Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

     For many of you, it is already 2017! In my time zone we are just over two hours away. It has been a fabulous year for me, professionally and personally. To give a few reasons why about the former:


  • In the Summer I became Co-Owner of POETS on Google+. This means I interact on a regular basis with some creative people, and it rubs off on me.
  • On Indie Author Day, I was asked to sit in on a panel about being published. I also got to read some poetry.
  • I was at several successful fairs in Aiken and Columbia, both in South Carolina. I have returned to those venues, or will, in 2017.
  • There were a few online and print publications of my poetry. 
   
     2017 promises some more ventures. And what have you been doing? 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sir Raymond Davies......hooray!

 The Queen's New Year Honours includes one of my very favorites of all times, Ray Davies. He is a mixture of old and new. While he sings about old times, he was usually in a rack and roll band. His portraits of contemporary life in the UK, and indeed the world, are musically and lyrically ingenious.  am thrilled for him and would like to express my thanks to Her Majesty.

   I am sure I will have something more to say about this and others on the list, but as the BBC would say, these were the main points.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/entertainment/the-kinks-ray-davies-gushes-with-joy-and-humility-over-knighthood-770529.html

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Auden's "Christmas Oratorio"


    This is only part of the actual work, but I remember seeing it in a {Philadelphia newspaper's Sunday magazine when I was in high school. At that time the poem was only 20-odd years old, and Auden was still alive. I was quite taken by the poem, and resolved to read more by Auden. I am glad that I did.

http://southerncrossreview.org/44/auden-oratio.htm

Monday, December 26, 2016

I am very jealous of Bernie Taupin


     Few writers, and fewer poets, make a living only on what they write. As far as poets go, I have many friends who teach full-time, as I do myself. Another one is a full-time physician. Yet another manages the physical plant of a large university. Several others do not work full-time, but string various part-time jobs together.

    Bernie Taupin answered an ad in a UK trade paper for a lyricist and ended up working with Elton John. In their early days Bernie wrote lyrics, mailed them to Elton, and had no input about the music. Obviously Elton knew what he was doing, since they both became rich. Later on Bernie started going to the studio.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_with_lyrics_by_Bernie_Taupin  - Some list!

   What an ideal life! He has brought enjoyment to millions of fans, even if they did not know who was writing. Even early on I remember Elton introducing Bernie at interviews and documentaries, which speaks well of the singer/composer.

    Ah, to write one hit!  Or maybe lyrics for a hit album or two....

    Well done, Bernie! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Three chapters into "Born to Run"


    I have heard a few segments on "E Street Radio" on SiriusXM where Springsteen reads from his autobiography. Today I received a copy for Christmas (thanks, Pam!), and the CD. After a few chapters,  I even more impressed.

  Springsteen mentioned two wrestlers from 1950s television: Bruno Sammartino (a good guy) and Haystack Calhoun, 600 pounds of bad guy.

   The descriptions of Freehold, NJ, are detailed and Springsteen's reflections about his childhood are very perceptive. I hope that will continue to be the case as I read more. What impresses me is how he can take the good out of a bad situation. He survived Catholic school education at a time when it was "hands on". While not a devout Catholic, nonetheless his spirituality is rooted in that religion, and is not too far away. Remember, I am Lutheran, so I do not profess to be an authority, although I am close enough to that part of Christianity to get what he means. 

   I hope to read some more before school starts!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Poem reprinted in "Whispers"


   This one was previouly in "Mused BellaOnline". Thanks, Karen O'Leary!

   http://whispersinthewind333.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 18, 2016

I Remember Oplatky


     My wife sent me this link recently. It brought back happy memories of my time in the Slovak Zion Synod- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and of St. John's Church in Lansford, PA. For about nine years I was rostered in this Synod, the longest of my ordained ministry. Three of those years were with St. John's the rest leave for graduate studies and then my Army deployment. I joked that I was in that Synod due to Affirmative Action, being primarily of Hungarian ancestry. Magyars (our true name) and Slovaks share a border and not much else.

     My first Advent in St. John's was marked by requests about oplatky. I had heard about them, primarily from Polish Catholics, but knew that Slovak Lutherans held the wafers in a special place also. It seems that my predecessor, also not a Slovak, allowed the oplatky to be ordered but if the money to pay for them did not come in, cancelled for the next year. One box of a hundred or so was less than $20, as I recall it.

     I even saw bulletin sand newsletter announcements that he wrote which were along the lines of "When I cam here, you assured me that the oplatky was part of YOUR tradition and that YOU would pay for them. But we had to cover the costs, so I stopped them."

    To me that sounded harsh. Several people came to me timidly, and some even tearfully, begging me for the oplatky. At a church council meeting I authorized ordering oplatky and said that if they were not paid for the costs would be covered somehow or the other.

     People were glad. Some came and asked for permission to take some for relatives. Several said they had no money right then. My answer was to smile and tell them to take whatever they wanted and to pay when they could.

     Now we live in South Carolina, and are far away from oplatky and so much more. But I am glad to remember those things that keep us anchored to faith and to tradition, not for its own sake, but for a larger purpose. The links explain more.
   

https://www.catholiccompany.com/content/Oplatki-Christmas-Tradition.cfm

https://duquesnehunky.com/2013/12/18/when-christmas-meant-traditions-and-family/

Saturday, December 17, 2016

     Either link will take you to the Castalia Blog. Here I post some tremendous poems from the Google+ POETS community. Please stop by.

http://arthurturfa.blogspot.com/

http://arthurturfa.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Poem of mine from the latest Our Poetry Archive

   My wife Pam and I spent some time in August visited nearby Musgrove Mill Revolutionary War battlefield site. It is a South Carolina state park There were some major battles in the final phase of that conflict here
such as Camden and The Cowpens. And there were dozens of other skirmishes in a conflict that put neighbor against neighbor. 

     The vitriolic state of affairs known as the 2016 Presidential Election got me to wondering if we might not be headed toward something similar. Our Poetry Archive ws kind enough to publish it this month. A long-term dear friend, Carol Worthington Levy, posted it on Facebook, as did a newer friend, Jane Crooks Britt. you can see two other poems by me, and many more by other poets at: 

http://ourpoetryarchive.blogspot.com/

REFLECTION ON MUSGROVE MILL AND TODAY
Along the Enoree’s banks, Musgrove Mill
lies among the Piedmont’s pines and hardwoods.
On a sultry, long-ago August day
Loyalist and Patriot joined battle,
neighbors and kinsman clashing, Scotsmen too,
blood flowing on green-ringed forest meadow.
Now rages renewed warfare all around
in cyberspace, chatrooms, and face-to-face.
Everyone a combatant now, none are spared;
Tarleton’s Quarter appears merciful.
Friendships severed, relationships broken
not only here but from coast-to-coast.
The Republic for which for which the victors bled
unravels like a second-hand overcoat.
Arthur Turfa, ©2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bob Dylan's Nobel Acceptance Speech

     He makes some interesting remarks here about Shakespeare, and I appreciate him mentioning Thomas Mann. When I was at UC-Berkeley in 1975, I took a class on Mann taught by his son, Michael.

     Still, I wish Bob had read it in person.

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2016/dylan-speech.html

Saturday, December 10, 2016

To Chapbook, or not to Chapbook?


   I know I sound like Hamlet; but there is no bare bodkin here! Right now there are about 25-30 poems that did not fit into the second manuscript; some are in my Six Poems On Kindle Desktop Publishing.

 https://www.amazon.com/Six-Poems-Arthur-Turfa-ebook/dp/B01M9EI6BA

   Tonight I am informally asking for feedback. How does a chapbook sound? I am hoping to publish the second manuscript, but a chapbook might be fun,

    Let me hear from you! Thanks!


Friday, December 9, 2016

Greg Lake, RIP


    Yesterday Greg Lake succumbed to cancer. A founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, he evolved into an elder statesman of progressive rock. This genre has stood the test of time. Trained in classical music and and more modern genres, Lake and his peers combined the best parts of them.

     "Lucky Man" was used as filler for an ELP album but has become much more than that. I referenced it in my recent poetry class when discussing the 17th Century Cavalier poets.

    We were lucky to have had Lake with us, and lucky still to have his immortal music.

http://www.greglake.com/about_biography.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89g1P_J40JA

http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/cavalier.htm

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Two great links here!


     For once, I am not talking about Places and Times, and what a nice holiday gift it would make. (definition of a Hungarian: someone who gets in a revolving door behind you but gets out in front of you)

    Jenna Le is a wonderful poet; I have never met her, but I have read her books. She is a physician in New York City and somehow finds time to write excellent poetry. I have used her works in my college poetry class.

http://anchorplume.bigcartel.com/  - enter code HAULIDAY

    Carol Worthington-Levy and I met in our 8th grade Reading class. I believe I made some sarcastic comment to her about the class. We always knew that she would become and awesome artist and musician-vocalist. Many people are surprised that I turned out as well as I have.

    One of her works graces the cover of my book, and she is working on a cover for the next one. I am working on getting it published!

http://worthingtonfineart.com/

Friday, December 2, 2016

I wish I had gone to Wales.....


     In 1979 I had a month in the UK, a BritRail pass, and money in my pocket. My brother and his wife lived in Manchester, which is where I left one of my bags. I made some friends in Edinburgh and traveled further north and south with them. some of my buddies whom I made when studying in Trier, Germany has enough money left on a Fulbright grant to meet me in London for a weekend. How difficult that was to organize before cell phones and the Internet!

     I never really went to the Highlands in Scotland, and I also never went to Wales. It would have been wonderful to hear the sonorous Welsh voices and to see the scenery. Ah.....Four years later on our honeymoon we came close, but never went to the other side of Offa's Dyke. We had jobs and limited time off. Rather like now, actually, but it is all right.

    Last night in the poetry class I teach we heard Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas' "Fern Hill". I explained to them how Robert Zimmerman was so enthralled with the poet that he took the first name for his new surname. Only one of the class knew Burton, from Cleopatra.

    The poem is here for you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z-ZuguSrQQ

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Big Mac has its roots in Western Pennsylvania

There are a few things of general interest here. Michael Delligatti did not receive a single cent from McDonald's for this. He also introduced the hot breakfast for steelworkers coming off of the third shift.

I also remember the Big Boy restaurant, from where the idea for a Big Mac came.

But I do not eat so large a burger at one time anymore!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/business/michael-james-delligatti-creator-of-the-big-mac-dies-at-98.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Honored to be in this fine publication

     I have three poems here! Thanks to Stacia Lynn Reynolds and all who made this happen!


https://ourpoetryarchive.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 25, 2016

About Nick Drake on the 42th anniversary of his death


     Truthfully, I cannot recall the first time I heard Nick Drake's music. While in St. Louis from 1977-1979 I listened to an FM station that played music like his. Most likely I first heard him on Sirius' Folk Village. He belongs to that small set of excellent songwriters-musicians-singers who left us two early, and intentionally. All losses of this kind are sad, and this one especially so given his immense talent. I often play the second link when doing work at home or school.  The third link is from a VW commercial.

     Drake was born in what was then Rangoon, Burma (now Yangbon, Myanmar).He died at the family home in Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire England. On our honeymoon in 1983, my wife and I spent the night about two miles away in Henley-in-Arden, a delightful village It was only tonight in preparation for this post that I made the connection.



http://www.brytermusic.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kZMVG6N7DE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nWuCZe4lSE

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Nun danket alle Gott" with a fanfare, and some thoughts


    I have posted about this stunning hymn before, and here it is Whit a fanfare by John Rutter. Often this hymn is sung on or near Thanksgiving Day in America, while the nation eats, watches football, prepares for shopping for those must-have gifts, and hopefully appreciates what it has.

   Actually the text came from a horrible time in the German state (N.B. There was no Germany until 18 January 1871). Pastor Martin Rinkart experienced first-hand the devastation of the Thirty Years' War and personal loss. Nonetheless he was able to compose these soaring lines. Since then it has been used on occasions of thanksgiving in German regions and elsewhere.

   My hope is that everyone, especially in the USA, appreciates what we have and offer thanks to God for it.  Far too many people live precariously; my prayer for them is that they will soon be able to express deep thanks for deliverance from war, poverty, hunger, discrimination of all sorts, and whatever afflicts them.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_a20QxY14s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Now_Thank_We_All_Our_God

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Am I Mellowing or Is Something Else Going On?


     I am a week or so from teaching TS Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in my college class. Already I think about wearing my trousers rolled, and how I can part retreating hair.

     Two days ago Angela Merkel announcement she would stand for re-election as German chancellor. She has outlasted such peer as Barack Obama ( we do have a two-term limit in the USA), Tony Blair in the UK, and many others.

   Were I a German voter (I tongue-in-cheek thought of being on in 2004!), I would be a Social Democrat (SPD). As a high school student of German I admired, and still admire, Willy Brandt. My great-grandfather was a Social Democrat when he left Germany in 1870. He was a war hero but became a Knight of Labor near Pittsburgh.

   Why the change? Merkel has smarts, is tough, and can hold her own with Donald Trump.CDU or not, it's the best we can do. Need I say more?

   And now, I have to decide whether or not I should eat a peach.

 http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/nahlah-merkel-populism-leader-1.3862117


Saturday, November 19, 2016

I hate to criticize Bob Dylan, but.....


     ...he really should go to Stockholm, make his speech, and personally receive the Nobel Priz
e for Literature. He can reschedule concerts and appearances. Being cool and aloof does nothing for him. On the contrary, his refusal to go gives strength to the arguments about why he should not have received the award. Even if he does deliver a speech within the required time frame, that will not be the same as doing it according to the customary method.

     I teach high school, and hear from a few students why they are not going to attend commencement. Very few, if any, actually make good on their intentions. Families pressure them, as well they should. It is not about the individual, be it a Nobel Laureate or an 18 year old. Rather it is about family, friends, and an institution. In South Carolina, where I live, many grandparents or other relatives did not graduate from high school because of poverty, remnants of Jim Crow legislation, and similar reasons. When a grandchild demurs abut attending commencement, I can easily imagine that the family talks about history.

    Can anyone talk to Dylan? I am sure than some voices were raised against him because he was not a novelist, pure port, etc. Now I can hear them saying, "I told you so!" 

Friday, November 18, 2016

I remember the Adlon, sort of

    The news of President Obama's meeting and dinner with Chancellor Merkel was in Berlin's fashionable Hotel Aldon. I remember the surroundings as the Akademie der K√ľnste der DDR, where I did research on Heinrich Mann in 1976.

    In 2005 my sergeant and I stopped for a drink at the new Adlon. I had a beer, he didn't.

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article159550124/Merkel-zu-Abendessen-mit-Obama-im-Hotel-Adlon.html&prev=search

http://www.lhw.com/hotel/Hotel-Adlon-Kempinski-Berlin-Germany

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Adlon

Monday, November 14, 2016

302 Artisans Fall Festival Sunday, 20 November


     This promises to be even better than the Summer Festival! Come and see many creative people! Get a signed copy of Places and Times.  I will also have a reading.

     If you cannot come and want a signed copy, contact me here in a comment. We can work something out! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thoughts on Leonard Cohen

   Yesterday I posted the New York Times obituary on my Facebook writer page:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/obituaries/leonard-cohen-dies.html?_r=0

    Tonight I am listening to a recording on YouTube of the 1968 BBC Broadcasts as I write these lines. In her autobiography, Judy Collins writes about how Cohen was so shy about performing that she had to lead him out on to the stage and stay with him as he performed "Suzanne".

     Cohen was one of several deep-thinking singer-songwriters from the 1960s. To my thinking only Dylan approached Cohen for being well-read and a mystic. He took seriously the priestly nature of his last name, and was an observant Jew all his life; but he was interested in other religions as well.

     An early ad in the Rolling Stone compared Cohen to James Joyce. My elder brother explained that to me. Actually another Irish writer, William Butler Yeats, was more of an early influence on Cohen. That I actually see more clearly, but it really does not matter. The two writers are not mutually-exclusive, and even if they were, it was up to Cohen to work it out for himself.

     Now I want to read some of Cohen's poetry and prose works. But like Proteus in mythology Cohen performed in other genres and broadened his appeal. That is very impressive, since he excelled in all of them. He performed art songs; at least that's how I think of them,

    It will not be too long until some collections of his work are complied, and we can step back and marvel again at all that he offered the world. Perhaps the greatest compliment was the number of singers who covered his songs.



   
     

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Great Store in Downtown Columbia, SC

     The Nest is a wonderful gift shop managed by Valerie Smith. Hopefully Places and Times will be available there in the near future!

     Meanwhile, drop by for a visit and see all that they have to offer. It's great for holiday shopping, or at anytime!

    http://www.columbiacvb.com/listings/Nest-on-Main-Street/18496/

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Worst President?


     No, this has nothing to do with 2016! Steven Spatz' BookBaby site is always informative, and this time he had a link to an National Public Radio interview with Robert Strauss, author of a James Buchanan biography.

     Pennsylvania only produced one president (Winfield S. Hancock ran in 1880 and would have been a good one, but he lost to James A. Garfield). James Buchanan was elected in 1856, and allowed things to deteriorate enough to make the Civil War inevitable. Maybe that soured people on the Keystone State as a breeding ground for presidents.

     I take some comfort that my family immigrated well after Buchanan ran, so that none of us supported him.




http://www.npr.org/2016/10/15/498056608/-worst-president-ever-one-author-says-this-title-goes-to-james-buchanan

Friday, November 4, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday, Walter Cronkite!

 
     Google rightly honros this titan of journalism, integrity, and courage. For years Walter Cronkite wss the most respected public figure in America. His dedication to the truth is even more important in light of the current fiasco of politicized news.

    I miss you, Walter, and I fear we will never see the likes of you again.



https://www.google.com/search?q=walter+cronkite+journalist&oi=ddle&ct=walter-cronkites-100th-birthday-4805020395503616&hl=en

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Keep the bonfires burning!

   Guy Fawkes Day has morphed into a time to comment on contemporary politics. With the US presidential election a few days away, I sincerely hope do one takes the idea of explosions or fires literally. All things considered, the day reminds us that desperate people do desperate things.

   Be safe wherever you are!

   http://www.history.com/news/guy-fawkes-day-a-brief-history


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Published in "Better Than Starbucks"

http://anthonywatkins.wixsite.com/betterthanstarbucks/copy-of-poetry-pages

Thanks, Anthony Watkins! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Another honor from US Congressman Joe Wilson for me!


Reformation Day


     Today is a special day for all Lutherans, and all of us agree on that! (Regular readers will remember that I am a Lutheran pastor. Officially I am retired, and am rosters with the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.)

     Next year will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of the 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg, Germany's Castle Church. They were an attempt to correct some abuses, but in the climate of the times, began the process of his excommunication and the split in the Western Church. The Eastern Church had already been separated five hundred years previously, which some people forget or do not realize.

     Among other things, the process included Luther's reformation of the German language and the use of the vernacular in worship. As a result, the stirring music of Bach and many others came into being.

     After so long the hope is for reconciliation among believers in a secularized world, whatever form that may take. There are no preconditions. Today Pope Francis is in Sweden to take part in official celebrations. Too bad there was not  pope like him around in 1517!

     

Sunday, October 30, 2016

David Crosby on Kanye West


     David Crosby makes headlines again. I cannot say whether he is correct about Kanye West. His genre is not one of my favorites, and as a result I cannot say anything about his talent or lack thereof. However it is interesting that Crosby weighs in.

     Today I heard a song from Crosby's new album, Lighthouse, on the radio. It was an impressive song. Maybe West will review it!

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/28/david-crosby-kanye-west

Friday, October 28, 2016

Will they raise the standard in November?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/us/politics/donald-trump-voters.html?_r=0

   An earlier post spoke about this excellent book. Will disappointed Trump supporters rise up against a President Clinton?

   Full disclosure: I have always voted Democratic in national elections, beginning in 1972. In my earlier life, I was chairman of the local Teenage Republicans (TARS) in Montgomery County, PA. At that time I was a Liberal Republican, still admiring William F. Buckley's vocabulary, but not his politics. By 1970, I realized that I was more in tune with the Democrats.

   Now that all that is out of the way, I do fear some trouble if Trump loses, as he likely will. Part of me wishes that we had taken to the streets in 2000, when Gore was robbed of his rightful victory. Maybe my Jacobite fascination began then. Some friends and I even had some problems with toasts to the President of the United States at Army dinners. I thought of the "King over the waters".

    However, no one in 2000 thought of committing acts of violence. That is not the case in 2016, I fear. I am saddened by what is happening to my country. But I have faith in it, and that things will be all right. There is not much more that I can do!

Student poetry- Blythewood Poetry Society


   A few years ago I had a Poetry group that met during the school day every three weeks. Some other students have contributed.  One of them did the web page, and yesterday a student submitted a new poem. Check it out!

http://bwoodpoetry.weebly.com/

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tthis Poem was honored on Poet's Dream!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/105028533284452620555/posts/Hp7rfTcM2rL

Thanks to all who commented, liked and plussed! Special thanks to Elusive Me for making this her personal choice!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Leonard Cohen article from The Guardian

    Who says poets cannot be cool? Cohen still brings it.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/20/leonard-cohen-you-want-it-darker-album-review

Six Poems- a sampler on Kindle Desktop Publishing on Amazon

     At the recent Indie Author Day in Aiken, SC, a presenter suggested publishing something on Kindle Desktop Publishing (KDP). She is a published author. but encouraged us all to put something on this site. Those with Kindle Prime can read for free. Otherwise there is a small charge.

     For one US dollar, people can read six poems that are not in either manuscript (Places and Times, eLectio Publishing 2015, or the one I am hoping to have published). My intention is to direct readers to the book!

    I am working with Amazon about orienting the picture correctly. Nothing that I have tried so far works. Feel free to offer advice! Thanks.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9EI6BA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1477231194&sr=8-2&keywords=arthur+turfa

Saturday, October 22, 2016









     Readers to this blog will know of my interest in the House of Stuart and its attempt at a second restoration. A poem from Places and Times refers to a dream I had in which I was at the court of the Old Pretender.  My wife thinks that is daft, and ironically she is the one with some Scots in her, not me!

     This book is fascinating and important. Riding sets the stage and gives a detailed account of what happened. Here are some of my observations, which in true Teutonic fashion (maybe a nod to the House of Hanover), I shall list by number.

     1. James "III" did not know exactly what Bonnie Prince Charlie was doing.
     2. If the French ship with munitions and soldiers hadactually landed with the Prince, things might have been different. As it was, he was told to go home.
     3. Charles should have solidified his control in Scotland before heading to England.
     4. As it was, he made it to Derby, 120 miles form London. If English and Welsh Jacobites had actually shown up, and the alleged Jacobites in London demonstrated, history might have been different.
     5. Charles did not like to listen to opinion that differed with his. Derby is one example, Culloden another.
     6. The Duke of Cumberland, George II's second son, was a old as Charles but was a better commander.
      7. Even after Culloden the Jacobites had a chance, but even at that battle there were 2,000 of them  not on the field due to a foul-up attempted raid.
      C2- Command and Control is very important. The Jacobite leadership was often what the US Army calls a "Charlie Foxtrot": no reference to the Prince.

    I heartily recommend this book to those interested in British history.

    

Friday, October 21, 2016

Press Release about Indie Author Day



   My colleague and friend Bucky Ware from Blythewood High School did a nice press release, that was featured in the Blythewood, SC, Country Chronicle. The first picture of me is not from the event, but the second one is. The connecting thread (pun intended) is the same coat (my second poet's coat).

   This is a nice reminder of a wonderful event! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Poetry from Jenna Le

     Every so often a writer or a book demands my attention. I resonate to the author or the book, and am gladdened. Earlier this year I read Jenna Le's Six Rivers. Her new book, 

A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora, is worthy of your attention. Below a link to my review: 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28162772-a-history-of-the-cetacean-american-diaspora

Monday, October 17, 2016

My new collection

     I have started to post the lyrics of songs that are stand-alone poems. There are no videos here, but they may be on another of my collections. It seemed like it was time to highlight some of these works, Feel free to comment, disagree or to suggest some others to me. Thanks!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/E1sPnB

Saturday, October 15, 2016

David Crosby Offers Some Thoughts

    A half century ago I admired David Crosby for his mustache, fringed jacket, guitar=playing and singing. I could not understand his addiction to drugs and how he would get into some verbal altercations with his friends.

     In this Guardian interview I resonate to his concerns about America losing its democracy. I do not agree with his view of Hillary Clinton, but I understand why he says them. If someone had told me years ago what things would be like here, I would not have believed them. Once in a while I regret not having gone to law school and maybe done something political. In 1982 I was even the alternate delegate from Giles County to the Virginia Democratic Convention.  That was my apogee in politics.

   Where is the Mark Twain, David Foster Wallace, Hunter S. Thompson to make sense of all this? Crosby tries to, but anyone who infuriates someone as mellow as Graham Nash makes me wonder.
https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5838501516653729241#editor/target=post;postID=3966920590896785230
    Enjoy the music! Another good song by Crosby:




https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/14/david-crosby-trump-country-stills-nash-byrds-election

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I will not gloat, Mr. Herrmann, I promise!

     In 1970/71 I had one of my many conversation with my senior English teacher, Mr. John Herrmann. My point this time was that Bob Dylan deserved to be ranked among the poets we read, such as Shakespeare and Whitman.

     There are teachers who talk to you only to get their point across, and those who actually listen. Mr. Herrmann was the latter kind. "I know you want him to be a poet, Art, but..." He had heard me speak, and then he replied, explaining about rhyme,meter, and the like.

     In my preface to Places and Times, I pay tribute to this teacher because he turned me loose int he library and actually had me in the classroom around a third of the time. That year turned me away from politics and law school hopes, and inspired me with literature and writing.

     When I saw the news about Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature, I thought of my teacher. Tonight I will post a link, and in subsequent posts, share what I think are some of Dylan's most poetic lines.

    And I only hope that years later, one of my students will think so fondly of me.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/books/bob-dylan-on-the-page-poetry-and-prose-to-match-any-american-writer.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

P.S.- The blog has averaged around 180 hits a day! Thanks, everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


     My wife sent me the story, and I am passing it on here! Elvis Costello wrote the introduction, and take some time, however you can, and simply lose yourself in the music and wonder of it all. There will never be another band like this, and for several reasons.

     Some historians say the Founders of the United States was a similar once-in-human-history assembly of great minds. Hmm, we could use some of them now. We can always listen to the Beatles!



http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-beatles-songs-20110919

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Interview in Urban Release Magazine!

    Great news! Please do not think I intend for everyone to rush out an purchase the magazine, although one can certainly do so! I only want to share the good news with you.

https://www.joomag.com/en/newsstand/the-urban-release-september-october-2016/0918471001476124006

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Give-away and interview on Eskimama Reads

   I am thrilled and honroed to post this:
http://eskiemamareads.blogspot.com/2016/10/eskiemama-reads-sunday-spotlight_9.html

Thanks very much!

Saturday, October 8, 2016







     Hurricane Matthew cut a little into attendance and knocked out the Internet at the first Indie Author Day at the Aiken County Public Library in Aiken, South Carolina. Nonetheless, it was a productive day. I sat on a panel sharing my experience with eLectio Publishing and spoke about how to get published. Since the video streaming was not happening, some of us, myself included, got to read. I was able to read about seven poems from Places and Times. Fellow writer Valerie Buttler was kind to take some pictures, and I paid her by taking one of her! 



Off in the Rain

To Indie Author Day! More later! Hurricane Matthew has given us lots of rain. We expect the rain to stop in the afternoon.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sir Neville Marriner, RIP

     In the eaerly 1970s, I was at the Pennsylvania State University. During my first year, I was a reporter for The Daily Collegian, and did some work at WDFM in news. In my sophomore year I took some time off from the newspaper, but that's another story, and worked at the radio station exclusively.

     A few months at Public Affairs director saw me sechedule things to play from 1-2 pm so we could keep our license. Our classical music show was from 2-5 pm. Eventually I became Fine Arts Director for the Third Program, mdeled after the BBC's Third Programme, its classical music show.

   By then I had long abandoned the guitar and had no musical qualifications. However, I would run a staff, tell music majors to stick to the basics since in then there was no Internet, YouTube, or the like. We were the source of classical music for Central Pennsylvania. I also arranged the records and  could pronounce the names of composers/musicians.

   In those days I became acquainted with Sir Neville Marriner. Not merely in baroque, but Elgar and others came to life in his recordings. He was an excellent violinist as well. Now he has passed away, and we have a trove of recordings to savor all the more.

   When i used my radio voice, friends did not recognize me:"And that was the Academy of St. Martin's-in-the -Fields, under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner, in Handel's Water Music." I have adopted a voice for each of my careers: school, Church, miltary. But they all begna in the Sparks Hall studios.

    Maestro, you will teach the angels a thing or two, I daresay!



http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/arts/music/neville-marriner-prolific-musician-and-acclaimed-conductor-dies-at-92.html?_r=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6O8ob4YDX0

Friday, September 30, 2016

Indie Author Day 8 October in Aiken

https://www.facebook.com/events/1261178590599866/

This is one week away! Promises to be a good time! Places and Times available and I hope to use the Square for the first time!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Arnold Palmer, RIP


    Imagine Arnold Palmer and Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) in the same high school at the same time! That was the case in the early 1950s in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Western Pennsylvania, to be more precise. That's my Heimat).

    For as long as I can remember, people liked and respected Palmer. He never forgot his roots. A humble, unassuming person, he took pride in what he did. He won the Master's four times, and notched numerous other victories. His most important contribution was in removing the snobbish mystique from golf.

   In the late 1960s my father took my brother and me one Saturday morning to the golf shop at the Philadelphia Cricket Club to get us interested in golf. He himself did not play, but it was a means for social advancement. My brother and I are second-generation Americans, and I suppose Dad wanted us to climb up the ladder. My reaction was: do I have to wear those clothes? Plaids, pastels, and stripes yuck!

    Neither my brother nor I play golf, but my son does.  tried a few times, but would rather run than play golf. But I respected and liked Arnie. And I miss him.



   

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/25/us/arnold-palmer-death/index.html

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Indie Aiuthor Day


   I always enjoy going to Aiken, South Carolina. When I heard about this event, I asked the sponsors if I could truly be considered and Indie Author, since I have a publisher for my book (thank you, eLectio Publishing!). The sponsors reassured me that I fit in, because the publisher is small enough to be friendly.

   In fact, having a publisher qualified me to have seven minutes of time on a panel discussion of how to get published. Signed copies of Places and Times will be available, and I am hopeful of being able to read a few poems.

   The nicest thing about these events is meeting new friends, seeing friends again, and networking.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1261178590599866/

Friday, September 23, 2016

Published in Mused BellaOnline Literary Review


   
I am honored and pleased to share this with you. this weekend I intend to read some of the fine pieces in his issue. Thanks!

http://www.bellaonline.com/review/issues/fall2016/p016.html

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday, William Carlos Williams




   It was on 17 September 1883 that William Carlos Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey. He would serve as the borough doctor in his adult lfe, and became one of the leading Imagist poets.I imagine that his ability ti diagnose patients helped him to describe the setting of a poem.

   There is more to him than the often-anthologized poem about the red wheelbarrow. These links contain more of his work and one offers a glimpse into his life.


https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/william-carlos-williams

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/william-carlos-williams

http://www.northjersey.com/news/rutherford-celebrates-influential-poet-william-carlos-williams-birthday-1.1661957

And then go eat a plum!

Reviews Are So Very Important to Writers, and So Hard to Get

      When my first poetry book was published seven years ago, I dutifully asked readers/friends to review it. That book, Places and Times, ...