New/Renew

Blushing Aspen front cover 1carefulflowers4

Blushing Aspen in a newly released volume of poetry. What is it about – about 170 pages, and about over half a century of my life and times. My poetry is about love, and loss, and about the splendor of life.

Some poems are about the inequality and bigotry of yesterday and of today. “Gleams from a Heartbeat” displays our loneliness. “Moonshine” tells the story of isolation. It is about being abandoned or bullied by bigots and about being found by love.
from “Sapphic Adolescence:
We were consigned to our own realms when we came of age.
The lesbian nation matched us perfectly.
That DNA was rockin’.
Who we were, how we were born,
should never have hurt anyone.
Including us.

Naturally, my love of women comes in. From “Homespun Heart” to “Wilting Romance” – women are involved. And my love of today. – “Treasured” and “My Aviatrix – My Love.”
From “Touring with my Wilding” an excerpt:
For it is our heritage – so gently dispatched.
We assemble – as two nomads mandated with laurels.
Lifting peaks are vistas insisting on gratitude.
I hold her in my arms –
for we can cross-reference one another’s survival.

Well, that is a sampling of Blushing Aspen.

It is the Sappho’s Corner Solo Poet Series, Volume 4 – Edited by Beth Mitchum. It doesn’t get any better than being in Ms. Mitchum’s company. I’m honored!

RENEW:

It’s summertime, and I suggest a unique and intriguing read. Careful Flowers is my love letter to three generations of women.

Words from Shawn Marie Bryan – Careful Flowers was a stand out for me this past year.

From Jerry L. Wheeler’s “Out in Print” – …never shorting the reader. Part of this is due to her timing and ability to weave some of these disparate threads together, but part of her success also comes from creating interesting characters and letting them work through their paces without author’s interference.

Released late last year, Careful Flowers slipped below the radar of many readers. A thumbnail sketch – it draws many varieties of love and of hatred. It is the story of both valiant and villainous hearts. From the Hippie Era, to the Holocaust – it is a book translated from many yesterdays.

It is the story of Fleur Hamilton, a woman whose life has been careful. Suddenly it all becomes an unknowns. She risks her career, her relationship, and her stability to find her past.

Her odyssey unwraps the lives of her parents, as well as a deepening mystery of their death. As the stories are layered, they converge for Fleur to discover herself. She can then deal with not only her broken relationship, but her future as well.

Careful Flowers and York’s Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, are available through http://www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Books and Kindle e-books, are also available through Amazon.

If you’re interested in poetry, she is a contributor in an anthology. Check out the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Roses Read, and Delectable Daisies Volume’s 2-4. These collections are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

April’s A’Tossing

April is a’tossing all kinds of great emotional pleasures of the season. It does this every single year.

I really like Vita Sackville-West’s lines from “Spring,” The Garden. She says:
April the angel of the months, the young
Love of the year.

Hey, my bulbs are protruding through earth’s surface. Crocus, tulips and more dots of color. That’s good enough for me. Although I know there will be a little kick or two left from Winter – for the most part – it is a done deal. Mentally, I’ve got my garden planned and planted. My happiness is sprouting like fireworks on the 4th.

The birds are obviously every bit as delirious as I am. This morning they were having an April  sing-along. They make me smile – realizing that smile from the beginning to the end, as my lips curl.

Blossoms, clear skies with the warmth of sun and ‘can do’ attitudes become magical festivals.

I’ve always been sold on Spring. But there is a funny thing about having Colorado’s four seasons. Summer’s turn will find us standing in rows of fresh growth. There is the green herbal  of everything from dill to lavender. And Summer will thrill me.

After Summer is the Autumn bounty of harvest, and the magnificence of fall colors. Then there’s that moment’s rush when large, cleansing flakes of snow drift down. Winter.

Life is certainly a ‘Gee Whiz’ event. I’m glad that Spring has tossed us an April of simple heart pleasures. Those are the joys my life appreciates most.

While it may be April Fool’s Day, I’ll be the first to admit – my soul isn’t fooled one little bit. April’s A’Tossing out days, weeks, and months of wonder.

 

Copyright: Kieran York 2014

—————————

Kieran York’s latest fiction is Careful Flowers, available in book form through http://www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

Her romance, Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, is also available in both book form and e-book through Amazon, Blue Feather Books or Bella Book Distribution.

A new book of poetry is planned for a summer release. Blushing Aspen is a Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series Solo book for 2014 – published by Ultra Violet Love. Her poetry is also published in the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Volume 2; Roses Read, Volume 3; and the newly released Delectable Daisies, Volume 4. These collections are edited by award-winning poet, Beth Mitchum. They are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

—-

Interviews:

A print interview with Kieran York is available by going to: http://ultravioletlove.com. You’ll find it under Featured Author’s Series: Inside the Writer’s Head.

Two blog radio interviews are available through: http://beabehn.com – click left on Be(h)n’s Bookshelf to find discussion on Careful Flowers and Appointment with a Smile.

Amazing Treasure

AMAZING TREASURE

2013 has been an amazing treasure of a year. I made it through with great happiness in my heart. And completely unscathed. It has been a year packed with love, friendship, and family.

Careful Flowers was published. I wrote a great many poems that have resonated in my soul, and they were given birth to in 2013.

My favorite saying is that I’m blessed. Sometimes I’m asked about why I’m usually happy, and feeling blessed. My response is always that throughout my adulthood, living has been a shining, loving treasury. It has been a pleasure, and a privilege to live at this inventive and magical time in history.

So much of my life is pure enjoyment, complete enchantment! It is full of amazing treasures. Although as in any life, there have been events and people who have been left behind. Once in my heart, most have never been removed from my thoughts. Magnificent times have been categorized and stored in a special corner of my mind’s memory. People seem always to be carefully placed inside my heart.

There have been so many, and are so many, wondrous times and people. What has been unpleasant in my life has not encumbered me. For I doubt that any life hasn’t known some unhappiness. My growing up, on a scale of terrible to unpleasant, was terribly unpleasant. But childhood and adolescence only toughened me up and prepared me. It provided a grateful appreciation for all the good that I’ve seen.

My adulthood has been pretty much pure loveliness. Naturally, I’ve lost people I’ve loved, and the years have handed me a life-threatening illness. And I’ve been hurt by a few people who have let me down. Who hasn’t suffered these, and far worse, problems? I don’t know anyone unfamiliar with some defeat, loss, or hurt.

We encounter difficulties, and we continue on. We crowd out those who harm us. We weed out those who make us unhappy. And we outfit ourselves in resilience.

How can I not be happy when I am surrounded by those who provide my life with humor, tranquility, beauty, and joy? I keep my Love, my Friends, and Family near and dear to me. Their spirit and kindness surrounds me. They are the people I trust, admire, and I love. Happiness is their gift. I hope I give that happiness back to the Love of my Life, my Forever Friends – the many decades of friendship, and my Ever-supportive Family.

I am within an enclave of heart-sharing people. I honor them, not only each New Year – but every moment of my life. They are kind, courageous, dependable, respective, honorable, intelligent, and humorous. I entrust my friends and family with enduring love and friendship.

That is my secret to enjoying life! I surround myself with amazing people. They wrap me in all things fine.

In addition, I have so many wonderful pals I’ve met on Facebook. And I’ve been re-acquainted with several of my best friends through the magic of Facebook. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of my FB friends. I’ve met so many genuine, talented, decent new friends. And for this I’m thankful.

My FB friends have enriched my life. Together so many of us embrace the advancement of Sapphic literature. Together we share dreams for an inclusive world. Many are gracious with sharing the works of one another. The evolution of lesfic literature is the very continuation of our hearts. Our dreams are a legacy of our times. Our words belong to all. We lift ourselves as we lift one another.

As most of you know, I love author’s quotes. So I’ll close this blog with a few of my own quotes.

From Careful Flowers: No singular odyssey solves all queries. There was the soul to consider.

From Wet Violets: She brings the world’s secrets to where I am.

From the Royce Madison mystery series: Plenty Amazing!

From Appointment with a Smile: I shall forever believe in love.

And so, we approach 2014! I thank all of you for reading my words, for sharing them, and for your love and support. I thank you for bringing my laughter, and sometimes a tear or two. I thank you for your friendship. The gift of friendship includes wonder, humor, kindness, love, and peace. I wish each of you all of these portions of my friendship.

Happy New Year! May it be the best of all. 2014!

Copyright: Kieran York 2013

———————————-

Careful Flowers is available in book form through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Book Distribution for books or e-book. Books and Kindle e-books are also available though Amazon.

Kieran York’s romance, Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, is also available through Blue Feather  Books, Bella Book Distribution and Amazon.

If your interested in poetry, check out her poetry in the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Volume 2; and Roses Read, Volume 3. These collections are edited by award-winning poet, Beth Mitchum. They are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

—–

Interviews:

A print interview with Kieran York is available by going to : http://ultravioletlove.com. You’ll find it under Featured Authors Series: Inside the Writer’s Head.

Two blog radio interviews are available through: http://beabehn.com – Click left        on Be(h)h’s Bookshelf to find discussions on Careful Flowers and Appointment with a Smile.

Earth Artist

The book I’m currently writing is called Earthen Trinkets. In it the main character is an artist of pottery. It reminded me of a poem I wrote many, many years ago. I’d titled my poem “Earth Artist” –

EARTH ARTIST

Earth is awhirl within the sprawling heavens.
It is designed as our natural inheritance –
of that I’m certain.
A potter’s hand sculpts earth.
Those hands reshape clay,
and interprets precious clumps of soil.
Those hands cut clay blocks with wire strings.
There is the lift and plunge of a fist into a rotating block.
Guesswork begins, and it turns into the calculating touch of skill.
Earth’s direction began unpredictably
as it unleashed across this universe.
In throwing clay, with each whirl of the wheel,
creation is forged.
Spinning discs promise the imagination a free ride.
Circular, orbital, as with the galaxies, the wheel rotates.
Clumps of gray, tan, red – and in between colors of wonder
stitch expression into reality.
The cool, damp clay is adroitly formed
with wet hands that allow the wheel to dictate its pull.
Edging clay upward is a communication
between the imagination and the touch.
A container is born, a sculpture is invented.
Clay lifts, edging as a sediment-sweetened sponge drips.
Stoneware is formed.
The land’s face connects, for it is tilled.
Potters caress molds.
Framing the terrain’s bounty into contours
of beauty produces life’s bounty.
Fine ceramics are engineered
as they are cradled by knowing touches.
Lessons of clay reflect chance,
just as our globe’s destiny presents itself.
The crust fades, when fragile material is overly stressed.
The clay is placed aside and restored by time.
Time settles both terracotta and territory.
Time strengthens both and gives each endurance.
With insured plasticity – art is constructed,
and becomes pliable, and then resilient.
It is sturdier than raw clay.
Learning patience with each effort,
the potter comes to know life’s wait.
Drying time, produces its own lesson.
As the vessels, and creations await firing,
the artist accepts the timing of existence.
Drying time is where ‘preludes’ seem most at home.
When the leather-hardened art is fired,
fortune takes command.
Cone-monitored temperatures assist in predicting creation.
Speculation is only a dream that presents a lesson.
For preparation corrects mistakes; prevents mistakes.
The beauty of earth takes on another form of loveliness.
From the kiln comes bisque.
After it is dipped into vats of glaze,
brushed with oxide, and twirled,
it becomes an artist’s vortex.
Chemistry has mingled the best rainbow designs
from inside a potter’s mind.
Sunrise colors and twilight hues
blend into nature’s visionary promise.
Although there is an awareness buried somewhere within,
there seems to be no way to encroach upon reality.
There is only imitating nature.
Nothing is overlooked, and nothing is ignored.
Inspiration finds its reverence
and appreciation of life’s components.
Expressing, translating, and conducting impulses,
energy flows from hands to the touch of earth.
Connecting, yielding, and sheltering,
is part of the process.
There is the beguiling swirl of invention and vision
when indentations are created from a serrated tool.
The corner of the artist’s heart must be shown.
From the glow of a prism, to the texture of life,
it becomes a replicated knowing of the universe.
Earth is often scarred, punctured, and battered.
Yet with peace, patience, and acceptance,
there is love’s reprisal.
It is captured within a magnificent reward called art.
Earth’s alloys and bonding agents are nearly as complicated
as each of life’s earthlings.
In each unfurling of creativity
wisdom is created as if by a miracle.
An earth artist’s task is to sculpt
an offering of pleasure.
And most importantly,
a texture of love.

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

————————————————

Fiction by Kieran York: Careful Flower, her latest release, is available in book form 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. Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, is also available through Blue Feather Books, Bella Books and Amazon.

If you’re interested in poetry, check out her poetry in the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Volume 2; and Roses Read, Volume 3. These collections are edited by Beth Mitchum. They are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

Careful Flowers

  • Careful Flowers

It is my love letter to three generations of women.

It includes many varieties of love, as well as of hatred. It is the story of both valiant and villainous hearts.carefulflowers4

Careful Flowers by Kieran York is about a woman whose life has been careful. She finds that nothing is as she believed it to be. Life suddenly becomes an unknown.

Fleur Hamilton is botanist with an important project and a pending grant. She’s in a relationship facing a crossroad. Her love for the woman in her life has taken a critical turn. As she enters her fourth decade, she finds not only her relationship being topsy-turvy – but everything in her life has capsized. She has lost her beloved great aunt.

Ever the scientist, she becomes obsessed with discovering the truth about her aunt, and about her own roots. It takes an examination of many lives for her to locate her own historical truth.

As she slowly uncovers her parents’ Hippie Era and their lives, she also discovers more about her Great Aunt Golda’s life as a prisoner of the Holocaust. Fleur is forced to make a horrific decision. Her unearthed heritage strengthens her as it directs her.

Love, hatred, kindness, and evil overwhelm her once tranquil life. It is the flowering of a  treatise of what went before. Fleur’s emotional journey comes with not only a tour of history, but it includes the by-stories of each era.

Her odyssey to San Francisco is where she first discovers both her personal past, as well as her unique humanity. She unlocks her background by unwrapping her parent’s Hippie Era. She uncovers her beloved aunt’s understanding of both love and hatred. She sees the world of a Holocaust survivor as it unfolds.

Her adventure becomes Fleur’s own history. As the stories are layered, they converge for Fleur to discover herself. She can then deal with not only her broken relationship – but her future.

It is today’s story of yesterday.

———————————-

Careful Flowers is available in book from 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.

Kieran York’s romance, Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, is also available through Blue Feather Books, Bella Book Distribution and Amazon.

If you’re interested in poetry, check out her poetry in the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Volume 2; and Roses Read, Volume 3. , and Delectable Daisies, Volume 4.-isThe collections are edited by Beth Mitchum. They are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon. Also available through ultravioletlove.com/ and Amazon is the book of poetry by Kieran York Blushing Aspen, Sappho’s Corner Solo Poetry’s Series, Volume 4, edited by Beth Mitchum.

Sapphic ABCs

This short story was titled, “Masquerading As Myself,” when it was first published. The collection of my short stories was Sugar With Spice, and copyrighted in 1989. For whatever reason, it became my signature story – the one I was asked to read during all reading and appearances. Everyone called it the ‘ABC’ story. So I’ve changed its name.

I’ve also changed a few things in the story – you might say sanitized it. Or tidied it.

SAPPHIC ABCs

However did I get to be the grand old dame of dykesdom? I had not intended on recruiting disciples. At least not until after my sixth birthday, I mused. Sighing, I narrowed my eyes. Bones were now fragile, and my arms and legs were now spindly. Ninety next week, I reflected. No more sweethearts and goddess festivals for me. But I could huddle in the confines of the nursing home room and relive those memories. I could pull up the blinds of years spent, and re-spend them through my reversed dreams. I did remember my Sapphic ABCs.

Abigail was memorable, even at six-years of age. Her coils of blonde curls caught the sunlight an if they were spun gold. At six, I had not learned the fine art of seduction. We’d gone into the huge, dim barn and bounced our frisky bodies on a hill of hay. Abby always enjoyed new games. My instructions for the latest games were easily and willingly followed. I would crawl on top of Abby and try to hold her down. In the end, I either tried too hard, or Abby didn’t try hard enough. At any rate, our game continued for the next couple of years. The barn never seemed the same after Abby’s family moved South.

Belle was one. She was an older woman. I was eight and she was nine. She was fetching when she took off her skirt and wade out into the lake. She taught me the joys of deep lake diving. A skill I would never forget. Belle became bored with me when she discovered boys were the acceptable commodity. Broke my little ten-year old heart. So much so, I gave up women until I was eleven.

Caroline brought me back to life. Fat little rosy face, freckles as large as liver spots on her face, and bright cinnamon hair that pleated down her back. She told me that it was fine if I played with her ‘down there’ whenever the spirit moved me. She talked like that because her father was a Baptist minister. I made certain that my spirit was gyrating plenty.

Desiree was an intellectual. When I was thirteen, her French family moved to town. She called the attic our maison de rendezvou. Desiree taught me all the French that I know while snuggled up together under two old bedspreads. My heart was given free-rein and our kisses were hot, deep, and damp. And everywhere. She was French.

Edith was my roommate at normal school. Prim and proper, her vow to never have a curling iron touch her hair was fine by me. Her long, silken bronze hair and sleepy copen eyes had captivated me. Masturbating, she told me, would put her in the devil’s camp and there she would be given her white cane. But I was not blind, I rebutted. She was won over after allowing me to show her my handiwork. It was nothing at all like her neatly stitched pillowcases. She married a dentist.

Frances was a runner. She entered races and taught me to swear. She was expelled for obnoxious behavior and drunkenness. As she packed her valise, she grumbled that it was just what the doctor ordered. Why hang around in a musty library when Flappers are taking over the world. Frances could move her hips in tune to anything. She would make a wonderful Flapper, I praised.

Gladys was also a teacher. It was my first position after my education was complete. Or at least I thought it was complete. Life in the small rural area would have been too boring for words had I not been rescued by Gladys and her ladies’ club. The first time I unfastened her long raven hair, and it tumbled over her ivory shoulders, I gasped. Her deep somber eyes smiled on me. And I became her mascot until her family insisted she marry. And hubby insisted that she quit work and raise a family. My ego was yanked around on that affair. But there were ice cream socials to attend.

Hortense scooped an extra large dip of strawberry ice cream and plunked it on top of my cone. She was a pious scamp with long, dexterous fingers and a cloud-white smile. She told me that she wasn’t certain if it was the heat, or if I was taking her breath away. I’d packed a picnic lunch for us the very next day. We trespassed onto some farm land, and I rested my head in her lap as we reclined under a tree near a brook. It was all very picturesque. I felt a gleam inside when we first rolled around playfully on the blanket. I picked her a bouquet of wildflowers, and they were smashed when our uncontrolled hips locked and pressed. I have always adored both ice cream and wildflowers.

Ida was a delightful trouble maker. The way most of the women back then whipped up a batter of yellow cake, she stirred trouble. I didn’t know until she had enticed me with her charm that she was that sort of woman. I only knew she had thick auburn hair and luminous hazel eyes. When she wore a frock that showed her breasts spilling and heaving, I was lost. She was witty, sarcastic, and poignant. She loved experimenting, and I loved being experimented with. But soon she turned on me, rather than turning me on. She wanted us to live together. I was extremely happy when the job I had applied for came through. I moved.

Jane was a lonely woman. There was a lusterless, introverted way about her. Her hair was ash blonde, and she wore it twisted into a saucer atop her head. She reminded me of my mother. I tried to teacher her the joy of filling one’s heart to the brim with love. She had never truly wanted to learn. Jane married a cruel man who as in the banking trade. He had very stale breath and betrayed her.

Ketti was one of the two great loves of my life. The moment I saw her flaxen tresses, and sparkling aqua eyes, her gleaming smile, and her taut breasts, I melted. She sold pastry in her father’s bakery. I was weak from the first time she slipped a sample of gingerbread between my lips. My world was dazzling when we made love. Ketti’s parents were killed during a robbery in their home. Ketti had found them and was certain that God was punishing her for her love of another woman. She vowed to give me up. My tears were nonstop for a very long time. The murderers were never apprehended.

Laura lifted my spirits. A ballroom dancing instructor, she had short, midnight-black hair that was slicked down against her oblong, thin head. Her skin was white, but she spared no rouge and no eye-makeup. Her cherry red lips were puckered into a rosebud when we met. Her gaiety touched me – aroused me. Her thin sorrel eyebrows were comically arched and she lustily moved her stick-thin body with ease and grace. I was quickly replaced and she later died of consumption.

Maureen was a very mannish woman. She enjoyed dressing the part. She was stocky, and dark. Her eyes were coal-black She knew her stuff when it came to women’s bodies. I soon tired of her objections to my reciprocating. She would rather be horse-whipped, she announced. I hated leaving her, for she had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever witnessed, but her conversation was much too tedious for me.

Norma was bright enough. She was also a teacher and she understood the value of intelligence and knowledge. She was rather a novice to the fold, but she was tender and savored love. We had a falling out over Radclyffe Hall’s belief that we are congenital inverts. One of us contended that we were made not born, the other believed we were indeed womb-dyked. I don’t recall which side I was on.

Olive and I met when the war was beginning. She worked in a factory and had never been with a woman, but she wanted to experience Lesbianism. She did everything but throw me on the floor. She had a lovely body.

Petrina was a strange duck. She had a frozen expression and was very beige. Beige skin, hair, eyes…she was the beigest person I’d ever seen. I was captivated by her dry, beige wit. Sex was lousy, mind you, and needed to be begged from her. I think she was delighted when I left, for she called me over-sexed behind my back.

Querida was my Latin lover. With pendulous Latin hips and pressing, great cantaloupe-sized breasts. My heart nearly stopped with passion for her. I had never been so warmed. She had assuredly never worn a training bra and told me she had blossomed by age ten. The flowering continued.

Ronalda was a tiny thing. Coy, she had been insatiable in bed. Her grinding pelvis and her shrieks were testimony to her joy. She was, she claimed, reincarnated from Sappho. Her spiritualist had irrefutable proof of it. Ronalda spent most of her sizable inheritance on astrology charts. When she found out our charts were mismatched, she broke off. I had provided her with Petrina’s birth date.

Sophie was my second and final great love. She was Jewish, with bronze skin that looked to be recently anointed. Her eyes were pewter gray and her beautifully coiffeured chestnut hair shined. When she first grinned teasingly in my direction, I would have followed her forever. I would have. We spend nearly sixteen years together. She died in my arms of cancer. But we had traveled Europe together on half a dozen summer vacations. And we had traveled together.

Trudy believed I was the messenger and repair person for broken wings. My mission was to make her laugh. She drove a delivery truck and drove everyone else crazy. Trudy quickly attached herself to me. She drank a six-pack of beer each night, and pretended she was Chita swinging from jungle branches. She was heavy into fantasy and I refused to wear a loin cloth. The relationship was over, almost the same time it began.

Ursula had a very bad habit of chasing every skirt she saw. She was an activist. She went dancing every night of the week, and sweat poured from her as she twirled on the dance floor. Clearly I bored the devil out of her. She filled her garage with placards for Lesbian Liberation. No More War. I couldn’t have agreed more. And I moved out.

Velma was a much younger woman. She was lovely with her lithe warm body and her glows of youth. She was insistent upon making love. I strongly suspected that she wanted to learn new tricks from an old dog. I could teach her nothing at all, but it was enchanting to try.

Wanda was a the other end of the scale. She was much too old for me. She was ready for the bone orchard and didn’t care who knew it. We got on well for attending concerts and plays and a bit of chat. She would not be called a hot number. Any sex drive that she may have had, was long ago set out with the trash. I wasn’t going through anyone’s coffee grinds to find passion.

Xaviera and I had just retired when we met. Someone to golf with, travel, and the catch-all -share companionship. After one golf game, a trip to Acapulco, and a session of talk, I’d had it. The golf greens were hideous, and Mexico was too hot, she complained. And complained. I wanted to be alone.

Yvonne was great fun. But she died.

And I became feeble. Frail, and I wondered how ever I became this Sapphic relic. Nearly ninety-years old, I mused, and wondered how the years had sped away so rapidly. Women must have worn me out, I guessed. I focused my eyes, for my daydreaming had trailed away. Another old soul was standing in the doorway of my room. I squinted. She was an attractive old bird. “Yes, dear?” I said, greeting her. “You’d like to see me?”

“I’m the new resident,” she explained. “I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself. The nurse said that you’re one of the spry old chickens and that I would like you. My name is Zoe….”

A leer replaced hesitation. “Won’t you come in, Zoe. Yes, dear old girl, please do come in.”

Copyright 1989 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 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)

—————————————————————-

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.

Abandoned in a Manger & Going to Hell Might not be such a Long Trip

There is no need for an introduction. No allegory, No hidden meaning. Just two of my narrative poems.

ABANDONED IN A MANGER

The infant was left for dead – forgotten by fate.
Music of her mausoleum birth was a choir inside the vacant cathedral.
Infancy happened within the tabernacle’s stench of decaying timber.
She was beneath the crunch of crumbling plaster.
Her birth announcement was scrolled by times deformed signature.
Within a sacred, musty darkness, she’d arrived.
Garbled in her robe of shadows and solitude, she was.
A dank, breaking day chased her chanting sobs.
She was whelped there in that corner – there, squint your eyes – there.
There, where bloodied, second-hand swaddling decomposes.
Rotted cloth ovals merge with rotted lumber.
Clumps of viscid afterbirth once clung to planks of termite-infested flooring.
By now the straw has disintegrated.
It was told how she’d been left for dead – history’s homily corroded prior blessings.
A stranger wailed an operatic solo of pain when joined by the infant on that morning.
It became a duet of weeping, or was it the lamb gently baa-ing?
No matter, she had heard what she’d heard, and felt what she’d felt.
Stabbed in half, her umbilical tether was carved.
A handheld paring knife has sliced.
Concern was gone when severed – but then, she was left for dead.
She was only alarmed by a chilling breeze as it snuck through a boarded window’s crease.
Bright stars paled toward a maiden day as she struggled in death’s opposite direction.
Living was a flashy lure in front of her surrender.
Life lulled, twilight provided white vespers, as she continued.
Her entombed heart ticked its shallow drumming, while limbs batted shivering flails.
Silhouettes were cast, as if they were a dozen thrashing hummingbirds.
Wizened flesh would not become a delicacy to be ripped by gnawing fangs of roving rats.
Their scurrying feet played hurried hymnal scales over keys of mosaic glass.
And chords lifted from rusted tin.
She was alone in the audience.
Newspaper accounts would verify the birth – no psalmody was added.
Breath would not be pilfered by oily rags that corked her mouth, it was reported.
But had her gag been gathered away by a phantasmal savior?
Had her moans expelled the obstruction from a raw and choking throat?
Was death repelled by a sneeze of survival – the facts were unknown.
This condemned building was not earth’s altar emptying itself of answers.
This house of worship once was filled with a genuflecting parade.
It was not muted with rubble, and leaning walls were purged of truth by time.
A wrecking ball, with chiming globe, demolished the hollow, skeletal structure of her origin.
Investigations reveled she was left for dead.
No room at Metro General; no room – no room at all.
No room at Memorial Hospital; no vacancy – no room.
No culprit and no crime remained.
A commission of sin had faded into ethereal oblivion.
Wiped away by season was the evidence that rain had melted.
Gone is the blessed holy water, gone – all gone.
An offering lingers, embracing yesterday’s secret creed.
What canonicity solves the attempted murder?
What answer locks itself beneath the scriptural grace?
She knew the chant was there – she knew the prayer by heart.
Worn away by years, blaring city squalls seem out of tune – but she hears them yet.
She recalls a time when they were together alone for the first and last time.
That time when she was nearly murdered by the song of sadness.
That time where her eyes turned blue and she was abandoned in a manger.
Among yesterday’s debris, she was left for dead.
She often listens in on the lyrics of her birth.
She sees the video replay, and touches nearly worn-away fear.

GOING TO HELL MIGHT NOT BE SUCH A LONG TRIP

Going to hell might not be such a long trip, the street person contemplated.
With pulse beating, and through a wheezing gulp of air, she waited for the next installment.
Although lassoed to a problematic life, she searched escape.
Or perhaps more correctly – she retreated.
The thin, haggard woman recognized one thing early on – death is a brutal poacher.
We are, she considered, a wall of people buzzing around our own existence.
We don’t select ear caning, or being placed on a rack.
No fire is friendly fire.
Rights are not secured by past glories.
And fate contributes to what we are – and we make us who we are.
Our calling cards are locked away – lost as we turn out our pockets.
The emptier the pocket, the more precarious the days.
Although life is provisional, earth is no guaranteed cornucopia giveaway.
She wondered if the wheels on her chair would rotate fast enough.
Racing the red light always left her breathless.
Just as fear had left her a few years ago.
Her lungs were as dry and empty as they’d been on dusty marches.
Those processions included exploding bombs – buried with alacrity and precision.
Now, as she gasped for air, she acknowledged she was only combating a traffic light.
And an angry driver telling her to go to hell.
Hell was a location she already knew intimately.

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.

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