Number Four reactor
Walls melt, floor buckles
one half million men mill
by the banks of the Dnieper
Level Seven Event
Flesh sloughed off
Rounding the corner
cellular structure instantly scrambled
eggs toast and jelly
Gaze upon the elephant's foot
Bathe in green glowing brilliant stochastic calculation
Mutant dogs roam the tainted halls of Prypiat
true death toll unknown
Concerned Scientists shed their lights
on the encircling environment
Glittering glass carpets coat abandoned streets
Creaking Ferris wheel slowly turns into madness
Toxic twin of Fukushima
Thyroid Leukemia Cellular Damage Tumor
the caustic clouds still settling today
Generation after generation
dead women and children
Global impact particle spread
none have been spared
even into tomorrow.
I arrived at the church at 5:30.
It took me a bit to find the place
there were only a couple half-inflated baloons
to mark the occasion.
Those, and a small sign with an arrow, which led
down some stairs and into a cafeteria. An
older lady greeted me. She had a calm smile
on her face. The kind that comes with age, that
says that you've been there, done that.
"Are you here to give?"
Of course. Why else would I be here?
She leads me to a table that has a number of tall dividers
set up on it to prevent people from peeking at someone
else's personal life. Like I care if you've had syphilis in
the last year...well I might if it weren't all men in here.
I start filling out the form.
No, I don't have an STD
No, I haven't spent a time totaling more than 5 years in the UK before 1996
No, I don't use drugs
No, I haven't had a fever in the last 24 hours
I do admit that I have been out of the country recently.
I hand my sheet to another lady. "Where did you travel to?"
"Japan, mostly Tokyo and a few places just outside"
"Carol, could you check Japan on the list?"
She turns to me. "I'm almost certain that's OK, but I have to check". Another contented smile.
I sit down to be interviewed, we go over the questions once more.
"Alright, I just need a small sample before we begin"
She takes the sample with a small contraption that
fits over my finger and jabs a small hole. She runs
a quick test with the blood, letting a droplet fall
in a test tube filled with a blue liquid.
The droplet sinks to the bottom. She checks a box.
Apparently we're good to go.
I'm given an empty blood bag and a number of rubber-banded vials
and pointed towards a circle of beds in the middle of the room.
I walk up and a portly gentleman takes my bag and asks me
which arm I'd like it in.
I want to be able to check my phone while I'm doing this.
"Actually, let's do left"
He gives a grin. "Here, hold both your arms out"
I comply. I immediately notice that my right arm
has a very accessible vein. We're doing the right arm.
"Let's go with the Right"
I smile and sit on the plastic seat
He swabs my arm with that wonderful orange/yellow dye
and gives me a stress-ball to squeeze, to help the process go
quicker. He comes back with the needle.
I look away as I feel the uncomfortable breach of my skin.
It's a small pinch followed by a dull sensation, my body
telling me "That isn't supposed to be there, get it out".
I hate needles.
I feel a light sweat break and my breathing quickens
ever so slightly. It's ok because the hard part is over
I squeeze the stress ball every few seconds and I chat
with the man.
His name is Nick, and he's been doing this for a few years.
He used to work in a restaurant, and then he worked for a
on the fake grouting that the floor in this room has.
You can tell that he loves his job, that he's satisfied with life.
He comments on the t-shirt that I will receive for doing this
(because who would do it if they didn't get a t-shirt, right?)
He says it looks like a blueberry snowcone and tells me a
rather entertaining story from his youth about blueberry
I pipe in with my memories of the Tropical Sno shop we had
when I was a kid.
The bag is filled, the needle is removed. A bandaid is placed,
and then my arm is wrapped with a smily-face bandage.
I give him a left-hand shake and go sit at the refreshments table
I drink a Pepsi. I hate trail mix.
After about 10min or so, I get in my car and drive home.
I put on the blueberry snow-cone colored t-shirt and sit
down to read a book. I think about the people working
at the blood drive, and I think about how happy they
I wonder to myself what the difference is between someone
who gives blood and someone who gives time. I have friends
that travel the world for the Peace Corps, living in third world
countries with no running water, no niceties. I think of friends
who could sit in blistering heat, helping to build a house for
someone they don't even know. I think of myself, who thinks
that donating money to the Leukemia foundation and donating
blood to the Red Cross is somehow equivalent to donating sweat
and an able body.
I should really do more
maybe then I'll earn that smile
that those folks wear so proudly
In your very pure mouth ( god save it )
clanked metal mouthpiece
by cold water in a strange basement
or perhaps even less
Morning doves catapult
Astro goth acid wars
White fire black nympho mania
Could we just kiss
right here this September
not have to wake up
or sleep ever again ?
The Isle of Print
What a place it can take you anyplace you can meet anyone I met Sandra Locke when she wrote about
Her relationship then her break up with Clint she told about as a child how she sold pop bottles at a
General store that was one that took me back but even more exciting was where she was at a place
Called Shelbyville Tennessee I know it firsthand one reason it is seventy miles from Nashville and is the
Tennessee walking horse capital and all so my wife was born and raised there until she was six we would
Take trips there quiet often until two trips we carried her parents to the family cemetery on horse
Mountain we have my wife’s brother fighting Leukemia he said thats where he wants to be buried but for
Now God’s mercy is preventing that I met a guy and I’m sure you have met him many times also his
Name is Samuel Clemens he got a little more famous name when he had one of his many jobs as a Mississippi
River boat captain they called him just like when they measured the rivers depth mark twain he was a
News paper editor in Calaveras County he brought a simple frog leaping contest national notoriety for
Ever after known as the Calaveras bull frog jumping contest I bought three acres for retirement
Unfortunately I made like a bull frog and jumped off the property I drove a truck several times into
Hannibal Missouri you got a quick leap in your heart and head as you thought about the great river
Running by and all of the characters Twain created two losses are recorded there of course twain met
A fiery personage that was even greater than him a space traveler with a glory all together wondrous went by
The name of Haley the other less known but my heart slows when I think of her eight years old blond
Blue eyed her father’s and mother’s pride and joy he was a pastor in northern Illinois she lays in her
Sacred rest in Hannibal until that great waking up day as time goes on I get less and less patient if it
Weren’t for so many precious ones in danger I would be tempted to pray come Lord Jesus. Well not done
By any means just going to stop for now plan on going and doing some hard thinking
I forgot to send your card
The impetus for writing this piece beside the natural reason as the title describes and that entails a
Deeper look at the flowers that I wrote about and then this natural connection occurred a photographer
Placed a rose in a pose lying in water and at the front the water added the magic at the tip the rose
Became liquid it seemed to be dissolving it was fluid and melting she wrote this caption for the picture
Liquid rose pouring out my heart that was my feeling about those I wrote about in sorry your flowers are
Late and then the dreaded phone call my wife’s brother was given two weeks more to live after his
Leukemia was holding a steady pattern so now I write this with the specter of death standing over me
Possibly it will make what I say more rich and true maybe more aware than even before in this life it is
Always the surface that gets the first and most attention objects and things that we move through daily
But I want to go deeper into that which is in flux and that which is fluid emotion and feeling the first one
Stood by me in the alley I thought we were observing great heavy snow flakes fall but I was in a place of
Kindred knowing truth I knew little and she was my teacher I stood by a mere girl some will say but truly
I was standing in the presence and promised kisses of future women I learned gentleness and respect for
The opposite gender how to possess your mind it’s not always a free for all keep something in reserve
It creates interest that will pay rich dividends I learned kindness and the sweet ripples it sends into a
World of discord I found out how to be amazing with just small gestures I could go on and on but she
Taught me about that to and I shouldn’t give away women’s greatest secret I will say just this and no
More to love a women gives wealth and wisdom of the ages the second flower leave it to God’s knowing
Of what you need our fathers were not related but they were twins in many ways you can look at their
Failings and lambast them but you can’t look on them and not love them I don’t care what they failed to
Do it was the inviting of their presence it was just to the bone honesty my friend had that common bond
Of having openly imperfect fathers we still defended and loved them this made our friendship stronger
We played off of one another for this essential need to look and find the good that was weighted by
Alcoholic debris I’m proud of my friend’s accomplishments in life and his rich and strong family I still
Need to feed on those helps to center my own life he says his name is a dog’s name don’t think so you
Old dog the next you learn about love personally and then from myriad sources but I got to learn it at its
Tiniest fount small bicycles and the very young are messengers oh God why are you so good to me
Without inhibitions they see truth mind you they don’t get the swagger what’s that all about anyway
She through clear eyed innocence sees a hero in one who projects a commanded aura if you really look
Believe me the looking is at and end it’s the heart of knowing that has kicked in they brag of their ability
To weigh matter of different kinds can you do it with a heart that loves nothing is missed all tells its
Secrets on this scale the heaviest weight is to love and then not be taken serious because you are to
Young one day when heavens books are opened it will have something to say quiet rich and wonderful
About young love though now she is older of course but the tenderness produced way back then is so
Obvious today what glory hides in the loveliness of friends now the birthday girl herself I hope this will
Square me for the late card to write of her is to speak of stillness that radiates peace a trusting that
Spreads like the quiet of a winter’s morn with new falling snow to speak loudly in her presence what
Harsh disregard you would show you would bear the mark of one who is brutish when in a garden of
Flowers does one raise his voice no you speak in hushed tones that revere elegance and beauty you
Show the quality that has affected you and your admiration the mountain meadow contributes to
Nature's wonder as she spills into the enthralling waiting world she attests to its goodness she cultivates
Possibilities she holds court on lands not recognized as walked on by kings and queens I have found this
To be contradictive if you walked in my shoes and see with my eyes you might tempted to bow in the
Presence of such charm and grace isn’t that what royalty is any way they do a lot of talking about
Streaming she is a precious dream and dreamer that is still there when you awaken God bless you
Precious one do I pine in shadows no I cry in the sun light for these blessings that are mine
He called his older and baby sister home
Leukemia fought back and forth now it came to claim the soul those I cherish most on this earth were to
Be consumed at the deepest depths of the caldron but friend you see I know someone he faced death
Most cruelest blows and was victories so being human and facing pain and sorrow at such heights I ran
To the only place I knew back to the motel in California where he flooded our room with such peace we
Only stopped for the night to break up the drive from LA back to San Francisco the bay area it was
Christmas but we never made it home who can leave when the very air you breathe is saturated with
Love and a peace you have never known before at the time I didn’t know my only sister had died but He
Knew so I prayed that for this situation but they always say God is not limited so he did move in their
Pain my wife the older sister with his next to older sister and her daughter were in the bedroom by his
Side when he peacefully passed the doctor warned that in some cases this disease at death will cause
The person to bleed out every ounce of blood God spared us from that horror he only dropped his
Shoulder and with a couple of puffs of air he was gone and God helped my wife in this way one of the
Books I read to her to get her to sleep is Oma she is a united Pentecostal preacher her story is one of
Terrible hardship after being filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues that is biblical way of
Salvation her husband an unbeliever tried to kill her three times and seemingly even more cruel he and
His mother conspired together and took her five children and one was a nursing baby but she stayed
True to God and her ministry grew and flourished the bible says God is a ever present help in the time of
Trouble and her prayer and mine was help us Lord for we are troubled he sustained Oma and new babies
Born into God’s kingdom through her ministry became her children so God dropped this thought in my
Wife’s heart she said she felt like Oma when her brother died it was right it was strong it held while the
Storm of death was trying to flatten her the next to the oldest sister the one with her daughters and
Husband bore the brunt of this two year battle pressed crushed grinded by what was happening to her
Brother my heart bled most for her God poured in the love from the unseen and laughter is like a
Medicine he supplied that in quaintest portions God uses clowns to bring relief to pain first you have to
Go down in that valley be torn apart then you are given still that which you lack to enter such sacred
Ground and add the antidote that will guard and protect those that God cares to comfort it was great to
Learn although Joe wasn’t a priest in the spiritual sense he was an uncommon one in the human sense
The words of his friends that streamed in told that story and his best friend the next to the oldest
Daughter’s husband capped it when he spoke for the family someone special lived among us and now
Was gone but he will live in each new day bring those same gifts he shared he didn’t have a lot but it
Was All yours if you needed it thats quiet a life in any body’s book I said it before and I will say it again
Farewell Prince a kingdom you now have found
This writing might be a little twisted it’s just where I am I’m in a Nott in my soul and in my physical body
Knees that feel like the little bones are breaking then the other night I did the big no no I worked until
Four in the morning I got up before it was just my toes that had that numb feeling like stone
Well now the whole feet are in this shape so Neoprathy goes wild but the piece was important and so is
This one I was doing a job in California the rescission threw me out to do work of any kind it was like we
Followed the people that did bad jobs basically ripping people off but as I went up to the house this
Elderly lady came around the side of the house she had this tape and gauze around her neck what she
Said next had me riveted she was quiet but trembled when she said they surgically cut my throat and
Tomorrow they have to cut the other side she was so frail and truly had fear with torment I just
Blundered up on this horror that was controlling her life friend we all are going to face this one day I’m
Disturbed by the report of Sharon Osborne having to have a double mastectomy that she had done as a
Safe guard from getting breast cancer because she has the gene that causes breast cancer fear I know
She has a great family a support system that is stellar but in private moments the fear strikes deep I
wrote a piece on breast cancer I’m going to add it on to this piece I guess I’m rattled and I’m trying in my
Flaying way to set up a safe guard against this kind of terror I ran this gambit with my cousin and brother
In -law my cousin I would consider a pretty tough customer twenty two years he was the sheriff of a
Small town but you have to run back in his life as a teenager he said this after being raised in a Christian
Home as soon as I get eighteen I’m out of here he kept his word for some thirty years he never came
Around the church he lived it up smoked like a fiend had to have open heart surgery the black picture
Of his life he took the brush out of the saviors hand now he lived the good life decent upright but he did
Those things that brought trouble on top of trouble the next thing wasn’t his fault but a guy trying to run
From one town to this town without brakes and get them fixed there he ran into my cousin’s police
Cruiser rear ended him ultimately from injuries sustained he had to give up his job he had multiple
Operations that done nothing to relieve the pain he faced what the lady did in California they had to cut
His neck open in the back clear across to do a procedure in the midst of all of this he was struck with
Leukemia he stood in church and said he was scared they did the cell implant from his brother but he
Came to a prayer meeting not a church night and he made his way to an old fashioned altar broke
Through to God he found the fountain that ever sustains and gives life the following church night he
Stood up and said I am not afraid anymore and I have had severe pain for seven years and had to take
Powerful pain killers tonight I am pain free at the altar all of those years of mistakes were cleaned and
His feet were now centered on the paths that lead to glory all seemed to being going well he was just
In the hospital for routine help then they entered the room and said were sorry you are filled with
infection there is nothing we can do God called him home he died three days later but he found the
only answer for fear and torment someone needs this
A song bird with a broken wing the cancer like the archer’s arrow pierced the breast the spirit widens
Under storm laden skies from inward hush and silence an opening umbrella of prayer provides a shield
The buffeted retreats to sheltering rocks and finds the hidden stream within depths blessed bindings
In warmest recesses your steps guided by the unseen over and through this dark passing new findings
With down cast eyes you continue the dark streets the home of the sick and the broken pain unspoken
You came upon these deep downward steeps from the flood lights and euphoric accolades of fame
Before your lyrical melodies were joyful expressive now will carry weighty and knowing sterling acclaim
Mined from troubles hard unrelenting walls finally the richest golden ore through your feelings pour
A little ease by the mystical dreams when sleep restores still withdrawn faces in the moonlight so pale
For a time at heaven you rail to costly you barter all that is thine to own backed by a great pink brigade
You fight with unstoppable courage you lead the march you find ground unvisited you go on without fail
Beaconing to legions behind encouraging you carry the burning torch showing the way through the dark
This my only desire I stand in this human body frail knowing my limitations but from the fight I call you
Don’t be afraid and never say give up to many are depending your touch glorious women you defend
Say in song the mystery you found in a city all alone you met sisters not age defined all filled with youth
In your face I see the unexplainable the untraceable a strength born from conflict a secret knowing
This is dedicated to Kylie Minouge Melissa Eatheridge and all breast cancer survivors
There is a man
who writes signs
for the homeless,
puts different lives
spends his time
night and day
over squares of cardboard
or triangles of vinyl,
he turns them into
or leukemia survivors,
he slaves away
so that they'll get
people to listen,
he wants people
to hear the heart
of the world murmuring
as it cries,
because we have left
their lack of a place
is our society's dark side,
so he is not a man
of the people
he is a man for the people,
he wants that spare
as much for them
as his words
are for himself
and his own sense
because this world
has gone cold on the surface
but it's heart
still makes you uncomfortable,
when you see his signs
in the hands
of men and women
in the grassy medians.