Reverberation, The Novel, is a story of love and friendship, greed and survival set amid the changing social, religious and philosophical mores of early nineteenth-century America.

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Great Men Think Alike

The paint on the metal railing is peeling. I look past it, over the revolving-bed hotels, by-the-week tenements, abandoned shipping terminals, to the sea.

Calm today, the gray water fades into a hazy, blurred horizon, signaling an overcast morning marked by the unbearable heat and humidity of midsummer.

The weather encourages my lethargy, and I free my mind to wallow in reminiscence: my wife, long gone to a new life; my children, adopted by the man who replaced me; my sister, dead by her own hand. I am alone.

I think of Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams. Men like me. Men who gloried in the fame and riches of success; men who drowned themselves in alcohol as they awaited death in big-city hotel rooms.

However, I am impatient. The monkey on my back is too heavy.

Again, I notice the peeling paint as I swing my legs over the railing. My only regret is that I fall from the fire escape of the seedy Hotel l’Alsace and not from a penthouse balcony at the Ritz.


Posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Short Fiction, Short Story, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

The People Ask

Discontent bubbles up
from country clubs
community centers
corner bars.

The people are rebelling.

What happened to character?
They ask.
Straight talk?
Common decency?

They’re tired of trash-talking
false accusations.

They seek a sincere
experienced leader.

Does one exist?
They ask.

(Written for dVerse, 44-word Quadrille 3, February 22, 2016.)

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(A haibun inspired by the quote: “At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.” Paulo Coelho.)

A sea of sand as far as I can see. An azure sky falls into teal blue water and backdrops a solitary dwelling. The home shelters unending love, eternal beauty and the infinite knowledge of man. A dream realized. Until I step back and the fantasy free-falls into the abyss of reality.

Fine house built on beach
Concrete walls withstand high winds
Water erodes sand.


(Written for dVerse Poets, Halibun Monday #7. February 15, 2015.)

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The Craftsman’s Hinge

The iron hinge
is shaped
like a butterfly wing.

It holds the door
in place
and does not

(Written for dVerse Meeting the Bar. Imagism: “Direct treatment of the “thing” whether subjective or objective; …use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation….” January 28, 2016.)

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Birth of a Man of the Sea

Glowing golden flickers
of celestial fire
blaze along the horizon line
and define the separation
of sea and sky.

A lone man revels
in nature’s phenomenon
as long shadows cast
by wind-filled sails
shade cadenced swells
that corrugate the surface
of a near-tranquil ocean
and a white-hot sun
begins its ascent
and burns through
the rising early morning haze.

The man views the naissance
of a fresh salt-air day
as slate-gray clouds part
to allow narrow glimpses
of a pink-and-gold
striated heavenly sphere
no longer cursed
with the ominous black shroud
of previous night skies.

The man bathes
in the tranquil
rhythm of peace
watching waves break
as rhythmic rollers
rather than
as merciless manifestations
of the anger of the gods.

Suddenly the sea is ablaze
a living ocean of molten silver
floating on waters thick
with glowing, iridescent gems
of many colors.
It is plankton
not the supernatural
that break apart
and scatter
when the ship cuts through
the splendid light show.

As morning moves to noon
the glorious azure blue
of sky and water
blur the once-clear horizon line
to create a world
both encapsulated
and without end.
The metaphor of opposing illusions
weighs heavy on the man of the sea
as he contemplates
shattered sea sparkles
and past, present and future lives.

(Written for dVerse Poetics: Ecopoetry. January 26, 2016.)

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Buds on magnolia trees
flaunt pink tips and lush bodies
anxious to shed their cold-weather skins.
Crocus and daffodil leaves stand tall
to decorate their earthen comforters
and shelter adolescent blooms.
All will wither and die
as winter snows dance spring
back into hibernation.

Written for dVersePoets, Quadrille 1 (a 44-word poem that includes the word dance, used with an object). January 18, 2016.

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The Ideal Candidate (An Ovillejo)

I came because you have a need
I came to lead.
I came because you need a hand
Oh Motherland.
I came because you are laid bare
in your despair.
I came because I truly care.
I came to blow away the hate.
I came to guide you to your fate.
I came to lead, Oh Motherland, in your despair.

(Written for dVerse Poets, “Unraveling the Ovillejo”. January 14, 2016.)

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View From a Park Bench

The ancient sycamore
spreads above my head.
The branches on one side
stretch far from the trunk.
They grow up and out
seek new horizons
respect the guidance of the past.
On the other side
the tree’s limbs are stunted
their barren boughs sprout twisted twigs
that fall to wretched winds
of opportunism
and join with
vulnerable new growth
to embrace oblivion.

I sit on my park bench
under the sycamore
and read my book as I have
every day
since I was a child.
However, now I am old.
My youth, my friends and family have gone.
I’m rarely invited to join in conversation
with strangers.
So I sit
and read
and watch
and take careful note of those
who frequent my park.

A young boy peddles past me
as water sloshes from the bottle
strapped to the backpack
that swings from the handlebars of his bike.
A dancer who lives in the upscale apartment house
on the other side of the park
hurries by in her ballerina slippers
with the tulle of her tutu
peeking out from the garment bag
she has thrown over her shoulder.
I keep a close eye on the techie
with the charger cord hanging from his canvas briefcase
as he talks on his phone in a language I do not understand.
And the homeless woman
who sleeps in the alley next to my house
shuffles by carrying a Superman backpack and matching lunch pail
she has retrieved from the playground sandbox.

Like I, only young,
an average looking man
sits opposite me
on a park bench
under a defoliated tree.
He taps away on his keyboard
pausing for an interval
to receive an answer before tap-tapping his response.
he places his nondescript backpack under the bench
rises from his seat
sends a final message
and throws his disposable phone into the trash can.

I look up into the bleached branches
of the leafless tree
under which I sit
knowing that the eyes and ears
of America’s watchdogs
have been silenced.
No one is monitoring the average looking man.
There will be no last minute rescue like on TV.
Instead I and my ancient sycamore
will succumb
to the same fate
as the twisted twigs
that fall to the wretched winds of opportunism.

(Posted on dVerse Poets Open Link Night #163, January 07, 2016).

Posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

“I Am The Vessel That Stands Watch”

I am the vessel that stands watch
as confiscated olives pour
from carefully concealed clay casks
and spread across the airport floor.

I am the vessel that stands watch
while green flesh blends with dull red hearts
and random bits of wild fruit scoot
and cockamamie circling starts.

I am the vessel that stands watch
as olive owner waves her hands
then protests as the agent probes
and on small gemstone his hand lands.

I am the vessel that stands watch
as stone is plucked from olive jam
wrinkles crinkle the lady’s face
the lioness becomes the lamb.

I am the vessel that stands watch
I grin as entry is denied
passport and stone are stuffed away
their fate unknown, her hands are tied.

I am the vessel that stands watch
as paisley shawl of olive green
with arrows etched pimento red
folds round her as she leaves the scene.

I am the vessel that stands watch
and moves into her spot in line.
He never looks, just sends me through
my passport, fake; agent, benign.

I am the vessel that stands watch
I smile, knowing my contraband
is larger than an olive jar
or papers held by alien hand.

My head’s the vessel that stands watch
o’er diagrams, materials
time and place of detonation
safe source for gas, bacterials.

My head’s the vessel that stands watch
As numbers grow and passion mounts
I tout the ideology
my perseverance is what counts.

I am the vessel that stands watch
as other olive jars arrive
no stones this time, but flammables
to spark the change for which I strive.

I am the devil that stands watch
while rent flesh blends with dull red hearts
and random bits of wild fruit scoot
I dance as Armageddon starts.

(Written for dVerse Poets Pub, Open Link #160. November 12, 2015.)

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“Fall Fury”

Winds whisk hard-driven rain water
into mini spouts
and twisted peaks

Street lights beam reflected patterns
onto swirling rivulets
and flooded tarmac.

Stranded cars and boats are toppled
as nature flogs
the vanities of man.

The fury of a hurricane
levels the playing field.

(Written for dVerse Poetics, “Weather You Like It, or Not”. November 10, 2015.) This is a bit of a stretch–it’s raining here, but certainly not a hurricane, and our boats are moored in backyards rather than on water.

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