Friday, December 31, 2004

Thrivin' 2005!

The air is charged with expectation,
Wonder at what might be,
Liquid silver future,
Shimmering...about to take shape.

What vision lands,
It's all in what we see,
Before the clock strikes twelve we reminisce,
Remember all the vanished ones.

As the fateful tick tocks,
The lights go brightly high into the new night,
Cheers and wide open possibility,
Infinite maybe vastly before us.

Let us walk across the threshold of time,
Carrying only visions of joy in our hearts,
As we become what is still to be...

What we choose we will see.


© 12/31/2004 By Daniel A. Stafford
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2005!!!!!
From: Christina Kraich-Rogers
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:33 pm
Subject: joint call for healing and peace


This is a call for Global Four Directions Prayer for
Peace, a 24 hour effort to end the war and global violence. We are asking all the leaders and peacemakers to join us in this effort.

The start date will be 12 noon, December 31, starting in the Eastern time zones, and continuing through January 1.

On September 11, 2001, as a result of the tragedy, we were all one people and it is time for us to come back together with one heart, one mind, one prayer, one intention to create a more peaceful world for the generations to come and all our relations.

This activation comes as a request from some of the Four Directions Elders and Medicine People as communicated to Grace Smith Yellow Hammer.

We are requesting spiritual leaders all over the globe to call their people together in their sacred spaces so that all people, all colors, all directions are included in this effort.

With all the devastation of war and escalation of terror and environmental harm on the planet, it is obvious why we need to come together at this time.

For those of you who will understand this, there was recently a quarter moon in the morning with two stars within the crescent. This along with the recent Venus alignment, is a potent call for an activation because it signifies both danger and opportunity.

We hope you will be inspired to join us in this call. We are simply asking all people of all races, all faiths, all traditions to pray for peace and healing in whatever way is appropriate during this time and to remember that as we link with one heart, one mind, one intention we can heal the
world one step at a time.

May peace prevail on Earth,


Grace Smith Yellow Hammer , Dineh [Navajo]

Grandfather William Commanda, Annishinabe [Ojibway]
Keeper of the Seven Fires Prophecies Belt

Grandfather Martin Gasheseoma
Traditional Hopi Elder

Chief Arvol Looking horse {Lakota]

Venerable Bardor Tulku Rinpoche [Tibetan Buddhist]
Karma Triyana Dharmachakra

Roberto Borrero, United Confederation of Taino People

Grandmother Sara Smith
Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan
Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario Canada

Grandfather Henry Niese
Eagle Voice Center , North Carolina

Chief Tom Dostou, Waban-aki ( Eastern- Land)Aylnu, Bear
Clan, Midewin

Reverend Dr Dave Randle, Executive Director, The Whale

World Peace Prayer Society

Erma Pounds
Director, Arizona Karma Thegsum Choling (KTC) [Buddhist]

Reverend Charles Gibbs
United Religions Initiative

Reverend Ilfra Halley
Center for the Living Earth

Reverend Betsy Stang, Executive Director
The Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources Inc

Elizabeth Stinson, Director Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma
Santa Rosa, California


Clarke survives devastation


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's best-known resident, science-fiction writer and visionary Arthur C. Clarke, said yesterday he and his family were safe, but regretted the lack of a warning system in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. Sunday's massive earthquake and tsunami killed at least 22,799 people in the South Asian nation and injured another 8,815, according to official tolls. Some 4,059 remained missing and nearly one million people were homeless.

"I am enormously relieved that my family and household have escaped the ravages of the sea that suddenly invaded most parts of coastal Sri Lanka, leaving a trail of destruction," said Clarke, the author of 2001: A. Space Odyssey.

Originally from Somerset, England, Clarke came to Sri Lanka, a small island country of 19 million people off India's southern tip, for underwater diving in 1954. Two years later he made the tropical island his home.

"There is much to be done in both short and long terms for Sri Lanka to raise its head from this blow from the seas," said Clarke in an e-mail to friends seen by The Associated Press.

"Among other things, the country needs to improve its technical and communications facilities so that effective early warnings can help minimize losses in future disasters."

Clarke, 87, said that in his first book on Sri Lanka, The Reefs of Taprobane written in 1957, there was a reference to a "tidal wave reaching the Galle harbour," although it was not part of the plot. Galle, in southern Sri Lanka, is the country's second-largest town. It was badly hit by Sunday's disaster.

Clarke predicted space travel before rockets were even tested and foretold computers wreaking havoc with modern life when modems and PCs were not household words.

His 2001: A. Space Odyssey, loved by dreamers and scientists since it appeared as a novel and a movie in 1968, was just one of scores of fiction and non-fiction works produced in a career that began in 1959. In 1997, he produced another bestseller with the sequel to 2001 - 3001: The Final Odyssey.

Clarke said Sunday's tsunami damaged a diving school he runs and his two beach bungalows, but he reported no personal human loss.

"Many others were not so fortunate," he said.


A Soft White Miracle...

A simple write of slight import some might say,
Just a little tiny miracle upon Christmas Day,
Beautiful lights everywhere, everywhere,
Wonderful dinner and festive decorations,
Songs sweet and of good cheer,
Wishes for all the world to be able to share,
This is the Common Man's dream everywhere,
That we all might stand in peace and harmony and caring.

Outside it was the hush of a dark night upon Christmas Eve,
Stars twinkling bright and pretty in a clear sky,
Chill to near zero and breath rising in the only cloud to sky,
Grass bare all across the land,
The Weatherman said Santa would need wheels this year,
Nor a speck of white expected.

Three days of soft-spoken prayer,
Three days of asking God for just enough,
Three days of asking that it not take from another's due.

Who would answer this Christmas wish,
Weatherman or God?

There was a quarter inch by Christmas morning,
Grass peeking from under the blanket,
Soft flakes falling all day and all Christmas night,
Outside the decorated windows and covering the flat iced pond,
White upon the pine trees and bare oaks,
Millions of tiny flakes like Christmas lights under street lamps.

God spoke softly in 2004 my friends,
We should all just listen.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 12/28/2004

Author's Comments:
Every word of this is true. There was to be no snow. I prayed for three days. There was snow.


Whispers of Grace...

I see my universe as filled with joy,
I have faith and vision my needs are met,
All I desire in peace and harmony,
I am given faith and riches as is the Divine plan,
According to the law of spirit,
I see truth before me,
I am the wind,
At peace,
In health,
In joy,
In wisdom,
Guided by Divinity,
Intuitively receptive,
Filled with faith,
I stand upon the grace of God,
Claiming the life that is mine by Divine right,
My foundation of harmony and peace is unbreakable,
This is the tree and the root of my life,
That I may fulfill my part in the Divine plan.

© 12/04/2004 by Daniel A. Stafford

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Game Of Life And How To Play It - Excerpts from "The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn"

(This is NOT a commercial of any kind. It is about a different approach to life. Look past the religious references to the concepts. I know many of you have watched "What The Bleep Do We Know" - this is a path to concrete use of those principles in daily life.)

ost people consider life a battle, but it is not a battle, it is a game.

It is a game, however, which cannot be played successfully without the knowledge of spiritual law, and the Old and the New Testaments give the rules of the game with wonderful clearness. Jesus Christ taught that it was a great game of Giving and Receiving.

"Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." This means that whatever man sends out in word or deed, will return to him; what he gives, he will receive.

If he gives hate, he will receive hate; if he gives love, he will receive love; if he gives criticism, he will receive criticism; if he lies he will be lied to; if he cheats he will be cheated. We are taught also, that the imaging faculty plays a leading part in the game of life.

"Keep thy heart (or imagination) with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." (Prov. 4:23.)

This means that what man images, sooner or later externalizes in his affairs, I know of a man who feared a certain disease. It was a very rare disease and difficult to get, but he pictured it continually and read about it until it manifested in his body, and he died, the victim of distorted imagination.

So we see, to play successfully the game of life, we must train the imaging faculty. A person with an imaging faculty trained to image only good, brings into his life "every righteous desire of his heart" - health, wealth, love, friends, perfect self-expression, his highest ideals.

The imagination has been called, "The Scissors of The Mind," and it is ever cutting, cutting, day by day, the pictures man sees there, and sooner or later he meets his own creations in his outer world. To train the imagination successfully, man must understand the workings of his mind. The Greeks said: "Know Thyself."

There are three departments of the mind, the subconscious, conscious and superconscious. The subconscious, is simply power, without direction. It is like steam or electricity, and it does what it is directed to do; it has no power of induction.

Whatever man feels deeply or images clearly, is impressed upon the subconscious mind, and carried out in minutest detail.

For example: a woman I know, when a child, always "made believe" she was a widow. She "dressed up" in black clothes and wore a long black veil, and people thought she was very clever and amusing. She grew up and married a man with whom she was deeply in love. In a short time he died and she wore black and a sweeping veil for many years. The picture of herself as a widow was impressed upon the subconscious mind, and in due time worked itself out, regardless of the havoc created.

The conscious mind has been called mortal or carnal mind.

It is the human mind and sees life as it appears to be. It sees death, disaster, sickness, poverty and limitation of every kind, and it impresses the subconscious.

The superconscious mind is the God Mind within each man, and is the realm of perfect ideas.

In it, is the "perfect pattern" spoken of by Plato, The Divine Design; for there is a Divine Design for each person.

"There is a place that you are to fill and no one else can fill, something you are to do, which no one else can do."

There is a perfect picture of this in the superconscious mind. It usually flashes across the conscious as an unattainable ideal - "something too good to be true."

In reality it is man's true destiny (or destination) flashed to him from the Infinite Intelligence which is within himself.

Many people, however, are in ignorance of their true destinies and are striving for things and situations which do not belong to them, and would only bring failure and dissatisfaction if attained.

For example: A woman came to me and asked me to "speak the word" that she would marry a certain man with whom she was very much in love. (She called him A. B.)

I replied that this would be a violation of spiritual law, but that I would speak the word for the right man, the "divine selection," the man who belonged to her by divine right.

I added, "If A. B. is the right man you can't lose him, and if he isn't, you will receive his equivalent." She saw A. B. frequently but no headway was made in their friendship. One evening she called, and said, "Do you know, for the last week, A. B. hasn't seemed so wonderful to me." I replied, "Maybe he is not the divine selection - another man my be the right one." Soon after that, she met another man who fell in love with her at once, and who said she was his ideal. In fact, he said all the things that she had always wished A. B. would say to her.

She remarked, "It was quite uncanny."

She soon returned his love, and lost all interest in A. B.

This shows the law of substitution. A right idea was substituted for a wrong one, therefore there was no loss or sacrifice involved.

Jesus Christ said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you," and he said the Kingdom was within man.

The Kingdom is the realm of right ideas, or the divine pattern.

Jesus Christ taught that man's words played a leading part in the game of life. "By your words ye are justified and by your words ye are condemned."

Many people have brought disaster into their lives through idle words.

For example: A woman once asked me why her life was now one of poverty of limitation. Formerly she had a home, was surrounded by beautiful things and had often tired of the management of her home, and had said repeatedly, "I'm sick and tired of things - I wish I lived in a trunk," and she added: "Today I am living in that trunk." She had spoken herself into a trunk. The subconscious mind has no sense of humor and people often joke themselves into unhappy experiences.

For example: A woman who had a great deal of money, joked continually about "getting ready for the poorhouse."

In a few years she was almost destitute, having impressed the subconscious mind with a picture of lack and limitation.

Fortunately the law works both ways, and a situation of lack may be changed to one of plenty.

For example: A woman came to me one hot summer's day for a "treatment" for prosperity. She was worn out, dejected and discouraged. She said she possessed just eight dollars in the world. I said, "Good, we'll bless the eight dollars and multiply them as Jesus Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes," for He taught that every man had the power to bless and to multiply, to heal and to prosper.

She said, "What shall I do next?"

I replied, "Follow intuition. Have you a 'hunch' to do anything, or to go anywhere?" Intuition means, intuition, or to be taught from within. It is man's unerring guide, and I will deal more fully with its laws in a following chapter.

The woman replied: "I don't know - I seem to have a 'hunch' to go home; I've just enough money for carfare." Her home was in a distant city and was one of lack and limitation, and the reasoning mind (or intellect) would have said: "Stay in New York and get work and make some money." I replied, "Then go home - never violate a hunch." I spoke the following words for her: Infinite Spirit open the way for great abundance for --. She is an irresistible magnet for all that belongs to her by divine right." I told her to repeat it continually also. She left for home immediately. In calling on a woman one day, she linked up with an old friend of her family.

Through this friend, she received thousands of dollars in a most miraculous way. She has said to me often, "Tell people about the woman who came to you with eight dollars and a hunch."

There is always plenty on man's pathway; but it can only be brought into manifestation through desire, faith or the spoken word. Jesus Christ brought out clearly that man must make the first move.

"Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Mat. 7:7).

In the scriptures we read:

"Concerning the works of my hands, command ye me."

Infinite Intelligence, God, is ever ready to carry out man's smallest or greatest demands.

Every desire, uttered or unexpressed, is a demand. We are often startled by having a wish suddenly fulfilled.

For example: One Easter, having seen many beautiful rose-trees in the florists' windows, I wished I would receive one, and for an instant saw it mentally being carried in the door.

Easter came, and with it a beautiful rose-tree. I thanked my friend the following day, and told her it was just what I had wanted.

She replied, "I didn't send you a rose-tree, I sent you lilies!"

"The man had mixed the order, and sent me a rose-tree simply because I had started the law in action, and I had to have a rose-tree.

Nothing stands between man and his highest ideals and every desire of his heart, but doubt and fear. When man can "wish without worrying," every desire will be instantly fulfilled.

I will explain more fully in a following chapter the scientific reason for this and fear must be erased from the consciousness. It is man's only enemy - fear of lack, fear of failure, fear of sickness, fear of loss and a feeling of insecurity on some plane. Jesus Christ said: "Why are ye fearful, oh ye of little faith?" (Mat. 8:26) So we can see we must substitute faith for fear, for fear is only inverted faith; it is faith in evil instead of good.

The object of the game of life is to see clearly one's good and to obliterate all mental pictures of evil. This must be done by impressing the subconscious mind with a realization of good. A very brilliant man, who has attained great success, told me he had suddenly erased all fear from his consciousness by reading a sign which hung in a room. He saw printed, in large letters this statement - Why worry, it will probably never happen." These words were stamped indelibly upon his subconscious mind, and he has now a firm conviction that only good can come into his life, therefore only good can manifest.

In the following chapter I will deal with the different methods of impressing the subconscious mind. It is man's faithful servant but one must be careful to give it the right orders. Man has ever a silent listener at his side - his subconscious mind.

Every thought, every word is impressed upon it and carried out in amazing detail. It is like a singer making a record on the sensitive disc of the phonographic plate. Every note and tone of the singer's voice is registered. If he coughs or hesitates, it is registered also. So let us break all the old bad records in the subconscious mind, the records of our lives which we do not wish to keep, and make new and beautiful ones.

Speak these words aloud, with power and conviction: "I now smash and demolish (by my spoken word) every untrue record in my subconscious mind. They shall return to the dust-heap of their native nothingness, for they came from my own vain imaginings. I now make my perfect records through the Christ within - The records of Health, Wealth, Love and perfect self-Expression." This is the square of life, The Game completed.

In the following chapters, I will show how man can change his conditions by changing his words. Any man who does not know the power of the word, is behind the times.

"Death and Life are in the power of the tongue." (Prov. 18:21.)

To find out more:

(This is NOT a commercial of any kind. It is about a different approach to life.)

We need to bring an entirely different energy to our efforts. I can't say "new" because the energy I speak of is timeless.

I cast this burden of political corruption upon the divine,
and go free to live in prosperity, peace, harmony, grace and
choice which are mine by divine right. I speak these words
for all who ask it of me by their own free will.

Friday, November 26, 2004

A Driving Need For Christmas...

Looking out the window at the melting fade of Wonderland,
The grass coming through the failing purity of the snow,
Fallen on Thanksgiving Eve it was to the heart more like Christmas.

Covered in white and crystal like a delicate soft dream.

In the restaurant yesterday Thanksgiving dinner was rushed,
Pushed and prodded by staff trying to turn over tables,
In a manner which no subtleties reside commercialism gone rampant.

Still I gave thanks in the face of barely restrained greed.

I find my day after thoughts turning to decorating,
Pondering a pile of bills and a pile of cash waiting a turn to grow,
One definitely being higher than the other at the moment.

Can I find reasons white as snow for canceling holiday dinners or do I see tufts of green?

I hear whispers of war and dead upon the land of civilizations' birth,
Angry voices raised everywhere from here to there,
Praying for success at harm to others in the mistaken belief that violence isn't a circular notion.

Shall we pray for death and destruction from a God of love?

What is driving this unspoken need for Christmas everywhere around me,
Is it the result of what's without us or the flames hidden within,
That need some show of love in stores and snow and lights?

Perhaps we should seek those lights in the candles of a church...

..That remembers Christ's birth was meant as an act of love.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/26/2004
Between Dandelion And Snowflake...

The dandelion has dried up in a puffball state,
Seed released upon the wind - drifting.

The snowflake has evaporated from a backyard pond,
Gathered crystal layers in a cold high cloud,
Fallen down upon the wind - drifting.

In a fluke the dandelion seed was carried in an updraft,
Blasted by the jetstream into the far Antarctic,
Laid deep into a glacier for millennia.

In a one in a billion billion chance the snowflake never fell,
Tumbling over Paris in summer or Madrid in winter,
Chaotic twisting air kept it high in the stratosphere for millennia.

In ignorance the last drop of oil was sucked from the ground,
Burned and blown high to trap the sunlight here.

In the new world that then came,

The last crystal of ice on Antarctica melted,
The last snowflake fell upon the South pole,
Each unique in all the universe.

Between the dandelion and the snowflake the world shrank,
Yet the waters rose.

It was a simple result of what was or wasn't carried upon the wind.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/26/2004
Thank You...

Thank You for those who shed light on darkness everywhere,
Who give everything of truth for us to see.

Thank You for the freedom those before left us,
That we have the light given us to see.

Thank You for our needs being met,
In whatever manner that may be.

Thank You for every moment of peace in our lives,
And the many more there will yet be.

Thank You for the gift of snow's pure white,
That replenishes so much life for the coming spring.

Thank You for the love gifted in each moment of kind intent,
The light that we most and truly need.

Thank You,
However we each might know your name.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/25/2004 and given in thanks to public domain.

Dime Store Elves:

The Dime Store Elves are busy,
Pitching pumpkins aside,
A Santa here a Snowman there,
Cranberries planted among snowflakes,
Up go the lights,
Pumpkins and turkeys on the sale table,
Santa's takin' over downtown,
Behind the dime store windows tonight!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/17/2004

Last Leaves Drifting:

A quiet leaf falls with a whisper,
Backdrop: bare trees, one red yet,
Grasses all gone to waving yellow and brown,
Skies grow grey and overcast,
Promises of Christmas to come,
The last of the corn stubble being plowed under,
Tractor lights in the early night,
Thanksgiving days away; already careworn,
Make it through until Christmas,
Hold on through the darkness,
The lights and snow will be coming,
Something we all need so deeply,
A star in a future night,
A simple name or word...Hope.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/20/2004

Flickers In Silence:

In a quiet small space,
Things that roar in the heart,
Something dream-like and ephemeral,
Still constant and ever-present,
A nuance in the atmosphere like a ghost unseen,
Felt in a word or a glance into the corner,
Lost in staring at the marks on the floor.

Will the world come through allright,
Or are the dreams only smoke,
Rolled up the chimney and blown away?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/19/2004

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Drumbeat Windows:

The rain falls striking windows,
I can hear it drumming behind me,
The sky is black nighted the color of lightless clouds,
There is nothing in my eyes save a candlelit prayer,
Something held cherished in memory,
I am in constant effort to see,
Anything alive in these drumbeat windows.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/03/2004
Swallowing Lump Coal:

Choking bursting gagging,
Eyes fill and heart breaks,
Coal the lying diamond lies in my throat,
Unmoving uncaring and heartless,
Somehow I must will have to,
Spit it out.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 11/03/2004

Monday, November 01, 2004

AquarianM & the Heart of Winter post 00002:

After class, the four met in the schoolyard, near the Blasted Cherry, as they called it. Transmagic was a long class, as it involved complicated principles and safety techniques for every mode of Spatial translation that was taught, so it was now the end of the school day. This close to the end of the Fall term, there was no homework to do. The four walked out into the quiet of the grounds, into the wooded area in the far distant corner of the estate. There was a small stone canyon there with a small waterfall, one that froze in the Winter. There were deep brown fallen leaves and bare branches everywhere, and the occasionally small clearings with stands of tall swaying tawny grasses from the past Summer. They had long ago concluded that the official color of the American Midwest was “tawny.” There was limestone and trees and shriubs, grasses and cattails and burst milkweeds all in various shades of brown and gold. There were husks of occasional native prairie flowers, and more.

In the canyon, they placed Warn spells at the entrance; they had no intention of any of the more annoying students surprising them in the place. The end of the canyon where the frozen falls were was awash in mejical power, the frozen fall itself shining with the unmistakeable glow of Spiritual energy. This was a sacred place, a place where nature and the divine met. It was here that they had chosen to commit their friendship to a ceremony that was as ancient as the innocence and idealism of youth. They would form a Blood Bond through ritual, cementing their friendship for eternity. Daniel pulled forth from his pocket a small crystal blade with an ornately carved Oakwood handle. Sarah brought forth a beautiful clamshell bowl with a gleaming mother of pearl interior. Beth brought forth four pieces of maple heartwood and bandages of soft unbleached natural cotton. Jamal revealed and lit four candles of beeswax and a single red-tailed hawk feather, a full flight feather.

Jamal placed the candles atop four stones surrounding the blue ice of the falls. As he lit them, golden motes of light began separating from the candle flame. Each tiny point of light flew upward to a point along the canyon, bathing the entire canyon in soft warm golden light. Swarms of motes began spiraling up and down the ice shaft of the frozen falls, giving warm light but no heat. Soon the entire canyon was bathed in a soft light, yet from above it was invisible. To anyone outside the canyon itself, it was dark and cold and empty. Once they were ensconced in their Cathedral of light, Sarah brought out another candle, a small orange pumpkin filled with beeswax and a thin wick. She lit the candle and a small sharp reddish flame rose from the wick. She put a small pewtar wire frame of wrought stars above the pumpkin candle, and set the clamshell upon it. Beth then took a small chip of the pure ice from the base of the falls and set it upon the clamshell, and it began to melt.

At this point, Daniel led with the initial invocation of their ritual chant:

“By the pure sacred water of our homeland, let our bonds be clean and pure, let our blood be joined as family from now and through our lives, by the treasured feather of the hawkwing, let our friendship always soar the clear vision of the heights, and by the blood we share in common bond shall we be as family, now and ever.”

Wthe the last words he nicked his finger and squeezed four droplets of blood into the clamshell bowl, which was now softly steaming rose colored liquid. Each of the remaining friends walked up in turn, nicked a finger, squeezed four drops, and repeated the invocation.

To be continued...
AquarianM and the Heart of Winter post 00001:

It was a chilly December morning, and school was getting out for Christmas tomorrow. Most of the students here were boarding students who lived on the school grounds in the old dormitories. Soft white flakes were falling out of the grey skies and just beginning to cover the grass, which was still a bit green from the last vestiges of Summer. The younger children were playing out in the schoolyard and the older kids were congregated in groups, some small, some large. Anyone looking on from the road might not have noticed much but the gargoyles on the building corners and the old style architecture of the building, unless they just happened to see a snowball curve in mid flight to miss it’s target, or perhaps a passing glance at a child wearing a non-human face for a moment. Magic was generally forbidden outside of school buildings, but sometimes the temptation was just too great to resist, especially for the younger students.

Everyone was hugely excited today, because not only of the holiday tomorrow, but tomorrow was also the day that the graduating students would be told their wizard names. Everyone has a common name given by their parents at birth, or perhaps even a very goofy name, but their whizzyrding name was something else all together. A proper whizzyrding name was not only a mage’s signature in magical circles, but also the key to many of the advanced spells he or she had been taught in the last year. Without a Truename ceremony, most magic users who failed to graduate became not much more than gifted Commons. Oh, they might know parlor tricks and be invulnerable in snowball fights with Commons, but they would almost never manage higher spells. And most that had did so through becoming Singularity mages, or wizards so dark that the very light seemed to vanish anywhere near them.

Four friends were sitting watching the rest of the children from beneath their favorite tree, and old huge cherry that had been hit by lightning many, many years ago. The lightning scar on the tree incredibly looked like a perfect spiral, as if the lightning had swirled as it burned into the tree. The four often referred to their small group as the Spiral Arm Band, a sort of club name one of their number had come up with after studying galactic structures in Astronomy and Advanced Astrology. Sometimes the spiral burn in the wood glowed softly at sunset, but no one now living knew this, and it’s subtle appearance could easily be mistaken as a trick of the light.

“So do you think all of us will be Named tomorrow, Sarah?” asked Daniel Neilsen. Sarah had the habit of knowing things that would be forthcoming, as in Knowing. She was considered by the staff at the school to be the best student in Prescience that had come along in over a hundred years. Her near white blond hair and ice blue eyes gave her a very cold appearance, and she seemed to see through to the core of anyone she looked at with her pale gaze. Sarah VanRossen was tall for her age and very slender, almost willowy, but much stronger than most gave her credit for. The first time they met her, that is. Daniel appeared to come from similar stock, but he had a more earthy appearance relative to Sarah. He was very tall with dark blond hair and steel grey blue eyes, and a keen and quiet intelligence was unmistakable in his gaze. Very seldom did he ever have difficulty with learning anything in his classes, but he was often interested in things far removed from what was happening in his immediate vicinity, which gave him the reputation of being a daydreamer. He had the feeling that if the teachers at the school knew of the theories he ran through the grey matter between his ears, their hair would curl up on their heads, smoke, and shrivel away to nothing. “All I Sight at the moment is white snow swirling, Dan. Every thing I See now is snow and ice everywhere. I do not understand this vision.” A puzzled expression instantly appeared on three faces and troubled glances were fleetingly exchanged. “That’s all right, Sarah, I’m sure we will be, we’ll just have to practice what the Faith teacher taught us this fall.” Dan replied.

Beth Pritchard spoke up. “She’s probably just seeing the blizzard approaching, which will blanket the grounds tomorrow to hide the ceremony. You know they have to hold that under the stars and outdoors, and they call a blizzard every year, and put an Eye of Calm out to hold a clear zone over the school so the stars are out here during the ceremony.” Beth was petite and had coal black hair and eyes, like looking into the night. They absorbed everything they took in and only gave a trace of reflection at the pupils.

Jamar Westhaven laughed and put an arm around Beth in a friendly hug. His dark eyes twinkled with merriment and a keen wit, he was usually the jovial one in the group, and this was no exception “Beth, you have to watch it here, you might turn Sarah into the weather lady on Rockford TV!” He was tall, not quite as tall as Daniel, but close. They both gave the basket ball coach the Hebegevis curse one year at the local Common high school when he saw them playing in mid-air. The effect of the curse was rather funny, because it changed the memory of the person to seem as if everything was actually ordinary and the curse victim had just had a strange waking daydream. The only known side effects were a severe case of goose bumps and spine tingles for several minutes after the spell dissipated.

“Hey, Dan,” said Jamar, “You going to show us any whiz-bang in Technomagic today?” “You being the top student on record an’ all.” Daniel smiled an enigmatic smile and said “You’ll just have to wait and see with the rest of the class, Jamar, but I promise you that you will not be bored at the finals project display.” North American Whizzyrds had a pride in their ability to magic Common technological items and blend the technology with whizzyrding to conserve the use of the world’s magic. It was not uncommon in lower level classes to see things like rulers that would control the actions of pets, or even electronic hand held games that brought their games to seeming life in the middle of the room for all to see. One of the first things that the students learned was to craft items that required the wielder to input just a small flicker of magical energy to the item before it would react by fulfilling it’s intended magical function. This kept any Common who might stumble across it from discovering it’s extra-normal nature.

The Technomagic teacher in Seventh level had learned early to keep close tabs on what Daniel was doing when he had magicked a Common magnifying glass so that it would absorb all the sunlight within the bounds of the horizon one could see. It would then concentrate the light into a beam the size of a pencil lead that would vaporize through any non-magical material that could be found, including diamonds. They had discovered his toy when the sky suddenly went pitch black one afternoon. They had discovered Daniel with a hasty Seek spell. The young whizzyrd had had a look of utter concentration on his face while cutting a diamond, the engagement ring it belonged in, the floor, the ground under the floor, and who knows what else below that in the library. That particular toy was now on display at the North American Whizzyrd College library under the strongest Ensconce spell the Dean could muster. Thirteen additional whizzyrds had also added Ensconce spells as well. It would take a whizzyrd’s dozen to unlock it for use, and if any of them were to die, the key to the Ensconcement would pass out of the world with them. The college was located in an abandoned military base somewhere out in the desert that had a reputation for strange things flying it’s skies, which allowed a greater freedom for the college to experiment undetected. It was the Spiral Arm members agreed upon wish to all attend there after graduating in order to advance their magical skills. Secretly, however, they also hoped to advance the art of Whizzyrdry through their contributions to magical knowledge.

Daniel reached into his jacket and pulled out a package folded in a cloth Tarot card wrap. “I have a present for each of you here.” he announced. All the other three looked at him curiously, in this case even Sarah didn’t know what he had. “What is it, Dan?” asked Jamar. Daniel carefully unwrapped the cloth and uncovered four beautifully carved wooden spirals on leather thongs, gleaming in even the grey wintry sky’s muted light. Each was covered with tiny runes and Celtic knots, forming a spiral that led to a single crystal in its center. Sarah gasped as she saw the crystals. “Those are Witness Tears!” she breathed. Each crystal was the solidified tear of an honest witness of an act of devotion, solidified with a touch of Earth magic and very rare. Whatever magic they were employed in could not be corrupted by any means, magical or non. “Yes, “ said Daniel. “Should any of us ever be in dire peril and need, they can be invoked by the owner and cause all four of us to appear at the Mill Pond raceway. Their secret place had been a small cave near the old Mill Pond in the countryside, just out of the city on highway 81.

You see, the Chandler School of Whizzyrdry was located on the grounds of what had once been an old orphanage in the countryside of Wisconsin, just west of a small town called Beloit. As far as the Commons in the small cities around the area knew, a rich eccentric had bought the old place and remodeled it to appear like an old English country house, and opened a boarding school for gifted students on the property. It was set back off the road a bit and the huge yard was bordered by a rural route and a line of large trees on one side, and a stand of dense trees and brush on the other three. A small creek ran past the back of the property just inside the tree line, and a stout and well maintained limestone wall ran along the road, the old trees growing over it. At night, Weredogs patrolled the property, scaring off any curious youngsters and keeping the school’s true nature quite secure. The school was commonly rumored in Beloit to be so exorbitantly expensive that no local family had attempted to enroll a child. That is, until Daniel Neilsen. He had been born into a Beloit family during the Grand Stellium in Aquarius in February of 1962. His early Astrology master had looked very curiously at his chart, then at the young boy standing in front of him. “Seven planets in Aquarius at birth, and we shall see what we shall se, young Daniel! In the last 250 years of planetary revolution, seven planets in one sign, what I term a Grand Stellium, has occurred only nine times.”
Daniel had of course walked away determined to find out what that meant.

The four were walking inside to attend their final Transmagic class, and passed by an open door. Beth Pritchard heard a brief snatch of conversation waft out into the hall. “…before there is never Winter again, Stanley. Dean Whithers at the NAWC has called an All Whizzyrds official board gathering for three days from now on the subject. It is of the gravest nature, Sir!” Beth heard an unfamiliar voice coming from the school administrative offices, and whoever it was must have been talking to the school principal, Stanley Segrenth. “One moment, let me..” she heard the principal say. Then they all felt the unmistakable small hum in their stomachs and the slight bending of the light called a Serge that accompanied the use of nearby magick. Clearly the Principal had used a Muffle spell to cover the conversation, because even the small background noises from the offices stopped. The other three stopped talking and looked around upon feeling the Serge as well. Beth resolved to tell them what she’d heard immediately after class, but they had to go now before they were late. None of them wanted to jeopardize their chances of getting Named tomorrow!

They arrived in Transmagic just in time, and the door was still open and unwarded. Mr. Sailings was usually quite intent on closing the classroom when the class bell struck. His personal pet peeve was being late for anything, and he considered being tardy every bit as atrocious as being absent, so if a student didn’t arrive precisely on time, they would find the door locked and magically warded from entry. Most students figured this out one of two ways. They either found themselves locked out of what often was a young whizzyrd’s most interesting class, or they found themselves in the Principal’s office facing their last school reprimand before their parents were brought in to the situation. The latter was extremely rare. You see, Transmagic was actually short for Transportation Magic. It was quite the whizzyrd’s equivalent to the Common schools’ Drivers’ Education classes, but it started at a much earlier grade and lasted through several years of schooling. And since Mr. Sailings’ specialty was Transmagic, his reputation had always been hinged on the skill of timely arrival, which made a certain sense of his punctuality peeve. He also had a certain fondness for leather coats, cardigan scarves, slicked back hair, and aviator glasses. One could say that winter was definitely his time of year. He also was quite a favorite of most students, as not only did he teach a subject that granted the students much greater freedom of movement in their lives, he also was quite kindly aside from the punctuality peeve. His choice as favorite teacher was not an exception of the Spiral Arm Band, either.

Jamar smoothly swung into his seat, looking forward to the last day of his favorite class, as were the other students. Daniel and Sarah slid into seats behind him and next to each other, Beth found herself one seat removed and to his right, making it certain she couldn’t pass a note to any of her band mates. For seated directly between Beth and Jamar was the most hideous gossiping popular snoop, Lisa Syzens. Lisa Syzens, with her big red hair, blue eyes, big letterman’s’ sweater, and loud red nails, and wicked rumors. She had once started a rumor that Beth was sweet on one of her teachers, and the whole school had teased her for weeks, asking silly things like if she was hiding apples in various places about her person, and other unmentionable trash. All because she had kindly offered her help when the teacher had asked for volunteers to help clean up the lab. No, she certainly was NOT attempting anything while Miss Megaphone was anywhere within half a mile. Then the usual happened. Lisa turned her big red head towards Beth, and sneered. “It’s so kind of you to consent to join us, Miss Last Minute Betty Preacher.” Beth just gritted her teeth and did her best to act like there was a dust speck occupying the seat next to her. A couple of Loud Lisa’s yes-bunny friends heard and sniggered nastily. She was saved as Mr. Sailings began his end of term speech.

To be continued...

By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/2002

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Fallen Leaves:

It was in the chill of a dark night,
I was walking alone up on Barrows Hill,
The wind was a flicker of cold breath,
Dancing with whispers through the reaching trees and brambles.

It caught my eye faint but persistent,
A soft glow off in the distance,
Toward the biers and hummocks and stones,
In the quiet place where leaves have fallen,
Naught to pick them or rake,
Great drifts whirling in the lonely dark.

I slowly edged through the night,
Pulled in the direction of a soft reflection,
As I broke through the darkness under giant oaks,
The clearing of the stones rose above me on the hill,
Markers parading up to the sky,
Occasionally one fallen,
Cut out a dark line through the stars,
There wheeling over the top.

It was a lonely little Jack O' Lantern,
A tenacious little candle flame whickering aflutter,
Perched atop the stone of one named Rose,
An artful wreath of fallen leaves and withered dry roses,
Round about the marker's cold base,
A soft glow amidst the kingdom of sightless dark,
Even the moon was fallen from the sky.

A soft glow alone in the night,
Surrounded by cold stones named and fallen leaves,
A yellowed parchment envelope sitting wax sealed,
Atop the marker under the glowing gourd,
Whose smile was carved wistful with no malice,
I dared not break the seal in such a place,
Yet I couldn't help but see it's tender address,
"To Darling Rose my tender leaf,
Who fell on All Hallows Eve,
With love eternal."


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)_ 10/30/2004

Author's comments:
This one fell out of imagination and into prose.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Last Ride Of The Black Hat...

It was the last dregs of twilight in a bloody season,
Too many scalps hanging from the saddle,
Pale ones too it didn't matter with this hombre,
He'd shoot the fingers off a baby of it would turn a buck,
Look forward without sweating,
Practiced in the art of denial,
He'd repeat the story until even he remembered the lies,
Walking under the stars alone,
He'd rode his nag into bones in the desert,
No firewood it was frigid out here,
Even the rattlesnakes were ducked under the dunes,
But there were rumblings beneath his feet,
The Earth opened underneath him,
Searing at four thousand degrees pardner,
The voices you'd thought delivered to damnation,
Howling for your blood,
Even the shrieking sheiks you'd tussle with,
Welcome to the Hell you tried to create.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/29/2004

Author's Comments:
Trick or treat! Anyone come to mind?


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

River Fest...

I was born in a little town in the Midwest,
In the heart of Winter when it was the harshest cold,
In a small industrial town with a mighty river run through it's heart,
The length of the city it flows,
From far North in Wisconsin down to the big Mississippi,
Seeming to freeze over in this time,
Never believe moving water is more than passingly solid,
Stay far from the dam,
The water is green with a strong scent as such rivers like to be,
People have been drowned in it from time to time,
And such is the nature of rivers...

In the summertime when the leaves are green,
It's hot by the river and there is a long park along it's Eastern bank,
Maybe two miles and a bit more,
The trees are large and towering mostly,
The lagoon where the pedal boats play has a warming house,
They plow it for skating in colder winters,
But in the joyous Summer the leaves and water are green,
And everyone from here goes out that weekend,
In boats packed like a school,
In flowing human rivers of feet,
Strolling up and down the sidewalk there are carnival rides,
Bright colored lights and popcorn and hot dogs and cotton candy,
Children darting forever around the trees and laughing on the rides,
And all along the park stages and music -
Country bands - blues bands - rock bands - polka bands,
Time crosses over in a small town and the river flows seemingly slow,
Cheap Trick is on the big stage again tonight,
Way down by Portland Ave - local boys from twenty minutes away,
This river runs through their town too,
For all of us it's banks are stuck in our definition of home.

In child days I walked hand-holding along these banks and sidewalks,
Seeing all the rides and dreaming of being frightened out of my wits,
Sugar cookie in the hand not in Noni's and it was Summer,
Bright lights and lightning bugs were filling my eyes,
The cotton candy puffs were like giant balls of wished-for Heaven,
And I learned to stay a good bit back from the river,
Because I might fall in and drown,
And there would be pasta with meatballs on the table tonight,
When the teenagers and twentylings owned this place,
These lights by the river and the endless flowing sounds.

In first love days I walked hand-holding along these banks,
She had bright blue eyes the color of pale ice like when I was born,
Raven hair and part Native American only neither of us used those words for it,
I almost missed the carnival lights by the river completely,
Every ten minutes we ran into friends somewhere in the flow down the sidewalk,
All going to see Cheap Trick play for the first time here,
River fest was growing and my dreams were growing,
Dangerously I swam the currents,
Never knowing her ice blue eyes were the river,
I reveled in my strength swimming,
In joy in that season before the ice came,
I had flashbacks of cotton candy and lights,
She had another man's ring and children later that Winter,
And I swam in the green scented waters freezing and thawing for ten years,
Drifting with whatever flotsam would keep me breathing,
While Summer became half over.

In what I thought were growing up days I walked hands-free along these banks,
Seeing children care-free and lovers and old friends missed since last year,
Or was it the Riverfest five years ago,
Or maybe two but they were here again,
Where the carnival rides played their music and I wondered,
Wishing I were hand-holding here along these banks,
Standing alone as the rock and roll washed over me,
Drinking and walking because I could and it's what we did,
Dancing now and then and pretty eyes reflected the carnival ride lights,
Passing me by like the green water of the river twenty feet away,
But I cared less about cotton candy,
And the hot dogs with chili were all right,
Don't hold the blues on the halfway stage,
Twentyling swimming the riverfest,
Still caught in last year's ice.

In one short summer I walked hand-holding along these banks,
Seeing an occasional old friend and saying hello,
How many years has it been now,
Proud and beaming like the lights on the joyrides,
Awash in the rock and roll she had auburn hair and cinnamon apple eyes,
And I was swimming in the water as I walked,
Understanding it could drag you down dogged my heels,
Worrying like a child wanting to be on the rides,
Hoping the cotton candy was going to be sweet,
Unconscious and vividly awake at the same time,
Cheap Trick was playing the big stage,
And I ate the hot dogs and chili gratefully,
Glad to give whatever I had and in love like a doormat,
Begging for even the touch of cold feet,
I learned after that Summer was gone like the carnival lights,
That no one can respect someone swimming in a river of obsession,
No matter how beautiful the pretty lights and cotton candy,
Too sweet is too sweet is the wisdom,
Yet the ride on the other side of the sidewalk was it was a great summer,
That I'll love likely all my life,
And the green water still flows along and the dregs of that summer,
Long flowed down the Mississippi and out to sea,
Like an old tramp steamer you miss her and all the dancing but she can't keep you,
The stage is empty and they turned out the rock and roll lights.

In another time I walked hand-holding down these banks,
Not seeing a single soul I knew,
Styx was warming up for Cheap Trick on the big stage,
It was hot in the Summer night,
Children were darting and crowds were flowing up and down,
Circling the sidewalk circle under the stars and big trees,
Red and green and white boat lights and the occasional firefly,
Glow stick necklaces and the music blaring from the rides,
And I felt solid ground beneath my feet,
A warm hand in mine as the bands played,
Noni and Nono were on the other side of town,
Years in the ground but right here along this river of green water,
Mom was fading to ashes but I didn't know it yet,
Honey was unimpressed with this little town.

But I was born on this river and the music was good,
There was real gold on my finger and I was far from drowning,
The bratwurst and coke were tasting great,
Funny thing it still feels like home,
I've left and come back so many times,
I could feel these banks under my feet and never mistake it,
Maybe next summer I won't be on the pager,
The carnival will set up and the moon will shine on the river,
The bands will play all up and down the heart of the city,
After all this is Rock River we're speaking of,
And I will walk the banks searching for long-forgotten faces,
Yes my brother's out there on his boat,
Got two little boys just like him now,
I'm not sure if Dad or Sis came down this year,
Yeah they're still around here,
No my other Sis is up in Madison,
My other brother's living in the area still,
Step brother's out in Michigan and got married,
How's your mother and your brother,
Yeah Beloit doesn't change that much does it,
By the way how long has it been,
Since I last saw you at Riverfest, here along the Rock?

I was born in a little town in the Midwest,
In the heart of Winter when it was the harshest cold,
In a small industrial town with a mighty river run through it's heart,
The length of the city it flows,
From far North in Wisconsin down to the big Mississippi,
Seeming to freeze over in this time,
Never believe moving water is more than passingly solid,
Stay far from the dam,
The water is green with a strong scent as such rivers like to be,
People have been drowned in it from time to time,
And such is the nature of rivers...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/26/2004

Author's Comments:
I just woke up a few minutes ago, I'd been dreaming of old friends and back home.

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

All of my currently available poetry titles are for sale at:

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Early Morning At The No Name Cafe:

Life is something ticking in the city,
When the sun comes out you only find it by looking at reflections,
Steel and concrete and glass cocoon you,
There in the No Name Cafe they have bright colors,
Back in the corner of the building,
Only those at this address know,
No signs at all anywhere,
Nothing in the windows facing out to the bustling streets,
But they speak spanish and flip up eggs and sausage with a smile,
Corned beef hash only on Fridays,
Change from mariachi to light hits at seven,
Always cheerful to precede sun or rain,
Clutching my umbrella I order up,
Surrounded by brilliant yellow walls,
Grilled potatoes with onions and bell pepper shreddings,
Breakfast sausage links and a bottle of orange juice,
One plastic fork and two paper packets of salt,
A single napkin and those fifties tables and chairs,
Yellow and green vinyl and formica with banded chrome,
Stainless legs polished gleaming off checker tile floors,
The scents and early morning faces smiling in greeting,
Finished I pop the swiveling trash can lid,
Whip out the revolving glass door with the second half of cigar,
Pop my umbrella from it's folded up respite,
Strut between raindrops under my tote-a-roof in green,
Elevate up to the sixth floor of the parking ramp,
I close the umbrella and lean on the concrete wall,
Flick the lid open on my Zippo *snick*,
Light up and puff as I look down on the sidewalk,
A river of umbrella colors moving in some semblance of order,
I look up at the buildings with all their glass windows,
Seeing the billions of individual drops in the cascade outlined in hive relief,
Zipping up the black sweat jacket full and relaxed,
I just left work for the day,
After stopping by No Name Cafe.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/13/2004

Author's Comments:
I wanted to write this a few days ago, but it just popped out today.
Time Of Fire And Gold:

Everywhere, everywhere,
The leaves are burning without smoke,
Sun or grey skies the fields glint of gold and harvest,
The land is calling to be taken and I walk the hills and paths in my dreams,
The honking of vast clouds of geese circling whirling over corn,
Blackbirds fill the trees and wires,
The burning bush is rampant and replicated innumerably,
I landed in a field of harvested corn with still neat rows,
Walking in the morning that should be silent,
But the geese are speaking in volumes and I long for open hills,
Free of the concrete burdens of clocks and city,
This is no time of life for lifeless lines and angles,
Give me the wild disarray of red and orange and gold leaves,
The sprawled leaves lying in evidence of harvested corn,
The endless wisps and blankets of grey fall clouds,
Breath on the wind and following the sun and moon,
Haunted nights speak to me of dreams and changing guard,
I am ancient in the fields and reminiscent of fire in stone circles,
Of stealth in the woods and grasses and wielded hoe and scythe,
Of dancing to echoing drums by firelight 'round golden sheaves,
Watched by the blazing yellow of Jack 'O Lantern eyes and such ilk,
Silent in the moment of drawn bow in my mind like Orion in the night,
The world is starting to turn here in earnest,
The world is ablaze,
I am bathed in the time of Fire and Gold.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/13/2004

Author's Comments:
Fall is an incredible gift.

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.
Birds Diving Off Wires:

Must have been a flock of fifty,
Up against all the greyed-over sky,
A day for old blues piano,
Solid voices roll over golden grass,
Singing songs of falling love ends,
Fires as painful as burning leaves,
Guitars twang and echo,
Blinga blinga blue like cold creek water,
Another Fall season burns,
Birds are diving off wires,
Flocking South in the grey-blue sky,
And I am thankful I've found home.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/13/2004

Author's Comments:
Listening to old blues on a fall drive.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

State Of Crisis:

It's a sad sickness these days,
The thousands and thousands of messages,
A never ending litany of fear and fire,
The flames of the Beast must be stamped out,
And I'm hopping upon e-mail after e-mail,
Dancing like a clown in too-small shoes.

In every place I look the Beast seems to be raging.

Slowly I'm coming to realize,
Some subtle understanding of change behind my eyes,
In the analysis of near poetic standstill,
I've come to a state of crisis,
Barely able to lift my hand to dip pen in ink,
Let alone delisciously stroke the page.

In every place I look the beast seems to be raging.

What the soul says is the answer is hard to believe,
It's wispy and willowy and ephemeral and electric,
It's a dance of the merger of physics and spirit,
Some might call it even shamanistic,
In every place I look the Beast seems to be raging,
Until I look inside my heart.

Defuse the state of crisis,

I refuse to be a lonely heart.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/07/2004

Author's Comments:
KNOW the Beast will lose. KNOW that Spirit will win.
JOIN in.
Candlejack's Night:

It was deep in a moonlit night,
Amber was writ large in Luna's face on the horizon,
Even as she danced in and out of a veil of thin black cloud,
Frost was gilded like white on grass and stone,
Deep in the woods even the magical Little People stayed far from,
The occasional star peeping through the night,
Peering down through shadows upon a long cold trail,
Overgrown nearly with ripping brambles,
Flush in the rustling of flaming October leaves,
If it were daylight you'd see the red,
Now just a black cowbell of announcement for lost feet.

She wandered between groping black oaks,
Wicked buckthorn dressed in black cloaked night tearing the sky,
Stones now began lining the sides of the path,
A soft green glow tracing the lines of ancient characters upon them,
A language she didn't know at all,
But the path was clear now,
Even cobwebs had fled the darkness of this place,
And in the eerie glow of Stonerune light,
She could feel every drop of crimson pulse in her veins,
Every beat within her shivering chest was amplified,
Spine chills and hackle-raising tingle flames on the back of her neck,
Yet she couldn't bear going back into the woods,
Hearing the rustling of some creature back at the first stones,
Pawing and huffing and a mournful howl thrown into the long night,
Resigned she stumbled on and on.

Set now upon smaller stone pedestals that danced the sides of a monolithic valley,
Giant pumpkins with glowing red candle faces carved in them,
Pools of softly glowing light illuminated leaves fallen from the heights,
The only thought of life and bounty to drift into this bleak place,
Save her and her wayward lost feet that wouldn't stop cold,
Something daylight's more rational tone might have stressed,
Far more so when the first pile of small creature bones appeared,
There in the candles' puddle of orange-yellow glow,
Feet that carried her unasked,
As each candle stand claimed it's own bony pool.

Wide eyes and silent scream the Candlejack leapt out of the dark,
Towering stick body supporting a huge pumpkin head,
Vile purple glow in the carved-looking eyes,
The curl of bony fingers danced snakes across her soft throat,
She whimpered as her bones shrank back,
Her mind was beyond stopped,
Another spirit soared the sky as Candlejack,
Screamed and something lifeless fell,
There at the base of the pumpkin stand,
Harvest of another Fall and victim of her own fear,
For Candlejack's cold rest was again undisturbed,
The silent tomb was brushed with one more falling drifting leaf.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/07/2004

Author's Comments:
Inspired by the season.

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Remnants of Gold:

Late afternoon in low sun like a dying year,
Gone to bursting milkweed and dead amber everywhere,
Flaming leaves dueling in ageless dance with still-yet green,
Walking round the trail the river is slowly flowing reflection,
Hand in hand we wonder at stalks and leaves and tufted seed,
Flight is a marvel as the vee circles again and again,
Hovering over golden corn stubble low and slow,
Like this sky without a cloud,
And they mate for life just as they gather in the harvested corn,
Hundreds and hundreds and voices of forever,
The sun is falling and we're walking past the barn,
Boarded up with it's children long gone away,
The sky will be all stars tonight and sheets over the mums,
A hard freeze will come they say,
It never ends but it ends every year,
We'll turn to sweaters and coats as tawny returns,
Tawny in every corner of the world and gold in the sky,
The turn of sunlight angle speaks to your soul of time,
In the manner of stone-shouldered hills and book-pressed flowers,
The world bears fruit despite harsh masters,
Yet the amber prairie bones fill our eyes,
Calling for a healing long overdue.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/05/2004

Author's Comments:
We have duties and we have treasures.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Dreaming In Druid:

Sitting in a calm chair slowly,
Early October afternoon sunshine drips between my crossed feet,
Like the wax of a candle made of whispering yellow leaves,
Falling and drifting and rising in spinning glee amber,
Tall grass rustling in tune to the wind dance,
Wildly gyrating young leaf-spangled Oak and Maple,
Cloud of blackbird flock endless whirl in the visions haunting me,
Someday to walk in a church with no roof,
All stone heavy immense and thick breathes in slow flowing heat,
Candles flickering in the twilight as leaves spin rustle round pews,
Stone seats that pass through time like soft water parted,
Broken bits of fallen leaf fade to soil in time,
Source of all God's gifts are in the rich black Earth we turn,
And the secret whispered by the stars and echoed on wind,
Along with dominion comes stewards' responsibilities.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/04/2004

Author's comments:
Genesis 1-26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." Genesis 1-29: And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food." Genesis 1-30: And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so." Genesis 2-15: 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

Someone said in another forum that "walking in a chapel open to nature was unnecessary as God is everywhere we do so every day." I agree for the most part, but I've seen a chapel open to nature once before and it was distinctly beautiful. I felt it did an excellent job of allowing me to focus my thoughts on relating to God while enforcing the connection He gave us with nature. Look up New Harmony, Indiana some time. Actually, I can do one better - I'll post a few images that hopefully can illustrate the point.


Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Plight Of The New World Witch:

One has to wonder at the stereotypes,
Green-nosed Halloween caricatures,
black hats and totally missed points.

Thum datta thum datta thum datta thum...

Maybe some ancient crone playing with black arts,
Maybe just a vicious tale,
Made to scare children abed.

Unmask the wicked ancient dreams...

When reality is blown free of October fog,
The magic is in the balance,
The dance of Love and Faith against Fear.

A clean clear wind whispers over the green hills...

There's a white light in the world today,
A gift from God and not an enemy,
Simple teachers of believing in Love.

Thum datta thum datta thum datta thum...

When the message is to have Faith,
Mountains will move,
When the message spreads Fear it sadly landslides.

Fear is only Faith that Evil will win...

Satan paints with Fear,
Rejoices in each soul bathed in that tool,
The exact opposite of Loving Faith.

Love is Faith that God wants us all to win...

God's own word teaches,
Faith is the source of what could be called magic,
Granted only through His universal Love.

Thum datta thum datta thum datta thum...

Faith blighted with Fear only illuminates pain,
Faith lighted with Love illuminates the way,
Have Faith we're all meant to be one in a new world.

Embrace Love each night and day.



By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/15/2004

Author's Comments;
It's there in His words - all one need do is look.
Broom Rider:

I've often wondered if it was a cackle of glee,
Or a twitch of black cat claw on the backside,.
That lifted the first broom off the cauldron lip.

Perhaps the long green stockings,
And whippy black cloak,
Just trappings to hide picking broom splinters,
Out of something "nether" or such.

What they don't show you in corn bristle assembly class,
Is how to wrap milkweed fiber over toad skins,
So you can cling to an upside down spinning yew spear,
After you blast up the chimney in a puff of soot and sparks,
Big screeching black tom spike hackled and all.

The big question of the day,
Corn strings or long straw,
Batwing leather or worn old scalps,
The best method of cleaning black wax off cracked skulls,
Which type of toadstool stew to use for broomsores,
Or the best angle from which to cross an ambered gibbous moon.

Just remember to tip the vampire valets,
After you finish landing in the pumpkin patch,
Never let them catch you out racing ghosts,
And make sure you have a solid supply of sandpaper,
Before you take off for any spell casting match,
Standing naked and green under the stars,
There in the pentagram of a Druid circle.

There's a reason Fall brings out slang like,
Cold as a witch's...well,
Considering the entry fee is getting kicked in the face by a unicorn,
Is it any wonder you'll eat only small things stewed?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/15/2004

Author's Comments:
For some ghastly reason, I'm looking forward to Fall and Halloween.

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

In The Burning Shadow Of Fallen Leaves:

It's another year gone and the leaves are piled,
Awaiting their day to smoke and burn into the sky,
The glistening blue of a sky grasping the frost of every breath in the world,
The flames only erase the most visible past,
The ash lies underneath - infiltrating the ground,
The building blocks and foundation for what new will come,
Is it a Spring of green you await,
Shall the harvest soon to come be forgotten?

See the shadow of leaf smoke long across the ground,
It's day is nigh and the stars of Summer are falling below the Earth,
Even as the Hunter rises in the sky once again,
Eternal with sword and bow twinkling in the night,
In the night that comes all manner of ghouls and flying things will rise,
Haunting the inner vision in annual respect of death's reaping,
In the time when each flower knows it's season was too short,
Must pass and fade and brown like last Summer's grass,
And when we breath in the smoke that shadows fallen leaves,
Watch the sparks leap up and licking orange flames,
The bare dead tree limbs and endless night question us,
Did you ever love enough in your short season?

Looking through the knot hole of a gourd,
It begs a question,

"When it comes to love,
What could possibly Oh Great Pumpkin,
What could possibly ever be enough?"


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/14/2004

Author's Comments:
I feel this every single Fall. Some more than others, but every one.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

On this day, September 11th, of all days:

Turn Away Cold Voices...

Close your ears,
Listen to the heartbeat of Earth,
Close your ears,
Feel the touch of love and all it's dear worth,
Close your ears and see clear and clean,
Close your heart,
To the siren of the war machine,
Turn away cold voices,
Leave heartache far away in the dark,
Turn away cold voices,
Forget to fan the spark,
Let not the liars tell you,
That death becomes them,
For no heart that beats,
Should by any man's hand end,
Turn away cold voices,
Cause not any river of tears,
Turn away cold voices,
Full of hatred, lies, and unjust fears,
Hold out your hand in kindness,
Together love this Earth,
Turn away cold voices,
And remember the measure of your worth.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 04/24/2002

The Thorn Of Crowns:

One doesn't need to be crucified to die on the inside,
Heavy responsibility is not always easy to bear,
Temptation can blind you at times,
And losing you objectivity can be worse than being blind.

The sepia tones of old photographs can't hold you at night.

Never forget those times you cried,
And how they came about,
Remember the times you smiled,
And what gave those smiles birth.

Everyone has those moments in greater or lesser degree.

Even if you are King of the World,
You can't eat diamonds and emeralds,
And fast cars and jets can carry away,
Just as easily as to.

You could be haunted even on yacht at sea under forever stars.

Think about it,
Will the world truly have been better for you having walked it,
Even just one little bit,
The sum answers of that question alone are set in stone.

The true bits of gold carried by men.

When power comes upon you,
And you've walked the the halls of rulers,
Lying with a rattle in your throat,
As the angels gather round you,

Was the life you wore torn useless by the Thorn of Crowns?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 03/15/2004

Author's Comments:
I think most people will understand.

Return My Colors:

I saw them waving in the breeze,
Those threads and dyes of freedom,
Pursuit of life, of liberty, of happiness,
Red of courage,
White of purity,
Blue of truth,
They stand for freedom,
They do not belong,
Upon the collars of intolerance,
Upon the poles where heads hang,
In the circle of a lake of tears,
In the halls where our lives are pried open,
Like a clamshell overfed on statute pages.

I want my colors back.

I want those colors to bring tears,
Because they mean a home where one is soveriegn,
Upon the lands we've worked to earn,
Where spies are some dark shadows across oceans,
Or figments in story books,
And no one is disappeared without a trace,
Just upon the say-so of fear's hounds.

I want my colors back,
To wear with pride,
Because they represent a place of good hearts,
And live as you are.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/28/2003

Author's Comments:
Our rights and liberties are critical to the character and identity of this country. There is no place on Earth like this place was just two and a half years ago. I want that place back, and the colors that go with it.

Walking The Needle:

We all must face a darkness today,
As a world and as a nation,
For the man-made shadow cast yesterday,
And that just a cumulation of many all over the world,
And as our hearts are torn with rage and grief,
We must remember that we are moral beings,
And that wanton retaliation is no such thing as moral,
And we must remember that violence only breeds violence,
And insanity does not bring death to life,
For how many bombs have been thrown in truth by whom?

We all must face a darkness today,
As a person and as a human being,
For the manmade shadow we contemplate casting today,
And that just an addition to those all over the world,
And as our hearts are torn with rage and grief,
We must remember that we are moral beings,
And that much of what races in our minds is not,
For long after we extend our hands in violence,
We will remember that we were amoral beings,
And ultimately the cost is a ticker tape of blood spots,
And shadows upon more souls.

We all must face a darkness today,
And wonder how to bring back the Sun,
And in no way can I poor poet that I am,
Give out the definitive answer,
For I must face a darkness today,
Staring at the fires within my own heart,
And perhaps that is a good place for each of us to start.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/12/2001

By Candle Lit Tears:

You see a soft yellow glow everywhere now,
Millions of points of gentle light at night,
All over this vast land with a common heartbeat,
And the faces may change but not so the tears,
You will know if you look and see,
Down from up above where you are now,
Your gift is remembered well,
The one you didn't know you would give,
As you left for your work and errands on that fateful day,
But you will know it if you look,
Not by the words of angels or historians,
Though those may come your way,
No, you will know it if you look,
By the rivers of candle lit tears.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/17/2001

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

There will be no further posts today in remembrance of the people and cherished intangible treasures that were damaged on this day in 2001.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Fish Doctah Blues:

We've got fish flying 'round the room,
There in the downstairs powder parlor,
Inspired by a picture about dreams,
Something about most people and wealth,
And the writer walking backwards,
Between flying fish and speaking animals,
So we found the little wooden trout at the hobby shop,
Looking just like the ones in the picture,
And I gave them rainbow shimmer wings,
Flew them on the wall like some creator,
And they look at me with beady eyes,
Every time I'm in there,
Like "He made us fly but what's stapled on next"?

Got a wooden child with wings coming loose,
Need to pull out the tape and glue,
Put the imaginary magic back,
Before sad-eyed trout rainbows swim my dreams,
I much prefer scaly ripples of free flight imagination,
Guess it's practice for some future responsibility,
Or just the silliest poet heart,
But if you give fish wings,
It's no fun taking a chance on them splashing down.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/08/2004

Author's Comments:
Yes, we do have this surreal scene in the downstairs powder room, and
this piece is both figurative and real life at the same time.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Spin Around The Prairie:

I walked in the bright sunshine,
In the glad light of time alone with my wife,
In the calm of footstep after footstep,
A hawk backlit by the afternoon sun drifting,
Low over green milkweed pods and tawny dead Queen Anne's Lace,
Darting swallows around a dead tree,
The still green leaves along the river in low September sunlight,
Thinking of giant pumpkins to come,
Small yellow butterfly you flutter along with us,
Only to be followed by the regal orange-black monarchs,
The prairie flowers native to this land,
Some call them weeds the little tiny white daisies with yellow centers,
The brown of dead thistles with the occasional late blooming vivid pink,
I hold a cigar and coffee in hand strolling slowly,
And we speak of future past and present,
Hopes and dreams and wishes,
Filled lungs with the local slow breeze,
Soon enough we'll roll across the creek past weeping willows,
Burst free of the corn field into a world of concrete and brick,
Yet for the moment I feel close to the living Earth,
In synch and in time without looking once at my watch,
Feeling like a high thin white cloud over the field,
Embracing the Zen of a tree trunk that only grows in one place,
A child at play on the swings racing dandelion tufts,
Dancing on the wind in a place that deserves to live.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/07/2004

Author's Comments:
A slice of the afternoon - one I want to enshrine, to bottle up and take

Plainfield Live Poetry

I've just added a new link to our live poetry reading group in
Plainfield, Illinois in the right hand border column. Take a peek if
you're interested.


Labor Day Rain:

I kind of wonder if the edge of Frances is touching us here,
Thinking of far away friends scattered about the windy circle,
But here it's gentle rain and breezes blowing,
No hullabaloo in an unhurried morning,
Ducks on the pond and vast green view out the window,
Simply four Mallards paddling,
A little yellow tinge on leaves everywhere,
Yesterday's ride through the country as gold climbs down the soybeans,
I've thoughts of amber leaves and red and brown,
Of milkweed tufts burst free,
Of wandering the corn maze holding my wife's hand like children,
Of the passing of another year,
Amber moons with black cloud veils,
The occasional bat flying past,
Even in this season young hearts falling in love,
Caught in the hurricane of time,
Enjoying every rest of landing feet,
Yet for now the warm coffee calls me,
And Fall can wait another sleepy day.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/06/2004

Author's Comments:
Fleeting thoughts, a note from one of my nieces, a morning of reading
poems after a wonderful day and night.

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.