How in the world did this end up published in Illumination? Frankly -- this is total crap. I've seen third graders with better-developed writing and thought processes. Do better @ILLUMINATION


Blink and you’ll miss it: the new season is creeping in

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

I saw a first burst of yellow

hanging in the trees

from the train window the other day

Drip, drip, drip, drip
first thing upon waking
my coffee maker percolates.

Day by day, summer fades
a crisp, crystalline blue sky in the morning
as the sun comes up to bless us…


Sometimes magic is hidden in plain sight

Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash

Close together sway the pines
whispering to each other
spindly fingers intertwined
Ancient rigid warriors
in and out of time

Haunting, graceful, deeper than flute
the rhythm of the music
breathed in whispers
by the pines
calls forth woodland creatures and spirits
not of Earth but some distant realm

Some…


Since the dawn of time, humanity has stared skyward at the reddened moon.

Photo by Anand Rathod on Unsplash

You rise like a blood-red sun over India
Radiant heatwaves through the cosmos
Summer triumphing over winter
I feel your warmth baptizing my body, seeping into my soul

Here I shiver
Heatwaves of enlightenment pierce my consciousness
The dance of seasons
Another heatwave, another summer
another autumn, another winter
Linger for a spell
Shimmer away the…


Image via Interscope Records, “Circus” Music Video

When I was 19 years old, I had just lost everything and been forced out of the home for being gay. Whatever earthly possessions I had were the few things I had been able to flee the house with and stash in the trunk of my car.

I got on…


Photo by Trent Yarnell on Unsplash

I see you

an ember glowing crimson, sparking into flame

licking around the edges of your wood and twig constraints

Write yourself free

I see you

Aurora borealis snaking north

your dance burns electric wonder

in a crystal arctic sky

Write yourself free

I see you

tiny drop of water


Amid this period of isolation, we grieve for what was and stare down our palpable sense of emptiness.

Photo by Adam Bixby on Unsplash

So many of us right now are feeling it — a cruel, nagging, cold feeling that keeps descending into our awareness during this isolated period, alerting us that something tremendous is lost from our lives. As one of my friends put it, “I wasn’t going out and socializing or even…


My personal showdown with Coronavirus, alone in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room

Photo courtesy of the author

Sometime in February, stories began circulating of a mysterious illness originating in China. I remember hearing snippets about this new “Coronavirus” for the first time and shrugging it off. A virus spreading in a few cities in China? It seemed a world away. I don’t think any of us had…


There is a fine line between valid, constructive criticism and hurtful negativity. Learning to discern the two is an important life skill to master.

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.”

~Margaret Chase Smith

photo courtesy of the author

The musical jingle of my iPhone’s marimba ringtone cheerfully clangs in my pocket. As usual these days, I sigh a little and roll my eyes, then fish for…

Daniel Lawson

This shocking gay will save you thousands on car insurance.

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