Category Archives: UP TO THE MINUTE


On a night such as this in a land far away came the Raven ~ joyously surfing the warm winds of night, a breathtaking sight, such effortless might mocking the dusk with her spellbinding flight. A luminous bird with jet black bright eyes. The truth in her passion seared holes in the sky. She held close to her heart a message which bore, “I am Raven of Faith, I’m a great beast in haste.  I’m the very same bird of your ancestor’s lore.”

Having never known fear, our entire town cheered. We silenced our trembling so each one could hear. She circled our village with precision and glee. There were moments I felt she looked right into me. Although it was night the sky remained bright; a thrilling, astonishing, brilliant white light. She finally descended our ancient oak tree. We circled around, my people and me, making certain & sure our babies could see.

“Come hither, dear friends. It’s been such a long time. My heart is near bursting to give you God’s rhyme. His word is His promise and now is the time.” As she started to speak our knees become weak. Some of us fainted, a few of us shook while most of our babies just giggled and looked.  

“Our loving Creator expressing His mind had fashioned your souls at the beginning of time. An infinite number of worlds came to be, much like the proverbial flowering tree. He gave each soul free will which you all possess still, so thanks for embracing me here on this hill. Now if lift your head high and gaze  into the eyes of our creator’s sky, the words written there will make your hearts sigh. “

“My treasure, my children, you are all dear to me. Everyone’s here I am happy to see. First may I say how proud you’ve made me? You’re my divine proof of just how great love can be.  While other worlds plundered my great gifts of wealth, you consistently used them with wisdom in health. You have never waged war. You have never kept score. You give all your heart and when asked you give more. You have treated this land with the utmost respect. You have never shown hate or callous neglect. You have never preached lies or righteous division. You use all of my love in every decision. While others defamed you, you sincerely forgave, so all of your souls I will assuredly save. Know without doubt, we’ll never part. Forever we live with the same beating heart.”

Then there was silence as our hearts filled with bliss. It was a magical moment not to be missed as we savored the warmth of our sweet Savior’s kiss, when the Raven did come on a night such as this.



HE SAID: I am only human. My voice is powerful so I never shout. We share many of the same thoughts. We come from the same womb. The source of all our inspiration never cries but laughs a lot.”

HE SAID: Do not take it upon yourself to sit in judgment of your fellow man. A man takes the life of one man & then you punish him by taking his life. Who will punish you for that very same offense? Compassion makes me happy. Forgiveness gets me high.

HE SAID: Be happy. It is your birthright to know joy forever. When pain comes & come it shall, embrace it rather than run away. You will never be able to hide. So sharpen your courage. Kiss the ground you walk on. Take the path your heart desires. Be kind & love life. This is my devout wish & hope & plan for you. He smiled a smile of ecstasy as he turned towards the rose dusked sky & slowly walked away.










My name is Prophet, but they call me, “Hey, you!” I’m a penniless drifter shod poorly, diseased & despised. I sing for a seat near the hall down the path to the shed used by swine. I’m gleeful with joy for any place to dine. Crafty by circumstance, I am blessed with a spark of divine mind. I trade hope for shelter. I barter truth for a comfortable lie.
I feel privileged, indeed, honored to share my most cherished possession with whatever lurking beast or saint there may come a knocking on the door of my rice paper heart.
The possession I speak of is my inner light, my love;, the most powerful force in the universe. More often than not I possess neither food nor shelter but light has never let me down. My huckster mind tries convince me otherwise. To that joker inside my skull I say, “Shyster thoughts be damned!” Belief does not make an invidious fantasy real.
Those evenings I am cold, angry, lonely, rejected & filled with remorse for coming to this place in the first place, are the same evenings I forget to be grateful. On these occasions nights crawl painfully slow to that trickster I call dawn.
What I lack in essentials I make up in wisdom. Vagabond wisdom is priceless so I give it away for free.
I must. Like my father before me I stand hunchback just as his father before him. My deformed stoop is the result of an incalculable weight I carry upon my shoulders.
My mother raised in New York City’s west side shanty town; Hell’s Kitchen. My father was orphaned at the age of two under crushing dank Mississippi Delta poverty which knows no equal. Foreboding omens for both of them, They fought back their twisted fate of birth with passion, ideals & love. They had to dig deep to survive. I have learned to dig even deeper. I have learned to love getting dirty. Either do or die.
Yet I wonder if being born deformed & senseless is easier to bear than this weight, this soul numbing weight?
I fear the worst should I stumble or fall. I fear for the innocents striding between land and cobalt blue seas. When I fear it is because I’ve abandoned gratitude. Sometimes my unbridled dejection paralyzes my connection to God. It is easiest then to dismiss divine light as a dreamer’s hallucinations run amok. And I do. Yes, I do. I dismiss like a diva.







My prophet rises from snow white sands. He is cut & bruised with bloody hands. His metamorphosis is marked by purple flowering feathered wings immaculately conceived. He reaches into the eye of the sky & fondles memories from before my time, back when this river flowed with twice its heart & the sky more volatile with twice its strike. When this desert land was twice as young, He walked along these very skies now dusk’d across my mind like a churning holy electrical explosion.

My prophet rises from the deep blue sea with gaping wounds for all to see. His metamorphosis is marked by the inhalation of deep & conscious breath. His yellow diamonds are draped upon his brawny chest strung side by side with cosmic thread. He is future, present & the past. He’s courage fed by fathers brave & mothers strong. They’ve taught him well, both right & wrong. This world unceasingly expands its view. With opened eyes & a child’s pride, He is my harness. I love this ride.

My Prophet rises. I am He. I’ve wept in pain but now I’m free. Upon this sand my heart is burned. There is so much I have to learn. My metamorphosis is marked by the song of my soul echoing through the cathedral of my mind. I know I am more than looks perceive. My well is full. I have no greed. Christ is here & surely bleeds. He is my lover. I am He.



I’m your lady in waiting. Your my man on the moon. I’m Magda. You’re Anjum. We’ve Indigo eyes. I’m Mosena. You’re Sallie. We’re two of a kind. You’re Marty. I’m Moses; We never chose love, it is love that chose us. We’re sisters & brothers, spiritual lovers … 

… I was an innocent in the time of the great plague. I survived while all of the giants raptured around me. I believe I was meant to live before and after the great deluge. I believe we were all meant to live before and after the rapture.

The most merciful and kind were the first to go. Only the good die young. We’re still alive. Only the strong survive. It is the meek who shall inherit the earth.

Life is short but terribly eternal. Regardless the seconds or decades we are gifted with, the remaining moments of our journey will be mercy and kindness incarnate. We are sisters and brothers. We’re opened windows without any walls. If one of us trips, all of us fall.



His ascension came twenty-one days to the day he left his beautiful body. A silhouette was all that we could define through the sun drenched smile he wore. It is impossible to mistake his world-class smile for that of any other. A starlight flurry of goodness blotted out the pain of our broken hearts just as dawn galloped in.

We told each other later that we had witnessed a chariot of gold sutured with platinum thread; a glistening chassis beriched beyond conception with spinning, light-bolted studs & each masterpiece capped with an astonishing precious gem. Some jewels were not of this world. Some jewels were not even of this universe… such magnificence as none of us had ever seen nor would ever see again… a true sweet chariot of the gods propelled by the holy willed power of four & twenty black maned stallions of equal majesty. They pulled the suns & moons from galaxies nearest our own across a royal blue-blooded, yoke-tinged, cobra-laced sky.

Our souls, bedazzled & breathless, reflexively thrust an ovation onto the astrolabe of dawn. Only delicate golden orioles could be heard singing good morning to this beautiful day. Alex preferred it this way. In a favorite past incarnation he was a Roman Augur, therefore his heart was rich with fondness for every winged being he ever knew.

Ruby red diamonds, yellows, blues & Tahitian black pearls from yet another sweet time & place rained upon everyone~ pulsing unified code~surfing crazy shiny-mind waves of Mother Milky Way. Their mirrors reflected wondrous images. Among them were holy men washing the feet of beggar men & the women who keep the fires burning dancing a fantastic dance, millions of them & more but numbers do not go up that high, especially where numbers don’t count at all.

There were many women dancing a fantastic dance. I was reminded of the Black ladies who sing the gospels; from the hips, hands to the sky, left then right; a supplication out to front then down to the ground and over again.. There were smiles everywhere & love, joy & more joy. If you could get close enough to these mahogany ladies you’d find that there is a lot of space & a great freedom around each one, yet from a distance they look packed together moving in unison; perfect choreography like a water dance; up, down, left, right & happy. Did I mention happy?

This must be the part of heaven God has reserved for poets, from the first poet to the last, from infant poets to great ancient oracles. Everything alive & electrical is heading the same way. Everyone loving the same because love moves in the same direction as our galaxy & the cosmos. It must be the joy of the spiral, from helical strands of DNA to the great spiraling universes. It is a perpetual blossoming. It makes a happy sound. Our nature is a happy sound. Laughter. Smiles. It is a great way to live. It would be a wonderful way to die if there was such a thing as death.

Alex smiled his way throughout the universe just as he had done throughout our lives. He never cared for anything in the world but pure love. God loved him for that. We all did. We all do. More than anything else, more than his mind-blowing mastery of numerous forms of art & branches of science, Alex Johns was a great poet. They say the same about saints who come to visit us. The love of great poets defies profound. Such purity of soul makes you want to cry. I don’t know why they bother with us unless it is because they love us so much… as much as we love them.




In various shades of suede stood Rex, King of the Goliaths. The Great Dane beauty had lived his life according to universal laws. Kilos of muscle, tendons & fierce intelligence griped the cliffs to Heaven’s Gate. Behind him, carrying a pail of lotus leaves, galloped Alex. I loved him for that. 
I witnessed a field of Mandarin Poppies bleed orange into the horizon. I saw both giants lay dying to their earthly vessels on the very cliffs of desire were Alex & I first met the Golden Bear, FREY. 
Where the sky meets the raging sea my desires – our lives  – now dreams wept along the mouth of the mourning coast. Big Sur cried throughout the night. Angels sighed as the ocean (lapping needling pines) did showed such compassion that the rains came.
As evening dipped into pitch-black ink of night, my dear two giants laying there gave witness to eternal splendor. I loved them both for that. Frosted magma breached the shore where I lay crying for what seemed forever.
Morning came. All was calm. I looked to where the giants had laid down their heavy journey. On the very spot they had been supinely entwined near the raging sea with her blue-ocean-eyes wide opened were two splendid giant purple feathered birds of paradise. I love God for that. 
Image result for great dane



I am a Lion, a child of the Sun.

I’m proud of my pride and royal blue blood.

I listen to all but answer to none.

I am a Lion with wings on my sides.

I use them to flee but never to hide.

I’ve known sorrow and wonder.

I have laughed and I’ve cried.

I am a Lion on a cobalt blue sky.

I have ruby-red diamonds where others have eyes.

I am a prophet to some because I have died.

I am a Lion with a powerful roar.

When I’m pacing the earth, cowards will run.

There isn’t a battle I haven’t won.


I am shocked to learn of the passing of a man who would be the only guy in my life who’d ever come close to being a role model to me. I may have pretended sometimes not to understand or even hear what he had to say, but I never missed his meaning or his message. I grieve his loss, along with my closest family members & so many other great people made greater for having known him. Dear Michael, a wonderful father and brilliant husband to my beautiful sister, Johanna.

Michael Spoljaric … his greatest gift, among many, was his ability to make us laugh. More than that for me. From early on in my life he taught me the most essential qualities of what is required to become a man; walk tall, hold my head up in pride, remember my name is my honor, be true to who I am, never forget where I come from, never forget who I am,  Know that a real man isn’t afraid to cry … and of course, when the going gets tough, protect that face at all costs and run like hell knowing he would always have my back.

I hold these truths to be self-evident to this very day ~ over half a century later. What more could a kid who was going his own way long before that notion became popular among rebellious youth ask for? He certainly didn’t have to, yet he did because he cared.

A rare breed is a man whose powerful inner bravado is made of the courage & faith of a ”man’s man”. He never lost sight of who he was; the real deal-a take no prisoners straight-shooting from the hip no-bull man when it came to telling it the way he saw it. He was a king of tough love. Only a prince with a gentle soul can become such a man. There is no irony here, one is the prerequisite of the other.

He found himself when he found the love of his life, everlasting love in the heart & soul of my remarkable sister, Johanna. With his guidance, we all watched in awe as Johanna stepped into her own power. With his patience and deep love, we also saw her bloom into the woman she is today, a woman who has the strength of character so finely etched unto the history of all our lives, who is loved so much by those who are also blessed to be brushed by her gentle heart.

It is a new world dawning, fast becoming a woman’s world. Thanks to the trailblazers. Such a one is Johanna. I wonder if Johanna knows this is how we feel about her? To marvel at the two of them together is fitting. There is no Michael as we know him without Johanna. The two are forever one fierce force & fiercely loved in the eyes & divine mind of our beloved creator.

Michael was the rock in our family. He held the demons at bay which at one time had tried their best to get the best of us kids and my beloved mother. How does anyone say thank you enough to a towering figure of such a profound impact? I love you? We all did, and not just for the reasons I say above. It bears repeating: Michael was a wonderful father to his children, my niece and nephew, Christina & Michael Jr., and his beautiful grandchildren. He was a brilliant husband to his equally brilliant wife decade after decade, my beautiful and compassionate sister, Johanna.

I am there alongside all of those who loved him for being a true human being. Life is short but terribly eternal. Some of us are mortal, while still others are gifted immortality. We do not choose one or the other.

Dear Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, the ball is in your court. Michael has achieved that which cannot be gained without you (dear loving creator), holding his hands from the moment he was born until now, as Michael is born once again. Some people are just lucky that way.






A diva doused in deep scarlet diamonds, black sable, and hair electric blue, held her place before me as our elevator fell free from the top of the World Trade Tower. Between heaven and hell, I fell in love. This much I could feel, this much I was sure of. I felt shame at being nothing and nobody she could love. I flashed back to the ghetto I was branded by. Blank-eyed, my head tilted forward, out and down.

My perspective was a hawk’s eye view of Hades. Fifty-third and third … mine, mine, mine … use to be mine … my corner … when I was fourteen. Upon the littered streets of Chelsea, Sheridan Square, Christopher Street, the pier, the trucks, and my old neighborhood over off Bank street by HB Studios, lay debris, detriment, and minced miniature genitalia of yesterday’s used-up action figures greeting good morning through hazed, petrol-glassed, excremental eyes.

That was yesterday. Today? Well, today … I felt her. She felt it! Damn it! Oh, oh … truth hurts. I hurt. It hurt. Immediately. Yet, my fantasies still flew wild! Just as the hawks on Fifth Avenue do when the pigeons fly their loops. As her black satin heels hit the curb I found the courage to raise my head. She had glee’d me into submission with her eyes and then she ate my heart to shreds. A praying Mantis widowed black is unbearably attractive.

A trickster out-tricked by a trickster! That’s a switch! I was sure she was the one. I felt it. She made me feel that way. This must be what it feels like to be an old whore after Mardi Gras. In the first moment, being mortal, I suffered profoundly. In the next, my blank stare turned starry as I gazed in wonder. Her eyes darting to and fro. Her gold-leafed head-turning circles, I wondered, “How did she do that?” And then those eyes, those eyes, those oscillating glitter-opticals illuminating my barren heart … I simply turned to dust and blew away as she shimmered towards the fading light.

ART: Praying Mantis by Scott Utley 


I watch his hands move with loving precision over the Cessna’s instrument panel. It is hard to trust someone even when you have no choice. I know that an eight-inch piece of aluminum and a diesel engine are all that keeps my brother and I suspended over the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. It is a flawless summer day. We are thousands of feet above the static of life, nevertheless, I know he’s nuts. I know I will never truly know him or trust him, but I love this moment.
Richard Dee was born in NYC in the middle of a frigid winter evening directly in the center of a traumatized, brilliant, baffling, boisterous, manic and maniacal century, poised as it was, so it believed, at the mouth of apocalypse now. Every generation’s self-absorption is densely ego-centric, which makes it easy for every generation to be sincerely convinced they are the ultimate fruit of humanity’s labor.
Winter has a deeper heart than summer. Winter loves with a passion beyond measure, but winter also envies and detests the newborn, especially the firstborn. So, with an oblique malaise, an undefined sense of melancholy, Richard grew into a man, but he never thawed. He never knew spring. He was too busy careening through his days, blinding strangers with his mind; a  20th-century poster child for prosperity who spent more time exhaling than inhaling so the poor guy never had enough oxygen in his system. My own brother, stranger more to me now than he ever was has only his fears and my hand left to him in this life, and we are both scared to death. I tremble at the finality of transformation, but I remember the joy of rebirth.
Today is not a good day for me, God or Richard. For Richard, it is worse than ever. All the omens portend doom. When the Raven remains sheltered from the storm against her will, the wind will bite with a more brutal cunning. Today is not friendly to life living on earth’s flesh. Today doesn’t have enough ozone in its skin to shield my brother from the pain of being nailed. Chill is dressed up like a penguin at an execution. The med-van pulls up to Richard’s house. The wheelchair hoist delivers his body, blotched by melanomas and microscopic RNA jack-hammers. He is chiseled down to just a shell of his former self, and I am his lifeline. My heart cannot break any more than it has. It is already dark matter, but Richard’s heart is frenetic with music and voices that only the dying are privy to when they are as close as they are to the pulse of holy. His hair is thinning badly. He looks like what he is, a man dying of AIDS. It’s so hard on him. It’s hard.
I am reminded of my grandmother who died at 95 but insisted she was only 94. Vanity is death’s worst bedfellow. Richard would have laughed at this comment. But he’s not here, he’s flying his bird on skies that only immortals have the privilege to fly.

Mitchell Ray Walden by Scott Utley

Mitchell Ray Walden


October Sixteenth, 1965

October Eleventh, 1995


Here Lies Interred the body of

Mitchell Ray Walden

Who Suddenly Departed This World

On The Eleventh Day of October

Anno Domini Nineteen Hundred And Ninety Five

In The Twenty-Ninth Year of His Age

Just a boy

He’s just a kid

The most bedazzling spirit

I have ever known

Riding the wave of a new generation



He says

He says to no one in particular

Make me famous if you can


So naive and vulnerable

Revealing doubts courageously

Touching my heart with his wounded palm

The one that scarred from a rusty nail


Make me famous if you can

I need to know my life has meaning

I need to know my love is real


I pressed my lips upon his brow

He smiled that smile we all adore

… I wished him a safe passing



I said

I said to Mitch

I said to him I promise



Just wait

Just wait I said

Just wait and see what I will do

To make your memory lasting