Why Stifle a Good Thing?


Do not rain on my parade

unless it’s with feathers,

or glitter

or golden moon powder

You may not like the floats I created

my choice of marching bands

or the tethered balloons

reaching for the endless sky.

Perhaps the spectators are not to your liking

the cheers from old and young alike

may be too loud for your ears.

If you want to rain on my parade

do not come

But if your heart opens

and your mind changes

I will let you in for free.

my parade



image credit

via Stifle


If I Tell You a Rooster Wears a Pistol …

To know him means you “got” his colloquialisms, his dry, sometimes sarcastic wit (I was a quick study). To know him means you understood what it was like to run away towards something good. And if it wasn’t “up to snuff,” you’d take advantage of the situation to make it so. He used to say, “If I tell you a rooster wears a pistol, look under it’s wing.” It meant, just like his grandfather intended, that he was truth-telling.

It’s 1946 and he’s telling you a piece of his story:

I was standing in my flight section of fifty-four men. All the ranking men had gone except for the second lieutenant, who was greener than a gourd. He was the squadron commander over everything, and he walked straight over to me and asked, “Soldier, you’ve done previous service, haven’t you?”

“No sir,” I said, standing in rigid attention and trying to figure out why he asked me that question.

“But you’ve had previous training, haven’t you?”

I thought real quick. Hell, I’d had previous training alright—previous training in ranching and sandwich making, not to mention in bank robbing conversations, fighting, and escaping. So I said, “Yes sir, I’ve had previous trainin’.”

“Where at?”

I knew what he was thinking, so again I lied through my teeth and said, “ROTC, sir.” Every officer likes to hear that.

“Can you drill men?”

Shoot, I’d seen enough picture shows to know how to drill men. Any idiot can drill men. I’d been drilled all my life—told what to do, what not to do, when to do it to boot.

“Yes sir!” I said.

He called over the little corporal, pointed to me, and said, “This is your new assistant.”

I had no inkling of an idea of what it meant to be an assistant to a corporal, but I learned quickly enough. An “assistant” meant wearing a piss pot, a little blue helmet that identified you as an assistant just like a piece of tape with your name on it identified you as the newcomer at a Baptist revival.

Little Corporal put that piss pot on my head, and I marched those soldiers straight to the classroom. Then I went to the PX to drink some more coffee.

Cono Dennis (12-18-1928 – 6-24-2009)

My father. I knew him well.

rooster logo copy

(new logo for my children’s books)

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper by C. Dennis-Willingham

via Inkling

The Shadow Beast

man tree

I dreamt I sat on a low branch of Grandfather tree. It was dark when the man walked toward me, twigs growing out of his head like petrified breadsticks.

I reached down, determined to break off each one so they would not interfere and grow roots to our ancestral tree. Each time I snapped one off, his twigs became thicker and stronger, harder to break off.

Still dreaming, I went to bed and saw the shadow once again- not from my friend the pecan tree lurking outside my window, but from the silhouette of the man I knew him to be.

It was not the Shadow Beast, but a real beast, lurking in the shadows.

In my waking moment, I knew he had to be stopped.


Excerpt from a CD-W novel

photo credit

via Silhouette

The Darkness Within


She downed the last of several shots. A deep hole waited, someone she knew to be placed inside.

She tripped over pebbles and glanced up ahead.  Almost there now.

A small gathering stood around the gravesite. Had they started without her?

She took in their glares, their finger points. Tardy like a schoolgirl. Shame on me.

She didn’t see the hole.

Falling, falling, falling. She landed on her side, her dress torn and ruined.

She pushed a palm into the soft dirt but couldn’t sit up. Stuck. Had this grave been dug just for her? Had they been expecting her? Her nails, ruined by the earth’s filth.

Six feet under and no place to go?” her mother whispered. “You’re a disgrace. Now get up and get to work. Sofie!”

“Sofie? Sofie?”

She turned and found herself in the reflection of her friend’s eyes, her own muddled haze lessening.

But the hallow void beneath her opened its mouth and called to her, threatening to swallow her whole.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” The skinny preacher mumbled.

For the most part, the sky remained clear. The few scattered clouds resembled claw marks as if God, if there was one, was desperately trying to scratch his way in. Or perhaps, out.

(Excerpt from a CD-W novel)


photo credit

via Tardy


What Good Is a Window?


What good is a window 

 if there’s nothing to see 

no season of fall 

no drifting of leaves 

What good is a window 

if there’s only a wall. 


What good is a window 

if it’s sealed on all sides 

if it always stays closed 

by your heart or your pride 

What good is a window 

If you’re underexposed. 


What good is a window     

if it’s locked tight, secured 

or covered with drapes 

and your view is obscured 

What good is a window 

If there is no escape 


What good is a window 

if it’s not open wide 

to smile at skies blue 

to let fear subside 


What good is a window? 

It let’s you climb through 

Italy 2004 019 2

(photo taken when I visited beautiful Tuscany)


Top Photo credit

Wanna start your Monday with a laugh?

For those of you unfamiliar, Candid Camera was a TV show. The original ran from 1960 to 1967 and I remember laughing at the jokes (un-cruel IMHO) played on people. Folks didn’t know that their reactions were recorded on camera until someone said, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera.”

This following clip was taken from a later version of the show. Since I’m from Texas, I thought this clip was appropriate. Imagine being stopped and told to turn around because your state was closed for the day.


via Candid