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I Came From A Place of Fireflies I Came From A Place of Fireflies

"All Is Temporary"

I’m nearly old, she said… to no one,
Before the mirror,
Tracing a line down her cheek
With a fingertip,
Lost in memory.
She sighs.
A chill; her soul shivers .
This is the face that boys
Longed to kiss, she remembers,
Remembering the power of it.
Yet now the boys are men,
although not as many.
The face that felt the chubby caress of
Her children’s hands,
The face she could depend upon.
A breeze ruffles the curtains,
Touches the flower beside the mirror.
Her eye caresses the exquisite
Design of it, built for
A moment
Of perfect purpose.
“You are nearly old, too,” she says, tracing the edge of the
Petal with her finger.
She smiles, newly aware…
All things must pass.
All things are temporary.

"The Buoyancy of Light"

A blistered moon falls around a blasted landscape
Where lonely, thin winds try to move grains of sand around
Where once a shallow ocean rippled brightly,
And nurtured strange creatures in the shallows and deeps.
But for a million years or more the rocks had forgotten 
What humidity felt like, and knew only dust

And thin winds,
And silence.
But still the moon rolled past, night after night,
Playing its pale beams over the sands, looking,
Sending seductive waves of gravity,
Pulling at abandoned places,
Reaching out to nothingness
With the buoyancy of light.

"When My Heart Is Dry"

It rained in the mountains last night.
The forest came alive, from the laurels and ferns
To the tops of oaks and maples 60 feet above.
And through it all, the whispering chatter of the stream,
Full of itself, full of energy, falls endlessly over
mossy rocks on its long journey to the sea.
You can feel the eagerness of everything, sense the tree
Roots grabbing harder, drinking deep,
their tops waving the news in the wind.
Sunlight finds its way down through gaps
And flares on dancing leaves as it glints, sings silently
Of the joy of life reborn, of thirst
quenched, of balance restored.
Seven kinds of birds sound their challenges,
Race through the canopy harvesting food
For pinfeathered chicks urgently waiting in shadows.
I come here when my heart is dry, to feel the moment.
I come here after the rain to sink my roots in, too,
And to soak up the voices of the Earth, of the birds, 
The sun and wind singing in the light.

"The Tunes of Life"

All those years ago
And I still remember the first time,
In the moonlight,
When you stood before me
Shy, uncertain, serene,
While I tried to start breathing,
Soaking in the sight of you
With your gown fallen, body free.
All these years, as you leaned in
Asking me to find the music,
To clumsily compose songs of our life,
Teaching me how it should go,
With you as the instrument upon which
Our song would be played.

"North of Tombstone, 3 AM"

Shadows and silhouettes backed by a waning moon
Slide past like California’s promises,
Distant and confusing.
Off to the south, somewhere over the sand and arroyos and cacti
Is Old Mexico. A few miles, no more. 

A small town slips into view,
Safeway. Ace Hardware.
Benson Fuel glares at a Shell station on the other corner.
Ten-thousand tons glide to a stop so softly it would not wake a baby with colic.
An old woman with a bonnet lifts a travel bag over the curb,
Joining our travels. Where can she be going, alone? El Paso?
Chemo, hoping it works this time?
Or just to visit their daughter?
Her husband watches as she gets on board, 
His hands shoved in jeans pockets,
looking dried out like the land…
Then turns back to the pickup for the long
Drive home in the dark, first stopping for
coffee, for something warm to hold.

Rolling again, now, eastward toward a
slice of New Mexico, then El Paso and Texas.
The car rocks softly, the miles drift by, the engine far ahead
The horn blast at crossings is barely heard.
I wonder about the kind of man who would come here
In the early times, on horseback, or on foot
Across this lonely place that only wanted to suck the water from him?
Was it silver? Land? Water?
Or simply that those men had just run all other choices in life away,
And this dry place, full of ghosts and questions,
Was the last that would take them,
And still it cared for nothing
But the water in them.

"Breathe Briefly"

We breathe so briefly of Life,
Of spring days and summer rains,
And winters’ nights—all too quickly gone.

Our years fly away like ash
From a dying campfire,
Lost in the darkness
Fluttering up to the stars.

Yet our days let us
Feel and think and wonder,
Love, and grieve loves lost,
Enfold our children in our arms
Until they fly.

The flames and embers of the fire,
Alive, dancing, shifting, speaking to primal things,
Fill my mind with
Thoughts of eternity.

I lean in, looking for signs 
And visions
And warmth.

"Straddling the Wind"

Pushed hard to starboard,
Her gunn'l kisses the vast wet,
Shuddering in orgasmic fervor
Along her keel, thrumming into the deep,
Bow digging in, shaking it off, spray flying.
She’s a thoroughbred running for the joy of it
Heart of teak and sail aching for the horizon.
Blue-green foam hisses past her hull,
Tackle creaks and groans,
Pushed taut and dangerous by a hectoring,
Keening wind rising on our stern quarter.
The rudder bucks but holds true to sou'-southeast and home.
She rises on the nearside swell and swoops down the backside of
Waves provoked to 20 feet by a restless air.
She's caught a scent of
Something dark and thrilling in the lowering clouds ahead,
And I either ride her or die.

" Now"

Living in the past leads only to regrets.
Living in the future leads only to worry.
Living may only be embraced now.
The first cardinals have returned, singing.

I may not be able to leap as high as I once could,
Nor run as far, or as fast....
But let us dance one more time
And shame the moon.
 

High School I Finally Graduated from High School

After more than 10 years and six books, including the national bestseller "I Went to College and it was okay," Jim is back with the new prequel, "I Finally Graduated from High School." Fans of the popular "Jim's Journal" comic strip have lived vicariously through Jim as he calmly and existentially meandered through college, a job, getting married, and making brownies. In this poignant new collection of comics, we join Jim as his adult life begins: through his final weeks of high school, a lazy summer, and going off to college. This special collection of droll and hilarious new comic strips rendered in Jim's signature minimalist style comes from "Jim's Journal" creator Scott Dikkers after a more than 10-year hiatus from the comic strip. It features all the weekday comic strips as well as the bigger Sunday strips created for the debut of "Jim's Journal" on Universal Press Syndicate's GoComics (www.gocomics.com/jimsjournal). Join Jim's fans on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jimsjournal.

I got a job I Got a Job and It Wasn't That Bad

Hot on the heels of the hit I Went to College and It Was Okay comes this second collection from Jim's Journal that whimsically describes the existential experience of today's college graduates. For kids weaned on TV and video games, Jim's cartoons (created by Scott Dikkers) realistically depict the shallow comforts of their lives.

I Got Married I Got Married

"Most stunning about this cartoon is that, even though it's barely there at all, it has a certain low-key charm. It's an astoundingly different approach to cartooning". -- Cartoon OpportunitiesIt was a revolutionary idea when Scott Dikkers launched Jim's Journal in 1987 as an "anti-cartoon". The strip's drab title character, Jim, shuffles through a life in which virtually nothing ever happens. Yet Jim's Journal became a phenomenal hit, first on college campuses with Jim's fellow slackers, then exploding into other publications throughout the country.In I Feel Like a Grown-up Now -- Jim's fifth and final collection -- the prosaic Jim enters the not-so-exciting life of an adult. He negotiates married life, takes a job as a grocery clerk, and faces the frequent harassment of phone companies begging him to switch his long distance service. Cartoonist Dikkers, who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, is no longer syndicating Jim's Journal. He now devotes his time to filmmaking and The Onion, a humorous alternative newspaper.

I went to college I Went to College and it was Okay

Cartoons depict the first two year's of a college student's everyday life--going to class, watching television with his roommates, and working part-time at McDonalds.

If Only I Had a Dad If Only I Had A Dad

“If only I had a dad…” Abandoned by his father as a small child, Rick Amitin survived a heartbreaking relationship with his mom and endured three stepfathers before he was nine years old. At fifteen, he set out on his own, traveling the world, searching for his dad, and finding it impossible to live happily without one. One misguided decision and painful consequence after another, Rick made his way through the military and answered the calling to ministry. He lifted people across the country and around the world while the wound of fatherlessness wreaked havoc on his relationships and pursuits, making him grapple with his lack of identity and sense of worth at every turn…that is, until his grand boy dropped out of heaven and into his arms and catalyzed his journey of healing. In If Only I Had a Dad, Rick’s raw-polish approach to sharing his story and hard-earned wisdom will help other fatherless men and women to: · Identify the True Cause of All the Messy Dysfunction · Discover the Power on the Other Side of the Pain · Become the Whole Person They Never Thought Possible If you have been searching for an answer to your father hunger, wanting the pain to stop, this book is for you. Turn your Wandering into Wonder and Your Longing into Love.

Illusion Illusion

Dinorah Green was the exact opposite of me. There was not a single personality trait which was the same between us. She was the yin to my yang, the opposing side of me. I had done a paper on Chinese culture earlier that year. My research indicated that the dark and light weren’t good and evil but simply opposites. I was suddenly dark, living the life of light, ice in fire’s world.

That was not a comforting thought, though. I wanted back in my own world. I wanted to get out of Dinorah Green’s life. I wanted to be Dinorah Winthrop again. I was desperate to have my friends around me and my mom, who hugged me every morning before school. She had never given me the kind of look that Dinorah Green’s mom had given her . . . me, whatever.

Imprint Imprint

Synthia awoke to the beeping alarm. She flicked her fingers instinctively, making the hand signal to tell the computer to shut off the alarm. However, the alarm continued to ring in her ears, reverberating off every surface in the room. Ou suis je? Where am I?

She recognized the light snoring above her head. Tilting her head, she found Malcolm asleep with his head propped with one arm, while his other hand rested on a keyboard. She smiled at how peaceful he looked, and yet exhausted. She wondered how long he had been by her side during the night.

The dim lighting in the room caused her pupils to dilate, requiring more infrared frequencies. Beside her, in the pool of bio-nutrient gel, Cynthiana’s body glowed with bright reds and oranges. Her pulse pushed dark waves of color from her core to the extremities. Qu-es tu? What are you?

An eternity seemed to pass before she noticed Cynthiana’s EEG, still registering a state of delta sleep. Suddenly, Cynthiana’s eyes opened in a fright, staring intently into the camera-like orbs of her doppelganger.

As quickly as Cynthiana’s eyes widened, they closed, returning her face to a peaceful expression of perfect rest.

In Sickness and in Health In Sickness and in Health

This sequel to THE BREAKING POINT will take you into the lives of Darryl and Catina Jones. Now married and expecting their first child, they feel that nothing can separate them from one another's love. But when Darryl loses both of his legs in a car accident, their lives are suddenly thrown into an emotional whirl. And it will take a great deal of strength, love, and courage for the two of them to accept the things they cannot change.

In The Dark In the Dark

The heavy gate groaned shut. He pulled the backpack out of his Jeep and slung it over his shoulder. He walked a quarter of a mile along the fence line and stopped. Then he pulled a “No Trespassing” sign from the pack and propped it against the fence. With a few strokes of a hammer, he nailed it to the post. The dull blows echoed in the quiet woods.
Branches and fallen leaves popped and crackled beneath his feet as he worked his way methodically along the ridge, checking the barbed wire fence for gaps. The cinnamon smell of the turning leaves was a sure sign that hunting season would soon begin, and he couldn’t afford to have strangers stumbling onto his property.
He nailed the last sign to the post.
He turned and started down the rugged trail carved into the steep hillside. A couple of hundred feet below, the valley floor glimmered like an emerald in the late-day sun. Three cabins stood in the clearing beside the river. The place had been a youth camp once, before the drowning of a teenage girl had destroyed its reputation. Afterward the camp had closed and the cabins had fallen into disrepair.
Dappled sunlight shone through the thick canopy of branches overhead. He loved days like this. Alone in the woods, he felt at peace with the world.
A scream rent the air, shattering the stillness of the afternoon.
It was shrill. Human.
Crows fled the safety of the trees, a torrent of black wings flooding the blue sky. Heart racing, he started to run. The uneven ground slid beneath his boots. Branches slapped at his face, and he ran faster, driven on by her panicked cries.
Another scream. Louder.
It was coming from the cabin farthest from the water’s edge.

In Their Own Words In Their Own Words

The Space Age: a time of Sputnik and Saturn rockets, populated by men with names such as Glenn and Gagarin. Now you can relive the countdown with In Their Own Words: The Space Race ­ The Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini Missions, an unparalleled 7 Cassette audio suite that provides unfettered access to authentic Mission Control transmissions and interviews with the men behind them. Including a bonus 2-hour DVD containing rare archival footage and newsreels, In Their Own Words: The Space Race utilizes vintage vivid documentary and narrations, revealing interviews, and audio clips of Presidents and pilots alike to chronicle all 17 Apollo missions, including the pioneering Mercury and Gemini programs. From blastoff to splashdown, you are there, experiencing Neil Armstrong's lunar "leap for mankind" and the shocking suspense of Apollo 13. America's space program reverberates thrillingly throughout the In Their Own Words collection.

Rediscover the most groundbreaking moments in the history of space exploration with documentary footage and narration, candid interviews and the actual transmissions between Mission Control and crews of the Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini projects.

Tape/CD 1: The Beginning of the Dream: Project Mercury
Tape/CD 2: Gemini Ups the Stakes
Tape/CD 3: Race to the Moon
Tape/CD 4: The Triumph of Apollo 11
Tape/CD 5: Laughs from the Moon: Apollo 11 and 12
Tape/CD 6: "Houston, we have a problem"
Tape/CD 7: Apollo 14, 15, 16, 17 and the .Legacy of Apollo

*Race to the Moon

Features rare archival footage, documentaries, and an interview with Wernher von Braun, "father" of the Apollo program.

Innovation the NASA Way Innovation the NASA Way

For over half a century, NASA has delivered a continuous stream of innovative accomplishments that have inspired the world. Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, the space shuttle pioneering reusable space planes, Mars rovers exploring the red planet--the list goes on. We read the stories and watch the footage, and as impossible as these achievements seem, NASA makes them look easy.

The most innovative organization in history, NASA holds an otherworldly mystique for those of us who look on in awe. But behind every one of NASA's amazing innovations lie carefully managed operations, just like any other organization.

Innovation the NASA Way provides practical, proven lessons that will help you envision the future of your organization with clarity, meet every challenge with tenacity, and manage innovation with groundbreaking creativity.

NASA insider Rod Pyle has used the agency's unique methods for driving innovation to train leaders from eBay, the Federal Reserve, Michelin tires, Conoco/Phillips, and many other Fortune 100 and 500 companies. now, for the first time, NASA's cutting-edge strategies for nurturing and fostering innovation are revealed.

Innovation the NASA Way takes you on a tour through the programs that pushed the envelope on the agency's leadership and managerial capacity. It describes the seemingly impossible tasks NASA personnel faced, explains how each challenge was met with forward-looking management methods, and describes the extraordinary innovations that resulted.

Learn how NASA built the Lunar Module, the first true spaceship; created the Saturn V's F-1 rocket motor, the most powerful ever built; and how it creates partnerships with the new players in space–private entrepreneurs. These are just a few of the projects covered in the book.

Space exploration may be NASA's mission, but its innovative leadership practices are founded on solid, down-to-earth methods anyone can apply, anywhere.

PRAISE FOR INNOVATION THE NASA WAY:

"Pyle insightfully and skillfully draws out the methods and strategies naSa has employed to achieve its lofty goals. It innovates so far outside the box that the box disappears. Pyle suggests its touchstones are boldness, daring, and passion, and he suggests you can bring those traits into your business." -- DON CAMBOU, executive Producer of History Channel's Modern Marvels

"Pyle highlights NASA's key innovation lessons and leaves you with amazing stories you'll want to remember and use in your organization." -- STEVEN FENTRESS, Planetarium Director at Rochester Museum & Science Center

"From building rocket engines to exploring Mars and beyond, Rod Pyle has written a very readable and eminently practical volume that documents the challenges, solutions, and lessons learned from NASA's storied history. To read it is to be inspired to recreate in today's challenging world NASA's daring, boldness and passion." -- STEVEN J. DICK, Former NASA Chief historian

"Fuel your inspiration with this fascinating book explaining the key lessons of NASA's innovation and exploration of space. Pyle's meaingful insights will improve your business." -- LUKAS VIGLIETTI, President, Swissapollo, Swiss Space Association