Monday, November 25, 2013

A Little Poem For Christmas

Does the sun not rise from the south?
Do the fires within you grow?
Life's ebbs bring new passions -
Towards spring when you may sow.

Winter has its subtle charms,
Though in each of us is felt a sting
From the icy gaze of Fate -
Who decides what tomorrow may bring.

I'll preach no mantra on wise choices,
Or the power of focused free will;
Instead I'll remember that you love,
And hold you in memory still.

Mortals have ego to sustain our hopes
That bad fates we may outrun;
Give this season to another, love,
And to them become a rising sun.

I'll post again before the Holidays, so I'll see you soon.

By the way, I've recently published an anthology of my 2013 poetry - Rori's Poetry 2013.  You can find it at Smashwords, and other fine ebook retailers - and it's FREE!  

To check out these poems and my other works at Smashwords, just use this link to my bio page, where you can start perusing: About Rori O'Keeffe 

Peace and cheers!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

That Most Common Evil

Leaving self-indulgence behind and returning to important matters, I want to draw attention to the plight of so many in this world who suffer from mental illness: The unthinking, unfeeling condemnation of others who use the afflicted one as a scapegoat for the sins of everyone.

I have a friend I've known since childhood that I will call Ken who is very troubled by the now ancient taunts and humiliations of youth when his condition was as yet undiagnosed, and when he was getting into his share of youthful trouble.

Ken was a beautiful guy to the few that recognized his incipient schizophrenia, for they saw how he struggled to be, on the whole, a dignified and decent human being.  He was astoundingly successful in those efforts, though almost nobody would give him credit for that.  He suffered, perhaps, more than any adolescent we knew back then, but there were some who wanted to multiply his woes a thousand-fold, simply because he stood out as different, and was very vulnerable socially.

Ken actually did do a fair number of crazy and wrong things when he was young {not the worst sorts of things, but bad enough}, and his many persecutors attributed malicious intent to Ken, as well as fabricating more wrongdoing by him.  He wasn't forgiven the way most of his peers were for their own mistakes - in fact, his errors in judgement were the subject of hypocritical attempts to make him suffer for life; and, those attempts have largely been successful, as Ken has not been able to forgive himself for his lapses in youth until recent years.  He finally has a measure of peace in his heart.

An example of what sort of thing the other young people did to Ken might make you wonder what goes on in people's minds sometimes that can make them so hurtful.  Ken made a fairly common social mistake in high school: He briefly dated a girl that had broken up with one of his friends.  His friend became upset at the news, attacked and abused the girl involved, and succeeded in making Ken a pariah in circles they traveled in.  What a mob of indignant boys and young men did was to invite Ken out for drinks at a local sports tavern {this was more than a year after the actual dating incident}, and, having learned from more astute young people that Ken was ill and likely schizophrenic, these young men, numbering perhaps twenty-five, proceeded to all do mocking impersonations of schizophrenic people, in order to humiliate and punish Ken.

Sadly, this sort of abuse was frequent through Ken's years before he was finally diagnosed and started his medication and therapy.  People who manifest what is truly evil in human affairs - ignorance, insensitivity and hypocrisy - have nearly shattered a human being's capacity for happiness in life.  These people don't have neurotransmitter deficits to explain their behavior - they merely set out to be sadistic in their treatment of Ken, and no one has ever held them accountable for those cruel pranks and characterizations of Ken, nor are they generally held to account for the numerous other intentionally cruel things they have done in their lives.  They are off the hook for their culpability in many moral crimes, but Ken, and many others like him, suffer in silence from the truly evil scapegoating inflicted on him in youth.

To be ostracized, and made the object of public vilification by the hypocrites in their midst, is a fact of life for many of the mentally ill.  To have the weight of other people's wrath on your head throughout life, always threatening to break your spirit, is the fate of those we so cruelly and mistakenly scapegoat.

Ken's a beautiful guy to this day - I wish people could get to know him, but he's a kind of hermit; he's still afraid of what those crowds out there might do to him if they sensed a vulnerable one in their midst.  His happiness in life will be meager in some regards, but as compensation, he's among the knowing crowd - the ones who know how hard a life can be, and who sympathize with all who make mistakes - save, perhaps, for the very rare person who truly is evil.

I'll write about Ken again in the future, perhaps touching on what it is that make the people who really know him say, Ken's a really beautiful guy.

Peace and cheers -


Monday, November 4, 2013

Beginnings As A Writer

I suppose I should preface this post with a warning: I'm not, nor have I ever been, a normal girl.  My first crush was on a girl called Diane, and with amazing symmetry, my latest belle amie is Diana.  For the most part, men have filled the intervening years of my relationships, but I can't escape the truth that a woman is just a better person to have a relationship with, 90% of the time.

What do my proclivities have to do with starting out to become an author?  Well, I think it's ample illustration that a writer, above all else in their personal lives, has to be true to himself/herself.  I think that I am, like many other authors, a very talented writer in search of a great idea to write about.  I have an old friend from high school, Mike, who is a lot like me: He vows that one of these years, come hell or high water, he's going to publish a novel.  He's done just about everything else, but the great story eludes him.

Or does it?  He's had a very interesting life with a large number of accomplishments, a sad litany of tragic losses, and he's known a lot of real characters.  I have to admit, he wasn't much of a writer back when we were kids, but he has developed an arsenal of writing tools that make him formidable - if he can just get the great story out of himself.

I mention Mike because he's a lot like me in some pertinent ways.  I too have had an interesting life and have known many characters - but can I do the expressive thing that writers and artists are known for, and get it all out?  Time will tell.  In typical fashion, I am testing the waters first, with poetry and a novella I am currently writing.

"Oh Lord, grant me the courage to be expressive," I might utter moonwards these days.  Writing has been an obsession of mine since youth, and if I could just write as spontaneously now as I did back then, I'm sure I would be satisfied with the results.

And so, I will leave you with this thought: When we get really unwound in the bedroom, we become different people.  I am currently enjoying the absolute best lovemaking I have experienced in my 38 years, and I feel like I'm ready to go have at it in the novel writing department as a result.  Will I win awards for my novel?  No, I'm not that talented.  Will I tell a great story that inspires many of my readers?

I think so.  Stay tuned.

Cheers -


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Welcoming The World Back

I really hope everything works out for this world.  These are the summer days when we recall the bombings of Japanese cities.  This is the year that we discover politicians are able to secretly place us in police state environments.  And these are the decades when we realize that humanity could suffer greatly (or die a death by a thousand cuts) due to environmental degradation.
Everywhere we look, we seem to see hatred and indifference on the rise; when we look within ourselves, what do we see?  I'd wager the average person sees great concern for the world and its future, yet that person feels almost powerless to do much about it.  As well, if he is like me, there is considerable confusion as to what is really going on.
Bit by bit, I think we'll chip away at the walls that obstruct the view of the rest of the world; slowly, by the standards of a single lifetime, we'll see that latent love for humanity tearing free of the leash.  The world will make a comeback in coming generations, I firmly believe, though not on its own.  We each need to do our share.
Today, I'd like to tell you of a new (to me) author I discovered at  His name is Jared Sande, and he lives in Kenya.  His general region of the world is suffering what few peoples have experienced in the past, and it's mainly because the world is still such a messed up place.  I would strongly recommend the two short stories of his I have read thus far - they are among the most powerful short works I have ever read.  They are Evil Sun [New Version}], and The Man.  I gave both stories enthusiastic five-star reviews, as they are easily among the very best short works I have seen.

Here's a link to his Smashwords bio page, where you can begin perusing his work:

His work is humane, and part of the beginning of welcoming the world back.

All the best in love and your works - R.O.