Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cold.. Gusting ice sideways from the north, a foot of snow last night and more to come
So I walk instead
Only a few miles    a few more of the few more miles
Grey, low flying clouds crying my frozen tears for me
Spiraling and dry, wind whipped snowflakes holding fast to the thick frost of breath weighting my beard
Good friends that feel when I can't
Stinging blinding ice for hands and face
Cold crawling up from the ground for numbing legs
Choking flakes swept into heavy throat and lungs
Feel something.
Walk forward to backwards into Coriolis symmetry while it all   goes
Flesh victim parts and shrinks from proxied pain
Such a small almost forgotten canvas for my painting
To feel something
My horror ecstasy
Silent now    no mouth, hand or heart to push
Lids with splinters held wide open watching while they    they applaud my listless eloquence
Feeling nothing
Enough darkest wine to find
At least a moldering sign left from my leaving
Footprints and pressed grass
To remember

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I was looking when the car hit him, heard the crash as his bicycle was thrown down the street. I ran. The little blond dog at my side with me at pace. She wondering why we ran and I, wondering afraid of what we would find.
The blue car had nosed into another automobile parked on the corner, evidence of the driver's shocked effort to avoid the boy.
He couldn't.
The child lay in the street on his back, eyes half closed, legs cut and bleeding. The knuckles of his hands white, clenching desperately handlebars no longer in reach. His mind still echoing it's last terrified command, his body still trying to obey and save itself. 
I was on my knees then, gently holding his head still. His eyes began to see but the red evening sun shined into them and the few tears sparkled on his red cheeks making it difficult to focus. He tried to rise to the voices gathering around us. I saw the purple swelling behind his ear growing and I moved my hand a little for his comfort.
 Όχι.' I said. 'Πάψε.' and gently guided his shoulders back down to the asphalt, my Invader Zim shirt now a respite cushion from the heat of the road beneath.
The man driving the car was kneeling beside us, anguish on his face. He had his hand softly on the boy's shoulder and those big brown eyes looked up at us as the crowd grew. Just a few small tears. The boy would not cry out.
A strong young Greek. 
A familiar old man with white hair was able to take my place as we waited for the ambulance to arrive, the police to make their little marks in the road and show us what went wrong.
The boy told us. 
The driver told us. 
"I couldn't stop in time."
I moved further away then and let my back provide him shade from the sun. Friends and neighbors talked to him in calm,  caring, concerned voices till the paramedics came. 
No reason for me to stay. I'm still a stranger here. I speak so few words.
Little blond dog still close at the curb by the broken and bent bicycle. We walked back home and I noticed the small bag of trash that had fallen, forgotten from my hand, still laying where I'd dropped it in my haste.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I talked to her. Pretty blue eyes and her platinum hair slightly raised in the mountain breeze.
'Is that a mommy goat?' she asks. 
Yes, Miss it is. 
'Where's her baby?' and her concern shows. 
She's there. Calling. They call for each other just as your mom calls for you.


We talk for a while of Billy Goats Gruff and Mommies and corn..
'I have to go now bye bye!' She dances away smiling. Her mom and dad also smile and begin to walk away down the street to a pretty little gray house on the corner that the platinum haired girl calls 'home.'

Bye Bye, little one.

I spend a while on my knees patching the hole in the fence with thin rusty wire and make my mental note to buy more wire next week.
The orange moon is almost completely full as I lock the pen gate behind me. The lunar eclipse comes in two nights.

'It'll be beautiful.' I think, as Regs and I begin to walk back to our small space in the corner of the farm. A baby bird emerges from the bushes at our feet and skims the ground.  
I smile as Regs gives chase knowing the futility of this.. But the baby bird does not rise and stays low. I call Regs to break off. He does and turns to look at me with his yellow eyes..

The fledgeling crashes into the soft sand a few yards away and I smile slightly at the instability of newly feathered wings.
'It's hard at first young one. So much to learn..' and I take the frightened chick into my hands, intending to find a safer place.
Mother and Father chatter in the trees with concern as I walk.

'Don't worry. I'm not that animal'
The baby sits blinking slowly and looks at me.

I stare in wonder as she lays down in my callused hand and dies.

'Please don't go.... I'll find a safe place for you..'

She won't listen, and the narrow eyes and shrill calls of the birds in the trees, this bright orange moon are witnesses this night.

'I have to go now bye bye..'

I stand stroking her gently with the mountains at my back, crying as I always have, as I always will.  

Very gently, I lay her under the tree that was her first image at the instant she opened her little eyes to the world.

No one will know. Just her Mother and Father who's duty is done and now take wing into the west. Regs sits at my feet staring intently with his yellow wolf eyes.

And the bright orange moon...

And me...

I am still here. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010


When I realize that I haven't one more tear left inside to cry and I stand staring, empty and full at the base of this mountain range..
An old quarter horse lays in a small corner of this cold arena looking at the first rays of light as they gently touch his ears, then his amber forelock, he narrows his eyes at the intensity of the sun and tries to stand and, can't.

I feel that familiar pull as I watch him struggle and fail to find his feet. With so many years behind him he carried an extra burden so that people like me could feel 'freedom' and smile as the wind rushes past. And now...

'Cmon boy.' and he settles himself down again to rest. Maybe not now. Maybe standing can wait.. I barely notice the others that are separated by a common fence. They're watching as well, quietly nibbling on green hay that waits just out of reach for the old horse. I have to and he has to.. We do what we are meant to do.

If we're lucky. 

An old Chestnut Thoroughbred moves away from the bales and he and I meet at the side of the old man, still laying in the dust, legs curled uncomfortably under his still broad chest. Me with my human words and the Thoroughbred with his expressive almond eyes say the same.. 'No.. Not this day my friend... Get up.'

Nose brushes ear. Hand caresses wither. All eyes together with a mighty and stumbling effort the old horse rises... And.. They both slowly walk back to the hay.

And I find in the beauty that my eyes are wet with love, affection and the truth of life..

What will be.. With all our energy and effort we move onward. May we all see.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Father's Coat

It's raining outside my old wooden framed window. An actual rain that's also brought with it the first chill of fall here in the city of angels.
It's comforting to know that if you wait long enough, and can survive long enough, the rains will finally come back. Its been dry for a very,
very long time. A contented sigh passes my lips, turning to steam as it passes through the old window screen and disappears in the wind. I
enjoy the feeling of the cold on my skin and shiver a little with a smile on my face, the same smile that arrived in the early hours of the morning
when I first heard the drops pattering against the heater vent up on the roof top.

I do enjoy the cold but, now it's a good excuse to wear the coat my Dad left to me a short 3 years ago. Opening the closet I search into
the very back with my fingers, pushing aside the old set of Army BDU's that hang ready and still starched. They signify quite a passing
of time now since the camo pattern has changed from this old style to the new ACU digital for our conflicts in the desert. They hang
ready and mostly able, like me... The Army doesn't really want either of us anymore it seems. The uniform has a few holes sewn shut and I
have too many screws and swollen joints now. I did what I could when I could, but it doesn't seem enough I guess.

My fingers brush softly against the familiar wool of my father's coat and I pull it out for the first time in a year. The bone, grey and green
striped tartan outside has seen it's share of use over the years but, despite a few tiny moth holes its held up well. The huge woolen lapel
and collar looks so out of place now and the green stripes and wooden buttons further date the coat. I'm proud to wear it out anyway
and I've worn it in several of my films. I wore it in Big Bear for my favorite birthday 2 years ago when I got drunk and restless at 1am and
decided that by God, I was going for a walk around the lake. Unfortunately, it was 28 degrees that night and the lake that I started to
stroll drunkenly around was in the neighborhood of 17 miles in circumference. Still, I estimate that I walked at least an hour under the bright
glow of the Milky Way before I got discouraged turned around, headed back to the cabin and promptly got lost. I splashed some of the
icy lake water on my face for sobriety's sake and took refuge on a metal park bench for a rest after a while. I didn't have a watch on that
night but when I woke up I noticed the stars had moved a bit from their original positions. I'm not sure if I've ever been colder and my feet
were completely numb inside my Roper's which, was at that point, a good thing though. A process of trial and error finally led me back to
the cabin and into the warm bed with my wife who, on initial contact with my blue skin, did let out a yelp and jumped away from me. But, love
overcame the day and she wrapped her little body around my frozen one, whispering sweet nothings of comfort until I, from the
disapproving look on her face the next morning, passed out.

My father wasn't much of a drinker and I write that off to his Southern Baptist tendencies. I for some odd reason picked up the drinking
gene. I'm not sure if anyone in my family really drank much except for a far removed Uncle who was in his day, not only a drunk but also the
Mayor of Carthage. My Dad's vice was smoking and that, in addition to poor diet and zero exercise eventually caused him 11 heart
attacks before the rest of his body gave out on him. He didn't leave much behind and what little he did have was loaded on to a U-Haul
and moved to his 80 year old Mother's house for her to sell off at her leisure... This coat though, is in fine shape. Better to have a coat
that kept me from killing myself in the cold than a few Jacksons in my wallet that would have just shrugged their collective paper shoulders at
me and continued a discourse on the state of the nation.

Yeah, I like this old coat. And I really like the rain that led me to pull it out today. Yeah... Another really nice day....

Original Writings by Jesse Holland Copyright 2007

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A slave, a King... A dream.

At sixteen years of age a dream came to me one night and I've never escaped it's power and presence. So consuming was it in all it's passion and the impact its had on my thoughts and direction for the ensuing years.
I dreamed of love. Complete, honest, selfless and whole. She stood before me in this dreamland with her dark hair, her green eyes and a laugh that is rapturous to me still.
The few precious hours of that dream lasted for months to my sleeping mind. My dream Lady and I walked hand in hand through the difficulties and humor that is a life entwined. She was everything to me and I smelled her, tasted her on my tongue and there was room for nothing else inside of me. I was a slave and a king.

And then came the dawn. Barely awake, her scent began to fade from my soft pillow and I realized the truth. She was gone forever and I would never share my life with her again. How I cried.... How deeply I mourned her loss.

Foolish feelings go hand in hand with a foolish heart. I mourned her through my classes and during my daily run in the pine forest. I mourned her in my bed alone at night where I could still imagine her caress. For months my broken heart ached at the loss of her...

Through all the years between then and now I've found vestiges of her. I've seen shadows in my lovers and I smile when they sing, dance, cry, laugh, sigh, speak and glance my way with... Everything that lies behind the eyes of a woman.

I've found her there.

But last night I had a dream. After all these years I had the same dream as I lay alone in my bed... A man now and not the boy who only thought of a lover and a safe haven from the world. A man with the burdens and responsibilities of life and, I dreamed again.

It was her but, not. Her raven hair was golden and her green eyes had turned to blue... The scent of her was the same as I picked her up and hugged as hard as I dared. Pure laughter in my ears and her skin so soft against my beard and cheek...

"Daddy" my lovely daughter said..

"Yes, Darlin?"

"I like my bicycle."

"I hoped you would."

My dream self set her down and watched her as she ran to the door, all smiles, joy and childhood innocence..

"I'll be back. I'm gonna ride my bike!"

"Alright Darlin. Be careful.. I'll be right here."

"I love you Daddy!"

All smiles and excitement she ran outside to play.

"I love you too little Darlin...."

And I woke this morning to the sunrise over my favorite mountain... Horses to train and stalls to clean and a fence that seems to need mending.

Changed by my life's desire..


Monday, March 15, 2010

Through Another's Eyes

After a time spent staring at the mountains and shadow I'm left wondering what history will say about my part. The small part that belongs only to me. What will be the result of my being?

My part in a brutal video game that glorifies our ongoing war, causing bold pen strokes from the new recruit years from now. For Mature players only....

My part in this small corner of a small farm, feeding old, tired horses at 2am with only a sliver of moonlight to see.. My penance for a broken heart. Loving more than I was asked and talking too much for too long.. I wonder with amusement. What will be said..

The yellow wolf eyes of the puppy at my feet gaze at me with such intensity and they wonder also but, I can't fathom the words and questions in his loving eyes...

Does he know I sold my honor for that video game, hoping to show my then wife that I would do what needed to be done no matter the personal cost? For my nieces and nephews so that they would know that possibilities are everywhere if they but believe in themselves and have the strength to try?

My misguided attempts it seems... Slippery and treacherous is reality and life when one seeks to achieve more than simply a bowl, a bed and a bone. Those things are necessities...

Fighting for an ideology will break a man if he isn't strong enough...

The burden feels heavier at times.