Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ode to Ms. Skittle

A Felineous Sonnet
By David Roth
© 29th October, 2011

I sought my furry feline friend
to broach some highbrow conversation

to bring the matter to an end
to stall the fruitless tribulation

glare intense, her whiskers twitching
tail tossed like a metronome

she had me, held me, cast, bewitching
froze, immobile garden gnome

green eyes reach within as well
to seek the thing I ponder

hold me firm within her spell
relieved, and still I wonder

but then, I muse; I reason that
she is, indeed, a jelicle cat.

Friday, October 28, 2011


By David Roth
© 28th October, 2011

I begin each day
by intentionally
sixty inches
of hand stained
artfully woven
intricately stitched
imported Italian silk
stretched taught like otter skin
on a Cherokee drumhead
turned and pulled;
cut at just the right angle
that the laser straight lines
of the weaver’s loom
now hang a perfect downward slant
of elegant gold, regal burgundy
and a microscopic dab of ketchup
in the middle most golden stripe
no known amount of dry
cleaning will

Semper Fi!

By David Roth
© 28th October, 2011

Sweat glistens as diamonds
on a brow the color of Belgian dark chocolate
while rod straight fingers of pristine cotton
snap a crisp salute.

He willed the trembling fingers still
a hairs breadth away
from the patent leather shine
of his perfectly tilted cover
and razor edged dress blues.

Later, when the echo of twenty-one guns
faded as the memory of a summer storm
and the flag draped wooden box was silent
beneath a chiseled slab of granite
and fresh bolts of sod tapped firmly in place

would the storm of emotion
that rocked him to the core pass
taking with it the fury of a thousand
sleepless nights beneath the stars
some unnamed ocean of sand

when like the gentle babble
of a mountain creek
would he find peace
even as the last of his team lay still
in the cold earth and setting sun,

he had kept the faith.
Semper Fi!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So That’s What It’s Like

By David Roth
© 26 October, 2011

Ain’t nothing new, ain’t no big thing,
slip on the ‘boks, my hoody and bling
pop tarts and milk
book bag and door,
maybe cut class, maybe hang at a store

Jarrod’s my Homey, ‘Quila’s my lady
gonna hang some, you know
nothing evil or shady
down to the Farm Store
iPad some tunes and just chill.

Should be in class, not here in the open
should be someplace else
someplace wishin and hopin
not hugging the floor, near the door
like a chore, while a wet patch spreads wide in my pants.

Come in wit a nine-mill,
fried on some head thrill,
angry and burnt out
pulling that piece out
shoulda gone to class.

I’m scared, I admit it!
that dude, he ain’t wit it,
don’t know what he’s seekin
I’m real, ain’t no peekin
my pants are still leakin.

Jarrod stood to confront him
fire one, punk, I ain’t jokin
got a hole where his head was.
‘Quila screamed, fire two,
that sweet face, cold and dead.

So that’s what it like
when the monster come out
wave a gun and start shouting
ain’t what livin’s about
It’s cold, I ain’t breathing, wet pants finally dry.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Not Too Early

Are you paying attention?  Do I need to send someone over and Gibbs-slap you?  (Do I need to send someone over to explain what a Gibbs-slap is?)  Go down to the lower right hand corner of your computer screen and click where it shows the time.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait, and unless you’re an even worse dork than I am, you won’t break anything.  I am, of course, operating under the assumption that you are using a Windows based computer.  I don’t have any idea what’s in the lower right hand corner of a MAC or any flavor of pad except the LCARS GUI based PADD.  You’ll either get that or you won’t.
So – you there yet?  Good.  Click the arrow on the right hand side of the calendar thirteen times.  Take your shoes off if necessary.  You (and your DeLorian)will have arrived at the right place – and time – when the calendar heading reads November, 2012.  If it reads September, 2010, close the calendar and start over again from the beginning, but the time use the other right.
Seriously, if it took you more than one try, you might want to stop reading here because if that confused you, the rest is going to be way over your head and frankly, you probably shouldn’t be involved in this anyway.
Now – are you toughing it out?  Did both you and your calendar (with or without the optional DeLorian) finally arrive at November, 2012?  Good!  Now wind your way to the second Tuesday of November, 2012, which will actually be the third Tuesday on the calendar because of the way it’s laid out, but don’t let that confuse you.  If the Mayan’s are right, none of this is going to matter anyway.
Your finger – or mouse pointer  - should be resting on November 13th, 2012.  Got it?  Make sure, because this is important.  Apart from the face that the date is the 13th day of the month, or that it falls exactly thirteen months from the day before yesterday, (and boy are numerologists having fits with this one) if you’re still with me on this, you are one of the people who need to be paying attention because this specific day, November 13th, 2012, thirteen months from now is the second Tuesday of November, and you know that that means: in 1789 Ben Franklin wrote “Nothing in life is certain except Death and Taxes”, and in 2012 we will elect a new POTUS, again presuming we ARE smart enough to not re-elect the current one, and also assuming the current administration doesn’t cancel the election, a possibility not as far-fetched as you might think.
This is an important election.  Our future as a nation may very well hinge on the outcome of this election – if in fact Barry Soetoro doesn’t cancel it.  It’s an idea that the Demoratic Governor of North Carolina, Bev Purdue (not to be confused with the poultry people) likes.
And it’s not the only issue confusing the already murky waters.  Republicans can’t stop calling each other names long enough to agree to stop calling each other names, much less talk about solutions and agree on a candidate.
Are you old enough to remember Kennedy-Nixon?  People in this country were genuinely worried that the Pope would exert too much influence on a Roman Catholic president if he were elected.  No one seemed too worried about the prospect of a Quaker President.  Well how about one who may have to choose between the constitution and a fable about an archeologically and anthropologically improvable national history?  Even when the only alternative at the moment is a Kenyan born socialist whose political ties are closer to Muhammad than George Washington.
But, on the other hand, maybe the Mayan’s will have got it right, and none of this will matter in the end.
And even if they’re wrong, I take comfort in the words God gave a Jewish Scholar/Prophet held captive by Nebuchadnezzar over 600 years before the birth of Christ:
“Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter,  [urging] them to ask the God of heaven for mercy concerning this mystery, so Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the rest of Babylon's wise men.  The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven  and declared:
       May the name of God
       be praised forever and ever,
       for wisdom and power belong to Him.
             He changes the times and seasons;
             He removes kings and establishes kings.
             He gives wisdom to the wise
             and knowledge to those
             who have understanding.
             He reveals the deep and hidden things;
             He knows what is in the darkness,
             and light dwells with Him.
             I offer thanks and praise to You,
             God of my fathers,
             because You have given me
             wisdom and power.
             And now You have let me know
             what we asked of You,
             for You have let us know
             the king's mystery.”
(Daniel 2: 17-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

All Hallows Eve

By David Roth
© 8th October, 2011

The wind howls on in a frightful gale
while the naked trees sing a woeful wail
Jack-O-Lanterns wink, in a blink, deceive
on a chilling night called All Hallows Eve.

Children roam in packs going door-to-door
yelling ‘Tricks Or Treats;’ meaning ‘more, please, more’
in the growing dusk how they laugh and weave
through the creeping chill of All Hallows Eve.

There’s an eerie feel to the neighborhood
“Can we ask up there? Do you think we should?”
“That’s haunted house,” as they all believe,
so they pass it by this All Hallows Eve.

As the urchins pass all but unaware
of the horror lurking behind the stare
from the frosted glass with the spider weave
at the house they passed on All Hallows Eve.

For a hundred years, give or take a few
when the street was young and the house was new
there be monsters here, if you dare believe
that come out to play on All Hallows Eve.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for Resentment - Book Review

The two things I have the most difficulty reviewing are Romance novels – because I really don’t much care for the genre, even when it’s carefully couched in the well draped blanket of historical fiction, and work by writers I know personally – because whether I like them or not, and I DO this author, it’s just difficult to be objective when you know the writer.  You either want to dislike their work because you know but dislike them, or, as in this particular case, you want to write a rave review because you know and like the writer irrespective of his or her work.  It’s double jeopardy when it’s a writer you know and like writing in a genre you don’t particularly care for, and you try to be as objective and brutally honest as possible, which I do.
The writer in question is fellow Examiner Jesse V. Coffee, the Lexington Writing and Literature Examiner, CEO of Edin Road Publications, A.K.A. Red Haired Celt, my editor and publisher and my friend.  So I guess that makes all of this that rare triple play, and writing this review isn’t going to be easy.  And if 312 words can be taken as ‘long story short’, there you have it, and here I go.
I first read Jesse Coffey in a completely different setting for historical fiction, a delightful horror piece called A Wager of Blood.  Originally published in paperback by LBF Books and soon to be released E-book edition under her own banner of Edin Road Press, the author used the soon to be retired pseudonym of J.W. Coffey.  This was a pulse pounding read worthy of the pen of Stephen King when’s not busy covering Wooly Bully with his garage band and attending Red Sox games. But this is not about A Wager of Blood.  I’ll return to that when the e-book is released.
Let me tell you now about The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment.  The place and time are Edin-on-Norwich, England, 1567 A.D.  Stephan , the elder of Sir Douglas Cameron’s sons has been brought before Lord Joseph Turnbull, Baron of the shire, accused of the theft of silver from the shire’s church.  His accuser is Sarah Miller, with whom young Stephan is in love.  Lord Joseph is an evil megalomaniac with eyes set on wealth and power no matter how it is to be attained.  He has bribed young Sarah to falsely accuse Stephan.  As Baron of the Shire, Lord Joseph is jury, judge, and executioner by law.  One other thing.  He hates the Cameron family.  Stephan is stripped, whipped within an inch of his life by the soul-less Irish assassin known as Cieran, and left to die, or be found on the road to the Cameron estate.
Fast forward ten years.  William Cameron has returned from a lengthy tour of Europe, where he has seen the best and the worst civilization has to offer.  He returns to an Edin –on-Norwich which has changed little in his absence.  Lord Joseph is still the Baron, and if anything is even more evil and determined in his hatred of the Cameron family.  Here we meet the rest of our cast.  Mary, the young woman known by the Cameron family since she and William were wee ones.  The Lady Jessica is the recent ward of Lord Joseph, who has his eyes on her titles, lands, fortune, and, dare I say it, her innocence.  And through his willing henchman, Cieran, Joseph is not beneath murdering anyone who gets in his way.
The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment by J. V. Coffey is a rip snorting, swashbuckling whale of an adventure that far exceeds is intent of being a good romance.  It’s just plain a darn good read.  A splendid story, well told.  The only distraction I had was occasionally when Coffey, who  tells her story as third person narrative but from individual characters perspectives, loses me momentarily when she, with little more than an extra space between paragraphs, jumps back and forth in the linear setting of the tale.  Once you figure out where she is, it’s a smooth, if fast paced ride.
5 stars for The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment by J. V. Coffey, and Edin Road Press at Smashwords. Second edition © 2011 by Jesse V. Coffey   Originally published as The Brothers Campbell First edition copyright 2002 by J. W. Coffey First edition ISBN 978-0595261772
Tampa readers, and readers everywhere can find The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment by J. V. Coffey online at in most popular e-book formats, and for their Kindle at
The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment is book one of the Brothers Cameron Trilogy.  Cover art ©2011 by Lorrieann Russell.
Interested Tampa readers can learn more about J. V. Coffey and her writing at Facebook and at the author’s web site.

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