Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | May 1, 2016

Poem: Galileo Galilei, a Defense of Heliocentricism

A reblog from my friend Rich Weatherly. Speaks for itself!

Rich Weatherly - Author

Dear Reader, this is the first time I’ve personally posted my new award winning poem It placed 1st in the Poetry Society of Texas Performance Poetry Annual Competition. Credits follow the poem. The poem is written in the form of a Dramatic Monologue.

Galileo Galilei, a Defense of Heliocentricism

Thank you my dear friend Ferdinando for the honor of your presence.  To think that only seven of the ten cardinals of the inquisition voted for conviction of near heresy with threats of torture, puzzles me. I know, it could have been much worse, this house arrest brings such a burden of loneliness. I miss my daughter Marie Celeste. Her encouraging letters bring me more comfort than you can know. My mission is to make God’s design of the cosmos known to all men. Would that my oppressors could see Jupiter’s moons move in such synchronicity. If only they could see…

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Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 30, 2016

For Vietnam Veteran’s Day

I am a Vietnam Veteran.  I served with MACV-SOG from July 1966-July 1967. I was stunned, when I returned at the negative or even hostile attitudes of many of the American people. I still can’t quite understand it.  I know that many of the national opinion-makers, starting with Walter Cronkite, soured the public’s view toward its own military, but there are other factors, too.  Some of them did not come from domestic sources.

March 29, 2016 has been designated as a day to honor Vietnam Veterans. Better late than never, I suppose.

The following bit of poetry comes from a chapbook called Finding The Way Home.  The picture is of a Vietnam Veteran standing in a crowd that is enthusiastically welcoming the veterans of Desert Storm as they make their triumphant return.  The Vietnam Vet doesn’t resent them, he only feels painful envy.


 I had that dream again last night,

or maybe today…

dressing for a parade,

but couldn’t find everything I needed;

medals, rank insignia, or unit crests;

always something different,

-always something missing.

                                                 Memories of war

                             -at first

                             ran just under my feet

                             like foreshortened shadows

                             following at midday;

                           when yesterday was no more than darkness

                             before this day’s light.

                             All senses remembered too much

                             and fear stabbed the gut

                             like frozen glass shards

                             or rage stung

                             like sweat in an open gash.


But here I stand anyway,

among all these people on main street,

-still wearing my beret,

– my faded tiger-stripe fatigues,

and waiting for the homecoming parade

under this new American sky.


I’m looking through the crowd

for brothers,

wondering if their uniforms fit

and if they have their ribbons.

Months of war-stretched memory

                           numbed into distortion,

                           a long darkening trailed my boots

                           leaving only momentary shade,

                           and disappearing holes

                             in watery mud.

           Footprints in tall grass lifted back,

                           stretched in long afternoon sun,

                           unbent again by evening

                                                                                 showing no sign of passage.

 Trumpets sound,

so distant that fluttering banners

and muffled pop of yellow ribbons

hide their songs.

American flags reach from every lamppost

like open arms

stretching in spring winds

to touch and bless

victorious columns in desert tan.


Shadows hide in night

                 like war’s remembering,

                 waiting for morning’s eyes to cling,

                 mocking every clumsy movement,

                 faster than running can escape,

                 burning through flesh like white phosphorus,

                 cleaving to the bone

                 with a phantom ache of loss

                 like pain in an amputated limb.


I cannot march to this coming drum

Bouncing too loudly against my ears

and echoing back from The Wall;

my uniform is out of date,

-colors out of style,

-decorations incomplete.


Unfaithful visions,

-blacker in strange winter light

mutable as shifting colors

walking beside me on unquiet waters.


That old land may have remembrance,

                                       but not of me.

My passing shadow touched its earth

more faintly than the wavering reflection

I throw in a lake.



when the brassy Stars and Stripes Forever

leads young heroes past chanting crowds

my toes, in worn-out jungle boots

will twitch to feel the rhythmic stamp,

my shoulder will bear the rifle’s weight,

and my ears,

filled with the surf beat of welcoming cheers

will let me pretend,

for a time,

I did not return alone.






Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 25, 2016

A Meditation For Good Friday, 2016

I think I’ve posted this short meditation before, but this morning seems to be a time to post it again.


The Darkest Sabbath

    The four Gospels tell the story of Christ’s betrayal, mock trial and crucifixion with few variations. All of these events took place on Friday, the day before the Sabbath. The Romans who crucified Jesus were going around Golgotha’s hill breaking the legs of those who had been crucified to assure their deaths before the beginning of the Sabbath, which commences a few minutes before sundown on Friday and lasts until three stars are visible in the Saturday night sky.
The bible does not directly tell us what happened to the people who were closest to Jesus on the Sabbath immediately following his crucifixion and burial. We can only speculate.  Based on what we do know about several of Christ’s closest followers, we can imagine how the night and day following the death of Jesus affected them.


In the Gospel of John, the Apostle often refers to himself as the “…disciple whom Jesus loved.”  Not only was he one of the twelve, he was, along with his brother James and  Simon Peter, a member of those closest to Jesus and, more—considered himself as the Lord’s best friend. Recall that those three were selected to be with Christ during the transfiguration.

As darkness flowed over Israel the night after Jesus was crucified, John probably had Mary, Jesus’ mother, in his house. He had, at the foot of the cross, been charged with acting as Mary’s son. Possibly she was the one who lighted the candles for the Shabbat. John could hardly forget how, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had asked that he, James and Peter stay awake with him on the night he was in agonizing prayer before the crucifixion and they could not. He, along with most of the Disciples ran away at the approach of the chief priests and temple guard. Remorse over his failure must have deepened his grief.  Did he sleep at all during that during that dark Sabbath?


The fiery, impetuous leader, the disciple who became The Rock, must have had a much worse night and day, following the death of Jesus. Not only had he failed his Lord in Gethsemane, he had openly denied knowing Him three times before the rooster crowed.  Peter was a strong-willed, proud man.  He was the only one of Jesus’ followers who offered physical resistance when the Jewish leaders and guard came to arrest Christ.  Recall, he drew his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the High Priests’ servants.  Of course, Jesus rebuked Peter and replaced the man’s ear.  I recall a preacher from my youth who speculated that the man whose ear had been severed and healed, “…probably went home.”

Did Peter sleep that Friday night? Could he truly rest during the following Sabbath day?

Mary Magdalene

The woman whose name is, after the mother of Jesus, the most prominently mentioned woman in the Gospels, was faithful to her Lord throughout the Passion. She and Jesus’ mother did not leave the awful scene on Golgotha. They were there until the final moments and didn’t desert Him as his body was laid in the tomb. The women probably saw the mighty stone rolled in place to seal the entrance. Despair and pain must’ve filled the night and following day.

We may speculate that she spent that night and the following Sabbath in the house with Jesus’ mother.  This is because the scriptures describe them as being at the tomb together on the third morning.

Mary Magdalene, the woman who had been possessed by demons before Christ healed her, was faithful to Him through the hour of His death.

Did she sleep past tears and mourning during those awful hours following Jesus’ death?

Mary, Mother of Jesus

God chose Mary to bring Jesus into this world and nurture him through his childhood.  Although the Gospel of Luke describes her as “…troubled…” when Gabriel told her of her mission, the sense of deep fear isn’t in the story. Remember, Luke was not, physically, one of the Apostles. His recounting of the Annunciation could have only come from interviewing Mary.

With no scripture that speaks of the desolate day following Christ’s crucifixion, it is possible to consider that the woman who was Jesus’ mother had a deep faith that her son’s death was not final.

She must’ve mourned and felt bereft of her reason for living and the treasure God had given her. Did she sleep?


Could any of these, who were closest to Jesus, find rest until they knew He was resurrected.  Certainly, there was no peace in their hearts until they had seen Christ again, much as there is no true peace in our hearts until we have seen Him.

Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 13, 2016

An Annual Welcome to Spring

Today starts Daylight Savings Time. That is, for me, a more definite indication of Spring.

I wrote this poem several years ago and usually post it at this time of year.

Seasons of Change

Arrogance of a long, black neck

curving tall among the wild onions

the Canada gander stands guard.

Turns of his head are clear:

flashing the white, vivid splash

behind each suspicious eye.


Long, dusk-shadowed wings that know so many miles

tucked behind

much as a man’s clasped hands;


like a department store floorwalker.


He, watching;

she, busily, practically

nibbling tender, green shoots

ignoring all else.


Sometime before dawn,

someone up early, or across the lake

probably heard the calls to assembly,

watched the twenty-two lift,

form a ragged wedge and turn for home

in the usual way,

and marked the changing of seasons.


Have these two mistaking the chill

of a late-march Alabama night

for the cool of their nesting grounds?


Having chosen to stay in this backwater

a little longer;

their path to the north will be quieter

without the clangor of the flock,

traveling their own track

making their own seasons of change.




Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | November 15, 2015

The Paperback Is Now Available!

For authors who deal with Amazon: timing is important.  If you want your book available in digital, audio and paperback—plan ahead if you’d like all three versions available at the same time.

The digital version, if formatted properly,will be available almost instantly. The process, with the paperback (through CreateSpace) takes more time. If the book is correctly formatted, the proof copy will be available in about ten days.  You must then approve the copy and, again, wait.  As they say, “…three to five business days.”

If your audiobook (through ACX) meets standards, there’s a seven-to-ten business day waiting period.

Give yourself plenty of time.

Here’s the title story:

I have some excellent news! Amazon now has the paperback version of The Shepherd Left Behind available!

Now we’re waiting for to release the audiobook version, narrated by Charles Kahlenberg.

The little fable has already garnered one five-star review!

Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | November 4, 2015

The Paperback Book Cover and An Audiobook Sample

The project is quickly coming together.  Enjoy the eye and ear candy!

Here’s the paperback book cover, designed by Marion Sipe.


And this is a brief sample from the audiobook, narrated by Charles Kahlenberg.

Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | October 18, 2015

New Versions of The New Fable for Christmas Are on The Way

Last year, during the Christmas Season, I published a story, in serial form, on this blog. I called it A New Fable for Christmas. It was quite popular so, this year, I’m going to publish it in Audiobook, digital (Kindle, with Nook available by special order) and paperback.  I plan to have at least two internal illustrations in the paperback version.  The new title will be The Shepherd Left Behind.

When you read the Christmas story in the second chapter of Luke, the story of the shepherds says, in verses 15-18 (NIV).

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.”

Luke’s gospel is silent about whether the shepherds left anyone to guard the sheep.  They wouldn’t have left them alone and unguarded; after all they were living out in the fields just to tend them.

The story is about a nine-year-old boy, Joshua, who was left alone to watch the sheep while the others went into Bethlehem to see the Christ child.  He is not alone for long, an angel named Jude has been sent by Gabriel, to stay with him and comfort him.

Charles Kahlenberg, who narrated the audiobook version of the book, Overload will be the voice on this audiobook.  My son,  Michael Drinkard will provide internal drawings for the paperback version.  The covers for all three will be done by Marion Sipe who created the cover for my book, Warrior’s Psalm.

Check back as the season approaches (Christmas decorations are already on sale in Sam’s and other stores), for special announcements. I hope to be able to present the cover soon.

I’m looking forward to sharing all three versions with everyone.

Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | October 17, 2015

Another Piece about Autumn

Shakespeare, of course, said it best.


Gray Autumn


That time of year thou mayest in me behold

When yellow leaves or none, or few, do hang…

Shakespeare, Sonnet 73


When I first knew that fall had finally come,

I understood—I had lied in summer.


Gray clouds cling like blown, wet hair,

hiding mountains across the lake—

whose autumn colors

I had said

would be the season’s glory.


I’d said that my eyes,

having drunk their fill of sun and green,

thirsted for scarlet and gold

against the sunset of shortening days,


knowing the Winter Solstice

comes striding like a dark, tall wind

whose passing stirs the limbs

and trembles leaves still clinging to naked branches.



when nightfall comes,

spilling among the trunks,

filling empty spaces to top the leaves

burying fantasy colors in a cloak of black,


I hear my summer lie echoing

like a night cry

among skinny barren limbs,

knowing the blank, white of winter


will finally erase detail,

blur all specifics,


perhaps, a reaching tendril of green

touches the long fingers of a new sun.


Thomas Rowe Drinkard

Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | September 23, 2015

Advice to Poets about the Beginning of Fall

I wrote this several years ago, because I’d been seeing poets/writers using images and words about Fall that they “stole” from other writers/poets.  No plagiarism, just unconscious repetition.

Happy Autumn, folks.


Autumn Caveat


“It’s mornings like this;
The stingy sun trying to hold back
Even the warmth of its reflection
Flashing cold fire in the lake.
When November leaves drop in sudden gusts,
Like a red and yellow flock of birds
Swooping at once to ground.
Or even nights:
When winds reach wet hands
To take you spinning with random paper
Down back street gutters, under straining bridges
To clogged rivers.
It’s this:
The time of year, along with spring,
When poets must take care
Not to sing the same songs
Stolen from tribal memory.”
–   Thomas R. Drinkard

Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | August 31, 2015

A Book I’m Pre-ordering

I usually won’t pre-order a book.  In the case of The Promise in Plan B, my order is already on file with Amazon. The book won’t actually be available until September 15th.

When Plan A, our original pathway that we’ve expected to take us to the finish line fails. We cannot allow it to let us fall.  We must have a fallback position. Following is a synopsis from the publisher, Shorehouse Books.

Donna Cavanagh

3104 Shirlene Rd

Eagleville, PA 19403




Mary I. Farr Offers Inspiration and Hope with The Promise in Plan B

(St. Paul) – Life offers us plenty of opportunities. We construct our life plan—our Plan A, but life is never so simple.  It tests us with setbacks, dead ends, hellos and good-byes. To put it simply: Sometimes, we get stuck. However, The Promise in Plan B (Shorehouse Books, 2015) confronts fears about these changes and obstacles and encourages readers to develop a new life path.

“It strikes me that living Plan A falls into the category of urban legend. Rarely do we meet someone whose life has followed a blessedly predictable path to success and happiness,” notes author Mary I Farr, a retired pediatric hospital chaplain, teacher, and motivational speaker who has devoted more than 30 years to exploring the worlds of hope, healing and humor. “Yet we tend to label each stumbling block we encounter along the way as a personal flop. We (or perhaps the culture that surrounds us) often view upsets and do-overs as results of our ineptitude, a failure to properly manage goals. I’m convinced that this reaction to a disrupted life is frequently inaccurate and nearly always unhelpful.”

Farr changes that perception in The Promise in Plan B which is grounded in the reality that life tends to be a series of interruptions, and we each possess a wealth of resources to initiate, investigate, and recreate the way we travel through our shifting courses. Unlike predictable job skills, these resources emphasize resilience, courage, imagination, humor, curiosity, and more.

Farr includes personal stories and profiles of people from all walks of life who have faced challenges, despair and unforeseen obstacles but in the midst of the turmoil recognized their Plan B. The Promise in Plan B explores themes of grace and gratitude seasoned with a generous dose of wit. Each chapter includes a Consider This section which contains questions and observations designed to encourage readers to open their hearts to new ideas. Farr also added journaling pages at the end of the book for those who would rather explore their reflections solo.

Noah Vail, Farr’s well-known equine alter ego whose book Never Say Neigh has garnered numerous accolades is also present in The Promise in Plan B.

“Noah Vail has always been about determination and never giving up,” Farr explains.  “He is comforting, funny and inspirational in his own right, and a perfect addition to this book.”

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Farr completed her divinity studies in the Episcopal Diocese of Eau Claire, Wisconsin where was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1983. She received her Master of Arts degree from St. Catherine University in her hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the author of five books including the critically acclaimed If I could Mend Your Heart and Peace: Intersections Small Group Series.     new mary image

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