Category Archives: Tom Mooney

Dan the Packer Man


Big Dan rests thoughtfully in silent scrutiny, a cigarette dangling from pursed lips, with a mind to the packing of the mules and the proper balance of trinkets and toys of little boy campers and fishermen who have pressed their gear upon him once again.

His mind is not upon them for the moment, but upon ropes and ties and stresses and strains in proper sequence, for he detests the thought of a dropped load or even the time to re-cinch one, when a previous inspection could have avoided disaster. Continue reading



Filed under Musings, Tom Mooney

“Helpin’ Out Daddy,” a short, short story

cherry-tomatoes-plant-725x544Red sun blisterin’ hot, dryin’ out morning dew.  No money till pickin’ time.  Plastic sheets coverin’ sulfury-smellin’ dirt, screechin’ underfoot.  Findin’ her place, bucket in hand.  Endless rows of plump fruit fixin’ to swamp her. Mr. C. livin’ in her head, pushin’.  “Hey, girl, you late.  No profit in dallyin’.  Finish yer row, have somethin’ special for ya tonight.” Seen Mr. C’s special before; not bitin’ today. Continue reading


Filed under Short fiction, Tom Mooney

Looking Back – “A Tryst with the Buffalo People”

I remember as a boy, when we could smell the Buffalo People coming.  Their scent was carried on the south wind, and there was no mistaking it.  They came into our country in the Moon of the Falling Leaves, and my friend, Crow Boy, was always the first to know.  He would run through the village shouting the good news, then rush to my father’s lodge, where we dropped our trousers and slid into our wolf skins.  Then we would show ourselves to Grandfather, waiting for his approval and permission to make our tryst with the Buffalo People before the hunting teams could get started.  Continue reading


Filed under historical fiction, Tom Mooney

Little Flower’s Love Song

You’ll come with me to the mountain
Where wind is gentle and sweet
We’ll scent the Aravaipa
Where river and flowers meet Continue reading

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Every Forever Day, a short short story

Green green fields washin’ over him’  Green leaves, green stems smotherin’ the red fruit.

Spittin’ blood, wipin’ sweat, cadgin’ the life outa him.

“Go boy, you two boxes behind,” say Red.

Hands crampin’, fingers blisterin’, nails splittin’, sun pourin’ down.  Gotta fill them boxes, gotta rid that debt.

“You full up, boy; heft that box, heft it up,” say Red.

“Tired’a Red, sick’a Red, wishin’ him dead. Continue reading

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Filed under Short fiction, Tom Mooney

Life On a Chessboard, Chapter 5

Chapter 5

I open the Red Badge of Courage and take a look through the first chapter.  I don’t get it.  Even when I study the words real hard, some of them don’t make sense.  There is a big list at the bottom of every page that tries to explain the meaning of the stupid words that the writer is using.  Words like “keer” and “sech” and “kilt,” that aren’t even English words.  After awhile, I finally get it that people in those Civil War days didn’t talk the way we do now.

It takes me about two hours to get through the first chapter.  Even though I’m really tired, I think I have an idea of what’s going on.  These soldiers belong to the Union Army and they are all waiting for the battle to start.  And a boy called Henry Fleming has joined up and is stuck into this regiment.  Henry is all excited about the glory of war and how great it will be to go into battle for his country.  But I don’t get that because the soldiers are fighting the Confederate guys who are also American soldiers.  And even Henry’s Mom seems to want him to go, because she tells him not to do any “shirkin.”  I looked up that word in the glossary and it means that he always has to be brave and do his duty by killing the enemy soldiers.  I wonder if my Mom would ever want me to go to war like Henry’s Mom.

I toss the book on the table and crap out on the bed.   I don’t even know if I’ve really learned Continue reading

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Filed under Chapter, Life on a Chessboard, Tom Mooney

Begin Again, a movie review

imagesIf you’re looking for a solid summer love story with music that penetrates your heart, try Begin Again, from writer/director Jim Carney.

One night while drinking at a bar, Dan Mulligan (Mark Ruffalo), a struggling record producer, encounters Greta ( Keira Knightly), a fiercely independent songwriter.  Though Greta’s guitar-playing and vocals evoke yawns from the audience, the lyrics of her broken love affair speak directly to Dan’s own spiritual crisis.  In a powerful and enchanting scene created by Carney, Dan produces Greta’s song in his head, complete with instrumental backup. Continue reading


Filed under Tom Mooney

Tears in Kindergarten – a Sign of Dyslexia?

Do you want to see what a dyslexic kindergartener sees? Study this image, below, and get an idea of the problem your son or daughter might have in learning to read: Continue reading

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Filed under Musings, Tom Mooney

Charming, Weaving Potent Trances

Drumming, rolling, thundering all
Visions of spirits to Indians call
Magical moonlight, silvery pall
Natural blessings on villages fall

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Filed under Short fiction, Tom Mooney


Now that I have many winters
The silence of the day brings me perfect equilibrium.
Not a leaf is astir on a tree
And I am unshaken by winter storms. Continue reading


Filed under Musings, Tom Mooney