doubters only believe what they see … you know the type dark sunglasses at night for a better view. Oh Weaver, guard my arrested heart from neighbors who wonder what type illness has come over me now that I wear mistletoe in my hair. They say I’m eccentric… well hardly…just bring on the hand cuffs; you’re welcome to everything in my old closet.

Early this morning before the sun had yet to rise I heard you say, “Daughter, have you seen my new act? We are the infamous bullfrog quartet free to all who would dare my kind of loving”

There is a lion in me so easily provoked; rears it’s head each time a stranger attempts to enter it’s cage without knocking when the sweet silence of heartache is disturbed

2020 Jennifer Brookins

walk with me this afternoon
no particular plan just fresh mountain air
wild roses gone wild; nest where mockingbirds had babies
when breathless we stop and watch clouds passing by
whoops ….I forgot your love for algorithms
why do you analyze every little thing until you exhaust yourself from too much thinking like a donkey
carrying a load of books on its back.
Dear heart, my offer still stands,
if you come without prejudice and
your I Phone

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

I got up early this morning when darkness still covered the land; just had a feeling the stars would still be shining. Not good to make friends with a bed; too much sleep imprisons the soul. But to sit here in crisp late night air stargazing in wonderment and discover some lonesome adventurer looking down at me makes my heart break out in laughter. I call up. “Send me a sign, a paper airplane will do.” Just the thought makes my heart laugh … and I dream of you as the new day slumbers.

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

this morning I found myself braided into your snowy white beard; wonderful to be so inconspicuous. The chill of winter months makes me wonder if spring will ever announce her arrival. Should you confide, “It’s already here,” I’ll whisper in your ear, “Beloved Nomad Ji, you created dawn in your spare time.

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

An excerpt from “India with Backpack and a Prayer”

“Before entering we take off our shoes, find a spot in the back and sit cross legged Indian style, men to the left, women to the right. Satsang is held in this room each morning and evening. The floor is made from polished buffalo dung and covered with some type of matting. Overhead, there’s a tin roof with tarpaulin sides anchored with rope to keep wind and rain from coming in. I see small birds huddled together on top of tenting posts. Once again, I hear a crescendo of shabds*. Everyone looks in the direction of Baba Ji who now walks inside on a red carpet assisted by sevadars on each arm. It is impossible to put this moment into words. The sudden silence is deafening in the presence of this great Saint. He walks with some difficulty up the steps to the dais where he sits Indian style. Various sangats have sent tiered birthday cakes, now lit up to be shared with everyone.

Once again, the room is alive with shabds, more importantly the beautiful radiant face of Baba Kehar Singh Maharaj, who gently motions the crowd to quieten down. In silence, several times his head slowly turns from one side of the room to the other. He is giving darshan to each of us. An Indian lady leans over, taps me on the shoulder and points at two Indian men waving their hands in our direction. They motion for us to follow them to the dais where Baba Ji sits with a white shawl around his shoulders. He is looking for us. Doug protests when they lead him to the stage where Paramjit Singh, Achok Pabbi, and several others are seated. He gestures for Doug to sit beside him. I’m invited to sit with his family in front. Indians love to celebrate when it comes to Baba Ji. It is hard to describe the sense of joy within the walls of this spiritual community. I just know how grateful I feel to be in his company. Once the festivities are over, Baba Ji sends word for us to visit with him in his personal quarters. We walk up the steps, remove our shoes, and wait outside his door.

A young man who tends to his personal needs smiles as he motions for us to come in. Baba Ji is sitting behind a desk with a wicker basket of oranges to give as prashad, a space heater to warm his legs, and stacks of letters in need of reply.

He has arranged for Dr. Sharma, an expert in human physiology and spinal manipulation, to give Doug daily acupressure treatments during our stay. In one corner of the room is a chair he redesigned to massage his arm and leg joints. Baba Ji is full of life even after 20 hour work days, advanced age, and poor health. I am so happy to be with him again. What can I say that he doesn’t already know? He glances over at me, smiles and says,

‘Jado mai Jennifer nu vekhada ha, tan main vekhada ha ki chup hai ate ikalata hai.’

Translation: When I look at Jennifer all I see is silence and loneliness.As we get up to leave, Baba Ji gives us prashad. We stand before him, fold our hands and offer our gratitude for his love. He suggests we rest tomorrow from jet lag. Much has been planned, including the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar. He is so proud of India’s history; more importantly his predecessors on this spiritual path. I sit quietly, lost in his darshan, as Baba Ji and Doug speak together as old friends.”

Sex is an hors d’oeuvre in Hollywood

Lots of jazz musicians work in clubs like The Hot Kitty Cat, a well known strip house on Sunset Blvd. Billy was one of them and talked the owner into hiring me as a waitress. I’m nervous about working in a place like this but we’re broke. Lucky for me, someone just quit and I’m hired on the spot. The owner orders me to wear stiletto heels, black mesh hose, devil red lipstick, a bustier and shorts so short men felt free to pinch my ass before I have the chance to knock the bejesus out of them. These horny, old men think I’m for sale. I hate working here but I have to pay the rent. Billy shoots our paychecks wherever he can find a healthy vein in his arm or leg. Today the electric was shut off.
Several days pass before I finally get the hang of this place. For me to get a tip all depends on how well I play the game. I’m a fast learner when it comes to playing games without being touched. The dressing rooms for strippers are located backstage, directly across from where the bartenders make drinks; they never shut their doors. I can’t help but see what these strippers do in front of the bartenders, waitresses, or anyone else who has the bad luck of being condemned to working in this X rated hell hole. I don’t have a temperament for this crowd. The Hot Kitty Cat, one of the most popular night spots in Hollywood, is packed every night with famous, as well as not so famous, male actors, producers, directors, and men trying to grab a cheap thrill. Some try to get it on with the waitresses by sticking a large bill down their boobs. If one of them tries that on me, I’ll knock him to hell and back. I can’t stand much more of this place.
Tonight, as I’m going through my usual drill of wading through smoke and tables so close together that I’m amazed at the balancing act I’ve learned carrying oversize trays of drinks to balding horned toads, I bend over to serve a large group of white haired men, when one old man grabs a handful. I’m so mad I purposely drop the tray of drinks as hard as I can on his bald head, as glasses of booze crash down, scattering here and there in the most unlikely places, staining their Rodeo Drive suits and ties, while at the same time strains of “What the hell you bitch!” and “Someone get this bitch out of here!” are heading straight to the owner’s ear. I don’t care. Good. Do me a favor and fire me! I’ve had enough of this hell hole!
All my pent up anger shoots back “Kiss my ass, you sons of bitches! I’m calling your wife and telling her where you are and what you’re doing! I’m out of here and kiss my ass again!”
Heads are turning. People are beginning to enjoy the little side show coming from the table of men and me, rather than the strippers. Here she comes. The owner is heading my way. I turn to her and shout, “Keep my paycheck and buy yourself a new face!” Then, I take off my high heels and throw them as far as I can back into the crowded smoke filled room. So long hell! I’m out of here!

An excerpt from Tharon Ann available in paperback and Kindle.

My Oakie Grandparents and them Cherokee Indians from Childhood

“I could jus squeeze the bejesus out of my Oakie grandparents cuz that’s how much I love’um. They live in a big magic house with hidin places to play in. Grandpa got day dreamin room with windows to look out at the mountains, watchin sunsets, playin gin rummy’n keepin a look out for who’s comin to visit. Ever night he explains how things was in Oklahoma back in the good ole days when it was wild’n wooly’n how he moved his family to Ada to build a post office for them Cherokees so they got mail. He says they weren’t nothin for miles on end cept’n a handful’a Oakies round about. Grandpa says they don’t like white people none’n that’s how come he learnt to talk Indian. He gonna teach me too if I make good grades. Grandpa says I make him crazy askin so many questions. He built a log cabin back’a the store. Sometimes I dream bout that little creek behind grandpa’s log cabin’n the water mill Grammy used for grindin corn for the Cherokees. I wish I was there in the evenin with grandpa spinnin yarns bout Ned Christy, the famous Cherokee bandit. I cry when he says white people caught up with Ned’n killed him. What’s wrong with white folks? Grandpa says kids back then made they own fun playin in the woods’n chewin rabbit tobacco growin wild. After sayin that, grandpa looks in my direction’n laughs sayin I oughtn’t to look for it cuz it’s called nicotine. Them Cherokees was always invitin him’n the family to all day stomp-dances’n barbecues. When I asked grandpa how he went from livin on a Cherokee reservation to now, he says he moved west with all them other hell raisin Oakies’n that’s how he landed in East Los Angles. Them Mexicans reminded him of Oklahoma, that’n the property bein so cheap’n all.
Grandpa says he believes in the American dream, that if folks not afraid to put in a hard day’s work, they can be anythin they wanna be. He says his sister, my great Aunt Alice, lives alone in the log cabin her great granddaddy built high up in the Ozark Mountains. Grandpa says Alice never married’n to hear him tell it, it lucky for mankind she didn’t. She grows her own vegetables, hunts for possum, makes her own moonshine, chops kindling for cold winters’n can kill a rat three yards away with one spit a tobacco. Whenever the G-Men Revenuers is brave enough to travel on foot the long ways up the mountain to her log cabin, she pulls out the welcome mat’n plugs they ass fulla buckshot. When Grammy hears me say “ass,” she bout to have a kanipshun fit. Grandpa jumps in real fast, explainin that I only said it on accounta I heard him sayin it. Anyways, he convinced Grammy we meant it in the donkey way. Anyways, when Alice run outta supplies, she rides her ol’ horse bareback down the thick, back woods to the nearest town where she’s well known in these parts. Mountain folks protect they own specially where them Revenuers is concerned. Grandpa reckons Alice been makin shine for the neighbors too. He says she can get a government check cuz’a her old age’n all, but she downright burrs up, refusin anythin smackin’a charity. Aunt Alice don’t believe in state aid’n she is quick to say it. Grandpa says she’s stubborn as a jackass, but it’s not good to get riled up cuz’a her temper’n in all. He paid good money for her a radio but she won’t use it none cuz theys no electric. One day when me’n him are workin the cards playin gin rummy’n him spinnin yarns, he looks up at me’n sayin, “You jus like Alice. Botha y’all made outta piss’n vinegar!” Grammy don’t preciate him usin swears to describe me, but I take it good like a compliment.
Grandpa found his self a way of gettin round usin swears in front of Grammy. He says, “Government’s a bunch of SOBs (that would be sons of bitches) they ought’ a stay out folks GD, (that would be goddamn,) business!” Grandpa says swearins an art form’n damnation to hell fire, he ain’t stoppin for any woman! (til Grammy walks into the room)
When he was young, Grandpa belonged to a literary society but nothin ever came of the short stories he wrote, him explainin he had too many mouths to feed to fiddle round spinnin yarns. I love it when he reads his own poetry but I cry when he reads Mr. Robert Frost out loud cuz I know in my heart, it’s his way’a sayin he’s leavin soon. I caint hardly stand thinkin bout it.
The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep”

An excerpt from Tharon Ann

Tharon Ann Book Review

book review tharon ann

One of my all-time favorite books, period! I fell in love with the young, sassy and hysterical, “Tharon Ann” who grew into the pained but stunning woman. A woman who somehow managed to survive all the pain and injustice thrown her way. The child, the actress, the mother, and the roadrunner all wrapped up to become the irresistible poet and writer we know today. Weaver, keep her tenderly in the palm of your hand she deserves your love.” Dennis John Ferado