Interview with American Writer, Eric Paul Shaffer

Cornelia Connie D. DeDona:

An Inspiring interview!

Originally posted on Geosi Reads:

Photo Credit: Mathew Ursua

Photo Credit: Mathew Ursua

Brief Biography:

ERIC PAUL SHAFFER is author of five books of poetry, including Lāhaina Noon; Living at the Monastery, Working in the Kitchen; and Portable Planet. More than 400 of his poems have appeared in more than 250 local and national reviews as well as reviews in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. Shaffer received the 2002 Elliot Cades Award, a 2006 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Book Award for Lāhaina Noon, and the 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry. He teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Honolulu Community College. Shaffer will join the poetry faculty at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference in Wyoming from June 25-27, 2015.

Geosi Gyasi: From Wikipedia, you’ve been described as a Hawaiian novelist and poet. Could you spend some time talking about Hawai’i?

Eric Paul Shaffer: Hawai’i is a vibrant and exciting…

View original 3,796 more words

Super Moon

I shiver under her power

and am numb.

Numb and insatiable.

As shifting tides,

yield to a Super Moon

bathing unabashed

in a hammerhead bay in the Pacific.

Sister Moon placid,

as she slices through indifferent curtains.

Until I witness her spirit again here in the Northeast.

As she straddles

cool peaks and crags

and I find myself drawn

to her again.

As I howl at her blood-red outline

gulp down the afterglow above.

Liebling- Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (Darling- You Are Beautiful To Me)


Darling, I want to say I love you

but the words dodge my lips.

Unlike the sunrise, pinkish orange

skirting the Gunk’s

or the wind

swirling yellow-brown leaves

across the green carpet below.

And again

as we dance to a slow mambo

our inner fires smoldering

as we reflect on the growth of the knotty pine

and the ever-changing outdoor pageant.

Your chocolate-brown eyes

celebrate dawn’s early trek

value the moments we share

and the remaining red and yellow leaves

as the orange and black winged monarch snacks

on its flight to Mexico.

As we worship the violet sky,

and a single buck among the white tails

eats his way across the lawn.

I want to say I love you

when you hold me

and Time bows at our feet.

And again later,

when we whisper our thanks to the gods

that watch rapt from above.

© Connie DeDona 11-02-14

Sweet Deal

Bread and butter jam

honey into buzzing guest

sweetening the pot.


Cornelia Connie D. DeDona:

Rewritten; I think I’m done! LOL!!

Originally posted on Corney Press:


The road less traveled;

bulging gray, cynical and dusty


by sugary cake-world


spreading the good news.

By archaic beliefs


pious cloth.

(Remember to wash before wearing.)

As fiery dragons

breathing doubt

down at the local Dollar store

discounting derelict pennies

as they roar

once more

over the vacant

and obsolete

Five and Dime.

Art Inside "Fresh Cafe"


View original




The road

bulges gray, cynical and dusty.

Spent by sugary

cake-eating denizens

spreading the good news.


By archaic beliefs


pious cloth.

(Remember to wash before wearing.)


By hell-fire fans

down at the local Dollar store


derelict pennies

who  roar once more

over the obsolete

Five and Dime.


Art Inside "Fresh Cafe"



Another Way Out



There is a way out

But you are not even looking

And even he despises you for it

Can’t believe you are that stupid

or that lazy.

Woman, get out of your own way

the door is unlocked.

Prove them wrong

Prove to yourself

that you are not that beaten

or that occupied.


The fields are green

ripe with golden fruit

Clean your eyeglasses

and look

Remember the full moon.

Prepare for winter’s fall,

But do go.


AND find your passion

Breathe the salty air, taste orange glee

Pick the pink wild flowers

Place them

gently in your hair

and sway to the rhythm

of your purple heart.


Put down the crying towel

it is meant for another

It is meant to be a temporary solace

a place to reflect

pool your options

dream and

finally, to turn away from.


Open the door, child

and find

another room to dress

to plant those flowers

bring your good cheer.


The other BIG GUY upstairs

expects so much more

from you.


Do leave lollygag hill

and find your true self.

She waits

by the old cistern

filled with muddy water.

She knows your smell

and she still waits

and marvels at the time.




Climate Change

Climate Change

It has taken me a long time to realize
the implications of my actions
a very long time

Moving back in with Mom
comes packed with challenges
Guess what
we don’t always agree.

I want to support the local farmer
she says it’s too expensive
she can get a pint of blueberries for less at Aldi’s.
Organic doesn’t subtract well from her monthly balance
it isn’t pretty or practical on a fixed income.
Social Security doesn’t care
if she eats healthy
they won’t give her
one penny more
she was told recently
after Dad passed away
that a family of four
can live on a $1,000.00 a month
she should consider herself lucky
when the tax man calls
She says she considers herself lucky
that I’m here
to fill in the gaps
between lucky and the curb.
I feel lucky too.

Most days
I do what I want
nobody bothers me
or complains
about my shopping habits or food choices
Most days
all is bliss
we sometimes butt heads.

I want to shop at the local farmer’s market
too expensive, she says
get the cheap stuff
it fits into the budget
she’s been doing it this way
for years

I differ
but how do you explain
that it is not just about the money out of your pocket
it is about the cost to all of us
here on this planet
that your cheap fruit
had to fly in to New York
from Washington, California
and Mexico
that we are using up our precious resources
so YOU can buy cheap
What about the oil?
What about the ozone?
What about taste?

What about GMO’s and labeling?
What about certified organic?
What about sustainable living in your own neighborhood?
local food tastes better
supporting your local farmer
helps them and YOU
“Aldi’s has organic and local veggies too”, she counters.

Does it really matter if she doesn’t get it?
You bet it does
Will she change her mind?
Probably not.

We square off
me on one side
she on the other
as the evening temperature climbs
it’s late, I say
let’s do some more research
pick up this discussion tomorrow.

The next morning
I wake up early
ready for battle
ready for that first cup of coffee from Friendly Farms.
And I open up the fridge
looking for the milk and
the blueberries are staring me in the face
still sitting there, unopened
I pick them up
to inspect the label
on that so-called cheap pint of blueberries
thinking “Of course, why didn’t I think of this sooner”,
grinning as I scan for point of origin,
certified by… anything.
It says and I quote
“Produced and packaged on a farm in New Jersey.” HMM!
And then I look at the other stuff
the cottage cheese, the milk
the coffee
ALL from Friendly Farms.

And It’s not like Friendly Farms is a real farm
out in the middle of the country filled with dumb happy cows,
Friendly Farms is a label, for milk
that comes from any
one of a number of farms.
Good luck even trying to find a phone number because, there isn’t one.
The truth is that Friendly Farms milk is the same milk as the expensive stuff, but Aldi’s paid to have their label added to the bottle. That’s how our food is packaged, and the way a lot of other grocery stores run things, too.
So, we buy cheap milk, meat and produce and I am complaining about it.
Crazy, right?
Most of us don’t even think too much about the prices except to say, “Hey, that’s cheap!” “I can afford that!”
so if I pay less for my food, how much does the farmer get?
And, how friendly is that?
Deciphering labels from Fair Trade to Free Range can be time consuming.

And we’re not even going to talk about what’s being fed
to those milk producing cows, the chickens or the cattle
or the evils of factory farms
or the inconvenient fact that most adults
can’t digest milk anyway,
what’s up with that, maybe its stress related?

Nope, I’ll save that for some other time
when the climate cools down a bit.

A German Man-i-cure

Mein Very First Knockwurst

vas in

Berlin There Done That


Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs

und I zed to her

Don’t talk Bach to Me


Every Month Ist Octoberfest

in Germany

So Schnapps Out Of It!

und she emphatically replied

Nein, Nein, Nein, OK Fine!


Concerning Emily Dickinson

Concerning Emily Dickinson


Emily explain

common sense wrapped in your wit

cuddles a vast maze.


Fascicles emerge

shrieking in the library

demanding more milk.


Only a mantra

to pacify them tonight

restrain lively bunch.




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