High Hopes

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If I were a mountain,
I’d be rugged and tall
with my head in the clouds.
I’d be wild with rivers that whisper and roar;
I’d flourish with creatures,
forests, and storms. If I were a mountain,
my thunder would pound
hard as a hammer, crisp as the morn.
Come June, I’d flower
with poppy and glow. Come fall,
I’d showcase maple groves. I’d be orange and yellow,
red and bold. If I were a mountain,
I’d be capped in snow. I’d cradle a village
in a quaint meadow. I’d decorate Christmas
with evergreen spruce. If I were a mountain,
miners would sluice                                                                                                                                    their hopes and dreams from solitude.

From my upcoming book, The Wolf Pack Moon.   Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

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Guest Poet and Artist, Mick Theebs

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My name is Mick Theebs and I am a writer and an artist. Like most artists, I try to express myself in a way that is both personal and reflective of the human condition as a whole. I accomplish this with varying degrees of success. I write poetry, short fiction, and novels. I paint in acrylics and watercolors. I also run my own website called ALSO THAT at http://www.alsothat.com where I share my own work alongside the work of others. Continue reading

Saturday In the Hayloft

Cheerful Turtle B&W

The land grows

with its roots in our souls.

We are full of sunflowers, thistles

and pigweed.  I am hard-headed

as the winter wheat, you are soft

at the heart like an artichoke.  We are

black as the loam

with the earth bleeding

out of our pores.

We are bathed in sweat

and cricket spit.  We are full

of itch, rocks and mourning doves, we are

thunder and lightning

making love.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

Guest Artist, Mary Rensberry

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA            Fowl Art, Nature’s Gifts To Humanity

“Nature in all its glory loves to participate in the aesthetic just like humans do.  In fact, nature was and still is our first artist.”   Mary Rensberry 2010

Mary finds fowl art on the streets of San Francisco created by the street pigeons and seagulls.  Her spirituality and sense of humor shine along with the images.  I will share a few from her books, Fowl Art, Listen, and her upcoming book Fowl Art 2.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Take time to listen to others.  And tell someone

                                                                                          you love them.

Master Magician     Master Magician putting stars in the sky.

We’ve been taught there are angels and demos Continue reading

I Saw It Coming, Part 9

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     I was led into the Tenderloin District.  My boys entered an apartment building about a block from City Hall.  Before they entered, Two Fingers gave the Vulture a dressing down.  His head dropped and his hands disappeared into his pockets as he stood there like a sponge and soaked it up.  That’s how kids get molded into criminals, how terrorists become terrorists, they are weak and easily manipulated by the criminal mind. Continue reading

Insomnia

ApatheticTurtle

The tide is rising.

Too much moonshine

and firecrackers.  Too many

sirens and helicopters.  Too much

coughing, Facebook and Instagram.

The feeble sweeping of dust devils.  A cat

in heat.  A cat on my chest.  Thirst

for water, lime and tequila

on a weekday

with loneliness wrapped around me

instead of you, My Love

instead of you.

                                     Richard Rensberry, Author at Quick Turtle Books®

I Saw It Coming, Part 8

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     Two fingers was taking his time.  He was in dealing mode and I was learning a little more than I really cared to know.  Kim had relationships with several of the local shops on and off Market Street.  Your everyday business owners or their employees were apparently into whatever it was he was selling.  Meth?  Cocaine? Heroin?  Maybe all or just some weed?

     I had to keep my distance in order to not get spotted.  He often looked around as if he were expecting the cops to show up at any moment.  I was surprised they hadn’t since it was so obvious what he was up to.  If I could garner this much information by following him a few short blocks, why didn’t the Narcs have a tail on him?  Strange world.

     Eventually Two Fingers made his way back to the Tin Man’s and sat down in a window seat by the door.  As he did so I slipped into the Taco Bell just down the street so I could watch for a bit to see what might transpire.  I ordered a couple of beef tacos and sat in a seat near the window.

     I was into my second taco wishing I had ordered chicken when the Vulture lumbered by outside on the sidewalk.  He was getting downright fat and I couldn’t help but think about the greens his mom was so fond of.  The Vulture could use some of those greens.  I felt sorry for the kid.

     I watched as he jaywalked across Market and went into the Tin Man’s.  He immediately  slipped into the chair across from Two Fingers Kim.  I felt a tinge of disappointment.  This kid was a real loser if he was hanging around the likes of Kim.  He was going to end up in a jail cell with some hard-ass nasty characters if he didn’t wise up.

     A short while later both the Vulture and Kim walked out and headed my way.  This time however, Kim grabbed the kid by the arm and pointed at the crosswalk.  Goes to show you, even some criminals have manners.  I slipped out of my seat and dissolved into the shadows back away from the window.  I had come this far so I was willing to take it all the way.  When they passed, I went out the door and followed as they headed up Market Street.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

TBone Ditty, creator of the QuickTurtle® Band (continued)

Golfing Turtle

When the Buzz Cuts disbanded, TBone joined the golf team.  He quickly established himself as a scrappy competitor willing to take the risks to win.  He became less serious and more happy-go-lucky.  His performances on the golf course seemed to be a placebo for his need to entertain.  He was soon dubbed with the nickname, Turtle Woods.

Musically, TBone journeyed more into himself.  He wasn’t particularly in a funk, he was just very introspective after dealing with the difficulties of trying to hold together two bands at such an early age.  Yes, bands were fun, but they were all encompassing entities that were as fickle as the weather.  He had needed a break and golf afforded that outlet.

While working his way up the leaderboards, TBone spent his downtime focusing more on song writing.  He learned the piano.  He dabbled in the blues and had developed a special liking for punk music, but in the end his tendency was the down home feel and sound of folk.  His lyrics were oriented around the social issues of the day and the escapades of falling in and out of love.  He would often pull out his acoustic guitar and play a few ditties for the golf team while they were holed up in some cheap motel on the road.  It was his first foray into what it would be like to be out on tour in a touring band.

On senior ‘Skip Day’, TBone hauled his guitar and an old banjo down to the park.  He soon became the focal point for the more artistic crowd as he played some of the popular hits of the day.  He interspersed the hits with some of his own creations and got lots of compliments especially from the girls.  His song writing had matured along with his performance skills from the hours and hours he had seemingly spent in front of a mirror.  Having the attention of a rapt crowd rekindled the performance bug and his dire need for a band.  He didn’t have the makings of going it alone; he considered it just too lonely.

Fortunately for TBone, Robbie Slade had decided that he’d had enough of Algebra and skipped off to the park with the seniors.  It was a very brave thing to do as a sophomore, not only because he was going to get detention but also because he was traipsing into senior territory where no male sophomore had a right to go.  Robbie looked like a geek.  He was sarcastic and strong willed with a short fuse.

It was a blessing that TBone had everyone’s attention when Robbie showed up in the park because Robbie walked unscathed and ignored.  No one saw the need to confront him or chase him off as he slowly edged his way to the front.  He listened attentively to several songs before he latched onto one of TBone’s originals.  He had brought along his harmonica and boldly pulled it out.  He skillfully bent some notes and folded them subtly into the second verse of TBone’s; Too Fat Shuffle.

TBone was quite impressed.  He quickly taught Robbie another of his songs and once again Robbie wove the harmonica in superbly.  They intuitively began to play off of each other with skill and comfort.  They played for over an hour, egged on and applauded by the gathered crowd.

As the seniors finally wrapped up their ‘Skip Day’ in the park, TBone didn’t hesitate to invite Robbie over to his garage for a little jam session.  He was intrigued by the skinny sophomore and not only did they hit it off musically but they were also bonding as friends.

The seeds for the QuickTurtle Band sprouted that day in TBone’s heart.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

I Saw It Coming, Part 7

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     It was a great day in SanFrancisco.  It was sunny and warm for a change with only a slight breeze coming off the ocean.  I decided to head down to the bay and snoop around to see if I could find some well washed beach glass.  I like to make mosaic animals out of the old glass.  Old stuff was getting harder to come by, but I had been having some luck when the tide was out.

     I was currently working on a giraffe and needed to find some leg and hoof pieces.  I had already completed the piece with paper and it was ready for the transition to glass.  I thought it might be a nice center piece for our new reception area once Ned and I got rolling on the reconstruction project.

     When I got down to the Embarcadero I decided to detour into the Walgreens across the street from the Hyatt.  Someone was following me.  I had felt his presence shortly after leaving the Tin Man’s.  I didn’t know if Skinny had put a tail on me or what.  Kid’s can be pretty sharp when it comes down to trust issues.

     When I turned around I glanced about for anyone that had stopped moving.  People that are tailing you tend to go into motionlessness if their target goes still or looks around.  It is some kind of natural reaction under the circumstances and is almost like a poker tell.  They don’t know they are giving themselves away because they are trying too hard to hide themselves behind their tell.  That’s precisely why it is a tell.

     I saw three people that fit the description.  I immediately ruled out one of them because he was panhandling and dressed in street clothes that had seen better days.  One of the other  guys was talking on a cell phone and looking in my direction.  He was dressed in a blue sports coat and expensive slacks.   The last guy was kind of beefy with several tattoos visible on the backs of his arms and neck.  He was pretending to look in the window of the Starbucks next-door .  I recognized him, he was Two-Fingers Kim, our local drug trafficker.  My tail.

     Kim had been in jail enough times to own a time share.  Though I had never met him up close and personal, I knew of him and his destructive wake.  From what I heard, he was one tough Korean.  His last arrest had taken a whole precinct of cops to take him down and haul him in.

     I really couldn’t think of any possible reason why he would be following me.  I turned and went into Walgreens.  I walked to the back of the store and went through the door marked for employees only.  The delivery area doors were closed and the docking area empty.  I found the exit door out into the back alley and scurried back around toward Market Street.

     When I came to the corner by the cable cars, I could see him still standing there by Starbucks.  He was shifting from foot to foot getting antsy.  I watched as he waited another few minutes and then went inside Walgreens to find me.

      I decided to abandon my project and turn the tide on Two Fingers.

      He came out of Walgreens about five minutes later.  I have no idea what he thought or even if he thought at all.  I gave him a half block head start up Market and followed discreetly.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®