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.

 

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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.

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.

Writing Appointment with a Smile: First Glimmer – Senior Sapphic Sensual!

Recently I received a review of my latest book, Appointment with a Smile. It made me consider my good fortune. All my reviews have been wonderfully supportive of my writing a romance about mature senior Sapphics.

Some writers are very nonchalant about reviews. I am no such thing. Are you kidding me? I devour them, memorize them. Absolutely. Good or bad, they’ve enlightened me, and assisted in forming my direction. And I appreciate each of them. Appointment with a Smile reviews were welcomed and embraced.

Earlier this week one review published, was written by Sage 320. And it beautifully encapsulated my message about women of a certain age. Love transcends increments of time. It just does.

So from where did my story about wrinklies (as my Brit friends would say), in their dotage years emanate? Well, I looked around at my own vibrant, intellectual, passionate friends. They have been enhanced by age, experience, and their zest for life.

Yet general fiction does not reflect them, nor does it cater to their quest to read about themselves. In fact, the aging Sapphic topic is shunned – as if  irrelevantly hidden.

The message is If you’re between fifty and death, get over the emotional lift of love. If you want to read about yourself in a romance book, locating one is tough. You’ll find empty bookshelves filled with nope. We aren’t sex in the city, or anywhere else. Our aisle in the bookstore is relegated to menopausal reading. How to identify, how to cope, how to – everything.

What about the equation of love? That other facet of our being?

Within my first glimmer was the desire to write about a woman of age, falling in love. My main character, Danielle O’Hara, is passionate about her art, yet stagnating in both painting and romance. Her own passion shriveled at the side of the road – like lost heart songs unsung by those of us over fifty.

My novel explores love’s remembrances, as well as the igniting of romance within Danielle’s aged soul. Is that so impossible to imagine?

For me, writing Appointment with a Smile was a compelling journey that required I take it. Mature adult, Sapphic romance category? Previously vacant, or nearly so – but I would add one more voice.

I began with the premise that the book must honestly concern itself with the myriad of events culminating a life’s span. Years, emotions, joys, losses, gather into each of our lifetimes. Some events overlap, some are deleted, but all have constructed the wonder of us.

I didn’t want to ignore, or minimize the obvious. Through the decades, losses become reminders. As life pulls aside of us, we may lose our sculpted goddess bodies, and perhaps youth’s glib attitude. But replacing that loss is the ability to dabble in new and exciting wonder, with a fresh perspective.

Age offers the magnificence of reexamination. It shows the overview. Affords a glance back. There is a subtle nudge to make sense of our life’s relevance. Achievements are glory. Mistakes are life’s tuition.

Writing Appointment with a Smile was cathartic. That was a bonus. My objective was to capture an artist’s soul. I wanted to spotlight the topic of Sapphic ageing . And the importance of love. And I hope with all my heart I did that. I want to believe this unusual love story will matter to the golden, matured Sapphic.

Perhaps women in other age brackets will read it. They might want to imagine the existence of romantic love in their futures. The expedition of love beyond fifty, sixty, and on, awaits.

Encountering romance – well, that miracle simply is ageless. Being receptive to love’s possibility – beyond priceless.

Appointment with a Smile is not just for older readers. There are points here that can appeal to many ages. However, it was nice to read about life from a different perspective.” – Review by Lynn Pierce. Amazon. You can read the thoughtful review in it’s entirety here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2WWZMWV1ROXB0/ref=cm_cr_rev_detup_redir?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx7D6LJ16ZFVD4&cdPage=1&asin=1935627864&store=books&cdThread=Tx8JQCEPEAS7AN&newContentID=Mx82F67CN2HDDQ#Mx82F67CN2HDDQ

Why Don’t Lesbians and Gays, Etcetera, Go to Hell!

A re-blog!

Sinners are told to make reservations, be packed up, and ready to hop on the slipper-slide ride down to hell. Upon their demise.

I don’t know about my sisters and brothers, but I can’t follow directions to the nearest convenience store – much less some fictional flame pit that laps at our souls.

However, upon contemplating it – it might not be a terrible alternative lodging. If as all the bigots espouse, they are going to fill the rafters of heaven – it’s probably already over-populated. A little ‘no vacancy’ sign would light up as I neared the outskirts of the celestial heavens.

And if it didn’t? Well, I’d rather reject my invitation. I don’t even like a chat with an intolerant crowd. Gives me a headache. And a heartache. So why would I waste eternity when my ears hurt from the hatred spewed?

Maybe hatred is synonymous with hell.

So I’m planning on going to hell, like the haters promise that I, and my ilk, will indeed be located, post-life. And the haters have done their job in prepping us for hell with their blistering bullying and their searing words.

Since my body isn’t bikini perfect, maybe I should just pack a t-shirt and cargo shorts for the soul vacation’s sweltering. A mug of iced-tea and a six-pack of cool brews would be nice, too. And if it got too hot, I’d like a fellow traveler to stand beside me, so we could shade one another.

Could be that’s it! Maybe shade, and warmth are the answers to what happens here on this glorious planet we share. If we shade one another, and if we warm one another, perhaps there is hope.

A poem I revere is titled “Birches” by Robert Frost. I’m going to borrow a few of his exquisite lines: I’d like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.

Much of the Holy Bible is poetry, and much poetry is my personal Bible.

I’m resigned to being the person a loving creator plunked down here. So, I’ve got my marching orders when final directives approach. Grab my gardener’s hat to shield my eyes from the fire’s glow; a nice pair of sandals to give some protection against the lava’s spit and spume; and an ice tray. Okay, I’m an optimist.

I’m uncertain if I belong in hell because someone says all my sisters and brothers and I should be there. And even if I planned on, per instruction from the haters, going to hell – I probably couldn’t find the damned place. I’ve been known to read maps upside down.

Hope I always remember what the elderly, white-haired prophet said about earth being the right place for love. Love I can easily locate.     

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