Can be the heart of another

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I’ve been searching a long time, traveling all around the world, and sometimes that road was hard while waiting for you to come through. I moved along highways, climbed hills, trod the sand looking for a sign, not knowing what that sign might look like.

I sought out the mystic, sailed on the wind, and flew to foreign lands, all the time believing you would come. I followed the fog horns, believing you to be hiding offshore, in the mist, coming home on a bonnie boat. …


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There ought to be a carnival, a sky full of colored balloons drifting on the wind with tags on them saying… goodbye…goodbye…crossing the Golden Gate and on around the world on the trade winds of friendship.

I wish I had moved more slowly, taken more time to arrive at where friendship left off. I wish I had danced and dined more often, learned the meaning of each other’s glances, or taken note how quickly time was passing.

Your warmth and humour always had me feeling a little tipsy, light hearted, as if I’d eaten a perfectly ripe tomato and its…


Sitting in his nowhere land…

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Image: Author/Salesforce Tower

Union Square, even on a mild day, can be cold in the shadows. Men and women sleeping in doorways, or gathering on street corners shooting themselves up. As if these people do not exist, others hasten on by resisting pleas for money or smokes, on their way to buy clothes or meet for lunch.

San Francisco is out of sorts. Sickened. The city’s lower streets filled with years of doldrums, as if that malady had blown in under the Golden Gate Bridge, and the coming down of the mist off the headlands, tender as sleep…


Meeting a family on the shoreline

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Author with Thunder

I cried today, silly tears. Some longing I’ve never got right in my head.

I woke around 3.30 a.m., having slept five hours, grabbed my bathrobe, and headed down to the kitchen. I brewed a cup of tea and took it into the study, where I sat at my desk to write for an hour. Later I showered and dressed and around 5.00 a.m., went across to the barn. Darkness was, I felt, reluctant to give way to daybreak. I threw a lead rope over Thunder’s head and led him from his stall, where I brushed and saddled him up…


Rewriting a memory

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Photo by Richard Ludwig on Unsplash

It was 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning when I stepped ashore at the Dublin docks. The early morning fog was gliding across the city’s slate rooftops, licking at windows, sliding down drainpipes until it caught in my throat, chilling my breath.

Dublin, dear God, did anyone ever know such a town?

When I opened my nostrils, I could smell the religion and reaching out, felt as if I could touch her filthy heart. One writer wrote: ‘Places have souls,’ but that writer had not been to Dublin at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning in November.

By 6:00 a.m…


A rewrite of one of my favorite tales

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Photo by ross tek on Unsplash

It was my first taste of the American West, and in the hot, afternoon sunshine I wandered along the dusty main street of Columbia, one of California’s first gold towns. Passing a saloon bar, complete with swing doors, and packed with tourists, I heard music emanating from a honky-tonk piano. The man playing had a mustache waxed to a point. His shirt sleeves held above his wrists by gold elastic gaiters. His look completed with a gold waistcoat, and finished with a pocket watch. The servers moving behind the bar wore swirling dresses and ribbons in their hair. Tourists loved…


Clearing out shelves 1980/89

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Photo by Simona Sergi on Unsplash

I’d been preparing my entire life for the next adventure, bought the ticket early, and would soon enough leave my home by the ocean. It’s not that I hadn’t left before, having given up the warm island sunsets for the coldness of city lights.

I took a boat over Lake Geneva, heading to Russia. Joined Greenpeace, got stabbed, shot, and kicked in the head. All the time thinking I could go back home. Been away too long. Can’t count the times I heard that said.

Rode a train from Yiwu to Madrid. Not the wisest thing I ever did. Got…


The shameful games we play

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Photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis on Unsplash

Driving home from seeing a friend of mine
We’d shared some stories and we drank some wine
Do you remember, he asked, those Amsterdam women?
Of course I remember, was he honestly kidding?

We flew in late and we got no kip
The taste of London was still on our lips
We sat up all night and we drank some more
Midnight women lying on the floor

Do I remember, yes I remember. I remember it well.

Three dirty women and we all made hay Yes I remember it was quite a day The burning passion kept us off our…


A poem, maybe. I don’t know, or care. It’s what it is, I guess.

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Author with honey

The only time I lose my footing, going to fall, is when faced with an oncoming tide of people. A happening that leaves me cold. I see them, they see me. But nothing is like it used to be.

But you must understand one thing. I was a ghost of yesteryear, wanting a painless way to die, head hanging low not knowing what to do. But through it all I found my way — but only because of you.

I was a lonely man, wandering alone, a sailor often, sometimes a clown, no anchor to anyone, dreaming I could make…


Clutter of the mind

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Image: Author

It happens, sometimes, when I’m forced to remember the things I didn’t do so well. I’m not good at time or summing up, only that it took many years for some bruises to fade, leaving only an outward blemish.

The rupture on the inside, real as spit blood, never allows answering the phone without knowing the caller. Or the meeting of friends without having a plan to leave them.

I keep readied bags in the place I’ve been longest. I tell myself there is no reason to leave the hills above the shoreline, pink and crimson. …

Harry Hogg

I was born in London, adopted, lived my youth on an island off the west coast of Scotland. I now live in California. I write to travel.

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