Saturday, August 1, 2015

Editor's Corner


August 2015

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open." -- John Barrymore.

Here is a happy thing: Beginning a feature article to highlight persons in Art, Music, and/or Crafts has been on the back burner for awhile. This month puts the spotlight on Phil Hennessy, one of our long time friends and regular contributors of quality reading material in this ezine. Plans include frequent presentations of other outstanding artists in their various fields, and gives your editor a chance to expand the informational and educational quality of Pencil Stubs Online, while having fun doing it.

Thomas F. O'Neill ("Introspective") put together a lesson plan for his students in Suzhou International Foreign Language School in Suzhou, China. The class is designed to show how religiously diverse America is and how freedom of religion is an important part of our American culture. Mattie Lennon ("Irish Eyes") shares details from Listowel's annual literary event, and adds some fun from the Hillbilly Tractor Run, the second year for the event.

The Cooking Column now has a new author, Roderick Cohenour. Rod, as he prefers, has enjoyed culinary arts for many years, beginning at a tender age, but we'll let him tell about that. He brings us the How to for one of his specialties: Rod's Stacked Puerco Adovada Enchiladas.

We will be looking for the return of Nancy Park and John Blair, both who let us know Summer activities were at the top of their priorities for the August issue, but expect to be refreshed and ready for writing soon. Blair, who wears many hats though basically retired, stays busy but managed to send us this poignant poem, "Vacant." Reminded your editor of seeing her grandparents former home space.

Bud Lemire's six poems are: "Love Beyond Compare," "Blowing Bubbles," "Childhood Memories," "Make It Your Own," "What You Deserve,"and "The 4th of July". Bruce Clifford shared "Summer Has Come," "Have You Given Up On Me," "Event Horizon," and "Where Are We Now."

Mark Crocker penned an elegant tribute to his grandfather, "For My Gramps" after the recent loss. Frank Ponsford had achieved the venerable age of 100yrs 3 months and 2 days.

Rebecca Morris' serial "The Adventures of Ollie Dare" continues with Chapter 4 "Ollie-Dare Meets Samual The Balloonist" for this issue. Share this with your reading youngsters.

Thanks again to Mike Craner for his expertise and patience that allows this little ezine to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading. TV has done a lot to discourage reading as a pastime, but we are holding fast.

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.

Food! Glorious food!

One of my earliest memories was following my mother and Louella around the kitchen. At first, it was strictly to get the opportunity to be the resident "taster." But then on my eighth birthday I asked Louella if she was going to make my favorite birthday cake - Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Much to my surprise, she said, "No. You are going to make your cake." 

She smiled at me, set me upon her lap and said, "Ole Louella ain't gonna be around forever, child. You need to learn how to cook for yourself and we're going to start now." 

That was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with food preparation. 

For me the spicier, the better. Growing up in New Mexico it's easy to understand why my favorite cuisines are Nuevo Mexico, Mexican, Tex-Mex and the like. But I also adore Italian, Cajun, Thai, Chinese, and of course All American dishes such as barbecue - brisket, ribs, kabobs, grilled delights.

I have a lot of wonderful recipes that I have obtained from the wonderful cross section of people that I have been blessed to know over my lifetime. I look forward to sharing some of them with you with the hope that you will have as much enjoyment in preparing food with family and friends as I have over the years. 

Bon appetit!

Rod's Stacked Puerco Adovada Enchiladas

  • 2 lbs boneless pork ribs, lean part cubed (about 1/2" cubes)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp ground cumin (reserve 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican oregano, ground (reserve 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 pkg. (14.5 oz.) frozen red New Mexico Chile (hot or mild, your choice)
  • 14.5 oz. Water
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 12 fresh flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp Chile powder
How To
    Prepare cubed pork. Whisk together dry spices and Chile powder. Add to bowl of pork cubes, tossing with hands to ensure all surfaces are coated.
    Heat vegetable oil in skillet. Add pork cubes and saute until browned on all sides.
    In large bowl place frozen red Chile and equal amount of water. Add reserved cumin and oregano. Add flour and minced garlic. Whisk, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer about 20-30 minutes until flavors are blended and sauce is thickened. (Substitute corn starch for flour, if desired.)
    Stage bowl of shredded cheese, bowl of diced onion and tortillas near stovetop. Add browned pork to thickened Chile sauce. Place stack of serving dishes within reach, must be oven-safe.
    Heat oil in skillet. Flash fry tortillas one at a time, 2-3 seconds per side. Dip in Chile-pork mixture and put on plate. Top with onion and cheese. Spoon small bit of red Chile on top. Repeat 3-4 times per plate.
    Keep plated stacked enchiladas hot in oven until ready to serve. Work quickly to prevent enchiladas from becoming greasy.
Serve with Spanish rice and refritos garnished with green onions, cilantro and shredded cheddar.

These puerco adovada estacada enchiladas may be served with crisp hot tostadas and guacamole, a chilled salad of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, mixed greens with pico de gallo as the dressing, and a pitcher of iced tea or lemonade. Classic New Mexico cuisine. Or pico de gallo on the side and Chunky Salsa roja dressing drizzled over the salad, is good too.
See pic below

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Irish Eyes


I promised you in June that I would give you an update on Listowel Writers’ Week, the greatest literary festival in Europe if not the world.
Well, where do I start?

It was opened, to a packed house at the Listowel Arms by Ireland’s Inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, Ann Enright. Prizes were presented for categories too numerous to mention.

Christine Dwyer Hickey
Reading by such literary celebs as Christine Dwyer Hickey, (see above) Colm Toibin and Paul Durcan was an education in itself. Shows such as Celebrating Yeats 150 were not to be missed. Lunchtime drama was top rate. A couple of shows stood out.
Down and Out in London and Paris, a one-man show performed by Phelim Drew, left, son of the famous Ronnie, was a brilliant piece of theatre.

And the highlight of the evening theatre was John B. Keane’s The Year of the Hiker. The Open Door Theatre Company certainly did justice to the great Keane. Space doesn’t allow me to even touch lightly on the contributions of singer/songwriter, Declan O Rourke, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Danny O Mahoney, Diarmeid Ferriter and Michael Murphy.

It rains, even in Kerry during Writers’ Week, and along with 749 others I got wet going to see Rick O Shea’s interview with Graham Norton. The multi-talented Graham too the audience on a step-by-step account of his latest autobiographical work The Life and Loves of a He devil. It was well worth Getting soaked to the skin to attend.

The grand finale the, 22nd Healing Session in John B. Keane’s, on the Sunday was everything that one could expect as far as talent is concerned. Poets, singers and performers of all sorts were in attendance. And the host, Billy Keane was at his best. Kerry is the second most beautiful county in Ireland. Speaking of which; It’s 75 years since the sluice-gate at Poulaphuca was lowered to flood the valleys to make what is now the beautiful Blessington Lakes, in County Wicklow. Between 1938 and 1940, 76 houses were demolished, and the bridges at Humphreystown, Baltyboys and Burgage blown up, in anticipation of the flooding by the Liffey Hydro-Electric Scheme.

The Blessington Lakes

But not everybody was pleased. I told you some time ago about my own father’s approach. When the price offered for the land, by the ESB, was flatly refused by indignant landowners it went to Arbitration; the democracy of which Tim Lennon was not convinced. Years later, in a radio interview, he said, “The arbitrator was the Devil and the coort was in hell.” And now a local man has dug, from the archives, a notice of a public meeting in Valleymount, in 1936, where those affected would defend their interests.

Not everyone was pleased

The reservoir is sometimes known as "lakes" due to its shape, which arises because it lies in not one but two river valleys - that of the Liffey and, primarily, that of the King River. The King's River joined the Liffey at Inchiclare, at which point the King’s River was the larger flow, and when the Liffey was dammed downstream of the confluence, A ridge of land, on which the village of Valleymount lies, divides the “lakes”. The people are Valleymount haven’t forgotten and as part of the annual Hillbilly Festival a commemorative event was held in Valleymount on Friday 26th June. Christiaan Corlett gave a very informative talk. Christiaan is editor of Beneath the Poulaphuca Reservoir. This tome is taken from a comprehensive pre-flooding survey which was carried out in 1939. It is available from Government Publications, 51 Saint Stephens Green Dublin2. Price €35.

Irish TV 191 came out and interviewed Dick Byrne and Harry Farrington and singer/songwriter Batt Kinane played his new song Ballinahown at Humphreystown Bridge. Batt is including it on his next album due out later this year.


By Bat Kinane
I lived in a stone cottage my family and me
Kept a few cattle and worked in the fields
one day bad news came from the ESB
they needed a reservoir for electricity

I remember the day my eye filled with tears
For the memories I had there over the years
As the water came closer I gathered my things
I left with my pony and trap for the hills

They flooded the valley in Ballinahown
and if you weren't quick you surely would drown
the ghosts of the village lie under the lake
and rest there for ever in a watery grave

I moved with my family to Ballinastockan
for work in the quarry where men cut the rock in
I made a good living I hadn't a worry
but for the loss of my home still I am sorry

There are the days when I look at the lake
Its beauty eludes me I know its man made
the memory still haunts me draws tears from my eyes
the day my home vanished as the water did rise

They flooded the valley in Ballinahown
and if you weren't quick you surely would drown
the ghosts of the village lie under the lake
and rest there for ever in a watery grave

©2015 Bat Kinane

Keep an eye on his website;

Francis Duffy introduced the acts and was compere for the evening giving some historical background. The Hill family played some trad tunes on Bodhran and flute. Then the play started at 9pm. The Mary Byrne school of dancing and Laura Foster did some Sean Nos dancing. Batt Kinane then played six of his local ballads and told the stories behind them and after that a 15 minute video was played on a projector that Batt put together with footage of Boden Well from 1978 and photos from Chris Corellets book.

The Flood of the Forties, a play, about the “flooding” written by John Holmes and George Guing and directed by Maria Murphy was staged. It proved to be very moving and brought back mixed memories to many older members of the audience. This also was recorded by Irish TV.

on 3 wheels

And of course the 11th annual Hillbilly Tractor Run- for charity- was, once again, a roaring success. With all the usual terminology to be heard, “Crawlers” “Rippers” and “Drawbars” were discussed at length. “Cock-lifters” were in plentiful supply and you can bet there were a few “Fast-hitches”. And as for “Grousers” sure there’s no scarcity of them around here.

The documentary/DVD on Irish Famine Pots is almost complete and will be on sale before the end of the month.
Details from:
Irish Famine Pots

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Arts, Music, Crafts

Featuring Creative People

So many artists have appeared in our ezine through the years that it is difficult to pick out anyone who excels - but Phil Hennessy is one of them.
Phil Hennessy, aka phillipo, is a writer of poetry, music, and life experiences. A musician, in the late 1990's he belonged to, and co-established the musical group "The Common People." A cd by the same name was released by RedMan Records.

June found him honored because his poem "God Only Knows" was set to music, and as such placed Phil with the top song in the month of May on the Clay County Radio, CCR, The home of Independent Country Music Promotions ! Here is the youtube link to the song:

To date, 97 of his poems have been published with us since 1998. Many of his poems have been chosen by various bands to re-present as songs. Some of his compositions began as songs. Recently Phil contacted us with the news that another poem has become recognized as a song. (See link to uTube below.)

This particular one was co-written by Darren Sims and him. He and 'Daz' also wrote "The Common People" and performed on the CD that was issued then, called, by the same title as their song.
This song by Phil and Daz, was begun by Daz while he waited for his daughter Scarlett to be born. The name "6:03" is the time when she actually arrived.


6:03, I can hardly believe,
the moment I've been waiting for, is Here
Seems to be, that some part of Me,
was knowing this sensation so clear

Who ever knew THIS kind of Love...?
Who ever knew This kind of Love...
making me Sigh,
making me Cry,
Making me High

Trusting eyes, and Scarlett skies,
I hold you, in my arms, for Ever
No moatter how tears that you cry,
I won't be Leaving, you, Never.

Who ever knew THIS kind of Love...?
Who ever knew This kind of Love...
making me sigh,
making me Cry,
Making me High

I'll always Love you,
Always think of you
I'll always Love you,
Always think of you
I'll always Love you,

©Darren Sims and Phil Hennessy

Link for the music performance of this song 6:03 on youtube

From time to time we will feature various artists in this space, so watch for next month.

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


    Every semester, I put a lesson plan together in my Cultural Diversity class at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School, here in Suzhou, China. The class is designed to show how religiously diverse America is and how freedom of religion is an important part of our American culture.
    Every American has the right to communicate their religious or non-religious beliefs it has become an intricate part of our American heritage.
    The majority of Americans are in fact Christians but the United States is not a Christian Nation. Our country is religiously diverse a microcosm of people representing every man-made religion throughout the world.
    It has been estimated that there are approximately 100 million Christians living in China. But the Chinese government has given many people the impression that it’s pro-Buddhism. The Chinese are well aware that for thousands of years Buddhism has been interwoven into China’s rich cultural heritage. The Chinese government does not want its citizens to lose their cultural heritage from western influences.
    Most of China’s tourist destinations have Buddhist temples as part of their attraction designed to draw in the tourists.
    On the other hand, Christian churches are restricted from being erected near those tourist sites. This has caused some tensions in China among Christian fundamentalists who feel their being persecuted by China’s pro-Buddhist attitudes’.
    Some human rights activists backed by various Christian denominations, claim that the Chinese Government is running a campaign to strip Christian churches of their crosses. They proclaim in their literature that 1,200 churches in the Zhejiang province in eastern China had their crosses removed by the Chinese government. By their estimates, China is home to 100 million Christians, compared with the Communist party’s 88 million members.
    Those same human rights activists believe China’s communist party perceives the growth of Christianity as a threat. However, Buddhism is the most favored religion in China, favored by both the Chinese people and by the Chinese government.
    This has not stopped Christian leaders from filing complaints with the Zhejiang Province’s ‘Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau’. They claim hundreds of places of worship have had bright red crosses removed. Some churches have been completely demolished, while civil servants have been banned from practicing their Christian faith. Those same Christian leaders suspect that the anti-Christian campaign has the backing of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and could be a “pilot project” before a nationwide crackdown.
    Officials from Zhejiang’s ‘Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau’ responded to the complaints. Stating the government had “merely relocated the crosses out of safety concerns”.
    “Generally speaking, the church staff and people are very supportive [of the removals],” an official added.
    Christian communities both protestant and Catholic are extremely angry over the removal of the crosses. A group of Catholic clergy – including an 89-year-old bishop – took to the streets to protest. “What they are doing feels like something from the Cultural Revolution era,” complained one religious leader from Zhejiang.
    Catholic leaders have also circulated an open letter claiming the removals of crosses from churches have gotten “completely out of control”.
    The letter went on to say, “our diocese has been patient and reasonable – again and again we have shown tolerance, prayed, communicated and observed, hoping that the haze would clear.”
    “But they have not stopped. Rather, they have escalated the campaign and have rushed to attack the cross, the symbol of peace and love,” the letter said.
    Addressing China’s Christian population, the letter concluded: “Let us speak out.”
    A five-story church in the city of Wenling was demolished recently; the government claims the Church was demolished voluntarily.
    A government report states, “the church had expanded without going through the proper approval process.”
    The report also goes on to say, “the building not only affected city planning but also posed a severe threat to road safety.”
    Christian leaders are also claiming that the Chinese government’s “anti-church” campaign has gotten so far out of hand that government officials’ are deploying groups of incense-burning Buddhist monks to “provoke” Christians who are trying to defend their cross.
    Protestant ministers are complaining also they believe Chinese officials’ – by sending monks to chant sutras in front of Protestant Churches is nothing more than a ploy to get Christian congregations riled up.
    One Christian fundamentalist stated, “they’re trying to make us angry so that we retaliate against them.”
    I tell my students that I’m not a religious person and I don’t particularly believe in religion. But we all can learn a great deal from Buddhism it has intrigued me for many years.
    I understand why the Chinese government would endorse the Buddhist belief system - over all other religious beliefs and practices. Buddhism after all is ingrained in China’s culture and heritage. For many in China, especially, among the youth, Buddhism is more of an intellectual pursuit rather than a religious practice.
    The majority of the Chinese do not have fundamentalist attitudes when it comes to religion. That is a good thing because I for one would not want to live in a theocracy.
    I like to tell my students, - fundamentalism in any form is dangerous - it forces ill-willed people to live their lives ignorantly due to a lack of spiritual insight and a narrow minded belief system. You can find these extremists in every religion throughout history.
    Religion is shaped by one's parents and by their parents' parents, but our spirituality is what we are born with. Spirituality is the spark, the essence, and the spirit that sustains us and all things. It's beyond rituals and religious symbols because it's the core of our existence. True spirituality is the torch that lights the way not religious principles that are imposed or mandated on others. It is lived and expressed freely in ones character for others to emulate and embrace.
    Growing up as an American, I recognize the importance of having a separation of church and state in our democracy. Americans can worship as they choose without government intrusions. That is certainly a good thing for our democratic way of life.
    America is far from being perfect but it has always been a beacon of light for people throughout the world.
    People from all parts of the globe have sought to come to America. They do so in order to emulate and embrace our American way of life and that is why I’m proud to be an American.
    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 author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


The piece of land is vacant now;
No one dwells there any more.

Once a house stood on this spot
That presently is ravaged soil
Bereft of any solid sign
That lives transpired – began,
Unfolded, maybe ended –
In the years that passed

When a shape of wood and brick
Occupied this space
With walls, a roof, that sheltered
Laughter, tears, solemnity and
Silliness – all that makes a home –
Now gone forever in an eyeblink.

But somewhere, someone

©2015 John I. Blair

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For My Gramps

I could write a thousand words to say how much I miss my Gramps.
I could fill a hundred pages with words that speak of my sorrow.
I could fill a book with words to morn for my Gramps.
I could speak for hours and days to say how much I miss Gramps.
But Gramps would not want that.
So instead I will write words that speak of the great things.
Things that Gramps taught me.
Things that have made me a better person.

From Gramps I got my love of gardening.
The joy of taking seeds and planting them.
The joy of waiting and watching.
The joy of the first seed poking its leaves above the ground.

Gramps taught me to water just right.
Gramps taught me to prune just right.
Gramps taught me to weed just right.
Gramps taught me to harvest just right.

Much more did Gramps teach me about life.
He taught me to take people as they want to be.
He taught me to care about others.
He taught me to take care of our fur covered friends.

Gramps taught me first with Sooty, Inky and Dixie.
He showed that our fur covered friends rewarded our love with their own love.
He taught me how to care for them with a good heart and kindness.
And when I failed to learn the lessons I was corrected with kindness.

I have learnt so much from Gramps and each lesson taught made me a better man.
From Gramps I learnt to stand tall and proud.
From Gramps I learnt to take responsibility for my actions.
Every time I admit to a mistake and take responsibility for that mistake I am a better man.

But if I am a better man for having had Gramps in my life.
Then he was a greater man that I will ever be.
For Gramps was a true gentleman in every meaning of the word.
Gramps was a man of honor and true gentleman.

For all of us the sun will set.
And one hundred years is a long day.
But in the end the night comes for us all.
And what matters is how we made the sun shine for others.

Born 23rd of March 1915.
Passed from this world June 26th 2015
©July 7, 2015 Mark Crocker
PONSFORD Light a Candle. Ponsford
Originally printed on July 6, 2015 in the Exeter Express and Echo. Ponsford Frank
A very special man who will never be forgotten.
100yrs 3 months & 2 days 23.3 1915 UK to 26.6.2015
Australia Love by all he met R.I.P
your loving daughters June and Mary and families

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Have You Given Up On Me

Have you given up on me
I never turned my back on you
Is this what you need to set yourself free
I don’t know what I’ll do
This can’t be true

Are you giving up dreams
You never learned to fly
Is this your one moment
That fork in road you despise

I’ve never given up on you
All of these things that we’ve been though
The many many things we wanted to do
I’ve never given up on you

Have you given up me
Does it matter all that was said
Is this what you need to set yourself free
I’m not sure what I can do
I can’t live here without you

©6/1/15 Bruce Clifford

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Summer Has Come

Summer has come
Like it’s never been
The heat and the sun
The storms and the wind

Night turns to day
Day turns to night
Summer has come
Nothing seems right

I told her last time go far away
She told me next time to do the same

Summer has come
It’s hard to know why
The warmth of the sun
The birds in the sky

Voices that fade
Songs on the sea
What has begun
Could never be

I told her last time go far away
She told me next time to do the same

Summer has come
As it always will
Until the day
When everything’s still
©6/30/15 Bruce Clifford

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Blowing Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is so much fun
Fun for me and everyone
So many bubbles in the air
They pop or fly as you're aware
I think that we all should have fun
Every day in life, because soon it's done
Take the time to blow a bubble or two
Until your time here is finally through

At any moment your life might stop
Just like a bubble that will pop
So enjoy the time and enjoy some fun
Blow some bubbles until they're done

Watch them go so very high
Or very low as they pass by
How many bubbles can you blow
So many that it is hard to know

I'll blow the bubbles just because
It's much more fun than blowing fuzz
Fun for me and everyone
Blowing bubbles is lots of fun
©July 16, 2015 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
Every now and then take time to enjoy the
little things in life. Blowing bubbles, or
whatever it is. The little things all add up
to the bigger things, and have more meaning
than you could ever know. Blow a bubble,
watch it pop. Have some fun!

See Bud blowing bubbles below.

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Event Horizon

Look at us on the event horizon
The two of us on the edge of a storm
We can’t let go as we’re stretched into singularity
The moment we show we walked past this threshold of dawn

Here we go beyond the event horizon
Time stands still as reflections turn to grain
We can’t say so, but we know the stars are calling
The back glance of a glow the burns a silent rain

The event horizon where the panic stands still
The edge of time and the last of the kill
Look at the heavens now as light turns to dark
The event horizon and the last known spark

Look at us on the event horizon 
Melodies of sounds that never were real
Dreams are halted and pasts are betrayed
Knowing there’s nothing.  There’s no escape

The event horizon where the panic stands still
The edge of time and the last of the kill
Look at the heavens now as light turns to dark
The event horizon and the last known spark

©7/8/15 Bruce Clifford

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Make It Your Own

Everything you've done, everything that's shown
Wherever life takes you, make it your own
Make everything a part of you
With everything that you do
Everyone's personality is unique
When you find what you will seek
Everyone has their own certain way
Of doing something, and it's okay

It's what they do, it's their own style
That always seems to bring on a smile
Everyone's different, nobody's the same
Being who you are, is your only aim

How can you do it the way only you can do
Is the bigger part of making you, you
I can say for sure, I love being me
There's nobody else that I'd rather be

Take pride in exactly who you are
On life's journey, it's taken you so far
Everything you've done, everything that's shown
Wherever life takes you, make it your own
©June 8, 2015 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
Everyone has their own unique touch with
everything they do. Because they are unique
at just being who they are. Their personality
shines in just being themselves. Their take on
everything, is who they are and how they see
things. How they want us to see things. It's
how we see them. They did it their way and
made it their own.

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Where Are We Now

Feeling tired
On the verge
The pain of desire
Each passing urge

Feeling lost
Can’t find my ground
Who are you
Where are we now

Where are we now
What are we headed for
Where are we now
This always seems like before

Feeling hurt
On hollow grounds
What you deserve
Can never be found

Where are we
 Where are we now
What are we headed for
Where are we now
This always seems like before

Where are we now
Are we lost in the storm
Where are we now
Can’t say we haven’t been warned

©6/12/15 Bruce Clifford

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Love Beyond Compare

Spending time with the one I love
She's the one I'm always thinking of
Believe it ot not I can feel her too
Anywhere I am, no matter what I do
She loves me, and I love her completely
In this world, she means the most to me
You may wonder why you don't see her by my side
I'll try if I can, to you I will confide

Life has a way of weaving such a web around
And the money needed was not to be found
Yet, whether she's here, or whether she's there
The love we have together is beyond compare

You see, our love is really not the same
She is beside me always, she's my Twin Flame
In Spirit, I feel deep inside my soul
That's how I can say, it's the greatest love I know

Two human spirits, as One we are complete
Never having met, but one day we'll meet
Many miles, though we may be apart
In Spirit we are One felt in the heart

Love transcends time, and travels space
Twin Flames joined in love, as is in this case
So it is the same body that we share
In this union, it's a Love Beyond Compare
©July 10, 2015 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
To my Twin Flame Vicki, who I shall always love
forever, because her love is beyond compare

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What You Deserve

Everything that is good, is what you deserve
At every corner, and at every curve
No matter where in life you go
You've earned the rewards that help you grow
Never think you're not worthy, on what you receive
You are much better, and you should always believe
Sometimes we tend to think ourselves too low
To have the things that will make us glow

Enjoy every moment that brings a smile to your face
Treasure it and hold it closely in a tight embrace
You deserve happiness, in all aspects that will be
It's life's greatest treasure, in which you hold the key

Step up to the podium, accept what you have coming
Don't back off, turn away and go off running
You are more worthy than you'll ever know
You need to realize that and make it so
©July 14, 2015 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
You deserve it, you've come very far
The rewards in your life, because of who you are
At every corner, and at every curve
Everything that is good, is what you deserve
So many of us give so much and when it is our
turn, we don't think we deserve it when we are
recognized for all we do. But just by living in this
life and respecting others, and helping others, we
deserve all good things.

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The 4th Of July

As people gather at Ludington Park
To await the Fireworks when it is dark
The Escanaba City Band plays at the Bandshell
While vendors serve what they have to sell
Waiting for the Fireworks to start
While sparklers set off a spark
Firecrackers in the distant, so very loud
It's the 4th of July, in this happy crowd

Chairs set around, as people chat
This is the place where it's all at
Friends are here, and family
So many people that you can see

There are people watching from atop the hill
A little kid has a drink just waiting to spill
Running down the hill, from here to there
The drink flies all over, everywhere

The Fireworks begin and soon starts the show
A display of lights that blast to a glow
All kinds of colors appear in the sky
It's another Escanaban 4th Of July
©July 3, 2015 Bud Lemire
                      Author Note:
I always enjoy watching the Fireworks and
chatting with different people I see down at
Ludington park. Listening to the Escanaba
City Band play while we await the Fireworks.
Watching kids play with sparklers. And of
course I take pictures to remember each year.

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The Adventures of Ollie-Dare - Chapter 4


One day while Ollie-Dare and his best friends, Jimmy the Rabbit and Ace the Coon, were having tea on the porch at Ollie-Dare's cave, Banjo the Fox came running up. He was talking very fast and Ollie-Dare had to ask Banjo to please slow down, he could not understand a word that he was saying.

Handing his friend a cup of tea he told him to sit and get his breath. Banjo quickly sipped his tea, and then began to tell Ollie-Dare of a strange sight he had seen within the forest walls.

It seemed that something had entered the forest, and all the creatures were afraid, and waiting on the wise words of Ollie-Dare. Banjo began to tell of a large object, like none he had seen before, landing in the meadows just beyound the forest walls.

Ollie-Dare, becoming concerned, asked Banjo to lead the way, and told his friends Ace and Jimmy to please follow. Well, as they entered the meadow, Ollie-Dare was indeed concerned. Before him stood a huge orange and yellow balloon. Well, at least Ollie-Dare thought it looked like a balloon. It was shaped like a balloon, but it was so big.

Creatures, large and small, gathered around Ollie-Dare to ask "What has entered our forest, Ollie-Dare?"

Ollie-Dare answered, "I have not the answers you seek, but I will find out why this strange thing has entered our forest."

Now being the wise bear that he was, Ollie-Dare knew he must take great caution. He slowly made his way up to the object and called, "Who goes there!"

Suddenly a voice answered, "I am Samual the Balloonist, and who may I ask are you?"

Ollie-Dare looked up to see a large man looking out from a basket that was attached to the big balloon. "I am Ollie-Dare, and this is my forest you have entered," he answered.

"I am sorry," replied Samual, "But my balloon has taken on a leak, and it must be repaired before I go on. I only landed here in the meadow so I could do some repairs."

"I have seen balloons before, and this does not look like any balloon I have ever seen," laughed Ollie-Dare.

Samual, with a smile, explained "This is a hot-air balloon that can travel great distances and go high within the sky. I have visited many lands and seen many things within my balloon."

Ollie-Dare was amazed, and as he walked around the giant balloon he shook his head and said, "A balloon that carries a man within the sky all over the world! How wonderful! Come, I will serve fresh tea, and you, Samual, will tell me more about this balloon of yours."

So off Samual and Ollie-Dare went to Ollie-Dare's cave deep within the forest. Following behind, were Ace, Jimmy, and Banjo, all eager to hear what Samual had to say. They all sat quietly listening to the funny stories of Samual, and how his balloon carried him to lands far beyond the oceans.

After tea, Ollie-Dare asked Samual how they may be of help in mending his balloon. He added, "Nibbles the squirrell's pine-quill needles, she uses to sew, would not have the strength needed; and her thread would not hold such as your balloon needs for repairing."

Samual thought for awhile then answered, "Well, if you could perhaps help me find some strong clay that I could plug the hole with? The hole is slight, and that should hold it until I can reach were I am going, and I can finish the repairs there. It will take a few days for the clay to harden and I must ask if I could stay for that time?"

Ace spoke up "I know were we could find the clay. You see, Beaver Joe is moving his dam up stream, and they have been working fresh clay for days. However, Beaver Joe doesn't like to give up his clay, so it may take some talking."

"Maybe Woodchuck the Logger, will give us fresh cut wood to trade Beaver Joe for the clay. For if there is one thing Beaver Joe likes more than clay, it's wood!" said Banjo. "And as soon as I finish this cup of tea, we'll go see what we can do."

Soon Banjo and Ace were off to see if they could get the clay Samual needed, and Ollie-Dare and Jimmy the Rabbit took Samual for a tour of their forest. Samual, in all his travels, had never seen such beauty and wonder as that of Ollie-Dare's forest. He saw pine trees so large their branch ends could not be seen; streams so clear the water created diamonds from the sunlight; grass as green as Irish clover, and soft as cotton. A rainbow of flowers lined the forest with roses, orchids, daiseys, violets, and wild flowers of every name. He saw oaks and maple trees so huge he could hide his balloon beneath them. The wind gave soft music that carried the fresh smell of the flowers.

He met many of the forest residents. There was Nibbles the squirrel (who gave him a quill needle just in case he needed it), Fanny the Robin, and Blossom the possum. Shantey the Groundhog walked by, and many more. The sun was beginning to fade when they made their way back to Ollie-Dare's cave. On entering, they found Ace and Banjo back from their quest, and with them a full pot of clay from Beaver Joe, with well wishes from him and Woodchuck.

Early morning came, and Samual and Ollie-Dare went to repair the leak in the hot-air balloon. They worked all day and into the night before going to settle in for a few days to let the clay harden in the sun of day. Two days had finally passed, and Samual was sorry to leave his new friends, but knew he must carry on his travels, and his work to see new lands and cities.

All the forest creatures gathered for a farewell, many bringing gifts of food and water. As the giant balloon rose within the sky Ollie-Dare once again wondered if he would see his new friend again, and wished him well on his travels.

Jimmy the Rabbit was very sad, for Samual would not take him with him in the big balloon and Ollie-Dare knew he was heartbroken. But the same as Samual needed the open sky and his balloon, Jimmy needed his forest to live, and would soon forget the pain of his broken heart.

The balloon soon drifted from sight and Ollie-Dare and his friends went back into the forest. Jimmy asked "Ollie-Dare, why is man so different from all here in the great forest?"

Ollie-Dare thought for a moment, for he knew he must answer well and wise. "Man and beast," Ollie-Dare began, "are not so very different at all. We need the same things - just in different ways. Man needs food, we need food. He seeks adventures in other lands, we seek it here within the forest walls. Man strives to better his world, we work to better our forest. He sleeps, we sleep. I find only one difference between the two, for as man creates, he destroys a lot of things because he fails to see beyond what he creates. We, here in the forest, must always look beyond tomorrow, in what we create. However, man and beast must both live with the outcome of all we create."

Jimmy the Rabbit became very quiet as he thought of Ollie-Dare's words. He looked up one last time, and wondered what it would be like high within the sky, and wondered were Samual was now. He knew that he had created a new friend in Samual, one creation they all could live with.

©2002 Rebecca Morris
Next month: Ollie Dare goes Camping

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