Celebrating Poetry – Stephen Dunn

Mary Shelley in Brigantine 
by Stephen Dunn

Because the ostracized experience the world
in ways peculiar to themselves, often seeing it
clearly yet with such anger and longing
that they sometimes enlarge what they see,
she at first saw Brigantine as a paradise for gulls.
She must be a horseshoe crab washed ashore.

How startling, though, no one knew about her past,
the scandal with Percy, the tragic early deaths,
yet sad that her Frankenstein had become
just a name, like Dracula or Satan, something
that stood for a kind of scariness, good for a laugh.
She found herself welcome everywhere.

People would tell her about Brigantine Castle,
turned into a house of horror. They thought
she’d be pleased that her monster roamed
its dark corridors, making children scream.
They lamented the day it was razed.
Thus Mary Shelley found herself accepted

by those who had no monster in them —
the most frightening people alive, she thought.
Didn’t they know Frankenstein had abandoned
his creation, set him loose without guidance
or a name? Didn’t they know what it feels like
to be lost, freaky, forever seeking who you are?

She was amazed now that people believed
you could shop for everything you might need.
She loved that in the dunes you could almost hide.
At the computer store she asked an expert
if there was such a thing as too much knowledge,
or going too far? He directed her to a website

where he thought the answers were.
Yet Mary Shelley realized that the pain she felt
all her life was gone. Could her children, dead so young,
be alive somewhere, too? She couldn’t know
that only her famous mother had such a chance.
She was almost ready to praise this awful world.


Image courtesy of Poetry Foundation

Stephen Dunn – Image courtesy of Poetry Foundation







Featured image: Frontispiece to Frankenstein by Theodore Von Holst (1810-1844) (Tate Britain. Private collection, Bath.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Machinations of War – Chapter 10 – a Collaborative Story by Alexander & Kimberley Thomas

Here is this week’s installment of Machinations of War the collaborative story my son and I are writing.

This week’s Chapter 10 is my contribution to the ongoing story.

If you’ve missed the introduction to this project, or wish to read the story in its entirety, please visit here for Chapters 1-9


Chapter 10

Capitol City, Terra, 536 AC

“Lord Preston, you are a very old man. Do you know how you have managed to live to be one of the oldest Keepers of the Scepter who has had the great fortune to serve me?”

The white light was blindingly overwhelming. No matter how many times he found himself summoned for a private audience with the Creator, Lord Preston felt deeply anxious. It was as if time was stripped away. Once again, he was that young acolyte, dragged from his warm bed, ordered to make an appearance in the Creator’s chamber. The old man was reluctant to answer, not certain whether the Creator indeed desired his response. Finally, no longer able to bear the maddening drone of the low humming that filled the room, a sound which seemed to somehow fill his own mind as well, he summoned up enough courage to shake his head no.

“No? Well, I must admit that your response surprises me, Lord Preston. I would think it is painfully obvious why I have kept you around for these many long years; it is because you have served me unfailingly without question. Yet, unfortunately for you, I am beginning to detect misgivings. Do you find it difficult to carry out the orders I have issued, Lord Preston?”

“As the giver and taker of all life, it is not my place to question your command, My Creator.”

“Now, now, Jakob—that was not my question. I want to know if you have reservations about your ability to fulfill the directive I have given.”

“I will admit, My Sovereign Lord, that I do indeed have misgivings. Nevertheless, as you have so adeptly stated, I serve you unfailingly and without question. I will see to it that your will be done.”

“Good. See that the deed is complete before nightfall, Lord Preston. Speak with William and Patrick as you exit; they will arrange for their men to aid you with this task.”

Lord Preston rose slowly; the prolonged kneeling torturous to his aging form. He slowly shuffled toward the door, as every part of his body screamed out in pain.


The two dullards assigned to Lord Preston, by the Creator’s personal guards, were nothing more than mindless killing machines. The Priest had viewed the aftermath of their handiwork before and he was none too eager to witness their performance firsthand. The old Priest was deeply troubled by the thought of being personally involved in the Creator’s merciless tactics. It seemed to Lord Preston that the Creator’s ideas and actions were being contrived extemporaneously of late, with no real thought being given to scheme or strategy. It made the Priest acutely uneasy to contemplate the Creator acting without the restraint of the council’s well-laid plans. Over the many years of his service on the High Priesthood, Lord Preston had read the countless books chronicling the Great Purge, and he was aware, better than most, that those days leading up to the cleansing had begun in much the same fashion as he now. He feared he was witnessing history repeating itself.

The Priest followed the two goons, as they made their way through the bustling city streets, from the Tower of the Creator to the nearby Castle compound. Once inside, the three of them headed straight for the King’s private quarters. For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Priest found himself knocking on the King’s door. “My Grace!” Lord Preston called out once again, “It is I, Lord Preston. It is urgent that I speak with you again, Your Majesty!”

Abraham’s heart sank at the sound of Lord Preston’s voice. In that crucial moment, the ever-vigilant King Suhn unwittingly let his guard down. Throwing open the door, his only concern was for the welfare of his daughter. The urgent question he could not wait to ask, “Have they found Aislyn?” became his own undoing. No sooner had the words left the King’s lips did he realize the enormity of his recklessness as his eyes were drawn to the two massive guards towering over the old Priest.

“Oh Abraham, how easily those who endeavor to deceive are they themselves fooled. We have known the whereabouts of your precious little Princess all along. The Creator himself sent her southward with the Seraph. Now it is time to rid the Kingdom of you.”

The King did not bother to struggle. Resigned to his fate, he surrendered to the inevitableness of his impending death, choosing instead to leave with the dignity and decorum he had adhered to throughout his lifetime as ruler of the Twelve Kingdoms. “I have one question, Jakob, have you always been the groveling sycophant? Deep down, in your heart of hearts, you know the Creator is not a Supreme Being. You have read the tales, Jakob! You know it is no Creator; it is a malignancy, which feeds off humanity’s fears and insecurities. You and I have the ability to change our people’s history, Jakob. To lead our people out of the shackles of bondage placed upon us by the Creator and his soulless enforcers. Join us, together we…

The King’s impassioned plea was cut short as the guards began to drive their swords into his flesh. The first drove his blade into Abraham’s right side, skillfully passing his sword through both lungs; the second sentinel drove his blade through the King’s heart. The King collapsed to his knees, not once taking his eyes off the old Priest.

It felt as if his entire body was on fire, yet calmness descended upon him, “I suppose I knew all along that I would die in this manner” he thought. With the metallic taste of blood becoming overwhelming, Abraham was determined to have the last word. Struggling to breathe he managed to gasp, “It matters not old man. My children will be the force that will unite our people.”

With eyes glowing brightly, one of the guards swung his sword with an expertise of finality, removing the King’s head.


After the deed was completed, Lord Preston realized he felt oddly delighted. Silently he reflected, “I wouldn’t have thought it so satisfying to be rid of that smug, self-righteous ass. After all these years, suffering his condescending arrogance, thinking he was the ruling power of this Kingdom. When it was I, and I alone, who held the real power. I am the one who has done the Creator’s bidding all these long years. Who has sacrificed everything, while Abraham swaggered about with his useless aristocratic title. He hadn’t even a modicum of common sense to realize that his authority and prestige was all a charade; that he was merely a figurehead to appease the common folk.” As Lord Preston stood looking down upon King Suhn’s mutilated corpse, a smug smile slowly formed on the old man’s taut face. Addressing his perceived adversary, the Priest bent close to Abraham’s severed head and muttered, “I may not believe it was a wise strategy for the Creator to have had you executed, but all the same, I am glad to finally be rid of you.”

With a wave of his pale bony hand, the High Priest ordered the two guards to dispose of the King’s remains. “Take his corpse to the beach,” he commanded. “Make it look like the King was murdered there. And I trust the two of you will remember to return to clean up this bloody mess.” Directing their unnaturally blue gaze in the direction of the old Priest, the guards silently nodded their assent to the instructions he had given them.


Far away from the Capitol City, Aislyn and Natalie continued on their southeastern trek toward the village of Sharna. The two had travelled throughout the night, finally stopping at daybreak to rest. As the sun began its western descent, the Seraph began to pack up their camp, as she apprised the Princess of her intent to resume their travels. “We will continue our travels under the cover of darkness for at least one more night, Your Ladyship. It will allow us to maintain secrecy, while avoiding detection by those who may want to do you harm. While I assure you I am perfectly capable of protecting you, Milady, I feel our attracting unnecessary attention at this point is unwarranted.”

Aislyn wearily gave her consent, although she knew that Natalie wasn’t seeking her approval.

The two hadn’t traveled far when, without warning, Aislyn was overcome by a vision. Stumbling weakly, the Princess fell to her knees, as a high-pitched cry involuntarily escaped her lips.

The Seraph turned on her angrily, “Silence!” she hissed. It took Natalie a few moments to realize that the Princess had collapsed, in the throes of a terrifying vision. It was in that very instant that Natalie remembered Aislyn’s ability of remote viewing. “Oh, damn it! Damn it, damn it, damn it!” she cursed repeatedly under her breath. Natalie ran to Aislyn’s side but was unsure as to what she could do for the poor girl, as she lay curled up in a ball in the wet grass, her eyes glazed over, her features distorted by the horrors of what she was witnessing. The Seraph had promised to protect the Princess, yet she feared anything she might do could result in bringing more harm to Aislyn while she was in the midst of her vision.

A long while passed before Aislyn returned to the here and now. Her initial look of confusion was replaced with panic as she quickly realized with dismay where she was, and whom she was with. She scrambled, trying unsuccessfully to gain her footing, in an effort to flee from the Seraph. Natalie rushed to her side and grabbed her, wrapping both arms around the Princess to keep her from hurting herself. “It’s all right, Aislyn. It is all over now,” she lightly whispered. “Wherever you were, whatever horrors you saw, it’s over. You’re safe… you’re here with me.”

The Princess went limp in Natalie’s arms; her momentary fight replaced with submission. Aislyn looked directly into the Seraph’s oddly bluish eyes, “You knew all along, didn’t you? You forced me to leave the city so that I would be out of the way, unable to help him.”

“Who? What are you…” Natalie began to stammer, however the Princess seen the genuine look of confusion in her eyes and cut her short.

“Never mind, Seraph. It seems we have both been deceived.”

“Milady?” Natalie looked at her questioningly, “perhaps you ought to share with me what it is you have witnessed.”

Aislyn stood, choking back her tears; then with uncharacteristic intensity she spat out her words with a startling and unexpected vehemence, “My father has just been brutally murdered by two guards who were accompanied by Lord Preston, all of whom were acting on the orders of the Creator.”

Music Monday

It is still officially Monday, for at least a few more hours, in my part of the world. Since I haven’t had the opportunity to post anything lately, I definitely didn’t want to flake out on my Music Monday post.

This week I decided to do something a little different. Since I still don’t have the time needed to take a proper stroll down memory lane, (I want to, I really do! However, grown up responsibilities keep getting in the way of my blogging!) I decided instead to find out what the number one song in the U.S. was for this week and share it with all of you.

Without further ado, I share with you this week’s top song as ranked on both Billboard and American Top 40’s charts:

Rude by Magic

I’ll be honest, I’ve never listened to any of their music before tonight but this song is pretty catchy! :)

As my son’s friend was leaving, she heard me listening to this song and said, “If you like that song, you have to listen to ‘The Dad’s Side of the Story’!”

Too funny! :D



“Play it fuckin’ loud!”
― Bob Dylan, American musician, singer-songwriter (b. 1941)


Music Monday (469x288)Have a great week everyone! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful #MusicMonday!

Chapter Nine of Machinations of War by Alexander Thomas and Kimberley Thomas

Kimberley Thomas:

Here is this week’s installment of Machinations of War the collaborative story my son and I are writing.

Originally posted on Riding into the Sunrise:

Raylan Mountains – Entrance to the Old World – 536 AC

It was smaller than Alexander had expected. He had expected the tunnel through the mountain to be bigger, wider maybe. The tales surrounding the Raylan Mountains had been greatly exaggerated. There was no turning back now though, he couldn’t show indecision in front of his men…or Giselle. He could feel the stares of a thousand eyes against his back, critiquing his decisions. He turned, facing the men and women that comprised his legion of devout followers willing to lay down their life for him.

“I know that there have been some questioning of my choice to go through the Raylan Mountains,” Giselle, standing next to Alexander, sighs deeply and looks away, “but I wanted to assure you that I am making the best choice for all of us. The way through the mountain will be quicker and give us…

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Music Monday

Greetings, everyone!

The past few weeks have been increasingly hectic for me, so I must apologize for not having had the time to post a respectable music-related reminiscence for this week’s celebration of Music Monday.

I’ll be honest with y’all, I barely made my deadline for last Wednesday’s Chapter 8 of Machinations of War. But I did, and I keep telling myself that is what counts!

It has been a rough August, folks. Chaotic is the first word that comes to mind to explain my current situation, served with a side order of anxiety, and topped off with a great big dollop of stress. Yeah… it’s been something like that.

Anyway… I won’t bore you all with the minutiae of my personal life crises. Instead, I want to take a few minutes to share a song. A moment to close my eyes, and simply lose myself to the music. I’m not certain why, but Jim Croce’s, Time in a Bottle, just felt like the perfect fit for this week’s Music Monday.


“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
— Maya Angelou, American author, poet, dancer, actor, and singer (1928 – 2014)


Music Monday (469x288)

Have a wonderful #MusicMonday, everyone!

Machinations of War – Chapter 8 – a Collaborative Story by Alexander & Kimberley Thomas

Here is this week’s installment of Machinations of War the collaborative story my son and I are writing.

This week’s Chapter 8 is my contribution.

If you’ve missed the introduction to this project, or wish to read the story in its entirety, please visit here for Chapters 1-7


Chapter 8
by Kimberley Thomas

Capitol City, Terra, 536 AC

King Suhn woke with a start to urgent knocking on the door of his sleeping quarters. His drowsy gaze drawn to the nearby window, Abraham noted with unease the cover of darkness still evident, the faint gray hues of predawn still hours away. Nothing had ever been so crucial as to warrant his servants disturbing his sleep at this hour. His heart sank as the ominous knocking continued, becoming more insistent in its urgency.

“My Grace!” Lord Preston finally called out from behind the closed door, “It is I, Lord Preston. Your Majesty, it is imperative that I speak with you immediately!”

At the sound of the High Priest’s voice, the King quickly shook off the last vestiges of sleep. Lord Preston calling on him at this early hour only served to reinforce his worst fears.  Throwing open the door, he stared grimly at the elderly Priest for several moments, then waved Lord Preston into his sleeping quarters. “I presume that whatever is of such vital importance to prompt a visit from you under these circumstances shan’t be discussed in the hall for all to hear, correct?”

Upon entering his bedchamber, Lord Preston bowed deeply before the King, “Yes, My Grace, your assumptions are correct. This news would be best shared in private.”

The King was immediately angry and frustrated by the priest’s intrusion. This was the day he had waited years for, the opportunity to secret his daughter, Aislyn, out of the city. He had finally secured her safe passage out of the city with Sir Skerrett, and the Priest’s disruption stood to derail his previous day’s plans. “So, what is so critical as to call for such an intrusion at this hour, Lord Preston?”

“I came as soon as the guards informed me, Your Majesty,” the Priest lied. I wanted to be the one to share this terrible news with you…”

“Yes, yes, Lord Preston,” the King interrupted impatiently, “stop stalling and get on with it. Tell me, what has happened?”

“It is Aislyn, My Grace. She was abducted from her bedchamber sometime after dark.”

On the orders of the Creator, Lord Preston feigned ignorance about his actual knowledge of the Princess’s disappearance. He was tasked with convincing the King that his daughter had been taken hostage, whisked away by his son’s band of murderous traitors. The Priest paused ever so slightly to allow the devastating news to register. The Priest watched with deep satisfaction as the color drained from the King’s face, as he stumbled slightly, finally collapsing in a heap into the nearest chair.

The King began to ramble, “How is this possible? Where were the guards? We must form a search party immediately!”

Lord Preston calmly interrupted the King, “Your Majesty, the Guard was notified to search every corner of the city upon learning of your daughter’s abduction. I assure you, the Guard conducted an extensive search of the castle grounds, as well as having widened their search to include the perimeter of Capital City.

With his head bowed, the King was unaware of the small grin that tugged at the corners of Lord Preston’s wrinkled, old lips. The Creator had sent Lord Preston to deliver the devastating news to King Suhn long after the Seraph and Aislyn had departed the Capitol City. This would ensure enough time had passed to allow Natalie to evade capture by the King’s men and return Aislyn to her father.

“I do not understand. Why… why was I not notified earlier?”

The King was mad with grief over his inability to protect his daughter. He paced the room, mumbling to himself, nearly forgetting that Lord Preston was still in his chambers. Suddenly, he turned on the Priest, “Leave now Jakob.”

Lord Preston pleaded, “Abraham, please, listen…” but the King was insistent, pushing the old man toward the door.

“No! You must leave, because what I must now do to find my daughter…” the King quickly trailed off, taming his careless tongue. For several long minutes the King stood motionless, his eyes fixated on the growing light outside the nearby window. He realized, with sudden urgency, it was nearly time for him to meet with Rafe at the beach. Finally, he addressed Lord Preston once again, this time his tone was more measured; the King had regained his composure, “I do not trust that neither you, nor the High Priesthood, have my daughter’s best interest at heart.” With that said, the King steered the elderly leader of the High Priesthood out of his sleeping quarters, shutting the door forcibly behind him.


The King stripped off his night-clothes and quickly dressed; thoughtlessly he grabbed the wrinkled clothes he had worn the day before, still slung over the dressing screen. He grabbed the knapsack he had carefully packed with provisions for Aislyn and Rafe’s escape. Silently he cursed himself for having waited too long to ensure his daughter’s safe exit from the city. He was enraged at his failure to protect her from the manipulations of the High Priesthood, but most of all, for not shielding Aislyn from the Creator, as he had Alexander. Sadly, he realized none of that mattered. His first priority now was to rescue his daughter from her captors by whatever means necessary. Moreover, he realized that his newly formed alliance with Sir Skerrett was his only real chance of successfully rescuing Aislyn. Almost as an afterthought, the King produced a golden key from a chain around his neck. Hurriedly, he unlocked a tall oak bureau and grabbed a large stack of aged letters, bound together with a yellowed piece of twine. He swiftly added the pack of letters to the knapsack. Taking one last look around the room, the King seemed finally satisfied. Determinedly he set off for the beach.


As the King approached the beach, he could see Rafe anxiously pacing back and forth over the same stretch of sand. As soon as the King drew near, Rafe fell to one knee. His voiced choked with emotion Rafe groaned, “My Grace, she is gone.”

Annoyed, the King waved his hand for Rafe to rise, “We stand on this beach today as equals, Sir Rafe. Our shared love and concern for my daughter’s safety overrides any inane social protocol. I have just been informed of Aislyn’s disappearance from Lord Preston, and came here as quickly as I could without drawing attention to myself. Other than her abduction, I know very little. The High Priest informed me that the Guard conducted an extensive search of the castle grounds and Capitol City for her, without success.”

Vehemently, Rafe objected, “”The High Priest tells lies, My Grace! After learning of Aislyn’s abduction, I covertly conducted my own investigation and the commoners tell a much different story, Your Majesty. Several eyewitnesses describe Aislyn as willingly leaving the city with the Creator’s newly ordained Seraph, who was, until very recently, a lowly Sister named Natalie Clark. I am not sure how the Seraph convinced Aislyn to leave without a word to either you or myself, but I am sure that she left willingly. One of the guards divulged to me that he had overheard Aislyn explicitly ask the Seraph how many days travel it was to Sharna as they passed through the city gate. Furthermore, I have been told that the Seraph carries with her the ancient sword, Tizona, which she herself retrieved from the catacombs just yesterday. I corroborated the events leading up to Aislyn’s disappearance myself, and I am satisfied that the witnesses and their accounts are reliable.

King Suhn was obviously shaken by these new revelations. The High Priest’s blatant deception, the Creator appointing a soldier Seraph without his knowledge, his fragile daughter risking her own well-being by leaving the city with a warrior Seraph wielding the ancient sword, Tizona; none of it made any sense to the King. “Evidently you have a greater knowledge of the goings-on in the Kingdom than do I, Sir Rafe. My rule is obviously a sham if such actions can be committed openly and boldly, without my noticing, or at the very least noticing in time to prevent it.” The King sighed deeply. “Then, Aislyn is not in any real danger? Is that what you think, Rafe?”

“Oh no, Your Grace, I think she is in terrible danger. I just think she is not fully aware yet of the jeopardy she has placed herself in.”

At that, the King looked defeated. It was one thing to consider his daughter as having been kidnapped by her own brother’s henchmen. Alexander loved his sister too greatly to allow any real harm to come to Aislyn. Of that, the King had been sure. However, to learn that she was traveling with a Seraph, the sworn defender of the Creator, who was carrying one of the pair of mystical swords of the Great Purge, this new disclosure left him completely demoralized.

Worriedly, Rafe eyed the King. “Your Majesty, I will find her. I give you my solemn promise.”

“Sir Rafe, of that I have no doubt. My only concern is that the Aislyn you eventually find might not be the same woman we both now love. The Creator has sent my daughter away with the Seraph for a reason. How the Creator’s agent might twist my daughter’s gift to her own advantage we cannot be sure. For whatever reason, the Creator believes Aislyn to be a valuable asset, enough so to convince her to accompany his personal warrior. I cannot help but believe that her physical safety, or her mental welfare, is of any great concern for the Creator or the Seraph. They will use her to satisfy their end goal, and then dispose of her, or what remains of our beloved Aislyn.

Quietly Rafe responded, “I will find Aislyn first, My Grace.”

The King nodded somberly. “I have a knapsack to give you that I packed with provisions for yours and Aislyn’s journey. There are enough supplies to get you well on your way, Sir Rafe. For reasons I cannot fully explain I felt pressed to also include a stack of letters, which I have composed to Alexander over the years since I sent him away to the Southlands. I implore you to tell him all I have told you before and share these letters with him. My only hope is that my children will one day forgive me for failing them both.

“Your Majesty, one day soon, we will all break bread together and then you can enlighten them of the many reasons you did what you thought was in their best interest.”

The King smiled sorrowfully, “Yes, Rafe. One day soon.” Then he extended his hand, and as Rafe reached out to grasp King Abraham’s outstretched hand, the King unexpectedly drew him in, giving the Knight a warm, almost fatherly embrace. “Good fates shine favorably on you, son. You will desperately need all the help that you can get.” With that, the King turned and headed back toward the castle.

He watched as the elder King Suhn slowly disappeared into the wood. When Rafe was finally satisfied that there was enough time and distance placed between himself and the King, so as not to draw unnecessary attention to either of them, he strode off in a southeasterly direction. Heading toward the tiny village of Sharna, Rafe was resolute in his mission to save his beloved Aislyn.

Music Monday

For this week’s celebration of  Music Monday I want to share one of my all-time favorite songs, alongside one of my all-time favorite paintings.

Since early childhood, I have had a deep love and fascination for the history of the American West. As a child, I devoured the tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her frontier family as they forged their way westward. I read, and reread, Jack London’s The Call of the Wild and White Fang. I spent many a Sunday afternoon with John Wayne as he rode his dusty, trusty steed through the wilds of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and the Alabama Hills of California. Then there were the stories of the exploits of the outlaws and lawmen of the Wild West, such colorful characters as: Jessie James, Butch Cassidy, Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, the Earp brothers and the Masterson’s. I was completely enamored with the myth of the West.

At nineteen, I heard Horace Greeley’s call to “Go West, young man”. Ignoring Greeley’s outdated sexist notion, that only young men could make the adventurous trek westward, I packed up my belongings and moved from New York to California.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that both this particular song and painting reflect my passion for the West. The West that historian, Frederick Jackson Turner, exclaimed in his famed 1893 thesis, The Significance of the Frontier in American History, as having disappeared; a frontier, forever closed. Turner’s announcement of the closing of the Western frontier—with the fencing off of her open range and the further expansion of the railroads—the glory of her wilderness to be tamed and wide-open spaces to be filled, had seemingly came to an end.

Yet for me, the West is still a land of wide-open spaces and rugged individualism. A land, which I believe still exists if one only dares to look beyond the bright lights of her vast cities—a land, still to be found in the remote wilderness of the American West.

Frederic Remington - The Fall of the Cowboy, 1895

Frederic Remington – The Fall of the Cowboy, 1895

Frederic Remington’s The Fall of the Cowboy1895, Oil on canvas. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, USA


“Desperado”, written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, founding members of the American rock band, the Eagles. The song was first released in 1973, on the album by the same name.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow

Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you,
You better let somebody love you,
Before it’s too late


“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”
― Charles Darwin, English naturalist, and geologist (1809 – 1882) from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin


Music Monday (469x288)

 Happy #MusicMonday, everyone!

Chapter Seven of Machinations of War

Kimberley Thomas:

Here is this week’s installment of the collaborative story my son and I are writing. This week’s Chapter 7 is Alexander’s contribution.

If you wish to read the story from the beginning, please visit here.

Originally posted on Riding into the Sunrise:

Capitol City, Terra, 536 AC

The doors to the Creator’s inner chamber open; a bright, white light flooding the room. From within, Natalie strides out, the doors closing behind her. Gone was her grey dress, replaced with black, light armor with a special sigil of the Creator adorned on the chest.

Lord Preston awaits her just outside the inner chamber. He quickly kneels and bows his head towards her upon seeing her new outfit, “Sister Clarke, I-“

“I am a Seraphim now, you will refer to me as such.”

“My apologies, Seraphim. What are your orders?”

“They are mine to know. The Creator has asked for you to go about your daily duties. I will see to mine. You are dismissed Lord Preston.”

Lord Preston looks up at Natalie, shock spread across his face. “I-I don’t understand, why-“

She looks down at Lord Preston, “Your place is not to understand…

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Music Monday!

I adored my grandmother. Other than my mother, my “nonna” shaped who I am today.



My father died when I was 9 weeks old, leaving behind a young wife, an infant daughter, and a 14-year-old son from a previous marriage. Circumstances could not have been bleaker for my mom. However, my paternal grandparents stepped in, taking all of us in under their wing; ensuring we had a roof over our heads, while giving counsel and guidance to my mother as she tried to care for a baby and a teenage stepson.

Then, when I was two years old, my nonno (grandfather) died unexpectedly. My nonna effortlessly took her place as the governing matriarch of our little tribe. As a single mother, my mom worked at the local grocery store to support us, while my grandmother cared for me. This was my life, until I was 9 years old, splitting my time between my nonna’s place and our (my mom’s and my) little apartment.

My nonna & me - 1968

My nonna & me – 1968

My grandmother was a strong, independent woman, at a time when woman were not supposed to be either. And, she was an extremely devoted Catholic. I still remember her bemoaning the fact that the Church was no longer performing her morning mass in Latin. She always had her rosary handy, for those inevitable moments when she would need to stop and pray for the strength to get through her day. When she wasn’t praying, I remember her listening to her beloved Italian opera music. She would quietly sit, with her eyes closed, as her 78 rpm records scratched out the songs on her old record player.

The song that immediately comes to mind when I think of my nonna is Ave Maria. I’m not sure if it was her favorite, but I remember her playing this particular song over and again throughout the formative years I was fortunate to have spent with her.

My grandmother died shortly after my ninth birthday. Yet she lives on for me, through this song.


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
Plato, Greek philosopher and mathematician (429–347 B.C.E.)

Have a great #MusicMonday, everyone!

Music Monday (469x288)