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Passions in Poetry

Digital Passions
Poetry Magazine

Digital Passions #6
published November 15, 2000


Editor's Column by Karilea Jungel (Sunshine)
Writer's Resources by Nicole Boyd
Thanksgiving Poetry  Lone Wolf
Interview with Poertree by Christopher Ward
After the Murder of my Wife by Poertree
The Final Word by Poet deVine

* Bonus Features

Beatnik Era by JP Burns
My Creative Writing Class by Deborah Carter
Poetry Readings by Sven

* Bonus Poetry & Prose

Friendship Poetry selected by Elizabeth
Love Poetry selected by Irish Rose
Sad Poetry selected by Karen A.A. Hood
Teen Poetry selected by Krista Knutson
Spiritual Poetry selected by Marge Tindal
Short Fiction selected by Dopey Dope

Read It All (one big page)

Issue #5 Next Issue

Editor's Column
by Karilea Jungel

Wow, the November issue, 2000- it is sometimes hard to believe that this year is almost over. Look at what most of us have accomplished these last few months! Underlying our regular lives, we have all gained experience in a most passionate diversion, our poetry.

I will keep this editorial short and brief, but to encompass what's coming up as you peruse this issue, I recently wrote what I consider is part of the staff members' themes: poetry readings, what we are thankful for, and why we pursue our poetry. If you have a moment, please click here for Silent Applause.

There. Now you have it. Enjoy this edition, and if you know of someone who has a yearning to read good poetry from excellent writers, pass it on!

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Writers' Resources on the Internet
by Nicole Boyd

What is one of the worst things that could happen to an aspiring writer, besides writer's block? It's having the perfect idea for a poem or prose piece (you know the one, it would make even the staunchest of English teachers weep from sheer beauty.); having that perfect thought, all alive in Technicolor within your mind…

…and not having the slightest idea how to put it into words.

Whether it is the actual mechanics of grammar or a matter of picking out the 'right' word to construct the perfect sentence; coming up against this little stumbling block is something all writers experience from time to time. It is my firm belief that no writer is flawless, however, there are handfuls that seem to write as if it comes as naturally as breathing. Aside from those that have been gifted at birth with an internal metronome, most of the truly excellent writers needed a lot of practice in the beginning. That there, is the key; practice. Do not be afraid to experiment with new ideas and structures! Expand your window of knowledge as wide as you can, and I believe that you'll see your writing skills just naturally following suit.

Here are three web sites I found that a writer of any skill status, the opportunity to broaden their knowledge horizon:

Creative Writing For Teens

This site is absolutely filled with useful, helpful information for the aspiring teen writer. There are humorous and informative articles, and over 20 different subject categories to choose from, such as, Creative Ideas, Dictionaries Etc, and Editing. The games and exercises are fun and educational. All in all, a great resource for writing help.

Magnetic Poetry

Welcome to your own personal palette of virtual word magnets, just waiting to be rearranged into works of art. (or not) Either way, when writer's block or some other form of frustration are hindering your creative process, this site is an absolute must. Have fun putting together the silliest of poems or sentences! It breaks down the strict walls of your block, and helps you relax again - prepping you for the mind-set to write the perfect piece.

Glossary of Poetic Terms from Bob's Byway

The title says it all…this site has the definition of almost every poetry term you can think of, examples of how they're used, and tons of cross-references. Almost daunting in size, but invaluable to someone who needs help with writing mechanics. Extremely informative!


Thanksgiving Poetry
Selected by Lone Wolf

To Dawn
by Lone Wolf

Cape Cod Cranberry Sonnet
by Nancy Ness (Nan)

by Sven

(From The Turkey's Point Of View)

by Gunslinger

As I was putting this selection of poetry together, I kept thinking of the things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving. While I am thankful for many things in my life, one in particular stood out. This year I am most thankful for my friends. They have been wonderful as always, and I want to say to each one of them that they mean the world to me. One friend in particular deserves special thanks: my best friend, Dawn. Without her, I have no idea where I would be today. I wrote the following poem to express the things I like most about our friendship.

To Dawn
by Lone Wolf

I give thanks for…
Having such a great friend
Whose love will never end

I give thanks for…
Having you in my life
Amidst the turmoil and strife

I give thanks for…
All you continue to do
Just because you're you

I give thanks for…
Each day we get to talk
Yes, even for those long walks

I give thanks for…
Being given this chance
To give you a small glance

I give thanks for…
You giving me a hand
For all your help is grand

I give thanks for…
The unending support
That includes words of comfort

I give thanks for…
You always being there
Showing how much you care

I give thanks for…
Those moments every once in a while
When I need it most you make me smile

I give thanks for…
Having met someone so dear
Whose friendship will be cherished through the years

I give thanks for…
Your very special way
Of knowing just what to say

I give thanks for…
Each of these things
And for the happiness you bring


While searching through Passion's archives, I came across a poem by Nancy Ness called "Cape Cod Cranberry Sonnet". I thought it gave some interesting insight into where the cranberries come from that we eat every Thanksgiving. Once I got Nancy's permission to use this piece, I asked her to provide a little background information. I think she says it best.

"I've been a Cape Cod addict since my teen-age years when I was what we called a 'summer resident,' so it only seemed natural that I would become a permanent resident as an adult. Visitors tend to correlate Cape Cod to its endless beaches and summer festivities, but are usually unaware of the year-round intrinsic beauty of this wonderful place. One of our most favorite times of the year is the fall. The weather is perfect, the beaches are still warm, and its cranberry-harvesting time. Local folks always look forward to stopping by the side of the road to watch as cranberries are collected from atop the flooded bogs. It's certainly a poetic experience - so this poem pretty much wrote itself."


Cape Cod Cranberry Sonnet
by Nancy Ness (Nan)

The waves roll on and gulls above soar high,
Lone foghorns chanting Cape Cod's solitude
The dunes at rest beneath the autumn sky
Envelop peaceful beaches once imbued.
Bright foliage adorns the countryside
Surrounding sundried bogs of cranberries.
This summer tourists' verdant welcome tide
Now boasts majestic hues of burgundies.
Synthetic lakes spew forth from each bog's moat
Releasing berries for the harvest day,
And buoyant crimson carpets lie afloat
In just abeyance being scooped away
To conjure up a sauce with Ocean Spray,
And have with turkey for Thanksgiving Day.


This next selection was written by Sven, often referred to as "Passion's resident romantic." It is a picture of some things he thinks about from Thanksgivings past.

When asked what Thanksgiving was like in his family, Sven replied, "We would all gather at a different house every year, all of my mom's family…and it would just feel right. Like there was nothing that would keep us from being there." The following poem is a reflection of those times.

by Sven

autumn's last leaf falls
the harvest now over
a chill fills the air

in this home
warmth surrounds you
like a blanket at night

memories shared
love shared
hopes shared

a time to reflect
and a time to look ahead
to give thanks for all

prayers offered
prayers heard

Thank you…


Once I found this next selection in the archives I just knew no article about Thanksgiving would be complete without it. I appreciate Gunslinger giving me permission to share this with you all.


(From The Turkey's Point Of View)
by Gunslinger

Thank God! It's finally over -
And now I'll get some rest…
It's been two weeks since I have dared
To go back to the nest.
I trust my mate is still around…
My lovely hen, dear Mabel -
I hope she wasn't dumb enough
To grace some human's table.
I'll never know why human folk
Think it's so much fun
To hit the woods and murder -
We turkeys with those guns
I'm six years old, last hatching -
And friend that's quite a feat…
With open season on us birds…
When we become…just MEAT!
I'll strut my stuff, and gobble loud
For just awhile…again!
I'll hide deep in the forest…
For it's Christmas coming then!
So why did I hen-scratch this out?
And post it here for you?
That you might see Thanksgiving
From the turkey's point of view.

From ALL of us at Passions in Poetry, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving 2000.



Interview with Poertree
by Christopher Ward

Our interview this issue is with the rarely seen, often misunderstood, jolly but cryptic Philip aka Poertree. He has been a member of Passions' forums since November of 1999. Since that time, he's managed to post a few poems, make a few friends, and insult me on numerous occasions.

Christopher: First things first Philip: Do tell us about the ever so creative name you've chosen for interaction in the forums. Is it merely a play on words, or did you just misspell it?

Philip: Two, or was that three, jibes in a two line question ... wayyyyyy to go Christopher. Anyway I guess I had to have a suitably irritating and pretentious name being and irritating and pretentious Brit … no?

Now, being uncharacteristically serious, I have to admit I hate the name and were it not for the fact that my vanity won't let me lose my cherished 1000+ posts in the forums, I'd have changed it before now. Fact is I think my old school-boy nickname would suit - "The Scarlet Pimpernel" or Sir Percy Blakeney. For your benefit Chris, the creation of Baroness Emma Orczy, and an aristocratic English hero of the French revolution, a daring, intelligent, resourceful chap (sound familiar?) who plied back and forth across the channel plucking the various deserving Gallic nobility from a fate worse than death - well of course it was death, but you know what I mean. So you see your intro wasn't far off the mark Chris; elusive and jolly; mind you I kinda wonder sometimes, I mean I never saw myself as a "shy retiring flower" or "scarlet" for that matter ... hummm

Christopher: I don't know, Philip, I can picture you in purple! Ok, I've noticed that the bulk of your writing is in the Critical Analysis forum. Why is that?

Philip: This is a trick question - I know it! You're trying to get me suggest that the whole of the Open Forum comprises poems about fluffy bunnies and "lurve" and inconsequential ramblings. Well 'tis not true, not true at all - in there somewhere are the gems that I just don't have the patience to wait for the search engine to find them. Anyway there's no way I'm coming out of CA, I might miss Brad's legs or Jim's Karate.

Mind you, going back to the Percy Blakeney thing, it kind of fits don't you think? I can just see me in that mysterious scarlet lined black cape, landing at the dead of night on the dark shores of the Open forum and then, with judgment and finesse, rescuing some aristocrat of Open from the revolutionary masses and then, with additional courage and resourcefulness, smuggling him or her (probably her), back to the civilized shores of that small beleaguered island called CA. Yeah I like that!

Christopher: Darn! Caught me! Oh well, sounds like a noble idea I suppose. So how long have you been pretending to write then?

Philip: For this question to make any sort of sense (which in itself would be kind of a departure for you) the word "write" has to be imbued with an implication beyond that normally ascribed to it, viz, the act of forming symbols, letters or words in a chosen medium. On the assumption that you meant to ask: "when did your poetic glitter burst forth upon the world of literature", the answer is November 6, 1999, shortly after I put the cat out after tea.

Christopher: Wow! I don't imagine many people can put a set date! Speaking of, we know you are old Philip, but really: When is your birthday?

Philip: Hey, pretty subtle for you Christopher. Do you seriously think I'm going to deprive you and Ms Devine of the satisfaction of solving my conundrum which is posted in Announcements under Elizabeth's thread called "All Birthdays", reply number 66. (pssttt, really excellent puzzle, yanno!)

How has your interaction at Passions affected your writing or views on writing poetry?

Christopher: * grumble * Forget that for now then - someone will figure it out! How has your interaction at Passions affected your writing or views on writing poetry?

Philip: * he peers suspiciously * Is this really a straightforward, un-barbed, un-clever-dick question? Yeah well, frankly, I was fine up to the point when I was innocently sauntering past this dark Alley place and some guy's arm reached out and hauled me in, and ever since then I've been hard pressed to defend national and personal honor let alone produce verse.

Actually, I guess here's the place to say that without Passions, or more precisely a few people in Passions, I would have NO views on writing poetry. I know it sounds a little melodramatic, but I guess Passions rekindled something that I started about 20 years ago and then lost in the wilderness some call a "career."

Christopher: No, that is a familiar story! Many a poet's been caught that way! So do you have a favorite poet - besides myself of course?

Philip: Hey, you mean you post outside the Alley? Geez, I must go look someday! In the "real world," Dylan Thomas, Ted Hughes and a contemporary English poet named Simon Armitage. In Passions, Jenni, Trevor, Doreen, Martie (oh and Kamla and Maree of course - I want to stay alive!).

Christopher: Smart move, Philip! Next query then: What are your future plans in regards to your own writing?

Philip: For the next year, serious writing is out, serious reading is in (all poetry). I'm struggling to get over the idea that I'm about to be an instantaneous world famous poet. I enjoy in-depth reading and commentary on what I consider to be "good" poetry though, and I actually believe that trying to understand the minds of other writers helps to engender and develop my own ideas.

Christopher: Well as much as I hate to admit it, I think you have a good chance! Would be time consuming though. Do you have a life? If so, tell us a little about it.

Philip: Like most of us, I guess I have two lives, "ON" and "OFF." But I know what you mean. Simple really: last twenty years "off." More or less all day, every day, working in the torrid UK property (real estate) world. Next twenty years "on". Well not all "on", but hopefully a combination of traditional literary sources and the net to pursue a writing career of some kind - not entirely clear what yet!

Christopher: I imagine many can relate to that as well! Almost done with you now, Philip. But before I let you go, please tell us about the poem we've chosen to display here for you.

Philip: This is not only a good deal gloomier than most of my efforts so far, but it is written in an entirely different way. Normally, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to say and how I want to say it before I start writing. I then move to a framework or rough draft and then gradually work toward the final version. This poem, in contrast, just "happened" in the sense that the lines just kind of appeared in the order in which you now see them, and the message or "meaning" really didn't feature until after it was written. I had to make a few adjustments to clarify certain parts, but really very few. I'd been reading a tremendous amount of Dylan Thomas just before writing this, so I blame it on him.


After The Murder Of My Wife
by Philip (Poertree)

And yet, I couldn't really loathe the power that lay beneath
the ravaged torn and shattered mask of my grief,
And time's curdled place beside our throne
fires my turgid breath and blasts my bone.

Violence upon violence heaped, a silvered grain of pain
dibbed deep into translucent flesh and barbed remains
to take the threaded hope of my gassed joy,
coagulate my pasts love-burst destroy.

Ruined rain slides hot upon my chest, whiskering a vapid roll,
So future's dice and spotted mocks my pall,
To tattoo beat a wave of porous hope
upon my empty ribs and parchment coat.

Life; so coppiced in a prime, so hacked and hewn
and rendered over-ripe and blown,
Bleeds and shoots a multitude of Springs
against the frosty cut of death's keen cling.

Yet, I couldn't really loathe the love which lost; grieves me.
Balm my riddled brain with sweet inanity,
Dam and comfrey up my running loss,
That no seep of history leaden my cross.


Final Word
by Poet deVine

Of all the things I'm grateful for this season, being a part of the Passions Team is high on my list. We have a wonderful group of members, Moderators, Newsletter Staffers and readers! I'd like to say thank you for another great year of wonderful poetry and prose.

And I'd like to give you all a hint about some of the upcoming issues of Digital Passions.

First our December issue will be overflowing with holiday poetry and prose, just in time to put you in the holiday mood. Then we have a double issue of Digital Passions that we are working that will focus on LOVE. And February is our busiest month because of Valentine's Day! We are already working on bringing you the biggest selection of the best poetry we have to offer. This issue will be dedicated to love in all it's forms - from the traditional love letter to the Internet's cyber love with everything in between. So if you know someone who 'loves' love poetry, now is the time to subscribe to Digital Passions so you don't miss out on the excitement!

And as always, if you have any questions or comments please email me at:


*** Bonus Features ***


Beatnik Era: Poetry In The Coffeehouse
By JP Burns (JP)

The scene opens in a dimly lit, smoky coffeehouse, populated by pale, gaunt figures in black turtlenecks, goatee's, and berets. The sound of bongo drums droning in the background, keeping the beat as the lone figure on stage hisses a poem of revolution and woe.

"You're one cool cat, daddy-o." Maynard Krebs would have said.

This is the scene many of us think of when we hear the word beatnik or bohemian, or when we refer to coffeehouse poetry. These are the prominent images of the beatnik stereotype, however, as it seems to be with all stereotypes, the image is incorrect, and the generation that gave birth to this stereotype is sadly misunderstood. To understand the reality of the counter-culture we must first try to define it and identify its progenitors, a task, which is often difficult when speaking of social movements.

There has always been a group of people with little interest in the trappings of accepted society; those who have no interest in keeping up with the Jones's, climbing the corporate ladder, or generally participating in 'the rat race'. A group whose disillusionment with contemporary society has set them apart in some fashion: the bohemian lifestyle so to speak.

The term has taken on the connotation of a lifestyle of hedonism, non-conformity, and the literary/artistic avant-garde

What is bohemian exactly? I'm not sure anyone can adequately define it although one can trace the use of the term back to the gypsies who were believed to have originated from a country called 'Bohemia'. The term itself has taken on the connotation of a lifestyle of hedonism, non-conformity, and the literary/artistic avant-garde. While discussing the essence of the bohemian lifestyle Robert Duncan wrote: "In a Bohemian household you have immediacy to all the arts so that you are going to have some aspect of music, poetry, painting, and also the decoration of things at the same level." That access to the arts in all their forms coupled with the resistance to the norms of society provides the essence of the counter-culture lifestyle.

The Beat Generation is a bit easier to define, in spite of its maligned stereotype. The term 'Beat' was coined by Poet/Author Jack Kerouac in 1948 during a conversation with novelist John Clellon Holmes, it was meant to describe himself and his friends (Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso and Michael McClure); a group of post World War II intellectuals who could not fit into the expected roles of society: corporate robots, or 'spit and polish' soldiers.

The phrase 'Beat Generation' was meant to echo Ernest Hemingway's description of his own crowd as the 'Lost Generation'.

He used the term 'beat' in much the same fashion that it is commonly used today, as in the terms "beaten down", or "I'm totally beat". The connection here is one of disappointment, defeat, disillusionment, and resignation. The phrase 'Beat Generation' was meant to echo Ernest Hemingway's description of his own crowd (which came of age during the First World War), as the 'Lost Generation'.

Jack Kerouac expanded his 'definition' of the Beat Generation to include a second meaning: 'beatific' or sacred and holy. Kerouac explained that by describing his generation as beat he was trying to capture the secret holiness of the downtrodden. He reflected this idea of holiness when writing of 'the saintly hobos' in 'On the Road', published in September 1957.

In her paper "The Beat Generation," Amanda Erickson described the 'Beat Generation':

"The Beat Generation was born out of post-war disillusionment and restlessness. They were a generation of young people struggling to come to terms with the chaos and uncertainties that were a part of their upbringing. Their movement, if it can accurately be called that, manifested itself in literature and poetry, which threw off the traditional, classical format to become a character in and of itself. The Beats attempted to express themselves in a way that was extremely personal and extremely in-your-face. They addressed issues that were taboo at the time, most notably homosexuality and drug use, writing largely for and to each other, sharing life experiences and crying out against an establishment that harbored little space for individuality and protest."

In 1958, after the Beat 'movement' had influenced multitudes of alienated young men and women to migrate to the North Beach area of San Francisco, Herb Caen wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he coined the term 'Beatnik'. While there is speculation on the original meaning of 'nik', Caen insists that it was actually borrowed from the satellite 'Sputnik, (meaning traveling companion)' which had just been launched by the Soviet Union, striking fear into the hearts of many Communist-fearing Americans. On April 2, 1958, Caen wrote:

"Look magazine, preparing a picture spread on S.F.'s Beat Generation (oh, no, not AGAIN!), hosted a party in a North Beach house for 50 Beatniks, and by the time word got around the sour grapevine, over 250 bearded cats and kits were on hand, slopping up Mike Cowles' free booze. They're only Beat, y'know, when it comes to work."

Caen's article not only gave the Beats an unwanted name, it also gave them an unwanted stereotype; one-room pads, sandals, goatee's, bongo's and berets… it wasn't too long after that when the first Beat Generation exploitation movies and TV beatniks came out. Soon, every teenager wanted to be a beatnik.


My Creative Writing Class
by Deborah Carter

Creative Writing is unlike any other form of writing. The process of creating something that did not previously exist; something has its own meaning.

When I registered for my very first creative writing class in college, I thought it would be so easy! And why not? I'd been writing poems and stories since I was a child and my family and friends had always really enjoyed them. I was eager to show the world how gifted and clever I was!

At that time, I thought that well-written poetry should always rhyme, and that most stories should have a happy ending. I was pretty comfortable with my writing technique even though I'd never had any formal training other then a few writing classes in high school. I didn't really think that there was much more that I needed to know.

When I walked into the classroom the first day, I wasn't prepared for what awaited me.

When I walked into the classroom the first day, I wasn't prepared for what awaited me. Everybody seemed so experienced and talented! Many of the students had already been published! As I looked over the syllabus for the semester, words about genre, form, images and tone caught my eye. It was then that I realized that a strong desire to write is only just the beginning, in the process of Creative Writing!

It wasn't long before I was learning to create poems from a list or an old family photograph, from memories, secrets and even blues music! There were sonnets to write, limericks, poems of politics, loss and desires. I discovered the value of dialogue, conflict, attention-grabbing introductions and satisfying conclusions when writing a story. Enrolling in that first class opened my eyes to a whole new way of approaching my writing and for that alone, I will be forever grateful!

The phrase 'Beat Generation' was meant to echo Ernest Hemingway's description of his own crowd as the 'Lost Generation'.

While I have taken several literature and writing courses in the last couple of years, I am far from being an expert on the subject. For anyone who might be debating whether or not taking a class could be beneficial, maybe my observations as a student will help with your decision.

The Basics

A good creative writing class will teach you each phase of the traditional writing process, which includes, research, drafting, revision, editing and proofreading.
It can give you the individualized attention and the encouragement necessary to realize your goals as a writer, while providing valuable support and feedback.

Getting Started

Searching for ideas can be frustrating at times. A dedicated teacher will help you to expand your knowledge in the art of creative writing in ways that you may have never thought about before.

There are many different strategies for finding topics to write about, such as free writing or brainstorming, the use of dreams and memories, and incorporating first- hand experiences into my writing.

Writing down whatever comes to mind, no matter how simple or strange, is a good way to generate ideas.

All of us have memories, good and bad...

All of us have memories, good and bad, and the emotions that are generated with these memories can develop into splendid poems and stories. In one of my classes, we were encouraged to try to remember people or places in our past that made us feel happy or proud, sad or afraid and to write down our feelings that associated with these memories.

I had a wonderful teacher, who often reminded us to listen to those "inner voices in our heads", and let them evolve into characters with distinct personalities. She also taught us the rule, "show don't tell" when drafting a poem or story. It is one of the secrets to successful writing. Using lots of colorful images and interesting details helps the reader visualize the situation and allow the story to "come alive". A strong image can become symbol, which will take on a new meaning beyond itself.


Critiques by your classmates can be a useful tool when learning to write. Although it sometimes requires a strong ego, honest opinions and suggestions can offer many different points of view on your work.

The rules in my class were simple. When it was my turn to read a story or poem, the rest of the class listened quietly and carefully until I finished. Then I sat in silence, (usually with sweaty palms and pounding heart!) while each of my peers commented on my efforts. It's difficult at first, to avoid interrupting with a thank-you for the one who offers praise or to argue the merits of my work with the one who doesn't exactly care for it! I've found that listening to each critique with an open mind is important. Although I don't always agree with the comments, they are often useful nonetheless, when revising my poem or story.

Reading the Masters

Another benefit of taking a course in Creative Writing is the opportunity to discover some of the best authors and poets in the world. I have been introduced to literary giants such as Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway. I love to read the poetry genius of Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, and countless others that I never knew existed. I have learned to contemplate their words, search for their message, appreciate each one for their own unique contribution, as if it were a gift given especially to me.

Outside Influences

Often well-known visiting writers are sponsored by local community organizations, libraries or art councils. Some of the best lessons I've been given came from listening to lectures or readings by talented, experienced writers.

Many times, there are occasions in which you can take part in public readings. There are always functions within the college community that allow new writers to share their work with others. Though it can be nerve-wracking at first, it is essential for a writer to learn the art of public speaking! Reading your work to an audience will give your work more exposure and offers immediate responses. Sometimes the poem or story will take on a whole new feel when read aloud. Often a successful reading will lead to invitations of others!

The Art of Getting Published

Creative writing classes can give you useful tips on how to publish your work. I have learned how to prepare my manuscript for submission, where and when to submit, and the most effective way to write query letters. Many local magazines and newspapers publish the work of college students and most colleges have a school paper.

Often teachers are published authors themselves and are happy to share their own experiences. Several of mine are, and the very fact that these people who I greatly admire, are normal, living, breathing people not unlike myself, motivates me in my own efforts to become a writer!

A class in creative writing might not be for everyone, but for me it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

A class in creative writing might not be for everyone, but for me it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I developed a new respect for views outside of my own, an appreciation for individual differences in all forms of writing. I was motivated, challenged, inspired. Not only did I acquire new skills that are vital to a new writer, but most importantly, I learned to express my thoughts, ideas and feelings in my own unique voice and share it with the world!


Poetry Readings: A Personal Experience
By: Sven

Imagine, if you will, a Passions with voice files. Think about the way the voice of the author reading their work would make you feel. Would they read it out loud the same way that you perceived it in your mind? Would they emphasize the same words that you do? Have the same phrasing? Probably not, as everyone interprets poetry differently.

This is the idea behind a poetry reading. It translates the written word into sound. It gives us an idea of not only what the poet is thinking and feeling, but also how they would like us to read and interpret their poetry.

I had never been to a poetry reading until these past few weeks, when I attended several, in various venues, with various individuals and in contrasted formats. It was interesting to see and hear not only the way the poets read their poetry, but also to see how we, as members of the audience, interacted with them.

It was held at the library of Michigan State University...

The first type of reading that I attended was a reading with discussion, questions and answers. It was held at the library of Michigan State University, given by a writer who wrote mainly prose, but was so influenced by one of his teachers so much that he turned to poetry into a "side" occupation. He was quite good at it, having won prizes and having three of his collections published by the University Press.

Predictably, there were many students in attendance, most of them there to get extra class credit. There were also those who liked to think of themselves as "intellectual" types, there to obtain the "deeper" meaning of what the poet was saying. Then, there were those of us, like me, who were merely there for the sheer enjoyment of hearing someone read their work.

The author began by giving us some personal background, and then began to read samples of his work. He seemed to read very quickly, almost too fast for most of us to really hear what he was saying. It was probably because he was fighting a cold that he read in this manner. But we all sat there, listening intently, and applauding after every work was completed.

  "No, it's just a poem about my dog, who happens to be yellow."

When he had completed the reading portion of the event, we next turned to the question and answer session. There were the usual types of questions: "How did you get started?" "What made you decide to write poetry?" Then there were the deep questions like: "Do you feel that you used the dog in your poem 'Yellow Dog' as a metaphor for man's struggle against the Industrial Revolution?" (Really, this was an actual question.) To which the author, quite pleasingly, said, "No, it's just a poem about my dog, who happens to be yellow." Which drew laughter and applause from the audience. Finally, a writer who writes about things we could identify with!

After the reading was over, I got an opportunity to talk to the poet for a moment, and took that time to ask him if he felt that there was a "death" of the writing of "form" poetry, and were more poets now turning toward free verse? He said that he felt that there was somewhat of a death of this and that he tried to write in a mix of form and free verse. He also hoped that more poets would learn about writing in forms to become better poets.

I went to a couple of more readings in this venue. They were about the same, with the poet reading his own work, questions and answers with the audience, and of course, sales of the poet's latest book, which could be autographed.

I wondered about the literature these poets read. Who were their influences growing up? It would have been very interesting to have the poets read poems that influenced them. To see how the creative process begins. To see how they interpreted them. One of them did read something from another poet, but it was merely to illustrate the poem of their own that they were going to read, not that it was an influence.

The next type of reading that I attended was an "Open Mic" type of reading, held at a local bookstore. Here, poets sign up beforehand to have a few minutes to read their own work, but also anything else they like. As it said in the advertisement for the reading, "Read your own work, read another person's work, or even read the Phone Book." The people attending this reading were, of course, poets themselves, their friends, and anyone who happened to be walking through the bookstore and wondering what we were doing.

It can be very nerve wracking to get up in front of a group of people and read a poem, let alone your own writing.

It can be very nerve wracking to get up in front of a group of people and read a poem, let alone your own writing. I was very nervous when I arrived to sign up. Complicating matters, it turned out that they were not going to have a microphone set up for us. We were told to "project, and speak very loudly." This did not make things easier on everyone's nerves. I mean, personally, it is one thing to take that first step and post our work at Passions. You generally hear from people that like your work, but it was entirely another thing to get up in front of people and read it. To see how they would react to what I was reading. Would they like it? Would I be able to be loud enough? Would they understand it?

As the time got closer for me to read my work, I became even more nervous. Then they called my name. I was introduced as "a new Lansing poet," something that made me stop and chuckle for a moment. Imagine, being introduced as a "poet."

When I approached the designated area, I now noticed that there were indeed quite a few people in attendance, close to 50 or so. I took a deep breath and began by greeting the audience. I then read the one poem I had prepared.

It's a funny thing that being up there in front of all those people, I found myself surprisingly calm. I read my work loud enough, and even made eye contact with the audience. They were paying attention. They were concentrating on what I was saying. Part of me even believed some of them were hanging on my every word.

The poem finished, they applauded and I thanked them and went back to my seat. Relieved that it was over, but surprisingly finding myself wishing that I had read more.

Some of the poets read prose. One of them read favorite poems. A storyteller read from Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends," reminding us that it was the 25th anniversary of the publication of that work. All in all, it was a very enjoyable time, one that I look forward to doing again.

She introduced herself as the editor for a local literary magazine, and invited me to submit the poem that I read at the reading...

A personal note: after the Open Mic reading was over; a few people approached me. They stopped by to say that they really enjoyed my reading and my work, one of them even wanted me to e-mail them a copy of it. There was one woman, however, who had a little more to say. She introduced herself as the editor for a local literary magazine, and invited me to submit the poem that I read at the reading, as well as at least one other poem to her for consideration to be published. This was something I never expected. I won't know until early next year if my submissions will be accepted, but it was enough to be asked to submit.

I would encourage everyone to go to a poetry reading in your area. They're usually mentioned in the local newspaper, or at local bookstores. If you live near a university or college, check with the libraries or the English departments to see if they hold any readings. If you live where these kinds of events are not held, why not try to have one of your own? Talk to your local library or High School English Departments, invite people to come and read not only their own work, but also whatever they would like to read. You might be pleasantly surprised.

*** Bonus Poetry ***


Friendship Poetry
selected by Elizabeth

A Tear Fell
by Marge Tindal

by Rosebud

Of all the poems that can be found at Passions in Poetry, some are perfect to express people's emotions about their friends. While browsing around in the Friendship Poems section, I found some really beautiful ones. Here are just a few of the ones I liked best:


A Tear Fell, by Marge Tindal, speaks of the comfort that our friends can give us. Whenever people have a problem weighing their spirit down, they often turn to a close friend, and the weight seems to lessen somehow.

A Tear Fell
by Marge Tindal

I shed a tear today
Silently, I felt it fall
You caught it
shared it
held it
felt it
it wasn't
so big
after all

The poem Angel, by Rosebud, is written about what a good friend can be. Our friends can be many different things to us.

by Rosebud

A spirit,
a beacon
To shine through the night
To guide you to safety
through many a plight;
And sounding through your darkness
Clear as a bell
The voice of the person
Who is your angel
A rose, 'midst the weeds
Of grief and of pain
Reminding you that someday
Things will be all right again,
And like hot chocolate
On a chill winter day
They warm up your soul
And spirit all the way,
Someone chosen just for you
Above all the rest
For this is the one
who can do the job best
To pierce through your darkness
And spread warmth and light
A reminder of beauty
Setting sorrow to flight
You have been chosen
And also have they
To be each other's angels
And guide through life's way.


Love Poetry
selected by Irish Rose

In The Tides of My Dreams
by Ruth Grattan (hoot_owl_m)

Balloons of the Heart
by Mark Bohannan

Lay Me Down
by Marge Tindal

Flying Without Wings #2
by Sven

Love United - First Meeting
by Jenn E.

Ruth Grattan (hoot_owl_m), one of our distinguished members, who has a fine reputation for delivering fantastic poetry in style and grace, offers this very romantic poem. She tells me the idea for this poem came from a challenge to write of a lake, but that the thoughts of the dream of love came instead.

I believe Ruth has captured what sometimes stays with us long after the physical feelings of love are gone, those dream-like states that we find ourselves in.


In The Tides of My Dreams
by Ruth Grattan (hoot_owl_m)

The ripples crash upon the shore
In tender kisses, nothing more
Each wave in gentle cadence rings
As in my sleep, my true love sings
I feel him now, here by the lake
As from my dreams, I slowly wake
His words, how soft, they call to me
Here on the shore of endless sea
Wake me not tonight my love
In quiet whispers from above
Just hold me close inside your mind
Leave the pain of past behind
Meet me in my dreams tonight
Then pull me close by morning light


Mark Bohannan tells me he wrote this for Butterflies-don't cry to express his love for her. I feel it shows a great deal of originality and creativity and I wanted to include it in with the other fine poems. Thank you, Mark, for a breathtaking look of color and how it is shown in love.

Balloons of the Heart
by Mark Bohannan

 So if 
it were
 a balloon of
 love that was 
  bestowed upon 
 you...... with the heart
    essence....and the heart soul
 Then would  you feel the lightness from
 all that I would  say  or  see the beauty of my
 words as only.. ..a  mere  bit  ..of temptation ..the air. If. ..this would be 
 the sign for  which you so  desperately
 seek then  would you take  it's color
in the way that they were...meant?
 Love ..comes in many...colors
 as.. ....does the passing.. of
 the yesterdays.
So in these 


Marge Tindal, one of our best, tells me she was driving one day and saw a fire truck! Well, Marge, I hope you pulled over for this one! She wrote a few words and came up with this wonderful poem about the passion of love. I believe it's a four-alarm poem! Thank you, Marge.

Lay Me Down
by Marge Tindal

Lay me down one more time
in fields of passion and desire
Stir me with the heat of you
Come on baby, light my fire!

Whisper to me of fantasy
on satin sheets of ivory-tinge
Hold me in the reality of knowing
the fire of passion's singe

Fan the flames to raging
from the glowing red hot embers
When the fire burns out of control
Quench me with remember

In the ecstasy of the moment
call out my name in desire
Flames will light up the night
as you take me
higher - higher - higher

Passion spent with pleasure
let me fall gently beside you
Wrap your arms around me close
Oh, babe ... the passion that you do !


Sven tells me this poem, Flying Without Wings.#2 is based on a song performed by the vocal group, Westlife. Once hearing the song, he was so taken with it that he wrote his poem and delivered it in lyrically tones giving the readers the feeling of flying without wings and opening our arms to it, which is another wonderful way of expressing love.

Flying Without Wings #2
by Sven

My heart knows that you're the reason why
All I had to do
was close my eyes and believe
My love, I've never felt so free

Never thought I'd make it here alone
It's because of all the love you've shown
You're the only one
that can make me feel this way
With you, I can see a new day

Now that you're here with me my love
We're soaring here so high above
Together our love
can take our hearts so far
There will always be love wherever we are

Together we'll see the things
That only love can bring
We're flying without wings


I was particularly taken with this poem, written by Jenn E, because of the honesty and sincerity expressed of meeting someone new. That's really what love is all about isn't it?

Love United - First Meeting
by Jenn E.

All this talk about electronic love
has made me stop and reminisce
of all the things that happened
that led to true loves kiss

Words just started flowing
from one into the other
I felt as if I knew him
in one world or another

Then I finally heard it
his voice across the line
in awe of how he sounded
felt a shiver down my spine

We talked for endless hours
on into the night
I never talked like that before
God…it felt so right

I still had never seen him
had no physical of his being
we exchanged simple pictures
could not believe what we were seeing

My eyes could not leave him
although only on my screen
so beautiful in every way
like no man I had ever seen

My beauty captured him also
like no woman he had seen
as if we both had come to life
from each others dreams

We knew we had to meet
How and When and Where?
driving he said…three weeks
I'll be coming there

Twenty hours to see me
this was the final moment
my palms started sweating
my stomach was in torment

I was pacing here and pacing there
talking on the phone
Oh my god...he's ummmmmm, here
I, I, really gotta go...

I looked up and he was grinning
calmly leaning against my door
we were both a little nervous as
we hadn't seen each other before

slowly I walked over
and our eyes finally met
nervousness went out the door
as fast as it was sent

We held each other tightly
breathing each other in
just getting closer and closer
skin finally upon skin

We pulled apart slowly
eyes lost in each other
lips finally touching
hearts filled with wonder

Tongues touched
worlds collided
we knew then
our love united

Three months since I've seen him
and I won't see him till November
I know the day he gets off the plane
will be a day we'll both remember…


Sad Poetry
selected by Karen A.A. Hood

From Midnight Blue to Dreaming
by Christopher Ward

The Silences of Me
by Spitfire

I've Tried ...
by Michael Mack (Balladeer)

by Martie Odell-Ingebretsen

by Azure

The only criteria I used in making my choices was that I wanted it to be a diverse selection. At first, I thought I'd choose styles, but then I just wanted to choose a diverse group of poets, to demonstrate that sadness is a common denominator of humanity through all walks of life. Although I had personal reasons for choosing each poem, I've decided to let the authors speak for themselves.


Christopher speaks regarding his poem, " From Midnight Blue to Dreaming ":

"From Midnight Blue to Dreaming was actually a concept that had been spinning around my head for some time. The image of a frame, filled with nothing but a faded picture, waiting for a bright one (like the existing one used to be) appealed as an analogy to someone who'd been hurt in the past. The experience of old love coupled with the promise of new love sets it swinging back and forth between the promise joy and the peril of pain. From there, the imagery seemed to flow naturally. I had in my head a vision of an old house, with ghosts of the past, and filled it from there. Not as complicated as it may seem, but it serves."

From Midnight Blue to Dreaming
by Christopher Ward

a peace of picture sways gracefully -
hanged carelessly atop the nail, sliding
along the remnants of a broken wall.
when these simple words turn into breath
with whispered 'sssk's' of the gentle caress...
pendulumatically swinging... swinging,
it slows, slows, then stops for a silence.
and now she wants to frame my mind in arms
it rests here among the spectres of ambulation,
casted on canted edges, not... quite... straight.
the canvas, frayed, is time-worn fadings
yet I still become beauty on her tongue
cracked, pitted, the paint a navy smear
of potentiality - the promise of a then.
she aches to taste the sighting of reality
depictions of another time, paths of glories
blurred... invisibling more each moment
which passes, passes, passes unnoticed.
time is bane when words lie still, unpeaced
the moon rises with the ghosts of movement,
perhaps a sigh entombed within the breeze,
so the portrait stirs, and warmth returns to
the motioned swaying, swaying, swaying...
she wakes to sleep my dreamless night.


Spitfire speaks regarding her poem, "The Silences Of Me":

"I am the type of person hides the hurt until it gets to the point where I can't hide it anymore. I walk a lot alone, and think things over and weep and worry and laugh all the same. To myself, the earth, through the air and in the night - literally. "The silences of me"? Well, my thoughts let go to the earth, in the park, on the walkway home. And now here, too. Passions is a lot like the park where I leave all my thoughts, my silences - that aren't so silent anymore, are they?"

The Silences of Me
by Spitfire

Etched in walkways from the park to home,
are the silences of me.
The story of times passing,
the tales of the truth to be had.
Etched in walkways from the park to home,
are the footprints of every tear
that escort me at night.
Fingerprints for the words I had touched
and my breath on the wind in tune. The prints
of knees in concrete, were I sang out my anger
and wept in this city of stars.
Etched in walkways from the park to home,
is the litter of my stains,
my scars and their reeking wounds, remains
in trails under the leaves of fall.
Snow and rain can't wash them away,
they have been drunk by the roots
of the antique trees in nights of needing,
and linger in ways to the door.
They are... the silences of me.


Balladeer, regarding his poem, "I've Tried...":

"Sometimes we can spend our whole lives chasing dreams we will never attain; this is especially true when we had found the one perfect love for us and, somehow, let it go. So we keep looking, attempting the impossible, because there is no other choice, even though we know that we will never find it again."

I've Tried ...
by Michael Mack (Balladeer)

I tried to hold a rainbow in my hands once just for fun.
I tried to hold a comet by its tail - it can't be done.
I tried to stop the sun's evaporation of the dew.
I tried to love another but I couldn't. She's not you.

I tried to banish storm clouds with the movement of my hand.
I tried to learn the answers to what I don't understand.
I tried to find the Golden Fleece - the Holy Grail, too...
I tried to love another but I couldn't. She's not you.

It seems my life is filled with quests that I cannot attain
Like stopping leaves from falling or abolishment of pain…
Trying to find Nirvana where dreams really can come true...
Trying to find a woman I can love as I loved you.

So I'll keep chasing rainbows with my arms held open wide.
Perhaps I'll find a comet that will take me for a ride.
Perhaps I'll banish storm clouds - paint the sky in shades of blue
But there won't be another I will love as I loved you.


A few words from Martie regarding her poem "Solitaire" and writing in general:

"The poem Solitaire was written from a short story I wrote which is also posted in Passions in prose. I think every story can be a poem and every poem can be a story. So a lot of my poetry has come form the stories that I have written. This story was fiction, although I know the pain of divorce and what the children of a marriage breaking up go through from personal experience. I write because that it is the way I express all this wonderful beautiful feeling about this lovely life and the tears and laughter that it brings:

by Martie Odell-Ingebretsen

The window was open
and crickets hummed
in the warm summer night
when he told her,
let the words out fast,
taking deep breaths at each pause,
like he had practiced
how to say good bye.


the light from a full October moon
shines and patterns the
wall to lace
and the branches of the elm tree dance
life graceful fingers across her bed.

she hears a faint click, click
and a steady hum,
she knows the sound of solitaire,
she is aware of the lonely heartbeat
it represents,

sometimes the sound of the
world crashing is so soft, she thinks.

A faint light shows through the crack,
her hunched back a silent statement,
the computer lights the mood
of a hand on the mouse,

and she almost says her daughter's name

but the word won't come,
her voice is as helpless
and as tired as a limp rag
hanging on the line
on a windless day.

She feels the weight
of a question
and it hits her
and tears at the heart
of the mother in her.

So the name is spoken
with the voice of a cracked heart
and then she is looking through


Azure now speaks regarding her poem, "Melancholia":

"I wrote Melancholia last year, for one of my poetry classes. During my first couple of years in college I had a problem with depression. When I decided to write about it, this poem just came flooding out of me. It is so many things to me; a chronicle of my life, a purging of guilt over the pain I caused others, but mostly it's a culmination of the all the feelings I was having about myself at the time."

by Azure

vacant, curled-up, shrouded sobbing wearily
locked in your room shades pulled drinking
in bed all night long
devoured by your strange dreams your
door flung wildly open screaming fading out sleeping
days on end terrified of the moon her careless ways
and could not change you suffocated
me crying draining waiting for the end waiting
for you to -

please god something other than this
common dim house dishes piled in sink checkered tablecloth smell of
sadness on everything on your
shoes in my hair I
sleep rocking huddled on the couch alone & still see you
misery coming through the ceiling so delicate it
makes me love you this precious mess know you're
still somewhere on this sinking ship
clung to the memory of
it wasn't always this -

your endless silence love one day changing
causeless lost your mind forced into
an abstract version of yourself
retired slowly into your eyes
abandoned by ghost you're not over

you sung your agony in open choirs weeping hysterical
struggling between who you are, who you have been.


Teen Poetry
selected by Krista Knutson

Caught in a Tear
by Dopey_Dope

by Kevin

Reaching, Yet Denied
by Lakewalker

Pain is a strong and vivid emotion that will envelop every one of us, at one point or another. Loosing jobs, getting in fights with friends, and even loosing loved ones can cause deep wounds within our souls. These emotional teen poems by Dopey_Dope, Kevin, and Lakewalker show the pain and sorrow that can smother even the strongest of spirits sometimes.

Caught in a Tear
by Dopey_Dope

My rose had died.
My tree just tore.
I lived a lie,
The life I wore.

My heart still beats.
My blood stands still.
I defy all feats.
My love windmill.

My light has faded.
My souls a mess.
The surface jaded.
The heart break confess.

My tears run dry.
My smile all worn.
I lived a lie.
A life all torn.


by Kevin

I wish that you could read my mind
And know my love is true
For lately I have come to find
I only think of you
And maybe you can't be with me
To put my mind at ease
But you still left your memory
To bring me to my knees
I know you always meant to keep
My heart beside your own
But as I rest my eyes to sleep
I know my hearts alone

I wish that I could read your mind
And know you think of me
But still I fear that I would find
That your heart has gone free
Just know my thoughts will always be
With you and what we've been
With hopes that you still think of me
The way that you did then


Reaching, Yet Denied
by Lakewalker

No matter how she tries
the world to her does not exist
it spins just out of reach,
the sun rises and her hope's renewed
she reaches out a needing hand
hoping to grasp at the life
but denied are her dreams
as the sun glides on
setting in the distant land
which she will never reach
but living this never-ending cycle,
waking each and every day
she still reaches out
hoping to achieve some meaning


Spiritual Poetry
selected by Marge Tindal

Could It Be?
by Bonnie Church (BSC)

God Sent Me An Angel
by Thomas R. Quintana

Give Us Hearts To Understand
Big Thunder (Bedagi), late 19th century Algonquin

I could have chosen almost any of this author's poetry, as she is certainly gifted and writes of her beliefs so faithfully. From the Christian spiritual awareness of the presence of angels comes this beauty.


BSC writes: After a long, busy day, while relaxing outside one evening in spring, my spirits were lifted and my weariness disappeared as this vision sneaked into my daydream. Afterwards, I was completely refreshed and could finish the work of the day.

Could It Be?
by Bonnie Church (BSC)

Out in the yard gazing up at stars
As daylight turned to dusk,
Twilight descending silently,
In the air the sweet scent of musk.
Suddenly from out of the shadows,
A light of the palest pink,
Surrounding the dew kissed roses,
Perhaps an angel, I think.
With unbelieving eyes I stared,
This must one of those dreams,
Why would and angel come to me,
It just couldn't be what it seems.
As I arose to walk to the garden,
She slowly lowered her head,
A halo of gold beckoned me,
As her gossamer feathers were spread.
In an instant I was wholly embraced
By down of the purest white,
A whisper of gentle assurance,
Completely dislodged the fright.
She told me of God's love for me,
How He knew of the weakness I felt,
And with her delicate, soothing voice,
She prayed with me as I knelt.
When I raised my head to our Father,
To thank Him for sending her here,
Her feathery wing on my shoulder,
Removed the lingering fear.
As I looked again she was standing,
Radiant wings preparing to fly,
I knew my faith had been restored,
As she soared through the star filled sky.
My eyes quickly scanning the heavens,
As I watched this exquisite sight,
Our Lord had given me peace again,
Showing His delicate Angel in flight.


I chose this poem as it reflected the Christian belief in angels and the spiritual feelings of a man who believes he met one.

Thomas writes: I wrote this poem as I reflected upon my faith. I believe that instances like these do occur and that our Angels can be someone so unexpected. God Bless! My life has had many ups and downs. It wasn't until I found my spirituality that my life stabilized. I do believe that angels exist. They may appear to us when we least expect and could be someone you met but never got their name or got to know them. They could just be someone who did something good to you out of the kindness of their heart and because of that helped change and improve your life.

God Sent Me An Angel
by Thomas R. Quintana

I was walking along a country road one calm and cloudy day
Feeling down about the problems that had seemed to come my way
My pain was very great and my tears I could not hide
And was calling God to help me as I was hurting deep inside

I then thought about what I've believed and how I've rarely called
For sometimes I have wondered if God were there at all
As I lifted up my head and looked down that road a spell
I spotted someone coming - from the distance hard to tell

As he got a little closer I could then see all the signs
Of someone who'd been down that road quite a number of times
His clothes were old and dusty and his shoes were pretty worn
But there seemed a glow about him - at least I could have sworn

His face appeared real friendly as he peered up in the sky
He said, the weather is pretty calm today, hope the rain will pass us by
He first talked about the weather, but there seemed to be much more
That we both had in common, except for what we wore

He started talking about his life and the places he had been
And he spoke as if he knew me, like we were next-of-kin
From the problems that he had, to the happy times he found
Our likeness was uncanny and was becoming more profound

We had so much in common - I couldn't believe how much alike,
That I decided to tag along, we continued on our hike
He said he's from all over and his name was just like mine,
And hoped one day that we would meet as he had a real short time

I was feeling sort of baffled, as we went on with our walk
But he had held my interest, so I listened as he talked
He said, I know you're hurting - as your life has been so hard
But it seems today that you found God, where once you'd disregard

From the point that I was calling and was asking for God's hand,
Is the point where he had first appeared, as this was in God's plan
He said to take more time for prayer - that I could bend God's ear
That He is always listening, and He is always near

God knows about my struggles but better times will be ahead,
As long as I keep believing and will no longer be misled.
We then turned onto a sidewalk and now very close to home,
And it was then it struck me that I was suddenly now alone.

This stopped me in my tracks and I began to call his name
And it was then I understood, why to me that day he came.
I then realized God had heard me, as my Angel He then sent
To relieve me of my worries, and all my discontent.

Today I pray more often and feel blessed with my God's Love
As He was there and listening - and sent an Angel from above.


Deep in the spirituality of the Native American Indian legends, is forged the beliefs that I grew up understanding. This selection is the prayer I heard repeated at my grandmother's knee each and every evening. She felt that it prayfully extolled the Great Spirit to give us guidance in the things we must do to protect this earth and the creatures that dwell upon it.

I think so too.

Give Us Hearts To Understand
Big Thunder (Bedagi), late 19th century Algonquin

Give us hearts to understand;
Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;

Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;
never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
that as we care for her she will care for us.

We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.

Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.

Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed, help us to find a way to replenish them.

Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
help us to find the way to restore our humanity.

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to the world,
hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in Beauty.


Short Fiction
selected by Dopey Dope

This is a very heart warming story. It's the kind of story that just makes you smile and relish upon how, at times, life can be so wonderful. I think you'll all enjoy this as much as I did!

Saying Goodbye
by Angelshell

Chapter One

He was sitting at a table in a very crowded mall trying to find some peace alone with his coffee. It didn't look like he was going to get any.

Suddenly, over the loud buzz of the people around him, he heard someone laugh. Immediately his head shot up and he looked around the expansive area, trying to locate where this spine tingling laugh had come from. He knew that laugh. But it couldn't possibly be…no, it was impossible…wasn't it?

It had been 16 years since he'd left her that dark and lonely night. One hundred ninety two months since he had smelled her sweet innocent fragrance. 768 weeks since he had looked into her sparkling eyes and known he was home again. 5840 days since he had felt whole. Could he possibly remember her laugh? The answer of course was yes. The real question was would he ever forget it? He knew he would never find her in this crowd. But now his mind was racing. He couldn't let her go again. He came into town less than 48 hours ago with the sole purpose of finding his daughter. Only he'd been stopped short when he had no idea how to find her. He'd left her in that dark room, a note on the down stairs fridge. The note had said simply 'find a home for my daughter'. He had known their house cleaner came every Saturday morning - that's way he had to leave that night. Without looking back. Would she remember him now? Would she know those who raised her weren't her real parents? So many questions, all leading to one answer. He had to find her, and he had to find her now.

Chapter Two

Lisa floated through the door after a fantastic day. She walked into the kitchen grabbed an apple and hopped up onto the bench.

"What 'cha doin'?" she asked her brother Aaron quizzically as she watched him take what looked like it could have been a pop tart out of the toaster.

"I'm trying to cook," he said dropping a scorched oblong object into the sink.

"Do the world a favor babe and have an apple," she held out hers to him but he just pushed it away.

Aaron was 10 months older than she and because of this they were both best friends and the worst of enemies.

"Would you like me to show you how it's done?" she asked.

"No," he said sticking his nose up in the air and grabbing another pop tart out of the packet.

"Suit yourself," she said swinging her legs, "just don't look to me for help when you try explaining how you burnt down the kitchen."

"Don't you have any thing else to do?" he asked in his usual 'get-out-of-my-hair' tone.


Aaron's dark hair was a brilliant contrast to her blonde ringlets. His friendly blue eyes were an even bigger contrast to her intense green ones. Many commented on how the two of them couldn't have even passed as cousins, let alone brother and sister. But though they may not have shared anything physically in common, mentally and emotionally, they were almost the same person.

"When is mom going to be home?" Lisa asked taking another big bite of her apple.

"Dunno," Aaron said concentrating way too hard considering he was only trying to toast a pop tart.

Suddenly the phone rang and Aaron answered it. Within a few minutes he was sitting in front of the television watching MTV and talking to his best friend Matt. Lisa stayed where she was on the bench, eating her apple and sorting through today's mail.

"Junk, junk, junk, ooh Victoria Secret junk, junk, junk, bill, bill, junk, Aaron, Aaron, mom, mom, junk, mom," with a sigh she put the mail down and aimed her apple at the waste bin. "She shoots," Lisa threw the core at the bin, "she scores!" Suddenly an all-too-familiar smell rose to meet her nose. She smiled to her self and called sweetly to her brother. "Aaron darling, your pop tart's roasting."

She heard him swear down and run into the kitchen to take it out before it caught fire. He threw the phone into her lap on the way past and grabbed the toaster, shaking it upside down over the sink.

Lisa raised the phone to her ear and giggled softly as the not so sweet crooning of Matt greeting her down the telephone.

"Aaron…why does Matt sing to you?" she asked not covering the end of the phone. The singing suddenly stopped and Matt quietly asked who was on the phone. She just laughed and handed it back to her brother. "Well, the kitchen was gonna catch fire, I kinda needed two hands…" her brother said walking back out into the living room giving up his feeble attempts of cooking.

Lisa hopped down off the bench when the doorbell rang and went to answer it turning the television down on her way passed. Her brother yelled something at her but she wasn't listening. Standing out side her front door was a man in his early forties.

"Can I help you?" she asked politely.

"Is this the house of Andrea Martin?" he asked.

"Yes it is," Lisa replied, "but she's not home right now."

"Oh, well, I'm an old friend of hers, I was just passing through town and I wanted to meet up with her, do you know when she'll be back?"

"No, she works late on a Friday and then she usually goes out to dinner with some of her work mates, but if you like you can leave your number and I'll get her to call you when she gets in."

The man smiled and nodded. "That'd be great."

Lisa held up one finger and ducked just back inside the door to get a pen and some paper. She returned moments later. "Okay," she said.

"Well, I'm staying at the Grand Plaza on Oak Street."

She started to write, tucking her hair behind her ear as she did. Suddenly he could see a tiny mark on her left ear lobe. A birthmark.

"Lisa?" he asked his voice shaking slightly. She raised her head and smiled.

"You're Lisa?"

"Yeah, Andrea's daughter."

He looked closely at her face and wondered how he could have missed it before.

"You look very much like your mother."

Lisa smiled again. "Really, because every one says I look more like my father. My brother Aaron looks like my mother…did you know my father?"

"Um…no, not really, I was more a friend of your mom's…my name's Peter McIver, I'm in suite 35, can you tell your mom to give me a call when she gets in, I don't care how late."

Lisa nodded and outstretched her arm, offering him her hand. "It's nice to meet you," she said.

He took it, shocked at how mature she was, and shook it weakly. "It's nice to meet you, too, Lisa."


End Notes

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Passions In Poetry