Saturday, April 2, 2016

Editor's Corner

April 2016

April begins with the dubiously distinctive title of April Fool's Day. In this issue Phillip Hennessy has one poem called "Made a Fool of Myself for You" and our Dublin columnist Mattie Lennon includes a joke tale in honor of the Day. Bud Lemire did one poem called "April Fools Day" and another titled "Watching Me."

Phil Hennessy also has a few other poems for us: "I Didn't Ask," "Just Once," and "Solutions."  Also, Another of Phil's poems has become a song....!!

Performed by artist Lilia Ricci - "One Day" Music by Lilia Ricci Lyrics-Phil Hennessy with    John I. Blair adds a poem written after observing a grand daughter's rehearsal, "Skater." Bruce Clifford submitted two poems for this issue: "All It Takes" and "How Do You Do It."  Riva Joi Smith (Joy) sent the positive free verse "Recap." Kay Roy Jones shares the one she says kept ringing in her head, "Just Because."

Modern technology is one of the things that helps our "Armchair Genealogy" author, Melinda (Carroll) Cohenour, research and prepare her column, but when the computer goes down, it closes a lot of doors. The door affecting us is having to do without that column this issue. The same door also stops Rod Cohenour from having his column "Cooking With Rod" available for publication. Looking forward to hearing from both in May.

Clara Blair's novel "Emeralds for Emma" is also expected to continue in May with John Blair's efforts. He is under the weather this past month, and plans to get back to it soon.

Thomas F. O'Neill is facing new restrictions due to his location in China and a stubborn supplier; he explains in "Introspective."

LC Van Savage's column "Consider This" regrets the loss of her parent with a "Letter to Papa."  Judith Kroll fills her "On Trek" with a self-realization poem this issue.

Making his first appearance, author Bruce Holsted's article "Sacred Space" was an eye opener for your editor and may contradict a supposition of your own. Well written and compassionate, it is well worth reading. We hope to hear more from him in future issues.

"Adventures of Ollie-Dare" Chapter 12 by Rebecca Morris, has the bear taking a trip! One never knows what that bear will do next.

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.

Watch for us in May!

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This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Sacred Space

      I slip in the front door quietly. I garner a look from everyone present at the nurse’s station. Not breaking stride I move on past cognizant of their eyes following me. I make certain my hospice volunteer name badge is prominently displayed on my left pocket. I carry a file folder with the patient info inside. As I make my way into the patient’s room, I open the door gently so as not to disturb him.

      Charlie lays in a bed staring out the window. He is in reasonably good spirits today. Strange how the dying are so many times in a good mood. I guess that in a world where every day can be your last just waking up can be cause for celebration. We exchange pleasantries and I drag up my chair. I’m excited to be here. Charlie is a great spiritual force in this epoch, and I’m honored to be part of his care giving team. You see, Charlie has one foot in this world and one in the world to come. His diagnosis is such that he has retained all the functions of his mind and has little pain to contend with. This is quite unusual among the dying and beside providing Charlie with a comfortable exit, it provides me with a rich, alert and receptive medium who is daily in touch with that which so interests me.

      As I sit and bring out my papers on which to scribe notes, I ask Charlie about his recent dreams and visions. He lights up. His most recent visitor was his dog from his childhood. He clearly describes the dog to me. It is black and white, or rather, it was black and white, as far as I am concerned. To Charlie, however, the dog is, not was, and he is very black and very white and he has long hair. Charlie points to the window and smiles. The dog is there now. I can sense that Charlie is anxious to have his reunion.

      This dog thing is new, and I make a note of it. I’m not sure how I’d verify if he had a black and white dog as a youth, but there is no need to verify it. I’ve been in so many situations like this one with so many patients, I know what the answer will be. Sure, I could do some research, dig up old family photos, talk to his siblings and ask all sorts of questions about his childhood pets. Were I able to locate the right person, I’m sure they’d confirm the description of the dog, but same would be pointless save for the skeptic. I’m no skeptic. In fact, I’m a believer, a radical believer, and Charlie knows it. That is why he likes to have me here.

      I make my notes about the dog along side the notes about the angels and spirit beings that he sees on a regular basis. Of all the folks I have sat with, Charlie has more contact with spirit realms than any. He sees the angels clearly, converses with them as need be, and has a face full of joy and contentment after he finishes these visits. I swear, sometimes he just seems to glow. All of this from a man who will be leaving the planet any day now.

      Charlie has a wife. She is a wonderful woman. Bright, educated, attractive. She cares for Charlie well. He stayed at home much longer than most men in his shape. His sweet little bride attended to his every need until it was just plain impossible to do it any more. Finally, when the physical strain got too heavy, she brought him here. Although she is his life’s companion, he cannot talk to her about the spiritual things. I don’t know if it is her fear of his dying, which is the implied outcome in such conversation, or if she just does not “buy in” to the actual presence of the spiritual along side the physical on a daily basis. Regardless of the reason, he can’t talk about these things when she is present. That is why my visits are so special to him.

      After we finish talking about the dog we talk about art for a bit. He is a collector of sorts. Nothing he has is famous as art and none of the persons who wielded the brushes would be persons of fame. That notwithstanding, the art he has is all good. Each piece features some interesting treatment of light playing on subjects. Funny, a man so attuned to the spiritual has art that deals with light. A “child of light” well describes him.

      We continue our visit with the usual conversations. He tells stories of his days as an electrician, talks of his kids and grandkids, talks of his father and siblings. He tells of journeys and travels. Each story is told quietly, reverently, with great care and compassion. As I listen, which is my primary job as a hospice volunteer, I regret that soon these stories will be gone for good. When he takes his last breath they will no longer be accessible in this realm. It seems tragic, but it is completely normal. Out with the old and in with the new. A person born in the country every eight seconds and one leaves every eleven. Each tick of the clock takes a collection of stories with it just as it provides the opening pages for the new ones about to begin. I wish his stories could have been captured. I wish all stories could be captured. It seems such a waste to let them get away.

      In time I realize he is getting tired. He has me crank up the oxygen a bit before I leave so that he is comfortable enough to get out any last thoughts he needs to send with me. With a smile and a weak handshake, we part company. As I back away from his bed, I watch him look out the window again. He smiles. I imagine the dog is doing a few tricks for his entertainment. I can sense that their reunion will be a happy one.

      I miss my visits with Charlie in the coming weeks. I’m out of town on one week, and on the next I arrive to find him sleeping peacefully. I decide not to wake him. Flipping through my sheets, I find another patient to go visit that is just down the hall. I check back in on Charlie as I leave. He’s slipping in and out of consciousness. I sit and hold his hands for a while. We have no verbal communication.

      Another week goes by and one morning while eating my Wheaties, I see his obituary. Our local newspaper allows the families of the departed to participate in the writing of the obits. The results of that policy are warm, rich, wonderful columns that almost make the person come alive in your mind. Charlie’s was no exception. I assumed it must have been written by an English teacher as everything was completely perfect. I drop my head and say a little prayer of thanks for him. I learned so much, I always learn so much from all of them. Hospice work is by its nature a sacred space.

      A couple of weeks later I pick up the phone and call the medium I keep on retainer. She is always glad to get my calls and I schedule an appointment. After I hang up, I make out a check to her and drop it in the mail. In the coming days she will meditate and do whatever it is that she does to conjure up the spirits of the departed with which I have worked. I’m always amazed at how she can do what it is that she does. She has no idea of who they are or what time I spent with each. That notwithstanding, she is always right on target with her readings.

      On the appointed day my phone rings at 10:00 am straight up. We exchange our normal banter and ask how each other is doing. In time she gets quiet. This is my cue that my former patients are about to show up. Her first words blow me away:

      “Bruce, I’m seeing a balding, smiling gentlemen. He’s sorta small, I see him laughing. Beside him is a shaggy black and white dog. The man looks supremely happy! Does that make sense to you?”

      I chuckle inside. The vision it conjures up makes me laugh out loud. “Yes Beth! It makes perfect sense to me! Tell ole’ Charlie I said hello!”

      “He says hi, and also thank you. He wants you to know that his dog is with him.”

      I laugh. I know he is laughing too.

      Once again, I’m in a sacred space. ©March 2016 Bruce W. Holsted

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Consider This

Letter to Papa

Dearest Papa: I just can’t believe it. You of all people; you went and got Alzheimer’s disease. This is so hard to accept, Papa, a man as healthy as you always were. I’m unsure if Alzheimer’s has much to do with whether a person is physically healthy; there are new reports on that issue every year. What I do know is that it’s an unfair, cruel disease that seems to throw Alzheimer darts randomly, and the ones who get hit by them get the malady. But you, Papa, of all people. Your mind was constantly active. You read all the time. There was not a crossword puzzle made you couldn’t fill out in 20 minutes or less. You never even took a vacation; you went and found temporary work during those weeks “off” from your regular job so you could provide even more for your beloved family.

      I’ve never known you to be hospitalized or even sick, and I’ve known you since 1957 when I fell in love with your son and married him two years later. Oh, there was that time when you crashed down from the top of that tall tree in your back yard while pruning it when you were in your late seventies and did some damage to yourself, but that was  it.

      I miss you Papa, a lot. I wrote to you all the time, but know you could not read my letters or postcards because Alzheimer’s steals even the ability to read. It takes everything, doesn’t it? I used to send my columns to you, and you’d make copies at the Masonic Home where you lived and you’d carry great sheaves of them over your arm to hand out to the residents there. You were so proud, and so was I. One of the old ladies there even asked for my autograph when we came to visit you. That was beyond wonderful and made me so happy. Thanks for doing that, Papa.

      Your grandson Mark recently visited you when he had a couple of days off. You didn’t really know him, although he said he could see some recognition in your eyes. He told us you talked as if you were still in that old store you used to run, advising him to make sure it was locked up when he left, so the inventory wouldn’t be stolen. Mark was honored and happy to live in that world with you for a while.

      I want you to know that your sons are doing well Papa, both happily married for a long time. Your youngest is retired now, but is running a small business similar to the kind he spent his professional years doing. He and I are still awfully happy together and have been for 57 years. We had three sons, Papa, your grandsons; Erick, Mark and Paul, all doing very well. They’ve given you great-grandchildren, Pop, four girls and two boys, terrific kids, bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh. They’re happy, smart, spirited and beautiful, and I promise we’ll always tell them all about you because we want them to grow up to be like you. We’ll make sure this happens.

       Your other son David is retired now too, as is his wife, your dear Barbara, but they keep very involved with many worthy projects. Their two girls, your beloved granddaughters Lisa and Laura, are fine accomplished women and happy too.

      Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are strong and are on good, healthy paths, Papa. They’re going in the right direction and largely because of you will continue to be productive, honorable adults. You don’t have to worry about them. After all, they are your dynasty, your blood and your destiny. I promise you can always be very proud of them. All of us share the hope that these kids will be the kind of person you always were, Pop; honest, strong, hard working, family focused and decent. We will care for them the way you cared for all of us.

      We all hope you’re with your cherished Marian. You are the vanished now, but never to us. Never, ever to us. We love you. LC

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   For many people the internet has become a necessity for banking, employment, shopping online and for entertainment. Our lives are now connected to smart devices that are linked to the World-Wide-Web.

   Living abroad - the internet is a way for me to feel connected to my home Country, America. I rely mostly on my VPN (Virtual Proxy Network) to access online programs in the US. It gives me the feeling as if I never left home and for many other foreigners in China a VPN gives them the ability to access American news programs and entertainment sites.

   A VPN also allows internet users to get around China’s online censorship by making their computer appear as if it is accessing the online content in a different country. The internet user then has the freedom to access news programs and entertainment sites as if they were in their home country without the hassle of the content being blocked.
   One site I enjoyed accessing was Netflix I was paying a monthly subscription to get unlimited access to their site. But recently Netflix has blocked VPN users from viewing their online programs. Users like myself and users from other corners of the globe were happy to pay Netflix for their service.

   ( If you are a paying customer you should have the same access as other paying customers regardless of accessing the site through a VPN service provider. People like me need to use proxies and VPNs to gain access to the content that is being blocked in the country where we reside. )

   Netflix and (especially) its partners were never happy with the VPN users viewing their programs from outside the US, but there wasn’t much of a serious effort to combat the issue. An online petition from Open Media telling Netflix to “stand up to Big Media bullies” has already received nearly 38,000 signatures but Netflix is refusing to change its policy. Surveys have been done and the surveys show that users may resort to piracy if they can’t access the content through legitimate means.

   Many VPN users are affected by these recent access restrictions and VPN providers are receiving hundreds of complains from users on a daily bases. Many VPN users are complaining to their service providers by mistakenly thinking their VPNs are no longer working. The main complaint being made is that the VPN users are paying for the services both to the VPN service provider and to Netflix. This is forcing many VPN providers to find technical solutions to bypass both China’s restrictions and the restrictions being imposed by Netflix.

   One main argument is that VPNs aren’t just used to spoof a computer’s address to make the computer look as though it is in a different country. The VPN technology also allow for increased security, which is significant since Netflix doesn’t use a form of encryption that is used to keep connections safe.

   Netflix states that its ultimate aim is to have all content licensed across the world, so that there will be no need to pretend to be in another location to access their content. But in the meantime I canceled my monthly subscription to Netflix since I can no longer have access to their programs. That seems to be the only logical conclusion for the time being.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
    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

Shy Girl

I couldn't make myself believe how shy I use to be
I couldn't look you in the eye for fear of what you would see.

A shy girl trying to be brave, but knowing all along,
the only way to break my shell, was with a joyful song.

Good bye shy, you played your part so well
But now it's time for shy to fly,
                                                Lifting spirits from a broken shell..

My soul is whole once more..
Shy will never again,
open that old door.

I blushed and flushed and broke into a sweat,
It was a long time before my shadow and I even met.

The crack within that shell of me,
opened up so gently
The light came in, but..oh,\ light flowed out of me,
for all the world to see.
I burst into joyful tears to finally meet the real me.

Shy girl gone, confident me,
My transformation miraculously flys. I am free

Free to be.

©3-3-16 Judith Kroll

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Irish Eyes

Our Long March

We had an interesting March here on this island.

       On 10th March newly elected TD Danny Healy Rae made his maiden- speech in Leinster House with all the eloquence of a Kerryman . Danny made history, along with his brother Michael when they became the first brothers, in the history of the state, to be elected for the same constituency on the same day. We still don’t have a government. There’s talk of a “Grand Coalition” and talks appear to be at a sensitive stage between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the smaller parties. The whole thing reminds of the following incident:

      It was September 1940. Serious things were happening in the world but Fianna Fail was in power.

      The Liffey Hydro-Electric Scheme was almost complete. The dam at Poulaphouca was in the final stages of construction. The sluice gate would be closed on October the first and flooding of the valley would begin.

  Eamon De Valera decided that he would do a day’s trout-fishing in the King’s River before it was subsumed, by what was to be known as the Blessington Lakes, for ever. He called the head of the Irish Meteorological Service and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours. The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days. So, he headed off and parked his car in Blessington.

      As he was walking across the Killeogh bog he met Jimmy Norton with a donkey and cart.

      Jimmy prefaced nearly every statement with, “what I mane to say”. “What I mane to say Sir,” says Jimmy, “ye should go back to your motor car, for it’s goin’ to teem outa the hoorin’ heavens.”

      Dev was polite to Jimmy and said : "I hold the head meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. And besides, we pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way." So he kept going.

       However, a short time later a torrential shower fell from the sky. De Valera was soaked to the skin. Not in the best of humour he returned to Dublin to sniggers in the office, behind his back, at how “the long-fellow got drenched.” He gave instructions that the head weatherman was to be dismissed at once.

      A senior Cicil Servant was despatched to Ballinastockan to offer Jimmy Norton the prestigious and high paying role of chief- forecaster.

      “What I mane to say” said Jimmy, “I know nothin’ about weather forecasting, to tell you nothin’ ony the f**in truth. I get me information from the donkey. If I see me donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."

      The government hired the donkey. And so began the practice, whenever Fianna Fail was in power, of hiring asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.

* * * * *

We had a fine day for the feast of our patron Saint.

       Our care- taker Taoiseach got on Christian name terms (the colloquial term, that is) with the founder of his releign in Washington on the feast of our national apostle. And the head of another political party was refused admission to the White House an error for which the powers that be apologised profusely.

      I was in Boston for Saint Patrick’s Day and while north of Ireland women were always too smart for me I got talking to our Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaelteacht , Heather Humphrys, in the Boston Plaza Hotel. Through her I met a very interesting Professor was visiting Boston..

      Mr. Haakon Doherty, Professor of Orthopaedics, at Uppsala University, has found evidence in human feet of the evolution of “wheels.”

      He agrees that it took millions of years for legs to evolve from fins but he has claimed in a recently published paper that the rate of human evolution has accelerated to such an extent that as early as the year 3000 humans will be traveling on their own “wheels.” “One of the causes of the rapid acceleration is the population boom. With more people an advantageous genetic mutation will arise and spread.”

       When I cornered the professor I asked him two questions:

      “Where did you get your surname”? and

      “Why have species millions of years older than ourselves not grown wheels”?

      He told me that his Grandfather Hugh Doherty was Irish; Editor of the Barnasmore Bugle newspaper in Donegal and when the paper ceased publication he went to Stockholm where he married a Swede.

      In answer to my second question he said, “We didn’t grow wheels because there weren’t any roads or flat surfaces until a few thousand years ago, which is the blink of an eye in cosmic terms. When biology was facilitating locomotion the terrain to be negotiated was catered for. Legs, fins and wings were sufficient Evolution adapts us to suit our environment. Adaptation may cause either the gain of a new feature, or the loss of an ancestral feature. If there were motorways a hundred million years ago you and me would be moving around Quincy Market on our own “flesh-and-blood roller skates”.

      Then, in what he pretended was an afterthought he said, “The larvai of the mother-of-pearl moth (Pleurotya Ruralis,) when startled, will roll itself into a round shape and roll away and the bacterium Escherichia coli moves by spinning filiments called flagella like tiny propellers which rotate at a speed of several hundred times per second.” On seeing that I was taken aback he went on, “if those are not wheels they are fairly bloody close.”

      I was wondering about the blood supply but didn’t dare ask the question. The professor read my mind, “The flesh-and-blood wheel could use the umbilical connection similar to that used on merry-go-rounds”.

      Seeing that his erudite instruction was falling on barren ground he gave me a practical demonstration using a CD and one of my shoelaces.

      Back in my hotel I checked each foot beneath the ankle bone for traces of the beginning of an “axle” but drew a blank.

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Sometimes in my life
the Angels have whispered
"let's briefly recap".
Perhaps something is not clear to you,
a page torn of that chapter of your book.
One's glasses fogged up
at the last minute.

 I Was Talking to a new friend of mine,
about seeing something
written down in a dream.
We both agreed reading those things
seemed very difficult and
had to be read quickly.
Neither of us knew the reason,
but we both said it was never
accomplished the way we both
wished to understand it !

The Angels get that about us.
They want us to get it.
It helps with learning lessons
and getting rewards.

There are times in life,
we just need to stop
and briefly recap
the fuzzy parts
or the mysterious parts,
before we set off on
the adventure of life again.

They are always waiting
to help us clarify things.
©2016 Joy Smith

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Made Myself A Fool For You

I made myself, a Fool, - for you
Perhaps I was a Tool, - for you
Something to hold, and feel so near
Nothing so cold as the voices, I hear.

They tell me to do this,
they tell me, “Do that”
Its sometimes a Wonder
I know where I’m at.

Could this be fantasy,
Is this so Real?
How will I know
How to think, how to Feel?

An intuition comes along,
an insight may appear,
and all I know, is I should grasp -
and cling upon the Truths, I hear.

With such passions aroused, and (with hindsight), no Reason
We hide our suspicions, of others’, deep treason
Their shouts of denial, that echo, so sweetly
For judgements abound, and rebound, discretely.

With our minds now possessed, and a passion to know
We seek further guidance, - (for “lights”, to show)
We pray for protection from anything dark
We ask that the light shines, reflecting a “spark”

Which smiling Angel, which Star do we follow
For us to come Home, without Hate, without Sorrow?
Returning from battles within, and without,
We smile at the Wisdom awarded, no doubt.

We ask for the courage to cross boundaries unknown,
and support of our helpers, who’s way was once shown
the noise of the battle approaches, my friend
is this the Beginning, or is this – The End.
©2016 Phillip Hennessy
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Behind the heavy Lucite walls
Across the ice she skims,
One skated swan among the flock.

How easy to forget her youth,
Her innocence, how light
She felt within my arms
So few years ago. And yet
I know her youth will pass,
Too soon, too soon for me,
Not soon enough for her.

That is the way of life for us:
Avid at the start to live it out,
Sad at last to end.

©2016 John I. Blair

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Solution, is The only Prize
we Realise
Every time we enter
a friendship
We relive our Past
And realise
The Sadness wasn’t ours
To keep
The Fear wasn’t yours.
Your fear was of loss
Though Look!
SEE, what you have gained
Where is this loss?
It is Lost, in time
Awaiting its return to reality
For when the Storm clears,
The grass and the air smell
So, so much sweeter
The Air, is cleaner
The Sun – Shines
We Play
The chilling spirit of attachment
Embraced, and made warm
And Safe
To play
With Friends
 Oh, the Rules are the same
We just Understand them
A little.
©2016 Phillip Hennessy
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All it Takes

How do you get through each day
When all of your questions are getting in the way
I wonder which one lends a hand
All it takes is one toe in the quicksand

How do you spark in the night
When are you seeking the glow of that light
I wonder if they can read this empty room
I’m not so sure if we got caught in this too soon

Messages are clear
Images are in place
Every single moment
Every second we could trace

How do you face this empty sky
When are you lost in your dreams of not knowing why
I wonder which one is the plan
All it takes is one toe in the quicksand
All it takes is one friend to lend a hand
All it takes is for someone to understand
©3/18/16 Bruce Clifford

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Watching Me

Out of my window, the fog rolls on in
I look a bit closer, could that be my twin?
Out of the fog, comes a man on a red bike
Carrying a camera, and we look alike

He seems to be searching, and looking around
From the 15th floor of the Harbor Tower, I can't hear a sound
He takes out his camera, and takes a picture I see
As I watch his movements, he acts a lot like me

I see him riding his red bike to another spot
He jumps off his bike, and takes another shot
He's seeing things that I can't see from up here
I'm sure I would see them, if I was near

I see him ride out to Aronson Island, and then he comes back
On his back there seems to be a good sized backpack
Assuming he's me, I know what is inside there
A water bottle, a snack, extra batteries, that he takes everywhere

From the bridge to the Marina, to the Municipal Dock
I watch as he captures the scenes, around the clock
He must be seeing something, that no one else can
I should know what he is seeing, for I am that man

Yet, how can I see me, when I am up here
There's a fog in my mind, that makes it unclear
Am I seeing the future, or maybe the past
Why am I having this vision, I ask myself at last
I stop asking myself why, as I'm looking at me
As I see me take a picture, of a beautiful tree

©Mar 9, 2016 Bud Lemire
                      Author Note:
I was gazing out the window today and saw the
fog rolling in. I thought of myself down there
taking pictures. There are days when you can find
much more beauty, and there days when you find less.
But I always find most days, I can find something good
in every day to take a picture of.

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I Didn't Ask

I didn’t Ask you to Love me
That was Your Choice
I didn’t tell you what to say to me
That was Your voice

I didn’t make you Look at me
Those were Your eyes
All those things you saw in Me
Was Your Love, …Realised

It wasn’t my Dream, it was yours, you see?
I had no idea of the Truth, it was ME
How could I have known
I thought that we were friends,
that Love could Grow

I wanted to be the Song that you sing
I wanted you to be Everything
Everything you see in me
That you would like for YOU to be
Souls united, in this space
that we Created, face to face
with Hearts so true and full of light
the darkness ends, no need to fight
the feelings flow, and energize
the Light that Shines from “opened” eyes

the Love within was always here
we just didn’t make it clear
the Truth within we need to share
with all due Honour, in our Care.
We can show the souls we know
that We create the Life we show
to others, we can always seem
that prayers are wishes,
All a Dream.

©2016 Phillip Hennessy

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Just Because

Just because you are so far away
Has not stopped my thoughts each day
Just because you’re very strong
You keep me laughing all day long

Just because you have been sent to me
We can now be totally free

Just because you have a wonderful heart
Opening to our possible start

Just because you have some sorrow
Only means the depth of your love tomorrow

Just because of how you make me feel
The warmth and depth I know is real

Just because of our daily chat
Has kept me on our path

Just because you are mine my dear
The blessings of angels is so very near

Just because I thank you every day
For staying with me in every way

Just because you are whom I see
Shows me the woman I want to be

Just because and because it seems just
To dream of wonders ahead I must
©March 2016 Kay Roy Jones

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Just Once

Just once…come on your own
Don’t bring anyone with you
I want to Know you
And all there is about you

I don’t want to know, what your friends think about you
I’d be more interested to know what you think of Them
And what you Do, when you’re completely Alone
What you Think, when your mind is free of distraction
How you Feel, (when you’re allowed to)…
You know, really FEEL what you Want to
Without Expectations, or Limitations
No Inhibitions, preconceptions,
Just….free-falling, into Thought
That merges with senses, Unconscious to Reality
And transcends all boundaries and barriers
Placed before us by our former Selves
Obstacles we disguised so much
We no longer recognise
The Spirit

Just Once…come on your Own
Don’t bring anyone with you
Just Once
©2016 Phillip Hennessy

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How Do You Do

How do you do
What do you say
If we had the chance
To only find a way

What’s in your heart
Dreams and the stars
How do you do
The best part of you

Never go to far away from the crowd
I know this is hard when the noise is so loud

How do you do
Be it as it may
The moment you give in
The loneliness remains

Never go to far away from the crowd
I know this is hard when the noise is so loud

How do you do
What do you say
If we had the chance
If we only had today

©3/26/16 Bruce Clifford

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April Fools Day

It's April Fools Day, who'll be the fool
Do you know anyone who is breaking the rule
Remember when sugar was changed to salt
Well, I can say, it sure wasn't my fault
I'm sure you remember things that happened on this day
The tricks that were pulled, as life took us away
I remember telling a friend, I saw an orange spotted purple bird
She stood on a chair to look, craziest thing you ever heard

April Fools Day can be enjoyed, as long as it's harmless fun
There's so many people, and you can choose anyone
I once told a friend I had a Japanese Ancestry
I'm all French, so how could that be

Oh there are so many fools on this April's day
It's that time of year when it's jokes that we play
I haven't played jokes in such a long time
But not playing them today, is such a crime

April Fools only come around on the first
As long as they're harmless, it won't be the worst
If someone offers you a chocolate bar, it might be Ex-Lax
Because on this day, those are the facts

©Mar 31, 2016 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
April Fools Jokes are fun, as long as they don't
hurt anyone. Wishing all my friends a Happy
April Fools Day!

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The Adventures of Ollie-Dare - Chapter 12


         March had entered the forest with a warm promise of Spring. Fanny the Robin was out and about along with Henny the wren...and several of her friends. Nibbles the Squirrel could be seen running about...and Blossom the Possum was busy digging the earth for her flowers and vegetables. There was a new addition to the Great Forest, Nibbles' nephew CuCu, had come to visit for a while and he was seen helping her in her daily chores.

         Ollie-Dare had arrived back from the Elders' Forest with much news and gifts, and they had planned a gathering for the first Sunday in March, so he could tell all his wonderful news. Ollie-Dare had placed his staff from the Elders next to his beloved books, and he would often take it up and think upon its meaning. Ollie-Dare knew that though his wisdom was great, he still had so much to learn. He also knew that he would leave the Great Forest once again, to explore and learn those things he needed.

         As the day of the gathering came, Ollie-Dare thought of what he needed to say to all the forest creatures. How he would explain to them the meaning of the staff of the Elders, and how he would use it to better the Great Forest. One by one the forest creatures entered into the the clearing beneath the large pine trees, that Ollie-Dare had chosen to be the meeting place. It would now be known as the Elders' circle, and for each meeting they would gather here. He had chosen this clearing for the trees would provide protection from all seasons.

         As soon as the clearing had become full of all the Great Forest creatures, Ollie-Dare stood and began to tell them of his news. "I gather you here today, my friends, to tell you news of home, and of a wonderful thing that has happened to us here. First I will tell you that all is well in the Forest of the Elders, and you will find your gifts and letters waiting for you as you leave."

         As Ollie Dare began to speak again, he had taken out his Elders' Staff, and whispers and excitement could be heard. "This staff, given to us here in the Great Forest, is one of great honor," said Ollie-Dare. "I must use great wisdom in using this staff, and in asking for those that shall help me in leadership with the staff. I will travel outside the forest walls, and seek once again the answers I need. So in a few days, I shall go and seek this wisdom."

         All the creatures, young and old, gathered around to look at the staff and give their blessings to Ollie-Dare on his new adventure.

         When the time came for Ollie-Dare to leave, the forest walls were lined with all the forest creatures giving well-wishes for a safe return. Ollie-Dare was not sure where his travels would take him, so he started walking. He had walked for several hours when he came upon a small cottage nestled in a wooded area near the roadside. It was a pretty cottage with flowers and a small, white fence surrounding it. Ollie-Dare was curious to see who lived in the little cottage, so he walked up and knocked on the door.

         The door opened to a aged man that walked with a cane, and who had bright blue eyes. The man smiled at Ollie-Dare and asked, "Now, who could you be, knocking on my door? For I don't think I have ever had a bear visit before."

         "I am Ollie-Dare, the Wise bear," answered Ollie-Dare, "and I found your home to be such a delight, I wanted to stop and visit. I mean you no harm, for I am traveling, seeking answers for myself."

         The man asked Ollie-Dare, "Would you care for tea, Ollie-Dare? For I have heard of you and your wisdom, and I would like to have you visit with me."

         Ollie-Dare entered into a small room that had been decorated with wonderful wooden furniture, that was covered with bright cloths. A small fireplace and mantel were set within the room, and along one side were shelves lined with many books. Ollie-Dare asked the man, "I see that you also enjoy reading, have you read all these books?"

         "Yes," said the man, "and I am called William."

         "It is nice to meet you, William, and I think we have lots to speak on" said Ollie Dare with a smile. They settled down at a round table that also was covered with a bright cloth, and William served fresh tea.

         William asked Ollie-Dare what wisdom was he seeking.

         Ollie-Dare answered, "I am not sure what I am seeking." Then he told William of the Elders' Staff and how he must use the honor the Elders had given him, wisely.

         The man said, "Ollie-Dare, I have heard of your wisdom, and how you protect all that lives within the forest walls. Is it not enough?"

         "No," answered Ollie-Dare, "for I am sure there is much for me to learn."

         "Yes, Ollie-Dare, we all need to learn more, for wisdom is not measured by days, but by life-times. For all wisdom, all knowledge, is given throughout our life. We shall always have new things to learn, new paths to open." said William.

         "Yes, indeed," answered Ollie-Dare. "I see you also have much wisdom, for I hear it in your words. Do you seek wisdom away from your cottage? Do you travel seeking new things...opening new paths?"

         "I did do those things for many years, but I have grown old and seek my wisdoms, my truths, here in my cottage. Through books I get knowledge, and through friends like you, I gather more knowledge."

         The two talked into the early hours of morning, sometimes giving advice and sometimes asking for it. Ollie-Dare decided to spend some time with William, for he seemed to have much to learn from him. So with William's invitation, Ollie-Dare settled in for a long visit. Each day Ollie-Dare and William would speak of the many things in life's way. And each day Ollie-Dare made notes, and asked many questions, for William had traveled far across oceans to new lands, new places.

         William told Ollie-Dare, that as he had traveled, he had learned many things from all these different places. He told Ollie-Dare of the different customs in those far-away lands, and how all people in all lands had one thing in common.

         Curious about this, Ollie-Dare asked, "What could this be? When there is so much difference in each land?"

         William answered, "Ah, my friend, you see knowledge is so important to all man. For in ignorance they can not gain wisdom that is needed to rule the lands, or take care of families. Knowledge must be a part of all man, no matter where you live, or what you do. For knowledge is the wisdom we seek."

         Ollie-Dare stayed for several days before deciding it was time to return to the Great Forest and share with those there what he had learned here at the home of William. Ollie-Dare invited William to someday visit him in the great forest, and share tea at his table. William promised that he would visit one day, and meet all the creatures that Ollie-Dare had spoken of. Ollie-Dare began his journey back home carrying new books that William had given him.

         As Ollie-Dare entered the forest he saw Jimmy the Rabbit playing in a near by field, and called to him to bring Ace the Coon and Banjo the Fox for tea, and he would tell them of his adventure. Jimmy took off like a rocket, for Jimmy so loved to hear of the places that Ollie-Dare visited. Just as Ollie-Dare had finished brewing the tea, and put out fresh honey cakes, his friends entered the doorway. After all the welcoming greetings Ollie-Dare told his friends of William and his little cottage, and the warm welcome he had been given.

         "And what new wisdom did you you learn, Ollie-Dare?" asked Jimmy.

         "Jimmy, I learned many new things, heard of many new and wonderful lands that are across the oceans. I made a new friend, and with him I gained something very important to the people here at the Great Forest. I realized that all men and creatures have needs. Sometime those needs are very different, for what man needs is very different from our needs. But I also found out what one things connects us in life."

         "And what, my friend," asked Ace, "could that possibly be?"

         "Well, Ace, knowledge is what makes us all as one. For with knowledge comes wisdom." said Ollie-Dare.

         "And you found this knowledge while you were with William?" asked Banjo.

         Ollie-Dare though for a moment and answered "Yes, I found, in a way I did, Banjo. For William reminded me that knowledge is the staff of life, just as the Elders' Staff is a symbol of honor. We must keep learning, then teaching that which we learned, so that the next generation can carry on with wisdom.

          "We must be sure that all generation keep learning, making better decisions, and striving to do better for all man and creatures. For if man should perish, then so would all creatures; and if all creatures would perish, so would mankind, I think. Yes, knowledge is the key to wisdom, my friends, and we must never let that be forgotten."

         After his friends had left, Ollie-Dare settled down and thought of his words. Often in his life he had been afraid that he would not use his wisdom to the better, and still he knew he always did his best. Words of his Dad came into his mind, "Ollie-Dare, always do the very best you can, that is all anyone can ask."
©2002 Rebecca Morris
Next month: Ollie-Dare Meets The Circus

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