Header for the June issue – Park visited over Easter weekend.



My new novel To the End of Time and Back: An Epic Journey is available via Amazon and Kindle. It will grab you from the start and carry you to places you have never been. The book contains many diverse ideas and speaks to a number of universal truths. Questions? Email me. To read more click here. To go to Amazon, click here.

A number of individuals have sent some wonderful reviews. You can read some of them in Forum Section below.

Very Successful Book Reception on Saturday, June 20, 2015

Speaking with a customer

Author David Riggs (rt.), Judith Griffin owner of ReBOOK , and I enjoying a laugh before the start of the signing. Dave's new novel Bomarcus is quite a thriller–available on Amazon. It has everything the modern reader enjoys.

Dave and I planned the reception together which included Champagne, sparkling juice, and a variety of hor d' ourves.

Simply enjoying the social time. However, we were both pleased that we sold some books. I still have a ways to go to make the New York Times Best-Seller's List. Why not help me...:-).



This Page

  • Three Poems: I Am, Not Mere Peaks, and Early Morning Pill



    In Zion National Park

.Three Poems this Month


I Am

These two linguistic units
    state it all.
Despite the billions of words
    written about God,
    the Bible
    translates the Creator’s self-description
    into that brevity of spoken sound,
    “I am.”

Do we not also possess
    the power captured
    within those two words?
Are humans not unified
    with the entirety of nature?
We share the atoms
    of those who came before.
Our thoughts,
    our feelings
    affect others
    known and unknown.

We have the power of one
    to change ourselves
    and impact those around us.
Ones such as Ghandi and King
    revealed a new world.
Their first timid steps
    began with friends.

Adversity, anger, prejudice, hatred,
    all a blight upon us,
    can fall through the power
    of I am.

Comments: We sometimes underestimate the power we have.

Not Mere Peaks

The Patriarchs peer down
    on the humans below.
In their shadow
    the sun seems less hot.
The Paiutes and those before
    have honored these sacred peaks
Their gods have dwelled there
    since the beginning
    protecting their people.
We also stand in reverence.

Comment: Early Christian explorers named these peaks after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, the Native Americans who lived in the area over the eons, the names honored their gods who lived there.

Early Morning Pill

Cool is the theme
    on this early June morning.
Spinning legs
    warm the body
    while the Utah sun
    warms the day.
Nothing like an early morning spin
    before the obligations
    of the day consume you.
If only all the pills
    were this easy to swallow
    and good for the body.
Comment: Lighthearted, no explanation needed.

Look carefully. You can see hikers on the Virgin River loop.

Any of the park restaurants provide good fare.

Practicing tai chi on the Hampton lawn just outside the park.

A view of the Patriarchs. A larger picture is further below.

Ample wildlife is present to amaze one.

Main road through the park

A very tourist day–hikers everywhere

Vignette this Month: Eulogy to Uncle Shorty

I really regret that I am not able to attend the funeral of my Uncle Shorty. I could not rearrange my flight schedule to arrive on time for the services. I want to thank Harvey for his willingness to read the following:

Many of you knew my uncle as Ray, but from earliest youth until the present, I knew him as "Shorty." I would like to share a few memories with you of this kind, quiet soul.

As a boy of about 8 or 9, Uncle Shorty taught me how to fish, bait the hook and on a few occasions remove the fish. We both knew that my career path was not destined to be a fisherman.

As a young man he enjoyed hunting. He would sometimes give Mom one of his trophies which we had for dinner. We always had to be careful to not bite into a pellet. He also provided us with rabbit. Only when I grew older and went to gourmet restaurants did I learn what a delicacy rabbit is.

One year during squirrel season Shorty shot one and discovered that there were babies in the tree nest. He climbed up and rescued them and presented one of them to me to raise. He explained what I needed to do to feed it. That gray squirrel became my favorite pet of all time. I raised it for over a year constructing in my backyard a large pen from old screen doors. One day I came home for lunch, I think I was in sixth grade, and decided to play with him before returning to class. He would not go back into his pen. I was afraid I would be tardy and left. Yes, he was gone upon my return. About a year later a lone gray squirrel came up to me, stood there, and officially bid me goodbye. Over the years the neighborhood of gray squirrel population grew rapidly. He was a busy boy.

While in junior high my uncle taught me how to fry an egg properly; I still use his techniques today. (Ed.: He remained a bachelor until well into his 50s.)

In high school Shorty introduced me to one of his passions, raccoon hunting. I remember the fun and excitement as well as the bitter cold. I don't think I have ever been as cold as on those late hunts until midnight, dogs braying, also knowing I had to be up to school the next day. Mom and Dad had the rule that no matter what time I returned, school was a must.

My final anecdote is a bit humorous. During my adolescence a French movie came out with a rising star named Bridget Bardot. The movie was called And God Created Woman (1957), extremely tame by today's standards. Of course, all my friends had heard about it and definitely wanted to see it. But how? As luck would have it, Mom and Dad were at the gift show in Chicago and Grandma Stevens was watching us. My buddy Dave and I decided to ask Shorty if he would take us to the local drive-in where the movie was showing. We really didn't inform him about the content. What an education Dave and I got that night. Shorty had little to say, but I think he too enjoyed it. We kept that venture a secret for many years.

Throughout adulthood Shorty and I have remained in contact through a variety of ways. But I want to close with the simple statement that I loved him and appreciate forever the experiences he provided and the lessons he taught me. On this your birthday, may you enjoy eternity with your Creator.

(Raymond "Shorty" Stevens was buried on his 87th birthday.)

The Patriarchs.
A view of the Virgin River from the hiking bridge
Many travel here to hike along the Virgin River and eventually reach the narrows that follow along the cliffs, water sometimes to the waist. You can see the start.
Typical park scenes
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