Whistler’s Son

Dave and Dad SLO

Dad would always whistle when working
with his hands.
Lost in the 40’s somewhere,
Less than a dozen notes,
His favorite little symphonette.

I never asked about the name of the song.
I was a kid then,
And a kid didn’t ask his dad anything.

July 7, 2019


Dragon Breath



The pain is expected.
It has its routine,
like an ancient, circuit-flying dragon
that skims the forest’s brow
looking for familiar victims
to incinerate
with blazing breath.

Listen to the wings –
pushing dark skies,
cutting primal paths,
savoring the quest.

Brace for the flames –
flashing bright daggers,
burning their prey,
ministering death.

Embrace the shield –
covering wholly,
protecting perfectly,
deflecting the test.


June 2, 2019



My waking dreams have evolved over the years, thankfully. I used to struggle to get off the ground when flying, but now can effortlessly take flight in any situation.

This morning’s 2:30 adventure began in a young, expecting couple’s small and poorly lit living room, where (fuzzy here) an angel was mentioned, and I immediately and slowly levitated to the ceiling, bumping my head before gliding down and out of the door to my left. Making a turn, I headed toward a long, framed panel that looked out over a large lake. Approaching the 4′ x 4′ frames, I put out my hand, not knowing if they were glass, then flew right through one of them and over a blue lake.

Floating about 10′-20′ above the water, after about 10 seconds, I saw the white branches of a dead tree rising out of the water. It was about the size of a large sofa, and after flying over it, I turned around and started back, but very low above the water. I reached out and touched the closest branch while speeding by at a slow 10 mph or so. Past the tree were two 30′ wide and 10″ high areas of turbulence that I paid no attention to.

I thought it would be fun to fly low enough to ‘ski’ with my hands, and spray water in front of me. The scene changed and I found myself close to a shoreline with a few people and a building, probably a restaurant with windows all around it. The spray went far enough to drench all the windows when I passed by. A little farther, I saw a few men sitting on a porch in front of a house up a little hill, but my spray wouldn’t reach them. An old Studebaker (?) was parked at the curb of the street, though, and it received a good dousing.

Then I found myself flying over a tree-shaded, leaf-strewn road, maybe 40′ above it. I looked back, thinking authorities were following me. The road was flanked by overly large oak trees that I flew by. The atmosphere, road and trees all had a golden glow about them. My flight had no fear in it. I was only an observer.

With four men approaching (also in a flying ?), I headed behind a tree whose leaves were bokehed, impressionistic dots, flying up to a forked branch to hide while the men flew by about 50′ away (and a little higher than my position). The two sitting on the right didn’t see me, but the third man from the right did – the fourth, maybe.

Time to awaken from this lighthearted and light-headed entertainment.

In the Mood

Formal Dress Kids 1890s

Writing is one of those ‘in the mood’ passions for me.  ‘Good mood’ scribbling puts limits on quantity, but adds that indispensable measure of quality.   Poetry is on the easy list. Novels, not so much.

Novels require a perfunctory discipline that often leads to nothing much, literally.  They incorporate a First Commandment that is impossible for me to keep. “Thou shalt get alone, sit down, grab a drink of flavored water, turn the phone off, keep the dog and spouse on hold, then plunk on the keyboard for at least one half hour.” And for the weaker not-so-die-hards, the half hour changes to fifteen minutes.

Novels also require a Second Commandment that is harder for me to keep. “Thou shalt research thy subject matter ad nauseum.” Research, investigate, explore, elevate the relevant, plan your attack, outline your chapters, shed tears, shed more tears, learn to love your frustrations, throw away/delete more than what you keep, and above all, fight to that bitter end where you’ll finally be able to enjoy a smile.

Best to just give all of your material, thoughts, inspiration and aspiration to someone else who is an avowed masochist, and let them go for it.

One and Only

BirdingLodi 140mm 06

I learned something today.  I’m anti-social around strangers.  I would rather hoof it alone than gather with the ‘other.’  My xenophobia isn’t pronounced, but it reveals itself by degrees.  Differences in interests, worldviews, enthusiasm, knowledge – all contribute to this sense of not fitting in and an unwillingness to go with the flow.

Am I confessing a lack of love for others?  Probably.

I joined a group of birders this morning.  I’m much more a photographer than a birder, so that was strike one.  There was only one other photographer there, but his main interest was shooting birds, so that was strike two.  My hearing is pretty bad in the high frequency range, and I couldn’t clearly hear what everyone else was raving about, so strike three was inevitable.  Strike four capped it all: there was no port-a-potty on the trail!

Maybe there’s a streak of timidity in my creaking bones at this stage – a wide one.

Yeah, I know – there’s no strike four in baseball.


Curling 23

These two weeks of competitive edging and medaling have taken the world’s center stage as the commoners vacation away from the newsish horror and monstrosity around them.  They’ve traded their anger for a few hours of joyful relief.  They’ve been able to get a glimpse of what their neighbor on the other side of the world really looks like.  Their narrow people perspective widens a bit.  They are able to feel what it might be like if we’d all ‘just get along.’  They see a ray of hope for a seemingly doomed race.

The medals are finally worn with wide smiles.

Then with vacation over, it’s back to the perennial games of CNN and Fox News.