of us.
However, I later wrote a book about her.
It was a love story of BlueJean and when I was part of a 1970s band.
The promised poetry would come later.
COPYRIGHT Kieran York
From BlueJean’s Sonnet

Please check out some of my other poetry in a collection called Wet Violets, Sappho’s’ Corner Poetry Series, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum. Books are available through http://.ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through amazon.