Sparked by Words

Archive for the ‘Just a Thought’ Category


A lake imparts a majestic vision only by the terrain surrounding it – the mighty trees, the grassy hills, the faceted boulders. Otherwise it’s just a large puddle.

A novel endears readers only by the story execution within it – the flawed characters, the twisted plot, the unexpected resolution. Otherwise it’s just a pompous dictionary.

Life requires inner strength and outer empathy. Otherwise it’s a meaningless existence.


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Digital painting courtesy


Wasp Nest

Story is a loose thread pulled until the whole spool unwinds, all the words tumbling out like wasps from a struck nest. The writer arranges them into pleasing patterns of words that sting, of words that placate, of words that provoke. The writer then is the papery hull of the nest, tattered and empty.

Until the next story comes along. Now buzzing with ideas. Building a new nest.


Just a thought 34


Image courtesy



Thou shalt forgive, because one day you will need to be forgiven – the forgotten Eleventh Commandment.

This one was written for me.

I will stop cursing you if you stop killing innocent people.

I will remember those who died as they fled. The ones chewing bubble gum, the ones in their letterman jackets, the ones wearing braces, the ones studying for a test, the ones who stuttered when answering, the ones practicing dance steps.

The ones who were always late, the ones who were always on time, the ones with new haircuts, the ones learning code, the ones who played soccer, the ones who cheered, the ones learning Spanish, the ones learning English, the ones painting in art class.

The ones who forgot their homework, the ones writing an essay, the ones practicing flute, the ones struggling with algebra, the ones struggling with verb tenses, the ones who aced chemistry, the ones who nearly graduated. Oh my God, the ones who nearly graduated.

The ones who were crying and frightened.

The ones who died as they hid.

The ones who will never be twenty.

Who will never be twenty.

I will remember their names.

I will not remember your name.

I will forgive.

But sometimes you bastards make it pretty damned hard to forgive.

We’ve all had enough.

Enough already.



In memory of the students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida


Just a thought 33


Photo courtesy


For Those We Love

We begin by wailing and sobbing, harrowed with grief over our loss.

We pray for the one who is gone, for we who are left behind, for those who will acquaint only in story.

We beg answers to questions never resolved except in metaphor, thoughts that weigh more than the sum of their words.

We make fists, then open palms, hold hands, and grasp shoulders, swaying as a group so that none fall.

We share memories. One is spellbinding. One is provocative. One is a revelation. One is tender. One makes us laugh.

Our tears dry while the sorrow rises with our amens and we step forward. The first step hesitates, the next holds ground, then we lose count.

We will never forget but we move on but we will never forget.

There is an order to paying tribute to those who have passed. The order controls the bedlam that otherwise imprisons us.

It allows a semblance of freedom from unrelenting despair so we can return to order.

Today, though, I am harrowed with grief.


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Photo of girl courtesy of CC0 Creative Commons



Forward is the Only Possible

Like smells that dissipate over time – skunk and cinnamon, lemon oil and wet dog – past fame doesn’t fill current space. Whatever accomplishments I achieved yesterday – a good deed for a stranger, a well written paragraph in my work in progress, an angry retort I wish I could annul (not glory but shame) – are not enough for today. Tomorrow waits to be filled with distinction.

The past is a nebulous landscape, the future a cryptic horizon. Only the slipstream under my feet energizes today. Today exists for an infinitesimal moment, archaic while the moment passes.

Waft cautiously, ingest deeply. Exhale with resolve. Roll up my sleeves, engage today’s pursuits. Smells invigorate this moment, an elixir of potential.



Just a Thought 31



Alchimiste, 1648, by David III Ryckaert

This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.




And the Blood


Until they bleed, writers stand in a circle, before one, behind another, scratching each other’s backs – reading, writing, reviewing. Yours is so well written, exciting, mesmerizing, now read my book.

Once in print, writers turn like a carousel for the public circuit – Facebook, talk shows, conventions, book fairs, trade shows, congregations, schools, radio broadcasts, audiences anywhere – whoever will listen. Arrived in a dream, born of my soul, please read my book.

Writing is a deeply, intensely private affair, conducted in silence in a space illuminated by the flame in our bones, propelled by the curiosity of our minds. Writers crouch over their words, bodies immobile, obsessed with story. Years of hard work, crafting the vision, someday read my book.

Only the fingers move, the fingers, the imagination –

And the blood.




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Image of super blue blood moon





Open Heart

End the argument with a slammed door, the house will crumble

Turn away with a shrug, we will speak again

Face disappointment with clenched fists, the fury will resume

Share thoughts with open palms, we will be friends again

Stitch a broken heart with regret, the wound will fester

Mend it with self-examination, we will love again


Our wedding certificate was sealed with fading ink

But our hearts beat like the first time we saw each other

Our journey canted through unknown territories

Though we planned on traveling together always

We spoke in rage, acted from frustration, stomped with fear

Please meet me for coffee, I want to give it another chance

I know your name as it is also mine


Just a thought 29


Painting The Kiss by Gustav Klimt