An easy-to-use guide to what I’ve published on Medium

A magnifying glass focusing on a page in the dictionary
A magnifying glass focusing on a page in the dictionary
Like most writers, I use words when I write. (Original image by author © 2016)

Below you will find an easy-to-follow guide to everything I’ve published here since joining in November 2020. The most recent stories in each category will be at the top.

You’ll notice some stories will appear in multiple categories — politics and humor, for example — while others only appear in one. The whole idea behind this page is to make it easy for readers to find stories of interest on my profile page.

The categories are:

  • Author’s Picks
  • Politics
  • Poetry
  • Short Fiction
  • Humor
  • Music-Related
  • Original Photography Included

The Author’s Pick section includes stories and poems I feel strongly about sharing…

Childhood toys can come alive, if only in our minds

Gumby and Pokey, toys from mid-20th century
Gumby and Pokey, toys from mid-20th century
Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

O humble Gumby,
not to be confused with Slinky,
not to be laughed off as petty,
not to be refused entry
into the pliable metaphoric constructs
of our needy grown-up minds.

What can Gumby teach us?
What lessons about stretching
and trusting donkey sidekicks
that gladly share our trials?

If Gumby lived on a staircase
he would not stay perched at the top.
He would drop in freely
on friends at every level
knowing he was welcome,
a loving, giving plaything
delivering smiles he’d gladly bring,
not just another forgotten childhood toy
no longer saddened by out-of-reach joy.


Junior senator from Texas gets a new post-Trump moniker

Image for post
Image for post
Will the next anti-Cruz protest feature signs saying “Poodles Against Ted Cruz”? (Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash)

Say what you will about Donald Trump — I know I have. But one thing the ex-president had a knack for, at least during the 2016 campaign, was insulting his opponents with catchy nicknames.

One by one, he made them look worthless and weak as he uttered snarky nomenclatures from his glib tongue.

There was “Low Energy” Jeb Bush. “Little Marco” Rubio. “Crooked” Hillary Clinton. And right up there among Trump’s top tier of derisive nicknames was “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz.

Funny how the name stuck for Cruz when Trump himself was doing so much of the lying and insinuating.


As night draws near, the light burns brighter still in our hearts

Image for post
Image for post
Twilight arrives at a beach on New Zealand’s north island. (Original photo by author, 2011)

Then we will lie down
surrounded by the dreams of the hills,
the big moon
conducting a lullaby of tides.

Hush now,
then woosh.
Again and again
the hypnotic water roars,
and all our sweet whispers
are softer than white sand.

Come closer, my love,
find joy with me
in the warm curvatures
of our bodies,
feel with me
beyond earthly delights
the misty certainty
of what we know ourselves to be:

two raindrops in free fall
returning to the one ocean.

More poetry by this writer:

Poetic reverberations from a time when we lived out loud

Artist’s rendition of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar
Artist’s rendition of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar
Tomtall, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” — Jimi Hendrix

Nighttime power chords
on air guitars tuned to yesteryear,
no amplifiers needed
for the perfect sounds in my mind.

Clapton riffs and Hendrix thunders,
good memories combine with wonder.

But there are no bell bottoms
to go with these blues,
no purple to be found anywhere
in the sky I excuse myself to kiss.

The lost power
of the power of love
still trying to overcome
the love of power.

Cheech & Chong movie comeback a distinct possibility after solar system discovery

The Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula
Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

Once the movie industry starts picking up steam after the COVID-19 threat subsides, some enterprising studio should make a movie called “Farther Out,” starring Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong as astronomers.

Forget all the marijuana-themed roles in their past; the recent discovery of our solar system’s most distant object, Farfarout, could lead to Oscar-worthy performances for the right people — Cheech & Chong are those people.

Farfarout is a planetoid some 12.3 billion miles from the sun, according to scientists who used the 8-meter Subaru Telescope in Hawaii to discover the inspiration for this hypothetical movie.

The plot line really…

Artistic and poetic glimpses of the dynamic world above us

Tree branches and leaves against the backdrop of sky
Tree branches and leaves against the backdrop of sky
Original photo by the author © 2021

A walk in nature on an overcast February afternoon results in photographs to preserve the memories and poetry to honor the wonder.

Lie on your back
Under the trees.
Look at the sky
Through nourishing leaves.
You are witnessing a true story.

How the 45th U.S. president miscalculated his re-election strategy by playing to his base — and to his own worst impulses

Two computer screens with headlines announcing Biden’s win
Two computer screens with headlines announcing Biden’s win
Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

In the wee morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016, not long after Donald Trump received a concession call from Hillary Clinton, he made his first appearance as president-elect to jubilant supporters at the Midtown Hilton in New York City.

Trump began the speech by acknowledging Clinton’s long history of service to the United States, going on to congratulate her on a hard-fought campaign. He also said he would be reaching out to those who did not support him for “guidance and help” in working together to “unify our great nation.” …


With our Trumpian nightmare a thing of the past, more people are opting for kinder, gentler nighttime cushioning

A stack of pillows
A stack of pillows
Photo by Agata Create on Unsplash

Talk about a fitful night’s sleep!

Ever since My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell sided with former President Donald Trump in a failed attempt to overturn a free and fair election and prevent 2020 winner “Sleepy” Joe Biden from taking office, a whole lot of My Pillow customers have been tossing and turning as they hope and pray for a better place to rest their weary heads.

Their prayers have been answered with the Democracy Pillow.

The Democracy Pillow movement was born spontaneously on Nov. 3, 2020, when roughly 81 million U.S. …

Poetry with a hum from another realm

A songbird with beak open in song
A songbird with beak open in song
Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash

Roy Orbison’s voice still sounds alive and well even on the cracking vinyl, and time seems like something other than a misunderstood concept propelling us away from what was as I remember crying, over you, crying, over you, in a timeless realm of selfless longings where dreamy starlets still warble like painted songbirds at dawn singing about this very moment and their prettiest dreamed-of futures in one continuous chirp-note song that fills the ever-bluing sky, a song about who and what they will see, and when and where they will go flying through a flurry of joyous tomorrows, no need…

Darren Richardson

Headline writer & copy editor for 15-plus years in newspapers (1990–2006) ; digital professional since 2008. Twitter:

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