Saturday, September 1, 2012

Editor's Corner

September 2012

It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction. -Henry Ward Beecher
That quote reminds your editor to be thankful she is still able to work and receive a great sense of accomplishment because she can. Some recent events have made that fact precious, and gratitude abounds.

Eleven poems this month: One by Bud Lemire ("Someone Took My Picture") and four from Bruce Clifford ("When I'm Gone," "Can You Hear Me," "I'm Sorry," and "My Final Hour.") There are two from Linnie Jane Joslin Burks, who passed away in March just before her 72d Anniversary so the little "Two Rooms" was almost a prediction for the solid love they had. Her other one should bump our conscience "We Hold Our Gladness." This lady was the sister of your editor's mother.

From John I. Blair, the following four poems: "Zander's Dance,"  "On A Day Like Today,"  "Sisyphus," and "The Brick Garden."  They were actually received after the issue made press time but have been added for the month. Because John I. Blair had already sent his column "Always Looking--People Who Made A Difference" before his pc did the crash thing, it was ready. He chose a woman who worked with the Suffragists, another timely note for this election year.

Leo C. Helmer's column ("Cookin' With Leo") brings a recipe showing with a bit of this and of that and some ingenuity, one can have a special breakfast. In"Angel Whispers" Peg Jones shares a message from the angels concerning humor and how important it is in our lives.

Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" gives us a rundown on the recent literary event he attended and the pic at the bottom shows him with some of the dignitaries. Thomas F. O'Neill discusses history of elections in "Introspective," while "Eric Shackle's Column" by Eric tells how the Australians are gearing up for safety during an earthquake.

Mark Crocker has added more to his second book of Rabbo Tales, "Rabbo II -Chapter 7 Part B, Tomorrow Never Knows." Previous chapters of this tale can be accessed by clicking the author's name.

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.
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Angel Whispers

Humor with the Angels

In the year and half that I have been working with the angels on almost a daily basis, it has come to me that the angels aren’t always serious in their communication. They truly like to laugh and they like us to laugh along with them.

Sometimes they make fun of themselves in a way that makes us understand their message a bit easier. The other day I had heard a message about symbols and there were three symbols mentions: butterflies, and rainbows, and moonbeams. This is the message, I had received:
The angels want to know we also have a sense of humor and a lot of our messages are given with a sense of humor. For laughter and joy are so good for you. When using your sense of humor you feel much lighter and you feel that you may even begin to smile or laugh out loud. We are all for laughing out loud too. It clears our mood and we feel understood, even if it is a bit silly at times. We ask you to not be afraid to let the humor come through. We love to laugh too and laugh with you too. May your angels on the moonbeams be with you in the form of butterflies as they fly through the rainbow today.
Angel blessing to all.
It’s not slapstick comedy but it does make you smile. I feel they do use their sense of humor to help us keep things a bit lighter, and not to be so serious all of the time. There is a lot going on in our world, and a lot of it is very serious for us to be concerned about. I feel they like to help us not to feel all the heaviness that has been around all of us, lately.

I had asked the angels the many ways we can keep things a bit lighter for us. They had some really good ideas too, for all of us to consider.
• Write about the something that was really funny to you at the time.
• Read a book of jokes.
• Watch comedians perform that you enjoy listening to.
• Watch movies that are funny to you.
• Being with old friends and having good conversation the kind that has you laughing for hours.
• Cleaning your house to music like the oldies songs...The house will get cleaner a lot faster.
The angels state that to be in a continually depressed or blah mood is not good for anyone. Looking to partake in events that lift your mood is a way to keep life in balance. The angels want to say that they love helping and seeing us smiling and laughing. Let your inner child come through. So many of us forget what the inner child is truly like. The inner child may be sad or angry or hurt in some way but he secretly wants to be happy, and forgiving. Let your inner child come out gracefully and let him feel what it’s like to laugh, and to be child like again.

The angels are not talking about being irresponsible or mean, they are talking about letting the sadness or the hurt or what is making your heart heavy to lift it with doing an activity where you find yourself smiling again.

I know for me when I am feeling heavy about something, the last thing I want to do is to be in activities that are full of humor or being silly. So I find myself to have time for me, like reading a favourite book or listening to soothing music, or meditation for a short time. This time to regroup helps me to become more of who I am and much more willing to let my inner child out a bit more. Taking care of yourself is most important. Letting yourself laugh, a really big belly laugh, makes the angels really happy because they know how happy you are.

They say to be deprived of laughter or humor can be very disheartening. They say laughter in many ways is food for the heart and humor can help you to move forward in a way that is positive for you.
Peg Jones, ALC
Angelic Life Coach
office:  The Healing Center, 234 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915
website :
Blog :

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

Irish Eyes

I told you last month that I was heading off to Doneraile Literary and Arts Festival. Well, it exceeded expectations. There were workshops on everything from pottery to songwriting.
Elena Buttner gave a wonderful workshop on pottery making and I left Doneraile the proud owner of one of her pieces. There are people already entheustacilly writing songs who attended Ger Woulfe’s workshop. The event was opened by Senator David Norris in Creagh Castle. Senator Norris gave a wonderful talk on the castle, Joyce, his own ancestry and anything else that came into his head; a wonderful speaker.
Peter Duffy performed a fantastic one-man show depicting “The Great Hunger” by Patrick Kavanagh. The show portrays the full poem version of this work. The long epic poem is one of the great works of Irish literature and perhaps Kavanagh’s masterpiece. It was banned at one stage and the powers that were decided to prosecute Kavanagh for writing pornography. When the Garda arrived at Kavanagh’s flat with the summons, Kavanagh’s comment was “It’s good enough for me. Anyone that writes anything that a policeman can understand deserves anything they get.”
Duffy as Maguire
The poem concerns the life, hopes, frustrations and struggles of the anti-hero and small farmer Patrick Maguire. A narrative poem, full of lyrical beauty, drama, description and mystical insight, it is an unsentimental portrait of small farm life in 1930s Monaghan and by extension all Ireland. Peter says,”I use the complete text of the poem and strive to convey its poetic as well as its social and mystical qualities. The stage activity (movement, use of props, lights, sound, etc.) is used to translate the poem from the page to the stage. To make it accessible/interesting to a wide audience.”
Peter Duffy, in costume, says:
"Clay is the word and clay is the flesh
Where the potato-gatherers like mechanised scarecrows move
Along the side-fall of the hill - Maguire and his men.
If we watch them an hour is there anything we can prove
Of life as it is broken-backed over the Book
Of Death? Here crows gabble over worms and frogs
And the gulls like old newspapers are blown clear of the hedges, luckily.
Is there some light of imagination in these wet clods?

The stage becomes a potato-field in “October-colured weather.”
One commentator wrote of Kavanagh’s masterpiece; “It shatters the image of the happy peasant, close to the soil and to nature. His vision is of a world of stunted lives, of lives far too bound up with the land for land's sake. The consequences are that the other areas of life and experience are ignored and remain barren: the life of the imagination and the physical life of love are ignored at great cost."
One of the most unusual features of this festival is that it was 98% free. Diarmuid Hudner and his committee are already working on next year’s festival.
We lost two of our most famous literary figures since I was in contact with you last. Maeve Binchy, world-famous novelist and newspaper columnist passed away and a few days later Con Houlihan top sports writer and “Irelands greatest man of letters” went to the celestial newsroom.
On Thursday 23rd August the fleet of tall-ships arrived in Dublin after a lively race from A Coruña and berthed along the quays of the Liffey for The Tall Ships Races 2012. It was a spectacular sight for four days with thousands thronging the streets.
23rd August
The annual Hill Billy Tractor Run (proceeds go to charity) will be held at Lacken, county Wicklow on Sunday 09th September. Details on
And I’ve just got a bit of good news. A new One-Act Amateur Drama Festival will be held in The Playhouse Theatre, in Derry, over three days in late November this year.
My One-Act play A Wolf by the Ears will be staged by the Shindig Drama group. Watch this space!

Click on Mattie Lennon for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.Pic below: Diarmuid Hudner, Senator Norris, Mattie Lennon

The Brick Garden

When it was new and raw
And my bones could bear the work,
I spent many days alone
Building paths of brick
Around our garden,
Forming it and framing it.

I loved to walk their length,
Stepping carefully
Between the planted beds,
Brushing softly
Against the stems and leaves
That verged my route.

Years have passed;
I no longer have the strength
Or will to clear the paths;
The wild has had its way;
All the bricks have merged
Into the garden, overgrown.

But strange to say
Where they lie hid
Beneath the foliage
Is now the thickest
Lushest mass of flowers
As if the garden has decided,

Untamed although it is,
That it’s inclined to stand
Where I once stood,
View what I
Once looked at,
Wonder what I saw.
©2012 John I. Blair

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


Of all the ancient myths
Passed to us by Greeks,
Romans, Celts, Slavs,
And others over time, I’ve found
The one that resonates the most
For me’s the tale of Sisyphus.

Sisyphus, doomed by the gods,
Forever rolls a boulder up a slope
But never gets it to the top.
Instead it bounds back down,
The task begins anew,
Every day, for all eternity.

Some have thought this
The epitome of hell;
Others have found heroism.
Let it be hell I say;
Heroism’s at its highest
When hell is all around.

©2012 John I. Blair

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

On A Day Like Today

On a day like today
A fish crawled from a pond
And breathed;
A fiery planetoid
Impacted Yucatan;
Mammals suckled young.

On a day like today
Cave artists undertook
Ten thousand years
Of hands and deer and bison
Drawn with ocher in a reed,
A sooty brush, a bone.

On a day like today
The pyramid of Khufu rose;
The monoliths at Stonehenge
Tilted inch by inch into the earth;
The Great Wall began to march
Across the Mongol mountains.

On days like today
Millions fell in battles
Over causes since forgotten
Or discredited;
Immortal books were written,
Epic songs sung.

And today, a day
Like no other day yet seen,
We still sit and wonder
If our lives will matter;
The simple answer –
No life ever did not matter.

©2012 John I. Blair

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

Zander's Dance

Singing a plaintive song
Zander does his daily dance
Around my favored shins,
Rubbing first one way
And then another,

Then up
Against the chairs,
Lamp, bookcase, table leg,
Circling clockwise,
Then reversing,

Peering up intently
As if to say
The most important things,
But never managing
More than mews.

I think he wonders
Why I do not understand,
Don’t catch his drift,
Especially since presented
With such eloquence in motion.

Not one prone to rudeness
Naturally I nod my head,
Make friendly sounds,
Stroke his softest
Of imaginable furs,

But clearly never quite
Comprehend, so he
Does the same dance
Every day, never satisfied,
But never giving up on me.

© 2012 John I. Blair

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

Always Looking – People Who Made A Difference

Harriot Stanton Blatch

Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856-1940) was a leader in the woman suffrage movement, a writer and an advocate for labor reform. She is credited with modernizing a suffrage movement that, by the opening of the 20th century, was listless and flagging. The combination of her energy, daring and political savvy spurred the movement on to its goal of enfranchising American women with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.
    The sixth child of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriot was raised in a family where every member was expected to have an opinion and to voice it and was trained in politics and social activism. After the Stanton family moved to New York City in 1862, Harriot found a home she "thoroughly enjoyed" in the church school of Unitarian Octavius Brooks Frothingham, where the Bible was introduced as "partly the history and partly the myths of a primitive people." From her mother Harriot inherited a religion that combined scientific rationality and reform activism. She found this "sacred humanity" view too individualistic, however; hers was a more communal view, seeing society as an integrated whole.
    Her greatest inspiration and spiritual comfort came from the beauties of nature. She felt that even the experience of transcendence was something to be studied as she analyzed the "soul impression" made by sun flickering on the trees outside Paris. But in her work we see more of her mother's religion of humanity than of this young woman who drank inspiration from sunlight and mountain peaks.
    In 1882 she married English businessman, William Henry Blatch. For Harriot, the sacrament of marriage came not from divine blessing but from "the real aspirations of living men and women." In a forthright statement of religious belief, she wrote, "On my wedding day of all days, I feel I must be wholly true, and would I be that if I invoked the blessings of a Being in whom I have no belief?"
    Harriot Blatch spent the first twenty years of her marriage in Basingstoke, England, where she became involved with the English suffrage movement and Fabian socialism. Harriot protested that by virtue of her marriage she had become a citizen of England without her consent. She always felt like an American in her heart, and forewent swearing allegiance to Queen Victoria, a move that kept her from holding political office. She did, however, hold leadership positions in suffrage societies, the Woman's Local Government Society, the Women's Liberal Federation and the Fabian Society.
    In 1894 she was granted a Master of Arts degree by Vassar for her study of England's rural poor. In 1902 Blatch returned to the United States, where her work for women's rights would reach its greatest heights. Confident that people are moved more by emotion than by logic, she set about revitalizing a movement that "bored its adherents and repelled its opponents." In January 1907 she became a founder and first president of the Equality League of Self- Supporting Women, later called the Women's Political Union, and organized a campaign of publicity, education and civil action.
    Although more conservative suffrage workers were shocked by her tactics, Blatch instituted open-air meetings, spreading the message of enfranchisement on street corners and in parks and, once, even in a cemetery. Starting in 1908 she organized mass meetings at Cooper Union and annual Suffrage Day parades in New York. For the 1912 parade, the New York Tribune reported 20,000 marchers and 80,000 spectators. Blatch combined these tactics of civil protest with political action. She was determined that only through political channels would the dream of suffrage be realized. Seeing working-class women more as exemplars for others than as "victims to be succored," Blatch brought working women to Albany to argue their own case. At a 1907 hearing in Albany, union workers spoke so eloquently that an antisuffrage debater relinquished her rebuttal time saying, "I have been given today much to think about. I am not convinced, but I am silenced."
    The New York suffrage amendment of 1915, championed by Blatch, was defeated, but a similar amendment was passed in 1917. Blatch moved to the national scene. From her Grandma Cady, she had learned to mold people and circumstance. During a visit from suffragist Anne Cobden-Sanderson, well-known in England but unknown in America, Blatch casually informed an immigration official of Mrs. Cobden-Sanderson's prison record. His efforts to block the well-connected suffragist's immigration created all the publicity Blatch wanted.
    During the Republican parade preceding the 1908 election, Blatch stationed the exquisite Inez Milholland in a storefront window along the parade route. Distracted by this striking beauty, the young male marchers broke ranks, and "the young Republicans were persuaded to withdraw and console themselves with suffrage literature." In another political move Blatch took advantage of voting laws that stated that anyone could be a poll watcher and placed suffragists as watchers in the all-male polling places. On August 26, 1920, all of Blatch's manipulations and political maneuvering, humorous and serious, bore fruit in ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
    In 1920 she published her second book, A Woman's Point of View, Some Roads to Peace. She wrote: "My opposition to war was not because of the horrors of war, not because war demands that the race offer up its very best in their full vigor, not because war means economic bankruptcy, domination of races by famine and disease, but because war is so completely ineffective, so stupid. It settles nothing." Blatch continued her political work on behalf of workers, joining the Socialist Party because it was the only party that "aimed to raise the standard of living of the average citizen.“
Footnote: This column is based on existing materials on the internet, partially the Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography and is so credited.

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

Eric Shackle's Column

Million Kiwis in Earthquake Drill

    At 9.26am on Wednesday, September 26, a million New Zealanders will take part in a unique earthquake drill, Mark Benthien, organiser of The Great ShakeOut predicts.
    He says it will be “the first ShakeOut drill held nationwide in any country.” A month later, similar exercises will take place in the US, Canada and southern Italy.
    “Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognised ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ protocol to protect lives during earthquakes” says the ShakeOut website.
    DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
    Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
    HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
    “If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.”
    A story by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody on a University of Southern California website says: “The 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake that shook Southern California in 1994 did more than rattle Mark Benthien out of his bed at UCLA. It reaffirmed his commitment to earthquake preparedness.
    “After that quake, which killed 57 people and injured 8,700 others, the applied geophysics major was responsible for placing seismometers in people’s backyards to record aftershocks.
    “Talking to residents about their earthquake fears, Benthien decided to dedicate his career to helping save lives by increasing the public’s understanding of earthquake risk. Two years later he was hired to support education and outreach activities at the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) headquartered in USC Dornsife.
    “‘When I was in high school I thought I needed to be a seismologist and predict earthquakes in order to help Californians be safe’, said Benthien, now SCEC’s director for communication, education and outreach, and executive director of the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) also based in USC Dornsife. ‘But in my work at UCLA I saw that there was a place for me in helping to communicate crucial information.’ Much of this work was on joint projects coordinated by SCEC, of which UCLA is a core institution.
    “Benthien’s work preparing California communities and beyond for earthquakes — including promoting the “Drop, Cover and Hold On!” self-protection procedure as part of the Great California ShakeOut annual earthquake drill— has been recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the President Barack Obama administration.
    “Benthien was among 17 leaders honored as a Champion of Change at the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19. All were honored for their efforts to increase public awareness in disaster preparedness.
    “Being selected as a White House Champion of Change is a recognition of the success of many people brought together by SCEC over the past 10 years to deepen our partnership, create products and programs and motivate preparedness,” Benthien said. “I'm honored to lead the ECA and work with so many excellent people and partners.”
    “The White House Champion of Change program recognizes citizens of all ages and walks of life for their exemplary work improving their communities. In Washington, D.C., Benthien joined fellow honorees in a discussion about how to best engage communities in emergency preparedness.
    “’This past year we’ve been reminded that disasters can strike at any time and that preparedness is critical,’ said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, referring to the May 2011 tornadoes that ripped through Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma and Hurricane Irene that devastated the Caribbean and parts of Canada and the United States including North Carolina in August 2011.
    “’We commend the innovative practices and achievements that these individuals bring to the field of emergency management in order to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared,’ Napolitano said.
    “Benthien joined SCEC in 1996 and developed ECA in 2003. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey, SCEC is a center that partners with more than 600 scientists and more than 60 institutions worldwide to research and develop earthquake forecasts.”
The Great ShakeOut:
Mark Benthien:!/article/29295/Mark-Benthien-Honored-by-White-House
Posted by Eric Shackle in Sydney Australia at 16:37 Friday, 31 August 2012
Click on Eric Shackle for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online
Author's Blog.


I have been following the Presidential race between Barrack Obama and Mitt Romany very closely and it is something I will be bringing up in my cultural diversity classes here in Suzhou, China.
    We all know that there is a huge polarization between the two party ideologies in America and this divide is extremely evident within congress. The Democrats and Republicans are dead locked refusing to compromise on the important issues that are vital for America’s future such as finding rational solutions to bring down our National debt. Meeting in the middle for the congressional leaders and compromising seems beyond the realm of possibilities. The two parties would rather come up with mere talking points in order to talk pass one another. It is more than evident that the U.S. Government has become dysfunctional and nothing seems to be getting accomplished.
    The Democratic leaders see the Republican Party as being high jacked by the extreme conservative fringe. The Republican leaders on the other hand view the Democratic Party as the ultra-liberal progressive party.
    One of the Republican talking points is their claim that Obama wants to change America into a socialist country. They say he is a progressive liberal and liberalism is bad for America. Many Republicans also say that America needs to return to its biblical roots and to its founding principles. The Democrats however argue that the Republican conservatives want to rewrite history in order to push their ideological agenda on the American people.
    Some Republicans have gone as far as to say our Nation’s founding fathers were orthodox Christians. However, there is no historical evidence to support their claim and history has proven time and time again that most of our Nation’s founding fathers were Deists not Christians.
    Republican leaders enjoy weaving into their speeches that Abraham Lincoln was our greatest President and the first Republican President. The majority of historians would not refute that claim because Lincoln was by far a great historical President. They also bring up that Ronald Reagan never wavered from his Christian orthodoxy and single handedly brought down the Soviet Union. Many historians would agree that Ronald Reagan was indeed a great President but to say he was orthodox in his beliefs and that he single handedly brought down the Soviet Union is a bit of a stretch.
    Many of the Republican leaders seem to lack historical knowledge especially with their outlandish claims that Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan were born again Christians. There is no historical evidence to support that claim either. Perhaps they believe if they say it enough times on National television history will rewrite itself.
    Rick Santorum states Liberalism is a social disease I would disagree with the former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. Problems facing our country are not caused by Liberalism but rather it’s the polarization of ideologies within Government.
    The Christian Fundamentalists within the GOP sincerely believe our Nation was founded on conservative Christian orthodoxy. They should however take time to actually learn about our country’s heritage rather than trying to rewrite history in order to push their Christian agenda.
    I say this because the delegates that signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 were considered radical liberals by those who didn’t want to rock the boat and enter a war. The religious conservatives at that time argued that a war against England could not be won.
    In Thomas Jefferson’s time during the forming of our great American experiment the Roman Catholic Church declared democracy an immoral form of Government. The Pope at that time believed - America does not recognize Christ and the church as its moral and governing authority therefore its government is worldly and immoral. Thomas Jefferson was considered the greatest liberal of all with his radical idea of erecting a wall of separation between church and state. Conservatives at the time declared him an atheist even though he was a Deist.
    Those who condemned slavery in the 1850s were also considered bleeding heart liberals.
    Unlike today many Democrats were staunch racists during the abolitionist movement of the 1800s but their party was divided. That division led to the first Republican to win the Presidency in 1860.
    Abraham Lincoln only got 40% of the popular votes in the election of 1860. His two opponents got 60% of the votes 30% going to each opponent. His opponents were pro-slavery and if the 1860 election was a two way race Lincoln would have lost due to his liberal ideals and history would have turned out differently.
    Unlike today the Republican Party from the mid to the late 1800s was the liberal progressive party. The Democratic Party back then was the religious conservative party who campaigned on bible quotes. They believed slavery was justified on religious grounds because the bible says so. Steven Douglas who ran against Lincoln accused him of being a Deist because he never referred to god’s biblical word in his speeches.
    Lincoln’s response, “…..when I do good - I feel good - when I do bad - I feel bad. Therefore, I do my best to do what is right - to follow the rules of goodness at all times - this is the religion I live by.” Lincoln went on to say in response to Stephen Douglas “ …… I cannot conceive of a superior intelligence which we refer to as God that would concur with my opponent’s (Douglas) feeble, mediocre ramblings.” Lincoln took a huge gamble by alienating himself from the religious conservatives but he spoke honestly but many historians believe Douglas won the debate among the pro-slavery crowd.
    Lincoln was hated and despised as President because he did not set out to please the citizenry by making the popular choices. He rather put preserving the Union above all else. He understood history was depending on the tough unpopular choices he had to make. He brought our country through the greatest and bloodiest conflict our Nation ever faced. Some historians put the death toll at seven-hundred and twenty-thousand. North against South, brother against brother, every household experienced a great loss due to the death of a loved one. The South experienced the most carnage and punishment by the northern forces and each side firmly believed God was on their side.
    A reporter asked Lincoln, “Mr. President both sides say God is on their side how can they both be right?” Lincoln’s response, “God is always on the side of humanity urging us to concede to the will of our higher angel dwelling within all of us.”
    In the end Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 elevated our 16th President to secular sainthood. His death occurred on the Christian observance of Good Friday. In some way his death symbolized and represented the loss and pain that the country as whole was enduring throughout the war.
    North and South mourned the death of Abraham Lincoln.
    History however does not always concur with the myths and legends that continue to surround our 16th President in popular culture. He represented all that was worst in humanity and all that was best in humanity. His goals for the southern reconstruction were not fulfilled as he hoped they would be. It was due to his assassination and the staunch racism and hatred of his successor Andrew Johnson.
    Afro-Americans were treated poorly in the south and the southern whites got away with horrendous crimes against the southern blacks. Southerners used the people of color as scapegoats for the Civil War and took out all their hate and animosity against them.
    The KKK emerged and segregation soon followed becoming the norm under the new Jim Crow laws that were established in the southern states. It would take decades for the civil rights movement to take root leading to extraordinary social changes.
    It wasn’t until the mid-1950s and throughout the 1960s that brought the civil rights struggle to the National mainstream. Enlightened voices and extraordinary oratory from people like Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders brought the struggles of Afro-Americans to light. Television visualized the injustices waged against people of color in the south and the dissonance of white supremacy.
    President John F Kennedy tried to pass massive civil rights legislation through congress but the conservative republicans blocked the bills. It wasn’t until JFK’s assassination that President Lyndon Johnson was able to push Kennedy’s civil rights bills through congress and they were signed into law in 1964.
    Southern Governors who opposed the new civil rights laws were Republicans. Governor George Wallace (January 1963 – January 1967) of Alabama was a proud racist and he announced it on National television. He said, “there was segregation, yesterday, they’ll be segregation, today, and they’ll be segregation, tomorra’, as long as I’m Govana’ of the mighty State of Alabama’.” George Wallace ran for Governor on that slogan and won his first term in November of 1962. He and other southern Republican Governors ignored the new civil rights laws. They accused the Democratic leaders of being soft, and bleeding heart liberals for interfering with the southern way of life. At various times throughout LBJ’s Presidency National guard units had to be called into various southern states to help enforce the Civil rights laws.
    President Johnson would later go on to escalate the Vietnam War by sending thousands of ground troops to Vietnam in hopes of winning over the hard-line southern conservatives. They accused the President of being soft on communism. Those who opposed the war were looked upon as bleeding heart liberals by the conservatives.
    Most historians today would agree that the Vietnam War was a huge blunder and that Vietnam never posed an imminent threat to the United States.
    Decades earlier when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President many Republicans during the Great Depression of the 1930s accused FDR of being a socialist for his new deal polices. His welfare programs also caused many Republican conservatives to accuse Roosevelt not just of being a socialist but of being a bleeding heart liberal as well.
    The Republican leaders always point to Ronald Reagan as the last of the great conservative Presidents. If they took the time to read his personal letters a different picture would emerge. Reagan was once asked by a reporter “is Jesus Christ your personal savior?” Reagan responded, “I don’t wear religion on my sleeve.” Conservatives at the time accused Reagan as being Christian in name only because he never worshiped in a Church on Sunday. Reagan’s personal writings show him to be ahead of his time on many social issues and he was not as conservative as today’s GOP try to make him out to be.
    If an Abraham Lincoln or a Ronald Reagan were to run for President today they wouldn't be able to get their names on the Republican ballot. The conservative Party would reject them for not being conservative enough.
    In 1960 when John F Kennedy’s Catholicism became a campaign issue Kennedy responded, “The wall of separation between Church and State is absolute.” The Republican Party however says Kennedy was wrong.
    A Religious conviction was never a prerequisite for political office in our Nation’s early years. This has become a modern phenomenon that diminishes the electoral process in the United States. John F Kennedy was correct in stating the wall of separation is absolute because that is what our founding fathers intended it to be.
    Religious litmus tests for political fitness within the Republican Party make our country look stupid in the eyes of the world. I do agree though the founding principles that made our country great is becoming lost in our country. Our founding fathers did not set out to create a Christian Theocracy though they’re intent was to create a just society.
    Our Nation’s founding fathers believed education based on reason, logic, and a virtuous upbringing is needed for a just society to bear fruit. We cannot have a just society without a virtuous electorate and that too is what’s being lost in our country. Religiosity being cloaked into Government policy by the conservative fringe will only diminish our nation’s greatness even further.
    We also need to reapply the immortal words of John F Kennedy - “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” I say this because many in today’s society are asking what our Government can do for them. Common decency and service of country seem to have been foremost in Kennedy’s generation.
    Service of country and common decency they too are part of our country’s founding principles unfortunately though they are becoming lost in our society as well. We as a people need to move away from an entitlement mentality to a self-worth mentality by asking ourselves what can we do as a people to make our communities better places to live.
    Our founding fathers generation was not dependent on Government for their sustenance but rather the Government was dependent on the citizenry. There seems to be a reversal in today’s society many are dependent on Government for their survival rather than being of service to others.
    There are no easy solutions for the social issues permeating our society but we can take personal responsibility for our own issues by empowering ourselves. We can accomplish this through education, volunteerism, and through community based programs. Putting ourselves in the service of others not only helps our community but it also enhances our own wellbeing. Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill

    U.S. voice mail: (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.

We Hold Our Gladness

If sheer joy is racing madly through my veins,
       If bright floating bubbles full of bliss I see,
If all things have happened right and good today,
       Teach me to come and share it, Lord, with Thee.

At evening, often do we cry in pain--
       When cares and burdens come to press us down;
To God we turn and eagerly we seek
       For help, where love and mercy do abound.

But, if good fortune transforms all our days,
       Into a blaze of glory and delight;
With selfish happiness clutched close inside,
       We dream, while God walks lonely thru' the night.

©Linnie Jane Joslin Burks

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Someone Took My Picture

Someone took my picture, posted on Facebook
Thought it should be lightened, oh my what a crook
It was owned by me, the copyright was mine
Now they've really done it, they've crossed the line How dare them, it's against the law to do
They'll hear from my lawyer, they'll learn a thing or two
I'll write them a letter, I want my picture back
If I don't hear from them, then I will act
I thought to make it better, by lightening it for you
So the full beauty, could come shining through
I left your name on it, I did nothing wrong
You still have your picture, right where it belongs

You don't seem to understand, that picture belongs to me
If you wanted to do that, you should have asked, you see
I'll give you time to remove my picture from there
Because what you did, really wasn't fair
I removed the picture, because of all your stink
But I wish you'd understand and try to think
The internet belongs to everyone
Many could take your picture and really have some fun
Without you even knowing what had taken place
You'd never know who it was, in almost every case

It's only a picture, beautiful as it shows
Many more can be taken, as everybody knows
Ease back and don't you get so stressed
A creative person like you sees beauty and is blessed
©Aug 14, 2012 Bud Lemire
COMMENT by Bud: 
When you put anything on the internet, you share it with the world. 
Whether it has your name on it or not.
But would we keep it to ourselves, or should we share the beauty we captured with the world.
I believe the world deserves to see what we see.
In life we truly own nothing.
We pay bills and taxes to use what we have, homes, land, etc.
We come into this world with nothing, we leave with nothing.
But what we leave behind is truly what counts, because that will be remembered by many.
For many years to come.

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

Two Rooms

"Two rooms--how drab!" you say,
      And gaze at it with careless scorn;

"Quite obviously it didn't come
      From Where the latest fashion arts are born!"
But, "Stop! Please curb your foolish jibes,
      That tongue cuts at firm foundations laid;

You cannot see it all in chair and rug,
      You're speaking of a home that love has made."
Around 1940 ©Linnie Jane Joslin Burks

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I'm Sorry

I'm sorry for lying to you
I'm sorry for what I put you through
For the rest of my years I will be trying to make things right
I'm sorry and I will tell you so day and night

I never intended to tell you lies
I know you're angry, I can see it in your eyes

I'm sorry for the hurt I have caused
I'm sorry for exposing my selfish flaws
For the rest of my life I will make things up to you
I'm sorry for the way I hurt you

Every day I am beating myself up
Every night I wish this was all a dream
I'm so sorry for everything

I'm sorry for not telling it to you straight
I'm sorry for letting my stories get in the way
Until the end of time I will make things right with you
I'm sorry for all I've put you through
I'm sorry and I will make things up to you

©8/4/12 Bruce Clifford

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Rabbo II-Chapter 7, Part B

Part B Chpt 7 Bk II

Athena and Helena woke up curled together just before the children did from their early afternoon nap. They got up, stretched, and looked at the girls snuggled together on the couch , surprisingly enough still covered by the light blanket that Athena had placed over them.
Athena walked to the window and looked outside to see that the sky was clear and bright blue and that the sun was just past its zenith. What was more the icicles from early in the day were starting to melt and were dripping. She turned and looked at Helena who was still having a hard time waking up.
Athena walked over kissed Helena gently and started to walk to the living room door. But she was interrupted by the sound of a soft whimper from Wenna who was starting to wake up from her nap. As Wenna whimpered she knocked Diana with her elbow and that woke up Diana who in turn kicked Merryn as she rolled over.
The three little girls wriggled around on the couch and then sat up and rubbed their sleepy eyes to help themselves shed the last of the sleep from their bodies.
“Mommy” said Diana looking around for Helena.
“I am right here, darling” said Helena moving to where Diana could see her.
Diana climbed over Wenna and stepped onto the living room floor and ran over to Helena and wrapped her arms around Helena’s legs. She looked up smiled at her mother and then walked over to Athena and repeated what she had done to Helena.
Athena looked down into Diana’s eyes and saw that the pupils were huge and that reminded Athena of Cat when he was feeling playful.
Helena looked Athena up and down and smiled. “Mind if I ask you a question”
“Sure sweetie” said Athena.
“I know you are a lot older than I a lot older. But why is it you look like you are my age” asked Helena.
“Well we age a lot slower” answered Athena.
“That confuses me. Wenna and Merryn look about the same age as my Diana yet they are about a year younger. Why is that” asked Helena sounding confused.
“It’s hard to explain really but I will do my best” said Athena thoughtfully. “We age fast in the first few years of our lives but as we get older we match you in our aging. And at about 16 we stop aging fast. Although our bodies are not mature and don’t get fully mature until we are in our early twenties. Then we age so slowly that it takes about two hundred and fifty years for us to age one of your years. I am eight hundred and fourteen years old and I guess I look like I am your age. Which is what? About twenty”?
“Yes twenty summers” said Helena smiling playfully.
“Merwyn is one thousand seven hundred and twenty seven of your years old. Yet he looks like someone in their mid thirties on this planet. I think that when you get to around one thousand five hundred years you stop aging for a long time. Merwyn told me once that his grand father faded when he was about five thousand and ninety nine years old and that was only because he saw his home burnt down in the war. In other words he lost the will to live. I think that we could live forever if we have the will to live that long. But there comes a point I think were the will to live forever fades and that’s when we start to fade. But I don’t know how fading works as I have never seen someone fade”.
“Oh so when you get to Merwyn's age you won’t of aged much were as I will be long gone” sad Helena sadly.
“For you I don’t know. After all you are part Sirian and you could live a long time” said Athena.
“How long” said Helena.
“Who knows with the Sirian blood in your veins it could be a long time” said Athena knowing that Helena was suddenly worried about dieing.
“Will I age like the woman at my temple” asked Helena.
“I don’t think so? Look let me show you something” said Athena as she walked over to the fire place and got down a dagger that Merwyn had placed over the fireplace. “This is something I noticed yesterday when you were slicing carrots”.
Athena took Helena’s hand and slid the dagger blade across Helena’s hand. Blood started to well up but then suddenly it stopped and the skin closed up around the wound on Helena’s hand as if there never had been a cut. Then Athena slid the dagger blade across her own hand making a small cut that did not stop like Helena’s cut had. Athena reached over picked up a tissue and covered the cut on her hand. Then she closed her eyes and used her mind to heal the cut explaining to Helena what she was doing to heal the cut on her hand.
“You see I don’t heal like that. You do but I have to use my mind to heal myself. In other words I have to tell my body to heal where as your body just does it. So as for getting old like the woman at your temple I don’t think so. You will age but not fast. But why worry. It’s not how long we live but what we do with our lives that matters” said Athena.
“Do you think Diana can do what I do” asked Helena.
“Well we know she astral travels like you do. But she has less Sirian blood in her than you do so I don’t know” answered Athena.
Helena smiled weakly and turned and looked at Diana who was now sitting on the floor playing pat a cake with the twins.
“I am glad that she is young and does not understand” said Helena.
“Remember its not how long you live but what you do with your life. But there is a trap with living so long. We Sirian’s tend to think things over for a long time before we do anything. That can be a problem” laughed Athena. “But as I said it’s not living long that matters but what you do with your life”.
Helena laughed weakly “And right now I want to cook dinner with Rabbo and then make love all night with you and Merwyn”. Helena looked at the children. “Maybe we should get someone to watch the children as I am feeling umm”
“Me too but I think you should have Merwyn as you two are working on making a baby” giggled Athena.
“You could join us” said Helena as she stepped close and kissed Athena passionately.
“No I will cook dinner with Rabbo and I will ask Bastet if she can watch the children” replied Athena.
Athena grabbed Helena’s hand and led her out of the living into the kitchen were Merwyn Rabbo and Bastet were still talking about Rabbo’s jump ahead to the future and how it could be repeated and made useful.
“Oh hello” said Merwyn looking at the giggling Helena and Athena.
“Looks like you are in for it Merwyn” snicker Bastet.
“Just with Helena” said Athena. “I am going to cook dinner with Rabbo”.
“You can join us Bastet if you want” said Helena giggled and making a grab for Bastet.
“Thank you but no. maybe you and Athena later but not with Merwyn. As much as I love him that’s not something I am willing to do” replied Bastet smiling. “I will watch the hellions while Athena and Rabbo cook dinner and you and Merwyn go off and do what you clearly want to do and very clearly need”.
Helena dragged the willing Merwyn off and headed upstairs to have fun with Merwyn. As she dragged him upstairs she attempted to pull her long toga off but was hampered by still holding Merwyn's hand.
Athena turned to Bastet and looked at her wondering if they could have some alone time and if the children could fend for themselves for a while. But she thought better of it as it was clear that Wenna and Merryn might be planning something. Beside dinner time was no more than two hours away and the children had gotten use to eating at the same time every day and if they did not they would get cranky and moody and start getting very loud and noisy. And that was never good as it could be hard to get them ready for bed later.
Bastet walked over to the children asked them to line up by the kitchen back door and she then helped them dress up in warm winter cloths so that she could take them outside to play.
Bastet put on Athena’s winter cloak opened the door and the children followed her outside into the cold afternoon air.
Rabbo hopped over and looked up at Athena. He stood up on his hind legs stepped back a few steps so that he could get a better view.
“Ok what are we cooking for dinner” asked Rabbo.
“What do you want to cook for dinner? We have lots of different kinds of meat. So take your pick” said Athena.
“Well what meats do we have” asked Rabbo.
“We have beef, pork, goat, lamb and venison. Take your pick? But lets start soon as some might take a while to cook” said Athena.
“What do you think we should have” asked Rabbo.
“I don’t know that’s why I am letting you pick”
“Well if I had my way it would be spinach cheese dandelion leaves and grass. But as Merwyn, you Helena Bastet and the children would not like that I will have to cook something won’t I” laughed Rabbo.
“Make up you mind will you rabbit” said Athena getting a little impatient.
“Never hurry the cook” said Rabbo trying to keep a straight face. “If you hurry the cook you get burnt food”.
“It’s not the burnt food I am worried about. It’s the hungry girls that I am worried about”
“How about pork pie? I read a recipe for that yesterday and I think I can make the crust and then all I have to do is chop the pork and put it in the range to cook” said Rabbo thoughtfully.
Rabbo put on his gloves that Merwyn had given him and he started making the crust. After he had put the in the pie dish he set to work making a lid crust that would go on top of the pork once it was in the lower crust.
After that was done he started to chop the pork in to small chucks that he would place in the pie dish onto of the lower crust.
The whole time Athena sat on the counter top watching him with her legs hanging over and swinging back and forth banging on the door to the cabinet.
As Rabbo placed the chopped pork into the lower pie crust he looked over at Athena and noticed that her whole body posture made her look a lot younger than she was. In fact she looked a lot younger than Helena.
Rabbo giggled to himself as he placed the top crust over the pork and started to pinch the crust together. He took of his gloves and got down off his chair. He hopped over to the cold storage room and poured a small jug of milk returned hopped back up on his chair being careful not to spill any of the milk. Then he got out a little brush and dipped the brush in the milk and painted the milk onto the crust before he placed the finished pie in the range to cook.
Rabbo poured the rest of the milk into a small cup and drunk the milk down before he looked at Athena.
“Ok now what vegetables are we having” asked Athena.
Rabbo hopped back down off his chair and headed to the cold storage room and came back with carrots, cabbage, parsnips and cauliflower.
He placed the vegetables on the counter and then went back to the cold storage room and returned with milk and a hard yellow cheese that Merwyn liked.
Rabbo poured a pan full of milk and put it on a slow heat while he grated the cheese.
Once the milk was simmering he poured the cheese in and started to mix bringing the milk up almost to the boil so that the cheese would melt in. once the cheese was melted in he put the whole mix on the lowest heat he could and then he started to chop the vegetables.
As Rabbo cooked the cheese sauce and chopped the vegetable Athena got busy making her own pie crust and filled it with fruit preserves. Instead of placing a crust over the top she made stripes and made a fishing net pattern over the top of the fruit preserve. Then she placed that in the range above Rabbo’s pork pie.
“Ok now what do we do” asked Athena.
“Well I have to keep stirring the cheese sauce that that it does not get lumpy or burn. You could wash the dishes while we wait for everything to cook” said Rabbo trying not to sound bossy.
“Let’s leave the dishes for Merwyn Helena and Bastet to clean as we don’t do the dishes as we cooked” said Athena.
“It would be nice if we did the dishes we made dirty that way they won’t have to many to do after dinner and we can all relax sooner and together” said Rabbo as he pushed his chair over to the sink.
“Ok I guess” said Athena inhaling and helping Rabbo wash the dishes that they had made dirty.
As the last of the dishes were being put away Bastet and the children came in from outside and headed straight to the fire to warm up.
“Mmm something smells really good” said Bastet.
As Rabbo explained what he had cooked from the range as he was busy stirring the cheese sauce Merwyn and Helena came down the stairs talking.
Dinner was well past and the children were in bed a sleep and Rabbo, Merwyn, Athena, Bastet and Helena sat in the living room sipping on wine and talking.
Rabbo had been deep in thought after all the complements about his pork pie and cheese sauce. But not about cooking. He was thinking hard again about his dream and that somehow he had been in two places at once and that he had gone far ahead in time.
Rabbo looked over at Bastet who was snuggled next to Athena. “Bastet” said Rabbo. “Yes dear bunny” said Bastet as she still sipped on her first goblet of wine.
“I have been thinking about my jump forward in time. What I was thinking about was that I was here and there at the same time. So it had to be a dream and not a jump. You think that’s right” asked Rabbo with his brow knitted.
“I am not sure. We do know that what you saw was the future but you have a very valid point. After all if you had jumped ahead your body would not have been on the bed for Athena to wake up” said Bastet thoughtfully.
“That’s what I mean and that’s been puzzling me” said Rabbo. “So was it just a dream or was it something more”?
“I think it was something far more than just a dream Rabbo” said Bastet.
“I agree” said Merwyn as Helena nibbled on his neck.
“If it was more than just a dream then what am I to learn from it” asked Rabbo.
“One of the things about astral travel is that you can navigate future possibilities. But there are so many variables that it makes it unreliable. As it was state earlier we know the end result but not how you got there. Or come to that any part of the middle. So while traveling forward seems useful it’s the part in the middle that is missing. We don’t know how it got to the state it did. And without that middle part it’s a nice thing to do but useless without that information of how or what” said Merwyn
“So in other words it’s the part in the middle that is useful” asked Rabbo.
“Yes and no. it’s more the whole thing that is useful. But to see the whole thing you would have to spend your whole life in the astral travel mode. And that would not be good productive or healthy as you would have to eat somehow. So it would be hard or impossible to do” said Merwyn.
“So in other words my dream of the future was nice but not useful” said Rabbo.
“I would not say unless as we know what this area will look like in the future and we know that this house and we are not in that area. Now if you had seen us that could be useful. The question is that while you did not see us are we still around and how have the people of this planet changed. Is there anything left of us in their genes” said Merwyn removing Helena’s hand from his stomach.
“I don’t know. All I do know is that the rabbits still have their own language and that they remember me. That’s kind of nice” said Rabbo sipping on his small goblet of wine.
“Well that’s something of us left behind” said Athena as she slipped her hand down the back of Bastet’s toga.
“What if I have another dream like the one last night” said Rabbo.
“If you do we will do the same thing we did this morning and enter your mind and see what we can learn from it. That is if you do. But I would not hold my breath if I were you because sometimes these things happen once in a long while or if at all ever again” said Merwyn reaching over to refill his and Helena’s goblets.
“If you do dream like that again Rabbo see if you can find out if the people have any abilities” said Bastet.
“Why” asked Rabbo.
“Because it would tell us if our genes have mixed with the people of this planet” answered Bastet.
“That’s a good point” said Merwyn. “Plus if you do have a future dream again Rabbo and I am not holding my breath. Look around and see if you can see or find us. But I have a feeling you won’t be able. The reason is I think but I am not sure that we might be blocked from you because you would be with us”.
“What makes you think that I would be still alive in the time frame you are talking about” said Rabbo.
“It’s more of a gut feeling really. Beside if we are still around we might have moved away from this area a long time ago umm later umm” said Merwyn getting a little confused. “You know Bastet you are right about when you talk about the future. It is very hard to use the right words”.
Helena leaned in closer to Merwyn and started to whisper in his ear.
Merwyn turned looked at her kissed her on the nose and then turned looked at Athena who was now resting her head in Bastet’s lap.
Merwyn pushed Helena out of his lap and stood up. He turned and looked at Rabbo “I think its time that we went to bed and left Athena and Bastet alone as its clear to me that they are not far from making a public show of their love”.
Helena giggles “I am not far from that point myself. Let’s go upstairs and work on our baby”.
Rabbo slipped off of his chair and hopped out of the living room followed by Merwyn and Helena.
Rabbo hopped up onto Athena’s bed and laid thinking about his dream from the night before. He wondered if he would have another dream and now that he knew it was a dream would he be scared again. He was not sure if he did want another future dream or if it was a good idea to try and have a future dream. But still it could be useful to know the end result of what was happening with Ra and the people on the fourth planet.
To Rabbo it seemed important to know these facts and that his future dream had happened for a reason and if he could control it the next time it happened it would be very useful despite what Merwyn, Athena and Bastet thought.
Merwyn had given him a clue when Merwyn had talked about all the possibilities that could happen with astral travel. There had been hints that Merwyn knew far more than he was letting on. But what did the hints really mean to the future?
Rabbo laid on Athena’s bed trying to figure out what it all meant.
It was getting harder and harder for Rabbo to keep his eyes open and he so wanted to work out what if anything if he had an ability to dream forward in time. And if he did what could he do with it that would be useful?
“If I close my eyes for a moment I will feel more awake” Rabbo thought to himself.
After a few moments Rabbo opened his eyes and saw that he was sitting on the edge of a forest and in front of him was a huge meadow with a large cottage sitting towards one end.
In front of the cottage were two rabbits sitting on a lawn eating the grass and in front of the cottage was a large vegetable garden. On the east side of the cottage was a large fences off area with five large cattle of a kind Rabbo had never seen plus some wool animals that were also eating the grass. At the end of the garden the land dropped off a little and a small stream with a wooden planked bridge led to the meadow that was between the cottage and the forest.
The cattle hard long red coats with huge long horns. The cattle were grouped together eating long fresh meadow grass and seemed very well fed. The wool animals had thick heavy coats that were an off white.
Rabbo could see smoke coming from the chimney so he hopped out from under the edge of the forest and headed straight towards the two rabbits that were sitting on the grass eating.
One of the rabbits lifted up on its hind leg and thumped the ground a few times and then watched as Rabbo hopped across the meadow towards the bridge leading to the cottage.
As Rabbo got close he smelt spring in the air and freshly fallen rain that made the grass wet and his fur.
“Hello grandpa” said the rabbit looking at Rabbo and cocking its head to one side with a confused look on its face.
Rabbo looked at the rabbit and knew that he knew the rabbit but could not place it. He learned closer and sniffed.
“Hmmm female and I know her. This is a future dream”. Rabbo thought to himself.
“Grandpa you just went in the house. How did you come from the woods” said the female rabbit.
Rabbo looked closer “soft eyes”?
“Grandpa stop playing games” said soft eyes.
Soft eyes looked back at the cottage and then at Rabbo still with a confused look on her face. Then suddenly the confused look went away and soft eyes sat up on her legs and went to push Rabbo. But her paw pasted though Rabbo.
“Oh” said soft eyes. “You told me about your future dreams. And you told me that you can’t enter the cottage while you are here” soft eyes turned to the other rabbit “Tell Merwyn that Rabbo is here in dream form and tell grandpa he has to stay in the house. He will know why if you remind him about his future dreams”.
“So when is this time” asked Rabbo.
“It is what they call 390 AD. There is much I could tell you but that would take longer than you can stay a sleep. But when you wake you will know the answers to the questions you are about to ask. And you will be able to tell Merwyn what he needs to know”.
Just then Merwyn came walking out of the cottage and headed straight to Rabbo and sat down in front of him.
“Which dream is this? I mean number wise” asked Merwyn.
“This is my second future dream” said Rabbo.
Merwyn thought a moment “ok this is what you tell me. The rules of future dream travel are. You can’t see yourself or you will go crazy. You can only tell what you see and can’t tell what leads up to the point that you arrive at the time in dream travel. You can’t change what will happen. Yes you can make a paradox that is why I am giving you the rules. And yes we are still here” Merwyn paused and thought for a second. “Now I am going to break one of the rules for a reason to fix a paradox. Athena must change her name when we move to this new land. Now you tell me and only me the next part. You do not tell Athena Bastet or Helena. You tell no one apart from me. Athena will fall for a man that will break her heart. I will see that he is bad for her but I must let them have their children. I know this because I told you to tell me. I have to be warned not to let Bastet try and kill him when he beats Athena. Because he will kill Bastet otherwise. Ok you will remember all that. Now before you get woken up I need to make a shield in your mind so that when we link minds with you we won’t see what I have just told you which is for me alone. Now hold still while I do that”.
Rabbo felt a feeling like hundreds of little fingers in his head pushing and pulling this way and that way. Then the feeling stopped.
“You feeling ok” asked Merwyn.
“Yes I am fine now” said Rabbo.
“So I am still alive” said Rabbo.
“Very much so” laughed Merwyn. “As Athena and Bastet both are”.
“Oh good. How many years have pasted since the time I am in and the time you are in” asked Rabbo.
“Well over one thousand year have passed Rabbo. And yes you have aged not much but you have aged” said Merwyn smiling.
Rabbo looked closer at Merwyn and noticed a few gray hairs but other than that he looked the same as he had when Rabbo had seen him as Helena he had gone upstairs.
“Why does the man Athena falls in love with beat her. And beat he in what why” asked Rabbo worried that someone would hurt Athena.
“I can’t tell you that” said Merwyn. “There will be things I can’t tell you sometimes when you dream travel to the future. But I can tell you that when needed you can become solid and you do have all the abilities that you have when you are awake. Plus you can do a few things in your current state that you can’t do when you are awake”.
“Where is this place? It’s so green and lush and beautiful” asked Rabbo looking around.
“The locals call it Britannia” smiled Merwyn “and we are them and they are us”
“I don’t understand” said Rabbo.
“I will and so will Morg I mean Athena and Bastet” smiled Merwyn.
“Oh ok” said Rabbo looking at soft eyes. “Did Athena transform soft eyes”?
“Yes and no” answered Merwyn. “She is what is called a clone. The reason for soft eyes will become clear. But I think you are about to be woken up. Now no word of this until the morning. Do I make myself clear”!
Sudden Rabbo felt a hand on his back and the feeling of being pushed to one side.
Rabbo opened his eyes and Bastet was gentle pushing him to the side as she got into Athena’s bed. Athena was trying to pull Bastet on top of her and giggling at the same time.
“Shhh you will wake him” said Bastet softly.
“You already did” said Rabbo as he moved to make room on the bed for Bastet and Athena.
Rabbo hopped off the bed over to the window sill and jumped up on his cushion and lay back down to sleep.
Rabbo awoke to gentle snoring coming from Athena’s bed. Snuggled together in an untidy heap were Athena and Bastet.
The sun light was pouring in though a crack in the curtains and hitting Rabbo right in the eyes. So he slipped down off the window sill and hopped down the hallway to the bathroom.
Helena was already in the bathroom taking her morning shower.
Something Helena had learned very quickly was to shower when ever she got the chance as she loved the advanced plumbing that Merwyn had in the house.
While the people of Athens bathed often the water would often times be cold or warm as it took lots of work to heat the water. But having what seemed an unlimited supply of hot water was something that Helena enjoyed and found hard to believe.
“Morning Rabbo” said Helena as she stepped out of the shower.
“Morning Helena said Rabbo as he hopped up on the counter to brush his teeth.
“Did you sleep well” asked Helena as she too brushed her teeth.
“Umm kind of” answered Rabbo though a mouth full of tooth paste.
“Kind of” asked Helena also though a mouthful of tooth paste.
“I will explain when we are done here” said Rabbo spitting out some of the tooth paste foam.
“Look just because I am not as intelligent as you Merwyn Athena or Bastet does not mean I am stupid” said Helena sweetly.
“No no I did not mean it like that Helena. I am not trying to brush you off. It’s just had to talk with a mouthful of tooth paste” said Rabbo.
“No need to foam at the mouth” giggled Helena “you look like you are rabid. Rabid Rabbo”.
Rabbo looked in the mirror and saw what Helena meant that he did look like he was foaming at the mouth so he started to laugh.
Merwyn came walking in wearing his long robe and moved up behind Helena.
“Oh morning Rabbo. Did you sleep well” asked Merwyn.
“He’s not answering that question so I am assuming that he had an umm what do you call it” said Helena.
“Future dream travel? To be honest we have not made up our minds on what to call it” said Merwyn looking at Rabbo. “But I have the feeling that what ever we call it won’t really cover what it really is”?
Rabbo nodded as he washed his mouth out and spat out the last of the tooth paste.
Helena turned and kissed Merwyn and pulled back. “Yuck morning breath. Until I came here I never thought that mouth hygiene was that important”.
Merwyn laughed and looked at Rabbo and winked.
Helena left the bathroom to take on the children so Merwyn turned and looked at Rabbo.
“Another dream of the future” asked Merwyn.
“Yes but I want breakfast first” answered Rabbo.
“And I need to shower and wake up first too. See you at the breakfast table Rabbo”.

Rabbo sat at the breakfast table with Helena, Diana, Wenna and Merryn when Merwyn came walking down the stairs.
Rabbo’s mother, mischief, and the rabbit kittens sat around them looking up and diving on little bits of porridge that the children would drop.
Merwyn went over to the range and filled a bowl with porridge and sat down next to Helena.
“So” said Merwyn looking at Rabbo.
“Yes I did have a future dream and you gave me rules that I need to follow when I dream travel into the future” said Rabbo.
Rabbo explained to Merwyn and Helena the rules and what his future dream had been about. But when he came to the part that was for Merwyn only Rabbo found that he could not talk.
Merwyn looked at him and then said on Rabbo’s private telepathic mode “Rabbo you ok or is there something blocking you from speaking”.
“You are or you will be. You planted something in my head that stops me from talking about a certain part of what you told me” said Rabbo on the same mode and very worried.
“Tell me again what the area looked like” asked Helena “it sounds so green and beautiful”.
Rabbo found that he could talk without any problems about what the cottage looked like and the cattle and the wooly animals and that soft eyes was there. He went on about how big the garden looked but there was nothing growing yet and that the cattle looked well fed and fat. Plus that he could smell that it had rained and that the trees were unlike anything he had seen. He also explained that the other rabbit had gone and got Merwyn and that he must be able to speak human and that maybe soft eyes could speak human too but he never heard her say anything to Merwyn. Rabbo went on and on until he noticed that his porridge was cold.
As Rabbo finished talking about the area and what he had seen and what he thought Bastet came walking down the stairs.
Bastet helped herself to porridge looked at Merwyn shook her head and turned to Rabbo. “I hope we did not wake you too much Rabbo” said Bastet apologetically.
“No just the once” said Rabbo.
“Yes and when he was dream traveling to the future” said Helena.
“Oh my I am so sorry” said Bastet.
“That’s ok. For some reason Merwyn knew that you were about to wake me anyway. All I got was some rules for dream traveling to the future” said Rabbo.
Bastet looked at Rabbo and was about to ask him to repeat what he had told Helena and Merwyn but Bastet was interrupted by Athena skipping down the stairs.
Once Athena had been told about Rabbo’s dream travel to the future Rabbo had to explain again in detail what he had seen what he had been told and how things felt and smelt?
Athena and Bastet had their own set of questions as well new ones from Merwyn and Helena.
By the time Rabbo had finished he was so thirty that Helena mixed up one of her herbal recipes to help his throat.
It was mid morning before Rabbo and Merwyn were alone. And to make sure no one was listening from behind closed doors Merwyn and Rabbo went into the library and sat down to talk.
Merwyn turned to the computer and pulled out a microphone and put it between himself and Rabbo. “I want to record this so that I can review it later” said Merwyn.
Merwyn turned to the keyboard typed in something and then turned and looked at Rabbo. “Ok now clearly I put some kind of password in your head as well as some kind of shield. So let’s have a look in that head of yours and see what we can learn. This may hurt a little”
Rabbo felt the same pushing and pulling feeling that he had felt in his dream travel to the future but this time he was ready for it. Suddenly Rabbo could not shut up talking even if he had wanted to. The message itself took less than thirty seconds but it left Rabbo feeling as if he had talk an hour. Thankfully when Rabbo was done he felt so much better as if something had been lifted off his back.
Merwyn sat looking at Rabbo thoughtfully. “Can you tell me what you just said?” asked Merwyn.
Rabbo thought for a second and could not recall a single word of the message so he just shook his head and looked at Merwyn in surprise.

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

Cookin' With Leo

Skimpy Egg Frittata

So here we are, right down to the holidays or let’s just say the last holiday of the summer, so we have to make the best of that and come up with a great holiday ‘wake up and see the world’ breakfast.  This here one is a recipe that goes back to my great great whoevers, but, since my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother has kept this recipe in her underground hideaways for the last few centuries or so, and since I am getting past my prime and I worried that I will run out of good stories before she quits telling me new ones.  I am here now to give the multitudes the latest from the catacombs where she hangs out.  Now this is a great recipe and she has kept it from me for all this time waiting for the right moment to pass it on.  And who but me would she pass it to, so  be thankful, good readers, that I have this great recipe in my possession for all the world to see and enjoy for many eons to come.

Here is your recipe for this great breakfast:

1 med thick slice of (cooked before sold) Ham

1 slice Swiss luncheon cheese

4 to 6 oz of Colby-Cheddar Cheese

1/2 medium onion

1/2 fresh roma Tomato

1 or 2 Tbsps sauteed mushrooms

8 to 10 slices canned jalapeno (nacho slices)

2 eggs or 1 and 1/4 C. egg whites

Here is how to do it:

Grind or pulse Ham on High in Food Processor then add in the order the other ingredients except eggs between pulses.

Place mixture in buttered iron skillet (use same one where mushrooms were sauteed)

Level loosely, do not pack down.

Break two eggs ( extra large, or 3 large) and stir lightly into mixture distributing into but not blending.

Can use 1 egg and 1/4 Cup egg whites if preferred

Bake in 350 degree oven 30 minutes or until set.

Brown top under broiler if desired.

This makes a very tender and tasty dish for two people.

Take Care Now, Ya’heah!

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

My Final Hour

You're breaking my heart
It's the best you can do
I've always thought there was a chance
I can't seem to break through

You've taken over all my dreams
My heart's lying on the floor
Passing by are precious moments in time
I just can't take anymore

What do we have left to hope for
What do we have left for our dreams
Why do we hide from our emotions, baby
Tell me, tell me what this all means

Is this all because I love you
More than I could ever love myself
Is this all because I can't hold you
I've got this story I must tell

You're breaking my heart again
It's the very best that you can do
I never thought my final hour
Would be dying here without you

©8/21/12 Bruce Clifford

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

When I'm Gone

I'm coming in from out of the ages
I've been alone and playing with fire
What you don't know can't hurt you
All these melodies can make you tired

I don't think you'll miss me when I'm gone
You will forget me in a instant and your life will carry on
The truth has always been with you, and must take this blame
You will forget my kindness, forget my face and forget my name
When I'm gone

I'm coming in from out of the cold
I've been empty for all of these years
They took my memories they took my soul
When you hurt is when I feel real tears
All through the years

I don't think you will miss me when when I'm gone
You will forget me in an instant and you won't recall our song
The truth has always been with you no matter what they say
You will forget my energy, forget my face and resourceful ways
When I'm gone

©8/13/12 Bruce Clifford

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Can You Hear Me

(From 1985)

I wonder what she's been doing for all of these year
Is she dead or alive
She's with me in my mind
I hope she's not crying any tears

I wonder which road or path she's on
I wonder if there's a chance she will write this song
She's be on my mind since I was taken from my home
She might never know, but without her I'm alone

How will I find her, I just don't know
All of these childhood memories that I can't let go
I can't let go of her
Can you hear me
I didn't know at first
The universe had a plan

I wonder which road or path she's on
I wonder if she's dead or alive or if she hears my songs
She's been in my dreams from the time I was taken away
At least I have my memories where she will always stay

I wonder what she's been doing all along
Is she dead or alive
She's with me in my mind
I hope one day she will hear this song
©3/15/85 Bruce Clifford

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