One Hundred Beats A Minute free today for Kindle


A little holiday giveaway.

Today only, I’m making my latest collection, One Hundred Beats A Minute, free for Kindle on

I think you’ll like this latest book, even if you’re not a big fan of poetry. Sixty small portions of verse, each only one hundred words long. Yet each one will leave your soul feeling full and satisfied. Or, if you’re like me, you can binge on the whole volume over the holiday and not feel the least bit guilty afterward.

I’d appreciate it very much if you would leave a short opinion of what you think of the book on its Amazon page. Hope you enjoy it.

Free Kindle Version of Penumbra available Oct. 25-26

Saturday & Sunday, October 25-26, you can download the ‪‎Kindle‬ version of my ‪debut poetry‬ collection, Penumbra: The Space Between, free from

Why don’t you grab a copy and give it a look over the weekend. If you’re moved by what you read, I’d appreciate it if you can leave a review or rating on its Amazon page.

The Murder

English: Crows in flight This field is close t...

English: Crows in flight This field is close to the junction of Nottingham Road and Loughborough Road in Leicestershire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Black pen-nib crows write sure,
harsh and profane above me, all
flourishes, loops and T-crossing,
shouting outbursts of joy
in their own creativity. And I stand
here watching them, feeling guilty
that I’m not flying across some page,
envious of that abandon and their
bumptious “F-you” to those of us cursed
with too much of our own gravity.

Groundbound, I drop my spirit
and my eyes, and fold back my wings.

Now I sit here and curse you all,
crows and men, envious I’ve yet
to test my wings in the open sky,
feeling guilty for listening to
your caws for your own cause.
I stand and give a little jump, write
my little “F-you” to all those flyers,
real and imagined, and curse this
murderous might-be fear and
my own already accursed gravity.

Self-Portrait in Black and White

December Moon

December Moon (Photo credit: Donald Lee Pardue)

Last night, the twenty-seven twenty-eighths
full moon, playing coy as a Rubens model
behind a pale veil of haze, cast her
soft halo glow upon a new dusting of snow.
By the window I idly sat in the dark of my room,
gazing out on the bared-treed landscape,
a scribble of black ups and downs,
a two-year old’s drawing of stick men,
arms raised in static surrender.
Nothing moved outside or within me
for that hour I stared through open curtain
eager to catch a glimpse of life
refected upon either side of my eyes.

When you’re worn out from the dance
of hope and submission, trying and failing
for so long, admitting defeat becomes easy.
You just close your eyes, drop the blinds
and fade away into complete darkness.
No one can see you and you don’t see them
in a perfect ignorance of mutual existence.
Then, the tiniest movement, a rabbit venturing
from the safety of the brush, daring the nibble
in the face of fox’s bite, caught the merest corner
of my eye, sparking the poet to once more try.

Big News, Big Thanks

This has been quite a couple of weeks or so for the poet/writer/photographer/dog-walker of A Thing for Words.

I’ve been encouraged to post the news of my spectacularly lucky time over that period and those of you who really know me understand that such things make me squirmily uncomfortable. But I owe it to the good folks who made all this possible to spread the word.

On January 18, 2013, the journal The Cossack Review came out in its beautiful new first printed iteration. This issue included my poems Nightfall, Another November and Backstage at the Firmament. A couple of faves of mine.

This week, I got hold of this photo of the leaf-festooned publication sitting among a rather high-class bunch of peers on a bookshop shelf in Santa Cruz, California.

Cossack in Santa Cruz

Even I thought that was cool!

If you would like to purchase a copy, you may do so at the Cossack Review website.

On January 30, 2013, the folks at, upon whose magic aether-traversing machinery you view this blog, selected my poem Infernal Affairs to showcase on the Freshly Pressed feature of the home page.

In notifying me of this honor, Fresh Pressed story wrangler Michelle Weber said of my twisty reminiscence of newspaper days, “We really enjoyed it, and we know the rest of the community will too – we always enjoy featuring poetry, and this piece struck us as particularly unique and evocative.” Oooba dooba, eh?

Michelle also told me to expect new readers. I should say so! So many great new folks stopped by to read, like, and comment on Infernal Affairs and others of my versish burbles! And a massive pile of them have since subscribed to the blog. (I don’t suppose one of you is an agent or publisher who might be interested in a collection of poems—entitled Penumbra—portraying the mid-shadow life of a middle-aged, mid-shadowed poet, are you?)

This week, I learned that the poetry anthology Signal from Static, in which a fistful of my poems appear, has hit the digital and analog bookshelves. Signal is published by my dVerse colleague Anna Montgomery’s imprint, Chromatopias, and includes examples of work by many of my poet friends and colleagues.


You can purchase a copy of Signal from Static in paperback from or the Kindle version from

I’d like extend my deepest gratitude to all of the wonderful folks who have supported and encouraged me and my work over the past couple of years. As some of you know, I never set out to be a poet, but son of a gun, that’s what ya’ll have helped me become. And I thank you for that and so much more.