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secrets by Katelynn Magee

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Yes, one cannot force sparkling eyes while trying to be deceptive. Sparkling eyes are a spontaneous indicator of hope, accomplishment, and/or joy, whether or not the person wants to reveal the cause at that moment. Well done.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 08-Mar-2020

Why I'm Still Awake. by SomePerson

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Yes, thinking yourself out of falling asleep happens to us all at times; and occasionally it is necessary, such as when an important decision must be made before morning.

However, if your mind is simply busy for no good reason, more thought won't cure it. Instead, try imagining a tranquil scene devoid of words, such as a meadow full of blooming wildflowers, sunset or moonlight over a calm sea, or rain falling in a forest.

In your notes, "bought" is the past tense of the verb "to buy"; what you meant was "bout" here.

Your poem expresses the common circumstance well, and the interesting image fits your theme perfectly.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 08-Mar-2020

Double Blind ~ Chapter Three by Sally Law
Chapter 3 of the book Double Blind

This work has reached the exceptional level

This is an informative as well as interesting chapter.

You (despite the bathrobe -- nice personal touch, and plausible in the context) and Jackson hastily get sworn in by Detective Lembowsky because of the urgency of his new case, the disappearance of Clementine Jones, older daughter of the state governor. It is good to know that the first twenty-four hours is now recognized by law enforcement as crucial in missing person cases.

Events at the Governor's house are realistic in the circumstances. Gov. Jones's request for you and King to be involved explains why you were so quickly sworn in. The reference to your prior case is good subtle advertising for your first book in this series.

At the secluded cabin, it is evident that "Mr. Fake Blue Eyes" has not imagined Tine's resourcefulness, as otherwise he would have bound her more securely before leaving. As he is seeking cellphone service, it seems he wants to contact whoever is paying him and/or call the governor, either to demand ransom or to insist on some other action, such as his signing or not signing some upcoming legislation bill (or both).

Tine is thinking clearly as she manages her escape, hides the handcuffs in the laundry chute, gathers cigarette butts as DNA evidence but buries the bag so as not to be caught with it, and walks in the opposite direction of her captor's turn at the main road, as she may find help at the store seven miles away. She stays out of sight as she goes, but we are still in suspense about whether her captor will return, find her gone, possibly notice the empty ashtray, and realize which way she must have walked in hope of safety.

Superb, and aptly illustrated to represent the terrain near the cabin.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 08-Mar-2020

Exposed Rose by SomePerson

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You express the situation described in your notes very well with the analogy of the rose losing petals in a sudden gust of wind, and it is certainly true that a lost petal cannot be reattached. However, if all flowers were that fragile, there would be far fewer (if any) anymore.

Human beings have four recourses flowers lack.

One is not to let hurt feelings fester, which includes making them clear to the offender in hope of receiving a timely apology and/or other amends. Otherwise the offender may not realize what has happened.

The second recourse is to forgive -- certainly after a received sincere apology, but also if it is evident that the offender has the personality flaw of being oblivious to such effects of his or her words or actions. In that case, forgiving but minimizing contact is best.

The third recourse is to be consciously harder to rile. Life is full of irritations and setbacks, so a degree of steadfastness avoids a lot of heartache.

Fourth is to immediately strike back with at least as much force, as doing so often causes the offender to think twice before behaving badly again. This is the most effective measure against habitual bullies.

Though doing so is not always appropriate in the circumstances, it certainly is for our president after all the intentional guff he has had to endure (regardless of what you think of his policies or of him personally).

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer definitely deserves a slap-down over his recent clear threats to Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, regardless of the topic.

As a poet, you have done well here, for your post invites thought.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 08-Mar-2020

Socialism v. Capitalism by Robert Zimmerman

This work has reached the exceptional level

You are so right about the items in your list of socialist beliefs, and Karl Marx on the twenty dollar bill is a clever bit of humor slipped in. I like the alternating red and black type to separate the questions. Yes, socialist countries DO run out of many items we take for granted here. Superb, and aptly illustrated.

One confusion today is that "Social Democracies" of Western Europe are not fully socialist and do not aspire to be, though they may have some citizens who do. Their health care is NOT better than ours, as the waiting lists may exceed an applicant's remaining lifespan. It is no accident that rich foreigners from all over the world come to the U.S. for treatment of serious illnesses.

You might want to list the nine men shown in order of appearance, as some (especially younger) readers might not recognize them all. Here is the list: (1) Josef Stalin of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; (2) Karl Marx, author of "The Communist Manifesto"; (3) Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia; (4) Ho Chi Minh, President of North Vietnam until 1969; (5) Nicolas Maduro, current President of Venezuela, who is furthering the damage his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, did to that once wealthy country; (6) Pol Pot of Cambodia, who authorized the murder of the elderly and anyone wearing glasses, as they might be scholars who knew too much truth; (7) Kim Jong Un, current ruler of North Korea; (8) Fidel Castro of Cuba; and (9) Mao Tse Dung, communist revolutionary who took over China and killed millions of people whom he deemed unworthy of life. (For perspective, you might want to include each one's life dates.)
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 05-Mar-2020

Syncope by lyenochka
Chapter 6 of the book Words for Writers

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Thank you crediting me for telling you about

I have been using syncope (always with an apostrophe) for over sixty years, but never considered that there is a name for the practice. I learned to do so from poetry that I read long ago. Syncope is present in some expressions appearing in prose too, such as "ne'er-do-well."

You explained the term well and discussed it usefully. I like both your poem and the relevant illustration. Superb.

This reminds me of an American tourist in England discussing pronunciation of the names of various landmarks with a local citizen. For instance, the tourist was told that Leicester is pronounced like "Lester"; and Featheringstonehaugh's Mansion, is pronounced "Fef's Mansion." The American thought for a moment and asked, "Have you ever been to 'Nifflz'?" Receiving a blank stare, he spelled it out: "N i a g a r a F a l l s"....
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 04-Mar-2020

When Storm Winds Blow by Mrs. KT

This work has reached the exceptional level

Though our entry into World War Two was necessary before the Axis powers dominated the rest of the planet, that does not alter war's horrid waste of human lives and natural resources, both of which otherwise could have contributed to positive advancement of humanity as a whole without harm to the global environment.

In your uncle's case, humanity lost whatever artistic creations he might have made as his later life evolved, plus whatever positive influence he might have had on others. Accordingly, you are right to honor his memory at every opportunity, both for your family and for us all.

It is fortunate that you have his beautiful word carving to cherish and pass down to your children, to preserve his memory in tangible form.

Your post is clearly written and moving to read. Yes, "His legacy of love endures" in your heart and the hearts of your family members.

Superb, and aptly illustrated with a photo of his wood carving.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 03-Mar-2020

Woodpecker's Tapping by Sally Law

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Woodpeckers do that only where they sense insects within the wood. Not every hole drilled yields something to eat, so they continue until they find enough to be temporarily satisfied. You may want to have that tree inspected before internal damage eventually causes limbs or the whole tree to fall during high winds.

Meanwhile, you could say this to the bird, but it must be in the right tone of voice:
Tk tk, tk tk tk tk tk, tk tk, tk tk tk tk tk, tk tk tk.
(Repeat seventeen times, pausing for exactly three-and-a-half seconds between times.)
I have no idea what that means in bird-chatter.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 03-Mar-2020

The Collector by CadenAaron

This work has reached the exceptional level

Though technically fiction, this brief story is realistic enough to be chilling. People living under communism or other crushingly strict regimes may feel just as fearful. Even people unable to escape the crime-ridden areas of cities like Baltimore and Chicago may relate to this. Superb, and aptly illustrated.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 26-Feb-2020

Forsythia by lyenochka

This work has reached the exceptional level

Thank you for this detailed account of the forsythia and what it has been called in various places for centuries. I'm glad to know that in the West it is now correctly classified in honor of William Forsyth (1737-1804), a founding member of the (British) Royal Horticultural Society.

Decades ago, when my kids were still at home, we had a huge forsythia bush in one corner of our yard. We decided to plant a forsythia hedge across the front yard to discourage corner-cutting trespassers. I began by creating a raised row of mulch there to compensate for rocky soil near the street. That consisted of wood chips we purchased in bulk mixed with fallen leaves I raked there each fall. Once that was established, I planted forsythia cuttings at intervals along the row. They flourished, and I let them grow wild, frequently bending a long stalk down to be covered by the mulch somewhere in the middle. Each such stalk then sprouted roots at those places and sent up more shoots. Within a couple of years the resultant continuous hedge was five feet thick and eight feet tall -- a gorgeous golden display every spring. Years later, when I happened to drive past there, I noticed that the new owner had cut the hedge down to two feet thick and three feet high, trimmed to be flat on the top and both sides. It still discouraged corner-cutters, but far less beautifully. Sadly, there are no forsythia near my present apartment. You brightened my day with this post, and I like your poem too.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 25-Feb-2020

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