Monday, June 1, 2020

Editor's Corner


June 2020

“It is dry, hazy June weather.
We are more of the earth,
farther from heaven these days.”

― Henry David Thoreau.

We can but hope this quote rings true for all the areas that have had far too much rain recently, causing flood conditions in numerous states here in the USA. Dry sounds good.

We were surprised by the lack of Memorial Day submissions for the May issue, but lo and behold, now we have several. Some are poignant, some seem blessings, but we are including all references in columns and poetry.

Thomas F. O'Neill, whose column "Introspective," comes to us from China where he teaches, tells us that people there are relaxing their social distancing suggestions and includes a video to illustrate his point. In her column "Sifoddling Along," Marilyn Carnell, who spent Memorial Day alone because of the Pandemic, tells of other serious epidemic health problems she has been able to get through.

LC Van Savage shares a detailed near epic poem on married life, in particular her life with her husband in her "Consider This" column. Rod Cohenour ("Cooking with Rod") prepares and shares directions to a favorite recipe devised in 2004 by his wife Melinda.

Judith Kroll ("OnTrek") returns with her thoughts about Love and includes a memory from her childhood. Mattie Lennon in "Irish Eyes" titles his column "Poems, Prose, and No Writers’ Week." He continues by saying (and proving) writers are still writing and announces the winner of the Listowel Writers' competition.

We happily welcome the intriguing new column by John I. Blair, "View from My Back Steps." And yes, he does have some poetry as well: "Iantha Memorial Day," "Love and Laughter," "Thoughts and Deeds," and "Snuggle Cat."

We are delighted Phillip Hennessy has sent in a poem "Those Days of Wine and Roses" for this issue. Bud Lemire's three poems are "World Gone Mad," "Behind the Walls," and in a lighter mood, "Uneeka." Our Cruise Ship poet, Bruce Clifford, still docked by the lockdown shared these "These Days, Oh These Days," "Take It All from Me," and the clever "Social Resistance." Keith Vander Wees, whose poetry has been included many times in our eZine, shows the romantic, written for his wife Elaine, "To Me."

The article is published by special permission from our former columnist Dayvid Clarkson. His essay "What I Wish for You" is a lovely addition for our times.

Half the calendar year under our belts, Mike! (Of course our eZine year begins in February.) Let me again express how grateful I am for your expertise as well as your friendship and support in this endeavor.

See you in July.

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.

Armchair Genealogy


Genealogy, Memories, and News

      A Facebook page query inspired your author’s reminiscences and the core of this month’s column. The question was, “What do you remember about your grandparents’ home?” And, in the blink of an eye the memories flowed … sights, smells, sweet and bitter all together in a rush of nostalgia. So, the column intended to be devoted to the latest use of DNA and genealogy in today’s modern world became both the latest and greatest (at least for now) and an outpouring of stories that definitely should not be lost. It is hoped my children and grandchildren and, perhaps, even their children will one day read this column and have the opportunity to know the ancestors they never had the chance to meet in person.


      It seems the first memories to rush in upon reading the query noted above, were my earliest memories of the Joslin farm in Pineville, Missouri. A visit when I was very young because the struggle to climb those BIG STEPS was burning in my mind – and, yet, those rock steps were really shallow steps … here is how I captured my thoughts:

My Joslin grandparents (MomMay's parents) lived in Pineville, Missouri. My most poignant memory is walking up the rock steps covered in moss, so young and little those steps were a struggle to make. They were covered in moss ... the kind of moss that blooms, teeny, tiny multi-colored flowers smaller than a matchhead. I believed the steps were the fairy's garden! In those years, Missouri was yet a humid place, the ancient forests still uncut for the most part and all trees bore their cloth of moss.

The smell ... a perfume of loamy earth, nut trees (pecan, walnut both black and English emitted their own uniquely wonderful odors), sweet floral scents wafting from all the iris, daylily, rose, lilac, and other natural and bedded blooming plants and trees, rich meadow grasses emitting their sharp clean fragrance. The moist air ... so different from the dry West Texas air.

Grandma Joslin cooked on a cast iron stove. She actually had two in the kitchen, one smaller than the "old" stove. Potbelly stove in the living room.

Sleeping in the Cloak Room. A room devoted to storage, mostly, shelves lining one wall with treasures abounding there! Grandma Joslin was an inveterate letter writer, corresponding daily with family, old neighbors who had moved away, pen pals from around the world. She kept their letters sorted, each tied with a pretty ribbon in stacks. The bed was SOOOooooo comfortable! Big, soft mattress heaped with colorful handmade quilts and soft, soft, soft blankets. What a charming little person guest room.

The Joslins were farmers, an old barn behind the house, hay lending its own sweet smell to the air. There was a root vegetable shed where potatoes, onions, turnips, and the like were hung from rafters. At the back of this shed, as I remember (Mary Elizabeth Adair help me here) was the opening to the cave where an underground stream ran through. Here it was always cold, the water icy and sweet. A metal, long-handled tin cup was tied to an overhanging (tree root?) that extended from the rock wall. It was used to dip that cold, fresh, sweet, icy spring water to drink or fill a jug for the house. Churns of butter, milk jugs, and big jugs of tea were kept here. (My sister assures me this memory is a confused one – that the rock spring cold house was at the Kendrick farmstead, our great-grandmother on my DaddyJack’s side.) I have no memory of visiting that farm, yet the memory of the sweet taste of that icy water, the milk jugs, butter churns, all that are clear in the storehouse of my mind.

My earliest memory of my “Aunt Flutie” was of climbing the steps to her high four-poster bed to comb out her beautiful blue-black braid. She never cut her hair, and it cascaded down from the high bedstead to the floor when she pulled out the hairpins and let it down. Every morning I got to comb out her hair, starting on the lowest step and progressing upward, step by step, until at her bedside whereupon she would wrap her arms about me and snuggle me to her. She always smelled of lavender and roses – so sweet! (Great-Grandmother Kendrick insisted she was far too young to be my grandmother, so insisted I call her Aunt Flutie. I adored her!!!) Her hair retained its gorgeous color because she never set foot outside the house without a head covering. A large straw beribboned hat or a sun bonnet – even a sun-brella, but never did that luscious head of hair get exposed to the harsh sun. Her skin, likewise, was a marvel. Skin like the smooth petal of a magnolia blossom, natural blush on the cheeks, eyes of a lavender blue, deep color yet sparkling with humor and love. Her eyelashes were a wonder. Like those of Elizabeth Taylor’s, Flutie Creek (Alexander, Kendrick) was blessed with a triple set of lashes, thick, dark and long. Such a lovely lady.

I also remember there was a yard to the side of the house, where sweet grass covered the ground. This yard was bordered by daylilies, yellow and orange with red stamens that punctuated the center of each flower. This was the “play yard” and it was intended that children stay within its borders. However, one day having been left briefly on my own, I heard noises from the field behind the house. Curious, I remember venturing through the border of flowers and into a meadow with higher grasses and wildflowers. There, in a pen were a momma pig and her newborn piglets, nursing. I crawled through into the pen and snuggled in with the piglets. Grandma Joslin, finding me missing from the play yard had discovered my danger. She literally crawled through the high grasses, as quietly as possible – fearful of arousing the ire of the sow. She grabbed my ankle and pulled me from the pen – just as momma sow jumped to her feet, gave a horrifying grunt and menaced us as we retreated. I remember the menfolk believed I deserved a sound thrashing – but kinder hearts prevailed and a stern “talking to” was all the grief I received. I well remember being told that “sow would eat you alive, child! She could tear your arms from your body! NEVER, ever do that again.!”

Christmas at Pineville was of the old-fashioned brand. One Christmas, cousins Alice Anne Burks, G. A. Joslin, their dads and mine along with Grandpa Joslin ventured into the woods to cut the tree. (This had to be an early Christmas, for the Burks family debarked to Nigeria, Africa, on their mission when Alice Anne was still quite young and I was about 9 months younger than she.) After much discussion, the prime tree was chosen, chopped down, hauled to the car, mounted on the roof and delivered to the house. Bucket filled with water and a proper brace prepared to hold the evergreen upright, all in the assembled group agreed it was – without a doubt – the BEST tree ever! Popcorn was popped, cranberries rinsed, sweet gum balls and pinecones assembled to prepare garlands to be draped about the tree once the lights were in place and all working. Finally, the ancient ornaments were unwrapped, carefully placed in just the right spot and – VOILA! Magic.

      All in all, it was a magical place. So many sweet memories of my Grandma and Grandpa Joslin.

      One day, perhaps next month, the Joslin story will be expanded for there were many tales handed down by various branches of the family. Tales that paint the picture of our country as pioneers braved the elements to expand their horizons and the borders of our once infant country.


      This week a new show aired on cable television: CeCe Moore, a forensic DNA expert solves cold cases using her wits, her deep understanding of genealogy and the tools now available using DNA tests to seek out elusive murderers.

      Amazingly, on the first show of this new series, Moore was able to use the DNA from a violent rape/murder case unsolved for almost three decades to identify the perpetrator. Cold case detectives assigned to the case followed the targeted suspect until they were able to enlist the aid of his boss to match DNA he left on a Coca Cola can and a paper cup in the office to the DNA on file for the rapist/murderer. When the murder was first committed, science surrounding use of DNA was a fledgling effort. Wisely, the rape kit that included collected semen from the vaginal orifice and from clothing left at the scene of the crime were preserved for future evaluation. Thirty years ago, DNA specimens would be destroyed in testing – often to no avail. Advances in technology now provides a means to “duplicate” trace amounts of DNA through a special process so that a complete DNA profile of the rapist was able to be established.

      The surprise of the show? When the cold case detective who had worked on the case for almost the entirety of those three decades applauded Moore’s work and said, “you did in one day what we were unable to accomplish in almost thirty years.” Moore responded she had actually identified the perpetrator in just about TWO HOURS, but worked to confirm her findings before contacting the detective the following Monday.

      Part of her expertise is almost inexplicable. For instance, the GEDMatch site where she located the closest match to the CODIS DNA profile that had been built does not require the full identity of a person submitting a sample. In this case, the only identifying characteristic was linked to a pseudonym – but the email addy for the submitter proved to be the clue Moore needed to identify that person. After that, she used tried and true genealogic methods, augmented by an understanding of the process of DNA contribution through parental genetics and the recombination that occurs. The number of centiMorgans shared by two individuals, within a given range, is the key to the relationship of those two individuals and their shared ancestral pair. For instance, second cousins typically share between 75 and 360 CentiMorgans (cMs). Second cousins share one set of ancestral parents – their great-grandparents. By use of standard genealogic tools, a shadow tree is established for each child of those great-grandparents. Then all their spouses and children of those marriages are identified. Similarly, each of the persons in this generation will have a profile established, complete with spouse(s) and children of those unions. By comparing age, location, and times inhabiting those locales, a genealogical detective can make assumptions about the PROBABILITY of each identified member of the family being the contributor of the DNA that matches the perpetrator’s.

      As with most genealogical research, the tools are essential to confirmation of relationships. But, as with all tools, the degree of proficiency of the researcher is key to the degree of success in utilizing those tools. A bit science, a bit experience, and a bit of magic.

      DNA is complex. In order to understand how these seeming miracles occur, it is helpful to understand the terms. The definitions given below are compiled from various DNA testing sites, Webster’s Dictionary, Wikipedia – and have been simplified by me as much as possible to give a better understanding of the complexity of this science. Each person’s genomic identity is determined by the combination of some 6,800 centiMorgans, approximately 3,400 contributed by each parent. A centiMorgan is a term established by scientists in an effort to “measure” the genomic whole.
DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid.
CHROMOSOME: “a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes.” It is formed from condensed chromatin. Chromatin is composed of DNA and proteins that are tightly packed together to form chromatin fibers. Condensed chromatin fibers form chromosomes, chromosomes are located within the nucleus of our cells. Female chromosomes are X chromosomes. Male chromosomes are Y chromosomes.
GENE: the basic physical and functional unit of heredity. Genes are made up of DNA. Some act as instructions to make molecules called proteins. Every person has two copies of each gene (it is estimated humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes), one inherited from each parent. Most genes are the same in all humans (thus, making us human); however, slight deviations occur as ALLELES, where the SEQUENCING of the DNA differs – thus making one person short, another tall, one brown-eyed, another with blue or green eyes, and so forth. Scientists spent years mapping the genetic makeup of humans in the GENOME PROJECT. For convenience sake, they assigned each strand of DNA making up specific genes a name, sometimes a number, or a combination.
DOUBLE HELIX: the construction of base pairs of DNA attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone. Base pairs are made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), Cytosine (C), and thyrmine (T). These combinations or rungs on the ladder are called SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphomisms). These base pairs of chemicals help form the code that informs cells. Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, with 99% of those bases being identical in all humans. The 1% that deviate are the bases that make each human unique. Bases pair up, A with T and C with G and so forth to form base pairs. Each base pair is attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. The unit (Base pair, sugar molecule, phosphate molecule) are called a nucleotide. These nucleotides are the two long strands that form the spiral of the Double Helix. The Double Helix resembles a ladder that spirals, the sides the nucleotides, joined by the paired bases of various combinations of A, T, C, and G chemicals.

Double Helix

A double helix has become the icon for many, many kinds of discussions about where science has been and where it's going. This really is an amazing structure. You can't stare at the double helix for very long without having a sense of awe about the elegance of this information molecule DNA, with its double helical form basically being the way in which all living forms are connected to each other, because they all use this same structure for conveying that information. Of course, this is Watson and Crick's incredible realization back in 1953, but it will stand in history as probably one of the most significant scientific moments of all time.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D

      DNA scientists have created a way to display these combinations, where each display identifies ONE person in all of humankind. The only time the display can be identical is with IDENTICAL twins or triplets, etc where all 7,000 cMs are the same. The map is set out in such a way that strands of coding for one individual can be compared with the map for a second individual. Matching blocks on those maps are then counted, with each being named a centiMorgan – and the shared DNA is expressed something like the following for my closest match (my daughter) where we share 3,466 centiMorgans across 83 DNA segments.

      DNA segments are found on all 22 autosomal chromosomes. The segment length is determined by the centiMorgan distance between the first SNP and the second SNP (or the “single letter in the genetic code”. The longer the shared segment is, the higher the probability that it was inherited from a common ancestor – meaning the two people are related.

      A fascinating and emerging science, yet, DNA will contribute an ever greater fund of knowledge of our families, our ancestors, and our relationship to one another. It is my hope you are inspired to delve into the mysteries of your own family tree – using Armchair Genealogy. Sit comfortably at home, research on the Internet and build your knowledge of what makes you YOU.

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

Cooking with Rod


Ms Italian Meatloaf

Melinda Cohenour – 2004

      Once again, my sweet bride has reminded me of something that I have always loved. This is her recipe for Italian Meatloaf and this one I guarantee you will enjoy and want again and again. 

      Bon appetit~!


Meatloaf mixture:
4 lbs. ground beef, prefer lean
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, de-string and slice in thin slices
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in thin “dimes”
1 cup 3 minute oats (to help absorb and hold in juices)
1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crumbled
1 small can tomato paste or 1 cup catsup
3 eggs
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional if you like spicy)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning or make your own:
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley
1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Favorite Italian Spaghetti Sauce OR make your own:
1 cup Catsup or 1 sm. can Italian Style tomato sauce
¼ tsp marjoram
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp rosemary
¼ tsp thyme
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (separate from sauce)
1 Tbsp flat leaf Italian parsley (reserve until loaf is ready to serve)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (reserve until loaf is ready to serve)

    Put all ingredients for meatloaf mixture into large mixing bowl. Use hands to mix together.
    Grease 9”x13”x2” casserole dish. Form meatloaf mixture into dish, pulling back from edges to form a “gutter” for grease to collect and be removed during cooking.
    Bake at 350º - 375º for about 45 minutes to an hour (you want the loaf to be well browned, cooked through, but still moist and delicious. Cooking times will vary with the individual oven. Check it from time to time.)
    After meatloaf has begun to brown, stir together topping sauce and drizzle over top of loaf, using zigzag movements. Continue to cook until meatloaf is well browned and completely cooked throughout. Just before serving, top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, return to oven just long enough for cheeses to melt and brown lightly. Remove from oven, Lift loaf from pan to rack over a cookie sheet and allow fat to drain. Just before serving, top with fresh basil and parsley leaves and dust with parmesan. If you like, serve extra sauce to be added by your guests as desired.

      Serve with tossed salad, green beans (or other green vegetable), mashed potatoes and hot bread.

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

Sifoddling Along

Today is Memorial Day, or as it was called in my youth – Decoration Day. I have many memories of visiting various cemeteries where family members lie to remember them and care for their graves. This is a special day dedicated to our war dead but expanded to remember the many who have gone before us. I can’t help but wonder if I am the only one who thinks it might be my last.

I went into almost total isolation on March 8, 2020. Fear of the Covid 19 virus made it clear that I should avoid contracting the disease if at all possible. My knowledge of epidemics gained in earning a Master of Public Health degree drives my fear. After more than two months of “house arrest” I am slowly accepting what is blithely called the “new normal”. I fill my time making masks for family, friends and donating to local health care facilities. It keeps me busy and gives me a sense of purpose. I want to feel that I am doing something positive.

Book learning is not my only knowledge of serious illness. Both of my parents barely survived the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The disease roared through the Big Sugar Creek valley, killing many and grievously sickening most. In the last week of World War II, my Mom’s oldest brother, Clancy died somewhere in Flanders. The news of his death and the rampant spread of the flu was almost more than my Grandmother Bunch could bear. She managed to stay on her feet to do chores for their farm and of their neighbors. Mom later said that helping others is what saved her sanity.

I grew up in an era where vaccines were being developed. My father was County Superintendent of Schools and was so concerned about public health that he helped recruit and shared an office with the first county health nurse. Consequently, as any vaccine was available, I had to get the shot. Most memorable was the smallpox and my annual typhoid injection. I hated those as my arm swelled and ached, but there were still typhoid carriers in the community, and I had to be protected.

I had all the common childhood diseases – chicken pox, German measles, whooping cough, measles and most seriously – polio. I have also lived through several flu epidemics. In 1968 my boss went to Hong Kong to visit her husband who had chosen to go there for a sabbatical. She returned in August and brought the flu with her. I got sick and missed a month of work. I had to return because I was out of sick leave, but it was a struggle. Later, I got the Swine flu and in an unnamed epidemic in 1998 my husband and I were so sick we couldn’t move off our respective couches. We were lucky that my brother, a M.D. prescribed Tamiflu and my sister delivered it to our porch. Our next-door neighbor waited too long and passed away. We had skipped the flu vaccine that year. A mistake we never made again.

McDonald County history has always fascinated me, so I once spent an afternoon at the McDonald County Library reading obituaries. I lost count of the number of deaths in 1918. It was horrific.

As of today, there are 17 cases of Covid-19 in McDonald County. I suspect it will explode into a major epidemic soon as there is a chicken processing plant and an egg hatchery located there. So far, the owners have refused to have the workers tested. The county has no hospital and limited health care, so if there is an outbreak there will be dire consequences.

As this is being written, in twenty-four states the Covid-19 virus is out of control. I am sad that I am not able to visit cemeteries and pay my respects. Next year there will be many more to remember and keep in our hearts.

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

Irish Eyes

and No Writers’ Week

I recently came across this poem by Martin I ‘Hare. And for anyone my age it would bring them back several decades (provided they weren’t too far gone!)

Auld Jimmy he stood,
Just inside the forge door.
For a while, gazing out at the rain.
He was taking a break,
From the work of the day.
Before he would start
Up again.
He was getting too old,
If the truth it were told.
And no one, his place,
They would take.
And the factory now,
They were making somehow.
All the stuff, that he
Once used to make.
He finished in school,
At fourteen years old.
With his father, he
Started away.
And the blacksmiths back then
They were popular men.
With the work, that they
Did in the day.
If the forge it could talk,
What tales it could tell.
Of the people, who came
Through that door.
But the times have moved on
And the old ways are gone.
So few of them left
There was so much to do,
There were horses to shoe.
No tractors much, back
In those days.
And horsepower then, meant
Horses and men.
For they worked in,
Traditional ways.
With the work done
By hand,
There was always demand.
For the tools, that the
Blacksmith he made.
And he still could recall,
The favourite of all,
For the bog, when they
Made the turf spade.
He once made a gate, for
The Robert's estate.
For his work he was praised,
Far and wide.
A nice job it was, and he
Did it because.
It gave him a feeling,
Of pride.
It made him a name, and
The people they came, with
Work that they wanted to do.
And his father would smile,
Every once in a while.
And he knew, he was proud
Of him too.
Now most of their time, they
Spent in the forge,
And for farming, they had
A desire.
On the bog for a while, they
Would work in great style.
To be sure of a nice warm
Well he turned and came in,
And he started again.
And more coal on the fire he
Gave the bellows a blow, and
Off it did go.
And the sparks, up the chimney
They raced.
Now Jim was content with
The life he had spent,
But the work wasn't there
He was pension age now, and
Not worried somehow,
Very soon he'd be closing
The door.
And of course he was sad,
For the trade that he had.
Would seldom be seen
Except for young Joe whom
He trained years ago.
They call him a farrier now.
His day it was gone, and life
Had moved on,
To accept it, he had to at last.
The work long ago, that he
Once used to know.
Resigned to the times of
The past.
Martin O'Hara (C). 4/5/2020

* * * * *

Lockdown or no lockdown poets are still busy.

      Poet Anne Mulcahy wrote the poem Sister in 2014. I have her permission to publish it. The story behind it is as follows;
Her friend had a brother, David, with Down Syndrome. He was also mute. David spent 55 of his 57 years in an institution until his death in 2014. When he reached the terminal stage of his life that same institution clearly did not wish to have him remain in their care but rather wished him to enter an acute hospital setting. This issue needed to be robustly fought with the members of the institution to allow David to remain in his ' Home'. His sister, who had been his Guardian Angel for decades, was an able and willing advocate to defend his rights. Sister was written from David's perspective from beyond the grave. Dear Sister, thank your noble heart, that fought my need to sleep,
In sheets that smelt and felt so familiar to me,
You spoke my words when my voice could not be found,
Through divided chaos you firmly stomped the ground,
Chin firm, teeth clinched, and no budge to make-
Steering the ship to higher ground!
Now, here, in this realm my tongue is loose and free,
And sings songs like Jingle Bells and happy melodies.
I cannot keep a pair of shoes, so worn are they from dancing.
And I laugh so much, I cry big tears, till my shirt oft needs changing.
Cold nights I read before I sleep, warm tales of hope and peace,
And all the while, I lay entwined, in my own familiar sheets!
Everything here is wonderful, both the company and the food,
And I’ve met many here that I once knew.
Pain does not exist here-only a great peace of vast magnitude.
Dear Sister, hold fast the times we had,
We both know the efforts you made, the gifts you brought, the prayers you said,
And when we meet, as sure we will, I’ll have a bed ready and made!
©Anne Mulcahy

* * * * *

And still on Poetry

Imelda May releases her first poetry album this month – using the spoken word to explore issues such as obsession, heartache and abuse in the bare-all offering.
Due to be released on June12th, Slip of the Tongue is May’s first album since 2017’s Life Love Flesh Blood, which hit number five in the UK album chart.

Imelda May's New Album

This Liberties girl is known for her unique singing style but her move towards poetry has been a natural one, she admits.
“I constantly write,” May says.
“Writing pads are filled, backs of envelopes, scraps of paper are scribbled on and scattered around me in between books, trinkets and photos.”
“Melodies swirl in my head,” she adds, “footsteps become the rhythm to a song.
“But often words don’t feel like they need anything more than to be spoken aloud or read alone. They just feel good as they are.
“But I still hear music,” she confirms, “it evokes such strong emotion. So I decided to combine my two loves. I think they dance beautifully.”

* * * * *

Prose writers haven’t been idle either.

Joe Mugan, a man of my own age, sent me this:

    As I've aged, I've become kinder to, and less critical of, myself. I've become my own friend.

    I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

    Whose business is it if I choose to read, or play on the computer until 4am? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s, 70s & 80s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

    I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, or deemed inappropriate for my age and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But then again, some of life is just as well forgotten and, eventually, we remember the important things. Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

    I am so Blessed to have lived enough to have my hair turning grey, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and too many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

    So, to answer your question, I like being older. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if, I feel like it).

* * * * *

Under normal circumstances I would be writing this from the culture capital of Ireland. Listowel Writers’ Week 2020 should have been extra special , the 50th festival . Instead Covid-19 put a stop to that. Wednesday should have been opening but rather than throngs there was an almost deserted square

Billy Keane says, "It's the boost to morale, it's the talking, it's the communication of ideas without any pecking order. You could have a Nobel Prize winner walk in the door here and no one takes any notice. "Visitors arrive in Listowel as guests, they might leave as friends, or even lovers!"
"Fifty years ago, a group of people got together to celebrate local literary talent, and also to create an audience for emerging writers.
"It's going to come back. "You would get down, but I know we'll be singing and laughing and carousing again. It's just a matter of time. "When you lose something for a year, it's then you will appreciate it more. Maybe we took ourselves for granted.
Writers' Week makes us proud of ourselves, it gives us a focus for our very being and it's what we are really as a town. Absence really will make the heart grow fonder.”

Billy Keane during Lockdown

While there is no festival happening on the ground on Wednesday night, Listowel Writers' Week competitions went ahead and the winners were announced. There were five nominees for the prestigious Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award which carries a prize of €17,000. The winner was Girl by Edna O’Brien (Faber) The othe short listed novels were:
The River Capture by Mary Costello (Cannongate)
Leonard & Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession (Bluemoose Books)
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry (Cannongate)
Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker Random House)

Edna O’Brien (Faber).

* * * * *

Singer/songwriter Mickey MacConnell has been a stalwart of Writers’ Week for decades. This is a link to a video which was recorded in John B. Keane’s for Mickey’s 70th birthday. It is a wonderful hour and a half of Mickey singing his own composition.

Video Link: Mickey singing his own composition.
See you in July.

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


I have been following the news about what is going on in the US regarding the Coronavirus outbreak there. I was shocked by the number of people who have contracted the virus and the number of deaths in America. It is sad and frightening to see, but many Americans have risen to the challenge to combat the virus and their stories are truly inspiring.

At the same time everything here in China, to some degree, is back to normal. We still need to show our green code that the Chinese Government issued to us that shows we are clear of the Coronavirus. The code was sent to my smartphone and when I enter a public place it must be scanned prior to entering. But one great thing for me is facemasks are optional, not mandatory. I have preferred not to wear one not out of vanity but out of comfort, especially, when I am in the classroom teaching.

I have gotten emails and text messages from people in the US asking why I stayed in China during the coronavirus outbreak here? There were certainly opportunities for me to return to America that much is true. However, this was my email response to the question –

Every person at some point in their lives needs to ask themselves this simple question, “what is my true purpose in life?”

A purposeful life will help you find something more meaningful — in the things you do for yourself and others. It can also help you achieve what you most want in life – true happiness. People, throughout the world, have the same deep desire — to be happy.

For me, happiness is not something that is given to me with each passing day. It is something I try to bring to each passing day. In other words, happiness is not found in the things we want to get from life. But rather happiness is found in the things we give to life.

There is an old Buddhist saying, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

I like to tell my students here in China, that there will be times when the burdens of life make us feel as if we are carrying them on our shoulders but without life’s pressures diamonds will never appear.

Helen Keller once said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” On our life’s Journey, things may not always go as planned but that does not mean there are not greater opportunities before us.

I like to remind my students, that the most precious things in life, cannot be built by hand, bought, or sold by man. They can only be experienced through a wondrous soul and shared from one heart to the other. Happiness can only be experienced once it is shared with those around us.

There is also an old Chinese proverb, “Fools seek happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under their feet.” We all want happier lives and the material things we seek, and desire may, in fact, make our lives a little more comfortable. But the material things we acquire in life – will never provide us with a meaningful and purposeful life.

There are also things in life that we can give away and keep, our word, a happy smile, and a grateful heart. There is an old saying, “It’s not happiness, that leads to gratitude, it’s gratitude that leads to happiness.”

Our greatest achievements in life, will not consist in fame or glory, but in the unremembered, unrecognized, and undetected acts of loving-kindness that were bestowed on others. That is where our true purpose and the meaning of life resides.

I am a firm believer in the universal law – what we give to others is returned to us a thousand-fold. I also like to remind my students that kindness and love are the greatest forms of wisdom and love itself is the afterglow of life.

I have added a video taken at ‘South Main Street,’ also known as ‘Bar Street’ in the City of Wuxi, China - as you can see in the video there is little social distancing going on there now.

'South Main Street' also known as 'Bar Street' in Wuxi, China

Link: 'South Main Street' also known as 'Bar Street' in Wuxi, China
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
    China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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

On Trek



When Earth was created, did it have boundary lines? Do you believe the creator created different "colors" of people for division or diversity? All are equal. ALL ..that includes women. :) Let us focus on bringing us all together, not separating us. Love is the key to all!!

When we stay in the mindset of fear, anxiety,hate, discord, we cannot think straight. If we continue to send love to the whole planet and everyone and everything on it and it, and we stop listening to the dysfunctional information coming from every direction, and picking sides, judging who is right or wrong., we have a chance to stabilize ourselves, and it will ripple thru the earth. A crying baby can only be quieted with love, soothing talk, music, clean diaper and food. When the pot is always being stirred by those in power, the confusion and hate and anxiety will never end. We all have love , we all have hate if we choose. Let us choose love, no more divisions, hate. All of us come from the same energy. !

Memories from the Past

I remembered today a tradition that we took for granted as kids, but it left an imprint on my soul.

When we took a little trip, momma always packed a lunch. It didn’t matter if it was cold cuts and bread, something to drink, and some chips, the idea was we all knew it was there. We were not going to starve. It was the way back then, in the 50’s. There were rest stops, and there were places with trees and picnic tables only. Families would stop, eat, watch the squirrels, listen to the birds and us kids when finished would run around to get that pent up sitting in the car energy out.

Sometimes a grandma would come along. Mom’s mom or Dad’s mom. It was always fun. No one threw trash around, everyone cleaned up their “site” they used, and most folks prayed before the meal.

If a creek was running thru the picnic area, we were truly in heaven then. Sometimes we brought a ball, and could throw that around. The memory sticks in my mind because it was those dreamy sunny days where as a family we shared it, and restaurants didn’t decorate every corner. No fast food places, Just sit down fancy restaurants for evening dining.

When I married and we had children, we always carried the cooler along. Then McDonald’s came on the scene and of course the kiddos loved that treat. Every generation will always have a memory that slowly morphs into something different..We will carry it within forever because it was stamped there with love.

Judith 5/25/20
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Consider This





My husband is a guy who snores
And oh, he does it well.
He shatters glass and breaks down doors
The sound’s like hounds from hell.
I loved him dearly when we wed,
(I’d saved myself til then)
Had never let him near my bed
Thus never knew that men
(And OK, maybe women too)
Can snore with such a roar
And belch and grunt and boom and spew
And bark, and ugh, slobb-ore!
He snores with such ferocity
He’s ruined every night
Of sleep. Oh, the velocity
With which this troglodyte
Can blast the air out of his nose
His eyes, his hair and ears
And from his navel and his toes!
I haven’t slept for years!
I know you don’t believe me
I’d doubt this story too!
(He never did deceive me
Nor promise Xanadu.)
The fault I guess is really mine
For keeping from his bed
(Although he’d very oft opine
About my maidenhead
Suggesting that we needn’t tarry
“Start things” in our lives
And sleep as one before we marry
I could not do that rives.)
And so I learned of his loud snores
Soon after we were wed
And oh! Those snores were such tor-chores
Oh, how they stabbed my head!
But as our marriage aged and grew
I found that in this man
There was such kindness, so I knew
That when we both began
Our life as one, and to the end
I’d made the perfect choice
That he and I would always blend
With him I could rejoice.
And I’d eventually solve
The problem of his snores
When I, with quiet, strong resolve
(Once done with all my chores)
Went out to a construction site
And picked my way across
Metal, bricks and Masonite
And asked to see the boss.
He said I could speak with his guys
Who work in endless din
To see what they might well advise.
They listened with a grin
And told me that their own dear wives
Complained of the same stuff
Throughout all of their married lives.
“You bet,” they said. “It’s tough.”
They handed me a tiny box
Said it would do the trick
“Though it’s not really orthodox,”
One of them said, named Nick.
“It saved my marriage, that’s for sure.
“My wife complained I’d break
“Plate glass with only just one snore,
“She spent her nights awake.”
I looked inside the little box
There nestled was my prize
To me more valued than Fort Knox
And tears then filled my eyes.
“Thank you, dear men,” I said and then
I left them to their chores.
Those guys will always be a Ten
For heeding my implores.
That night I slept each hour through
While my dear husband roared
His thunderous blasts, his caw, his moo
(That night I may have snored!)
I truly never heard one sound
I slept in peaceful bliss!
I could have slept the clock around
I’d never slept like this!
The gift those dear guys gave to me?
With pleasant, laughing shrugs?
About which I still shout “Whoopee?!!”
(Construction mens’ earplugs!)
©2020 LC Van Savage
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

View from My Back Steps


I don’t get outside much any more. At 79 and with mobility issues, it’s often just not safe for me. However, outside my big sliding glass patio doors there’s a pair of smooth concrete steps and a small patio crowded with potted plants and framed by masses of shrubbery and rankly overgrown garden plants. So pretty often – every day when the weather allows – I sit on those steps and look at the garden and at the world.

I typically have lots of company out there – a pair of feral cats whom I’ve been feeding for a couple of years may be lounging – out of reach but within talking distance. Birds come to the seven tube feeders I keep filled with sunflower seeds. When flowers offer, butterflies and bees flutter or buzz around. And if I’m lucky a hummingbird or two will flit past or even hover momentarily at a nectar-filled blossom. Overhead the sky, clouds, even a soaring hawk or two divert me and soothe my soul.

Because I have such an assortment of potted plants, there’s almost always a display of flowers of some sort and lots of foliage of just about every imaginable kind – beautiful in general and often exquisite in detail.

It’s difficult to be bored with this world in miniature so accessible just by sliding the door open, shutting it behind me (to keep the indoors cats contained) and then sitting down and looking around.

Today a black swallowtail butterfly was visiting one of my big fennel plants, likely laying her eggs for this spring’s crop of caterpillars and future butterflies. Honeybees were seeking sweetness in the dazzling white mock orange blooms – a reward I get every year for labor expended 30 years ago digging a big hole, filling it with compost and loam and fertilizer, then planting a bare-root shrub that looked exactly like three sticks in a baggie. Now it’s as tall as the house and has many offspring surrounding it.

By the end of the steps, carefully sheltered in the shadiest place I could find, is a big pot of Japanese painted fern. I’ve had this for years. Every winter after a freeze, the fronds blacken, wilt, then disappear completely, leaving the pot looking like a barren bunch of dirt. But then, every springtime after the last frost, tiny fern tips start pushing through the surface and, almost before I know it, the pot is filled to overflowing with masses of delicate multicolored foliage, draping gracefully over the rim. And once in awhile I take time to “pet” the fern fronds, spreading them out for best effect while feeling how soft and smooth they are.

Japanese Painted Fern

Surrounding the fern on three sides are four more very special pots. These have spent the winter in my dark garage, completely neglected – there because the contents are plants that will not stand even a touch of frost. Red kalanchoes – exotics from Madagascar – are frost-tender, but (given a bit of care) are also about as tough as a plant gets, and able to recreate themselves from a bit of succulent leaf dropped upon just about any kind of soil. And they bloom from spring until frost, with clusters of tiny tubular crimson flowers that hummingbirds find irresistible. You’ll often see them as houseplants; but in my experience the best use for kalanchoes is providing color and hummingbird bait next to my steps. Sometimes I can sit there and watch a hummingbird from a foot away, oblivious to my presence so long as I stay still and the kalanchoe provides food.


The “Mother” of these kalanchoes was a plant I gave my own mother decades ago for her patio. When she got too old to garden, she gave it back to me. And each year I take branches of this and the others and start new pots, just by sticking the branches into moist potting soil, where they freely take root.

Frostweed Framing Kalanchoes

The “trick” to getting kalanchoes to bloom is much like that used on poinsettias. Put them in a cool, dark place for at least 12 hours a day in the cold season, then plunge them into sunshine when frost hazard is past. While resting in the dark, something in their makeup makes them send up flower stalks with buds at the tops, all ready to open when sunlight is returned to them.

Kalanchoes, Fern, and a mystery plant

And all that is in just four square feet of my patio garden.

5/3/2020 All photos by John I. Blair

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

Essay: What I Wish for You

What I wish is that you find what works for you. It does not have to be what works for others or what you think society expects from you. For some it is a religious path, for some, it could be Buddhism or Taoism, some might choose to be an Atheist. Other Folks might choose activism. It might be environmentalism, social activism, animal rights, or global warming. Still more will fully involve themselves in the arts, music, painting, sculpting, or photography. And others might passionately pursue the sciences. For me, it doesn’t matter as long as you find what works for you.

Most importantly I wish you realize what is right for you is not necessarily right for others. To also understand that you are not required to coerce, nor force your path on me. I will respect the choices you make and will, in all probability, support and agree with most of your concepts. Because we have differences does not make us different. At the very essence of our being is the mystical understanding that nothing matters and everything does.

There is no issue that is more important than a compassionate empathy towards our fellow travelers. We cannot be offended; we choose to be offended.

Cast off everything you have been taught. Accept all paths and respect the fact that we are all just trying to figure out this incredible journey. We need each other. When we ask ourselves what is truly important we will discover that we will share our last meal if required, we will shelter all from the storms, we will provide care as needed, and give that shirt if you ask. This is your authentic self simply trying to live your heart song.

Sleep well, dream deep my Friends.
Humble bow, Dayvid ©2020 Dayvid Bruce Clarkson

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

Snuggle Cat

You love to curl up by my chest,
Near to me, touching me,
Tail tight around your legs,
Paw across your pink nose.

Was this how it felt, I ask,
Many years ago
With your mother in your nest
(Where, I have no clue)?

It seems to be enough for you
Basking in my warmth,
Feeling my skin, my steady pulse,
My breath upon your deep fur,

Enough for me
To know you're there,
Trusting me implicitly,
Melting into me asleep.

(c)2020 John I. Blair, 5/8/2020

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

Social Resistance

Social resistance
Stormy clouds forming
The chaos persistence
Signals and warnings

Motion detection
Mutual reactions
Social resistance
The looming persistence

My faith is bleeding
My mind conceding
My heart’s been screaming
My faith is sailing

Social resistance
Thunder cloud warnings
The chaos persistence
Remembering belonging

Motion detection
Random selections
Social reconciliation
The wishful elation

Social resistance
Stormy clouds forming
The chaos persistence
Signals and warnings
Signals and warnings

Social resistance
Time and reaction
Primeval coexistence
Social resistance

©5/9/2020 Bruce Clifford

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



Across the galaxy, far from planet blue
Is a man, who looks nothing like you
Uneeka, unlike anyone you would know
Because in the dark, he gave off a bright glow
It didn't bother him, that he never needed a light
Others seemed to think, he was just too bright
He could read a book, without turning on a light
Others who came too close, thought it was a fright

One woman, was intrigued by his glow
She loved to watch him, but he never did know
Ungila was beautiful, Uneeka was too shy
So when she came around, he would pass her by

She wanted so much to plant a kiss
Inside she knew it would cause bliss
She wondered how he would react to that
She had to find out where his feelings were at

So, kiss him, she did, while he was feeling low
Brighter than everything, was his glow
He turned to her asking “why did you do this?”
She smiled and replied “You just needed a kiss.” 

©April 28, 2020 Bud Lemire
                         Author Note:
Uneeka and Ungila lived happily forever. And their days
were never dim. Because Ungila had a glow too. Together
their days were even brighter, because they had each other.
There was never any darkness, because they always saw
everything for what it was, even on the darkest day..

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

Love and Laughter

Nothing but love and laughter
Mends my life;
These are all I need.

Love’s best for times
When hurts can heal;
Laughter for all the rest.

©2020 John I. Blair, 5/19/2020

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

Those Days of Wine and Roses

Those days of Wine, and Roses
Gone Forever, Lost, in time
one door opens, one door closes
Rooms to Rent, within your Mind.

I hope you will know when your time, it is right,
for then, you are shown, how your Love shines so bright
such Treasures untold, when Answers we seek
Refreshing our Soul, when the Self, seems so weak

You locked yourself into a cupboard of Shame,
and when that door opened, you Closed it, again
the key to your Heart got dropped on the floor
you kicked it so hard, it won't work, any more.

So Now, seems the time, the Reckoning, due
All will be fine, if You remain True
the Shame was not Yours, it was not yours to Own
so open those doors, prepare to be Shown

At the end of the Day, when we think we're all done,
there's nothing to say, there's nowhere to run
You have to face up, and swallow the pain
keep learning that Lesson, again, and Again

No rest for the wicked, so lessons abound
though Best that you listen, the first time around
for you will be told, and then shown the way
out from the Cold, and into the Day

Those days of Wine, and Roses
Gone Forever, Lost, in time
one door opens, one door closes
Rooms to Rent, within your Mind.

©May 2020 Phillip Hennessy
 "Inspired by Kaylah, a friend."

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

Iantha Memorial Day


Each year we gather in Iantha—
Well, really just outside Iantha,
As this is where the cemetery
Lies (the graves so horizontal)
Or stands (the stones so vertical).

Well, anyway, we gather here
Informally, with no appointment,
But nonetheless quite sure to see
Most every living relative we have
In Missouri if we wait long enough.

And while we wait, we wander,
With floral presents for
Selected graves (which ones depend
On personal ideas of who
We most feel like giving flowers to—

For me my grandfather, my
Grandmother; for others brother,
Sister, cousin, uncle, aunt)
And few seem sad to be here,
Unless their loss is recent.

Most are glad to see those living still,
If once a year and in among the dead.
We draw the line at holding picnics, though
(As we’ve heard some folk do,
But not our family in Missouri—

We’re far too Anglo-Saxon).
We will feast later, but at
My Aunt Eldora’s house in Liberal,
For no one living remains here in Iantha
After more than a century of years.

Here in the cemetery we will just talk
Or stand together silently
Or walk around again, re-forming for
An hour or two into this annual brief
Community of the living with the dead.

©2002 John I. Blair

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

Take It All From Me

How are we to know
How are we to see
Take it all away
Take it all from me

How are we to sing
How are we to be
Take it all away
Take it all from me

Does any of this matter
Does any of this mean a thing
Do we crumble and shatter
Or are we here to sting

How are we to know
How are we to hear
Take it all away
Take away the fear

How are we to feel
How are we to see
Take it all away
Take it all from me

Does any of this matter
Does any of this mean a thing
Do we crumble and shatter
Or are we here to sting

How are we to know
How are we to see
Take it all away
Take it all from me

©5/3/2020 Bruce Clifford

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

Behind The Walls

Behind the walls, is someone you may know
Behind the door, is such a lonely soul
Now more alone, than ever before
Inside the walls, her fear is even more
“Leave me alone COVID19, you don't need me for a snack”
“I'd prefer to go quickly, from a heart attack”
“I don't need to suffer, with what you want to give”
“Because what you offer, is no way to live”

“Go back to where you started, leave me alone”
“Just disappear, or turn into a stone”
“My life was good, before you came along”
“Now it feels, that everything seems wrong”

“It's all your fault,yes, you are to blame”
“Killing off the humans, is your only aim”
“You don't belong in this world, killing is a crime”
“Leave me alone, because I don't have much time”

“I don't have the strength, to put up a fight”
“It's not fair for you to pick on me, it's just not right”
“Behind the door, I am a lonely soul”
“Behind these walls, I'm someone you might know”
©April 28, 2020 Bud Lemire
                         Author Note:
I think about those much older, and are going through
so much more than what us normal people do. If we
are scared, just think about how they are feeling about
it all. Give them a call, or stop by and see if they need
anything. They need more support than ever, in these
COVID19 daze.

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


To Me

To me,
our love is like a wind
that is
soft upon my brow
and kind
in its resolution,
as a window
that opens gently
into my very
Can you imagine?
Hope resides
eternal peace
our love enfolds
our hearts
ever riding waves
For every action
and when I tell you
I love you
I'm sure
those words resound
in Heaven.
To me,
our love will never falter
true hearts
know their precious place
in holy sanctuary.
our belief in kindness
created an amazing light
shining through
permeating both of us.
Let’s stay
in these moments
quiet our minds
and souls
lovingly build
dream ...for us.

©2020 Keith Vander Wees

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

Thoughts and Deeds

I’ve often heard
It’s the thought that counts
But have come to doubt
That ancient saw’s absurd
For in my life
I’ve grown to see
It’s the deed that’s real.

©2020 John I. Blair, 5/19/2020

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

These Days, Oh These Days

Does any of this matter
Will we remember
These days, oh these days

Do these moments seem wider
Will they get brighter
These days, oh these days

There was once a time we could mingle
Sit in the same room and write a jingle
There were once places we could go

Now we’re here waiting for the glow
Does any of this seem wiser
Will we ever again sit beside her

These days, oh these days
Are we getting into this any deeper
Now I am a weeper

These days, oh these days
What can I say
What can we do

These days, oh these days
They’re right in front of me and you
There was once a time we could mingle
Sit in the same room and write a jingle
There was once places we could go
Now we’re here waiting for the show

Does any of this matter
Will we remember
These days, oh these days

©5/2/2020 Bruce Clifford

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

World Gone Mad

I don't respect anyone who loots
Nor anyone who kills and shoots
People want to have the power
I am cheering for the flower

 Why all the violence here
So much ignorance I fear
When did the people become
So filled with rage and so dumb

So selfish, inconsiderate of others
What does that say of your Mothers
Didn't they teach you better than that
Put away that knife and bat

Riots getting out of hand
All across this great land
I do believe it is a virus there
But not COVID, so please beware

It's making people mad with rage
When they should be in a cage
Peace is what we need on this day
Because what they do, is not Okay
©May 31, 2020 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
What's going on this world needs to be contained.
It would help if these people who were looting and
killing, had some common sense. But I fear common
sense was lost awhile back, and not sure if they will
ever find it again. While I sit inside my plastic bubble
hearing all about the riots and looting, and wondering
what's become of the world I love.

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