A Country Sampler



For such a born and bred Bronx kid to wind up out in the sticks in South Carolina is one thing.  But to write poetry about the country life?  I guess you just never know! Below find some of my works that I am considering for an upcoming chap book. Also please, if you have been enjoying my work please consider helping with any amount at my GoFundMe. This really is all I have until we can figure out exactly what can be done to fix my back. As you can see it has just been a meager amount over the whole life of the campaign but all our savings and anything that could be sold have been exhausted with several months left until my disability hearing is scheduled. Enough said. Enjoy the writes.


Carnival Craze

ahead dots color hill tops afar dark
yellow, red, blue. and white bulbs
a slow drive rounding easy curves
chants of glee sounding the escape
voices expecting exciting an evening

sour the sweetness knocking gently
as windows rolled down feel a sniff
ahead now neon lights circle the sky
parked the station wagon in a field
smiles falling out the old rear door
pink fluffy sugar whipped on a stick

corn scented popping grandly new
sticky sounds of sneakers skipping
mirrors and teacups join a sway too
the hot dough shaped ears powdered
join parade in turn at ticket booths cut

prizes of royalty reach up drooling eye
wheels spinning higher recall butterflies
bops and pops abound in wild carousel
loose change dribbles clanging on down
gum, hats, glasses and feathers scatter
back to the old Buick we return, smiles

Carrot Seeds

growing up in the city
carrots came in a can
you peel back the tin
and out they came clean

concrete gardens sprout
hard the seedlings rise
a transplant now am I
turning soil mixing poop

tiny the seed of a carrot
rolling off my dirty hands
after sun and water shines
a little green pop appears

when the green grew tall
I had to check have a peek
so poke around did my hand
just a skinny root now ruined

another day another check
months end the crop is gone
let the seeds grow undisturbed
the fruit will show when ready


A Picture In Grayed Boards

Mothers words grip within emotions
in the way dads old pickup drives
the treasured rides dirt swirling
behind us faster than the rabbits
fleeing through the peanut fields
startled does bound the fences
wire sagging and barbed gives way
her apron blowing softly seen
from the porch she waves smiling
it’s peach pie this evening sister
hanging out the washed sheets
giggling cute as the chipmunk
watching her from under the barn
grayed boards perfect the scene

perpetual the change that remains sweet

muffled giggles in blooming flowers
spark light the butterflies cool rise
yellows, oranges, and blacks scattered
in a blinking musical whirlwind ballet
lilies and crocuses spinning a melody
delicate antenna mimic a child’s wave
May shadows at noon disguise liquid
puddles skated smooth froze as ice
floral scents carried along spring winds
perpetual the change that remains sweet

Turnips Beside The Road

bunches of turnips spread out
an old country table of boards
dents and gaps showing age
soil dry now crumbles off as
each pile is shook before packing
the old vegetable boxes stacked
hurriedly in the bed of that old
white pickup that sat years in the
field back of the old slave cabins
it’s another hot day out there for
selling turnips beside the road




The Oldies Station

old the filling station half stands, a rusting show place lost
once bustling in brightness, weeds poke up asphalts cracks
peering around, periscopes riding in the crumbling black wakes
entertainment in a desolate place, silent country Bowery reruns
pumps hand driven, virgins they were to plastic cash sliders
in reflections shadowed, chrome glared of manner’s suited
oil checks, pop in glass bottles, coin driven phone call booths
change rides in, wearing glamour mostly, leaves some dusted
streetlights bent in prayer, touching the abandoned lot distressed
their wiring hangs limp, cut to fraying the darkness answers not

Southern Shine

Blue skies reflecting off southern eyes
Sight that is sweet as fresh pecan pie
Georgia peaches and Muscadine wine
Honey suckle and the sweet bye and bye
Carolina moonlight drinking down the shine



Papered With The Funnies

listening as the drops sound off one by one
coming storm raining down on the old tin roof
the falling porch leans toward the hill above
nothing fades as nicely as paint on metal does
wildflowers peak from between boards and stone
foundation sliding daily towards the eastern edge
sights and sounds returning inside this house
fools call it a shack but to me it’s ever true home
papered twice in the finest newspapers of the era
an architectural designer tribute to snuffy smith
running water is found in the creek pure and cool
the most of it found clear in mason jars shelved
among the years tomatoes and pickled okra
nostalgia grows in this holler when the rain falls





Monday Morning Poetry


The World From His Window /or/ the Wheels In the Wheels Go Round and Round

He sits day by day
gazing beyond the silicon created illusion
searching for something that’s left his mind
a verse, a melody, a memory
like a broken shell beyond repair
in his world of fantasy  laced reality
the old man counts the days
by the hairs caught in his comb
while multi-colored children play games
on little black boxes in the dark
a world, distinct in-distinctions groans
false perceptions push and pull
everything within the senses once vivid
now cheating for a place among
what is seen, heard, felt, and received, rather than perceived
evening and morning greet each other loudly sometimes, quietly others
rather than that burned out marionette
on frayed strings, jerking wildly,
whose dance is without grace
always out of place
being a being, lost in space
if you hear him crying in the night
reliving the battles
the ceremonious washing’s
do not look to close
do not stare to long
his handlers have left scars of great depth
the old man is splintered and cracked
with a stench of wood burned in the fire
and soaked in water, you know
the odor I speak of, a perfume not
sold in the likes of ancient department stores
not to be found for any price these days
but this (that) old man
he stays right there, oblivious to his own care
though quite mindful of a stare
despite the new world disorder
thrust full force upon that one or sum
full of brows, silvery and thin
your thoughts of him
might be dim
he is just there in that chair
filthy, stinky, useless, unknown creature
whose presence only serves,
among men and women,
in this age and ages past
befitting a scare
but every now and again,
unseen until that shell has been split open
and broken
a single ray of light will give a glimmer,
a shimmer
and beyond the shell, beyond the smell
those who, still can be still, find a pearl
In the Makers hands
what to us is beyond repair
is made new, clean, and a treasure rare.

Oroville Dam UPDATE !!!


Is Failure of the Oroville Dam Possible?

February 11th, 2017 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

“The last couple of days have not made me very confident in the predictions of engineers associated with the Oroville Dam.

While I am a climate researcher, and not hydrologist, it took me less than an hour midday yesterday (see comments here) to estimate that the emergency spillway would be breached around 9 a.m. PST this morning. I was off by an hour…it was breached at 8 a.m.

But engineers were leaning toward the lake level never getting that high (901 ft.)

This kind of calculation isn’t rocket science. As long as inflow into the lake exceeds outflow (both of which are monitored hourly), the lake level will rise.

Why were engineers reluctant to predict the (admittedly historic) event?”



The latest releases have caused even more damage widening the hole and cutting away at the side of the hill. The lake is at about 95% so they have to keep releasing I would suspect. This is an earthen dam and if this thing goes it will be a major catastrophe. If you live in California stay alert you do not want to have all that water and earth coming at you.

here is a short video:

A video posted on YouTube shows big trouble at the dam, as the spillway has developed an almost 200 ft. hole. For the earthen filled dam this may turn out to serious, though officials are saying there is no danger at this point. .

According to Wikipedia this is the most important water source for the California Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project.

“The Oroville-Thermalito Complex is a group of reservoirs, structures, and facilities located in and around the city of Oroville in Butte County, California. The complex serves not only as a regional water conveyance and storage system, but is the headwaters for, and therefore perhaps is the most vital part of, the California Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project, the world’s largest publicly built and operated water and power development and conveyance system.”

Courtesy: Richard Winterrowd

Richard Winterrowd

CBS13 reports,

“Operators increased their water releases at the dam on Tuesday as a significant storm rolled through Northern California. However, as peak water releases started happening around noon, people started noticing some concerning signs”

In terms of a catastrophic failure besides the residents below who could lose everything and the immediate lose of life, there also could be major impacts throughout California in terms of water and power.

This is something to definitely keep an eye on.

Fukushima Update 2/7/2017

Image may contain: one or more people and indoorHave not been able to spend too much time watching the live streams, right now it is night in Japan, but will try to get more shots today. My YouTube videos on the smoke coming from Reactor #1 have been being hit by trolls with fake accounts, saying all kinds of stuff about my videos being bogus and such. This just adds credibility ( in my opinion) to my thoughts that it is steam or smoke we saw boiling out of that building.

Here are the videos I have on it so far:




Psalm 28

So sorry I did not get more posted yesterday, it was a very bad day for pain. My latest update is here. https://www.gofundme.com/hke3swus

Image may contain: 2 people

 Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

An Afternoon Poem


not every man is evil

not every man is evil
not every man hits
at the woman
said he ‘loves’
nor speaks low
and grotesque
mean or sexual
nor to provoke

not every man is evil
not every man lies
at the woman
said he “loves”
nor flirts low
and sweetly
secretly behind
nor to cheat

not every man is evil
not every man puffs
at the woman
says he “loves”
nor puts down
and degrades
loud or unknown
nor to be top

not every man is evil
every man is evil
man is evil
and there is
no excuse
for me

or two…

Route 66 Hiking to Hitch

asphalt bubbling along summer roads
steps turn into enemies heavy and sticky
battling this backpack an elephant above
piggyback riding me the first twelve miles
leaving Chicago alone on double sixes
two thousand four hundred thirty six left
four wheels the brain talk constant now
feet swelled and blistered boots eyelets drip
their wet balls travel down tight nylon laces
mocking me in steam rising clouds of queries
they hit hot pavement ahead of each footprint
in black quicksand stuck thumb extended

Psalm 20 King James Version (KJV)

  The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.

Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.


Some People Trust In Elephants

bight and fiery tracers wiz past
seeking out targets of consent
with flares above affording sight

bombs blare their acceptance
speaking in corrupt vile intensity
the campaign potty training trail

unsightly exposure to deceit
fear driving the party platform
restless inductees working late

buying and selling fear and doom
donations left on the convention floor
the janitors making the laws here

sold to crowds lighted glasses
religious icons of american pop
a cultural class of warfare hype

black widow apocalyptic purse
empty handed jesters distributing
their powerful tonics of positions

building bridges of human suffering
so as to reach the greener pastures
which silently sound proper affiliations

the key to chastity’s broken note belt
leaking spent oil as much as e-mails
best thing just take the bullet and run

while some people trust in elephants,
and other people will trust in donkeys
we trust in the Name of the Lord Our God



Related image

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of theLord is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of theLord are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.




 Very early, not much past dawn, Me and my cousin just finished our paper route in the Parkchester area of the Bronx. It was Sunday and the paper was huge. Every other day during the week the trucks would drop a section for the Sunday paper along with the days issue. When the section for Sunday came all of the sections would have to be collated before deliver could begin.
 When we had completed or last building, Johnny,that’s my cousin, pulled a huge marker out of his pocket. I had never seen such a marker it was wide and thin, a strange site indeed. He said that he “bogarted” it from his older brother. Then he took a turn off our usual route home and when I saw where we ended up I was surprised. All around me were mail trucks, we were in the lot behind the post office where they park the mail trucks overnight, and on Sunday morning at this hour nobody could be seen or heard back there.
 I can’t recall his name, or “tag” but I knew it was my turn to use that ‘Miniwide” in a minute and I needed a graffiti name quick or he would think I was square, or a wimp. The smell of that ink as he handed me the marker is a memory that lingers to this day some 43 years later. without skipping a beat I wrote Z I G, Zig that was it , that was my graffiti name, blurted out in a mere moment on a Sunday morning behind the post office. An ancient meme if you will. We hit a few more trucks, and jumping back and forth across the big flat rear bumpers mail trucks had those days, almost like an Army vehicle if you ask me, we were gone.
 In 1971, in the Bronx, or maybe in my mind, graffiti was in it’s infancy, pornography was a toddler, Vietnam raged across the sea in a place I couldn’t have pointed out on any map or globe. Dying was easy, happened all the time but living, despite our pleasant memories now of that time, living was hard and soon to get harder. It would not be long before us and our vices would all seem to hit puberty at the exact same time, and booze and drugs had already joined in. Our gang took it all in stride and rode that wave as far as it would go. And looking back I’m amazed there are still so many of us alive. Well, mail trucks turned to trains, inside,outside, layups. the yards. And you can just imagine how all the other stuff went?
 Most of my friends growing up went to one of the three Catholic schools close by, St. Anthony’s, St. Raymond’s, or my grade school St. Helena’s. There are a millions stories that go along with that part of our lives also, as you can imagine. I’m tired now, seems that way a lot these days. Think I’ll just rest a bit before I get into some of the real stories. Stories that would hurt your dear Mother if she knew about it.

The Art of War /or/ Gang Wars for Sure

Image result for black spades gang
 The really big gang wars had mostly gone out of style by the time I was coming up in the Bronx. But as you have seen if you have been reading some of these ramblings, I always found a way to make the scene. Looking back on things, always makes me feel like Forest Gump, or Little Big Man. Seems like whenever something big is taking place in the world I would wind up in the middle of it.. Well, my small world any way.
 Now I was pretty young when I attended my first gang war. Is that the right word to use for a gang war, attended? I don’t think so, but that’s all I can come up with. I was somewhere in the ten or eleven year old range, because it could not have been any later than about nineteen seventy four. A full year before I attended, there’s that word again, my first rock concert. For the record, and this has it’s own story to be told also, Black Sabbath at Madison Square Garden. I’ll get to that one later. But I was ten or so and the word hit the street that the White Warriors would be having it out with the Black Spades.  At this age I didn’t know much about racial relations, couldn’t even spell it I’m sure, but the sound of those two names, gang warring it out had me hooked. In fact I’m not quite sure I couldn’t have told you much about what a gang was except that they all wore the same cool jackets. And between the cool jackets and the promise of knives, and chains, and bats, and maybe even a gun I just had to “make the scene”. As far as the gang names and any racial prejudice, my Dad had his business down on 103rd St and Broadway so I was used to seeing people who had even darker skin then I did, and lighter, being of Italian and Irish descent, and my skin clearly favored the Italian side of the family. So much so that one summer after returning from Massachusetts after a month of out of state fun, I hung out on the corner for a full hour before my friends recognized me thinking I was a Puerto-rican. Go figure? I offer that as a disclaimer of any racially motivated motives in relating this story or others. But that really is not important to the story. What is, is the a full accounting of every detail my young mind took in that day. And for a young impressionable mind, it was almost too much to handle.
 To begin with, preparations were in order before attending any gang war, and especially your first. Me and my cousin Johnny decided days before, that cut off dungaree jackets where the way to go, Levi’s of course but in a pinch Lee would do also. Each of us had a fairly new one being so soon after the holidays, so off with the sleeves and hide the clippings and jackets til the war. Can’t be having the parents knowing what’s up, as they most probably bought us those fine pieces of fashion. Besides the fact that we had a good idea they would not be as impressed with us attending a gang war, as we would be ourselves. Add one folding knife each, mine being a Schrade, which would be my knife of choice for many years to come, and Johnny packing a Buck, our preparations were ready. Or so we thought.
 The first thing that didn’t go as planned, and you knew something would, was the hiding of our gang war jackets. We had placed them in a brown grocery bag, rolled it down as tight as possible, and deposited the bag in a tight spot in the stairwell in my building. The perfect spot we thought since the left stairwell as you came into 44 Metropolitan Oval was rarely used by anyone being that it went to the basement, where as the right side only went up. I guess this made folks uncomfortable because if you were going up someone could sneak up on you from below without being detected beforehand. I never understood this, since being the streetwise kid I was, I figured any crazed homicidal maniac would just as well wait up a flight for you rather than have to climb up after you, that’s just more work. And crazed homicidal maniacs in my book were smart enough to not want to put in that extra strain beforehand, what with all the work they had coming, slicing and stabbing and carrying bodies and all. But none the less as it turned out, the bag turned out not to be in such a good hiding spot, and it was apparently found. This caused us in the future, when adventure came along, to resort to keeping very important objects on the top of the elevator, which we had now almost mastered the art of riding on top of.
 As you can see, we were not the type to let little setbacks ruin the whole adventure. Besides not having the gang war jackets, other obstacles came along trying to rob us of this most important right of passage. Turns out that on the day of the “rumble” that’s gang talk, Johnny had an appointment at the orthodontist to determine his suitableness for braces, and I had a bunch of chores to do, which set us back a few minutes from our original time of departure. But, being it was a gang war and all, and that it was to be our very first, nothing was gonna’ stop us, We wound up meeting in front of Macy’s on Metropolitan Avenue about thirty minutes after the gang war was set to begin. Johnny straight from the Orthodontist without time to change, kinda looked like we would later in history refer to as a preppie, and me not preppie, but certainly not “ganggie”. So without our jackets and no knives, (don’t remember if we just forgot them or felt there no point in bringing them without the rest of our outfit), we made our way through Macy’s which had a door on each side and cut through the tunnel that brought you out near the West Oval.
 It turned out we were late, the gang war was in full swing when we got there. Small groups of gang members scattered about here and there around the oval, punching each other, swinging bats, and chains, and all sorts off unbelievable implements of death and destruction. It was beyond even our greatest fantasy’s of blood and guts, we just stood in amazement. And just as we were starting to get a good view and idea about how to conduct oneself in a gang war, sirens! The cops, come streaming in from the opposite side of the oval driving the gang members, who now had stopped beating each other, at full trot straight at us. Me and Johnny take off running also, trying to keep ahead of the gangs as they were fleeing from the police. We made our way back through Macy’s and across Metropolitan Avenue in a flash and headed toward the South, our “turf”. Through the tunnel in the buildings that were next to the Lowes American Theater, and past Parkchester Road toward the South Oval. We managed to stay ahead of the gangs as they headed that way too, at least somewhat anyway. When we hit the Oval I went left, btu Johnny went right. I found out later he had gone to his apartment which was in that direction, since it was dinner time anyway. I slowed as I got to the north end of the Oval, and sat at one of the benches next to a few of the elderly folks from the neighborhood.  After all the gang activity let up and most of the cops had all left also, I got up and headed back to the other side of the Oval where some of the other kids from the neighborhood had gathered. What I failed to notice that my uncle Richie was standing there also. As I was approaching, Richie reached down into some of the bushes that surrounded the Oval and pulled something out. When I got there I saw what looked like a metal pipe, and later I learned was a zip gun. A barrel with just a trigger the stock being removed for concealment purposes. My uncle was able to get in touch with an officer who had not yet gone far, and gave the zip gun to him. I didn’t think that was very cool since I figured we could use it for the next gang war, but I never said anything about it. I did get a stern look and an order to go home from my uncle which I obeyed after much protesting about my innocence in all the events of that afternoon.
 Back at my house, after dinner, I got a good talking to about the dangers of gang wars and violence in general, along with a small demonstration of violence on my hind quarters. And I was told in the future, that if there should be another gang war in the area, I should observe such from the safety of my sixth floor bedroom window. Which even though there were no gang wars currently taking place, I was given the pleasure of looking out for the next three days, as I was grounded in my room for that period. Turns out that really was the end of such spectacular gang wars in our area. Oh, there were other fights and such, but not real gang wars. We would have to focus our attention on other adventures after that. Stuff like rock concerts, and riding on top of elevators, and graffiti. And believe you me, there’s plenty to tell about those things, for sure. So, if you can hang tight I should be able to tell you a little bit about those things soon.
If things seem a bit different in my story from what you remeber let me know, but I just write as best my memory lets me, and sometimes I have to mix my stories a bit to get a detail in. But really, this is a true story.