My Son

By Barb Hensongispsaca

my heart
with so much pride
as I watch you sleep
snuggled against my chest.
I feel you breathe on my neck
I count ten fingers and ten toes
My tears run freely and unashamed
as your tiny hand grabs hold of my thumb.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

This was for a etheree contest but I was not in time.

Chapter 1

By Barb Hensongispsaca

party ready
tux free

Author Notes mccarc02 thank you for permission to use your picture.

April 25 is Penguin Awareness Day or World Penguin Day

Chapter 2
She Is At Peace

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I know the angels came for her.
Her spirit left me all alone.
Alone my heart beats slower now,
now broken, it feels like a stone.

Stone marks her future place of rest;
rest now, she does, in peaceful sleep.
Sleep will not come, I feel alone-
alone, her memory I keep.

Keep strong, I must, to honor her.
Her loss now breaks my heart in two.
Two lives that felt fate's harrowed hands,
hands me life's truth ... what I must do.

Do you see all the love I had?
Had I the right to question why?
Why do I know I have to wait,
wait till we're joined, both she and I.

Author Notes willie thank you for permission to use your picture.

Done in abcb as required.

This is my second try at loop poetry, all suggestions appreciated.

Chapter 3
My Dream Life

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Step through my looking glass with me into my world of fantasy and reality combined.
Slowly open your eyes, heavy with sleep and realize we have been transported
to a very unique world of imaginative sights and unusual sounds
of a bygone, yet futuristic world gone mad.

As a solid black whirlwind, that reaches from the brown cracked ground at our feet
to the baby blue sky littered with semi formed white puffs of angel's breath,
gathers our forms, twists and turns them into grotesque designs
as they are made weightless by the power of the air around them,
then transports our powerless forms to places unknown.

Journey with me to green open fields overrun with weeping willow trees
whose leaves blow in the gentle breeze making them resemble millions of green, shiny tears
floating on tendrils of vines that play in the air, filling it with emotions that change each time
a tear touches the paleness of your skin.

Reach up, stretch farther...farther still
until your fingertips brush ridges in the first cotton cloud that passes by. Curl your fingers, hang on tight and pull that cloud of peace down to your face. Inhale the freshness of it and allow it to enter your mind forcing emotions and memories from the recesses
of hidden folds you have buried deep in your essence.

Hold that feeling of joy to your face and cry all your hurt and pain into it,
turning the once whiteness of purity into a dark cloud of multicolored thoughts and fears
that undulates from color to color, absorbing your wonder and worry.

Release it!
Release it now, before it has time to reject your pain.
Push it, heavy with depression, away from you as you take a breathe of new baby fresh life.
The whirl wind gathers you in its wake as it passes by, returning you to the looking glass.
Step through renewed and ready to start a new day.

Author Notes GaliaG thank you for permission to use your picture

This is a potlatch challenge of poetic prose using the topic 'I awoke in a world I dreamed of'.

Chapter 4
The Stream of Life

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Come sit beside me as I enjoy the serenity of the sounds of nature. The transparent water as it slowly undulates its way past my feet calls to me softly to join it in its travels. I picture in my mind its origin as it squeezes through the cracks in the mountains, tumbling down as gravity takes hold, joining the other flowing water as it becomes one long rumbling waterfall. I can hear the splashing as it hits the pool of crystal clear water that has formed over time. Not stopping there, the force of the falling water, pushes the pool outward, forcing little paths of escaping water to run away from the pool, outward to form gradual downward flowing streams that radiate in different directions. This stream, passing in front of me, over the little pebbles that it has picked out in its journey, transported here and deposited at my feet, is but one of those. Lazily, it flows onward, as if it knows there is a bigger picture in its existence, waiting miles away for it to join the other streams as they make their way to the ocean.

Join me, dip your feet into this tranquil, cool water and feel the gentle massage as it flows around your toes, weaving threads of memory about where it has been and where it plans to go.

Author Notes kendyl thank you for permission to use your picture.

Write a prose poem in whatever style suits you on the following topic:

"Bodies of water".

Your piece should involve a body of water in some way, oceans, rivers, streams or whatever genius form you come up with. :))

Chapter 5
The Dandelion Ode

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, sweet dandelion, though you are but a lowly weed,
you are so totally complete to fulfill our mainstay.
As a whole, you furnish man's unconscious need
as you can be used in so many different ways.
So rich you are in Vitamin D from root to flower.
Nothing you have need ever go to waste.
with that you will always hold such power
If one can get past your unique acquired taste.

Your long unrecognized root that gardeners despise
can be finely chopped and then boiled awhile
to become an ancient succulent tea for wise
consumers to enjoy in grace and style.
Oh my precious little leafy plant so grand,
your delectable stems and leaves are a treat,
when cooked you are better than any greens canned-
add butter and spice, you just can't be beat.

No, I have not forgotten about those yellow treats.
Lovingly washed, dried, battered and fried
turns into a mouth watering taste that is a treat-
better tasting than any fried mushroom I've tried.
But, there is one more use that is very sound...
amidst all the glory of being the universal find-
you, my complete and tasty friend, I've found
man has accepted you for creating a smooth wine.

When your time has ended, picked by a girl or boy,
your white parachuted seeds give children such joy.

Author Notes Cammycards thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 6
The Great Flag

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"It's fun to walk with you, Grandma."

"I kinda like it too, Johnny, I seem to loose years trying to keep up with you."

"Hey, Grandma, how old are you?"

"Old enough to know I probably should have stayed home!"

"Grandma, what is that man doing over there?"

"That man by the flag? He is saluting the flag. Why do you ask that kind of question?"

"Well....why is he doing that?"

"We honor God first then our country. Maybe he was a soldier that fought the bad guys overseas so that we can take walks like this and ask questions and laugh. In some countries they can't do that. The flag stands for the place we live and we want to protect our land and everyone that lives here. He is saluting the flag in honor of this land and a way of remembering everyone who fought to keep it free."

"Grandma, how do you salute the flag?"

"There are a few ways. I put my hand over my heart. Guys kinda cover their heart by making a tent over it like this. People that fought the bad guys salute like that man just did. We used to do it in school. We would salute the flag then say the Lord's Prayer before we started school."

"Wow, everyday? We don't do that."

"I know. We did it everyday. But then some people thought that this should not be done in school. I am not sure of the reason why but we stopped praying and saluting the flag except for special gatherings. Someday maybe that will be stopped, too."

"Does that man have a special gathering?"

"How about we go over and speak to that man. Maybe he can answer some of your questions."

"Oh, boy, can we? But, Mommy said not to talk to strangers."

"Mommy is very right. So let me do the asking."

"Oh, boy, that's great. Hey, Mister!!! Grandma wants to talk to you!!!!"

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This writing came about when overhearing a conversation at the cemetery.

Chapter 7
Memories By The Side Of The Road

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The crosses looked so lonely as
they stood in cold and snow.
My tears froze fast upon my cheeks,
my heart consumed by woe.

My fragile mind was broken as
I stood in silence there.
A heavy load weighed down my soul
my empty arms felt bare.

A tragedy took lives, cut short
before they should have been.
Five lives that would not see the dawn
nor hold their kids again.

The blame was put upon one son,
the driver of the car,
but railroad laws were changed that day
now that seems quite bizarre.

Author Notes February 2 is the anniversary of my twin sons tragic deaths and I can't let the time go by without honoring their memory. Please bare with me.

Chapter 8
Ode To Night

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, night, you are so mystical
with hidden secrets you don't share.
Majestic with a grandeur pull,
of promises and thoughts laid bare
to haunt us as we linger there.

A harbinger of darkness deep,
as you consume our lighted path.
Surrounding us as near you creep,
immersing us in blackened bath,
while we await your unknown wrath.

You hide the creatures of the night,
befriend the blind and slow down time.
You rob us of our gift of sight-
we cannot touch the air we mime.
Our darkness is complete ... sublime.

Two lovers hide their brief affair,
as spirits roam creating fears.
You watch as children place their dares
while others are abused by peers.
You increase pain and double tears.

You scare the living, plant the dead.
The reckless challenge midnight's fate
allowing evil plans to spread;
while we're consumed with darkness' date,
amused with us, you watch and wait.

Author Notes Alveria thank you for permission to use your picture.

I chose the rhyme scheme of ababb with eight syllables to a line.

sublime-of such grandeur to inspire awe
mime- using hands to gesture, charade

Chapter 9
Advertisement For My Flower Shop

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Around 2005, I first
Became interested in
Creating my own business.
Despite what
Everyone said, I opened a
Flower shop to
Give people something different by
Having unique
Items for sale.
Just because people don't
Keep the containers, I
Like to use biodegradable baskets for
My arrangements, thus
Never having ceramic pots to get rid of.
Overall, my
Place is
Quite busy.
Realistically, I have to say that
Sales have been great.
The customers
Usually want
Very specific creations
Which I am proud to do, like my
Xenium arrangements of
Yellow and black

Author Notes xenium-gift made to a guest

I felt like doing something for all you who allowed me to vent about atrocities.

Thank you seshadri_sreenivasan for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 10
My Rescue Cats

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Many an animal has been put out the door;
Yearns for compassion from man once more.

Remember the cats that have no home.
Every feral cat lives their life alone...
Scared to trust, terrified of man...
Can only survive the best that they can.
Under porches and sheds, they're forced to live;
Even feral cats have love to give.

Can't you see their need is for love
And open your heart, when push comes to shove?
To give these cats a chance to survive,
Show some compassion to keep them alive.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

If you have a lot of feral cats around you, please check into the catch and release program. The kittens are caught and adopted out, the older ones are caught, spayed or neutered, then brought back to live out the rest of their lives.
So many animals, cats especially, are dropped off, unwanted by owners, to starve or die some other way, while the owners tell themselves the helpless animal will be okay.

Chapter 11
The House With Heart

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There is a house made out of love
for fam'lies needing aid.
It centers round the family life,
to keep foundations laid.

A child that's sick and needs a place
for extra special care,
this offers them a place to stay
and keeps the family there.

I work at such a house, you see,
and always keep a smile
to try to brighten up their days-
each woman, man and child.

It charges them ten bucks per day,
but, if the rooms are full,
the parents stay at good motels.
Price still the bull!

The great Ronald McDonald house
will pay the total bill;
the fam'lies want for nothing while
their children remain ill.

Fund raisers and donations from
communities at large
will help the family to survive
the medical barrage.

The Volunteers donate their time
in many different ways.
Some cook, some clean, some wash the sheets,
to make sure all's okay.

All meals and laundry, games and books,
provided by the staff,
free calls to home and wifi use
cuts stress filled life in half.

The little ones have rehab there
and cancer treatments, too.
They get support, a place to stay...
that's all that staff can do.

What does a child need most of all
when feeling so afraid?
His family standing by his side...
support that will not fade.

Author Notes Picture from Wikepedia.

Please remember giving just a little will always help someone. Check your charities that you chose to support and be sure they receive what you donate. Don't be afraid to donate your time.

Chapter 12

By Barb Hensongispsaca

moon casts moving shadows
manifested by wind
magical in wonder
mesmerizing darkness
maniacal nightmares
mysteries of nightlife
mystifying madness

Author Notes ruthiedeeez thank you for permission to use your picture.

Choose from these two:
TOPIC: #1 your favorite time of day or night
TOPIC: #2 your favorite subject in school
STYLE: Pleiades poetry


This titled form was invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman, Sol Magazine's Lead Editor. Only one word is allowed in the title followed by a single seven-line stanza. The first word in each line begins with the same letter as the title. Hortensia Anderson, a popular haiku and tanka poet, added her own requirement of restricting the line length to six syllables.

1. Title is one word only
2. 7 lines of 6 syllables with EACH line starting with the same letter
3. Single stanza only
4. Any/all poetic techniques such as rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance,
or specific meter MAY be used by author
5. The first letter in title is the same letter that begins each line.

Chapter 13
Thoughts On Rejection

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I still remember all my times
with work, children and chores-
the times my children would help me
with all the jobs outdoors.

A time to bond, a time to laugh,
those were the best of days;
but, now I see these times are gone
since kids have changed their ways.

There's no one wants to visit me
since age has claimed my past.
I wait for words of welcome but
I guess my die is cast.

My friends are gone, I am alone,
my kids have no desire
to sit and visit with me now-
no presence is required.

My children live a fast paced life,
too busy for old me.
They say that I don't understand
and that I do agree.

What happened to respect and care
for those that trod before?
I cooked and cleaned and hauled their butts,
now I'm a silly bore?

Good memories do flood my mind
of times we laughed and cried.
I nurtured kids through all life's storms-
was proud to be their guide.

Now through my loneliness and pain
I cry blood tears that sting.
The clouds that cover up my soul
has stopped my will to sing.

It's raining on my spirit as
the sun's set in my heart.
Just one short call would make my day
and let the rainbows start.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for allowing me to use your picture.

This came about from waiting for my girls to call me back after leaving messages for three days and numerous texts.

Chapter 14
My Day On The Titanic

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Everyone is familiar with the story of the sinking of the Titanic, but I want to give a quick history of the event before I tell you of my day aboard that ill fated ship.

The largest passenger steamship ever built, the RMS Titanic, labeled as 'unsinkable', was on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York with 2,240 passengers and crew. About 400 miles south of Newfoundland on the night of April 14, 1912, she struck an iceberg. A lookout saw the iceberg dead ahead coming out of a slight haze. He rang the warning bell and telephoned the bridge. The engines were quickly reversed and the ship was turned sharply. Instead of making direct impact the berg seemed to graze along the side of the ship. Ice fragments were sprinkled on the forward deck. No one had any idea that the larger part of the iceberg underwater had slashed a 300-foot gash below the ship's waterline. Shortly before midnight, Captain Edward Smith ordered the ship's lifeboats to be readied.

The Titanic's passengers were divided into three separate classes, determined by wealth and social class. Those travelling in first class, most of them the wealthiest passengers on board, included prominent members of the upper class. Second class passengers were middle class travellers and included professors, authors, clergymen, and tourists. Third class or steerage passengers were primarily emigrants moving to the United States and Canada.

Lifeboats were launched with women and children first. But when no women or children were seen, men were allowed to board. In the chaos and disbelief, not everyone went topside. Adding to the confusion, water tight doors were closed trapping a lot of third class passengers below deck.

At 2:20 am, the Titanic slipped below the water taking many to the oceans bottom. Those unlucky enough to be in the icy water, quickly succumbed to hypothermia and death. More than 1,500 souls were lost that day.

I had a chance to stand aboard the decks of the Titanic. This took place in the town of Kitchner, Ontario in Canada. An advertisement telling about some of the artifacts being shown really appealed to a Titanic buff such as myself. When I arrived, I was met on a cordoned walkway like the gangplank that people walked up to board the ship. As I boarded, I was given an envelope which contained a name of one of the passengers.

I still have mine. I became Miss Robina Maggie Ford. I was a 7 year old passenger of third class, traveling from England with my family. I boarded in Southampton, heading to New York, then on to New Jersey where I was to live with my family. My ticket number was #6608.

After I found who I was to be, I walked the decks of the Titanic, viewing some of the artifacts that were on display. Each one had a description along with it. There were huge pictures of the ship from the massive engines to the staterooms.

The last piece of my journey took place on deck with pictures of water and icebergs. It was cold and dark with sounds of water and a fog horn crying mournfully. I looked up to see blossoming fireworks in a star filled sky. Faint voices were calling for help and crying. I remember tears streaming down my face as I exited the exhibit only to find myself in a room filled with names on the walls.

This is where I found out if I 'lived or died'. It took awhile to find third class where I searched for my name-Miss Robina Maggie Ford. There I was. I found me. Right beside Robina's name was the letter 'D'. I didn't make it. I never did find out how Robina died and I don't think I wanted to know.

I had quite an experience as I was taken through that fateful night. I felt I was part of something, except I got to walk away.

Author Notes Picture from Wikepedia/internet.

Chapter 15
My Garden-monorhyme

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I thought about some gard'ning as
I looked at my domain.
My Mom said working in the dirt
would help me stay quite sane.
I did not think it would be hard
to water and maintain.
I figured out what I would plant-
from hard stuff, I'd abstain.

My garden didn't do so well
because it did not rain.
I mulched and mulched and mulched some more
but it was all in vain.
I weeded, hoed, and watered it
which all turned out a pain.
I bought some powder and some spray
my bank account was strained.

It seemed the only thing I did...
poured money down the drain.
I cleaned the dead stuff off the ground
which I found quite mundane.
The rabbits came and took the rest
as I watched with disdain.
No canning/freezing done this year
'twas nothing I could gain.

It gave me lots of extra time
so I should not complain.
I found a green thumb I don't have...
from gard'ning I'll refrain.
So when I want some real fresh goods
I'll have to use my brain.
I'll buy my fruits and vegetables
at Thirty-fourth and Main

Author Notes supergold thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 16
I'm A Crab

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, you're gonna like me. I jazz up the neighborhood.

I'm a sturdy ornamental tree, very fragrant, with a beautiful 'pink cloud' arrangement of blossoms mixed with bright green foliage. I function well in cold climates and feed the birds well into the winter.

I am compact and some of my apples, which are smaller than regular apples, are extremely edible. Most of my fruits, though, are very sour and very seldom eaten raw but are useful in jelly and preserves.

I am an excellent pollenizer...hint, hint.

I am known as 'jewel of the landscape'. Neat, huh?

Author Notes 98 words.

Lillibug6 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 17
Fan Story Quiz

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Yet another quiz

by giraffmang

Introduction by emptypage:

I've been watching people post these "getting to know you" type stories. They aren't really stories, though. I mean, sure, "what's your sign" is a good icebreaker in a bar for a twenty-one-year-old that you'd like to take home. Once.

So I thought, "Why don't we all answer some questions that might actually help us as writers?" If a question can make you think beyond your birthday, maybe it can help your psyche realize there's a story or two you still need to tell.

So.... Rules are the same. Cut and paste these questions, replacing the answers with your own. Be as truthful or as deceitful as you like. The point is to make your creative juices flow.

1. Have you ever been arrested? No, but the day I tried to burn my first husband after years of abuse, broken bones and black eyes, I probably should have been. But it got his attention and he left.

2. Have you ever broken the law? OH yes. I was an accomplice many time to stunts my sons pulled. I hid them from the police once, well maybe twice, well...

3. Have you ever met a celebrity? Or more than one? Loretta Lynn once, but being speechless, I don't think she would ever remember me. I met the Oak Ridge Boys many years ago, and I could not stop talking. I don't know which was more memorable...for either.

4. Have you ever bullied anyone? My children, but that comes with the territory of being a mother.

5. Have you ever been bullied? A lot of time in school. I was the fattest kid in the class and I learned how to cry unnoticed.

6. What is your biggest fear? Losing my daughters. I lost my sons and had to call my girls every day for the following year to know they were okay. Even after all these years, it is still my biggest fear. Next to that is growing old and being unwanted.

7. Have you ever killed someone? In my mind, a lot of times, but all the ones that I wished that on have moved on to make someone else's life miserable. Share...that's my motto.

8. What physical feat are you most proud of? That I can still walk and work part time. I feel useful that way. I get iv infusions of lidocane every month, and I keep one foot in front of the other; well, sometimes side to side in a shuffle...but I get there.

9. What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done? When I was eight, I wanted a little figurine that rested in the display case of my mother's hairdresser. It was little and I took it. I proudly took it home and put in my little figurine case. Well, of course my mother noticed and asked where I got it. I did tell her the truth and she made me take it back. The lady gave it to me and told me to take it home and remember the thing I stole and how I felt about taking it back. I still have it.

10. (Finally, right??) What's a book title that best describes your personality? 'My Mom's Insane' by Judy Rothchild. It was given to me by my son years ago and I have cherished it ever since.

Author Notes Moonwillow thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 18
haiku (sunrays)

By Barb Hensongispsaca

on hot concrete
free urban sauna

Chapter 19
I Can Recall When Mama Died

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I can recall like yesterday
the Northeast coast in darkness lay.
The pow'r went down, too much in use-
the hottest day was the excuse.
Drove eighteen hours to get back home when daughter called,
"My Grandma's sick, you have to come!" I can recall.

When Mama died, I felt her pain.
I found a pay phone, "Check again!"
My daughter held the phone to her.
"I love you, Mom!", I heard her stir.
I heard the last breath that she took but still I cried.
It was a sad, sad day, indeed, when Mama died.

Author Notes My daughter called to tell me Mom was very sick. I lived eighteen hours away and started the long drive home. The blackout hit and it was hard to find places that had generators to get gas. I had a 'feeling' come over me and I had to pull over to find a pay phone to call my daughter. She said she had just checked on my Mom and she was resting comfortably. I was frantic and demanded she check again. Mom was unconscious but I asked that the phone be put to her ear. I heard her take a gasping breath and she was gone. My creator allowed me to be with her when she died.

The Northeast blackout of 2003 was a widespread power outage that occurred throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario on Thursday, August 14, 2003, just after 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Many did not get their power back until days later. At the time, it was the world's second most widespread blackout in history. The outage affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states. The blackout's primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation, located in Ohio.

TOPIC: event [ past or present/historical/personal/happened to you/you witnessed/other? ]


2 or more stanzas of 6 lines each;
Syllable count per line 8,8,8,8,12.12 and Rhyme Scheme: a,a,b,b,c,c.
Specific meter NOT required UNLESS author desires it.

Refrain rule: In each stanza, the first 4 syllables (or 4 single-syllable words) in the first line must be the last 4 syllables (or 4 single-syllable words) at the end of the last line. THE REPEATED REFRAIN IS EXACT WORD-FOR-WORD.

Title MAY be formed by combining [loosely, if needed] the four syls/words from stanzas 1 & 2 [optional If more than 2 stanzas comprise the poem, then select title words as desired from stanzas since no further info was given about the title OR make up your title].

Chapter 20
Your Homework

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Yo, you little people, better listen what I say;
Open up your minds and put your 'tronic toys away.
Under all that hair of yours, I know you have a brain.
Rally forth, excel in life and don't be just a pain.

Hand in all your homework on the day that it is due.
Open up your minds and let that knowledge then sink through.
Make your parents proud of you and learn all that you can.
Everyday just do your best before 'it' hits the fan.
Words are something you must learn in order to get by,
Or you'll be shov'ling deep manure as you watch life and cry.
Remember that to be the best, you have to show you are-
Keep your grades and homework up and you can hit the stars.

Author Notes Picture from Pixabay

'tronic- electronic devices-cell phones, games, I-pods, etc.

Chapter 21

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I love to watch the tides at play,
from ocean beach to shallow bay.
The foaming seems as light as air.
I am content to stand and stare.

Sometimes they're high over my head,
sometimes they show their sandy bed.
I build a castle out of sand,
when tides come in it can not stand.

When tides are out, I get to see
what hidden treasures wait for me.
I search the sand to find my prize-
some fancy shells of different size.

Sometimes the tides form little pools.
The misting spray feels nice and cool.
High tide, the sun makes rainbow hues
of red and orange and purple, too.

Author Notes jayobrien thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 22
My Portfolio

By Barb Hensongispsaca

This is truly non-fiction yet may be hard to believe but I told Mastery that I would follow up on his list that he made for us. A lot of these are the result of three marriages, a time I ran for my life from my first husband, many moves and many lives. One time I held four part time jobs just to survive and these are included. Many overlap. I admire anyone that was able to keep a job and a family intact.

I added a poem that I wrote because it tallys all my jobs from my first to my present one. The only things missing are my two grandchildren that I have yet to meet and hope to babysit for someday.

My life is almost over and
it has been quite a ride...
eleven grands from four great kids--
three times a blushing bride.

Six years a school bus driver while
I taught eleven more;
two years a chicken wrangler...yep;
a laundry aide for four.

Spent fifty years a poet's life;
five more in saving lives;
just one a car dispatcher, but
sat children then for five.

Four years I worked in different labs;
one half transporting cars;
two years a baker's helper while
one year I served in bars.


Five years I taught great CPR;
eighteen kept churches clean;
Three years a Christian singer then
I counselled for sixteen.

Two years a balloon stripper...true,
a landlord seven long;
a paramedic for fifteen;
home nurse eleven strong.

Two years a tired waitress and
one cooking for day care;
a dietician for a few;
school switchboard for a pair.

My first twelve were farm duties plus
some fifty manu'l chores;
another six worked with store pets,
four years working outdoors.
For two years I taught swimming then
lifeguarded for three more.
Drove cab for one-'twas all I could,
so are you getting bored?


One year advising cheerleaders;
four years led PTA;
one year I spent milking some cows,
while nine years baling hay.

One year I spent teaching up North;
one year at door to door;
two years vampired for the age'd;
raised guinea pigs for four.

Ten years I spent just logging wood;
fourteen a surg'cal nurse;
And whether you believe or not...
one year driving a hearse.

For six years now I've spent my time
as guard for those who need.
And it has been my richest job-
I've cherished and felt free.

Now that's my life in numbers which
now total 3-0-1.
I feel that I have given back
with all that I have done.`

Is there one that I'd change, you ask?
Well, no you have to see...
that each and every one of these
has helped me to make ME.

Author Notes Picture was one of my days working at the food bank. I dress up and carry a sign to get attention for the food bank display.

Chapter 23
Black Panther-Ultimate Hunter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

patient hunter, selects her mark
hides in the dark
silently walks
her prey she stalks

she stretches muscles lean and sleek
no spot is weak
she's poised to leap
her fangs sink deep

goes for the throat, so swift the kill
then all is still
blood all around
on forest ground

Author Notes Lillia thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 24
Canadian Geese

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Canada geese are beautiful
aerial creatures that
never collide in flight because they
always keep formation. When they
dive down for water or to feed,
instinctively they
always land in order so they
never fly into each other.

Geese seen flying North make
everyone happy because
each person knows that
spring is just around the corner.
Everyone rejoice!!

Author Notes jodiedikun thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 25
Date With Death

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He made me feel just like a queen,
the kindest man I'd ever seen.
Polite and giving, always there,
he caught my heart the way he cared.

Attentive always, he to me,
so by his side I sought to be.
'The perfect couple' I was told;
I never thought that he'd grow cold.

I was his queen, he was my king,
we sealed it with a wedding ring.
But hidden behind that facade
a demon lurked, 'twas not a god.

He started slow, but mean he got-
his pledge to me was one dark blot.
He yelled, he hit, he hurt me so
I knew that he would have to go.

A loving wife was my disguise
all while I planned for his demise.
I sought to find the perfect way
for him to die and me to stay.

Chapter 26
I Remember That Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I remember that day like it was yesterday and yet I was only six years old. I remember the bedroom, the surroundings, my dad reading The Bobsey Twins which he did every night, and the heart wrenching screams.

I still slept in a crib in Mom and Dad's room. It was during the depression and everything was conserved-that included the heat. Being early November, it was a cold night. I remember I loved to snuggle into the feather tick mattress that Grandmother made for me.

Mom and Dad came to bed after I was asleep, but I woke when I heard a commotion in the room. I heard Mom say, "Not yet, Hun!" and opened my eyes to see Dad wrestle Mom to the bed. They were trying to keep quiet and doing a bad job of it. I remember falling back to sleep.

A little later, I heard something drop to the floor and then Mom called out for Dad. The light came on and blinded me, but I felt Mom pick me up and hurry me downstairs. As I sat on the couch she made phone calls. Then she came over and held me, I could feel her trembling like she was cold.

The doctor arrived, they made house calls then, and my Aunt Ida and Uncle Lester arrived right after. Aunt Ida held me while Mom went upstairs with the doctor.

That is when I heard the worst screams of my life that I will never forget. I looked at my aunt and said, "Dad's dead."

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

246 words

Chapter 27
Black as Night

By Barb Hensongispsaca

black as the night..............she walks in shadow
with movement slight........stalking her foe
unseen by men..................the scent is found
the hunt she jumps to the ground

after picking her stealth-like walk
unseen in the dark..............her prey she stalks
she plans their fate.............she claims that right
and patiently waits .............hiding in plain sight

with insane dark of night
as her eyes gleam.................small prey take flight
she's poised to swift the kill
she'll sink fangs deep............then all is still

Author Notes CBL Photography thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is a 3-in-1 poem. The left side reads alone as a poem, the right side reads alone as a poem, then you can read the whole thing as one.

Please advise me if you see a problem. I know meter is off. All help appreciated.

Chapter 28
Not What You Think

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Everyone on fanstory knows about the untimely deaths of my twin sons and their wives, which, I believe is the saddest thing I could ever think of. Enough has been said and there are only certain times I want to be that depressed and bring my feeling to fanstory friends to 'get them out or bust'.

I want to take you to another time and another place in my life. It is not one that I am proud of, and yet, in a way, I am proud of the decision I made. Come back with me to a time early in my first marriage when the days and nights were full of torment and fear. The only time of each and every day that I had peace was when 'he' was at work or passed out drunk. My children were raised to be ready at all times for his shift in moods from one of laughter and encouragement to one of terror and tears. These shifts in moods were instigated by the number of drinks he had and what was disturbing him at the time. The ratio was never the same.

Since his days ended with the consumption of a case of beer, the mood swings happened all the time, every day. My daughter became an expert at reading her father's moods, and at the first sign of trouble, she would take my twin sons out of the room, knowing that I would be there to take the blunt of the pain that was to follow. She had no choice. What an experience for a six year old. Her job was to keep her four year old brothers busy and put them to bed when the time came.

The atmosphere on the weekends was more precarious. I would compare it to high wire walking because the mood changes were very unexpected. Sometimes, we lucked out and he would drink so fast that he would pass out for the rest of the day. That would be the day the kids would keep taking him beer and push him to keep drinking. They stayed on his good side and kept him happy at the same time. Little did he realize that his children were pushing him to pass out. Then we could breathe.

I recall this time because it was the saddest time in my life. I watched my children suffer without the caring of a father and that is hard for any mother. I gave them all the extra love and laughter that I could and made sure they were involved in outside activities like 4-H and Scouts. Even though they enjoyed the days away, we always had to go back home to a house with little laughter. The kids would do what they had to do, then they would find safety in their room.

Meals were a time of pure confusion. Sometimes talking was allowed, and maybe, even a laugh or two. Most of the time we ate in silence as we tried to figure out what stage of the drinking he was in at the time. Even then, it would change in a heart beat. One of the twins would tell a joke and we would laugh, then, instantly, his face would change and he would start to yell about...anything. We would finish eating as fast as we could, the kids would take their plates to the sink, ask permission to go to their rooms...then run. I would brace myself for whatever he was in the mood to play. I don't know if the yelling and accusations were worse to endure or the beatings.

I know most of you are wondering why I did not find shelter somewhere. Please remember, this happened in the sixties when what happened at home, stayed behind closed doors. Divorces were not common. If a husband was taken to court, there was always an explanation for everything. There was no help and no one that wanted to get involved. I was known as the clutziest mother around. I had an excuse for everything and I could think of one in a moment's notice. Everyone thought he was the most caring husband and father that you could find. The only betrayal was the sadness in our eyes that never went away.

One night, the yelling was extremely volatile. The children were in their room keeping busy. I did not expect the slap that sent me into the wall. I must have screamed, because when I looked up at him, I noticed that the kids were standing behind him, holding hands and crying. He did not see as I motioned them back to their room. I was so thankful when I saw them retreat to their rooms. I felt such hatred vibrate off him and for once I was truly afraid; but, for some unknown reason, he walked back to our bedroom and passed out.

When I felt enough time lapsed and he had not come back out, I quietly got off the floor and went to check on him. The light was out and he was passed out on the bed. I don't know how long I stood to watch him, but when I moved it was with determination. I woke the children, got them dressed, and took them to the car. Then I went back in, found his lighter and ash tray where he had left it beside the bed.

Without hesitation, I lit a cigarette and tilted it against the ash tray so that when it burned down to a certain point, it would fall on the bed. I closed the door and walked out. I went to the car to find the children crying. I realized they were the most important thing in my life. I was so afraid someone would somehow figure out what I had done and take them away from me.

I went back into the house and put out the fire that had already taken hold of the sheets. Then I brought my children back in and put them into bed. After watching them fall asleep, I went to the bedroom. I leaned against the far wall as mental exhaustion took over. I slid to the floor and remained there until he stirred in the morning.

I told him what I had done, fully prepared for the beating of my life. It never came. He looked at me, grabbed some clothes, then left the house. He never returned. Our sadness turned into another kind of feeling...a peaceful sadness.

The divorce was hard and, through lies of his friends, I lost my children for a year. He tried to brainwash them against me, but they remembered. After a year, I fought for my children and won them back.

Author Notes 1150 words

Maybe this story will help someone out there who needs to hear.

Chapter 29
It Was Waiting

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.

The air was heavy, no breeze, absolutely nothing was moving. Even though it was early morning, Ron found the heat stifling as he rounded the block and headed toward his house. He always enjoyed his morning walks with Dodger, his solid-black, mastiff boxer mix. He found the exercise quite relaxing as Dodger plodded along beside him. Dodger was very well-mannered and listened to Ron as he walked and talked to himself. Sometimes, Ron would break into a run and it seemed that Dodger truly enjoyed running beside him.

But the heaviness of the air made breathing difficult, so there was no running to be done this morning. Even Dodger seemed to be having trouble keeping pace which Ron found unusual.

"It's just too hot today, boy," Ron said as he reached down to pat Dodger on the head. "I'm ready to go home, aren't you?"

They were about to pass a long section of open ground when Dodger stopped in his tracks. He let out a low growl as he stared into the darkness. This section of open field was the back exit from the park they had walked around and therefore had no lighting what-so-ever. The darkness seemed to go on forever. This was a known spot where lovers would come to be alone, drug dealers would do their transactions, and suicides would come to die.

Ron tugged at Dodger's leash as he tried to coax the dog forward and away from the consuming darkness. Dodger refused to move, and even laid down facing the park as he stared into the blackness and growled his low warning growl.

"What is it, boy?" Ron asked the dog as he reached down to stroke the massive head, realizing as he did that Dodger was trembling.

Ron glanced up and into the darkness, squinting as if that would help separate the shadows. He noticed at a distance, that the darkness seemed to move or shift in place. He thought of the optical illusions he used to enjoy as a child.

He felt a tug and turned to realize Dodger was trying to pull backward against his if trying to pull Ron in another direction. Dodger was no longer growling, but whining in a scared high pitched sort of way. Dodger's hackles were raised and Ron noticed by the tight pull on the leash that his dog was shaking, violently.

Dodger was actually pulling him backward little by little. The dog's whining became frantic and louder then changed to a mournful howl as he finally pulled free of Ron's grasp .

"Dodger, come back here!" Ron yelled, more out of feeling alone and vulnerable without his huge friend beside him.

Ron watched Dodger fly down the street at a speed fast enough to keep the leash trailing behind him without ever touching the ground. As a matter of fact, he did not think he saw Dodger's feet touch the ground. He could hear the yowling trail off in the distance as Dodger disappeared from sight.

'Darn dog, now I have to go find him,' he thought as he started to follow in the direction Dodger went.

From somewhere behind him, a soft scraping sound and something that resembled a deep whisper caught his attention . As he turned, a movement caught his eye. He stared into the darkness and felt more than saw a shift in the shadows.

"Who's there?" he said to the darkness, as he awaited an answer that for some reason, he knew would not come.

A feeling that strained at his whole being told him to run, but a primeval fear, born of nightmare tales, froze him to that spot. Even though he tried to convince himself that all this was in his imagination, every pore on his body tingled as each hair stood straight as if energized by an unseen force.

As he watched, the darkness shifted again, but this time he noticed two glowing orbs that seemed to float above the ground. He watched them disappear for just a few seconds, then reappear. After about four times, he wasn't really counting, they seemed to enlarge in size. That was when he realized that the orbs were getting closer. As the darkness around the orbs shifted again, realization set in that what he was looking at were eyes, and whatever they belonged to was coming his way. He opened his mouth to scream, but fear closed his vocal cords and a hushed moan was all he could manage.

He started backing up, one foot behind the other as he kept his eyes on the shifting shadow in front of him. He heard a low, deep guttural sound that resembled a growl. He felt a wetness down his legs and realized that his bladder had given way. Fear beyond all he had ever known before pounded at his mind, telling him to run, but somewhere in the recesses of his damaged brain, he knew it would do no good. He felt death stalking him.

The air around him was heavy with a putrid smell and he knew it was emanating from the unseen terror that was decending on him. He found it hard to breathe as the sickening bittersweet odor forced him to gag, and he fought the urge as he continued his slow backward steps. When he realized he was looking up more at the eyes that seemed to raise into the air, he knew the beast was almost upon him.

He heard the vibrating sound of a motor and knew a car was approaching. Ron hoped the sound would startle whatever was stalking him. He just needed one chance to run. But what happened in the next few seconds, convinced him that his life was at an end and that the pain would be brutal.

The oncoming car turned down an alleyway before the park, but as it did, the headlights lit up the area Ron was watching. He knew in that instant that all hope was gone. His mind started to shut down as it tried to escape the horror of what stood before him. It was a sight so unreal that his brain tried to deny the existence of what he was seeing. Cracks began to form in his vision as if his eyes were trying to keep the image, that was driving his thoughts to the edge of madness, from doing any more damage to his already fragile mind.

The pointed snout sniffed the air as if tasting his fear. Saliva dripped from the exposed fangs as the red eyes bored into his soul. Ron's breath stopped as gut wrenching fear forced his lungs to stop moving. He sensed movement to his side right before his body sailed through the air to land hard against the tree by the road.

He felt pain in his back, then, nothing. Ron noticed something warm across his chest. He opened his eyes, and, by the street lamp in the distance, could see that the front of his shirt and pants were torn from his body. There were huge gashes where his skin was open and bleeding. What should have been inside his body was slowly oozing its way through the open cuts in his belly. He reached down with both hands to try to scoop his entrails back where they belonged.

He looked up to see an enormous shape blotting out the little bit of light from the lamp. The last thing he heard, besides his own scream, was the cracking sound of his skull as he was being consumed.

Its hunger appeased, the beast from hell slunk back into the wait.

Author Notes 1264 words

Thank you Bob one oldreb for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 30
Distance is a Term

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Not close in distance,
but in love we are next door...
hold me in your thoughts.

Author Notes MoonWillow thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 31
Dad's Pledge

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Dearest Jenny,

I sit here holding you so tight,
afraid that God will want you back.
You are a product of our love,
and sent to keep us both on track.

We've only had you for awhile,
but we had waited for so long
for you to finally find your way.
Now through our love, we'll make you strong.

While Mommy gets her needed rest,
my girl, we have to have a talk.
I will protect you with my life
and watch o'er you just like a hawk.

Your Mom and I, when we first met
we fell in love head over heels;
we dreamed of you right from that start...
your hunger cries and happy squeals.

We'll teach you all you need to know,
but you'll still have to find your way.
I don't want you to be afraid;
whoever hurts you, they will pay.

I'll make sure that you'll always know
to guard yourself when you're alone;
but, there is something more to know,
to be yourself until you're grown.

Your Mom and I, we promise you
we won't make you a pageant queen;
you need a chance to be a child,
to live a life that's whole and clean.

Your Mom and I have love to give
that overflows to cover you.
We want to keep you safe from harm...
it's all your Mom and I can do.

Your Dad

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 32
Hands of Life

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We were given the challenge of writing about our hands. As I looked at mine, I remembered all the times I have used them. Naturally, doing the dishes requires the use of my hands since I don't use a dishwasher. Cleaning, now that is not high on my preference list, but when I do decide to chase the dust bunnies around, my hands come in quite handy. Washing clothes? Oh, definitely I would cherish the use of my hands. I can't picture my overstuffed couch potato body sitting on the floor and using my feet to sort, wash, dry, and fold underwear-not that I do it anyway. I would wind up on YouTube.

I also remember living on the farm where I used my hands to learn the facts of gardening as I dug deep into the freshly turned ground to plant seeds. Feeling the warm, rich dirt crumble as I broke up the clods. Later, I used my hands to pick the royal fruits of my labor, feeling the texture of ripe produce as I admired their goodness.

Hard work takes its toll on the fragility of my hands. Shoveling manure or bailing hay brings hard earned blisters that seem to defy the adhesion of bandaids and scream at the touch of warm water and soap. Adding the insult of 'stoving' ones fingers which robs the ability to bend when needed, just proves again the fragility of ones hands.

I remember the day I was so proud to pick hot peppers from my first garden when I was on my own. I never realized I had to wear gloves when working with the cute little curved, green and red vegetables. After about two hours, the burning started. It didn't let up until the next day. Needless to say I never raised hot peppers again.

My hands held my children from the time they took their first breath to the time I will take my last. My hands have punished and loved, comforted and restrained, welcomed and waved goodbye. My hands have brought life into this world and held others while their heart beat for the last time. My hands have felt skin as soft as a baby's butt, and blood and gore assisting surgeons in their lifesaving procedures.

My hands have clapped in appreciation, spoken with those that are deaf, and universally signaled bad drivers. They have fed me, clothed me and washed me. They have fixed meals for my family and for the needy. They have flown kites and repaired dolls. They have picked splinters from knees and cat hair from clothes. They have felt the fine grain of precious wood and the underlying shape of a broken bone.

My hands have taken the good with the bad. As I type this story, I watch as my fingers move to the keys as needed without my conscious effort and wonder at the perfection of this gift I was given.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

damommy this is for you.

Chapter 33

By Barb Hensongispsaca

a repulsive, unwanted, nuisance plant that is hard to kill
but is loved by children and God because it is seen as a

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 34
My Family

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My babies are so dear to me,
they cuddle close when e'er I cry;
they make me laugh when they play free-
my babies are so dear to me.
They are my only family,
With catnip they just seem to fly.
My babies are so dear to me,
they cuddle close when e'er I cry.

Author Notes The picture is of Cali and Bubba, two of my rescue cats.

Topic: Anything that is dear to your heart.

A Triolet is a poetic form consisting of only 8 lines. Within a Triolet, the 1st, 4th, and 7th lines repeat, and the 2nd and 8th lines do as well. The rhyme scheme is simple: ABaAabAB, capital letters representing the repeated lines.

Chapter 35
Another Place

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You've reached a place where I can't go.
A place that's since become my foe.
It's taken you away from me,
my tears are blinding what I see.

Our years we've shared, all highs and lows,
I can't ignore, I just can't close.
The mem'ries you have locked inside
are buried deep as ocean's wide.

Your eyes once bright, now dull and lost;
confusion's charged a hefty cost.
Come back to me from where you hide,
I need you standing by my side.

Sometimes you know just who I am,
while other time's you're lost ... my lamb.
The fog consumes you more each day-
I watch you while you lose your way.

I'm angry cause I need our past
to make our future truly last.
I miss your love, your eyes that glow.
You've reached a place where I can't go.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Alzheimer's, senility, dementia...all take their toll as victims interact with their loved ones.

Chapter 36
His Pride and Joy

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I watched him standing there with pride,
his prized possession at his side.
He'd fussed all day with Bessie Lou.
He fed, he washed, he brushed her, too.

He'd raised her from a calf so small,
sometimes he'd sleep inside her stall
when she was sick, he saw her through.
I watched time pass as they both grew.

The time had come, the county fair.
He knew their time would end right there.
He entered her and won first prize.
He knew she knew...'twas in her eyes.

From first place stand to auction booth.
He felt the pain despite his youth.
He stood with pride beside his friend
and there he'd stand until the end.

It started out a thousand bid.
The tears, the pain, he bravely hid.
I watched him swell with pride that day,
his Bessie Lou had done okay.

His college was secured for him,
'cause up to now his chance was slim.
She brought top price, the bidding done.
He came as two, he'd leave as one.

I saw his pain, though head held high.
He walked away before he cried.
He hurt with what he had to do...
he turned his back on Bessie Lou.

He is his father's only son,
a farmer's life till set of sun.
Decisions will be hard to make,
this was but one on his life's wake.

Author Notes Snapdragon thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 37
Writing Lasts Forever

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You put your heart into a piece
it always stays right there.
Your poem lives beyond your years-
your feelings still lay bare.

You pour your soul into its words,
then years on down the road,
the person reading feels your thoughts
and knows your heavy load.

Your laughter always shines right through;
your sadness brings the tears.
Emotions that you put in words
stay solid through the years.

As punctuation helps the feel,
descriptions make the scene;
but said with feeling brings it home
and stresses what you mean.

While anyone can write a po'm,
it still takes heart to feel.
So give it all the blood you have
to keep forever real.

Author Notes drmerlin thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 38
Memory Tableau

By Barb Hensongispsaca

youngest daughter's day
marrying her man
one hundred degrees
small back yard service
melting like sugar
throat parched saying vows

arrival through arch
guests celebrate love
pictures all around
dad puffs out his chest
mom cries in Kleenex
married love's first kiss

full dress stuffed in car
slow limousine ride
time to party down
catered food for all
cake mashed in faces
drunks surrender keys

Author Notes The Tableau

The Tableau, a poetry form created by Emily Romano in October of 2008, consists of one or more verses, each having six lines. Each line should have five beats. There is no set rhyme scheme, although rhyme may be present. The title should contain the word tableau.

Since the dictionary states the word tableau means picture or representation, the poem should reflect this. A picture should come to mind as the poem is read.

Choose any of the following topics

1. An event that took place and will always be in your memories:
a) The graduation of yourself or your children.
b) Funeral or death of someone close to you.
c) Your own or a loved one?s wedding day.
2. A special time of a specific season:
a) Winter's first or last snow.
b) Spring's first sprouts or blooms.
c) Summer's heat or storms.
d) Autumn's awesome changing of colors.
MINIMUM - One Tableau

MAXIMUM - Three Tableau - each Tableau in this group must be able to stand alone, but also interlinked with the topic chosen.

Chapter 39
Haunting Memories

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He walks the halls
looking for a way out.

He walks the halls
why he is alone.

He walks the halls
crying out,
weeping for a family lost.

Not realizing
it is he
who is lost to this lifetime.

He weeps
for his family
thinking they are dead.

He does not know
that it is he who is dead...
lost to this world.

There is not one person
that has the ability
to make him understand.

So he is forever tormented
to find locked doors
closed shutters
cold breezes-
and only silence to his pleadings.

He is on another plain
existing in another world-
another lifetime.

He is empty inside
the pain overwhelming
the loneliness mocking
the pleas unanswered.


Chapter 40
Moving Pictures

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Turtles, ducks, dragons,
clouds all marching one by one-
my moving pictures,
always changing, shape-shifting,
as they float lazily by.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Remember cloud watching and trying to see shapes as they floated by?

Chapter 41
I Hunt Big Game

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am a big game hunter and
that is just what I am.
I'm brave and so courageous, too,
and you can call me Sam.

I shoot whatever moves around
or flyies up in the air.
I hunt them in the water, or
I'll follow to their lair.

I have a knife and six-guns and
a rifle and a dog.
Sometimes I 'shoot' while running or
I'm crouched behind a log.

I hunt whales in Alaska's seas
and bears in Borneo.
The lizards in Paris still beat
pythons in Mexico.

I've hunted vultures in old Spain,
big elephants for zoos.
My Mommy says I'm braver than
any she ever knew.

But Mommy also told me that
to kill is not ideal.
All animals are our good friends,
like us, they're very real.

I am a big game hunter and
take pictures all the time,
'cause if there are no animals
well that would be a crime.

Author Notes supergold thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 42
My Pack

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'm so proud to say that I run with a pack.
I'll always protect them and they have my back.
It feels good to know that I'm never alone,
my troubles and trials, to others are known.

I write of my life and what e'er troubles me-
depression or anger and, yes, jealousy.
I write of my sadness, abuse and my loss.
I write of neglect and the feelings it cost.

I write of the day that I tried suicide;
I write of my ex and the times that he lied.
I write of my memories and troubled past.
I tell of a love that just refused to last.

My pack can relate, as I do same with them.
we share with each other our harsh, painful gems.
My fanstory pack is like me, we'll survive,
we share all our stories to just stay alive.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 43
My Monster

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a monster, not a friend,
but, 'twill be with me to the end.
It lives inside and claims my soul.
It lives to win cause that's its goal.

Absorbs my pride and dignity,
it spits out true vulgarity.
It hears me beg and makes me fear.
I change each time I shed a tear.

But, no one sees, it hides too well;
it eats my soul so I can't tell.
I crawl and plead but I can't win.
It feeds each day on what had been.

It's conquered all my sanity.
The best of men, before it, flee.
There is no cure, I wait to die;
but, I'll fight on, I have to try.

Author Notes booklotto thank you for permission to use your picture.

I beat cancer three times and I feel the fourth is making me tired.

Chapter 44
Our Broken Angel

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I met dear Anna
through one of my friends-
a broken angel
I knew I could mend.

With time and patience,
I knew was a must,
so shy and quite scared,
but I earned her trust.

Both body and soul,
she'd been wounded deep.
Her sweet angel wings
now lay at her feet.

Both she and my friend,
we'd all laugh and cry;
but, somehow I knew
we'd get her to fly.

More time and patience,
she flapped her wings.
Her voice as a dove
beginning to sing.

Her courage and strength
both shined as she grew.
She would be just fine,
my friend and I knew.

An unforeseen time,
a date with a truck,
laid open her joy
she'd lost all her luck.

She's now flown away
from this life released;
the angels played escort
as her breathing ceased.

Our broken angel
has flown like the dove,
and where she has gone
she's gone with our love.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is a tribute to a friend killed in a car accident. She was just beginning to enjoy life and heal. Her newfound laughter will be missed.

syllable count 5 per line, meter may be a little off

Chapter 45
Cinderella Cinderella

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Citizens, come hear this call!
Invitations to the ball.
No one is to be excluded!
Dad said time for prince to wed."
Ecstatic, Cindy made her dress.
Ruined by sisters, what a mess.
Even stepmom said couldn't go.
Laughingly, they made her sew
lots of gowns for them to wear...
also, made things for their hair.

Cindy cried after they left,
In came fairy godmother with a gift.
Nice dress, coach, she's on her way.
Danced all night, wanted to stay.
Eikes!!! Remembered 'bout midnight.
Ran out of shoe as prince took flight.
Each stepsister tried on a shoe.
Large toe fit...that's all could do.
Laughing, prince tried Cindy instead.
And, lo, it fit!!!!So they were wed.

Author Notes Imaginos thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 46
Not Always A Bed Of Roses

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When you look at good all the time,
evil sneaks up and surrounds you.

When you look at evil all the time,
good passes by without your knowing.

Life is not always a bed of roses;

a rainbow does not hang eternally in the sky;

the sun does not shine every day;

the birds do not sing without resting;

the wind does not always blow as a gentle breeze;

the clouds are not always fluffy;

laughter is contagious;

puppies do not stay puppies forever;

the well does not stay full without having to be replenished;

the quiet stillness is not wanted all the time;

even though we don't see the stars, they are still there;

the calm waters are forever moving.

When the bad times come...
all we have to do is have faith
that we will be granted the ability
to see the gentle things again soon.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This came to me last night as I sat with a cup of coffee, in pain, lonely, watching a squirrel as he tried so hard to make me smile. This is dedicated to him.

Chapter 47
The Rhythm of the Thunder

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Please listen close, you just can't miss
the sound that follows nature's kiss.
It brings each lightning strike too close;
it rumbles, grumbles as it flows.

When even many miles away
and you can't see the lightning sway,
the sound of thunder still comes through;
it signals rain through clouds of blue.

The animals can sense it first
before the telltale lightning burst.
They hear it as it travels on-
a place to hide and then they're gone.

We hear it rumble as it nears,
releasing all our pent up fears.
It mumbles first then grumbles, too,
while it prepares to play on through.

You feel the base vibrate the ground,
as first you hear it's trembling sound.
It's nature's game of bowling pins
and if you're wise, you, too, will win.

It's natures turn to roll the ball,
and when it lands, all life will stall,
the lightning strike will mark the spot-
the ball will hit and leave its dot.

The clouds which parted, mark the way,
the rumblings are the ball in play.
A strike, a spare, a gutter ball...
Imagination - make the call.

Author Notes eShots thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 48
The Calming Scent

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The lilac's scent reminds us of
the never ending God of love.
It brings us peace in troubled days.

Its scent can soothe the savage beast,
from young to old, from most to least
and calm our thoughts to ease our ways.

It is euphoric, take my word-
just stand, enjoy, it's not absurd-
just try it, friend, that's all I'll say.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Nove Otto Poem

TOPIC: Your favorite fragrance

Write a poem with only nine lines.
Each line must have 8 syllables per line.
The rhyme scheme is as follows: aacbbcddc.

Chapter 49
Kisses of Luck

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The ladybug symposium-
cotillion of the day-
for all the budding ladybugs
to dress up, come and play.

This is the day they come in mass
bestowing luck around
by giving blessings, so to speak,
to needy that are found.

Old Farmer John takes all that come
because they bless his farm.
They eat the bugs that kill his plants.
He keeps them safe from harm.

They 'take no pris'ners' eating pests;
they come to eat their fill.
'Tis said they're blessed by God himself
and here to do His will.

The world believes they're harbingers
of luck where e'er they light;
but, if you kill one, luck is gone
nine days you'll hold on tight!

They're nature's gypsies at their best
so catch one ... count the spots.
If less than seven - drought will hit,
if more - crops will be lots.

You make a wish, then catch one quick,
uncover all its spots.
Whatever number, it will tell
the months of luck you've got.

Protection is their symbol that
will keep you from all harm.
So keep them close, respect their pow'r,
their life is really charmed.

Abundant blessings they bestow,
remember...they're the source;
think kind of all those window sills
as they arrive in force.

Author Notes This is for everyone that has thousands in their window sill and get angry...just remember all the luck they bring.

Chapter 50
Live in Wax

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I was always the girl that held her hands in front of her face when a scary scene would manifest itself in a movie. Never one to enjoy having the beejeebers scared out of me, I would look away in advance while mentally trying to shut out the screams of horror coming from the speakers.

I would conveniently have to use the bathroom or get a snack at the most gruesome times, thus avoiding the usual slash-and-maim, blood-squirting, wide-eyed, nail-biting parts that the movies were well known for.

"Hey, you're gonna miss the best part!" my friends would say.

"That's okay, you can tell me about it," was my usual response.

I would return when the expected gut-wrenching screams were over.

This also applied to haunted houses, haunted mazes, haunted tunnels and anything else that used the word 'haunted' to elicit a hair raising experience using all the little microscopic hairs that don't exist until aggravated by sounds of murder and mayhem. I had the fear of running into my worst nightmare come true - a fast moving shift changer with eyes of fire, fangs dripping blood, and eight legs.

One particular year, a couple bought an old house in a little neighboring town. I remember their last names were Lilly. They were from Hollywood where they were well known as make up artists for motion pictures. A few weeks before Halloween, they opened the house to the public using the advertisement to come see the 'Haunted Hotel'. Well, I knew right away that this was not for me, but, with the persistence of my children, I buckled under and told them we would attend the opening.

The line was long and my children could not be dissuaded with bribery promises of ice cream. I was trapped. To my relief, the lights were always on and nothing jumped out of the dark recesses of the house to try to pull me, kicking and screaming, into the next dimension.

We were greeted at the door by Mrs. Lilly, dressed as Morticia Adams, and a disembodied skull that did all the talking. The bone white skull was nestled on a black pillow that 'Morticia' carried in front of her. It was what gave us a recorded speech describing each room that we entered.

The thirteen rooms were styled in different settings, using wax figures from horror movies and some from real life. Remember, not all monsters were on T.V.. There were some news-worthy, real life monsters that were represented. For example, one room was set up with a mad doctor theme complete with victim, doctor, blood, instruments, and jars full of parts ... and I don't mean car parts.

Present in the rooms were: Freddie, Jason, Spawn, Predator, Alien, Dracula, Jeffery Dahmer, Hannibal Lecter, and on and on. Each would be displayed for what they were famous for. Jeffery Dahmer was eating bodies and cooking up all kinds of body treats while Albert Fish was looking on and holding a face he had removed from one of his victims. Hannibal Lecter was slaughtering someone using torture devices.

Freddy would be coming out of a bed and sucking his sleeping victim back into the void. Jason would be slashing heads off and blood would be squirting out. The Alien was waiting to grab you as the eggs were opening and closing beside him. The girl from the exorcist was hanging around on the top of the stairs, her head revolving and green stuff dripping from her mouth. There were gremlins at your ankles and bats at your hairline. Furry things waited around each and every corner of the rooms. The Predator's roar and realistic movements seemed to be the highlight of the whole journey. With the life-like features and the true-to-life atmosphere, it made for an interesting scary visit.

The whole tour took about half an hour to go through in groups of 20. I felt pretty good about the whole experience until the end. The trip through the haunted hotel finished at the gift shop. The disembodied skull thanked us for taking the time to visit and ushered us out. What it didn't say was to watch out for the spider.

Now, I have a deathly fear of spiders, including the ones that can only be seen by a microscope. As we were walking through the door to the gift shop, a mammoth spider the size of Texas, complete with dripping fangs and hairy legs, dropped from the ceiling. That's when the screaming started and I realized it was coming from me.

The Haunted Hotel lasted thirteen years - I lasted one. I was told every year the rooms changed, but the spider was there taunting me to return. Did I go back? Not on your life!

Author Notes Picture from Wikepedia.

817 words

Chapter 51
A Party I Didn't Want To End

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I did turn forty-two that day,
but, no one cared, what could I say?
Not one true friend or family
remembered on that day 'bout me.

My mother would remind each one,
but, on that day, my mom was gone.
Self pity I was feeling then-
I felt I was without a friend.

Decided then to just treat me,
I opted for a dinner spree.
I did not have to travel far
to nearest restaurant with bar.

It was a little farming town,
they all knew me as I sat down.
I ate my meal as word spread 'round,
my night would change as I'd soon found.

As one by one more people came,
then 'buy Barb drinks' became the game.
Each new one in would buy a glass
of cherry vodka ... I had class.

The owner even bought me one.
His business boomed with all the fun.
The jukebox played old rock and roll
that's when the vodka took its toll.

"Well, do you dance?" "Yea, sure I do!"
So off I went, my feet just flew.
My family entered ... laughed with glee-
as they stood by just watching me.

I sashayed left then twisted right,
it turned into a funny sight.
But soon the party moved outside,
the place was full, the street was wide.

What started out as only me,
turned into more than forty-three.
The town would not forget that day
when everyone came out to play.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is all true.

Chapter 52
Leave Me Alone

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I hate you! I hate all of you!

Honey, please open the door.

No! Go away! Leave me alone!

Ok, but first you have to hear what I have to say.

Leave me alone!

I can't do that because I love you too much.

No, you don't! I don't know why you even have me around!

Really? Then let me explain it to you.

No! I don't want to hear. Leave me alone!

I can't do that. I need you to understand that your Mom and I were desperate. She and I were so much in love that we had more love than we could handle. We needed someone to share our love with.

How did you get me? Where is my Mom and Dad?

I don't know, Julie. Listen. Mommy and I could not have children. We wanted to give our love to another. We tried everything, but it was not meant to be. So we decided to adopt a baby to love and raise.

But you do have children, or are Bobby and Sara adopted, too?

Well, after we adopted our little girl, God decided that we were serious about our love for children and He gave us a little girl. Then, after a few more years, He gave us a little boy. Our family was complete.

Why did you hide it from me?

Mommy and I were waiting till you were old enough to understand. I kept putting off telling you, but God decided it was time and so you were meant to find the letter I forgot to put away.

But, why me?

I won't tell you that we picked you out of all the boys and girls because you were special. I would be lying. God picked you out for us and that was all we needed to know. We have spent your life trying to make you proud of us. You started our family and we love you.

Oh, Daddy, I love you, too. I guess God thought you and Mommy were special to give me to you.

I guess that's another way to look at it.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 53
I Watch The Sea

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When Jerry Finnley went to sea,
I asked him if he'd marry me.
I told him I would be his bride
and always be right by his side.

The day before he left, we wed.
Our vows to one another said.
Our love we pledged eternally
in case his life was lost at sea.

A lifetime in one night of bliss,
then sealed our passion with a kiss;
as slumber finally took control
our fate was sealed as morning rolled.

I watched his ship sail past the bay
as Jerry sailed away that day.
My heart ached for his safe return.
I missed him so, my passion burned.

The years have passed, tis three,
since Jerry sailed away from me.
His ship went down, all souls were lost.
No place to grieve, to put a cross.

Now every day I sit and stare
across the bay, my love rests there.
I know he's looking back at me
as his son bounces on my knee.

Author Notes Eric watt thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 54
Mother Nature's Gifts

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now isn't Mother Nature just
the best that she can be?
She knew we needed shade from heat
so gave us leafy trees.

She thought we'd love to play in sun,
so made it shine all day,
but, knew we also needed sleep,
so sent it on its way.

She knew that we'd be thirsty so
some rain she let come down,
but, only for a little while...
she'd stop when we would frown.

She let the stars shine overhead
so we could watch them shine.
She gave us butterflies to cheer
'cause they could flit so fine.

She gave us little puppy dogs
to keep us company;
then gave us kittens soft and sweet
to sit upon our knee.

She gave the birds a song so sweet
to wake us from our sleep;
and rainbows that do arch the sky
with promises to keep.

She gave us food to keep us full,
the moon to light our way.
She watches over all we do
while we are out at play.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 55

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The rain is great for many things;
it cleanses off the dirt.
It makes the stale air fresher and
it washes away hurt.

It nourishes the flowers while
it keeps all life alive.
It cools the air around us as
it helps the gardens thrive.

It sometimes spoils the picnics and
will force rain dates instead.
It comes when not predicted while
it fills the river bed.

Baptized in the rain, I was ...
my life forever changed;
but rain now hides my sorrow 'cause
my life's so disarranged.

'Though sadness overwhelms me, I
will let nobody see.
The tears are now my payment for
just trying to be me.

Your words have cut me deeply, now
I'm bleeding at the core.
The rain will hide my crying as
I walk right out the door.

Author Notes This is for the picture this challange that we do every other Monday. If interrested in joining, please contact Jax Franklin

Chapter 56
Flowers for Mother's Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Though roses are so beautiful,
they take a lot of care.
To pick the beauty through the thorns,
will take 'a wing and prayer'.

All summer long, the soil must be
enriched with nutrients;
and powdered like a baby's butt
to keep off bugs and ants.

Since watered, pampered every day;
new colors come each year.
When given in an act of love,
it will bring on a tear.

When spring time comes, they must be pruned
to cut away the dead;
and, tucked in for the winter months
snug in a nice warm bed.

Now, let's consider nature's weeds
that's nurtured randomly,
then gathered up by little hands,
for Mom, so lovingly.

No powder, primping, extra care
is given while they grow.
Yet children find that giving them
puts Mama's face aglow.

Now, roses have their special time
when given as love's gift,
or when depression's weighing hard,
or sadness needs a lift.

But I remember Mother's Day
with children's hands clear full
of dandelions, queen ann's lace
and other weeds they'd pull.

Their smiling faces, sparkling eyes,
and bouquets full of weeds,
had told me what I always knew ...
that this was all I'd need.

Author Notes wing and prayer-lot of luck

lilibug6 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 57

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Mama always walked in peace
she held her head so high.
She was so proud her soul walked tall
it nearly touched the sky.

She lived her life so she could laugh
in everything she tried.
She had all things she thought she'd need
but still my Mama cried.

She took the world as troubles came
each one without much help.
She tried her best to give me all
I was her youngest whelp.

Sometimes she had to walk head on
with each effort she gave.
She made that mountain's climb for me
because my steps she'd paved.

My Mama always walked in peace
after my Father died.
She lived her life to be with him -
but still my Mama cried.

Author Notes Simona-Hmilanska thank you for permission to use your picture.


Topic - Mother

A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straight-forward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming. As follows:


Chapter 58
I Sailed The Sea

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I sailed across the ocean in my tiny little boat.
I made it out of cardboard so I hoped that it would float.
I knew that all the fishes in the water laughed at me-
I blew upon the billowed sails while floating silently.

The moon became my beacon as I traveled by the stars,
it marked my journey overhead while traveling near and far.
It showed me where to travel by reflecting on the sea,
and kept its vigil overhead by shining patiently.

Each star became my compass point while sailing 'cross the sea.
The North Star was my special light to keep me company.
I always found it day or night and it would guide my way.
This tiny little boat of mine and I would be okay.

I traveled near, I traveled far, the dolphins led the way.
Sometimes I'd stop to eat my lunch and watch the catfish play.
The penguins in their fancy suits would swim around with glee.
I'd listen to the singing of the whales so beautif'ly.

Sometimes the waves would be so high, they'd toss me to and fro.
My little boat just seemed to know the route that it should go.
I knew my way around the rocks, with danger I would flirt.
I'd eat seaweed and algae stew with crab legs for dessert.

I tried to catch the biggest fish from ocean waters deep.
I always said my prayers at night before I went to sleep.
It sometimes took a day or two to get across the sea.
I knew that mom would be right there and waiting just for me.

Author Notes bunkie thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 59
Changed Goals

By Barb Hensongispsaca

At four I wanted just to be
a monkey hanging from a tree.

At six I yearned a mom to be
and marry Dad, my destiny.

At ten the thought of living fine
as queen of England crossed my mind.

At twelve years I went off the grid,
a football player was my bid.

At fourteen all the stars called me-
an astronaut was what I'd be.

At twenty, I became a nurse,
but that job really was a curse.

At thirty something, I drove bus.
'Twas on my own, no fuss, no muss.

At forty, I was bored to tears
for I had wasted all my years.

I found some goals, but each one lost,
and in the end I paid the cost.

For what I wanted yesterday
was soon forgotten the next day.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Ric Myworld, thank you for suggesting this in one of your reviews. Had to take it and run with it.

Chapter 60
The Sea

By Barb Hensongispsaca

she moves
slowly shifting terrain
recover or hide history-
the deep

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

cinquain 2-4-6-8-2 syllable count

Chapter 61
My Escape From Pain

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When pain gets so intense for me
I take myself away.
I've learned just how to give myself
a mental holiday.

It took a lot of practice that
left scars upon my soul;
but worth it for a few more hours-
pain free, that was my goal.

I put some music in the air,
the sounds of nature's best,
then take myself to where I want
just for some pain free rest.

The sounds of whales surround my mind,
or wolves cry in the night.
When thunder storms rage all 'round me,
I sink in their delight.

Sometimes the loon in haunting song
takes me to gentle peace;
and other times the wind chimes sound
will cause my pain to cease.

I listen to the rainfall on
the tin roof of my dreams,
at other times the rippling falls
of nature's soothing streams.

I close my eyes then pick a sound,
it's different with each turn.
I drift away on waves of peace
until my pain returns.

Author Notes Susan F.M.T. thank you for permission to use your picture.

The sounds of nature on CD's are great to drift with when peace is needed.

Chapter 62
The Sides of Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am sophisticated when
I really have to be.
I curtsy deep and sit with poise
when I am out for tea.

I still can be an orn'ry cuss
when playing jokes on friends.
I never really harm them, though;
but, my fun never ends.

Seductress of the evil kind,
I lure men to their doom.
I lock the door and hide the key
when we get to our room.

A playful girl of seven years
with dolls and games of tag,
I'm always happy, talk a lot
unless you start to nag.

I'm sometimes sullen and withdrawn ...
afraid of everything,
so shy I'd rather not be seen,
a bird that takes to wing.

A person who just loves to teach
and reaches out to those
that really want to learn 'bout life.
Watch confidence that grows.

I am so many different forms
that it is hard to see
there's not one style that dominates -
I just want to be me.

Author Notes Lucien van Oosten thank you for permission to use your picture.

Ogden, thank you for the idea you gave me in one of your reviews.

Chapter 63
The Tree

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There is a tree in my backyard
that has a tale that needs be told.
It's lived a life that's been quite hard,
it's watched me live as it grew old.

It's witnessed as I aged in years
to live each stage the best I could.
It watched me take on trials and fears
and listen as a good friend should.

I'd hold its trunk when I was small
while I was learning how to stand.
I'd work my legs, sometimes I'd fall.
My tree was there to lend a hand.

I'd place my hands upon my tree
then circle 'round ... I learned to walk.
Its branches had watched over me
as I learned words and tried to talk.

My tree watched as I learned to ride
through falls and tears and bloodied knees.
And I know that it watched with pride
as 'Tarzan' swung with gentle breeze.

The big tire swing my Daddy made
was hung from branches big and strong.
As Indians clamored 'round and played,
the cowboys chose the right from wrong.

For hide and seek, 'home' was its name,
while other times, for tag 'twas 'safe'.
Returned bounced balls toward baseball fame,
as thoughts of games consumed this waif.

I see the mark it carries still-
instead of brake I hit the gas
the limb it lost against its will
reminded me to not drive fast.

It saw my laughter and my tears,
then listened to my plans and dreams
that changed like clouds through passing years.
It helped me grow each step ... it seems.

It watched my heart so grow with pride-
I brought 'her' home to family.
I carved her letters on its side
then asked my love to marry me.

It sheltered us the day we wed,
then felt my pride when son was born.
I felt its strength, I looked ahead,
the future feared, the past was mourned.

The tree's my friend, it's had my back.
It knows my life, it's strong and grand-
this tree will keep my son on track-
'twill be there when he learns to stand.

Author Notes Kathy Schipper thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 64
Idyll of The Hidden Valley

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There is a little town that nature raised
with cooling embers from creation's haze
with kisses gentle as the morning breeze
as it awakens with the stretching trees.

The bray of the herd demand to be fed,
the cock incessantly crows overhead,
as all awaken to a bright new day
the dust clouds ramble on as near they sway.

Life slowly comes alive with subtle smells
of breakfast cooking mixed with those that tell
the quiet little town is waking new
as morning rainbows dance o'er shimm'ring dew.

The spirits of times past watch o'er the scene
while life begins to move in natures preen.
As animals and men take to the fields,
the women pick the bounty gardens yield.

'Tis peaceful in this nature's little dell
as sounds of gratefulness begin to swell.
The gentle humming of a mother's grace
gives extra touches to this special place.

Author Notes Lilibug6 thank you for permission to use your picture.

I was born and raised on a little farm in Attica, Ohio. This was a small farming community where everyone knew everyone and helped everyone. It was complete with outhouses and hauling water.

TOPIC: Write an Idyll that gives us a glimpse of where you live. If you live in an urban area, make it about your State or your Country and specify the location in your author's notes. If you can work the word "Idyll" into your title, that would be awesome, too.

An Idyll poem is a short poem that creates a story and paints a picture of everyday life, while making things that at first seem simple much more important. In a world that always seems to be moving so fast, this type of poem is great because it helps the poet and the reader to appreciate the small things in life. Sometimes, you just need to stop and smell the roses!

Chapter 65
God's Acres

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Never had the town of God's Acres experienced so much blood and gore in one day. It was a nice, quiet little town that was rated by Good Homes magazine as a great place to live and raise kids. But not today. Today the circus came to town.

It all started at two o'clock in the morning as the circus tents were being set up. Fred Johnston was walking home after a night of drinking with friends at the local bar. Upon exiting the bar by way of the back door, he could not locate his car; thus, the walk home of five miles. Fred Johnston made it two of those five miles when he felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise.

"Who's there?" he asked in a slurred speech.

Even though he could not hear anything, he had the feeling he was being watched. He stopped to listen, but after hearing nothing, he started to stumble his way home again.

Neighbors told the news crews that they heard screaming around three in the morning. The sheriff had been called to the area and after a little searching, he found Fred Johnston ... or what was left of him. Sheriff Ben Coder had a difficult time focusing on what he saw due partially to the fact that the remains were in more than one spot; and Sheriff Ben Coder could not keep his supper down from the night before.

All the way across town at the Lombart Factory, Judith Cox decided she needed a cigarette more than food at her six a.m. dinner break. Judith was a thirty-six-year-old single mother of three. She hated her job, but would do anything for her children. She got along well with her co-workers. Tonight, she needed to get some fresh air and having a cigarette would help her relax.

She lit up and thought she heard a noise, but after a minute of listening, she decided she was wrong. She relaxed and took a pull off her cigarette. As she crushed it out on the banister, she felt a breeze on the back of her neck. As the thought of the warm air went through her mind, she did not know this was the last she would ever have. She felt something sharp rip down her back, the pain cutting off the scream that was building in her lungs.

The security guards were summoned to the back dock, but Judith Cox was gone. They found a lot of blood and gore, but worse than that, they found signs of a feeding.

At nine o'clock that morning, Shirley Jones, a sixty-two-year-old mother and grandmother, decided to go for an early run before the day's weather turned too hot. After changing clothes and leaving her husband a note so he would not worry, Shirley headed out for a relaxing run.

She enjoyed running in the woods; it was always so peaceful. About thirty minutes into her run, as she was headed back home, Shirley's sixth sense kicked in and she felt she was not alone. As she ran, Shirley looked around, but saw nothing that should have caused her to feel uneasy.

Shirley tried to shrug off the idea that she was being watched when something slammed into her body hard enough to send her sprawling face down in the dirt. She felt a tearing at the back of her neck, then something warm and wet running down her face and back. Little stars appeared in her darkening eyesight. The last thing she would remember was the realization that the screaming she heard was coming from her.

Sheriff Coder felt overwhelmed after the final remains belonging to Shirley Jones were found in the woods. The remains of all the victims had the same torn and mutilated appearance. He sent tissue samples off in hopes of identifying the weapon that had created this type of destruction. It would take awhile to get the results.

Then another call came in from a witness who saw a young woman who appeared injured and in shock.

"She's alive?" he questioned the caller.

"I think so," he said. "I didn't hang around to find out."

After getting directions from the distraught caller, the sheriff headed out to the area where the woman was last seen. He searched the area and finally stumbled upon a nude woman laying in a fetal position against a tree, her arms covering her head. She was covered in blood and seemed to be in shock.

"Ma'am, are you okay? Where are you hurt?" he asked the woman.

"Leave me alone! Don't come near me, please!" she begged.

Thinking she might be another victim of the killer, he returned to his car and called in his location to request a deputy to come to the scene to help.

"Mary, send Deputy Smith to this location. We may have a live victim of the killer. Seems maybe he was scared off for some reason and may be still around hoping to finish the job." he told the dispatcher.

He also requested an ambulance to transport the injured woman to the hospital. He was so intent on getting more help, he did not see the transformation taking place behind him. He did not see the young woman slowly uncurl her body, or notice her standing up. He did not see the machete she pulled from the side of the tree. He did not hear her slowly approach his back. He turned around at the last minute to see a white face, decorated in blood. The last thing the Sheriff heard as he saw the rescue lights coming down the road, was the scream of a siren that seemed to be coming from deep in his chest.

Author Notes 993 words

Chapter 66
We All Need Someone

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I can't succeed
with the help of dear friends
the world will start to make more sense
they care

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Other people in our lives give us what we need to go on. I want my friends standing next to me when I feel alone.

Chapter 67
His Name Is Pat

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I would like to introduce myself - it's Sue. Now the story is not about me, but I want to give you a little background so you will understand the hero of this story.

I work night shift as a security guard, and my main job is to 'assist' the homeless out of the bank entrances where they like to sleep to get in out of the elements. Being homeless once myself, I can relate to their problems. A lot of times, we end up talking as I escort them to a safe house.

On the nights that I do not work, I make sandwiches, usually peanut butter and jelly, and package them in individual baggies. I load them into my old station wagon along with bottled water, homemade packages of Kleenex, cheap toothbrushes and any odds and ends donated to me. I drive to the local "hang out" for the homeless and start handing things out.

There is a young man I named Pat. I say I named him because I know nothing about him. He knows nothing about himself either because his memory is gone. He came for food one day and just stayed. He is very special to me. Even though his left eye droops, he has a stuttering problem, and he twitches all the time, he is always happy. He loves to help me distribute the food to everyone. He never takes any first, but he will wait until everyone is fed, when he will sit down with me for a sandwich.

One day as I arrived to pass out food, Pat came to help me as usual but this time he was carrying what looked like a small suitcase.

"Hey, Pat, what have you got there?" I asked curiously.

"I-I-I-I f-found it un-n-nder the o-o-overpass," he told me.

"What's in it?" I asked him.

He looked very shocked as he said, "I-I-I's not m-m-mine! I can't op-p-pen it!".

I had him put it in the back seat of my car while we passed out the food and water. Both of us forgot all about it, because when I got home to unload the boxes, I realized it was still in the car. I decided to see what was in it. To my surprise, I found stacks of money. Lots of money! The first thing I thought was this had to be returned. Then I started to think to myself that this would buy a lot of supplies to feed the homeless.

My thoughts were like the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. They were pulling my mind back and forth.

My conscience got involved, so I drove to the police station. I was informed the money was from a robbery and that there was a reward offered for it's return. He wanted my name for the reward, but I told him where to find Pat. I could have used that reward, but I remembered Pat when he said, 'it is not mine'.

The next night was a work night for me. As I was escorting a few people to the shelter, Pat came running up.

"Miss Sue, Miss Sue!" he yelled,so excited. He was talking so fast, I had to slow him down to understand him.

He told me that a kind policeman found him and gave him a reward for finding the suitcase. He said the policeman had been trying to find him all morning but knew who he was by the description I gave him. He was so excited, he told me every word that was said.

Then he handed me a package. He kept hurrying me to open it. I could see it had been opened and then rewraped in a hurry. Inside was a stack of money. Oh, my! A stack of ten dollar bills. I asked Pat if he understood what had happened. He said he had and told me this was mine to keep. Well the argument started and his final statement ended all discussion.

He said he had no family except the homeless and me. He wanted to donate this money to help me feed the people he loved and the ones that accepted him for being him. Accepted despite all his faults. Loved for who he was. Trusted by strangers. He asked what more did he need? Now it was his turn to pay them back and be sure they had food.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and all walks of life.

Author Notes words 750 done on word computer and counted twice.

Liilia thank you for permission to use your picture.

There are a lot of reasons why people are homeless from money circumstances, to runaways, to veterans, to family loss, to depression, to those not wanting to be found. They are still human and still need our consideration.

Chapter 68
Living in the Rainbow

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Dad, when you left,
you took Mom's smile
and replaced it with tears
and self doubt.

You knew you could trust her
to raise me and still
keep the farm safe
from those that lusted for it.

You knew when you went
that you had married a strong woman,
one that would fight for her rights
and keep me on the straight path.

She had to discover that for herself,
realizing that you had to go,
but facing her self worth
was hard for her.

She told me she felt you
in the rainbows
that followed each and every shower
like the tears she shed for you.

She lived to make you proud
as you looked upon the only woman
that you ever loved,
and you were her only man.

For over fifty years
she waited and watched the rainbows
knowing that you were there watching
and waiting for her to come to you.

She told me ...
she feared you would tire of waiting,
and I told her ...

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Dad died of an enlarged heart when I was six. Mom's love carried her through a harsh life as she waited over fifty years to join him. When she did, I pictured him greeting her at the gates and walking that rainbow of love.

Happy Father's Day, Dad, I miss you both.

Chapter 69
They Go Beyond

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We think of heroes every day
as those we see that lead the way.
They have a face, a life, a name.
We are so proud to show them fame.

They risk their lives in what they do
to keep us safe, they'll see it through
right to their end if that need be.
We watch it happen, we can see.

But there are those that we don't know,
that fight a different kind of foe.
They work with kids, their parents, too,
to help whatever they can do.

They're councillors to keep them strong,
they're listeners when nights are long.
They keep things clean, make food to eat,
at night, they bake up breakfast treats.

In sickness, dying, cancer's worst,
they strive to put the parents first.
They ease their suffering and their fear,
they're there to wipe away each tear.

Donations made they use to buy
what families need to get them by.
Fund raisers they will proudly do -
raise cash to get the families through.

They take on different roles in life
to help the parents get through strife.
There's sadness, questions, turmoil, too,
the parents don't know what to do.

Sometimes the outcome's not so fair,
the tears will come which they will share.
No fame, no pay, it's what they do ...
they don't think twice, no 'thanks' is due.

I've seen them cry when no one sees
and pray for others on their knees,
but parents only see their strength
that's what they show at any length.

They volunteer their time and gifts,
the lost they help their spirits lift.
In Ronald's House, the love they pour,
the next day they return for more.

Author Notes Picture free from Internet download.

"Heroes do come in all shapes, sizes, walks of life. They are ordinary people who act in extraordinary ways." (a quote from a friend on fanstory)

Chapter 70
Friendship Shared

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Fellows you trust through thick and thin,
Ready to party - lose or win.
In and out of trouble shared with you,
Ever trustworthy, loyal and true.
Never leaves morals at the door.
Doesn't act like a total bore.
Shares your life with fun and zest,
Helps you study for every test.
Insists on always being polite,
Protects your back when in a fight.

Shares your ride when cruisin' town.
Holds you up when you feel down.
Always keeps secrets, tried and true.
Ready to share what you want to do.
Even in the quiet times they're there,
Doing whatever to show they care.

Author Notes Jesse this one is for you.

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 71
He Just Wanted Help

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A story I want you to hear
so listen close, my friend,
please hold on to your thoughts until
I reach the very end.

You'll be a skeptic, I am sure
but I'm here to tell you,
I'm witness to each special act
and all of it is true.

About ten years ago today
this happened way up North,
a black bear cub sat by the road
as cars drove back and forth.

It had a trap gripped on its paw,
it could but barely walk.
It sat with paw held up to show
the people who just gawked.

So after all, it was a bear
and people were afraid.
But every day the cub returned
as if for help it bade.

The shaman of the local town
heard of the young bear's plight,
and on the fourth day, he arrived
to quite a saddened sight.

The cub was there with paw upraised,
the shaman on his knees.
He spoke some soothing words of peace
as he tried to appease.

He whispered as the space between
them narrowed with each move,
the cub just sat there mesmerized
as if it did approve.

The shaman reached out gently as
the cub checked out his smell,
we heard the shaman say a prayer
that all would turn out well.

He faced the cub while on his knees,
they were both eye to eye.
The trap was biting very deep ...
he knew he had to try.

He braced himself then forced the jaws
of that trap wide apart.
He pried it from that little paw
the cub jerked with a start.

While all of us then held our breath,
the final scene we saw.
The cub leaned forward, licked his face,
and touched him with its paw.

For just a time no words were said,
the cub then turned to leave,
it left us with new thoughts on love,
for now I do believe.

Author Notes beppe47 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is a true story about absolute trust.

Chapter 72
Here Is To The Good Old Days, Hooray

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Heaven's just a memory
Every time I look to see
Raindrops falling fast and loud
Eyeing new found shapes in clouds

I remember days of old
Snows so deep and winds so cold

Texting done in old Morse code
Obey without being told

Telephones, eight party lines
Having many children...nine
Every chore done 'fore we ate

Grounded if five minutes late
Outhouse never close enough
Open swimming in the buff
Dancing waltzes - not too close

Oven cooking, home grown roast
Learning twist cause that's the fad
Dating supervised by Dad

Days of playing out of doors
Always walking to the stores
Yummy homemade ice cream treat
Shivering near stoves for heat

Homework done religiously
Open doors, unlocked, you see
Only crimes so very small
Rain reminds me of it all
All these thoughts are of my past
Yesterday's mem'ries will last

Author Notes Every other Monday we submit for free a piece written for a picture that is sent to us by Jax Franklin. It is fun to do and if you are interested, please let her know.

Chapter 73

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Death waits as thick clouds form
Everything lies open to the storm
Sending fear deep into man's soul
Tornados form as the winds roll
Reaching a finger from heaven on high
Until its dead green breath screams its cry
Comes unannounced as fury lays waste
Transports for miles in its haste.
It's nature unstoppable in a vacuum path
Overpowering all in its maddening wrath.
Never looking back on its bloody bath.

Author Notes simonka thank you for permission to use your picture.

Memories of the one I lived through my best friend at the time, lost her baby as she held him in her arms.

Chapter 74
No Hope

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She fought so hard to no avail,
her babies gone, I hear her wail.
She searches, cries, then checks again
all places where she once had been.

I watched her fight the monster's wrath.
She could not stop its forward path.
She watched it as it closer came,
then tried to fight its deadly game.

She pecked and flew and fought her best,
but soon it claimed her baby's nest.
I heard her scream as down it fell...
I knew the scene did not bode well.

Then men with bags picked up the mess
like it was trash and nothing less.
The only fault that she had made
was build her nest where men could raid.

But man decided - could not be,
and knocked it down so hastely.
They waited till the eggs had hatched
and 'gainst their wrath she was no match.

A six foot stick, curved hook on end,
this tiny bird could not defend
her babes, and lost them every one
when monster's wrath was finally done.

I yelled and so did others, too,
to no avail, their work was through.
I pulled away, my tears fell free,
that frantic mom was all I'd see.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This happened on my trip as I pulled in to get gas in my car. I did not realize what men were doing till the nest fell and I saw the mother flying around chirping and diving at the hooked stick. Then I watcher her fly around trying to find her next which was laying on the ground. Bystanders yelled at the men to stop, but it was too late. I thought how hard she fought and I realized all mothers are the same.

Chapter 75
Know That I Love You

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My son, I have to go away
for just a little while.
There's something that I have to say
but first I need a smile.

Now, that looks like my little man.
Help Mommy till I'm back.
She needs your love ... all that you can,
while Daddy gets on track.

Oh, no, it's nothing you did wrong,
your Daddy has to change.
I have to learn how to be strong,
some thoughts need rearranged.

I've made our family cry a lot
and that just has to end.
We're twisted in a great big knot
so now I can't pretend.

I need the doctors special touch
to put the drinks away.
I love you both so very much ...
this is the only way.

I'm told you can come visit me;
oh, yes, bring Mommy, too.
Now be as good as you can be
and know that I love you.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your perfect picture.

More of this courage would mean less heartache.

Chapter 76
My Hero

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'm not a hero, my child is-
his body's never free.
He lives in pain, my baby boy,
my hero he will be.

Was born in strife before his time
so wires keep him alive.
He breathes with tubes that flow and pump,
his systems don't quite jive.

I sit beside his crib each day,
to watch his body fight.
With all the bells and whistles, those
machines are quite a sight.

My baby boy weighed just three pounds,
the day that he was born.
He fights for life each breath he takes-
the sight is so forlorn.

His lungs are small, his heart is large,
a prisoner to his pain...
now cancer cells try to control
and that's another strain.

But he's my hero - Superman
and Batman rolled in one.
He is my strength when I feel down.
My hero is my son.

Author Notes I did not feel right in putting a picture of a child on here for this one, and , even though I had permission to use his son's picture, I chose not to. This was found on the internet under free stock pictures.

Chapter 77
Not Another Poem

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I hated you.
You made me write verse,
memorize dull Shakesphere.
I learned how to rhyme and flow.
You made me express all my thoughts.
I stood in front of the class and spoke.
I hated you for all those 'thee's' and 'thou's'.
I cringed every time I stood up to speak.
I dreaded walking into your class.
Miss Holllinger, now I thank you.
After forty years, I found
the poetry you showed
as you stood up front
and let passion
control your

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

I fought tooth and nail, ran kicking and screaming from the room every chance I got, instead of sitting in front of the class reciting Shakesphere and our own creations that were horrible. When I lost my voice, God said why not write. Well after my tantrum, I tried it. I was hooked. When I wanted to thank my teacher, it was too late. So I thank her now.

Chapter 78
The Worried Search

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Did you hear that?" she asked aloud to really no one.

She had just walked in the door from work. The house was quiet and dark, but before she turned on the light, she thought she heard a faint crying. After standing still and craning her head to hear any sound, she decided she was imagining things.

She was so tired, she decided not to fight sleep just to watch TV. She had put in sixteen long, grueling hours at work. A short bubble bath, a glass of wine, and the phone turned off was all she needed to get a good night's sleep.

After turning the phone off, she ran a warm bath, complete with her favorite scented bubble bath. She placed the wine glass next to the tub to enjoy as she relaxed, then let the cares of the past few hours melt away. She so wanted to leave her worries with her work and go to bed, stress free.

She woke with a start to realize she had dozed off. She decided it was time to go to bed and allow her body to heal from the proceeding weeks assault on her senses. The bath had worked. As the stress left her body, the wines effect of relaxation and the neighbors soft music was lulling her to sleep. As soon as her head hit the pillow she sailed off into a dream-free sleep...but not sound free.

Every once in a while through the night, her subconscious was aroused by a familiar sound. It was not enough to wake her totally, but enough to disturb her slumber. The sound seemed to gnaw at the back of her memory, but she was so sound asleep that her body and mind shut down each time and relaxed into the depths of total relaxation.

She roused from sleep and checked the clock. It was morning, her day off, and she had nothing to do, so she closed her eyes and let herself drift off again. Something still kept gnawing at her subconscious. She started to come awake as the gnawing brought her out of slumber into the light. The pitter-patter of little feet in the hall normally woke her each morning. Today, it was the absence of it.

"Jackie, here kitty, kitty. Come see Mama," she called.

Something was not right. She could feel it. She called out again for Jackie and fell silent, waiting for a response. Little bursts of apprehension started to crawl their way up her spine. She called again, waiting to hear the pitter-patter, but there was no response. She threw back the covers and jumped out of bed. Running barefoot through each room in the house, checking each closet and hiding space, she could only think the worst.

Finding nothing upstairs, she took the stairs two at a time to the main floor. Fear was taking over as she searched every room, every cubby hole, every spot that could be used as a hiding place. She found nothing. No Jackie.

She forced herself to slow down and one more time check the house; with a flashlight she covered every inch. Then she went to the basement. Jackie was never allowed in the basement, but she checked anyway.

"Jackie, please," she pleaded.

She grabbed her coat and ran out the door in her bare feet. Calling as she went, she checked the hedges, the garage, each neighbor with-in a block radius, their hedges and garages, and any place a pregnant cat might hide.

Dejected, she returned home. In her mind, she was trying to figure how Jackie had gotten out of the house. She fretted that she should have seen the signs. Jackie had not been eating right for a couple of days; she was off her food and drinking a lot. Still, it did not register that Jaclie was going into labor.

She fought back tears; she thought of Jackie being alone, or worse, hurt. Her mind came up with the worst case scenarios - a dog got her, she was trapped in a shed, she fell down a well. Then she cried some more.

She decided to get dressed and go out again to search the neighborhood. Her heart felt heavy as her mind raced again through memory after memory.

She was combing her hair when she heard the first sounds...quiet, soft mewing. She stood still trying to will the sounds again. Just when she had herself convinced that it was her need to hear the sounds, is when she heard them again. She started searching the bathroom. When she lifted the lid to the clothes hamper, she was greeted with a wonderful surprise. On the dirty clothes lay Jackie nursing her five kittens.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 79
Mama's Treasures

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'd let it go on long enough
'twas time to go through Mama's stuff.
She'd put aside so much for me
that now was mine - her soul was free.

Most clothes were big or very small,
a thousand nick knacks for the wall,
her special pot for cooking stew -
since I don't cook, that wouldn't do.

Fine dishes that were old and chipped,
and furniture that should be stripped,
some silverware that missed their knives,
some self-canned fruit from ninety-nine.

My Mama thought I'd need each one
to pass on down to daughters ... sons.
But times have changed, these things are old.
I just don't think they can be sold.

We tried to figure what to do
(each had their say and I did, too),
what Mama called her treasure chest
was junk to us, I must confess.

But I for one am glad she saved,
'cause even while I ranted, raved,
I learned a lot 'bout Mama then
and what she treasured way back then.

Author Notes Liilia thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 80
SBS (shaken baby syndrome)

By Barb Hensongispsaca

John and his twin brother, James,
were just six months old.

They were driving their mother crazy-
not allowing her much rest.

Her nerves were wearing thin,
as her mind cracked in waves,
she thought of death,
and even worse...
she thought of three deaths.

She needed sleep
but John cried on;
he would not stop
no matter what she did.

She sternly watched him cry
over and over,
then felt herself go near the crib.

The slap descended downward,
even thought she did not know she'd hit,
she felt the sting on her hand...
but she was beyond reason.

A slap for her husband,
he was never there to help.

A slap for her doctors, too,
they didn't really care.

A slap for her mother
who died
leaving her all alone to cope.

A slap for her father
he left before she was grown.

Another slap just because
...just because;
then she picked him up
and shook.

His body shaking badly,
trying to breathe.

Her face
a stone cold look of what?

Three more shakes,
his breath was now gone,
his cries came in rasping screams.

She stood and listened
to him gasp for air.
Feeling what? Satisfied?

She listened for a minute
as his screams
turned into sobs.

Her heart found it's breaking point.
The tears still not falling
...but there.

"Dear Lord," she raged,
"I'm sorry.
This job you gave me is too hard.
I broke,
I just can't do it.
I will kill them, don't you see?"

She stood still by his crib side,
her eyes were filled with pain of life...

Her next act done in that room
would define who she really was.

Tears were finally streaming
down her face,
her heart was a stone
cracked in two.

She picked him up and held him.
She felt so all alone
as her body wracked with sobs.

The straw was now going to break,
but which direction would it go?

Then her heart began to bleed,
no more could she endure...
the straw broke.

She held him close as she dried his tears,
his body still in confused pain,
shaking with every sob.

She swore then to her Maker
that this would be
the last time.

This story's true,
it was my day of reckoning
my day of giving in

My children lived,
but, you know
this is one story had to be told.

Take a walk,
count to ten,
do what you have to do
to get control.

Stop that growing anger inside.
I've been there.

I'm here if you need to talk.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Per Mayo Clinic: Shaken baby syndrome also also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome also is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child's brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.

I am ashamed but this is true and I am writing it to bring it into the open again. Shaking a baby can cause brain damage and even death, but I think there is only a handful of parents that might not understand the rage that comes over new parents trying to cope and sleep at the same time. Add to that a very fussy baby that never sleeps, or even two that take turns sleeping, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I write to reach others. You are not alone.

Chapter 81
Itsy Bitsy Scary Spider-acrostic

By Barb Hensongispsaca

In this land of big and small
Tiny creatures rule it all.
Spiders thrive in their domain.
You don't know how far they reign.

Busy making webs so strong,
Intricate yet never wrong,
Trail across each bush or tree.
Silent hunters, roaming free.
Yet they work both night and day

Setting traps to lure their prey.
Catching bugs in sticky trap-
Always vigil, prey needs wrapped.
Ready to repair if need.
Yearning every day to feed.

Silken threads it spins so tight.
Pressure points to feel just right.
Into trap its victims land.
Dinner cocooned strand by strand.
Ever on guard, bugs it needs.
Really scary...that's agreed!

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 82
I Knew

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I felt so lucky that I found a place to sleep in that abandoned building. I have to be real careful what I look for because I never know who may be sleeping there. Most of the time, homeless just want a place to hide from the elements and the police who just make them move on to another place. There are also those I have to avoid that want to pass the time doing other things.

I was sleeping so soundly, that when I woke with a start, I was sure I was still dreaming. Then, the little goose bumps started to crawl their way up my arms, across my shoulders and met at my spine. I felt a minor shift in the air as the tiny hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood on end. A voice in the recesses of my mind started faint then built as it screamed ... RUN! Cold sweat broke on my forehead as I heard it for the first time - a low guttural growl behind me.

A fear born from survival instinct made me throw myself headlong toward the door, praying that I did not lock it. I heard an unearthly scream that tore at the edges of my sanity as my imagination tried to put a form to the sounds I heard - big, ugly, strong ... mad.

I heard 'it' moving toward me as it seemed to be stumbling over things in its way. As I grabbed the handle, I found the door opened on my first try. Racing through, I did not stop to close the door; then pure fear kept me running, running for my life, as I tore down the hallway to the front of the building.

I finally found my voice as I screamed for help that I knew would not come. I was alone to face my fate. The building had been boarded up. The sign above the window I broke to get in said, "No trespassing. Enter at your own risk."

I bore right, hoping to give myself a few extra steps between me and the thing following me. Running into a room, I slammed the door, locking it as I did. Realizing I was standing in a room with no windows and the darkness was so complete it looked grey, I willed my eyes to adjust while, in the darkness, I started to back away from the door.

The smell of decay was all around, as my feet crunched on lumps on the floor, stirring a stronger aroma of death. Realizing I had forgotten the lighter I had in my jeans pocket, I retrieved it and when I lit the flame, I wished silently that I had not. Scattered on the floor were bones of all sizes, mixed together as if they had been placed in a bag and shaken. A scream gathered in my lungs and died in my throat as I heard a scratching on the other side of the door. Then it screamed again and my bladder let loose. I realized I was trapped in its larder.

With nowhere to go and knowing 'it' would probably break down the door, I knew I had to get rid of my smell. I went to the corner where the freshest kill was laying. While fighting down bile that threatened to erupt, I grabbed rotten flesh and wiped it all over my body. Then I went to the opposite corner where I laid down in a pile of bones, burying myself as best I could. I hoped 'it' would go to the fresh kill and leave me alone.

The door made a strained sound as 'it' tried to come through, then the door splintered and tore loose from the hinges, swinging inward. I realized it was partially covering my body and I slowly tried to move farther behind the door.

The smell was ungodly as it passed through the door. I could hear the grunting sounds as it sniffed the air and I knew it was looking for me. By the faint light of the hallway, I could tell it was big, and hairy with eyes that seemed to shine pure evil. I felt the floor seem to vibrate as it moved into the room. I closed my eyes, held my breath, and willed it to go away.

I could hear crunching sounds coming from the corner as it feasted on ... something. My mind wanted to scream as my sanity traveled a fine line toward its final abyss. All of a sudden, it stood still as if testing the air. I was afraid I had made some kind of sound alerting it to my presence. I was relieved when it started to back out of the room.

I listened as its guttural sounds seemed to be moving away from me and when I was satisfied it was gone, I crawled out from under the bones. I felt my way around the broken door, and moved as quickly as I could toward a broken window I hoped would take me outside.

The fresh air felt good as I inhaled deeply its sweet smell. Then I was running again, screaming for help. That is how I wound up in this place for the insane. No one believed this girl who was covered in blood and gore, ranting about a monster that lived in an abandoned building and ate people.

Author Notes Sean T Phlean thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 83

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The pain like waves that ebb and flow-
they start with dull and then they grow.
The peak is when I need to cry-
I toss and turn while pleading 'why'?

My head hurts just like stinging bees
that buzz and hum incessantly.
While this goes on both day and night,
my mind craves peace, my body fights.

While growing old is hard to take,
decisions come we have to make.
Do I want pills to ease the pain
that comes in waves, that wax and wane

but sleep all night and through the day?
Why would I want to live this way?
Or do I let the pain run free
so part of life I still can be?

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

wax and wane - alternate increase and desrease
ebb and flow - when referring to tides or waves, inflow and outflow

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medical condition characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. (Wikepedia)

Chapter 84
The Being

By Barb Hensongispsaca




world of horror

that sends chills trailing from shoulders to toes

as hairs stand at attention in response

to the mournful

erie howl

of the


Author Notes Bob one oldreb thank you for permission to use your picture.


The Perfect Tetractys

from Ray Stebbing

The perfect tetractys would satisfy all the following criteria:

1. The correct syllable count of 1,2,3,4,10.

2. Use meaningful words (e.g. not the, a , an) in the single-syllable line.

3. Have line breaks that make sense, ie. conform to normal syntax, not separating words that quite obviously form a unit of meaning.

(If 2 and 3 did not apply, writing a tetractys would merely involve taking a twenty-syllable line and chopping it arbitrarily into the requisite lengths - it doesn't take a poet to do that!)

In addition to these the normal criteria for good poetry apply:

4. Effective use of imagery.

5. Effective choice of words.

6. Appeal to the ear, certainly by rhythm, possibly by use of other sound effects (rhyme, alliteration etc).

7. Most importantly, appeal to the intellect and the emotions; moving the reader to laughter, tears, deep thought, anger...

Chapter 85
Feeding Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It's feeding time in my backyard,
I think the word's been spread.
I just put out food for the day
'cause everyone wants fed.

The sparrows and the chickadees
are headed for the mix-
a blend of seed and fine cracked corn.
It seems to be their pick.

The grackles are now swooping in
to claim their rightful place.
The doves are settled on the ground
awaiting seed with grace.

The squir'ls rush in to check the ground
for seeds they might find there;
sunflowers are their pick of choice...
they scarf without a care.

The goldfinch have a special place,
they're at the nijer seed.
No other beaks will fit inside
the boxes where they feed.

The blue jays and the cardinals seem
to fight for dominance.
They hover o'er the sunflowers
in nature's frenzied dance.

A tiny chipmunk rushes in
to see what he can find;
until a blue jay chases him
(they really are unkind).

A cup of coffee and a show
can start my day off right,
'cause watching nature at its best
is really quite a sight.

Author Notes SteveANH thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 86
The Fanged Menace

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It was a dark October night, with a chill in the air that brought this eight year old closer to the wood stove. I was just finishing my homework when I sensed a change in the whole feeling of the old house I called home.

A family hand-me-down, the house was over a hundred years old. The kitchen was heated with a black wood stove which was also where the meals were cooked. The rest of the house was heated by coal that my mother kept stoked as was needed depending on the drop in temperature. This in turn would heat the water that ran through the registers. The banging and clanging as the pipes heated or cooled was fairly common.

As I sat doing my homework, I noticed other sounds that seemed to permeate the whole being of the walls. I looked up at the big flowered wallpaper in front of me and it seemed the flowers were moving - forming - stretching. Suddenly a lump appeared that seemed to lengthen more and more until it was joined by features. First eye sockets, a forehead, ears, and finally, just as the mouth began to open, the most hideous sight broke free of the wallpaper.

The form became a wolf that walked on two legs like a man. It was covered in dense black fur, sleek but scraggly. I could see the blood-red eyes staring at me, the sharp claws as they started to reach for me, and the fangs dripping saliva.

I screamed for my Mom as I dodged the claws that swiped at me. I could sense it behind me as I started to run around the arches that separated the kitchen from the living room. It seemed I could dodge the corners better than it could so I managed to keep ahead of it. Then it did the unpredictable ... it came through the wall. No, it did not break it down, it could walk through the wall like a ghost.

My fear increased as my Mom entered from the basement with the rifle she always kept handy. The beast changed direction and ran straight for my Mom. As its form blocked my view from seeing what was happening, I screamed as loud as I could.

I woke in the dark with a form leaning over me and it was talking.

"Honey, wake up, you are having a bad dream!"

Author Notes SCHATZLING thank you for permission to use your picture.

I had this dream when I was eight years old but it was so vivid that I still remember it to this day.

Chapter 87
Couldn't Be Prouder

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I couldn't be prouder if I tried,
she was always there for me.
She gave her life, through her stress and strife
to make sure that I had a degree.

My Mother's life was hard when Dad died.
She had to raise me alone
through her stress and strife, she gave her life
as we both had to face the unknown.

She taught me to have courage and pride.
She raised me the best she could.
She gave her life, through her stress and strife
she made sure I would know what I should.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Topic: Pride
Something or someone you are proud of.

This week I thought we'd try - The ZaniLa Rhyme, a form created by Laura Lamarca, consists of 4 lines per stanza.
The rhyme scheme for this form is abcb and a syllable count of 9/7/9/9 per stanza.
Line 3 contains internal rhyme and is repeated in each odd numbered stanza.
Even stanzas contain the same line but swapped.
The ZaniLa Rhyme has a minimum of 3 stanzas and no maximum poem length.

Chapter 88
Boys Will Be Boys

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Green jumpy frogs, slippery downed logs -
some things that tempted my boys.
Bicycle trips, bruised swollen lips
which always went with their toys.

A day with Dad, their biggest fad
would always leave them with smiles.
They watched races, knew the paces
and each one of the car styles.

Cheap labeled jeans, by any means
would never be what they'd wear.
Had to be tight, or they weren't right,
they wanted the girls to stare.

Music real high, never knew why
they never seemed to go deaf.
They'd never fight, one would go right,
the other seemed to go left.

Didn't mind dirt, wouldn't cry when hurt -
boys are so different from girls.
They liked things rough, had to look tough,
but they still looked cute with curls.

Author Notes Photohound thank you for permission to use your picture.

I told Robyn that I could not do these so she double dared me. You know me and a challenge.

Chapter 89
Pieces Broken

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Though whole and innocent at birth
a new life then unfurled,
some pieces broke off as I grew,
so damaged by this world.

Depression's baby - not planned for,
then dad's heart could not last.
A life of pushing and neglect -
the pieces dropped off fast.

A mugging that went badly wrong;
two marriages in haste.
A life in doubt of sanity
and wanting then to waste.

Then led astray by nature's call
destroyed my self respect;
so much I hated how I lived...
my life was so unchecked.

I reached the lowest of the low
and knew I had to climb.
I gathered up my broken parts...
I felt I still had time.

I had to turn my life around
and give it time to heal.
I grabbed a path and held on tight...
to finally start to feel.

So after learning how to live
and with a little care,
I now help others find their path
and broken parts repair.

Author Notes Mama Mia 1 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Living a life of hardship and pain has made me who I am.

Chapter 90
Morning Glories

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Mornings bring the kiss of color
Opening up to greet the world,
Rainbow hues of blues and whites
Now bright and brilliantly unfurled.
I touch their velvety softness,
Never tiring of their beauty displayed.
Giving them life saving water, so

Glad that their colors don't fade.
Lasting all summer, they bloom
Over and over every sunrise,
Reaching ever skyward toward heaven...
Instinctively claiming the sun's prize.
Ever delicate in their charming beauty-
Sit with me, enjoy and lets have some coffee.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 91
The Siren's Song

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It drifted o'er the waves so soft
I almost missed its lure.
Surrounded me like gentle fog
arising from a moor.

Consumed me with a passion's lust
that pulled upon my soul.
My heart beat fast, my breathing stopped,
I felt its pleasured toll.

It filled my ears with passion's bliss,
my mind went overdrive.
I had to have that siren's kiss
I've n'er felt so alive.

My hands were tingling, shaking, too.
My heart began to ache.
I then lost every sense of time.
I took all I could take.

The siren's lure was driving me
to madness and beyond.
I stopped my boat and waited there
while voices 'round me spawned.

My mind was in a tug of war,
I felt that I should run.
But I was lulled into a peace,
I knew that she had won.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 92
Two For One

By Barb Hensongispsaca

As other couples before and after us, my husband and I tried so hard to have children. I wound up going into the hospital for a special procedure to improve my chances of getting pregnant. We did this with our first child, and with the trouble I had delivering her, we decided on one more child. Well, my husband did. I wanted two more. Even though he was very adamant about only two children, I was granted another in a very special way.

When my daughter was one and a half, we decided to try again for another child. Three months after my hospital visit to increase our chances, I was able to inform my husband that our next child was on his/her way. He was thrilled, but the next day after I shared the good news with him, he told me that after the birth of this second one, he planned on having a vasectomy before I left the hospital with our second child. He was going to take no chances.

Back in those days, we could not have a sonogram whenever we wanted. Since it was done only in emergencies, I did not know if the baby I was carrying was a boy or a girl. I had a normal pregnancy except that I was gaining too much weight too fast. The doctor was very concerned, as was I. None of my maternity clothes fit me at five months.

Dr. John Rosso, my family doctor, said I was eating too much. Every visit I got THE lecture. He would examine me, tell me the heartbeat was strong and regular, but I'd always gain weight. He began to ask me if I'd overdone my food intake, to which I'd say no and mean it. But he doubted me, so he would lecture; I knew every word by heart. I'd be so depressed after each visit, I'd leave and stop in at usually two fast-food places on the way home and eat what I wanted. Then I'd spend the next two weeks eating rice as he suggested. I'd go back and gain again. It became a vicious cycle. I was on a first name basis with the lady at the drive-thru window.

Finally, the day came when my water broke. Remembering the twenty-six hours labor with my first child, I headed to the hospital. The nurse examined me and told me the doctor was in the hospital doing rounds and he would be in to see me.

After his exam, he told my husband that I was in true labor - as if I doubted it! He also told him he could go home and get some rest. Since I did not listen to his famous lectures, he told my husband that my labor would last at least ten hours because I was carrying a thirteen-pound baby. He also mentioned the possibility of a C-section. Again with the lecture. My husband decided to stay for a while since I was upset.

The doctor left to go to his office. Feeling very uncomfortable, I told my husband I felt I had to push. He ran to get the nurse who begrudgingly came in and told me it was my imagination. She left and I tried to hold off, but the urge was too great. I started to push again. My husband yelled first at me, then for her. She came in and told me I would wear myself out if I started pushing too soon ... to which I glared at her and pushed again. She grabbed a glove for the exam and told me to stop.

I watched her face change from one of frustration to one of pure white fear. She yelled for the other nurse on duty to call the doctor. I was delivering - NOW. She got me to the delivery room and on the table. My husband was shooed out; the doctor was rushed in. In his good office-pressed suit, he was in time to deliver my son.

At this time, it was discovered that there was a minor discrepancy in the doctor's figures ... my son did not weigh thirteen pounds. The nurse proudly said 'five pounds'. At that point, the doctor said something was terribly wrong. He found out that was not the thing to say to a woman in stirrups. Panic set in as I imagined all things wrong with my child from a two headed demon to Rosemary's baby.

"No," I remember him saying, "Your baby is all right. Would you like to have a second one?"

My second son was born four minutes later at a little over five pounds.

I remember the nurses wheeling me past my shell-shocked husband. He was standing at the door to my room holding up two fingers. He had a glazed look in his eyes and this time it was not from an overconsumption of booze. The doctor later apologized to me, explaining he heard only one heartbeat and was thinking one baby. He was glad I did not lose any weight.

The funniest part was yet to come. The boys stayed at the hospital for awhile to get their weight up; therefore, I got to bring them home one at a time. Jim was released first, then John about three days later. When I finally got to leave just to get some groceries, my daughter began crying. It was learned through her tears, she was afraid I was going to bring home another, and felt two brothers were more than enough!

Author Notes David Ruhl thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 93
It Is Just Who I Am

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now I don't know but I've been told,
these tics I have are getting old...
I grunt and click and shout "hooray";
it's all the same from day to day.

There's not too many hangs around-
embarrassed by my catchy sound.
They mostly run the other way
'cause near to me they just won't stay.

One day a nice man passed me by,
I shouted "DAMN" to his goodbye.
He didn't stick around to see
there is another side of me.

A homeless man, I made his day,
I whistled as he walked away.
He turned around and smiled at me-
I did not know, oh deary me!

I swear in church, I twitch at work.
My friends all know it's just my quirks.
It's hard to stop them so I don't.
The children laugh, but parents won't.

I'm quite embarrassing to most-
no pity asked, I will not boast.
I guess it makes me who I am.
I know God loves me still and..."DAMN"!

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a chronic, neurological disorder that is a member of a larger group of primary tic disorders. It is characterized by motor and vocal tics. Both motor and vocal tics must be present, though not necessarily at the same time. Tics must be present for more than one year, and its onset must be prior to age 18. Tics are rapid, involuntary movements or sounds that occur repeatedly

Chapter 94
The Doll of My Dreams

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I went to see a gypsy girl
because I could not sleep.
I told her all I did was hurt-
all night I'd lay and weep.

I said I craved my Audrey Ann...
I really had it bad.
When she refused to be with me,
my sweetness turned to mad.

I told the gypsy I would give
whatever it would take
to make her mine for all of time
but it could not be fake.

She looked just like a Barbie doll
but, me she could not see.
A potion made to claim her love
is what I want for me.

That gypsy girl, she smiled at me.
No problem she could tell.
She grabbed my arm, looked in my eyes
and said all would go well.

She hummed a catchy little tune
that pounded in my head.
She checked a book, then mixed some stuff.
Her eyes were turning red.

I tried to move, to run away,
her chanting hurt my mind.
But all my thoughts of Audrey Ann
could not be left behind.

When she was done, she turned to me,
then handed me a vial
that I must give to Audrey Ann-
it looked like greenish bile.

"Make sure she drinks it," gypsy said,
"then she'll belong to you."
I need to claim my lady love
and know her love is true.

I forced the liquid down her throat,
she passed out right away.
My Audrey Ann would be my doll
and never want to stray.

She did not move, she did not talk,
she only sat and stared.
I shook her then I realized
she'd always be right there.

She'd be my girl forever more
she'd wait my beck and call.
The gypsy gave me what I craved...
I had the perfect doll.

Author Notes Thank you Rasmine for allowing us to use your picture.

Chapter 95
Look Up With Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I like to find a spot to lay
upon the ground both night and day.
I like to see what's in the sky,
imagine things and wonder why.

You see the sun? It beams for me.
It makes me feel so warm, you see,
for when it shines, I'm not afraid.
I love the shadows that it's made.

The moon, it gives me lots of hugs,
and when it comes, so do the bugs.
The fireflies are fun to see
when Mr. Moon shines down on me.

The stars are like my steps of light.
They twinkle 'cause they're very bright.
They sometimes race across the sky.
I make a wish when they pass by.

I sometimes see bright colored lights,
that move through space, it's quite a sight.
they move and wiggle - changing shape.
They look just like a winter's cape.

The rainbows are the best of all.
I wonder why they never fall.
There's sometimes two instead of one
and they come out when rain is done.

I watch the clouds as they change form.
The bigger ones come 'fore the storm.
I see the dragons, rabbits, too.
I watch them change to something new.

There's sometimes fireworks on display,
they're big and bright to lead the way.
I love to sit and watch the show
for little me so far below.

When nature shows her very best,
her colors make me feel so blessed.
I listen to the leaves at play,
their rust'ling always makes my day.

Come lay with me and watch the sky,
there's planes and birds that will pass by.
There's always something new to see,
so come take time to gaze with me.

Author Notes helvi2 thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 96

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The start of my history is here
a very brave people born free
in tune with the great spirit
the eagle and the wolf
are the spirit guides
as they run with
white man
took their pride
took their homeland
took their self esteem
marched them on Trail of Tears
left bodies lie by the road
relocated them to reserves
watched them die without another thought

Author Notes quicksandyamurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

I like the nonet/reverse nonet when telling a short story.
Nine syllable count to one and back up to nine again.

I don't want my daughter to forget her heritage.

Chapter 97
The Scream in the Night

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She walks the night quiet as the breeze
so graceful as she moves with ease.
She's hungry as she hunts food,
she has to feed her brood.
She smells the prey as
she feels the need.
Stalks downwind ...
needs to
her prey -
senses blood,
spurs her desire,
her taste is on fire.
Now spooked, the chase is on.
She is fast - a life is gone.
She feeds as in the darkness lays
close by her twins, it's where she now stays.
Her hunger will spur her on once more.
Her screams bring thoughts of blood and gore.
Prey will hide in shadows, creep
into recesses deep.
Sharp claws and fangs will
ensure a kill.
She needs to
get her

Author Notes Picture from free picture downloads on the internet.

Chapter 98
I Am A Force To Be Reckoned With

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am a wee begotten thing
no bigger than a cup;
but, I have given attitude
since I was just a pup.

A force that can't be reckoned with,
I'll back down any cat.
And if you want a part of me,
I'll show you where it's at.

My fur is long, it drags the ground
unless you keep it cut.
It gets so long that you can't tell
which part is head or butt.

So long ago, I was the best
at mousing for my keep;
but, I'm so cute, the cats took charge.
So now I eat and sleep.

My high pitched bark is best to let
you know when harm's around;
and, bigger dogs, I back them down...
I'm one to hold my ground.

Now, please don't walk too far from me
in case someone comes near.
I'll run real fast between your feet-
I will protect your rear.

I hate the heat, I hate the cold,
the thunder makes me ill.
The rain's no good, I hate tall grass,
the breezes make me chill.

But, I will always have your back;
just watch out where you stand.
I am a Yorkie wonder dog...
the best friend in the land.

Author Notes Barb Baker thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 99
The Mournful Howl

By Barb Hensongispsaca

While I was in the woods one day
collecting wood to burn,
I should have paid attention, 'twas
a lesson I would learn.

I concentrated on my task
of loading on the truck,
until I heard an awful sound...
I thought I'd lost my luck.

An eerie noise from Satan's realm
laid hard upon my ears.
It brought back nightmare memories
that doubled all my fears.

It echoed from the depths of hell,
my bones began to shake.
I feared too much to turn around,
my head began to ache.

The howling started on one hill
then moved within the trees.
It seemed to travel all around
like whispers in the breeze.

I visioned being ripped apart
by teeth sharper than pins
belonging to a pack of wolves
against which no one wins.

But then my fear was overturned,
I soon felt mesmerized.
The eerie howling that I heard
became more of a prize.

A female wolf went walking past,
her pups soon happened by.
I could not keep from watching them,
my scream became a sigh.

Impressed I was, the love they showed ...
a fam'ly all the way.
They walked past me without a care,
I knew I was okay.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 100
Here, Kitty, Kitty!

By Barb Hensongispsaca

This book is mystical and fun,
a different piece on altered planes.
You'll question life when you are done
and check your back 'fore trouble reigns.
You'll check your back when you are done,
this book will question altered planes.

A kitty is the heroine.
She breaches different plane of time.
She thinks her travels are such fun
not re'lizing she's done a crime.
In different realms she thinks it's fun,
as curious cat breaches time.

Through holes of passage cut through air,
she watches as huge beasts of prey
traverse the barrier they share
that she had found and made a way.
She travels through holes in the air
along with hungry beasts of prey.

In passing through into their home,
allowed the danger to expand,
to cross back through and freely roam
thus changing all that nature planned.
So in her travels as she roams
she brings back more than nature planned.

Author Notes The last two lines of each stanza are supposed to be indented but I could not get mine to do it.

TOPIC: Your favorite book

This has always been my favorite book. It tells of a cat, from her point of view, of her travels through a porthole in time to the age of the cumbersome dinosaurs. The hole begins to enlarge, allowing the beasts to come to her time. A narrator then picks up the story telling what happens as she tries to warn people and undo the problem. It is written for kids but also adults enjoyment as the tension builds to a final conclusion.

Inverted Refrain

The Inverted Refrain, created by Jan Turner, consists of four 6-line stanzas, for a total of 24 lines.

Rhyme scheme per stanza: Lines #1-4 are abab;
Lines #5 and #6, the two inverted refrain lines, can be a,b or b,a.

Meter: 8 syllables in every line.

The first four lines of a stanza create a statement from which the last 2 lines extract the meaning, and invert the way it was said (see Example #1 below, Finding Faeries). The last two lines of each stanza, which are the inverted refrain, are indented as a couplet.

Chapter 101
Sleep Little One

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, my precious little one, sleep sound.
Let gentle thoughts of peace abound.
Slumber in the hands of God,
walk where the angels trod.
Remember my love
will hold you tight ...
rock you 'til

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 102
Mother's Hands

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Mother's hands were farm forged strong
from toiling chores her whole life long.
She fixed our breakfast as we slept
then dishes, laundry - nicely kept.

She fed the critters, milked the cow,
kept us in line, 'cause she knew how.
She'd work the garden 'til time came
for dinner prep - her claim to fame.

Then she'd help Dad knee-up the hay
to mows o'erhead the horse's bay.
Then stack the wood for winter's chill;
Moms hands would suffer splinters fill.

Though cut and torn, Moms hands held love
as she'd give Dad a 'hold-me' shove.
She'd wrap me in her strong embrace
as she would touch my tear-stained face.

'Though never soft, her hands held mine
so tenderly, and that was fine.
Then o'er the years, her hands became
so bent and twisted ... not the same.

Misshapen through the trials of life,
her hands were of a farmer's wife.
And they still showed her love for me -
she held my hand ... her soul flew free.

Author Notes Check out the clubs and the picture this challenges.

Knee-up is when you life a bail of hay or straw and bounce it on your knee to toss it into the haymow. It is very hard to do and needs a rhythm.

Chapter 103
Angels To Cherish

By Barb Hensongispsaca

little balls of fluff
bouncing off the walls
sliding on loose rugs
flying down the halls
chasing shadows high
swatting catnip balls

dancing round the bed
playing games of tag
curtains crashing down
tearing paper bags
hiding under chairs
experts at zigzag

animals give peace
love and joy fulfilled
angry hearts are stilled
fear is held at bay
lonely lives are filled

Author Notes Picture from pintrest.

Cats are my favorite as most of you know but angels come in all forms.

Can you feel the angel love watching and holding those four legged critters? Doesn't matter what. Could be a horse, a cat, a dog, a cow, a get my point. Just feel the tension drain as you feel their love...unconditional.

Chapter 104
Grandma, Tell Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Grandma, would you read to me
the story of the Christmas three.
The ones who came from nations far
as they followed the brightest star.

Oh, Grandma, now tell me the tale
of soldiers searching hill and vale
to kill a babe God kept from harm
'cause angels spread the grand alarm.

How 'bout the animals that knew
about His birth? They saw the clues.
And all would 'talk' about that day
when Jesus came to lead our way.

Oh, Grandma, what about the sheep,
and shepherds whose safe watch they'd keep?
Tell me about their trip to see
the Lamb of God who lived for me.

Tell me again just why He came,
not wanting riches, gold or fame,
but just to spread His love around
and prove that Christmas time is sound.

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