"2019 part 4"

Too Soon We Forget

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Wouldn't it be smart
to remember past mistakes
to carve our future?

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

kiwigirl2821 did a wonderful piece that brought this about.

Chapter 1
The Grand Entrance

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I hear you coming 'cross the glen,
then through the dell and 'round the bend.
I hear you stomping, echoes sound
with vibrations from sky to ground.

You rumble, grumble as you stroll
along your way, I hear you roll.
Announcing every move you make
o'er tops of mountains, hills and lakes.

Then, comes your light show - best around,
through clattering, your eerie sound
rebounds across the darker tops
of thunder clouds, it never stops.

And then what I've been waiting for,
those drops of rain through which you soar.
The light'ning and the rain complete
your entrance dance that can't be beat.

By every little drop of rain,
I feel refreshed in life again
as though a message sent to me -
I'll be okay, just wait and see.

But you don't stop with just the show,
you've one last step for me to know
that makes me smile, my soul is free ...
you hang that rainbow, just for me.

Author Notes Paul G. thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 2
Laid Back and On The Move

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I don't know where I'm going, or whenever I'll get there.
I don't know who I'm gonna meet, and really I don't care.

I am a snail, laid back and free so never knowing where
I will winde up, I never plan, but you can come and share.

I know your lives are busy, still come with me if you dare.
First put your house upon your back and shave off all your hair.

Now get down on your belly and just show you're debonair.
Then slither slow across the ground. Oh, we'll make quite a pair.

Try not to get so far ahead, no hurry, I declare.
You'll really have no problems if you slime your way with flair.

We will go places others can't - but birds we must beware.
We eat whatever we can find, we really don't prepare.

We love to crawl upon the leaves, without macho fanfare.
If we lose hold of where we are, we'll wind up anywhere.

I don't believe you'll fit with me, I think you're just too square.
I travel way too slow for you, your speed is so unfair.

Oh, hey, you see that pretty snail just sitting on that chair?
I do hope she's still at that spot when fin'ly I get there.

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

Chapter 3
God Paints the Sky

By Barb Hensongispsaca

God painted this red cloud,
praise Him with your head bowed.

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

No matter how hard we try, no one paints like God does.

Chapter 4
Who Will Be King?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

This was to be a special day -
they answered lion's call.
They ranged from elephants so large
to ants so very small.

The lion had a special speech
that he was going to say.
He wanted time just for himself
so planned a get away.

There was a problem he forsaw
about the leadership.
He needed someone smart and brave
to lead while on his trip.

The elephant said, 'I can do
because I don't forget.
And I am strong and brave and smart-
so you don't need to fret.'

The rhino said, 'Oh, no, no, no!
That choice will never do.
You'll worry all the time you're gone,
but I can see you through.'

They argued over who was right...
decided on a meet.
The winner would then fill the spot
and hold the lion's seat.

There was a little tug of war,
a show of strength and might.
They rolled in mud and water, too,
it really was a sight.

Since neither one would give an inch
it was declared a tie.
There were some questions lion asked
and neither one could lie.

They answered all the questions right,
another tie declared.
Then bravery was just ruled out...
on that they both were pared.

The rhino and the elephant
both, to the lion said,
'Your spot is too important so
pick someone else instead.'

'Oh dear, oh dear, what do I do',
the lion thought out loud.
A little ant came forward then
and as he did he bowed.

'Oh mighty King of all the beasts,
I have a plan for you.
Why don't you put them both in charge
to do what you still do.

They have all the requirements
and want the very best,
you see they'd even step aside.
We feel they passed the test.'

The lion got a great big smile,
'I do believe you're right.
You both will rule while I am gone,
so keep my kingdom tight.

Your strength and wisdom compliment
each other in all ways.
I'll be down at the wat'ring hole,
I'll see you in four days!'

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

Chapter 5
Tom and Huck

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey, Tom, dear friend, we hardly talk
so come with me, let's take a walk.
It's boring here, let's get away -
so tell Aunt Polly, grab your key.

Let's take the raft and out we'll row
where no one else will ever go.
We need some worms, we'll have to dig
down deep to find the ones that's big.

That water's calling, it's so blue,
we'll take some food if you want to.
Uncle Silas needs help with the hay,
but, it's too hot, we need to play.

We'll watch where Becky Thatcher goes.
She hates the mud between her toes
and cries when she gets dirty brown.
Oh, there she is! Let's hide! Get down!

We have to make sure that she stays.
She always comes and ruins our days.
You have no place you have to be -
so let's go sail, just you and me.

Author Notes From the story of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

The Gardner by Robert Louis Stevenson

The gardener does not love to talk,
He makes me keep the gravel walk;
And when he puts his tools away,
He locks the door and takes the key.

Away behind the currant row
Where no one else but cook may go,
Far in the plots, I see him dig
Old and serious, brown and big.

He digs the flowers, green, red and blue,
Nor wishes to be spoken to.
He digs the flowers and cuts the hay,
And never seems to want to play.

Silly gardener! summer goes,
And winter comes with pinching toes,
When in the garden bare and brown
You must lay your barrow down.

Well now, and while the summer stays
To profit by these garden days
O how much wiser you would be
To play at Indian wars with me!

Robert Louis Stevenson

Chapter 6
There Once Was Two

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I sit beside the ocean view
where now there's only one.
But, not so long ago t'was two
to watch the morning sun.

My thoughts were wrapped up sitting by
the woman of my life.
Together we would laugh and cry
through all our daily strife.

One day the angels came to take
the woman of my dreams
back through the blue of heaven's lake
on grand celestial beams.

She waits beside the gates of gold
for me to enter in,
to welcome me into the fold
that closes to man's sin.

I sit beside the ocean view
while waiting for that day
God's angels come to take me to
my home not far away.

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

Chapter 7
Aunt Cora Loved Chip and Dale

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Aunt Cora was near ninety-three,
her sister was near that.
They shared a house in Burlington,
each occupied a flat.

Aunt Cora was a sheer delight,
so innocent and kind.
She thought one day she'd just go out
and totally unwind.

She saw an advertisement for
a show she's always liked.
She thought that she would love some fun,
Aunt Cora sure was psyched.

She's always loved the cartoon shows -
Bugs Bunny, Tweetie, too,
Road Runner and his coyot pal ...
the things they thought to do.

Her biggest thrill was Chip and Dale,
those chipmunks made her day.
The antics that they pulled on screen
were fun to watch them play.

Aunt Cora then asked Auntie Fran
who thought she was quite daft
to want to see a cartoon show.
Then Auntie Fran just laughed.

Aunt Cora went all by herself
and much to her surprise,
there were all women in the line -
no children and no guys.

The writing on the sign had said
"Come see the Chippendales".
She thought she'd have to teach them how
to spell Chip then spell Dale.

She took her seat, the lights went down,
she waited for the show.
But what came next were guys in suits
just dancing with the flow.

Their synchronized gyrations thrilled
Aunt Cora to the core.
Then all at once, in one swift move,
their pants laid on the floor.

While all the other women watched
and screamed at what they saw,
Aunt Cora bowed her head in shame,
she was slow on the draw.

What happened to her Chip and Dale
cartoon she came to see?
She found out these were Chippendales
so she stood up to flee.

The nearest guy just grabbed her arm
and pulled her up on stage.
Then as they all 'hipped' up to her,
she shouted, "Act your age!"

But soon Aunt Cora realized
she really liked their 'pecs'
and wondered as she danced along
'Where were they playing next?'

Author Notes Picture from free picture download on internet.

This was an idea from one of Aunt Cora's fans.

Chippendales - all male review dancers
hipped - bumping hips
pecs - muscles

Chapter 8
God Paints The Desert

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The Lord can really paint the sky,
the rocks, the trees, the ground.
The vibrant colors come alive -
His touch shows all around.

Each era in the rocks is clear,
the colors change on cue.
We follow the millennium
with colors vibrant hue.

It's like the rings in trunks of trees
that tell of eras past,
each part influenced by the force
of history in cast.

But try to catch in still life all
the colors God had used,
you'll realize it can't be done -
His talent we'll abuse.

We might come close to how He paints,
but we'll not touch His art ...
for we will paint just what we see
while He paints from His heart.

Author Notes There are things on my bucketlist that will never come about due to lack of time, but a true friend took me to a place called Painted Desert where I witnessed God's touch first hand. He colored rock so magnificiently that it brought tears to my eyes and I could not get enough of His presence. I felt His touch every where I looked, I felt a presence that overcame my pain. I felt life in this place called the badlands.

I tried so hard to take pictures to add to memories, but every picture I took I had to deleate. I could not capture the true life that I saw. The colors, the magnitude, the feel was not there. God painted what I could not reproduce.

Picture per Wikepedia.

Per Wikepdeia:
The Painted Desert is a United States desert of badlands in the Four Corners area running from near the east end of Grand Canyon National Park and southeast into Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is known for its brilliant and varied colors, that not only include the more common red rock, but also shades of lavender.

In the southern portions of the desert the remains of a Triassic period coniferous forest have fossilized over millions of years. Wind, water and soil erosion continue to change the face of the landscape by shifting sediment and exposing layers of the Chinle Formation. An assortment of fossilized prehistoric plants and animals are found in the region, as well as dinosaur tracks and the evidence of early human habitation.

Chapter 9
Haunted Night

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hubba, bubba, witch's brew,
Howling wolves, hobgoblin stew,
Hocus pocus, trolls pursue,
Hooting owls in darkness flew,
Hiding bats come chasing you,
Heavy air breathes just like glue,
Held in place by horrors new,
Haunting shadows bring hell's view,
Headstones seal death's fond adieu.

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

Chapter 10
It's In The Timing

By Barb Hensongispsaca

When God gives you time
so you can smell the roses -
do not have a cold!

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

When your time on Earth grows short, you realize more the world around you and life seems to become precious. Smell the roses while you can and savor life to its fullest.

Chapter 11
It's Just A Cell

By Barb Hensongispsaca

flairs with power,
flaunts indestructive pride
as man tries to bring it down to
its knees.

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

Chapter 12
It Has It's Hold

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It has its hold, dark as can be,
just always there, won't set me free.
Keeps fingers gripped inside my soul -
loves when I cry, 'cause that's its goal.
Though just a cell, cancer scares me.

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

Chapter 13
The Knocker-Upper

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a job and it's not new,
I hold a snuffer-outer.
I'm really good at what I do -
I'm called a knocker-upper.

At my profession, I have found
it does not pay real well.
I keep my feet upon the ground.
You'll love it, I can tell.

I'm hired by the high elite
to wake them up each day.
I tap their windows clean and neat
next to the spot they lay.

I have a slate so I keep track
when they want me to come
and every morning I go back.
They trust my rule of thumb.

I can not wake the family,
for coffee, I don't stay.
I must be quiet as can be
and then be on my way.

Author Notes This is for RodG , not the content, the style.

Picture free on internet.

The Industrial Revolution introduced the working class. As factories bloomed all over Great Britain, they employed more and more people whose daily routine included getting up early to go to work. As anyone who's worked the 9 to 5 schedule knows, getting up early isn't easy. Before the alarm clock became a commodity, people actually hired their own knocker-uppers.

A knocker-upper is one of the long-lost skills and trades that became redundant in the face of ever-developing technology. Throughout the 19th century, and partially the 20th, it was quite common for a person to come knock on your bedroom window at an arranged time to wake you up.

In some parts of England and Ireland, this line of work managed to survive until the 1970s, and it was a common sight among the early birds, or the ones who would go to bed during the first hours of the morning. The profession was useful, especially to those who had to work early shifts, as they had to be up and running sometimes as early as three o'clock in the morning. This applied to the dock workers as well, for they sometimes had to wake up in the middle of the night, due to the shifting of the tide that dictated their working hours.

At first, the knocker-upper would simply ring or rap on the door, but this was soon seen as impractical as it would wake up the entire household, together with the one it was intended for. So, the use of a long stick with a knob at its end replaced this custom. As the bedroom would most often be located at the top floor of the house, this stick, which resembled the fishing rod, could reach the window and subtly wake up the worker, without causing everyone else to be interrupted from their sleep.

Most got paid a shilling per week by a single customer. The ones who would avoid paying their knocker would most often be left to dream on, and arrive late to work. It was always cheaper to pay a shilling a week than to lose a job, so such cases didn't come often.

Some knocker-uppers used rather inventive methods to wake up their customers. Mary Smith reigned the streets of East London with her pea-shooter. She would aim at the windows with her flute-like instrument and shoot dried peas, achieving the needed amount of noise without carrying along an impractical stick around. Some held other jobs like lighting lamp posts and extinguishing them at dawn, thus they used the snuffer-outer.

Chapter 14
Saving Your Life

By Barb Hensongispsaca

your mind becomes owned
your decisions don't matter
my advice is ... RUN

Author Notes Picture free from internet.

I lived with a narcissist for sixteen years. I realized I had forgotten who I was and that I had developed ptsd. It came on so slowly that I never saw my personality leave my body, I think it went to hide.

Chapter 15
Nature's One Food

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A lot of people will declare
a dandelion's never fair.
A weed that seems to multiply,
it's very hardy, just won't die.

You spray and pour and pull and cut.
You think you fin'lly got it, but ...
you turn around, what do you see?
A mass of yellow waving free.

Well, hold on now, I've lots to say
about this weed - yes, it's okay.
A wond'rous piece of nature's best.
Kept me alive, I beat the test.

It has a root that travels deep
into the ground where tree roots sleep.
But brewed up, it makes one fine tea -
don't put it down, just try and see.

Don't throw those stalks and leaves away
'cause they might save your life one day.
Just boil them up, they're great to eat
with salt and butter - what a treat.

Those dainty little yellow tips -
go out with scissors, clip, clip, clip.
Just wash and batter, then deep fry.
Tastes just like mushrooms you would buy.

But, you have not yet heard the best ...
make wine, my friend, just add some zest.
That's food and drink, 'tis all you need -
you're saved from death by nature's weed.

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

AABB rhyming scheme

Chapter 16
The Head of My Pride

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You can't have him, he's mine you see.
He's just as cute as he can be.
He's King of Beasts, he rules the land.
His 'pride', his family's his band.

He watches cubs while I go prowl.
They listen to his warning growl.
He loves to swim while I'm on hunt,
he rules the roost, but that's a front.

He acts so big and strong and proud,
the jungle listens 'cause he's loud.
But deep down, he's a pussy cat,
I love my man and that's just that.

He's not particular about
the food I catch, he'll never pout.
I love the way he struts his stuff,
his mane he swings, he acts so tough.

The tuft of fur upon his tail
he waves around just like a sail.
I hunt for food, he guards the pride.
I'll always be right by his side.

Hyenas laugh, but he will take
what they have killed - he loves his steak.
The only predator that's worse
is man who has become our curse.

Though man seems set to have his thrill,
to pose with lions that he's killed,
we kill men to protect our pride,
they kill to feel they're satisfied.

You can't have him, he's mine you see.
He's just as cute as he can be.
He's King of Beasts, he rules the land
so this is where I take my stand.

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

If the lioness could talk ...

Chapter 17
Not So Romantic

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My boyfriend took me for a drive, he said it would be fun.
The AC didn't work that day - our trouble'd just begun.

We drove and drove about an hour, I noticed something strange,
the car began to shimmy-shake, the front tire needed changed.

He pulled the car off of the road, prepared to change the flat.
I heard him raise his voice and yell, "What do you think of that?"

I went to find out what was wrong, and then I stood way back.
'Twas nothing in the trunk at all - no tire, no wrench, no jack.

His face turned red, his neck vein bulged, about to blow his lid.
I knew deep in my heart I should have walked away and hid.

Oh, no, not me. I grabbed my phone and said, "Hon, never fear!
I have my phone to call for aid so they will be right here!"

Oh, horror of all horrors, I discovered it was dead.
My boyfriend's smile sure faded fast, again his face turned red.

The fabled Timbuktu is real, 'cause that was where we were.
I thought it was romantic but, my boyfriend was not stirred.

He yelled he could not wait around, he wanted rescue now!
His rantings and his ravings scared a nearby herd of cows.

A man came on his tractor, my romantic trip was done.
We rode the wagon back to town under the setting sun.

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

Chapter 18
The Dance

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, I remember way back when
I turned the heads of all young men.
Not only was my body svelte,
with one long look, their hearts would melt.

It seemed my energy was strong,
'twas on the go most all day long.
I loved to swim and run and play.
I never stopped from day to day.

I loved to flirt, but stood my ground.
Around my finger, men were wound.
I'd get free food and lovin', too,
there's nothing that they would not do.

They'd take me out, both wine and dine.
They'd hope for more, I'd give a sign.
We'd play all day and then all night,
I'd show them how to fly their kite.

I'm older now, not quite so spry.
I can't keep up and that's no lie,
'cause now my wattage seems reduced -
my light bulb's running out of juice.

Chapter 19
Scat Cat!

By Barb Hensongispsaca

you have flattened my hat!

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

Chapter 20
I Need A Protector?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now, what did you just say to me?
You want to be my what?
You say it's wrong that I be free?
I may just have you shot!

I'm sixty-nine this very year ...
you want to protect me?
You need to understand, my dear,
that I do not agree!

Now, let's discuss this topic more
so I can understand -
surviving two abusive wars
you think I need a hand?

So let me tell you something, hon,
you'll never survive me,
I'll walk on you and when I'm done,
you may just want to flee.

I fixed the roof, I chopped the wood,
I herded and milked cows.
I've worked around the neighborhood,
and stacked hay in the mow.

I've killed a chicken once or twice
to put into a stew.
I've lived on beans and greens and rice,
I say - you have no clue!

I've broken horses, mowed the land,
and cleaned the cistern out.
I've slopped the pigs ... you understand?
Protect? I'll do without!

There is one thing I need, no less,
that you could do for me.
Go in the bathroom and undress -
be quick as you can be.

Now, climb into the shower, hon,
and scrub it 'til it shines.
I would not ask just anyone -
I COULD fall ... you'll be fine!

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

I was told over the weekend that I needed help and a man in my life. I laughed and this piece came about. I thought cleo85's medusa fit the piece and my attitude.

Chapter 21
It's Been Forever

By Barb Hensongispsaca


Well, it's about time you answered your phone!

I'm sorry. Have you been trying long?

I have. I began to worry about you. I was on the verge of calling someone to find out if you were okay.

Well, here I am and I am going fine. Working every day, then coming home and working here every night. You know how it is.

Oh, yes I do. Now, tell me how things have been since your divorce.

How did you find out about that? No one knows about it.

Oh, honey, everyone knows about it. He was so mean to you, it was about time you wised up and threw him out!

Everyone? Oh, no, I'd better call my mother. She loved him dearly and will be angry with me.

Don't worry about that, your mom called my mom and she was so afraid for you. She really did know what was going on. She is so relieved you are finally standing on your own two feet.

Really? She said that? Oh, I am so happy you told me. It will be easier to go home.

Okay, now I want the whole story. What really did happen between you two?

He fell in love with his secretary. He was honest about the whole thing and told me instead of letting me find out some other way.

Did he get a new secretary? The one he had was old and ugly. I met her once when I had to deliver a certified letter to that office.

I never met her but she has been with him since he started working there. I wonder what she has that I don't ... or what she does.

Maybe he likes the mother image. You know that does happen. I think she has a daughter about your age, if I remember right.

WHAT?! I was going to let him off easy but now I think I will go for everything he has!

Atta girl! You go for it! Now you can start seeing Joe and not have to hide it.

Who's Joe? I'm hoping to start seeing Doug.

Isn't that his name? The preacher from your church?

What church? An who's Joe? I don't go to church.

Oh, I get it ... mums the word.

I'm serious, I don't know what you are talking about!

Isn't this Jill?

NO! I'm Susan.

OOPS! Wrong number.

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

Chapter 22
He's Back

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I fed the birds, just like I do.
I was so proud when I was through.
I had six feeders scattered 'round,
filled to the max, hung off the ground.

They're squirrel proof - the papers said,
which I don't think the squirrels read.
Before I could enjoy the sight,
I noticed something not quite right.

This furry thing with fuzzy tail,
had knocked a feeder off its nail.
So back I go, full speed ahead,
and move that feeder to the shed.

Was he deterred? Not in the least.
He found another for his feast.
He played a game of hit and run,
all feeders down when he was done.

I filled them all and tried again,
replaced the wood with metal, then
I hung them all back up with care
I looked at him and said, "I dare!"

I sat back down to watch the fun -
he could not climb ... he was so done!
Or so I thought, he proved me wrong.
He had a game plan all along.

He scrambled up the nearest tree,
and shimmied to the end, you see.
Then jumped at least six feet or more -
I watched him as his body soared.

He landed with all feet attached,
then rocked the feeder - broke the latch.
The seed poured down like falling rain.
This squirrel had become a pain.

I moved the feeders yet again,
the blue jays squawked, they wondered when
they'd get to eat. I wondered, too.
But this time I knew what to do.

I moved those feeders far away
from fence or tree - that was the way.
The metal part he could not climb,
I'd really thought it out this time.

I sat and watched the birds enjoy,
the wrens and jays and doves, so coy.
The cardinals and the chickadees,
the goldfinch, too, were very pleased.

I went inside to get a drink,
and I was gone for just a blink.
This furry thing with fuzzy tail
was sitting on a feeder's rail.

Author Notes HelloKitty2013 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 23
The Gathering

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It's everyday, the same old thing,
the cat calls, whistles, too.
I walk to work right near these guys.
There's nothing I can do.

They whistle loud and shout for me
to get me to look up.
And sometimes in exuberance,
they spill what e'er they sup.

I'm dodging papers and hot brew
while trying to get by.
This is the only way around
believe me, I have tried.

I've half a mind to go up there
and tell them off, tis true.
But sixty-seven stories up,
I hope they like the view.

Author Notes This is for the picture this challenge found under 'social' then 'clubs'.

This post is a bonus post to honor Labor Day. You can post now or anytime to catch Labor Day on Monday, September 2. Image is a historic photo taken in 1932 in New York City. Write a poem about this pix. NO PROSE. Thank you for your participation. Please try to read other member's posts. If any questions, please send me a PM. Marilyn

Chapter 24
It Will Happen Again

By Barb Hensongispsaca

If we become complacent 'cause too soon we do forget,
the pain and horror that we faced will come again, you bet.

So many times in history, the evil has returned
to bring more tears and hurt 'cause we forgot all we had learned.

We feel Homeland Security has everything controlled
but we must be on guard all times to release evil's hold.

The terrorists will not give up, they're diligent each day,
perfecting every skill they have, 'cause they are here to stay.

Author Notes This is a picture this challenge. Join us in this special group to interpret pictures that are given to us to write about. Look under 'social' then 'clubs'.

Write a poem to coincide with Patriots Day and 9/11. Both fall on the same day this year. NO PROSE.

Chapter 25
Just Not Ready Yet

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I had enough, life seemed dead to me. I was tired of being his punching bag whenever he got mad about something. I sat on the floor with the fully loaded gun, safety off.

"Please, Lord, take my life and live it for me or let me end it right now!" I cried as I looked to the ceiling for answers.

I put the gun to my head and fired ... once, twice, three times. It just clicked.

I walked outside and aimed at the sky and fired six perfect shots.

God and I talked - He is now leading my life.

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

Those of you who know me, know my story.

100 words

Chapter 27
Is Grandma Right?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Dear Lord, it's me, Amanda Lee.
My Grandma says You're always there.
I hope that You remember me.
Well, I'm the one with jet black hair.

My Grandma says You care 'bout me
and everything I do each day.
Is Grandma right? So do You see
when everything is not okay?

My Grandma says You have the touch
and You can heal whatever's wrong.
She said You love us a big bunch
and hold us tight where we belong.

I know I'm tiny, I don't know
if You have time to hear my prayer.
I know Your days are busy, so
I hope this catches You somewhere.

I need Your help, a friend of mine
is feeling poorly, Grandma said.
I can't go see her 'though I'm fine,
she can't get out, she stays in bed.

Her name is Amy, she's my friend
and I hope that you visit her.
We swore to be friends to the end-
Grandma says she's like my sister.

In church, they said that we should pray
and Grandma said You hear our words.
She said to keep Satan at bay
we must have faith that we are heard.

She said You know what's in our hearts
and what we say before we speak,
I have a problem with that part
'cause most the time, my words are weak.

That's all I have this time for You.
I know I'll see my friend real soon,
'cause Grandma said Your word is true
so I'll check back this afternoon.

Author Notes Philip Shin thank you for permission to use your picture.

If only we had the faith of a child.

Chapter 28
Mama Said ... Just Believe

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Mama had to grow up fast
when she was just a kid,
the youngest of her sibblings, she
was watched what e'er she did.

She couldn't do a thing because
her friends told 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 friends had 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 kill -
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 but not in fun.

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

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

Chapter 29
Did You See?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Did you see that? What could it be?
I've not seen that before.
I saw it move across the ground.
I want to see some more.

I know I just saw what I saw
and saw it with my eyes.
I saw it just as plain as day -
it was not in disguise.

I saw it when the sun was out -
no shadows did exist.
I know I saw it clearly 'cause
there was no morning mist.

I saw it raise into the air
and then it stared at me.
I saw it saw me when I saw
it seeing what I see.

While I was watching what I saw,
I saw it watching me.
I know I saw just what I saw -
whatever could it be?

Author Notes Club picture this challenge. Write a poem on the image shown. This great photo was found on bing. Submit a poem of your choice based on the image chosen ~ no prose.

Chapter 30
It Just Takes Love

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Do you have courage
to make a change in the world?
We have the power.

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

It takes one to start, then the contagious response to make a difference.

Chapter 31
Her Smile

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Her smile was like an angel's kiss
that took away my fears.
While waiting on the Doctor's words
of hope I had to hear.

She went about her business of
connecting every wire
that traced the action of my heart
each time its beat would fire.

In one swift move she read my pulse,
took temp'rature and then
made me feel comfortable while she
put me at ease again.

She talked, then smiled and talked some more
while putting needles in.
She poked and prodded every part
of any exposed skin.

She had me cough and yawn and twist
and breathe as best I could
and all the while she smiled at me
so I felt calm and good.

She checked my name, my birthdate, too
then had me sign a form.
She scurried off for the best part -
a blanket soft and warm.

She smiled and hummed and talked to me
like she'd known me for years.
I know if she'd not been so kind
that I'd have been in tears.

Author Notes Picture from free download nurse pictures on internet.

I went to the emergency room where they decided to keep me for cardiac testing and one particular nurse kept me entertained.

Chapter 32
That's My Bessie Mae

By Barb Hensongispsaca

That's Bessie Mae, she is my girl.
She sends my heart into a whirl.
She really is a looking sight.
I always treat my Bessie right.

I fix her meals with all that's good.
I make sure she eats like she should.
Pure vegetables with lots of green.
I never treat my Bessie mean.

I buff her hooves and brush her hair.
I bathe her down with lots of care.
My Bessie loves me when I sing,
together we make rafters ring.

She has a problem with her weight,
but, she's won ribbons in each state.
My Bessie Mae can strut her stuff,
and does it with a lot of fluff.

Sometimes she fusses back at me,
and we go round and round, you see.
But, Bessie Mae still owns my heart -
and I don't think we'll ever part.

When she's on stage, she struts her stuff
until the judge says, "That's enough!"
I am so proud of Bessie Mae,
I think we'll celebrate with hay.

That's one of Bessie's favorite meals,
I get for free and that's a deal.
I'd take my Bessie o'er the rest
'cause for a cow, she is the best.

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

Chapter 33
His Ladylove

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He felt the love she had each day
as she gave all she had
to faithfully care for the man
that I had called my Dad.

He knew the first time that he saw
her standing all alone,
that she would be his one true love -
it's like he'd always known.

The pride he had the day that she
presented him a son
was known by everyone he saw -
truly surpassed by none.

She labored hard to make their farm
a place to be proud of.
She worked as hard as any man
and still had time for love.

A daughter joined the family
their lives were so complete.
Then Dad fell ill with aliments
and he could not compete.

His downhill spiral took its toll -
the doctors said 'no chance'.
His ladylove then took him home
without a mournful glance.

She tended chores and Daddy, too,
with all the love she had.
And when he passed this world of pain
her love was ironclad.

For forty years, she lived alone,
just waiting for the day,
that she would join him at the gates
where she knew he would stay.

I will remember what she said
as she lived out her days.
'He may get tired of waiting there
and wander off a ways'.

But Mama was his ladylove,
I know he waited there
for her to join him at the gates.
Him leave? He wouldn't dare.

Author Notes jgrace thank you for permission to use your emotional picture.

This is all true, she labored to raise her kids, pay the mortgage on the farm, take care of Dad. Then she waited for the day she joined him many years later. When she passed, I pictured in my mind, Dad waiting with open arms for Mom to join him at the gates of Heaven.

Chapter 34
A Rock's Advice

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am a rock,
you are a man.
I can not write -
guess what? You can.

Don't be like me,
'cause I don't move.
So grab a pen,
get in the groove.

Write of your past,
your present, too.
Dream future thoughts -
write old and new.

Just doodle words -
let image go.
Reach for the stars,
don't sit there ... FLOW!

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

Chapter 35
A Child's Image

By Barb Hensongispsaca

His massive size towered over my body as I felt the temperature drop instantly under that bright light.

"Please don't hurt me," I quietly begged.

All I heard in response was a deep laugh that sent little bumps up my arms.

Those green eyes with red streaks were boring into my soul, as I felt his razor sharp fangs bite off sections of my sanity. My world was fracturing into a million pieces that I thought would never be put back together again. Darkness became my friend.

"She's under. Now I can pull her tooth," the dentist told my mother.

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

Every child has a different perspective of the dentist, or for that matter, any thing that goes against their normal routine.

Chapter 36
My Leap of Faith

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I walked the Sea of Galilee
and saw where Jesus trod.
He calmed the storm that worried men
with just a single nod.

His walk across the water brought
on Peter's walk to Him.
He did it with all faith he had
and not upon a whim.

The waves made Peter doubt his faith,
his fear took all control.
'Twas then that Jesus walked to him
as on the waves would roll.

Then Jesus stretched His hand to him
as both their fingers touched,
and Peter felt the warmth of faith
return with that hand clutch.

I stretched my hand out toward the sea
like Peter and my Lord.
I felt in faith, a precious touch
as freely my tears poured.

Sometimes I sink below the waves
that life does throw at me,
but I know that my Lord is there
to raise me 'bove the sea.

Chapter 37
He Shreds It All

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My kitty loves his scratching post,
he shreds it day and night.
He files his claws to make them sharp
'til they are quite a fright.

He uses them to scare the dog
and climb the maple tree.
He uses them to grab his toys
and shred all he can see.

He shreds the mattress 'neath the bed
and digs my flower box.
He shreds all furniture that's new
and then unpairs my socks.

He climbs my curtains to the top
and then he shreds back down.
He grabs a fish from in the tank
while I just stare and frown.

He shreds the toilet paper roll
and every fly he sees.
He grabs my towels and pulls them down,
and does it all with ease.

He scratches when he wants to play
and scratches to go out.
The scratch marks that he leaves for me
are permanent ... no doubt.

He scatters all my figurines
with just one kitty blow,
then throws them up with sharpened claws
and bats them to and fro.

He uses claws to kill his 'treats'
before they run off free.
I let him shred things - why, you ask?
Because it isn't me!

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

Chapter 38
What He Did

By Barb Hensongispsaca

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 jgrace thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 39
Losing Out

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He knew his dreams had gone sour when he saw her with a much older man. The love of his life was walking away with someone else and all he could do was stand there and gawk.

He regretted not telling her how he felt but he was fairly sure she suspected when she found the frog he put in her desk drawer. She was the best fifth grade teacher.

Oh, well, he had tried. Time to go play flag football.

Author Notes 81 words
Denise B thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 40
The Way to Peace

By Barb Hensongispsaca

True faith has no doubts, no boundaries, no regrets - just absolute trust.

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

Chapter 41
He Hits Me On The Head

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I want to do all things my way
'cause I think I know best.
But when He hits me on the head -
I know I've failed my test.

I want to walk in my own way
along the path I choose,
but then He hits me on the head
with new life-giving news.

When I turn right, He leads me left;
when I go straight, He turns.
So I have learned to listen or
my life will crash and burn.

He has a special plan for me
and that is where He leads.
When I refuse to listen is
the time I fall and bleed.

I've learned to listen quietly -
His voice I need to hear
or I'll run willy-nilly head-
long crashing in fourth gear.

I've learned if I don't listen to
that quiet, gentle voice,
He'll hit me harder on the head
to show me the right choice.

But if I still ignore Him then
He'll really show me that
I'd better listen closer 'cause
He'll use His baseball bat.

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

You know when you don't listen, he yells a little louder. Then when you still don't listen, he yells louder and with punctuation.

Chapter 42
It's Not His Plan

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There's times that I feel lazy and I want to sit around.
I want to turn the world away and then turn off the sound.
I want to close my eyes in peace and just escape the crowd
'cause people drive me crazy when they're boisterous and loud.

Some times I want to move away to Spain or Timbuktu
to just escape the ones I know and flee from what they do.
I want to smell the roses when it's sixty-two below
and dance among the stars illuminated by their glow.

I want to pet a lion and then snuggle with a bear.
I want to dive the ocean and discover what is there.
I want to delve into my mind which is a scary place,
and find the best way to remove the wrinkles from my face.

But all the times of wanting whether funny or true blue,
are thoughts that live in my dreams that have taken wing and flew.
Because I gave my life to Him so many years ago,
He's sent me many places that He's wanted me to go.

I've met fantastic people who have needed what I tell,
experienced so many acts so I can relate well.
Some people need to know that they are never all alone
and plans we have today tomorrow may sink like a stone.

But He is always there and He will guide us when we fail,
and He will put us back on track when e're we try to bail.
He knows our hearts, he knows our needs, he's counted every hair.
He has a special plan for us and He will take us there.

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

Chapter 43
My First Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

(Just take a chance and read to the end, not just half way. You may laugh)

I've never gone this far before.
I've looked at pictures, lots, galore.
Just take my hand and ease my fear,
instruct me, Hun, and please be clear.

I think I know just what to do,
but, please be kind and talk me through.
I'm standing here, you have my trust,
I'm ready now, this is a must.

My heart is beating way too fast.
I can not breathe, a spell is cast.
My legs are trembling, I feel weak,
I'm hot ... I'm cold ... your strength I seek.

It looks too large, I'm worried now,
you need to help me on somehow.
Oh, no, you're wrong. I won't back out,
and when I'm on I plan to shout.

My heart feels like it's going to burst.
So which foot do I put in first?
As soon as I get on this horse
you know I'll be okay, of course.

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

Chapter 44
I Am Hardworking

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I try to do my job as well as any bird can do.
I'm very good at what I do and always see it through.

To some, I am a vulture while to others, I am king.
I am a turkey buzzard with my giant flowing wings.

I am a skillful hunter 'cause my prey's already dead.
So you can praise me all you want, it won't go to my head.

I love road kill that's freshly done and always washed up fish,
I rip and shred and tear and pull - they're quite some tasty dish.

I'm best known as the 'clean up crew', no weather holds me back.
I eat whatever meat I find, the smell keeps me on track.

Decaying odor's what I crave - a scavenger I am.
I'll circle round for hours and hours ... I really am a ham.

They say I look ungainly 'cause I hop when e'er I walk,
and 'cause I have no voice box, all I do is hiss and squawk.

I have great eyesight and because my sense of smell is keen,
I always find the freshest kill. I'm first upon the scene.

Fresh carrion is food of choice, I never get my fill.
I have to watch the speeding trucks or I'll be next road kill.

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

Chapter 45
I Am a Sight

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'm just a pup, not quite full grown.
I play to set of sun.
You'll see, when I tear 'cross the road,
this pup can really run.

The wind comes flowing at my face,
my feet n'er hit the ground.
I turn a corner, then you see
this pup can not be found.

Sometimes my feet run to the left,
the rest of me goes right .
I do a tumble, get back up,
and take off, what a sight.

My ears just fly behind my head,
my tongue is hanging out.
I know you see a smile on me
of that I have no doubt.

I chase my tail, the birds, the cats
and anything that moves.
They never see me coming when
I'm really in my groove.

When all my paws are in the air,
a hurdler's what I am.
I run a maze in half the time,
I'm really quite a ham.

The more you watch, the more I run,
as fast as I can go.
You cats had better step aside.
I'll mow you down, you know.

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

I remember my sons Basset Hound as he ran across the football field with my son in hot pursuit.

Chapter 46
My Walk Today

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 VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

We have excuses for everything we do, but deep down, where it is dark and still, we know ...

Chapter 47
Sitting Here

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Today, I sit here on the porch
just basking in the sun.
I need to feel His special touch
and know that I'm the one
that gets to lounge in His pure love
and feel His saving grace.
I feel His arms just holding me
in loving, warm embrace.

I close my eyes to concentrate
on what He's given me.
I listen to the sounds around
to let my soul float free.
The warmth upon my face grown hot -
I feel His presence near ...
and through the sounds around me, He
just whispers in my ear.

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

Chapter 48
Right Here

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Where are you, Lord?" I whispered 'midst my loneliness and fear;
He whispered back so quietly, "My child, I am right here".
I felt His presence near me by the goosebumps on my arm,
and knew that through His promises, He'd keep me from all harm.

"Where are you, Lord?" I cried through every jolt of searing pain;
I felt the warmth of His embrace like gentle Summer rain -
enveloping my every cell, His love encompassed all,
to hold me close through every spell, I knew I would not fall.

"Where are you, Lord?" I felt so lost, the devil had a hold -
that ev'ry thought and ev'ry move I made just felt so cold.
But in an instant all my thoughts became so very clear,
He took my hand to give me strength, "My child, I am right here".

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

Chapter 49
It Was Man's Choice 5-7-5

By Barb Hensongispsaca

God created man
to be pure and without blame -
sin made him evil.

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

Chapter 50
It Is Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Around this very time of year
before the break of Spring,
comes icy fingers, frozen toes, and
dozens of other things.

Everyone must find the time
for winterizing needs;
good planning will survive the cold -
helpful suggestions heed.

Included in your bag of tricks
just keeping you alive,
keep blankets and a shovel.
Lots of munchies to survive.

Make sure you have a flashlight and
new litter for the ice.
Oh, don't forget the sugar cubes,
pow'r bars would be so nice.

Quite a few dry matches and
reflectors, flares that shine;
some candles for a little light,
then markers for a sign.

Until help comes, remember your
voracity for life.
Warm hands and toes as best you can -
xeric clothes will lessen strife.

You be prepared, you will survive -
zip your coat and stay alive.

Author Notes xeric - containing little moisture, very dry

bd shutterspeed thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 51
Do I Dread or Welcome?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I feel the chill of nature's breath
go running up my spine,
and know, for aged, its spells defeat
from winter's icy tines.

Through Summer's sun, I basked in heat -
my bones rejoiced pain free;
but Autumn's blanket, crisp and clean,
brought aches, reminding me.

I must remember every time
I shovel out the drive,
to follow up with liniment
if I am to survive.

And from my place of storage, all
my blankets I must find,
'cause I am one year older so
this Winter won't be kind.

Epson salts go on my list of
things I have to buy,
so I can soak my cold, blue feet
to warm them ... well, I'll try.

I need to buy cold medicines
to fully stock my shelf,
'cause there's no one to rely on
except for just myself.

My car will need be stocked with gear
in case I'm stuck outside.
In Winter time, my home's my friend
please, don't ask for a ride.

But, Winter also is my friend,
no hurry-scurry days.
I take the time to just sit back,
relax, take time to pray.

It seems when I feel really good,
my Lord rides the back seat,
but Winter slows me down a lot
and takes me off my feet.

"I'm shotgun!" I can hear Him say.
"It's time you let Me in!
So let's sit back and talk awhile -
I've missed you ... let's begin."

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

shotgun - riding in the front passenger seat

Chapter 52

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Who's watching them walk off to school
and see they have no fear,
and noticing the things around
to be sure all is clear?

Who's watching as the late night shift
goes walking to their cars
to take off on a night of fun
while visiting the bars?

Who's watching all the homeless as
they sleep in corners dark
and shiver 'til the morning light -
makes them an easy mark?

Whose watching while a fire burns
consuming all it can,
t'was set by one that likes to watch
and take the life of man?

Who's watching as a fellow man
just wants to end his life
because the world around him gives
him nothing but pure strife?

Whose watching as a gang drives past
preparing to do harm
while innocents are standing by
but no one shouts alarm?

Who's watching all the teen-aged girls
that run away from home
straight into clutches of pure greed
that waits for them to roam?

Who's watching the downtrodden while
they're struggling to live
now victims of the scamming call
who take what they will give?

Who's watching all the elderly
who'll give their last held cent
to just have someone talk to them
before their lives are spent?

Who's watching every move we make
and most times cries for us
while we go on about our lives
as we complain and fuss?

He sees it all and loves us still
as we bring Him to tears,
He scoops us up and holds us close,
our thoughts He always hears.

Pure evil always walks with us
to torture everyday,
But God is watching over us
to help us through the fray.

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

Chapter 53
Jingle Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We may be close, we may be far,
I'll take a bus, I'll take a car;
if you need me, I'll be right there,
for you, my friend, I truly care.

I may be hours away or more,
but that's what friends are truly for.
If I can't reach you in a day
I know of yet another way.

I'll use the phone and we will talk,
together we will take a 'walk'
while we discuss what's ailing you.
I'm at your side till you are through.

I'm just a number dialed away,
or as a friend I know would say ...
as far as just a keyboard's stroke -
like reaching out to give a poke.

I'm letting you know I am here,
so never, ever have a fear
that you can't reach me when you need.
Your phone or text I'll always heed.

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

Chapter 54
I Want That One

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey, Daddy, Daddy, come and see -
I want that yellow one!
It's big and round and looks so good.
It looks just like the sun.

Hey, Daddy, Daddy, come and see -
there's one that's really blue.
It's kinda like the sky up there.
I want that, maybe two.

Hey, Daddy, Daddy, come and see -
that sucker's pretty neat.
It's green and pink and red and white,
look how the colors meet.

Hey, Daddy, Daddy, come and see -
this one beats all the rest.
It's long and curly, it will last,
I think I like it best.

Chapter 55
Happy Daughter's Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You don't know what you've given me
through years of watching you mature.
From times I held you on my knee
through all our trials - we did endure.

I sit and reminisce about
our hurts and tears that we went through,
together we erased all doubt
and worked toward what we had to do.

It wasn't easy, that's no lie,
but give up? That was not for us.
No matter what ... we'd always try
admidst a little tears and fuss.

I've cried more tears for every one
you've shed in sorrow in your past,
rejoiced for every progress done
and knew the things you've learned would last.

I am so proud of who you are
and even though you've gone your way,
you're in my heart, I'm never far.
I know that you will be okay.

Author Notes My daughters, Tammy Danielle Moore and Connie Ann Stander, are the lights of my life. This is one day I have to tell them how proud of them I am, and my love for them has no bounds.

Chapter 56
Modern Technology

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I do remember one fine day
when indoor plumbing came our way -
the water warm and toilets flushed,
and bathing then was never rushed.

Then came big phones - a luxury,
all party lines each home would see.
No privacy from that point on
'cause people talked from night to dawn.

Soon cars replaced the horse and sled,
and ovens to make homemade bread.
Refrigerators kept food cold,
so hunks of ice stopped being sold.

Then T.V.s brought the world to man,
and food was sold in sealed cans.
Someone came up with phones in cars
and man took flight to see the stars.

The C.B.s left and car phones came,
electronics brought brand new games.
Computers added special skills,
while cell phones made our safety real.

Soon hovercrafts took place of boats,
and furs replaced by soft down coats.
The vacuum cleaners now are round
and move without a cord or sound.

The 'clapper' really bottomed out
'cause now our voice has all the clout.
'Alexa' now controls our days -
turns on and off with what we say.

There's airplanes that no one can see,
and drones that spy - we're never free.
Someday we'll never have to walk,
we'll float on beds that even talk.

Technology has progressed fast,
but nothing seems to have to last.
Imagination's taken hold,
who knows what's next that's strange and bold.

Author Notes Picture this challenge found in the social clubs.
Write a poem of any style on the image shown ~ thanks to Robyn Corum for submitting this humorous picture. Keeping to the club's every-other-week schedule, post no sooner than September 23rd.

Chapter 57
I Forgot

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I gave Him all I had to give
and yet He asked for more.
I said, "I'm tired, I can't go on."
Forgot the crown He wore.

Forgot the life He gave for me,
forgot the path He walked,
forgot the cross at Calvary
while others stood and gawked.

Forgot His patience with the throng
that mocked His every move.
Forgot the tears of blood He shed,
His faithfulness He'd prove.

He led me through the gates of hell
and all the fires that be.
So how can I refuse His help
to give me strength to see?

I'm not so tired that I can't stand
and witness for my Lord,
that's all He wants for me to do -
come help me lift His sword!

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

Chapter 58
Ode to Lidocaine

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, my dearest, closest friend,
you hold such intoxication.
I so enjoy our special meetings
in a room made just for us.

Just a small pain I endure
to be able to receive your peaceful
freedom from pain
for just a little while.

I feel your elixir flow into my veins
as you release my body
from harsh reality
of age and disease.

You grant me a reprieve
from the constraint of pain
allowing me to live as a child
for a short, glorious time.

You, with your numbing flow,
permit me to dance and run
and feel alive -
to remember my pain-free joy.

I move freely without
the embarrassment of tears
running down my cheeks
as I try to push my joints to move.

Let me float on clouds of dreams
as you take me to another place
where I can stand tall and proud,
and say to the world ... 'I got this'!

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

For my fibromyalgia, I get lidocaine injections every six months just to be able to move.

Chapter 59
They Said It Would Be Fun

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It's true, I'm getting up in age,
things don't work as they should.
But I would still shake all I had
if only I just could.

The people on T.V. told me
that if I danced each day,
the aches and pains that I woke with
would surely melt away.

I used to shake and shimmy while
I won contests when young.
Now all I have to do is walk
to feel I've blown a lung.

'Work up to it' they said with ease,
'you've all the time you need.
Be sure you check your heart rate, though.
'Tis one thing you must heed.'

I squeezed into my leotards
then put the music on.
I started slow just like they said,
my breath was truly gone.

I huffed and puffed all through the tune,
until the very end.
I gyrated to work my bod
'til it just would not bend.

I wheezed and sneezed and fussed and fumed
while trying to breathe in,
I could not dance to one full song -
needed a slug of gin.

The worst part was, I tried to sing
to really get my groove.
But when the spasms started I
would screech each time I moved.

I glanced about just to be sure
the drapes were closed real tight,
the neighbors did not need to see
this real pathetic sight.

But what I saw collapsed me to
hysterics where I lay.
I saw my four cats watching me
with heads cocked the same way.

I don't know what they thought of me
but with the sounds I made,
the curiosity they showed
was shock and true dismay.

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

Yep, it is all true. I traumatized my cats.

Chapter 60
No Insult Intended

By Barb Hensongispsaca

they're just tics.
Not contagious -
you can not catch them.
They're my little glitches,
they're kinda like a habit
except these you can not control.
You're right, they are quite embarrassing,
and I would share them with you if I could.
But when I am worshiping in a church
when the people are very quiet,
the pastor is saying a prayer,
the organ's softly playing,
you can hear a pin drop,
pastor says 'amen',
all at once
I shout

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

Per Wikepedia:
Tourette syndrome (TS or simply Tourette's) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple motor tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. These tics characteristically wax and wane, can be suppressed temporarily, and are typically preceded by an unwanted urge or sensation in the affected muscles. Some common tics are eye blinking, coughing, throat clearing, sniffing, and facial movements. Tourette's does not adversely affect intelligence or life expectancy.

Tics are sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic movements (motor tics) and utterances (phonic tics) that involve discrete muscle groups. While individuals with tics are sometimes able to suppress their tics for limited periods of time, doing so often results in tension or mental exhaustion. People with Tourette's may seek a secluded spot to release their symptoms, or there may be a marked increase in tics after a period of suppression at school or at work.

Chapter 61
His Offer

By Barb Hensongispsaca

God made me such an offer that
I just could not refuse,
t'was free just for the asking and
there were no future dues.

I did not have to pay each day,
no interest on the debt.
The work I do is minimal
what better can you get?

And in return, the gifts I get
are many and all free,
though all I have to do is be
the best that I can be.

I don't just get a home that's free,
oh, no, I get the best.
I get a mansion in my name
complete with God's own crest.

It's decorated just my way
and done with just His glance,
complete with special style and grace
with pomp and circumstance.

I'll have my flowing robes of gold
and never want again,
I'll walk on stars, hear angels sing,
and find my kith and kin.

No pain, or fear, or loneliness,
just laughter all the time.
No locks on doors, or guns to kill,
no anger and no crime.

I'll have all chocolate that I want
and pets around my feet.
I ask you, doesn't this sound good?
This offer can't be beat!

No loan, no mortgage, or a fee
it really sounds just great,
I asked, "Oh, Lord, what must I do
to earn this debt-free fate?"

He said, "My child, I ask one thing
that's most can not achieve.
Just walk beside Me everyday
in Faith and just Believe."

I'll put a good word in for you
and help you meet your Boss.
Just think about the things I said -
you don't want ... it's your loss.

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

It's just that easy!! Think about it ? no more buying pain pills, no more addiction, no more losing loved ones, no more crying in the shower, no more disappointment, no more living on the streets, no more locked churches, no more military, no more silos, no more frustration, no more owing.

Chapter 62
The Importance of a Car Horn

By Barb Hensongispsaca

All cars are sold with working horns;
they're used to greet and used to warn.
They're used to say, "I'm coming through!"
or sometimes just to ask, "Guess who?"
They're used to fly through yellow lights
and warn off critters in the night.

They're used to say, "How do, dear friend?"
or someone's birthday starts a trend.
They're used when someone cuts in line,
or held to say, "That space is mine!"
They show displeasure - want to spar,
or just when someone touched the car.

They show support for a good cause,
but also sound off just because.
It takes one honk to say, "I'm here",
adding a honk says, "Hurry, dear."
The honk is long when cussing me,
make one real short says, "Hurry, please."

Sometimes they're honked as if to say ...
"I have a horn - I want to play!"

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

Chapter 63
Partners in Crime

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a friend that I don't know,
just met a little while ago.
Our thoughts in type are similar
which may be my sweet elixir.

She knows how to connect the dots,
to figure out some well-tied knots,
unraveling false stories told
and lies that have become too old.

I hear it all the time, you know,
'bout working late 'though work is slow.
At inconvenient times, he's gone
but comes home 'fore the early dawn.

He says he works two jobs for me,
I should be glad but I don't see
why we're behind in paying rent
and next week's check is nearly spent.

He sends me flow'rs with address wrong,
cologne he wears is way too strong.
The dog hair on his coat is blond -
sometimes I think I'm being conned.

He shaves at work, dull it must be.
The collar's red. That's blood I see?
I try to get the blood stains out
but they won't come when sprayed with 'Shout'.

His breath sometimes smells sickly sweet,
he looks away when our eyes meet.
Most times, he won't answer his phone,
I'm tired of being all alone.

I think I'll talk with my new friend
and see what rules I need to bend
to put a stop on his laid plans.
I'll 'cook his stew', I have the pans.

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

Michele Harber, thank you for the idea of doing this piece.

Please read her posting "Connecting the Dots".

Chapter 64
He Would Be Proud

By Barb Hensongispsaca

my grandson play
in the leaves I just raked,
I remember his father as
he did the same in moisture laden leaves
of Autumn's prelude to winter's chill,
bringing mem'ries of his death,
gifting me his son ...
'Hey, Grandma,

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

Chapter 65
Flight of The Hummingbird

By Barb Hensongispsaca

wings beat faster than
the human eye can follow -
frozen in mid air

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

Chapter 66
The Happy Little Can

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I watched a happy, little can
go rolling down the road.
It seemed so jolly and carefree,
it had no heavy load.

It made a little tinny sound
as it would bounce along.
Sometimes it jumped so very high
like naught in life was wrong.

The wind would help it twist and turn
as it rolled on past me.
I wanted to be just like that,
as happy as could be.

But as in life, the good times end,
this little can did soar,
until a car came 'round the bend
and it was round no more.

But we have one thing it does not
that keeps life's trials at bay ...
God pumps us up and give us life
and sends us on our way.

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

Chapter 67
Stylish Faux Pas

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I won a ticket for a show
and knew I really had to go.
A gospel sing to praise my Lord,
I planned to go, I'm never bored.

'Twas at a church just down the road,
I hoped that it would ease my load.
I checked my closet, nothing there
by way of something nice to wear.

I wanted something simple - neat,
a shirt, long skirt and, to complete,
a jacket with no gaudy flair,
just something stylish I could wear.

I found what I was looking for
at Clothes Are Us just right next door.
I held them up, I knew they'd fit -
a classy set in paisley knit.

I did not try them on at all,
I bought some shoes and left the mall.
It was a nice new set of clothes.
I put them on and then I froze.

In hidden places, I felt breeze -
'twere slits that came above my knees.
Oh, no, no, no, this would not do -
one slit was bad but there were two.

When I sashayed my thighs would show -
(I'd packed my fishnets years ago).
At sixty-seven would not do
so grabbed some jeans to see me through.

I opted whether go or stay,
decided I would be okay.
Discovered that I fit right in ...
with classy top and jeans - a win!

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

Chapter 68
Stepparent's Lives Are Waves

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Step parents
have the hardest job in the world.

Step parents
are either loved with a passion
that grants them total access into
mysterious, unobtainable depths
of the unmovable family circle ...

or ..

the are hated just as much
and kept at arms length,
to be used if needed
for attention or sympathy,
then their love shoved back
in their faces when
the crisis is over.

Step parents
are looked on as either
gods that know it all
and elevated to 'possible' status
or fools that know nothing
and shunned as something
found under a rock in the basement.

If the children of the household
are not going to accept the love offered,
they will do everything in their power
to be sure the step does not stay ...
from lying and deceit to befriending and using.

Living for the time when
they can run to the parent crying ...
'told you so'
'he/she hates me'
'you should hear how she/he talks to me when you are not here'
'she killed my goldfish out of hate'
'she made love to the mailman ... in your bed'

if love is offered and returned full fold,
pinch me I'm dreaming,
stand up and shout,
hallelujah born,
firework displayed,
totally unrefundable,
and welcomed with open arms
step parents
have the easiest job in the world.

Author Notes cleo 85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

I have a step daughter that accepts me and one that totally hates me. They are sisters.

Chapter 69
Grandma's Clothesline

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Remembering her special way,
way back when days were hard and long,
long lasting energy each day
day light to dusk, she'd plod along.

Along beside the house she'd lean.
Lean washboard up inside the tub.
Tub full of dirty clothes she'd clean,
clean each as she would sit and scrub.

Scrub all the clothes with love and care.
Care given to all stubborn stains.
Stains never had a chance that's fair,
fair weather, snow or sleet or rain.

Rain, Grandma said, was extra rinse.
Rinse all the soap and hang with care,
care given, Grandma had her cause ...
'Cause Grandma loved the nice fresh air.

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

Grandma washed in any weather and hung them on the clothesline to dry. In the winter, they would freeze dry. The fresh smell can not be beat.

Chapter 70
It Didn't Show

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A friend came in the other day
and asked if my life was okay.
He asked if I was born-again
and if my life was free from sin.

I sat and laughed right in his face,
said, "Yes, I know of my Lord's grace.
You do not know the path I've trod
to walk in fire to sit with God."

My friend begged me, "Please, don't be mad,
but lately you've seemed awfully sad.
I know you walk with Him each day,
but you seem to have lost your way."

I sat and thought, this friend was right.
My daily life has dimmed my sight.
'Cause even though I pray each day,
and walk along His narrow way,

my life I lead is now mundane
repeating things that are the same.
I take for granted all I do
not knowing how to see them through.

I've let things overcome my will,
this truly was a wake up pill.
I need to jazz my life once more
and show my Lord I still can roar.

In my mind's eye, I witnessed through
each thing I said and all I'd do,
My Lord walked steps where I would go,
but, through my days it didn't show.

My prayers now changed, not memorized,
each asked with love and not downsized.
My steps will show His hand of care
'cause I know that He's sent me there.

As Christians, we sometimes forget
our lives become placid and yet,
if we refresh our souls each day,
then we can never lose our way.

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

Sometimes we think we are witnessing, but we are just stepping. We need the feeling to be able to show others. We lose our way without even realizing it has happened, prayers become commonplace, witnessing has lost attitude, life become everyday repititions.

Chapter 71
Our Kerfuffle

By Barb Hensongispsaca

'Twas all I really said to him,
while speaking out just on a whim.
'You really don't know how to drive,
I'd like to get there while alive!'

He found offence in what I said.
'Then you should have stayed home in bed!'
In retrospect, I did agree -
'There's no place else I'd rather be.'

A fight ensued as he got mad -
he'd drifted right, oh, just a tad.
The sand trap caught and pulled us in,
he'd then drove where we'd never been.

The hill looked like a mountain side
as we skimmed down the gravel slide.
We hit the dirt, then bounced around
as that car made horrendous sounds.

The brakes burned out 'bout half way down,
my underwear was turning brown.
My life then flashed before my eyes.
I know the wildlife heard my cries.

The tires blew out, I held on tight,
then sparks ensued, t'was quite a sight.
My false teeth rattled from the bumps
as hubby, dear, hit all the humps.

The trees raced by, but in a blur.
The engine smoked and then it purred.
The car was gaining so much speed,
I had to pee, I felt the need.

The headlights gone, the windows, too;
we really were in quite a stew.
The hood unlatched and flew away.
The air bags popped - oh, what a day.

I saw the water 'fore we hit
then skimmed along until we lit.
The doors were gone so mud rushed in,
we laughed in shock, we could not win.

'Twas quite a trip, my husband mused -
kerfuffle was the word he used
as he tried to explain the way
we detoured on this fateful day.

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

Chapter 72
Grandpa, What Is It?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey, Grandpa, come here, lookie see!
I need your help, can you help me?
There's something biting on my line!
I don't know what, but it is mine.

It's not a bird, 'cause birds can fly.
It's not a snake, 'cause it's not dry.
It's not a worm, 'cause it's too long.
It's not a mouse, 'cause it's too strong.

Oh, Grandpa, please, what can it be?
I really hope it will like me
so I can keep it for a pet.
I'll dig a hole and keep it wet.

Do you know what it likes to eat?
I'll give it candy for a treat.
I'll feed it biscuits everyday.
Oh, Grandpa, no! It got away!

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

Chapter 73
You Truly Need Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a job that can't be beat
'cause what I do is really neat.
I am as handy as can be
just lose me once and you will see.

I hold the stuff you throw away.
It's in one place so you can't say
it's scattered all across the floor.
Just squeeze it in 'cause I'll hold more.

You practice to improve your skills
at throwing paper wads until
you improvise the hole-in-one.
Without me, you would have no fun.

You have some garbage that must go
but nothing into which to throw.
Instead of throwing on the floor,
put trash in me, then out the door.

You keep my brothers in each room,
just sweep up stuff with pan and broom.
Without me you would be hip deep
in garbage, then where would you sleep?

No matter what, I'm there for you.
I'm colorful and sturdy, too.
Stop throwing things down on the floor.
Just let me do my job before

your place looks like a garbage heap.
My job for you is just to keep
you clean and spotless as can be.
Now see? You can't do without me.

Author Notes Dolly's Poems told me she thought I could write about anything including a trash can. I hope this works for you.

Bruceiorio thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 74
His Majesty

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Smokie is a royal pain,
he comes and goes at will.
He does just what he wants to do,
he really is a pill.

His Majesty rules o'er the house
demanding all his way
He dictates when he's to be fed.
He has the final say.

He has a little kitty door
but he demands me go
to open up the door for him
so he goes to and fro.

For Halloween this year, I plan
to dress his royal snot
in fancy duds and crown on top
because he thinks he's hot.

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

Animal crackers challenge: Write a POEM OR PROSE on the topic of taking a pet, real or imaginary, trick-or treating in a costume YOU made (no pumpkin costumes, please). This could be funny, serious, or fantasy. (8-24 lines in length).

Chapter 75
Stop, Drop, and Roll

By Barb Hensongispsaca

In an apartment building
of older people
who sit most of the day,
or play bingo,
or watch T.V.,
or just visit ...

it is amazing when something
out of the ordinary
happens to take our
lives ...

out of its realm
and give us entertainment
and excitement
to forget troubles,
alter thoughts,
create chaos.

Today it happened,
the manager's grandchild,
was rolling on the lawn,
moving all over
as we watched.

He yelled to us
'what do you do in a fire?'
To which we looked at each other
in amazement,
in wonder,
in confusion.

He kept on rolling
as he laughed, daring us,
'You stop, drop and roll!'
Us old people
got out of our chairs,
joined him on the ground,
and rolled!

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

This is my entry to the challenge for the free verse on fire.

Chapter 76
Be a Saint in the Gutter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Teresa heard God's call at twelve,
worked closely by His side.
Became His 'soldier' as she lived
with those 'twere forced to hide.

She lived with the untouchables
that no one cared about,
to bring them peace and proof of love
because she had no doubt.

The lepers and the poor alike,
the orphans and the old,
all are the same in Jesus' eyes,
on them, her love, she doled.

Abided with the sick, the lame
to help their turmoil cease ...
she was a Saint in the Gutter
who showed them love and peace.

Showed Christ-like love and affection
she knew no other way.
When God lives deep within our hearts,
we give ourselves each day.

We sacrifice our time and love
when we are called by God.
The rich and poor are all alike
when God walks where they trod.

Since Jesus loved the overlooked -
they have a special spot.
We have to care for fellow man
and overlook them not.

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

Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu [commonly known as Mother Teresa and honoured in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of North Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Skopje for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.

In 1950, Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. It also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children's and family counselling programmes, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and also profess a fourth vow to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor." Mother Teresa was called the 'Saint in the Gutter'.

Teresa received a number of honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonised on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.

Chapter 77
They Really Meant Well

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My children thought I needed some excitement in my life.
From dawn until the end of day, I lived with too much strife.

They said I was so all alone and needed company.
They put me on a dating site where I don't want to be.

I told them I was set in ways that no one else could know;
but they said it was good for me and just go with the flow.

The first nice gentleman I met went screaming out the door.
The second one, oh, that dear soul, left wounded to the core.

The third was stronger so he tried a second date, you see.
He wound up moving out of town, said he was scared of me.

The fourth one changed his membership from this here dating site.
The fifth one said he'd never date another late at night.

I really do not understand why no one cares for me;
but, really, I don't want to date. I just want to be free.

I know I lecture and I'm rude and I've been known to moan.
My children hoped to pawn me off so I'd leave them alone.

My dears decided best thing was to buy their Mom a plant;
so I could lecture it instead next time I had to rant.

They looked until they found the best to handle all my fits.
"You can not kill a cactus, Mom, it's safe to lecture it!"

Chapter 78
My Ladylove

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Take me home, my ladylove.
Speak soft words, my turtledove.
Take me where it's wild and free,
by your side is where I'll be.

Let me speak of moon and stars,
come with me we'll sweep the bars.
Dance until the break of day,
then beside you I will lay.

I will whisper in your ear
luscious things you like to hear.
I would like to marry you,
have some kids, a few cows, too.

You will cook and clean and wash,
I will farm the land, by gosh.
We will work as one all day,
then at night, we'll stop to play.

You will be so proud of me,
I will be your man, you'll see.
Come on, girl, let's set the date,
you and me, well, that's just fate.

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

Romance is still the same no matter what part of the country you are from.

Chapter 79
And He Thought ...

By Barb Hensongispsaca

While on John's nightly walk, he felt ill at ease when the hair on the back of his neck stood at attention, seemingly trying to warn him that he should run. His feet frozen in place, he turned his head to see a large figure, with glowing red eyes and blood drenched lips, racing toward him.

No chance to run, John knew this was the last breath he would take, and as he screamed, his mind wondered - 'why me'?

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

Chapter 80
That Time Again

By Barb Hensongispsaca

it's time
for a change.
my whole clothes closet.
Summer things to the back,
warm clothes and boots to the front.
I wonder what happened to Fall.
Oh, Spring, please come and take me away!

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

Chapter 81
My Three Things

By Barb Hensongispsaca

If I was on a desert isle
and I could take three things,
I'd have to think quite long and hard
about what I would bring.

I'd need a way for making fire
so I'd keep warm and dry.
I do not like my food served raw,
and I don't care to try.

I'd boil my water to be safe
and hard set stones for tools.
I'd use the fire to steralize
and show the beasts who rules.

I'd need to have the largest knife
to help me stay alive.
I'd cut some timber for a place
to stay just to survive.

A weapon it would make for me,
plus carving out some bowls.
I'd even make some silverware -
now that would be a goal.

I'd carve a path where I would trod
and cut down fruit to eat.
If I were truly lucky, I
could gather my own meat.

Now for the third thing I would want
to take along with me,
would be a lot of writing tools
'cause no one would believe

this epic journey I would make,
I'd pen my life alone.
I'd write my poems and memoirs, too.
Oh, what skills I would hone.

I'd write down Bible verses that
I could recite by heart,
a thousand poems or more I'd pen,
'cause this would be my start.

I'd even write some songs about
my struggles I have faced.
And all this I could do o'er time,
no muss, no fuss, no haste.

I challenge you, what would you do
while on your desert isle -
if you could chose three things to take
and be there for awhile?

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

Chapter 82
I Want To Fly

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I am afraid of heights, I know
but I'd sure love to see
the world that's seen from far above
what beauty that would be.

The way the shadows darken some
while other colors blast.
A sight that's seen by very few
but would forever last.

The colors of the different trees,
the blue of ocean's hue.
The snow capped mountains with their white,
all seen, but by a few.

The tilled land laid in different squares
the trees as boundaries used,
the barren spaces burnt and brown,
by carelessness abused.

I'd love to reach and touch a cloud -
it floats serenely by,
and feel the wind upon my face
while drifting through the sky.

I'd love to try to sail the world
and see the sights unseen,
but fear of heights will hold me back
on terra firma green.

I know that I won't soar above
'cause I know where I'll be ...
I'll huddle in the corner spot
'cause I'm afraid to see.

Author Notes This is a challenge for the picture this club under social and clubs. Please come join us.

Chapter 83
Wolves in Sheeps Clothing

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 His loving lambs
who follow at His feet,
are lions holding him at bay,
controlling evil's heat.

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

Dawn gave me this message in an internet posting.

Chapter 84
Miss Mushroom and Mr. Toadstool

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now Suzie was a sweet, young thing
while Tommy was a hunk.
They met across the yard one day
while staring down a skunk.

Miss Suzie loves Sir Tommy with
a love that will not die.
'Though others tell her she's a fool,
she stares and asks them why.

They say he's from the other side
where she does not belong.
Therefore, the meetings by the two
should really all be wrong.

Because she's birthed in soil that's rich,
expensive and alive ...
while he's from ground that's hard and moist
and really is a dive.

She swears they'll be together in
the darkest place they'll find;
and they'll have little Toadshrooms just
to blow their parent's minds.

She's still a tiny, sweet, young thing
and he's one of the boys.
They are the garden version of
the Hatfields and McCoys.

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

Chapter 85
I'm Innocent, I Tell You

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I didn't do it, I've been framed!
I'm innocent of what I'm blamed.
There is no witness to attest
to what I did, it's just a guess.

When old Miss Cora lost her bird,
she said 'twas me, she gave her word.
She said she saw me at the door
with feathers flying as she roared.

Mean Mr. Johnson swore a curse.
He said he'd hurt me, maybe worse.
He said Charlene gave him ten kits.
He said 'twas mine, he threw a fit.

Then kind old Mrs. Weathersnipe
began to whine, complain and gripe.
She said I took her piece of ham,
I had to run, I'm on the lam.

I had a fight with Butch next door.
I really gave that dog what-for ...
five stitches 'cross his big wet nose.
So now no problems does he pose.

But there's no witness to that act.
His word 'gainst mine and that's a fact.
Except that blood trail led to me;
now, no one wants me running free.

I'm innocent, I tell you true.
These officers don't have a clue.
But, then again, I will admit,
that my Charlene played hard to get.

She kinda craved some ham and bird,
and even though, sounds quite absurd,
what Charlene wants, my Charlene gets.
The best puss cat I've ever met.

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

Chapter 86
Happy Tenth, My Love

By Barb Hensongispsaca

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

I know you're lying on the floor,
'twas me who put you there.
It was so easy to attack
when you got on the stairs.

You promised me your love divine,
I promised mine to you.
You told me how I'd failed so bad
in everything I'd do.

The accusations, first to come,
progressed to mental pain.
The beatings started slowly but
what did you hope to gain?

The first month of our wedded bliss,
found me with jaws wired shut.
The second found me two black eyes,
the third was three deep cuts.

Four missing teeth you gave to me
the fourth month of our lives.
The fifth was some of your best work,
my stab wounds numbered five.

Our sixth month was my longest one
you were at your best form.
Six dislocations were too much,
but I weathered the storm.

The seventh month brought color to
my pale and skinny form;
'cause seven black and blue spots made
my skin colored and warm.

The eighth month showed your artistry
with eight cigarette burns.
Nine broken bones came in the ninth,
my time had come - I'd learned.

Forgiveness I can do no more,
your pledge and pleadings - gone.
I can't believe a word you say,
I'll never be your pawn.

This is the anniversary
of ten months wedded bliss.
I figured what you planned for me
was tasting of death's kiss.

Decided 'twas time to fight back,
the stairs will take your life.
So Happy Anniversary -
I'm now your mourning wife.

Author Notes Ajith Nanayakkara thank you for permission to use your picture.

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. In 1970's, I wore sunglasses most of my days to hide the black eyes and long sleeved shirts to hide bruises. Then, there was no open help like there is today. But even now, with help to be found, some relationships are still not known until it is too late. I wound up running for my life.

Sometimes it takes the battered spouse years to come to terms that they are not supposed to be a punching bag for someone who has had a bad day or just for a person who loves to inflict pain and power over a weaker one. When the pain goes on and on, the victim breaks and there is a death either at the hands of the abuser or the victim has had enough.

If you are a victim or know someone who is, you are not alone and you can survive, you are already a survivor. Just go for help.

Chapter 87
Please Use Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Dear Lord,

Please use me.

My neighbor fell last night
and she lay on the floor
for hours
calling out for someone
to come.

Please use me.

A friend has dialysis
three times a week
for five hours
each day
he sits
alone and waiting
he is blind
he is afraid.

Please use me.

A relative has cancer
she goes for treatments
two times a week
many miles
no one wants to take time
to be with her
to drive her.

Please use me.

A man I know
has open sores
that do not heal
he is dirty
he is lonely
no one wants to be near
they are cautious
they are afraid.

Please use me.

Tell me
what you want me to do,
where you want me to go.
I am only one person.
Where is your army?
I will go where you send
and do what you want,
but I am one person.

Please use me.

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

We are children of God who worship Him faithfully, but we are also His hands on Earth. We do His will, His bidding. We go where He wants us to go, and do what He needs us to do. That means getting our hands dirty once in a while. But remember, He will clean us up afterwards.

Chapter 89
Halloween Cats 5-7-5

By Barb Hensongispsaca

moonlight fence-top love
wakes up boot-throwing neighbors
'cat'-aclysmic howls

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

Chapter 91
Never Stop Reaching

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Never stop
stretching your goals in life.
Reach farther every time you feel strife.

Grab onto
the tails of passing stars.
Don't limit your dreams, challenge your heart.

Walk with pride
as you soar tall over
life's actions that cause you disorder.

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

No matter what life throws at us, we have to reach that much farther and harder to reach what may seem impossible.

Chapter 92
The Rapture

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Ignoring warnings, sinners hide as Jesus returns to Earth to gather His lambs.

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

Chapter 93
Nature's Mix 5-7-5

By Barb Hensongispsaca

breeze blows leaves around
mixing colors as they drop
fall's kaleidoscope

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

Chapter 94
Midnight Hunter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

So quietly she stalks her prey
from her lofty perch overhead.
Her body dark and sleek, still lays,
no movement from her tail to head.

Embracing darkness, she blends in,
can not be seen by prying eyes.
Then sounds that crawl under your skin
from overhead - her screaming cries.

Her killing force is swift and sure,
sharp fangs dive deep - a life is gone.
For now, she ensures a future -
her cubs will see another dawn.

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

Chapter 95
My Big Toe

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, you majestic toe - you rock!
You stand so proud and tall.
Responsible for my balance,
you're my protective wall.

You're the biggest of all my toes;
you bend to help me stand.
I don't mind giving extra care,
you fulfill my demands.

The pain you bring when stubbing you
is shadowed by your grace.
The times you broke, you still were poised
as I fell on my face.

So I could never do without
your style and bunions, too.
You always go where e'er I go,
you stick to me like glue.

You come within a set of ten
and always stand so tall.
And when you help me dance around
we really have a ball.

You have a very special twin,
you look alike, you know.
Without you, I would have just nine.
You are a special toe.

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

Chapter 96
Prelude to a Scream

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He stood there watching.
HIs eyes blazing, fangs dripping -
then the lights went out.

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

Chapter 98
Into the Light

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Don't just stand around,
in the dark it hides beauty.
Come into the light.

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

Chapter 99
It Isn't There

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I want a cupboard full of food,
some sweets, now that's just fair.
I want a freezer full of meat ...
but it just isn't there.

I want a car to run the roads
to visit where I dare,
so I could see exotic spots ...
but it just isn't there.

I want to look good outwardly
so other people'd care.
I want to be a focal point ...
but it just isn't there.

I want to have companionship -
my life would feel less bare.
I want to hold hands, hug sometimes ...
but it just isn't there.

There are so many things in life
I wish I could make mine,
fine clothes, good meals, a car, a life
'cause all would be so fine.

But when I look around, I see
what others do not have.
Their lives are full and fancy free
and they don't need that salve.

They have their faith and grace-filled lives,
they laugh where e'er they go.
There's just enough for what they need
whenever troubles blow.

I realize the things I want
are not the things I need.
To hold strong onto my beliefs
are rules I need to heed.

'Cause all the stars up in the sky
won't give me peace within,
the more I want, the more I get,
the more I'll want to sin.

I'll be content with all the things
my Lord has given me,
and dance and sing His praises 'cause
His love has set me free.

I have a roof and food to eat
and friends with whom I share.
Temptation I don't worry 'bout
'causes it just isn't there.

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

Thank you Brenda Bickers for the idea.
If you have not read it, read her sonnet 'Food of Love'.

Chapter 100
Be His Witness

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 Picture is of me and my Canadian friend volunteering our time.

Chapter 101
The Rainbow's Purple

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Looking at the royal majesty
of the rainbow's purple,
we see a rich, powerful
color of hope and faith.

Looking deeper into the color
as it shines from its perch on high,
we see more than one hue -
many shades of promise.

Looking beyond the basic color,
we can watch it shimmer ...
a kaleidoscope of passion,
one blending into another.

Looking beyond consciousness,
we can feel the bleeding
of our ancient ancestors
as they died for their faith.

Looking deep inside ourselves,
we can feel the protection
of the Creator of Life
draping peace over us.

Author Notes Of all the colors God has allowed us to separate from lighter to darker hues of a chosen color, purple seems to be the most majestic. By the way, it is my favorite color.

This is my response to the free verse poem challenge on the color purple

Chapter 102
My OD Caffeine Poem

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Carol Candy stubbed her toe.
Uncle Franklin told her so.
Sprained my eyebrows standing up.
Drank spaghetti from a cup.

Washed the cat in the machine.
Took a bath 'til I was green.
Combed my moustache with a mop.
Drove an airplane on its top.

Ate some rocks to quench my thirst.
Lost a race but came in first.
Took a trip to see the stars.
Made mud pies from dust on Mars.

Typed a letter to my cat.
'Hit the road' with baseball bat.
Parked my car on Milky Way.
Said 'goodnight' to start my day.

Moon came out and kissed the sun.
Trees grew short till they were done.
Rocks give milk until they're dry.
Clouds poked rainbow in it's eye.

Took a bath in mustard sauce.
Used seaweed as dental floss.
Drove a shoe to Mars and back.
Parked my car inside a sack.

Caught some fish while riding whales.
Fried them up with jam and snails.
Fished for flowers with a pen.
Poem's started ... now's the end.

Author Notes Lynn R thank you for permission to use your picture.

Had too much coffee or forgot my medicine, not sure which.

Chapter 103
Monday Morning

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The cats woke me, I said 'good day'.
The sun begged me come out and play.
My eyes just would not open up.
My stomach said 'twas time to sup.

My mind thought of the things to do.
My prayers waited to be said through.
The bathroom called, 'twas time to go.
The neighbor mowing, 'Oh, no, no!'

The phone squealed loudly from it's stand.
My head throbbed like a college band.
Fresh coffee smelled so good to me.
The blankets said, 'It's warm, don't flee'.

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

Chapter 104
Happy Birthday

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She really is my bestest friend,
I'll cherish her love to the end.
She taught me how to love our Lord,
that Satan's word we can't afford.

As farm girls, we had chores to do,
but, afterwards we stuck like glue.
She lived right down the road from me,
we were as close as friends could be.

She helped me when my father died,
she stayed by me, right by my side.
We helped each other get through school
through classes we thought were so cool.

But after school, we went our ways
I found a job and in town stayed.
A missionary, she would roam
where God would send would be her home.

We n'er lost touch, my friend and I,
then later in God's bye and bye,
we joined again to reminisce,
to catch up on the things we'd missed.

We both have wins, and ones we've lost,
but we survived despite the cost.
Our faith has grown as we were taught
through God's pure love. That's what we sought.

On this, her special God filled day,
I wish her love and want to say -
she really is my bestest friend,
I'll cherish her love to the end.

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

We are a year apart but as close as sisters could ever be. Please meet Ronda, a friend for over 60 years, and my closest friend.

Chapter 105
Hello, Dahlin'

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I heard you were the best around
and that you really know this town.
I have a job that I need done
and if you help, it might be fun.

I seem to have misplaced my ring
it's diamond studded from a fling
I had with 'him' a few years back.
He really was good in the sack.

I took his ring when last we met
'cause he had lost it on a bet.
It was so stupid, you'll agree,
'cause, really, it belonged to me.

He owed me for a favor done.
I helped him hide a suspect's gun -
and other favors that I did ...
forgot the bodies that were hid.

I thought his ring would pay the debt.
He laughed and said I should forget.
You see, he had some dirt on me
I wanted no one else to see.

The ring held all the proof I'd need
to keep me safe from his pure greed.
He bet his life I'd never get
it off his finger where it set.

I got the ring, it was my prize,
but it was greatly oversized.
I need you to go 'round with me,
I need an escort, don't you see?

I need an extra set of eyes -
and no I'm not telling you lies.
My Hoffa will not look for me,
'cause I know he will let me be.

Author Notes This is my interpretation of the picture chosen for the 'picture this' challenge.

James Riddle Hoffa (born February 14, 1913; disappeared July 30, 1975, later declared dead July 30, 1982) was an American labor union leader who served as the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union from 1957 until 1971.

Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud in 1964, in two separate trials. He was imprisoned in 1967 and sentenced to 13 years. In mid-1971, he resigned as president of the union as part of a pardon agreement with President Richard Nixon; and he was released later that year, although barred from union activities until 1980. Hoffa, hoping to regain support and to return to IBT leadership, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn this order.

Hoffa vanished in late July 1975 and was never found. He was declared legally dead in 1982.

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