By Barb Hensongispsaca

Remember when the evil played
in someone else's town?
When all the kids would play 'til late
after the sun went down.

We never locked our houses when
we had to go away,
'cause everything was safe and sound
and evil was at bay.

But things have changed and life goes on,
'cause evil now runs free
to take the peace we have worked for,
security's the key.

We lock our work, our churches, too
our homes and all our cars.
So evil can not penetrate
and lifestyle it won't mar.

Don't lose your keys, you can't get in,
your car you cannot start.
But you'll keep all your things within
what's precious to your heart.

But evil will still find a way
to finally get inside,
no matter if you feel secure
in places you can hide.

Remember, Jesus has the key
to all our future dreams
and He will welcome us inside
if that is what He deems.

For what He opens, we can pass,
no one can hold us back,
but what He shuts and locks secure
is finished ... that's a fact.

Author Notes Revelation 3:7-10

7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Beverly A McBride thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 1
Halloween Guests

By Barb Hensongispsaca

One tiny, feathered Indian
came knocking at my door
requesting candy or he'd dance
across my kitchen floor.

Two scary witches dressed in black
were next to visit me.
They wanted candy then they would
go 'way and let me be.

Three fuzzy little bunnies came
with noses twitching fast,
but carrots were not what they'd need,
to make their taste buds last.

Four mummies from the pyramids
all wrapped in dusty white,
said candy drew them to my door
along with my porch light.

Five dainty fairies dressed in pink
while spreading fairy dust
said candy was their favorite choice
and truly was a must.

Six vampires from their caskets deep
came floating 'cross the lawn,
they needed candy right away
before the break of dawn.

Then seven ghosts flew to my door,
their chains were clinging loud.
They moaned out 'trick or treat' or else
they would return ... they vowed.

Eight pirates with birds on their arms,
a patch o'er one blue eye,
yelled 'candy or you'll walk the plank'
'twas quite a scary cry.

Nine angels with their wings of gold,
came singing next in line.
Their candles were a flashlight's glow
that really made them shine.

Ten ghouls came last to beg for treats,
the scariest of all.
I thought I'd better treat them good
or 'tricks' they might recall.

I love to see the differences
each Halloween night brings
with feathers, fur and shrouds of white
and other well thought things.

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

Chapter 2
He Took This Lump

By Barb Hensongispsaca

(God gave me this poem at a low spot and will always be my favorite)

My Father took this lump of clay
and made me what I am today.
He molded me then breathed for me
and showed me things I had to see.

He took this angry, shy young thing
and taught me how to really sing.
He walked me through some Job-like trials
then through all this He gave me style.

I lost, I cried, I cursed His name
'cause I had no one else to blame,
but through it all, He stood by me
and waited there for me to see.

Now's come the time I work for Him.
He sends me places on a whim.
I know the people that I meet
just need to know that they're not beat.

He gave me truth they need to hear,
they're not alone, He's always near.
I have lived through more than I should,
but that lets me walk where they would.

I can relate, though times were tough
and I had cried, 'Oh, Lord, enough',
but through my trials my soul was scourged,
and through that clay, my life was forged.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 3
Hand and Paw

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Our future
stretches out before us
down the path
of togetherness.

I watched you
staring at me
through the bars,
your eyes pleading.

They were not half closed
trying to tell me
to back off
or you would hurt me.

You did not have
the furrowed brow
the low growl
that comes before the pain.

No facial twitch or fanged teeth
that hid abuse
or anger
or distance.

I wanted very much
to adopt you
to care for you
to love you.

How could I tell you
that my touch
would not bring
terror filled days?

How could I let you know
that you would not regret
one single moment
of life with me?

I promise to
protect you
love you
as long as I live.

When that cage door opened
my heart beat fast.
Could you understand
what that meant to me?

Your nose
hesitantly touching my hand -
your tongue
one lick at my fingers.

I held out my hand
to shake in agreement.
My hand
your paw.

Now, together we walk
the sidewalks of life
taking head on
whatever finds us.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 4
My Lesson On Our Walk

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I took a walk with Him today.
Explained my sins along the way.
I had excuses for each one,
and felt so good when I was done.

For each excuse I had to give,
He showed me how I should have lived.
For each was lame, I had to say,
but hoped that I'd get by today.

For every lie I told, He cried,
for that is what He'd not abide.
For every sin I did today,
was one more pound I had to pay.

The thoughts, impure, He saw right through
and told me what I had to do
to make amends, and carry on
a child of God, not Satan's pawn.

I listened close to what He said,
I wanted so much to be led
back to the path He'd bled for me,
to feel my soul, once more, be free.

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

Chapter 5
Side by Side

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We waddle, waddle, quack and quack,
we're side by side, he has my back.
He is my buddy, he's my friend,
we'll have adventures 'round the bend.

He chases off the biggest dogs,
and pecks at bugs under the logs.
He tells me if there's someone near,
he chases them and pecks their rear.

We have more puddles yet to see
as he walks side by side with me.
We jump right in and splash and splish
'til water's gone - oops, there's no fish!

But that's okay, he shares my lunch.
He loves my crust, I have a bunch.
So side by side we waddle on
we'll start again at break of dawn.

Author Notes Linda Bickston thank you for permission to use your picture.

I saw the picture and it begged to have a poem.

Chapter 6
Ben and Sam

By Barb Hensongispsaca

'Cause Ben and Sam were best of friends,
that friendship stayed until the end.
Wherever Ben went, Sam would go.
They'd rob a bank and then lay low.

With six guns blazing, they'd walk out
with all the money, there's no doubt.
They'd visit bars, ride horses, too.
They loved to dare and try things new.

They shot some Indians just for fun,
then rode into the setting sun.
Now, they would fight whom they would meet
and had noon showdowns on the street.

Through floods and storms when they did blow
they drove a herd to Buffalo.
They always helped out with the chores
then ate their grub and wanted more.

Their homework done by lantern light
then off to bed when it was night.
Their ponies were of finest wood
hand carved by Dad - they were so good.

They were best friends, stood side by side
had antics known both far and wide.
They always got into a fix
'cause Ben and Sam were only six.

Author Notes Please don't find offence in some of the cowboy antics, because this is the way I remember playing Cowboys and Indians. Let me be a child.

Daphne Oberon thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 7
Stay One More Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I've lost you, now what do I do?
I feel so empty without you.
Though you are right here by my side
and always are my blushing bride,
you're slowly slipping far away,
I hold your hand and beg you stay.

Another man? That's not the case.
There's something else that takes my place.
A malady that takes your mind,
then plays with it, leaves it behind.
Your mind now plays cruel tricks on you
and you're not sure what is not true.

Though most times you are here but then,
sometimes you drift away again
to places only seen by you,
Come back to me, I'll lead you through.
Return my love, I beg you stay -
be with me for just one more day.

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

Chapter 8
It's More Than A Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Three years ago today
I got the news
that I had six months
left in this world.

A birthday present
I would never forget
for the rest of my life ...
that's funny.

But God had other plans
for this sinner,
this lump of clay,
this weak child.

He waved His arm
this weak child
started to learn how to appreciate
what was soon to be gone.

This weak child learned how
to reach out to others,
to raise her voice to be heard,
to witness in places no one would go.

It is my birthday
all 71 years of past lives
that have taken me from
darkness in the pits of hell,
to the sunshine of His love.

Those six months
have stretched into three years
and a path I never expected
to a promise to reach out
to those that may not understand.

Celebrate with me
not only my 71 years of existence
but also a love that is unconditional
except that we just believe.

Author Notes Lucas Sizov thank you for permission to use your picture.

Mark 4: 30-32
30 Then He said, ??To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.??

Matthew 17:20 - And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Chapter 9
Quiz #9 - Barb Henson

By Barb Hensongispsaca

1.) Do you collect anything? I was told I collect cats, rescues to be exact, but in fact I think they collect me. But for real, I collect candles and candle snuffers. I don't get to really use them because cats and candles don't go well together. But I have gotten pretty good at making my own.

2.) Would you rather hear the good news first or the bad? Oh, definitely, let's get the bad out of the way, then the good seems extra good. Right?

3.) If you had to give up one thing of these for the rest of your life, would it be brushing your hair or brushing your teeth? I would definitely give up brushing my hair, but first I would get it cut real short so I would not have to wonder what it looks like. I have to have something to take away that morning breath. LOL

4.) Would you rather go into the past and meet your ancestors or go into the future and meet your great-great grandchildren? I am old enough to be one of my ancestors so I think I would love to go forward into time and meet the future little me's. OH, dear, maybe not.

5.) Are you related (or distantly related) to anyone famous? I am related to the original Adam and Eve and have caused trouble ever since. Just a chip off the old block. LOL

6.) How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? I would say about a half hour, because I have three, four-legged critters that make life interresting. Expecially when they try to rearrange my hair as I brush it, swat at the water as it runs into the sink, and play in my clothes I lay on the bed.

7.) If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? Because of my promise to God, it would have to be : Reaching Just One More

Author Notes Thank you Robyn Corum for another quiz for us to do and get to know one another.

Author's Notes:

To participate -- Instructions:
1.) Copy these questions into a new post.
2.) Erase my answers and add your own in place of the BOLDED words
3.) Title your piece with Quiz #9 and YOUR NAME/pseudonym
3.) Add your own artwork
4.) Promote, if you like
5.) Wait for the next quiz! *smile*

Chapter 10
He Took It All

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Am I done?"
"Come my Son!"

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

Chapter 11
There's Always That One

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There's always one that has to be
a little off the monkey tree.
He travels on a separate plane
and soon becomes a royal pain.

The opposite is what he does
to make a statement ... just because.
His tongue comes out while others smile
he never listens all the while.

While others move, he just plays out -
he'll jump ad wiggle, dance and shout.
Though he will smile when others frown -
his Mama loves her little clown.

Author Notes This is my response to the 'picture this' challenge. Come and join us in the fun of writing in a club or two. Find them under 'social' in the headings.

Chapter 12
My Alphie

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Alphie is a vicious thing,
he has this complex ... thinks he's king.
He meets the mailman at the door
then frightens him down to his core.

When Alphie runs him up a tree,
he drops all letters instantly.
Then Alphie stands and stomps his paws.
The mailman grabs his phone to call.

The firemen quickly come from town,
move Alphie off to get him down.
The dog just sits and watches that
'cause he knows Alphie's just a cat.

Author Notes Dick Lee Shia thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 13
Where Do Animals Live?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Oh, Mommy, where do camels live?"
"They live where it is hot.
They store some water in their humps
for when they need a lot."

"Oh, Mommy, where do lions live?"
"They live in Africa.
They eat and sleep from dawn to dusk,
like living in a spa."

"Oh, Mommy, where are kangaroos?"
"Australia they call home.
They raise their babies in a pouch,
protecting while they roam."

"Oh, Mommy, tell me where are whales?"
"They live under the sea.
They like to swim around all day,
eat krill and just feel free."

"Oh, Mommy, look at all the bees
out playing in the field."
"They'll carry pollen to their hive
to share their special meal."

"Oh, Mommy, where do squirrels live?"
"They live up in the trees.
They store their food for winter there ...
some berries, nuts and seeds."

"Oh, Mommy, look, a butterfly.
Do they live around here?"
"They flit around 'most of the day
to give us lots of cheer."

"Oh, Mommy, there's a little bird.
Is there a nest nearby?"
"She might have babies she will feed,
let's listen for their cry."

"Oh, Mommy, where are seals today?"
"They live where there is ice.
They love to slide on snow all day,
and swim when it is nice."

"Oh, Mommy, where do rabbits live?"
"In burrows in the ground.
They love to eat a garden bare
of lettuce growing 'round."

"Oh, Mommy, where do monkeys live?"
"High up in tow'ring trees.
Away from danger, they can play
cooled off by summer's breeze."

"Oh, thank you, Mommy, I love you."
"I love you, too, my son.
Well, let's race back to where we live.
Now, hasn't that been fun?"

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

Chapter 14
All He Asks

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We have a life we think is hard
and no one seems to hear our plea,
when all we want to do is run,
that's when He says 'just come to Me'.

Our plans go wrong and all seems lost,
we get so mad, we feel angry.
We want to hit and fuss and yell,
that's when He says 'just come to Me'.

We have a loss that we can't bare,
that's brought us crying to our knees.
We need a way to stop this hurt,
that's when He says 'just come to Me'.

Our burdens seem to weigh a ton,
a way out there just can not be.
We have a Friend who'll lift the load,
that's when He says 'just come to Me'.

We feel alone, no one to care,
we're lost in our own destiny.
Our future's dim, there's no one there,
that's when He says 'just come to Me'.

We toss and turn, our bodies raw,
we cry in pain, pure agony.
We feel no one can understand,
that's when He says 'just come to Me'.

He knows our pain, our loss, our hurt
and He's the only one that sees,
He's been the path that now we trod,
that's why He says 'just come to Me'.

He'll give us peace and calm our soul
'cause He's the One to set us free -
and all He asks is just one thing,
give up your sins and 'come to Me'.

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

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Chapter 15
It Lives In Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It lives
inside of me,
waits to collect its fee,
never allows me to feel free ...

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

Chapter 16
Her Gift to Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Mom waited years to be with Dad,
the only love she'd ever had.
I hoped that she had found her peace,
that fin'lly all her pain would cease.

Her mind was gone before she died.
Went through her things as on I cried.
I needed just to know her plight,
I had to know she was alright.

My answers came the next full day,
I woke that morning, feeling grey.
A miracle beset my eyes ...
a smile would then replace my cries.

A card'nal met my morning sight,
he tapped the window, then took flight.
He came each morning for a week,
he'd tap a message with his beak.

The card'nal was Mom's favorite bird.
She'd call them 'til they finally heard.
Then, one by one, they'd fly to her.
This was a sign, for that I'm sure.

I never had to worry more,
my Mom had let me know the score.
She was with Dad and was okay,
my Mom told me - she'd found a way.

Author Notes This is my response to the challenge found under 'club' in the 'social' heading. We are given a picture and we write what that picture says to us. The challenges are for everyone, come find one you would have fun writing with.

Chapter 17
Plan B

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We think our plans are always best,
we lay them out, they pass our test.
We work them out from one to ten,
then double check them all again.

But what about the ones that fail?
The ship is launched, but does not sail.
The best laid plans turn upside-down -
the ship has sunk, the dreams have drowned.

'Cause inside-out, it does not look
like plans we made, our thoughts are shook.
So now, we figure what to do ...
but do we sink or see it through?

Self pity does this victim play?
or can I find another way?
Because there's always a plan B
and that distinguishes your chi.

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

Don't give up if something does not work out, there is always another way if we think about it.

chi - noun (2), often capitalized. Variants: or ch'i or less commonly qi. Definition of chi : vital energy that is held to animate the body internally and is of central importance in some Eastern systems of medical treatment (such as acupuncture) and of exercise or self-defense (such as tai chi)

Chapter 18
My Special Gift

By Barb Hensongispsaca

As you slumber in the peaceful quiet,
dreaming thoughts of pure contentment -
unicorns and butterflies,
I touch your tiny hand.
Feel my love for you.
I am so proud
God granted
my wish ...

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

I keep forgetting to keep the challenge going of writing a nonet on the days that have nine in them, so here is my offering.

Chapter 19
Too Much TV?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Mommy, Mommy, come and see -
it just got finished chasing me!
I ran home fast, I did not stop.
My legs are tired, I thought I'd drop.

It's fangs were dripping bright red blood,
it was so big it's steps would thud.
It's claws reached out to grab for me.
Oh, Mommy, Mommy, come and see.

It smelled like death, I heard it howl.
It's hot, sick breath smelled awfully foul.
I tried to look, it's eyes blazed red.
It glared at me, it wanted fed.

It had long fur and real sharp claws,
it was a werewolf that I saw.
I screamed and ran 'cause it chased me.
Oh, Mommy, Mommy, come and see.

I know exactly what I saw,
it had sharp teeth and ten feet tall.
It's hiding out there in the fog.
No, that's not it, that's Jake my dog!

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

Chapter 20
The Waiting is Over

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I blinked my eyes and you became an angel's broken wings.
You now soar through the stardust where the heavenly choir sings.
I know God wished for your return to sing with angels there;
but, know I need you here with me, my soul is open ... bare.

God stood beside us when we met and led us on in life,
He held us close while on we walked through troubles and through strife.
He blessed our union with His love and showed us both His way.
Then through His grace He brought us here. I'll join you, dear, today.

You took my sunshine home with you, my only will to live.
I gave you all my heart and soul, I've nothing left to give.
You took with you my present, then my future, now my past.
My soul is broken, no repair, there's now no love to last.

I've cried my soul now dry of tears, I've no where else to go.
I never got to say 'goodbye' or that I loved you so.
My life, my love, belongs to you, this broken shell can't heal.
I care for nothing in this life, I never want to feel.

No other woman fills your place, I pine to hear your voice.
I know my time on Earth is short and that is my own choice.
The doctor says I'm healthy, but my heart just broke in two.
My will is gone, my days are done, I come to be with you.

Please wait for me, my dearest one, tonight we'll meet again.
I'll hold you close, we'll dance the stars ... that's where I've always been.
For now, my dearest darling, I will soar with you tonight,
and hold you for forever in love's wonderous delight.

Author Notes I keep reading about the occurrences where the husband or wife dies and then the spouse dies shortly after of no apparent reason but a broken heart.

Wolfdancer13 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 21
If I Didn't Need You So Bad ...

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am so angry at you 'cause you really tick my mind.
You try so hard to irritate, my nerves you do unwind.

You are so very noisy and just way too loud to boot.
You love to grate upon my mind 'cause you are just a brute.

You never let me rest in peace, you have to nag and nag.
Your constant monotone voice has become a nightmare drag.

You're always there reminding me of days I have to work,
I never get to sleep late because you are just a jerk.

I loved to look upon your face, the first thing that I'd see,
but now I'm just so tired and I need some time for me.

You always keep me on the edge, so all my freedom's gone.
You rule my life, decide for me, I feel just like your pawn.

I am fed up with all you do, I really want you out.
I think you really love your job, but I don't, there's no doubt.

You used to be so helpful, but somewhere you really changed,
'cause all of my priorities you've finally rearranged.

I thought I fin'lly broke you when I bopped you on your head;
but, truthfully, my dearest friend, I just wish you were dead.

You used to be so very cute, but you lost all your charm.
I just don't want to hear you now, you screech with your alarm.

For now I know I'm stuck with you, I really need a clock.
But be aware before I die, I'll hit you with a rock.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

No I am not about to commit murder. If you did not guess, it is about my alarm clock.

Chapter 22
Keep Busy

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You sit too long and think too hard,
the devil moseys in,
and starts to feed your mind with lies
and opens doors to sin.

Your mind will think of unsaid thoughts
that may lead you astray,
then 'fore you know it you are lost
and can not find your way.

Since idle thoughts give rise to fears,
depression and the lot,
keep satan at arm's length away -
hang on to what you've got.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 23
A Kitten's Life

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Soon she will be home again,
doesn't know where all I've been.

Went to sleep upon her bed,
did enjoy the nice soft spread.

Ate leftovers from the sink,
used the toilet for a drink.

Toilet paper's 'cross the floor
all the way to the back door.

Dialed the phone, called Timbuktu.
'Talked' at least an hour or two.

Flirted with the cat outside.
Found new places I can hide.

Hit the button for TV.
Drank her special cup of tea.

Sniffed the ashes in the tray -
sneezed and they blew e'er which way.

After I played in the dirt,
took a nap on her silk shirt.

Rode the curtains to the floor,
put a scratch on the front door.

Chased the dog under the bed,
scratched his nose ... things now are red.

Chewed upon her leather shoe,
then ran out of things to do.

Oops, now there's a broken cup.
She'll come home and blame the pup.

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

Chapter 24
I Saw It Happen

By Barb Hensongispsaca

In my dream
I saw a
treeless world
hot and
devoid of shade.

I cry
because the trees
are disappearing
faster than
are replaced.

It takes so long
for a tree to grow
to furnish
train ties
and yet it is
being wasted.

being used instead of

Mistakes on paper
and the whole piece
is thrown away
in frustration.

Books being burned
or discarded
because now they are
politically incorrect.

Paper can be recycled,
saved for our future -
our children's future,
the animal's future.

Author Notes iPhone7 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is my response to the challenge to write a free verse poem on the topic 'paper'. Join us in some writing fun or find a different club to write with under the heading 'social'.

Chapter 25
Nature's Sculpture

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Clouds slowly moving
size and shape changed by the wind ...
original art.

Author Notes cakemp55 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 26
He Hears All Cries

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When animals cry -
God listens ...
He hears our pleas, too.

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

Chapter 27
If Only

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I walked a special path last night
to follow Jesus life.
It took me over many miles
through sorrow and through strife.

I watched the Master as He walked
with those in misery.
He raised the dead, the blind He healed,
oppressed - He helped them see.

I saw Him feed the thousands with
a fish and loaf of bread.
I traveled with His 'flock of sheep' -
we followed as He led.

I watched Him as He had the children,
come and sit with Him.
I saw Him take an empty jar
and fill it to the brim.

I saw the miracles He did
and heard His stories, too.
I saw the Sea of Galilee
where Peter's faith renewed.

I reached my hand to touch His hem
and felt its healing flow.
I saw Him stop a crowd with stones
as they were poised to throw.

He taught the scribes and Pharasies
just like He's teaching me.
He showed the way to all of us
to be who we should be.

I saw the donkey Mary rode
to fill the prophecy,
and then the one that Jesus rode
before He died for me.

I felt the burning sand He felt
fall in around His toes.
I watched my Lord defeat the cross
to vanquish all our foes.

I walked the path that Jesus trod
through mountains, valleys, streams.
I saw the sights so wonderous,
though only in my dreams.

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

At one a.m. this morning, I could not sleep for dreams of Jesus and His travels. This begged to be written.

Chapter 28
Road Kill

By Barb Hensongispsaca

unmistakable odor
signaling vultures.

Author Notes This is one for my grandson that told me I could not write something on road kill. Blame him. His name is Logan.

supergold thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 29
Love's Last Petal

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We have danced life's waltz together
through trials and memories.
We started when we said our vows
together on our knees.

You've been right there beside me as
we wed through God's own grace.
I know you're slowly leaving me -
I see it in your face.

Most times you laugh and carry on,
but then you slip away
into a place I can not go ...
a wall is in the way.

You are the rose I can not touch
as petals start to fall,
and when the last one hits the ground,
you will complete that wall.

I wish it was another man
'cause then I could compete.
It hurts to see you drift away -
someday 'twill be complete.

Each day I'll fight - reminding you
that I am always here.
Each time you smile I know I've won
a few more days, my dear.

Author Notes Suhani Ritu Swaytank thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 30
Thoughts at Harvest

By Barb Hensongispsaca

All farmers put in sweat and tears
as they watch all they planned
grow strong or wither on the vine
while nurturing their land.

When comes the time of harvesting
they know by sight and smell
if all their work has then paid off
or if things aren't so well.

My Mom would walk the fields before
the time of reaping came,
the timing of the harvesting
could never be the same.

It had to do with moisture count,
the ripeness of the yield,
the taste and look of every seed
in each and every field.

The look on Mama's face would tell
outcome and the reason.
'Cause it would be as furrowed as
the field for that season.

Author Notes LisaMay thank you for the challenge. She gave me the statement of 'Farmer's faces can often be as furrowed as their fields some seasons'.
I just had to do it for her.

Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 31
I Am Master of My House

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am the master of my house
I love to play all day.
I start my routine dead of night
so don't get in my way.

I first jump on the window sill
and knock the flowers down.
The dirt is fun to push around
it paints the carpet brown.

I chase the shadows on the wall,
drag stuffing from the chair.
I soak towels in the water dish
and drag them here and there.

I toss my play mice in the air
then hide them in a shoe.
I shred the toilet paper roll
'cause that is what I do.

I love to sneak up on the dog
while he is having dreams.
He jumps and yelps and runs away.
He's skittish - so it seems.

I might upset my cat food bowl
if I don't like what's served.
I ride a rug into a wall ...
just haven't mastered curves.

I push the change off counter tops
and play with curtain cords
'til all the blinds are out of line -
I'm never really bored.

I accidentally take a bath
when toilet lid's not down.
So then I have to dry myself
on Mama's best nightgown.

I pull some pictures off the wall
'tis really quite a game.
But, after they fall on the floor
they don't quite look the same.

I love to run across the bed
it makes my Mama scream.
But when I find the catnip I
just have to let off steam.

I am a cat so hear me roar,
but let me cuddle near.
'Cause even though I make a mess,
I love you - have no fear.

Author Notes Let me introduce you to FU, pronounced FU, spelled FU.
He belongs to the neighbor and owns the house.

Chapter 32

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The sound of the waves
opens a path to my soul,
releasing deep thoughts
where memories long buried
make tears of unknown reason.

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

My mood for the day.

Chapter 33
Lambs and Wolves

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I saw it on the internet, was sent for me to see.
A message that gave me some hope and given just for me.

It stated how conniving was the devil in his way,
and how he tricks our minds to feel that we're not led astray.

He's very sneaky how he leads us down his evil path.
Though we don't know it at the time, we're headed toward his wrath.

He sugar coats his messages and sweetens up his lies,
'til we believe all that he says and for him we would die.

He brings us wolves dressed up as sheep and lets them run amok,
they promise us their hidden lies and ways to change our luck.

But we have God upon our side the devil does forget,
and He does not let go of us, His plans are truly set.

For inside all God's loving lambs who follow at His feet,
are lions holding Satan back, controlling evil's heat.

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

Chapter 34
Hiding the Pain

By Barb Hensongispsaca

What one do I put on today?
Do I display my one true side?
Or do I falsify my fears
as feelings I must try to hide?

Should everyone see burning tears,
my weaknesses displayed for all?
Or do I wear a mask of joy
as I construct my obscure wall?

Can I hold back emotions harsh
that I must keep from others sight?
No questions, pity or advice
can help me think that all is right.

I have so many masks, 'tis true.
They're mounting up in one huge pile.
I guess there's one 'twill have to do ...
'cause everybody likes a smile.

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

Chapter 35
Memories, All That's Left

By Barb Hensongispsaca

This picture sent is all I've got
to mark his grave, his resting spot.
There was no time to bring him back,
'war must go on', that was the fact.

The last I heard he was so proud,
protecting us is what he vowed.
I still recall that mournful sound -
the train that took him Europe bound.

If I think hard I still can see
his smiling face shining for me.
His life is gone but he lives on
in faces of his daughter, son.

He fought for us and there he died,
with many friends whose families cried.
But proud we were and proud we'll be
'cause these boys fought to keep us free.

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

Chapter 36
Unseen Beauty

By Barb Hensongispsaca

In the dark stillness
the ocean's depths teem with life
and quiet beauty.

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

Chapter 37
Pure Love

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When Jesus came to die for our sins, He did it out of love so we could win.

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

Chapter 38

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My heart tells me where I will live
when life is done. I am so tired.
My pain transects what I must give,
it keeps my sanity unwired.

I have a mansion saved for me.
He promised me, He gave His word.
I do not know what kind 'twill be,
but made of gold is what I heard.

I use my mansion even now -
it helps me bear my troubling pain.
I know you're wondering just how -
'cause I'm not dead, what's there to gain?

Sometimes when sleep won't come - 'tis rare,
I picture how my mansion's done.
I move things here and put things there,
my mind lets go and sleep will come.

My pain sometimes rates at a 'ten'
when silent screams make breathing hard.
Reality then starts to end
and all good thoughts are very marred.

That's when my mansion comes in view,
I close my eyes, my pain subsides.
Now listen to just what I do -
I picture where I will abide.

I concentrate on what I see -
each room, each treasure in its spot.
I try to let my mind run free
and rearrange all things I've got.

My mind moves each with tender care,
I clean each spot as harsh pain looms,
move one thing here, throw something there.
I picture what's in every room.

I shove the feel of pain aside,
replace it with each move I make -
remodeling ... my pain's my guide.
My mind tricks pain for my own sake.

If pain's at 'two' I sit and read,
but as the pain takes its control,
and on my mind it starts to feed,
remodeling becomes my goal.

Author Notes Two people asked for this and it had been a long time since I first wrote this, so I redid it, hopefully making it better. This explains my reference to my mansion in some of my pieces.

John 14:2
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

AndreThreeThou thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 39
The Touch of Music

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Whenever I feel tense inside,
and all is troub'ling me,
I touch the inner joy of song
e'en though a bit off key,
'cause music calms the savage beast
and sets the spirit free.

I can not help but dance along
and feel my body sway.
The tension starts to melt with ease
and troubles melt away.
I feel relaxed and then I know
I can take on the day.

Before I know it, I can twist,
space walk and rhumba, too.
I pony and I swim with ease
there's nothing I can't do.
The cats may think I've lost my mind ...
but I'm no longer blue!

Author Notes Thank goodness only the cats know.

Chapter 40
The Morning Surprise

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I woke this morning to the smell of bacon in my dream.
It overpowered need for sleep, the smell just fairly screamed.

I tried to fall asleep again my dream waited for me.
Another thought came bowling through - I must get up to pee.

The neighbor's breakfast bacon ruled, but I had naught to cook.
I put a pot of coffee on then got my fav'rite book.

I walked outside enjoying life, 'cause Spring was in the air.
I turned the corner just to find a large skunk standing there.

I backed away so very slow but saw my fate that day.
The neighbor's dog had jumped the fence, was running up to play.

My feet could not move fast enough, that tail went in the air.
The skunk sprayed both the dog and me then turned around with flair.

I heard the neighbor screaming as his dog ran in the house.
I struggled to take in a breath - I screamed to wake my spouse.

My dear threw me tomato juice then closed and locked the door.
Oh, what a trooper, I thought while under my breath I swore.

My cold bath of tomato juice - it really did the trick.
I guess the neighbor had a mess 'cause everyone got sick.

But one good thing I realized as neighbors yelled and raved.
The thought of having bacon was just not a thing I craved.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

I found this Mom's old pieces and though you might enjoy. Her love of bacon rules everything.

Chapter 41
Be Precise in What You Wish For

By Barb Hensongispsaca

(The Gypsy Queen)

I am the Gypsy Queen you seek.
Come forward now, don't be so meek.
You tell old Hazel what you want
and then I'll be off on my hunt.

You say you can not catch a man
and want some changes if I can.
Some little nips, some random tucks -
it will cost you a few odd bucks.

Specifics, please, and be precise
so I don't have to gather twice.
An eye of newt instead of snail
will give you an unwanted tail.


I want a bod that all males want
and be athletic for the hunt.
I want them all to fawn o'er me
'cause I'm the best they'll ever see.

I want long legs 'cause that they love
and hips they'll see from high above.
A face that shines and brown doe eyes
to get them hooked and mesmerized.

I need a figure long and lean
with skin so soft that has a sheen.
I want those studs to know their luck
and I can pick one strapping buck.

I am a little old, for sure.
I know, for that, you have a cure.
So do your nips and do your tucks.
I want to love those nice young bucks.

(The Gypsy Queen)

A spider's web, a pumpkin's soul,
a mouse's heart, a bullet's hole,
an eye of newt and wings of bat,
a pinch of salt and that is that.

Now drink it all, don't hesitate.
It's in your hands what e'er's your fate.
Why do you look so shocked, my dear?
You'll look quite stunning, never fear.

Oh, good, it's working ... there you are!
You're just like Bambi, you're a star.
There's not a buck that can resist
your given charms, they can not miss.

Your legs are long so they'll run fast.
You'll keep bucks running to the last.
Your behind has a nice white flair.
I added fur so you're not bare.

Your hooves will tap dance round their hearts,
they'll be your studs right from the start.
Your bod will sashay to and fro.
Here come the bucks, you'd better go!

Author Notes Just a word, Mom's eyes are too sensitive so I am here a little longer. I told her what the picture was and I had the honor to work with her as she did this one.

Chapter 42

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Just because you can
does not mean that you have to -
consequences hurt.

This goes for all things
from theft, smoking, or killing -
consequences hurt.

That lie you tell now
just because you think you can -
will come back to bite.

That item you want
and take it just 'cause you can -
someday will taste bad.

'Think before you leap'
is always some good advice -
in the end, who hurts?

Just because you can
does not mean that you have to -
consequences hurt.

Author Notes LittleBogie 007 thank you for permission to use your picture.

My 5-7-5 got carried away into a lecture, one of my faults, my children say.

Chapter 43
A Scary Combination

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Mix moonlight, branches,
slight breeze, imagination -
the night terrors start.

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

Chapter 44
Age Changed Thinking

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Yesterday I lived for what I wanted just for me -
Today I live for tomorrow to see the world free.

Author Notes Linda Bickston thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 45
I Need His Peace

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I see the fighting that goes on,
each day the news tells more.
Excuses made as killings mount -
no peace among the gore.

"It's 'cause he's black!" "It's 'cause he's white!"
The protests bring more hate.
Cartoons are banned and history's blocked ...
no sign it will abate.

Soon laughter will not be allowed
'cause signs of times have come,
and common sense will be no more
though we all hope for some.

The picture of the gentle lamb
as it puts 'way its fear
to walk beside the mighty lion,
could never be more clear.

God promised this in His new world
that we all hope to see,
and we know that we'll walk with them
in peace and harmony.

This makes me wonder why today
man can't walk side by side
to work as friends for good of man
all while in peace abide.

Author Notes Raoul D'Harmental thank you for permission to us your picture.

Chapter 46
Sleep in Peace

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Sleep, my little one, with unicorns
and teddy bears, with fuzzy ducks
and smiling cats, dream in peace
and bounce on fluffy clouds -
float on to dreamland
as the angels
protect you
while you

Author Notes My nonet for the nines.

Linda Bickston thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 47
A New Way

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My sweetest little angel boy has a daily mission,
he needs to spread a million germs, that's his one ambition.

He bustles in at dinner time all ready for his meal.
He grabs his food with grubby hands, "My son, are you for real?"

I tell him to go wash his hands before he handles food.
I try to teach him better ways, why does he act so crude?

He takes his hand to wipe his nose, then opens up the drawers.
I think he had forgotten what the Kleenex are made for.

He sneezes with an open mouth, and coughs just like that, too.
I warn him that he's spreading germs ... and then I get the flu.

The stores are getting very rich on everything I buy -
from wipes to sprays to scrubbing tools, there's nothing I won't try.

But I have spent a fortune buying masks for him to wear
'cause every time I look at him it's gone, his face is bare.

I have to keep reminding him, to wear his purple mask.
You'd think I asked 'Go clean the barn!' by mentioning this task.

It's hidden in the sandbox or up in the tall oak tree
he says he can not talk with it and others can not see.

Reminding him to stay six feet away from everyone
is tiring 'cause it's all the time I'm lecturing my son.

It's hard to tell each child apart unless I yell their name,
except for mine, whose mask is gone, each child now looks the same.

I follow him along his path and clean each step he takes,
he is my walking petri dish ...destruction in his wake.

Author Notes Raoul D'Harmental thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 48
We All Regret

By Barb Hensongispsaca

All children regret,
when both their parents are gone,
things they could have done.

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

Sometimes I think back to things I would have done differently if I had the chance with my parents again.

Chapter 49
A Reason To Go On

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I've waited many years for you
please come into my arms.
I picked you over all the rest
because of your fine charms.

I need someone to stand by me
through trials that life may bring.
I want someone to share my tears
and teach my soul to sing.

My loneliness has brought me down,
my life's an empty shell.
My tears of blood have all dried now,
please, lead me from this hell.

You'll show me how to laugh and play,
to learn to live again.
My heartache I can put aside,
I have too much to gain.

I'm here to take you from this place
and move you in with me.
I've plenty room for all your things -
give me a chance ... you'll see.

I know the final pick is yours
but I will do my best
to make you happy for all time -
I know I'll pass your test.

A little awkwardness at first,
but that will smooth right out.
I'll make you happy this I swear;
I can, please have no doubt.

So, let me put this leash on you
and we'll be on our way.
You'll be my dog, my family, too.
I know we'll be okay.

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

Chapter 50
Mama Said ... Save Your Fork

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When Mama cleared the table she
reminded us of one main thing -
to keep the eating things we'd need
when time for the desert she'd bring.

We never had the fancy ware -
two knives, three forks, and four odd spoons.
We only had one of each piece
for breakfast, supper, dinner noon.

So Mama'd say 'just keep your fork'
for pie or cake of rich design,
'cause she'd not bring another one
and no one else could borrow mine!

Deserts that Mom baked were so good,
what Mama baked could not be beat.
We knew when after dinner came
we'd keep our forks for special treats.

So 'keep your fork' became the rule
when Mama fixed the real good stuff.
We'd save some room for rich desert
and eat until we'd had enough.

Then 'keep your fork' became the cheer
when angels came to lead her on.
A new adventure, full of joy,
was her desert ... my Mom had won.

In life, remember, keep your fork
the very best is yet to come.
This life's on loan, when comes the time
for God's desert, just save me some.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.
We were farm people and had breakfast, dinner and supper.

Keep your fork, the best is yet to come.

An added note, Mom will be home tomorrow. She is doing great, able to walk with walking boot and arm cane which supports her wrist with the little fracture.


Chapter 51
All Belong

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You wonderful pointed crayons who outline things so well,
even all you that are now dull - used most, you're all so swell!

I'm not forgetting you short ones, (sacrificed in the fray)
and all you pretty colors, too, that paint my fine bouquet,

I want you to know how I feel as I color my art.
I think up what I want to draw, but you do the hard part.

Though some of you are so ugly, I use you just the same.
I don't dare forget you crayons that have a funny name.

If one of you is missing, I will try to hunt you down
'cause all of you are needed from pink salmon to dark brown.

You all come looking so diff'rent, none of you look the same;
but, still you exist together in that box that you came.

Now this could be a reminder for all getting along.
Remember that all are diff'rent, yet all of us are strong.

Even if we are black or white, yellow, purple or gold.
life should be a box of crayons, all welcome in the fold.

We're on this planet we call Earth, where no one needs to hide,
'cause God has made us all the same, not color - but inside.

And when we're lost, He looks for us, to put us in our 'seat'.
because when one is missing, the whole box is incomplete.

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

Notice in the top row, one is missing?

Chapter 52
I Work All Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have so much to do today,
but, where I'll start I cannot say.

The fence needs mending, that's a fact.
The list of parts must be exact.

I have to break some horses, too,
and brand some cows. What should I do?

I have to move that lonesome herd,
then with the cowhands, have a word.

I need to build a shed for Ma
and patch the open roof for Pa.

The well needs checked and cleaned real soon.
The garden needs be done 'fore noon.

The trip to town is awf'lly long
so my supply list can't be wrong

The wagon needs repair today,
there are some bills I have to pay.

A cowboy's work is never done
'cause I still work from sun to sun.

I eat my grub, three times a day
so I'll stay strong to bale the hay.

But Mommy says, "Don't fret your head,
just say your prayers and go to bed."

My faithful hound, he sleeps with me
to keep me safe 'cause I'm just three.

Author Notes Daphne Oberon thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 53

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I spent my whole life
walking through the book of God
absorbing its words,
and now I know why, for now
the book of God walks through me.

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

Chapter 54
Love is Complete

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I love the right to be in love.
Love is what makes our lives complete.
Complete our lives and keep them right.
Right past death's door, again to meet.

Meet each new day with love's first kiss.
Kiss each night's closing with a sigh.
Sigh quietly in love's first touch.
Touch sunrise with a newborn high.

High and low, we work as one,
one life together, thick and thin.
Thin times ahead? We'll work them through.
Through rain or shine, our path we'll win.

Win in the end, we'll carry on,
on faith in God ... not ask Him why.
Why we survived each problem giv'n ...
given God's blessing - you and I.

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

When God is centered in your life, all is right in your world.

Chapter 55
Life Given Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

God gave me life one early morn,
but knew my path when I was born.
He knew right then what I would do
as I grew up to see life through.

I made mistakes along the way
to reach where I am at today.
I fought Him every step I took,
but He had my name in His book.

I still start prayers I say each night
with 'Lord, please help me put it right'.
Decisions that I make each day
reflect on what He wants to say.

An emissary, He made me
to try to help each person see
that He is here to keep His lambs
from being one of Satan's damned.

His road is hard, but that's His way
to show He's with us everyday.
We fall sometimes but He is there
with purest love and tender care.

An emissary, I dare you
to spread His word in all you do.
We're here because of sacrifice,
there's no excuse to e'er think twice.

Author Notes Evelyn and myself working the food bank at the community fair. He takes me where He wants me to go. I may go kicking and screaming, but I go.

Chapter 56
Last Minute Instruction

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Okay, it's time. Know what to do?
Let's rehearse now, practice is due.
You spiders get those thick webs spun
and cover all when you are done.

You bats, the belfry's where you hide,
then fly real low, stay side by side.
Where are the rats? The snakes are here.
We'll give our guests something to fear.

You worms hide in those special chairs
and when they sit come from your lair.
The owls are ready and in tune,
I sure wish we could get a lune.

You black cats go out front to meet
our visitors, and howl a greet.
I'll float around with chains and such,
this haunted house will be too much.

Come, my pretties, let's have some fun.
They will think twice when we are done.
They'll leave our happy home alone,
I think I'll go practice my moan.

Author Notes A Lune is a water foul that has a mournful cry, very haunting.

This is my offering for the picture this challenge. Come join the fun and be part of the challenges found under social in the heading.

Chapter 57
They Could Not Change Her

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Mama had to grow up fast
when she was just a kid,
the last of seven siblings, she
was watched what e'er she did.

She couldn't do a thing unless
they'd tell 'bout where she was.
They loved to make her mis'rable,
they'd do it just because.

My Mama used her books to leave
their teasing far behind.
The tales of Santa and his elves,
'bout how he was so kind.

Amazed at how the tooth fairy
could find a long lost tooth.
How Superman, with fists of steel,
could change clothes in a booth.

The Easter Bunny, once a year,
hid eggs for her to find.
The things that were impossible
would really blow her mind.

But soon her siblings told her that
the things she read weren't true -
no Easter Bunny, Santa Claus,
no chariots that flew.

They told her that her Bible books
were just some tales t'were told
by men that needed things to do
'cause they were getting old.

But Mama's faith in Santa Claus,
tooth fairies and the such,
would see her through the trials of life
'cause she believed so much.

There was one thing they could not change -
her faith in God above.
Through Him she learned to stand alone ...
relying on His love.

Her Bible stories in each book
were blessings, yes, each one.
They told of someone just like her
t'was teased though not in fun.

My Mama had a child's pure faith
and loved the tales they weaved.
Her siblings never got her down
'cause Mama still believed.

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

Chapter 58
One Leads to Another

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Nature's strict beauty
betrayed by man's careless trash -
all it takes is one.

Author Notes Dick Lee Shia thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 59
The Visitors

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I went to the door and what did I see?
Ten little goblins standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they screeched at me,
then ten little goblins grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

I went to the door and what did I see?
Nine little ghosts standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they moaned at me,
then nine little ghosts grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

I went to the door and what did I see?
Eight little pumpkins standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they smiled up at me,
then eight little pumpkins grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I went to the door and what did I see?
Seven little bats standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they flew around me,
then seven little bats grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

I went to the door and what did I see?
Six little angels standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they sang to me,
then six little angels grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4 5 6

I went to the door and what did I see?
Five little zombies standing at my knee ,
when all of a sudden they lurched at me,
then five little zombies grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4 5

I went to the door and what did I see?
Four little pirates standing at my knee ,
when all of a sudden they hobbled at me,
then four little pirates grabbed some candy.
1 2 3 4

I went to the door and what did I see?
Three little bears standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they growled at me,
then three little bears grabbed some candy.
1 2 3

I went to the door and what did I see?
Two little puppies standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden they yipped at me,
then two little puppies grabbed some candy.
1 2

I went to the door and what did I see?
One little pony standing at my knee,
when all of a sudden he whinnied at me,
then one little pony grabbed some candy.

I went to the door and what did I see?
No little faces staring back at me.

I turned off the light and went to bed.

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

Some places have trick or treat and some do not, but this will still be memorable for 2020. Please be safe and keep your children close.

Chapter 60
The Innocent

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Homeless children have no place to go.
Cast out, they have no place to hide.
Always hungry, lost, afraid.
Don't trust to call someone.
Made to feel like trash.
What could they do
to ever

Author Notes My offering for the nonet posted on the nine of each month.

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 61
What Do They Know?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My doctors say my pain is fake,
it's all inside my head.
But, when it really starts to rake
are times I truly dread.

It hurts to even hold my kids;
my skin, it feels on fire.
My forehead ached, it truly did.
My spine's a burning pyre.

Sometimes it hurts when I am touched,
the sheets will weigh a ton.
I miss my walking very much,
this malady has won.

I'm treated with so many pills,
my brain's on overload,
and still they say my pain is nil
advice so freely flowed.

I'm not so crazy as they say,
I know just what I feel.
It hurts to sit, it hurts to lay,
I know this pain is real.

It's now called 'Fibro' and it gives
a lot of hidden pain.
It's everyday and while it lives,
life's never whole again.

The nerve ends are on overdrive,
each touch is agony.
I feel I'm dead 'though still alive
'cause I am never free.

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

Doctors refused to listen to me for over 20 years as I tried to explain pain where there should be no pain for any reason. Eight years ago, my problem was finally given a name and I had something to work with. There is no cure. There are drugs that mask the symptoms and create a brainfog, as I call it. But there is no real cure. I found solace in a book - From Fatigued to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

Fibromyalgia is classed as a disorder of pain processing due to abnormalities in how pain signals are processed in the central nervous system.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medical condition characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Other symptoms include tiredness to a degree that normal activities are affected, sleep problems and troubles with memory. Some people also report restless legs syndrome, bowel or bladder problems, numbness and tingling and sensitivity to noise, lights or temperature. Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. Other types of chronic pain are also frequently present.

The diagnosis is fairly new and a lot of doctors refuse to believe symptoms and refer patients for mental help.

Chapter 62
He Touched Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He touched my heart when we first met,
and brought me peace I'll n'er forget.
He rocked my soul and gave it life
through future's storm and bitter strife.

My heart was colored by His thoughts
He shared with me through trials bought.
He taught my voice to sing again
which had been stilled from where it's been.

My feet learned how to dance on air,
He held my hand and took me where
the stars shined bright, I felt alive;
I moved on clouds, I found my drive.

He taught my eyes to see the good
in everything that breathed, I could
look past the ugliness they showed
and see the grace their lives bestowed.

He taught me how to hear beyond
the realm of sound to feel the bond
of what someone will try to say,
the words spring forth in special ways.

He fin'lly dug down deep within
and taught me how to live again.
He promised things I knew He'd keep
and stamped my soul as His ... complete.

I know He'll always be with me
and that His grace has set me free.
My heart's no longer black and white.
His love gave me tremendous sight.

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

Chapter 63

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My dearest friend, what kind of rut
do you find yourself in?
Is it the one of mundane days -
you don't know where you've been?

Or is it one where you can't find
what motivates you on?
You never want to leave your bed
when morning breaks the dawn.

Then what about the ruts still left
you find yourself stuck in -
the paths that others make for you
and you feel you can't win?

But what about the ruts you see
as on the road you travel?
You follow them to not get stuck
because they're hard as gravel.

A rut can be good or be bad
depending how you think.
God puts them in our winding path
so we can tow'r or sink.

We cry and moan or soar above,
the choice is what we make.
But know He walks beside us still,
gives only what we take.

And then that rut we found so hard,
becomes a path for those
that travel ways that we have trod
and suffer our past woes.

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

1 Corinthians 10:13 13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Chapter 64
Grace to Everyone

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

A blessing, promised from God,
using simple wording
that we understand,
telling us we are all chosen
to receive
His grace

'Grace' -
a simple elegance,
a courteous goodwill,
to give honor or credit to.

Divine 'grace' -
an influence to regenerate, sanctify,
to inspire virtual impulses,
to impart strength to endure and resist temptation.

Spiritual 'grace' -
God's gift to humanity
when Jesus died for our sins
securing salvation from our indiscretions.

Biblical 'grace' -
the love and mercy from God
not because we deserve it,
but because He wants us to have it.

Hebrew 'grace' -
to bend or stoop in kindness to another.

'Our' -
belonging to a group,
belonging to all as one,

'You all' -
the whole,
no one excluded,

'Lord Jesus Christ' -
Son of God,
Son of Man,
Bringer of Peace,
the Word.

'Amen' -
So be it,
it is so,
agreement sealed,
the Signature of God.

'The grace
of our
Lord Jesus Christ
be with you all.

Author Notes I know this is more of a list than free verse, but it is what came to me as statements of promise.

Revelation 22:21
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The last verse in the King James Version of the Bible.

VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 65
He Waits

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The shepherd keeps watch o'er his sheep,
against all dangers he will keep
his flock safe from the hungry jaws
of wolves that creep on silent paws.

Wolves have a taste for helpless sheep,
they're easy prey, no watch they keep.
They're quiet, meek and helpless, too.
An easy meal when he is through.

He picks the youngest and the weak
for them their future is quite bleak.
He's patient as he waits nearby
for weaker ones, 'cause they will die.

They never know where he will hide
'til he appears right by their side.
His fangs sink in then all is lost.
Their life is his at any cost.

But there's a shepherd always there
who gives such tender loving care.
If one of them will go astray
he'll search for them both night and day.

We are the sheep in Jesus' fold.
He is our shepherd, I am told
and since that's true, he will protect
we will not feel fangs in our neck.

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

Chapter 66
Comin' Through

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Bark! Bark!

The dog park! Wow, this is a treat!
Just let me loose and take a seat!
You'd best look out, I'm comin' through.
Oh, don't forget to grab that pooh.

Bark! Bark!

You'd better get out of my way,
I'm flying through, I plod and sway.
I'm sorry - thought you were a log
to hurdle over on my jog.

Bark! Bark!

Hey, Fluffy, come on, wait for me.
Let's do some sniffing 'neath that tree.
I ran too fast, I took a fall.
Won't someone, please, just throw a ball?

Bark! Bark!

A Frisbee, yeah, but that's too high.
How 'bout a drink? You're one swell guy!
Oh, wow, he slobbers and she drools,
while me, I'm just a dude that's cool.

Bark! Bark!

Nice treats, see I can wag my tail.
What's wrong with her? She sure can wail!
I see a squirrel we can chase!
Come on you guys, keep up the pace.

Bark! Bark!

What do you mean - I can not dig?
That's not a dog, he's way too big!
Now that one's cute and smells good, too.
I don't know her, she must be new.

Bark! Bark!

Hey, Shortie, just where have you been?
You look like me, I think we're kin!
I can not go, I'm not done yet!
There's still some dogs I have not met.

Bark! Bark!

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

Chapter 67
Stalkers Beware

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Debilitating was her fear, I felt so bad for her.
She lived her life in constant tears, her life was just a blur.
She lived each day just feeling sick, she worried all the time.
Her stalker took her life away, he was a piece of slime.

She wished him dead each day she woke, but she's not one to kill.
A predator like him should die, his stalking .was unreal.
She felt he stalked her night and day, would not leave her alone.
The sight of him would make her sick, and all she'd do was moan.

No matter where she tried to go, he'd always be right there.
His sight controlled her every thought -a terror filled nightmare.
I could not stand to watch her suffer more and more that way.
I'd end it here, I'd stop his life. I made my vow that day.

With viciousness I stalked him then, and watched his every move.
This pest was one the world won't miss after I once removed.
I vowed he would no longer hurt this one I call my friend
because I planned to bring his little world to one just end.

I guess he thought he trusted me, but he was unaware
until I caught him in my trap, he never saw my snare.
I took his life, I broke his back, I'm glad I made him pay.
The tears I shed, I could not stop, 'cause this was not my way.

No jury would convict me for this murder that I did.
So stalkers of this world beware, your type I plan to rid.
You stalkers better realize, you don't hurt friends of mine.
I bought a lot of mouse traps just to keep you all in line.

Author Notes I wrote one like this a few years ago and had to try to rewrite it again after I saw my granddaughter standing on the counter, screaming at a mouse eating crumbs on the floor.

MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 68
Christians Get Depressed, Too

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I know my Lord stands next to me,
but Satan's thoughts won't set me free.
This virus has me locked within,
in mem'ries, I review past sin.

I think of things I should have done,
of times I lost but could have won.
Mistakes I made but can't correct,
the life I had, but then I wrecked.

I have to clean my house today,
I have to know that I'm okay.
My brain's a fog I can not think,
I feel I'll die with every blink.

The tears don't stop, the feelings do.
I'm dead inside, lost through and through.
I don't feel love or hurt or pain,
my mind has tried to stop again.

I won't go out or talk to friends.
I only want my life to end.
There's no one can help me today,
I just want them to go away.

But I feel God stands next to me
and I know He won't let me be -
reminding me of His pure love
He leads me on with every shove.

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

Just because Christians belong to God, does not mean Satan does not use past sins and memories to flood their minds with depressing thoughts. That just means Christians have to fight extra hard to overcome feelings that try to ruin the soul. Satan will fight with all his power to reclaim one Christian ... but so will God.

Luke 15:3-7
King James Version
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Chapter 69
The Best Christmas Present

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The best
that you can give -

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

Chapter 70
Home To You

By Barb Hensongispsaca

That small white line that runs the road
and keeps me on my way,
will keep me straight, protecting me
while trav'ling long highways.

It stretches on forever as
it travels to and fro;
it roams around the mountains where
the glacier lilies grow.

It rambles down the backwoods through
the hills and through the vales;
it navigates the desert where
the lone wolf sadly wails.

It commutes through the city streets
and countryside as well;
it cruises 'round the lakes and streams
and through quaint little dells.

It winds across the prairie that's
so flat you see for miles;
and yet I feel in tune with it
while trav'ling all the while.

It treks beneath the star filled sky
that lends a peaceful light,
and hustles unfamiliar roads
to reach sought-after sights.

I've done a lot of journeying,
but now i think I'm through;
that white line is now bringing me
through travels back to you.

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

Chapter 71

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There has to be an easy way................writing po'ms from the hip -
to say all things you want to say................without making a slip.
Attempting to make meanings clear.........while speaking from the heart
so every reader clearly hears...................that's not an easy part!

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

This is a three in one poem that I like to try every once in awhile. The left side should stand alone as one poem. The right side should stand alone as another, Then the whole piece should read as a poem. Please let me know what you think.

Chapter 72
I Wait

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The waiting for him is much more than I think I can stand.
I yearn to see his smiling face, to touch his caring hand.

I need to hear his gentle voice and see his rad'iant smile,
I need to spend some time with him just for a little while.

He dare not ever, ever know how strongly that I feel
because the feelings that I have for him are very real.

My heart yearns deeply for his touch, his lips, his words, his eyes.
His manner is so passionate, quite caring and so wise.

His life is one that I'm not in, he is my dearest friend.
We laugh and joke as one each day, but love can not be penned.

My yearning just won't be at peace, my heart I must keep still ...
but there are times that I still wish our feelings could be real.

We drink our coffee as we laugh, embrace as we then part -
he does not know and I won't tell that he controls my heart.

This secret is all that I have, all that I can allow.
I must go on and hide my thoughts, my yearnings now somehow.

I watch him as he leaves my side, then sorrow strikes again.
I force a smile and wave goodbye 'til next we meet and then ...

we'll sit for coffee and some laughs for just a little while,
where I will hide my love again masked with a friendly smile.

Someday, will I be brave enough to tell him how I feel?
I know that if that day arrives, my fate will then be sealed.

I'm so afraid that if I say, then maybe he'll want more.
I'm more afraid to find he won't, this man that I adore.

You see, he's marrying my friend, his life is set in stone.
I wave goodbye until next time, then on I walk alone.

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

Chapter 73
We Need To Focus

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We've had our fights, our squabbles, too,
both big and small, that's what we do.
We're human, so what's more to say,
we'll disagree both night and day.

Politically, we need remember,
our focused fight ended November.
Some feelings hurt, some pride released,
now animosity must cease.

Our country - ravaged, our turmoil passed,
we need to build on hope to last.
Our fear will tear this place apart,
we need to ... have to ... build with heart.

Chapter 74
Love's Test

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Your mind is gone and you can't breathe;
you're so confused you start to seethe.
Your head is fogged, your eyesight dim,
you start to giggle on a whim.

Now nothing seems to feel the same,
you can't remember your own name.
Your stomach heaves, your chest does too.
You're lost and don't know what to do.

You hear but you don't understand.
You swallow but it feels like sand.
You try to talk but there's no sound;
you feel you're floating off the ground.

All sights and sounds will move slow mo
your heart is tossed first to then fro.
Soon butterflies will flutter by
and bees will buzz so loud you'll cry.

You first feel cold and then feel hot,
you think you're dying, but you're not.
So flustered, you have turned beet red
and still don't know just what you said.

You speak and words all come out wrong,
you wish you'd kept still all along.
You feel so lost, you act the fool,
you feel like you were back in school.

You know what's wrong? I'll tell you true.
You're acting just like all men do...
your heart's found where it wants to nest
and now you know you're in love's test.

Author Notes I was watching a Jerry Lewis movie and he fell in love for the first time. It was so cute, I had to write this.

VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 75
Today is Past

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Please, dance me into tomorrow
on the mem'ries of yesterday,
as we pledge our hopes vows right now.
We renew our loves trust today.

On the mem'ries of yesterday
we release our 'two' to form 'one'.
We renew our loves trust today
as we forgive mistakes we've done.

We release our 'two' to form 'one'.
Now we hold our mistrust at bay,
as we forgive mistakes we've done
while we forge new paths through life's fray.

Now we hold our mistrust at bay.
We discard all our anguished thoughts,
while we ford new paths through life's fray
thinking of all the trials we fought.

We discard all our anguished thoughts.
I just want you always with me;
thinking of all the trials we fought,
the past we've history.

I just want you always with me,
as we walk mid laughs and sorrow.
The past we've history,
please, dance me into tomorrow.

Author Notes Jasper56 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 76
He Took All From Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He took so many things from me,
He took my life and set me free.
He took my tears from strife and pain
and taught me how to live again.

He took my fear of trust and hope
and taught my spirit how to cope.
He took my memories of shame,
to show me I was not to blame.

My broken bones from beatings gone,
He soothed with touch and patience's song.
He took my thoughts of suicide
and vowed He'd never leave my side.

My self respect He found for me,
my head held high for all to see.
He took my silence, taught my soul
to sing again... He made me whole.

He took my heart and filled its core
with love I'll hold forever more.
He took my empty life to fill
each corner with His essence ... still,

each day He takes a flaw from me
and helps me learn how I should be.
I won't forget the day I cried
on bended knee when my sins died.

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

Chapter 77
Tomorrow's Tomorrow

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We come from diff'rent worlds, I know,
and loneliness I blame,
but I have wants and needs like you,
we're basically the same.

I took a chance, professed desire,
my heart beat fast and free.
Tomorrow will decide our fate -
tonight you stay with me.

I feel your arms encircle me,
your lips so close to mine.
I trace your hips, your back, your face
remembering each line.

My spirit soars, my mind now laughs,
as happy as can be.
Tomorrow will come soon enough -
tonight you stay with me.

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

Chapter 78
Let's Go, Daddy

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Daddy, Daddy, carry me
across the mountains, o'er the sea.
Please hold on tight, don't let me fall.
Oh, Daddy, can we do it all?

Please take me, Daddy, to the stars -
to Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.
Please let me touch the sky so blue
and feel a cloud so soft and true.

The warmth the sun gives off each day,
I need to feel along the way.
I want to eat the mountain snow
and play with dolphins far below.

Please take me to explore some caves
and feel the ocean's giant waves.
I want to pet a moose or two
and hold a baby skunk - brand new.

I'd get a snake for Mom to pet.
She'll let me keep it, too, I'll bet.
Oh, Daddy, I just love you so!
Come on, come on, come on, let's go!

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

Chapter 79
Did She Know?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Mary, did you know your child was meant to walk a path
of cruelty and ridicule before He met His death?

Oh, Mary, as you carried Him so gently in your womb,
did angels tell you 'bout His life before He'd lay entombed?

Oh, Mary, as you rode the ass into that little town,
could you then see the lies foretold as He backed mongers down?

Oh, Mary, as you gave Him life inside that stable bare,
did you re'lize that He was sent to show the world God cared?

Oh, Mary, as you watched Him grow when He would teach the priests,
could you then understand His power o'er Satan's evil beasts?

Oh, Mary, as you heard Him preach to unbelievers all,
did you re'lize the grace He had as each received their call?

Oh, Mary, as you watched Him walk the street of sorrows path,
your tears of pain for all to see, did you re'lize His death?

Oh, Mary, as you knelt below the cross stained red with love,
through broken heart could you yet see He took man's sins above?

Oh, Mary, when you found the stone was moved and He was gone,
did you not find pure peace within? He was not Satan's pawn.

Oh, Mary, no one understands your total steadfast love
from birth to death upon the cross, as He arose above.

Oh, Mary, Mother of our Lord, a symbol of pure grace,
did you re'lize the lives He'd save when you first touched His face?

Author Notes If you have never heard the song, 'Mary, Did You Know 'by Mark Lowry, an amazing soldier of God, please find the time. This is my take from the song. I have redone mine numerous times as I just was not totally satisfied with it.

Linda Bickston thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 80
Time - Here and Now

By Barb Hensongispsaca

the betrayer of
life itself.

Just yesterday
I rode my bicycle
to my friends house
to spend the day
making hay forts.

Just yesterday
I took up a challenge
to walk the very top
of the bridge rails,
and I did.

Just yesterday
I had a call
for a first date,
my heart in my throat,
and I felt like a princess.

Just yesterday,
I won a game of jacks
and I felt
on top of the world.

Then I woke
and those days were gone.
The image in the mirror
is not mine.

Where did that ache come from?
That pain was not there yesterday.
I ran around the block two days ago,
now it hurts to walk.

where did it go?
How did it get
stolen from me

My mind runs around
the concept of time -
in it,
I am climbing the nearest tree.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 81
A Love That Never Died

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I know you are dancing with my Dad.
I watched the love you had for him.
When he died part of you left.
You said he was waiting
at those gates of pearl
to welcome you,
hold you tight
with his

Author Notes Dad died when I was six and Mom spent the next 50 years telling me that Dad was waiting at the gates for her and if she didn't meet him soon, he would get tired and walk away. She never looked at anyone else and lived to meet him in heaven.

VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 82
Lookin' For A Man

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You better be on guard today,
I'm lookin' for a man.
He doesn't have to be the best;
just one that understands.

I want to give him all my love
that I expect returned.
I'm sick of being all alone...
so tired of getting burned.

I won't love him for attributes
that he says are so long;
I won't love him because he's smart
or 'cause he's big and strong.

I won't love him 'cause he's so sweet
or wants the best for me.
While being humble's really great,
it's me he needs to see.

I won't love him because he's says
he's sacrificed to live,
or 'cause he's brave and caring, too,
and has a lot to give.

He may have milked a million cows
and slopped a hundred pigs;
or mowed the hay or canned his food,
or even danced a jig.

He may work hard and think of me
with everything he does,
while all these things are wonderful
I'll love him just because.

Author Notes Wolfdancer13 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is my piece for the challenge. Pick a picture and write a piece to go with it, how we interpret it.

Chapter 83
The Empty Nest

By Barb Hensongispsaca

kids gone, empty nest
sadness, tree swing stands alone -
that is when I swing

Author Notes Denise B thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 84
What If?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Nostalgic memories
of fun times and life's games
bring contemplation of
'what if'.

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

Chapter 85
Reflected Diamonds

By Barb Hensongispsaca

moon reflected diamonds
on a bed of fresh, white snow -

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

Chapter 86
Sal, The Little Pixie

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Sal was a little pixie with her tiny pointed ears.
She lived in nature's underbrush because of all her fears.
She loved to dance and sing all day when she was all alone
and all the little animals would call this place their home.

One day a pretty fairy happened to be passing by.
The little pixie saw her and she waved as she said, "Hi!"
The pretty fairy watched Sal as she sang a lovely tune
while all the little animals sat round her 'neath the moon

The birds would sing in harmony as Sal would sing her song.
The pretty fairy watched as all the rabbits danced along.
She watched as all the animals surrounded her with love.
A special light showed through the trees from somewhere up above.

The little pixie looked to see the smiling fairy's face,
the joy she felt inside her heart was full of peace and grace.
The pretty fairy said that she would soon return someday.
She waved and flitted merrily upon her merry way.

Author Notes helvi2 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 87
Doc Had To Be Wrong

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I paid a visit to my Doc, who looked me over twice.
He said, "My Dear, I must give you my Harvard-earned advice.

I looked you over, up and down, in spots I had to check,
and for your age, I find that you are good from feet to neck."

I looked at him, he was quite wrong. "But, Doc, please understand -
there's bumps and lumps and colored spots, and I can hardly stand.

Just yesterday, I ran with deer, or so to speak, you see.
Today, my children walk so fast, they're way ahead of me.

I want to nap when I should work, I just can't stay awake.
My eyesight and my hearing's bad, it's more than I can take.

I've lost my hair, which by the way, is colored with gray streaks.
My joints are sore, my bones make noise ... each time I sit, they creak.

I had a boy scout offer me his help to cross the street.
Just yesterday, my ankles swelled. I could not find my feet.

You said blood pressure's over norm for someone that's my age.
But yesterday, I was just fine, you'd better check your gauge."

He shook his head like I was lost and put his gear away.
I waited patiently for him, for what he had to say.

He looked at me and smiled so sweet. "My Dear, age is your plight.
It fin'lly just snuck up on you." And, really, he was right.

Author Notes Lucas Sizov thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 88
My Song

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He writes my song, my life's foretold.
He knew ahead what life would hold.
Recital started with first cry,
new verses sung until I'd die.

Sometimes my song is soft and sweet
with soothing words, a gentle beat.
Then, too, there are the times this child
of God takes off just running wild.

The rhythm that has hurts and pains,
just seems to flow over again.
The happy stream of bouncy notes,
just helps the spirit and soul it coats.

The drum beats of the thunderous rain
will come when turmoil starts again.
He knows each day what life will bring,
in rhythm and control, He'll sing.

My song's a hit, He made it so.
What part tomorrow? I don't know.
My song of life He writes for me,
His graceful rhythm sets me free.

I hear Him sing the words each day,
to let me know my life's okay.
Each day He writes my gentle song,
each night He sings it soft and long.

He writes a new verse everyday,
He knows ahead where I will stray.
No matter if I'm right or wrong -
with all His love He writes my song.

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

Chapter 89
The Girl Magnet

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It's me! It's me! I'm here to say
I'll make you laugh, I have a way!
Just watch me run, I sail the air;
I am a dog without a care.

If you watch me, you'll have such fun.
I don't hold still, I love to run.
I have four legs, a paw on each,
I'll learn what you take time to teach.

I get dog biscuits when I'm good,
I try to do all that I should.
Won't someone throw a ball for me?
That wet spot there? I didn't pee.

Dog catcher's always after me,
his dogged demeanor I can't see.
Last week, he chased me through the mall,
this little doggy had a ball.

I want my house to be ranch style,
I wear my dog tag for awhile;
I run through sand and sometimes fall;
you need my help, then you just call.

I need at least four walks a day,
you'll bag my poop along the way.
The mailman, well, now he's okay.
He's jumpy but I have my way.

I love to chase cats everyday.
They just don't know I want to play.
Just call my name for me to come.
I'm your good buddy and your chum.

I am a dog, you'll never find
more slobbers that will blow your mind.
And friendly? All the girls come round
'cause I'm one happy go-to hound.

Author Notes Haggis718 thank you for permission to use your picture.

I am a cat person but I love to watch dogs and their enjoyment of life.

Chapter 90
The Dawn Awakes

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The night surrenders to let go.........the sunrise breaks nights hold to peep
while critters scurry far below....... the nocturnals prepare to sleep
as nature wakes and bids 'hello'.......'til night looks forward again to creep
through the dark blanketing shadow......... awakening from slumber deep.

Author Notes My second try this year at a 3-in-1 poem. The left side should stand alone as one poem, the right side should do the same. Then the whole should make a larger poem when read together.

All advice appreciated.

Lilibug6 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 91
Mama Said ... Walk

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Mama had a lot of sense for one who stopped sixth grade.
She had to raise me up from scratch and, yes, she was afraid.

My Daddy died when I was six but Mama carried on.
She did the work of twenty men because her man was gone.

There was a bridge about a mile on yonder down the road.
And Mama always walked to it when she carried a 'load'.

When she was mad it helped her think, when she was sad she cried.
Confusion? It would set her straight. In God she could confide.

No matter what the problem was, or pain or anger, too.
No matter how much time it took, she'd know just what to do.

"Now, girl, you just remember this," I'd hear my Mama say.
"You take a walk and think things through to help you find your way."

"Don't be impulsive, give it time, you might just change your mind.
Don't jump right in and say things wrong, just step back and unwind."

I've walked that path so many times and found that Mom was right.
There's other ways to handle things than jump right in and bite.

So count to ten or take a walk or sit right down and pray.
You might just find that second breath will show a better way.

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

Chapter 92
To You

By Barb Hensongispsaca

To my dear friend, I wish for you
a time to do what best you do.
For all this year, you've made me smile -
you make a point, yet, all the while.

You give so much in what you do,
yet no one knows ... you give no clue.
If people'd read all that you say,
they'd know how much you give each day.

You've made me laugh so many times
at all your insane, made-up rhymes,
yet others written from your heart
just make me cry, tear me apart.

Sometimes they're funny, make no sense,
but flow so easy, never tense.
I even see myself in some
and most times laugh until I'm numb.

You nag, but truly help a lot
reviewing everything I've got.
I look for each review you do
to help me get my poems through.

Since I have followed what you wrote,
now you, my dear, will have my vote
for caring 'bout your fellow man -
and all their quirks as just you can.

In ways I can't, you look at life
you let things go - pish posh on strife.
You fight for things in ways you do,
you're quite sincere, and always true.

So now I wish for you today
a time of peace 'cause you're okay.
I find you are one of a kind,
but truly feel you've lost your mind.

Author Notes For a friend.

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 93
The Candy's Message

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The little bag of M&Ms
that Santa Claus has brought your way,
contains a special meaning for
all of your family today.

The 'M' is for the manger warm
where 'Hope of man' lay down His head.
Who knew the Savior of mankind
lay nestled in that straw filled bed?

Just turn the little candy 'round
and watch the 'M' become an 'E'.
The Eastern Star marked Jesus birth,
put in the sky for all to see.

Turn back the other way to find
a '3' that's for the Wise Men's route,
with gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh -
to honor Him, they had no doubt.

Then turn that M&M around
the 'W' completing all
who worshiped there beside His bed
as there He lay warm in that stall.

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

Chapter 94
Overheard Beach Conversation

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Albert, this is wonderful!"
"Bernice, I am so glad you are happy."
"Can we walk a little longer?"
"Dear, aren't you hungry?"
"Every time we get out, you are hungry!"
"For goodness sakes, Bernice!"
"Give me just a few more minutes, Albert."
"Honey, I'd give you the world!"
"I love you, Albert."
"Just remember, I love you more, Bernice."
"Keeping up with you is a challenge."
"Love's like that!"
"My, I AM getting a little hungry."
"Nice to hear, want to race back?"
"Oh, Albert, you know I can't run anymore."
"Pleeeassee! Do you think I can?"
"Quick walking works just as well!"
"Right, and we will both have a heart attack!"
"Slow and easy wins the race!"
"True, depends on what the prize is."
"Unless I miss my guess ... you're ..."
"Well, what are we waiting for?"
"Xany to the max, that's you!"
"You talk too much!"
"Zen time, let's go!"

Author Notes An abecedarian poem is like an ABC poem but it used the whole alphabet.

MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

(adj) wild; overly energetic

(n) a state of calm attentiveness in which one's actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.

Chapter 95
Encouraging New Poets

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I still remember my first day
upon this site ... oh what to say.
I posted one, but no reply.
Was I that bad? Wanted to cry.

I tried again and read it through;
still no reply, oh, what to do.
I started reading other posts
of fantasy and scary ghosts,

of love and hate, of nature's play,
of praise of night and sunlit days.
I changed my rhyme and changed my flow,
then words appeared, reviewers know.

I had four people start to read
and they critiqued what I would need
to be the writer they could see
was trying to become in me.

I never will forget their time
and patience getting me to rhyme
and count the flow to make me feel
my words - to have them seem so real.

Soon numbers increased more than four,
all took the time to make me more
the writer that I strove to be.
I now had learned to set words free.

So don't give up, your time will come,
you've lots to learn, just make it fun.
There's people on this site 'twill be
your mentors, they will help you see.

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

Chapter 96
I'm A Lounge Singer

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a new job, I want you to know,
so come see me, I'm the star of the show.
You need to come CATch me, to hear me sing.
I'm so well known for my CATerwalling.

I do my best singing in CATacombs -
it has more echo than behind some homes.
You can find my name in the CATalogue.
Some critics say I am a demagogue.

Which in a way is a CATastrophe
'cause that puts me in a CATegory.
I do get a lot of extreme CAT-calls
from seats CATacorner to the CATwalls.

If they like what I sing, they throw CATfish.
If they don't like it, then the empty dish.
I sniff come CATnip to improve my song -
it strengthens my voice to sing all night long.

Whenever I sing, I'm the CATalyst
for a CATaclysm 'cause I was missed.
I need to CATnap 'cause I'm CATamount.
I'll CATapult to stardom ... watch the count.

I'm very CATty as you will all see.
I CATer to all, I'm cute as can be.
Please come see me, I'm the star of the show,
I have a new job, just want you to know.

Author Notes Just some fun with Squeak's picture.

This is the way she sat after we rescued her. She weighed in at 30+ pounds when we went to pick her up. She lived under our bed for over three months, afraid to come out. Her name was Ginger, but she could hardly make a sound - just a squeak. The owners kids tried to hang her to watch her try to 'dance'. Her throat was permanently injured.

Robyn this one's for you. You understand.

Chapter 97
Helping Spring to Enter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You wonder how the daffodils
know where to grow each spring.
We see them by the wayside where
they add a special bling.

There is a little secret that
I plan to tell to you,
so listen close and you will know
so you can tell it, too.

The Yellow Hippopotamus
had quite a job to do.
Each Spring he goes from town to town
to bring them yellow's hue.

Once, no one knew the season's change
so Winter's sadness stayed,
'til he went on about his quest
of hopeful disarray.

Because when he went out to lay
the daffodils so sweet,
he laid them out as on he flew
wherever they would seat.

So some fell in the forest and
he threw some on the road.
Some fell on lawns and backwoods, too.
He used no special code.

Some fell in nests and 'round the trees,
some even fell near homes.
He wanted everyone to know,
'tis Spring where e'er they'd roam.

So when you see the daffodil,
you know that Spring is near.
The Yellow Hippopotamus
has put his smile here.

Author Notes MKFlood used fantastic artistry to make this picture for me when I did my Yellow Hippopotamus series a few years back. I had to use it again to introduce Spring. Daffodils make us smile because they are found in the strangest places.

Chapter 98
It's Their Land

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I love the woods, its peaceful feel
puts all my moods at rest.
I walk alone, just breathing in
fresh nature at its best.

I watch the moose and calf at play
beside the water's edge,
two bears are eating up their fill
along the berry's hedge.

I hear the wolf's sad lonesome cry,
returned by a few more.
The haunting sound that echoes far
has chilled me to the core.

An ancient menacing outcry
that makes me feel so strange;
at first I feel the tinge of fear
but slowly that does change.

It penetrates my senses and
controls my thoughts within.
I feel a primitive allure
that lies below my skin.

I want to feel their freedom and
the fierce thrill of their hunt ...
the alpha being challenged by
the one he must confront.

So beautiful, mysterious -
proud rulers of their kingdom.
Black eyes that penetrate my soul,
a song that bids me 'come'.

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

When I lived in the far north of Canada, I truly loved all that nature offered, but I loved the sound of the wolves as they sang their howling song, only to be answered by another on the next hill.

Chapter 99
Thank You Again

By Barb Hensongispsaca

One of my great reviewers gave me such a great idea.
I'm guilty as the next because I read, but don't see ya.
I told her that we lost so many writers on this site
and that I wish I'd thanked them for just teaching me to write.

I started out not knowing that my meter was not fun.
Sometimes I'd gallop right along, but most times I would run.
And rhyming, oh, my goodness, it was mixed with sometimes not ...
my poems needed facelifts and that is just what they got.

I kicked and screamed my learning through some tears and laughter, too.
And most times all my 'dah-dums' never knew just what to do.
My lim'ricks lacked some syllables, my 'postrophies were bad.
Those poems that I thought so good, when reread ... oh egad!

So all of you here on this site, get nothing but my praise
for all the times you tried to help me get through those off days.
For all these years, your patience held and really got me through
and taught me how to write my words and feel emotions, too.

We lost some people from this site, I never got to tell
how much that their suggestions made an impact - filled that well.
So those who are still reading this, I just want you to know
how much that I appreciate your taking me in tow.

Author Notes I am thankful for everything we think of at Thanksgiving, but I want to let all of you know how special you are, not only the ones that helped me grow but also the up and coming that need that same help that I did. All of you that helped me are truly amazing writers and I wanted to say how thankful I am to have met each and every one of you.

This is my response to the picture this club challenge found in the social heading at the top of your page. Please check it out and maybe you will find one of the clubs that interests you.

Chapter 100
Winter's Depression Will End

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I feel my life has been reborn
from chains of darkness, stained and torn.
The rusted wire so sharply barbed
has been removed through nature's garb.

Depression's icy hold released
with sun's control as winter ceased.
The lily-of-the-valley sways
as warming breezes heat the days.

The buds erupt on flow'ring shrubs,
while blossoms bloom to join the club.
As mating pairs show nature's change,
serenity is rearranged.

The gloom and doom of Winter's cage
dissolves as Spring fights Winter's rage.
I swing and sway as shadows dance
an unheard song I hear by chance.

As quickly as my tears are dried,
my thoughts rejoice as sadness hides.
I see all nature, now reborn
I feel alive, no more forlorn.

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

There is a disorder that causes depression during the winter months and this is my answer to that disorder ... bring on Spring.

Chapter 101
Our Moonlight Cruise

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Please take me on a starlight cruise
and dance with me beneath the moon;
then, hold me close, strong arms entwine
and kiss me deep until I swoon.

The moon shines down to lead the way,
my body begs for passion's flow.
I step in time as, on you move -
where e'er you lead is where I'll go.

I feel our bodies move as one
so graceful as we dance our way
through night's embrace as dawn's light breaks,
together, welcoming the day.

I love you more each step we take,
and trust you in our dance of love
to guide me in your sweet embrace
as stars shine down from high above.

Author Notes This is a picture of my daughter's boat taking its last sail before being dry-docked for winter storage.

Chapter 102
To Our Final Dance

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My love is mine, I give to you
to do with as we plan to do.
Please hold me close and love me long,
but never let our love go wrong.

For if it's lost in hurt and pain,
it won't be whole ever again.
I want your word, I trust you now,
we'll work as one, God shows us how.

Just hold me tight as over years
you ease my thoughts and soothe my fears.
We plan our lives, we work as one
until our time on Earth is done.

When Mother Earth has cried her last -
her healing time then long since past,
please take me in your loving arms
and hold me tight from pending harm.

As God returns to claim His fold,
and take us to those sights of gold,
I want to say our love was pure
our marriage blessed -indeed endured.

Then deeply look into my eyes-
our souls unite as up we rise,
then joined as one, destined by fate
we'll merge as one at God's own gate.

Author Notes eileen0204 thank you for permission to use your picture.

I believe this is something we all hope for.

Chapter 103
Anne, Is Her Name

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I hear you, Anne.
May I call you Anne?
I hope I don't offend you.

I see you flitter briefly
in the farthest corner
of my sight.

I hear your warm laughter
on the steps,
in the hall.

I hear your soft steps
as you walk across
the hardwood floor upstairs.

You stop my clocks.
You turn on my light.
You move my rocker.

My radio comes on
at all hours
as you move past.

I know who you are.
I know your tragedy.
I know how you died.

The well under my house
held your small body
for so many years.

Missing - lost,
an abandoned well
so deep and dark.

No one could get to you
so you were left there -
your final place to rest.

Now, you are welcome
as part of my family,
may I call you Anne?

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

This is a true story. Our family had an extra member. It started out as a bump, then a shuffle, then a sight out of the corner of our eyes, then the steps and the laughter. We called her Anne. There were no problems, just a warm presence. The cats seemed to know when she was there, then we did. People who owned the house before us knew she was there.

In the history of the town, our house was built over a well where a small reserve once stood. A little girl fell into the well and drowned. It was too deep and her body was never recovered, the well was sealed over.

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