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A Fool and a Cigarette

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image by R.A.D. Stainforth
The Mag #149
"I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes."  ~Carl Sandburg, "Prairie," Complete Poems, 1950


When we are 16 we smoke all our tomorrows like cheap cigarettes and strawberry hill wine at an endless hangout at the corner store...
yet when we are old we smoke all our yesterdays like one fine cigar and rare expensive wine at a place we wish we had gone and can no longer afford.



"Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward." ~Soren Kierkegaard


Wishing Tess and everyone at The Mag a wonderful and Happy New Year!







Merry Christmas To All

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"There are no strangers on Christmas Eve."   ~Mildred Cram and Adele Comandini


To all my friends in bloggerland I want to simply say: "Merry Christmas!"

Of Snow and Ice

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Photo Credit

The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination.   ~Terri Guillemets

Winter's paradox is a dazzling dame in chiffon so white with supple lips of silence and sparkling yet peircing eyes. Her graceful beauty is a fascination for all who long to see yet when the cold winds blow she is as harsh as she can be.
Her hair flows like a flurry her skin soft like sheets of snow. She has a polished elegance that we all wish we could know. Her graceful beauty is a fascination for all who long to see yet when the cold winds blow she is as harsh as she can be.
She glides like dancing snowflakes and has tenure where she lay. Her awe becomes beguiling when we hope that she might stay, for her graceful beauty is a fascination for all who long to see yet when the cold winds blow she is as harsh as she can be.


Like a Lightning Crash

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Photo by Andy Magee
The Mag #148

Respecting the rain is not an observation that one does automatically like waving to a passerby or holding the door for another.  It is an appreciation one acquires when experience has led them to a knowledge that before did not exist.  This true regard does not come slowly like guitar lessons nor learning to love martinis, it is a split second shift of knowing.  Fast like a lightning crash it happens, the moment that the wheels and the road no longer have the right connection.  Looking back in slow motion, it is almost like a dance; a glide to the left and then maybe another swift move to the right, but when it happens, it is NO dance!  One finds them self screaming and holding the wheel as if it were the ledge of a building they were about to fall off of.  And it is like a fall, a horrible fall.  Once the movement has stopped, depending on what the object of destination is.  It could be a road sign, a ditch or another car even, but it all happens too…

There Are No Words

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"Sorrow makes us all children again - destroys all differences of intellect.  The wisest know nothing."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



In respect of the traumatic events on Friday, I simply have no words.  The only words I have to offer are prayers coming from my heart for all the families in grief.

Farewell Again Autumn

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"Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze."
~Emily Dickinson

Dearest Autumn my love so fair
how I wish you would never leave.

Your colors a bounty beyond compare
in your arms I long to cleave.

Our time together too short once more
a twirling dance I don't want to end.

But like a fickle kiss you will ignore
and leave me alone over and over again.

So with these words I take one last gaze
to your mystery and all your charms.

For my heart you always swiftly take
as I await you with open arms.



I know that autumn is long since gone, but it is my favorite season, and when the words came I went with it like the wind.

What is your favorite season?

Journal Junkie

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My name is Carrie and I am a journaloholic. Yes, these are ALL my journals, and frankly, there are more somewhere lost in my apartment. I do not remember when it all began.  Maybe it was when I kept note pads all over the place and would wake up in the middle of the night scrambling to find something to write down an idea with.  I am not really sure it just crept up on me and the next thing I knew I was loaded with them.  Now that I am aware of my problem, I try to resist the temptation to purchase again one more for my collection.  It is hard but I think I can do it, with the help of my fellow bloggers, and the fact that my check book stands strong with a firm no!


I also have a bit of a pen, pencil, and writing paraphernalia fetish, but that is an entirely different story....or should I say "horse of another color". :-) Do you have writing tools that you must have?

Home Made

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photo credit
Linking with Poetry Jam go there if you are hungry for more. :-)


"For the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind."  ~Loring A. Schuler



That is where all things big and small are made.  This place we call home.  It is a little different for us all, like an assortment of cookies for a Holiday party at Christmas Eve.  For some it is a wonderful mix in a bowl and others it is a burned and crumbly mess, but it is what it is.  All our integrity, hopes, cares, sense of what matters are born and bred here, like the mixing of the oatmeal, the sugar, and the butterscotch chips.  We become a batch stirred and baked for all to see when we leave those kitchen walls.  In the kitchen I grew up in, my father was the nurturer and cook.  He was the one that tucked us in bed, wiped on the vicks vapor rub when we were sick, checked to make sure we were covered up at night, and baked us cookies and fruit cake to give our teachers at Christmas time.  It was a wonde…

Drifting Apart

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photo source here
The Mag #147
"We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end." ~Blaise Pascal


We were two different countries  within the same continent you and I.
Your ways were not my own, although we stood there side by side.
My gravel roads led to your winding highways that seemed to never end,
and I knew where you were going just as you understood where I had been.
Yet somewhere between the new frontier and old roads in need of repair,
an ocean grew amidst this continent like the shifting plates of hearts and cares.



I have married twice and both times it has been a process much like shifting plates of the earth crust.  The ground has shifted beneath my feet, and I have been unable to remain in the place that I once stood.  I guess I could look at it as a loss or an utter failure, but I choose not to.  I have learned more from these 2 different and both difficult men than they will have ever truly learned from me.  I have come to und…

Life Lessons

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Object to be Destroyed by Man Ray

The Mag #146


In our living room we had a beautiful piano with a metronome that my mother made my brother use when he learned to play.  Of course, he really did not choose to take piano lessons, this was a dream of my mother's.  She played beautifully by ear, and wanted him to master the piano by the book, correctly note by note.  Although he became quite good, I think he resented the tedious practice he invested in a dream that was not his own.  Sadly, my mother passed away when my brother was merely 15 years old, and though he had already given up the lessons a year or two earlier, he would never touch that piano again after her death.  It always seemed like such a shame to me, that such talent would be wasted, but it was not my decision to make.  He had endured the many hours of practice, not for his own dreams, but for our mother's longing to pass down a legacy of musical craftsmanship. 

Many years have passed now, and both my brother and…

Between Hurt and Forgiveness

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Photo Credit
"He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass." ~George Herbert



Linking with Poets United Wonder Wednesday #11 Bridge


It is a precarious cliff
 in the middle of suffering's bitter ache.
No railing to brace the fall
 nor smooth trail to truly take.
 Desolation is one's comrad,
in this place of shifting ground.
Where blame wanders on all sides
 and grace cannot be found.
There is only one path
 that leads to a true retreat.
It is the bridge of forgiveness
 that sets hurt soldiers free.







One Beautiful Thing

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Tess's wonderful prompt site: The Mag #145
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."  ~Frederick Buechner



I used to view the world around me from a card table chair that I could fold up at any time, when I did not want to face what stood before me. And in that place all the debris and wreckage seemed greater than even one beautiful thing. So my gratitude walked away empty like an abandoned room. Real life does not have "high definition" big screen television. The big picture can be fuzzy, and all the details can be hard to detect. Hope can fall down unnoticed, like a penny beneath a chair cushion, and everything one sees can be distorted and hard to view. For clarity can be held close and then lost like an abducted child, leaving a soul to feel forsaken and lost in the rubble. I know that feeling.  I have held it within my soiled hands, and cradled it like a forlorn orphan, unable to let it go or see past the pain. Vi…

The Force of Change,

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Squall, 1986, by Andrew Wyeth
The Mag #144

"The wind shows us how close to the edge we are." ~Joan Didion

. We are a mere tug boat  in an ocean of waves. and like a stern father winds force pushes us on our way. We venture onward far from the touch of land. Seeking freedom's paddle within our hands. We do not settle nor take down roots. Nature has a way of making us move. For one cannot remain still in the midst of sea's storm, as the waters ever changing  provide their own scorn. We must ride each wave brave like a sailor true. You see that's just what all good sailors do.





The Battle Scars of Inconvenience

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Verdum, 1917, by Felix Vallotton
The Mag #143
If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem.  Everything else is inconvenience.   ~Robert Fulghum



Life is full of paper cuts that sting but leave no mark.
A thousand aggravations that attack us in the dark.

So we hide in a bunker trying to avoid every trap.
Dodging annoyances like bullets we lay low on our path.

Craving no resistance we march forward with closed eyes.
Soldiers on a mission to find oblivian at any price.

The battle for a perfect life is a stuggle that will never cease.
for this life is a journey of imperfections that simply serve to teach.


Loneliness Is The Longest of Seasons

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"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." ~Mark Twain

Linking with Poetry Jam

Spring is like a lover  that kisses you on the lips. While summer is a brother  that hits you with a fist. Then autumn is a sister you want to remain close. Yet lonely's name is winter that come to leave you all alone.

Geology of a Broken Heart

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Charis, Lake Ediza, California, 1937, by Edward Weston
The Mag # 142
Also linking with Imaginary Gardens open link Monday.

"God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces". ~Author Unknown

We cautiously excavate our  life like a young geologist unsure of what to let lay and what to keep.
Digging through each hurt like rubble and dusting off the loss for all to see.
We examine all the evidence of life hypothesizing the source of pain
looking for some reason hoping for proof or someone to blame.
We leave ourselves wide open when we search with eyes closed tight.
Trudging further in the mud instead of digging deeper down inside.
We take on the heavy burden to somehow carry on the journey home.
Never understanding these worn artifacts were not meant for us to bear alone.



I believe that the process of recovery and the lesson of letting go is an ongoing journey we never stop re-learning.  Life is full of adversity that we must face everyday, and like choosing sala…

A Legion of Ghosts

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"True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen." ~Francois de la Rochefoucauld 

All my regrests haunt me like a great legion of ghosts.
They lurk waiting to appear in the places I miss most.
One sits at the piano that I never learned to play.
Another echoes in the voice of the words I never say.
Some linger on the road side of the places I never went.
Others roam to distant places in the letters never sent.
There is one that resides under glass upon a higher shelf.
While another stands in a stranger's shoes reminding me of myself.
Each one follows where I go like a lover still in a love thats new.
For I embrace them close and hard and thats just what lovers do.


Linking with Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads


I do believe in ghosts...I know people that have seen them....and I believe it to be true.  Of course my poem is not really about real ghosts, but I do believe that there are many things in our lives that can haunt us just like an apparition…

Boooooooo!

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"When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween."
~Author Unknown

Hope everyone in the blogospere has a wonderful Halloween with thier family!

Kiss Life On The Lips

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The Mag # 141
Life is a lover one must kiss on the lips if you want to feel its warm embrace. You cannot merely touch its hand, or peck its soft sweet face. Wrap your arms around it and hold it forever near. Caress its naked truth and strip away your threads of fear. Crawl into its cushioned bed and lie next to its reward of bliss. For to live life to its fullest you must kiss it right on the lips.

This is a re-post of an older poem, but I felt it worked too perfectly for the prompt to pass it up.

A Gossamer of Souls

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Photo courtesy wonderful Ella at Ella's Edge
Linking with Poet's United Wonder Wednesday #6 Web

Like veins that lead to the heart, we are all connected by a web that the eyes cannot see.
From oceans to continents
and languages to cultures
we branch out like a redwood tree.

With differences as grand as deserts
and kinship greater
 than the ocean wide,

we span a vast horizon
like many different species
yet one strong seagull on the inside.




Expensive Lessons Have a Lifetime Guarentee

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The Mag #140
"Do you know the difference between education and experience?  Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't. " ~Pete Seeger


I have spent many a tattered dollar learning the hard way.  Sometimes it seems I could hold seminars on what not to do, with my life as an example.  It could be called "Learning The Hard Way For Dummies",  I guess if it were popular and filled the empty seats of the colosseum maybe I would become rich with a million dollars in the bank or maybe if I had listened to my Grandfather I would have a lot more dollars in my pocket now.  There is no way to know for sure, but I am certain that empty pocketed or not, I am much wiser now than when I started.

The Stumbling Blocks of Man,
Our grandfathers built a foundation upon the truths they came to know so that we might know them to.
Yet we have cracked the masonry and created stumbling blocks that our grandchildren will have to move.




Autumn Speaks

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It whispers of the journey home... It converses with the wind... It articulates the way with every step we take... Its auburn lips only tell of wonders.... It has a silence that speaks of peace... My heart sits and waits to hear it speak every October.

What does Autumn speak to you?

First Cousins Once Removed

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"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't."  ~Blaise Pascal



They touch just at the fringe of brilliance and the edge of the obscure as their descent both rises and falls from the same force where one's exhale is vapor for the other a lineage that spans beyond our vision above our own design they are relatives in a world where oracles can only be found by blind faith light and shadow both accentuate the other each one showing contrast serving a purpose to decide what is and what is not consider this a test that no other can answer for you you must see it for yourself.

linking with Poetry Jam This week's theme is "Shadows".

An Ode To Chocolate Cake

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Midnight Snack, 1984, by Curtis Wilson Cost
The Mag #139

"Worries go down better with soup."  ~Jewish Proverb "or chocolate cake..." ~Carrie :-)

So many nights I wake up pondering on all the whys and worries of my life. I toss and turn with wrestling regrets  that punch and know how to win a fight.
Soon I am up and wandering towards my side by side frigidaire
hoping for some chocolate cake
to knock out my worries and cares.
When all the crumbs are scooped up
with a fork or tongue to plate
I head back to my empty bedroom
and rest peacefully until daybreak.











Giving Taking and Letting Go

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Sick Woman, 1665, by Jan Steen
The Mag #138
In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.  ~Author Unknown

Of all the comforts that I have been given and every prescriptions I have taken the medicine of simply letting go has been the truest remedy of them all.


Also linking with dVerse Open Link

Somewhere In A Forrest

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Photo by George Grall The Amazon Horned Toad for info on this amazing Amazon creature click here.

Linking with Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads for Transforming Friday.
"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug."  ~Helen Keller

Deep inside the forrest is like an ocean of unusual fish there are creatures of every variety that we never knew we'de miss.
They lurk in obscure places from den trees to lilly pads and fight for their survival like we struggle to earn our cash.
We live our lives oblivious to our fellow creatures beyond the brush yet our actions affect their ecology and we never heed or hush.
For deep inside the forrest is like an ocean of amazing fish there are creatures of every variety that we never knew we'de miss.











It Was A Beautiful Sloppy Mess

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It Must Be Time For Lunch Now, 1979, by Francesca Woodman

The Mag #137


"Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is."  ~Nadine Gordimer

When I was a child  I spooned life in like banana pudding never caring how much spilled on my hands and face.
I took in all the answers like a hungry lover longing for her love's next embrace.
My quest for truth and meaning was enduring yet clumsy  with an awkward flair
I chewed up all my questions with my mouth wide open and crumbs wild in my hair.
Yet somewhere between life's wonderful lunches  and disappointment's feast
I lost my unkept hunger and grew fat on complacency learning to be discreet.





The Heart of Hercules

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Summer Night, 1913, by Albert Bloch
The Mag #133 with awesome Tess.

"There is no ghost so difficult to lay as the ghost of an injury." ~Alexander Smith


My heart is a collector  of many burdensome heirlooms  too heavy to truly hold each loss is like a boulder every hurt is asphalt that could cover a boulevard and scrape a thousand knees I carry them all mightily with the strength of hercules the burdens of a thousand grievances weigh down like titanic in the sea and all the ghosts of abandoned longings are still waiting to be freed for all the force one endures  to hold them internally is frail compared to the might it takes to give them liberty.

Also linking with lovely Emily at Imperfect Prose









Dear Sir

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"There must be millions of people all over the world who never get any love letters... I could be their leader. " ~Charlie Brown




Linking with Poetry Jam

The art of writing a letter
surely is a dying craft.
Who needs a pen and paper
when a computer is in your lap.
E-mails have replaced our need of stamps
and facebook the envelopes.
Now the mail man only delivers bills
and stationary companies are going broke.



Light Weight Like Paper Heavy Like Words

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Big Room, 1948, by Andrew Wyeth
The Mag 132
"There's a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes."  ~Emily Dickinson

Some memories pierce through my mind  like winter's morning light  through a window pane  moves through a big room then like weary guests  from a long journey  others sit at my table with the weight of old regrets   together we relive the past walk the halls of torn down houses remembering the laughter trying to forget the loss.











Fallen

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Some people embrace love with the fervor of a missionary holding it close like a book of scriptures to the heart while others just cup it softly and awkward like a nestling that has somehow fallen from where it once was the love I hold has wandered through both paths like a lost fawn searching for comfort in the dark once my heart found it I grasped hold with the strength of a thousand men never wanting to let go yet too weak to try
now I tenderly keep it within my palm
knowing it is too fragile
to withstand another fall.


Linking with Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads Fireblossom Friday #10
....and yes I am late very late as usual. :-)

Unleashed

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image by Zelko Nedic
The Mag #128
"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." ~Havelock Ellis



We hold on to life like a leash on a prized black lab not wanting to lose a grip on what we have and do not have so we precede in our places  pulling tighter as we move fast trying to train the future to be better than the past we want to breed a champion a great legacy to be viewed yet the harder we hold on the more freedom we do lose for the handler of the show and the true holder of the leash is gracefully trying to guide us if we will follow where He leads.

Writer's Block

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artwork by Jack Vettriano
The Mag #126

"Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies."  ~Terri Guillemets

I hope for a muse like a lady in waiting peering through sheer curtains at a world that seems so far away words that once lingered with me like a lover in love now are nowhere to be seen I wait in silence looking to the distance hoping for a grand return but I will not give up true love never does.



Beautiful Free Bird

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 "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."  ~Epictetus
Linking with lovely Emily at Imperfect Prose.

Life with all its struggles and frustrations has a way of weighing us down, like mud from a landslide knocking us to the ground motionless in a stagnant place.  Then it becomes difficult to see ahead or even move forward from there.  I have found myself wallowing in this condition more times than I care to admit.

A while back I was there once again, stuck in a mound of self pity, facing another situation uncertain what direction to go next.  As I wondered why life always seems to be so hard, out of the blue something amazing happened.

Being an avid blogger, I occasionally receive random e-mails from people that I do not know.  Usually, commenting on my blog, or asking questions, but on this day it was something different.  I opened an e-mail from a young lady with a story that could move any heart from compla…