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 Careful Flowers might have gone unpublished if not for Em.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.

A Thought

This has been an active week concerning same-sex marriages. A couple of decades ago I wrote a short story – “X-Chromosomes” – part of a collection of short stories. As I was hearing news reports about equality, I thought of this story. It contains some of the fears parents had about losing custody of their children if they were found to be lesbian or gay.

Well, here’s my offering, and we are still concerned about inequality. What silliness when all we should be considering about any portion of life is – good hearts.

X-CHROMOSOMES by Kieran York

“That’s the ticket,” Dolly Riggs reassured. She leaned down to give the child’s plump cheek a soft tweak. “A smile is better than a frown any old day. Why you got a sweet little face when it’s smiling, Violet. Your name suits you. For a fact, it does.” Standing back, Dolly gave a frisky nod toward the five-year old. “We all like happy endings.”

Violet Thomas blinked into the sun. She focused her squint on the spry octogenarian. One of the neighbors had called Dolly Riggs a senile old bat of dubious sexual leanings. Miss Agatha Dillard, Dolly’s dear friend and housemate, had died two years ago. Dolly had shared a home with Miss Agatha for over fifty years. Everyone on the block had called the two women spinsters. Some however, were more graphic. Violet had no earthly idea what ‘leps-beings’ were. And her mother told her it wasn’t of any true importance anyway.

To Violet, Dolly was only a nice old neighbor lady. She wore strange garb. A huge pagoda straw hat was always worn in the sun. And long-sleeved shirts and pants, because Miss Agatha had always said that Dolly had a bad way with the sun. Dolly’s wardrobe may have set her apart as eccentric, but even that seemed to endear her to the children on the block. She always had time for them. Time to give them apples from her giant apple tree. Time to tell them stories of Joanie Appleseed. That was the feminist version, naturally. And she insisted the kids call her by her first name rather than Mrs. Riggs. The formal title annoyed her.

“Davey run off with my favorite seashell. Aunt Lana brought it from the ocean. Brought it special for me. And Davey stole it,” Violet tattled with a grumble inside her jaw.

When her parents divorced, Aunt Lana had moved in with Violet and her mother, Jody. Aunt Lana was a traveling business woman. She often went near the ocean, and always brought a special shell, and a t-shirt, for Violet.

“Why on earth would Davey do that?” Dolly quizzed. “That boy has more toys than good sense. He’s as selfish as the day is long. Why his big brother never acted like that. He was a gentlemanly youngster. But that Davey!”

“Well, he did it. He took it offa me. To be mean, I ‘spose,” Violet incriminated her playmate. She gave a sway of her curly blonde locks to confirm the crime.

“Never thought I’d see the day when he could get one over on you, Violet Rae Thomas.”

“He did it to be spiteful. Aunt Lana tells that Davey is a spiteful little shit if ever there was one. And my mom says Aunt Lana knows character. Why Aunt Lana even told Mommy that my Daddy wasn’t right for her. Mom says I was the only good thing that come outta getting married. But she had to try marriage on.”

“Lots of folks don’t pick the right flavor first off.”

“Aunt Lana says she’s amazed my dad didn’t goof up with a Y.”

“A Y?” Dolly questioned, gawking down at the child.

“Yes. Instead of the X-chromosome.”

Dolly grinned. “Aunt Lana said that, did she?”

“Yep. Now, how am I gonna get my shell back?”

“Why that’s clear as a fresh scrubbed window.” Dolly’s frown broke. Memory, she mused, is where the past is reinvented. She found similarities in most events trailing from her many yesterdays to today. “One time I wanted something that was taken from me. I set my mind thinking and came up with a plan.”

“Criminy sakes,” Violet squealed. “I just need me a plan.”

“Can’t use my exact plan. It’s been used up by me. But we can change it about.” She crossed her spindly arms defiantly. Leaning down, she asked, “Want to try that?”

“Sure. You can come up with a plan for me.”

“You’ll need to be clever as all get-out.” Dolly hesitated. “Solving problems can usually be done in one of two ways. Blossoms or bullets.”

“Blossoms or bullets?” Violets face squeezed with pure bewilderment. “What’s that all about?”

“Blossoms, well, that’s giving folks a smile. You serve Davey up some tea-cakes and sugar.”

“Davey is too spoiled for that business. His momma bakes a bunch.”

Dolly reconsidered, “Well, I mean by being kindly to him, but I do believe he’s far to strong-willed for blossoms to work.” She dipped the brim of her hat. “Blossoms are out.”

“I got no bullets,” Violet whined with a shrug. “I don’t even got a gun.”

“Bullets don’t mean real bullets. It means you use tactics that aren’t so kindly.”

“That’ll get me in Dutch at Sunday School.” With a puffy sigh, she asked, “What did you have so you needed blossoms or bullets?”

“My best friend wanted my husband. I married him. Thought I would have family of sweet little ones. That never came to be. Anyways, my friend still wanted him. So I gave him to her. I sort of traded for her roommate. Well, she regretted the trade. And I never regretted it for one minute.” Dolly cackled. “Not one minute of my whole life. Agatha and I were better suited.”

Violet’s lips protruded. “I want my shell back,” she brayed. She stomped her foot. “And I’m gonna get it, too. Aunt Lana said not to be in-tim-a-dated. Not by him, or any other boy in the world. Tells me never try to be equal to boys ’cause that would be lowering my standards. She tells me I’m already better because of my X business makin’ me a little girl.”

“What’s your mama say?” Dolly quizzed with amusement.

“Says Aunt Lana is a radical, separatist, feminist Sapphic.”

“Gracious,” Dolly said with a bolt. “But that’s your little secret.”

“I got another secret, too.”

Dolly’s eyebrows lifted. “I’ll bet I can guess.”

“You can?”

“I’ll bet your Aunt Lana isn’t really your aunt. But she’s a pretend aunt.”

“How’d you know?”

“Just a wild guess.”

“Yeah, but I can’t tell nobody. Besides, Aunt Lana is the best aunt I could have anyway.”

“Yes. Now then, little Violet, what do you intend on doing about your special shell?”

“This blossom and bullet tactic isn’t for me,” the small girl answered. “I’m gonna give Davey a shake or two. Smack him in the tummy if I got to. That should do the trick. Aunt Lana said it was okay to tear a strip offa him or any other bullies. An’ I’m gonna do just that.”

Violet stormed down the sidewalk. Pure determination was her ally. Dolly shook her head and snickered for many moments. She watched until Violet was out of sight. Then she returned to tending her begonias. Dolly fussed over her flowers with the tenderness they deserved. Several times she put down her garden shovel and chuckled to herself.

“X-chromosomes, indeed!”

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 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.

Bookmarked Romance

My grandmother always said things turn out for the best. I have searched for decades for my personal best! And I’ve always hoped everyone else finds their best.

All those years ago, my special Lady appeared. It was to be temporary – I was a pastime, and she was designed to patch my broken heart. Death had robbed me of my true love, so my Lady Jen soothed the time.

I knew Jen would be leaving after her education was completed. She knew I would remain in Colorado. She was in her mid-twenties and I was in my mid-thirties. She was too young, and I was forever in mourning for my lover. So, it was a perfect – safe – fit. And we knew ‘goodbye’ was something that one day would have to be said.

After she left, I realized the songs and poetry I’d written for her were meaningful – more than I’d imagined. A song I wrote told so much:

SHARING YOUR DAY

*Did you feel you had to run so far?
Don’t you know I’m there wherever you are.
So go ahead and move away
I’ll still be sharing your day.

You can remove yourself from my sight
If you think that moving might
Turn off that old emotional lever
You don’t understand love reaches into forever.*

You can mouth the word ‘forget’
But I’ve memorized you from the day we met.
And you can’t get me off of your mind
Try telling me you’re leaving me behind. *

And I’d written dozens of poems about her. Two have been published in Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 3 – Roses Read. They are “Visiting a Pink Shell” and “Tangerines” – and now I’ve written an update poem. Because my love and I have updated us.

BOOKMARKED ROMANCE

Ours was a bookmarked romance that waved us to and fro.
As the years passed rapidly, there were greetings and partings.
Our eyes twinkled remembering the tender accolades.
For dreams lifted our marquee high onto a relic plateau.
Who were these youthful women crossing one another’s vista?
Astonishing sweetness spread layers of love with our first glance.
Romantic intoxicants packed our vessels with excitement.
Heart songs lulled as we explored one another.
How could we be content to allow another sad departure.
Fate was an evil marker that saw to it we were parted.
Our heritage appeared to evaporate.
We regretted our delay.
The long flaps of day continued closing.
Our relationship mistakes were gimmickry – without selected significance.
Although tears prowled our lives we knew we must correct the past.
Sunset’s mighty cruise was before us.
We were weary of the ache of incorrect love.
Portrayal did not replicate the destiny of what we felt.
We each knew the elaborate mistake of years ago.
If only we would have reached, and returned.
Dreams that had been chased away were now grasping us.
Faux romance of yesterday provided my today.
Hope concerned itself with happy endings.
Now I recognize the weave of sunbursts across my sky.
Nature is perhaps as holy as any human soul.
For it directs us with guidelines of fresh sky and exquisite earth.
And this is where love makes its home.
We subscribe to the promise of country stars.
Two sculpted forms could forever awaken beneath a cordial moon.
When tattered bookmarks dissolve,
 there remains the one who loves you.
There is no need merely to remember.
For a touch reminds me that I belong in today.
The best of all my days requires a final bookmark.    
The location where I belong to her, and she to me.
COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

My grandmother was correct – everything works out for the best – eventually.
As the songwriter said: Love reaches into forever.

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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 Lambda Award finalist in the Romance Category,  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.

Poetry – Words on their best behavior!

Poetry may very well be words on their best behavior. At least I see it that way. This week a new volume of poetry was released.

It is a collection of Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series. Roses Read, Volume 3, was brilliantly edited by Beth Mitchum. Now available through http://ultravioletlove.com, and Amazon. I hope you’ll also check out the first two volumes, Tulips Touching and Wet Violets.

This poem – blog – is in celebration of the amazing newly released poetry.

Poetry, I believe, is the art of manufacturing words that are on their best behavior. Currently, there is an increased interest in poetry. Perhaps the reader is responding to a desire to touch upon their own emotion. Whatever the reason, I appreciate the fact that poetry is gaining fans. 

My poem is about one of my favorite subjects – women. There are so many tremendously talented women who are writing Sapphic blogs, poems, and posting essays. I’m surrounded by words that astound me. And that inspires me. I encourage these writers to grasp the keyboard and continue writing – for us all. Gift us with your words, my friends. I’m so very proud of us all. Sisters, we write!

THE THEORY OF WOMAN

What is woman’s doctrine?
I offer only a singular conjecture.
It is the speculation of my own view.
I believe that beside us, wonder is our nearest neighbor.
We hope to become directors of our fortunes.
We are each one formula among a million enigmas.
We grab our own courage for each odyssey.
Some tangles offer same-day adventure.
Others are powerfully stitched to long-term distortion.
Yet our line of survival is the source of our luxury.
We are the scalpel used to cut pie crust.
We are the switchblades to extract our hearts.
We are the growl of our own exogenous souls.
We dive from the tops of carousels.
Gulping air, we scoop the valley’s deepest pore.
Some of our scripting comes with umbra ink.
Nearly every sigh we edit is with bursts of sunshine.
We sweep with jackhammers and sing with looms.
Our classic axiom clings to our miracle
We are the darkest days, and the brightest nights.
We are the blossoms flowing through a still morning.
We are vine sprigs lethally lashing.
We are the rewind button on forgiveness.
We are the scald when abuse occurs.
Eternity’s map is scrolled in our eyes.
We want to run away together, for we know who we are.
We recognize that the other portion of us is balance.
If our fingertips lose their way, we are a curative caress.
A few hundred kisses ago, I didn’t know my own recipe.
Now I realize only one revelation of womanhood.
And therein beauty’s bouquet is solved.
We each live inside our own theory.

Copyright: Kieran York

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 Book Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

Contented Flowers

Poetry is the ticking of my heart. Energy from words flow through my veins as music might through my body. The light of each syllable sparks from a newly created flash.

CONTENTED FLOWERS

Carefully, the day grows with colors encroaching.
Flowers press the top layer of earth.
So tender are the petals.
They pretend to be silk dressings of garlic cloves.
They breathe as if they’re recently incubated.
They turn the page of top soil.
We tend the garden of them.
They are where our memory lives to unfold their story.
Spun around, their centers feel yesterday and soon to be – today.
The planet’s dream takes each drop of breath.
The glitter of butterfly wings releases a breeze.
They zigzag through tufts of foliage.
Those wings appreciate the lopsided curves of earth.
The lands are where seeds scatter.
A script is being written.
Each word is savored by the sacred colossus.
Moments are elevated with a harp’s sunlight.
There is a mythical heart beating out prose.
If unfurled, each flower’s price tag exceeds the cost of glory.
Harvested terrain renders a journey of tomorrow.
Vining roots, venturing stems, and leaves are all exposed nerves.
Contentment grows steadily within rich loom.
Blooms stand like sundials.
Mysterious, shadowy agents tame the light.
Canonical rolls of rays dash the fields.
There are flowers growing with sampler colors.
As if kissed on the inside, petals are dipped in a multitude of hues.
As if caressed on the outside, leaves shelter.
Cast in the wonder of wilderness, blooms lift their heads.
And we recognize the side-effects of contented flowers.
Copyright: Kieran York   

 

Please check out my 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. The latest volume, Roses Read, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series, Volume 3, will be published this month.

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.

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.

Eternal Beginnings – To Be Continued

Recently I was mentioned in Bev Prescott’s blog – I don’t like tofu-dogs, nor do I want to be one. I had posted a quote on Facebook and it was of some assistance to her. That pleased me immensely – I highly respect both her blogs, and her amazing classic, My Soldier Too. This novel addresses the treatment of gays and lesbians in the military.

Her blog was brilliant, and she explains so much of the writer’s soul in so few words. Bravo, Bev.

That spurred my own thoughts about my generation’s love affair with the printed page. Also our quest to find literature. Yes, it was a struggle to find information on lesbianism. It was a hushed, scorned, and suppressed topic.

Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, it remains so. Yet with each level of elevated education – and empathy, there is a breakdown of bigotry. We continue marching. One paragraph at a time and one book at a time continues our legacy.

Now, there are bookstores for lesbians and gays. There are online opportunities. The publishing world is expanding and flourishing. 

Sapphics are helping Sapphics – we are supporting one another. Many of us recall the days when we were coming out – with only limited support systems in place.

I want to take you back with me to my college days of exploration. In the mid-sixties, my friends and I went on a scavenger hunt to find lesbian literature. When we arrived at the small storefront, I was selected to go into the dive that sold the books we wanted. The other two women hung back. They thought I was the least contentious, so would be up to the task.

I sidled into this questionable retail shop. Being sold were items that might be seen in a petrol service station, a thrift shop, and a porn salon – if they had conjoined into one shabby store.

Trembling, I made my way to the counter. I whispered to the clerk, “Would you have any women’s….er, books about women? Women together?”

His eye gleam told me he planned on playing with my request. “Women together, hummmm.” He rubbed his chin for impact. I glared at his obvious enjoyment. Those rheumy eyes were alive with some weird, lewd, sexual fantasy. “What’s a nice girl like you want with girlie-girl trash? Get rid of the dykes. You can get yourself a guy.”

I’m thinking he should get rid of the bulge in his groin area. Also, I think he’s an absolute p-word, that rhymes with sick. “Do you want to make a sale, or not?” I questioned.

“You’ll buy the book. You can’t find your kind of books in the library.”

He reached under the counter to pull out a few shopworn books. With edges lifting, and with torn, stained covers, these books were my connection to who I am. We were all hidden away, with souls moldering. For literature keeps souls healthy. And ours literature was difficult to come by.

I selected Querlin’s Women Without Men; Bannon’s I Am A Woman; and Rule’s recently published Desert of the Heart. It was a treasure trove, to be sure.

I’ll forever remember that night, and other times we searched to find our tradition. When I read Bev’s words, I thought about the stream of energy that is today’s great sunburst of our culture.

And it’s nice to know that we contribute to one another’s magic – as it is happening. Thanks, Bev. And thanks to all my Sapphic sisters – the writers and readers that keep us inspired.

In an interview a few months ago, I mentioned that I believe we are in a splendid lesfic golden age. I’m proud to be a part of this era. We shall continue to expand freedom – our heart’s and our mind’s freedom. Not only for Sapphic women, but for all women.

Ending as I began – a quote for today:
But since everything is an eternal beginning, I think that in the future there will still be fine days ahead for both men and women. ~ Marise Querlin, Women Without Men, last line in her book, (1965)

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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.

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.