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in 2013 

THE _ 


Statement of Editorial Policy 

It shall be the policy of the Editorial Board of the 
Primer to provide an open, accepting, and flexible medium for 
creative communication. It's thrust shall be directed toward 
enjoyment for the reader and a mechanism for personal expression 
for the contributor. The material for this initial publication 
was such that the Editorial Board was able to choose at least 
one selection from each contributor. However, due to space 
limitations, we could not include all material received. 

For future issues, we invite both those of you who are 
experienced writers and those of you who consider yourselves 
novices to share with us your written words. If you have never 
written before, try it! 

Copyright© Myers Park Baptist Church 1.978 

All rights are reserved to the individual authors, from whom 
permission must be obtained to use any material from this 
publication in any way. 

Editor. Nancy Geer 

Associate Editor Carole Outwater 

Staff Advisor Julie Jay 

Lay-Out Advisor Art Ellis 

Sponsoring Committee. ... Interpretation and Communication 

Committee , Board of Education 
Editorial Board Delbert Bowles 

Linda Christopher 

Esther Creasman 

Mary Crews 

Art Ellis 

Mary Kratt 

Jack McLarn 

Ike McLaughlin 

Kitty Powl 

Alice Steadman 


Jean Alford, p. 27 
Delbert Bowles, p. 13 
Duncan Campbel 1 , p. 35 
Archie Carroll , p. 10 
Linda Christopher, p. 7, 46 
Esther Creasman, p. 22 
Jim Crews, p. 39 
Mary Crews, p. 4 
Ethel Crites, p. 45 
Jane Duncan, p. 23 
Harriett Fortenberry, p. 42 
Grace Freeman, p. 9 
Nancy Geer, p. 14 
Nancy Green, p. 13 
Tom Heffernan, p. 2 
Rose Herran, p. 50 
Doug Ipock, p. 34 
Peggy Irons, p. 28 
Bailey Irwin, p. 35, 44 

Hunter Kratt, p. 49 
Mary Kratt, p. 8 
Michael Kreuger, p. 35 
Alan Mclntyre, p. 35 
Jack McLarn, p. 24, 25 
Ike McLaughlin, p. 26,40 
Thelma McLaughlin, p. 15 
Gini Osborne, p. 12, 46 
David Outwater, p. 3 
Elsie F. Outwater, p. 36 
Ruff in Pearce, p. 35 
Kitty Powl, p. 51 
Tracy Powl , p. 52 
Veegie Short, p. 41 
Beulah Smith, p. 11 
Beezy Starnes, p. 22 
Alice Steadman, p. 47 
Cindy Tice, p. 21 
Boice Triplett, p. 48 
John Wagster, p. 1 


The editorial board solicited and received a variety of 
suggestions for title and logo design for this publication. 
The Primer and accompanying design, submitted by Frank Geer, 
was selected. We want The Primer to provide not only a 
vehicle for sharing what we want to say to each other, but 
to also "prime the pump " of the great well of untapped 
creativity that lives in each of us and spills out when we 
are " primed " by shared meaning in another. We hope your 
creativity and courage to share with us will be encouraged 
and stimulated. 

The Primer Staff wishes to acknowledge appreciation 
to the following people who have been gracious enough to 
share special talents and skills. We would also like to 
thank the assemblers of The Primer , whose names were not 
available at printing date. 

Title and Logo Frank Geer 

Donation of paper and cover Moze Loftin 

Loan of Typewriter A. F. Dancy Co. 

Printing of Cover Ike McLaughlin 

Bob Tobias 

Illustrations Ruth Burts, p. 21 

Frank Geer, p. 23,27,38 
Nancy Geer, p. 41 ,51 
Hunter Kratt, p. 52 
Ike McLaughlin, p. 26 
Lee Mishoe, p. 3 

Typing Mary Arsvold 

Marcie Foard 
Mary Kratt 
Jack McLarn 
Mary Meares 
Carole Outwater 
Beezy Starnes 
Nancy Tenhies 


Twelve strong men met 

With but one thought, 

To meet a pressing need. 

The thought became a vision - 

The vision called forth a people - 

The symbol is of brick and wood, 

The shape, a cruciform. 

John Wagster 


At nearly six o'clock 
the city draws itself 
to itself 

where water plays over geometric bronzes 
like silver music like silver 
breath from a cavern underground 

the cavern is a place no one has ever found 
and the paths of the water streaming up 
are paths no one has ever traced 

a thirty-year-old man 
with ancestry from several 

his skin 

the color of light American oak 
and European yew 

and the African baobob 

stands on the edge 

of the water-curtain blowing 

in the updraft 

from under the Public Library 
across from the yellow light 

just turned on 
at Duffy's pub 
he stands at the edge 

seeing nothing seeing the water 

his eyes turned inward 

where the water is flowing flowing flowing 

Tom Heffernan 


The first thing you will need is a dirty dog. 

There is no sense in cleaning a clean dog. 

The next thing you will need is some soap, some water, 

A towel, and a bicycle so you don't get wet. 

Now comes the hard part - catching the dog. 

If you're smart, you'll set up the stuff while the dog 

Isn't looking and then catch him. 

Then throw him into the tub. 

Wash him, then rinse him off, and then 

Get on the bicycle and split! 

David Outwater 



Sleep, my child, 

Plump cheeks, bright hair on the pillow. 
Soft winds blow their poisons, foul and free: 
Your blood flows fast with its heavv load 
Of fallout and DOT. 

Seeds of unimagined plagues 

Beat on their test-tube jails. 

Deadly gas moves overland 

On frail spines of roadways and rails. 

Bubonic virus is bottled now, my love. 
And rusting hulks leak their fatal slime 
Upon Atlantic reefs. 

Under oceans and over clouds, 
Buried beneath bare sands, 
Ready to fly, the missiles wait 
The hour of their commands. 

Death is available for all, at bulk rate. 
Yet the matching game goes on, 
Lit by the phantom glow 
Of a thousand Hiroshimas. 

College greens shriek blood and fire. 
Cities are hushed with stealth. 
Hunger stalks, its dagger raised, 
The neon streets of wealth. 

For the bombs and murder abroad, 
Bombs and murder at home. 

For the blank eyes and swollen bellies no balm 
But for the man who has everythina, 


Gamblers play one hand at a time, 
Not caring about the next round. 
Embalm the forests! Pave the fields! 
Flood the delta's black ground! 

Once-crystal lakes rot. 

Birds hatch deformed young. If they hatch. 
Grounded gulls slither on black beaches. 
But the factory owners and the oilmen 
And the poison makers 
Have their money, 
Hallelujah , 

To breathe and swim in and eat. 

Old folk shut out the world with double bolts. 
The young flee it on pot and speed. 
Everywhere we turn out the lights 
To escape in love's strong need. 

Soon our three billion will be seven, 

Needing bread and multiplying garbage. 

The Pope says, No pill. No I U D. Count. 

Abstain from the sweet giving of love for love's sake. 

The enlightened man in the street says, 

No one can tell me how many children to have. 


Dream, my child, 

Plump cheeks, bright hair on the pillow, 
Heart beating fast with hunger 
For the promised feast of the years. 
Feed your heart on dreams-- 

Of green grass in plenty, 
Open spaces 

Cool shade under full branches 
Smokeless sunlight 



Of long evening walks in a quiet town 

Streams for fishing 

Lakes to swim in 

Wide white bands of sand 

And time. 

Of clean meat 
Rain-washed fruit 
Sweet water 

The pure taste of snow cream 
On a winter night 

And time— 

For leisurely growing up 

With safe, lazy days for thought and play 

For growing serious slowly 

And strong inside, 

For dreaming under peaceful skies 

Of a home someday, and babies, 

And being free 

And having a future 

With time 

To love 
And be. 

Mary Crews 





My neck gets tense. 

My child gets restless and wiggly. 

It is hot. 

The Muzak is annoying. 

People come. 

Patients go. 

Finally — they call our name. 
We are seated in another room. 

Linda G. Christopher 



What if I had not been home 
the day they came 

that flock of goldfinch flying north 

chasing spring's unrolling edge. 

They pause where water welcomes them 

in her backyard. 

Seeing them, she 

lifts her telephone to a window 

and there describing, gives them to me 

the yellow flecks, the dew 

so rare she has to tell . 

Listening, knowing her window, 

the cool yard 

I see -them 

until her sigh says 

there they go 

and morning becomes wide and green 
an exquisite emptiness. 


Everyone I know 

is out collecting 

Chippendale or children 

rooms, dollars, smiles. 

Today I met a woman 

who's subtracting from her life 

last year a husband 

now a house 

nine rooms to three. 

She must select 

a placemat for herself 

and one for company 

which chair or table 

dish and picture. 

There is no longer room. 

Mary Kratt 



I am secure 

knowing you could survive 
should a careless car 
careen down the same street 
on which I walk 
or some new stubborn bug 
speed my death 

before scientists such as you 
find answers 
in petri dishes. 

Yet I take comfort 
feeling you would not have 
another wife 

should my life end first -- 

until you know 

the emptiness of sliding 

your hand across the sheet 

to touch my skin 

and find I am not there; 

to come for lunch 

discover no homemade soup 

simmers on a busy stove; 

feel silly and sad 

to pick up a ringing phone 

and still expect 

my voice to call your name. 

I would not want 

these hurting days and nights 

to last too long. 

I think you' 11 know 

when to hunt for pen 

and fresh paper 

on which to write. 

Grace Freeman 



The English language often suffers because it lacks the fine 
shades of meaning which might sharply distinguish what one word 
means as compared to another that is frequently used in the same 
context. Two such words are Statesman and Politician, and the 
overlapping or interchangeabi 1 i ty of those words often applied in 
describing a given candidate or office holder has been one of the 
undermining factors of our democratic form of government. 

The dictionary defines "statesman" as (1) "A man who is versed 
in the management of affairs of State," and very specifically as 
(2) "one who exhibits ability of the highest kind in directing the 
affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues." 
That seems clear enough, doesn't it? And then in its definition of 
"Politician," we read, "one who, in seeking or conducting public 
office, is more concerned to win favor or to retain power than to 
maintain principles." That seems clear and specific, and fully con- 
trasts the two words, doesn't it? Yes, until we also read that one 
synonym for "politician" is "statesman"! 

And that confusion or, more correctly, contradiction is indeed 
frustrating. We wonder how it is possible for two words, which seem 
to vividly contrast the attributes of political candidates or office 
holders, to be defined as synonomous. The answer, of course, is 
that the dictionary attempts to define words according to the mean- 
ings that our usage has applied over the years, not limiting the 
definition to its original meaning. And we must agree that over the 
years much or most of the American public has not cared, or dared, 
to insist that our candidates and office holders be statesmen instead 
of politicians. And therein lies the real tragedy, the cancer, in 
our political processes and the administration of government. 

In the middle of the last century Alexis de Toqueville, of 
France, lived several years in our country and was an astute 
appraiser of our form of government. His writings are frequently 
read and quoted, one of his best known statements being that 
"America is great because she is good, and if she ever ceases to be 
good she will cease to be great." 

But de Toqueville was even more specific. He said (and I 
paraphrase): Democracy in America will succeed until the politi- 
cians and office holders realize that they can perpetuate themselves 


in power by promising everybody everything. As I see it, 
de Toqueville was clairvoyant and prophetic, because that's 
exactly where we are today: a predominance of politicians and a 
scarcity of statesmen. Thus the long-range good of our citizenry 
and country is generally disregarded in favor of the short-range 
and expedient benefit of politicians so capable of exploiting our 
short-sightedness and gullibility. 

Archie Carroll 

LIVING IS great: 

The dogwoods are blooming. 
The airplanes are zooming. 
The birds are humming 
Guitars are strumming 

— And everything is mighty gayl 

The weather is springing. 
The kids are all teaming. 
Roadways are all filling. 
Why have any killing? 

— It's better to have it this way 

The Church is gaining 
Sorrow is waning. 
Everyone is sharing. 
Music is blaring. 

— Let's everyone have a great say 

The season is spinning. 
The teams are winning. 
The robins are singing. 
The sun is shining. 

— God put it all here for a stay! 

Beulah Smith 



I saw my son last week - 

A round-eyed crew-cut baby wearing red, 
You saw him, too? 

Oh, no, that wasn't he; 
It must have been some other mother's child. 

Though it wasn't long ago that - 
But still... 

I saw my son last week - 

A jean-clad kid with books beneath both arms. 
So earnest. 

But no. My boy's more sophisticated now. 
It must have been another's teen. 
I saw my son last week - 

The level gaze from hazel eyes, 
A boyish man - or is it a mannish boy? 

His vision of tomorrow shows, 
Leaks a little through the rapid studied carelessness, 

The sharpened conversation. 
Perhaps that really was my son. 

I saw him just last week. 

I wonder if he saw me too. 

Gini Osborne 


82 is wormwood; 82 is gall — 
But better to be wormwood, than not to be at 

Nancy Green 


Musclebui lders 
Sand in my diet 
Pebbles in my crop 

They wear my teeth 
Shatter my nerves 

Please, Lord 

One meal of Prime Rib 

No sand 

Delbert Bowles 



She risked only small offerings 
At the beginning 
A timid smi le 
A tremulous greeting 
A furtive glance 


Lingering conversation 
Entwining hands 
Stolen embraces 



He would have been glad for less 

Nancy Geer 


Listless, lifeless, spinning, 

Endlessly beginning, 
Death painstaking, grinning, 

Moving, mocking, winning. 

Winging, singing, flying, 

Effortlessly trying, 
Life, precarious, sighing, 

Having not lived is dying. 

Nancy Geer 



IN THE 1800's 



She chinked another notch in the log beside the well -- 
he had been gone six days no matter — there was supper 
to be fixed and two cows to milk. She set about directing the 
children in their chores of caring for the livestock and bring- 
ing in the firewood. 

The crisp evening air curled at her skirts as she lowered 
a bucket into the well; the first of many that would be pulled 
for watering the stock and for the kitchen chores. She ignored 
as best she could the uneasy feeling he might be sick or injured 
and alone out on the trail. Experienced trapper though he was, 
things had become more difficult for him since he had broken his 
arm two winters before. His ability to set the traps and re- 
trieve the bounty was all that existed between him and extinction. 
If he had luck, he could survive on the meat and strip the skins 
for exchange at the trading post. 

If he didn't — 

He had started out the first morning aimin' to set a two 
day run of traps along Guessin' Creek, then gather up and clean 
his catch of hides on the return. He had said he would be home 
the evening of the fourth day. He would then stretch and dry the 
hides until the early part of the year when he would hope to have 
collected enough to make the long haul into North Platte, where 
he would exchange the hides for sugar, salt and other staples. 
Another collection toward springtime would be exchanged for seeds 
and tools for planting. If his catch was better than usual he 
might surprise one of the girls with a piece of "store-bought 
goods" from which she could fashion a dress. There weren't many 
chances for fancies or frills, what with fourteen in the family, 
and, always, it seemed, another one in the "oven". 


She thought of the times they had had together -- of 
how they had come to be in this strange and lonely place -- 
lured by the promise of fertile soil and the good life. She 
thought of how she had wanted to go to a fancy school back 
East, and how her father had said it "weren't fittin'". And 
before she knew it, here she was with a husband and a brand 
new baby, carving out a life on the frontier. 

It was not like him to be gone over his stated time -- 
he was a good dependable man. The uneasy feeling that he 
might be sick kept pace with her supper preparations. 

He had taken the only pack mule with him, leaving her and 
the children with no means of searching for him save to fol- 
low his trap lines on foot. As she mixed the flour for biscuit 
dough she decided she would send the two older boys to find him 
if he hadn't arrived by the next evening. 

He sat on the creek bank skipping rocks across the calm 
surface of the water. A rabbit he had snared was roasting on 
the camp fire. The shadows of the brush played hopscotch with 
the flames. He hoped she wouldn't be too anxious over his stay- 
ing longer than planned. This had been an especially good run 
for him and his eyes danced in rhythm with the fire as he planned 
all the extra surprises he would be able to trade for. She had 
wanted curtains for the kitchen last spring but after the neces- 
sary seeds and staples were bought, there was only enough for a 
small wash pot. 

He thought of the times they had had together -- of how 
she had come with him to this strange and lonely place. He 
thought of how through child after child she had been the strong 
one. He, of course, had helped her with all the deliveries -- 
the closest doctor was in Corzad. Besides, a doctor was only for 
real emergencies. 

He thought of how they had named each of their children 
together and how they managed to have a special meal together 
after each birth, a sort of Christening Ceremony. 

He finished eating the roasted rabbit, gathered more of 
the scarce firewood for his camp fire and prepared to bed down 
once more before the final leg of his trip which would have him 
at home by tomorrow evening, and wouldn't she feel fine when she 
realized there would be new curtains this springl 


She rolled out and shaped the biscuit dough, cut and 
placed them on trays and popped them into the oven. The 
table had been set by the girls and son Roy had just brought 
in a fresh pitcher of milk. 

Where could he be, this husband? Surely he must be 
hurt no, she couldn't think about that he was just 
slow because he had to chase the mule -- that's it -- or 
worse yet he might have been caught in one of his traps -- 
time to serve the stew. 

As she ladled out the vegetable stew and served piping 
hot biscuits to her brood, she wondered if he had decided to 
go on to the trading post — rejected that thought because he 
had more hides drying here that he would want to take with him. 

He checked the mule, saw that it was tied and secure 
for the night, and banked the fire for the final time. As he 
settled into his bed roll he imagined there might be enough 
hides to exchange for a small surprise for each of the children. 
He busied himself with planning just how he would go about 
selecting each special gift for each special child. 

After the meal she sat beside the fire, trying to see 
well enough by the light of the one oil lamp to finish knitting 
a sweater she had begun several weeks ago as a birthday present 
for the oldest child, Roy. He would be fifteen soon and would 
probably be thinking of marrying and starting a family of his 
own. Her thoughts drifted off to the evening Roy was born. 

She remembered how frightened she had been, and how he 
had been the strong one and stayed with her, singing a soft 
lullaby and stroking her back. She remembered after Roy was 
born, the three of them had huddled together all night for 
warmth against a severe winter chill. And the breakfast he had 
cooked and brought to her bedside where they ate and talked to 
their new babe. 

She scarcely allowed herself to wonder if there would 
be any more moments of closeness between them. Surely he would 
be home by tomorrow. 

One by one the children went off to bed after their 
story telling and she, tiring of her knitting, blew out the oil 
lamp and fashioned a pallet beside the fire -- telling herself 
it was for warmth, but knowing she wanted to be close to the 
door in case he happened to come home. 


At daybreak she was up scurrying around, a large fire 
rekindled, a pot of mush on the stove and children out with 
the morning chores. She had been saving the eggs for his 
homecoming breakfast but if he didn't come soon, they would 
have to use them. The few chickens produced about eight eggs 
a day, enough for a twice a week breakfast feast of scrambled 
eggs, mush and dozens of hot biscuits. 

She would have to pack supplies for the boys to take 
off on the trail early in the morning if he didn't come home. 
Eggs and biscuits would give them a good full stomach for 
the trip. 

The first early rays of the sun had peeped over the 
ridge. He popped open an eyelid, shook the dew off his thick 
eyebrows and getting his bearings, looked around quickly for 
his mule and the hides he had worked so hard to gather. The 
mule looked back as if to say "let's get on with it". He 
hopped up, stirred the fire and rummaged around looking for 
anything he could call breakfast. He had just enough of the 
precious coffee grounds left in his pack to brew a cup for 
the trail. As the can of water from the creek bubbled on the 
campfire he loaded the hides onto the mule and packed up for 
the trip home. He would make it by dusk if the weather held 
and the mule behaved properly. He doubted it could do anything 
else considering the heavy load of hides. He fairly danced 
about as he remembered again how successful his trip had been 
and was eager to be at home. 

After breakfast, as the children made the beds and set 
the kitchen straight she built a fire out in the yard, under 
the wash pot he had brought her last year. It did make washing 
the clothes a lot easier but she had secretly hoped he would 
bring her the curtains she had all but dreamed about. Oh, 
wouldn't he feel fine if he could come in from a long hard day 
and relax by the fire while she readied supper in her new kitchen 
with the Razzle-Dazzle store-bought curtains -- what a silly 
thing to be thinking new when he was probably needing her help 
somewhere out on the trail. The uneasy feeling of yesterday 
did battle again with her clothes washing -- she must not let it 
win. Instead, she watched the children. 

There had been talk among the folks around of building 
a school house for the children and of hiring a teacher, but so 
far it had amounted to only talk. She had been determined that 


each of her children would at least learn to read and write, 
so each day she had insisted upon a lesson time when they 
all would be required to learn the alphabet and their numbers. 
She had taught Roy when he was 5 or 6 and each year she would 
add new words from her own limited vocabulary. As each child 
reached the age, the next older one helped with his or her 
alphabet and numbers. It wasn't easy for them to concentrate 
today. She was afraid that she had made them worry about 
their father being gone so long. Lesson time would have to 
wait. Instead she set them to getting ready for the noon day 
meal while she finished the laundry. 

He had walked, helf pulling, half being pulled by the 
mule, along Guessin' Creek, quickening each step, wishing he 
had the energy to run the entire way. The last few traps were 
just ahead, and after their catch had been added to the already 
sagging animal he would be free to aim straight for home. The 
hours seemed to drag by and he reckoned they were having their 
lesson time right now. He couldn't imagine what good it would 
do them to know how to read and write if there wasn't anything 
to read and no one to write to. She had wanted it this way 
and he went along with it because he really couldn't see any 
harm, although he tended to think a body should be out earnin" 
his keep by workin' hard all day long. 

He located the last group of traps, pulled up the mule 
for some grazing and a rest while he readied the hides for 
travel. He might have enough time to build a fire and roast 
a small piece of meat while he worked. He had another large 

As the sun streaked the afternoon sky she found it more 
and more difficult to keep her mind on the clothes washing. 
She had washed and hung to dry four loads and was heating the 
water for the final wash of the day. No one had been very 
hungry at noon time and for the first time in recent memory 
she had food left over. Little Chance had refused to eat any- 
thing and Bess just played in hers. They had half-heartedly 
sung songs and danced around, played hide and seek, but she 
could sense their pain and the uneasy feeling was once more 
with her. 

Before long it would be time to go to the well again 
to fetch water for the evening chores. She finished the wash, 
called the children to begin the afternoon ritual and trudged 
toward the log beside the well. Tonight there would be seven 


Notches and she was caught up in the urgency of finding him now. 
She shouldn't have waited one more day. He had never been this 
late before. She momentarily slumped over the log, then recover- 
ing, slowly began lowering the bucket into the water of the well. 

Georgie saw him first. He was in the chicken coop gather- 
ing eggs when he glanced out the back window. Just a speck at 
first. Could it be? His eyes glued on the speck -- it seemed 
to be getting larger. Could it be? It is!! Georgie got so 
excited he took off running to the well, dropped two eggs and 
almost upset John carrying a pail full of freshly drawn milk. 
It's himli He's here! Look over there!! 

She dropped the bucket full of water and ran toward 
Georgie to see if she could see the speck in the west. 

The mule was holding up well somehow sensing his 
great need to make it home -- he was at last allowing himself 
to begin to feel the tiredness that had been his companion the 
last two days. He strained to see if he could see anything 
ahead -- surely the house would be in view soon -- yes -- there 
it is -- closer now -- yes -- I think I see her out by the log, 
carvin' one of her notches again -- that woman is a born school- 
marm. Someone's runnin' out of the chicken coop -- durn foxes 
musta got in there again. Oh -- must be worse than that -- 
she's running toward the chicken coop -- oh, I've got to harry 
and help them -- come on, mule! 

By now they were all yelling and running toward him. She 
had stopped to pick up Little Chance and Roy had Bess. They met 
midway amid great shouting and hugging. 

He had not been a demonstrative man. He shied away from 
the close contact, thinking it not quite manly. He wasn't sure 
what he was feeling right now but it felt good. 

She and he stopped, looked at one another, and then she 
spied the mule so laden down with hides it could barely walk. 
Not only would there be eggs for breakfast -- there just might 
this year be a brand new pair of curtains for the kitchen win- 
dow, and wouldn't they feel fine. 

Thelma McLaughlin 



There once was a turkey named Peter 

Who had a friend the anteater. 

They were very good friends 

Until right to the end 

When they took a nap under the cedar. 


There once was a pumpkin named Bobby 

Who had a very good hobby. 

His hobby was to stand still 

And it gave him a thrill. 

He did a good job in the lobby. 



By light of Sunday 
the group gathers, 
holds hands, 

The seance begins . 
Voices bring recognition, 
closeness sustains. 
For some 

the table dances. 

Holy Ghosts. 

Esther Creasman 


I cry -- 
Tears come down 
Burning my cheeks 
Leaving a salty taste 
On my lips. 

Tomorrow I'll know 
I have cried 
But no one else wi 11 
Have heard or seen. 

I alone will know 
The welling up 
And letting out 
Of tears. 

Beezy Starnes 



Life today was a hectic race. 

I was never meant to maintain such a pace. 

By mid-afternoon I was all a-growl 

And ready to pounce on the first child to howl. 

Just when patience and time had run out, 

My ears were pierced by a roaring shout, 

"Mom 1 . Mom'." 

"What j_s it?" I screamed, 

"What could you possibly want now?" 

"Just to give you these," he said. 

A more meaningful gift I could never have had 

Than violets clutched between grimy boy-fingers. 

"For you," he said. 

I feel ashamed now that what had seemed so important all 

Is lost to memory because of the way 

That child changed my order of values today. 

The soaring sea gull, free to bel 

But, on reflection, surely see 

The labor that precedes 

The easy, flowing glide. 

What frenzied flapping goes before 

The freedom of his ride. 

Jane Duncan 



Jane Duncan 


I crouched before the idiot-b 

While ninety thousand voice 
A great announcer's strident 

"Across the last white-stri 
Ninety thousand splitting thr 

Because a kid in blue and g 
Now ten more weary, bloodied 

Take up again their endless 

The Monday morning quarterbac 

Reconstructs with studied c 
The glamor of the battle, the 

Have faded into nothing 
With cryptic pencilled diagra 

A wealth of hard statistics 
He blasts the week-end hero, 

And pays a living tribute t 

There's something mighty head 

The short-lived hour of glo 
I guess sometimes its worth i 

Our brief span of existence 
But I think of something more 

As the crowd drifts to the 
Somehow I know, the final jud 

Won't overlook that splendi 


I It 

a Falstaff in my hand, 
ifhrieked a single name. 
1 -- "He's got it! He's away! 
line, into the Hall of Fame 
s, a howling, screaming roar, 
50 i has plunged across a goal. 
!s, scarred and battle-torn, 
isk to make another hole. 

in the silence of his den, 
1 the story of each play, 
tunder of the crowd, 
that was yesterday. 
4 a host of dreary facts, 
;ched upon his soul , 
•ips off the crown of tin, 
;he guys who made the hole. 

:|n the plaudits of the crowd, 
t for the chap who made the run. 
in the kind of life we live, 
till the seat-banks hide the sun. 
i/hen the game is in the books, 
its, and the drums of triumph roll 
m when he awards the crowns, 
ji|:rew -- the guys who made the hole 

J. C. McL 


I smoked my first 
In seven years 

It was delicious 
Whitewarm soothing 

filled pink lungs 
with tars and ashes 
The mind 
with forgotten memories 
of youth 

Life at its bud 
I was eighteen 

for a few puffs 

A few puffs more 

You know 

And oh. . . oh. . . 

there's a lot to be said 

for this slow suicide 

It might just be 

Something worth dying for. 

Ike McLaughlin 













Jean Alford 


Kissin' Kin 

Uncle Joe Simpson came to see us again today. We didn't expect 
him to come ever again, but we heard the back screen door bang, and 
there he was, blue denim overalls and sweaty blue shirt and all. 

Tish and I were alone, doing the dishes and arguing. Tish was 
drying a big butcher knife and she held it pointed straight out in 
front of her. Uncle Joe got as close to her as the knife would let him. 
When Tish spoke, her voice was casual, but she held that knife rigid 
and her knuckles were white. 

Afterward, we giggled a lot and admitted we were scared. But 
I think we both enjoyed it, a little. Uncle Joe is very old, and I'm 
sure we could outrun him. Though Tish says he is a good runner for 
such an old man. 

"Where's John?" Uncle Joe demanded. I could see the narrow brown 
streams at the corners of his mouth; tobacco juice, gracefully following 
the lines of his drooping gray moustache. 

John--we call him Papa--is our grandfather. "Papa just stepped 
out to the garden," Tish lied. "Didn't you see him when you came in?" 
Papa had gone to the store for pipe tobacco. 

"Is your Ma home?" 

"Oh, she's around somewhere," I answered quickly, though he hadn't 
looked at me, to show Tish I can lie, too. Mother wouldn't be home for 

"I didn't see John in the garden." 
"I think he's tending the roses...." 

The screen door banged and Papa had come home. He settled Uncle 
Joe in the sitting room and came back to the kitchen. 

"Has he been here long?" 

"No, he just came." 


It was miserably hot. It usually is in Alabama in August. Even 
the flies are drowsy. They will just stand still and let you swat them. 
But Papa did not offer Uncle Joe any iced tea or even any cold water 
from the refrigerator. He just filled a couple of glasses from the tap. 
It must have been pretty warm. 

Uncle Joe is no kin to us. I don't know why we call hinV'uncle". 
He is Papa's last old friend. They were boys together and there are no 
others left who were boys with them. Their talk usually follows a certaii 
pattern: First they discuss politics and cuss the Republican Party. 
They remember courtin' days. Papa has never tried to out-brag Uncle 
Joe about women. I used to think Uncle Joe was lying, but now I don't 
know. They talk about such things as the size of strawberries when they 
were little boys and how cold the creek was for the first spring swim. 
They laugh awhile at some funny thing they remember and they drift into 
talking of old friends, arguing sometimes as to the exact date of 
somebody's death. 

Uncle Joe came here for the first time about two years ago, soon 
after Papa came to live with us. He scared me that first day, too. 
He came in the back door and surprised us in the kitchen. He fell upon 
Papa like a grizzly bear and began to beat him on the shoulders and 
back, laughing and talking in that guttural, old man's voice. After a 
dazed moment, Papa recognized him and began to slap him on the back and 

"Who is it? Do you know him?" I asked Mother. 

"Why, she'd know my old hide if she saw it in a tan yard," he 

"It's Uncle Joe Simpson. He's your Papa's oldest, best friend." 
She smiled and let him hug her. 

"Are these purty little girls yore grandbabies, John? How did 
an old coot like you have such purty little grandbabies?" He grabbed 
Tish by the shoulders and she giggled and smiled her million-dollar 
smile. He kept on patting her and squeezing her arm while he talked. 
I edged away, but it was all right with Tish. Tish and old people adore 
each other. They flock to her. She says things that make them laugh 
and kisses them, if necessary. "Your Letitia," they say to Mother, "is 
such a lovely girl . " 


I don't like old people—especially not to touch. Just being 
polite to them strains me. Of course, I always give Papa a goodnight 
kiss, a quick peck on his pink leather cheek. But that's different. 

I suspect that Papa is a good man, which is saying something, 
because I am undecided about everybody else. When he came to live with 
us, Papa insisted on taking the tiny, shabby bedroom at the back of the 
house. He said he didn't want "the young people" to be afraid to have 
parties and make noise on account of him. And we do have parties and we 
do make noise and we never worry about Papa at all. He is a little deaf, 
anyhow. He listens to the radio— his eyes aren't good enough for TV-- 
and he sits with his ear right up against it, touching it, so he won't 
have to turn the volume up and make the rest of us uncomfortable. 

But the thing that really tips me off about Papa is the garden. 
The earth gives him roses. Mother had bought a dozen rose bushes, 
already blooming from clots of earth. We set the bushes out, but they 
were poor, straggling things and seemed doomed to die. We were sad 
because they were so beautiful. But nothing we did made those roses 
love life. Until Papa came. He pruned and fertilized and watered, 
early and late. The rose garden lived and bloomed. He planted more 
roses, too, some old-fashioned ones. There is a pink rose, so tiny it 
looks as if it grew for a doll's house. 

"It is a sweetheart rose," said Papa. "It was your grandmother's 
favorite." I like it very much.' 

Tish likes the sweetheart roses, too. She wears a little knot of 
them pinned to her dress every morning when she goes to work at the 
courthouse. Her summer job was a little surprise from Daddy. He fixed 
it up with the Probate Judge that Tish should work in his office. The 
reason he gave went something like this: "My eldest daughter has grown 
into a creature of such radiant beauty that when school is out for the 
summer my home will surely be besieged by suitors: pimply-faced adoles- 
cents, beardless youths, earnest bachelors, aged widowers--all competing 
for the hand of Letitia DuPre Byron. They will lurk in the shadows of 
the trees. The very woodwork will teem with them; they will eat my 
provender and clutter my abode. There may even be violence and blood- 
shed." There was more in the same vein. But Dad is really just worried 
about one boy, Duane Gentry. Last summer, Duane and Tish were always 
together, at the pool or the movies or taking long--very long--drives 
into the country. 


It has been popular among the teen-agers lately to drive 
across the state line to Rising Fawn, Georgia, and get married. 
Daddy is not the only nervous parent in town. 

Tish went around pouting about the job for several days. I 
know she had meant to spend the summer at the city pool, getting 
a tan and flirting with the lifeguards. Rut she cheered up as 
soon as she realized that some of the college boys--expecially 
the ones in pre-Law--would have summer jobs at the courthouse. 
Tish likes boys. And boys like Tish. Her hair is golden, her 
eyes are blue. She has a wide, thin mouth and a perfect nose. 
Her skin in summer is golden brown--except this summer, of course. 
But even her paleness has set a trend. I notice at the pool that 
lots of the girls are swimming only in the early morning or late 
afternoon. They have decided it is more becoming—and more South- 
ern Belle--to be pale. Tish is like that. 

I made an excuse to go by Tish's office, once, just to snoop. 
She had three boys in there, employees at the courthouse, just 
standing around talking and admiring her. I didn't see a sign of 
the judge. 

I think most days must be like that one for Tish, because 
she certainly doesn't seem tired when she comes home in the after- 
noons. Except once. One Thursday. That day she came in breathing 
hard. Her cheeks were red and her hair was wild. The sweetheart 
roses on her blouse were crushed, their heads hanging down over 
the long straight pin that held them on. Mother and I were startled 
when she rushed into the sitting room. 

"What is it, Tish?" 

"What's the matter?" 

"Uncle Joe Simpson," she Said, gasping, "Uncle Joe Simpson 
came to the courthouse." 

Uncle Joe had come into the office just as Tish was getting 
ready to leave. It was a little past the noon closing time for 
Thursday, and Tish was alone. Uncle Joe hugged her as usual and 


she responded as usual — until he tried to kiss her on the mouth 
for real . 

" I don't think I could have got aw ay- -he is strong, that 
old man--but my corsage pin stuck him and he jerked back and I 
got loose and ran around to the other side of the desk. He pointed 
to my birthstone ring and said 'Did some ol 1 boy give you that 
ring? I bet you let him kiss you. I'll buy you a ring--purtier 
'n' that--if you let me kiss you.' Then he chased me around the 

" How did you get away?" I wanted to laugh. 

" I just ran into the hall and out the front door. " I'd 
have done that sooner, but I was afraid someone would see." She 
looked as if she might be going to cry. 

" Did anyone see?" There's Mother for you. First things 
first. Tish shook her head no. "Good. Now, don't say anything 
to your father. I guess--I'd better tell Papa. Uncle Joe might 
come here sometime when I'm not home." 

"Come here?" I asked. "How could he, now?" 

Mother shook her head impatiently. "Honey, his mind's gone. 
He may even forget it happened. Sometimes old men get funny ideas 
about young girls . " 

She did tell Papa, right away. We could hear her in the 
next room telling him. 

"The old fool," said Papa. "The damned old fool." And then 
he cussed, softly. It isn't really unusual to hear Papa cuss, 
but that day he used some words I had never heard before. 

I smirked at Tish and said, "I am surprised, the way you 
dress and the way you flirt, that something like this hasn't 
happened to you before now." 

Tish smoothed her hair. " You should have such problems." 
And it was true. 


And I guess what Mother said about Uncle Joe's mind was true, 
too. Because here he was today, popping in the back door the same 
as always. Just as if nothing had happened. 

Only Papa was different. Instead of the usual ping-pong 
of their talk, there was just the deep sound of Uncle Joe's voice, 
worrying some scrap of conversation, but getting in reply only 
a grunt. Or silence. Tish and I stopped giggling and listened 
as we dried the dishes. After a time, we heard the radio. There 
was a newscast. I could imagine Papa sitting with his ear against 
the speaker, his shoulder raised and his back turned to Uncle Joe. 
Soon we heard the side door close gently. The radio snapped off 
immedi ately. 

Papa was standing by the radio, wiping his face with his hand- 

"Has he gone?" I asked. 

"Yes. I don't think he will be back. I was cold to him. 
The fool. The damned old fool." Papa thrust his handkerchief in 
an angry wad into his pocket. Then he went into the garden, 
where he sat for a long time staring at one red rose. 

Peggy Irons 



The dead are dancing one last time 
In hopes to show the fate to come 
To those who but now are being born. 

Today's costumes are nondescript 

No brilliance like last autumn's show. 

But rise and dance they do 

To rhythms of warming breezes which now blow. 

From graves upon the forest floor 

They leap, together swirl, then flutter down 

For they can do no more 

After today but lie there in decay. 

The dance is done -- 
Not seen by that new cast of leaves 
Who, for now, can call their own 
That place up there close to the sun. 

Doug Ipock 



Popcorn is funny 

look at it 
it's crunchy 

and Bailey's eating it 
it's fluffy 

I like butter salt better than the corn 
and the kernels 

so salty and good 
popcorn reminds me of the movies 
no it reminds me of my father he 
eats a whole bowl every night 
my sister she's a pig over it 

hey it's half gone 
it reminds me of dinner 
it tastes horrible when it's burnt 
when it's burnt I feel I am about to burn too 

I need some more popcorn 
when it's all gone I feel 



like something inside me is popping. 

Duncan Campbell 
Bailey Irwin 
Michael Kreuger 
Alan Mclntyre 
Puffin Pearce 



Amos threw himself on the ground and rested his chin on his 
hands. His face was red from anger and hurrying. His curly 
hair was damp from perspiration. "I hate those dumb kids," he 
thought. "Why don't they leave me alone? I can't help it if 
I'm tall--taller than anybody around here. Kids, that is." 

He lay quiet for a few minutes to catch his breath. He 
poked a long blade of grass down a hole and waited for it to 
wiggle. Slowly and cautiously he pulled it up. Sure enough -- 
there was a tuny bug clinging to it. 

He could still hear the taunting voices of the children 
hollering: "Amos, Amos, too tall Amos. How's the weather up 
there, Amos? Bean Pole, Bean Pole. Stub your toe in a rabbit 
hole!" He had pretended to ignore them and had walked slowly 
away, trying not to let them see they bothered him. As soon as 
he was out of sight, he ran as fast as he could. 

The breeze felt cool, and gradually his anger began to go 
away. "Heck," he thought. "I can do lots of things those little 
kids can't do. Like rescuing Mary's kitten caught in the trees 
or putting things on the top shelf at school for Miss Marlowe or 
helping Dad in the orchard. And Mom's always saying, 'I don't 
know what I'd do without you, Amos'." 

"Maybe I'll run away. But that's a coward's way, and I'm 
not a coward, I hope." He sighed and stook up. "Guess I'll go 
down to the brook." This was one of his favorite places where 
he liked to sit in the shade of the trees and think and dream. 
He sat down on the bank and listened to the murmur and chatter 
of the clear water over the stones. He could see tiny fish dart 
about and little crabs moving in the water. Everything seemed 
small but him. 

"Hi, Amos! What are you doing down here all by yourself?" 
Amos looked up. It was his grandfather. "Nothing," said Amos. 
"Something bothering you, boy?" asked his grandfather. Amos 
was silent. "Kids been calling you names again?" Amos slowly 
nodded his head. "You're too sensible a boy to let that bother 
you very long, Amos. Look at all the help you are around here 


because you are strong as well as tall. Be proud of what you are 
and make the most of it." 

Amos thought about what his grandfather was saying. They 
were great friends and shared many secrets and problems. He 
knew his grandfather was right, but still... "Let me tell you a 
story, Amos," continued his grandfather, "about a farm boy like 
you who had the same problem. He liked to fish and hunt and 
read. He was tall. Taller than any boy around, and when he grew 
up, taller than any man around. He studied hard and always did 
the best he could whether it was chopping wood, doing chores, or 
earning a living. He wanted to be a lawyer, but the Revolution- 
ary War came along and he joined the army. Again he was the 
tallest man in the army and had to have a special uniform made to 
fit him. He was handsome, though, and a brave and faithful 
soldier." Amos listened intently. "Go on, please," he said. 
"Well, Amos, at the siege of Yorktown, General LaFayette, the 
famous French general who had come to help us, selected our young 
soldier as one of twenty-five men to go with him to open up the 
trenches so that they might be able to take the fortress. 

"Early one foggy morning at General LaFayette' s signal, the 
twenty-five soldiers, armed with muskets and axes, cut and hacked 
their way through the brush to open up the path. The trenches 
were protected with palisades, rocks, and long poles sharpened to 
a point and set in the ground. Slowly but steadily they advanced 
when suddenly the enemy blocked their way. General LaFayette was 
leading, and the tall young soldier was right behind him. He 
looked up and saw a musket aimed straight at LaFayette. Without 
hesitation, he pushed his beloved general aside and stood in front 
of him. The bullet went harmlessly through the top of his hat. 
He rushed forward, followed by LaFayette and the others, and the 
fortress was taken. 

"Long years after in 1824, General LaFayette was the "Nation's 
Guest," and he visited the old soldier who had saved his life and 
shared such danger. He had never forgotten his "tall friend". 
They both wept at the reunion. 

"That man, Amos, was your great-great-great grandfather, Amos 
Parker. This farm" where you live was given to him by his govern- 
ment for his courageous act. At the surrender of Cornwallis, he 


stood at the right of the line of American soldiers because he 
was the tallest man in the army. 

"Being tall is part of your heritage—so stand tall, Amos!" 
Amos gazed at his grandfather for a long moment. He stood up to 
his full height. He looked around at the land he loved. Then 
he grinned and his eyes were shining. "Come on, Gramps," he 
said. "I'm ready. Let's go home." 

Elsie Fisk Outwater 




While disenchanted man extends his reach 

Toward goals imagination once denied, 

And unexamined pebbles on the beach 

Are shifted wholesale, as the rushing tide 

Of knowledge bans disease, transfigures night 

With radiance, navigates the depths, imparts 

To miles the wings of seconds, brings in sight 

New earths and heavens shaped by manly art, 

Let others stand and gape. Such wonders will 

Not make us marvel; we are fortunate 

Beyond the realm of things and earthly state. 

Accomplishments of insight, strength and skill 

Are naught beside the magic of a love 

Which vaults itself and bids the gods approve. 


How rare it is my heart is filled with joy! 

I asked not for inebriating mirth; 

Nor laughing wished to look on life, the worth 

Of which is not in smiles, which thoughts employ; 

But rather would I contemplate and start 

A process of becoming. First the quest 

Inspires, and then it is made manifest. 

Of life, imagination is the better part. 

But now my heart has made a joyous bound. 

(Each year the birds and flowers herald spring. 

We knew they would return, and yet we sing) 

It's not an unsought treasure I have found. 

Till now my life has been a dream of you; 

How rare it is indeed, when dreams come true. 

Jim Crews 



The weaker sex 
That may be 
The stronger 
No longer 

The meeker sex 

A little pushey 
To become 
The right equal 

Makes one 
Or wond 

(for what ever it's worth) 
If they' 11 be a meeker 
To inherit 
The earth 

Or how 

The stronger being 
Right civil 

Can give a slap on the back 

To some goodbuddy 

Flip top a cold sudsey 

And with or without a hitch 

Put an arm around 

Some mother's daughter 

And call her 

A good ole' sonofabitch 

Ike McLaughl 



Sun warm and balmy. 

Spring is coaxing the grass green, the buds to swell. 
Daffodils, crocus, camellias in bloom. 
I feel yearning and vulnerable 

sad and longing 
-longing for God to come to me in a person? 

for God-in-my-depths to confront me 

and say, "I am here," to fill me 

and reach out to another? 

Is most of life to be spent in meantimes, lonely and longing? 
I think my busyness is to cover up this existential loneliness 
Why can I not accept it as a state of being that will pass, 
better yet as Grace-filled now? 

I feel my inadequacies today. 

I want to crawl in bed and pull the covers up... at the 

same time to walk in the sunshine and drink up the daffodils. 

I want someone to hold my hand today and I am too shy to ask. 



When I walked into the South Branch Library last night, 
the librarian said hello, then asked, "Is the moon out yet?" 
And I knew I'd missed something by not noticing. And I supposed, 
too, that she knew of several places where a fine view of a 
rising moon can be had for the looking. She walks a lot. 

Last week we watched slides of Mexico that a friend 
brought over and many of them were of the sunset seen from his 
hotel room. There was no question that those sunsets were very 
much a part of his enjoyment of his stay there. 

Few of us will get to Acapulco most probably, but Park 
Road Shopping Center offers a fine vantage point to view the 
setting sun. 

I remember the first time I noticed that. I had just left 
a litter of kittens at the pet shop to give away. We had found 
them dying, too weak to whine, and after nursing them to health 
we had to find homes for them. 

They were special to the children and me because of the 
struggle and involvement with them and it was a time of low 
spirits. But. Leaving the parking lot, the sky was a splendid 
display of color and beauty and the wonder of it all brought a 
good feeling to the time. 

It has occurred to me that the sunsets in Mexico are 
probably similar to those in Charlotte, that the beach at 
Acapulco offers only a slig-htly better view than Park Road. The 
major difference is that we are not usually looking at it here. 

We had a visitor from Guatemala, Mexico's neighbor, not 
long ago. He was 17 and Carlos was his name. Just before he 
came I made a hurried selection of magazines to place in his 
room; "National Geographic" on Yosemite , and "Photography" on 
the Monarch Butterfly. 

A small place for books held a picture book of Louisiana 
plantations, and one on Mark Twain. 

I bought tapes of the sound track of "Roots" and Neil 
Diamond at an attic sale and made sure that Dueling Banjos was 


handy. I reserved movies at the library on Washington, D. C. 
and Union Grove Fiddlers, films on sailing and Helen Keller, 
the moon walk and the treasures of the young King Tut, Allistaire 
Cook's episode on America that included Mencken and the Mayo 
brothers, the leaves of fall in New England and the Grand Canyon. 

No comment came for days after exposure to all this, until 
the last, except polite ones. Riding home from the river one 
evening though, I caught his grin as Carlos was saying, "I liked 
so much the sunset". 

So. Carlos will go home and tell his folks and word will 
get around Guatemala City that there is uncommon beauty here and 
it will be true. 

Taking Brett, 16, to West Charlotte when he misses the bus 
is my least favorite way to start a day. It is far, and I'm not 
programmed to get out so early and so fast. And I grump the whole 
way over, spill more coffee than I drink and plot uncommon rewards 
for myself when I get home. 

Then I start back from the school. And I get about to the 
Charlotte Water Works on Beatties Ford. Men are arriving at work 
with their brown work clothes and lunch bags and I see it.... 
across the open place. The sun is rising. Charlotte is waking 
up. And the traffic is evidence of community. The Excelsior 
Night Club is closed and deserted. Women stand in wide lines at 
bus stops. Car horns blow genially and hands go up in greeting. 
And I'm glad I'm there, though it's not my neighborhood. There's 
a good feeling there. 

This morning, Lisa, our 14 year old, and I were out early, 
and the sky was the rich pinkish orange that means the sun is 
rising grandly on this day. And if I hurried over near the Mint, 
I knew that I could see it much better than from where we were. 
But there were other things to do, directions to go in, and we 
turned away. Now I'm sorry. Maybe the next chance I get for 
glory - I'll take. 

Harriet Fortenberry 



One day Indians came out with this big pot 

and did strange things 

put little kernels in 

settlers thought they would burn 

the Indians did nothing to prevent burning but 

those settlers were amazed 

when the little kernels popped 

in that big humongous pot 

settlers stood there and stared and wondered how 
in the world kernels could become such delicious food 
one settler reached and took a kernel 
he was curious 

and then another ate one then the Indians 

that's how settlers found out but 

I wondered how Indians first discovered popcorn 

but now how did they learn to make duplicates for next time 

it could have been fried apples. 

Bailey Irwin 


Dark and Light 

"Come in," said the House of Dark, "and enter", to the 
House of Light. 

Cast upon my house a glimmer of light so that my shadow 
can become soaring, soarina, higher and hiqher till it reaches 
into the depths of the earth and there I will prolong my eminence, 
my dark seething, cold, tremhlinq, writhing breath upon the earth. 
I will release all of my demons uoon every living creature and 
absorb all their light, happiness, joy, and excitement of Life 
to feed upon my wholeness only to penetrate deeper and deeper into 
every bone and flesh, heart and Soul! 

Thus, the House of Liaht did enter into the House of Dark 
and begin to fill its halls and chambers, its portals and its 
very walls with emanating and pulsating light and energy. 

The House of Dark with it's bountiful shadow reaching out 
into every nook, cranny, and crevice of the earth plane began to 
draw back, retreat, melt, dissolve, and disintegrate into it's 
own Darkness where it once again immersed itself Beneath the 
Shadow of the earth. 

Whereupon, the House of Light began to spark, to reach out 
its vibrant and colorful, bright, shiny rays into every living, 
breathing Soul upon the earth's plane. It began to ring out 
happiness, joy, peace and beauty of Life, Harmony and Oneness. 
The full glory of God shone in its ever radiant robe of Light 
lest one soul be grasped and absorbed into the Glory of the 
Heavens amidst the entire Earth! 

Ethel Crites 


Your Rose 

The rose, once sweetly budded, 
Opens now, 

The beauty at her heart exposed 

And full-employed 

In purpose fore-ordained, 

Charged at her birth: 

To be enjoyed. 

Gini Osborne 

Maintaining The Image 

House and garden, home and hearth, 
All proper aspirations for the female gender. 
And there she stands, representative of her sex, 
Outwardly the Mad. Ave. ideal of fashionable wifery, 
Pale green garden gloves for weeding, properly wedged 
shoes and appropriately crinkled wrap-skirt 
for waxing floors (flashing smile) and 
baking cookies (ecstatic face). 
Yes, there she stands, serene and smiling, 
Hoeing her little garden of grievances. 

Linda Christopher 



God's angels are waiting to work for you. If you don't 
believe, read John 13:14, Psalm 91:11, Mark 11:24. They become 
greater by helping people of earth but they must be asked. 

I learned about this one morning when our backyard creek 
was about to overflow and hard rains were predicted all day. 
A need attracts a solution. An earth angel called and I told 
her my fear. She said, "Just talk to the angels of water, wood, 
and air. They will stop dams and scatter the rain." I did and 
they accomplished the impossible. The rain still came down, but 
the creek did not overflow. 

I talk to the tree angels. We had many tall trees too close 

to the house. I told them that when their time came to fall, to 
push them in the opposite direction. They did that to the next 
three trees that fell. One had a big dead limb leaning toward 

the house. It was thrown 25 feet in the opposite direction. 

Another was laid down at the edge of the yard where I wanted a 
"wall" to protect an herb garden. 

The most unbelievable reality was the fire spirits' "impossible 
task. We had put an ancient street light on a tree to light our 
parking area. One night as we and some neighbors watched the 
lightning bolts of Thor, this tree was wounded. The fire was 
diverted to the electric cord which was run through latticed window 
of garage. The fire was a 15-foot "waterfall" from wire to ground. 
The fire spirits melted the wire covering so it would sag and rest 
on the house's incoming power lines. The charge was diverted to 
the power line and blew the transformer at the corner. 

The tree was fated to die, but it was a real sweet gum and 
we praised it. The new leaves covered the scars, and I asked the 
limbs to not fall on my husband's car. 

One morning after a night storm, I looked up at the tree and 
saw that a 30-foot top of the tree had disappeared. The car 
hadn't been damaged. I walked to the other side of the car and 
there lay that sweet gum top. It had been picked up by the wind, 
carried over the car, and gently laid down one foot away from the 


car and one foot from the water spigot at our outdoor well. 

In January, 1977, I flew to Puerto Rico on a lecture tour 
where two others spoke of simple healing methods. Clouds were 
everywhere. As we approached the island, the pilot said not to 
worry as the plane was equipped for it. I looked out at the 
potential water clouds and mentally told them, "I have never seen 
an island from above and would you please move away from it so 
the people will not be afraid." As we approached Puerto Rico, 
we could see the whole island. 

"If thou can believe, all things are possible." 

Alice Steadman 


Sometimes we speak of things we do not understand - we 
just feel them - always we are thankful for the nice things that 
happen - that letter I received yesterday made my day in a way 
you can never know. Taking the time to write a note can mean so 
much - sometimes - I remember some simple lines that say it 
better than I - 

"I have wept in the night - 
for the shortness of sight - 
that to somebody's need made me blind - 
but I never yet felt a tinge of regret 
for being a little too kind." 

Boice Triplett 



In the forest 

a beautiful lady appeared 

behind Indian men 

the men were afraid and left and when 

they returned to the place she was gone but 

the little seeds were left on the ground 

they saved the seeds all that summer 

in the chief's tent until winter 

until Indian women and children sat in a circle 

the men were standing 

talking about how hungry they were 

the chief decided who would try it 

each took a kernel and ate it 

one threw his away in the campfire 

and it popped 

yes that's where it came from. 

Hunter Kratt 



I see her beauty and warmth in me 
Which makes me so gay and free 
Jean's goodness grows from year to year 
She loves us all and is so dear 

I wish I had more of her qualities 
She's fond of her garden and the trees 
Jean loves people and lives for tomorrow 
And doesn't end up sobbing in her sorrow 

I've seen her run a mile at the track 

She keeps her cool and doesn't blow her stack 

All of Jean's senses are quite keen 

She knows her husband upside down and in between 

I long for the happiness she's had 

The luckiest man I know is my Dad 

Jean's marriage is her main goal 

My parents live together in a beautiful bowl 

I wish to bear children as my mother did 

She gave me this wondrous feeling when I was a kid 

Jean has given me great incentive 

She is creative and has lots to give 

She admires me for the person I am 
And if I fall down she gives a damn 
Jean is quite strong and healthy too 
And doesn't give up like many do 

I know my mother very well 
This is a great gift for I can tell 
Jean's helped me in every way 
We visit in mind from day to day 

That's my Mom and she's all mine 

She loves life and has a good time 

Jean makes others happy and brightens the room 

I live like her, for the sun and the moon. 

Rose Herran 



One of our children came in the other day, having found a 
beautiful, red male cardinal dead from a broken neck. She 
accorded him the full burial rites befitting his beauty. A 
pillow for his head, beautiful spring flowers for a blanket, one 
large pine cone as a grave marker. As she said, "It was in 
perfect condition, 'cept it was dead." 

To begin with, this act of childhood kindness struck me as 
just that, something that every child does to honor departed birds, 
squirrels, rabbits, etc. I'm not too old to forget having done 
the same thing. Then it struck an even deeper chord within me. 
Here we are, beautiful souls created by God our Father. Unique, 
capable of creating beautiful music, moving poetry, why the very 
idea that a man can walk upon the face of the moon! But what a 
pitiful few of the beautiful souls are given over to growth. 
Most sit back and let others who do demand their soul's growth 
think for them. Passive. Passive minds, passive bodies, passive 
souls . 

"It was in perfect condition, 'cept it was dead." Our souls, 
our very being come from the Power that Is. Let us stretch that 
core, painfully at first, like an unused muscle. Let us explore. 
First our own selves, then our friends and neighbors. Explore 
our own small personal universe, then soar off to explore the 
larger. Let us not be like a horse with blinders on, seeing only 
in front but having no peripheral vision. Be open to ALL aspects 
of living. 

Let it not be said about your soul, "It was in perfect condition, 
1 cept it was dead. " 


My cat is lovely and white 
with beautiful green eyes. 
She has a cute pink nose 
that twitches wherever she goes. 

My cat can move without 
a sound. 

She jumps twice her size. 


The cherry blossoms fell on 
the ground 
Like snowf lakes 
on a winter day. 

Tracy Powl