Chaowai (Shades)

In Chaowai, there are shades, sweet spices, voices, California expressions in Beijing walls, women on women, ghost from past social registers that come to call.

Maryanne in lurid beauty comes to call in 29, milky skin she’s a cutie, a parasol that turns a dime. Like a doctor to see a lawyer, eyes slanted in their mist, Ruan leaves her hands on her breast, and some say their cocaine prints. There was a time in San Francisco, Maryanne would walk on, not fall in jades of darkness, wet love, no not at all.   But the shades, in old Peking, that entice her, the sliding body on the bed, it’s the haunting of past kingdoms, it’s the lust in her head.  Greetings tea, libraries, dynasties, tombs, and all seduction, a passion on a nationalist fray, shades of sixty-nine, such fun, while soldiers walk by such an ordinary day.

Ruan turns her parasol, eyes brown, maybe gray, instantly haunted, while the California woman shades her body, she’s a flapper, she sashays. The year of the snake, shadows on the wall, erotica, haunted, together, come to California with me, there in wine, and cocaine with Maryanne, more than a Chinese shade to me. Ruan takes her cigarette, her long, unbroken smoke, and turns to write epithets on the papered wall.

Liang watches his smoke curdle, he’s a solider, with broken dreams, dead inside with all the opium, oh his spirit how it screams.  And at night while in Xiang, bloody and ruined in war, he taste and sees, shades in Chaowai, woman on woman, such rumors he can’t ignore.  He waits his mind on providence, his soul ground to the bone.  His knifes of his negotiation, letters of promises, the facts that he has known, and he waits, in shades, so long in shades.

The night it falls, in baritone, neither heavy nor deep, in cocaine, in skin, like cotton, while torches light the keep, and the music of love, the music of sex, and the moans that haunts us all. A horsemen he comes riding his anger will not stall.  That officer in brown and green striding, his opium, those eyes that gleam. A matter of time worth taking, the matter of the seam.

Oh Liang, home from yellow rage, the fevers and blood, the bedroom door is open, there the making of the lust. Through terrible music and passionate screams their bodies unfolding, while his knife sings, the bloody illusion in ole Peking, of Ruan and Maryanne dead while echoes ring.

It’s true just now, as I walk through this house, this craven reminder of 1929, at 21 Chaowai, two woman wait, to be released from a maddening fate, that accompli with knives that Liang spelled, blessed by a spirit by the opium wells. I feel them, their bodies, in shades not new, waiting in this house for someone to let them loose.

In Chaowai, there are shades, sweet spices, voices, California expressions in Beijing walls, women on women, ghost from past social registers that come to call.

In Beijing in Chaowai (SoHo) 21 to be exact, among the glass and plastic stands an old house. If you go inside, you will find shades of a story. Shades of Maryanne of California and Ruan from Peking. It is 1929. Liang the Nationalist Officer is there too. The jealous husband with his knives. – 06.24.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Emory’s Barn

We watched him for hours as summer roamed on, a young boy devoured by legend of old, we led him on purpose to Emory’s barn to detail a wonder and fulfill his hours. A young man may venture and find a wild home, through doorways where hay stands, and omens do roam, and find leather saddles and tack that smells old, a medicine cabinet with salve, nails and comb. Look further young spirit toward rafters above with spiders and sparrows and may be a dove. The wooden floor opens towards shadows of old, his mind all a wonder a secret unfolds. We watched his gaze falter right there by the chair, is it really rocking, is some ghost still there. What now his eye’s flashing, ablaze with gay light, he’s seen the shell casing, so large with its might, from World War glory and Argonne blight, the smell of dark powder, his Papa’s barn this day will bring him new sight.

We are like a council, a grey flock in black, that tenders a young mind to always look back, but it not about us, so quietly defined, it’s more what this young boy in summer did find. We possessed him to wander in Emory’s barn to find a large bullet to hear such a yarn, but there his mind rambled and it did see more, we lost him in Verdun where he did see war, with trench’s and bayonets and blood flowing gore, in Marne we are ready, to fight all the more. What then he moved quicker across the barn floor and there he did find it a blade for a sword. What claymore of Scotland with blood on its rack that spoke of a time entered a Bosch to his back. A edge that saw action near Somme on a bank, when Rawlinson did order attack with the tanks, and one million perished on Ancre soil, their blood spilling over as G-d did recoil.

In Emory’s barn we hosted control, we lost it in summertime, from what he did sow, a young man with vision that entered a ditch,in faraway journeys with freedoms intent. We watched something happen as vision did whirl, a young boy found greatness as image unfurled. Come down now dark Eden, we’ve watched you birth boy, alone in his kingdom while summertime broils, we’ve watched him look distant and see us enflamed, the warriors of Mon’s, retreat with disdain, and yes those light footprints that start from the hay are worlds from lost shadows, now anchoring this boys new day. – 08.24.2014 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Many a happy summer did find me investigating my Papa Emory’s barn which rested itself in the Arkansas Ozarks. Among the many beautiful trophy’s I did investigate and find were shell casings, a claymore blade, and many other spoils of war that my grandfather had gathered in France as he served with Pershing’s “Dogs of War” that had returned to favor Lafayette in payment of war debt for his kind service toward America some one hundred and forty five years previously. There in that barn on the upper level alone in the Arkansas heat, my mind did see many things. J

Anne Boleyn (Vespers)

Anne Boleyn just a little bit stronger, call to me a little bit longer, open a door, and I will come on in. Smallest of men, that charted these waters. Come to you behind this altar, better I not see, if this is a dream. Would I believe in spells of dark magic, wanton degrees and your life so tragic, up from a future well I am summoned in, let us begin. Drawn by design, I am not angel, still here I sit, outside your stable, moon how she beckons, when dawn arrives, the breath of your life will end. Small pale lips that tremble, when able, speech of old that’s hard to untangle, March is so cold, it follows the ides within, Anne Boleyn.

True in my way, I’ve labored to find you, prayed most the day to bow just beside you, queen is it time that brings this weary end. Mystic, or priest that finds you now kneeling, begging release for those that are killing, favor me madam why have you brought me in, Anne Boleyn. My child you say she is in your safety, blessing you after while I am praying, these are those times, where danger lies in sin, for weak men. True it is now that your Henry’s willing to take a vow, and to stop the killing, but after all he can’t stop, what he begins, my Anne Boleyn.

Labor your time to find my mind willing, to bring you here, in life so fulfilling, and to end the dread that has you locked in fear. These are strong tides that pull at all nature, summoning G-D to give you his favor, what in this keep can you release held dear. Time you have moved and now I have found you, forgiveness springs from lessons around you, my queen, my liege in all, you have made clear.

Anne Boleyn, the morning has broken, the sound of the crowds, the rooster has spoken, pray this mad day will find a favored end. There is just cause to move yourself onward, place all your heart on what love has conquered, I bow to my knee in awe my Anne Boleyn. – 08.12.2014 – דָּנִיֵּאל

William Sandford Pakenham-Walsh was an Irish cleric who claimed to have experienced a series of channeling events with the spirit of Anne Boleyn in the early 20th century.  his book “A Tudor Story: The Return of Anne Boleyn”  can be found at the following link:  I found his story fascinating, and my thoughts about possession and it’s role in creating doorways from the past to the present very intriguing.  I think there might be a part II someday. 😉  Read more about the fantastic life of W.S. Pakenham here:

Masada (These end of Days)

These end of days, the fear of times, where partitions gather, and man loses language, to communicate with his brother. What steel has come, and scaled this wall, with rage filled eyes, that divides our love and seals our talk with each other. In heat we hear spoken in noise, the sound like of fire, that has no control of a master. Divine you how, from power you sow, weak seeds distrust for another. These end of days a secret sold, a desert grows, we are ruled by distant cold, they sale our soul’s and turn us on each other.


Eleaser knows, these end of days on rocks we say, we bless this day the blades we wave like gifts of graves to one another. For death is known to shape man’s bones our gift to G-d is sacrifice, these end of days, the shame at place, in distant time, something must be told of each murder. In earth they move, to follow us, to rise above, beneath our shirts our fear feels need, this cry of sin, a people’s end, these end of days this dawn displayed, in blood we strike at each other.


How we shine, in refined heat, the dross it wanes within our hearts, we enter into the story of a hereafter. What promise made to Jacob’s fold, that debt to pay, from long ago, a parchment told, in harp and cry, a dimension folds, six sides of grace, a spark foretold, we learn to love and not forsake each other. We need not follow an oath to take, for what we have is no mistake, the earth it opens these end of days, to bless us with forever. When we were freed, Masada gleaned, our ghost do call in victory unto each other.


Inductees to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) often climb to the top of Masada to take their oath of loyalty to Israel. The oath ends with: “Masada shall not fall again.” – 06.22.2014 – דָּנִיֵּאל


How are you there, dear neighbor, why Mr. Carter I’m doing fine, did you try that new ice cream down at the five and dime? Did you see that Ms. Pickens no longer sings at church, she fell and broke her ankle, stepping off that dang ole curb? In the morning, I’ll drive her where it is, she needs to go, I know she’s frail, and lonely, and she needs our help so. Hello Mayor Phillips, I heard your cars broke down, can I give you a ride, to the business side of town. It’s the best a soul can offer in 1959, shelter me from the carnage coming down this timeline.

It could be Dr. Mike’s a rich man, I don’t care, and I don’t ask, when we can’t pay him, he still does his task. The city park needs cleaning, nobody need get upset, the boys they got together, and in no time mowed the grass. There’s a place by the river where I take my favorite girl, at times she lets me kiss her, and I feel my heart unfurl. When we decide to marry, and I promise her my life, there won’t be no one other, for this ever, she will be my wife. It could be rain is coming, in a time where devils speak but now I’m just living and my soul is real at peace.

Sharon Keeley’s theatre runs the best show for a dime, each night before she shuts down she looks at Heston one more time. She knows a dream before she sees it but it’s life just the same, the actor makes her feel like she walks in star like grace. The children of a small town walk to and fro from school, never thinking of a stranger who might want to break life’s rules. Officer Rumford is a good friend, who plays his best when the summers hot, when the church league is shy a player they just know they can call that cop. There’s a ship that’s taking water on this ocean up ahead, but for now were treading water, it’s not too high and not too bad.

At nine o’clock we just get sleepy, and we think our stars it’s late, and we drink a glass of orange juice, Aunt Louise eats some cake. In the nighttime not a nightmare, from the mayor to a child, as we enter sleep filled union with a balance and a smile. It’s a sliver of an era built on time that will not last, a year of 1959, and soon it will pass. Can you see it in a time machine built static in these words, built special in a town of rhyme, before danger strolled the earth. It’s the best a soul can offer in 1959, shelter me from the carnage coming down this timeline. – דָּנִיֵּאל

Burnt Corn


Harsh red clay, it moves a little when touched.  The contact to earth renders a heat, somewhat like a mercury field poisoning the finger.  The ground wasp burrowed in the mixture of sand and soil look to sting, no mercy given.  The brown tipped pine needles are shadowed for just a moment by a moving flat bed truck and then the low slung haze descends into the afternoon of Burnt Corn, Alabama.

Conecuh County 5 overlays the Federal road that snakes one end to the other Southwest to Northeast.  Two lane shoulder less broken blacktop burying the past of tree root whiskey and Creek troubled ghost.  Tokens of history undeterred by other worlds of progress rising in the still heat to speak of the end of days as they have seen.  Blood feuds between strangers and The Mvskoke settled by generals who go forth in record to rule a land.

Crossroads that speak spirit to more than memoirs.  Here by in this graveside some witch did speak, some Sabbat was given!  Utterances that spun the moon, and broke the ground, and gave silence no option in this new world.  Legacy and pain, and color upon shade, here in this kiln of the Alabama territory did Burnt Corn rise upon a colonial fire.  Here did these Red Sticks die and let their breath mate with one daemon after another.

Late July while fortune watches, water moves no more in crimson history from near Brantley’s Store.  Heavy hot air reaches ripe tentacles across the ground and stagnates against the cinder blocks that support the tin roofed building.  The promising sign of a past marketing age gives oath that the glass bottle that holds the soft drink inside will refresh the will of the empty traveler.  Time moves here for no spirit that bears flesh.

The ash taste, of the maize, the residue lingering on the pallet for hours, it is similar to the metallic taste of bad mash left unattended in the rusty can inside the grist mill.  Both acrid filled metaphors for the homesteaders burning the Red Sticks and their fields of corn.  Whispers cradled by strangers, pictures that no museum would seek to retrieve, are here now in the late July heat.

Rumor retreats until it lives.  It is in the story that legend is born.  If possible for words to be unyielding and reveal uncommon life it will be natural here.  Something has come to fruition in the Longleaf Pine and Black Walnut trees that surround the Old Bethany Baptist Church.  Cain has returned to hunt Abel, and it is here while intellect moves, that words will genesis reality. – DS 11/30/13

Burnt Corn, Alabama is a rural farming community in Southwest Alabama.  It is filled with colorful history, and is very worthy of being the setting for an Americana Gothic novel.  It is my intention and destiny to write it.  The characters and their history are still a work in progress, be assured their basis and magic will be sourced from accrued reality. – DS 11/30/2013