Thursday, January 2, 2014

Editor's Corner

January 2014

"What if.... We each wrote a diary for our children and grandchildren for just one year. Our own true thoughts and experiences, each day, for just one year. Not Facebook or Twitter, but a real diary, in our own words and handwriting.... For the future of mankind. Something that could not be edited or deleted. Something with a bit of our own essence, hand on paper, thoughts guiding a pen... No advertisements, no one but your own flesh and blood would see...What would you say?" - Michael Craner.

He will surely be surprised to be quoted, but it is such a neat idea and much better than making and breaking resolutions for the New Year. He has wonderful subjects for his writing with his lovely two daughters and fine two sons.  But it is an idea that each of us could do, not costly, not too time consuming and personally beneficial.

Columnists in this issue are Peg Jones (Angel Whispers) who barely made the deadline; Eric Shackle (Eric Shackle's Column) explains why a public restroom is a major tourist draw in Australia; Mattie Lennon, (Irish Eyes) tells us o f the possibility of Elvis being Irish; Michael John Fierro (By the Numbers) discloses his insight about the year of 2014; Thomas F. O'Neill (Introspective) speaks about the one-child policy in China. John Blair's column "Always Looking" salutes Susan B. Anthony, in the thirteenth of these 'People Close-ups' which is timely as women once again make the big push to share in leading our major businesses and various segments of our government.

Phillip Hennessy shares two of his poems: "You Cannot Move On," and "I Walked Those Streets." John I. Blair adds two poems for us: "Christmas Lizard" and "December Days." Martha A Bradley sent "The Miracle of Christmas" and "If Later Never Comes." Bruce Clifford's two are: "Before It Began," and "Lost Without You" Bud Lemire's poems for December are "Merry Christmas from Heaven," "A Victory In Life's Game," A New Year, A New Start," and "Through The Cemetery." That last poem touched your editor deeply as this January 19 marks one year since the passing of Leo C. Helmer.

Kay Roy Jones adds her story, "Ribbons of Butterflies."

Blessings for the New Year to each of our readers and authors. Also, we can never say how much Mike is appreciated as he keeps us looking good here.

Look for us in February as we kick off volume 17 of Pencil Stubs Online!

Click on author's byline 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.

Always Looking: People Who Made A Difference XIII

Meet Susan B. Anthony

What you should say to outsiders is that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it. — Susan B. Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) played a pivotal role in the 19th-century movement to gain women the vote in the United States. Born in Massachusetts to a strict Quaker abolitionist family, she was inculcated with self-discipline, principled convictions, and belief in one's own self-worth. Anthony was a precocious child who learned to read and write at the age of three. She was taught in a “home school” set up by her father but run by a woman teacher who offered a new image of womanhood to Anthony and her sisters — independent, educated and holding a position traditionally reserved to young men.

Ultimately, Anthony was sent to boarding school near Philadelphia. Then she taught at a female academy, Eunice Kenyon's Quaker boarding school, in upstate New York from 1846-49. She settled in her family home in Rochester, NY, where she began her first public crusade, on behalf of temperance, one of the first expressions of feminism in the United States as it dealt with the abuses of women and children who suffered from alcoholic husbands.

In 1849, Anthony gave her first public speech for the Daughters of Temperance, then helped found the Woman's State Temperance Society of New York. In 1851 she went to Syracuse to attend a series of antislavery meetings. During this time she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, became fast friends and joined Stanton and Amelia Bloomer in campaigns for women's rights. Stanton, married and mother to a number of children, served as writer and idea-person. Anthony, who never married, was more often the organizer and the one who traveled, spoke widely, and bore the brunt of antagonistic public opinion.

From 1854 to the outbreak of the Civil War, she devoted herself to the antislavery movement, serving as an agent for the American Anti-slavery Society. After the War, she collaborated with Stanton in publishing the New York liberal weekly, The Revolution (1868-70), which called for equal pay for women.

In 1872, Anthony demanded that women be given the same civil and political rights that had been extended to black males by the 14th and 15th amendments. She led a group of women to the polls in Rochester to test the right of women to vote. She was arrested two weeks later. While awaiting trial, she engaged in highly publicized lecture tours and, in March 1873, she again tried to vote in city elections. After being tried and convicted of violating the voting laws, she succeeded in refusing to pay the fine. From then on she campaigned endlessly for a federal woman suffrage amendment through the National Woman Suffrage Association (1869-90), the National American Woman Suffrage Association (1890-1906), and by lecturing throughout the country. In 1881-1902, along with Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, she published the History of Woman Suffrage in four volumes.

In 1888 she organized the International Council of Women and in 1904 the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. Although she did not live to see the consummation of her efforts to win the right to vote for women, the establishment of the 19th amendment is deeply owed to Anthony's efforts.

Though born a Quaker, Susan B. Anthony attended the Rochester First Unitarian Church for many years. In an 1892 letter on the occasion of the church’s 50th anniversary, she wrote (in part) "[Some] of the pleasantest memories of Rochester — my home — the past forty years — are associated with the ministers and friends who will have honorable and loving mention during . . . the gatherings of these two days."


Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.See Portrait of Susan B. Anthony below.


By The Numbers

2014-A Universal 7 Year

2014, being a Universal 7 Year will bring about a greater reflection on the past so that we may learn how to improve upon it and build for the future. The SEVEN calls for a deeper analysis of situations with greater thought and consideration given to the beliefs and actions which we hold. This is a year for visualizing the future through more research and investigation to better understand the 'why' of things. We must work to engender a calm and steady approach in guiding the course of action. In many instances, people will be looking to master and perfect that which they do, using the lessons of the past as a foundation for improvements in the future, as opposed to beginning new projects and starting from scratch. It will be this type of belief system and attitude that will lead to legislation for national improvement. Patriotism may take on new and deeper meaning without the partisan divide of “'re either with us, or against us”. 2014 could see an increase in the growth of the GNP of nations around the world and financial improvement is a very strong possibility.

2014 may also bring about a greater interest in nature, farming and agriculture as people work to strengthen their connection with Mother Earth and look to become more contemplative and reflective on the inter-connectedness of life. This could lead to a stronger trend toward conservation and the ecology as people show greater interest and concern. As SEVEN is an 'internal' number we will find that the infrastructure demands greater attention, especially with projects that involve water (supply, delivery, treatment and safety). At long last, we may find a more contemplative and reflective tone being expressed in the media as a more philosophical and metaphysical view of the world and world events becomes more commonplace.

2014 may also bring about more interest in the areas of religion, spirituality, metaphysics, mystical teachings and the occult as people look to better understand themselves and the world and universe in which they live. This may also bring about an increase and awareness of psychic phenomenon and abilities. Many may find inspiration, guidance and knowledge through dreams, intuition, and the awareness and use of previously unknown personal abilities in the intuitive realm. Because of the SEVEN's association with mathematics and science, this year may also provide great advances and discoveries in those worlds as well as in the world of medicine. Overall in societies around the world, we may experience an increase in writing, teaching and the desire to learn which will lead to a greater interest in education and possible improvements and changes in the structures of how we teach and learn. 2014 should also bring about a greater focus on health and well-being both individually and collectively. On the seventh day God rested and in 2014 there may be a collective and individual desire to re-charge, re-assess and re-direct the energies.

On the negative side 2014 may see a rise in satire and sarcasm in the media and the arts as cynicism and a lack of trust maturate in the minds of populations around the world. Close attention must be paid to the movement and actions that took place in 2012 and 2013 as unresolved, festering conditions could again lead to wars although these wars may be more along the lines of civil wars (the American Civil War began in 1861 after years of conflict and dispute around the issue of slavery). If continued discovery of deceptions and malfeasance are brought to light, we may see a sharp increase in the doubting the trustworthiness of our leaders. These conditions could easily lead to a worldwide increase in fear and fear-mongering. It is these conditions that could lead to revolutions and once again, political assassinations. The more negative the environment of governments and their relation to their citizens the more likely we are to see the beginning of radical political movements. Controversy could be a hallmark of much of what transpires as increasingly, actions are taken to 'muddy the waters' of understanding and truth. 2014 could also see an increase in worldwide health problems especially in conditions involving water. As the SEVEN has a potential shadow side, caution must be taken to avoid deceptive business practices. Societal conditions may also lead to a rise in addictions and addictive-type behaviors.

In conclusion, the energy of the SEVEN of 2014 must be correctly directed in a positive, life-affirming and beneficial way for everyone. The great potential of higher consciousness, increased education, and greater awareness on the part of both the individual and the collective can go a long way in circumventing and overcoming any problems that may arise. People actively striving to re-connect themselves to our planet, while living in greater harmony with the planet and one another will assist in raising the vibration for all. Much of this growth and awareness will be based upon seeking knowledge, applying that knowledge constructively, and living with a greater degree of spirituality. It is through these efforts that we can do great things, and make great progress in healing.

"I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year! May you enjoy the blessings of the Uni-verse everyday and may you make it your mission to share yourself, your knowledge and your goodness with all with whom you come in contact. Let us all do our part in making 2014 a transformational year."

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


Most people in the U.S. have heard about China’s one-child policy and the majority of Americans disagree with how China is reducing their country’s population growth. In China, however, the majority understand the reason the policy was put in place.

There are over 1.3 Billion people living in China, today.

If the one-child policy was not put in place in 1979 there would possibly be a population of 1.7 or 1.8 Billion people in China. The majority of those people would most likely be living way below the poverty line.
The one-child policy was responsible for not only reducing the number of people being born but it was also a means of raising China’s standard of living. It also raised the number of Children graduating from High Schools and going on to higher learning in their country’s Universities.

Every semester I ask my new students at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School whether they have brothers or sisters. A good number of students do have siblings at home but those who don’t usually comment that they wish they had a brother or sister.

The wealthy in China can on the most part afford having more than one child. The fine they have to pay is usually looked upon by the wealthy, Chinese, as an additional tax. However, those who are impoverished are usually forced to put their additional children up for adoption. This is extremely painful for the child’s parents and the western media has covered some of these events that have stirred outrage from western Newspapers, the Internet, and various other western media outlets.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed a resolution on Saturday, December 28th 2013 - If one of the child’s parents is an only child the couple is now allowed to have two children.

It is widely believed that the one-child policy, which started over three decades ago, has prevented over 400 million births. The policy has not only slowed down China’s rapid population growth but it also helped many families rise out of extreme poverty.

The one-child policy has also been highly criticized though for resulting in forced abortions, turning babies over to adoption agencies and for the hefty fines for the families who violated the policy.
Other critics of the one-child policy have argued that china’s rising elderly population will not have the support needed as they continue to grow into old age. The Chinese Government will be forced to invest many Billions of its hard currency into assisted living and nursing facilities to accommodate the elderly.

Critics have also argued openly in China’s newspapers that it doesn't matter whether the policy is a one-child or two-child policy the law still hurts China's elderly. They will no longer have the support of their children in old-age. The policy may constrain economic growth, say the critics, as the working-age population begins to decline.

The one-child policy has, however, benefited China and the easing of the policy does not mean China is ending its family planning.

Over the past twenty years or so China’s population growth has seen a drastic decline. Chinese women on average have given birth to 1.4 to 1.6 children. If this rate continues, by the end of this century, China will have far less people than it has now.

Supporters of the one-child policy say in the long run the population decline in China will result in a stronger and more stable economy.

Jiang Fan, a National People's Congress deputy and member of the NPC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, made a statement to the Chinese media, on Sunday, December 29th 2013.
"China still has a large population. This has not changed. Many of our economic and social problems are rooted in this reality." He went on to say, "We cannot risk the population growing out of control." He also announced that the easing of the one-child policy is expected to go in effect sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

The easing of China’s one-child policy is something I plan on discussing with my students at the end of this semester in order to gauge their attitudes on the matter.

I have in the past asked my students to interview their grandparents or other elderly individuals about the changes they witnessed in china over the years. The results of their interviews are eye opening and educational for the students because many of them were unaware of their grandparents’ hardships, especially, when they were my students’ age. Some of my students have commented how grateful they are for what they have in life.

The one-child policy may have very well played a part in my students’ families’ upward mobility. Most of them would agree with me on that point as well and the easing of the one-child policy is a step in the right direction.

I always tell my students that China on the most part is progressing along for the better and like their parents and grandparents before them they too will see many more changes and improvements in their lifetime.

I always tell my students in class that the seeds to any great society are ultimately planted in the home and what the parents sow will ultimately be what they reap. Many of America’s problems are the result of bad parenting and no Government policy or school system can cure the ills that our country is facing.

America, however, is still a great nation it’s a beacon of light and hope for many to emulate and embrace. Our Nation’s greatness, however, was ultimately the result of personal freedoms and values that were passed down from generation to generation and we as a people should never lose sight of that fact. Those same values are also the cure to what is ailing our society but those values will never manifest until each individual takes responsibility for their own personal lives just as our ancestors have done when planting the seeds toward America’s greatness.

Many of my students plan on being parents and they understand the value of raising a child with the values they learned from their parents growing up. They are the human values that enhance our humanity and move humankind forward, hopefully, toward a brighter tomorrow for our overall global society.

But I suppose only time will tell …….
    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.

Irish Eyes

From Carlow to Graceland

William Presley came from Hacketstown,
At the foot of Eagle Hill.
The stones from his house
You’ll see them in the field there still.
I’ll tell you the story,
So Listen if you can,
And I will tell you how Elvis
Became a Carlow man.
© Richie Kavanagh.
If Elvis is alive, as many of his fans claim he will be 79 on 08th January. And it will be a nice birthday revelation when he learns that he is a Carlow man.

People from county Carlow are famous worldwide, Cardinal Francis Moran, William Dargan, Myles Keogh and John Tyndall. But how much do you hear about William Presley?

Everybody is familiar with songs by and about Elvis Presley. There’s Richie Kavanagh’s, How Elvis Became a Carlow Man and Richard Thompson’s Galway to Graceland. And I’ll bet you often gave an off-key rendition of Wooden Heart, while gyrating and throwing shapes with your pelvic area at two o’clock in the morning. But how much did you know about, what is the most important aspect of man or beast, his pedigree? In my neck of the woods you’d often hear it said, of a person, “If he was a greyhound pup I wouldn’t buy him.”
Well, Elvis had a good solid Irish pedigree. His ancestors came from Hacketstown, Co. Carlow. (One journalist suggested that Elvis should have been singing Green Suede Shoes.)

William Presley, because of a land dispute in 1775 was forced to flee from Hacketstown.

It's been proven that William Presley lived in Hacketstown and emigrated to the States circa 1775. An Australian is claiming that Elvis great-great-great grandfather was German and that Elvis Irish connection might be a Mansell who also emigrated to the US at the same time meaning that Elvis Scottish-Irish roots would be on the mother's side but a Carlow historian, Michael Purcell has disproved that and has some strong documentation to back up his claim.

“ . . . a band of yeomen and many other evil disposed persons did riotously, routously and unlawfully make an assault and did beat, wound and ill treat him so that his life was greatly despaired of."
The facts, printed on faded parchment records, show that the attack took place with swords and sticks and the attackers were of the Morris, Wilson and Maher families. “William sought the protection of the King in Carlow,” explained Michael Purcell.

20th August 1775.
Andrew Morris of Micilannashea in the County of Wicklow, yeoman, Francis Morris of Whiterock in the County of Wicklow, yeoman, Samuel Morris of Crossin in the County of Wicklow, yeoman, Thomas Morris late of Hacketstown in the County of Carlow, yeoman, William Wilson and Thomas Mathers both late of Hacketstown, Carlow, yeomen, with many other evil disposed Persons and Disturbers of the Peace of our said Lord the King, whose Names the Jurors aforesaid are ignorant of, on the seventeenth Day of August in the fifteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great-Britian, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, with Force and Arms, that is to say , with Swords, Sticks, and so forth at Hacketstown in the said County of Carlow did riotously, routously and unlawfully assemble and associate themselves together, and the said Persons being then and there so riotously, routously and unlawfully assembled and associated, in and upon one William Presley a true and faithful subject of our Lord the King in the peace of God and of our said Lord the King then and there being did make an Assault and him then and there did beat wound and ill treat so that his life was greatly despaired of and other wrongs to him then and there did Contrary to the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.
And, according to Michael, William could just as easily have been one of our own, A Wicklow man; Michael says, “ . . . despite his address being in both Wicklow and Carlow, when push came to shove he considered himself a true Carlovian.”
Fast forward to 1913 when William’s great-great grandson, Jessie, married Minnie May. Their son, Vernon, married Gladys Love Smith in 1933 and Elvis Aaron Presley was born in January 1935. Of course if William hadn’t emigrated we’d probably have "Diarmuid O’ Leary, Elvis, and the Bards.” 
Michael Purcell’s findings have been confirmed by eminent historians Turtle Bunbury and Ivor Casey, author of ‘Elvis in Ireland’. I contacted Kilkenny man, Myles Kavanagh, who has devoted his life to the King and wears an Elvis costume every day. Myles and a few others, including Cork singer/entertainer, David McCarthy are mounting a campaign to have a plaque erected in Hacketstown to honour “the King”. This plaque would be erected in a public place where anyone could view it free of charge. A man in the Irish midlands has offered to donate a statue of Elvis and Carlow Councillor, Denis Foley, told me that he is one hundred percent behind the project and when David McCarthy wrote to Graceland to ask if there were any objections, let’s just say his letter wasn’t returned marked Return to Sender.
Elvis in the Army

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

Eric Shackle's Column

Funny Dunny In Kawakawa

"When tourists flock to the remote New Zealand town of Kawakawa, where the railway runs down the main street, they head for the public toilet, not so much to use its facilities as to gaze in awe at the building's unique architecture and bizarre artwork," writes ace journalist Eric Shackle.

See:hundertwassers ultimate stand
It's a lasting memorial to a gifted but eccentric Austrian designer and artist, Frederick Hundertwasser (born Friedrich Stowasser) who, after visiting New Zealand in 1970 to exhibit his work, decided to settle in that country, making his home in Keri Keri, near Kawakawa, a four-hour drive north from Auckland.

He had won fame in Europe for having designed the Hundertwasser House apartments project in Vienna, said to attract a million tourists every year, and many other quirky structures.

When, in 1998, the Kawakawa Community Board decided to upgrade the toilet block, Hundertwasser volunteered to design and decorate the new building. The offer was gladly accepted.

"His concept was adopted and construction was completed, with the artist personally lending a hand in construction supervision, including the provision of materials from his own studio," says the Far North District Council.

"In consultation with the Bay of Islands College, students prepared ceramic tiles which have been used throughout the building. The bricks used came from a former Bank of New Zealand building, and both young and old from the local community volunteered services to the construction process." 

"The finished product is a work of art, from the grass roof, to gold balls, ceramic tiles, bottle glass windows, mosaic tiling, copper handwork, cobblestone flooring, individual sculptures and a living tree integrated into the design structure."
Another article, headed Toil et Art, says: "Apart from the Koru flag he designed in 1983 as an alternative standard for Aotearoa, his 1990 TVNZ appearance as part of the 'Living Treasures' series, and his public toilets in Kawakawa, Hundertwasser’s international profile was always far higher than his New Zealand profile."
"True to ingrate form, NZ Post turned down his offer to design stamps for free the same year the United Nations commissioned him to design a series for the world."
In 2002, Universal Mail in New Zealand, a direct competitor of NZ Post, released a set of five international stamps with Hundertwasser images.

"The stamps do not depict graphics created by Hundertwasser, but show drawings of 5 different buildings designed by him" says an illustrated article on a Danish website. "The artwork was organized by the Austrian stamp dealer Herbert Abfalter. It is unknown who is the designer of the stamps, which are issued in a limited printing of 2500 and are issued in se-tenant* strips of 5 for each of the two different values ($1.50 and $2.00)."
Hundertwasser died in 2000, aged 72. He was buried, without a coffin, under a tree in his garden.
Friedrich Stowasser, better known as Hundertwasser (German: hundred water). Born of a Jewish family in 1928, he survived the Second World War by hiding out in Vienna. After a long-standing career in avant-garde art, where he became more famous on the Continent rather than in Anglo-Saxon countries, he died on board the QE2 while sailing from his adopted New Zealand on a trip back to Europe. In 1968 he changed his given name to Friedensreich ("abundance of peace") , and since then added the words "Regentag (Rainy day) and "Dunkelbunt" ("Dark multi coloured') to his surname. He is buried in New Zealand, in his garden of the Happy Dead, under a tulip tree.

Shortly before his death, Hundertwasser had prepared plans to give a facelift to the Green Citadel, an old apartment building in Magdeburg, in the former communist East Germany. His last major project in Europe was officially opened last month.

The new building, containing apartments and offices, has no straight lines, is pink, and has golden domes. Joram Harel, the artist's friend for 30 years and administrator of his estate, doesn't like the lavatory tiles. "This (the dunny) doesn't have anything to do with Hundertwasser, that's 'kitsch'," Harel told the local newspaper Magdeburger Volksstimme.

Hundertwasser's blithe spirit lives on, too, in New Zealand's fourth-largest city, Dunedin, where Mild Red’s Winter '05 fashion collection was inspired by his architectural and artistic works. “He was the most eccentric man I’ve ever met - and delightfully so” says designer Donna Tulloch.

Hundertwasser Bio
Hundertwasser Fusionanomaly
Written by Eric Shackle - Published on August 10, 2013 08:52 AM | Permalink
Shown in the English webzine "Open Writing"
©2013 Eric Shackle
Click on Eric Shackle for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Angel Whispers

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year to all for a wonderful year we are about to embark. Let put the sad and negative things behind us, not dwell too much on this and look forward to what this New Year can bring to us. For some that may be difficult, but for most of us we can set goals make plans for a fun and productive year.

Try something new, go to a class, learn a new craft or do something you have never done before and wanted to do it. It’s a clean slate and we can set those goals high or low, many or few. The angels are telling that setting priorities and completing one goal at a time is a good way to start. Focusing on what is most important and then going down the list, day by day or week by week.

I am hearing to be observant of the people that you meet as you go through your day… They may be the person that can help with something specific. Starting your day with a plan in mind and planning at least fun thing each day is a good way to keep on track.. To allow joy and fun in our life is so important and the angels remind us of this too…

I am being reminded to talk about being in a state of being grateful each day is a way to help us actually feel this. Also we might want to write down three to five things we are happy that had happened that day. Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track and then do your grateful list and keeps us in the direction of being focused on the positive.

 The angels are reminding me that yes there can some things in our life that are not pleasant …or are upsetting. However they remind we can turn around a situation or issue to benefit ourselves and all concerned if there is any way. We all have problems and we all have things in our life that we feel are holding us back or we have people to blame because things are not working in our favor. But if we really think about all aspects of the issue is this the truth of the situation? We can think of solutions and can think ways to think differently. Just because the committee in your head says it’s this way is it truly the whole truth?

How many interpretation of this issue are there that you know of, including your own opinion? You have the right to find a answer to the solution in a way that is pleasing to you and helpful for others is they are involved..

Looking at the big picture of all that is and not focusing on the narrow view can be very helpful too… Waiting for others to help usually doesn’t happen.. We are the ones that have to step out and make the first moves, even if it is the hardest thing we have ever done.

Being open to possibilities, and to know that if something negative has happened, but to see the options in a positive light. Yet sometimes we continue to remain in the negative mind set…. That is fine, and it’s your choice, but you have options … We all have options… We can get guidance from spiritual sources or earthly sources such as counselors, coaches, close friend, or clergy. But in the long run it’s up to us to begin the healing and to switch from our ego thinking to our heart healing… So it may include forgiveness, it may mean smiling when we don’t feel like it. There are so many options, than that of feeling angry, sad, hurt, abandoned, or ignored. Some of these feelings have to go through a process of recovery, and grieving… Loss is so hard for us to understand, but when we understand the big picture of all that is then it's possibly a bit easier, but it not a done deal.

The angels lastly remind me that sometimes the universe helps us to find our to what we need to accomplish, which forces us to move on …In time we do understand and take back our power and to go forward….

 Happy New Year!

 Note:I am offering 12 month 2014 readings. Check my site for particulars…

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

Before it Began

All that’s left is a memory or two
A brief reminder of a love we once knew
All that we lost could never be found
In a blink of an eye things went tumbling down

Day after day I remember how it was
The look in your eyes when you said we were done
Night after night I toss and turn and think
I try to remember how we lost it all in a blink

It was over before it began
It was too late for us to find our way
We never had a chance to walk hand in hand
It was over before it began

All that’s left are the promises we made
Now there's a distance we will take to our graves
In one flashing moment our paths took their separate ways
How did we fail our dreams and the plans that we made

It was over before it began
It was too late for us to find our way
We never had a chance to walk hand in hand
It was over before it began

All that’s left is what was in our dreams
We took our chances and tossed them out to sea
Night after night i think how it could have been
I try to remember it was over before it could begin

©12/4/13 Bruce Clifford

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

I Walked Those Streets

I walked those streets
last night.
Friends and strangers
The welcomes, the dangers
Some you see and some you don't
Some you know and some you won't

Givers and takers
Movers and shakers
Street walkers,
sweet talkers.
wheelers and dealers
healers and stealers
Everyone you ever seen
and any person in between

All about their business,
and minding of their own
In pursuit of happiness
and losing their way home.

The fun and the games
are one and the same
The singing, the shouting
the dreaming, the doubting

the long way home,
a road too far
the quiet of the night,
the stars
The streets get dark
The lights go out
The morning comes
It's yesterday
©May 2012 Phillip Hennessy
Click on Phillip Hennessy for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

You Cannot Move On

You cannot move on,
without letting go
You won’t move along,
with your Past still on show
Take what you want,
or leave it behind
For what lies ahead,
is all in your mind

When it’s out of your head,
and into your Life
Then the past is all dead,
and you come Alive
Each step that you take
is another step closer
There is no mistake,
it’s time to say “NO, sir!”

When you’ve made up your mind,
and your vision is clear,
Don’t be cruel, just be kind,
your mission is Here!

We’re all moving on,
alongside of you
For those left behind
are beside you, too

You could not share
your heart with them
because you care,
you're part of them

So focus on Love,
and that’s what you get
It’s time to move on,
it’s time to forget

Forgotten Heroes
and ill-gotten zeros
Are no use to you,
when you’re sayin' “Cheerio”
Look straight ahead,
with a smile on your face
‘cause you’re being led
to a different place.

It’s time to move on,
it’s time to forget
All that you think
is All that you get.

©2012 Phillip Hennessy

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

Through The Cemetery

As I ride my bike through this Cemetery
It doesn't matter how big our burden is to carry
Sometimes we may think we're alone
We're being guided by our friends back home
They travel in spirit down life's journey with us
All we got to do is have faith and have trust
And know that we'll make it there
With guidance from friends that care

They see every move we make
They feel our pain when we ache
They know the struggle we go through
And they know everything that we do

Life isn't easy, but we need to learn as we go
Picking up things that we need to know
As we travel life's road, a challenge will be
Responding to all the things that we see

I know they aren't humanly near
Yet I believe they whisper in my ear
I know their presence is always close by
Because humans may cease, but spirits don't die
©June 12, 2012 Bud Lemire
Some words that came to me as I was riding through the cemetery

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

A Victory In Life's Game

Everyone is born unique and special in their own way
We each have our own challenges we face every day
Some of us are slower, some of us are faster
We can be the followers, or we can be the master
Understanding and accepting others is the key
For that's the way life is always going to be
It takes a real heroic soul to truly appreciate
Those who need a little help in their present state

Sometimes you have to fight with all that you got
To even have a halfway chance at a fairly good shot
Watching out for one another is what we must do
A guiding hand for a friend, to help them through

Run as fast as you can for a touch down
With friends that care, you'll never feel the ground
They'll keep any fall from being too hard
And see that you'll treasure life's winning card

Sometimes the challenges are harder for some
Depending on where in life, you're coming from
Team work is what is needed here
To ease the team player from any fear

You'll feel great right down in your soul
That your help touched someone that you know
After that you'll never be quite the same
You will have scored A Victory In Life's Game
©Dec 5, 2013 Bud Lemire
We need to reach out and help those who are a little different than us. Show our support, show we care. When we do, we will know how great it feels way down deep in our soul.

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

If Later Never Comes

The lass who loves with all her heart is torn by day and night,
the beams sent from within her chest have taken endless flight.

Through universe of stars their arrows stream the dark of night,
to land amongst the flower beds in gardens of delight.

Without reaching destination her heart’s love has found despair.
She's in need of medication, she's in need of great repair.

What will become of her today, tomorrow and the next?
She sends out heartfelt messages, sweet emails, calls, and texts.

But no amount of heart rays, numerous poems, endless prayers,
seem to affect her intended…. He seems bleakly unaware.

One last effort given with love, its receipt the only goal,
done simply to express a joy within her heart to hold.

She has made her peace with life - a life of later never comes.
Nothing will ever change her heart, her spirit knows its home.

©November 23, 2013 Martha A. Bradley

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A New Year, A New Start

A New Year has just begun
A new start for everyone
Hopes and dreams will all come true
All will work in many ways for you
A fresh new start to a brand new year
To be alive in life, for you are here
And with your choices will start anew
There's so many things that you can do

Changes come in many ways
Once you get through the haze
And when you do you will know
The path that lies before your soul

Everything will feel just right
Embrace your future with God's light
You should know you are never alone
Someone guides you from the Heavenly Home

As you hear the New Year Ring
Remember that the Angels sing
Fulfilling all events in your destiny
With love complete of all you can be

©Jan 1, 2014 Bud Lemire

A New year has begun for everyone
and as long as we live and breathe
we can accomplish anything.
Sometimes it's just waiting for that
certain moment to arrive, and knowing
that when it is there, we can take part in it.
Weighing all your options and knowing it is
the right choice. Only we will know what is right
for us. Nobody else can choose for us. Just have faith
and know you are being guided to do what feels right
to you. No matter what anyone else thinks, that is all that
matters as your journey continues.

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

Merry Christmas From Heaven

I know you feel the loss, here on Christmas Day
Loved ones that have passed, are around in every way
The bond that you shared together, it will always be
In this life and after, gather around the Christmas tree
Each light on the Christmas tree. Lit up for a reason
Not just to celebrate, this wonderful holiday season
Memories of the past, they come surging through
You think they're gone forever, but that's not true

Look deep inside, where resides the soul
You will find the answers, and you will know
They watch you and they come around
Bringing love silently without any sound

Sometimes when you're tuned in, you will know
It will give you feelings, of an inner glow
Energies will pass through you, like a warm embrace
Touching you deeply, bringing a smile to your face

If by chance you don't feel it, then know this my friend
Their lives here on Earth, wasn't really the end
They guide you every day, with all of their love
Spirits sharing what they know, with God's love from above

Their physical presence is missed, the pain can get so deep
But the love you shared, is always yours to keep
Every present that you find under the Christmas tree
Are the times they're “Present”, and will always be

You're never alone at Christmas, it's a state of mind
Look deep inside your soul, and you just might find
Someone from Heaven is close by and touching you
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too
©Dec 21, 2013 Bud Lemire
Click on Bud Lemire for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

The Miracle of Christmas

One cold and bitter night
a bright star shone above,
a star God made for Mary
to guide her on with love.
May the peace and love of Christmas
be always in your life,
if it be dark and lonely,
may you find the guiding light.

 When you think no one is with you
to guide you on your way,
may the miracle of Christmas
remind you of Christ's birth day.
May the miracle of Christmas
be always in your heart,
and its spirit continue to linger
as every New Year starts.
I pray that it is with you
well into the Spring,
and that you find it in your heart
when Christmas comes again.
©December 1994 Martha A. Bradley

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December Days

I’ve learned I can abide
The dark days of December;
However long the nights
The light will come again.

December is our womb time,
A time of straining toward rebirth
For our portion of the Earth
When faith and love are justified.

©2013 John I. Blair

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Christmas Lizard

When I opened up the door
To the water heater closet
And showed the pest control man
Where a rat had chewed through plaster
At the back

A startled lizard
Skittered down the wall,
Looking as surprised as me
That it was there
Seeking shelter from December.

I remembered then
I’d seen my patient cat
Crouching earlier that day
On the kitchen floor
Staring at the crack beneath the door.

“This will not end well” was my thought,
Considering the last two times
Lizards interacted with the cats
In my cozy house
And required a garden burial.

But who knows? Perhaps this one
Possesses lizard wisdom
Enough to realize that now
Is not the time
To come out of the closet.

©2013 John I. Blair

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

Lost Without You

I worry about you all the time
You’re the only thing that’s on my weary mind
I hope you don’t think I’m here to bother you
I’m so lost dear, I don’t know what to do

Where do I go
What to I say
Oh, I’m so lost without you

How do I move on
Thoughts are in the way
Oh, I’m so lost without you

I’m lost in my tears
I’m lost in our years
I don’t know how I could ever make this up to you

I’m lost in this life
I’m lost day and night
I can’t imagine what it is you are going through

I worry about you all the time
You’re the only thing that’s on my weary mind
I hope you don’t think I’m here to bother you
I’m so lost, so very lost without you

©12/20/13 Bruce Clifford

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

Ribbons of Butterflies

Am I dreaming? Is this really happening? Looking down at my arms I can feel and see movement just under the skin. Amazed by what I'm experiencing, I can not help wonder where's the pain? Why am I not screaming or freaked out and running for the hospital. I watch the movement of these bumps, all sorts of bumps moving around; it seems natural for some strange reason. I know in my soul this is somehow a process that I have experienced for time and eternity.
Watching and observing the movement, I notice the difference in the sizes of each of the bumps. Some of the bumps are huge, while others are very tiny. As the formations grow in size I notice that they migrate from my lower arm to my shoulders and then on to the top of my head.

Only after the completion of their journey to the crown of my head did they break through the thin layer of skin, to see their first light of day. Upon their entrance into the world each starts pumping energy into their wings readying for their departure flight. Every new butterfly clings safely to the strands of my long flowing auburn hair, forming a rainbow colored crown of butterflies around the top of my head.

I am so at peace and joyful marveling in the wondrous colors of each new butterfly as it opens its wings for the first time. The vibrant colors and markings are astounding. Each butterfly is its own special masterpiece, a one of a kind creation; all the colors of the rainbow in the sky, the pinks, blues, reds, purples, yellow, orange and greens are truly amazing.

With each step I can hear the snapping of the leaves and the coolness of the dark brown dirt under my feet. I look down to see my bare feet walking along a well traveled path. A gentle breeze is blowing against my face, wisps of my hair flowing like an auburn river. This river is a river full of butterflies awaiting their time to depart and take flight.

This is glorious, feeling the wind against my face. Hearing the birds singing in the trees, I close my eyes and stretch out my arms, thankful and amazed at the grace and beauty that is soon to be a part of the world.

I continue down the path as the gentle breeze blows against me. I notice a trail of butterflies following behind, like ribbons of butterflies floating in the breeze.  Then as each butterfly gains its strength and their wings are strong enough to carry them they fly off in all directions. Some fly north and south while others fly east and west. Each butterfly knows their own pre-destination.

My path continues and down around the trees I come to lush green meadow filled with flowers of all colors. The orange-red poppies, the pure white daisy’s, the purple iris’s nestling along the back of the stream, yellow sunflowers reaching tall into the sky, and brilliantly colored butterflies.

In the distance the deer are grazing peacefully unconcerned by my appearance. Eagles are soaring high above, they cry out as I enter the meadow, welcoming me once again to be amongst them. Life is busy on the meadow. A midnight black wolf comes to the stream where I'm standing and drinks water slowly. She nuzzles my hand and turns, walking back to the massive lumbering pines at the edge of the meadow. As she is approaching the edge of the forest, two tiny little pups come running to her side. She greets each of her precious babies, checking to make sure of their safety and reassuring them she is back home. Carefully she inspects each of her playful pups, and once they pass her inspection she disappears into the dense forest, to the safety of their den.

Approaching further into the meadow I marvele at the natural music being played all around me. Natures’ own orchestra. The woodwinds of the trees, the babbling of the brook, the birds whistling in the breeze and the background cry of a wolf creates a melody of life. Even the flowers and trees sway to the rhythmic beat that is playing around us. After listening to the melody of nature, I continue further into the meadow stretching my arms out to my sides so that I might absorb all the glorious blessings surrounding me.

Standing there I absorb the warmth of the sun on my body, feeling blessed and loved. After several minutes I open my eyes to see a rainbow butterfly cloud just over my outstretched arms. Instinctively I know that once more my children are returning home. Greeting them I thank each for their role in life, the beauty they have brought to the world around them. Within each ending of life is a glorious new miracle, the birth of new life, new adventures; life begins anew.
Then slowly I turn and start back down the path. As I depart the meadow I hear that the orchestra has quieted and settled down to rest. I thank them for the honor they bestowed upon me today, for sharing their wonderful music. The sun is setting on this day, readying to sleep, recharge for the approaching miracle of a new day.

For each day holds the miracle of new birth, new life, new beauty, and new chances to start fresh. It is up to us to see and feel the rhythm and beat so that we may dance, love and laugh.
It’s a new day…what is on your horizon?
©2013 Kay Roy Jones

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pencil Stubs Online will be released late on January 2d due to the Holidays and late receipt of material from some authors.