Ink soaks into paper,
a blackening blood stain
So life gives form to letters
With a sacrificial pen
Then symbols spread phonetically
Causing syllables to collide,
Noise waking words from slumber,
Casting dreams upon the page
Figments gather into phrases,
Until prepositionally placed,
And shifting to a sentence,
Our thoughts are paraphrased.

Thus words are given meaning
As thousands become flesh:
The building blocks of cities,
Incantations raising dead.
But when gathered altogether,
Every utterance given name,
These words are just the rubble
Of the towers built to Babel,
And every corpus a cadaver
Bleeding ink onto the page.

Lebanese Roots, Cosmopolitan Cuisine

Published January 2, 2015

Sometimes the casualties of war have unexpected results. The Dada family was uprooted by the Lebanese Civil War, but one country’s loss in another’s gain. The Dadas have since opened three Pita Kabobs, restaurants that offer Mediterranean cuisine with cosmopolitan flare. And with 31 beers on tap, their latest gastropub offers the perfect draught to complement cultural dishes with a compelling history.

Read the article here.

Finding Home Halfway Across the Globe

Published August 22, 2014, Lifestyle Magazine

Bula Ministries sends short-term missions teams to Kenya, Honduras, Fiji – pretty much wherever there’s a need. But these trips are doing more than building homes and orphanages, they’re building bridges between people and transforming worldviews.

Read the article here.

Pieces of Everything

At the park
We dip and dodge
The other kids,
Climb ladders
And cross the bridge
That you say wobbles

But I am old and need to rest
So against the fence
I lean and watch
You disappear beneath the lip
Of a tired tunnel

And though I feel
Unfamiliar as a father
I can pick your voice
Out of a hundred others

As you play I shyly smile
At the mothers, the fathers
Aware of those with rings
On their fingers, and those
Who prepared packed lunches

Yeah, I am conscious
Of all my shortcomings
Of the sweat against my chest
One of those side-effects
Of the medicine I take

Still I’m grateful for this

For the moment
I look away and up
And see colors falling
From a sycamore tree
Leaves unevenly loosed
In butterfly patterns.
These pieces of everything
These colors against the sky
They’re everywhere
And everything
As my son
Puts his hand
In mine

A Roundabout Conversation

Published September 24, 2014, Lifestyle Magazine

Part of a longterm project to revitalize one of the city’s oldest, most ill-reputed parks, Visalia Rescue Mission invited Peter Frampton to perform at The Oval. When Frampton cancelled, many Visalians suggested through social media that the park’s reputation for drug-use, prostitution, and homelessness was the cause. This article cuts through the rumor and speculation to return the dialogue back to common space – and common sense.

Read the article here.

London Calling

Published Oct 8, 2014, Enjoy South Valley

An isolated valley community shrugs its identity as a haven for poverty, gangs, and drug use. Former resident Robert Isquierdo returns to London, CA to contribute to the literary and social renaissance through community activism and the Library for London project.

Read the article here.

the things that we forget

It happened in a moment,
As I was looking for a pen
In the top drawer of my desk.

How long had it been there
Ten years, or maybe less
Since she wore it round her neck?

When I thought it was a rosary
A string of wooden prayer beads
With a pendant at its end.

And though her name escapes me
I remember every pattern
All the freckles on her chest

How she looked over her shoulder
With a question barely whispered,
“Could you please unzip my dress?”

And then she pulled her hair back
So I could free the loose ends
From the knots of her necklace

Next day I found the letter,
By the bed beneath the beads,
The tangled hair and golden clasp

In a word she wrote “remember”
So I buried all those treasures
In the top drawer of my desk