History, Reviews.

The smartest Nazi

Book Briefly Noted, Title Spandau: The Secret Diaries, Author Albert Speer, Rating 4.0,

Spandau: The Secret Diaries

Albert Speer

Briefly Noted

Albert Speer, Hitler's personal architect and Reich Armaments Minister, kept a diary while he was in Spandau prison following his conviction at the post-war Nuremburg trials. These diaries provide a fascinating, hooded glimpse of the 'smartest man' in the Nazi leadership. At least, smart enough to evade the death penalty at the Nuremberg Trials ...
Poetry.

Breathing

I lie flat upon my back,
having just flung myself to the ground following the full effort of a bicycle ride up a long hill,
breathing deep and hard,
swallowing gulps of restoring air.

I feel my rib-cage lift against the fabric of my shirt as each breath enters my lungs,
my muscles and cartilage stretch to accommodate the air,
then rapidly compress,
expelling a rush of sound.

I attend to the bed of grass in which I lie,
its earthy smell of hay,
its tiny fruiting heads gently scraping against the skin of my forearms,
its stalks waving in the wind and against one another in soft whispers.

I feel the simple pleasure of being alive,
as a gentle breeze flows across my chest,
and the spring Sun shines down and warms my skin.

Around me all else in this glorious moment unnoticed,
ignored.

Just. Breathing.

From memories of a bike ride from Rodalben up Pirmasenser Strasse to the Husterhöh Kaserne, Pirmasens, Germany, 1975.

Literature, Reviews.

A good man cannot be found

Book Book Review, Title A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Author Flannery O'Connor, Rating 3.0,

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

Flannery O'Connor

Book Review

Within Flannery O'Conner's famed short story collection, a good man is not just difficult to find, but impossibly so. Thank God I am not Flannery O'Connor. I would not trade her ability to tell a story, and she is uncommonly good in some ways, for her brutal and dismissive view of the world. Harshness, of circumstance and character, forms her viewpoint; what is also redeeming finds little place in her stories.
Memoirs.

Memories of Shelby Ferguson

My sister-in-law, Shelby Ferguson, died recently while walking in her garden. Shelby was my wife Cindy's older sister, and I have known her for more than half of my life.

I married into the Ferguson clan, who made me a part of their family, and indeed, at home. Shelby was kind and gracious and loving to me, and made me feel welcome, and when I think of Shelby I will always remember that. Love you, Shelby.