Category Archives: Poet

Eulogy for my Grandfather

scan0012-1My grandfather was a humble man and he would have had mixed feelings about being the center of attention today. On one hand he would have appreciated having everyone he loved here in one place. He loved connecting with others. On the other, he was never big on talking about himself.

To a young boy, distracted by everything, a grandfather is a lot like a mountain, larger than life. I don’t mean just in stature, though my grandfather was tall. I don’t just mean in personality though my grandfather laughed a lot.

A mountain is just always there, since the beginning of time as far as the boy can measure it.

A mountain is so sturdy, so dependable, so unchanging, that it’s easy for the boy to forget it’s there even when it was right in front of him. It was just part of the boy’s landscape, like the sky or the ocean or the sun rising every day in the east.

No matter how far that boy traveled, no matter where in the world, without realizing it, he always knew where he was in relation to the mountain. It’s how he always knew exactly where he was. The mountain was always there in the background for every special occasion: Birthdays, holidays, graduations, house warmings, hospital visits, weddings. It was natural to assume the mountain would always be there.

But people aren’t mountains after all. They live for a time and they die, leaving those behind them to carry on as best they can.

Or are they?

The boy, now a man, still navigates his way through life using all the lessons he learned in the shadow of the mountain. He wears a hat outside, takes it off indoors (especially at the table). He’s learned the importance of family. The man is awed by all the love and fellowship that gathered in the great shadow of his mountain.

My grandfather outlived many—maybe most—of his friends and yet still he was always connecting with new ones, a gift of his I always admired.

And the man realizes that the mountain that was his grandfather lives even larger inside his own heart. And this gives the man peace. If the mountain of my grandfather made a positive impact on any of you, then I hope you also recognize him inside your heart and that this may also bring you peace.

So today, in honor of a man who in his lifetime was a marine, a painter, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a great-great grandfather, a friend to so many, and a mountain of love and light to his family, I invite you all to see—to really see—the mountains in your own life’s landscape. Love them and appreciate them and don’t forget to visit them once in awhile (mountains like that).

Don’t forget that you that you too may be a mountain in someone else’s life, someone who looks at you like you’ll always be there. I think my grandfather would have wanted you to know that that’s okay, it’s the nature of being a mountain. There will come a time when there will be a hole in their universe and they too will pause and reflect on everything that you did for them. For everything that you shared with them. For all the ways you connected with them.

Grandfather, for everything you’ve done for me, for everything you’ve shared, I thank you. My world—our world—was a happier place for having you in it. I will always carry your spirit with me, you will always be my landmark and I will always love you very much.

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Amazing Stories Reviews Transmissions

Diane Severson, photo credit: Amazing Stories Magazine

Diane Severson, an amazing writer and singer in her own right, took some time to review Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula in Amazing Stories Magazine. As an added bonus, she recorded herself reading a few of the poems and you can hear the richness of her tone in every word. Highly recommended.

Thanks, Diane! Please never stop sharing your creativity! And thanks to Amazing Stories doing your part to keep speculative poetry alive.

Writer’s Digest Review of Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula

Recently I entered Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula into a self-published book contest. I didn’t win (what the heck?!) but I received this review from one of the judges that impressed me with how observant the reader was to the little details that went into making the book. Nothing makes an author more happy than a thoughtful (and vocal) reader. Don’t forget you can buy this book on Amazon and Smashwords!

The title, cover, and even the table of contents of TRANSMISSIONS TO THE MYSTIC NEBULA suggest a traditional, even stereotypical, form of science fiction, a world of spaceships, robots, aliens, and intergalactic conquest. Instead, the poet fastens his eyes on the heavens with his feet firmly on planet Earth as he connects our very human world with astronomy, physics, mythologies, and the paranormal. As the poet tells a love interest in “Ash in My Lungs,” “I brought you here to show you / this fragile wild of my soul, / the dark things that connect us.” The poet sets up the collection with a “researcher’s note” describing a cyber-poet, awash in the hyper-communications of a modern, wired world, who identifies a distant nebula with a backyard telescope and sends transmissions of poems in an effort to communicate and be heard. This gives the collection an authentic science fiction frame, reinforced by internal art that echoes the intriguing cover image and includes status updates as the transmission progresses. However, what makes these poems so strong is that, taken out of this context, they are impressive, accomplished creations that succeed on their stand-alone merits. The poet offers a beautifully written mix of forms and free verse, poems in which he explores love, sex, memories, seasons, and death. Although he hasn’t organized the poems into sections, the verses are ordered carefully so the flow keeps the whole connected. It’s interesting that the early poems are filled with celestial imagery that eventually gives way to more gravity-bound themes, ultimately leading to poems about death and the departed. In the end, though, the final graphic of the collection says delivery of the transmission is confirmed, and the poet adds a final, hopeful message, “I know you’re out there. I’m waiting.” Physically, everything about the book is attractive and professionally done. The poet is to be congratulated on a memorable first book of fresh and fine poetry, a true joy for the reader.

– Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards

Revelations

Sitting alone in the Chinese restaurant, pouring a cup of jasmine tea, I suddenly realized I could do anything–anything–I wanted and was rocked momentarily by a boomcake of freedom known only to children and the otherworldly.

Blogging fun today!

This geeky poet gets to have some fun showing other poets how to use WordPress today! If you’re anywhere near Carlsbad, CA and want to come by and say hi at the Cole Library, be sure to bring your laptop!

Blogging workshop details here

Dare We Squander

Dare we squander all our years not being in love with something or with someone?

A humble thank you

The greatest gift a poet can receive is unexpected praise. Thanks to Eva  X, a magnificent poet in her own right. Learn more about her work at theartisticmuse.com

La Mesa Book Fair Today

Today’s the book fair! Made my first sale, like ever already 🙂

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Pelican lifestyle choices

I found this guy resting on a pier in Oceanside, California. To me, he looks like a rock star posing for pictures with the paparazzi! Pelican

Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula Book Trailer

I’ve been having fun working on this book trailer for “Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula.” Tell me what you think and if you’re intrigued, consider buying the book!

The beautiful art is by the talented Ali Ries. The music, “Raise the Rain” I wrote using a great program called Reason. For now, its a free download!

 

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