The Lone Deserter

The lone deserter travels on, through tapestry of green, paying no attention to the land he’s never seen.

Passion pocketed for later use, the milestones tucked away, with treasures from another life he once felt sure would stay.

Trying for clear passage, his back now all that shows, struggling to seek distance, from lovers, friends and foe.

We watch him trip and stumble, yet he holds his head erect, while trying to deny and mask the sadness we detect.

The ocean tide once friendly, the setting sky so gray, he separates his vision of the past now gone astray.

His shadow barely showing, horizon on attack, reminding us as we watch him go, of the power that we lack.

When will we get him back?


by CD-W

photo credit

The soul and spirit can be stubborn

When the Universe pushed her buttons, she pushed back too hard. And, since the soul and spirit can be stubborn, it took a long time to find her Center. But when she did, she discovered that Life is a Cabaret.

cabert cropped 2.JPG

One of my first paintings.



Nervous Sweat


Frank’s nervous, too. The way he strangles the steering wheel reminds me of the time Daddy taught Mama to drive. Mama had Jiggled nervous sweat. Daddy stayed calm and quiet like he was reading the death notices in the Galveston Post. I sat in the back giggling my socks off.

Mama kept turning to see if I was still alive. “You okay, baby? You okay?”

“Bernice, sugar. You have to keep your eyes on the road.”

Daddy and me didn’t have much to worry about. She never went more than five miles an hour.

Daddy had tilted toward me and winked, “Hope you’re not too hungry, Little Tulip. This might take a while.”

When we got home, Mama had to change out of her sweaty clothes. Daddy gave her a big hug and said, “Bernice, you make me proud.”

But that was then.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket


From Arid to a full belly

1940: Fresh Air and Dusted Britches — Last weekend Mr. Green asked Delma and me if we wanted to spend a night with him and his wife. I think maybe he’d heard a few things about what was going on at my house, about how Dad was treating me. Either way, it sure was good to get away for a night.

Mrs. Green made us corn on the cob with fried chicken and I ate every bit of mine. Then we played checkers, and even taught Delma how to play. It was like a vacation from the desert with no water into a place with fresh air and cold iced tea. It was a full belly.

The next morning before we were about to leave, Mrs. Green hugged Delma, turned to me and said, “Now Cono, you keep sittin’ on the shiny side’a that star.”

It sounded like a real nice thing to say, but I’m still trying to figure out what in tarnation she was talking about.

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper




When Mother Nature thumps you into awareness

Yesterday morning, when I woke up, I couldn’t talk. This morning, when I woke up, I still couldn’t talk. I mean, NOT AT ALL. Laryngitis is an interesting condition. Perhaps it is nature’s way of telling you to listen, to be still, to be contemplative.

I counted my blessings.

But damnit, I wanted to add to the lunch conversation! I had things to contribute, information to share!

“Ha Ha,” the Universe laughed.

“Holler if you need anything,” a friend laughed.

“Now she can’t yell at me,” my husband said, laughing in the phone with my doctor.

My mini Aussie cocked his head at my silence, but could still read my body language as I could still read his. “Ball time! Ball time! Ball time!”

I counted my blessings.

This evening, I count my blessings. Not because I can now croak out a couple of words in a lengthy sentence.

I count my blessings because they are there. Silence did not destroy even one.


Be still and silent when you can.

Otherwise, Mother Nature will make you.

She’s clever like that.


The three-legged way of looking at life


The Great Gatsby stands and walks toward me. I back up and wonder where his slingshot is. “We won’t bother with a real handshake,” he says. “Just give me the damn hooch, and we’ll call it a deal.”

I hand over the Mason jar. He unscrews the lid and takes a big gulp.

“Damn, this is the Real McCoy.” He takes another swig. “Why’s your dog got three legs?”

I tell him. Three years ago, Daddy took Choppers into town. Choppers wasn’t full grown yet, so he didn’t think twice about biting the tire of a delivery truck filled with sacks of grain. When he got run over, Doc Dennis took off one of his back legs. A month later, when he acted normal again, I’d asked Daddy why Choppers had the guts to forget losing something so important as a leg. “Because, Jellybean, he got used to the change.” Daddy had pointed to his temple. “He adapted. Choppers knew that, even with three legs, he still had plenty of life to live and enjoy.”

“I don’t think he remembers it’s missing,” I tell Frank.

“Wish humans could do the same,” he says. “Speaking of, why’d your Mama leave?”

I look away and stare into the thicket. I’d rather talk about Choppers.

“Aunt Sissy left me too. By dying. ’Yes sir, that’s my baby, No sir, don’t mean maybe yes, sir, that’s my Baby now,’” he sings.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket (1928)


photo credit




Searchin’ for the “Funny”

Dad never owned a car long enough for him to learn how to drive, or for that matter, long enough for me to learn to drive. Until we moved to Temple, that is. Dad was the odd man out, never having an interest in cowboying or even getting on top of a horse like the rest of the Dennis’.

Dad tried to ride a bull once. Maybe it was a low point for him. For for me it was anything but. We were living at the Dennis ranch when Dad came home drunk and decided it was time to act like a real rodeo star. I was standing outside the corral, where we kept one of our two-year-old bulls. Dad saunters over to me and slurs, “Cono, grab that bull o’r yonder. Hold’em still ‘til I get on. I’m gonna ride that son’a bitch”

“Sure I will, Dad.”

It was better than watching a picture show. While I was putting the rope around the bull’s neck, Dad went over and fixed Ike’s spurs to his shoes! Not to his boots because he didn’t even own a pair of boots, but to his shoes! Then he slapped on Ike’s chaps. I helped him get on top of the bull and stood there holding his rope.

“Whenever you’re ready,” I said.

“I’z ready,” he Slurred.

I let go.

Dad put one hand up in the air and said, “High, ho, silv……”


That bull didn’t even buck. He just turned around real slow like he was trying to see what kind of idiot would sit on his back. Well, that slow turn was all it took. My Dad fell right off that lazy bull and straight into the dirt, Ike’s spurs dangling from Dad’s shoes.

I turned around and looked in the other direction. I didn’t want Dad to see my shoulders quivering from laughter.

Dad got up and staggered back to the house mumbling something about killing steak for dinner.

Some things sure were funny back then, but other times? You couldn’t find “funny” anywhere you looked.

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper

The year: 1971


Carol, Donna an me (me the skinny minnie on the right) discovered this Hideout. (Donna’s taking the picture from my Polaroid camera) In the wooded area near our houses, and just over the railroad tracks, we found this tin shack. It wasn’t surprising since “hobos” often frequented the trains. A pipe suck out of the so-called roof where the smoke from the inside-makeshift-fire-place could escape. We never built a fire, nor did we ever sleep there. But it was a place to go at the age of 15 to get away from (egads) the parents and the world. It was there we puffed on cigarettes.

1971, when the New York Times begins to publish sections of the Pentagon Papers showing the US Government had been lying to the American People.

  • Jim Morrison of The Doors is found dead
  • Love Story (“Love means never having to say you’re sorry) airs
  • Disney World opens!

And then, we have:

There’s more. Much more. But some secrets must be kept!  🙂