Tuesday, February 28, 2017

TS Eliot's "Ash Wednesday"- an annotated version

     Tomorrow marks the start of Lent for Western Christians. Regardless of one's spirituality, or lack thereof, I think that everyone would agree that it is good to take some time to pause and reflect on the type of people we are and how we are not all that we would like to be. As Martin Luther said, whatever we strive for can become our god, so there are no atheists. In my Army chaplain days every so often someone wold announce his or her atheist status, to which I would calmly ask if the soldier was a devout atheist.

     The Eliot poem reflects his own journey to Anglo-Catholicism.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wonderful Event Roday

     This year's Local Author Showcase at the Richland County Public Library Main Branch, Columbia, SC, was wonderful! I saw old friends, made new ones, made some connections, and sold some books even!

     I was glad to meet Blythewood author Karen Bobrow; she is from New Jersey and we both come from Eastern European backgrounds. Her blog is on my reading list for my blog.  Do Svidanya Dad is the name of her book and blog.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Local Author Event tomorrow!


     Two years ago I went to this event with a book soon to be released. Last year I had it available, as I do this year. Next year, there will be another book, and maybe a chapbook as well!
      By far the best thing is meeting people; seeing friends and making new ones. If you cannot come, and of course most of you cannot, then share my joy. If you would like a signed copy of Places and Times, I can certainly assist you!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Another poem in a Coming MUSED BellaOnline

I will be published here again. Here's a link to my first one in this fine publication.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Two books next year, maybe three!  If you want a signed copy, contact me please!

Whitman Novel Found!


    Not every poet has a bridge named for them! Walt's connects Camden, New Jersey (he lived there) to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   Interesting story.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wonderful Book Launch!

    Fantastic book Launch for Poets Respond to Race Anthology from Muddy Rivers Press. Al Black and Len Lawson piloted the concept and lead the way in talking about race. They urged us to continue the process as best we can. And I encourage you!

   I am honored to have been included in the book and as their friend. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Poets Respond to Race Anthology Book Launch

I'll be there with hopefully many other contributors!


World's Oldest Love Poem

     People knew how to write back then, also! This poem is 4,000 years old and comes from a Sumerian fertility ritual. Whoever wrote it was an excellent poet! Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A great honor paid to me by Irene Riz

     The most wonderful thing about being involved in poetry is meeting fantastic poets and people. Irene Riz was so moved by my Berlin poem Mein Traum/My Dream that she wrote her own poem about Berlin.

I give the text, and also her link

Spring in Berlin

In the foaming lilac of the evening
lemony gold of awakening windows,
slender bridges and darkening arches
are calling me.

Novel stories unspoken and frozen
on the lips yet to be kissed
carry a promise.

Little gardens have fallen asleep
in semitransparent darkness.
Cabaret and bars
open and close their doors
in the rhythm of awakening hearts.

Street lights are passing by
or is it I
who wafts in the evening sky
along the Spree River banks?
And I know it is not my life
but enticing and calling dream
about Berlin.

IRiz February 2017
My poem is inspired by My Dream, a poem from the book Places and Times by +Arthur Turfa​​.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Final Post on Robbie Robertson's "Testimony"

     The Band did not end on a positive note; sorry about the atrocious pun. Only two of the members are alive, which obviously means no resolution of issues can be possible.

    Robertson admits that he took on most of the business role for the Band as time went on, and that was fine with everyone else. Be that as it may, with the exception of Garth Hudson, the rest of the group (Levon Helms, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko) wallowed in various addictions and issues.

     While I understand the resentment against Robertson, I can also see his point about taking charge while most everyone else was drugged out. Please understand; I am not being callous or unsympathetic, but at some point someone had to step up and take care of things. My read is that Robertson got burned out at having met some movers and shakers in California (where the Band moved), he likely felt tugged by new creative influences and went in those directions.

     I am a bit sad because there was no resolution for the Band: at least in this life

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Long Black Veil

     When I heard the Band's version of this on their first album, I thought it was some old song into which they had breathed new life. At least that is the way that it sounded. Years later I learned that the song was consciously written in an older style.

     It is still a great song, and I will post the Band's version on my Google+ Collection. But here is a link to the story behind the song:


     Since I finished Robbie Robertson's Testimony today, I feel a few more posts that are Band-flavored.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

53 years ago today, the band came to play on Ed Sullivan

     The Beatles debuted on Sullivan's famous Sunday evening television show. The world has not been the same since. They were revolutionary and innovative; Sir Paul and Ringo carry that on today  remember sitting with my parents, who hated the music, and with my brother, who loved it as I did- and do.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Hand in Hand- Poets Respond to Race Anthology


     I have a poem in here. My friends Al Black and Len Lawson conceived the idea for this timely book. And I will be at the book launch!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Deckle Edge and Local Author Showcase


    I am proud and honored to be at this event again. Sunday, 26 February, 3-5 pm at the Richland County Public Library. Directions are on the site above. This will be my second year at the event, and I will take in more of Deckle Edge itself on the weekend. It is good to see friends and make new ones.

    Next year I will have Accents from Blue Deco Publishing along with Places and Times from eLectio Publishing.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

On Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Birthday- 4 February 1906

     Recently the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche) has been on my mind lately. About a third of the EKD, the (mostly) Lutheran Church in Germany refused to submit to the Third Reich. Bonhoeffer was martyred mere weeks before the war's end; his name was on a list of prisoners who would not survive the defeat of that evil regime.

     In this short space any attempt to say more does him a disservice. What I will do is to post a poem of his, written in the prison in Tegel, a section of Berlin. I have gone over thta poem with students, and I also post a link to an English translation.

    No matter what the future holds, I hope and pray that we will not need a Confessing Church in the USA.



Friday, February 3, 2017

A Literary "Testimony"

    Robbie  Robertson's "Testimony" has taken even more of a literary turn. As Robertson gets to know Bob Dylan better, the Canadian is more and more awed by the poetry of Dylan's lyrics Dylan is very well-read, and in all sorts of subjects. Poet Michael McClure takes the pair to San Francisco's iconic City Lights bookstore. The pictures that include Allen Ginsburg are superb.

     I am not even half way through the book!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Day the Music Died - 3 February 1959

     I was in Kindergarten then, but was unaware of the tragedy. By then I knew enough musically to like the Everly Brothers, and know whom my folks liked, or didn't like. but it was later than I learned about Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. Richardson. The latter was ill, and Jennings gave up his seat because the bus everyone was to take had no heat.

    Below a few links about "The Day the Music Died":




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5ecvBaqHBk  The plane was not named "American Pie", but it is a great song.

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, ...