The Pen

  • How I Learned To Draw

    April 9, 2008

    To be fair, I must admit I learned a lot from my dad about perspective and horizon in my artwork. And heaven knows I’d never be able to paint an evergreen without the help of Bob Ross. But it was Mark Kistler and his show on PBS that most influenced my drawing. You remember, the... Read More

  • Hyacinths, To Feed Thy Soul

    January 2, 2008

    If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft, And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one, and with the dole Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul. Moslih Eddin Saadi, Gulistan (Garden of Roses)

  • Journalism or Exhibitionism?

    April 19, 2007

    Murderers being concerned with PR is nothing new. Hitler used pomp and circumstance to persuade an entire nation. Saddam playfully ruffled the hair of young British hostage on television. But Cho, the notorious Virginia Tech killer, surprised me. After shooting two people and before shooting dozens more, he made a trip to the post office... Read More

  • The Smoking Flax

    December 29, 2005

    Here beneath the fleeting sky, orange and close,     My coffee-spoon existence flies     Through the darkness, down a stream of shimmer grey.     The yellow line, now on, now off, beats my waiting heart—     The one in my throat. Battles on the island mind wax and wane,     With strangers dressed to play the part     Of paraclyte, conscience... Read More

  • The Silver Jellybean (Part 1)

    October 29, 2005

    Winter had settled on the tiny town of Loklan just about as thick as the snow that blanketed the village roofs. Mothers warmed young ones by brick fireplaces while fathers shoveled white stuff from the sidewalks. Children laughed small scarf-muffled laughs as they chased their frosty breath over powdered dales outside of town. The chill... Read More

  • The Swirling Thoughts of One

    September 18, 2005

    With a gut crammed full of Sunday lunch and a brain crammed full of Chesterton I lay awake looking up at the ceiling. She woke me from a dream. The sermon was just finished and I lay down from exhaustion; preaching had tired me. I’m ninety-five she said, smelling like powder, and I didn’t have... Read More

  • Qui M’inspire

    June 28, 2005

    A friend emailed me and asked me who inspired my writing. I thought it a very poignant and ‘blog-worthy’ question, so I’ll venture a response here.

  • Romeo and Juliet: A Study in Chance

    June 15, 2005

    I was discussing Romeo and Juliet with my class t’other day and I’ve begun to realize that one of the things that made the play so effective was not the “lover’s devotion” people usually associate as the theme, but rather the use of chance in creating this tragedy. It is true that the element of... Read More

  • The Invisible Dan (An Original Puppet Skit)

    June 8, 2005

    A puppet skit by Jesse Gardner You can also download this as a Word document. Characters: – Doctor Mad – zany mad scientist in a white lab coat; over the top acting – Dan – Christian teenager constantly picked on in school – Tony – Tony has a tender heart and a lot of problems... Read More

  • The Book of Sixes

    May 9, 2004

    Chapter 2: Geraniums and Such “I was given charge of your well-being, and your interests are best served in my care.” Or so it was proclaimed and thereby believed that Lady Elna spoke for me. She had taken the liberty of talking to the judge about the whole thing; ultimately I was glad because I... Read More

  • White Space

    March 23, 2004

    This is a test. Of what I’m not sure. I logged in and now here sit, facing what some people dread – a blank page. The fear might be like what someone once said to me about children; its frightening, because think of how much you can mess up. I suppose all of this white... Read More

  • Two New Haiku

    March 21, 2004

    Iron, angry sky    Frantic, fuming thunderhead Far flung drops of night. Crystal in the air    Sweeps across vanilla fields To join the others.

  • Untitled Winter Poem

    January 14, 2004

    The touch of wool, the rasping scrape      Across the neck and chin, The taste of snowflakes on the tongue,      The ruby-ripened skin, The crayoned nose, frost-bitten tip,      The patches where the feeble slip, The children laugh, the father’s play      And seize the life from every day.

  • Story Idea: The Accident

    January 11, 2004

    The rain continued well into the night, and I laid in bed and watched it spatter against the window in smeared orange until the solitary streetlight shut off and left me with gray distorted shapes. Slowly the light grew brighter again and with barely audible click shut off again. I counted this cycle thirty one... Read More

  • The Fall of Man: Part 3

    January 7, 2004

    My stomach was in frenzy and my dead hands and feet struggled to keep me standing. Sobriety and anger mingled in an intoxicating mixture that had me running madly through the silent crowd, knocking people aside looking for something true. “God!” I called out in desperation. “You must believe.” I turned to see an elderly... Read More