Happy birthday, Bob

You don’t know me, but I’ve listened to your music from the beginning. I liked everything about it until one day you switched to rock. Too many joints that day, Bob? I came back later and I’m still here except now I’m too hard of hearing to listen to music. Wanted to hear “Rough and Rowdy Ways.” No dice, don’t think twice, it’s wall right.

Back in the old days, I wanted to write you a letter demanding that you stay away from Joanie. She didn’t know me either, but I also listened to her music from the beginning. While riding on a train goin’ west. I fell asleep for to take my rest. I dreamed a dream that made me sad, concerning Joan Baez who said the war was bad but that we weren’t destined to protest it on the same streets on the same days.

Everything I did for years seemed to have one of your songs or Joanie’s songs tied to it. The songs didn’t cause me to do what I did; they just seemed to fit my prevailing moods. Yet, I always wanted to escape the constraints of college and follow Mr. Tambourine Man. I listened for that jingle-jangle world before heading out to my paper route into the realities of Betton Road and Randolph Circle.

And today you’re still here. That makes me happy because so many people are gone by now. I may be nearly deaf, but I still hear your music in my mind. All of it. Thanks for all that. Oh, and congrats on the Prize, you know which one I mean.


Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing


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Tempting you with words and tambourines

Like Gordon Lightfoot’s “Minstrel of the Dawn” and Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” storytellers are always tempting you to follow them, as though through faerie rings, to the farthest reaches of tall tales, music, and imagination. We can’t promise you’ll return the way you were when you left the everyday land of logic, but you’ll find yourselves reborn in just the way the god of your heart intended.

For temptations from my website, I invite you to click on this picture:



Tell me a story

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you
–Bob Dylan

We who write are tambourine men, poets, liars, con men, dreamers, pied pipers, spinners of yarn, spinners of mirages, tinkerers with reality, profane disciples of all that’s engraved in the sand on a beach, creators and destroyers of worlds, demons and tricksters and gods, snakes in the grass, and golden eagles flying high above the divides between night, day, worlds, sleep and consciousness.

minotaurWe who write intend to lead you astray for that is where you will find yourself, your salvation, your journey’s beginning, your lover, your treasure and everything that matters and gives substance to life.

If you read our words, if you follow the jingle jangle of our stories, we promise you that whatever you thought was engraved in stone was in fact fluid and that whatever you thought was fluid was your imagination and that reality is always a deck of cards that you can choose to play face down or face up depending upon your penchant for fate and destiny.

We who write cannot be trusted to give you a straight answer for we only know dark and crooked roads and the stories that live alongside them. But do not take care or look behind you for the prize comes with the unexpected, the epiphany hidden amongst devils and the light that shines on the darkest night for those who walk with their eyes wide open.

Believe what you will, but when you follow tambourine men, poets, and liars there is no turning back though you may believe some dream or illusion that you have turned back as we all go deeper into the labyrinth toward Minotaurs that will–if the gods be kind–tell us the secrets of life if we survive the journey.

We who write are always en route to the center of the labyrinth where all stories lead us, and where they will lead you, too, if you dare to say, “Tell me a story.”


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”.