Tuesday, September 13, 2005

city photography


© Masalla Galleries 2005

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

city photography

Posted by Picasa

The Mead Moon

© Masalla Galleries 2005

The Trocadero Cafe

A huge muscular doorman with crewcut hair stands at the entrance. Oblivious to the cool shadows of the evening, unaware of the seedy surroundings of the street. He wears only a heavily starched white shirt under wide black suspenders, black serge razor-crease slacks and highly polished leather bankers. He is intimidation in black and white and hard edges. His grey eyes capable of transition between friendly greeting and steely stare.

I know a place on the other side of town
Some people go there just to play
Opens at night about half past ten an' never closes until dawn
You can get what you want at the Trocadero Cafe.

Midnight and gossip are the bill of fare
Ev'ryone dining with a view
Wear what you want but you can't get in unless you got your best dress on,
'cause you're part of the scene an' there's someone watching you too.

Friday, June 24, 2005

city photography

storm brewing

© Masalla Galleries 2005

Friday, June 03, 2005

Pelly and Miramar

"Miramar don’t care. She’s prob’ly out havin' a good time right now. PartAY Princess. When they find my body squished under the wheels of one of them huge trailer rigs, she’ll cry then. Or will she?"
The highway meandered between rolling farmlands and stands of dark trees. A scattering of cars hissed past. Lazily. Dark cloud rolled overhead, muting the countryside.
Pelly Boyes continued mumbling to himself as he waited for a semi. A big rig would end it quickly. The last thing he wanted was to end up a vegetable and have nurses feeding him through tubes, not being able to tell them he wanted to die. One blink for yes. And Miramar giving him that sick, ‘you’re so stupid’ look. Again. The doctors trying to repair the sack of bones that had been dragged under a truck. Pelly had to make sure big fat double tires got him right away.
He stood on the overpass above the fast lane, on the far side to oncoming cars, away from the view of any approaching driver, pressed against the rail, watching for the exact right truck, ready to drop as the vehicle drove under the highway bridge. No driver could to react quick enough to avoid him when he leaped. Just a blurred shape in front of the bumper.
At twenty-four, it was all over for Pelly Boyes, he had nowhere to go. His cash flow flew. The angle he had hoped for never appeared to him. Too many little shit deals that went sour. Scammy deals doomed from the start.
"Too many small time assholes who you can’t count on. Like Midas the Fink. Damn Midas. I shoulda shot you Midas when I had that gun, tellin’ the cops all that shit about me. There’s no way into the loop for a guy what no education, no chance of getting wherever it was I was tryin' to be gettin’ to. And Angel supposed to tell me when he's gonna 'lectrify a horse, some jockey friend you turned out."
Pelly wanted to go now. Make the exit from humanity. Couldn’t pay his debts and Sal Mungo didn’t tolerate late payments. A guy called Crunchy was looking for him right now. The cops too.
Worst of all Miramar was gone. She clinched it when she ran off yesterday with that big city dork wearing a fancy Western suit and a blue Mercedes. And pointy-toe Tony Lamas. She flashin' her green eyes at his wallet. Damn drop-dead gorgeous Miramar. Steppin' out of a forties movie. But gawd she has that forties style. What does she like about that so much? Benny Goodman for chrissakes.
Pelly stared down at his worn shoes as the first few drops of heavy rain spattered the pavement. Then the ominous dark Cadillac caught his attention.

from my novel Pelly and Miramar
© RC Westerholm

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

city photography

Windy rain

© Masalla Galleries 2004

April in Paris

It was Paris, 1941.
The rive gauche, the 7th arrondissement, on the rue Madeleine, in that tiny hotel des Pins, under the stairway - filled with the fragrance of tulip and the danger of war ...
We touched lips only a moment, you said au revoir but not goodbye ...
your chaleur still fires my lingering heart ........
Will you be there this April?

Therése, in the novel Ultimate Sacrifice
© 2000 R.C. Westerholm

city photography


© Masalla Galleries 2005

Monday, May 30, 2005

Home is in the mind

Where Now is Home?
Where was Langvei? Was that the last hill?
Are we still in the valley of the shadow of death?
Where is Khesanh? Can we find it still?
Can we walk any longer? Is this our last breath?

Where now is home? To the north to the south?
The hooch in the jungle, the picket fence lane?
What words do I hear coming out of my mouth?
Are the sobs and the moans the sound of profane?

Tread on the button bombs or upon the death adder.
Take your cubes and your pills, what are they for?
In the combat of grunts, what does it matter
if anyone survives this paraplegic war?

Where does it end, this loathing of man?
How can we endure this continual pain?
Where can we say this turning began?
Pray to my God I’ll not pass here again.

Where now is home? Where now is home?

(war poem written by Nathanial in A Place in the Sky - Copyright R.C. Westerholm)

Saturday, December 25, 2004

city photography

Winter hot dogs at English Bay

click to enlarge
© Masalla Galleries 2004

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Today in history ... December 14

1989 - Andrei Sakharov, father of the Soviet H-bomb, dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner for defending human rights, died at age 68.

My song for Sakharov - - -

The Ballad of Andrei Sakharov

They got me in emergency hospital, how'd I ever get in here?
What did I say? Is this the price that I pay?
They said they'd let me out next year.
They put me in emergency hospital, in here it happens in reverse,
you come in then, you're never seen again
the patients go from good to worse.

The doctor comes to see me each morningtime he says there's something wrong in my head,
he gives me a shot and then I hurt a lot
maybe I'd be better off dead.
Hear the man a moanin' in the bed next door, he just got up and went insane,
the morning line is he'll be dead by nine,
'cause all he ever feels is pain.

A knock on my door about a quarter to four
they came and then they took me away
I dared to disagree and someone told on me
they take down everything that you say.

They got me in a ward with all the crazy ones and soon you never hear them scream
I look at you and you're a prisoner too
you stay awake so you won't dream.
They put me in this four by four padded room and on the other side of the door
the KGB is out there watching me
you'll never hear from me no more.


They got me in emergency balnista tryin' to make me change my ways
my doctor says "Nyet, you ain't goin' home yet
we don't believe a word that you say"
They put me in emergency hospital how'm I gonna get outa here?
It may be too late because I can't think straight
I don't think I'll be leavin' next year.

A knock on my door about a quarter to four
they came and then they took me away
I dared to disagree and someone told on me
they take down everything that you say.

© RC Westerholm (SOCAN)

Monday, November 22, 2004

city photography

False Creek
© Masalla Galleries 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

Cloning - the future ...

So quit badmouthing cloning and look on the bright side. Do you really believe it’s going to stop anyway? Those laboratorys were doing it secretly in the first place, and they’re not about to curtail their erotic excitement because of world opinion or morality. They get off on it. Expect a public relations onslaught on the same scale as Why War is Good For You.
So what’s good about cloning? Lots. Everyone can have wool sweaters instead of that sticky polyester. Dolly’s legacy. Maybe your dog is getting old, can’t control himself, you take him down to Clones-R-Us and get a brand new puppy, and he IS your dog all over again!
But it’s human cloning you’re thinking about, right? Okay, imagine this if you will; two hockey teams made up of only Wayne Gretskys. What a game! How about George Foreman against George Foreman in the ring? Imagine his kids at ringside! And the Jolly Giant will smile and cook you a steak between rounds on his grill. The downside to human cloning of course is how many Britney Spears can we stand?
Hollywood will embrace cloning, they’d be able to remake all those old movies with original clones. ‘It Happened One Night’ with Clark Gable 2 and ‘High Noon’ with Gary Cooper 'A version', except someone wouldn’t be able to resist making all the bad guys Cooper too. They’ll have the technology to go back for the REAL Ben-Hur’s DNA and have the chariot race against Charlton Heston 'B'. And imagine listening to the Barbara Streisand Choir.
And you know how your kids’ll do everything for you as six-year-olds but won’t do anything at seven? You’d be able to have perpetual six-year-olds forever getting you things, the remote, a beer. The excitement never ends! Never ends ...... never ends

But wait ... it’s inevitable that we’ll clone AND genetically engineer what we need. One of them new Aardvark vacuum cleaners. Perhaps a brand new Jaguar with leather seats. I mean a brand new JAGUAR! Genetically adapted to be docile of course. Perhaps a running dog fetching a perpetual bouncing ball. Maybe a tap dancing pink elephant? Or a green blob thingy that was once a frog?
And ... er, other things we don’t really NEED but what we’ll think are fun to have. Right? It isn’t too unimaginable that we’ll OWN creatures like these ...

Clone your kids now before they're too old - only $2995.00

CloneRunningDog#359a This week only - $49.50

TapDancing pinkelephant Model #123x Sold out, rain checks available.

GreenBouncingBlobC6 Our most popular seller, volume discount.

Little genetic clones who will run their hearts out for you ... until they die ... but they have no brains, only a program, no thoughts, only an impulse to run, or to dance for our amusement, or to plop endlessly on the floor. They have no idea what they are doing. It's all right, we'll be told .... because they have no idea. They're only 'manufactured beings'. They have no feelings. They don't know anything at all.
Do we?
Look at them. Are you sad too?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

my artwork - the YOYO

#1 in the Clown Series.
The origins of clowns can be traced back to the Circus Maximus of Rome. Clowns started as Greek and Roman mimes and were usually bald-headed, padded stupid fools.
The modern circus began around 1768 and the first circus clowns appeared at Phillip Astley's. Some early clowns were Arlecchino, Pierrot and Harlequin. Joey Grimaldi originated the white-faced tradition and the baggy dress, large shoes and sloppy manners were made popular by Auguste in the 1860s. The sad-faced Emmett Kelly is perhaps the most well known modern day clown.
Since their beginnings centuries ago, clowns, through their buffoonery and ridiculously exaggerated antics have always brought joy into our hearts.

published by Masalla Galleries Graphics - Vancouver, BC

Posted by Hello

© Masalla Galleries Graphics 1995

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

city photography

Maybe tomorrow

© Masalla Galleries 2004

Download the Firefox Web Browser

I have been using the beta Firefox .9.2 for about 6 months now and like the interface and simplicity, plus you can add other buttons on the personal tool bar for Google search, your blog etc. I think Netscape has suffered since AOL took them over and changed codes within the structure. And Microsoft Internet Explorer is just way too slow for me. Try Firefox, you don't have to just use one browser at a time if you have the RAM.
Go here for the finished version 1.0 - - -

Firefox - Rediscover the web

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

exerpt from my novel - Deadly Nightshade

1st book in the trilogy - Trephining

Cynthia was warming to some arcane idea. Said, "Do you know the theory that many criminals SEEK death? They climb toward it all their lives, perhaps because of something in their pasts. They actually want to be caught and punished. They want to be set free from the demons in their minds. They need death, Mr. Dexter."
She was preoccupied with death.
"I have heard that one but I leave the definitions to the psychologists."
"A poet I know penned these lines;
'I have a rendezvous with Death
which no one can deny,
I mustn't keep the gateman waiting,
I must be there on time.'
It is exactly about death wish."
"Your friend has a death wish?"
"Sadly, I believe that may be so." Her mouth turned down.

Who was this morbid friend? Was she going to try to convince me that Darlene Parkinson had a death wish?
She continued, "It may be what compels a criminal to remain in the bank long enough for the police to arrive. You see, subconsciously, he KNOWs there'll be a shootout, knows he must die. He waits too long on purpose."
"Death by cop? Incredible, not in that situation," I scoffed, "he wants to get away and spend the money. Buy drugs."
"No, that's what WE think he wants to do, down deep he has to face death. He doesn't know why himself but he has to do it."
"Because he's too chicken to face life?"
"Are you familiar with Shakespeare? Listen to this quote from Caesar; ‘Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once.’"
"So bank robbers are valiant now?"
"Courage takes many forms, Mr. Dexter. A definition for every mind."
"I'm just trying to solve what I think has been a terrible crime. And your best friend Darlene is dead."
"I hope you have the courage to solve it, Mr. Dexter, when the time comes. If there was a crime."
"I know I do. And I know there was."
She arose to leave, "I hope you're not disappointed, I wouldn't want to see you miss getting your just rewards. There comes a time of crisis in everyone’s life when you need to ask of yourself, at that inscribed moment when you are cut; Which is more? This stream of my own blood? Or the waters of the four oceans?"
She laughed lightly and I realized what had changed so drastically about her in the last few seconds. Her eyes had faded from the blue to a very pale green, a cloudy celadon gray-green. They were beautiful. As she left the restaurant I thought maybe, just maybe, they
were telling me something after all.

© RC Westerholm

city photography

refections ...

click picture to enlarge Posted by Hello

© Masalla Galleries 2003

excerpt from my novel - Riding Pegasus

2nd book in the trilogy - Trephining

Cinny said, "Is Doc on the way? Did Michael call him?"
Jack Murphy turned his attention to Cinny and his look softened. "He's comin'. Why you doin' this for this guy?"
"He needs help, Jack. I'd do it for you too."
"How much is the room?" I said.
Murphy took this as a smartass remark. Growled, "I could bust the other arm for you." He folded the Popeye forearms across his chest, they expanded to resemble the legs of a Clydesdale. Most of the tattoos were blue but there were dabs of red and green as well. The word Death somehow stood clear of the circuitous designs. I had no doubt he could break arms, knew he'd done it before.
"Jack, don't, he's badly hurt ..."
Murphy looked at her, gentleness in his expression. I was involved in a triangle whether I wanted it or not.
"You said you wouldn' be back. Your stuff's in that box there."
There was a cardboard apple box near the door, filled with Cinny's personal hygiene products.
"I know what I said and it's true, but ... we needed Doc Morse, you can see that."
"Why you even mixed up with this prick?"
"Hey ... " I started to rise dizzily from the bed.
Murphy stepped forward. Cinny jumped between us.
"Look, I need some help here," I said, "you wouldn't be happy with yourself if you broke my other arm anyway, not picking on a poor little shit like me when I can't ... "
"You can't awright," he said quickly.
"Can you say, Oy yam what oy yam'?" I muttered, mimicking Popeye.
"Maybe you should call Doc again?" Cinny asked, trying to defuse the situation.
Jack Murphy never took his stare off me. Never once glanced at my bleeding arm. He was built like a water buffalo. "Michael called 'im awready."
"Want to make a deal, Murph'?" I asked.
Suspicion narrowed his snake eyes. "What kinda deal would I make with you, Sport?"
"We'll have a truce, I'll get the bullet out of my arm, we wait a couple of weeks and then I kick the shit out of you."
Murphy leaped at me. Cinny screamed. I rolled off the other side of the bed, crushing my bloody arm as I did but he was flat on his face as I struck him with a left-handed shuto. My focus was gone and I hit the side of his neck and shoulder. The mattress absorbed more of the blow than he did. I fell back to the wall, waiting for his onslaught, hoping my legs would work. There was a hard knock at the door. Cinny quickly opened it and a huge black-haired man stood there with the diminutive Doc Morse cowering behind him, little black bag in hand. I knew Michael Houlihan right away. Murphy was coming at me, rubbing the side of his neck where I had got him.
Houlihan roared, "Murphy! Fuck off!" They barged into the room, slammed the door. This guy looked like a REAL fighter, huge, bony and cat-quick.
Popeye Forearms stopped, snarled, "You got lucky there, Sport. You got a deal, don't wait too long though or I'll come lookin'."
He raised his eyebrows and nodded his head, kept repeating the action until I did.
"Deal," I said with false bravery, "see you soon. Keep training. Eat your spinach."
Murphy glanced at Houlihan, back at me with his best rattlesnake glare and left.
Cinny said, "Thanks, Michael. Thanks a ton."
Michael said, ignoring me, "Cinny. You're stayin' outa street work for sure now. Are ya not? That is what ya told us. Can we take it as the gospel?" A tinge of Irish brogue.
"For sure."
"This lad mean somethin' to ya, does he?"
The little bald doctor made his first comment, "He's not exactly a lad." I immediately disliked him.

© RC Westerholm

city photography

The subtle richness of Autumn

click picture to enlarge
© Masalla Galleries 2004

excerpt from my novel - A Place in the Sky

3rd book in the trilogy - Trephining

We listened, trying to hear a footfall beneath the mutter of the wind. Stood still, expecting something to happen. Dry tree branches rattled and fern fronds flailed at the edge of the clearing where a capricious wisp flashed through. Scattered petals from a yellow blossoming bush swirled to the ground like lemon snowflakes. I could hear a crow somewhere, its scolding voice carrying on the hot air.
We started along the narrower trail, gently pushing branches aside. There were several more homemade wind chimes, each with an individual harmonious sound.
I had just glimpsed a piece of rusted tin through the trees when I heard the movement behind me.
“Don’t you motherfuckers move or you die!”
He had Zac gripped with his left arm under Zac’s and his left hand behind his head, a half nelson. In the browned skin of his right hand was a long bladed commando knife, pressed hard against Zac’s throat.
Zac was staring at me. And I was staring into stainless steel eyes.
"We won’t do anything stupid. Are you Nathan Browne?”
He pressed the honed edge of the blade tighter into Zac’s throat. His features were hard to recognize because they were colored with black and green irregular spots, jungle make-up, but even then I knew right away who he was. The man I was facing was Zac’s brother. Cynthia’s brother. The resemblance was striking even though Nathan appeared much older. He wore a baggy camouflage jacket.
The steel eyes shone with hostility. “Who the fuck are you? Why you lookin’ for me?”
“We have a mission to find you,” Zac said. He was hanging limp in Nathan’s arms but twisted his head trying to look at him.
“Fuck you asshole! The mission’s over.” He batted Zac’s hat off with the long blade. There was a dark blue tattoo on the back of his right hand, the head of a fire-breathing dragon and the word ‘Khesanh.’
I said, “We have some very good news for you. Please let him go. We mean no harm.”
He only readjusted the knife. Zac’s skin was white along the crease and the edge of the blade glinted where it had been often sharpened.
Zac tried to straighten his body, raised his voice, a different Zac spoke, “It is destiny which leads me to arrive here. A destiny which commands you as well. You must carry out your own mission. Time has converged upon us, now there is none left, do it! You must slice through the softness of the man you clasp. It is preordained. This IS your purpose.”
It had to be the other Zac talking. He began pulling against Nathan’s grip.
“I’m gonna slice your fuckin’ throat in another minute.”
“Yes! Yes! You must. There can be no hesitation. Commit the act which sets us all free!”
Nathan was having a hard time controlling Zac. His eyes went wild and his hand tightened on the knife.
“You’re dead, man! I’ll slice your head off! I done it before.” Zac was trying to lurch away.
“If you do,” I yelled, “you’ll be killing your own brother!”
The steel eyes landed on me, darkened into a slate gray. His hand grabbed at Zac’s hair and pulled his head back violently. He tried to see Zac’s face without taking his eyes from mine. I raised my hands to keep them in his sight.
Zac’s eyes flashed a laser green, as though I had betrayed a family secret. I had. His incredulous look was because I knew. He was breathing in huge gasps. “You must do it! Draw the sacred blade along the devil’s skin. It must be done. I as Michael, command it!”
Nathan flung Zac to the ground in one movement, cutting the front of his throat slightly as he withdrew the blade and at the same time drawing an Army issue Colt .45, aimed it with a shaky hand.

© RC Westerholm

city photography

elegant passageway

click picture to enlargePosted by Hello
© Masalla Galleries 2004

excerpt from The Magic Bus

Terrence climbed onto the bus, hung his umbrella over his arm and withdrew his wallet. Paid his fare. Ten thousand dollars. The driver didn't smile - he never did at Terrence - just pressed a big red button and the windows fogged as they accelerated away.
Terrence glanced over the singular passengers who looked expectantly at him. Hopeful faces.
He chose an empty seat beside a rugged looking Army man with a scar across his lip and thick dark hair, wearing a khaki shirt and trousers.
"So you sit with me," the Army man said in a gravelly voice. He pulled a pack of Camels from his shirt pocket and lit one by flicking his thumbnail over the red and blue head of a wooden match. Didn't offer a cigarette to Terrence. His hands were like freshly dug potatoes.
"It'll be rough ya know. Autumn ‘44 ain't no country picnic, even if the war is leavin' Italy. They're still tryin' to hang on wherever they can. Mussolini's up there somewhere in them hills. Montecatini maybe, who knows? But we'll find him, don't worry, we'll find him." Smoke drifted out of his nose as though his lungs might be permanently smoldering.
"But, um, wasn't Rome already liberated in the Spring of 1944?" Terrence remarked.
"Yeah, but that kinda shit's easy. Artillery, whole friggin' divisions rollin' along. Tanks. That's velvet pie. Ya could use one of them new flame throwers if ya wanted. Fry the friggin' Krauts right in their burrows."
"F-fry them in their b-burrows?"
"Bunker Barbeque."
"Um, provided you can get close enough to use the thing."
"Who said it wouldn't be dangerous? That's the whole ticket. It's why yer here, ain't it? To go one on one?"
"I'm not sure yet."
"The game is diggin' 'em out one at a time, Buddy ... You'll love it, there's fun if ya get off at my stop with me, better than a table grade woman ... and no one'll beat ya up this time." The virile offer was tempting.
"I hope not, I abhor violence."
"So ya got punched in the head and the mugger took yer wallet, that's why ya want to face it now, ain't it? Believe me, them new flamers are the cat's ass. The Nazi's howl is like a Wagner opera." He pronounced the composer’s name WAGner.
Terrence gulped, corrected, "VAHGner."
The soldier took a deep drag from the cigarette. Smoke clouded his voice. "Get off with me ... Ya don't ever live better than when yer so close ta dyin'."
Terrence shuddered with a chill and looked around, opted to move near the little blond woman.
As he sat beside her he realized she was only a young girl. Soft, supple looking. She could have been sixteen, had fine yellowy hair and a light fragrance like wild roses.
"Hello," she said, her voice musical, her eyes possessing a kind of blue sheen. "Are you getting off when I do?"

© RC Westerholm

Friday, October 29, 2004

peregrine travelling


click map to enlarge


Travel does broaden one's horizons, and you acquire a feeling of respect for the people of the countries visited if you judge them with an open mind for their situation and not in the context of yours. Not everyone wants the North American lifestyle. Simple is better and there is something to learn from every society.
Some of the countries that I have been fortunate enough to visit, and even live in, follow here;
Andorra, the tiny country between France and Spain - Austria - Belgium, the best pommes frites in the world! - Denmark, with all those mellow Danes! - England - Finland, paternal heritage - France - Germany - Gibraltar, you couldn't get there from Spain before, you had to go on a boat (the Mons Calpe) from Algeciras to the continent of Africa at Tangier, then back from there, even though 'the Rock' actually overlooks Algeciras! - Italy - Liechtenstein - Luxembourg - Monaco - Netherlands - Norway, maternal heritage - Portugal - San Marino - Scotland - Slovenia, (Jugoslavia then) - Spain, easy living on the Costa del Sol, hurra por la siesta! Andalucia is a wonderful place to idle away time or write your novel - Sweden - Switzerland, I know where the best restaurant in the world is, but I can't tell you - Vatican City - Wales.
Morocco - Lebanon - Iran - India - Thailand - Singapore - Hong Kong - Japan - Hawaii, before they were a US state.
As a writer, the memories and experiences of travel find their way into all your writing, images, snatches of conversations, the ambience, and the people you meet remain in your heart.

And when you're back in BC, think of it as the best province in the best country in the world!
Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

city photography

the parade's gone by ...

click picture to enlargePosted by Hello
© Masalla Galleries 2004

excerpt from The Bertrameister ...

Uncle Bertram was larger than life. An oversized man. Tall, with a wide frame and huge belly that started at his throat and plunged to somewhere around his thighs. He had a squared head with close cropped reddish hair and ruddy cheeks below powder blue eyes that seemed like two bullet holes in a cardboard cut-out with the sky behind it. His eyebrows floated on their own like furry little Hindenburgs and he wheezed through nose hairs thicker than English thatch. I know he wasn’t eight feet tall but as a small boy I thought so then. His legs, revealed to us several times each summer when he wore short pants - Lion Hunting Shorts, he called them - were thick and sturdy, resembling snooker table legs, except they were glaringly white with only a few orange hairs. He was given to grand gestures, and when he might lay his five-banana hand upon your shoulder, you knew his bones were hard and heavy. Everything about him was overdone. He was a grown-up Katzenjammer Kid.
He relished expansive dialogues, often told unexpurgated stories of rather inconsistent adventures that seasoned friends ceased to believe, but with which my older brother Andrew and I, were transfixed. Uncle Bertram had done everything dangerous and been everywhere exotic.
No one ever called him Bert. That was too disrespectful and common for a man of his Germanic intensity and immense superstructure. My father nicknamed him ‘The Bertrameister’, which was fitting and he seemed to appreciate the Teutonic title with a Kaiser-like dignity as if it were his due. One always knew when Bertram was around.
Especially, when he farted.

© RC Westerholm

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

excerpt from my screenplay - Nashville Dreams

The bullet ricochets off the steel and the sound zings away. The trio crouch in one motion. FDR's eyes are wide. They're watching the speeding car, helpless to evade.

If them guys ever stop to aim, we're goners.

Well they ain't aimin' t' stop.

They lie flat atop the boxcar. The road beside the tracks curves away and the automobile disappears behind a cluster of roadside trees. The train heads into a long slow curve toward a trestle in the distance, crossing a green river.

That car out there's gonna cross this river somewhere too, an' then the road 'll join up with the tracks again. This's our chance comin' up.

The river. Yep.

You m-mean j-j-jump for it?

Them hillbillies in that car's gonna get beside us again an' get a good shot. We're the targets.

FDR (wide-eyed)
I don' th-think I c-c-can jump.

You got twenty seconds to decide boy!

The river appears deep and slow moving. The road is no longer in sight.

This be our only chance.

The train nears the trestle. Elijah stares hard at Jackson.

Quit lookin' at me like that. You're all grow'd up, a free man you keep sayin’, you didn't have t' come!

ELIJAH (smiling)
Didn't say nothin', man. You jus' feelin' guilty.

Y-You jumpin' Elijah?

I is jumpin’, Boy. Socks need a wash anyway.

It's all in the timing.

They brace themselves as the train starts across the trestle, clutching their instruments and bags. Whistlestop has been forgotten. Jackson hands his violin case to FDR and whistles for the dog. Whistlestop runs to Jackson who picks him up, holding him tightly.

We can't forget your dog, FDR.

FDR turns to look at Jackson, surprised.

MY dog? I th-thought he was YOUR dog!

Elijah jumps.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Expectations by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Sir Lawrence's complete understanding of light makes him one of my favourite artists. One can feel the crispness of the air in his work and his detail is unrivalled. Expectations was painted in 1885. Go to the CGFA website and also look at Alma-Tadema's Unconscious Rivals and see if you can figure out his intriguing use of converging lines and unexpected colours. Alma-Tadema's sense of composition remains fascinating to me in all his paintings. The CGFA's Index (link below) allows one to browse the world's great art at your leisure. (even download for your desktop wallpaper) Don't forget to bookmark the page.

Posted by Hellohttp://cgfa.sunsite.dk/alma/index.html

Sunday, October 10, 2004

War Poem

written by a character in my novel - A Place in the Sky


The ghastly red games
the spatters of blood - like measles all over my face
the huddling together of cold human crud each in an unhuman place
The melody screams an anthem to death. A nightbird floats in the skies
in darkness the black-hog hovers above - - - on petrified wings it still flies.
Efficient deliverance of anguish and pain - the tracers point out who will die
The screech and the roar, the yells we ignore, tonight it could be you or I
The reek and the stench of hot burning flesh
the death and the torture of fear
the reach out to touch
the nothing to feel
the blood and the sweat and the tears
The calling to arms
we know who we are
we’re numbers just numbers not names
and the ones who control our body and soul
play their wonderful
red games

© RC Westerholm

Friday, October 08, 2004

Late Summer in the Fraser Canyon

The table lands between Lillooet and Lytton above the Fraser River. Often Canada's hotspot, summer here lingers on with indifference to the rest of the vast Province.

click picture to enlargePosted by Hello

© Masalla Galleries 2003

excerpt from my motorcycle fantasy - Vital Mission

Two Velocettes have been on my mind for years after seeing them one squall-threatened, darkening night at a deserted Canadian border crossing. One had burnished gold accents over its
black and the other had writing on the front fender - Venom Thruxton. The leathered riders attended to their business with an aura of mystery as I watched their small tail-lights fade into the mottled moonscape.
And now my own game is afoot. You’ll catch a glimpse of me slashing across the pavement, a stab of sunlight and I’m gone, chasing my vanished youth if you like. But now I am a young rider, alert, aggressive, pitched forward with deliberate intent - from a line of William Aytoun; Like a tempest down the ridges, swept the hurricane of steel. I am a Royal Knight plunging fearlessly into the dark den of danger, reigning my black champing steed, brandishing a flashing Excalibur. Vanquishing the chimera of languor.

© RC Westerholm

Armistice Day, Victory Square

click picture to enlarge Posted by Hello
&3169 Masalla Galleries 2004

Sunday, October 03, 2004

the Eleventh Hour

The cherry tree in Victory Square gives up another yellowy leaf fluttering softly to the damp ground.
The Cenotaph. The eleventh month, the eleventh day, the eleventh hour.
Nearly a century after the signing of that first armistice in November, 1918, we are gathered on this cool autumn morning to remember the darkest hours. The large crowd is not restless, there is too much respect in the chill air to be restless. Only soldiers’ ghosts have the right to be restless this poignant hour. Looking over shoulders toward the marble monument, flags bright against the morning dull of overcoats and scarves, the cherry tree steals attention. Burnt orange and yellow and faded green leaves now sparse on its dark wet branches. The Vancouver Bach Youth Choir sings beautifully beneath it, an ethereal sound, angelic voices coaxing the leaves to let go, asking our hearts to remember.
The 15th Field Artillery Regiment begins the 21 gun salute with a dull thump in the thick misty air, startling nervous pigeons to fly in circling squadrons. Marching cadets and full dress troops arrive in staccato rhythm, heels upon pavement, commanded to halt by a disjointed voice. Military uniforms are especially crisp for this day and polished boots are perfect.
People singing Oh Canada with softness and pride, knowing we are the best. A patient grey sky of swirling cloud holds back its rain. A large plane with full flaps glides as slowly as possible overhead.
Another cannon thump. Gulls wheeling, watchful of food. Curious crows disappear into the dark evergreens. A poem written by a high school student is read with quavering emotion. Children’s voices echo. Murmurs. Here and there a solemn glistening tear on a worn face.
Many younger families clustered in an area they would never go to normally. A car alarm squawks irreverence, perhaps a comment to an almost forgotten generation. Bagpipes wailing, reproachful of modern interruptions. A phalanx of antique planes now circling with buzzing engines.
The earth smell is not unpleasant. Nor the odor of damp wool. Pipe smoke floats through the assembly. Coughs from some who shouldn’t be here remembering others who couldn’t be here.
An elder Sergeant’s voice giving directions to the parade troops, losing its strength with a crackle. The Chaplain speaks a prayer, I catch words, ‘in the journey through life’, and give a silent thanks that my passage has been without the fright of war, without the fear of death, without the tragic loss of dear ones.
My mind drifts to Belgium, a few years ago, of feeling a duty to visit Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Canadian World War II Memorial, even though I had no name to search carved on that monument. Standing amid the wheat fields in a summer breeze where a sprinkling of red poppies still grow, giving thanks that I was allowed to roam at will in a free Europe. There’ll be Bluebirds over, the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow, you just wait and see, Vera Lynn promised, and there were.
And in my free Canada, the laying of wreaths begins, dignitaries, officials and crippled old military men weighted down by their chests of medals, saluting a memory, a face, a daring-do friend, perhaps a chipper smile from long ago. Their bodies are crisp and straight for the salute, if only for a moment before they hobble back to their place in the hushed crowd. A man’s valor can never be extinguished.
Another thud from the artillery. War is different now. Can individual bravery and courage exist today? The choir sings, Abide With Me, and the beauty of the music and words hang in the mist.
The cherry tree sheds another leaf, then another. Dropping silently to the moist brown earth, as many soldiers did in a strange land. A song I once wrote drifts into mind -
Oh that man there might have been your uncle,
or a brother who was very dear,
or a father, never having seen his little son.
Now he’s lying softly in the grasses,
and he keeps on looking at the sky,
and he’s slowly giving up his dreams, one by one ...

Again the thump of artillery. Two minutes of silence. A frail woman’s voice in prayer. Yet not disturbing to those in reverie, they have liberty because of these fallen GrandDads. Lest we forget, lest we forget, at this moment, Kiplings greatest lines.
The clusters of dress parade troops begin to move off. Straight-backed solemn young cadets in a rhythmic shuffle, perhaps understanding for the first time what glory is. And crumpled old veterans, walking as best they can. Able to show a resolve in their eyes to all who would see it. Leading the way even at this long time from the event of their courage. Perhaps able to incite the young men gazing at them to be the very best they can be. And I hoping that they are able to sense and receive my thanks as they pass. And not sure, so I say it aloud. Thanks.
The eleventh month, the eleventh day, the eleventh hour.
The cherry tree gives away another yellow leaf fluttering down, though not to die in vain, but to give life to that tree for a future world.
Remembrance day, any year.


© RC Westerholm

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

International Kyokushinkai kanji

The meaning of Kyokushinkai is extreme real or truth. Martial art created by Sosai Masutatsu Oyama in 1955. It is a style of karate which focuses on strenuous physical training, especially kumite and tameshiwari, though it also inludes kihon, kata, self-defense techniques, and weapons. It is the utilization of circular movement in the execution of techniques that distinguishes Kyokushin Karate from the traditional styles of Karate that rely on simple linear motion. Kyokushin Karate is characterized by requiring of its participants, strenuous training, conditioning and realistic contact while sparring. Kyokushin karate-ka believe this contact is necessary in order to fully appreciate the resiliency of the human body and spirit and to prepare for any serious confrontation. Kyokushinkai is now practiced worldwide by thousands.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Vancouver info

get a feeling for Vancouver B.C. Canada

from my novel Tango Murderoso

McGrath’s heart leaped.
“Where’d he take the bags, Willie?” McGrath met his eyes in a cold stare.
Willie thought a moment. “Don’ know, I waited outside.”
Willie was genuinely confused with the sudden influx of knowledge and his mind couldn’t process it. There was excitement there but he couldn’t fathom the implications. He needed time to think.
McGrath’s voice took on a hard edge and his eyes bored into Willie’s. “Bullshit, Willie, he would’ve had you help him.”
“Naw, he was secret about some things he ...”
“So you mean he packed all those bags in by himself?” McGrath’s voice was rising. “Incredible, that’s what he paid you for.”
“Fuck you, I wasn’t his Joe-boy y’know. I handled other jobs for ‘im.”
Sure, McGrath thought, you were nothing but his strong-arm. Too stupid to be involved in anything cerebral. “What’d he say about them, the bags then?”
“Said they were a surprise for Cassandra, didn’t want my help.”
“Didn’t you even ask him what was in the fuckin’ things? I don’t believe this.”
“Fuck off, he said it was a surprise. Sure I aksed him but he goes, ‘you’ll find out later’. I never thought about it after. Forgot.”
McGrath knew he was going to lose ground once Willie figured he didn’t need him. He’d start lying. If he wasn’t already. He had to find out where those bags were hidden. “Wait a minute, I’ve got a sheet of paper here to show you.”
McGrath leaned into his car, Willie behind him. McGrath imagined Jose Canseco stepping out of the batter’s box to swing at a pitch-out. He twisted away from the car with the baseball bat in his hands and slammed Willie in the head with it. Blood splattered. Willie reeled across the alley and went down in a daze amid garbage piles. McGrath hit him twice on the knees with vicious blows. Quickly had Willie’s jacket open and the gun removed, slid it into an inner pocket of his own coat. Willie didn’t make a sound, he was numb but regaining consciousness. McGrath stood over him, sweat dripping from his brow, fiery anger in his eyes. “Now Willie, where’d you and Condy put the fucking BAGS?”

© RC Westerholm

Sunday, September 26, 2004

city photography

gastown building

click picture to enlarge Posted by Hello
© Masalla Galleries 2002

a little poetry from a novel character . . .

And silver flows like honey, liquid in my dreams,
and gold is washed upon the shore, and dissipates it seems
until reflections in your eye, recast that muted light
of all the treasures of the earth, of all the starry night.
And all the sunbeams sending down their diamond studded swords
and all the poets' pens abound with fluent wishful words
and all the ocean waters and all the mountains high
do not contain the love that shines within your lambent eye.
Acts of Empathy

© RC Westerholm

from my novel Acts of Empathy

We made love on that huge bed in the innocent, muted, white morning light; in the sylph garden amid applauding flowers on motionless turquoise afternoons; on those soft lounges before a conflagration of sunsets and in the hushed scarlet of descending twilight; on the veranda watched by smiling blue stars and white porcelain moons; in the shower - one undine stooping in the cascading water and the other clutching the shower curtain until I tore it down in a deluge of watery passion; in every chair and sofa; atop the piano to a crescendo of chromatic screams; in the kitchen on the counter top amid the aroma of tangy herbs; contortively crunched into the nook; sitting on the bar flavouring ourselves with Grand Marnier liqueur. We initiated every room in the house with a delightful, instantly recoverable, erotic memory. Spent effusive days and nights intoxicated with the elixir of each other.
It was the perfect coalescence of two wanton insatiable beings rising through the physical world into the cerebral purity of psychic sensualism. It was the clarity of love.

© RC Westerholm

Saturday, September 25, 2004

city photography

lazy afternoon at Spanish Banks

click picture to enlarge Posted by Hello
© Masalla Galleries

Some of my favourite websites

Andalusia, on the Costa Del Sol, Spain, a wonderful place to linger awhile

join and pursue your favourite topic

salon scoops the mainstream media

underground news

BBC really news

find out if you’re on their list

track the space shuttle

Georgia Straight news

follow interesting murder cases

don't go here, it's too addictive

remember expo 86?

Canadian writers

hey, pinups are so art! check out Greg Hildebrandt

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema & other artists

Formula One racing

Friday, September 24, 2004

graphic from TALK ABOUT LOVE Posted by Hello

excerpt from my comedy stage play - Talk About Love

HE: Men are more inventive.

SHE: I don't concede that, you’ve screwed up the world with your inventions.

(They stop circling, stare over the table at each other)

HE: Hey now ... Men have contributed to the betterment of Man.

SHE: (Looking into audience at women) Egg,sactly.

HE: Why can't you admit it? We've created the greatest inventions ...

SHE: How many would have been invented if men had to make their own dinner?

HE: Automobiles, for insta ...

SHE: Carbon monoxide pollution. Ozone depletion.

(HE sighs, continues pacing)

HE: Aircraft, to fly you to the sun on vacation ...

SHE: F18s to reek napalm attacks and agent orange ... Would a woman ever have invented a gun?

HE: Electric guitars. You love Eric Clapton.

SHE: Decibels. Heavy Metal. Ozzy Osborne, Axl Rose, bite bats, kill cops, eat babies.

(HE thinks, leans over the table, raises an arm in defiance)

HE: (Rising voice) Rockets to the moon. Teflon!

(SHE leans across the table to face him)

SHE: (Arm up too) Surface to air missiles! And who gives a shit if your eggs stick to the fucking pan!

© RC Westerholm

excerpt from my dramatic stage play - The RIDE

the action takes place in Big John's pool hall ...

Beatin’ me up ain’t gonna bring Billy back.
(Hagler is now pacing)

HAGLER: Shut your face, Calloway.

CALLOWAY: Shitsakes, I didn’t stick the fuckin’ needle inta his arm, he was my friend, ya know. (Exasperation) Quit blamin’ me, Hagler!

HAGLER: You were with him. You scored FOR him!

CALLOWAY: How was I to know he wasn’t gonna wake up? I didn’t know what he was doin’ until it was too late.

HAGLER: Just watched him die, didn’t you?

(Calloway retreats whenever Hagler moves close. Big John watches them closely)

CALLOWAY: Billy was a hype like me, you just didn’t wanna see it.

HAGLER: He was my little brother, asshole!

CALLOWAY: (Rising voice) I didn’t kill him, Hagler. He shot every cap he scored that day, he killed himself!

(Hagler steps closer to Calloway, their voices are steadily raising and they hear nothing else but each other)

BIG JOHN: Randal, be cooling down now.

HAGLER: Don’t say that, Calloway, you're a fuckin’ liar!

(Hagler gives Calloway another shove)

CALLOWAY: (Anguish) He told me yer Uncle Jack started on him right after he moved in. He couldn’t tell your Mom, thought it would send her off the deep end ...

HAGLER: Shut up, Jimmy!

CALLOWAY: And Billy couldn’t fight with him like you did. He just wasn’t strong enough!

HAGLER: Jimmy, you’re lying!

CALLOWAY: You know I’m not. Billy wanted to go out in a dream ... He did himself on PURPOSE! Ya still don’t get it, do ya! He WANTED to die!

© RC Westerholm


In 1952, a Special Committee on Narcotics of the Community Chest and Council of Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recommended after thorough study: "The Federal [Canadian] Government should be urged to modify the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act to permit the provinces to establish narcotic clinics where registered narcotic users could receive their minimum required dosages of drug." - Such dispensing clinics, the committee predicted, would "protect the life of the addict and support him as a useful member of society." It would also "within a reasonable time eliminate the illegal drug trade. . . . The operation of such clinics would not entail any reduction in the vigilance of law enforcement agencies," which would continue to be responsible for keeping narcotics out of reach of non-addicts.

An addict who shifts from black-market heroin to morphine by prescription moves into another world. Suppose, for example, that be has been paying $20 a day for 40 milligrams of heroin mixed with 360 milligrams of hazardous adulterants and contaminants. Armed with a prescription, he can walk into almost any neighborhood pharmacy and secure pure morphine, U.S.P., safely diluted in an appropriate vehicle, and sterilely packaged, at the full retail price of $5 per dram or less. He thus pays about five cents for 40 milligrams of morphine. If heroin were stocked in pharmacies, he could buy 40 milligrams of it, too, on prescription, for about a nickel - as British addicts do.
The question is obvious: Why shouldn't the addict be encouraged to secure his opiates legally, on prescription, in pure form, for a nickel a day, rather than be forced by federal and state laws to spend $20 per day in the heroin black market?
(NOTE* These figures are pre 1960s, it's more like $300. per day now. And the addicts get it by breaking into YOUR car, your house or your life)

In 1954, a California citizens' advisory committee to the Attorney General on crime prevention proposed that an addict certified as incurable by a disposition board should legally receive specified doses of narcotics and thereby remove said addict as a potential market for criminally or illegally secured narcotics.
Also in 1954, Dr. Edward E. Eggston, for the New York state delegation, brought to the annual convention of the American Medical Association a proposal that the AMA go on record as favoring "the establishment of narcotics clinics under the aegis of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics." The resolution did not pass.

In 1955, the Medical Society of Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, recommended the "establishment of narcotic clinics in large centers where the problem is acute." It suggested, "Suitable private physicians can care for the occasional addict in isolated areas .... The addict will receive his narcotics only at the clinic, hospital, or doctor's office so that he cannot resell them elsewhere."
Also in 1955, the New York Academy of Medicine proposed "taking the profit out of the illicit trade by furnishing drugs to addicts at low cost under federal control."
The academy recommended that "clinics be attached to general hospitals, whether federal, municipal, or voluntary, dispensing narcotics to addicts, open 24 hours daily, 7 days a week."

In 1956 the Council on Mental Health of the American Medical Association, while opposing the immediate establishment of substantial numbers of drug-dispensing clinics as urged the previous year by the New York Academy of Medicine, did suggest "the possibility of devising a limited experiment which would test directly the hypothesis that clinics would eliminate the illicit traffic and reduce addiction."
Also in 1956, the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association established a joint Committee on Narcotic Drugs, which recommended in its 1958 Interim Report:
(1) An Outpatient Experimental Clinic for the Treatment of Drug Addicts Although it is clear ... that the so-called clinic approach to drug addiction is the subject of much controversy, the joint Committee feels that the possibilities of trying some such outpatient facility, on a controlled experimental basis, should be explored, since it can make an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of how to deal with drug addicts in a community, rather than on an institutional basis. It has been suggested that the District of Columbia, being an exclusively federal jurisdiction and immediately accessible to both law enforcement and public health agencies, might be an advantageous locus for this experiment.

Have we progressed at all in the so-called War on Drugs?

© RC Westerholm

excerpts from a few of my songs (SOCAN)

A Common Thing -
There's a coyote yippin' in the hills
tellin' all the world about his misery
Soon he'll have no place to go
just how he feels I know
he's feelin' just like me

Old Men in the Park -
Old men in the park, warming their bones
waiting for darkness to chase them back into their homes

The Carousels -
Will the horses ever know a gentle hand?
Do they ever get away from fairyland?
If someone would give the carousels to me
I would let the horses all go free.

Nashville Tennessee -
Ridin' in a boxcar, trackin' down to Tennessee
Got myself some buddies, playin' music just like me
We ain't good lookin' but you'll know when we're in town

Street Musician -
In a darkened doorway covered with grafitti
stands a haggard man who's aged before his time
In a dusty black case open on the sidewalk
there's a quarter, seven nickels and a dime.

Normandy -
Oh that man there might have been your uncle
or a brother who was very dear
or a father, never having seen his little son.
Now he's lying softly in the grasses
and he keeps on looking at the sky
and he's slowly giving up his dreams, one by one.

A Summer Love -
Remember days, when we sought to escape the sun,
In yonder wood
If I'd my way, I'd walk with you 'till the day was done
If but I could

Emergency Hospital -
A knock on my door about a quarter to four
they came and then they took me away
I dared to disagree and someone told on me
They take down every thing that you say.

Spellbound -
You are in the spell of old Tangier
Where nothing's new, beneath the sun
Love can flow, just like a rumour here

The Smokin' Gun Barrel Blues -
Twenty-five policemen, poundin' at my door
Standin' in the kitchen with a smokin' forty-four

Motorcycle Rider -
Softtail Springer, I own the big sky
chrome plated winger, I'll ride 'till I die
Dragonfire demons and deadly dark flights
I own the days, but she owns the nights.

Who Killed Maxie? -
You know you should 've stayed beside me when the lights went out
and then it never would’ve ended this way

High Country Cowboy -
He was a high country cowboy
came from the end of the sky


Children laugh with glee
voices loud as water streams
making yellow snow

© RC Westerholm

Vancouver evening

across Coal Harbour Posted by Hello

the Afternoon

I am lying couchant beside her. It is as humid as it gets in East Asia after the monsoon. Close. There is little oxygen.
In the subdued light through the latticed teakwood blinds she seems to shine in her creamy skin. Keeps her silken eyes closed - but not sleeping.
The cotton sheets are cool. The ceiling fan revolves in a lazy turn, keeping the scent of sandlewood floating on the warm air ... and spice, nutmeg and cinnamon from somewhere. A tincture of stale tea remains in the porcelain cups.
Sounds from the frenetic street are muted, barely reach into this quietude, except for the sing-song of Chinese voices as they pass and the moans and rattles of a rambling old truck.
A languorous afternoon drifting through time unnoticed.
Her breathing is slow and steady. She is moist and pleasant to touch. My finger traces an undulating path over her skin, mingling with enough moisture to form a droplet, adding to the tiny pool at her belly. I taste of the glistening pool. Savour the texture as nectar.
My heart beats with regular rhythm. There is no sense of urgency, no need of hurry. No need to think. The heat suppresses thought, only allowing abstracted, dreamy, watery images. The lethargy of time only allowing this entre nous and a wandering movement toward a concupiscent conclusion.

© RC Westerholm

Thursday, September 23, 2004


A meticulous girl from Vancouver
was cleaning her room with a Hoover
she vacuumed her cunny
which wasn't too funny
'cause it took twelve men to remove her.

© RC Westerholm

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

My Katana 1100f Posted by Hello

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