Neal Crook

After retiring from teaching high school, I relocated from hectic Los Angeles to serene Cambria, California. My life filled with gratitude in a world of chaos is daily inspiration. Involvement in the Cambria Writers Workshop provides me the opportunity to explore my past and present place in the grand scheme of things. The rights and struggles of the GLBT community often take center stage in my writing.

I live with my husband, Michael, two cats, Rufus and Angie, as well as our two dogs, Sterling and Anoush.


Blood-red blossom
Escaped a home of thorns
Dew gathers on your delicate petals
Diamonds on velvet 

You open
To expectations of admiration

You unfurl 
To a world of dangers

One palm
Cups you with tenderness
Carefully explores your depth
Transformed by splendor

The other selfish, shear-laden hand
Desires to possess
Obtain gratification
One snip
Fulfillment contained

Blood-red blossom
Bursting with potential

Beauty your attraction
Beauty your demise


The morning fog greets me, 
magical, mysterious.
Spider webs reflect prisms created by the dew.
The mist embraces the pines and
requests a dance.
Skirts unfurl as it twirls 
waltzing down my garden’s path.

The same coastal vapor
dense, dreary blocks my vision and
encroaches upon my sanctuary. 
The heavy haze
shrouds my course.
Lingering dampness creates mold that
rots my joists.

Dance or

“The Telescope”

Lean in
Expand your horizons

Dance the constellations 
Tango with a scorpion, tip the scales 
Sing your wishes

Stand upon the moon  
Explore its deserts
Declare your existence

Hop upon a shooting star 
Mingle with stardust
Discover your origin 

A new perspective

Your place in
Her universe


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