In verse and in song, in prose soaring and long,
His grandfather told stories in village and town.
In swales and plains and mountains he roamed
Led by the sun where the weather fit his clothes.
Traveling south in the winter, north when hot,
West to east, east to west was as good as not.
Stopping to sing, to tell a story for a pence,
To lift a draught, to give a laugh, to court a wench.
His voice was pure and amber and sweet.
At every stop, townsfolk gathered round to hear him sing,
And listen to stories of presidents and kings,
Knights in armor and ladies with braids,
Cracked mirrors and iguanas and damsels afraid.
Now he, the grandson, hitches rides in trucks and cars
Carrying a knapsack, bottled water and two guitars.
Cities and suburbs and townships he covers
Led by visions of stardom and being discovered.
He croons in clubs and casinos and small town bars.
Stories he tells are of missed chances and second-rate stars.
In cities, he plays on the streets for nightly rent
For dimes and quarters that are quickly spent.
Few stop to listen, many more stride past
Talking on cell… Continue reading
When one turns to the Photos page on this site, one can be forgiven for first believing the pictures are representational of Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios. They are not, at least not in a literal sense. But Brother Alphaios, the book’s protagonist, not only is drawn to colors and a student of them (and I think he would enjoy these) but master of them as well. Master I’m not, but drawn I am.
Gallery One is an assortment of images harvested mostly in and around Arizona, Portland (Oregon) and two museums in Washington, D.C.: The Corcoran, and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. They are not grand landscapes or themes, but mostly of details noticed, arrangements of color and pattern. One might say that these shapes and their play of color and light were conscious byproducts by the creators of the buildings and bridges and objects, but perhaps not quite from this minimal perspective. What is here is not the whole, but the careful detail from the making of the whole. That, plus light and shadow and the curious eye. Something that Brother Alphaios might appreciate.
Elsewhere on this website is a word game I invite you to play and submit your best efforts to me. I will post them, barring vulgarity, etc., and give credit where credit is due. I call it “Warped Words”. (Origin and attribution are posted.)
The best of my own? Gracism: An entirely positive approach to others in the world who are of different races, religions and circumstances, based upon mercy, generosity and goodwill.
It was this impulse, I suppose, which led me to create the character of a sentient monk experiencing life outside the cloister for the first time, and write the twelve short stories and more that I’ve weaved into Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios. I found myself wanting to write a good-natured story in a market where there seem so few, and where, if there is violence it is not deliberate or gratuitous. Where the worst, most vulgar of the modern vocabulary does not have a pedestal upon which simply to shout, shock or sound hip. Where experience is paired with reflection. Where there is recognition of the base instincts of humankind, but also… Continue reading