Thursday, September 1, 2011

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

September 2011

We welcome you back to our ezine after our combined issue and know there will be something here for everyone.

Poetry abounds with Bruce Clifford, M. Jay Mansfield, and John I. Blair on hand. Two authors have added stories for us, Denise Sebastian with one of her trysts "Coastal Walks," and Mark Crocker with chapter 12 of Rabbo Tales.

We are missing Gerard Meister from our lineup of columnists this issue, and we hope to see him in high form after his rest. Leo C. Helmer whets your taste buds with a fiery concoction in "Cookin' With Leo," and John I. Blair stresses the importance and the fun of preserving historical family treasures in "Always Looking." Thomas F. O'Neill, from his perspective in China, recalls his impressions and dismay on 911, in 2001, in his column "Introspective."

Mattie Lennon has been emcee'ing over in his favorite stomping grounds, and details his August activities in "Irish Eyes," including a foot note on "Ground Zero 360 - A Photographic Restrospective" by American author Nicola McClean. Peg Jones shares a wonderful free music link with us in "Angel Whispers," and your editor has been listening to it for hours as this issue evolved. Her message from the angels includes the pleasures of music.

LC Van Savage will tickle your funny bone disclosing what wasn't a bit funny for her at the time in her column "Consider This." Eric Shackle has some beautifying hints for the adventurous as he informs us of Dr.Fish in "Eric Shackle's Column."

The continuing story by Mark Crocker, "Rabbo Tales," adds Chapter 12, "The Last of a Race" of Book One of this adult fantasy and will end this book now. Book Two will follow shortly. Mark Crocker thanks all his readers who have kept up with the fantasy and all compliments are duly noted and appreciated. He hopes it has been as much fun reading it as it has been for him to write it.

See you in October!

Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

We invite you to become a fan of our publication at FaceBook.

Always Looking -

Preserving History

By John I. Blair

    Recently I’ve been taking advantage of my extended and very flexible hours as a retiree to go closet diving. This year my wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary; I turned 70 and she turned – well it would be ungentlemanly of me to share that number without permission.
    Bottom line, we’ve had decades to accumulate stuff, and have inherited even more stuff from our parents. We’re overwhelmed – buried – by stuff.
    Fact is, some of this stuff is precious, irreplaceable, family history – stuff future generations will treasure. The trick is to figure out now what’s precious, and to preserve it in a way that will maximize its value to your progeny.
    Old photos are the most obvious category. And we have a sad example of what can go wrong with these. In the top of our bedroom closet we have two large boxes filled with photos from my wife’s family, many of them in elaborate and heavy old gilt metal frames, most of them as sharp and clear as the day they were taken, as much as 100 years and more ago. There’s just one problem – we have no idea who the people are in the photos, because there are no notations, anywhere, of the names, places, and dates for the subjects. While we’re pretty sure they’re family members, they might as well be Lithuanians. (Actually, family lore hints that some of them were Lithuanians.)
    Without the identification (and with the generation of people all gone who might have remembered the names), these wonderful old photos are of little value except as curiosities. A standing reminder to write on those photos you have in your own closet/album/curio cabinet/under-bed box, etc. Forget all those old strictures about not marring the emulsions – the use of a soft lead pencil to carefully write around the edges will damage little and preserve history. Lead (graphite actually) because it doesn’t soak through and is essentially indelible except to the most vigorous eraser.
    Be sure to include all you know about the subjects: full names, when the photo was taken (as nearly as you recall), and where it was taken. If the event is important (a birthday or anniversary party, a holiday, a vacation trip), include that. Take the time to sit down and go through the entire photo collection, adding all this information to every photo for which you can remember. I’ll be honest – I’m still only in the initial stages of this project myself, but eager to pass on my hard-learned wisdom to others.
    Then there are all the other treasures. These may include items of intrinsic value (Great-Grandpa’s Austrian gold wedding band, for example), but always are items associated in some important way with family history. And these may not always be obvious.
    Some of you may be fortunate enough to possess g-g-g-g-g-g grandpa’s Revolutionary War musket. Chances are, if you do, it’s already in a glass-fronted case with an engraved metal plaque on the corner. Things like that tend to be well-preserved in most families.

    Cedar Chest

    An example: a cedar chest handmade by my father in the late 1920s and used by his sister, my Aunt Madge, for about 60 years.

    Far more likely is that you possess great-great grandma’s hairpin dish (as I do) or her dresser set. Great Grandpa’s rocking chair. Grandma’s dinner table. Grandpa’s humidor.
    Each of these, because of its family association, is, at least potentially, precious, telling us something about the people, about their lives and times, and providing a physical link to ancestors whom, perhaps, you never actually knew in person.
    To maximize their value as family treasures you need to do three things:
    • 1. Whatever is necessary to preserve them from decay, or from further decay. In most cases this may involve simply cleaning them and storing them carefully. For some items you may have to call on professional help, such as a dry cleaner for an article of clothing. Many of us have access to local historical museums who can link to you to experts in preservation of old objects.
    • 2. Identify them, and their connections to family members and family history, in at least two ways – an unobtrusive label actually affixed to the object, and a record in a well-bound and highly retrievable book or binder or file cabinet that could also include a written family history. This latter at best would be kept in multiple copies so many members of the family could have their own copy. For some items, photos should be a part of the record book or file.
    • 3. Work out well ahead of time (i.e., before you die or go into a nursing home or retirement facility) who gets what after you no longer have it. Nobody likes a fight over inheritances; and they can leave a bitter taste that all but ruins the joy of still having family heirlooms. Some people in the next generation may not even be interested in these – others would be devastated if they were forgotten at the time these heirlooms are passed along. And some will have personal associations with certain objects that make them especially precious. Find out about these.
    It’s never too early to start on this effort at preserving history. Especially with the photos! Get the labeling done as soon as you take them. This was much easier in the era when photos were preserved as paper prints. With today’s digital photos, a careful job of providing titles to photo files is about all I can suggest. Again, ask around. Ask experts at archiving. There may be techniques available I’m not aware of.

    milk glass candle holder

    Your reward: joys such as that I have of holding an old milk glass candle holder with faded painted roses along its length and knowing that it belonged to my maternal grandmother a century ago, then stood on my mother’s dresser top for 80 years before I inherited it. I keep it locked safely in a breakfront and hope some day to pass it on to one of my own granddaughters, being able to tell her it was her great-great grandmother’s once, in a cypress-built house in Iantha, Missouri.
    At bottom of this column is a photo (from a ferrotype) of my great-great grandfather Thompson Milton Blair and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Linville Blair, taken circa 1870.


Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


By M. Jay Mansfield

Lying here awake, loving you
And I wonder
I wonder
Where is my love
Lying in my bed
Missing you

While I sit and shake, missing you
I wonder
Yes I wonder
Where is my love
Where is she going
What is she doing

As soon as I wake, needing you
I wonder
If she wonders
Where is my love
Does she know that I need her
Does she need me too

©6-21-11 MJMansfield

Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

My August

I told you in the July/August Irish Eyes that I would be visiting Doneraile Arts and Literary Festival on 05th, 06th and 07th August.

It was a wonderful festival with events too numerous to list here.

On Saturday evening there was a reception and Art Exhibition at Creagh Castle. The festival was opened by Journalist, author, raconteur, publican and wit, Billy Keane.

Billy Keane

His father the great John B. worked in a Pharmacy in Doneraile as a young man. And Billy had no hesitation in pointing out that inspiration for many of John B’s stories came from the north Cork town. (Seemingly, in Doneraile in pre-Viagra days they had their own ways of dealing with ED and frigidity but I won’t elaborate. You’ll have to read Letters of a Successful Matchmaker. ) This was followed by the presentation of the Canon Sheehan Literary Award for the best short-story and the Edmund Spencer Poetry Award.

Later in the evening veteran Irish broadcaster and son of Doneraile Donncha O‘Dulaing gave a talk on his native town and showed some archive footage of a TV programme My Own Place which he made in 1976.

I did MC at an open mic session “from ten till late.”

On Saturday morning I got the job of doing a public interview with Presidential candidate Michael D. Higgins. As far as I know it went down well.

A talk on Canon Sheehan was given by Mary Leyland. And a lecture on Elizabeth Bowan was delivered by the famous Donncha O’Dulaing. (By the way Donncha is one of our best known broadcasters and you can hear him on RTE Radio One just after ten o ‘clock (Irish time) on Saturday nights. Just Google “Failte Isteach” and you will be able to listen online.)

Donncha O'Dulaing

Dr. Andrew King also gave a lecture on that other great Doneraile literary figure, Edmund Spencer and the Kerry poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice (who has to date published forty books of poetry) gave a reading. There were also readings by Gaye Walshe and Ulick O Connor.

Ulick O Connor

The aforementioned Michael D. Higgins launched his latest collection of poetry New and Selected Poems, published by Liberties Press, and Leanne O ‘Sullivan and Paul Soye gave readings. I Do Not like Thee Doctor Fell, by Bernard Farrell, played to a full house and the night wasn’t over until Mattie Lennon did man-of-the-house at another epic session of songs and recitations where many of the visiting literati read their own work.

Mattie Lennon and Michael D. Higgins

Sunday was a full day starting with a Historical lecture and walking tour by local historian Cal McCarthy, followed by presentation of children’s awards and a Puppet Theatre. There were readings by Kieran Mark Crowley and Pauline Devine and Bell Ringing in Saint Mary’s Church.

The Degani Ensemble gave a Classical Concert which was a great success.

And . . . festivities finished sometime early on Monday morning with a hoarse MC (yours truly) signing off. Before I headed back to the relative peace of the East Coast the committee presented me with a beautiful painting The Monkey Trees by local artist Karen O ‘Shea. Karen’s work was initially influenced by her love of landscape but, she says, “. . . finding a piece of scrap paper of The Maasai Bushmen in a waste bin revolutionised my work.”

During our stay myself and my wife were really well looked after in the Springfort Hall Hotel. Springfort Hall got its name from a stream which flows south of the House. This stream rises in a spring in the old fort at Pencil Hill. Lewis, in 1029 mentions that triple X was mined in the Land of Baltydaniel (Springfort Hall).

In former times it was owned by Lord Roche. The Roches acquired vast amounts of land following the Norman invasion of 1169. It came into the possession of Sir Philip Perciville in the seventieth century. The next owner of Baltydaniel was Colonel Clayton, son-in-law of Sir Philip. It was later owned by the Foote family and by an Englishman named Wyatt, who sold it in 1858 to Captain Spencer Stewart for 7,000 pounds. In 1895 Commander H.T.F. White took Springfort Hall on a long lease, he was Hon. Secretary of the Duhallow Hunt (1892-1899). As Captain Stewart died without issue it passed to a relative, John Hanninon, who died in 1902.

In this century its owners included Mr. Collins, now a famous horse trainer, Mrs. Clarke, Colonel Scudamore, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Tony Dillard.

Springfort Hall Hotel Cork was purchased by The Walsh Family in 1982. If you are visiting the Emerald Isle I would recommend it.



On Thursday 17th August I went to the opening of an exhibition to honour those who lost their lives in 9/11. It was opened by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs Jimmy Deenihan who gave a moving talk on the connections between our two countries. Irish-American Moira Smith, the sole female NYPD officer to die on 9/11, is to be honoured at an exhibition which runs until October 1 at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, Dublin. (

Smith’s radio and cap will be on display, along with previously unreleased audio footage of her final minutes.

The event has been organised by Irish photojournalist Nicola McClean and her husband Paul McCormack, a former NYPD chief and decorated hero of 9/11. (Details of Nicola’s book from;

‘‘Moira was one of the most inspiring people you could hear about," said McCormack. ‘‘She had to know she was in mortal danger and she still went into that building and saved lives."

Brooklyn native Smith, the daughter of Irish emigrants John Reddy and Mary Finn, was killed when Tower 2 collapsed.

She left behind a husband James, also a police officer, and two-year-old daughter, Patricia.

Another event, featuring photographs taken by McClean in New York in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center runs from September 6 to 11 at the RDS in Dublin.

The panoramic Ground Zero 360 installation marks the ten years since the atrocity.

Visitors are also invited to share their own thoughts and memories of that day. ‘‘What happened devastated families," said McCormack.

‘‘My wife, Nicola, had taken a lot of pictures at the time, but just put them in a tin can. She was very affected by what happened down there.

‘‘But now she has created a ‘wall of the missing’ to honour the victims. She wants to create a lasting memorial through her images.

" Her book of photographs Ground Zero 360 (A Photographic Retrospective) was on sale. (See book cover above.)

Click on Mattie Lennon for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Eric Shackle's Column

By Eric Shackle

Let Dr. Fish nibble your toenails!

Posted by Eric Shackle in Sydney, Australia
Sunday, 21 August 2011 at 18:00

Consider This

By LC Van Savage

The Dreaded Mammary Word

Anybody out there remember Joyce Kilmer? Not her. Him. You remember--the guy who had that thing for trees. And so potent a thing it was, he penned an immortal ode to them.

And that ode was eventually put to music too, becoming a very popular ballad decades ago, when people sang exaltedly of such things.

You remember it. His poem "Trees" began "I think that I shall never see/ A poem lovely as a tree/ A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed/ Against the earth's sweet flowing breast...” I think Alfalfa even sang it hideously and hilariously in one of those wonderful old “Little Rascal” films of the 1930s—only he screeched “A tree whose hungry mouth is PRAY-yust/ Against the earth’s sweet flowing BRAY-yust/” Way funny.

Those mellifluous words of Kilmer’s immortal poem still fill me with horror, although it's been somewhat blunted after decades of concentrated self-therapy. Today, I can finally look at trees without even a breath of dread. And people with the name of "Joyce," either first or last, man or woman, no longer cause me to bolt.

I should probably explain. It all has to do with that poem. I was l0 years old and in Miss Reynolds' fifth grade English class on Staten Island. The year was 1948. Back in those ancient times, it was believed that the memorization of poetry would enrich the lives of young people. It did. I was so enriched that I can still bore anyone to sobs by reciting great patches of The Ancient Mariner and Gunga Din, if, that is, I can successfully block the exits in time.

But it was "Trees" by Alfred Joyce Kilmer which took Miss Reynolds' fancy that year, and she forced all of us to learn it. Ever true to her cause, Miss R. one day demanded that each of us, seven days hence, stand and recite that poem. Start to finish. No exceptions.

We were collectively horrified. All of us looked at each other, eyes rolling and wide with fear. Recite aloud? In front of everyone? Didn't Miss Reynolds know about that word in there? What could she possibly be thinking?

Mr. Kilmer, however well-intentioned, had slipped us all a poetic mickey. This poem of his contained the most terrible of words, a part of a tree, he'd insisted, upon which snow has lain.

The bosom word. OMG, the embarrassment of it. Mr. Kilmer had opted to use that awful term when he could very well have picked another. How about good old bark, for example? And another thing--how did he know exactly where and what a tree's bosom was anyway? When that snow had lain upon it, could he really be sure it wasn't on the tree's back or side, or backside, or even shoulders or arms? Who gave Kilmer the right to label what that lain snow was clinging to? Could've been anything, but not necessarily its you-know-what, if in fact trees actually indeed have you-know-whats. (To date, I've never seen mammaries on trees anyway. And honestly, I’ve really looked.)

Miss Alice Reynolds was going to force us to say it. The jittery, bleary-eyed (we had not slept the night before) fifth grade gang assembled for English class that day, and I will say proudly that we were a brave lot; not a one of us had tricked our mothers into letting us stay home sick. We were white faced, nervously giggling, the girls not daring to look at the boys, the boys swaggering about like tough guys in the movies and not daring to look at the girls. There was much banging about of desk lids, dropped books, getting drinks from the fountain in the hall, uneasy coughing.

"Settle down," shouted the sadistic Miss R., but how could we? This was the day of reckoning, the day we'd each have to stand before a gathering of our peers and speak what was, at least for us, out-and-out pornography. Oh, how beyond awful it would be. All of us were, by the time Miss R. had taken the role, wretched and shaking, laughing with mounting hysteria.

The bell began its toll.

But not for me! I delightedly watched all of this misery and angst from the sanctity of Mrs. Merrick's classroom, directly across the hall. I'd been sent there to await the arrival of my worried parents.

You see, I'd swallowed this fish bone during lunch period, and it stuck in my throat, and I was choking on it so terribly, I was rendered speechless. I'd frantically mimed to the lunch room teacher that the pain was indescribable, scribbled “Bone stuck in my throte!!” onto her napkin, and was sent to the school nurse. She was perplexed, because lunch that day had been macaroni and cheese, with chocolate pudding for dessert. But when she witnessed my gyrations and frantic choking signals, she understood I was incapable of speech and was in fact suffering devastating agony. That good and dear woman then mercifully told me I would not have to attend afternoon classes, and that I could and most assuredly should go home. Oh the joy. I was very careful to not flush with glee and to keep up my demeanor of agonized choking and pitiful gagging.

When my concerned parents led me gently from Mrs. Merrick's care and past the fifth grade English classroom, my trembling hand pressed melodramatically to my throat, I glanced through the door at my less-clever fifth-grade classmates. I lowered my head and grinned with fiendish satisfaction as I heard the wavering, near-to-sobbing voice of poor Mildred Oyston, the first to be sacrificed for the recitation of Mr. Kilmer's indecent verse. She was stammering "...upon whose...upon whose...oh, how do you pronounce that word Miss Reynolds??"

“BOOZ-um” Miss R. hissed from the side of the room. And then she hissed it again. Poor Mildred Oyston; tears and sobs bursting from her contorted, florid and embarrassed face, she fled from the room, simply unable to say the dreaded word. Oh to go back to those innocent days when having to say a breast’s other name aloud caused both boys and girls to blush and run.

I heard Miss Reynolds call on the next victim as I was led tenderly from the school and driven to the doctor’s office where, huzzah, there was a sudden miraculous cure. The bone had obviously been absorbed, or had slid down from my throat and into my organs where it dissolved, never to be seen again. Was I ashamed of my cowardice and deception? Not a chance, but alas, I have never once in the rest of my 63 years been able to come up with as good and clever a subterfuge when I wanted to sleaze out of doing something distasteful. That was my shining moment, my one and only moment of glory, my greatest triumph. My punishment from the Heavens for deceiving my gentle, kind teachers with the bone story so I would not have to utter the B word in front of the other hapless kids, was that I have never been able to be that quick-witted since.

Click on LC Van Savage for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Aztec Annie's Bloody Hot Mary's

My dear pal Aztec Annie must be feeling sorry for me. I know that she knows that I hate the hot horrible weather of West Texas, so the other day she made a pit stop here on my patio just to cheer me up. And geez did I need cheering up, damn hot West Texas weather, no rain for months, just damn miserable in what I thought was a miserable state. What other bad things can happen here? Well, it can’t get much worse, except for ongoing hot weather, little or no rain, lakes and rivers all drying up, and the worst news ever, Perry is out to get Obama’s job, can you believe that? I personally thought he could not run Texas, but then his oil rich buddies think he can do anything, especially since he made them all richer than rich by taking away things from school kids and little ol’ ladies. Well maybe if he runs for something else beside governor maybe we’ll get him the hell out of Texas, who knows. Aztec Annie just whispered in my ear that he wasn’t even qualified to be an Aztec Temple guide in South America because he would not be able to climb all the steps, many more, she said, than them capitol steps in Austin. Gee Annie, that was an interesting thought, but then, hell I guess we can’t ship him off to South America anywhere. How about on down to the South Pole, where he can check up on global warming? Good thought, she said, but the penguins have it bad enough already. Well, that’s true, I guess we can let him wander around the states until he gets lost someplace. Most Texans can only find their way around a 10,000 acre ranch but could never find their way through a big city like Saint Louis or Kansas City.
“ So much for politickin’ with me Annie, what else brought you here?”
“Well, I know you been mopein’ around here all’a time so I bring you something to cheer you up.”
“That’s great Annie, even a kick in the tail end might cheer me up”.
“This here no hurt like kick
And now I had a brand new recipe for a brand new nice cool drink, what will go good with all the long hot weekend cookouts. Don’t let the heat get ya’, fix up a big batch of this

Bloody Hot Mary’s by the pitcher full

What you will need:

    1 can regular RoTel™
    Pour into blender and fill can with Vodka and add to blender
    ½ cup pure lemon juice
    2 tablspns Worchester sauce
    About 1/3 cup catsup
    ½ to 1 tsp whole celery seed slightly crushed
    ½ to 1 tsp black pepper

Add everything to blender as you go and now add 6 to 8 ice cubes 1 at a time.

Pulse to start choppin' ice and then blend mixture thoroughly to combine all ingredients.

Get about a half dozen tall glasses and pull off some leafy celery stalks, wash and pull off strings and place in glass with mix to use as stirrers and garnish.

Take Care Now, Ya’heah!

Click on Leocthasme for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Dead Tree

By John I. Blair

This summer’s heat and drouth,
Worst in thirty years,
Has born dire fruit;
Our magnolia’s dead.

Not the icon of the South,
Evergreen with white blossoms
(Though those, too, have suffered),
It was deciduous:

Every year in autumn
The leaves would slowly brown
And fall to ground,
Its branches gray and bare by Christmas.

And then in spring
Fat buds would burst
Into a flowering glory,
Huge pink cups.

Now that will not come again;
Roots baked dry, foliage crisped,
Cambium dead of thirst,
Its glory’s gone.

I’ll hold a wake this winter,
Test limbs for life,
Scan tips for growth;
Miracles could happen.

And if they fail
I’ll cut it down with care,
Respecting all the years
Since I first planted it,

Allowing it the grace
Not to be replaced,
But remembered by the little oak
That sprouted in its shelter.

©2011 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Angel Whispers

By Peg Jones

Message from the angels for

September of 2011

As I sit here at my Laptop, I am listening to the beautiful music of Federic Delarue. Frederic is a musician whose music is inspired by the angels. He has said that it is as if the angels have taken over his keyboard and are composing this heavenly angelic music. I am listening to his newest piece. It is called, "Musical Rapture, A Healing Gift to Humanity." The music is beyond words. It is absolutely breathtaking. I love to listen to the music as it brings me to a place where the angels are. It feels as if they are singing and dancing for me personally. I can hear the solo’s and the chorus’s of this piece being played to me. It feels to me it is their gift of love to me.

There are times during the day when I feel there has been an angelic moment, a time the angels have given me a sign that they are here for me. For example, the other day I was driving home from work, and I saw a car with the license plate JONES 88. At first I thought, now that is interesting, Then I thought, whoa, I married my husband in 1988. Then I realized our anniversary is in 6 days. I thought how cool is that? Today is our anniversary.

As this music plays, I think of the different times in my life when I didn’t believe our angels are truly with us at all times. It was kind of a dark time for me. It was also a time for healing and a time for the angels to let me know they were here for me. It took a great many years to find this out. I am happy to say I know this to be so very true that my angels are with me at all times.

This music makes me think that there are all sorts of angels gathering around me listening to the music. I hear the sound of a young soprano angel singing her song and working so very hard at reaching the very high notes. The angels give me a feeling they are walking into the room I am in and they are in every part of the room sitting, standing, kneeling, They are singing and they are singing many songs of love to me and to anyone listening to this music.

The music brings tears to my eyes for it is so beautiful and full of tender gift of love towards all. I remember one time I listened to the music I was hearing poetry about their love for me and everything I was hearing was in a rhyme. They were speaking so quickly that couldn’t write down any of what they were telling me, as I was listening. I have had visions and I have had a true healing, when listening to this music. The part that I love the most is when I am dancing with the angels. It is such a feeling of healing taking place. imagine if you were dancing with the angels, how would you feel in doing this also?

I invite anyone who is interested to go to his website to read about his work and to listen to his music. His website address is: and if you want to download this beautiful Rapture the link for this is as follows Free m3 Download, Musical Rapture

Frederick asks that you do not use this music in doing meditations for a group or any sort of voice over work as it will wreck the healing quality of the music. Real healings have happened with this music and I hope that when you have the time to listen to this beautiful music that you will feel refreshed and healed on some level. He is definitely a man to be watching to see what he comes out next for healing and transformative music from the angels. Please let me know at how you found the music to be for you.

I learned about Frederick Larue from TJ Phillips, who is the founder of Believe in the Moment. Her website is dedicated to helping people get their message out to the masses. You can got to her site to find out all she offers to members of the site.

The angels do have a message for you this month and I would like to share this with you.

”We gather with you to share a message of love with you. We are with you at all times and we will help with whatever needs to be helped. We respect your freewill and we will not intrude on this in anyway. We speak with love and know that we live deeply in your heart/soul. We are your higher self, part of you that has no ego, only love. You all have love with in you and we know its shining brightly to all you know. The world needs more light shining upon it for there is darkness in many parts. We all know where they are. By sending your energy of love to these parts, they will receive this and every bit of this beacon shining towards these places will be a big help to all. Do not underestimate this ability for this is true.”

I look forward to hearing your impressions of what the music meant to you. What visions did you get? What feeling did you feel and How do you feel after the music is done playing. Do you feel the same or do you feel different? You can ask for healing of certain thing in life that needs to be healed. See how you feel after you ask for this healing while the music is being played. I wish you a happy September and I will see all of you in October.

Click on Peg Jones for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


By M. Jay Mansfield

This ragged old warrior
Looks into your face
And I’m amazed every time
When you tell me I’m yours
And you’ll always be mine

This old heart
Feels your love
And I’m amazed at your smile
When you share it with me
Time after time

This young boy
Holds your hand in his
I’m Amazed by your touch
That you always give me
My heart and my mind

This Loving man
Holds you in his heart
And I’m Amazed by your love
That fits together with mine
The way it should be till the end of time

©6-21-11 MJMansfield

Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Dawn Of

By M. Jay Mansfield

Breaking dawn or moonbeams curse
finds me in the same place
wavering from brutal rage to peaceful solitude
every hot iron of pain that hits me
takes me from my normal place
I want to be in peace and love and HATE
no, peace and love,
and a low growl of a wild beast
Hunt, maim, kill
Hold cuddle protect
Most people ride their one life into the ground
never knowing all there is to hold
Most never live enough to grow old
And many old ones never lived enough to know
So here we are at an impasse
We, me, you
I have to break something. someone, somehow
it will be me, you or us
I’d much rather hug you and send you on your way.
But I can tell you don’t know enough to let that happen
So these are the roles of a lifetime we must play
So duck and roll and close your eyes at the snapping
Maybe today you won’t have to pay
Crushing blows of self against the stone…
Maybe you’ll escape the fray…
and then again I can enjoy the crushing beauty
of being alone…
Oh yes I wish that I could love you…
but right now maybe you should go…
There’s really not much you can do…
Except right now let me go…
©4-23-11 MJMansfield
Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Late Summer Moon

By John I. Blair

At the rim of my wild garden
The moonlight pools like cool water,
Bathing all the leaves in ivory;

It creeps along the bricks
Of winding paths, revealing
Joints and chips and cracks

Where I place my feet with care,
Feeling my way as if half-blind,
Which indeed I am,

My eyes confused by cataracts,
Fuddled by floaters,
Blocked by ignorance

From seeing even half
Of what lies there before me
So dim, so bright.

©2011 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Biggest Sin

My biggest sin is being real
Million dollar lies are easy to love
By god don’t actually feel
Lie there like a snake full of cold blood

some reason I care to much
How did I ever get in this shape
who taught me to give this much
I wish I could bury them in my hate

My biggest sin is being real
How was I suppose to know
It’s only the art of the deal
It’s the smoke and mirrors part of the show

What demon taught me to care
my blood boils on the surface
My skin to thin to save me here
Love soaked in eternal malice

My biggest sin was being real
I’ll teach myself not to care
I’ll kill the self that loves to feel
They’ll love me once I’m there

©5-8-11 MJMansfield

Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

System Fail

By M. Jay Mansfield

All systems fail…
we’re heading in…
crash course
flaming out

wreckage scattered
sheets stained
needles pierce the skin
Last ditch effort

pumping me full
somebody else’s life
half alive
suffering dead

I refuse to
I will not
revving the engines
one more burst

Flying free
from the wreckage
The last flight
His terms

©5-6-11 MJMansfield
Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


By M. Jay Mansfield

I try to be a good guy
and I work real hard
it just isn’t enough

I keep a roof over their heads
and I keep her well fed
it just isn’t enough

When do I get to be?
What the hell about me?
it just isn’t enough

even criminals get a chance
Damn them, is there a plan?
it’s just never enough

Only the weight of the world
Carrying only the entire load
is it ever enough?

©5-6-11 MJMansfield

Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Beaten Man

By M. Jay Mansfield

The walk of a beaten man
no matter how muscular he is
there is no grace in his final steps
there can only be what is

He can hold his head as high as he wants
He can claim principles won
He can rail against the machine
but his soul weighs tons

The walk of a beaten man
Right, does not make the steps easier
There is no longer trek
Than the last one through that door

His head high maybe bloodied as well
His thoughts they swarm
His soul already burdened in Hell
His path pulls him continuously down

Crawling out of this life

The walk of a beaten man
Being right has let him down
Nothing left to give knowing his all was nothing
No where left, but the ground

©5-8-11 MJMansfield

Click on M. Jay Mansfield for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


By Thomas F. O'Neill

Remembering Sept 11th 2001

I was working in Glen Burnie, Maryland as the Senior Parole and Probation Agent on September 11, 2001. That day started out no different than any other working day. I was in the field checking on some of my Parolees’ and Probationers. My caseload at that time was somewhere in the ball park of 190 offenders. That is quite a lot for one person to handle because at that time the Agents had no computers to work with. There have been a lot of changes since then though mostly out of necessity due to the huge turnover in personnel.

My first stop on that September morning was the home of a man who never checked in with me after being paroled from Prison.

I was making my fifth attempt to meet with him.

The Parolee liked to be referred to as Hank and he kept a huge and mean looking Rottweiler in his front yard. The dog barked and growled at anyone that approached the house.

Whenever I went to his home I always came prepared with a small piece of beef jerky that I would toss to this mean looking dog. Like the other times I went there Hank never responded to me when I called out to him from the front gate.

The Rottweiler by this time though was used to me and when he saw me he was looking forward to the beef jerky. I built up enough nerve that day to pat the dog on the head while handing him the tasty treat. I then nervously opened the gate and worked my way up to the front door and to my surprise the dog began licking my hand.

I noticed the front door was unlocked so I opened it and yelled for Hank. My Parolee popped his head up from his sofa and looked at me. He then got up looked out into his front yard for his dog. He seemed a bit confused as to why his dog didn’t have me for breakfast.

I quickly noticed that Hank was under the influence of something because he kept scratching himself and mumbling something over and over again incoherently. He then walked back into his living room and plopped back down on his well lived sofa. I explained to him that he needed to report to my office the following day if not I had no choice but to violate his Parole. I wanted to have his urine tested because his speech and everything about him told me he was on drugs.

It was at that moment my cell phone rang it was my mother calling to tell me that airplanes had flown into the World Trade center in New York City.

I asked Hank if I could turn on his TV to see what was going on there.

“Sure thing, Agent O’Malley” said Hank.

I then handed him my card and said, “It’s Agent O’Neill and here is my phone number and the address to my office. I want to see you there tomorrow morning.”

When I turned on his TV the News was covering the events of 9/11. The first thing I saw on the television was the twin towers on fire. I told my mother on the phone, “it’s definitely a terrorist attack and I’ll call back shortly.”

“That looks like a pretty good movie,” said Hank in a drug addicted stupor.

“America is under attack,” I told him.

“Cool,” said Hank “is Bruce Willis in it?”

I was shocked at what I was seeing and felt so sad when a close up showed people falling from the World Trade Center windows.

“I got beer in the fridge,” said Hank, “help yourself.”

“No that’s alright,” I said and at that moment one of the World Trade Center Towers collapsed. I was still trying to process everything that was unfolding on the live coverage of the attack on America. Before I left Hank’s home I reminded him to report to my office the next morning.

“Sure thing, Agent McNeill,” he said.

I called my mother back and she began to tell me what she heard on TV about the terrorists.

When I got back to my office people were talking about the attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the downed airplane in Pennsylvania. My Coworkers were all wondering what was to come next if more airplanes were going to hit other places. I couldn’t help but to think of the victims’ families of what they must be going through and all those people buried under the rubble of the downed buildings. Those events truly changed America.

That attack on 9/11 led the U.S. Government to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and people today are debating whether we still need to be in those countries – we are now fighting the longest wars in U.S. history. Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have also led to record deficits for our national economy and not to mention the thousands of troops that were killed or maimed.

My students in my Cultural Diversity classes here in China bring up Afghanistan and Iraq quite often in my classes. They ask if America still needs to be there. I tell them eventually we will leave those countries just as we left Korea and Vietnam decades ago. I also tell them that the terrorists that attacked America on September 11, 2001, caught our nation off guard and they killed a lot of people. They did not, however, kill the American spirit that unites our country.

Patriotism rooted in our freedom is what the terrorist tried to destroy but they failed and they will continue to fail. The History of our nation and what it stands for can never be brought down by the cowardly acts of terrorism. The events on that September day also showed the world just how desperate the terrorists are in their attempts to destroy our way of life. Our Nation has been and will continue to be a beacon of light for the other nations of the world to emulate and embrace.

What the perpetrators of that terrorism failed to understand on that September morning: Terror at the hands of extremists will never destroy the will or the resolve of the American people. That is what makes America the greatest Nation on earth.

My former Parolee, Hank, never showed up to my office after three more attempts to get him to do so and that violated the condition of his Parole and unfortunately for him he was sent back to prison.

If I wasn’t living in an apartment at that time I probably would have adopted Hank’s Rottweiler but there was a no pet clause in my rental agreement with my landlord. What a bummer though, I should have tried to pass him off as a K-9 or something.

I am no longer the Senior Agent for Parole and Probation in Glen Burnie, Maryland but it’s still something I can look back on for my cultural diversity classes here. My students are also very much interested in the criminal justice system in America because China has four times the population of the U.S. with far less crime, but for now I will leave that for a future column.

Always with love from Suzhou, China,
Thomas F O’Neill

    Phone: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

    Click on Thomas F. O'Neill for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.