"Family 7"

She Is At Rest

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I knew the angels came today.
Today they came, took her away-
away across the rainbow lake,
lake rippled gently in their wake.

Wake as she did, she suffered hard;
hard days had left her life so marred.
Marred down with constant hurt and pain,
pain made her feel her soul was slain.

Slain now, she welcomed death with peace.
Peace took control, her misery ceased.
Ceased beat and breath, she lay so still,
still in my arms, 'twas heaven's will.

Will my heart e'er be whole again?
Again I feel where she has been.
Been way too long, yet still I cry...
cry for lost love, for she and I.

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

This was to be an entry to the loop contest, but when I was done I realized I had done it wrong. I did not want it to just be tossed so I am putting it out for review. Loop poetry is to be abab rhyme and I did it in aabb.

Chapter 1
He Soothes My Tears

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My cat is full of mystery
combined with love so perfectly.
He peers so deep into my soul
then works real hard to keep it whole.

My cat will listen close to me
for in my soul he loves to see.
He knows my heart and tells me so
through rumblings very deep and low.

My cat will watch me close, then learns
the moods I feel as if he yearns
to understand my thoughts, my fears
so he can wash away my tears.

He sings of total faith in me
including thoughts so wild and free.
He tells me of his day gone by
and listens if I need to cry.

He lays his paw across my arm
as if to keep me from all harm.
He talks of birds that got away,
then lets me know that he's okay.

He sings his song of pampered bliss,
he licks my arm to share a kiss.
Then when he knows that all's okay,
his eyes he shuts and drifts away.

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

Chapter 2
Hey, World, Step Aside

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey, world, you'd better step aside
because I'm here...I'm bone-a-fide.
I'm fancy, schmancy - first to say
pet me right now, I'll make your day.

My fur is soft, you'll lose your mind.
No better friend you'll ever find.
I'll dance around your feet to say,
"Oh, welcome home, how was your day?"

Now, don't you plan to sit a lot.
You think I'm quiet? Well, I'm just not!
I'll bark and bark until you see
that energetic part of me.

Now, throw that ball, you're sitting still.
Come on, I just can't get my fill.
I'll keep you young, now just get up,
'cause ...Me? I am one running pup.

Author Notes Kathy Schipper thank you for permission to use your picture.

This was done per request from Bichon. I hope it is okay.

Chapter 3
haiku (cutting streaks of light)

By Barb Hensongispsaca

cutting streaks of light
tear through Spring's black serene sky
God's own signature

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

Chapter 4

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, sunrise...
You are like a kitten
waking from a deep sleep.

A slight fluttering of movement
as the total darkness makes way
for black shadows
even darker than the night.

A yawn, as the sun breaks the horizon,
leading to a s-l-o-w luxurious stretch
to shake off the night's slumber.

Then a full energy powered attack
on earth's senses
as the sun playfully explores
all it can reach.


Oh, sunset...
you are like a puppy
that has played hard all day.

After fully terrorizing
all that lays around you,
you stop for just a minute
to observe.

You begin to tire
sinking down into the soft horizon
as you begin your rest.

Then settle into darkness
while shadows glide along
as sleep overcomes you
and you recharge for tomorrow.

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

This is for a very dear friend, Tab_that's me. You are not alone.

Chapter 5
The Christmas Gifts of Old

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Just yesterday, I was speaking with a friend of mine. Now I know what you are thinking. This is going to be another long, drawn-out piece of dull and boring stuff. Well, maybe it will be; but, my friend had some valid points and I want to share them with you.

He and I are part of that generation past that remembers how Christmas 'used to be'.

"Now, don't get your dander up", as my Mama used to say. I don't mean to offend you, but, I remember when Christmas meant love and taught the true meaning of giving and receiving.

Above all else, I remember when Christmas had a meaning before it turned to material things, before stores preyed on the gullibility of adults and the demands of children. I'm talking of a time back when lists for Santa were a few lines, mostly wanting for someone else, while maybe, at the same time, yearning for us, too.

I remember watching my Grandma sit for hours crocheting different pieces in different designs. There were a lot of pieces that made no sense when we looked at them, because they would not fit our heads, or our necks, or anything else of vital importance - but, the magic came after everyone went to bed.

On Christmas Eve, Santa's elves would stop at the house and take all the pieces and put them together to make presents for us. We would each get a scarf, a pair of gloves and a hat. Sometimes, we even got slippers. All of these were made by the elves. Grandma said she helped them by making the pieces ahead of time so they could get finished quickly and move on to another house. All these presents were special to us because the elves came in just to make these presents for us. But, Grandma swore us to secrecy so other boys and girls wouldn't be jealous.

The day before Christmas, Dad would take us to the woods and we could pick out the tree we wanted. It had to be a unanimous decision, so sometimes it took hours to find the right tree. It had to be 'tall but not too tall, short but not too short, round but not too round, full but not too full'. Those were Dad's rules.

We all ran in different directions to be the first to find the perfect tree. When we all agreed it was the right one, Dad would use his ax to chop it down. All of us would count to see how many strokes it took Dad to fell our tree.

When we got the tree back to the house, Dad would put it in a bucket. All of us kids got to put the sand in to hold it up. Mom never got mad because there seemed to be more sand on the floor than in the bucket.

Mom would pop popcorn in the fireplace and everyone would thread the popcorn on a string to wrap around the tree. We ate 10 kernels to threading one. Grandma had some ornaments she made by starching crocheted pieces. We would each hang one in our own special place on the tree. Mom had a couple sets of lights she would help us add; then, Dad put the star on the top. He made it from some old metal he had in the barn.

Grandpa always added some cowbells he had and it was done. All of us had helped from getting the tree to the final touches. Before bed, as the winter winds blew outside, Grandma would read the Christmas story as we sat around the fireplace. The rest was up to Santa.

We could always depend on Santa to give us our very own favorite jelly. Through the year we had to share with our brothers and sisters, but, at Christmas, Santa always remembered our favorite flavor and he gave us our own jar that we did not have to share.

Santa also gave each of us a new toothbrush, usually in our favorite color. Also, he would get us each a different type of toothpaste so we would have our own. Sometimes, he got us our own jar of peanut butter to go with the jelly.

I remember one year he gave Mom five loaves of bread under the tree. Mom said Santa really cared about her because she did not have to make bread over the holiday.

We lived on a farm so we had a supply of meat in the freezer. After butchering in the fall, Dad would smoke hams in the smoke house. We always had ham for Christmas dinner. Grandma would make her homemade noodles and famous apple pie. Mom added potatoes and corn that we grew ourselves. Before we ate, we always gave thanks for everything.

The morning after Christmas, Dad would ready the sleigh with blankets. It was tradition for us to take dinners to some of the older neighbors who had no children. Mom and Dad kinda lent them us. Maybe to realize how lucky they were to not have kids, but I hoped it was to fill their lives with laughter for a little while.

Rosie and Dobin would be hitched to the sleigh, then off we would go for some good Christmas visits. I remember snuggling down in the blankets as Grandma held me tight to keep me warm.

Should I compare it to the Christmas of today? I really want to because it is nothing like the joy of my Christmas. All the stores vie to get rich at this time of year.

My friend told me that he and his wife can never afford to buy food close to Christmas, because his wife said they have to buy each child and grandchild at least a hundred dollars worth of presents each because the kids come to the house just to get presents. That is tradition? So what happens after Christmas?

"Wouldn't your kids understand that you would be short on money?" I asked him one day. He just looked at me. Question answered.

And what about the story of Christmas to those who believe? Does anyone know the meaning of giving? What about the homeless, the aged in the nursing homes, the soldiers overseas, the neighbor who has no one? What about the children who get only a slap because they are in the way? What about the suicides because of the after-holiday depression? Where has Christmas gone?

Words 1129

Author Notes Wm Coste thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 6
Double Promise Not Kept

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I had twin sons that fought a lot,
through jealousy they cried.
I told them they would be my sons
until the day I died.

That always seemed to help them feel
to me they both belonged.
And for a little while at least,
they'd try to get along.

This seemed to go on every day,
they needed love from me.
They had to feel secure in life
to be all they could be.

I told them they were both my sons,
my love would never die,
and they would pass it on in turn
to their kids by and by.

I felt that they would always be,
they had so much to give.
I'd show them all the love I could
as long as I would live.

I made that promise to my sons
the day that they were born;
but, it was one I failed to keep.
Instead, their death I'd mourn.

I never thought that I would have
to bury my own kids.
With heavy heart and empty arms
that is just what I did.

I kept the promise of my love
to give them while I lived;
but that was stopped with memories,
yet, I had more to give.

I tell you now, love all you can,
tomorrow's never set.
Today's the day that tells it all,
it's not the day to fret.

Author Notes Author's picture of twin sons and daughter.

Today is the most important day of your life, yesterday is forgotten, tomorrow is never set.

Chapter 7
BFF Now and Always

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Ted and Max were bestest friends
they said they would be to the end.
They sealed their oath and pinky swore
they'd stick like glue forever more.

Detention's seats were easy bought,
when one went wrong, they both were caught.
Wherever Ted was found to be,
then Max was there, friendship their key.

They always had each other's back,
they held their ground, they would not slack.
Their friendship grew, so did their trust,
respect they gave, they felt they must.

They watched each other grow to men,
remembered where they both had been,
they swore if needed, they'd be there,
they'd even brave the devil's lair.

They fought together side by side
in battle showing county's pride.
When one defied the bullet's path,
the other praised the victor's wrath.

One day, their friendship held its ground,
they heard the shells fall all around.
They stayed their spot while others ran,
they gave their lives for fellow man.

They died together where they fell,
defied the odds - they fought so well.
They gave their lives to save their friends,
they kept their oath until the end.

They died the way they swore to live,
through thick and thin in all they'd give.
They were true friends deep in their core,
they had to be ... they pinky swore.

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

Chapter 8
Friends on Site

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Some friends come and go at their leisure
others stick around for awhile
those that stay for the hard times
are the ones worth loving
and telling them so
they encouraged
never left
fought for

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

Chapter 9
I'm Sorry, Mom

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Dear Mom,

Not a day goes by
that I don't ask for
your forgiveness
for all the lies I ever told you.

Not a night goes by
that I don't remember
all the times
I never returned your calls.

I was always too busy
to come and spend
a few minutes with you
when you felt alone.

I wish now I had listened
to all your years
of advice and

Please forgive me
for all the times
I did not take you places
just to get you out.

I am so sorry for
all the times
I overlooked your pain
and complaints.

Forgive me for all the times
I shrugged off your attempts
to teach me what was

Too many times
I overlooked your tears

it is too late
to say I am sorry
and I love you.

I want you to know
how proud of you I am
and I was honored
to be your daughter.

I am now experiencing
with my children
what I have put
you through ...

I now understand.

I'm sorry.

Your Daughter

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

Chapter 10
Learn to Play

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Your life is so short, it is gone in a beat.
You waste what is given just planning defeat.
Please love what you have, and be thankful each day,
but never lose sight of what got you that way.

All things they can change in a heartbeat or two
so just look ahead in whatever you do.
You own the whole world, but you get what you give;
so, love everyone. it will teach you to live.

Then listen to God and just laugh every day.
Since life is too short, you must learn how to play.
A smile is the one thing that you must pass on
'cause when you stop smiling, your 'happy' is gone.

Author Notes bd shutterspeed thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 11
Memories Never Blur

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She walks in stillness, time gone past,
in love's existence, gone too fast.
Her voice could teach the angels song.
She laughed with joy both loud and long.

Her hum was like a kitten's purr,
she sounded like a breeze's stir.
She moved while floating on the air.
Her thoughts would burrow with her stare.

A gentle breeze brought thoughts of her-
memories brought that never blur.
A radiant smile that stirs the air,
a friendly face 'neath auburn hair.

Her love would every boundary cross,
the day she died, all felt a loss.
Though there were tears, she still took parts
of all our broken, bleeding hearts.

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

A dedication to my daughters-in-law.

Chapter 12
Hidden In Plain Sight

By Barb Hensongispsaca

hidden in plain sight
beauty shows in dark and light
nature has such might

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

Chapter 13
A Broken Heart

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Even though
her death certificate
said cancer, I know she died with
a broken heart.

Not of a broken heart,
because she had so much
love to give, but with
a broken heart

When she was old enough
to understand, she broke
two pieces from her heart
for her parents.

Another two pieces separated
when her brother and
sister came into the world
to join her.

Friends and family
each one in turn
was given their section
of her heart.

More given away when
the man of her dreams
came into her life
to share it.

Again more broken off
to be given to children
and grandchildren as they
presented themselves.

After giving all parts
of her heart to the ones
she loved, it was time
to go home.

She graciously took
the hand of God,
and passed into His arms
with a broken heart.

Author Notes karen zima thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 14
Love's Last Hold

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I held your hand-
in our minds
we danced our last waltz-
I let go.

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

Chapter 15
When I Needed It

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It was given to me
as a last minute gift.
It went in my drawer
to be saved and filed.

It stayed there for years
forgotten and alone.
It waited for the time
that I needed it most.

One day a call came
as I slumbered along.
That day I woke
to a shattered world.

My family gone
my babies dead.
I tore at my heart
wanting to forget.

That day my feelings
turned upside down.
That day my heart broke
throwing God out the door.

Then the day came
I looked in the drawer.
That day that came
brought tears of relief.

I fell to my knees
I asked His forgiveness
I begged for peace
and He answered.

In that drawer I found
the multicolored note
in two hand written scrawls
saying,"Mommy, we love you."

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

Chapter 16
I Remember When LIfe Was...

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I do still remember when life was so good,
when children lived fair, not belonged to a hood.
Remember the farm where I learned about life.
I worked day and night without all of the strife.

It was always hard when I woke in the morn,
I'd put out the day's feed of silage and corn,
For chickens, I scattered their grain on the ground,
then gathered the eggs from the nests that I found.

The sheep would come running when they would see me;
the lambs started jumping, just glad to be free.
The horses went out then to graze off the land,
I'd watch the new foals as they learned how to stand.

The cows knew their roles as they waited in line -
the milking machine ran as they stood to dine.
The pigs were impatient while waiting for slop ...
I poured in their trough with a resounding 'plop'.

All animals ate before I got to eat,
it took me two hours and that was quite a feat.
Then sat down to breakfast of bacon and eggs,
the cat sat there quiet while the dog drooled and begged.

I think of the fun that we had Sunday nights.
Both Grandma and Grandpa had fun - what a sight.
The old phonograph would be wound up to play,
we danced all together to wind up the day.

I do miss the life that I lived on the farm.
We worked really hard and made sure 'twas no harm.
Now all this was done before cock crowed at morn,
to kids of today this work would be foreign.

Author Notes doggymad this one is for you as requested. I hope it is what you expected.

catmal thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 17
Remembering Family Times

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Rowdy I was - growing up as a kid.
Mom kept me straight with her love, yes she did.

Fam'ly was huge but we all did our part.
working together when each day would start.

Grandma and Grandpa, they lived with us, too.
Faith is what held us together like glue.

Satan was never allowed to destroy
eight that they raised, seven girls and a boy.

Caring we shared taught us all how to laugh,
magic emerged when the old phonograph

brought us together for Sunday night fun...
dancing around, seven daughters and son.

Grandma and Grandpa would first lead the way
all would join in on that wonderful day.

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

This was a challenge on rhyming and I appreciate any suggestions.

Chapter 18
My Christmas Card

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I did not have enough money to send cards to everyone I wanted to, so I bought envelopes and napkins. I sent a napkin to everyone I wanted to and added this little verse to each.

This is just a paper napkin
I am sending your way.
To let you know I'll think of you
on this, the Lord's birthday.

Your friendship means the world to me.
Please use this when you eat;
so, you will feel I'm there with you,
to make us feel complete.

I wish you a Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year, too;
but, also wish you all the best
of blessings all year through.

To all my friends...those I know and those yet to meet...on fanstory, please grab a napkin when you eat and think of me. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

Author Notes Thank you pattigirl for the perfect picture and the permission to use it.

Chapter 19
Santa's Visit

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

With great care and
in expectation of a visit
from a very happy
fat old elf
that delivers
presents and joy
to every one,
we hung stockings
by the chimney
for his easy access.

It was cold outside
it was night and
time for our deep
night's sleep.
All was quiet
and still
as the children slept
in sweet dreams.
All settled down
to wait.

woke father
who rushed
to the window
to protect our family

In the night shine
of the moonlight
that confused
his addled brain.

A sleigh driver
speeding across the sky
shouting at the hooved deer
that were flying
and pulling
the sleigh
to the top
of the house.

Hoof beats
danced on the roof
as the sleigh and
its occupant were set
safely next to the chimney.

Dressed in fur
covered with soot
the plump happy elf
drifted down the chimney
with his bag of goodies.

Eyes twinkling above his red nose,
a red-cheek smile showing dimples,
eyes twinkling above his white beard,
he laughed as he pulled out the toys
filling the stockings.

Looking at father
seeing how he was dressed
he laughed
so did father
both feeling at ease,
as the elf motioned and
rose up the chimney.

Father went to the window
in time
to see the apparition
rise to the sky and disappear

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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

We were to give a free verse version of a poem or writing. I chose my favorite.

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her √??√?¬¢??kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter√??√?¬¢??s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, √??√?¬¢??ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Chapter 20
It's That Time Again

By Barb Hensongispsaca

About this very time of year
before the dawn of Spring,
comes icy fingers, frozen toes and
dang'rous other things,

Everyone must find the time,
for winterizing needs.
Gather all survival things ...
heed helpful hints you read.

Included in your bag of tricks,
jumper cables, rope and light.
Keep blankets and a shovel, too,
lots of munchies for the night.

Medical kit would be so wise,
new litter for the ice.
Oh, don't forget some sugar cubes ...
power bars would be so nice.

Quite a few dry matches,
reflectors and flares that shine.
Sterno kit for melting snow and
thermos for water - that's fine.

Understand, your life's at stake ...
very important to know ...
wet clothes are bad, have some that's dry.
Xerox 'help' signs for a tow.

You need a lot of things, tis true.
Zounds! Is there any room for you?

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

Chapter 21
I'll Take A Hug Anytime

By Barb Hensongispsaca

my child's
tight hold, is like
pure gold

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

Chapter 22
The Big Cat

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She walks the night, soft as the breeze,
so graceful as she moves with ease.
She's hungry and she's hunting food;
she has to feed her growing brood.

She smells it first and now the hunt;
she feels desire, she knows the want.
She tastes the kill before the chase.
Need spurns her on - fast kill the grace.

She's found her prey, she stalks downwind.
She has one chance, she has to win.
Her brood grows big, their hunger rules.
They want the food before it cools.

They have to learn the real desire,
the taste of blood that's still on fire.
The prey is spooked, the chase is on;
but she is fast ... a life is gone.

They feed as now beside she lays,
till they grow up, 'tis where she stays.
She watches them with loving care...
a loving, caring playful pair.

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

Chapter 23
Oh, Winter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Winter, your beauty
is surpassed by no other.
It outshines the other seasons
with the addition of the sun's rays
shining on your unblemished form,
making sparkling diamond insets
twinkle like millions of stars.

Your long white dress
flowing in the wind,
starched crisp with the cold,
ironed smooth by the breeze.
Each flake adds new dimensions,
new buttons, new layers of lace,
changing the design of your dress.

Just like a woman
who is unhappy with her surroundings,
you can change the landscape,
using Mother Nature's breath,
as easily as a designer
changes a room memory.

You cleanse and purify
everything in your path
as you move slowly along
like a graceful competitor
in a beauty pageant,
displaying every line and curve.

Your moods change in a heartbeat ...
from one of stillness and peace,
silent in rest,
composed in the quiet of the moment,
to one full of energy,
temper tantrums
and anger issues.

Oh Winter, so many people hate you
for your bitterness,
your cold uncaring attitude.
Others love you for your beauty
and your peace of mind as they stroll
through your icy compassion.

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

Chapter 24
To My Granddaughter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Your outside reflects a pillar of strength.
I see your laughter and love of life,
your forgiveness of people's faults.
But when you stop and stand still,
I can look in your eyes...
see what lies beneath.
I see the pain
that reaches
to your
I am here
if you need me.
A phone call away.
Don't suffer in silence,
I am a good listener.
Even if you don't want to talk,
I will be there, you are not alone.
We can be each other's pillar of strength.

Author Notes My granddaughter tried to commit suicide New Year's Eve.

A nonet is a poem that is 9 lines long. Like a haiku, each line has a specific number of syllables, starting with nine in the first line and ending with only one in the last line.
This is a nonet/reverse nonet with a common subject intro and end with 10 syllables each.

Chapter 25
OH, Winter, You Have Arrived

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Winter,
you sleek angel in white,
you have arrived.

You wrap your icy arms
around the world

You breathe out in a whisper
and the icy mist
brings a blanket of clear coating
to the branches and buds.

You sing
and the mornings
shine like diamonds
scattered in a new rebirth.

But your anger is greatest of all
when you scream
and the air around becomes blinding
in a harsh flurry
of wind and snow.

You laugh at the sun
as he tries to send
warm rays
and you know his time
has not yet come to conquer you.

You conspire with the clouds
to use their shields
to keep the earth
in your cold embrace.

Oh, Winter,
you can be so beautiful
in your shell of pure white;
but you are not happy
with that acknowledgement.
You have to show
your power and anger
at being so despised by man.

You wait each year
till it is your time to sing.
Will it be a rhapsody
or an overture?

Oh, Winter,
you sleek angel in white ...
how will you embrace this year?

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

Chapter 26
Never Turn Back Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I can't believe I'm still alive. No one is going to believe my story ... not in a million years, because, who would I tell anyway? No one would listen, everyone is dead. Everyone but me, that is.

'It seems like yesterday'. I remember reading a lot of stories and books that started that way. Now, I am starting this journal that way. I'm rambling, but then, I don't have a time frame in which to write this. So I suppose I can ramble all I want. Ramble, ramble, ramble, ramble ... guess that's enough rambling. I must be going crazy. Well with what I've been through, I have a right to.

What is the last sane thing I remember? Oh, yes, I think I know what it was. It happened about a year ago. I was feeling sorry for myself ... kinda like now. The stock market crashed and I lost my job. I lost my family and my home, too. Oh, no that's not right - I lost my home then my family. I have to remember the progression and keep it right in my head, don't I? Isn't it important to remember? I just don't know.

Anyway, that's when 'he' came to me. I don't know who 'he' is ... was. Oh, I'm so confused. Yes ... was. They were all gone. Everyone. I remember now - 'he' told me I could have it all back. 'He' was offering a lot of 'chosen' people a chance to get their lives back. Homes, jobs, families - everything. Do you understand that this was a grasp at sanity? You are right - I jumped at the chance.

But, I don't know how I got it all back. I went to sleep and woke up with my life back. I had it all. I was not living in the shelter anymore. I had my house. I woke up in my bed next to my wife. My kids came in and jumped on the bed. My wife handed me my lunch and rushed me out the door to my car and my job. It was all there. And it got better, I got a promotion, a huge raise, a bonus, a larger house, a bigger family. I was so happy ... for a few months. Then it started.

The world began to go crazy. There were earthquakes, sometimes four a week. They were not tiny ones. Oh, no, they were rated 6.5 and up. Tidal waves were wiping out islands. Volcanoes started springing up in places where there were none before. Strange fires started that consumed more and more of the planet. The temperatures started to rise all over the world. In a matter of months, the oceans dropped over twenty feet. People were dying; but, when the power failed, people died in masses. Heat, thirst, blood boiling, skin scorched, bodies burning ... the smell was maddening.

I could not save my family. They died when our house burned around them. I was gone looking for water and when I got back ... oh, no, it is all coming back. I heard them scream - someone screamed - maybe it was me. I don't know. I can't remember anymore. I watched them burn. I couldn't help. It was too late.

All I remember is trying to run, but it was so hot. I could feel my blood start to boil. I felt like I was baking from the inside out. My throat was parched and I had no moisture left in my body to cry or scream or swallow or sweat or ... .

My head hurt so bad as I felt my brain cook. I wanted to die, but for some reason I couldn't. I could not even beg for night because it stayed daylight ... everyday... all day. The constant heat and the smell of burnt bodies was driving me insane.

That's when I found this cave. It goes back into the mountain for a long distance. It is cooler than outside and I don't feel like my insides are cooking. Someone has been here before me. There are a few supplies, so maybe someone will be back. Then again, maybe not. I saw some burned bodies at the entrance. Guess I'm getting immune to them now; there are so many of them. This cave goes back quite a way and I plan to find out where it ends. Maybe I'll find someone. I have to be sure that I am the only one left alive, but I'm so tired. I need to sleep for awhile.

No, no, I can't let myself sleep. The last time I slept, the nightmares came and they were so real. I feel I am living them all over again - my family dying, the earth shaking, the fires, the constant heat. I can't stand to see the bodies and they are always there in my nightmares, haunting me. Sometimes I see the bodies chasing me. Then they turn into my family. My children are holding out their arms to me. They are burnt so badly. My wife is ... her face is melted. Her arms are bones with burnt meat hanging from them. Her beautiful hair is gone. Oh, how I miss them. I can't sleep. I can't stand this. I don't know what is going on. Am I the last one alive? Is there anyone else?

I see 'him' in my nightmares. 'He' is always standing there watching me. 'He' watches my family burn. I remember, 'he' was there when I found them dying in the house. 'He' was crying. No, that's not right. 'He' was laughing - at me! I made the decision to change my life. I reversed everything only to make it worse. Now, I have to live this for eternity. Now I remember.

I sold my soul.

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

Chapter 27
They Call Him Feral

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He only knew the whip and lash
while growing up, his joys were dashed.
He ran away when he was small
and never once looked back at all.

He found a cave to live within,
he lived alone ... no kiss or kin.
One day a tribe ventured his way
they took him in and there he'd stay.

He learned to live right off the land,
and had to eat as nature planned.
So grubs and snakes and lizards, too,
joined grass and moss to make a stew.

He tamed the beasts from his outback,
he walked half bare with just a sack.
He slowly learned to be a man -
and through his tribe he gained a plan.

But life was still to be unfair,
as land was stole, each acre square.
The government took all they had,
then fostered him, it was so sad.

But he fought back each way he could,
'cause he was proud and strong and good.
He's married to a pretty girl
who stole his heart in one hot whirl.

He writes of pain and strength and love,
and how he answered life's harsh shove.
A poet and an author be,
he tells his tales to you and me.

Author Notes El-mundo thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 28
The Scream of Silence

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I felt the hairs at the small of my neck stand at attention in defiance of the piercing, unearthly scream coming from deep inside the darkness of the cave.

From somewhere in the recesses of my fragile edge of sanity, the shadows, darker than black, moving around me, are screaming at me to ... RUN!

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

Horror in two sentences.

Chapter 29
Still Is The Moon

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A whispering gliding of light
then movement appears in the night.

A soft gentle haze o'er the ocean
brings peace to sailing hearts of men.
Soft Moonglow

She loves the night as she dances
'neath stars as the moon romances.
Earth's Moonchild

NIght scenes are lit up in the park
when light penetrates through the dark.
Sharp Moonbeams

The night sometimes loses its hold
when full moon becomes bright and bold.
All Moonlight

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

All help appreciated, this was harder than it looked.

The Compound Word Verse is a poetry form invented by Margaret R. Smith.

It consists of five 3-line stanzas, for a total of 15 lines. The last line of each stanza ends in a compound word and these compound words share a common stem word which is taken from the title.
The Compound Word Verse has a set rhyme scheme and meter as follows:

Rhyme Scheme: a,a,b
Meter: 8, 8, 3

Chapter 30
The Beautiful Morning Glory

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Twisting and turning,
heaven bound,
every morning

before sunrise
each blossom
awaits the early light -
unveiled and open -
testing the air,
intrigued by the night,
finding warmth and turning
until they face the sun,
luxurious and full.

Morning Glories
opening full to
receive the sun's
nice warmth.
Interweaving vines
naturally reaching out to
grab any foothold.

Gently probing
longingly into
oblivion, tendrals
rush upward as they
yearn for the sun.

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

Chapter 31
My First Flower Shop

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Around 2005, I first
became interested in
creating my own business.
Despite having a black thumb,
everyone said I should open a
flower shop to
give people something different by
having unique
items for sale.
Just because people didn't usually
keep the containers, I
liked to use biodegradable baskets for
my arrangements, thus
never having ceramic pots to get rid of.
Overall, my
place was
quite busy.
Realistically, I have to say that
sales were great.
The customers
usually wanted
very specific creations
which I was proud to do, like my
xenium arrangements of
yellow and black

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

xenium--gift made for a guest

just a fun piece

Chapter 32
Grandma's Cooking

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I was a skinny scrawny kid who never loved to eat.
My grandma told me, "Honey lamb, those bones they need some meat."

I never liked the taste of food, it seemed so rather bland.
I'd just as soon go to the beach and eat a spoon of sand.

But grandma made it her life's plan to make me love to eat.
I laughed at her because I knew that would be quite a feat.

Well, don't you know that woman started cooking up a storm.
Her casseroles and pot pies tasted way beyond the norm.

She smooothied this and blended that and added lots of spice.
I ate more than I ever should and never thought it twice.

My bottom half just grew and grew, new pants I had to buy.
My body shaped just like a pear, new cooking she would try.

Spiced goodies from the orient and Cajun cooking, too,
together made my curves then form, my body became new.

I had to realize I'd changed when people noticed me.
I turned from skinny sickly to a look of bright healthy.

The kids just made a comment while their parents stopped to stare.
I'd finally got my top half where it matched my derriere.

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

Chapter 33
Sit With Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It is a fairly open spot
and traffic, we don't get a lot.
Our landlord does not like our tree,
or garden spot, our flowers three.
So we enjoy the neighbor's place;
their flowers make a real showcase.

There animals will romp and play,
there's quite a good show everyday.
With theirs and ours, between the two
we've beasts enough to make a zoo.
The rabbits play upon the grass -
all generations come in mass.

The white doves make a nice duet,
with feeders up, we always get
a lot of birds with noise askew.
Then add a couple stray cats, too.
A flock of geese flies overhead,
and butterflies flit flower beds.

A great grey owl sits on a limb,
four squirrels run across the trim.
Then visits by a skunk or two,
a few raccoons ... maybe a slew.
A deer comes in, lies by their tree,
a bear cub, too, but not by me.

Some chipmunks with their mouths so full -
you see our days are never dull.
Mix in a hawk, wild turkeys, too,
flowers in bloom, red, white and blue.
Now this is where I love to be,
if you have time come sit with me.

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

Chapter 34
Catching Dreams

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'll keep my dreams of butterflies,
of sunny days and starlit skies,
of moonbeams dancing 'cross the sea,
of eagles flying, soaring free.

I like my dreams of morning light,
of rain kissed dew and shadowed night,
of flowers colored orange and red,
and fragrant smells of my rose bed.

I want my dreams of rolling hills,
of pastures rich with daffodils,
of mountains peaked with cones of white,
and babies' toes, what a delight.

No nightmares will I dream tonight,
just sleep in peace till morning's light.
My catcher filters good from bad,
for peaceful sleep, the best I've had.

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

Chapter 35
Working Together Makes 'One'

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A tree with age and history
stands strong in its simplicity.
It towers over younger ones
with grace and poise till life is done.

An onslaught of a winter storm
will not affect its style or form.
Few branches down will be the cost,
that might just be the only loss.

But strong winds pull trees from the ground,
puts roots and all in one huge mound.
There is no give, they're strong and straight,
unyielding tough will seal their fate.


A tree with young agility
can bend and sway when winds blow free.
The spasms of a windstorm's wrath
just tickles them cause there's no mass.

Twill bend in half or break in two
with winter's onslaught blowing through.
So weighted down, they can not last ...
remain that way when winter's past.


What might destroy a single tree
may make the other stronger, see?
Do not condemn what's strong or weak.
Accepting both's what we should seek.

The young think that the old are blind,
and shrug them off - that's so unkind.
The old leave young to find their way
when some advice would make their day.

So work together, find what's true,
cause each counts on what others do.
We work together, work with heart,
we can succeed if we just start.

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

The wisdom of the aged mixed with the energy of the youth ... think what we could do.

Chapter 36
The Quiet Little Man

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He was a quiet, little man
who never spoke a word.
He wandered aimlessly about -
his actions quite absurd.

He dressed in such old fashioned garb;
he never spent a dime.
You couldn't talk to him of news,
he never had the time.

His bow tie was his calling card,
his cane his extra hand.
So insignificant was he,
just like a grain of sand.

He walked the streets from dusk to dawn
as though he'd lost a friend.
He stood off from his fellow man;
no anger would he send.

There is one thing that he would do,
return each given smile,
and if you ever needed help,
he'd go that extra mile.

'Though he would never say a word,
he radiated trust.
He would not harm both man nor beast,
to him that was a must.

But, when he died I was impressed,
'cause groups from miles around,
had come to pay their last respects
to one who made no sound.

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

Chapter 37
A Special Thank You

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I want to thank my family here
for helping me so much.
Each one of you has taught me through
your special unique touch.

I learned to count the syllables
in each and every line,
to make it flow just like it should
yet make it sound so fine.

I don't know all the fancy words
to make it debonair.
My heart goes into all my work
to show the world I care.

If I can reach that special one
that needs to hear my heart,
then I will write just what I feel
so someone else can start.

Now all my friends that stick with me,
through writings thick and thin,
know that you've helped me grow a lot
from where I should have been.

You taught me rhyme, you taught me flow
and how to punctuate.
But those quotation marks are still
the ones to seal my fate.

So all of you who have my back
and help to clear mistakes,
the need to thank you now is sealed
with words that are not fake.

I write with heart, I write with love
sometimes I write with pain.
I need you to correct what's there
to make it whole again.

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

Time to say 'thank you' for your patience and expertise.

Chapter 38
What Could Be Better

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The sun rising gently in the morning,
and bringing the promise of a new day.
Infectious laughter of children playing.
The gentle breeze coaxing willows to sway.

The sun setting below the horizon,
bringing such sweet rest to a tired old soul.
The surreal painted sky giving reason
to help prove, in the scheme, how small man's role.

The summer smell of fresh early mown grass.
The shyness of innocent love's first kiss.
The reflection in a lake clear as glass.
Newlyweds giving a look of clear bliss.

A rainbow arch high up where the birds fly
brings needed rebirth to a troubled mind.
The full of the moon lights the darkened sky
and brings mystical rev'rence to mankind.

A newborn baby's cry brings such new dreams
in the open arms of a mother's pure love.
The past staleness of the Earth becomes gleamed
with the sun's warm rays shining from above.

The flowers reach beyond the melting snow
and the blossoms plan the new start of Spring.
The beauty of miniature rainbows
shimmering in the dew of the morning.

The relaxing sound of a cat purring.
A butterfly dancing among the flow'rs.
The sound of the waves on the beach thund'ring.
The new crisp freshness of a Spring shower.

Our world exists in the hurried bustle
of a life full of terrorists' death threats,
we need to take time in our fast hustle ...
to see the sights are as real as it gets.

Chapter 39
The Day of the Dolphin

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Kids can be so cruel when they find a weakness in someone. My daughter was having a hard time surviving her last two years in high school. Don't get me wrong, she was making excellent grades. The problem laid in the torment graciously bestowed on her daily from her fellow classmates. You see, Connie was a shy student, brought on by her father's idle threats whenever he indulged in his favorite past time of drinking beer.

She was feeling lower than low, and, as a mother, I felt I had to do something to remind her how to smile, if even for a little while. I told Connie to keep a certain date open, then I contacted her best friend's mother to involve her in my plans. Connie kept begging for answers, but this time I held my ground, especially when I saw the sparkle in her eyes. Despite her problems in school, she came alive with anticipation, especially as the day drew nearer.

When the morning came, I woke Connie early, then we drove to pick up her friend, Mandy, and Robin, her friend's mother. The girls were curious when Robin carried out a large duffle bag and begged to know what was going on. I put her duffle in the trunk along with the one I had packed for my daughter.

Two hours later we arrived at the marina. The girls emotions were in overdrive as they watched us get the bags from the back of the car. It was fun to watch two sixteen year olds jumping up and down around us as we walked toward the back of the water park arena.

When we reached the door that said, 'participant entrance only', the girls just stared at each other. Robin and I handed each girl a bag from the trunk, gave them a big hug, and told them to live for today. With confused looks on their faces, they turned and entered through the door. Robin and I entered behind them, but stayed back enough to let them enjoy the full impact of what they were about to do. We got to enjoy watching their reaction to what was in their bags.

They found everything they needed to go swimming: swimsuits, towels, sandals, swim caps. As they got ready in their dressing room, they were trying to decide what the final step was in this adventure. When they came out, they were ushered into another room that led to the marina itself. Robin and I went out front to watch.

You see, Mandy and Connie had a special love of dolphins and this day they were signed up to swim with them. This became an image that I hope to never forget, because it gave me the laughter I waited so long to hear.

Author Notes 479 words

Raoul d'Harmental thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 40
When Did You Go Away?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You just don't know me anymore,
you don't hear what I say.
You don't remember our lives past.
When did you go away?

You now forget the little things
you need to do each day.
Your eyes portray the look that's lost.
When did you go away?

You amble all around the house,
remember me today.
I miss your words, your love, your arms.
When did you go away?

Please, sit with me and hold my hand,
your love I need to stay
if even for ten minutes, love.
When did you go away?

You need to know all you have left
and we need to repay.
But now you don't remember me,
when did you go away?

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

Chapter 41
The Smile Won't Come

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My boys were special, sent from God;
at birth, not one, but two.
Soon, trouble seemed to follow them ...
what one did, two would do.

They had their problems, all kids do,
but, grew to fine young men.
Each married right and blessed with kids;
but, life would turn again.

One starless night, all four were out;
the Lord, He called them home.
My babies gone, their little ones
were then left all alone.

The annivers'ry of their death
just comes around too fast.
My thoughts stay racing twice as much.
My tears just seem to last.

My memories I truly dread,
I wish my heart would numb.
I want so much to just let go ...
the smile it just won't come.

Today I paid a visit to
the place they met the Lord.
Four red balloons flew in their name
as my tears freely poured.

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

February 3, 2001 my twin sons and their wives were killed in a car/train accident leaving three grandbabies without parents and many families trying to pick up the pieces.

I took four red balloons out to the tracks where we have the cross, and released them.

Chapter 42
A Love That's Gone

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A love that's gone leaves scars of pain
at times, resurfacing once more
through memories made fresh again.
A love that's gone leaves scars of pain
releasing tears that pour like rain
as thoughts of loved ones start to soar.
A love that's gone leaves scars of pain
at times, resurfacing once more.

Author Notes When we think we have our feelings under control, life throws something in the way like a song, a smell, a picture. But would we want it any other way?


A Triolet is a poetic form consisting of ONLY 8 lines. Within a Triolet, lines 1, 4, &7 repeat, and lines 2 & 8 repeat. The rhyme scheme is simple: ABaAabAB, capital letters representing the repeated lines.

Make writing a Triolet more challenging! Make each line 8 syllables in length (4 metrical feet), written in iambic tetrameter (the more common way), or try it in pentameter (English version) where each line only has 10 syllables (5 metrical feet).

Chapter 43
Barb Hensongispsaca

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Many have asked me what nationality I have for my background with a name like Hensongispsaca. I would love to tell you I was abducted by aliens and that is the name every person goes by on the planet gispsaca. Actually, that is the first two letters of my cats' names at that time - Ginger, Spot, Sara, Cali.

I am a country girl, born and bred. I remember out houses, water pumps, well water, cisterns, slopping hogs, gathering eggs, milking cows, herding sheep and selecting the sacrifice for Sunday dinner. I remember helping dad hitch the horse to the sled for a holiday trip to the neighbor's in snow so deep it felt like hills to me.

I remember popping corn over the fire in the hearth and grandma fixing hot chocolate from scratch. I remember homemade fudge and ice cream, two of mom's specialities. I thought of myself as an only child because my brother was fifteen years older than I was. Yes, I was an oops.

I was cursed with three marriages that did not work, but blessed with four wonderful children, nine grandchildren, three great grandchildren. The Lord took my twin sons home when they were twenty-six.

Life has been full of ups and downs, times of depression, periods of loneliness, and a lot of self-doubt. But through it all, I use the memories to write with the sole purpose of reaching those that need to know they are not alone.

Speaking of writing, everyone that reviews my pieces knows that my major problems lie in quotation marks with period placement, and when to use apostrophes. On that note, I still thank everyone for their patience with me.

Author Notes Picture is sideways, but I did not know how to straighten it, besides anyone who knows me know I am off a little.

Chapter 44
Two Different Mothers

By Barb Hensongispsaca

While I was in the woods one day
collecting wood to burn,
my mind was lost in thoughts of home,
a sadness I had learned.

I missed my family and their love,
my heart seemed split in two.
The overwhelming loneliness
was more than I could do.

An eerie noise from Satan's rhelm
laid hard upon my ears.
It brought back nightmare memories
that doubled all my fears.

It echoed from the depths of hell,
my bones began to shake.
I feared so much to turn around
my head began to ache.

The howling started far away
then moved across the hill.
Though trembling started in my core,
my body I kept still.

I visioned being ripped apart
from fangs dripping my blood.
A fear I never felt before
went through me like a flood.

But then my fear turned inside out,
I soon felt mesmerized.
The eerie howling that I'd heard
became more of a prize.

A female wolf went walking past,
her kits followed in line.
I could not keep from watching them
as they lagged on behind.

Her eyes caught mine for just a spell
and then she journeyed on.
Two mothers meeting at one spot,
a look, then she was gone.

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

Chapter 45
Red's Adventure

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There was one little ant who headed deep into the woods,
he went to take a look around the land because he could.
He met another ant he thought was doing just the same.
Said, "Howdy, how you do'in, friend? I'm Red. That is my name!"

"So, howdy, Red, it's really good to meet you way out here,"
the second ant responded back and said it without fear.
"My name is Black, I'm on a walk to visit this big land.
I'd like to walk along with you and maybe lend a hand."

They then shook hands and smiled as they both headed down the road.
In just a while they met a yellow ant toting a load.
Red said, "Why don't you take a break, pack up and come along?"
Three brand new friends began their travel as they sang a song.

They stopped beside a tree to rest and looked around to see.
A big brown ant was laughing as he wrestled with a bee.
"Hey, Brown," yelled Red, "come talk to me, we've something to discuss.
Put down that bee, you'll have more fun to come along with us."

Four brand new friends - one big, three small - went strolling side by side,
"Where will we go? What will we do?" They wanted to decide.
"Well, then, " said Red, "why don't we walk ... just see where this road goes."
So off they went to have some fun and take on any foes.

While one is red and one is black, there's yellow and there's brown.
All four were different yet their friendship became very sound.
Now we could learn a lot from them, so diff'rent, yet the same.
Accepting each for who they are, no questions and no blame.

Author Notes seshadri-sreenivasan thank you for permission to use your picture.

My Grandson wanted a poem on animals getting along.

Chapter 46
Don't Want To Lose You

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I think in all the master plan
this problem was thought of by man.
I know addictions do take hold,
so, greed of man makes him too bold.

The one that really worries me
has taken you down to your knees.
You drink some beer, and that's okay,
I do hope you'll stop that someday.

The one that really freaks me out
is cigarettes, now there's no doubt.
They stain, they smell, they drive me wild.
They're never fit around our child.

Smoke second hand is bad, you see;
it's killing her, it's killing me.
Your lungs are filling every day;
your brain cells dying. That's okay?

The part that I don't understand,
the food you taste is very bland.
You panic if you think you're out,
then, yell at me ... what's that about?

Well, I don't know, cause I don't smoke;
but, everyday I watch you choke.
You pay for puffers every year
so you can smoke and breathe, my dear.

Do you realize how much they cost
in money and brain cells you've lost?
You'd be so rich, what would you do?
You'd have your health and money, too.

I have no right to judge your way,
I need my man to be okay.
But when I see you try to breathe,
it really makes me start to seathe.

Addictions that man feeds upon
will make them rich and then they're gone.
The havoc that they make that stay,
remains with us from day to day.

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

Chapter 47
Past Images of Tomorrow

By Barb Hensongispsaca

a structure of rough stones stacked in the form of a human figure, traditionally used by Inuit people as a landmark or a commemorative sign.

Inuksuk stand as sentinels
of past yet future lives.
They tell of trials of learnered ones
to those that must survive.

They tell a history of a race,
both past and present, too.
Just stones stacked in a special way
for travelers passing through.

Some tell of buried food t'was left
for future traveler's need,
some tell of pitfalls on the way
and wishing them god's speed.

Some leave directions for the lost
to help them travel on.
Some mark the graves of those that died -
their hist'ry never gone.

These sentinels mark what was lived,
and more are made today,
to tell about the lives of men
who traveled on their way.

Author Notes When I looked at this picture, I did not see trees, but, rather, the stones of the ancestors of the Inuit that I saw as I traveled in Northern Canada. Each one hand built by the path and each with a different meaning for those to follow.

Per Canadian Wikepedia:
Inuksuk is a figure made of piled stones or boulders constructed to communicate with humans throughout the Arctic. Traditionally constructed by the Inuit, inuksuit are integral to Inuit culture and are often intertwined with representations of Canada and the North. In Inuktitut, the term inuksuk means "to act in the capacity of a human." It is an extension of the word inuk meaning "a human being." Inuksuit have been found adjacent to archaeological sites dating from 2400 to 1800 BC in the Mingo Lake region of southwest Baffin Island.

Inuksuk are placed throughout the Arctic landscape acting as "helpers" to the Inuit. Among their many practical functions, they are used as hunting and navigational aids, coordination points and message centres (e.g., they might indicate where food was cached). In addition to their earthly functions, certain inuksuk-like figures have spiritual connotations, often marking the spiritual landscape of the Inuit who know how to survive on the land living in their traditional way.

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