Rubato is not the only approach in music, stealing a bit of a beat from one note to give it to the next. Fermato – the bird’s eye – stops the count altogether, however briefly.

As if time in daily life is all that mechanical. Some days, after all, after longer than others. Or some minutes seem to go on forever, unlike others that leave us breathless.

Now, back to that matter of Rubato



For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.




All along, I’ve felt a ping of guilt when taking time to write poetry or fiction. As if I’ve been stealing from others, even when I was living alone. Rubato, in Italian, means theft, although in music it’s applied as a way of making a phrase more flexible and ultimately sensual. And here it enters, as a dimension of my life journey.

What, then, is honest and what comes across as fake in a deep desire for love and affirmation?

I’ll let these poems sing and shout and lament on their own. I’ve somehow survived their transitions.


For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.


Care to help me decide on a cover my upcoming novel?

Here are 11 draft designs around five images. and here’s your chance to tell me if I’m on the right track. Note that these rough specs, and any final cover will need to be tweaked. Before I get into that, though, let me know how these strike you. Please take a look (clicking on a cover will open these in a slideshow format, if you wish).

After that, simply put your reactions and thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

  • Which one most strongly grabs your attention?
  • Which image do you like the best?
  • Do you have any thoughts in regard to where the title and author go on the cover?
  • Considering that this will be an ebook, which cover do you think is most effective in thumbnail size?
  • Should I start over? If so, any pointers?

Once a final choice comes into view, I’ll report back with your insights. Maybe even with more questions needing your help. Just what makes an effective book cover, anyway?


Deep River, Sandy Springs, Holly Springs, Goose Creek, West Branch, Back River, Clearwater. These are a few of the names of Quaker Meetings taken from bodies of water. There’s even Gunpowder, named after a river in Maryland as it runs through a town named Sparks.

For me, Stillwater itself is a special place in the hills of southeast Ohio as well as I river we used to hike along in the western half of the state.


Stillwater 1

For my reasons and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.