Ditat Deus

“I believe there is truth in the saying it is an ill wind that bloweth no good,” said Maestre Rodrigues. He was garrulous for a sailing master, but Diogo Fernandes did not mind because Rodrigues seldom required an answer. Besides, he was right. The cyclone that had blown the Cirne off course had brought them here, wherever here […]

A Walk Among The Bones

The museum is climate controlled with inch-thick glass between the dioramas and me.This hushes the history. Sobers all the miniature people frozen in time, hand-painted. A birds-eye view, I observe the modeled activity, the huts, the plains. Look: the hunters have killed a deer. I cannot see the women waiting inside the smoky hut, the […]

D.O.S. (Disintegrating on Schedule)

I don’t recall the picture, only that it starred an actor who was young and handsome at the start of his career fifty years ago but was now an aged relic. Dark thoughts in the darkened theater as I watched the folds of wizened skin beneath  the famous chiseled jaw, pouches beneath the steel-gray eyes.  Projected […]

Why We Live in Milo

I was born in Mingo County, near the town of Matewan. My family was all coal miners. After them Baldwin-Felts men killed Pa and Uncle Jess during the strike, Ma wanted to leave West Virginia. I talked her out of it on account of our family being five generations here.  In a new state we’d […]

A Painless Way to See Ourselves

This man, if man he was a devil we were insulted when he finished his painting of evil deeds, attributed. Corpses piled like firewood bodies hacked to bits burned to cinders their dead mouths in open rebuke His certain voice explained it was only a puzzle. Oh, how we hated him We surged and gnashed […]

After Orcas

It’s not the place.  She kept telling herself this, but it wasn’t helping. She swallowed, the acrid taste of bile in her throat. It was cold on deck, the wind’s icy fingers prying open the buttons of her coat. She gripped the steel rail as she watched the bow cleave the black water. The motors’ […]