"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Coffee-stained pages

  • Heart of Darkness, Conrad
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop, Cather
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee
  • Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury
  • A River Runs Through It, MacLean
  • Blue Highways, Least Heat Moon
  • Leaves of Grass, Whitman
  • Tarzan of the Apes, Burroughs
  • The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway
  • The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
  • The Raven, Poe
  • Chekhov, The Lady with the Dog 
  • The Gospel of John
  • The Last Running, Graves
  • The Last Picture Show, McMurtry
  • Beowulf
  • All John McPhee
  • All Tony Hillerman
  • All Harry Potter
  • All Larry McMurtry
  • All Ed Abbey 
  • All Ray Bradbury