When I was ten years old, my father decided to move the old RCA Victor radio upstairs into my bedroom.   I should say our bedroom, since there were six of us kids out of nine still living at home.  The radio however, was placed next to the head of my bed where I could reach out and turn the station dial with my left hand.  Though the tuning was finicky, it was a powerful receiver.  On clear nights, at two or three in the morning, I could tune in a station out of Nashville, Tennessee.  My memory fails me as to the station’s call sign, but it seemed miraculous  to me that we could get a signal from such a great distance.  We lived a hundred miles south of the Mackinac Straits in Northern Michigan and I could still here the voice of WolfMan Jack.

     On those nights I was transported into a universe of heartfelt music created by Johnny Cash and June Carter, Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline, but most of all I found the music of Bob Dylan reaching into my soul and expanding my perceptions far beyond the farmhouse and the little community in which we resided.  It became a ritual in the wee hours of the night to catch a song like Blowin’ in the wind, Like a Rolling Stone, Masters of War or A hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.  These songs were so extraordinary to my ten year old self they gave me chills.  I was able to look at the world through Bob Dylan’s eyes.  What I saw scared, moved and inspired me.

     There are few lyricists that have ever matched the wit and vision of Mr. Dylan in the early sixties.  I have carried his words and visions through a lifetime.  They are words that will never grow old or die.  The establishment of his day hasn’t changed very much, they have only grown more sophisticated and deceitful.

     I had few real childhood heroes, but Bob Dylan fits the bill.  I hope generations to come will take the time to listen to the directness and honesty of his songs.  It took a cocky courage to say what he had to say in those treacherous days.  He was and still is a true troubadour.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

I Saw It Coming, Part 15


     I could barely see the Home Depot parking lot through the soupy mist as I watched Skinny make his way off to becoming a boss.  I had told him to take his time, that he should engage as many of the guys as it took to find four of them he felt he could trust to work with.  His head was high, his shoulders back.  I was pleased at my choice.

     Ned had fallen into the rhythm of things and was willing to oversee the remainder of the demolition of his old dreams and the construction of a new one.  It was what he needed to halt his descent into bitterness.  The sense of purpose would serve to make him ambitious and young again.

     I headed toward Market Street.  I had to put my attention back on the Vulture.  It was important to pull him out of the dirty water before he got himself in too dark and deep.  Guys like Two Fingers Kim didn’t let go easily.  I needed to find a way to get leverage on Kim or I’d have to orchestrate getting him arrested with the goods.

     It was a busy Saturday on Market Street even at 9:00 in the morning.  The fog was not a deterrent for the tourists, it was part of the ambiance of San Francisco.  I figured I’d catch up with Two fingers if I just parked myself somewhere inconspicuous and waited.  I chose the bus stop near Fourth, it was busy enough for camouflage and I could keep an eye on both sides of the street.

     I wasn’t disappointed, only twenty minutes had passed when Kim and the Vulture ambled by me without even a glance.  The kid looked out of it, he was either hung over or he had already indulged for his Saturday deliveries.  For the moment, the two of them were empty handed, so I figured they were headed up to the apartment building in the Tenderloin to fetch the dope.  I still didn’t have a plan, but I was hopeful of catching a flash of brilliance on my way to grabbing a doughnut and coffee at the Tin Man’s.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

The Wolf Pack Moon


Cover painting by Richard Rensberry

Book design by Bri Bruce Productions

Now available at Amazon Books in paperback!

The lion’s share of the poems contained in this book was written under the influence of the wolf pack moon during the months of January and February of 2015.  This is the name of the winter moon as given by the Algonquin Indians that hunted and gathered the Great lakes State of Michigan where the author spent his youth.  The hard northern winters are a battle between optimism and pessimism and the poems are a reflection of that struggle.  These are verses of the lands within and the lands without as written beneath the glow of the wolf pack moon.

Richard Rensberry grew up on a small farm in Northern Michigan accumulating spiritual riches only the heart of nature can distill.  These riches weave themselves in and out of his poetry like the rhyme and rhythm of his words.  He has the blood of a wolf and the heart of a gypsy.  He is married to fellow author and muse, Mary Rensberry.  They are co-authors of the books It’s Black and White/A Turtle Quest for the Ages, The QuickTurtles Go to School, Wake’s Day and Wake Helps.  Together, they founded QuickTurtle Books® in 2013.

Wake’s Day

Wake's Day colored cover

QuickTurtle Book’s® Wake’s Day is now available in the iBook Store.  This is the first book in The QuickTurtle Fun and Learning Series for young readers.

Wake is a young QuickTurtle® with a busy day.  He has things to do and things to see.  Join him on his QuickTurtle® journey into help and play.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®.

I Saw It Coming, Part 14


     It was 5:00 PM and we were knocking off.  The fog had slipped back to the ocean but now it was cascading back over the hills from Daly City.  The Mexicans had long given up for the day and were gone to wherever they go.

     “Why you doing this?” Skinny asked me.

     “The wood has a life and a purpose of its own,” I replied.

     “No, not that.  I mean me.  I tried to rob you.” Continue reading