Thursday, April 30, 2015

Adolfo Presents "Jazz Chimera" and more! Celebrating the close of National Poetry Month~

Jazz Chimera

Beat the drum to start the tempo;
strike the cymbals
for a silvery tone;
sound the sax
for an indigo mood;
let the horn sing out in despair.

Sing all
with disconcerted sounds.

Combine the pastoral 
to the storm
with clarinets and strings,
the thunder with the base
and the fury of a gong.

Let the bodies quiver from within 
and build
the jazz's chimerical beat
into a tantrum
of ecstatic expectation.
--Adolph Caso

Sera D'Ottobre

Penombre di nuvole rosse
affiancano l'orizzonte lontano
sfolgorato di un sole d'autunno
e con se si fonde il mio animo.

La sera silenziosamente scende
nel cinguettio frenetico di uccelli

sugli alberi che non son piu di ieri
--Adolph Caso

On the evening in October 
Shadows of red clouds
 alongside the distant horizon
 shone forth of an autumn sun
 and if it melts my heart . 
 The evening falls silently
 the frantic chirping of birds
 trees which are not more than yesterday


mi arrivi
e investi i miei sensi.

L'anima trema

Dio! io dico
L'estasi esclama!
--Adolph Caso

 divinely I arrive and invest my senses.
 The soul trembles
 God! I say 
The ecstasy exclaims!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Short Poetic Ditties from Guy Graybill--and More--During National Poetry Month


Herewith, a verse;
Concise and terse:

In Wintry time,
My pomes all rime.

Bread and Apple Butter
A Double Treat
Made from Wintry Apples
Just can't beat!

Click over to read


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Poems of Tukaram Translated by Chandrakant Kaluram Mhatre Shared during National Poetry Month

English: The Marathi poet-saint Tukaram (Ravi ...
English: The Marathi poet-saint Tukaram (Ravi Varma Press, c.1910's)
Click over to Blog!

 Holy places have boulder, water
God's truly amongst the good
When in the company of Saints
Better to surrender at their feet
Faith bears fruits in holy places
Here the unrestrained is reined in
Tuka says they absolve sins
Let them rid of anguish

Words are the jewels
That our homes are filled with
The tools that we strive with
Are but of words.
Words are the source
That sustains our life
Wealth of words we give
To one and all!
Tuka says behold
Word is the Lord
Let us praise Him
Worship with words!

Lavina by Mary Marcus - Print Copy Out Today! Fiction Based on Author's Early Life...

The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish
them from consciousness. Certain violations of
the social compact are too terrible to utter
aloud: this is the meaning of the word
unspeakable.--Judith Herman
Read the lovely story about the author's decision to write Lavina... I suspect the main reason I ended up writing Lavina is on account of the fact that I lost my picture of Aline.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he say, "I'm Matthew so and so." Right away, I took to the boy on account of the fact that he said Ladies and Gentlemen. I thought that was very polite of him. Anyway,he say, "I'm here tonight on behalf of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who can't come tonight because of legal problems."

Then somebody in the front say, "Thought they sprung M.L...Hew ain't still in jail, is he?" "No," Matthew say. But he can's leave Alabama on account of some legal whatchacallum and then somebody else said, "We all heard M.L. gonna be here. We gave our money to the defense fund." Then that Matthew...
I don' remember very much of what the boy said. If you want to know the truth I could hardly understand a word he say. Don' think the rest of us did neither... 
What he do is start telling us about some ray-she-oh which he say mean nothing more than we all knew;; that there were more colored than white in Murpheysfield. Then he starts tellin' us we is oh-pressed...
Guess it was then that he started talking 'bout the sit-in. He say Dr. King and him and two other folds from up North were comin' to Murpheysfield on August 17 to sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter and he was here tonight to ask two of us to sit down with them...
"Why, if we sat down at the Woolworth's counter, they'd call out the dogs. The Klan'd burn the place down...." 
"No colored ever say down at no white lunch counter in Murpheysfield." Matthew look stern, stern and say, "No black person has ever tried to sit down at a white lumch counter...."
Lord only know what made me do it, 'cause it was shortly thereafter that I stood up myself...  [then a child interrupted running to the white man, Matthew, and asking for Christmas gifts from Dr. King.]
That's when it came over me, a feelin' I never had before or since. I thought to myself, why that child she don't know black from white but when she do, why it gonna change that little face a hers. I felt the wrongness of it. The wrongness of it for her. The rest of us, we were used to the way things were, and I sat there tryin' to remember if I ever in my whole life go free and happy like that child in her pink dress who didn't know the difference of black and white. Well, I don't think I ever didn't remember. Seemed to me I knew it since the day I were born into this world..."

Everything still and quite in the church. I hear myself, but though it sound like me, it don't feel like my own feets standing in my old worn down shoes. "I'll do it!" I says. Everybody in the church turn round and look at me. Matthew, he come down the stairs and up the aisle heading toward me and he is smilin' and everybody singin' "Lord Laid His Hand on Me"...Lord, we were happy. Though that bluebird of happiness, it didn't last long. Fact near as soon as I say it, second it fly out of my mouth, I know I is making the biggest mistake of my life..."

By Mary Marcus

Having just read Ruby, the latest Oprah Book Club selection, I found I was doing something I rarely do--a comparison... No, the author is not African-American and I understand the selection process. At the same time, I was much more touched by this book--felt the pain and anger of our Black brothers and sisters and want you to know that I highly recommend this book that is, in my opinion, just as valuable to Black History as is Ruby, for those who loved it--which I didn't (click over to read my review).

Lavina is based upon the real life of the author and her relationship to Aline, her beloved friend and mother-figure as she grew up... This is a story full of tragedy during the early years of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., but the connection is minor in comparison to the story of the two young children who were most affected by Lavina as they faced their own personal futures...

What I never understood to this day, to this very
day, was how white people could have black
people cook dinner for them, make them meals,
but wouldn't let them sit down at the table with
them. How can you dislike someone so much and
have them cook for you? Shoot, if I don't like
someone, you ain't cooking nothing for me, ever.
--Ray Charles
Mary Jacob was on her way home to Murpheysfield, Louisiana, to see her father who was very ill. Her sister had called from the Shumpert Hospital and put her father on the line..."Child, I want you to come home. I'm longin' to see you."

That shook Mary Jacob! She hadn't been home for years and had no real desire to go. She and her sister had spoken maybe twice in five years.

She hadn't wanted to come and walked into her large home with trepidation, straight on into the kitchen. The woman with her back to her--she first thought it was Lavina, but, no, everything was now changed. 

Kathryn, her sister, made it quite clear why she was willing to call to get her home.

"I'm gonna need you to sit there with him. We can't even keep a nurse, Mary Jacob. He pinches the pretty ones and makes fun of the ugly ones and won't do what they say. He's a livin' breathin' terror. I was thinkin' why it's a good thing he's weak as a kitten, or we'd never be able to control him. I was lookin' at him just today, thinkin' Daddy's an old man now."
Strong Jack Long, weak as a kitten? It seemed impossible. Like God or the devil being ill. 
At a red light, I stopped and turned on the radio. Just a couple of notes let me know it was Billy Ray singing. There's nothing wrong with my musical memory. It was one of his very early hits...
[Billy Ray is a fictitious character so I've selected Charlie Pride as his character. I had the chance to meet him years ago as a first-row fan at Branson...I was thrilled, of course, so was the first singer/musician I thought of for the role! The song selected was based upon Billy Ray's early involvement in the Black church. By the time, though, that he had actually started to perform professionally, he no longer believed in, as he called him, the White God, who did nothing to help his people...]

The announcer on the radio was saying
Billy Ray would be playing tomorrow
night in Murpheysfield, L.A. like it was
Los Angeles, not Louisiana. Home of
the not so great Mary Jacob Long.

"I've always loved Billy Ray's music. I read somewhere a long time ago that, like me, he comes from Murpheysfield. We wouldn't have known each other. Those were the days of Jim Crow, yet the singer has always felt like someone close. At signings, people tell me all the time that they feel close to me on account of my books. Perfect strangers will hold out their hands and call me by name like they know me. And I'm not even remotely famous outside my tiny little children's lit circle. But Billy Ray's been famous forever. As long as I can remember anyway. I even dream about him. Sometimes we are children in the dream and sometimes all grown up. We're always kissing in the dream, kissing and holding on to each other like we'll never let each other go.

When Mary Jacob first went to see her father, she was, of course, shocked at how old he looked, but as they talked, there seemed to be a connection that she hadn't remembered. Could she even be having genuine feelings for him? She willingly began to help take care of him, which, of course, greatly pleased both he and her sister...

What nobody knew there in Murpheysfield was that Mary Jacob had lost most of the memories of her childhood... True, she remembered the music by Billy Ray, but she did not remember there had been a long connection between them--they hated each other... 

Billy Ray was trying to breath new life into his failing career and, with a new manager, was scheduled back in his home town and then on to New Orleans. Would all of his fans remember him?
But when he realized that Mary Jacob was also in town, he knew he must see her, he needed to know--he must know! By whom and how was his mother
murdered? Billy Ray had tried and failed to reach her and then one day he walked right up to the door of the Long home and rang the bell. He demanded to know what had happened and she was shocked and then frightened, claiming she didn't know anything...
Even though Mary Jacob had come to terms with her father, especially when he shared that Kathryn wanted to put him in a home. He also asked her to fulfill a dying wish. He wanted her to find Van, his second wife, and ask her to come... When she left him that night, she was more and more upset and went directly downstairs, past all the familiar things, staring at the guns behind glass, four of them... and through the kitchen into the only room in which she felt safe... She now sat in that rocking chair in the back corner of the laundry room...
I began to feel afraid then, like on the plane only worse: a pulse throbbing in my throat, a sinking feeling in the guts, pain running up and down my arm. Sweat.
I ran from the room, as though I were running away from a shower of bullets. Through another door, along the length of the dining room and through the swinging door of the butlery to the kitchen and once again, like I had done this afternoon, to the laundry room: sanctuary.
There in the dark, simple things shined. The luminous dials on the washer and dryer and the moonlight that beamed in the window above the sink. A shaft of light ran across the maple rocker where I sat down and without thinking, began to rock, as if the chair was waiting for me, the firm slats against my back--safe--in the one place in this house where I belonged...

Memories had been triggered and Mary Jacob started her own investigation...until she remembered...all of it... And the majority of the book is her memories of what had actually unwanted child loved by only the housekeeper, who she loved more than anybody; the son of that housekeeper who hated her because his mother spent the major part of her time with Mary Jacob, while at the same time, she jealously hated that he actually lived in a home with her and was there during the night... the rise of Billy Ray's career while Mary Jacob was subjected to seeing her mother dying, and finally overhearing a plan to kill Martin Luther King... An interesting side bar is about her father's hatred of Blacks and Jews in the same sentence and a surprising twist that connects them in reality...

The actual, life-like events were explosive, tragic, and a result of King's leadership to seek freedom...with one important loss to two young children who loved...Lavina... A heartbreaking story that will stay with you forever... about the power


I was born and raised in Louisiana, but left for New York after graduating from Tulane. I worked very hard to get rid of my southern accent, and now I wish I hadn’t. For many years, I worked in the advertising and fashion industries for Neiman Marcus, Vogue, Lancome, Faberge and San Rio Toys where I worked on the Hello Kitty Brand. My short fiction has appeared in North Atlantic Review, Fiction, Jewish Women’s Literary Journal and others.

My husband, Joel Goodman and I live in Los Angeles and East Hampton, New York. We have a grown son, Amos Goodman.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Beautiful Words by Maya Angelou... Alone...Still I Arise...We Had Him...In and Out of Time--Various Interpretations

Sequel to Murder on False River - Political Treason - by Martha Gabour Manuel... A Conclusion or Setup for More?!

Click to Read Review!
Political Treason is an interesting followup title to Manuel's previous novel, Murder on False River. Of course, it really isn't if you've read the first book, since it definitely took readers deep into the political arena, as does the sequel. 

The way the second book ended, however, I wasn't quite sure whether or not this really was an ending to the savvy  Senator Savannah Devereaux and her family... you'll see why when you learn what happens.

And speaking of family, it is her stepson who is shot in this second book, although thankfully he survives after critical care at the Baton Rouge General Medical Center... The shooting was cause for high visibility since there had not been a shooting in the Capitol since Governor Huey P. Long had been shot... It is rumored that this latest incident had the ghost of Governor Long roaming the halls of the building...

Political Treason

By Martha Gabour Manuel

You might say that Dylan had been exactly in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through an oversight by an employee, an important envelope had been left in a conference room; but just as he was going back to retrieve it, it had been stolen and the thief was fleeing. Although he chased after, by that time, the thief was coming out a door and ran directly into Dylan, shooting him before Dylan even realized what was happening...

While all the attention was on getting Dylan to the hospital, rushing him into surgery, contacting Senator Devereaux and all other needed activities, another man named Sydney Fairchild had been traveling in his RV to meet a trusted
friend and contact. He was just about to turn onto the Audubon Bridge when he was hit by a huge truck and also rushed to the same hospital. Travis, his contact, had been waiting, anxious to know what new information Sydney would be sharing, only to later learn it had been completely destroyed in the fire that also destroyed the RV...

All five men ordered drinks. They they began
looking over the menus while Patti left to fill
their orders.
The band of men had been formed many years
ago. Each member that was invited into their
elite circle was discussed at great length and
chosen only after much deliberation and soul-
searching...Senator Lansing was the first man
to speak. From his take charge attitude he
appeared to be the ringleader. He was by far
the oldest...
I thought we agreed that there would be no
violence in any actions that we undertook...
What happened..."
That's, plus the fact that I'd
like to know how the word got out about the
envelope," stated a third man. "Everyone's
talking about it. The only good thing is that at
least we got the envelope before it got to the
"Well, yes and no..."
"I have the envelope we got from our two
messengers. You can look for yourself and see
the information we recovered that we were
led to believe was being forwarded to the
"It means that someone is on to us," said
Senator Lansing.
"What do you mean?" questioned the fifth man.
"There's nothing but blank paper in the
envelope. What was supposed to be in it?"
"I hate to admit it, but it's very possible we
have an informant either in our group, or
someone that has access to what we are doing...
Emile sat quietly by himself in an office down the hall from where Dylan had been shot...His mind started retracing the day's events...
The special meeting called by the governor's staff for the press corps earlier in the day had been a highly contentious one, and consequently kept Emile working later than usual. Throughout the State of Louisiana, the news media had once again latched on to the continuing saga of the Bayou Corne Sinkhole. It was the first reported failure of a brine cavern sidewall, which made its collapse unprecedented.
At the end of the press conference different members of the governor's staff had him running paperwork back and forth and delivering messages. Still, that was no excuse for leaving highly confidential information unguarded on a table in the conference room...
He knew the meeting had been necessary, but it was a difficult meeting for him to sit through...Many people, including some of Emile's family and friends, had been forced to evacuate their homes almost two years ago. 
Regardless of all his other attributes, Emile's most valuable asset to the office was the fact that he never questioned authority...
"At first I though I just didn't understand how the system works," Emile confessed to Rose. "From the beginning there have been things going on that bothered me. I didn't want to call you, because the walls in the capitol have ears. Somehow or another they know everything you say or do. When I first started working in the governor's office, I was told that I had to have a private email account. That was in case anyone needed to send me information that they didn't want the general public to know about. They said that everything that is sent through regular email is a matter of public record that the press can have access to. I told them I understood, although I'm not sure I really do.
Since I have been in the governor's office, I have started seeing multiple contracts being given out to close friends of the governor and his staff. They were contracts that should have been on.
Often when contracts were about to expire, the individuals who were responsible for the contracts suddenly left their contracted jobs and were moved into top level government positions...I can't even begin to tell you about the cover-ups that I've seen go on in state government in just the short time that I've been there.
Somehow, word has gotten out about a few of the contracts that have been given out illegally. I'm beginning to wonder if they may think that that's my fault too, since it looks like the leaks have started since I was hired."
"Oh, Emile, that's horrible. Sure they can possibly think it was you have was responsible for telling anybody."
"I didn't think so at first, but now I'm not so sure. I don't know what to do
Rose. They longer I'm there, the deeper I'm getting involved...

Savannah and Dana had become close and she spent as much time as possible at the hospital while he was recovering.  At the same time, we get into an interesting subplot when the other man who had entered at the same time, Syndey, is taken to a retirement home and develops friendships with another older man and a young male employee. What these three get into certainly adds a bit of fun and warm feelings as they grow closer to each other. Part of a climatic ending, one of them shows just how much they meant to him...

One mystery slowly evolved as it was realized that key people in government were dying--usually through some type of accident. Savannah was shocked when one of them was a good friend, Senator Tom Bickman. But it got worse, when she learned what they were saying...

"I guess you know what they're saying," Ruth Anne came back.
"No what?" asked Savannah somewhat confused.
"The talk is that he was on his way back to Baton rouge after the Easter holidays. He stopped at a store in Marksville to get coffee and got shot by a man trying to rob the store. He died before they could get him to the hospital."
"Oh yes, I know that."
"But that's not all. They say it was a setup," Ruth Anne continued.
"What?"! a horrified Savannah exclaimed.
"That's true," said Shirley. "You know he had that legislation he wanted passed to ban those bath salts. That's gotten to be a big business around here. I know for a fact there were some people that were really mad at him for that."

And now she was wondering if whether Dylan's being shot was also a setup...

Perhaps even what had happened to her was a followup to her husband's accident... Or was it just two criminals who were trying to prevent her from testifying against them... Well no matter what, she was going to make sure nothing stopped her from putting those men behind bars!

While a later twist was not too surprising, it did pull the whole story together, while at the same time, Savannah had an opportunity to take a cruise and had a wonderful time! And with this hint, I'm closing with a high recommendation...


About the Author

Martha Manuel retired from state civil service in 2007 to run for state senator. While unsuccessful in her bid for office, the experience offered her an opportunity to view the electoral process firsthand. Martha's eminence as a registered representative with a major Wall Street investment firm; director of the EBR Parish Health Unit; and executive director of the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs only highlight a few of the varied and coveted positions she has held, adding an unusual degree of credibility to her stories. Martha Manuel is also the author of Murder on False River.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Paul M. Kramer Shares "The Silver Lining" During National Poetry Month


Finding love between the raindrops

Seeing beauty where others see ordinary

Good that comes out of bad.

The promise of tomorrow

Our hopes and our dreams

The sunshine beyond the clouds

Transforming negativity into positivity

Forgiveness and faith


Paul M. Kramer

"Wish Upon the Moon" Shared by A. F. Stewart during National Poetry Month

Original caption from NASA: "S103-E-5037 ...

Light through a prism, and we see colour. 
Colour is all around, enveloping our lives and feelings. Through tinted shades we see the world, with emotional ties that bind. 
Within the book, Colours of Poetry, you will find eleven sections, all representations of different hues, each featuring seven poems that explore the intricacies and fallacies of our world. Come and sail the Sapphire Sea and Sky, cringe at the Crimson Bloodstains, wonder at the Emerald Creation, dazzle in the Lemon Daybreak, linger in the Tangerine Sunset, sniff the Violet Petals, feel Umber the Earth, let the Black as Night and Death surround you, shiver as you pass by White Winter Bones, lose yourself in the Grey Haze, and stare up at the Silver Stars…

 "Wish Upon the Moon" spotlighted today during National Poetry Month...

While on the deepest night we lie
alone, below the dark embrace
wishing, as we stare into the sky

The moon forever peers, a spy
following the clouds apace
While on the deepest night we lie

Throw our hopes to the heavens high
to grant our dreams and not misplace
wishing, as we stare into the sky

To the moon we whisper, sweet sigh,
a prayer to be our saving grace
While on the deepest night we lie

Spin our tales, and watch them fly
beyond our grasp, without a trace
Wishing, as we stare into the sky

Radiant reflections cast their eye
staring back like luminescent lace
While on the deepest night we lie,
wishing, as we stare into the sky