Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Walking on the tracks
the whistle of the train echoes
from a mile away.

I progress
one step at a time.

The rail vibrates under my feet
as the train advances closer.

I can see the engine now
only yards away.

I stop and stare,
watching as it heads towards me.
One hundred yards.
Fifty yards.

The whistle sounds
and I am face to face
with the magnificent machine.

A monstrous beast
traversing towards me
threatens my destruction.

Urgency and fear
force me to step aside.

I watch the engine
and cars pass.
The wind blows past me
sending chills through my body.

Thirty cars rumble across the rail.
Eventually a hundred or more
speed across the line.

Finally the caboose zooms past.
I watch the train fade away.

Back on the tracks,
I continue on.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Journeys by Jessica Williams

This semester I took Advanced Poetry Writing, and one of the things that we got to do this semester was get together with the Graphics Department and make a book out of some of our poems. My book is finished and it is available to purchase online at Blurb.
Now some of the poems have been revised so they are not the completed poems, but they are close enough. I will be posting several if not all of the poems here, so keep an eye out. Also feel free to go and purchase my book, it's $19.95 plus shipping. Can I get away with saying that I've been published again? I think so!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kolob at Dawn

I look above and see the four fingers of Kolob
stretching out to me as the sun sneaks up behind them,
transforming the sky from pink to blue,
encircling their rust colored skin.

Sitting in this multihued country,
reds, blues, and greens surround me.
The aroma of pine fills the open air.
Sagebrush bushes scattered all around.
I am a single person in this vast world,
but I am not deserted.

To the north two ebony birds
perched in a tree, chirping to each other,
sit in the shadow of the majestic canyons
amid the open fingers.

Extensive canyons leading to unknown regions,
echoing the voices of the natural world.
Increasing walls extend to the sky
consuming whomever enters.

These rocks are constant as life continues:
animals scurrying from bush to bush,
birds soaring from tree to tree.
Pine cones falling, disrupting the silence.

Kolob is an enchanting forest,
a Heavenly Place.
Here I sit detached,
but this elegance around me
envelopes me in my isolation.

I am welcomed into this sanctuary.
Thanks Libby for the beautiful picture.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Man With One Hand: A Biography of Jesse Franklin Williams

The Incident…
The leaves on the tree were now several shades of red and orange. With frost covering the ground and the chill in the air, young Jess was prepared to go hunting on this bitter October morning.
“No you ain't goin' huntin'” said his father George.
“Fine!” said Jess storming out of the house.
Jess took his father's over-and-under shotgun and went hunting by himself. Heading up Kanarra Mountain, he admired the trees around him. Because he was easily distracted by everything around him Jess didn't notice the puddle of mud just in front of him. He slipped and dropped the shotgun. The barrels of the gun were filled with mud, but Jess didn't seem to notice, he just continued on.
With his heavy coat and the shotgun wedged under his arm he began to climb the fence. As he wrapped his legs around the top of the wooden fence the gun accidentally went off, and because of the clogged barrel the gun exploded. With the piercing crack of the gun Jess soon realized that his hand had been mangled. He made his way home, with his hand dangling at his side.
When his parents saw his mangled and bleeding hand they immediately sent someone on horse to Cedar City for a doctor. When the doctor arrived he was drunk, so twelve-years-old Jess had to sit for several hours in pain until the doctor was sober enough to perform the operation. Because there were no painkillers Jess had to suffer through the pain of the operation with only alcohol for relief. When the doctor was finally able to perform the operation he used a meat saw to cut off Jess' arm, and then poured turpentine on the stump. Luckily it healed without any trouble. From that day on Jess lived without his left hand.
Grandpa Jess: A Background
Jesse Franklin Williams was born September 4, 1876 in Kanarraville, Utah. He was the ninth child out of thirteen children. His parents were William George and Orilla McFate Williams. Out of the thirteen children only seven lived to adulthood, and all five of his sisters and one brother died in infancy. Jess was born in the home of his parents, which still stands, in Kanarraville, Utah. It was a large, two-story, brick house.
Orilla loved reading about the notorious outlaws Jesse and Frank James in Dime Novels. These outlaws were often seen as a modern day Robin Hood. Orilla and George decided to name their son Jesse Franklin Williams after these infamous bandits.
Jess was a handsome man with blue eyes, brown hair, and a medium build and stood about five feet and seven inches.
Jess went to school in “Kanarra” until he was sixteen. When he turned eighteen his father told him that he could have land or continue on with his education. Since he only had one hand he felt that an education would serve him better. He had the chance to attend Brigham Young Academy to study accounting. He studied there for a year, and in the family stories about my great-grandfather, it is unknown whether he actually graduated or not.
In 1896, at the age of twenty that blue eyed boy moved back home to Kanarraville, and began working in his father's store.
George Williams’ Kanarra Co-op Store in Kanarraville, Utah.
George Williams far left, with friends, and Jesse Williams far right.
Five years later Jess married Frances Rebecca Pollock on November 20, 1901. Together they had seven children. (Before he had passed away he had twenty-three grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.) After they were married they moved into the house that Jess was born in. A few years after they were married they added onto the house, and were one of the first families to have a bathroom.
Jess and Frances' wedding picture taken on November 20, 1901
A Slight Temper Tantrum: Age 77
Sitting in his old rocking chair Jess struggled to pull on his old brown shoe. Once he had it on he took both laces in his right hand and began maneuvering the strings into a knot. After several attempts he ripped off his shoe and threw it across the room. After a few seconds of fuming and cursing under his breath he stood up, walked across the room, and picked up his shoe. Again he began pulling his shoe onto his foot, and after a few more struggled attempts at tying his shoes he was finally able to tie a knot.
According to my Aunt this happened continually. There were many times when he would become frustrated with his affliction and he would lose his temper. He didn't really lose his temper with people, but his disability had a tendency to get the better of him.
The Monkey Sock
He could do two different tasks with his stump. First, he would put it over his right arm to get it to stop shaking, which occurred later in his life. The second way he used his left arm was to tease his children and grand-children. He would often wear a brown-speckled sock with a white toe and heel over his stump. His children and grand-children called this a “monkey-sock” because it looked similar to a sock monkey. With his sock-covered stump he would poke it into kids' stomachs to tease them. This along with the fact that he wouldn't wear his dentures had the children laughing, and they couldn't help but love him.
Frances and Jess with grandsons Chesley (in Jess’ arms) and Michael. One of the only pictures of Jess that actually shows his stump.
Having Some Fun
My grandpa loved to have a good time. He loved playing marbles, singing, and he loved dancing, especially square dancing. Jess never learned to drive, but he loved travelling. Usually he would only get as far as Boulder City, Nevada, but he always enjoyed the drive.
Jess and Frances would often have parties at their house in Kanarraville. They belonged to a club called the “Elite Society.” The “Elite Society” consisted of married couple who would meet together about once a month. One meeting in particular Jess and Frances had a spook alley set up in the basement of their house. When the people were going through it they would step on a hidden board and they would get pulled up quickly, similar to an elevator. They would then find themselves standing in a cupboard in the bathroom on the main level.
A Final Act: Age 35
The sound of the gun rang as he fell to the ground. The sight of him lying on the ground frightened his children and they began to cry. His daughter Ethna started to scream when she saw her father fall to the ground. The actors stopped the play and Jess stood up so that his children could see that he was alive. They were using a real gun, but it was filled with blanks so that nobody would get hurt. His children didn't understand this and had indeed thought that their father had been killed.
The townspeople of Kanarraville enjoyed performing plays for the rest of the townspeople. Jess and Frances enjoyed participating in the plays, and took many lead roles. Some of the plays that they participated in were “Josh Winchester,” “Dot the Miner‟s Daughter,” “Old Glory,” “Our Jim,” “Star Bright,” and “Dust of the Earth.”
Play “By Force of Impulse” Performed March 20, 1911
Back Row Left to Right: Jesse Williams, Lem Willis, J.J. Roundy, Reese J. Williams.
Middle Row: Will Stapley, Leo Balser, Jode Williams.
Bottom Row: Sade Reeves Williams, Hettie Davie, Adlie Wood, Frances Williams
Continual Job Searching
Jess took many different types of jobs so that he could support his family. Having an education he could have moved to the city and become an accountant but he couldn't leave his hometown of Kanarraville. Sometimes Jess had difficulty finding work that he could do because of his disability, but somehow he was able to find work.
He worked for Bishop Berry, pitching and pulling hay. For several years they had the post office in their house. For several years he worked at his father's store “The Kanarra Co-op.” His wife Frances would often take in washings, and Jess and his son Chester would take turns moving the lever back and forth on the old conventional washer.
Jess and Frances’s house in Kanarraville, Utah, taken in the 1930s when they had the Post Office
Jess and Frances would also take in boarders as another way to make some extra money. Sometimes the people who would ride on the mail truck would stay overnight. Once, later in Jess' life, President Lorenzo Snow, Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, stayed at Jess' house on his way to St. George.
During Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration as the U.S. President, he started a program called the Works Progress Administration. Jess was made a foreman for Iron County. They would build dams, irrigation ditches, and outhouses for the government.
Jess also worked for several years as the janitor in the church house. One day while he was cleaning the church he felt someone choking him, but there was no one around. He could feel the hands at his neck, but he couldn't see or touch anything. He fell to the ground and began praying fervently, and felt that hands release him.
Overcoming a disability is difficult but Jess was able to overcome this accidental handicap. He was a hard worker full of determination and great strength. With only his right hand he could hold an ax and chop wood. He could ride a horse or drive a team, (but didn't like to because if they got out of control he couldn't pull the horses to a stop without two hands). With great determination he was able to take care of his property without anyone‟s help.
Because Jess only had his right hand it was muscular and strong. He was able to do one handed pull-ups. Because of how much he used his arm as he got older he became so shaky that he could hardly eat. Grandpa Jess also had beautiful penmanship. He was the Kanarraville ward clerk for nine years
God Bless You
One morning Jess had been chopping wood and later was visiting with some friends. After they left, he stood up and went into his room to get some papers. He then sat back down in his old rocking chair. Frances was in the kitchen cooking, and talking to him. She heard him sneeze, and a few minutes later she went into the sitting room and found that Jess had died in his chair. No one knows for sure how he died. The day was March 27, 1959 and he was 89. He is buried in the Kanarraville Cemetery next to his wife Frances.
Jesse Franklin Williams was a man who worked hard, loved everyone, and overcame many obstacles in his life. Even though I never met Jess I am grateful that I have gotten to know about him now, because he was a remarkable person who has passed on many great, and not so great, qualities to his children and grand-children.
Jesse Franklin Williams

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The golden orb descends behind the rocky peaks,
and the periwinkle sky transforms to roses and lilies,
making the puffy clouds look like fallen petals.

A flower closes to sleep.
Soon violets and blues overpower the once bright sky,
announcing it is time for bed.

Blackness surrounding you is now lit
by bright, glittering constellations millions of light-years away.

Unconsciousness invades the world
leading you to places unknown.

Hours pass by, uncertainty overpowers your
unknowing mind as you lie asleep
in your bed of comfort and security.

Darkness is saturated by carnations, irises, and zinnias.
A giant sunflower enters the fields of blue
waking the unconscious people.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dearest Papa

I was eight when you died.
The loss of you is one that still exists.
Papa why did you leave us when you did?
There is still so much I crave to know
about you and the life you lived.

A short time you lived
during my lifetime.
I know you loved and devoted
on all of your progeny,
and to this day I remember you.

Children rummaging through the garden,
and feeding milk to the little lambs.
The times that you rocked me to sleep,
or held me while you would swing.
No matter what, your memory will long survive.

I remember horseback rides,
and drives around the loop.
A trip to the well for a cool drink.
You never said much,
but what was said,
will stick forever
in each life you touched.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quote of the Day: Febrary 3, 2011

So yesterday my roommate and I watched the movie Stranger than Fiction which is a great movie! I really enjoyed it, and I think anyone who is a writer might. Anyway I thought that it had some great quotes and I thought that I would share some of my favorites. Enjoy!
P.S. sorry that there are so many but I thought they were all great quotes.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Have you met anyone recently who might loathe the very core of you?
Harold Crick: I just started auditing a woman who told me to get bent.
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Well, that sounds like a comedy. Try to develop that.

Kay Eiffel: As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And, so it was, a wristwatch saved Harold Crick.

Dr. Mittag-Leffler: I'm afraid what you're describing is schizophrenia.
Harold Crick: No, no. It's not schizophrenia. It's just a voice in my head. I mean, the voice isn't telling me to do anything. It's telling me what I've already done... accurately, and with a better vocabulary.
Dr. Mittag-Leffler: Mr. Crick, you have a voice speaking to you.
Harold Crick: No, not TO me. ABOUT me. I'm somehow involved in some sort of story. Like I'm a character in my own life. But the problem is that the voice comes and goes...
Dr. Mittag-Leffler: Mr. Crick, I hate to sound like a broken record, but that's schizophrenia.

Harold Crick: Am I OK?
Doctor Mercator: [with facial indifference] Well, you're not dead. On the other hand, it looks like you cracked your head, you broke three bones in your leg and foot, you suffered four broken ribs, fractured your left arm, and severed an artery in your right arm, which should've killed you in a matter of minutes, but amazingly, a shard of metal from your watch obstructed the artery, keeping the blood loss low enough to keep you alive... which is pretty cool.
Harold Crick: Wow.

Kay Eiffel: [narrating Harold's thoughts on the guitars in the shop] Unfortunately, THIS guitar said, 'When I get back to Georgia, that woman gonna feel my pain.' THIS one said something along the lines of, 'Why yes, these pants ARE lycra.' THESE said, 'I'm very sensitive, very caring, and I have absolutely no idea how to play the guitar.'

Harold Crick: [Ana has just brought out a huge box totally stuffed with a mess of papers] What's this?
Ana Pascal: [Very pleased with herself] My tax files and receipts for the last three years.
Harold Crick: [Horrified] You keep your files like this?
Ana Pascal: No. Actually I'm quite fastidious. I put them in this box just to screw with you.

Harold Crick: This may sound like gibberish to you, but I think I'm in a tragedy.

Penny Escher: [They are in a hospital ward surround by lots of sick and injured people] What are we doing here? I don't even think we're supposed to *be* in here.
Kay Eiffel: You told me I needed visual stimulation.
Penny Escher: Yeah, I meant a museum or something.
Kay Eiffel: I don't *need* a museum. I need the infirm.
Penny Escher: [slightly under her breath] You *are* the infirm.

Ana Pascal: [Ana bursts into the hospital room that is housing Harold who is pretty much in a full body cast] My God! Harold!
Harold Crick: [as she's kissing him] I'm OK, it's alright.
Ana Pascal: Harold you're not fine! Look at you, you're severely injured!

Ana Pascal: [to cast-covered Harold] So what happened?
Harold Crick: I stepped in front of a bus.
Ana Pascal: What? Why?
Harold Crick: There was a boy I had to pull out of the way?
Ana Pascal: What?
Harold Crick: There was this boy, I had to...
Ana Pascal: You stepped in front of a bus to save a boy?
Harold Crick: I had to. I didn't have a choice.

Kay Eiffel: Because it's a book about a man who doesn't know he's about to die. And then dies. But if a man does know he's about to die and dies anyway. Dies- dies willingly, knowing that he could stop it, then- I mean, isn't that the type of man who you want to keep alive?

Harold Crick: Miss Pascal, what you're describing is anarchy. Are you an anarchist?
Ana Pascal: You mean, am I a member of...
Harold Crick: An anarchist group, yes.
Ana Pascal: Anarchists have a group?
Harold Crick: I believe so, sure.
Ana Pascal: They assemble?
Harold Crick: I don't know.
Ana Pascal: Wouldn't that completely defeat the purpose?

Kay Eiffel: I read this, in this fantastically depressing book, that when you jump from a building, it's rarely the impact that actually kills you.
Penny Escher: Well, I'm sure it doesn't help.

Penny Escher: I'm Penny, I'm Kay's assistant.
Harold Crick: Oh, I'm Harold. Her main character.

Penny Escher: I will gladly and quietly help you kill Harold Crick.
Kay Eiffel: And this coming from someone who's never thought about leaping off a building.

Ana Pascal: It was a really awful day. I know, I made sure of it. So pick up the cookie, dip it in the milk, and eat it.

Harold Crick: I may already be dead, just not typed.

Ana Pascal: Did you like the cookies?
Harold Crick: Yes. Thank you for forcing me to eat them.

Penny Escher: And I suppose you smoked all these cigarettes?
Kay Eiffel: No, they came pre-smoked.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Hell Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted.
Harold Crick: What is wrong with you? Hey, I don't want to eat nothing but pancakes, I want to live! I mean, who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes?
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you pause to think, you'd realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led... and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.

Kay Eiffel: I went out... to buy cigarettes and I figured out how to kill Harold Crick.
Penny Escher: Buying cigarettes?
Kay Eiffel: As I was... when I came out of the store I... it came to me.
Penny Escher: How?
Kay Eiffel: Well, Penny, like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method.

Harold Crick: SHUT UP!
Kay Eiffel: [voice only] Cursing the heavens in futility.
Harold Crick: [extremely annoyed] No I'm not! I'm cursing you, you stupid voice so SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE!

Kay Eiffel: I don't need a nicotine patch, Penny, I smoke cigarettes.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Meeting an insurance agent the day your policy runs out is coincidence. Getting a letter from the Emperor saying he's visiting is plot. A wrecking ball... is something else entirely.