Sunday, June 1, 2014

Editor's Corner

June 2014

"I write because it is my way to share my soul."...Paulo Coelho.

Month of endings, school, cool weather and month of beginnings, warm or hot weather, summer school, vacations, and the big one: weddings. Still the top choice for brides, June weighs heavily in expectation, not just for the blushing participant but for all the rushing participants (they hope) such as the planners, the caterers, the photographers, the chapels - and other prime venues - all vying for the decision maker's attention. That person may not always be the bride, but her mother or the groom's mother, or the groom himself. In fact that may be his only way of receiving any notice in this event which will most likely be life changing. (One hopes it changes for the better, else, why bother?)

Though many fail to celebrate, there is also Flag Day in the USA. Since much of the population doesn't discern the different purposes of Memorial Day (to honor those deceased individuals who fought and died defending our nation) and Veterans Day ( giving appreciation to and for service by veterans, living or not) why should Flag Day make a ripple in anyone's activities? Because the Flag represents each person in any state or principality of the United States of America, living and dead. The banner of freedom, freedoms unavailable in much of the world, the rallying principal for uniting our diverse personalities for a common cause: Freedom. Different sources exist detailing proper display of this precious standard as well as for maintaining, raising or lowering, and eventually ceremonial disposal thereof. The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), the American Legion, any branch of the military, the Federal Government, any state government, ROTC, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and all colleges and universities have such reference material. If you don't know about flag courtesy, you have no excuse for not educating yourself and your children.

So make of the month what works for you but do so responsibly and correctly and include time for the pleasure of reading Pencil Stubs. Remember, not only the current issue is accessible, but the archives contain a wealth of reading entertainment. Simply click the byline of an author you enjoy to browse their other compositions. Sixteen plus years and over 500 authors offer an intriguing variety.

The article "Yay! I'm Walking" by Meg Wolff, an amputee due to bone cancer many years ago, tells about her success with a new prosthesis. Incidentally, Meg is married to Tom, brother of Peg Jones who does the column "Angel Whispers." Peg shares angelic messages for this month that are good advice for any season.

The new column "Merlin Insights" comes to us from England, authored by Merlin, whose website is Many in the spiritual community are familiar with his work which seeks to enlighten and uplift his readers. Welcome! Mattie Lennon (Irish Eyes) reports on some of the events taking place at the Listowel Writer's Week in Dublin.

Michael John Fierro, "By The Numbers" is on vacation, but his column space gives the reader a chance to access his other columns. He will be back for the July issue. Judy Kroll aka Featherwing expresses her appreciation for all the benefits of a forest. She demonstrates by her life how gratitude aids us in staying "On Trek."

Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" advises that we keep in mind the cultural differences between the East and West, especially, as China’s influence expands, and our relationship with the nation grows in importance. John I. Blair's column "Always Looking - Focus on Flowers," does a show and tell of his personal hobby of Container Gardening.

Here is list of Blair's poetry this month: "In Love with Flowers," "Encounter with A Gecko," "At The Sea's Edge," "All The Lonely People," "Love Lost," and "This Way to The Egrets." Bruce Clifford shares "Open Road," and "I Don't Want You Around."

Bud Lemire's four poems are "Food Spoils," "Think Positive," "Corn on The Cob," and "Cam & Foz: Summer's End."

Bethany Davies submitted these: "True Beauty," "Wounded and Healed," "Our Love Like The Stars," and "Happily Ever After." Robert Beaty aka pbobby has had many family losses the last few years and his poem, "The Leaves" is a caring reflection.

Mark Crocker aka Rabbo will be sending an installment of his latest serialized tale about Lexi for July's issue, however you can check out the story so far by using the links under Stories in this issue. .
This brings us to a total of eight columns, 17 poems, and one victorious article for your reading pleasure. We are always grateful for our beloved webmaster Mike Craner without whom we would not be online. Thanks again, Mike.

It just keeps getting hotter in Texas, but look for us in July.

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.


Always Looking

Focus on Flowers

Here’s the first. Cleomes, Verbena bonariensis, and Shasta daisies in the center with a “mystery plant” on the left – I lost the tag.

Here’s #2. Verbena bonariensis on the left, Shasta daisies, red pentas, yellow achillea, and rudbeckia in the background. Oh, and there’s a single Echinacea behind the Shasta daisies. Between the verbena and Shastas you can see Texas betony blooms, much loved by hummingbirds.

Here’s #3. Penta, achillea, rudbeckia, candy lilies about to bloom, and cosmos. A little orange lantana at the bottom.

Here’s #4. A view back toward the house.

Here’s #5. Oriental milkweed for the monarch butterflies (and other butterflies).

Here’s #6 – a black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on a fennel plant. This guy is almost big enough to pupate now. I have several others, on the fennel and on some parsley. They would have been happy with dill too, but I don’t grow that.

Photo's by John Blair.
Editor's Note: Blair's enthusiasm about flowers is not only shown by the growing and photographing of them, but they also inspire his poetic nature. See "In Love with Flowers" in this issue.

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

Irish Eyes

The 43rd Listowel writers’ weeks was opened on Wednesday night by celebrated poet Paul Durcan. The man of many parts gave a brilliant performance. He took us on a literary tour of every town in north Kerry with his wonderful word-pictures. And gave a wonderful story of a Moyvane woman who saw her first Blackman in a hospital in Cork.

The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award was won by Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half Formed Thing. Playwright Bernard Farrell received the John B. Keane Lifetime achievement Award. This award is in memory of one of Ireland’s greatest literary figures and one of the founders of Listowel Writers’ Week. More prizes and entertainment galore. It was a late night.
    Thursday morning started with a walk “A Celebration of the Distinctive shop fronts of Listowel.” The tour guide Vincent Carmody is a great authority on Listowel. I have an interest in ornamental plasterwork and it was wonderful to have a leisurely look at the designs created in the 1800's and early 1900's by plasterwork craftsman Pat Mcaulliffe.
    It was followed by “Winners readings” in the Listowel Arms and at noon an Art Exhibition of the works of Edenderry man Willie Redmond. Since I couldn't be in two places at one time I missed the launch of John O Donnell’s book “On Water.” But I made it to Saint John’s Theatre at one o clock for Stefanie Preissner.
    I'm glad I didn't miss Stefanie Preissner's one woman show "Solpadieine is my Boyfriend" in Saint John's Theatre. This Cork woman is a genius. In fifty minutes, without a break, she took the audience through all the emotions known to man.
For those who prefer their poetry with nothing added and an early night, there was “Poetry Without Pints” a solid hour of poems and recitations in the shadow of historic Listowel Castle was the order of the day: an Open Mic session in the wonderful open air of Listowel MCD by Mayo man John McGrath at 3.30. John was also Master-of- Ceremonies on Friday night’s Poets Corner.
Friday started with a walk in the footsteps of the late John B Keane as local historian Vincent Carmody, once again, took us on The Sive Walk. It’s well-known that John B loved this particular walk and may be where he got much of his inspiration. We took in the sight, sound and smell of turf being harvested as The Sive Walk passed through wild bogland where turf cutting takes place.
“Sive” is one of John B. Keanes best known plays but many people outside Ireland may not be aware of the plot: The story is centered on a young eighteen year old girl called Sive who is illegitimate. She lives with her uncle Mike, his wife Mena, and Nanna who is Mike’s mother. A local matchmaker Thomasheen Sean Rua decides that Sive should marry an old man called Sean Dota. Sean is rich but old and haggard. Thomasheen convinces Mena to organize the marriage of Sive to Sean Dota. She and her husband will receive a sum of two hundred pounds as soon as Sive marries Sean Dota. Mike is originally unwilling to have Sive married to a man so much older than her, but Mena convinces him otherwise. Sive however is in love with a young man by the name of Liam Scuab. Liam however is not suitable as he is related to the man who got Sive's mother pregnant out of marriage, before going to work in England and drowning. Mike believes that Sive's father deliberately abandoned her mother upon discovering her pregnancy, refuses permission for Liam to marry Sive on account of his being related to her father.
    Sive is distraught but is forced to do the will of her uncle and his wife. Nanna does not approve and would prefer her to marry Liam. Two local tinkers by the name of Pats and his son Carthalawn connive together and decide to help her escape from Sean Dota and marry Liam. They plan to do this by giving a letter (written by Liam Scuab) to Nanna, who will then give it to Sive. The plot fails however as Thomasheen discovers the letter and destroys it. On the night before her marriage Sive disappears and shortly afterwards Liam finds her corpse in a bog hole. He carries the body in to the house announcing to Mena that she is responsible for her death. As Liam cries over the dead body Sean Dota and Thomasheen both leave the room. The play concludes with Pats and his son singing about a maiden who was drowned as she would not be a bride.
And another one of John. B's plays Moll is playing to packed houses in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. Whenever you see a John B. Keane play on your side of the Atlantic don't miss it.
God Has No Country is a one-man-show performed by Donal Courtney. It tells the story of Kerryman Monsignor Hugh O Flaherty in Rome during the second world war. At great show which played to a packed house at Saint John's Theatre.
Sean Lyons launched his book of comic poetry and John McGrath had an open-mic session outside in the blazing sunlight. A tribute to Seamus Heaney in Saint John's was followed by a fantastic concert by two of Ireland's greats John Sheahan and Eamon Keane.

And . . .John McGrath hosted another late night Poets' Corner in the Kingdom Bar.

Time or space won't allow me to give you a detailed of the many events on Saturday. I'll just mention two:
    An educational two and a half hour walk by the river Feale
    and a reading by the brilliant Billy Keane.
By the time you read this I will be at what, has for many years, highlight of my week: The Healing Session, a marathon open mic show in John B. Keane's on Sunday, which features the talent of Ireland and beyond. I will have to miss stand-up comic Paddy Regan in Saint John's which kicks off at one o clock.

Click on Mattie Lennone for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
Photo below is Mattie Lennon at Listowel Writer's Week.


By Thomas F. O'Neill 

 The clash between the Blue states and Red states are culturally evident in the U.S. along with the war between conservatism and liberalism. Other Nations around the globe view this dichotomy as a cultural issue in America.

Being a liberal, conservative, or a moderate reveals how you view yourself in society. In today's, political arena Democrats and Republicans also view themselves in fundamentally different ways.
I have also found that Westerners and Asians see themselves in fundamentally different ways as well.

I always understood that we Americans view ourselves as being individualistic, independent, and analytical, it’s due to our cultural history. The Asian cultures take a more holistic view of life, emphasizing interdependence and context which I find intriguing.

In my Cultural Diversity class at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School, in Suzhou, China. I conducted a word game where the students had to pair off a series of words to reveal their cultural views on their relationship with society.

For instance, if the words are train, bus, and tracks, an American with an individualistic/analytical mindset would pair train and bus, since they belong to the same category (modes of transportation). In contrast, a Chinese person from a holistic culture is more likely to pair train with tracks, since they share a functional relationship.

China’s history has greatly influenced their cultural perceptions and for thousands of years working the land led to their interdependence with nature. People of Asia, have a higher percentage of farmland devoted to rice paddies they think more holistically than your average American.

If you were to ask a Chinese person to draw a diagram of their social network they would draw a circle emphasizing their friends and acquaintances. In contrast, most Americans would put the emphases on themselves in relation to others due to our own cultural perceptions and assumptions.

Unconsciously, Americans stress the importance of the self and westerners will most likely self-inflate their importance more than those from Asian cultures. On the most part, people born in China won’t inflate their self-worth but on average people born in western cultures do.

For thousands of years growing rice was a labor-intensive crop in Asian countries, dependent upon a complex infrastructure of dikes and canals. This influenced or created a culture that recognizes human interdependence. Most Asians would also view the importance of society over their individual needs.

In contrast, our American history of the frontiersman, hunting, fishing, and growing simple crops has shaped our perception of independence and the rugged-individualistic mindset.

The relationship between people and land helped shape our cultural assumptions, which are then passed down from generation to generation. This is certainly true when it comes to the contrast between the western and eastern cultures.

Our western influence, however, is beginning to have an impact on China and their perceptions about the west. It’s mostly due to the popularity of American films and western music. I am witnessing that among my students and Chinese teenagers in general. They want to become like their counterparts in western countries.

Clearly, there are regions mostly in the large cities of China that have populations that share many basic assumptions with Westerners. Many others, though, are much closer in mindset to people in other rice-cultivating countries such as Japan and Korea.

It’s important to keep in mind the cultural differences between the East and West, especially, as China’s influence expands, and our relationship with the nation grows in importance.

China certainly understands the importance of gaining a clearer understanding of our American way of life and it is mostly due to our economic interdependence. China’s rising power and influence in the world makes gaining that understanding a necessity not just for China but for America’s economic wellbeing.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

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

By The Numbers

Michael John Fierro will return with his column in July.

List of Previous Column Subjects

By The Numbers:
MAY 2013 - Introducing New Column's Subject JUNE 2013 - Who Is He or She?...It's in Their Name
JULY 2013 - The Progression and Meaning of the Numbers
AUGUST 2013 - George Zimmerman: Who Is He? and AUGUST 2013 - Trayvon Martin: Victim, Aggressor
SEPTEMBER 2013 – A Universal 15/6 Month
SEPTEMBER 2013 - Future King of England
OCTOBER 2013 - October 2013 - A Universal 7 Month also in column, Life Path Lessons
DECEMBER, 2013 – A Universal 18/9 Month
JANUARY 2014-A Universal 7 Year
MARCH 2014 - The KARMIC Lessons
APRIL 2014 - THE FIRST VOWEL IN YOUR NAME - What it represents
MAY 2014 - HOUSE NUMBERS – The vibration of your home.
He is taking a well deserved Month off to vacation.

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

On Trek

We live surrounded by forest. Tall trees, short trees, old growth, new growth. Each one is truly magnificent. When we sit on our deck, we can hear the leaves falling. We are truly amazed by the different sounds the trees make in a breeze.

With a strong wind puffing thru the mountain, it sounds like the ocean waves. We get the best of both worlds here, the Forest and the Sound of the ocean.

The trees protect the animals that make it their home. There is lots of shade and cool natural air conditioning in the summer. In the winter, the majestic beauties put on their white caps in the snow fall and wear them proudly offering insulation and beauty to the onlookers.

We are blessed to live in such a peaceful, magical love filled environment of Forest.

I believe Forest means...For rest. It is such a comfort to come home from a trip in the city, big or small city, to see the open arms of each tree reach out to us. Inviting us in for rest.

What a comfort trees can be. They consume us with such a healing presence, comforting us always with their hospitable environment. Plant a tree to help their united voices of love spread throughout the universe.

Each leaf is a miracle of new growth, new beginnings, and new life. Hug a tree and thank them.

Thank You, Forest, for inviting us into your home....
Judith Aka, Featherwind

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

Merlin Insights

The inner voice within you will never encourage you to believe you are to shoulder the blame for who you find yourself to be day by day. It will show you instead, by living example of your blamelessness.

However, you find yourself fearful to look within, fearful that what you choose to believe and to see of yourself as true is borne out by the message you hold deep within. What if you looked within and saw no blame? 

This fearful question is one the ego never asks of you, proclaiming instead that within, where exists only your peace, your eyes will alight only on sin and failure. 

    What if you looked within and saw no failure?
    What if you looked within and saw only peace and love?
    What if you saw that the blame you shoulder so readily, for all that you perceive as failure within your life, is itself an illusion, that your self loathing is based on all that cannot be true?
    What if you looked within and not only saw your own love and peace, but all the reasons that the many who truly love you see to justify the love they feel for you?
Those who have already done so have detached themselves from the belief that their identity lies within what the ego portrays as their reality and have instead accepted all that they had hitherto seen as their failings are indeed their strengths. Only love makes this possible, your love. 

It is my wish for you now, that you see only that love for yourself and accept it and embrace it as your truth.

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


Angel Whispers




By Peg Jones

The message from the Universe for the month of June 2014
The weather for you, is finally beginning to settle down somewhat. The weather is getting warmer for those in the north in the USA, after a long winter experience, for all who were living there.  

We have a message for all for this new month coming up, June, 2014. So many milestones for each of you, graduations, weddings, changes due to moving, or changing job. Each of you making changes or watching changes of others around you.

 Of course, besides the changes and transitions in their lives, and those in your life, there are many changes on the world platform too. There are more people waking up and seeing how spirituality plays in their lives. And there are changes in the awareness of people, on the financial front of national, worldwide and also personal levels. 

There has been more awareness of the food we eat, of what we put into our bodies. We are finding that we are becoming more aware in wanting to eat more organic meat, fruits, and vegetables. You are seeing how a lot of what you eat is not for your higher good, as you are keeping track of what you are eating and drinking. 

 There is more awareness of finding out the truth of who and what we are. What our actual origins are comprised of. And are we who we think we are? Man is waking up to finding the TRUTH of all aspects of what a human being truly is. Many are waking up the fact that we are not only human beings, we are spiritual beings in every way too. We are waking up to the fact that we are capable of so much more than what we have told in the past and what we can do to develop further on our path. We are finding out, that there are different ways we can communicate with spirit, our guides, angels, loved ones, animal totems, and the elementals. 
We are finding that we can pick who and when we want to communicate through one these channels, or several at the same time. 

 We are finding the Universe is very kind and that it provides us what we truly need. The quote that comes to me at this time: “God never gives us any more than we can handle.” 

 We are learning the concept of being grateful for all that we have in our lives on the earth plane. That when we thank the universe for all that we have, that more is given to us, when we are truly grateful and when we start to do the footwork for what we want to have help with from our guides or our angels. Also we are finding that when we live with positive intent that our hopes, dreams, and wishes truly will be manifested for us. The best part of our new awareness, is that if we think it, it can happen for us. For we are co-creators in every way possible. Love is at the heart of this new awareness, and when we spread this love, the universe is very happy about that. 

The universe then truly wants us to succeed, in what we came to earth for, and to live our life purpose, with hope and the confidence that all things are possible, when we have positive intent. I hear constantly, don’t forget, no matter what, we can do anything we want to do.

The final point I want discuss is, know that, the universe loves, no matter what. And that we are worthy of this love and ability, to help us to succeed in our new corner of the journey of love. The angels remind us how precious we are and how the universe is behind us in every way. Don’t ever doubt our love dear child. Thank you and have a wonderful day, today. 

 Listen to Peg on Paramania show 4th Wednesdays. Peg is on "Angelical whispers," her own page. Guests will soon be announced on the show schedule.

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

At The Sea's Edge

All my years I’ve played
Along an inner shore.

A few pebbles, some scattered shells,
A distant headland.

I’ve thrown a stone into the deep
And watched the ripples spread.

Beachcombing in this lonely place,
I survey the dim horizon, full of fears,

and suspect that something’s wrong,
But I’m glad I’ve stayed.

©2004 John I. Blair

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

Food Spoils

If you're eating some food that doesn't taste right
Don't you even think of taking another bite
If it's kept for too long, it may have gone bad
Nothing lasts forever, which is kind of sad

 The food spoils after awhile
If eaten, causes some poisonous bile
Did someone give you this food to eat?
How will you know how long it's been in the heat

If the first bite doesn't taste right, use common sense
Don't eat any more, don't be so dense
Watching what you is the healthy thing to do
Use caution when food is given to you

Also remember there's an expiration date you can see
It's there for a reason, it's there for you and me
When unsure of the food you are eating
Then it's better if you were retreating

Be careful of all foods you consume
It could be as bad as a poisonous mushroom
How long to keep food is a fact you should know
And knowing when it's time to let those foods go

Don't you even think of taking another bite
If you're eating some food that doesn't taste right
©May 17, 2014 Bud Lemire
Remember it's your body, and use common sense.
You were given your senses so you would know.
Be very careful of what you put into your body.
If it's outdated or gone stale, it can do some really bad damage to your insides.
Learn the facts of how to store food, and when to throw it away.
Your life is important. Proceed with caution.

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

This Way to The Egrets

This morning on my way to gym
I saw an egret in a ditch
Beside the railroad track.

I’ve seen them there before –
The ditch backs up with water
After every shower

And fosters crawdads,
Tadpoles, bugs
And more such egret fodder.

But this bird, glowing
In the morning sun,
Seemed special,

So special that the image
Lingers in my mind.
I pray each day

For beauty of like kind
To find my life; this time
My prayer was heard.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

Open Road

The road is open
The sky is closed
The days are shifted
The moon glows

The words are saved
The battles are won and lost
The roll of the waves
The panic and the cost

We are here to limit ourselves
We are beings born into this hell
We are the masters of our own restraints
We are the shadows of the those promises we made

The open path
The jar is torn
The nights are shifted
The roses thorn

The happy ever after
The panic within
The limits of standards
The will to win

©5/1/14 Bruce Clifford

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

All The Lonely People

Just in the past six months
Of the aged group I name as friends
Five have gone

, A loss of nearly one per month;
And five others have been left
Widower or widowed, all alone,

Dazed and stumbling
Into a world
We were not ready for.

We talk among ourselves,
Sharing sorrows, solacing,
Seeking company in lieu

Of sitting in the emptiness
We now inhabit,
Pregnant with absence.

We invent and reinvent
In many ways, joining, going,
Groping toward the new;

Knowing as we do these things
That nothing can replace
The missing face, voice, touch;

Determined nonetheless
That life goes on,
That our lives go on.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

True Beauty

I am beautiful
But not the beautiful that society defines
My hair is not perfectly straight or wonderfully curly
My eyes are not the color of a never-ending ocean
My smile is not snow white or straight
My lips are not full and red
My laugh is not always quiet
Nor are my thoughts
I do not walk with the grace of a ballerina
But I am beautiful
Beyond the limits of society
Like a sunrise
Small at first
But then bursting forth with color
Like an eclipse
Disappearing and showing
Like wind blown hair
And soft touches
Like a mosaic of broken pieces
When first looked at, not all spectacular
But when put together
A wonderful masterpiece of creation
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Beauty is in the eye of my Maker
My awe-inspiring Savior
I am beautiful like no other
Because there is not another like me
Uniquely designed for a purpose
And that is true beauty
©05/21/2014 Bethany Davies

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

Encounter with A Gecko

When I touched the inside
Of the door to my attached garage
And felt your tiny tensioned form
Spread-eagle on the wood,
I marveled at you being there,
Regardless of the lazy cats,
My bumbling feet and hands,
Courageous, all outrageous
In the dark as geckos are,
Creeping, leaping, ever seeking
Microscopic prey.

Not wanting you to come to harm
I gently scooped
Your musculated body
Into my timid palm,
Intent on quick removal
For improval of your lot.
But you fled my fumbling fingers,
And just before you disappeared,
I clearly heard you say
“Hey, I know what I am doing;
Do you? So go away!”

©2004 John I. Blair

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

Wounded and Healed

I am not your first love
Nor are you mine
We have both been wounded
More like scar tissue than skin
Like a bright star
Our love came
Unnoticed at first
Then brighter
Until it became a supernova
How do we heal?
I kiss your worries away
Our touch, our words
Like bandages to broken promises
I am not afraid of your scars
Nor are you of mine
I will write for you til the end of days
Still, I could never come close to description
You are cracked perfection
Shattered glass stitched together with gold
More beautiful than you know
Whether you shine like a million stars
Or lay broken and collapsed in my lap
I will love you at your best
At your worst

©May 1, 2014 Bethany Davies

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

Corn On The Cob

I love to eat corn on the cob
Even though I dribble like a slob
Running down my hands and face
I nibble the corn at my own pace

 There's many ways to cook it, some don't cook it long
But the way that you do it, is right for you, not wrong
Some even add sugar, to make it sweet
I even heard milk was added to make it complete

Lots of butter and a little salt added too
As long as the corn tastes just right for you
Peel the corn and look at that ear
Feeling kind of corny and no corn is near

I had some recently, and it tasted great
When it comes to corn on the cob, three I recently ate
When the sun goes down, I eat popcorn at night
So I can be even cornier, before it is daylight

So butter up some corn on the cob
Don't worry if it dribbles and you feel like a slob
Enjoy the taste that you've come to know
Look at all those kernels so neatly in a row
©May 22, 2014 Bud Lemire
Butter up some corn on the cob and enjoy!

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

Love Lost

Love lost leaves
A sweet ache in my soul –

An ache because
I’ll never touch that face again;

Sweet because
I’ve known that touch.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

In Love with Flowers

Why am I so in love
With flowers and gardens?
Easy answers won’t do:

Sweet smells, bright
Hues, soft shapes –
This goes beyond.

Something in a garden
Bonds my soul again,
Moves me near to ecstasy,

Reminds me that my tissue,
The stuff of which I’m formed,
Is not that far from garden stuff,

Not that far from stamens,
Anthers, petals, stems, roots.
Oh I’m made of stars too;

But flowers are closer,
Flowers and leaves and seeds.
I need them as communion every day.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

Our Love Like the Stars

Our love like the stars
Two people colliding
Your force drew me in
Our eyes met and we said our hello's
My walls broken by your fingertips

Our bond, might have been
An oddity of probability but
We fell together, like
A collage of love and brokeness

When death comes to take us
The weight of our love
Will swell and shrink
Cave in to a collapse

One final embrace will be like a star exploding
The remnants of old age and past memories
Will float, giving light to everything around
For miles

Our love, like the stars
Will never truly die.

©05/21/2014 Bethany Davies

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

Happily Ever After

Fairy tales and Happily Ever Afters
Growing up we hear the words
"Happily Ever After"

Like fairy tales and princesses
The white knight will sweep us off our feet
We'll ride into the sunset never looking back
It will be perfection

No fights, no tears, no worries
Just carefree, radiant, delight
But it was all a lie

A story told to keep us in chains
Chains that bound and wrapped
Squeezing until we thought of nothing else

The real knight isn't a knight at all
He's the one you wouldn't have looked twice at
Before your fairytale was shattered

He's the one who sees your brokenness
But still reaches in to hold you
The sadness and despair do not matter

For he sees you for all your worth
You push away
Surely your white knight doesn't act like this

All the knights before have beaten you down
That was your normalcy
This new man isn't normal

He's remarkably unique
Almost scary and not like the others
A gentleman

Such a strange word
You say
"I could get used to this"

A true connection
A relationship
A partnership

With fights, and tears, and worries
But also laughs, and jokes, and smiles
Maybe not "happily ever after"
Perhaps something better

©May 2014 Bethany Davies

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

The Leaves

In the autumn of '85 I perceived my Father's essence yellowing
      Just as all my past gardens have withered in frosts of the fall.
Mother's acuity was no longer present as in her years of bellowing;
      Her responses to my callings maundered or returned not at all.

Mama was in a world of her own, while Daddy was longing to leave his.
      The gleaming in his soul's windows, no longer brightly shone
With his love that moved us to envision the wonder of life just as it is.
      His eyes were soon to close on this world at four score years and one.

It took Mama only three moons to grasp that Daddy was really gone,
      And only thirty-six hours hence, to will her wretched life's end.
Enough! Enough! My heart cried, as only months later Ray was done.
      My son had decided, in tumultuous times, that Life was not his friend.

Death was not to visit our tribe for nigh unto seven recovering years,
      Only to harvest from my Angi, her Mother and two Grandparents.
Then that dreaded harbinger came for my Betsy to again prime our tears,
      No respite came as Grandson, J.R, fell from bullets rained in torrents.

My Shelby Jo lies paralyzed in Colonial Manor Nursing Home,
      A victim of Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy that blasts her brain.
She is nearly fifty, and can use only her mouth and one arm to roam;
      Yet, she makes myriad foam rubber works of art that make eyes rain.

This Mother’s son’ Michael, was found hanged in Burleson Park on
      Labor Day weekend of 2005, deep in the woods from a high branch.
I had talked with him four days earlier and promised a visit near dawn.
      His fellow workers in Fort Worth told me he was happy on the ranch.

My Big Brother’s Love was struck with a stroke robbed us of her laughter.
      And Jack each day had to travel to the home for the care she now needed.
Many days, weeks, months, moons and years later, both moved to the hereafter.
      Then came our 2007 cancer Hell, when our Nonny to Heaven proceeded.

Out in Phoenix we played and competed in cribbage, my last brother and I.
      Ronny’s life was so limited by the hose attached with oxygen to breathe
Too many times it was not enough to keep him upright much less let him fly.
      So now, I am what’s left of the brothers five which at 80 I must believe.

It now has been winter for too many years;
      The leaves from our living tree keep falling;
Others are beleaguered, portending fresh pools of tears.
      Soon! Very soon! For spring, our hearts keep calling.

©Spring of 1995/Revised in the Fall of 2007 and Winter of 2014 Robert R. Beaty

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

Think Positive

Every day think positive
Each moment that you live
Don't let negative be your friend
Let all those dark thoughts end

 Don't look down, look up high
See the beauty seen in the sky
See the birds as they fly and sing
Don't stop believing in everything

Have a dream, make it real
Know it's true, everything you feel
Don't stop reaching for what you desire
Remember you're the one you should admire

Think of yourself as number one
Always deserving of some fun
You are worthy of what comes your way
All great things from day to day

Depressing thoughts can bring you down
And it's no fun to wear a frown
With each moment that you live
Try your best to Think Positive
©May 19, 2014 Bud Lemire
Life can bring on depressing thoughts.
Stress and so much more enters our lives.
Ease back, let it pass over and by you.
Thinking positive helps.
The depression is put in your mind,
and can be changed into something good.
In fact something truly wonderful.
I believe you can change it into something that is much better and greater for you.
With just a thought change, it can become positive.
I believe in you. Believe in yourself.

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

I Don't Want You Around

All I thought about you was a lie
This vision hit me just in time
You’re no easy friend to ever want to keep around
Why don’t you get out of my face and move to some far away town
I don’t want you around

All you described to me was false
In time nothing was real at such a cost
You’re too cynical  to want to have around
Why don’t you pack up your lies and fly off to another town
I don’t want you around

I don’t want you around here
I don’t want you to be near
I’ve had enough of your selfish ways
I don’t want you around

All this time you were just a lie
The moments shared were a disguise
You’re too much work for me to want to keep you around 
Why don’t you just walk away and cut your losses in this town
I don’t want you around

©5/16/14: Bruce Clifford

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Cam & Foz: Summer's End

It was a warm and sunny day
“What To Do?” were the thoughts of Camray
He could ride his bicycle down to the park
But knew he'd have to be home before dark
All the children thought there was something different about Camray
Yet they couldn't really say, in exactly which way
He knew what it was, but thought everyone was the same
When they really weren't, he thought they were playing a game

He knew exactly what he heard
He listened closely and it was a bird
A Yellow Warbler spoke to him from a little tree
At first he looked around but that's all he could see

“Hey you, what are you doing looking at me?”
The little yellow bird looked at Camray from the tree
“I was just thinking how beautiful your wings are” said Camray
The little yellow bird jumped closer since everything was okay

“I take good care of them, the yellow is in my family”
“And compared to others, we're smaller as you can see”
Camray did notice that, and smiled at the bird
As he glanced around, thinking of his next word

“Tell me yellow bird, do you have a name?”
“Yes,” the Warbler replied, “in your language it's not the same”
“It's Fozerello, but you can just call me Foz”
“It's the name I answer to, only becoz”

“My name is Camray, will you be my friend?”
Foz replied “Yes, I'd like that” as he let a branch bend
“Camray, how do you know the language of the bird?”
“Well, Foz, ever since I could talk, I understood what I heard”

“There's something, that I will tell to you”
“I had a dream, which just might be a clue”
“I found myself flying, high up in the skies”
“With every kind of bird imagined, they were every size”
“I wasn't afraid being up so high, my wings helped me to soar”
“When I awakened from my dream, my wings were no more”
“I cried at first, because I had no wings”
“But then I understood each song that the bird sings”

“There's something, Camray, special about you”
“I felt drawn to you, and I somehow knew
“Mostly those without wings, don't understand what we say”
“Yet your silent stride, told me that this would be a different day”
“I'm a seasonal friend, Camray, when it's cold I fly away”
“South, to where my feathered friends all stay”

“I wish I could fly with you, Foz, but I have no wings”
“I stay here in the Winter, to see what the season brings”
“I'll think of a sunny day, and you perched in a tree”
“And know on this special day, you became a friend to me”

“And you Camray, have touched my heart with joy”
“I'll think about you happily, a special wingless boy”
“Foz, may your journey be a good one, dear friend”
As they parted, the summer came to an end
©May 13, 2014 Bud Lemire
Although the summer came to an end, this was the beginning of a very special friendship that would last many seasons. It would change how he saw things, and how birds saw humans as well. 
It was a barrier that opened up the communication between humans and birds. 
An understanding. A new world.

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

Links for Lexi

Where is My Lexi Chapter?

Editor's Note:

Mark Crocker is currently working 12 hour shifts and has not been able to complete the next chapter of "Lexi" for publication.

 He feels certain it will be ready for the july issue. Meanwhile you can catch up with the story so far by clicking his byline and reading the links that open at the bottom of his bio for the following:
NOVEMBER 2013 "Lexi" My Birth and Early Days

DECEMBER 2013 "Lexi - Chapter 2 That white cold nasty stuff

MARCH 2014 "Lexi - Chapter 3 Playtime

MAY 2014 "Lexi - Chapter 4 Manners

The real Lexi; pic by her human

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

Yay! I'm Walking!

Guest Article by Meg Wolff, excerpt from this inspiring lady's newsletter, making a personally rewarding announcement, sharing a victory!
Welcome, Hi Everyone,

I usually write about food (and I have another email coming with a great recipe) but I'd like to update you about what I've been doing, because I haven't written any newsletters all winter. More than a few people emailed me to ask if I am OK. I am OK, and I'm experiencing freedom I haven't known in years!

As many of you know I'm an above-knee amputee from having bone cancer 24 years ago. Over the last five years or more, because of failed revision surgeries, and then having a hard time getting a prosthesis to fit well, I've had to use crutches even with my prosthetic leg on to get around because of pain. It takes a lot more time and energy on crutches. I've adapted by limiting what I do.

This winter I took off from all that I've been doing with the counseling people with macrobiotics and writing and I went down to Florida so that I could work with Bill Copeland, of Copeland Prosthetics & Research, in Tampa. Within a week in Tampa, I was back to
It's a miracle! This is only because of Bill Copeland (THE miracle worker prosthetist) who was willing to take the time that it takes, listen to me and be open to my feedback (this is so important) and to consider my unique needs.

Today we hear so so much hype about the advances made in prosthetics, but most two-legged people don't realize that most of the advances are in the prosthetic feet and knees, which are wonderful. But, most above-the-knee amputees know that the the crucial part is in the socket fit, which is top the part that our amputated leg fits into. Not a lot of advances have been made with sockets & fit, and it really takes an expert artisan to take a cast of the limb, make a socket and then work on it until it's actually comfortable to walk on. Also many times amputees need make other slight (or major changes) if the fit changes because sometimes that happens with increased activity.

Many above-knee-amputees never experience this joy of walking comfortably. For many people the leg is made, paid for, and then it never fits properly. Sometime amputees are even told that it is their fault that it doesn't fit. So, I consider myself very lucky and will never take this for granted.

My husband Tom always says that I make things look easy and that not many people realize that it isn't always easy. We'll, now it's easier. I realized today that when I went out in the car to go get groceries, I didn't bring my crutches "just in case," I was able to go into the grocery store and get what I needed without crutches and pain. It gives me so much freedom!

I'm sitting comfortably, too. I used to have to take my prosthetic leg off if I drove anywhere over two hours because it was uncomfortable. I'd put the leg in my back seat (yes, crazy, but necessary!) and then I'd stop at a gas station and put it on just as I got to my final destination. Or, worse yet, I'd have to go on crutches and one leg if I traveled by plane and store my leg (in a bag, yikes!) in the overhead bin, and my husband would have to come with me to carry the leg. A lot of time and energy spent because of an ill fitting prosthesis. Needless to say, it curtailed my travel.

This winter after Florida I went to Switzerland and I sat on the plane comfortably with my two legs, there and back on 7 and 9 hour flights. This is new found freedom. I wish all above-knee amputees could experience this, to be comfortable sitting, standing and walking.

Thank you, Bill Copeland. This is only because of you!

If anyone has a friend, family member or co-worker that is an above-knee-amputee please forward this to them. You may change their life for the better, too!
Thank you & best wishes, Meg
More about Bill and his work in prosthetics for people and for animals can be seen on his facebook page
Click on Meg Wolff  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online. Photo below is Meg and Bill at his headquarters.