OIL ON CANVAS

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Oil On Canvas
excerpt from CITY SLICKER’S GUIDE TO THE AMISH COUNTRY
http://amzn.to/2po5G7I

Summer is born
from the smell of turpentine and oils on canvas.
It is a portrait of honeybees laden with pollen
and the hog-nose snakes
that masquerade the lane as cobras.
It is martins in the birdhouse and bats in the attic.
Summer is the lust that lives in the loam.
It speaks
of radishes, peppers, and yellow squash.
It seduces the onion
and brags about the taste of the lush tomato
that lives in the sun. The beets don’t care.
Their blood is passionate
no matter the circumstance. And the peas,
they know the truth of openness
will always come. It is the corn that listens
to the depth the carrot and potato will go
to reach the cellar.
Summer is wading
the spring fed creeks, picking cowslips
and violets to set on the table.
It is making love in a bed of purple vetch
and building castles in the cumulus clouds.
It is long days that lead to dusk when pheasants erupt
from the washes thick
with alder and pussy willow brush.
It is the ever presence of the hawk and crow, the piles of stone
from which red sumac glows
with a fire we capture
to light the barbecue. We have friends and family
potlucks of beer
and bullshit. We grill fresh perch
and trout galore. We argue
and go to war
with mosquitoes.
Summer brings moths that come to the door
and beat their wings in Jesuit frenzy. Crickets
conduct great symphonies to the firefly ballet
of lightning bugs
that flicker the lawn. The sky is full
of heat lightning. The moon
looks bigger than life.
Summer
is like that. It is a glutton of gifts from God to us
and from us to our spouse and family. It is art to be hung
on a friend’s wall. It is a wish come true. Summer
is Happy Birthday.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

I will be at the Blue Phoenix Book Store in downtown Alpena on Saturday May 13th from 1:00 to 3:00 for a reading and book signing for anyone that would like to partake. Please do introduce yourself due to time, distance and senility. Just kidding, I still have all my faculties though I may not have had any in 1970.

 

 

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Reading from “City Slicker’s Guide to the Amish Country”

Poetry Reading at Open Mike Night

The Lamp Maker

We live in a world in need of those with the magic of light. Men that can capture the glow and the twinkle from a witty man’s eyes. Men with sight. Men with imagination and wands to cast spells of warmth and delight— a Merlin, Aladdin or Fairview’s Lamp Maker.

Who? Mark Miles, the man who has made a quest to salvage the future from the past. The Amish Country’s magician who can reach into a barrel and coax a genie into a bottle, a toaster or a Coleman lantern. He turns the ordinary into extra-ordinary lamplight. Lamps that chuckle, giggle or gossip from a living room table.

Mark Miles, a 20 year Navy veteran now spends time combing through the inventories of second hand stores and flea markets where he looks for objects that call out from our childhoods. Coleman lanterns electrified can give us everyday reminders of quality time spent with our dads and grandpas. Vintage kitchen appliances repurposed connect us visually to grandma’s welcoming kitchen of years ago. You won’t believe the variety of antiques that he transmutes* into lighting, end tables, rustic flag holders, chairs and wine glass holders; all with his unique Americana style.

You can view many of the Lampmaker’s unusual designs on-line at his Facebook page: milesmakeovers, or for-sale in the windows of Fairview’s favorite bargain store, the Sunrise Thrift Shop, a few hundred paces east of the traffic light at the corner of M33 and M72.

*transmutes- alters or changes into something different than its original purpose.

.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
Excerpted from “City Slicker’s Guide to the Amish Country”
http://amzn.to/2n5srwa

I Saw It Coming, Parts 1-10 for catch-up and new followers

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I Saw It Coming, Parts 1-10 for anyone that would like to catch up and read my series without searching through my archives. I hope this makes it easy to join me as the story progresses. The Author.
I Saw It Coming
by Richard Rensberry
1

I hike everyday.  It is energizing and allows my spirit to open up to my surroundings.  I am able to observe with the spirit’s eye and see universes beyond the physical reality of things.  I am delighted to take photographs and collect artifacts like feathers and wood for use in recreating what I have seen in my imagination. 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

I Saw It Coming, Part 4

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I ran into The Vulture as he was coming out of Mrs. Cooley’s market.  He was carrying a paper bag with an assortment of healthy looking greens sticking out of the top.

“Good stuff.”  I remarked, gesturing toward the bag.

His eyes darted right, then left two or three times before he backpedaled.  Then he realized he had nowhere to go but out through me.

“How’s Skinny’s ankle?” I asked, hoping to disarm some of his mistrust.

The Vulture wanted no part of it.  He sidled further away.

“He been bothering you any?” I asked.

The Vulture stepped toward me and  feigned like he was going to scuttle out past me, but I didn’t budge.

“Those for your mother?”  I asked, pointing to the greens.

He mustered a slight nod of his head.

“Good lady.  Tell her Sugar says hi and wishes her a happy birthday.”

The Vulture dropped his guard slightly and a wry smile twitched his lips.

I turned to the side and let him scuttle past.  He rocketed up the street like a worried crab.

I had already decided that I needed to pay Skinny a visit and my encounter with The Vulture reminded me I had better confront the matter directly.  I needed him.  He was one of the cornerstones for Ned’s and my endeavor though I hadn’t confessed this point to Ned.

Skinny was fairly smart and in the scheme of things I knew that could be his downfall.  I needed to find out if his intelligence could be redirected toward a greater good and that would have a lot to do with how he perceived weakness and strength in himself and in others.  I was hopeful after what had transpired in the alley by Gordo’s Liquor Store that I had a running chance.

I found him down at Tin Man’s Doughnuts.  It was a popular hangout for many reasons.  Mostly it was cheap but the doughnuts were actually pretty good and the coffee was rich and flavorful.  The place was also lively.  There were always chess games and people playing cards.  It was populated by a mixed bag of gamers, gangsters, bookies and cops.  It seemed that everyone got along while indulging in gambling and sweets at the Tin Man’s.

I hadn’t been there for a few months, but nothing had changed.  it smelled of sugar and stale grease.  The Tin Man was parked behind the counter lording over the cash register.  He was very large, probably six foot five and 280 pounds.  I think that is why everyone seemingly got along.

He cordially nodded at me and I nodded back.

Skinny was at the counter with a pair of crutches leaning against the wall a few feet to his right.  His ankle was in a cast.  I’d heard rumors that he’d invented a story about how he had been the victim of a nasty skateboard fall.

“I hear you fell off your board,” I said standing directly behind him.

“Yah, took a good one over on Petrero.”  He said without turning around to see who I was.  “I really busted up my ankle.”

“Tough hill to skate,” I said.

“Not so much,” he replied, “I just don’t give a shit.”

“Me either,” I said, “your version is as good as gold to me.”

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

The QuickTurtle® Band, The 3 String Wheezer

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`      Howie Burn from CCB’s Radio Show “Tune In, Not Out” was scheduled to pick up the band at the airport.  The QuickTurtles had just left the Philippines and Howie was to meet them when they touched down in Seoul.  They had an interview set up at the restaurant in the hotel.

Unfortunately TBone was in one of his more meditative moods when they debarked.  He commandeered Howie to drop QT and Robbie off at the hotel and then directed Howie to head for the ocean minus a camera man.  Howie really didn’t mind, if he could get a few questions answered on the drive.  He could then write his article in the air-conditioned rental car while TBone traipsed around in the heat.

“I heard your new song, The Blue Guitar.”  Howie remarked.

“Creepy,” TBone replied as he looked out the window at Seoul.

When nothing further was offered, Howie plowed ahead.  “Are you having Alcohol issues, TBone?”

“See that pagoda with the green roof?” TBone asked, “I think that is the place QT and I ate the last time we were in town.  They have great Korean Barbecue.”

“You hungry?”  Howie asked.

“Not now.  I want to get to the beach and look for materials for this instrument that is rattling around in my head.”

“That song, TBone, are you doing okay?”

“Howie, I’m doing great.  It was just a song.  It was at the end of our tour.  We were stuck at the Limbo airport with nothing to do.  I wasn’t drinking or standing at urinals all night except in my imagination.  That’s what song writing is about.  We make it up.  We create something that’s not there.”

“Art imitates life,” Howie said.

“No, life imitates art,” TBone replied and set out to build an instrument that mimicked the chirp of the yellow birds that had been hanging around the hotel courtyard while the band was in Manilla.

TBone built what he dubbed “The 3 String Wheezer”.   After several aborted attempts he was able to pick the bird’s notes almost perfectly on it’s strings.  Now those damn birds keep showing up in strange hotels in places like Norway or Iceland.  Makes you want to chuck a handful of sunflower seeds just to appease them.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®