Jnana's Red Barn

A Space for Work and Reflection


Pro-life AND pro-assault rifle or Glock?

It doesn’t add up.


Something has to give way, way side or the other, even for subsistence hunters.


I keep thinking about the stories children are taught, especially here in America. Carol Bly once wrote of the Scandinavian tales the descendants in Minnesota never heard, unlike the mass-media mishmash they were served. I’m left wondering if Ohio ever had anything like Kokopelli or Coyote from Native American lore and wisdom. I can keep hoping.

The fact is, most Americans are estranged from their roots. We don’t even know where we live, not really.

Forget the Zombie Apocalypse, we rarely know how to select the healthy wild berries. Leave it at that.

As for the hornpipe? It’s a Celtic dance, faster and more complicated than a jig – or gigue, if you insist. But I also like the vision of a pipe carved from a horn and played.

Care to join me for a dance?

Kokopelli 1~*~

For your own copy, click here.



In a borrowed room on the second floor:

Startled by a motion at the corner of my eye,
I wondered, Who was rising outside my window?
And then laughed, Old Glory!
Seconds before the clock stopped.


Off in the woods:

One bewildering roar of squall
obstructed cabin pathways
with limbs left hanging
six months after ice sheets
shattered each grove around here.

Who knew how long I’d go
with the power lines down
while a hurricane decayed
a half-continent from landfall?

A blue chill fell on the lane
as if there had never been need
of a screen-door to the kitchen.
Just yesterday, its outside wall
had been plastered with insects!
Now, even the air crackled.


The following year:

When she warned me, “Run like hell
(you truly can’t imagine what
you’ll be allowing in your life)” –
was she really all that surprised
I fled right into open flame?

“Run like the wind,” she chuckled.

Suppose I hadn’t acquiesced on
my only chance at that door?

With or without a screen to the wind?


Once again in a room on the second floor:

This time it’s just off our bedroom.
Sitting beside a window countering
the prevalent wind, I feel many cold fingers
upon me while flags of laughter rise
from our own kitchen, downstairs.

To continue, click here.
Copyright 2015


There’s one way to stop those nasty campaign attack ads.

Vote FOR the candidate they’re attacking.


Thinking of the Red Barn’s theme for the year, how seems to be morphing from Trumpets of the Coming Storm to Trump-Pence of the Crummy Storm.

Oh, how the mind and life wander!


When I see this …

Dover, New Hampshire

Dover, New Hampshire

… I think of this.

Inca 1For the free ebook novel and more, click here.


It’s a dangerous question
and scary.

This matter of ideology
and purity.

Taliban and Tea Party: let me ask
what’s the difference, at the core?

Given the opportunity?
Where do we draw the line?

Who does the mirror see
when we stand before it?




“There are only two reasons why you should ever be asked to give your youngsters. One is defense of our homes. The other is the defense of our Bill of Rights and particularly the right to worship God as we see fit. Every other reason advanced for the murder of young men is a racket, pure and simple.”

Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC
— from War Is a Racket


As I observed at the time …

Language. At age seven, eight, and ten, each in the band of boys has acquired a filthy tongue. Incredibly obnoxious. Many of us adults are offended. Some have complained to the management. Now the word comes down. “Hey, Dirk, you hear? We can’t use bad words no more.”

“Who complained?”

Like, “Let’s get ‘em!”

We adults need to stand together. Firmly. Before the little bastards overrun us.


In the rip current or the whirlpool
where river runs into tide
demise tarries.

Against the wet, wind, and rot
one yearns for something durable as stone
skillfully inscribed with words
one might find sealed in the Book of Life.

Still, watching a young Wampanoag
(how lean and muscular with an enchanting smile –
my daughters flush at his mention)
the way he creates a log canoe
using small fires and an ax,
I wonder of other ways to accompany
the soul’s journey into eternity.

Once he speaks of how the coals seal
a vessel and burn off weighty sap, I ask
how it handles in open water, especially,
knowing how difficult a modern canoe
performs when a slight breeze kicks in.

Confidently, he tells me about pontoon-like
stabilizers or jerry-rigged sails.
Even on open sea.

Then I mention
Robert Hodgson and two companions
who paddled a fourteen-foot log canoe
to the Carolinas in 1661
through Hell’s Gate by Manhattan
and came back, only to overturn
entering Narragansett Bay
where they were rescued by Natives
responding to their plight.

“I remember hearing that story,”
he tells me.

We become linked
through nine generations –
likely more.

To continue, click here.
Copyright 2015