Monday, January 25, 2016

"Our Personal Armageddon"

Our Personal Armageddon
By Stephen B. Bagley

In our personal Armageddon
no armies of glory marched.
No horned fiends with sulfur smiles
raised mailed fists against Heaven.
No Lucifer, no Michael met
with mighty thunderous blows.

The only beast, our dying love.
The only sword, our razor words.
The only flag, weary white.

Six months now have passed
since our marriage ended at Megiddo.
Today I surprised myself
by smiling at a woman I didn’t know.
I guess even after Armageddon
blades of grass eventually grow.

From Undying, a poem of poems by Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

An Apology (sort of)

Dear Internet,

I've finally decided to stop blaming you for the sheer nonsense and vicious partisanship that fills up my feeds and is rampant on Twitter and Facebook. It's obvious some of my friends and most of the world are simply bat-weasel crazy.

I do think you might have helped make them that way. Or maybe you just gave them an avenue to unleash their inner imbecile. I remain deeply suspicious. I suspect our great great great grandchildren will look back on you as a blight on mankind--if any men still exist then.

However, this is an apology, however reluctant, for putting all the responsibility on your virtual shoulders. There are enough sins to go around.



Thursday, January 21, 2016


By Stephen B. Bagley

Once there was a perfect boy
who made perfect grades,
enjoyed perfect friends,
dated a perfect girl,
and lived a perfect life.

He grew into a perfect man
who had a perfect job,
raised perfect children,
resided in a perfect home,
and loved a perfect wife.

So we were perfectly shocked
when this perfect man
bought a perfect gun,
wrote a perfect note,
and shot himself one perfect night.

From Undying, a poem of poems by Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I realize that I am a dinosaur, preferring cards and letters to email, actual physical contact to social media, and books to dubious Internet sources.

But before the asteroid of unrelenting and uncaring progress wipes me and the other few dinosaurs from the earth, I wanted to raise my head and roar my disapproval.

We may go down into that dark night, but we do not approve.

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Our Romance"

Our Romance
By Stephen B. Bagley

Not each other’s first love
or even each other’s second.
We both lived a life before
and carried the scars to prove it.

We did not love at first sight—
life would never be so neat—
you grimly committed to him,
and I determined to stay with her.

How we fell into each other’s arms
proved more to be a laugh there,
a shared moment here, a meeting
of minds and battered hearts.

Remember our sweet surprise
when this casual acquaintance
grew into a firm friendship
and deliciously something more.

Not each other’s first love
or even each other’s second,
but if fate is finally kind,
we will be each other’s last.

From Undying, a poem of poems by Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Good books!

Blackbirds First Flight 
Anthology - Enjoy chilling poems and dark tales in this collection from Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, & Tamara Siler Jones.
Buy on Amazon
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By Stephen B. Bagley
Poetry - Enjoy more than 50 sensual & moving poems, including the award winning "Non-Communion," "Torrent," & "Endless."
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Floozy & Other Stories
By Stephen B. Bagley
Humor - Laugh at these hilarious tales from the author's decidedly different life.
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Murder by Dewey Decimal
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the librarian? Who's next to die and why? 1st in Measurements of Murder series.
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Murder by the Acre (Second Edition)
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the ladies man? Bernard, Lisa & the chief are back! New expanded edition. 2nd in Measurements of Murder series.
Buy on Lulu
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Murder by the Acre (First Edition)
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the ladies man? Bernard, Lisa & the chief are back! 2nd in Measurements of Murder series.
Buy on Amazon
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Tales from Bethlehem
By Stephen B. Bagley
Inspirational - Have you ever wondered about everyone else in Bethlehem on the night of the Nativity? These charming and touching Tales will tell you their stories.
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By Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson
Poetry - Enjoy a good shiver on a moonlit night with these thrilling, chilling poems.
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Friday, January 15, 2016

"High Maintenance"

High Maintenance
By Stephen B. Bagley

If I could somehow offer you
my heart on the proverbial silver tray
garnished with gold truffles
topped with a sprinkle of diamonds,
would it finally be enough?

Or perhaps I steal for you
the sweet hymn of heaven,
which only the archangels
have gloriously sung,
would you be satisfied?

Maybe even wrestle time itself
and plunder from its secret vault
the elixir of eternal youth
so age never touches your lush body,
could you be content then?

But the more important question may be
if I could do these wondrous things
if such miracles I could bring forth
as easy as buttering your bread,
why oh why would I waste them on you?

From Undying, a poem of poems by Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


"Define yourself in one word," I was recently asked.

Usually I don't have an answer, but my perceptive friend Gail Henderson has an adjective for me that I think fits better than most simple summations. She calls me her "relentless" friend. And I will claim that.


What success I've had in life, in publishing, in writing, is because I lower my head, grit my teeth, and keep on keeping on, swallowing the disappointments, the heartaches, the sorrows, the insults, the disregards, the sideways cuts...

Yeah, that means sometimes I tilt at windmills that really are dragons, but even if I go down, I will go down fighting, and the opposition is going to be really, really, really tired.

Relentless me. I like it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Finish that sentence

"The more I work with people, the more I want to..." Finish that sentence if you dare.

Possible replies:
-- crush them beneath my booted heel.
-- create a global disaster and start over with a race of intelligent hamsters.
-- retreat to a beautiful island filled with only the people I approve.
-- love them until they are wracked with guilt about the way they behave and then withhold forgiveness.
-- ignore them until they fade from my perception.
-- a combination of several of the above.

Or ... write your own and share.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Advice from the front line

Try not to burn any bridges that you might need to cross again. And even if you think you would NEVER cross that bridge again, life is long and loves to break our certainties.

In my life, I have burned and even blown up bridges that I deeply regret. Bridges that I have wept over afterwards because of my short-sighted foolishness and pride.

Crossing a swift river without a bridge is cold and wet and even dangerous to your heart.

You can rebuild bridges. It takes a lot of effort and time and willpower. You can do it. If you have to. But it's a WHOLE lot of work. Try to avoid the necessity.

Just a bit of advice from the front lines.

Monday, January 11, 2016


For lunch I'm having this huge 4-egg omelet filled with mushrooms, ham, and cheese.

And by huge, I mean diabetic potion sized.

By ham, I mean turkey.

By cheese, I mean low fat cheese.

By egg, I mean egg substitute with no carbs or cholesterol.

Look, it's yellow and lumpy.

Let's go with my first thought.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Wish I had said it first

I just wish I had said this first:

"The problem with today's world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion AND have others listen to it. The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!" -- Professor Brian Cox

Saturday, January 09, 2016

If only I could

If only I could stop loving you
my life would be better now
in more ways than I can imagine.

If only I could forget
the taste of your lips,
your face as you slept,
those blue, happy eyes,
the silly way you smiled,
I wouldn't feel so empty now.

If only I could stop hurting
when I recall those days
of loving and laughing
and yes even fighting,
crying, and arguing--
I wouldn't flee from love now.

If only I knew you, too,
had regrets when you
think of me--if ever
you do--and missed
me and our flawed love,
I could finally begin to heal.

If only you read these words
I'd know you'd finally know
I still carry the memory of us
and it's breaking my back
because you lack the courage
to share this heavy burden.

In more ways than I can imagine
my life would better now
if only I could stop loving you.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Bad concept

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, going on now, Samsung introduced yet another "Smart Refrigerator." Listen, it's not going to be really smart until it locks itself when I'm a diet.

Smart fridges are introduced every year, it seems, but they never take off. The public doesn't want that type of tech in their fridge.

I know why Samsung made it -- fridge sales have been flat for several years now. They want fridges to be exciting, sexy, a must buy. It's not going to happen. They keep thinking if they add enough features, people will cough up $5,000, but the problem isn't the features; the problem is the concept.

Thursday, January 07, 2016


By Stephen B. Bagley

Your words fall
like razor shards of glass
uncaring of
my black pain
my bloody wounds
my black sorrow.

But I rise
like a blackbird in flight
soaring above
your small mind
your sly voice
your puffed ego.

I see you
only as a tiny figure
on a distant horizon
farther away daily
a fleeting glimpse
fading into nothing.

From Undying by Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


I do understand the impulse to gather up your family and closest friends and head for a deserted island where you rebuild civilization in your own image. After all, it's pretty clear that the world isn't going to do what you want, so why shouldn't you withdraw? The problems are huge; you are tiny. What's the point of doing anything when what you do is a dust mote in a tornado?

A lot of people feel the same as you do. They do. You can find other motes out there, tiny particles who have your faith, morals, and ideas. You can find those people and join up. You can become a fortress. Or a storm. I don't know.

The only thing I do know is that if we do nothing, then nothing will be done. Up to us.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Wish I had said this first

I just wish I had said this first:

"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know." -- W. H. Auden

Monday, January 04, 2016

Book Review: "Empire of the Summer Moon"

I have been meaning to recommend this book for a week or so: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne.

I don't like history in general, but this book was gripping and exciting as it detailed the battle between the Comanches and the United States. It doesn't shy away from the atrocities committed by both sides and deftly and clearly explains the tensions and politics within both sides, which led to this war.

Woven in this was the fascinating and sad story of Cynthia Ann Parker, a white girl taken by the Comanches when she was nine and finally -- unhappily -- "rescued" when she was an adult. Her son, Quanah, would become the first and only Principal Chief of the Comanches and would fight the last battles with the U.S. before becoming a powerful force for Native American rights.

A friend loaned the book to me, but I liked it so much that I bought a copy from Amazon. It's no wonder the book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Highly recommended -- even to those that dislike history.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Listing forward

Been trying to recapture my momentum after months of ill health and sad thoughts. One of the ways I'm doing that is to make a daily list filled with manageable items.

By manageable, I mean items that I can actually accomplish in a day. No "Write a book" since that couldn't be done in a day -- at least, not by me. I don't write or think that fast! But I could write a page a day. Or five pages a week.

Likewise, I can't clean out my closet in a day. There are 20 years of junk and clothes in there. But I can make a little progress daily. I purchased two large plastic tubs that I'm going to fill with items for the closet. I hope one tube will go to Goodwill; the other will go into storage. I have a walk-in closet that I can't walk in. I want to change that this year.

I also want to cook more meals at home. I think home-cooked meals are -- for the most part -- healthy. Not cheaper necessarily because fast food is pretty cheap due to volume buying and low quality ingredients, but I should be able to keep a food budget with some effort.

I want to go to the library more. I've gotten out of the habit. Miss doing so.

I want to write each and every day, be it blogs or short stories or novels or even poetry. I must write. It's good for me. Good for my mental health.

I want to take a lot of photos. I have a good camera now. Why not use it?

I want to sing at least one song every day. Singing is good mental health because it's fun. I like doing it, and I want to keep my voice strong.

I want to watch some DVD courses from The Great Courses that I never have. They sit on my shelves full of knowledge for me. I need to keep learning.

I want to walk (exercise) at least five times a week. My health depends on me being more active. I'm not going to get any younger. Time to start.

All these things will improve my life and my ability to be productive and to be able to help others.

Yes, I will probably not keep all of these -- or any of these -- all year, but the effort is good for my soul. We don't grow unless we try to grow. And I want to grow.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

For a late Christmas gathering

When you've wrapped eight or 10 Christmas presents in a hurry, you realize three things:

1. Your wrapping looks like it was done by a drunk monkey.

2. Just about anything will fit in a gift bag if you push it hard enough.

3. You never have enough gift bags in the right sizes. You can put a small present in a big bag and fill it in with tissue paper, but that seems mean.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!