Tag Archives: hippies

Why I Write

Many ask me why l write. I write my books for me.

I tell my stories for my readers.

I am not sure if my works are badly written good stories or well written bad stories.

Not too sure I care either way. I do care that, in my “Walk With Dann Collection”, I am telling my life as brutally truthful as possible. In shame and in honour.

I do care that my ‘stand alone’ books, such as “The Last Canadian Cosmonaut” touch your heart.

I pray that my other collection, “Walking On Dawes”, shows that the gang life, although often ‘exciting’, leads only to karma biting your buttocks.


Here is a synopsis of my “Walk With Dann Collection”:

My Walk With Dann Collection, Volumes 1, 2 & 3

Damaged” is my first book.

Like me, it is raw and full of mistakes.

I have left it “unedited” as life has left me.

Volume 1, “DAMAGED” takes you on a Walk from my birth till I meet my second wife.
It is rough, crude in fact, numerous format conversion errors.

I left It raw on purpose as a testament to the honesty of my words and work.

It contains humour, murder, explosions and motorcycles.

It may or may not be fictional or may even be non-fictional.

The second volume, ‘BANE’, Walks you through my middle years and three decades of marriage.

It does not contain the excitement of it’s predecessor.

It begins to show you who I was and who I was becoming.



My third volume, “BOON” Walks you deep into my personal life of trials and tribulations and my uniquely twisted none the norm perception of my realty.

So, come, Walk With Dann.

And my first ‘standalone book‘, my personal favourite,

A fictional journey of a hippie on a Harley exploring the times.


The smell of the ocean danced on my nostrils as I walked, slipping and sliding, across the flats. My eyes darting to and fro, carefully scanning ahead for sink holes.

I should have been walking the other direction. Towards the junior high school. Towards hippie teachers trying to teach me of science, faith and nature.

I could hear the train in the distance. Pulling it’s tonnage of sugar cane around the bend to the refinery.

The tug boats crested the horizon. Their wake spewing behind them as they pushed against the mighty tanker so as to slow it’s unforgiving momentum. Lest it run ashore.

The shore. My foster home was there. High up the hill. It’s windows like two large eyes, taunting me with guilt.“Go to school“, they seemed to say.

I can’t“, my reply.

And here lays a brief synopsis of my “Walking On Dawes Collection


The first volume of the

Walking On Dawes Collection”


“This is a tale of a family who live their lives within the gang life. Except Little Ray. He and his family want him to break the cycle and live a normal life.”

There is tragedy, laughter and most of all ‘insight’ within.

So come with us as we

Walk On Dawes.”


“You Can’t See Me”

Walking On Dawes Collection

Volume 2

This is a portrait of a broken man living a broken life in a broken world where family and friendship are one and the same.

Where wrong choices can lead to lifelong regrets. Haunting the very soul and stabbing the heart daily to remind you of the penalties of actions.

Where a man can be all alone and un-noticed in a crowded room.

Where sadness shadows joy and joy masks sadness.

This is the life of one man on one street in one city.

A man who let his darkness blind his Light.




Today’s the Last Chance to Get DAMAGED by Me

Today is the last chance to get “DAMAGED” by Me for Free

Volume 1 of my various lives told within my “WALK With Dann Collection”.


Final volume “UNKZ – A CANADIAN COSMONAUT” coming soon.

Come, Walk With Dann …


Check out all my books at



Starting today until April 28th get the first book of my “Walk With Dann Collection” – “DAMAGED” in e-Book format for FREE.



When was the last time you got Damaged for free?????


The Last Canadian Cosmonaut 

Well,  after the learning process of writing my “Walk With Dann Collection” I have now published my first completely fictional work. Totally another direction than my previous works. Another genre.

Where does a tale begin or end?

Scholars would say between the covers of novels.

Not truth. The tale begins in the confines of the mind. Dancing in the after thoughts of that which you have read.

Stories stirred by questions raised from paragraphs penned.

If these pages leave one to reflect upon and draw new found conclusions of what the author’s thoughts and words implanted within the hallways of your subconscious, then there lays the true birth of their tale.

This work is merely a hippie on a Harley, following his nose, travelling not just throughout his world but also his universe. Searching for answers found only in the Cosmo’s and on the lap of the Creator’s and all they created.

I shall leave you to it. Take what you need from this vagabond’s journey.

For there are no more Canadian Cosmonaut’s remaining. They passed when disco music arrived and man forgot to continue dreaming.

Available now on Kobo, Amazon and Kindle in various e-book forms. 

Paperback available on Amazon. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my house to yours.



Here is a small bite of a book I have been working on for a while now. Totally different path than my other three works. 

I am enjoying this creation I  weave.


The smell of the ocean danced on my nostrils as I walked, slipping and sliding, across the flats. My eyes darting to and fro, carefully scanning ahead for sink holes.

I should have been walking the other direction.  Towards the junior high school. Towards hippie teachers trying to teach me of science, faith and nature.

I could hear the train in the distance. Pulling it’s tonnage of sugar cane around the bend to the refinery.

The tug boats crested the horizon.  Their wake spewing behind them as they pushed against the mighty tanker so as to slow it’s unforgiving momentum. Lest it run ashore.

The shore. My foster home was there. High up the hill. It’s windows like two large eyes, taunting me with guilt.

Go to school“, they seemed to say.

I can’t“, my reply.

Even at low tide the ebb and flow of far off waves beckoned me. Whispering their sweet siren call.

Across the bay the trees called out to me.

Come, explore my valley”.

Like the whisper of the art teacher that evening behind the mall.

The day I learned of cunninglus and the perversions of a French Canadian artist turned teacher.

And teach she did.

Sometimes it is pleasing to be a student.

Reaching the breakwater I sat upon the rocks and took heed of my surroundings. Behind me lay the mighty Bay of Fundy. Her waves cascading voraciously over the far side. Before me the trickle of tiny waves etching across the mud flats. High tide coming to fill the belly of Courtney Bay.

Today was a good day. The welts from the belt had stopped hurting now. The whipping boy was at his happy place. That obese bastard would not come this far to abuse me.

He would lay in wait within the shadows of the houses to beat me up the hill. Shaming me in front of the neighbors.

I am not capable of shame. Shame is the byproduct of guilt.

I am not capable of guilt. Guilt would bring shame.


I cry at night. I cry during daylight hours, also.  

But my daylight tears are dry and concealed by fake smiles and forced humour. 

My nighttime tears are lonely for they escape while no other person is near. 

They are like tiny fugitives sneaking from my eyes,  burning pathways of despair and shame. Leaving damp roadways of pain and guilt as they trickle down my face and splash painfully onto my chest to form a tiny pool of anguish in the indentation directly above my heart.

Since my unplanned birth that fifth day of October, 1957, I have cried. 

Are newborns aware of what their lives are to be? 

Was I aware that my parents would nickname me “Boo Boo”?

The constant reminder that my existence was a nusence. An unplanned mistake most likely the result of intoxicated fueled lust.

Did infant Danny know that day that he was not wanted? 

That of the three children of Mr. and Mrs. H.Verner it would be he who would be tossed to the wolves of foster care?

Was baby Boo Boo aware that by ten years of age he would have lived in thirty two homes?

I could guess he did by looking back at his life.

I never knew what it was like to say the words “Mom” or “Dad”. I can barely remember the first ten years of my life. Memories of physical abuse, tears upon my pillows and wondering why I didn’t have the same name as the people I lived with are clear.

Memories of bedwetting and pants soiled with feces.  Vague pictures of being placed in galvanized wash tubs full of ice water, welts upon my legs and buttocks . All the joys of childhood.

Not a single memory of allowing any man or woman to force tears from my eyes. The true ‘boy who never cried’.

Recollections of many a psychological interrogation and Catholic social workers explaining how good boys go to good homes.

I never had a birthday party or gift that I remembered. 

No, I am not capable of unlocking those first ten years.  Forever sealed in a highly classified “for my eyes only” recess of my subconscious. 

I definitely remember burning down the foster home the day after I was sat down in the back yard and told that the man before me was my father and the blonde haired older boy who I recognized from school was my brother. Being told that I had a sister in Toronto.  That this far away city was also where my birth mother lived.

Mother, father, brother, sister?  What was that? I had no base line to form an opinion of such. Was I to believe that “family” was an actual thing? 

So, my first day of life was not October the fifth, 1957. It was July 1967.  The day I moved into my brother and sister’s father’s house.  The day I met the kindest woman I would ever know.  My beloved “stepmother”. God rest her beautiful soul. I never called or thought of her as my “step”  parent for she was a true mother. The only mother I knew. The only adult in my short ten years who didn’t torture or belittle me.

I sort of remember my father. Fond memories of seeing him asleep, hugging the toilet bowl as I entered the bathroom to have my morning tinkle. Childhood pictures of my kindly step mom, who often chose to wear a black eye.

By 1969, at the age of twelve, I had decided family life was not my cup of tea. Glue sniffing,  heroin and every other drug were fun. So were guns and violence.  

The hippie bug bit my brother and I and we joined the Awarehouse. Saint John, New Brunswick’s only hippie commune. I made incense and Brother Ernie made candles. I also made needle marks along my arms and legs.

But, I did not fit the criteria for being a hippie.  Hippies were not violent. Shake, my new name, Shake was violent. Shake’s friends, much older than he, Noel, Gigi and Johnnie were also violent.  Drugs became the breast milk for my emotionally starved heart. Guns and explosives became my toys. Motorcycles and leather my diapers. 

I even had a vacation home in Dorchester Penitentiary and another one in beautiful Springhill, Nova Scotia.  They were gated communities with all the amenities a drug crazed violent rebel needed. A bed! Clean clothes! Three meals each and every day! 

So, unfortunately, do the family of my victim. As do the families who unknowingly donated all their treasures to the Shakie Dann Verner drug program.

My release from federal prison and my agreement to never return to my beautiful Saint John brought me to Toronto.  

For the first time in my life I actually got to say the words “This is my Mom”.

But, only for a year for after I finally was blessed to meet and grow to love her, well,  she got brutally murdered by an ex-boyfriend.  I didn’t cry then.

I cry now. At night when the darkness surrounds me.  When all of you are sleeping.  I’m crying now.

I am crying because it is night.  

I am crying because no one can see or hear me cry. 

I am crying because soon I will be sixty and soon I will be too aged not to cry during the cover of darkness. 

I am crying because I am a lonely old man who only ever wanted a family. But, how does someone who never knew of “families” become a “family” man? 

Tomorrow I will write about the path of Shakie in the 1980’s becoming his version of a failed “Dad” and how this broken man became “LightHouse Dann Verner”. The man who cries too often.

But for now, I cry at night. 

I am the lonely man who serves no purpose. 


I will be fifty nine years old on October the fifth this year. Five point nine decades of intermingling with all of you.

My early childhood was during the remnants of the 1950’s.  Johnny Cash, James Dean, muscle cars and drive-in restaurants. 

A time when society was changing from the gospel,  blue grass and country & western music to rock & roll and R & B.

To quote Bob Dylan,  “The Times They Are (were) A Changing”.

A time where moonshine and hootenannies became marijuana and LSD.

A period of worldwide transformation.  Wars fought for and lost.  Freedom for human’s of colour  (in a FEW countries).  Equal rights for all  (in a FEW countries). 

My teenage life was forever in and out of flux. Many, many foster homes, many unearned miseries and many well earned ones.

I remember the day I first met my oldest brother, Ernie. When I first laid eyes on him, he lay sleeping upon his bed. Exhausted from his return from Woodstock.  I fondly remember thinking how much he resembled Jesus, with his long dirty blonde hair and beard. 

That was the moment I decided  that I was to become a hippie.  

I bought my first vinyl lp “After The Gold Rush by Neil Young ” – followed by “Tumbleweed Connection  by Elton John “

And I grew my hair,  bought my first pair of Levi’s 501 jeans and a hookah.

And a bag of Acapulco Gold  cannibis sativa. Oh, and I developed a love for LSD and Mescaline.


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[mes-kuh-leen, -lin] 



a white, water-soluble, crystalline powder, C1 1 H 1 7 NO 3obtained from mescal buttons,that produces hallucinations.

Marijuana was not a gateway drug. The Mescaline  definitely was. For soon my daily routines became a constant psychedelic mixture of LSD, Mescaline and Heroin, topped off with any and every available pill.

By 1970 amphetamines had surfaced and brought with them the violence that accompanies humans who have pushed their minds beyond the physical/psychological threshold. 

And thus my short lived but very VIOLENT  years. 

Thank the Creator’s  for Dorchester and Springhill Penitentiaries. When I walked through the gates that beautiful summer day my life had been saved.

“Saved by going to prison? ” you ask

When arrested I had hepatitis, diphtheria and weighed 87 pounds. I had an eight year addiction to Heroin for which I would spend three months in solitary confinement to kick cold turkey.  There were no rehabs or Methadone treatment.  There was Hell on Earth.

And from all of this constant and chaotic turmoil I emerged a man. 

The BIRTH of “LightHouse Dann Verner”

(I shall end this for the moment and return with the next installment asap.)  

In closing may I say that if my story and sometimes ‘BRUTAL” honesty changes but one life, then my life had true meaning.