tomorrow will come

Joe Bird

Joseph E Bird


tomorrow will come, and i’ll sing an old song
and think of the day, that the words came along
i didn’t know then, that song was my last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast

tomorrow will come, and i’ll look toward the sun
and remember the spring, when i went for a run
i didn’t know then, that it was my last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast.

so remember the day, of all that was good
when youth was forever, we’d play when we would
remember the day, of life with no fears
tomorrow is coming, and with it the tears


tomorrow will come, and i’ll think of my friend
and read all the words, that he took time to send
i didn’t know then, that they were his last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast

tomorrow will come…

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Book Review: A Prayer for Rain

Joseph Bird

Home Economics

Here is Andrew Spradling’s  thoughtful and well deserved review of Joseph Bird’s novel, A Prayer For Rain.
A Prayer for Rain by [Bird, Joseph]

Joseph Bird‘s forte as a writer is in portraying inner struggle.

The likeable protagonist in A Prayer for Rain, Trevor Larson, has his dreams dashed in a way  such that the reader would understandably say “stay down.” Bird creates a young man who most would divert their eyes from in our polite world. It is from that existence that Trevor rises, though not without hurdles and pitfalls. Trevor’s awakening and voyage of self-discovery are intriguing. Bird’s character development and storytelling are superb. I found myself immersed in the tale and the plight of the main characters – exactly where I want to go when I open a book. A great read!
You can but the book by clicking here.
You can buy Andrew Spradling’s books here.

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the secret hidden

Joe Bird. Getting better all the time. . .

Joseph E Bird

close your eyes
so you don’t see
the browning leaves
or the yellow ones
that have fallen


cover your ears
so you don’t hear
the dry grass
or the leaves crunch
beneath your feet


ignore the scents
of the pumpkins
and spice
that sing of
the last days of harvest


feel the warmth
of another summer day
that burns the skin
and brings forth sweat
so late in its glory


dream again
of all that is possible
and what you can do
and who you can love
in this gift of a day


think little
of the secret
hidden in the breeze
from the mountains
which portends the future


worry not
of the chill that will be
or the winds that will howl
for today it is warm
and that is enough

copyright 2017, joseph e bird

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Lessons Learned from Castle Walls

andy spradling

Andrew Spradling

For me, Jeannette Walls’ blockbuster “The Glass Castle” provided inspiration both as a reader andas a writer. It confirmed to me that, even as a scribe of fiction, you must lay bare your soul. You must… leave a little blood on your pages.

As a coordinator of speakers’ events in my last position I was fortunate to meet Jeannette Walls behind the scenes. It was December of 2007, and as Director of University Relations I was the person responsible for getting Ms. Walls from one venue to the next, which included, after her speech, dinner in the President’s “tower of power” as I liked to call it. She even stayed in a campus guest apartment rather than across the river in a posh hotel.

Jennette Walls and AS cpd.jpg

Because I’d loved her book and because I was each day in the early a.m. before my commute pecking away at my first novel…

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Andrew Spradling

From Hudson's cpd.jpg

Dusk came as he worked his boat,

too focused to notice his surroundings.

Toiling for that which he loves, that which pays his bills.

Solitary in effort.

Daily grind or sprucing for a guest?

One that might make him forget being alone

for long, long hours.

For charter, or for pleasure?

The waves that rock him daily

are as comforting as his mother’s arms,

which he can only remember

in his dreams.

Yet he avoids sleep,

and the journeys that come

with slumber.

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Morning Poem, June 14, 2017

Home Economics

This summer morning is of deepest green

As if the old oaks and maples along the lane

Had taken bits of last night’s darkness

And hidden them under their arms.


I think of the empty classrooms in the town below

And the rows of old desks that bear the carved initials

Of one boy and one girl


All is silent in these rooms

Even as the morning sunlight pours through the tall casements

All of the school’s life is away

Except for the janitor who sweeps in the hall

The children pity him, confined as he is

To that world they have so happily and completely escaped

They run barefoot in the grass in the shade of the old elms.

But the janitor is happy in his lot

His days are easy now

And the empty classrooms speak to him of time and season.


It is good…

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Donnie Burford


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Inasmuch as Shelton College is a liberal arts institution, we recognize not only local writers but also – as of today, at least – visual artists as well.  Our first hat tip goes to Donnie Burford, a young man I know from church.  He’s a Saint Albans dweller and has been painting for a little while now and – as I think he would admit – is still in his formative stages as an artist.

I don’t recommend every local artist I see and I don’t recommend every artist whom I know, but Donnie caught my eye through a recent Facebook post.   That post featured a painting of a man sitting on a rock in a trout stream, fixing some tackle to his rod.   The work in general is very pleasant and praiseworthy – it catches the subtle light and color tones that are unique to mountain streams.  I think one of the reasons so many people love trout fishing is the immersion in the beauty of these hard-to-reach environments and it’s a credit to Donnie that he’s captured a bit of that rare world in this painting.


Here, with permission, is Donnie’s painting:


Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature



Around the same time I first saw this one, I was taking another look at some of Joni Mitchell’s paintings.  She did one of Charley Mingus that is famous and I’ve got to say that Donnie’s work here compares favorably to it.  In fact, I see a similarity in the color shades and the forms.

Here is Joni’s painting of Mingus:



But the thing that most impressed me about Donnie’s painting was the detail of the fisherman’s face.  You see, I know that guy.  He’s Donnie’s father and I would have recognized him in the painting, even if I had not known who painted it.  It’s just something about the lines in his face, particularly his mouth, which Donnie got just right with one stroke of the pen or brush.  For my money, the ability to do that is what separates the real artist from the wannabe.  Joni Mitchell could do it, of course.  In just a few lines she could give us a portrait of Neil Young that was immediately recognizable.




Donnie’s painting of his father is evidence that Donnie has that same talent.

Let’s have more.

a different country road

Joseph E Bird

I have a special needs brother-in-law who has lived in Logan, West Virginia for the past few years. More specifically, Whitman Junction, which runs along the holler formed by Whitman Creek. And yes it’s holler, not hollow. The houses of Whitman Junction – some ramshackle, some very nice brick ranchers –  sit so closely together that you could sit in your kitchen and hear your neighbor’s cat purring next door, and so close to the road that a misjudged first step off the front porch could put you directly in the line of traffic.  It’s what you would call a tight-knit community.

My brother-in-law has been in and out of Logan General Hospital recently, and is now recovering from a serious illness.  Because of all of this, my wife and I have spent a great deal of time in the Logan area over the last few years.  To know about…

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no passport required

Joseph E Bird

hawks nest for web

The New River, one of the five oldest river’s in the world, is an hour away. If I count the hike to get to the overlook at Hawks Nest State Park, make it two hours.

Clear Fork for web

There are rivers like this everywhere.  This one is in Raleigh County, an hour and a half from my front door.

greenbank for web

ET, phone home. Green Bank, West Virginia is home to the largest fully-steerable radio telescope in the world in the heart of Pocahontas County.  If you wanted to pick one place to go in West Virginia, Pocahontas County would be a good choice.

alban fresco for web

No, it’s not New York.  Just another small town Main Street in St. Albans. When I was a kid, we watched Frankie Avalon and Anette Funicello in Beach Blanket Bingo.  For a while it was a Jehova’s Witness Kingdom Hall.  Now the Alban is a theater again featuring plays and…

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Morning Poem, May 16, 2017

Home Economics

On a morning in May you can walk bright and early

Down the alley and lane where the grapevines are curling

The shadows are old and the sunlight is new

And the lawns, newly cut, cradle diamonds of dew

And the moon is still high in the south sky out there

And the scent of the honeysuckle floats in the air

All the houses look neat, with their porches swept clean

And the birds sit and sing in the bushes and trees

The breeze is still cool and it moves like a breath

And it flutters the drapes on a world still at rest

And I walk on alone, taking all of it in

Wishing life would stand still and that time was my friend

copyright 2017

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