Book Beginnings/Friday 56 with The Night Tiger


The old man is dying. Ren can see it in the shallow breaths, the sunken face, and the skin stretched thinly over his cheekbones. Yet he wants the shutters open. Irritably, he beckons the boy over, and Ren, his throat tight as though he’s swallowed a stone, throws open the second-storey window.


They sprang apart as soon as they became aware of the intruder and the salesman said nothing, but he’d given William a look. That was the worst part, the knowing in his eyes. For unlike other locals, he knows William’s name and exactly where he works. Talk is bad for William, especially after what happened in England.



Fridays are for Book Beginnings on Rose City Reader, Friday 56 on Freda’s Voice





#BookBeginnings #Friday56 with Why I Wake Early


Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universse
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.


Have You Seen Blacksnake Swimming?

Down at Blackwater
blacksnake went swimming, scrolling
close to the shore, only
his head above the water, the long
yard of his body just beneath the surface,
quick and gleaming. The day was hot, but there
in the water, another snake might have
danced with him. But, since he was alone
he whirled a little, unnecessarily, and picked up speed,
so that on both sides he made a lacy wake
and there was a rippling sound,
a sort of soft music, just enough
to amuse that narrow mouth, whose corners,
in that coolness, were lifted in even more
than his usual gentleman’s smile.

Fridays are for Book Beginnings on Rose City Reader, Friday 56 on Freda’s Voice