Gypsy Dances With Death

In the spirit of Halloween, a mysterious image.....



Taking inspiration from the famous Beatles' album cover, 'Revolver' -their most iconic album covers after the even more famous Sgt. Pepper cover - I created this image of myself and peppered it with various things I like to draw. A kind of 'welcome to my world' bit of whimsy.


Open For Debate....

Are China and the U.S. on a collision course that will lead to conflict over control of the world's remaining fossil fuel reserves and other dwindling resources? Or will their partnership shape the remainder of the 21st century in ways that positively address the many challenges we face? I don't have the answers, and neither does anybody else! But it is certainly a question worth debating, don't you think?

I will be doing just that (taking the side that resource depletion indicates Sino-U.S. conflict), along with master debater James Papatones.

The event is September 25th, from 7:30, and it is sure to be a stimulating and thought provoking evening. Hope to see you there!


New Book Project in the Works

These watercolors are for a children's book I am working on now with a Japanese author.

The title, if it were to be translated into English, would be "Where Is Everybody?"


Lady Sings The Beatles

Well, I'm no Jimmy Kimmel in the impersonation department, but I do a passable Billie Holliday. Two great departed artists, Billie and George Harrison, find their way to what I think would have been a very nice cover of a great song. Hope you feel likewise.
Link below:

Lady Sings The Beatles


Upcoming Book! "The Angel Corps"

Here is the cover design, still a work in progress, for a book that I will release in the late summer or early fall of this year, titled "The Angel Corps; The Necessity of Putting Others First"

The publisher will be InkNBeans Press

I will post more information as it develops!


'Letting Go' is now a video

Please click on the link to see my newest movie, narrated by Matthew Carlsen, on Youtube.


Best Intentions

Glib and insouciant, the president makes jokes about the madness he’s unleashed,
surrounded by his paymasters, who, rubbing sweaty palms together, gather round a feast;
Meanwhile men and women die on foreign fields; 
war is a commodity and death is all it yields
And it’s all over in time,
We lose our bodies first, and then we lose our minds
And when we lose our memories we rush to get in line
And rejoin the dance
We spin round and round,
and round and round
Till black is white and up is down

somewhere on Saturn a wise and precocious child stares in disbelief
At a holograph that shows a world not far away where battles rage and hatreds never cease
Moved to act, he vows to heal the suffering he sees; 
makes his deal with destiny, and leaves his life of ease
And it’s all over in time,
He sheds his body first, and then he sheds his mind
And shedding last his memory, rushes to get in line
And enjoin the dance
spinning round and round,
and round and round
and round 

hearts filled with gratitude, two parents gaze with pride upon their unexpected child
who is wise beyond his years, and very clear that he is here to serve a purpose that propels him from inside
Magically, it seems, he grows up in the public’s eyes; 
soon powerful men rush in and chart his stellar rise
And it's all over in time,
They push him forward till he's frontmost in the line
and, having drowned his memory in flattery and wine
they enjoin the dance
they spin round and round
and round and round
and round

he wonders why even now the stars seem to call to him, when he looks at the sky on winter nights
Could it be that he’s still the same child who long ago believed that he was sent to set the world aright?
And it’s all over in time,
We lose our bodies first, and then we lose our minds
And when we lose our memories we rush to get in line
And rejoin the dance..

and spin round and round and round and round and round......




"I'll make you!", he promised the lovely young singer,
"the city will fall at your feet!"

As one who'd just moved from a provincial village,
and having scant portions to eat,
the girl was seduced by the vision he offered
of glamor and money and fame;
she'd striven and practiced
and mastered her voice,
and felt she deserved such acclaim;

she could sense he had power, an animal kind,
and would battle for her like a bull,
success in the Arts, after all, comes from smarts
of a kind not acquired at school;

The lust in his eyes; well, it was no surprise
every buck in her village had shown it;
a girl who has charms that few men can resist,
if she wishes to prosper, must own it

She had no intention of being his lover,
she'd engaged in such games long before;
a girl could, she knew, to a line make men hew
that would make her more master than whore

With clinking champagne flutes, the pair launched their mission
to make her the toast of the town;
between them was more than enough raw  ambition
to knock every obstacle down

In scarcely a year since the day of their meeting 
her fame, like a rocket, did soar;
she played Carmen, Aida, Tosca,
Olympia, Lucia di Lammermoor

To her all the doors of the city flew open
with he as her mentor and guide;
he'd offered to Paris its newest sensation, 
and his heart fleetly grew flush with pride

He began to imagine that through such success
not a debt, but her heart he had earned;
One night, in her dressing room, after a show
he attempted a kiss, but was spurned

"Heartless ingrate!" he sputtered in mounting rage,
"I'm taking back all that I gave you;
from your perch you shall topple, my haughty young fool,
and nothing on this earth will save you!"

And soon, as if some magic spell had been broken
his cruel prophecy was fulfilled;
her skin lost its luster, her beauty diminished
her once dulcet voice became shrill

New divas emerged to attract the town's interest
while she became yesterday's story;
she'd have gladly become his slave, body and soul,
in exchange for her lost former glory

But, where was the man who had given, then taken
and in whom all hope for her lay?
Their last exchange closed with a  kiss and a curse,
and she'd heard not a word since that day

And no word would she hear, for the man disappeared
why, all traces of him had been scattered;
had it all been a dream? So, to her, did it seem
as her world fell around her and shattered

No aria rises to offer redemption,
there's naught but these words on a page;
Two phantoms, laid low by Desire, in silence
now tragically drift off the stage


A Menagerie Mystery Tour II

Let's take a menagerie mystery tour
through the animal songs of the Fabulous Four!
T'was one of the Beatles' most endearing features
to pen many songs about non-human creatures
So, here they are! Paul's, George's, Ringo's and John's
critters who crawled in and out of their songs!

Man's Best Friend; there's a fine place to start,
so let's meet the sheepdog who melted Paul's heart;
Martha, his love, always kept him delighted,
and yapped from on high when the good Sir was knighted

on The Beatles' White album, a black bird gets mentioned
it's Paul's allegory about racial tensions
And then there is Rocky, the feisty raccoon
who finds his salvation above a saloon

John gives us Henry the Horse, and his waltz
in his whimsical circus song, laden with shmaltz

"I Am The Walrus!", obscurely sang John
causing listeners to ponder just WHAT he was on
curiouser and curiouser the song's lyrics grow
till penguins are kicking poor E. Allen Poe!

Before "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"'s refrain
a lizard slinks by on a slick window pane
and later, to prove he was nobody's flunky
John sang that he'd nothing to hide, nor his monkey

George, feeling righteous; t'was often his wont 
penned 'Piggies', the rich upper classes to taunt

while Ringo's no wordsmith, he (begging his pardon)
still managed an octopus tending his garden

and still there were more of their animal cronies;
George followed a Blue Jay, while John dug a pony;
Elephants, tigers, a bulldog or two
The Beatles bequeathed us a musical zoo!
And though it was love songs that gave them their fame

let's recall that a crawler provided their name!


The Admiral & The Prince of Whales

The Admiral & The Prince of Whales

I'm a seafaring admiral!
well, I'm the Prince of Whales;
let's chat a bit, for - I'm sure of it -
we both have thrilling tales

I fought with sea serpents thrice your size
while my crew mates quivered in fear;
t'was how I got my admiral's stripes
and a scar upon my ear

I plunged the deepest, darkest depths
quite eager to explore, 
and there I saw a giant squid
with twenty limbs, or more!

I've battled pirates wickeder than
devils beyond the Styx,
took all I had to overcome
their cunning pirate tricks

my songs have brought the angels down
from Paradise to hear
a golden harp they gave me;
it's a treasure I hold dear

a wave once rose to drown my ship
'twas higher than the sky
but I'm a seasoned sailing man,
victorious was I!

I've swum from pole to pole
and drunk from all the Seven Seas
all brine upon this turquoise pearl
I navigate with ease!
I too! I've tasted all
the ocean's bounties and its banes;
it's made me! Why, it's brine,
not blood, that courses through my veins!

Time's never wasted talking with
a gent who knows the sea!
Likewise, good prince; yet, leave I must

my mom is calling me!


Thomas Tobias Underwear & Penelope Lingerie

Thomas Tobias Underwear & Penelope Lingerie
set out at noon to take in the views,
and receive a few, I'd say!

They headed up Amsterdam Avenue,
and somewhere near John the Divine,
they chatted away at a sidewalk cafe
and reddened their cheeks with wine

It was something of a mystery
that the Museum of Natural History
would not let the couple inside
'Why, how can this be? What's more natural than we?"
But they took the letdown in stride.

They continued their lark,
and in Riverside Park
they gazed off at the GWB;
till strong winds off the river
caused Penny to shiver,
so they went off in search of tea

Beneath the Ansonia, a touch of pneumonia
caused Tom to beg off their visit to MOMA
and thus, they ended their expedition
without checking out the Chagall exhibition


The Elephant Goddess

I didn’t make my lovely ones so you
could hack off parts;
or place in zoos, or circuses 
all painted up like tarts;
their ivory IS lovely, yes,
but made for THEM, not you;
they’re much too smart and 
social to be happy in a zoo;
to me, they are the mammal kingdom’s
fairest, finest creatures;
It took great care and patience
to design their lovely features;
with potent cosmic energy 
I danced them into being,
so honor, love and treasure them
and set about their freeing!

A City Girl!

Oh, I’m such a city girl!
I love the lights, the brights, the wining, dining divine nights!
the looks of desire, hearts set afire
taxi gliding, sky scraping spires!
casual flirtations, watering stations
galleries, fashion shows, newest sensations!
champagne, city rain, chats with strangers on a train
Tomorrow, I'll do it all again!
I love the city life!


Upon A Rhino's Lap

My favorite place for perching is upon a rhino’s lap
It’s there I daydream, sing, imagine, read and take a nap.
It’s spacious as a royal mattress, or a sultan’s chair;
and all the while the rhino's giant snout shades me from glare.

A rhino’s faulty eyesight gives a Rhino Sitter clearance
to worry not a tad about one’s looks or one’s appearance.
His mild, placid manner means you seldom need to worry
that he will suddenly aright and take off in a hurry.

I sat upon an ostrich once, but nothing’s more preposterous!
I’m taking no more chances and will stay with my rhinoceros.
And though I’m yet a youngling there’s one thing 
for sure I know;
one’s life passes most pleasantly when
perched on a rhino!


Howard Empty Pockets

This is a quick, collaborative effort, created with friends Hugh Ashton and Peter Sidell, who provided some of the verses.

Howard Empty Pockets

Howard Empty Pockets is forever 
in the red; he used to have a
bit of cash, but bit by bit
it fled.

"Whatever happened to it all?"
He asks in some dismay;
"It's flown to others' hands now, 
all I do is pay and pay!"

"I used to live a life of ease,
and dined on caviar.
But now my daily meal is peas,
and pickles from a jar."

"I drove a fancy Rolls-Royce once,
unlike the rest of us.
But now, I end up walking
or on good days, take the bus."

"I drank from crystal glasses,
and it always was champagne;
but now when I feel thirsty,
I just have to wait for rain."

"My pockets used to jingle
as I strode along the street.
There's nothing now but holes there,
and somehow, that's not so neat."

"When life was good, the ladies
used to swarm 'round me like bees!
But now the only swarms I
ever think about are fleas."

"Alas", he says, "I must adjust 
to my reduced condition."
And bidding me a sad farewell, he heads
back toward the mission.



The Baby War

Here is my newest video, which is posted on my Youtube page.
The Baby War

I have written a satire, a bit in the manner of Jonathan Swift, or perhaps George Orwell's "Animal Farm". The rhymes, of course, are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, and perhaps his "The Sneeches" could also be viewed as inspiration.

It's a sad story, but it is a message I feel very strongly about, concerning 'chickenhawk' leaders and the nonsensical things that wars are fought over.

The Baby War

The pleasant hamlet Babytown and quiet town of Babyville
were situated very close and separated by a hill
the babies of both town and ville had lots of things to do
like giggling, bawling, sleeping crawling, playing peek-a-boo
plus pooping, burping, dribbling, slurping, just as babies will
so passed their days, the folks of Babytown and Babyville

The Grand Poo-Bah of Babyville and B Town’s Generalissimo
were hard at work from morn till evening maintaining the status quo
they ordered diapers, baby clothes for tiny girls and boys
pureed bananas, formula and lots of plushy toys
they scheduled bathings, nap times and, of course, some time for play
and issued simple orders even babies could obey

Relations twixt the two town’s heads were cordial, only rarely
most of the time, they’d merely tolerate each other, barely
The General’s bulk procurements caused delivery delays
that left Babyville diaper-less on far too many days!
the Poo-Bah filled his protest screeds with words so poorly chosen
that diplomatic channels ‘tween the burgs were often frozen
yet, long as both men kept their broods on their side of the hill
a fragile peace endured between B-Town and Babyville

 A gala celebration to commemorate its founding
was held in Babyville's town square and areas surrounding
a marching band of babies banged on drums and blew kazoos
Miss Babyville was honored with bronze plated baby shoes
a hundred helium balloons were sent into the air
a  brightly colored spectacle that rose above the square
a red one caught a zephyr and was carried o'er the hill
bearing a bold insignia that said, simply, “Babyville"

As helium diminished the balloon began to fall
it bopped and bobbled down the hill and bumped into a wall
it seemed content to stay there till a passing gust of air
provided one last flight, across the wall, and left it there
ensconced in Babytown, it didn’t take long for the toy
to catch the eyes and interest of a chubby baby boy
who picked it up and mouthed it, squeezed it, rolled it to and fro
then left it at the doorstep of the Generalissimo

“What’s THIS?”, the General bellowed, as his voice began to rise
“They’ve claimed our land; why, I can see it, here, before my eyes!”
“They’ve gone too far! This will not stand!”, and firm in his decision
he quickly penned a missive filled with taunts, threats and derision
when it arrived in Babyville the gala had just ended
The Grand Poo-Bah received it, and was massively offended
“It’s war he wants, eh? Well, by god, he'll have it, then, and soon!
I’ve put up far too long now with this muscle-headed goon!”

The babies gathered in the squares of Babyville and Babytown
and from high podiums both town’s leaders to their people shouted down,
“I didn’t want to choose this option; I’ve been forced into it.
Sometimes a leader’s task is hard, but he must not eschew it.
Our destiny stands at our door! We must be bold, not fear it!"
(both speeches were identical in wording, tone and spirit)
And thence the babies of each town were ushered to a stall
where weaponry long held in store was handed to them all

The babies, rather lost as to the use of sword and shield
toddled behind their leaders and converged upon a field
the two armies faced off, and, to prepare for the attack
both leaders dropped behind to issue orders from the back
“Take heart, my children”, both men shouted, “Glory will be yours!
for history’s tale is one of heroes, victories and wars!”
each diapered soldier, steady as the moment would allow
clung to the silence broken by a fiercely bellowed “NOW!”

Then all was bedlam! Rushing forth in answer to the call
the babes fell fast upon each other like a sudden squall
Innocents until then, having never hurt a fly
their lives now held two options; fight or falter, kill or die
and so they fought; their trusted leaders seeming not to care
that babies screamed in agony and blood was everywhere
and by the time the yellow dawn gave way to drizzling rain
a hundred babes were fallen; dozens wounded, dozens slain

But still their leaders urged them toward the center of the field
“We’ve nearly won! Keep going! Don’t surrender! Never yield!”
And then, before they knew it, they were standing nose to nose
the two men glared and strove to strike a frightening warrior’s pose
but shaky knees and pounding hearts belied their staged temerity
The General, having been exposed, proclaimed with all sincerity,
“I say we end this war!” The  Poo Bah nodded his assent
and each man gave the ceasefire order to his regiment
and with determined voices, told the babies, horrified
the war had been a just one, and its martyrs glorified

The fallen ones were carried back, graves dug and wounds attended
and scars formed o’er the inner wounds that never would be mended
in Babyville a statue was erected in the square
while B’town’s war memorial can be seen from everywhere
in speeches spun to render as a dream the pain of war
the leaders reassured the townsfolk there would be no more
It’s said the wind sounds like the cries of babes high on the hill
that casts dark shadows over Babytown and Babyville