Back Cover – Old Photographs & Wild Dreams

In the late nineteen nineties, during a construction boom, several blocks of downtown Los Angeles businesses closed their doors to make way for high rise luxury apartments, organic grocery concerns, work out spaces, and coffee shops. One of the stores scheduled for demolition was an antique shop with an eclectic array of sundries for sale. Since it was the last of a third generation family, when faced with extinction, they were happy to retire in a sunny climate with a generous nest egg. They held a “going out of business sale” event in which every item must go.

Some large items were from old circus venues and sideshows such as authentic costumes, swords, and historical documents. Stuffed animals sat beside some prized period furniture. After the sale was over, the shop was bare except for a stack of old dusty pictures in the storage area. The boxes moved to the alley near the dumpsters and forgotten. That same night a windstorm attacked the city and blew the boxes in the air and all over the streets. One such box contained old photographs, some over one hundred years old. As they blew across the city and picked up and wondered at, stories came alive and fired a few new, wild dreams. Here are those stories.

New Photographs and Wild Dreams


Thirty two counties and thirty two friends

Irish legends everyone of them

A pot of pure gold and an Irish grin

Step forth and enjoy the fun and sin

The walls tell the stories, ghosts whispering true

Guinness in the pint glass and Jameson not a few

Patrick is the Lord, lift up his banner

Associate with his angels and their heavenly manner

A well worn stage where music is born and played so well

Songs of a green homeland, a shepherd rings his bell

The bar is a friend to all who garnish a stool

To doubt or not believe this, why only a fool

St Patrick’s Day and Christmas, the ground swells and shakes

Funerals and birthdays, the love they do make

A star in the Almighty’s sky, the devil would agree

A long, long way from Claire, but its citizens you can see

-John K Bucher Sr,

from Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

To order a copy click on the link below:

Old Photographs & Wild Dreams


My latest book is now for sale and you can get it from the link below. This is a beautiful hard back book with 100 poems, prose and stories covering a range of subjects: trains, bicycles, bars, cafes, California beaches, streets, Denison, abstract feelings, coffee shops, night hours, Hollywood, East Texas, old preachers, and cowboys.

click on the lick below to purchase:

A Dream by William Allingham


On, on, a moving bridge they made

Across the moon-stream, from shade to shade

Young and old, women and men;

Many long-forgot, but remembered then,

And first there came a bitter laughter;

A sound of tears a moment after;

And then a music so lofty and so gay,

That eve morning, day by day,

I strive to recall it if I may

Ireland by Francis Ledwidge


I called you by sweet names by wood and linn,

You answered not because my voice was new,

And you were listening for the thousands of Finn

and the long hosts of Lugh.

And so, I came to a windy height

And cried my sorrow, but you heard no wind,

For you were listening to small ships in flight,

And the wall on the hills behind.

And then you called us from far and near

To bring your crown from the deeps of time,

It is my grief your voice I couldn’t hear

In such a distant clime

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W B Yeats


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light;

I would spread the cloths under your feet;

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

The Irish Wolf by James McCarroll


Seek music in the wolf’s fierce howl

Or pity in his blood shot eye,

When hunger drives him out to prowl

Beneath the rayless northern sky:

But seek not that we should forgive

The hand that strikes us to the heart,

And yet in mockery bids us live

To count our stars as they depart.

We’ve fed the tyrant with our blood;

Won all his battles-built his throne-

Established him on land and flood,

And sought his glory next our own.

We raised him from his low estate;

We plucked his pagan soul from hell,

And led him pure to heaven’s gate,

Till he, for gold, like Judas fell.

And when in one long, soulless night,

he lay unknown to wealth or fame,

We gave him empire- riches – light,

And taught him how to spell his name.

But now, ungenerous and unjust,

Forgetful of our old renown,

He bows us to the very dust;

But wears our jewels in his crown.

Postscript by Seamus Heaney


And sometime make the time to drive out west

Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,

In September or October, when the wind

And the light are working off each other

So that the ocean on one side is wild

With foam and glitter, and inland among the stones

The surface of the slate-grey lake is lit

By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,

Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,

Their fully-grown headstrong looking heads

Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.

Useless to think you’ll park and capture it

More thoroughly. You neither here or there,

A hurry through which known and strange things pass

As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways

And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.