Thursday, January 1, 2015

Editor's Corner

January 2015

(Volume 17 - Issue 12)
Your editor has often been accused of paying more attention to the sky and stars than the people around her. Well, guilty. But isn't it fascinating to see into the wonders of astronomy displayed free just for looking up? Much of what we see, for instance, when there are meteor showers, is all that was left from some astral body that deteriorated centuries, eons, ago. Using the word was instead of is, defines many of the multitude of stars we see in our Galaxy, since we are told we are only now seeing what is no longer actually there because of the distance that those lights had to travel to get here.

However, the planets we can observe are still there (today at least) as are these meteor showers orbiting thru our own atmosphere, some that will burn out in passage, and some that will even land somewhere on our Earth. A few years ago, one did crash thru the roof of one of our local residents and the scientists flocked to town to observe the projectile, and now it is on display with its history and possible origin explained in one of Texas' Museums.

For your future entertainment, here is a guide to the predicted meteorite showers for 2015. The web site offers this link 2015 Meteor Shower Guide

Back to Earth! This issue brings the poetry of Bud Lemire plus his philosophical notes: "A Christmas Heart," "Precious is The Time," and "Those Moving Planets," which sync's with the link above.

"Love and Let Go" by Phillip Hennessy is another poem that has become a song. He sent along an mp3 link but your editor has not figured out how to share it and told him so. He responds that soon it will be on youtube and he will send the link to that. Thanks, Phil !

Bruce Clifford has added these three to the many he has published with our ezine: "Breaking My Heart Today," "This Time," and "Bittersweet Goodbyes." John I. Blair penned "Another Cold December Day," "The Darkness," and "V."

Jennifer Terwilliger who speaks in words that transform what you are hearing her say into pictures. The very memorable and quite precious impressions of the arrival of her second son can be found in "Well ... 8:10am." She is one of your editor's multi-talented granddaughters.

Rounding up the dozen poems in this issue is one by yours truly, "Brain Refrain." This recalls some flood scenes in Kilgore, Texas, both anxious and comical are included.

Robert Treat Paine, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence is featured in Blair's column "Always Looking - People Who Made A Difference XXV." Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" is an informative piece about the Methuselah Foundation that speaks of a time not far in the future when the life expectancy may well be a thousand years. Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" tells how the younger Chinese population would like to use technology of the internet and broadcasting, and their current restraints.

Andrea Heisler, the first grandchild of the late Leo C. Helmer shares his love of cooking, "Cookin' With Andrea." Though exceedingly busy, Andrea brings us some comfort for the stressful holidays with a recipe to add as a tradition in your home as it is in hers.

In the article, "2015 – An 8 UNIVERSAL YEAR," Michael John Fierro reveals the numerology for the Universal Year (beginning with the New Year January first) it is time to be informed what is at stake. Well known for his expertise in many areas, Fierro makes numbers easier to understand, giving numerology a practical application in your life.

Wishing our co-founder and webmaster Mike Craner all the best in the New Year. His web work for the ezine and the blog have kept us online through 17 years. Thanks Mike!!! Looking forward now to Volume 18 which begins with the Valentine month of February, for an issue focusing on Living Life in Love and Happiness.

Look for that issue of Pencil Stubs Online in February. Compositions are accepted throughout the period from publication on the first through January 25th. If you'd like to do a regular column, send your suggestion and let's get you into action.


Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Always Looking – People Who Made A Difference XXV

Robert Treat Paine

   Robert Treat Paine was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and served as the first Attorney General of Massachusetts and a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. He was a lifelong Congregationalist and a devout Christian. When his church, the First Church of Boston, moved into Unitarianism late in his life, Paine followed that path.

Facsimile of Paine's signature

   Robert Treat Paine was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1731. He was one of five children of the Rev. Thomas Paine and Eunice (Treat) Paine. His father was pastor of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Weymouth but moved his family to Boston in 1730 and subsequently became a merchant there. His mother was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Treat, one of the principal founders of Newark, New Jersey. The Treat family in particular had a long history in the British colonies dating back to the Mayflower.

   Paine attended the Boston Latin School and at the age of fourteen entered Harvard College, from which institution he graduated in 1749 at age 18. He then was engaged in teaching school for several years back at the Boston Latin and at Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

   He also attempted a merchant career with journeys to the Carolinas, the Azores, and to Spain, as well as a whaling voyage to Greenland. He began the study of law in 1755 with his mother's cousin in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Another cousin, Col. Samuel Willard, raised a regiment to fight in the French and Indian War. Paine was unsuccessful in gaining an officer's commission in that regiment and so volunteered to serve as chaplain.

   When he returned from a brief military campaign to Lake George (the Crown Point Expedition), he did some occasional preaching and returned to his legal studies. In 1756 he returned to Boston to continue his legal preparations with Samuel Prat, and he was admitted to the bar in 1757. He first considered establishing his law practice at Portland (then part of Massachusetts but now in Maine), but instead in 1761 moved to Taunton, Massachusetts, then back to Boston in 1780.

Robert Treat Paine

   In 1768 he was a delegate to the provincial convention which was called to meet in Boston and along with Samuel Quincy conducted the prosecution of Captain Thomas Preston and his British soldiers following the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. John Adams was opposing counsel, and his arguments won the jury's sway, and most of the troops were let off.

   Paine served in the Massachusetts General Court from 1773 to 1774, in the Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1775, and represented Massachusetts at the Continental Congress from 1774 through 1778. In Congress, he signed the final appeal to the king (the Olive Branch Petition of 1775), and helped frame the rules of debate and acquire gunpowder for the coming war, and in 1776 was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

   He returned to Massachusetts at the end of December 1776 and was speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1777, a member of the executive council in 1779, a member of the committee that drafted the state constitution in 1780. He was Massachusetts Attorney General from 1777 to 1790 and prosecuted the treason trials following Shays' Rebellion.

   In 1780, He was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He later served as a justice of the state supreme court from 1790 to 1804 when he retired. When he died at the age of 83 in 1814 he was buried in Boston's Granary Burying Ground.

A statue to commemorate him was erected in the Church Green area of Taunton.

Researched and compiled by John I. Blair

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Irish Eyes

Methuselah Foundation

   The Undertaking business, “ . . . will still remain valuable for another couple generations at least.” So David Gobel told me. And now you are asking who is this David Gobel and what question did I put to him to elicit such an answer?

David Gobel
   David Gobel along with Aubrey de Grey, co-founded the Methuselah Foundation, a medical charity based in Springfield, Virginia , in 2003 in order to “shed light on the processes of aging and find ways to extend healthy life.” De Grey says, “The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today … whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries.” The Methuselah Foundation is a non-profit organisation and on September 16, 2006, Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, announced a pledge of $3.5 million to it, "to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging" Of course many believe that humans shouldn’t live for centuries and anti-ageing crusaders are coming up against an increasingly influential alliance of bio conservatives who want to restrict research seeking to “unnaturally” prolong life. They oppose the idea of life extension and anti-ageing research on ethical, moral and ecological grounds.
Aubrey deGrey

   Bioethicist Daniel Callahan of the Garrison, New York-based Hastings Centre, agrees: “There is no known social good coming from the conquest of death.” I can only answer with the line from the late Donal McCann’s poem, “A man would be better off not dead.” Whatever about opinions in far-flung places what do we think on this island? What Irish person would want to live to one thousand (I suppose you’ll say, “Someone who was aged nine hundred and ninety nine”!) I think we should put it to the Irish people; have a referendum on it. And if we don’t get the desired result? Ah, sure we can have another one.

   Of course the question had been asked, “What would Methuselah himself think?” According to the Hebrew Bible ,Methuselah was Noah’s grandfather. He died, aged 969, seven days before his famous grandson set sail in the Ark. But, of course, you all know the story of the Great Flood or, as they say in Kerry, “a hoor of a shower.”

   Wexford-born genius, Walter O ‘Brien says, “If you’ve made enough money where you’re not worried about the rent or survival, you start asking yourself why you’re on this planet. Your point is to do the most good you can before you die – well I could do more good if I didn’t die.” I must say the man from Clonroche has a point

   Michael Rose, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California, says, “I am working on immortality .Twenty years ago the idea of postponing aging, let alone reversing it, was weird and off-the-wall. Today there are good reasons for thinking it are fundamentally possible.”

   George Bernard Shaw said, “Death is neither natural or inevitable.” And that as human beings we were capable of extending our lifespan. He didn’t do too badly himself. He lived to 94.

   I am well over forty and Gobel, deGrey and Tony Clarke, the local undertaker, all agree that I won’t make the thousand.

   Have a Happy 2015 and if you are under 40, and if Messrs Gobel and de Grey are correct, you may by still around to wish your friends a Happy 2515

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Cookin' With Andrea

During the Holidays there are so many activities, not all of which are chosen but may be forced upon us as obligatory occasions. It is dificult to fullfill each with any degree of holiday cheer, but one tries, from school parties to home visits, preparing for guests which include Santa, as one tries to tolerate the unending bombardment from TV ads seeking to guide children's requests in their letters to that white-bearded, (not-at-all-totally-giving) visitor. 

No wonder thoughts turn to comfort food and those memories that certain dishes evoke. In this season's hustle/bustle, longing for a bit of nostalgic tastes, thoughts kept returning to one dish, so to share the goodness, here is:


My Grandmother's Beef Roast Soup

What you need:
  • 2-3 lb beef round roast
  • 8 carrots sliced
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lb frozen green beans
  • 1/2 lb frozen corn
  • 6 or 7 potatoes, chopped to bite size
  • Minced garlic
  • Seasoned meat tendorizer
  • 2 Beef bouillon cubes
How to do it:
Place roast into a soup pan and cover with water.
Add in chopped onion, celery and meat tendorizor to taste.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 2-3 hours or until falls apart.
Once meat is done:
Remove from heat
Then add carrots, green beans, corn, potatoes and bullion cubes.
Stir, return to a boil and cook for ten minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 more minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.

This is Perfect Comfort Food!

Happy New Year!

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    When I moved to China I soon noticed that millions of Chinese are huge fans of American television programs and movies. It has become a way for them to learn about our American culture and our English language.
    There are internet sites that stream American television series and films with meticulous Chinese subtitles.
    American television programs have become hugely popular for Chinese viewers and I myself enjoy accessing American films in English.
    In late November, though, millions of Chinese fans of our American entertainment found their ability to gain access, shutdown, by the Chinese Government. Most of China’s legitimate video streaming sites are now falling victim to harsh censorship and you will not find any western television series on China’s broadcasting networks. Even Satellite television is no longer immune to China’s over-the-top censorship of western programs which has become a huge disappointment to television viewers in China.
    The hit political thriller "House of Cards" was released on the video site Sohu in February of 2014 and many in China viewed it as a sign of liberalization in China's strictly-controlled media market. The show appeared uncensored despite unflattering story lines about China's ruling Communist elite. The show had over 103 million views and that’s more than double of Netflix’s 50 million global subscribers. As of late November, though, the show has been banned in China.
    The Chinese government is now banning shows without warning or explanation. In April many popular American programs were blocked on China’s popular streaming sites including the immensely popular show ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ China’s Broadcasting regulators have announced that it will only allow healthy content to be streamed on China’s sites.
    What is more disappointing for China’s fans of American entertainment is that they will have to wait for an entire season to air in the U.S. before the Chinese Broadcasting regulators will allow the shows to air on China’s internet sites. Many in China feel the released versions of their favorite shows will be highly edited and chopped up by the Chinese censors.
    It now seems that the Chinese government has become alarmed by the popularity of our American programs. The programs get millions of hits per hour and they have become more popular than the Chinese programs, especially, among China’s youth.
    A release of a new episode of a popular American program often attracts millions of views or downloads within hours of its release. The popularity of American programs has gotten so huge that officials in China are nervous about the impact it’s having in China. They are reacting as though the impact the western culture is having on their country’s youth could possibly become an ideological threat.
    It’s unfortunate how many people in China accept China’s censorship or should I say crackdown on what can or can’t be streamed on China’s controlled internet. People are wearily accepting it as being China’s "new normal" under an increasingly powerful and hardline President Xi Jinping.
    China’s growing image in the west is that anything associated with a [differing ideology] or the image China would like to portray to the world; is being squeezed, tightened, or limited and it’s being done out of fear that our western ideology will grow into a threat within China’s borders.
    Many of China’s educated youth, however, are discovering ways to get around the blocked content. They continually explore technical workarounds such as using VPN’s (Virtual Proxy Networks) to bypass China’s censorship.
    The Chinese Government views VPN’s as a growing threat because they are enabling internet users to get around China’s internet restrictions. The majority of China’s youth do not want to watch domestic shows, known for their over-the-top propaganda, and low production values.
    Most Americans living in China see this type of censorship as being absurd and many of the Chinese youth, on various social media sites, are expressing outrage and concern about it as well. One concern for the Chinese is that the Chinese Government will totally shut the door to American TV, and that would most certainly be a tragic thing for millions of Chinese viewers.
    The Chinese Government by dictating to its people on what it deems to be of entertainment value is in actuality restricting not only their people’s freedom but the creative spark of their country’s youth.
    I told my students here in Suzhou, China, that television programs in the U.S. get canceled all the time due to ratings. The American television viewers determine the show’s entertainment value or lack thereof and the shows longevity is determined by the U.S. viewership not the American Government.
    I pride myself on knowing that in America people can freely find their own sources of entertainment free from government interference. In America people will not stand by and let their freedoms be trampled upon because freedom is a major part of the American culture. Our freedom is what the Chinese people are desperately seeking and they are continually striving to emulate our culture. The Chinese people’s love for American entertainment is in actuality an embrace for our freedom of expression.
    An unfortunate reality for the Chinese people, though, seems to be that the more they seek to express themselves freely the more of an ideological threat they become for the Chinese Government.
    Hopefully, in the near future as technology continues to advance, the ability of the Chinese people to communicate instantly and freely will also advance. The Chinese Government will then have to realize that the will of the people seeking a Democratic system of Government will become more and more difficult for the Chinese Government to control.
    The cry for Democracy will be heard, loudly, not only in China but throughout the world and that is the Chinese Government’s greatest fear.
    But as I told my students’ only time will tell …….
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

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On Trek

The Pitch of Life

Listen . Can you hear the pitch of life?

The buzzing drone of bees as they gather nectar..The waves of the mighty oceans.

The gentle lap of winding creeks that bind the earth together.

How about the whisper of the wind thru all the leaves, and needles of our trees, chiming on cue.

The Director of the Universe has harmoniously made everything into perfect pitch.

The crickets? frogs?

How about the thunder and lightening that sound like cymbals clashing in perfect timing.


The laugh of a child , the high pitched giggles that simultaniously beat with a mother's heart.

Can you hear the pitch of the silent nights? WE, when focusing, can feel and hear the hum from within us that like clockwork hums with mother earth. In Perfect pitch!

When we, as do the Sweet Adelines performers, hear the pitch, and sing that first note, we know that each sound comes from our soul and spreads thru time and space with love, bringing everything into oneness.

What a glorious opportunity we have. The beauty of sound surrounds us,and becomes us...

Stay in Key with the pitch of life , hearing and feeling all that is good!

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2015, is the 8th Universal Year in this current 9-year Cycle. This is a year in which the world begins to truly reap what was sown in 2008. The Eight has a strong association with the elements of power, big affairs, big business, money and finances. And, Eight has an extremely strong connection with the concept of Karma (receiving that which you deserve for your actions) and the Universal Laws of return and attraction. If you lay the Eight on its side, it is the symbol of Infinity and the unending cycle of life and consciousness. The number 8 card in the Tarot is Strength.
8 symbolizes form that is solidified in matter. “As you sow, so shall you reap.” the energy of Karma, the Universal Law of Truth, that is cause and effect. As mankind creates, in thought, desire and action, the right vibration manifests on the material plane and we reap the harvest.

Go back to 2008 and consider the many major events that took place throughout the world. In the United States it was the financial collapse/disaster of Wall Street and then a couple of months later, the election of Barack Obama, the first black American president. The latter event was followed by a promise and an agenda set forth by the opposition to do everything in their power to stop Obama from being an effective president. The former events may portend an even greater financial crisis. This is especially true if the groundwork that has been laid over the last seven years was designed to further impugn the integrity of the institutions that serve the greater good, through actions that are not beneficial to the public at large. If steps were taken to truly improve the sector, with the public's benefit and welfare in mind, then this will be a turn-around year for everyone.

In this author's opinion, 2015 promises to make all previous years either pale in comparison, or be enough of a negative force that it prompts politicians to begin working for the best interests of everyone. The people of the United States spoke in 2008 and resoundingly said they were for the concepts of hope and change. Can that vision become a reality this year? Or, have we lost our way and have traveled further along the path towards submission to the rich and powerful? This Universal 8 Year presents the stage for the realization of the overwhelming need to unify with the god forces of the Universe. No matter your personal belief, this is the time to align yourself with a more peaceful and loving center. For today's world, the encouragement is to look at the big picture and do what is necessary to bring about grand scale actions that benefit the greater good. 2015 holds great potential for big things to occur that can shake the world.

The very positive aspects of the Eight during 2015 include success and progress in the realm of money, finances and rewards for work accomplished. The 8 Universal Year can bring about great prosperity for both individuals and businesses. This will in turn lead to great national prosperity and the ripples of success can reach out and touch everyone. In the world of business, 2015 can be a year of increased mergers and take-overs, either hostile or compatibly. This year can also be a year for improving relationships with other countries both politically and economically. Of course, a great deal of activity in this sector will be firmly tied to what groundwork was laid in 2008. Optimistically, we can expect big things in the world and perhaps, a real opportunity for political treaties that will end the strife and conflicts begun in the One Universal Year.

The negatives of an 8 Universal Year are not vibrations or energies that encourage love, peace and understanding. At its worst the Eight can be quite aggressive, angry and vindictive. This approach can be implemented by either governments or businesses, and in the absolute worst scenario, the two working in concert.

Greatly dependent upon the moods and beliefs that were put into place in 2008, we can either experience some positive growth and movement or, we can begin to experience greater political anarchy and political unrest. Since the energy of any particular Universal (or Personal Year) is first felt about 4-6 weeks prior to the actual beginning date, the civil unrest that was being experienced (especially in the United States) in the final six weeks of 2014, can be a strong indicator of what lies ahead of us. It is imperative that a dialogue that flows in two directions (think of the sign of Infinity, opposing direction that intersect in the middle as they continue their never-ending movement) is of a positive and inclusive nature, in which all perspectives, attitudes and beliefs are put on the table for discussion. Strident, stubborn voices of opposition and position needs to be marginalized so that the middle ground can take hold to guide the discussion.

An 8 Universal Year can be a year of political and social revolutions. If people voted for hope and change (in its purest, most honest form, not the political platitudes) they may begin to truly voice their displeasure with the powers that be who failed to deliver. The 8's dark side can emerge through an increase of anger resulting in tempers flaring and conflicts begun. On the international stage, this could lead to increased aggression created by political motives driven by greed and a lust for power. Conflicts currently being fought could lead to a larger war-style engagement.

In the world of business, 2015 could also see an uptick in big bankruptcies by large companies, with some of that action being triggered by some type of criminal activity. Activity that was uncovered under the influence of the 7 during 2014. Once again, the financial greed that drove the collapse of 2008 may once again rear its ugly head in a new, and even greater round of financial chicanery. Wearing its worst 'face', the Eight is the master criminal.

On the health front, 2015 may see a new round of epidemic diseases. Again, it would be wise to look back at 2008 to see what seeds may have been sown to bring about something this year.
So, where does this leave us, the citizens of the world? How the power of the 8 becomes manifest is the most important aspect. If a peaceful future in which we all coexist with a sense of brotherhood and love is important to you, then raise your voice in 2015. If you were, or are, in favor of true hope and change, then raise your voice in 2015. In this author's opinion, the world is on the brink of a major turning point in its existence and the two paths are very different and distinct. It is important for the people to be heard and considered. It is time for everyone to think, and (perhaps, more importantly) feel for themselves.

The world in the Universal Year 8 of 2015 has great potential for increased wealth and prosperity. For whom should the wealth accrue? Work for your own best interests, but at all times, keep others in mind. The realization that 'we are all in this together' must take firm root in the consciousness of each and everyone of us. Differences must be recognized, acknowledged and accepted. The continuing marginalization of not only individuals, but entire countries, ethnicities and cultures must be recognized for what it attempt to separate and control. The mighty, and ugly power of the 8 cannot be allowed to take hold. Raise your voice. The power lies within each and every one of us.
In closing, remember the sign of Infinity, the never-ending cycle of the law of return. It would behoove each one of us if we gave some time and consideration to the understanding that what we think, feel, say and do shows up in the world. From the micro to the macro. Put forth all your efforts in a positive fashion and it will be returned in kind. The ripples will continue until all are reached and touched by these forces.

I wish you, the reader, a life of loving thoughts and the experience of having them returned.
Blessings of Love and Light
Michael John Fierro
© 2014, Michael John Fierro. Reprint with permission of author only.

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Well ... 8:10am

Well ... 8:10am.
The Doctors are
Wheeling me back
Into the surgery room.
I've done this before ...
So I'm not as nervous.
Epidural? YES!
You don't even have to ask!
Legs numb, feet numb ...
My Belly numb to the touch.
Those familiar machines
Beeping and buzzing every second.
I can feel pressure but ...
Not really feel them
Cutting my tummy open ... Rubbing ....
Sucking blood up with that hose vacuum.
Pulling apart muscle, fat, muscle ...
Before you know it ...
This faint ...
Tiny little cry ...
Wouldn't even hurt a fly kind of cry.
It's a BOY! ...
He brings him over ...
And I cradle him,
And he's already quiet
And content in my arms ...
This lil' boy ... Head full of hair ...
Hairy back and arms 'n' legs ...
awwwww lol ... He's my lil' monkey,
So quiet and peaceful ...
Trojans Terwilliger.

©November 15, 2014 Jennifer Terwilliger

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Love and Let Go

When all that you care for is Gone, and the Talking’s all done.
When you know, just where it went wrong, and the Walking’s begun.
When there’s no more to hide, and the feeling inside,
…it’s all numb, (…and you, can tell)
Well, you know that it’s Right, - when you give up the Fight,
and Let Go

That’s when you can ‘tell’, there’s no Heaven or Hell, (it’s the Same)
And the only thing that you Have, is your Self, …(and a Name)
When nobody Knows you, and nobody Shows you
the Way, - ( then you are Blind …)
So you open that Gate, - just Rely on your Fate,
and Let GO

Don’t hold on Too long, ( just Love, and Let Go)
Don’t hold on too long, …( there’s nothing to show)
Whatever you Came with,
it’s all that you’re Takin' with You,
…( So you should Know )
that it all becomes Right, when you give up the Fight,
and Let Go.

Life’s what you Make it, and no-one can Take it, from You.
You can Be, what you wanted, and Do, what you wanted to Do
You can see where you Are, on the Journey so far,
when there’s fences to mend, - Then,- this ain’t ‘The End’
When you’ve paid up your Dues,
then you’ve nothing to Lose,
just Let Go

©December 2014 Phillip Hennessy

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Each November and December as by plan
No matter what the weather they do come;
So I suppose there’s nothing special
I should see a V of birds today
Flapping above a corner store
Excepting they’ve been coming
Every year since we remember,
Every year since way before
We were here to be amazed,
Before our bit of time began.

©2014 John I. Blair

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The Darkness

We go through life
As though we understand
What’s happening around us
When what is true
Is that we do not grasp
A single thing for what it is.

Ours is an illusory existence,
A shifting construct
Premised on perceptions
That at best just skip
Across the shifting surface
Of reality.

This desk, this chair,
The floor on which they rest,
The hand with which I write,
All seem so solid to me
But are mostly vacant space
Organized in shapes.

You, my lifelong friend
Whom I think I know so well,
Are in fact a mystery
That I will never plumb
As I am still a mystery
Even to myself.

Yet this is how we live,
Guessing our way,
Praying we can manage
To make it through the day
Without a momentary glimpse
Into the darkness.

©2014 John I. Blair

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Another Cold December Day

Another cold December day,
Gray and gloomy,
Chance of rain or snow, me
Tucked into my self-made tomb.

Spring seems so far
And hope a fading myth at last
For boxing up along
With ornaments and wreaths.

But then I look outside
To see a pudgy squirrel,
Surprised, drop down
From the feeder he was rifling,

Pause a moment on the deck rail,
Then go galumphing off
Toward the yard, his bushy tail
Wagging me a rude farewell.

If he can be so bold
Out there in the ragged world
How can I not at least break fast
And set again upon my own way?

©2014 John I. Blair

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Precious Is The Time

The time here on Earth goes so very fast
Moments that we cherish never seem to last
A serious illness or a heart attack
Without a warning and there's no going back
Precious is the time that we spend here
With all the people that we each hold dear
Family and friends and the joy they bring
Winter, Summer, Autumn, and into Spring

Times keeps on ticking and quickly passing by
Counting down the days until it's time to die
Within your lifespan, do the things you need to do
What I mean is, do what the means the most to you

If you have something left unfinished, or somewhere you wish to go
Someone you need to be with, then you must listen to your soul
Don't waste time, make it a happening event
Each day is worthy of the time that is spent

Don't just sit there and wait
It might just be too late
Do it now, be where you need to be
Get it done, happiness is your destiny
Don't waste time, the end is drawing near
Precious is the time, make it count while you are here
©Dec 4, 2014 Bud Lemire
                      Author Note:
Don't just sit there wishing and hoping for the most
meaningful things in your life to happen, do them!
If you have someone you know you are suppose to be
with, go be with them. If there is something you've always
wanted to do, do it. Is there somewhere you want to be,
be there. Don't wait, because time keeps moving on and
you need to make the move soon, before it's too late.
Because here on Earth, happiness is what you deserve.

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Those Moving Planets

The planets are traveling around the moon
And we as people are all out of tune
It doesn't matter who you are
Confusing emotions will make things bizarre
Strange feelings are making you say
Things you normally wouldn't any other day
Clouding your thoughts, making it hard to think
Feels like you're in quicksand, ready to sink

Help! Help! This is not me
Why won't those planets let me be
Mars, why can't you behave yourself please
Saturn, you're making me feel I have a disease

Venus, your beauty is wonderful, but please make it end
Jupiter help me, I thought you were my friend
Uranus be good, be like the moon
Insanity is rising in the note of Neptune
Pluto please show us of your worth
You Planets are causing chaos on Earth

The planets are moving on a collision course
To play with your emotions, with an invisible force
There's nowhere to hide, it's in the air
The Universe will find you everywhere
©Dec 12, 2014 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
Many have believed that the location of the planets
effect us and our behavior on Earth. It plays with
our emotions and how we act and react to things and events.
It effects the weather, and the electricity, and so much more.
I'm not one to keep checking on where the planets are and how
they effect us. I do know that now and then when Mercury has
gone retrograde, or one planet is closer to us, people start acting
unlike their normal selves. This happens all year around. This
year things have been really bizarre between the planets and the
weather and how it affects us.

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Brain Refrain

Some scenes are burned indelibly into ones brain.
It's the process the mind uses to train
Your memory so that like seeing all that rain
That poured from the skies and flooded our lane,
And the side streets it filled, and even down Main,
Seeing so much water was like going insane
Just how much those dry places could even retain
All that the clouds dropped down again and again,

And the lawn and the garden looking like an ocean plain
Water running turbulently like a river in pain--
Putting any thought of traveling under a strain,
So watching through windows, indoors, one must remain,

Seeing past streams of water sheeting over the pane.
Watching clouds form and dissolve, holding us in disdain,
And later we learned that others by Lightning were slain.
Then huge puddles were left as the ground had to abstain

From absorbing more fluids, so that what did remain
Caught the China berries and leaf debris like a seine
To hold and ferment together when the Sun shone again.
A veritable treat for flocks that never seemed to wane,

And they chowed down on the berries as the puddles began to drain,
The noise they made squabbling echoed through the window pane
And seemed to invite others to come feast in like vein.
Then hundreds of black birds staggering around, drunk--it was plain,

Because all the squawking and wing flapping they did was in vain,
Lift off impossible, jury grounded--all the birds the yard could contain.
And this is only one set of such scenes played like a refrain
From among the millions burned indelibly into my brain.

©December 22, 2014 Mary E. Adair

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A Christmas Heart

At Christmas time, everyone played their part
Under the tree was the little girl with the wonderful heart
She held it up real high for all to see
And placed it in the middle of the tree
She wasn't little, but she played the part
Because her life went fast, but she kept a good heart
Life lead her to become an adult way too fast
Her childhood just didn't seem to last

She raised a family and watched them grow
Until it was their time to go
Her life lead her down the road
Sometimes it was a heavy load

Then one year there came a light
That surrounded her day and night
The greatest love that would ever be
That light she felt, was me

I was her light, and she was mine
The greatest love, love of the divine
The little girl that was lost long ago
Has been released with all the love I know

Beyond the body, there is the soul
Every moment this love will grow
Our love will never be apart
Our souls rejoice with a Christmas Heart

©Dec 19, 2014 Bud Lemire
                         Author Note:
For this beautiful woman who is now a
little child at heart. I let her inner child
out, and she came out to play. The little
boy inside of me is so very happy. She
has such a wonderful heart and soul.
At Christmas time, she is the greatest
gift ever. Thank you Vicki.

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This Time

It’s getting hard not knowing you
I feel I have or thought I knew
Falling into places
Falling into lines
Can I keep my distance this time

Faces are reappearing
Moments are endearing
The ocean sings a tune
It takes me there with you

Spaces are disappearing
My mind is in the clearing
Driven by the memory
Taking us to each moment

It’s getting hard not being there
I feel so lost and in despair
Falling into places
Falling into lines
Can’t keep my heart out this time

©12/15/14 Bruce Clifford

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Bittersweet Goodbyes

Bittersweet goodbyes are not forever
I looked into her eyes, something to treasure
I could carry on for about a week or two
Bittersweet goodbyes are said with gratitude

Floating in the sky the earth way down below
We won’t say goodbye if we could only say hello
Looking down as the city drifts away
I’ll be back, but it will have to wait for another day

Bittersweet goodbyes are not the end of knowing
The kisses and the cries just knowing that we’re going
I could carry on all about the dreams we shared
Bittersweet goodbyes just knowing that we cared

Rainbows and crowds
Pictures of moments
Talking out loud 
Taking on this world

Bittersweet goodbyes are not forever
I looked into her eyes, something to treasure
I could carry on for about a week or two
Bittersweet goodbyes are said with gratitude

©12/5/14 Bruce Clifford

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Breaking My Heart Today

You're breaking my heart today
I don't know what to do
It's not making it any easier
As I sail along without you

You're breaking my heart today
Nothing's ever been so clear
I can't find the words to say
Even though you've never been near

We've traveled throughout history
We never found the time
Now that I can almost touch you
I feel like I'm light years left behind

I don't know what you're thinking
Or if you feel the same
It's breaking my heart again
Feelings I'm trying so hard here to explain

You're breaking my heart today
Although we've never met
I'm not the type to feel this way
If I don't tell you then I may forever regret

You're breaking my heart today
The most beautiful girl in the world
Although I've never seen your face
My heart is with you, girl

We've traveled throughout history
It's the only way for this to be
I've never once felt this way
Is there something there between you and me

©12/27/14 Bruce Clifford

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