Saint Paul’s Hymn to Love

1 Corinthians Chapter 13

Jerusalem Bible


Though I command languages both human & angelic ~ if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.  And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries & knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains ~ if I am without love, I am nothing.  Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned ~ if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.



Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude & never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offense or store up grievances.   Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.  It is always ready to make allowances, to trust to hope & to endure whatever comes.



Love never comes to an end.  But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.  For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.  When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.  Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face.  Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.



As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.




Spirit of Place


It’s a place, that’s all, just a place ~ a knoll of dust & pebble ~ surrounded by a view, a view with next to no sign of humankind.

There’s a little truck-trail passing by below the knoll. At night time you can see an insignificant group of lights way out yonder ‘tween two dark mountains. Other than that, the place & the view is a home of nature ~ lived in by saguaro & creosote, ocotillo & cholla, thorn & more thorn, millions of tiny little flowers in the early spring, jackrabbit, coyote, lizard, red racer snake, stray cow, an irritable cactus wren, a curled-up baby rattler, a grey tarantula lying on its back, some gullies, a drywash under a sky unparalleled ~ & wavy crystalline distance broken here & there by a few volcanic rock pinnacles ~ & out-further-yonder more mountains of rock ~ craggy rock & piercing thorn.

Just a place ~ where nobody ever goes ~ except me ~ at that time a lone middle-aged man of no permanent property ~ in fact, of no permanence what-so-ever.

I was on my way to San Diego to work & buy more books for the Book Mule, which was a book store & a monk cell in a one-ton `85 Ford van with dual wheels in the back (hopped thru drywashes like a jack-rabbit). T’was the end of winter & a witto bit into spring or somewhere’s around that time, which was the end of the selling season, a witto ways above the Mexican border in Arizona. On my way outta there I decided to drop by this place, one of my hide-outs ~ and say “Good-bye” to the desert.

A good-bye consisted of indulging in a half-pint of whiskey & a warm 12 oz. can of Coca Cola, mixed together by & by in a coffee cup, standing around looking at the desert, & leaving in the morning ~ or something kin to that.

This was a very holy place ~ to me. I mean, for example, in early spring, in the glittering good-morning dew, when the drywash was a wild cacophony of bird song & the desert floor was a thick carpet of tiny colorful flowers, when I lost the trail & had to step on the flowers to get from point A to point B ~ I felt guilty. Of course you can’t touch the bigger plants when you’re walking along or you’ll most likely get pierced by savage thorns. When I almost stepped on the curled up baby rattler, I certainly did not kill him or even disturb him, but observed the snake, stoic little critter, then walked around him (or her). The whole area, in other words, besides being a hide-out, was also a shrine.

(more below)



So me & the Book Mule ditched the highway, rattled along a washboard road for, oh, about 7 miles, turned right on a particular wagon trail, hopped thru a few drywashes or whatever you want to call ‘em (arroyos?), lollygagged along with a silent song surrounded by gorgeous desert & sky & no reason why & backed into the hide-outty shrine without bothering a twig just before twilight time.

The wonderment begins. You can hear a pin drop 100-yards away. But when a desert critter lets go a shriek that bubbles thy blood, you wonder whether you heard anything or not. And the only thing making any noise is the bell ringing inside your head. Stark silence is dominant in this realm. If the Author Of All Things has anything to say to you ~ He says it now. Otherwise, you’re deaf & dummified in an eerie land of splendor. So go ahead ~ holler like a coyote!

I stood upon the knoll, cup of whiskey & coke in hand, head bowed, wondering how a ring of rocks at my feet got there. Inside this ring of rocks a few scattered sticks lay. Nearby was a jumbled pile of more sticks to feed an anticipated fire inside the circumference of stones. There were no footprints around here except for my own. How long had a campfire been waiting to be lit here? 100 years? And why hadn’t I noticed this campfire set-up before now?

“Well, I’ll be…”

Then I looked up ~ and what do you suppose I saw? A huge full moon had just slid up into the twilight sky from behind the nearest mountain. Whoa, what a sight.

“Lordy Lordy…”

I gulped down the rest of my heady mixed drink ~ but it really wasn’t that heady. What was going on around here?

Then, behind me, I heard the faint, tiny, but unmistakable sound of a ~ no, it couldn’t be! I swiftly turned ~ and behold! Three desert squirrels with minute musical instruments ~ a midget mariachi band!

No, not really, just kidding. But the mysterious fire ring & the magnified full moon, not to mention the other myriad miracles of twilight-hour tweeking the landscape all around, gave me the distinct feeling that I was not only saying “good bye” to the desert, but the desert was also saying “good-bye” to me.

Ain’t that somethin’?

I didn’t light the fire that night. The following day I took off for San Diego, got work, bought books, and returned the following winter on New Years Eve.

Then I lit the fire. And I had with me half a quart bottle of Old Overholt rye whiskey to make sure we enjoyed the flimmering flames & the swirling stars. We had a, uh, melodious conversation that night ~ me & the quiet, gentle, tremulously shy spirit of that place.

Dominus vobiscum.


from Cloyd Campfire

(around the beginning of the 21st century)

Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2015



art courtesy


Lynden St Victor


Sufi Shores



Things are beyond planning

And life doesn’t always turn out as planned

You don’t plan for a broken heart

You plan to be young forever

You plan to conquer the universe

You plan to fall in love

And be loved forever


You don’t plan to be sad

You don’t plan to be hurt

You don’t plan to be broke

You don’t plan to be betrayed

You don’t plan to be alone in this world

You plan to be happy

You don’t plan to be shattered



Sometimes if you work hard enough

You can get what you want

But most times

What you want & what you get

Are two different things


We mortals plan

But so does Allah in the heavens

Sometimes it is difficult to understand Allah’s plans

Especially when His plans are not in consonance with ours



When he sends us crisis

We turn to Him in anger


We cannot choose what Allah wishes us to carry

But we can carry it with courage

Knowing that He will never abandon us

Nor send us something we cannot cope with



Sometimes Allah breaks our spirit to save our soul

Sometimes He breaks our heart to make us whole

Sometimes He allows pain so we can be stronger

Sometimes Allah sends us failure so we can be humble

Sometimes He allows illness

So we can take better care of ourselves

And sometimes

Allah takes everything away from us

So we can learn the value of everything he gave us



Make plans

But understand that we live

By Allah’s grace


Sufi Girl





The surfer girl photographed here is Claire “Bevo” Bevilacqua, a pro from Perth, Australia.  She has won many competitions…

Semra Polat, who I identified here as Sufi Girl, humbly & graciously accepted my reblogging of her poem & I’m very grateful…



Note II From The Editor

Dear Reader ~

Movies starring Errol Flynn enthralled me when I was a child sitting at the feet of my father.  We were always watching Errol Flynn movies on TV.  One of these action-packed dramas was Charge Of The Light Brigade, made in 1936.  I was 5-years-old in 1955, which was about when I became captivated by this movie.

Later, maybe when 9-years-old, I was digging thru the Junior Classics set of books on the bottom shelf in my older sister’s room when I found Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, The Charge Of The Light Brigade.  It enthralled me.  I remember memorizing the whole thing when I was sick at home from school.  Voluntary memorization ~ it’s not every poem that inspires a boy thusly.

When a beginner journalist in high school, I came across in a bookstore a collection of old news stories, one of which covered the actual, you guessed it, that awesome Charge Of The Light Brigade.  I bought the book & read in it an eye-witness account of what turned out to be a ribald episode in the Crimean War.  I studied the episode even further years later when I found a whole book written about that particular military blunder & how it was so foolish.  In fact, as I recall, the whole Crimean War was pretty foolish according to various resources I’ve read along the way.

So am I going to make a comment here on war?  The American invasion of Iraq maybe?  Bullying, colonialism, sharia law?  Fighting for national independence, democracy, freedom?  No, not at all.  All I want to do is say a little something about three of my most favorite poems ~ The Charge Of You Know What, The Ballad Of The Northern Lights, and The Flyin’ Outlaw ~ all of which you can find right below this note.  Just scroll on down.  But, before you do, please realize, each one of these 3 awesome poems is about pure unadulterated foolishness.

There ~ I said what had to be said.  And I’m not saying anything more about it.  Amen.


Note From The Editor


Hello Illustrious Reader!

I am nothing, nothing at all but rabbit stew, without you.  It’s absolutely wonderful having at least one of you around to sample these pearls of questionability that I’ve been dishing out for some time now.  Thank you for dropping by.  Thank you, thank you, thank you very much!

No matter what ~ I keep writing.  That’s the only given.  Barely.  I’m not even making sense to myself anymore ~ let alone anybody else.  Well, about 2 people, it seems, have been dropping by recently.  I definitely appreciate you dropping by.

This issue of the Old Timer is off the forum, unless it has been re-instituted in the last few seconds and I don’t know about it.  I don’t know why it’s off the forum.  Won’t ask.  I think that in promoting a short novel I wrote many moons ago, I picked a chapter in which my main boy was unlawful.  After all, he was an outlaw.  And he was in an “outlaw” story.  But, I guess, somebody behind another desk somewhere took not kindly to what transpired there.  I don’t blame her.  Either that, or it was a technical glitch.  Censorship should not be taken lightly some place like the Old Timer office.  But, I guess, if I was truly concerned I’d be asking some questions of some people some where in The Company maze.  That said, it’s a privilege having access to this service.  Thank you, thank you, thank you very much!

So!  What’s with the girl with the sword in the last post?  That’s Saint Joan of Arc’s sword she is waving around in Harlequin fiction stories.  I love that.  I really do.  Thus I promote the Rogue Angel books.

From the moment she was born, Saint Joan has been capturing humankind’s imagination & taking flight ~ like an angel.  She captured the heart of Mark Twain & he wrote a book about her.  I read it.  Now I have litanies to the beautiful saint in the Old Timer Chronicle.  Prayers.  Why not?  I might very well love her as much as Mark Twain did.  So I put together The Almanac Of Saint Joan Reincarnated 2012.  It’s political.  It’s prayerful.  It’s fiction.  Why not?

So what is Old Timer Chronicle (volume III) about?  What is Sheena’s Teepee all about?  Nothin’.  Nothin’ I’m going to explain.  And everthing!

 Yours truly