For a decade, Duggan Flanakin turned his widower’s lonely home into a shelter for aspiring young creatives in need of an affordable, stable environment from which to begin turning their dreams into realities. Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout tells the story of how Duggan’s life adventures had prepared him for this restorative mission and how the community thus created grew to include traveling musicians and other visitors whose lives and fortunes have prospered through the contacts made with Duggan and his house mates. The poems that follow the brief narrative show the progression of Duggan’s journey toward reliance on Providence to guide his steps and supply his needs – as he helped supply the needs and fuel the aspirations of others. Moreover, Duggan reveals how his shared experiences with the fresh faces sent his way propelled him to release his first book of poems and a teaser of his prose at age seventy-four – and to launch a new career as a touring poet and public speaker. As for the poems, these words suffice: For we ought To be accustomed To the infinite Who is all around us And in us. We ought to know That our encounters Are opportunities To expand our horizons To grow in love and awe.Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout by Duggan Flanakin. Published January 21, 2019 by Duggan's Dugout and Words by Parch, Austin, Texas
Duggan Flanakin has lived through the turmoil of the 1960s, the spiritual revival of the 1970s, the American revival of the 1980s -- and even today he is an active commentator on the events of this 21st Century A.D. His writing career began in his high school days as sports editor and general writer for his hometown weekly, The Springhill Press.
After his college days at the family tradition Louisiana State University, he took a science editor position with the U,S. Bureau of Mines, the nation's former leading science agency. There he wrote a style manual and worked with physicists, geologists, chemists, economists, environmental scientists, mining and metallurgical professionals and others who contributed to the federal government's science research and reporting.
During his years in the Nation's Capital, Flanakin also developed his writing credentials, first with the anti-Vietnam War Washington Free Press and later with the faith-based Progressive Vision, the newspaper of Judeo-Christian Restoration Ministries (a prayer-focused organization led by Tom Hess, of the Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations.\
In the 1980s, Flanakin enrolled at Regent University and worked toward a Master's in Public Policy while assisting multiple professors in writing their books - God, Man and Law, by Herb Titus; Defending the Declaration, by Gary Amos; and many others.
Upon relocating to Louisiana, Flanakin used his skills and experience to become chief writer for Environmental Insider, which at one time published newsletters on environmental regulation in multiple states. Flanakin's primary focus on Texas led him to be asked first to review state science textbooks and later to serve as a Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. [He also served for a season as a Senior Fellow with the Arkansas Public Policy Foundation.]
Those relationships opened the door for Flanakin to meet and work with the fledgling Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, whom he continues to serve (in an emeritus position) as Director of Policy Research. Many of his columns and opinion editorials can be found on their website. That work also led to the republication of his articles -- and first-placement as well -- in numerous other print and online journals, including The Washington Times, Townhall.com, American Spectator, and Real Clear Energy.
In recent years, Flanakin has expanded his writing as a content contributor on a wide variety of topics through relationships fostered by a major public relations firm. His writings -- which range from social and political commentary on events and practices in nations as disparate as Thailand and Qatar to exposition on innovative businesses and nonprofit organizations -- can be found in journals based in multiple continents.
All the while, Flanakin continues to write poetry that reflects his deep-rooted belief in the power of unconditional love and the infinite potential in every human being. He has also long been an encourager and promoter of musical and other artists from multiple genres.
Flanakin credits his parents for his outlook -- he recalls that his dad never met a stranger, kept distant friends close by visiting them in person, and always looked for the best in everyone. He also recalls how his mother, who lived within 4 months of a century, even in her nineties was always learning new things and making new friends while retaining her lifelong friendships and spreading her abundant joy.
Much of his story is summarized in a section of his first book of poems, Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout (available from Amazon.com). More is revealed in this brief commentary, recorded a few years back.
The difference between what we did at our house and so-called psychotherapy sessions is that when you go to group you talk and sit around and maybe get a quick answer .. an epiphany.
All those people go home to their own little worlds and they never really interact together creatively. So no real change can come about. You are filling your head with more questions than answers . Because the answers to life come from living and the only way you actually produce any change in your life is from living your life.
At our house we would hang out with each other, talk with each other, we actually see each other's weaknesses and call each other out. But more than that, let's go cook together, string some lights together, build a fence together, sing a song together, write a song together, take a hike together.
And so, in the process of living life with each other we began to break down barriers, open up and look at ourselves a lot easier, because we had that confidence that the people we hung out with were people who cared about us.
Because the improvement in their own lives involves the improvement in our lives.
So we are mutually bound to help each other .. it is a creative, powerful environment.