Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Editor's Corner

October 2014

“The best creative inspiration is something that's commonly become known as 'the deadline.' This necessary intimidation is sponsored by the powers that be, prompted by their insatiable urge to get things done on time. Like it or not, you've got one -- and resistance is futile."...Unknown.

Summer is gone, People. Cooler temps, wetter weather, higher caloric cooking - hey, come onnnn, Winter! Could do without the dangerous fires and flooding and the accidents and damage they cause, but if you want to watch something dramatic, tune into the weather channels.

Mattie Lennon, (Irish Eyes) gets a ride in one of the new Ecars and gives the lowdown on what to expect as the courts and lawyers get into the act. Thomas F. O'Neill (Introspective) writing from Suzhou, China, discusses Space exploration and the seeming contest between USA and China.

Judith Kroll aka Featherwing does an essay on Trees in her column, "On Trek." Peg Jones (Angel Whispers) brings an explanation of Michaelmas Day and some messages from the arch angels whose day it is. (September 30.) "Merlin's Insights" by Merlin whose discussions are usually totally about love, addresses hate. Yes, hate.  But see for yourself.

John I. Blair's column "Always Looking - People Who Made A Difference XXII introduces the composer - performer Malvina Reynolds. You may know some of her songs. Blair also brings us four poems: "Making A New Garden," "Dreams of You," "This Heart," and "Keratosis Neurosis."

Bruce Clifford sings his submissions "Nothing Seems Right Anymore" and "It's Taking Too Long." Bud Lemire, whose hobby is photography sends "Success of The Soul," with a pic of his camera and himself. He also submitted "The Shadow of the Butterfly."

Phillip Hennessy aka Philipo has six poems this month: "If Only I Had Said," "Prayer - You're in My Heart," "Your Demons Stick with You," "Love is...," "Absolutely Nothing," and "MindWalk." Your editor is unable to choose a favorite among these.

Melinda (Carroll) Cohenour, sister of your editor and family genealogist, writes enthusiastically about following genealogy. Her article is about how surprising it can be to follow family connections through the activities they were in during their lives.

Thank you again, Mike Craner! You are always appreciated and often prayed for.

Look for the November issue of Pencil Stubs Online. Compositions are accepted throughout the period from publication through October 26th.

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.

Merlin Insights

   Be not afraid to look upon hate within you, for without it you could have no understanding of the meaning of your love. Without the understanding of hate, love can only be meaningless. Your relationship with love, within which the meaning of all love is hidden, is given to you to offset the hate that you may see.

This understanding, and your relationship with the Universe that you are part of, will rise before you as your understanding grows. For not to see and acknowledge the hate within, you cannot negate its effect upon you, it merely drives it underground and out of your sight.

   It is essential that you bring it into sight and acknowledge it and so give love its true meaning for you. Until you do, love can have no meaning and therefore your hate will remain unhealed.

   We all have the capacity to hate. But by denying that capacity we are creating an illusion. True love is no illusion and until we can acknowledge our capacity to see hate, we render its opposite, similarly, an illusion. Until we can see ourselves in our entirety we cannot see beyond that illusion and see the True Love that we are all part of.

   In this context love can only be but an illusion and if that illusion is removed, your relationship with true love must also be removed. Any relationship based upon an illusion is no relationship at all and must become unsatisfying on the grounds of disillusionment..

   Love is not an illusion. It is a fact. Where disillusionment is possible you can find no peace and where peace can be found, there can be no illusion.

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

Clay County, Missouri – A Strange Confluence of Historical Elements

Or, Abraham Creek, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War

   Genealogical research never ceases to provide a glimpse into the past and the quixotic nature of chance. Researching my pioneering families in Clay County, Missouri, provided just such an intriguing look at how fate, nature, luck, choice may result in unexpected alliances and unfortunate severing of those same relationships.

   To begin our look at the forces at work in this little tale, I must first permit you to explore with me the establishment of this northwestern corner of Missouri. French trappers first settled, temporarily, in this area of the state about 1800 on Randolph Bluff. This part of Missouri is perhaps one of the most desirable land masses in the United States, lush with forested land, originally comprised of oak, hickory, ash, walnut, hackberry and cottonwood trees replete with waterways made up of creeks and tributaries deriving from the Missouri River. Clay County fronts nearly fifty miles of this grand river, providing more than adequate water and fertile river bottom soil for farming. Early in its history, Clay County’s water aquifers could be attained by merely sinking a well to some thirty feet. The land is typically rolling meadows, interrupted here and there by precipitous and rocky bluffs. The weather is, for the most part, fully affected by all four seasons of the year: cool, breezy Springs, warm and rainy Summers, gloriously painted in the Fall with the many hues afforded by its rich forests, and Winters that bring necessary snow in most years to kill off undesired pests and provide additional melt to enrich the essential life-flow of water.

   The first permanent settlers built their cabins and broke ground for their farms in the year of 1819. Its official organizational documents are dated 2 January 1822. Named in honor of United States Representative Henry Clay of Kentucky who also served as a member of the United States Senate and, ultimately, as United States Secretary of State. The majority of pioneers in Clay County came from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, states deeply entrenched in the practice of slaveholding and many of those pioneers brought their slaves and traditions with them.

   The first orders of business in creating a new county includes the establishment of a manner in which it may be governed and its citizens protected, taxed and afforded a proper infrastructure for the conduct of personal and commercial business. Thus, early in 1822 a county court was established with appropriate judicial, clerical and policing appointments made. This brings us to the entry of our first element of fate, the appointment of Mr. David Todd as judge to the First Circuit Court in Clay County.

   To quote from History of Clay and Platte Counties, Missouri, “Judge David Todd was born in Fayette county, Ky., in 1790. He came to Missouri at an early day and located at Old Franklin, Howard county. He was well known and long remembered as an able and upright judge and a pure man. Judge Todd died at Columbia, Boone county, in 1859.”

   One anecdotal story concerning Judge Todd’s administration of his duties in this History has to do with the last recorded “affront” to the citizens of Clay County by native Indians. In May of 1823 a “roving band of Iowa Indians” on their way to the Grand River country took a liking to some horses “owned by Ezekiel Huffman and other citizens” and drove them along with them to the encampment on Grand River, “just above where Brunswick now stands.”

   Judge Todd issued a warrant directing the sheriff of Chariton county, where information from the chiefs of the tribe determined the culprits to be then located, to arrest the three horse thieves. The names of the Indians were: “given as O'ha-pa-bar-lar, or Buffalo Nose; Mon-to-kar, or White Briar, and T on-tar-ru-r/cue-clze, or Where he is Crossing. Subpoenas were also issued for War-sen-nee, or The End of Medicine; War-hu-kea, or Moccasin Awl; Monk-she-Icon-nah, a Valiant Man, Won-chee-mon-nee, “chiefs of the said Ioway nation of Indians.”

   As luck would have it, the Indians were apprehended, handed over to Judge Todd for arraignment at Fayette on the 5th of July. Brought again before Judge Todd on the 7th of July, they were remanded to the custody of the Clay County sheriff to await trial. Unfortunately, the 'slippery devils' managed to escape on the 8th of July, and although not again apprehended the stolen horses were recovered and returned to their rightful owners.

   An interesting anecdote, but not the central focus of this little story about the assimilation of bodies corporeal that have, by their familial relationships, the ingredients for the old adage: “history makes for strange bedfellows.”

   From the History of Clay County, Missouri (Author: William H. Woodson, published by Historical Publishing Company, Topeka - Indianapolis, 1920.) we find:

   “The first circuit court was held in Clay County at the house of John Owens, in Liberty, March 4, 1822. David Todd, an uncle of the wife of Abraham Lincoln, who was Mary Todd, was judge; William L. Smith, clerk; Hamilton R. Gamble, circuit attorney, and John Harris, sheriff.”

   And later:

   “John Harris was a lineal descendant of Mary Jefferson, sister of Thomas Jefferson; Mary Jefferson married Col. John Turpin and her daughter, Obedience, married Col. John Harris.”

   Now, enters my 4th Great Grandfather Abraham Creek, son of a German architect and brick mason, Killian Creek (original Guilliam Grieg, with the Germanic name anglicized) whose fame includes both Killian Kreek’s Mill, built in Barren County, Kentucky in 1799 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first Gibson County (Indiana) courthouse built in Princeton, Indiana in 1815. Abraham Creek was one of the earliest pioneers in Clay County, Missouri, whose name appears a couple of times in conjunct with both David Todd (as aforesaid, Mary Todd Lincoln’s uncle) where he served as one of the twelve jurors in the earliest court case in the county:

   “The next term of the circuit court was in July following (1823), and only one jury trial, that of the State vs. Jonathan Camron, who had been indicted for affray. A jury of twelve good and true men were selected to try the defendant; they were Abijah Means, Richard Chaney, Abraham Creek, John Bartleson, James Gladden, Francis T. Slaughter, Enos Vaughn, Andrew Copelin, John Carrell, Matthew Averett, Eppa Tillery and Samuel Magill, who after hearing the evidence, instructions of the court, and arguments of counsel, retired, but soon returned with a verdict, “We, the jury, find the defendant not guilty”. (Also from the History of Clay County, Missouri, by Woodson.)

   …and later we find that Abraham Creek was a neighbor to another Abraham,

   “Court Proceedings in 1826. In May the first steps were taken to build a court house; Wm. Averett was allowed $30 per year for the support of his insane son; and Abraham Lincoln (uncle of the "martyr President"), Reuben Tillery and Abraham Creek were appointed reviewers of a road from Liberty to Estes' mill, on Fishing river.

   Abraham Creek was the father of Jacob Haudenscheldt (or Howdeshell) Creek who married Virginia Lee Younger, the daughter of Colonel Charles Lee Younger and sister to Henry Washington Younger. Henry Washington Younger was a businessman with varied commercial enterprises: a mercantile business, a livery stable and extensive farmlands worked by family slaves. His grandfather, Joshua Logan Younger, was with George Washington during the exhaustive ordeal at Valley Forge and later critically wounded serving under Washington at the Battle of Brandywine. His grandmother was related to the famous Lee family of Virginia, reputed by many to be the daughter of Richard Henry Lee and Anne Aydelott. (She was not named in the Will of Richard Henry Lee, as she predeceased him by some seven years, a fact that causes some members of the Lee family to dispute her heritage.) But, more germane to this article, Henry Washington Younger was the father of Thomas Coleman, James Hardin, John Harrison and Robert Ewing Younger, better known as Cole, Jim, John and Bob Younger or, simply, as the Younger Gang. Henry Washington Younger’s slaughter at the hands of a Union thug, Capt. Irvin Walley and his gang of unscrupulous “soldiers” was the impetus that drove Cole Younger to determine it necessary to join sides in the Civil War.

   Most know of the history of the Younger Gang both during the War as Cole rode with William Clarke Quantrill along with Creek cousins, a couple of brothers-in-law and various friends including Frank and Jesse James and afterwards as the former “bushwhackers” became “civilly disobedient” in their outrage against the scourge of carpetbaggers that swarmed the South following the end of the War.

   Thus, the relatives of Abraham Creek, Abraham Lincoln (the uncle to Honest Abe), and David Todd (uncle to Mary Todd Lincoln) would find themselves embroiled in the bloodiest war in the history of the United States with much of the action centering in and around Clay County, Missouri. The juxtaposition of friendly neighbors, busy at work doing what must be done to establish a thriving community became a hotbed of hatred, revenge, and outrage that mystifies us even today.

   A quirk of fate, a chance encounter….

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Always Looking – People Who Made a Difference XXII

Meet Malvina Reynolds

   Malvina Reynolds (1900-1978) was an American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist, best known for writing songs like “Little Boxes,” “What Have They Done to the Rain,” and “Magic Penny.” Often recorded by other artists (such as Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Pete Seeger), her songs were very famous during the 60s and 70s of the past century.

   Born Malvina Milder in San Francisco to Jewish immigrant parents, Reynolds was raised a socialist and atheist, and married William Reynolds, a carpenter and socialist organizer. She earned a BA and MA in English, and later a doctorate, from UC Berkeley.

   Jobs were scarce during the Depression, even for women with PhDs. Reynolds wrote a column for the People’s World and eventually took a job on a bomb factory assembly line during WW II while her husband worked as a carpenter in a shipyard.

   She began her songwriting career in the late 1940s after meeting folk singers and songwriters. Ultimately she recorded six albums for adults and three for children. Later in life Reynolds attended Unitarian Universalist churches and was a member of the Berkeley UU Church, where she often sang at services.

   She was quoted as saying “I don’t think of myself primarily as a writer of children’s songs. . . . I’m not your nice old grandma. However . . . I have this sharp cutting edge . . . because I do care for people. I care about children, and I think the world is ripping them off, taking away their natural environment and much more than that . . . and leaving them stripped, uneasy, uncomfortable, and in deep trouble, and it’s because of that that I’m so sharp.”
    Adapted from: and
Author's Note: I remember Clara and me, back in the 1970s when we were both Sunday School teachers at our church, learning to sing “Magic Penny” at a religious education training workshop in Dallas, from a teacher who had learned it directly from Malvina.

Magic Penny

Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

It's just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won't have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

Money's dandy and we like to use it,
But love is better if you don't refuse it.
It's a treasure and you'll never lose it
Unless you lock up your door.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

So let's go dancing till the break of day,
And if there's a piper, we can pay.
For love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

© Malvina Reynolds
Pictures Above are of Malvina Reynolds; Picture Below is of her copyrighted sheet music for Magic Penny.
Researched and compiled by John I. Blair

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Irish Eyes


I remember, I remember
The house where I was born.
The little window where the sun,
Came peeping in at morn.

    I can’t identify with that sentiment of Thomas Hood.

    The house that I was born and grew up in backed on to the “Lodge Lane.” My father, a master of over simplification and sometime wit, used to say that we lived “in the shelter of the road ditch.” Our house had no windows facing the road. My forebears didn’t pay any attention to Thomas Fuller’s assertion that, “Light, God’s eldest daughter is the principal beauty in a building.”

   In Kerry such a dwelling would be described as Tig a’doicheall (the house of no welcome.) But the design of our house had nothing to do with inhospitality but with climatic foresight.

   I don’t know if lack of adequate diurnal illumination from one side had any sort of serious detrimental effect on me psychologically but not being able to see the owner of a footfall could be somewhat frustrating for a small child, especially one with an enquiring and restless mind, although I could eventually identify those with a peculiar or unique step or other audible characteristic. One neighbour had a distinctive throat clearing exercise followed by an audible discharge of the result on to the road. Another hummed a particular tune. (I presume it was a tune it was a consistent “rowdedly dowdedly dom.”)

   In the days when the horse and cart dominated, my ancestors could tell who the owner was from “the clout of his axle” but I found it more difficult to identify vehicular traffic. A Thames van sounded different to a Ferguson tractor but that was about it.

   Whenever I am awoken from my slumber by the sound of an engine, be it in Ballybunion or Belgrade, Lifford or Lisbon, I am no longer an OAP with free travel. For the first few of my awaking moments it is no longer the twenty-first century. It is once again the early fifties. And my auricular faculty is receiving the sound of an engine labouring up the Lodge Lane .

   However there is now a new phenomenon in vehicular traffic that will puzzle even the most sensitive auricular sense. ESB launched The Great Electric Drive for the second year running in February 2014. This included an invitation to members of the public and business organisations to join a new team of Ecar ambassadors to trial an electric vehicle.

   There were 20,000 applications and 32 ambassadors were selected. Each will trial an Ecar for a period of four months. I interviewed one of those Stephen O Brien, from Celbridge, County Kildare. Stephen took me as a passenger in the electric Nissan Leaf.. I would, however, be concerned about one safety factor. When travelling at under 30KPH it emits a barely high frequency whine which is only discernible in the absence of all other surrounding sounds. I have contacted several main dealers about this feature but got a very poor response; but Colm Mooney from Linders Renault in Chapelizod, told me that as far as ‘Approaching Vehicle Audible Systems’ (AVAS) are concerned the most audible is the new Renault Zoe.

   Questions about the issue which I sent to the relevant people in ESB drew a blank. The Nissan Ireland Team replied with the following,
“This sound (not a whine, more a woosh) has been designed to be distinguishable in the hearing threshold of children and anyone with hearing devices. It's above the frequency threshold of sounds produced by Diesel engines. Inside the car the noise is projected ahead of the car so the driver is not distracted.
   Noise in a vehicle does not necessarily stop accidents. We unfortunately have bus, motorcycle, car accidents with pedestrians everyday. An S Class Mercedes turns over at an almost inaudible level- this is not cited as a safety risk. Pedestrians have a responsibility of safe road use.”

   Stephen put up over 1000 km in the first week and he says that the best road for chargers seems to be the M1, with quick charge points at Lusk, Castlebellingham. “The car itself is quick to move off and has enough in the tank to do the average daily commute” according to Stephen. He shares my concern about the lack of sound describing it as “deafeningly quiet.” He spoke of one incident in particular, “As I was on my way home yesterday I was heading into my estate and a young schoolchild on a bike cycled into the path of my car. It was only when I hit the horn that he swerved back into his lane with a face of fright on him.”

   Would Stephen buy an electric car? “I have to say as a second car it would be perfect. At the moment, all on street chargers are free to use and the cost for home charging is under €12 for approximately 900kms. There is no engine and no oil. A service is required every 30,000 km. At first the thought of "going dry" is a real fear, but once some quick planning is done as you would plan for a long trip with a map, the anxiety goes. The bible is the ESB ecar connect app on the phone which displays all current operating chargers in the country, it calculates where you are and how close you are to the closest charger.”

   When Alfred de Vigney wrote, “Seul le silence est grand” (Only silence is great) he couldn’t have foreseen the invention of the Ecar. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, proposed by NHTSA, required the U.S. Transportation Department to write a rule addressing this issue by Jan. 4, 2014. Automakers would individually decide what the car sounds like when going less than 18 mph while meeting certain minimum requirements. According to a 2011 U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, electric vehicles are twice as likely to cause accidents while backing up, slowing or stopping, starting in traffic, or entering or leaving a parking space or driveway. The agency said a so-called “quiet car rule” could potentially save 35 lives and prevent 2,800 injuries each year, approximately costing an additional $35 per car.

   And in European Parliament MEPs voted to introduce mandatory ‘acoustic vehicle alerting systems’ (AVAS) – sounding like a conventional engine - to all new electric and hybrid cars to protect vulnerable road users. Electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars such as the all-electric BMWi3 or the Toyota Prius currently emit very little sound when running on electric power only. Earlier proposals from the European Commission called for the installation of an artificial sound system to be done on a voluntary basis only but Liberal Democrat MEPs successfully introduced an amendment making this a mandatory requirement for all electric and hybrid vehicles. Following the vote manufacturers in the EU will have five years to comply with the new rules.

   John Kilroy, Vehicle Standards Engineer with the Road Safety Authority told me;

   “During Ireland’s term as Presidency of the European Council in the first half of 2013, the Road Safety Authority chaired the Working Group meetings at which this proposal was progressed. Early in the discussions, Ireland made a submission that hybrid and electric vehicles would require the mandatory fitment of AVAS (it had been optional on behalf of manufacturers in the original proposal). Other Member States became supportive of these proposals and by the end of the Irish Presidency, a consensus was achieved requiring manufacturers to install AVAS in all new vehicles. The EU proposal for a regulation on vehicle noise was formally adopted as a regulation on 16 April 2014 (Regulation (EU) No 540/2014). There was some concern that this might not be done during the term of the outgoing European Parliament but thankfully there was a positive vote in Strasburg in probably one of their last sittings. The regulation takes effect from 1 July 2016 and includes provisions with regard to the mandatory fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS). It is optional for manufacturers to fit AVAS prior to the dates specified in Article 8 of the regulation, but where fitted it must comply with the harmonised requirements prescribed. Ireland has currently no plans to introduce the mandatory fitment of AVAS (or similar such devices) at dates earlier than those set out in the EU legislation.”

   The following information was given to me by Philippe JEAN, Head of Unit European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry Sustainable Mobility and Automotive Industry.

   “ Research shows a higher risk of crash between vulnerable road users (bicycles, pedestrians) and hybrid electric vehicles than with vehicles with internal combustion. All pedestrians are at risk but blind and partially sighted people are in those groups most at risk of experiencing collisions with quiet vehicles because they cannot see and hear the vehicles coming. . . All electric and hybrid vehicles will have to be fitted with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) to compensate for the lack of audible signal in hybrid electric and pure electric vehicles and alert vulnerable road users that such a vehicle is coming in their direction. . . . the requirements on AVAS are based on an international work carried out under the auspices of the United Nations which set up a special working group to work on this issue. The group is currently discussing more precise requirements on AVAS (2nd phase).

   So, it appears that we may have adequate audio warning systems in the future but what will happen in the meantime?

Pic Below: Stephen O'Brien in his trial ECAR

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   When I was growing up I was a huge Star Trek fan because it captured the imagination of a universe beaming with life. Star Trek of course is purely entertainment but its fans are constantly being reminded of all that is unknown in the outer-limits of space and time.

   The ability to zigzag through space with ease is purely science fiction but it can also be a reflection of our human potential.

   The Chinese have a saying, “today may be filled with difficulties and tomorrow’s difficulties may be even greater. But, the day after, tomorrow, difficulties will be overcome with ease.” This saying is a reflection of human progress through our human potential.

   The amount of money China is spending on developing new technologies is surpassing what the US government is spending on its space program.

   The United States has been striping its funding for NASA. In 2012 our government allocated approximately 0.48 of our federal budget for NASA’s research and development.

   China on the other hand has invested over a Trillion Yuan in order to outpace and surpass the United States in Space. In 2012 China launched four spy satellites while the US launched two. China has set sights on building their own space station by 2022. They also want to have the first female astronaut walk on the moon by 2025.

   The United States does not have a manned spacecraft and the only way for American Astronauts to reach the International Space Station is by hitching a ride with the Russians. The private firm ‘Space X’ is currently working on a spacecraft that will be able to transport our American Astronauts to the International Space Station. This was something NASA was able to do routinely.

   It would seem that China is now moving into its golden era of space exploration. This of course is going to have wide repercussions and America will soon find itself lagging far behind China for dominance in Space.

   China has young and highly motivated professionals running their space program with clear objectives and the resources to reach their goals.

   The United States once prided itself on beating the Russians in the space race. Perhaps we need that same enthusiasm and determination to outpace the Chinese.

   It would appear also that China is trying to trump the US which relies heavily on spy satellites for gathering intelligence, and reconnaissance, in order to target strategic threats throughout the world. Dominance in outer-space will provide China with a vast resource of intelligence gathering for its military.

   Not in the far distant future, China, may pose a significant threat from space by destroying other countries satellites in order to win wars on the ground.

   (Note: I do not see China as an imminent threat to our National Security but they can certainly become a future threat if they achieve their technological objectives.)

   China is achieving their goals in far less time than it took the United States. They are also reaching their milestones by avoiding the mistakes we in America made in our race for space dominance against the Russians.

   Great Britain sees China’s endeavor to reach for the stars not as a threat but as an opportunity to build better relations with them. The British Government has invested $80 Billion in a joint effort in space exploration with China and India.

   The Indian Government just recently launched a satellite to Mars.

   The United States should follow Britain’s lead by building better relations with the Chinese with joint Space projects. The International Space Station is an example of what can be accomplished following the cold war with the Russians. Joint space projects between the US and China can lead not only to better relations but towards greater trust between our two nations.

   Perhaps joint space explorations between China and the US can become a leading symbol of peace not just for our generation but for future generations.
    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:

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Angel Whispers

Michaelmas Day

September 29th, was Michaelmas Day, and the 30th is the feast day of Archangel Michael, and Archangel Raphael, and Archangel Gabriel. So it's the most perfect day for a message from Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel, and Archangel Raphael, too.

Such a wonderful day for the angels and for us because this is the day we can surely share love and thanks for all they have done for us in our life. And they will say very plainly, even the things that don't seem so great, we did learn from them, despite how we may feel or have felt in the past.

ARCHANGEL Michael has this to say for you: Safety and protection is what I am known for. I am the leader of the archangels and my name means “Like God”. He says that today is our feast to let you know how special you are and to know that he is with you helping you to make the decisions that are right for you at this time and in the future. He also asks that you may feel free to call on him at any time and to know he will be there for you. He says that life has many wonderful opportunities and to always to know that angelic guidance is there, when you ask for the guidance. The angels are all about free will and will never interfere with your life in any way. He says that his sword and shield is there for you in protection at all times. He also says listen to your gut feelings and know what your passions are and go for them as opportunities. Look for the synchronicity, as you make your decisions through your life.

Archangel Raphael: Angel of healing, for self and others, also works with doctors and nurses, energy workers, and those that care in any way. He says taking care of your needs is just as important as taking care of others needs. This is so you can continue to take care of others in a stress free situation. So he suggests taking time off, when caring, and taking time to just rejuvenate yourself and your relationships, is so important. He says call on me at any time too for help for you and for others. He says he wears a lot of green so when you see green, he may be telling you he is around too. Raphael asks you today, Do something fun for yourself today. Do it alone or do it with someone special in your life.

Archangel Gabriel is the Angel of Messengers, spiritual messages from God, or from other angels. Archangel Gabriel is the angel that helps with creativity, of any type, especially with writing. He is also the Angel that helps Mothers with troubled births and parents bringing up children. Listen to the message of love your angels have for you on this day, and know they are with you today. It is never too late to use your creativity in the way you feel comfortable.

 Perhaps a spiritual journal is something you would like to you start or continue. Just call on me and I will be there sharing with the messages of the universe. Look for the synchronicity of all that happens in your day. When you start to notice the synchronicity, the connection with your angels, do not seem so difficult for you. You all have this gift and when you start to notice the validations in your life, the connection seems easier, for you.

I had written this poem a few years back. I truly feel that this was given to me, from the archangels. This is when I realized I was channeling for them at that time. The poem is about positive intent of all that you do. It’s a very special message from them and is close to my heart in many ways.

Positive Intent 
"Having positive intent in all that you do,
Will keep you, from feeling a always so blue.
Helping your fellow man, in some special way,
Will help them carry on, throughout their day.
Going the extra mile and helping with a smile,
Will help you to share, and show you care.
If life gets tough and it’s hard to cope,
Know the angels are with you
we will guide you on your slippery slope.
When asking your angels for guidance,
and telling them your woes,
Know we are listening and offering you a rose.
The rose signifies love and the strength that you possess,
Listen closely to our whispers and know you are very blessed."
©May 2006 Peg Jones

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On Trek


Today as I was standing
in the midst
of acres and acres of trees,

 I was literally taken up
into the Oneness
of the majestic display.

I could feel every single tree
swaying to the pulse of the earth
and the gentle push of the wind.

The peaceful energy
that was being created
is beyond measure.

The softness touched my face,
and crept into every pore of my being,
bringing me joy and love.

The love kept swelling as the sound
mimicked the powerful waves of the ocean.
It was timeless.

I felt the goodness
of all things
melding together as one,

reminding me to stay
focused on the good.
A most wonderful message to all humanity.

I am so grateful
to have tasted such beauty,
and I will wrap it around me

to become
part of me

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
Photo Below: Deschutes River Trail near Bend, Oregon. ©Kathleen Fitzgerald


Keratosis Neurosis

As I gaze upon my arms’ scars
And see the harm from hours
Of basking by a pool
When I was young and dumb

I feel like running down the street,
Screaming at the children
To cover up
Before they too are doomed

To spend their older years
Sitting still in vinyl chairs
For the icy sting

Of liquid nitrogen,
Scalpel slice,
Slow burn of caustic creams,
And brief reprieve from fears

About the status
Of their skin
Or learning how to say
“Actinic keratosis.”

* * * * * *

But then, back then,
Girls were charming,
The sun was warm;
I dreamed of looking
Golden like the movie stars.

©2014 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.Pic Below: The Sun-Bronzed Blair, circa 1970's


Dreams of You

(to Clara)
After almost a year
You still appear in my dreams;
May that last until I die.

It proves to me
That you existed,
That you persist.

Some think our souls
Consist of what occurs
Within our brains.

If that’s so
Then what are memories?
Are they no less real?

So if you care to steal
Into my dreams again tonight
I’ll be there with open arms.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

This Heart

This heart of mine
Has beat in my breast
Since I began.

Like me it can’t keep time
Well and skips a pulse
Now and then.

How I wish
It and I both
Were better dancers.

©2014 John I. Blair

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

Making A New Garden

Making a new garden
Where before there had been none
May be the most egregious form
Of egotism, or
It may be love.

Sometimes the two
Are indistinguishable.

Like love
Gardening involves
My whole soul:

I select a place,
Seek a vision,
Pick the plants –
Aspects of making
Something that wasn’t there
Before I started.

But also I’m aware
That gardening invokes

Some plants, some lives
Aren’t welcome at this table;
As many to remove
As seat, water, feed
And care for.

I’ve never understood
How anyone could garden
Absent some form of religion.

©2014 John I. Blair

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Your Demons Stick with You

Your demons stick with you
Through thick and sin
your Spirit is the glue
and your Soul is the strength
that holds this all together.

Reality must be fully experienced
for the illusion of it all to become evident,
and some must lose All,
in order to understand,
that Respect and Humility
are earned,
not learned.

©July 2012 Phillip Hennessy

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


Is it too much to Ask, is it too far to Go?
A difficult Task, awaits, (you know)
Or shall it be Pleasure, this trip, into Time?
As we plan our excursions into our Minds

No attention for details, itinerary none
Destination is All, for which we have come
The Journey so long, (though endured, not enjoyed)
Omitted from memory, - into the Void
The Souls that we pass,
in the streets of our Minds
Are now way beyond, (or maybe), behind

Then streets ahead, they look back with smiles
Of taking the Time, and walking the miles.
Your carriage awaits, you know that it’s here
Or would you prefer to Walk, my dear?

Touch the flowers, smell the rain
Returning with senses,
we Visit

©2014 Phillip Hennessy

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

Absolutely Nothing

In hell or heaven
Here on earth
What you're given's
what you're worth

You're given your Life
You're gifted your Love
What's taken, for Granted,
Gets taken away

When there's nothing to prove
And there's nothing to lose
that's all you're left with,
The Nothingness blues.

Some will leave, Some will grieve
Some return, and Some will burn
From nothing, we came,
so it's all returned.
All you take with you,
will be
what you learned.

©2014 Phillip Hennessy

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

If Only I Had Said

How different it could have been,
That day
If only I had said
what was in my heart,
What was in my head.

Would anything be different now?
If only I had said.
Would all our dreams
still have a chance,
or would they all
be dead?

I only know
what's happened since.
If only I had said,
I knew.
I knew, this would happen
Should I have prayed,
instead ?

Oh, I prayed.
I prayed so hard,
That day.
If only I had said
I was afraid. I prayed.
I knew.
I knew this would happen
If only I'd said,
If only you'd stayed.
I should have said,
you should have stayed.

©Sept 2014 Phillip Hennessy

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Love is...

Love is Strange
It sits there, filling your stomach,
and making you hungry
the tasteless, invisible Food of the Gods.
You can't Touch it or Eat it
only Feel it,
that swirling, Empty space that spirals Up ..
(and down...and around)
Up to the Highest level of Self
and Down to the Core of our Being
Around our Hearts,
Throughout, and Around the Planet,
the Universe, and Beyond

Beyond the Realms of possibility
making Anything and Everything seem
Possible, and Untouchable.

..and that Place...that wonderful Place
where Love lives...
A lonely, homely cabin,
with worn-out walls
A Golden Cathedral
with candles burning
in every corner of our Hearts

that sweet smell of Home,
Safety, Reassurance
and the Reckless Abandon
of Love’s endless journey

©September 2014 Phillip Hennessy

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

Prayer - You're in my Heart

when I say, I want you by my side,
Hear my Prayer
when I need you here

Do you hear me,
when I say that I love you
Are you near me,
when I think of you.
I know you are,
because I feel it
in your love for me
And you're here,
You're in my Prayers,
You're in my Heart.

You're the Light
that always shines within my life
You're my guide, when I'm afraid,
I pray with you.
You're the Good
in Everything
I think, I say, or do
You're in my Life,
You're in my Prayers,
You're in my Heart.

©2014 Phillip Hennessy

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Success Of The Soul

We live upon this world with two journeys to take
We must choose the one that we wish to make
One is the journey of the physical, one is of the soul
One will bring success, one will make us whole
As I traveled down life's road, I truly must confess
I felt like I had failed, because I never had success
In a man made world, success is a great key
I had never striven for it, I just kept being me
I let the universe guide me, with every turn I took
It became my life's adventure, like pages from a book
My idea of a good life was to just let it flow
Take life easy, that's all I would ever know

I never wanted more money than I would ever need
I followed along life's road to see where it would lead
I found pleasure in the little things each day
My perception of life was in a different way
I saw the beauty all across the land
My reward was to give people a helping hand
I'd look around and with my camera capture everything
That beauty that surrounds and colors it would bring
I followed wherever I was led
Words and ideas forming in my head
I always took note on whatever I would see
My life's journey would turn up in my poetry
There is an inner part of you that we call the soul
When you follow it, it will make you whole

Listen to it, feel the calm it brings
Let it lift you higher, use your Heavenly wings
Look deep inside, then you too will know
Success isn't money, when it's success of the soul
©Sept 22, 2014 Bud Lemire
Author's Notes:
Although we need a certain amount of money in this world to survive, we don't need to strive on it. Pure and Simple, love is what we need. Love of our self and others. Completeness in our being who we are being. Honoring our soul for all it can be. Listening to the universe as it guides us to where we truly should be. In your soul, it will feel like the right place.

Click on Bud Lemire for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
Photo: ©Sept 22, 2014 by Bud Lemire using his Camera and his Nexus


The Shadow Of The Butterfly

In the shadow of the butterfly, as it passes overhead
We as humans never die, so we aren't really dead
Our soul passes over into the light
Waiting for us there is a wondrous sight
The colors come alive, so vivid as they dance around
And the music there, is such a beautiful sound
Angels singing, a chant that touches the soul
Embracing and healing, it will make you whole

A thought can take you anywhere
Just think of it and you'll be there
Or just an image and it will be
Right there before you, watch and see
You'll be young in appearance, if you want to
And there's many more things, that you can do

Amazing creatures that live among us here
Appreciate them as they each appear
For each are special in their own way
And put here to make a better day

The dragonfly with designs on a log rod
Was put here for us and made by God
The Butterfly with colors to start a spark
With hues of light among the dark
Fluttering with its own flow
The wings are what guides it so

When you're in the shadow of the Butterfly
Take notice of things that live and die
Whether large or whether small
Appreciate their value to us all

Even though you don't know why they are here
There must be a reason they should appear
If they should touch upon your soul
Then they have achieved their goal
To awaken all that once use to be
With eyes wide open, so you could see
©Sept 9, 2014 Bud Lemire

Author Note:Don't take everything for granted. Value everything you see.
In the Magic Kingdom of life, everything is special.

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

Nothing Seems Right Anymore

If tomorrow never came would any of this matter
Am I the one to blame above all of this chatter
We used to be strong
We were in a place we knew we belonged
If tomorrow never came would any of this matter

If the future was over today would you put up a fight
If your dreams got in your way would still see the light
We used to get along
We were once in synch singing the same song
If the future was over today would  you put up a fight

Nothing seems right anymore
I’m telling you
Nothing seems right anymore
Can’t you see
Nothing seems right anymore
Time’s moving on
Nothing seems right anymore
That’s for sure

If tomorrow never came would any of this matter
If you’re too busy passing the blame would you still rise above this spatter
We used to understand
We were in line walking hand in hand
If tomorrow never came would any of this matter

Deep are the blues and greens of the sea
Speaking out to me
Calling me

©9/4/14 Bruce Clifford

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It's Taking Too Long

It’s taking longer to understand
To read the visions I hold in my hand
Are you with me or are you in the sky
These are the reasons I let the hours pass by

I have no answers to what came before
Does it really matter if you really knew what for
Are you against me or are you by my side
These are the reasons I like to roll with the tide

It’s taking too long to get to nowhere
It’s taking too long to reach the end of the road
It’s taking too long to discover what’s been missing
It’s taking too long for you or me to understand

If you’re confused are you the only one
The times you captured are evaporated by the sun
Are you with me or are you on the fly
These are the reasons I struggle with this lie

It’s taking too long to get to nowhere
It’s taking too long to reach the end of the road
It’s taking too long to discover what’s been missing
It’s taking too long for you or me to understand

©9/17/14 Bruce Clifford

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