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.

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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.

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.

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.

VALENTINE TRILOGY Part 1: When I’ve Forgotten All the Rest

This begins my Valentine Trilogy. Each part will feature a stanza of “I’ll Remember You” – by Bob Dylan. The magical, mystical words of the legendary poet/lyricist have captured me.

I’ll remember you
When I’ve forgotten all the rest
You to me were true
You to me were the best
When there is no more
You cut to the core
Quicker than anyone I knew
When I’m all alone
In the great unknown
I’ll remember you.
~ Bob Dylan 

The splendor of these words were my inspiration for this trilogy blog. For I was reminded of yesteryear and those magnificent women who have traversed my life. This includes memorable friendships, as well as the rendezvous of intimacy and of goodbyes. Although some highways have parted permanently; many others have been resurfaced throughout the years. All are stories of love.

Gentle memories of the past make their way through the currents of our being. We sway, tilt, swerve, elude, and scurry to where we must be. Predictions never unfold our futures. Tomorrow is a guessing game. Certitude is that raw collectible moment of now.

Those leaving our area of life might move away, run away, or stealthily redirect. Nearly everyone experiences loss at one time or another. Events are terminated, exchanged for different jobs, locations, or situations. People – family, friends, acquaintances, and lovers – are disbursed toward their destinies.

We are left behind by those with whom we’ve gathered near  – loved. We’ve felt the estrangement in many ways: abandonment, replacement, and loss. Horizons have recast us all. The days of pertinent people are rewoven as yesterday discards them from our lives. Others coast slowly away because they must. There is an overriding commitment – an obligatory reason.

Reunions also differ. Some partings have left only skimpy memories. Others create indecipherable aches in which we realize how sad parting is. As if there is a missing wanderer who has not been beside us, the trail is emptier. And inside, inherent knowledge announces that there should have been two on that path.

Our eras become provisional fate where romance is concerned. The mind continues to be drenched in remembrances. Questions forever arise that invite a longing. We desire one more lustral flare to be held up for another glance at possibility.

Years later, many friendships reunite on a soft landing, and become relevant and joyful. Years simply are picked up like fine embroidery, and the stitching continues. Many of those have become a treasured luminosity within my heart.

When the love is deep, secure, and resiliency is everlasting – the heart-print remains completely intact. Indelibly bonded, with time having intensified its clasp – it endures.

I find complete amazement as to how one gets from dot-to-dot as we are slid across life’s game board. The lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Remember You” recently set in place my game’s contest rules with precision, elegance, and truth:

You to me were true…

I wish you all a Happy and Loving Valentine’s Month. And I hope you’ll catch my next two Valentine installments – Part 2: At the End of the Trail, and Part 3: It was You who Understood. They will be published in the next week and a half.

Copyright: Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the latest, best-selling 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.

Kieran’s latest book is Careful Flowers. If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please consider 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Book Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.