I’ve seen the painting above, The Thankful Poor, for most of my life in various places and circles. Lately, I was curious to find the artist of such a stirring, spiritual piece, so, I googled it. The artist is Appalachia’s own Henry Ossawa Tanner, born in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,Continue Reading

Protection Bricking the house against the happy jaws of wolves, my father and his tawny hired man, backs drawn deep in conspiracy, slapped mortar onto trowels, eyes migrating to as distance beyond clouds. Heat swam around them, requiring the huge delusion of some believable project to produce it. Neither spokeContinue Reading

Growing up in the 1960s during an era of assassinations, civil unrest, and the war in southeast Asia, at times I wore sadness like a raincoat as a palpable and threatening cloud hung over the nation. My memories of that time recur as a series of stock and binary images: Continue Reading

With a routine smile, the waitress brought sharp, black coffee to the old couple at the diner booth. It was a gesture offered to all patrons. She placed the cups on the red checkered tablecloth. The poised, elderly lady sat elegant, gracious, and mute in her lace-ruffled blouse, and gazedContinue Reading