the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


the drowning man.

Tamara Wood’s About the social change you want to see prompted me to dig down deep before I started to blog, to a funky old BBS in Ann Arbor, MI that’s still running somehow.  I think I might be able to submit this to the No More Shame project as well, if there’s still time.

I was really inspired to write poetry then.  Looking back now, I see that even then I was writing about my inner pain, although I didn’t feel safe enough to write about it more directly in prose.  There were a few poems I wanted to choose from, but the following sums up so much with mental illness, trauma, fear, and so many other things I was dealing with:

[Mar 8 19:09 EST 1999, from the poetry conference at Grex (with one small edit)]

the drowning man.

a plethora of feelings
still come to engulf me
or drag me in
when i find them unexpectedly

sometimes they come like a great wave
crashing down on me
or a swirling whirlpool
spinning faster and faster
or there are the times
i am forced to wander
through the jungle of life
and i misstep
into emotional quicksand
that gradually sucks me in

so many emotions flowing about me
but so often dark and murky
i can't see
and i'm not sure how long i can
tread through them
as i gasp for logic

take my hand
i'm drowning inside

[note: this was inspired by U2’s “Drowning Man”]


a time painted grey

just another time painted grey

i work hours they call swing

which is anything but

swinging on a star —

my dream land is cloudy

even when the sun is shining

i try to find patience

for the IDIOCY of the masses, who

when entering seem to

leave their brains at the door (!)

so many visitors

but so few of them friends

with little time to talk

(and once again

the day fades to black)

so lonely am i.

my dearest compadres

are on another timeframe

they work when i don’t

and go have fun when i do.

i send my money away

to pay back sallie mae,

i can’t seem to get a date

(i’m trying; don’t want my mother

to pester me like she does)

so what will i do with myself?


a bright spot here,

a bright spot there

but mostly a time painted grey.

[Transcription of a hand-written poem, written sometime in 1993 based on my best recollection, perhaps during the spring.  I was working at a convenience store and quietly visiting church meetinghouses to practice the organ.]

many thanks to stephrogers and No Virgin Mary for encouraging me to bring out some old, paper archived poetry

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More Four Kingdoms Haiku

Cimmy has been very kind to write some more haikus for our Redemption of the Four Kingdoms series, this time, for our story’s protagonists. Once again, this was inspired by Rob’s Genre Haiku Challenge 2013.12: Epic Fantasy.

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Cimmy's Stories

If the last batch of haiku read like prayers, this batch should read more like prophecies.  Here are some haiku written about some of the characters from jak’s epic fantasy novel, in alphabetical order!


One of Ogg’s children,

son of a human woman,

Will take a knight’s place.



A child of darkness,

as mercy’s wind-blown daughter,

Provides lost ones light.



A man of the sword

will learn to walk the dream path

and the road of death.



Orphaned half-elf thief

will walk the survivor’s road

and will show others.



A half dwarven priest

Will seek to serve true justice

And will find mercy



A half-giant knight,

Representing justice,

Will serve at His seat

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Window to the Future (Zero to Hero Day 6)

Day 6 Assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

After promoting a stopmotion animation by my daughter, I didn’t have anything else I normally would have posted today, so I decided to try the Weekly Photo Challenge for this week:

This week, in a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo with a window.

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Three shots from three of the last four holidays. (A-ha, you didn’t think New Year’s couldn’t have window dressing? Cimmorene thought otherwise!) Each a window to a different home. Three different photographers (jaklumen, Cimmorene, and Princess).

Bonus video from Cimmorene:

and finally, some poetry, something ENTIRELY new to any of my blogs:

I love you, my dear, every time I go
You have a way to let me know
No matter how upset I may be
I know when I return, I can always see
That signal waiting home for me
Welcoming me home with light so low
That sign so warm, that candle in the window.

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Haikus reveal a hidden Heroes’ Journey

A December haiku challenge for the epic fantasy genre from Rob’s Surf Report via SciFi Haiku: Babylon 5 at Laith’s Ramblings

I present not just one haiku, but three:

Cytropus’s eye
Will gather Ogg’s children home
By means none expect

Gracia and Daedin
Father Sky and Green Woman
Justice and mercy

Half-breeds, all of them
Each born humble and oppressed
Shall be champions

— based on the unfinished Redemption of the Four Kingdoms series by J.R. (jaklumen) and J.A. (Cimmorene/wavemistress) Pratt

If you would like samples of the work so far, please let me know by the contact form or please make a reply here– I will either send them to you or make them part of future posts.  Let me know what you’d like! Thank you.

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Oh where, oh where have my swimming trunks gone?

Oh where, oh where could they be?
For I hurt like hell, and I cannot wait long,
Oh where, oh where could they be?

Oh where, oh where did I put them down?
Oh where, oh where could they be?
The pool's no good now and I wear a frown,
Oh where, oh where could they be?

Oh where, oh where could they hide for a week,
Oh where, oh where could they be?
It frustrates me so that I can hardly speak,
Oh where, oh where could they be?

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