Listening In

LISTENING IN ON EQUALITY

Any moment a ruling will be uttered or muttered, or shouted, or whispered. It will have to do with equality. Am I good enough to have the rights that all Americans should have? You be the judge. Well, actually, there are robed Justices doing the judging. Beyond that there are the American people.

LISTENING IN ON EQUALITY

I listen in on equality.
Superficial music blooms with an unrelenting promise.
Across the airways, love happens or it is being gutted.
Long ago forgotten, the subject plagues me.
As if it has become lightning’s jagged tongue, it blares.
I squint to see where decency might be.
I recognize the lyrics, for the song is titled Insta-Bully.
It talks trash.
The lead singer was just released from hatred’s lockdown.
Legislation is bait and switch.
As if words are souvenirs tossed into the barrenness,
musical notes wane.
Theoretical concepts have their own atmosphere.
Artificial emptiness has never impressed me.
Cascading volcanos of spewing intolerance burns.
Brains filled with ego do not entreat my sympathy.
Sludge brags as it paints injustice.
I overhear crud as it splats against clean walls.
Lucidity is sacred, and has flocked to the streets.
Bigotry sound exactly like cringe-worthy shouts.
Once impelled toward hatred, smarmy words fade.
Hearts locked in dark silence begin their histrionics.
Their authorship hides beneath shame.
The font of harm prints only litter.
If love is seeped in culture, I hope to soon hear its roar.
I wander the byways of eternity.
My shoulders sag, folding with age.
Ravaged, I march on.
For my torrent of energy hears the drums of equality.
An answer becomes my destiny – my ballad.
My choir garb is frayed by disappointment.
With rusty shovels, I excavate, and examine fate.
With tight-fisted heart, I search and hope.
Does a human heart have nerves?
Who owns eternity?

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 Web Violets, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum. These books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out the 2013 Lambda 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 e-books are also available through Amazon.

A Cautious Lover’s Mumblings

The following poem was written when I was in my mid-twenties. Although I’ve changed, many of my mumblings have not. It’s always interesting to return to early roads, and past beliefs. Crossroads. This is from an early volume of my published poetry and the copyright is 1974. A very long time ago.

A CAUTIOUS LOVER’S MUMBLINGS

Rushing up and out against reason, and no optimism is worth the slam you are aware is hiding, just waiting to leap out of the dark and tangle itself into your deepest secrets.

Spread out into a layered slip-cover, the moment that beckons you greets the un-understandable.

Ok, say it to life. Say it all. Reach into you and pull out a fistful of truth – your own brand of truth. Touch that finely tune, precision instrument of you, and try not to be impressed.

I’m going to grab a few blades of grass in my hand and pretend that the green represents my soul. No bull about plain old grass for grasses sake. I’ll run my hand over the grass, the uneven, unplanned, stretching grasses.

I feel the shade, a sleeping coolness of shade. How much of life crosses over us, how indifferent we are to the shade. And yet, we weave our meaning together.

When I smile, you know what I mean. We mash our thoughts, tears, and smiles and we watch the leaves drop and become pounded into cement and as we watch the streaming, palpitating stars hanging on and knitting together a universe.

Ok, try to comprehend a comet or a smile. But first, I’m asking you to empty yourself out and show me your underneath fears and doubts. Scrape off crust, exterior, and let me touch the deep you that is so well-hidden.

Collars and yokes are never shrugged off without a struggle. So show me the inside. I’ve seen the rest. Nestled between the pews of church, within the partitions of office talk, trickling sweat between lovers in seedy motel rooms – never deep enough.

I’ve heard the rest. The sounds you make over coffee, against a spray of gin, all designed to tell me what  I want to hear, what you want me to hear.

Stop impressing me a minute. Allow me to stop impressing you. Peel away the layer, the skin of the drum and tell me the beat, where it originates – its womb. Allow it to trickle out and into me. Don’t pull back. Let the noise of you spill out and capture me.

Let the touch we share agree with what ingredients we are made up of. Don’t give me the tree’s bark, I want the roots. The veins, sinew, marrow of the very heart. Carve away the part I view and allow me to feel the tickling truth that is you. And don’t be afraid, I’ll also be discarding my armor.

Allow the breathing that once pretended to be a windstorm blowing against my center core. Overcome me with you. Penetrate into me and allow me to penetrate you. Don’t button out your meaning. Please don’t zipper off your mind from me. Don’t reject my pleas as if they were lonely words emerging from tonight. Take them up and work them into a pliable communique. Barter with me, challenge me, threaten me, and finally allow us to submit to one another – both victorious. Seeking not to destroy nor to be destroyed.

Walk into me, allow me to walk into you, grabbing up all of what makes us whole and complete. Holding one another’s beliefs and values in both hands to be closely examined and held with care. And as I pass through and into you, remember how we are all one. How very one we all are.

Green lights shimmering and telling us that it’s alright to pass into one another await us. Swim into my current, fly freely into the brightness of my light. Hammer your confidence and your secret you into me. Allow me to shatter the bricks and mortar and gain entry into you.

Don’t polish your exterior, don’t paint your interior. Slot me straight into you. No detours, no bull. Just tell me where you are. Don’t leash me to you, but allow me to pull myself into you. Come not against me, but into me. Allow us to intertwine and become one another.

We touch the grasses together, we become the universe. And when we become ourselves within the universe, and within one another – we make love.
Copyright 1974 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. These books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, Please check out the 2013 Lambda Finalist in the Romance category, Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order though Bella Book Distribution for Books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon 

Etiquette and Elegy

ETIQUETTE OF MORNING

The etiquette of morning exists within tame hearts.
Luminosity’s candor is the fresh smell of daybreak.
We are inspired by the gentle waking of earth.
As each roll of our orb shrugs us to light, we begin.
From synthetic dreams, we languish with contentment.
Trees, grasses, and flowers have a debonair strut as they grow.
Midmorning’s hesitancy bring new exhilaration.
It isn’t over, the graciousness of morning.
Unfiltered sunbeams have time before midday’s arrival.
Rays cultivate, regenerating warmth.
Even clouds give a diaphanous glow.
Mosses and lichens are encrusted upon staunch granite.
We have neared them as we walk.
Sprouting sprigs of blooming twiggy plants brush our legs.
Feathery leaves, with gentle touches, protrude.
Tufted petals open to swallow down sunlight.
They fail to recognize that they are life’s inducements.
Other breathing species crouch, and sprawl.
Mornings make us venturesome.
Propriety allows kindness.
Etiquette requires concern for others.
Romance is our greatest reason.
It is so like the gentleness of daybreak.

ELEGY OF A DAY

What is our private elegy of a day?
Are we here to take the pulse of meteors and magic?
We are humanity, and believe ourselves life’s linchpin.
Existence idles its way to become Homo sapiens adrift.
Our minds empower us with capability.
Wisdom is our resource.
Nudged by kindred concern, we attempt to please one another.
Yet we require stop-signs and fences.
Trapped by earth’s gravity, be banish one another.
But also, we covet the humanness we share.
Our mission – could it be learning the world?
Understanding our bounty, as well as our hazards?
Or living with the vicious nature of an earth searching mischief?
Our planet’s divine and disheveled moments are everywhere.
There are magnificent plundering experiments – yet we remain.
Our inscription is a riddle of antique messages.
Time has welded many clues within earth’s crusty quarry.
Nature has been compressed by carved ditches, and sprawling waters.
Outside our periphery are whirling gigantic marbles.
Within our own is a strident exchange of arctic blasts and blistering lava.
There is a mystical research of nature long ago sealed away.
Life’s residue reminds us of our value.
Nudged from rock and soil, we migrate.
We learn our world and ourselves – if we are fortunate.
We come to know another heart – if we are blessed.
Our elegy is the day we spend here together.

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. These books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you are interested in romantic fiction, please check out the 2013 Lambda 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 also available through Amazon.

My latest book, Careful Flowers is scheduled for release mid-Summer.

Lace and Denim

LACE AND DENIM

Lace and denim – I wear them both.
As I’ve aged with the splendor of lace and the durability of denim,
I’ve inserted both inside my poetry and prose.
My youth has faded into after-hours times.
Tarnish may have built up, but patina is well-layered.
Yet my heart is never far from being center.
I’m in the middle of a tranquil and wondrous life.
I chuckle when admitting that my emotion
compares to a well-ridden horse.
Much of my life I’ve been a stray mustang.
I’ve galloped lighted paths enamored with all.
My mainstay has been interior peace.
I belong to a once-hidden sisterhood.
We are now in clear sight, and proudly so.
Our love is mostly a generous guardianship.
Shakespeare had written about black vesper’s pageants.
Okay, over the years I’ve had wounds,
but they became my heart’s foster care.
Sappho mentions her heart has been shaken by love.
My winter song is unshaken.
I wrap my skin with lace, and then slip into denim.
Perhaps we women exist within our own revolution.
We share healing psalms, and the embrace of reverence.
Sonnets are written when exuberance throws off sorrow.
Romance is an ego massage kneading another’s heartbeat.
Indoctrinated by homespun philosophy,
my epigram is nearly always visible.
Genet speaks of love’s worst traps;
Whitman asks if self can be given.
I know very little about the fabric of humanity,
other than the moments I love.
Youth recognizes odes to ovaries.
Age knows the edit by heart.
And I’ve learned the kiss of a sunrise is magnificent.
Just as the embrace of moonlight warms me.
So many patches cover my ancient soul.
I believe in words spoken by wisdom through letters.
Compositions speak to all ages, all through the ages.
My existence has been a song only time can best sing.
Romance and friendship are the handrails of living.
Lace and denim are my armor – I wear them both.

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’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out the 2013 Lambda Finalist in the romance category, Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available  through www.bluefetherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

WAR CLOUD WORDS

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

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

WAR CLOUD WORDS

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

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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

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

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

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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.

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 Month

April is Poetry Month!

I realized when I was very young how some words got stuck in my heart. The only way to dislodge the words that gathered was to write them. Perhaps I merely continue writing them as they’ve forever been written – with gleams from a heartbeat.

GLEAMS FROM A HEARTBEAT

Being different, and alone from the mainstream, dims light within.
Words fill up the blank pages of our souls.
Phrases spill as we grab for our pens.
For perhaps there is no other trace of us –
other than skeletal remains.
Yesteryear’s scratches have carved rocks,
and scrawled parchment –
to tell of us.
As generations press us across time,
we looked in both directions.
Then we looked up into the heavens.
We became less alone – for we all saw the same thing.
In the past we’d shared our caves with long-tailed lizards.
We were described as ancients –
we were sequestered and chained to earth.
Throughout existence, we’ve known the lies of prejudice.
Bloody, dripping paint splashes told of wild beasts.
Miniscule were the advancements we craved.
For we loved differently.
Our mistakes surely came from wild roots,
and amulets filled with holy sparkling gems.
Paths crossed,
and different symbols and marks were traded.
Plunderers burned and shredded many sequels.
Only destiny sheltered us between vast rainbows.
Erosion might have been all that saved us
as the facade disrobed – then shattered.
Beyond the altars, behind the fossils of our parents,
our secret had been hidden.
Tragedians called our souls twisted.
Dark Ages listed us as wicked.
Now we are compounded, raw materials
upon shelves of sand.
We are still misfits of the biosphere.
We tour the solar system by invitation only.
Strangers we are to Everything beyond.
We tread our gravitational field as we must.
On the floor of our planet,
we share our lectures.
Other cannonballs, those planets above,
jeer back at us.
They watch our mirrored probes
as if we are disenfranchised.
For we are still cloistered nomads of the atmosphere.
Beyond the visible, we take the invisible’s pulse.
Magnetic, our rocky rubble is the earth’s clothing.
We change styles with each rendezvous.
We gouge and dig the cliff’s robes.
We prod the folded mountainous shawls.
We plunge into the depth
of our ocean’s liquid wading pools.
Although guests ourselves,
we pretend to be planetary hosts.
Yet we fear emptiness as we voyage the stars.
We know rejection as we crawl the globe’s paths.
Our scrapbooks fall open with disheveled guesses.
We ignore both earth’s nucleus, and our own.
Our naked eyes witness the same bright dots
that were once examined from cave porches.
Our enzymes from loins of long ago
have been scooped and examined.
Our scroll of DNA has named us.
Molecules of chaos have been chiseled from flesh.
We are genetically misspelled samples.
However, we’ve survived the bonfires.
The hazing, the horrors – they have emboldened us.
We can share who we are with cursive alphabets,
with keys of electricity,
and with speeding waves of energy.
Most of us can now acknowledge our spirit’s rhetoric.
I can present myself to you.
I am Sapphic,
and my words are gleams from a heartbeat

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 Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through wwwbluefeatherabooks.com. Or order through Bella Books Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are available through Amazon.

Songs, songs, songs –

This blog is songs, songs, songs – I’m posting some of my song lyrics – written decades ago. These were songs sung by a regional Colorado woman’s band. I was fortunate to be a member and friend of the women. I wrote songs, and was a barely okay singer and guitar player. And so I’ll include the lyrics of three of my personal favorites.

The group’s theme song was “Denver Dreams” and we opened every performance with it. The second is a song I wrote for a very special woman. The final song is a love song I constructed so many years ago, I’m not sure of how it evolved.

DENVER DREAMS

* It always seems those Denver Dreams keep bounding across my mind.
Thoughts designed to comfort me, won’t loosen up and be
The way that dreaming takes you back into a yesterday
Mellow dreams of Denver times, seems they’re here to stay.

We shared so many mountain walks
With late night campfire talks.
Mica that reflects the stars
And country songs on our guitars.
So many ways that we both seemed to care.
Scouting trickling rocky streams
Blended with our wildflower dreams.
So many times I reached and you were there.*

Evergreen brushed weekends
Aspen, pine, the scents they send.
Wooded paths we wandered through
And cabin smiles I’ve smiled for you.
So many ways that we both seemed to care.
Those coming home to Denver drives
Coming back to our city lives,
So many times I reached and you were there.*
Copyright – Kieran York

ANNE, HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU

*Anne, have I ever told you
I’d give my world to hold you
And lace sunshine into your day
Kiss your troubles all away.

So give your love without a fear
I’ll have kindness always near
And soft and warm just to build
A world that’s ever daisy-filled.
Entrust me with your days ahead
I’ll beckon smiles for you instead
Of frowns that might have come your way.
You can count on me to stay.
So here’s my promise, I’ll be strong
If you’ll allow me to go along.*

Let’s turn our dreams all around
I’ll share with you the songs I’ve found.
With happiness to pave your time.
The beauty of a simple rhyme.
Turn your tears back into a grin.
Allow my love entrance in
And slide the sun back into your eyes
Place rainbows thick against your skies.
So here’s my promise, I’ll be strong
If you’ll allow me to belong.*
Copyright – Kieran York

WARMED BY YOU

I want to touch the leaves
As they fall down through the sky.
Finish with a somersault on the wings of a butterfly.
And when I land I want to finally settle
In the middle of a columbine petal.
Nap against the grasses in the afternoon shade
Dream about a caterpillar parade.
Listen to the stream striking over stones
Making up music with magical tones.
And as the day drifts out against midnight’s blue,
I want to snuggle up and be warmed by you.

As the clouds sweep across the air I want to glide
And finish with a rainbow slipper slide ride.
Down onto a water-lily afloat
With rays of love spraying around as my moat.
Rest in a pond of sparkling sunshine rain.
Under a bluebell umbrella I’ll remain
Tranquil with my heart set into a smile
Hope I can stay right here for awhile.
And as the day drifts out against midnight’s blue,
I want to snuggle up and be warmed by you.

Copyright – Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the best-selling poetry collections, 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’re interested in romantic fiction, please consider Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. It’s a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Books are available through amazon, and e-books through Kindle.