Thursday, May 1, 2014

Editor's Corner

May 2014

The month of your editor's birth many years ago, setting her amidst the various Taurians who guided and/or affected her life including some who continue doing so to this day. Mother's birth was put down on her legal birth certificate as both May 6 and May 7 as she was born at midnight and there was some unsettled legislation about 'Wilson's Time' being in effect at the time.

The late Leo C. Helmer's birthday was May 18, and his daughter Mary Ann Heisler was born on his birthday, a joy forever to him. Grandchildren and Great-grands and fiance's have been added to the family with May birthdays, a few falling into the latter part of the month marking them as natives of Gemini. Some dear friends share the May 8 date of birth with your editor although all fall many years later than her own. Suffice it to say, the world moves upon the energy of natives of all signs, but were there no Taurians, it would not progress as well, in this writer's humble, or not so humble, opinion. Now you have permission to laugh.

Spring has sprung some new authors into Pencil Stubs Online, including one of your editor's great grandchildren, Bethany Davies, who submitted two poems previously shown on her Facebook page notes, and on her blog, Altogether Beautiful. Her photo is shown with her bio which, as for all the authors, can be accessed by clicking their byline. Thank you for sharing with us, Bethany!

Michael John Fierro (By the Numbers) brings us numerological references to where we live, starting with the very number of our residence. Interesting subject.

Mattie Lennon, (Irish Eyes) discusses the sports addicts and those who are NOT that fond of such in "World Cup Fever." Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" updates the reader on Chinese techniques in business employing the technology of 3-D printing.

John I. Blair's column "Always Looking - People Who Made A Difference XVII, tells of the dedication and accomplishments of Mary Rice Livermore. His poetry (two done in the triplet format) for May is, "Toadsong," "Leap of Faith," and "A Box of Rocks."

Bud Lemire shows up as the most prolific poet this issue with five ranging from poignant to inducing the reader with pangs of conscience. His "Content" chimes with how your editor feels, and "The Twin Flame Souls" hits the heart strings. "Comfort In A Friend," "Disease Distance," and "The Grudge" speak in the guise of those needing our compassion.

Riva Joi Smith gives us "Names," Bruce Clifford sent in "It Rained Today," while Bethany Davies adds two: "Society's Downfall" and "Who Is He." Twelve poems for the May readers.

Mark Crocker aka Rabbo continues his latest serialized tale about Lexi, or perhaps you remember her as "she who must be obeyed" and perhaps you also are acquainted with one of her relatives. Cayce B. Shelton shares his "Encounter" which was edited by his former professor, at a junior college in Dallas.

Mike Craner, our patient webmaster keeps us online and for that we are forever grateful! We continue to appreciate our authors and look forward to their future compositions. It is a joy to know that many who started out publishing in our ezine have become published book authors. Both experienced and beginning writers find Pencilstubs a good vehicle for finding and keeping their audience.

June will find us right here in Pencil Stubs Online!

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.

By The Numbers

HOUSE NUMBERS – The vibration of your home.

Numerology, being the interpretation of numbers, can be used to better understand not only people, but also places. The address of your residence provides some insight into the type of energy or environment that will exist. With any address, the actual number of the physical location of the building is the most important number, e.g. your house number. If you live in a an apartment, the primary energy would be dictated by the address of the building, with your particular apartment number (or letter) providing a secondary energy to your abode. The actual apartment number, e.g. 3D, 168F, and so on would (in this instance) be a more personal measure of the energy/vibration of the residence.

To determine the numerological vibration of the house, use the number as it appears on the house e.g., 336, 25, 1548, etc. Total the digits and reduce to a single number. Should the home result in a Master Number, one must be certain to maintain an environment that resonates with the calling and vibration of the higher digit, while maintaining the characteristics of the single digit.

Also provided is a 'best' color for the location as well as areas of potential concern with the physical structure of the home or apartment.
1 - This is a good vibration if someone is living by themselves. ONE represents extreme independence and will support the individual in their life. This can be a home that promotes and encourages creative and original activities. Living in a ONE residence can help one to accomplish their goals and ideas as long as the proper effort is expended. Someone who lives in a ONE may become a leader in the community. If this is an apartment the individual may receive little or no help from others.
COLOR: Red (and shades of red).
TROUBLE: Roof and ceiling
2 - This creates a sensitive and quiet environment and can be a very good place for couples and/or partners. If you have a personal vibration of 2, you may enter into successful relationships while living here. This can be a residence of quiet dignity and you may lean towards living a simple life. If you have a hobby or an interest in something, you will find this vibration conducive for collecting. This home may contain doubles of many things and might be filled with antiques and works of art. A 2 home also lends itself to dealing well with neighbors.
COLOR: Orange (and shades of orange).
TROUBLE: Windows, doors, & floors.
3 – The energy of the 3 home is one of a social and friendly vibration. This is a home in which conversations, parties, happiness, music, and creative talents are emphasized. A home of constantly ringing phones and a good environment for children as joy and happiness abound. A THREE residence can be conducive for creative pursuits such as writing, music and art. One must be careful of extravagance and spending too much on pleasure.
COLOR: Yellow (and shades of yellow).
TROUBLE: Cracks, insulation, & major appliances.
4 - FOUR is a good work environment as vibrationally it creates a disciplined and organized surroundings. Work may be a constant presence and the energy may be somewhat restrictive so it is important that one allows themselves time to unwind and have some fun while living here. Throw rugs and many plants should be part of the decorating scheme. This is a home that appeals to practical people.
COLOR: Green (and shades of green).
TROUBLE: Cracks, leaks, doors, & windows. Pay special attention to things of a structural nature (foundation, etc).
5 – The home that resonates to the vibration of the FIVE is a high-level energy environment. There may be constant movement and rearranging of furniture and a continual environment of changes. This is a home that can be conducive to versatility and adaptability while not being too domestic. There will be much moving in and out, with talk of cars, travel and adventures a part of the energy. With the Five's representation of the human condition and the five senses this can be a 'party place' and may include a high degree of sexual activity and other sensual pleasures. A nervous energy may be present and it is important that some sense of balance is created in the home.
COLOR: Lighter blues and turquoise.
TROUBLE: Electrical problems and appliances.
6 - This is the consummate “mother and home” energy. With the SIX's resonance to domesticity and taking care of others, this is a good number residence for raising a family and engaging in family activities. This is not just a is a home. Cooking, gardening and other home activities may be prevalent. This is a home that may very well have a dog, and that may attract dogs from the neighborhood. It will also attract neighbors and friends. There will be an assortment of different things throughout the home. People who live in this home may be community-minded.
COLOR: Darker blues.
TROUBLE: May be centered in the kitchen and family areas.
7 - The SEVEN home will be one of introspection, research, reading, investigations, and spiritual pursuits. It is not exactly a social environment as it lends itself more to more solitary activities and expressions. This home provides a good environment for thinkers and seekers. It is a vibration that may be conducive to drinking, drugs, perversions, and depression so caution must be taken to maintain a healthy environment.
COLOR: Indigo, pink, purple.
TROUBLE: Water and plumbing and anything to do with water.
8 - EIGHT creates a good environment for a home-based business. With its representation of money, this environment may create money pressures and worries for the inhabitants. This can be an impressive home, yet the occupants should not be so intent on “keeping up with the Joneses” or on the ego-centered impressing of others as the overall energy may be more concerned with image and not domesticity and family. Strides must be taken to maintain a peaceful environment as an EIGHT can be a fertile ground for frequent fights, noise and upset.
COLOR: Deep purples, gold, and red.
TROUBLE: Plumbing, bathrooms, bug and insect infestations. Fires.
9 - The NINE home “belongs to the world” and as such, it is an environment of the open house. This residence will attract many people and in some instances it will attract problems if caution is not exercised in maintaining boundaries. There is a universal attraction in the energy of the NINE home and this abode may be a neighborhood 'center' for friends and neighbors. In this place, you must live constructively or disappointments and losses may ensue. The NINE home may create health problems for the inhabitants.
COLOR: All colors and color combinations (except for black).
TROUBLE: Since NINE encompasses all numbers, all the problems of the other numbers may be a factor. Also, health of the occupants should be paid particular attention.
© 2014, Michael John Fierro
Reprint, or use without the written permission of the author is prohibited and will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

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

Irish Eyes

World Cup Fever

“We are not unreasonable or intolerant people. We are your neighbours and friends and relatives. We are completely normal people who live completely ordinary lives except for one thing --we cannot understand the attraction or value of sports. . . we think there is something wrong when people base their lives on the outcome of a game. We think there is something wrong when grown men collect baseball cards. We think there is something wrong when people are willing to pay for the opportunity to watch other people play and have fun. We think there is something wrong when people think we're weird because we don't watch sports. And we especially think there's something wrong when our favourite TV show is interrupted for a *&@!^%$#@!! sporting event!!! This site is dedicated to free-thinking people everywhere who have enough self-assurance to resist the influence of the common herd.”
I didn’t write that (it’s from a website called but it gave me an idea.

Professor Brendan Kennelly said: "You can overcome a bad marriage, you can grapple with and overcome alcoholism, but you'll never get over losing an All Ireland Final." But many literary figures, great thinkers and philosophers down through the centuries would argue that sport is not that important. Patrick Kavanagh reminded us: that " . . . in Ulysses, only the punter speculating on the result of the Ascot Gold Cup comes into the theme. So sport can't have been very vital."
While Kipling’s advice to competitors would be to "...treat those two impostors just the same" he referred to " ... the flanneled fools at the wickets or the muddied oafs at the goals." So he mustn't have considered a love of balls to be indicative much upstairs. Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes confess that " My ramifications stretch into many sections of society, but never, I am happy to say into sport." George Orwell saw sport as having nothing to do with fair play but: "... bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness and disregard for all rules." R.S. Surtees spoke of sport as "... the image of war without the guilt." Apologies for quoting a person who worked in a Bank but T.S. Eliot felt sorry for anyone whose only monument was, “ . . . the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls.
So, is sport that important? I don’t have any answer but I have a few questions: 72% of men between the ages of 18 and 29 describe themselves as Sports fans but only 58% of men over 50 describe themselves as such. Does this mean that young men follow like sheep and cop on as they get older? If you are over 50 and one of the 42% remaining you can bet in the coming months that your favourite television programmes will be cancelled or postponed for some sporting event. And you’ll still be paying for the sporting sections of newspapers that you don’t read.

Losing, even in amateur sport can have a devastating effect on the loser (can you think of a similar hardship experienced by non-sporting types). And of course there is a downside to winning. It has been said "Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories." Chamberlain said of war ”whichever side may call itself a victor, there are no winners, but all losers."
Should the same apply to sport? Sport is only second to drink as a cause of working days lost and . . .we are told that every taxpayer in Ireland is paying €3,313 each year as a result of alcohol abuse. But . . .we are not told how much we are paying because of sports injuries.

Of those who claim that an interest in sport reduces drug taking and crime I can only ask “Do you not read the national or provincial papers? Or watch the world news?"
One man said “Winning a match is of more importance to the people than the capture of a town in the east.” If you believe that, do you know the company you are in? Goebbels uttered these words.

I was disappointed that two prominent sports journalists, at different times, stated that people who are not interested in sport consider themselves to be intellectually superior. I don’t believe that although one Ancient Chinese philosopher said "The way of the sage is to act but not compete." Remember Italia 90? A fellow making a reverse call from Rome asking the wife to sell the washing machine or car to finance an extended trip? Not the type of behaviour to qualify one for membership of Mensa. Do you remember some years ago when the Celtic tiger was still alive there were people lying on trolleys in our hospitals; but all we heard about was the Bertie Bowl.
People who claim that an interest in sport kills all artistic tendencies in a person get branded as begrudgers and knockers. But poet, Sir John Suckle was not indulging in self-approval when he described himself as one " ... who loved not the muses as well as his sport."
A journalist recently described the GAA as " A tinpot organisation with a coveted sportsfield." He didn't do himself or his newspaper any favours but for generations cynics have classified Gaelic football with "blood sports." And Irish sporting records would appear to endorse that sentiment. It has also been described "... .detested sport that owes its pleasures to another's pain."

 I won’t ever get on Room 101 but if I did sport would go in. I told you I wouldn’t have any answers . . and I don’t but . . . a word of advice to the males: You are probably wondering whether to take a few sick days or apply for holidays for the World-Cup. But remember. . whatever you do don't give up any interesting pastime, to sit shouting at the telly for two weeks and then expect to take up where you left off, with impunity. Remember the words of Peter Osgood: " World Cups only come once every four years but women are around all the time."

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

Always Looking XVII: Mary Rice Livermore

Mary Ashton Rice Livermore (1820-1905) was a key organizer for the United States Sanitary Commission during the Civil War and afterwards a leader of the woman suffrage and temperance movements and a popular lecturer on social reform. Born in Boston into a strict Calvinist family, Mary had taken religious questions seriously as a child, but eventually reached a crisis of faith. As a young woman she tried to find a new life by working as tutor on a plantation in Virginia, but three years living in the South taught her that slavery was as "demoralizing and debasing" to white slave owners as it was hard and painful for blacks. By the time she returned to New England, Mary was an ardent abolitionist.

On Christmas Eve in 1843, she was attracted into a Universalist church by the cheerful singing. On entering she found herself uplifted by the message she heard. Afterward she introduced herself to the church's young minister, Daniel Livermore. With books borrowed from Daniel's library, Mary "was soon deep in a course of theological reading and study." She met with Daniel frequently, embraced Universalism and they fell in love. They wed in 1845, and their strong marriage lasted for over half a century.

Daniel served a succession of churches. His stands on slavery, women's rights and temperance often caused tension with his parishioners. Mary, strongly supporting her husband's views, but unhappy with her role of minister's wife, found an outlet in writing and won two prizes for her stories—Thirty Years too Late, 1845, on temperance, and A Mental Transformation, 1848, about "changes wrought in one's life and character by a vital change of religious belief."
Mary Rice Livermore
In 1857, frustrated with parish life, the couple moved to Chicago, where they lived for the next thirteen years. There, Mary, with Daniel's help and encouragement, came into her own as a competent, self-confident woman with an important role to play in the reshaping of society.

A turning point came when, during a cholera epidemic in the city, she determined to stay and volunteer her help rather than leaving Daniel and fleeing with her daughters. She quickly developed organizational skills, and when the Civil War broke out she was recruited by Henry Whitney Bellows, head of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, to become coordinator of the Northwestern branch. During the next four years she organized a far-flung volunteer support network for the Union hospitals, visited the hospitals, wrote letters "by the thousands" for soldiers, escorted wounded soldiers from hospitals to their homes, and raised large sums of money in support of the Commission's work.
Banner of the U.S. Sanitary C

During the war, Mary became "aware that a large portion of the nation's work was badly done, or not done at all, because woman was not recognized as a factor in the political world. . . . [M]en and women should stand shoulder to shoulder, equal before the law." Women, she concluded, needed the right to vote. When the war ended, Mary rose to leadership in the woman suffrage movement, writing and traveling widely as she lectured and chaired meetings. In 1868 she organized the first woman suffrage convention held in Chicago. In 1869 Mary served as editor of the woman's rights periodical, the Agitator. It was not long, however, before she was encouraged to full-time lecturing.

For almost a quarter of a century, until her retirement in 1895, Mary devoted herself to this new career, speaking on women's rights and other reform topics "in every part of the country from Maine to Santa Barbara." Her lectures, delivered without manuscript or notes, addressed a wide variety of topics, ranging from women's rights and temperance to immortality. While reflecting her Universalist convictions, all were crafted for broad appeal to a general audience. In "Concerning Husbands and Wives" she held up a model of marriage between equal, complementary partners. In "The Battle of Life" she shared her vision of the better world that was to come and encouraged her listeners to move in its direction. In "Does the Liquor Traffic Pay?" she described the huge social cost of alcohol and called on her audience to join her in winning the temperance battle. In "Has the Night of Death no Morning" she affirmed her belief in the soul's immortality, a belief to be fostered by noble living. In "What shall we do with our Daughters?" she called on her listeners to prepare the next generation of women to take their rightful place in the affairs of the world. The last was delivered more than eight hundred times.

Immensely popular as a public speaker, Mary became known as "the Queen of the American Platform." She was the author of two substantial books: My Story of the War, published in 1887, an account of her work with the Sanitary Commission, and The Story of My Life, published in 1897. In 1873, Mary was chosen as the first president of the Association for Advancement of Women. In 1875 she became president of the American Woman Suffrage Association and began her twenty-year presidency of the Massachusetts Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Mary often spoke from Universalist pulpits and at denominational and interdenominational meetings. As a major speaker at the Murray Centennial celebration at Gloucester in 1870, she shared her expectation that "through the doctrines of Universalism" sin will be overcome.
Adapted from an Article by Charles A. Howe, All material copyright Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society (UUHHS) 1999-2011

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.Pic Below: Mary Rice Livermore Speaking at Convention

Refer a friend to this Column

On Trek


I drive down a lovely country road, and I admire the green lush grass, the majestic trees standing guard of each home. The colorful flowers dancing in the breeze just catch my attention. The cows in the field, enjoying nature at its best..

And then the beer can, the empty sack of McDonalds, the pop cans, the cigarette butts, the debris lining the streets like onlookers to a parade.

People, we all cry we want to save our planet by cleaning it up. Each one of us can start by not throwing garbage out of our cars and from our bikes, and trucks. We are littering the earth daily and someone has to pick it up.

I know we all don't throw it out, I don't, but we all live here. We co-exist, we share our home. Earth is our home. We would all be incensed if a truck load of trash was dumped in our yards, but we should be just as incensed that cans and wrappers and old shoes get flung to the side of the road, and in some cases onto someone's lawn.

It is illegal to toss out debris. It is a shame laws have to be made to stop folks from being inconsiderate of others. It is a natural law. How can we ever find true peace on a planet, when littering is literally ruining the beauty of earth inch by inch...Let us make a conscious effort to pass along this bit of advice. Let us make every effort to keep our plant home beautiful.

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


It would appear that China is ushering in an era of new emerging technologies. I say this because there is a company in China (WinSun) that is using giant 3D printers to make full-size, detached, single-story homes.

This 3D printing technology is a small evolutionary step from spraying toner on paper to putting down layers of something more substantial (such as plastic resin) until the layers add up to an object. And yet, by enabling a machine to produce objects of any shape, on the spot and as needed, 3-D printing really is ushering in a new era.

The Chinese private firm, WinSun, has boasted that they can produce 10 full-sized homes in just 24 hours. They have been using four giant 3D printers to spray a mixture of cement and construction waste to build the walls and floors, layer by layer, quickly and more efficiently than any typical manual laborer. The homes can also be produced under $5,000 due to the printing process.

This new technology does have its critics though, and they fear that as this technology advances. The construction industries that rely solely on manual laborers to get their construction contracts completed may be affected in an adverse way.

For instance, WinSun, as I mentioned, is boasting that they can print buildings to any digital design their customers bring them. The buildings can be manufactured fast and much more cheaply than manual laborers can produce. In the near future skyscrapers may be built using the same process and as this technology becomes more readily available many construction workers may find themselves out of jobs.

The 3D printing methods are also being used in much more creative ways. In America, for instance, a company used the process to print a handgun. Other manufactures and designers have used 3D printers to make jewelry, furniture, specialized machine tools, and industrial components.

It has been said that the Chinese government interventions have been pro-producer at every turn, favoring the growth of their country’s manufacturers over the purchasing power and living standards of its consumers. But as 3D printing advances and products become cheaper to produce the consumers in China will greatly benefit from the cheaply manufactured goods. They certainly won’t be a loser in the new era; China will always have its domestic market and its domestic market is huge.

Not all products lend themselves to 3-D printing though so the Chinese will not have to immediately give up on being the mass-manufacturing powerhouse of the world. But, eventually, as 3D printing takes hold globally, the factories that have made China the workshop of the world will lose much of their force. Goods will be infinitely more customized, because altering them won’t require retooling; only tweaking the instructions in the software. Creativity in meeting individuals’ needs will come to the fore as well.

This will force many Chinese manufactures to focus more on their localized consumers and making products, specifically, to fulfill individualized consumer needs. As applications of the technology expand and prices drop, goods will be manufactured at or close to their point of purchase or consumption. This will have wide ranging effects throughout the world.

The overall impact 3D printing will have on the future of manufacturing in China and abroad will certainly be revealed in the very near future.
    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.

Leap of Faith

Squirrels do a lot of jumping
Off into vacant space
High above the hard earth,
One branch to another.

I idly wonder
When in their young short lives
They gain the faith it takes
To do that;

To step up to the edge,
The rim of their security,
Take one brief look
To estimate the distance,

Then jump across the gap,
Confident they’ll make the other side.
When did each one learn
To trust in their ability?

I know it’s not a sure thing –
I’ve seen from time to time
A still small body
On a patio or walk

That missed a leap. A harsh reminder
Faith is not a guarantee,
And confidence can lead
To ultimate disaster.

But there are a lot of squirrels
That leap and live; and this
Gives me the heart
To do the same.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

Comfort In A Friend

In this life you never know
When it's someone's time to go
Precious is the time we spend
In conversation with a friend
We both value the time we share
A time to show how much we care
If a friend has a life threatening disease, don't back away
Because they still need your time, especially every day

If it's a friend you've recently come to know
Don't let unknown fear inside you start to grow
What makes you afraid to become close
Your friendship is needed the very most

Do you fear emotions and an upcoming loss
When it comes to your soul, you are the boss
Part of life and the time that we're living
Is the time and love that we are giving

I'd say this friend needs you even more
Then they ever needed anyone before
If this friend should suddenly pass away
Remember you gave your best every day

What if you found yourself in their place
Wouldn't you find comfort in their friendly face
When wishing for the pain to end
Wouldn't you find comfort in a friend
©April 22, 2014 Bud Lemire Notes by Poet:
In this life, I find friendship very precious.
I know if I was going through something and needed a friend,
it would be a most welcomed sight and presence.
There are many diseases you can not catch,
and yet people back away from a friend anyway.
Just when your presence could have given them so much comfort and love.
Is it because you fear losing them,
or fear catching what they have.
Afraid that your emotions will be out
and you won't have control of them.
Sometimes we have to come out with our emotions and break down the wall,
to become become better people. Listen to your soul, it knows.

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

Who is He?

Clean. Forgiven. Loved.
Unfamiliar words to me.
Until the day I realized I needed Him.
Who is he?
That’s what I asked.
This wonderful, powerful name.
I cried out to him.
I needed a redeemer.
I wanted to feel something.
And for the first time in my life I felt a warmth.
I knew, I felt, I saw.
The love of a heart-healer, a hope-giver, a life-injector.
Eternal life.
That was his gift.
As long as I praised his name and loved him.
Not worthy of his love, never worthy of that kind of love.
But he gave it because I offered myself.
My heart, my being to him.
Eternally grateful.
That’s what I am.
For such a powerful being to be so merciful to an unworthy daughter.
His daughter. His child.
He is my Father.
©Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Bethany Davies

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


What is a name...really?
Some say your name is your reputation
In the South, many generations of people rely on it
they rely on havng a certain kind of name
Some people hide behind them
using a different name for public.
Some people change them,
to make a new life for themselves
Facebook has many using a "new name".
The Angels whisper a quote from
William Shakespere to me~
a line from "Romeo Juliet":
a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
We truly don't know others by the name they use
Names can change; as when some marry
or there is a life changing moment in one's life
We truly know each other by our hearts.
When the connection is made in Heaven,
nothing on earth can unbind it.
©April 1, 2014 Riva Joi Smith
Click on Riva Joi Smith for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


In almost April
Resonating churrs
Vibrate the night air.

Puffed up with passion,
The toads are singing
Everywhere I look.

To the spawning spot
Where they congregate
Measures half a mile,

A jarring journey
For a toad to take
Hop by hop by hop.

But that distant ditch
Is where toads have hatched
Since it was a brook

And the current curb
Streets and houses place
Will not make them stop.

©2002 John I. Blair

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

Society’s Downfall

Society is falling.
Step back and take a look.
No longer are we about relationships and family.
But about money and growth.
We are a selfish people.
Who care about no other.
what happened to connections and love?
They were pushed and shoved.
Into the deep recesses of our selfish minds.
Society is collapsing.
Slowly at first, then quicker still.
Until there's no way to mend or turn back.
We are a nation under attack.
To be the best, better than anyone.
That is our goal.
No sympathy for those who fall on the way.
Survival of the fittest.
That's the motto of these days.
Society will be destroyed.
If we keep hurdling down this path.
We will all slowly fall.
Let no one get in your way and never stop.
We need to stop, breath, reflect.
See what we are doing.
Love, peace, Light, family.
Now hate, war, dark, and loners.
We are no longer here. Society is gone.
©Mar 06, 2012 Bethany Davies
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

A Box of Rocks

“Dumb as a box of rocks”
Is a byword for stupidity
I’m not sure works.

I have a box of rocks –
Sandstone, basalt, quartz,
Aventurine and agate –

Tinted black and white,
Green and gold and red,
Not a brain among them

Nor can they speak
With voices, hence
They’re truly dumb.

And yet the basalt cobble,
Still as night,
Once yielded me a poem

Of the beach, the sea,
Volcanic fire,
Gaia in my hand;

So now I wonder
What the others
Lock within.

©2014 John I. Blair

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


Some people have big houses, possibly two cars
I'm content with what I have, just gazing at the stars
Don't need a Blu-Ray disk player, I'm content with DVD
I'm satisfied with what I have, I'm content just being me
Don't need a camera, that will zoom right someone's nose
I'm content with what I have, capturing what nature shows
I truly don't need a great stereo, that will knock off my socks
I'm satisfied just hearing tunes, coming from my boombox

I don't need a lot of money, just enough to get by
Being rich on what I love, is enough to get me high
I take in Mother Nature's work, the beauty to behold
As all the creatures in this world, begin to unfold

I flow with what's inside, I listen to my soul
Don't need fancy expensive things to make me whole
Give me a book I enjoy, or music that I love
The pleasure is the greatest reward, I'm ever thinking of

Don't need to own a home, or have an expensive car
When I have the greatest love, it's the best by far
The best in love that I have, it is Heaven sent
I'm so very happy with it, I am more than content
©April 17, 2014 Bud Lemire
Notes by Poet:
Being content doesn't mean that I don't wish for a little more at times,
But it does mean I am content with what I have, and have learned to
adjust and appreciate all I do have. Many times we have all we need
right in front of us. All we have to do is appreciate what it is we do have
and we shall be content.

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Disease Distance

Here I sit feeling so lonely
Why won't my friends visit me
I didn't ask to have this
Now it's my friends I really miss
I hate this disease, but what can I do
I try my best, to just get through
I'm just so tired, and I feel so weak
Sometimes I even find it hard to speak

I spend much time around a Doctor and Nurse
They check on me so I don't get worse
It hurts so much, sometimes I cry all day
But still this pain won't go away

They can't catch this disease
I wish their fears was what I could ease
Why can't people understand more
I'm the same person I was before

Each day means the most to me
To live another, is what I long to see
A friend nearby would help me through
I wish that they only knew

I wish somehow that it would get through
That one day if they have nothing to do
I would welcome a visit from a friend
To lighten my heart until the day's end.
©April 24, 2014 Bud Lemire Notes by Poet:
Through the eyes of the person who has the illness.
It's sad that friends and family back away at times
when we need them most. They need to understand
it can't be caught. Learn about it,
because someone out there needs a friend.

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The Grudge

Life is too short to hold a grudge
When one or the other just won't budge
Maybe something wrong was said or done
Was it an event caused by someone?

 Mistakes are made, we're human that way
Tomorrow will be another day
Forgive and forget and let it pass
It's not worth it to harass

It's not worth it to lose a family member or friend
Over something that you won't let end
You are the one who built the wall
It's only you who can make that call

Forgiveness comes straight from the heart
Those walls you built will then fall apart
Isn't it better to be in touch
With those people who mean so much

Nobody has to be right
There's no reason to feel contrite
A different point of view may be
Of what it is that you both see
Breathe in and breathe out, and let it go
Release the grudge that claims your soul
©April 28, 2014 Bud Lemire Notes by Poet:
Life is too short to let little things bother you
to the point of not talking to a family member or
friend. When you rise above it and realize it was
nothing compared to the value of family and friend.
Only then can you let go of the grudge that seemed so
big at the time, really was nothing at all. Is being right
really all that matters? Mistakes are made all the time,
not only by the other person, but by you as well. Be a
better person and forgive their mistake, and bring them
back into your life, so your life will be better. Those walls
you built so high and so thick,
will then crumble to the ground.

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The Twin Flame Souls

The Twin Flame fire
Is a burning desire
Touching your very soul
It's a love you just know

 The strongest that will ever be
Two souls that hold Heaven's Key
As deep as you will ever go
When your Twin Flame touches your soul

Distance doesn't mean a thing
With a thought, it's happening
Twin Flames burn together, not apart
The Mind the Soul, and the Heart

Unlike the physical, throughout each day
You'll feel the love, in every way
One thought of the other, filled with love
And it's the other, you only think of

In spirit, thoughts are actions and felt real strong
A love like this is exactly where you belong
Once connected, the burning desire grows
Love goes even deeper, within the Twin Flame Souls
©April 27, 2014 Bud Lemire Notes by Poet:
This is dedicated to my Twin Flame, Vicki
and all the other Twin Flames. Because only
a Twin Flame knows how deep and how wonderful
this kind of love feels. It's Amazing!

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It Rained Today

It rained today
It washed the sun away
I saw the sky
I asked it why

The wind, it blew
Thoughts I thought I knew
It rained today
I think I heard you say

The city is bright
All of the lights
After a day or two
All we thought we knew

It rained today
It washed the smell away
I saw the sky
I wondered why

©4/17/14 Bruce Clifford

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Edited by Dr. M.N. Bruder (Deceased)
I saw the old man moving slowly toward me, occasionally waving his walking cane, apparently a twisted and knotted tree limb he had picked up somewhere. The wind was blowing toward him so I could not hear the words he was shouting at the passing people. I snorted a laugh at the pitiful sight with the instant reflection that the creature could have been me, circumstances allowing. Not every human can choose his destiny.

As the old fellow came closer, I saw how shabbily dressed he was, shirttail hanging over the side of his pants, leg ends dragging on the ground. The suit coat was either a mismatch to the slacks, or it was so filthy the original colors had long vanished. It was torn in several places with dark spots on the elbows and lapels from a source I could only gag a guess. A pair of dirty tennis shoes, laces untied and dragging the ground, scuffed across the concrete.

I could barely see the spots of age and the stain of dirt on the right hand that gripped the walking cane, which he extended forward before he took each step. With the right foot planted firmly near the cane he dragged his left foot forward near the right foot before he extended the cane again. I had an urge, probably brought on by the respect for old people my parents had instilled in me, to run and help the old geezer.

His left hand, possibly paralyzed, was pressed against the side of the jacket and never moved. A torn straw hat, too big for his head, cast a shadow over the wrinkled face. Gray hair extended from under the hat and hung in loose strings over large ears. He looked like a cartoon that stopped, waved that cane and hollered at a person passing near.

Gazing intently ahead, the old man did not seem to notice me as he drew near. Suddenly, the cane swung up and made a circling motion as the old man cried out in a surprisingly strong and vibrant voice, “Hey, mister.”

I looked toward the building to see a slim young man dressed in a dark suit moving rapidly toward the old man. He was busy talking into a cellular phone held against his head. He did not see the old man until they were only a few steps apart.

As he finished the cellular call the young man stopped walking and watched the old man shuffle closer. The sharp looking Fifth Avenue type tried to escape the encounter with the dirty old man, but the old man stopped and spoke in a loud voice, “Say, mister, you attending that there writer’s conference?” he asked, the dirty right hand waving the cane over his head.

The rounded, stooped shoulders swayed as if in a strong wind. The sour smell of whiskey drifted past me on the light wind. The old fellow was probably drunk. The young man put his hand to his nose and nodded.

The apparently toothless mouth made a clapping noise, “I want to get in there, too. I been traveling all day. You know them buses? Them things would drive a man to drink in a hurry, always stopping and starting. Seems they never get anywhere. Damn thing took me nearly a mile past my stop ‘cause I couldn’t get off the seat in time.”

I watched the young man trying to be respectful, move a little to put himself upwind of the old man. The bulky body turned to continue facing his target. As the clapping lips formed words again, the young man looked at me over the hat bobbing before him. I grinned and shook my head.

“You know, I just can’t afford that hundred and sixty-five dollars they wanted for early registration. You register early?” The old man looked up at the young man sharply, but did not wait for an answer.
The old voice was strong, demanding, “I want to get in there and hear what they say. I been writing all my life and ain’t got nothing published yet. Hell, I got rejection notices stuffed in all the cracks in my bedroom wall. They keep out the cold wind, but shucks, I’d like to get something into print so others can see how good I write.” The old man stopped to take a breath.

The young man opened his mouth to speak. The whip cracking voice cut him off. “Say, young’un, think you could sneak me in there? I won’t make any noise, and they won’t even know I’m there?” the old man stated, cocking his head to one side to look up at the younger man.

The younger man’s emotions were written all over his face--doubt, confusion, frustration, and fear. Quickly, before the old man could begin another tirade, he spoke. “Sir, I cannot sneak you into that conference because they check everyone going in. Everyone has to have a receipt for the fee.”

The young man straightened his tie and took a step away only to be halted by a tanned, spotted hand on his coattail. The strong voice suddenly turned into the whine of a begging child. “Now, see here, young fella, I ain’t asking for no miracle. Just get me in the building.” The dirty hand did not let go of the neat, black suit coat.

“Sir, I apologize. I can’t help you.” The young man pulled his jacket from the old man’s grip.
As the young man turned and quickly stepped away I watched the old man’s back. I saw the straw hat turn toward the building and then back toward the young man. The stooped shoulders shook. He might have been coughing, crying, or laughing; I could not tell.

Suddenly the old man’s shoulders stopped shaking. His body seemed to grow taller as the shoulders came back, and the hatted head rose higher. Tucking the cane under his left arm, which had sprung to life, the old man spun around to face me. Gone were the toothless grin and the demeanor of an old man. Here stood a much younger man, smiling broadly, his left hand holding the cane out to the side.
Removing the straw hat, with the gray hair attached, he bowed toward me. The short dark hair of the young man shocked me; I almost choked on my cigarette.

“How was that performance?” the young man asked, with a deep laugh. Turning, the young adventuresome thespian strode sprightly away. ©Cayce B. Shelton

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Lexi - Chapter 4

Good Manners

If you don’t know who I am my name is “she who must be obeyed” or if you are human I am called rather laughingly “Lexi May” or just “Lexi”. But if you are human and reading this just call me by my real name which is “she who must be obeyed”.
Manners are important to us chosen ones.
Humans I understand also have what they call manners too. But chosen one’s manners are much higher and more evolved than human manners. I have watched humans for a long time now and I have learnt much about their manners. They consider good manners to be shaking hands when they meet. This I think is a greeting of some kind that humans do when they are meeting for the first time.
Then there is humans saying “good morning” to each other. If you ask me there is something wrong there. Are they asking the other human if they are having a good morning? Or are they wishing the other human good morning or are they saying “it’s a good morning” I just can’t figure that one out.
Humans are so confusing. But us chosen ones are just as bad about having one word that will mean many things.
But manners are very important and not just to you humans. We chosen ones have manners too as I have just said.
So what I am going to do is explain chosen ones manners and compare them with human manners.
I just covered the standard morning greeting and the same can apply to the human greeting of “good afternoon” and again I just don’t get that?
Now we chosen ones have a couple of greetings that are like you human “good morning” or good afternoon”.
When humans come back to our place of living after having been away for a long time we chosen ones will come to the door to greet them.
Humans believe it’s because we are pleased to see them or that we are excited that they have returned after leaving us alone for a long period of time.
Well this is not the case really as normally we have been napping or playing and have been just too busy to notice that our human or humans has been gone.
No the truth is that we are coming to greet them because that is good manners. And good manners as I have said is very important to us chosen ones.
So the next time one of you humans has been away and returns to you place of living watch carefully as we come to greet you.
You will notice a couple of things about how we greet you.
Let me explain so that you will be able to spot and understand what I mean.
When we come to the door we might be running or walking slowly. It does not matter if we are walking or running. What does matter is how our tails are pointed. If our tail is pointed straight up this means that we are glad you are back and we want to know why you were gone so long.
But be careful petting us chosen ones at this point as if we are not pleased to see you or we have been worried about you or we were scared that something had happened to you or that you might never be coming back the we might do something bad. How upset we are depends on what will happen. At the very least you will get a telling off or a tongue lashing.
Now if our tails are pointed up but the tip is pointing towards you that means we are pleased to see you and you can pet us and make a fuss of us. You better make a fuss of us or our mood could change and well you know what happens.
Tail angles and the way we hold it tells you a lot about or moods and is used to express manners such as please and thank you. So you need to watch our tails carefully.
You know that when we thrash our tails wildly it means that we are either upset or very playful. But did you know that the slow thrashing of our tails is also a sign that we are happy?
Ok moving along.
I have mentioned greetings now I am going to mention a couple of other things that we use as a way of expressing good manners. This is being very polite and we use it in a couple of different ways. The first way is again as a greeting but normally used when we are relaxed and are feeling happy.
I am going to tell you how to use it and when to use it with your chosen one.
Ok this is when and how.
You have been busy and have been ignoring us chosen ones. We are relaxing on the back of a long sitting thing or stretched out in a sun spot on the window sill.
You walk up to one of us chosen ones and you almost close your eyes and slightly turn your head and lower your chin all in one movement.
Now before you do that to one of us chosen ones I suggest you go to your looking thing in your human cleaning room and practice in the looking thing. Because if you do it wrong it can be taken as being rude.
Ok let’s go over it so you know clearly what to do.
Almost close your eyes so your cheeks puff up a little but not too much. Then slowly turn your head a little but not too far as again this could be considered rude if you turn your head too far. While lowering your head, turn and point your chin down. This is all one movement.
Now having practiced this walk up to your chosen one and try it.
Your chosen one might be surprised when you do it the first few times. But if you have it just right your chosen one will do the same thing back to you.
But be warned if you do it too fast and turn your chin and lower your head too far you might have an upset chosen one on your hands.
The reason is if you turn your head too far and close your eyes too much it’s very rude and is like saying “you are nothing”. The reason it is considered rude is that with your eyes closed you can’t see us and turning your head too far makes that even worse. By not seeing us it is like we are not there and we are not a threat to you. So do it slowly don’t close your eyes all the way and don’t turn your head too far.
Now the second use of the almost closing your eyes and the head turn is when it is used as a thank you.
This is normally after making a fuss of us when lying down or when you have put fresh water or food in our bowls.
It may take a few tries to get it right and even a few more before we respond. The reason is that your chosen one will be surprised by how good your manners have become and they might be in a state of shock and disbelief that you are being so polite to them. But once they have seen you being polite then they will be just as polite back and you will find that you and your chosen one will get on better than you have done in the past. Which is all for the better for you and us chosen ones.
Now to the next one.
This is a head nod and a sniff of the air. No we are not sniffing the air to say how good it smells or how bad it smells. Well we might be if we are outside. But no. When we sniff the air and you are close this means that we can smell you and that you smell good and healthy. Now while I am on the topic of smelling good and healthy I want you to understand that we can smell when there is something wrong with you. Let’s say you have something wrong with your skin. Something dread and nasty like a cancer. We can smell it even before it becomes visible and if you listen to us normally it’s before it gets bad and can be taken care of by your human vets. So listen to us when we start sniffing you and if we seem to focus on your arm, leg, or hand it could be that something is wrong.
You see we want you healthy after all you do things for us and making sure you are healthy is important to us.
Also if we sniff you breathe and get a disgusted look on our face that means we might be smelling more than just bad breath. You human breath changes with your health and as we have a very good sense of smell we can smell the smallest of changes in your breath. So when there is a change we know. So please listen to us as we want to help keep you healthy.
Now back to the sniff and head nod. Not only do we use it to make sure you are healthy we also use it to as a way of making sure things are safe. Plus it looks good too. But being safe is important as there are things that are bigger than us that like to invite us to dinner as the main course, or smaller than us that if we get bitten by them can make us sick or even kill us and we don’t want that. Or there might be some strange person near by that might want to harm us or worse harm you and we can’t have that. And looking out for you is good manners.
So when we sniff and do the head nod there are a number of reasons why we do that and some is to do with manners as I just stated but others is about your health and well being.
Next is that gentle paw on your arm, hand, face or other body part.
The gentle paw touching you has many meanings and most of them are about manners. Such as “thank you” or “are you doing well” or “I am here for you” or “are you ok” or “Thank you for being so kind to me”. I could go on and on but you get the idea.
This one simple act has so many meanings. But you can tell which is which by looking at us and seeing what we do.
Now let’s say I hop up next to my human and I sit next to him and I reach out my paw and touch gentle I am saying “Thank you”. But if I am lying down and I reach out with the paw and just barely touch I am asking “are you ok”? Now let’s say I am sitting again and I reach out and touch with that paw again but my ears coming forward I am saying “I am here for you”. Now if I tilt my head while doing that it means “Are you doing well”?
You have to watch out body closely as we say just as much with our body as you do with your face.
In fact I could go into great detail about body language and write many, many pages just on that topic on its own. But typing hurts my paws as I have to use my claws because I don’t have long fingers like you humans do and I don’t have thumbs.
But body language is something that you need to watch as we can communicate so much better if you learn how to read what we are tell you from how we move or how we hold our tail on the way we move our head. But as I said I could write so much about that. But right now we are working on manners.
Ok now let’s look at the sounds we make when answering you.
You might have noticed that sometimes when you ask us something we will answer and make a sound but not always.
Let’s say you ask us “How are you today She who must be obeyed”. I might either cock my head to one side and look at you or I might say “mew” which means “fine” But don’t confuse “meW” with “mew” that sounds almost but not quiet the same. Listen and you will hear that they are in fact different. As stated “mew” means “fine” but “meW” means “what”. Yes I know they are spelt the same way but you have to listen as you can’t put tone into words. But I have tried by making the “W” or meW bigger so that you can see what you have to listen for.
Sometimes its easy for you to understand what we are saying. A loud “MEOW” and you know what I am saying. But a soft “meow”.
Now “phew” is a please. But “Phew” is a “no”. I am still talking about manners. Now if we put “Phew” and “mew” together as we do you get “Phewmew” which means? Come on you are smart? What does it mean? So?
It means “no fine” which translates to “no good” or “not good”. So if you ask us “How are you to day She who must be obeyed” and I answer “Phewmew” you know what I am saying. Now if I add in tilting my head to make the point you know that I am not good.
The whole thing about is that we keep them simple for you. The downside is that keeping them simple you sometimes don’t see them or think they are something that they are not. But once you start to understand that we are being polite and how we show good manners you will be able to fit in better with us and that benefits you as well as us.
I guess what I am doing is what you humans call race relations? But in this case its species relations.
It would be bad manners at this point to start talking about who is high on the evolutionary ladder beside we know who it is and there is nothing more to be said on that topic. So let’s get back to manners and let’s go over the very few ones that I have given you so that we know where we stand.
Ok now let’s see what you have learnt.
Let’s say you have been out all day and you have just walked in the door. I come walking up to you and my tail is straight up. Now what am I saying? Come on, think it though ,what am I saying. If you can’t remember go back to the start of my explanation on manners and read down until you get to my explanation.
Ok next one for you.
The same things again but this time my tail is hooked towards you and not standing totally straight up.
Again what am I saying? Good, you remembered this time? Or did you cheat and read down to where I explained it?
Now what am I saying when I half close my eyes and turn my head slightly away and lower my chin? Come on this time don’t go back and read it think about it first and maybe you will get it right?
Now the head nod and the sniff.
I am sitting on the window sill and I turn and look at you and I nod my head up and down and start to sniff the air.
What am I doing?
I don’t want the whole checking your health and making sure you are well. I just want the manner related part of what I am doing.
Ok now what if I am sniffing your arm or leg or face. Why am I doing that? And what will you do about it?
Lastly what am I saying when I place my paw gently on you?
Now if you add in the sounds and tones I make what am I telling you.
The tricky part about the sounds and tones is that it’s all inflection and the smallest of difference can make a huge difference in what I am saying or what you are saying to your chosen one.
What I suggest is that you start off with the basics that I have given you and use it as a step by step guide to help you live with your chosen one.
By starting at the top of what I have written, your chosen one will accept what you are trying to do and will help you learn our language.
That’s about it for the time being so off you go and try using what I have told you with your chosen one.
 ©Mark Crocker

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