It is a whirlwind in here


January 2021

Another Ghost And Another Ghost House For A Haunting


I am again knee-deep (or is that grave deep) in ghosts. This time it is for my new novel, There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were not So Smooth

To keep in the mood (though, in truth, I can barely get out of it) I’ll re-post this ghost house segment.This house was at least standing, while the one Alison Alexandra is visiting is barely a hole in the ground.

However, Alison Alexandra is not going to get away as easily.


From: He Lives In The City/He Drives To The Country

  It had been a house of dreams, it was now a house of ghosts.

   Ghosts tranquil and benign peered through the dusty upper windows, stood in wait behind the boarded doors. The dreams of long ago, which had tumbled down the stairs, and frolicked through the rooms, were now memories in the minds of ghosts.     

   The ghosts were themselves memories, destined to further fade with each new birth. But there would be no births in this house, as it slid inexorably toward decay. The lackluster brown shingles would be more smudged, the remaining panes of old glass would break, the floors would warp and collapse, the unkept roof would succumb to the years of harsh weather. 

     Even the `No Trespass’ sign was barely legible. Then where would the ghosts go?

     Blaine left his car and walked toward the house. 

     If he had eyes to see, who would be there to greet him?  Would children’s dreams, fair-haired and boisterous, burst through the front door and surround him in games of tag and laughter?  Would he get caught by their enthusiasm (would he become a child himself), and race behind the trees, burrow into the hay, hide between the bins of potato and turnip, intent not to be `it’. 

     Or would he meet the ghosts, quiet and tentative at the top of the steps, moving slowly with their uncertain smiles. Would they greet him with a wave, invite him into their warm-smelling kitchens, offer him fresh tea, and squares right out of the pan?  Would he sit in the stream of fall sunlight flowing across the well-oiled floor, and talk about childhood?

     Blaine walked part way up the drive before he stopped.

     He knew what lay beyond the boarded windows, and the sagging door upon its rusty hinges. Wallpaper would be water-stained, and curling off the plaster walls. There would be lumps of refuse in the corners of the rooms, with one inevitable rusty bedframe lying on its side. There would be gaps in the ceiling, where beams of sunlight shimmered through motes of dust. There would be holes in the baseboards, where earnest rodents made comfortable homes.

     There would be musty smells offering a hint of long-ago meals, and something gone bad in the pantry. There would be one upper window (at the back) which still had a tattered lace  curtain, half obscuring what had once been totally private. At night he would hear bats.

     It was not this house he had come to see, of course. Of course, not this derelict house, which he knew could never be restored, and which was so beyond help even death slept while visiting. 


Death And Satan Are So Often Holding Hands

Even though my current novel is a picaresque, and *relatively* care-free. it goes to other places, as all life must. So, with Alison Alexandra about to go a round with Old Nick, I resurrect this following segment from There Has Been A Sighting, my first Satan novel.


Mr. S. unexpectedly takes her arm, and begins to lead her along a winding, flagstone path. She has never seen such large pieces of the stone, and they glisten as if polished. 
      The path skirts a small stand of black spruce before it continues to the river. He stops her at the mouth of a gravel walkway leading through the trees.
      “Let’s pop in here.”
      “Your little acre of the Black Forest?”
      “Hardly an acre.”
      “Precision.” Breeze laughs. “Whatever would my father think of you?”
      “Does any father think well of any man when his daughter is concerned?”
      “Probably not.”
      “No,” agrees Mr. S. “So not to worry.”
      “He would think even less of someone leading his daughter down the garden path,” observes Breeze.
      “That would be before he saw what I am about to show you.” 
      Mr. S. holds her arm tightly, and guides her onto the gravel walk. It leads directly to the base of a tree, then makes an abrupt curve between the largest of the spruce. 
      One of the boughs is so low Breeze ducks her head. She has the sensation of being in the midst of a forest, for the heavy branches obscure the surroundings.
      “If I may be permitted a moment of drama.” 
      Mr. S. covers her eyes and speaks softly. 
      “Will you turn to your right, and take a few steps?”
      Even though he had asked, Breeze is startled as he gently eases her forward, and she feels a slight urge to resist him. Her steps are more cautious than the gravel walkway demands, and the press of his body is noticeable. She counts her footsteps under her breath. She is surprised when they stop at half a dozen, and he quickly removes his hand.
      “She’s beautiful.” Breeze stares, open-mouthed.
      “Yes.” Mr. S. is pleased. “I think so, too.”
      “An angel in the woods.”
      “The angel of peace.” Mr. S. walks her around the statue. “Not at all bad for a knockoff.” He pauses behind the wings.
      “A knockoff?”
      “A reproduction.” He puts his foot on the pedestal, and leans forward. “I don’t really know how old it is. Certainly last century – possibly before.” He points to the blue folds. “I’ve had the paint cleaned and touched up. Is it too garish?”
      “It … it stands out.” Breeze hunts for a word. “Let’s call it vibrant.”
      “They said it was probably close to the original colour.” Mr. S. walks around the statue and again halts beside Breeze. “Since she stands in so much shade, it’s for the best she stands with lots of colour.”
      “Do you believe in angels?”
      “I’ve just had a night-long fight with Satan. I have to believe in angels.”
      “Does she have a name?” Breeze leans forward to inspect the angel’s outstretched hand.
      “I’ve never given her one.”
      “That’s one of your suspicious half answers.” Breeze grins.
      “When Mother Ursula spoke to her, she called her `Pet’.”
      “`How are we today, Pet?’ `You got a soaking last night, 
Pet’.” Mr. S. glances at the statue’s face. “That sort of thing.”
      “Oh.” Breeze also decides to look at the angel’s face. “It’s not what you’d call a Christian name.”
      “Ursula would get a laugh out of that.” Mr. S. smiles slightly. “And so would the angel.” He turns toward Breeze. “And so do I.” He takes her hand. “Which is probably your intent, so I won’t again slip into the past tense when talking about Ursula.”
      “She’s not dead yet.”
      “Her living will gives the machines seventy-two hours.” Mr. S. looks at the angel. “I suspect it’s a wry Christian reference.”
      “So if she rises on the third day, we won’t be surprised.”
      “You have more optimism than even the Sisters.” He glances at her. “And they tend the machines.”
      “Machines have their place.”
      “Yes.” Mr. S. releases her hand. “But so does death.”


Looking In The Mirror And Out


The image in the mirror is my hero.

Who can blame me?

Were it not for his outstanding modesty

which leads the list of attributes,

I would first say it is his erudite demeanour,

and suave sophistication,

which make the most impression.

A stellar raconteur and bon vivant,

he sweeps others in his path,

where they are happy to follow.

Genius is a word too oft tossed about,

but it is a pale word to describe

the breadth,

and depth,

of his knowledge and creativity.

The man in the mirror

pulsates with understanding,

and the ability to make connections

between the most diverse

(and sometimes divergent)

of ideas.

His observations are a breath of fresh air in the firmament.

I have learned so much

from the man in the mirror,

and desire so

to bask in his consummate revelations

of life and art,

that I strive to be in his presence.

My ears ache to hear the pearls of wisdom he is oft to toss.

To be in the same room with him is life itself.

The man in the mirror is indeed a hero to emulate.

How many of us can say that about anyone?


Alison Alexandra Ponders Whilst Under The English Channel

The London platform is abustle, though, in reality, she is boarding a train to take her to a train waiting in Calais. Still, it is under the umbrella of the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express, and she is happy to board and take a very cushy seat.

Two hours and fifteen minutes to Paris. Nice scenery at either end. A glass of Bellini, in a champagne flute, before the actual undersea part. Nothing could be finer.

Alison Alexandra assumes that a quaff of peach infused Prosecco sparkling wine is to ease the anxiety of anyone going not only underground but also undersea. She appreciates the glass of – expectedly – high-toned champagne regardless, but she does not need a drink to assuage any fears, for she has none.

She has always enjoyed the thought of actually moving under streets and buildings and cars and people and parks and dogs and folk in restaurants spooning soup while other folk high up in business towers give power point presentations about the fluidity of market shares or the expert way to niggle a wire into an explicate brain to stop one form of behaviour or to restart another. Thousands of snips of humanity and civilisation wending their way over her head as she wends her way from one underground station to another.

And then – to add the volume of the sea – well, what now floats overhead? How many fish and how much plankton and seaweed and eels and lobsters and oysters and snails and perhaps even whales swimming and eating and probably eating each other in the liquid beauty which is the water which is the ocean which is the sea that slaps against the cliffs that she watches from her prow-of-a-ship windows when she is on the other side.

And the ocean that slaps the rocks at the base of her cliff is full of fish gurgle and whale song and lobster clatter and crab scuttle and perhaps even the mermaids singing. And then there is the screw screw screw of all the propellers of all the ships carrying crew and passengers and cargo of all sorts and conditions, from cases of the champagne she is drinking to the host of automobiles like the Black Ghost that Gabriella drove when she shared some champagne delivered by ship and not aged on the delivery truck two cities over.

And other cargo, floating and steaming over her head, food and drink and oil and bourbon and stiletto-heeled shoes and prayer books and cotton and smart phones and insulin and jet engines and books and railway ties and sheep dip and textiles and spices from the Far east and tongue dispensers and sugar and steel beams for steel bridges and fishhooks and guided missiles and holy missals and buttons and bows and those tiny umbrellas for fruit punch cocktails and things that Alison Alexandra doesn’t even know exists but she has her suspicions.

All over her head and moving the waves and making whales sing their cautionary songs to warn other whales to get the hell out of the way or they will get bumped on their noggin. And they do. Get out of the way.

Alison Alexandra finishes her underwater pilgrimage and pops above ground in France. And although Alison Alexandra has been somewhat offended by having to take an actual bus shuttle under the actual English Channel, she still shouts “Alors!”


Our Fearful Trip Is Done


– just to be clear –

the ignorant,

representative of

the United States

is removed.


of the
*vast* celebrations

is a


and brilliant


A pretty good balance.

Biden and Harris have earned
their night’s sleep.

I’ll take the future for its weight in gold, Alex.



Trump And MAGA Walk Into A Bar For The Last Time


~ So, how you good old boys doing?

~ There’s a problem, Mr. President.

~ Some of you boys did me proud – Har-de-Har.

~ We’d say it’s a big problem.

~ ‘Big’ problem?

~ A hugely problem – Har-de-Har.

~  Now, I’m kinda busy.

~ Taking the silverware?

~ And the china.

~ Well, there’s a start – about China.

~ They started the killer flu.

~ And that’s another thing.

~ Eating bats – do you know they eat bats?

~  You’ve killed 400,000 from the flu.

~  That’s just that Fake News.

~ We’re burying our families. It ain’t fake.

~ Everyone catches the flu.

~ You said you’d do right by us.

~ Blame Biden, he stole the election.

~ Then he didn’t have time to kill Americans.

~ Well  , , , give him time.

~ We gave you time – look where it got us.

~ I’ll be back. 2024! 2024!

~ How often do you think you can fool us?

~  And Ivanka can follow me. 2028!

~ Donald, you’re a dumb prick in a stupid tie.

~ Clean your mouth. I’m the president.

~ Not no more. “No more years!”

~ Dumb pussies – I’ve got a plane to catch.

~ After we get our hat back.


Trump And Kim Jong-un Walk Into A Bar In North Korea

~ Kimmy – thanks for having me.
~ I know I extended an invitation, but …
~ And the family.
~ It was just for a visit . . .
~ And my closest sycophants.
~ But that was when you were somebody.
~ We just need a place to stay – for a few years.
~ Melania’s already heading back to Slovenia.
~ Not my darling!
~ She says she has family – real family.
~ Who will iron my shorts?
~ Oh, your job comes with an iron.
~ As door man at our finest hotel.
~ Job!
~ We understand you have hotel experience.
~ I own . . .
~ Owned – all property of our citizens belong to our State.
~ That sounds like Communism.
~ And, as for the kids – they’re leaving with mommy.
~ She’s not their real mummy.
~ Funny – she says you’re not their real daddy.
~ But who’ll be left to listen to my stories?
~ That’s what happens when all your stories are lies.
~ But I’m the most powerful man in the world.
~ Must I be the one to tell you?
~ What?
~ You’ve been fired.


This Is A Test, Isn’t It?

This is a test.
Isn’t the answer always to be 32?
Or is that 97?
I’d prefer 69
But that’s naughty
(or can be).
And there are other answers
That should always work.
These three should answer any question to any test.
This is a test, isn’t it?
Life is a wonderful answer,
As is the middle of ‘life’
Some think Trump is the answer
To every test
Others thought Hitler was the answer
To the question
Of the test.
Seems they are wrong.
Personally, I think
Franz Kafka is the answer
Leonard Cohen has all the answers.
To the test.
I must accept
That the answer
To the test
[Image] www.

Trump And Hitler Walk Into A Bar


~ Dolf – may I call you Dolf?
~ All my friends do.
~ Dolf!
~ What can I do for you, Don?
~ I am gefooked!
~ That you are.
~Any advice?
~ A weekend at Camp David.
~ That will help?
~ Pretend it’s The Wolf’s Lair.
~ Liar?
~ Close enough.
~ How do I get out of this?
~ Well – I killed myself.
~ That’s what my other friends say.
~ My friends died with me – you know, the real ones.
~ Fat chance of that.
~ Well, you went out with a whimper – not a bang.
~ I thought they’d rise up – take the country.
~ You never gave them anything – not even a Wall.
~ There was never any money in it.
~ At least I gave my people the Volkswagen.
~ Is that how you made your money?
~ No, I got all my money from the book I wrote.
~ Best seller?
~ Ja! Every household had to have one.
~ Maybe I can …
~ Nein – it’s no good for you.
~ Why?
~ Your followers can’t read.

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