"World As I See It 7"

It's Not Too Late

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Earth's gifts
are free
for both you and me.
Abuse will demand a fee-
due will see.

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

Is time running out? Are we prepared for the dues that will be demanded?

Chapter 1
What To Do

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I live under an overpass,
I've nothing anymore.
It really makes me wonder, now,
what am I fighting for?

My husband lost his only job;
the bank caused us more strife.
They finally took away our home,
my husband took his life.

Now all of our possessions gone;
we live as beggers do.
I watch my child, no future here,
we do what we can do.

Existing barely, living's hard;
surviving trials each day.
Clean water's scarce, food hard to find,
we try to make a way.

My daughter's learning how to hate,
I've lost my trust in man.
Dear Lord, what do you want of us?
What is your master plan?

We're waiting on police to come
to tell us to move on.
We try to make sense of it all,
but understanding's gone.

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

Chapter 2
Becoming Invisible

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You look tired...
aged beyond your years.

You walk with the bend of life...
memories and regrets showing on your brow.

You walk on.

Time taking it's toll on your pace...
a limp unnoticed by most,
a wince as you climb the steps.
Pain etched in your face.

You walk on.

Invisible to others
in their hustle bustle around you,
shouldering their way ahead of you
without so much as an "excuse me".

You walk on.

Slow, as though you have born
the weight of the world
for many years.
The slump of your shoulders
unveiling your loneliness.

You walk on.

You stand aside
for someone younger
who seems late for his own funeral
and no time for you.

You walk on.

Accepting all of this
as your way of life
without a change in your expression.
What are you feeling?
Where do you hurt?

You walk on.

You approach her to buy
a cup of coffee.
She tells you to go sit down.
Instead of selling you a cup of coffee
she makes your coffee,
the way you want,
delivers it to you,
and says, "It's on me".

She was watching,
just like I was.

Your tired eyes meet mine
we exchange a smile.

You have made my day.

And I walk on.

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 3
The Monsters They Don't See

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Children, best beware...they're here-
so trust your instincts, trust your fear.
There's predators that lurk around,
that strike without a thought or sound.

Now, parents even though you're there
and raise your children in your care,
protecting them with all your heart,
you don't re'lize that's just your start.

You raise them good, you raise them kind.
You show them how to use their mind.
You teach them how to self-defend;
to no man's will they have to bend.

You teach them to survive with fight-
so tell them scream with all their might.
You give them phones to call for aid.
You show them of what stuff they're made.

You show them how to stay alive
and give them plans so they survive
while loving them with all your heart...
as parents, you will do your part.

You finally do all you can do,
protecting them, but trusting, too.
Advising who to trust and not,
you feel you've given all you got.

Just don't forget the predators,
and all the terror that they stir.
They're always on the look out for
new ways to break down your safe doors.

They always get just who they want
cause they are always on the hunt.
They prowl in shadows, all unseen
yet in plain sight, they're kind or mean.

There's monsters that your kids don't know
cause they can't tell a friend from foe.
Since monsters lurk most everywhere,
we must teach children to beware.

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

Chapter 4
The Boiling Water Dare

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You won't believe what I will say,
you'll think I'm crazy - that's okay;
but, I saw it as plain as day
so now I'm sending it your way.

It's called the boiling water dare
and those that play don't really care
what happens to the skin that's bare,
when boiling water they must wear.

Already, one has died to date
and many more will meet that fate.
It may become a crime of hate
so stopping this just can not wait.

One dares another kid to throw
some boiling water on a foe
who won't suspect this wicked blow
and this sick game is on the go.

There's burns and pain from this sick game,
all just to have a minute's fame
'cause kids will proudly take the blame
for scarring friends - it's what they claim.

But there's a part that's even worse
'cause this sick part will bring the hearse.
The victim is the one whose cursed
because when played the throat will burst.

One drinks the boiling water through
a well placed straw - that's what they do.
The throat seals up, the lungs do, too.
They seal up tight like stuck with glue.

They don't heal up, they start to seize,
their breathing slows, goes to a wheeze.
If they seek help, their peers will tease.
They wind up dying on their knees.

The news is real, I saw the burns;
inflicting pain again returns.
Why won't our children ever learn?
A dare can take an ugly turn.

Author Notes BRUCEIORIO Thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is true, I saw the first case where I work. Please get this message out.

Chapter 5
Which Mask to Wear

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I woke this morning wondering
which mask I'd wear today.
It changes by the way I feel
which most time's not okay.

When I'm alone I wear the one
that shows the lines of pain,
the furrowed brow, the down turned smile
as pain will wax and wane.

When someone visits, then I wear
the one that shows a smile-
with eyes that shine and teeth that show.
Will visit for awhile.

When I go out, I concentrate
on getting errands done.
A passive face that's deep in thought-
no smile and giving none.

I've other masks, depending on
what happens in my life
as mother, mistress, homemaker
or parent and a wife.

I change my masks all through the day,
depends on how I feel.
I have so many that I use
I'm not sure which is real.

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

Chapter 6
Unnamed Angel

By Barb Hensongispsaca

With just eight words, my horror came
my life then changed so quick-
my heart so broken down with pain,
my mind became quite sick.

I knew that no one understood
exactly how I felt;
I thought I was the reason for
the hand that I was dealt.

Then at the lowest I could feel
a woman came to me.
She had a story that she told,
she said so I would see.

She saw my story in the news
then God spoke to her heart.
She said that I would heal someday
and this would be my start.

She told me of her day of bliss
with her six kids and mom,
that turned into her day of woe
that left her just as numb.

A drunken driver at the wheel
had forced her off the road,
her van rolled over as it fell-
it took her precious load.

When she woke up, she heard the news
of what her life would be;
what started as a day of bliss
wound up against a tree.

Five kids and mom all now were gone.
But she had peace she said,
she goes to speak to ones like me...
the ones who wish t'were dead.

She said she felt God told her heart
she had to talk to me.
She told me of her tale of woe...
"be happy" was her plea.

She hugged me tight, then turned and left.
I don't know who she was;
but, she passed on a job to me -
help others just because.

Author Notes I know mom and numb don't rhyme, but the devil made me do it.

It was 2 am when my ex called to tell me the news that my twin boys and their wives were killed. During the second set of funerals, my mind took a vacation. This lady came up to me and made me make eye contact and she told me her story. The last thing she said was, "If I can survive, so can you." She turned and left without me knowing who she was. I tried to find her to thank her, even put notices in surrounding papers. The problem was, this news article reached from Ohio to as far as Texas. I never found her. But just that little bit of sharing, gave me back my life and a purpose. That's why you guys are stuck with me. I'm paying back.

Chapter 7
Danger on the Serengetti

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Africa's tundra holds danger,
the lioness watches her prey.
Slowly she stalks from a distance
as the dusk takes over the day.

The water hole's crowded this night
as animals volley for space.
Tension is making them restless;
the antelope setting the pace.

Zebras are skittish as they smell
a strange scent they just can't define.
Wildebeest break their formation
as they start to move out of line.

Her shape is nearly upon them,
she must attack before they're gone.
Surely one faces death tonight...
survival's story must go on.

The plains of the Serengetti
hold other dangers deep and dark.
The leopard and the cheetah stalk
their next good meal ... a slower mark.

Only his eyes out of water,
the hippo awaits his next feast.
The elephant rampages on
through a family of wildebeest.

The rhino tramples and maims as
the hyena waits on a meal.
But none are more dangerous than
the most threatening one that is real.

It does not kill for food ... just sport-
leaving destruction in its wake.
It kills because that is what it loves
then leaves bodies laying to bake.

It does not use its teeth or claws
but destroys with something much worse,
and every animal in range
is fair game - not free from it's curse.

In case you have not guessed ... it's man
that brings terror to the tundra.
I guess those marauding giraffe
need shot and not with a camera.

Author Notes Picture is from internet news. There are a lot more, more disgusting if you care to look.

Chapter 8
The Haunting Unknown

By Barb Hensongispsaca

unknown feel
brings horror filled

Author Notes iPhone7 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 9
Attention! People of Earth!

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Attention! Attention!
Beware my trembling that will
cause a catastrophe. I am
declaring to all people:
everyone, beware!
For the end of my time,
give or take a plus or minus,
has begun, and
I'm sending you your
just desserts. I
kept telling you to behave, to
let me rest for awhile. You
made me angry...
never listened to me,
openly disregarding my needs by
putting your needs first,
quietly undermining my strength.
Regardless of what you have done, you
still owe me some respect -
to acknowledge all my sacrifice for you.
Until you help me to save you,
violent upheaval of the
world - earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves,
X-rated terrors - will be yours because
you are gonna see me - the World -
zigzagged with lines of death.


Author Notes Life is but a dream, thank you for permission to use your picture.

We have abused our time here on Earth and someday Earth will abuse back.

Chapter 10
It LIves In Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a monster inside me,
it lives right one can see.
It hides, it lurks, it slinks about.
It waits for me, I have no doubt.

It wants my life, to see me die;
but, suffer first, so then why try?
I don't know why it's called 'big C',
it's just a cell, but, it scares me.

It waits until I'm down and out,
then shows itself, I want to shout!
It has no mercy, has no care.
It takes my pride and leaves me bare.

Its icy fingers touch my lip,
the stench of death in each cold tip.
It drains my life, my power, my pride
as through its torture I abide.

It can't be traced, it hides too well.
If there's a cure, no one will tell.
It's like the plague, it spreads at will,
and there's no golden pill.

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Cancer is unforgiving as it ignores race, age, gender. It takes and takes until there is nothing more. All we can do is laugh until we cry.

Chapter 11
Give Me Just Five Minutes

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a rescue cat;
I'd love to know her past
and have a little chat
with he who had her last.

She runs when you get near,
she cries all of the time,
she hides when she feels fear,
she's scared to death to climb.

She runs away from shoes
and dodges when you pet;
she's petrified of men.
Her scars she can't forget.

Her future has been forged.
A chunk's out of her soul.
Her mind has been destroyed.
I can not make her whole.

Whoever had her last,
I don't know what they've done.
It's hard to show her love,
this precious little one.

Five minute's all I want
to meet the satan's spawn
who took this precious soul
as one to beat upon.

Author Notes It is dark, but the best picture I could take of her as she shies away from daylight.

ABCB in 6 syllable count.

Chapter 12
My Thoughts on Our Legacy

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Neglect is what we leave our kids-
now don't get all upset.
I'm speaking of their future years
and what they'll never get.

The legacy we planned to leave
our children when we die,
has up to now been promises-
and has all been a lie.

The sky of blue is turning brown,
the water's bitter sweet;
the animals are going fast,
a fate we, too, will meet.

Our legacy's not air to breathe
or water that is pure.
It's not the animals now gone
or sickness we can't cure.

Our legacy that we hand down,
what kids already know,
is proving we must fight and die...
to live a life of woe.

There's threats to buildings, trains and planes,
and terror in the schools.
The loss of life by terrorists
is not the Golden Rule.

Our legacy to give our kids,
for here and overseas,
should be a fight to save our world,
then life would be a breeze.

You mark my words, 'twill come the day
that Mother Earth collects...
when future generations die
because of our neglect.

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

Chapter 13
Fate Holds Mr. D.B. Cooper

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A man nobody saw before
stood waiting for his plane.
With box in hand he took his seat
while sunshine turned to rain.

He called the stewardess over
and told her to sit down.
He said, "This box contains a bomb.
Best turn this plane around!"

The Captain asked, "What do you want?"
The man was quite precise.
"Two hundred thousand dollars, please,
would really quite suffice.

I also need four parachutes
before our stop is made."
He seemed to know just what he'd need
as though his plans were laid.

He traded all the hostages
for what he had asked for.
He kept the crew and headed south
while outside rain did pour.

Then somewhere 'long the western coast,
he parachuted down
to land in woods so wild and deep
away from any town.

Now no one knows if he's alive
or if he died right then.
The money never did turn up,
and no sign of the man.

Though people have searched high and wide,
from dusk through early dawn,
through forty years there's been no sign...
both man and money gone.

Author Notes Image and author's notes per Wikipedia.

D. B. Cooper is a media epithet popularly used to refer to an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on November 24, 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,180,000 in 2016) and parachuted to an uncertain fate. Despite an extensive manhunt and protracted FBI investigation, the perpetrator has never been located or identified. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in commercial aviation history.

On the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a nondescript man calling himself Dan Cooper approached the counter of Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland, Oregon. He used cash to buy a one-way ticket on Flight #305, bound for Seattle, Washington. Thus began one of the great unsolved mysteries in FBI history.

Cooper was a quiet man who appeared to be in his mid-40s, wearing a business suit with a black tie and white shirt. He ordered a drink, bourbon and soda, while the flight was waiting to take off. A short time after 3:00 p.m., he handed the stewardess a note indicating that he had a bomb in his briefcase and wanted her to sit with him.

The stunned stewardess did as she was told. Opening a cheap brief case, Cooper showed her a glimpse of a mass of wires and red colored sticks and demanded that she write down what he told her. Soon, she was walking a new note to the captain of the plane that demanded four parachutes and $200,000 in twenty-dollar bills.

When the flight landed in Seattle, the hijacker exchanged the flight's 36 passengers for the money and parachutes. Cooper kept several crew members, and the plane took off again, ordered to set a course for Mexico City.

Somewhere between Seattle and Reno, a little after 8:00 p.m., the hijacker did the incredible: He jumped out of the back of the plane with a parachute and the ransom money. The pilots landed safely, but Cooper had disappeared into the night and his ultimate fate remains a mystery to this day.

Chapter 14
The Other Side of Autism

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I feel like
I am in a prison
and you hold the key.

I know what I want-
you don't.
I know what I need-
you don't.

No, that's not what I want!!
You don't understand!!
Listen to me!!

Oh, why can't I explain?
Why can't I use words like you do?

I understand you. I really do;
but, my mind doesn't convey to my body
what I need it to do...
to say.

You don't see me!
I am trapped in this body
that does not respond as it should.

What do you mean not normal?
I heard you say it.
I am normal!!
I am me! SEE me!

I hear you, I am not deaf.
Don't yell!
Nor do I need you to talk slow.
I hear you.

I am smart. Can't you see it?
Give me my rubiks cube--I'll show you.
I can work it in a minute.
Give me any puzzle-any problem- I'll solve it.
Just don't let me just sit here.
Let me do what I can do best.

Yes, I cry ...
Yes, I yell ...
Yes, I fight ...
No that's not what I want!!!
You don't understand!!!
Listen to me!!!

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

When I worked up north where the school consisted of three parts, public - 120 students, French - 45 students, and catholic -39 students. I worked with the autistic at a whopping 13 children, way beyond what the ratio should have been.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism is prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults and lose school-based autism services each year.
Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

Chapter 15
My Strings

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You pulled my strings,
you made me dance.
I learned to twist,
I learned to prance.

You told me jump,
I asked 'how high'?
I knew best not
to ask you why.

I laughed when you
said 'twas okay,
I cried, but quiet,
from day to day.

You gave me love
to all who saw,
you owned my soul-
you loved that law.

I danced your tune
to keep from pain.
My life to you
was just a stain.

I always did
as I was told,
you pulled the strings
that left me cold.

Chapter 16
Too Many

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There are so many markers now
from battles that are past.
With soldiers fighting for our peace...
young lives are lost so fast.

Brave heroes bled for all those marks-
the letters in those names...
to many innocient lives lost
in power hungry games.

So many die for freedom as
they face the dark unknown,
they know the bullets found their mark...
they hear their "brothers" moan.

Still yet today more fight and die
in unforgiving lands.
They know their fate lies with each one
and rests in 'brother's' hands.

Both sides feel that their way is right
and fight to keep the peace...
they wonder why these deaths must be
before the battles cease.

There are so many crosses from
the battles that are fought.
The soldiers fight for freedom and
'tis with their lives it's bought.

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

Chapter 17
Yes, I'm Mad!

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Whatever do you know of love?
Your heart is on the internet.
You think those guys are nice to you
when really, they care less, I'll bet.

Now do you think they tell the truth?
They say what they want you to hear.
I guarantee that shot's not him.
Instead of love, you'd better fear.

Are you insane? You want to meet?
You think he cares you feel alone?
I guarantee he's not for you...
and don't you call him on the phone!

What makes you think you're all grown up?
Why shouldn't I tell mom and dad?
Just tell me why I should ignore
your stupid act! Hell, yes, I'm mad!

Can't you just wait? Your time will come.
Did you just hear the words I said?
You're only twelve. You have your life.
Do things like this, you'll wind up dead.

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

You never know who kids are talking to on the internet and we need to be over protective when it comes to what they plan to do, like meet the person they are 'in love' with. Predators know how to lure people, not only kids, by playing on their weaknesses.

Chapter 18
She Wants To Be Accepted

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She is but a child
in the eyes of man.
She wants to be part
of life's major plan.

She watches and waits
to be asked to join.
She's at the mercy
of life's spinning coin..

She will sit and watch
the others at play,
hoping they'll notice
and ask her someday.

She loves their laughter,
their play and their mirth.
She would be like them
except for her birth.

Born to a father
who rules with such hate,
she knows not to smile -
for pain is her fate.

She watches them now
in silence...alone.
Not allowed to play,
her dad won't condone.

She watches in fear
knowing how dad hates,
the bruises will heal,
but for now ... she waits.

Author Notes This was written for my daughter who lived in fear of her father. Now he weighs 113 pounds, has COPD and still he rules her.

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 19
Beware, Listen

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Beware the soul taker, as he sneaks up unaware, while you are concentrating on gaining a foothold on life itself.

He knows you are totally oblivious to the fact that you are playing what he wants you to play. He is orchestrating your life and you do not realize it.

Your pride allows you to assume you can win. You think you can see him in time to move aside avoiding a confrontation with sin. I'm saying you can't hide.

He already holds your hand and has full control as you walk together in His prelude to consuming your soul.

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

Chapter 20
She Watches

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A story true, but strange to tell;
it's one you'll not like very well.
I'm not so sure that I know how,
but feel I must try telling now.

I met a girl sweet as can be,
her love of life is plain to see.
She does bring smiles where e'er she goes;
she seems to say, "I have no woes".

When we sat down to talk one day,
this girl, she had a lot to say.
When she was eight, her father's bro
was just thirteen. She loved him so.

Her Mom and Dad sent her with him,
to keep her safe ... he hated them.
Imagine next what he did then,
and kept it up 'til she turned ten.

With threat of life, he held control
'til one fine day it took its toll.
She hit him hard, but paid the price...
he knifed her then, not once, not twice.

He carved her up, denied it all.
He never even took the fall.
The years have passed, no man she'll see;
a mother she will never be.

She works with kids, loves every one...
loves others' daughters, other's sons.
She watches close for tell-tale signs
that someone else has crossed the line.

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

I met this beautiful girl while working. We hit up a conversation and I realized I loved her spirit and power. She took control of her broken life and now uses it to help kids that she sees needs help.
She said you can spot the broken if you just take time to look.

Chapter 21
I Had Enough

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'd reached my point of no return;
I wanted him to suffer...burn.
I'd lived like this for way too long,
I realized that I must be strong.

He'd used his fist on me too much,
I'd learned to hate his very touch.
The sights my children saw told me
that it was time we had to flee.

I finally felt that he could kill.
His anger had destroyed our will.
That night I'd take his life before
he had the chance to hurt us more.

He finally passed out drunk in bed,
I looked once more on whom I wed;
then laid a cigarette and tray
next to the man I planned to slay.

I watched the covers start to burn,
then took my kids, planned no return.
So tired of burns and broken bones;
'twas fitting that he'd die alone.

I thought my children would be free;
they'd not be beaten down like me.
The law could say " an accident,
it's just something we can't prevent".

Author Notes Alex Ehrhardt thank you for permission to use your picture.

How many people are driven to actions like this just to be free from fear and pain? I was, but I realized I just could not do it. I returned to the room, put the fire out, put the kids back to bed, then sat in the corner watching him sleep. When he woke I showed him what I had done...he left.

Chapter 22
Today's Game

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I've lost you, now what do I do?
I feel so empty without you.
E'en though you are right by my side,
and always be my blushing bride,
you're slowly slipping far away.
I hold your hand and beg you stay.

Another man? That's not the case,
there's something else that takes my place.
A malady that takes your mind,
then plays with it, leaves it behind.
Your mind now plays sad tricks on you -
and you're not sure what is not true.

Most times you are aware, but then -
sometimes you drift away again,
to places only seen by you.
Come back to me, I'll lead you through.
Return my love, I beg you stay ...
just be with me for one more day.

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

Chapter 23
Good Writing Right

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Watch out world, I have to write.
Take all hindrance from my sight.
I am on a roll today -
next day might just get away.

I need pen and paper, too.
No one speak until I'm through.
Got to have some quiet now
And some peace...I don't know how.

Chase the dog back out the door.
Get the kitten off the floor.
Need some silence, here I go...
turn that radio down low.

Don't disturb me 'til I'm through
Did you tell the children, too?
It's right there, I've got to write.
Can't stop now or I'll lose sight!

There, I think I got it right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author Notes Found this picture on the internet and had to run with it.

I thought of all those patient people here on fanstory that help me over and over again.

Chapter 24
Over So Fast

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Yesterday's Christmas
is now one day past.
T'was a long time coming,
now over so fast.

The tree's taken down,
decorations away,
the fam'ly is gone ...
the house bare today.

The packages are open,
the boxes lay bare.
Torn paper from wrappings
lay strewn everywhere.

Money all spent
on loved ones and friends.
Cards thrown away,
'thank you's - never sends.

The drinks are all finished,
celebrating is done.
I now sit with mem'ries
of laughter and fun.

Forgotten prayers of thanks,
Christmas story unread.
Not enough time to share...
important words left unsaid.

Why just at Christmas
to value life so dear?
Is it not important
to be close all year?

Yesterday's Christmas
is now one day past.
T'was a long time coming,
now over too fast.

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

When we think of Christmas, it starts early and is over so quickly. Then as we go our own ways, it seems that it takes another year to become close again.

Chapter 25
Black Awakening

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Confusion set in as Julie opened her eyes and saw ... nothing but total darkness. As she closed her eyes, she put her hands over them, then spread her fingers which she could not see. Reaching out, she felt the wall and used it as support to stand.

"I'm blind," she thought in a panic as she tried to remember what happened.

Her hand felt something smooth and realized it was a window, but there was something wet around it. She knew what it was.

She remembered her husband's smiling face as he sunk the boat she was locked in.

99 words

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

For the potlatch for October 1, 2017, write a drabble fiction piece of between 98 and 102 words on a blackout. Genre is your choice.

Chapter 26
Where, Pray Tell?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Where am I going? Please pray tell.
I walk alone on this path's hell.
I know it's one I made for me,
I need to know where I should be.

Oh, where, pray tell? Advice I'll take.
I feel so lost, each step seems fake.
Confusion traps my thoughts inside.
Now all I want to do is hide.

Where am I going? Can you see?
My road is like a murky sea.
There's no straight path, it jerks and turns,
I try to plan but my mind burns.

Where do I go? Where have I been?
I can not walk that path again.
My tears are endless, flows in mass.
Give me a job ... a simple task.

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

I am 68 and if you think it is easy to find a job...

Chapter 27
I Love You, Mommy

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I love you, Mommy, with all my whole heart.
I love you, Mommy, when we are apart.

I love you, Mommy, don't leave me alone.
I love you, Mommy, I don't have a phone.

I love you, Mommy, how can I find you?
I love you, Mommy, now what should I do?

I love you, Mommy, who's that man ...he's new?
I love you, Mommy, I'm hungry and blue.

I love you, Mommy, but there's no food here.
I love you, Mommy, there's only your beer.

I love you, Mommy, please, don't drink so much.
I love you, Mommy, I miss your sweet touch.

I love you, Mommy, I'll let you win.
I love you, Mommy, don't hit me again.

I love you, Mommy, so what are those pills?
I love you, Mommy, and I always will.

I love you, Mommy, with my all whole heart.
I love you, Mommy, when we are apart.

"I love you, Mommy"

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

This happens all too often we don't know about.

Chapter 28
Her Decision

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"The time has come", her Doctor said,
"and you have been approved."
Her heart raced with excitement then;
she knew she'd be unmoved.

She'd waited eighteen months for this,
shout loud and beat the drum.
Her friends thought she had lost her mind;
her family called her dumb.

This act was what she had to do ...
their future in her hands.
They'd waited ages for this chance,
now her decision stands.

Her choice to be a surrogate
was thought on hard and long.
The tears that marked their faces now,
told her she was not wrong.

The future holds some hard wrought times
this family has to bear.
Our child will have two fathers now
and they are quite a pair.

Their love of life and laughter born
through times of deep despair,
has taught them how to raise a child
and show him how to care.

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

There is a premature baby in the hospital that two very special people are waiting to take home.

Chapter 29
Winter Moon

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It is nigh onto winter
when the Earth's
death throes
start as white crystals
that rain down
from the heavens
to meet
the red waves of hell
that rise like
a protective army,
each trying to consume the other
in a unique purification dance
to the death.

Chapter 30
True Friends

By Barb Hensongispsaca

your friends come and go at their leisure
others stick around for awhile
those that stay for the hard times
are the ones worth loving
tell them how you feel
they've encouraged
never left
fought for

Author Notes A nonet is a nine line poem. The first line containing nine syllables, the next line has eight syllables, the next line has seven syllables. That continues until the last line (the ninth line) which has one syllable. Nonets can be written about any subject.

Chapter 31
Who Is It?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Who are you?" I cried, "What do you want?"

My voice, consumed by fear, was barely recognizable, as tears streamed down my face. I strained to control the fear as it clouded my mind.

I found a dark corner, behind some picture frames, where I crouched trying to hide from ... what? Oh, that's just it. I don't know what. My mind bordered on it's final grip of sanity. There was nothing here - absolutely nothing I could see or give reason to; but, someone was watching me.

When I woke this morning, I sensed that there was a presence in my room. Oh, my, that seems like weeks ago. The alarm had not gone off, but something woke me. I sat up in my bed - bolt upright - as I looked around in the dark and even asked, 'Who's there?'. My uneasiness did not disappear when I received no answer, but, I was sure someone heard me ... or something.

I tried to shrug off the feeling of doom while I turned on the light by my bed. As I reached for the switch, I felt a cold hand cover mine. I froze, paralyzed with fear. Though the room was warm, cold drops of sweat formed on my forehead, stinging my eyes and yet I could not move. The icy fingers seemed to hold me in place.

The air around me turned very cold putting me in an icy tomb. My lungs, seemingly frozen, refused to work. All of a sudden, a high pitched scream broke the hold I was under. My hand dropped to the switch, turning on the light.

Frantically, I looked around and saw ... nothing. There was absolutely nothing in my room. The screaming continued until I realized it was my alarm clock sounding six a.m.. I grabbed for it, needing to shut it off. I needed to listen to the silence. I clutched it to my chest like a life preserver. After a few minutes, I shoved it under my pillow as I put my legs over the edge of the bed to get up.

The thought of something under the bed, ready to grab my legs and pull me under to my death, again paralyzed my actions. Forcing my arm to reach out, I took a pillow and dropped it off the bed in the spot where my foot would land if I was getting out of bed. At the same time, I rolled across the bed to the other side. As soon as my feet touched the floor, I moved away from the bed so I could see the pillow being pulled under the bed. It never moved.

Shaking my head to clear the sleep dust, I felt better. I even chuckled to myself thinking what a dream I must have had and wondering what I ate to cause such a lifelike nightmare. Or was it the fact that it was Halloween?

Still feeling a little addled, I headed to the bathroom for a shower. The warmth of the water cascading down my body made me relax. Then I heard a noise at the bathroom door that sounded like light knocking.

No one had a spare key to my house. My heart seemed to stop. I crouched under the shower spray as I kept my eye on the curtain. It was my only separation between me and what was waiting on the other side. I was listening so hard to hear through the sound of the water cascading beside me that I finally realized I needed to breathe.

I slowly allowed my lungs to fill with hot moisture laden mist, but never got the chance to exhale. A darkness filled the space between the curtain and the lone light bulb in the ceiling and it passed the length of the curtain. I heard the door open and close. My body shook with the realization that everything I had been experiencing was totally real.

After what seemed like hours, I forced myself to move. I left the water running to hide any noise I might make and, hopefully, any scream that might escape from my lungs in the breath I had been holding. It must have taken me over ten minutes to get the courage to reach out and open the curtain. My hand was shaking so bad as I opened it, but, again, the room was empty. I quickly dressed and stepped outside the bathroom.

I grabbed the phone as I hurried past my bedroom to get to the only room that had a lock. Then, to make sure that no one could get in, I pushed the empty dresser over to cover the door. After settling in behind the frames, I tried to use the phone to call for help. It was no surprise that all I heard was static. Tears welling up inside me threatened to pull a moan from my lips.

I glanced at the frames beside me and instantly turned quite cold. The clothes depicted told me that the paintings were of a generation passed. The first picture showed a woman in her nightshirt in bed sitting straight up. The look on her face was one of pure terror. There was a ghost of a woman standing next to her bed. The second picture was of the same woman reaching to turn on a light and the hand of the ghost is on top of hers. The third was of a hand reaching out from under a bed trying to grab some ones legs. My body started to shake; my hands trembled as I reached for the next picture.

I knew before I saw it just what it would be. It was a picture of a bathroom viewed from the ceiling. It showed a woman crouching below a stream of water and the ghost standing on the other side of the curtain. My mind was ready to shut down, but, I had to see the last picture. Because the picture was nearer the door, I moved out of my hiding place so I could reach it easier.
My throat closed and my heart rate soared as I looked at the picture. It showed the woman by the door with a dresser blocking it. She was looking at a picture. Behind her stood the ghost holding a knife at her back.

If I don't turn around is it real? What should I do?

"Who are you?" I cried, "What do you want?".

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

1122 words

Chapter 32
Mommy, I Don't Understand

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Mommy, where has Daddy gone?
He's never here with me.
He used to come home after work
and hold me on his knee.

Oh, Mommy, please, I beg of you
don't leave me here alone.
I know you need your time away,
but, I don't have a phone.

Oh, Mommy, please don't drink so much,
you're different when you do.
You change to someone I don't know
then I'm afraid of you.

Oh, Mommy, please don't take those pills,
you always want to sleep.
I try to be so quiet then
and never say a peep.

Oh, Mommy, please, my tummy hurts;
there's not a thing to eat.
Now, even just a piece of gum
would really be a treat.

Oh, Mommy, please don't bring him home,
I know he's company;
but, when you sleep he's in my room
and, always touching me.

Oh, Mommy, please don't hit me now,
I'm trying to be good.
If you'd just tell me what you want
I'd do it if I could.

Oh, Mommy, I just love you so,
I know you love me, too.
Can I just have another hug?
I love to be with you.

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

When dads or moms leave and the spouse that is left loses themselves in their own loss, it is the child that suffers.

Chapter 33
Greed in Man

By Barb Hensongispsaca

man can't survive greed
with strong power hungry need
while on others' lives they feed

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

Chapter 34
Rich Beyond Compare

By Barb Hensongispsaca

we could
make our lives
just as strong as
the wonderful Earth
we are trying so hard
to completely destroy with
our constant greed to have it all,
our lives would be rich beyond compare

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

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.

Chapter 35
Is It Time?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey! Hello! Hi! I'm excited to be here!

I don't have a lot of time to talk because my job is an important one and I have to be ready to jump into my obligation at a moment's notice.

Oh, yes, you noticed that I am a little transparent. Well, there is a reason for that.

Wait, is it time yet?


Ok, you go ahead and have another drink. Why don't you make it a double? That's it.

Am I changing yet? Keep going. You're almost ready.

Yep, now I am pink and you have had enough to drink.

Author Notes 100 word drabble for the new club challenge you can find under community and clubs. There are a lot of different types of writings you can do...come have fun.

Chapter 36
The Effort is Worth the Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I love the ebb and flow of poetry,
especially when served with cup of tea,
some donuts and some tea bread on the side,
the peace I feel when reading, I can't hide.

There's free verse that just tells of happenings.
Real poetry will teach my heart to sing.
It has that sing/song rhythm that's so nice,
so sometimes I will have to read it twice.

It is the rhythm of romantic speech,
and should be learned if only one would teach,
It takes some effort and a lot of time,
to put together words that really rhyme.

Author Notes This is for the new club challenge. You can find it under community and club. There are different clubs offered, find one and write.

We are going to start out with a contest. Write a poem in iambic pentameter that explains in detail why every poet should know what "iambic pentameter" is. I will be the sole judge and the prize is a free place (worth ???£65 of real money) on my class "An Introduction to Metre" that starts on Friday 10th November. It is not an official FanStory contest so there is no entry fee and it will not be listed in the contests. It will purely be for club members. I shall be looking for the best reasons and the best attempts at stating them in iambic pentameter. The illustration above should help and should be used as the illustration by all entrants. Please state on the discussion pages when you have posted an entry.
Due: Oct 26th. 12 days left.

Chapter 37
Treated Like Garbage

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We love our kids. give them the best...
but don't forget about the rest.
It's hard to think of ones so dear
when we can hold our loved ones near.

Our babies safe within our arms,
but, others out there live with harm.
While some are beaten, some abused,
there's others who are being used.

Neglected ones just want a hug
not pitched aside like some strange bug.
All those abused both body, mind,
confuse abuse with being kind.

These tortured souls, some lives cut short,
abused by parents just for sport.
While some are trapped inside their mind,
there's others gone, we'll never find.

We just can't turn and look away,
we have to take a stand someday.
The innocent belong to God,
but held as garbage, now, that's odd.

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

God's children, those not wanted, are treated like garbage.

Chapter 38
The Wrong Conviction

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a story you should hear,
I hope that you don't shed a tear,
for this is one I swear 'tis true
and no one even had a clue.

'Tis 'bout a father late one night,
who ended up in quite a plight.
His wife came home, found him and son
both sharing games and having fun.

Their son was five, their daughter two,
who was in bed, asleep they knew.
When Mom then went to check on her,
what followed then became a blur.

This happened in 2-0-1-5,
they found their daughter not alive.
The courts ruled murder, dad was sent
to prison where two years he spent.

While suffocation was the cause,
they ruled 'gainst dad without a pause.
Said daughter must have ruined his night
and so he then stilled her with his might.

His innocence he did declare,
'twas lucky he'd not get the chair.
For just this year the truth was known,
his innocence was truly shown.

Their son, now seven, told his side,
and cleared his dad who never lied.
He told his mom about that night,
what then had happened came to light.

He'd gone to check, and climbed the bed
then knocked a pillow on her head.
He thought that she was sound asleep,
so left her lay in slumber deep.

Though dad was cleared, his life was not,
his soul would hold this one dark blot.
His son would hold shamed memories,
for as he grows, will he be free?

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

This is a true story, the father was just released.

Chapter 39
The Call of Revenge

By Barb Hensongispsaca

What started out a teaching jail
became hard core and doomed to fail.
It reeked of death through hist'ries tale,
while pris'ners wail, while pris'ners wail.

The Old State Pen brought death each day,
unfair, unjust, the Piper's pay.
To die inside became their way,
without a say, without a say.

The place closed down when most went mad,
no one cared tell the good from bad,
they were interred, the people glad;
it was so sad, it was so sad.

But now up to this time we see,
their ghosts reach out, death did not free
their restless souls that reach for thee-
demands a fee, demands a fee.

There're bumps and knocks and screams we hear,
though no one's there to shed a tear.
Their spirits feed upon our fear-
so don't come near, so don't come near.

Author Notes Picture from Wikepedia

TOPIC: A spooky folktale or urban legend from where you live

I chose the Ohio State Reformatory which is the best picture of a prison; in fact, it's been the backdrop for movies like "Tango and Cash," "Air Force One" and "The Shawshank Redemption." It was built on November 4, 1886, on the site of the former Camp Mordecai Bartley, a training ground for Civil War soldiers.

The monotetra is a poetic form developed by Michael Walker. Here are the basic rules:

Comprised of quatrains (four-line stanzas) in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of 8 syllables per line
Each quatrain consists of mono-rhymed lines (so each line in the first stanza has the same type of rhyme, as does each line in the second stanza, etc.)
The final line of each stanza repeats the same four syllables
This poem can be as short as one quatrain and as long as a poet wishes

A little history:
Stone walls and iron bars are still there, after 154,000 inmates passed through it's gates in it's 94 years as a working prison. No matter what their crime, some sent to Mansfield have never left. They rest unclaimed in a nearby graveyard. 215 numbered markers laid out row on row. From the violence, that is all to common inside any prison, and the worst of it occurred well away from the main cell block with their rows of cages stacked tier on tier. The worst of it was reserved for a far lonelier place, deep beneath the prison ground. A place called local control, or solitary, by some, known by everyone else as the hole. Near total isolation can crack all but the toughest of cons, but none was so alone that there wasn't room for death. Even when the cells are empty, some swear something walks these halls. How does one explain the voices shaken tour guides swear they hear today? Conversations from beyond the grave.

Chapter 40
Innocence Lost

By Barb Hensongispsaca

She was a perfect little child,
she'd listen and she'd not run wild.
She was the cutest happy girl
with flouncy, floppy, golden curls.

She friended everyone around.
You needed help? She could be found.
She always got straight A's in school;
to everyone she seemed so cool.

Excited, she was college bound.
Her fam'lys pride was best around.
'Though no one knew just how she felt,
they'd soon re'lize the cards were dealt.

The first semester, she did fine,
she studied hard and toed the line.
Straight A's were hers, her parents proud
They sang her praises nice and loud.

"Dear Mom and Dad, I love you so,
but I am not the girl you know.
I let you down, please don't hate me ...
I'm not perfect - I got a 'B'!"

Author Notes Unspoken94 did an excellent writing and I had to follow up with this one.

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is true, I went to school with her.

Chapter 41
Dark Mystical Midnight

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Don't leave your house this Halloween.
All hallows eve brings things unseen.
Right now the spirits are planning things.
Keep doors locked 'gainst what they bring.

Midnight will bring forth the mysteries of night.
Yarns and superstitions cause faint-hearted fright.
Sunset will hasten the shadows that loom.
The darkness surrounds each one like a tomb.
Imaginations will run wild when midnight arrives
'Cause the fearful will think they won't see dawn alive.
All the spirits will arise as the blackness comes.
Loud noises and rattles we won't know where from.

Musky smells will permeate the air we breathe.
Icy chills will hit us if we try to leave.
Doom and gloom descends as dark clouds roll.
Nervous jitters start to take their toll.
Internal shaking increases more and more.
Groaning sounds will meet any open door.
Heartfelt pleas sound to hasten the day.
Till dawn comes to chase the fears away.

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

Chapter 42
Saying Goodbye

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My friend had always followed me
through every part of life.
While growing up and on the day
I made my love my wife.

Both dedicated souls we were-
sworn friendship to the end.
When one of us was picked upon,
the other would defend.

Supported each in all we did
through life's whole stress-filled game.
We could be wild in what we did,
but most times we were tame.

We both decided it was time
to heed our country's call.
I had his back and he had mine
when up against a wall.

When on patrol we seemed to read
each other and we knew
without a word we acted like
we were just one not two.

I knew that fate had caught us when
I heard a strangled sound.
I turned around in time to see
him falling to the ground.

I ran to him, he begged of me,
last words,"Help me, my friend".
I held him tightly to my chest
until the very end.

I looked into the sky above
and I began to cry.
I held my best friend in my arms,
how could I say goodbye?

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

We need to remember what goes on, not just the aftermath.

Chapter 43
Witches of Change

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Spring dances in on windswept clouds
that warms the chill of Winters breath
to turn the dark and dreary world
away from barren hands of death.

Summer follows as it slinks by
while streaming jets of passions heat
as life enjoys its fun filled days
of exercise and sore bare feet.

Autumn creeps so silently while
painting the scene with colored dots
as coats emerge from closets deep
replacing tanned and sunburned spots.

Winter witches then scream to life
relentlessly beating bare skin
as nature dies to be reborn
and return life to where it's been.

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

I was going to enter a contest and read the rules wrong but decided to post this instead of changing it.

Chapter 44

By Barb Hensongispsaca

bodily putrefaction
some real smelly stuff

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

Chapter 45
The Breaking Point

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I reached my point of no return,
the love for him became a burn.
I lived like this for way too long,
I had to know I could be strong.

He'd used his fist on me too much,
I reached that point - to hate his touch.
The sights my children had to see
had told me that we had to flee.

He'd reached the time that he could kill.
His anger had destroyed our will.
I had to take his life before
he had the chance to hurt us more.

His time had come ... passed out in bed.
I looked once more on whom I'd wed
then laid a cigarette and tray
next to the man I planned to slay.

I watched the covers start to burn,
then took my kids, to not return.
So tired of burns and broken bones;
well, now he'd have to die alone.

My children now would be set free,
and not be beaten down like me.
The law would say an accident,
it's just something we can't prevent.

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

Everyone has a breaking point, especially those who have no way out.
A mother bear will protect her cubs however she can.

Chapter 46
You Know the Rest

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I Love You, Darling.

I don't know
if I will be back
this time.

But that
is always
the game played.

You know
I have to go

If I don't come home
you have the strength
to go on.

If I don't come home
find in your heart
to be happy.

Our lives together
have been the best
I have to go.

I would never
wish our time
have never
regretted a moment.

You have been
my love and my life;
please remember me.

You will be with me
every moment
I am gone.

If I do not survive
this last tour
away from you,
I will find a way
to say goodbye.

This I say
as I hold you close
so that I can remember
every thing about you.

Your softness
the taste of your tears
your gentle arms
your loving soul,
all for me.

All I can say is
"I love you".
You know the rest
in your heart.

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

This is felt more times than it should ever be.

Chapter 47
His Letters

By Barb Hensongispsaca

He wrote
of the War

He went to fight
a good little soldier-
trained to kill
destroy at will.

Taught to have
no feelings
as he took a life-
plunging a bayonette
into soft yielding flesh.

Watching the body
of his enemy jerk
as a bullet ripped
through clothes
leaving a spreading
red stain
like a rose blooming.

Wondering if
he would fall
beside his best friend-
sounds gurgling
from the open wound
in his throat.

Would he find the
bungee sticks
that would end his life
as the poison
would spread
from his punctured heels
to his tired brain?

He was afraid
he would have to take the life
of a boy or girl who
had grenades strapped
to their bodies
as they were
forced to die
while killing ... him.

He had to crawl
like a rat
down holes no bigger
than a pet door
to flush out
the enemy.

in this experience,

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

Chapter 48
It Took Hold

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Depression took hold
no help, I was told
the world seemed quite cold
my soul has grown old.

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

Chapter 49

By Barb Hensongispsaca

John felt that he was bullied for
the most part of his life.
He could not breathe, his life was ruled
by hurt brought on by strife.

Fred lost his house, his car, his job,
his children and his wife.
He felt that no one really cared
if now he lost his life.

When Marcus could not join the war
as all his kin had done,
he saw the way to end regret
was through his new bought gun.

Since Marsha felt that she was trapped
in hell's room, dungeon deep,
she thought of only one way out
from marriage to her creep.

So traumatized upon return
from war's blood thirsty door,
John lived his terror every day
as bombs brought nightmare's gore.

Sam's father died that he might live-
survivor's guilt was paved.
His sister said it should be him
a-lying in that grave.

It does not matter what excuse
we need to see the signs,
we need to let them know we care-
just read between the lines.

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

This was done as a request for a friend for Vetran's Day.

We need to listen, watch, care about others. We can't save them all, but one is a good start.

Chapter 50
My Personal Storm

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My world is topsy turvy
and I feel so helpless now.
The storms of life pull me down-
my ship's sinking by the bow.

Somewhere the sun is shining,
whether here or far away;
but, I can't see the rainbows
with the clouds I feel today.

I must force myself to smile;
my body is racked with pain.
Mem'ries leave me defeated...
I feel there's nothing to gain.

Indecision rules my mind,
depression pulls me apart.
Dark clouds are around my soul...
and it's raining in my heart.

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

Chapter 51
Pushed Aside

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Why did they have to lose their pride,
lose their respect, be pushed aside?

The runaways who take a stance;
the homeless that just want a chance;
Third World kept there by men of greed;
the orphans born from some wrong deed;
the dying that want dignity;
the sick who've lost identity;
the young whom cults have defiled through trust;
young girls sold to a monster's lust;
the old that's sent away to die;
the beaten kids who live by lies.

So, why have they been stripped of pride,
dehumanized and tossed aside?

Author Notes young cults refers to the young people who joined cults looking for acceptance and family to love them but are misled from people like Manson and Jones.

Chapter 52
Why Is There No Answer?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Children are the ones who pay the price.
Death and dying become common place.
Everywhere the stench of doom abides
following in war's unholy face.
"What for?" No one really seems to know.

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

Chapter 53
Just Chill

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The first Christmas snow is cleansing the Earth
as all imperfections start their rebirth.
Reminding us now of God's perfect love
encasing our hearts like a warm winter's glove.

I sense the warmth of the sun on my face
as I stand here knowing I have God's grace.
I feel such contentment as I kneel here...
no hatred or madness, anger or fear.

I now wish the world could stand very still
and do as my daughter says, "Let's just chill";
to breathe the cleansed air and just take some time
to feel the sun's warmth, cause that's not a crime.

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

Chapter 54
Bored Kids - Abused Pets

By Barb Hensongispsaca

animal abuse
bored children, nothing to do
innocent suffer
beginnings of bigger things
sadness and heartache follow

pets keep coming back for love
very forgiving
always confused when injured
all just looking for kind words

a pat and a treat
teach kids how to play and laugh
animals respond
love and affection wins licks
attention earns a tail wag

Chapter 55
His Last Trip

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I slowly wheeled him home today.
We took the long way 'round.
He watched the world as it passed by,
but never made a sound.

He always loved to be outside,
the sights and sounds he knew.
The birds would seem to call his name
as overhead they flew.

The woodland critters always played
beside him free of fear.
He loved to feed them by his hand
as he would coax them near.

The doctors said to take Dad home
and let him die with pride.
So that's exactly what he'll do
while with his friends outside.

Author Notes Lillibug6 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Sometimes cancer wins.

Chapter 56
All Have Feelings

By Barb Hensongispsaca

lost, abandoned -
all God's creatures endure
the same terrifying heartbreak
of loss

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

Man and animal, all feel the same emotions.

Chapter 57
A Hero's Pledge

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have walked through blood
to protect my family-
I'd do it again.

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

Heroes, known and unknown, have one thing in common ... they would do it all over because that is who they are.

Chapter 58
Who He Is

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Battle scarred and worn, with
Casualties, too many to think about-
Dying and wounded lie nearby.
Every day dreading the next,
While praying for peace.

Treating everyone in turn
Under an unrelenting threat of death,
Violence seen at an unbelieving pace,
Witnessing man's inhumanity to man
As life goes on without change.

Zealots of an unforgiving religion
Attack in force as they
Believe it will hold a place for them
Centered in an unrealistic paradise.
The medic moves from one to the next.

Listening to the moans of the dying,
Managing to keep a smile, and yet
Never forgetting that life is precious.
Operating with a passion of love
For each and every one he tries to save.

Here he gives his life and time
Interested only in saving lives
Just because that is who he is.
Keeping his eyes forward as he
tries to forget the days past.

Forget the blood stained ground,
Gore that reaches into his nightmares,
Horror of what man does to another
In a land foreign and unforgiving.
Wondering when it will all end.

Putting his life on the line as he
Quickly moves from one to another, he
Realized he is treating friend and foe.
Saving lives is all he thinks of....
not who he is working on.

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

Chapter 59
The Legend of the Dungarvon Whooper

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now listen close and you will hear
a story full of chills and fear.
It started in the far cold north
where lumberjacks would dare come forth

to challenge nature for big pay
back in the age of horse drawn days.
A young man, name of Ryan, came
to cook for men - that was his fame.

He brought possessions, all he had,
in hopes of more, though just a lad.
A money belt he wore each day;
how much inside - he'd never say.

He was well liked and cooked just fine,
for lumberjacks that felled the pine.
He'd whoop and holler, stomp his feet
for men to quit and come to eat.

One day the men returned to find
there was no food on which to dine.
Poor Ryan's body lay there cold,
whoever took his life was bold.

His money belt was never found
though every man looked 'round and 'round.
A shallow grave would hold its guest -
the only place for him to rest.

But rest he did not want to do,
for he returned as cold winds blew.
Above the howl of that dark night,
came hoops and screams that caused such fright.

'Twas Ryan's voice they heard as they
ran for their lives that fateful day.
For years those hooping sounds would test
the town 'til some demanded rest.

A priest called in to do the deed
could not get rid of evil's seed.
So still today the whoops are heard
as Ryan still has his last word.

Though Miramichi Woods still hide
the bones of this kind lad that died,
his screams still echo through the woods -
this lad's still looking for his goods.

You feel like challenging this ghost?
Just go ahead, he's quite a host.
For those that tried would disappear,
while others lost their minds in fear.

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

The Dungarvon Whooper is a ghost story, immortalized in a song by Michael Whalen, about the alleged murder along the Dungarvon River in central New Brunswick, Canada, in the late 19th century.

Chapter 60
I'm Here, My Friend

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My dearest friend, remember when
our lives were simple bound.
We played and stayed forever close
our friendship was so sound.

'My friend ...
my heart cried for you.'

We always took turns where we went
to your place or to mine.
We laughed and cried as friends should do.
Our world was, oh, so fine.

'I saw you suffer ...
every night.'

We rode our bicycles along
the silent wooded path.
We helped each other with our books,
you were the best in math.

'I heard the pain in your voice ...
when we talked.'

We loved to swim, and did all day;
we splashed and had such fun.
The fish would swim around our legs
we looked like prunes when done.

'I saw the bruises ...
you said you were fine.'

We took long walks and talked a lot,
like sisters, we were tight.
I had your back and you had mine,
'though did not know your plight.

'I couldn't help you ...
I did not understand.'

I never spent the night with you
'cause I was not allowed.
Our friendship was to last for years,
'twas what we both had vowed.

'I couldn't find the words to
make it all better ...
to make it go away ...
whatever 'it' was.'

You'd come to spend the night with me,
we'd camp out in the yard.
We'd count the stars and sing loud songs,
our life was never hard.

'I couldn't take away the tears ...
the pain in your heart.'

Sometimes, you'd have that far-'way look
like you were lost in space.
I'd see a tear roll down your cheek,
a sad look on your face.

'I couldn't take away whatever was
ripping at your soul ...
tearing away at it -
piece by piece.'

But then you'd laugh and we'd take off
while running wild and free.
Forgetting everything around -
just being you and me.

'All I could do was ...
tell you I was here for you.'

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

A friend of mine was being abused at home while we were growing up. I did not understand what was happening at the time. Now I do,

Chapter 61
Though Your Heart Is Heavy

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Though your heart is heavy
you need remember this,
a new adventure waits
that's filled with total bliss.

There's no more pain to feel,
a new time being whole,
to dance and feel alive
and freedom for his soul.

I do not know your pain,
but I have walked with you.
And just remember God
is there to see you through.

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

One of our fanstory friends just lost her father and this is for her.

Chapter 62
Just Some Observations

By Barb Hensongispsaca

These are only my observations. No one has to agree, but since I am sixty-eight, I have had a few years to watch the changing of the seasons from year to year. I don't mean to take away any memories of the holiday season, I just want to try to make it better for next year. I want to add to the spending, the emotions, the chaos, the depression and the debt always occurred at this time of year. You say you don't have room for anything else? That's why I am writing this now, and not waiting for the hurdles of next year.

It's so sad:

1. Children think of Christmas as a day of gifts only. This day is better than birthdays because everyone, including Aunt Maud and Uncle Fred, will be giving them gifts. And remind me, who is Aunt Maud and Uncle Fred? Now this only works for the children whose birthdays are not in the same month as the holiday. Seems the ones in the same month get half of what they would get, because some presents are saved back to be divided? Wow! This leads to #2.

2. 'List of wants' grows each year, and the price of these things is in ratio with the demand ... till the holiday is over. Then the price drops to where anyone can buy it. Can the buying wait? More money is spent for Christmas than on cars in a years time. This leads to #3.

3. "ifIdon'thavethatthingythatidon'tknowwhatitdoesbutmyfriendisgettingoneandifIdon'tgetonei'lljustdie."
Translation: "If I don't have that thingy that I don't know what it does but my friend is getting one and if I don't get one I'll just die." This is the universal argument inbred in all children and some not-so-grown-up adults. This leads to #4.

4. Any present a child wants will be over $100 - remember I said 'wants'. That is the key word. I read an article before Christmas that said the ratio of kids to presents is the same as the story of Christmas is to the number of fake Santas. Just thought I'd throw that in. This leads to #5.

5. This is the one day of the year that people go totally in debt, usually on the day before the holidays after they tell themselves they did so good in staying under the budget. You can't speak too loud, because the spirits of spending will hear you. When we are born, the drive to spend is instilled. This leads to #6.

6. Did you notice that the one thing you had to get for someone goes on sale over 50% cheaper the day before the holiday itself? But, you had to get it before then, because the stores 'may be out' closer to Christmas. There are supposed to be over 100 left in each store, which is why they go on sale for over 50% off? Breathe. This leads to #7 that I wanted to close with but have to use it now for effect, and back to #2.

7. Now that you are totally confused...
After Christmas, there are a lot of toys that either have not been played with or need to go to make room for all the new toys - but that is after Christmas. What would happen if we could get rid of these before the holiday, so that the toys for the needy could be given out in time for this Christmas instead of next Christmas, when they are outdated or no one knows what they are? Except for things like the Feerbie which waited 14 years to make a comeback. I know because I have an original I bought for my daughter and she did not want then so it is still new. Now it is one of those toys in #3 and #4. I believe the Cabbage Patch Kids are making a comeback. You probably can list a few others. This in a way leads to #8.

8. You know all those boxes that the presents come in? The kids that received the 'special gift' that came in these boxes ... would rather play with the boxes than the present. They can be crawled into, drawn on, made into forts, stacked, hide little sister in, watch daddy try to find his cell phone that was thrown out in the garbage because little sister had the cell phone on her when big brother tried to hide her. Where is the present? In the garbage because the child thought the box was the gift. OOPS! This leads to #9.

9. All trees that are cut down and wasted for paper and boxes, and yes ... cards, will someday be missed. If we insist on cutting down trees, why don't we as a family, go cut our own tree like we used to, as a family, to decorate, as a family? I know I repeated myself but it was for effect. Then turn these used trees in to be processed for paper. This way we get back to doing things as a family in this hard paced rat race. I know ... because it IS a rat race. This leads to #10.

10. Why is it the one day of the year that all the traveling is done for family? Why can't we visit as family through the year? Even just once? Why do the older have to suffer because the younger made their decision to move far away? Unless of course their mother is a lecturer, maybe it might be understood. I understand that one, but that is another story for another time. This leads to #11. I am almost done.

11. What do you get someone who has everything? A dilemma handed down generations. I did a survey this year and there is one thing almost every one I spoke to did not have. A copy of the real reason for Christmas ... the Christmas story. This same article that I read earlier did a survey of children and everyone knew Santa but only one out of ten knew whose birthday Christmas was supposed to represent and why presents were given. Wow!

This is just my observations and in no way reflects on ...

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

Chapter 63

By Barb Hensongispsaca

should be all year 'round
not just holidays -
that's one resolution t'would be sound

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

Wouldn't it be great if everyone would make just one resolution this new year to strive for peace instead of war?

Chapter 64
Mom, I Understand

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'm here, but you just can't see me-
don't know that I exist.
The only time you show me love
is when you use your fist.

I try to make you happy, Mom,
I do my very best.
I cook your meals the way you like.
I never am a pest.

I do my chores before I'm told,
my homework's done on time.
I don't ask you for very much.
I'm not involved in crime.

I know that you did not want me,
it's not my fault dad died.
I try my best to fit your life,
I'm now here for the ride.

I know that you are hurting, Mom,
because you feel alone;
and all the burdens now on you ...
you feel your life is blown.

It took me years to understand,
I need you, oh, so bad.
So please, just look around and see
the best thing you have had.

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

Chapter 65
Karma Exists

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Don't hold anger's wrath,
believe karma will take hold
or you'll learn to hate.

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

Chapter 66
No One Cares

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Mom, I hate the way I look. Other kids look better than me."

God made us so we're not alike.
That's just the way you are.
If you could change the way you look
you wouldn't be my star.

"Mom, I'm too short to do things ... my teacher said so."

You need to have some patience, girl,
you'll grow some more one day.
God gives you extra time to grow
you will adjust that way.

"Mom, I have to lose weight. Those TV pageant girls are so pretty."

Those girls have trained their entire life.
Some don't know how to play.
You're not the fakes they have to be
to win day after day.

"Mom, I have to wear make up to be pretty. This magazine says so."

Oh, girl, that's one thing you don't need.
Your face shines just like gold.
You have all nature's colors now ...
just right for me to hold.

"Mom, I won't wear my glasses. The boys make fun of me."

You really need to wear them, hon,
they make things very clear
so you won't miss a thing to see.
Let's wipe away that tear.

"Mom, I want to be as pretty as my friends."

God's happy with you, who you are,
He loves the way you look.
He made my girl just like He wants ...
your beauty's 'storybook'.

"Mom, I feel so confused. I don't feel like smiling anymore."

Then come and sit beside me, hon,
I'll try to help you through.
You know that you can come to me
'bout anything you do.

"Mom, life's just way too much. I love you, but goodbye."


Oh, parents, please remember this ...
just listen to your child.
You need to use an open mind -
their thoughts are running wild.

They have a hard time making sense
of what goes on around.
They need your patience and your love
to stand on solid ground.

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

This is for my granddaughter who is thirteen and tried to commit suicide last night. Parents, you may not see the danger signs due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it is out there.

Chapter 67
Faces of Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We do not know, we are not told
if we'll die young or we'll grow old.
The hands of time are not for us,
though we may fret or even fuss.

When we breathed in our first full breath
from that point on each one faced death -
some young, some old, some in between,
some babies and some in their teens.

There is no written law as yet
that states how old we're going to get.
The only thing that we can do
is live our lives till we are through.

We learn, we work, we love and play,
we worship in our own true way.
And as to all those missing hands?
We treat them like the hourglass sands.

Our time is written here on Earth,
so we must give it all we're worth.
We do our best, we live each day
not knowing where the hands would stay.

Author Notes Please keep my family in your prayers, my granddaughter tried to commit suicide last night. Thank you

Chapter 68
Survivors Suffer

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Don't throw life away.
Survivors must live your death.
You are not alone.

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

For my granddaughter while there is still time.

Chapter 69
Post Traumatic Stress

By Barb Hensongispsaca

it was just a song
that brought back harsh memories
of a time of hell

Author Notes Renate-Bertodi thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 70
Cast Out

By Barb Hensongispsaca

rarely acknowledged
forever shunned
desired to be erased.

once proud mistress
of an important household
thrown out like garbage.

you learned to survive in a hostile world of
hurtful brooms and boots,
and other territorial cats.

finding an abandoned hold in the hillside
to raise your unwanted family.

Through all obstacles,
you learned to teach your family
how to survive the hatefulness
of the world around you.

who once knew love,
learned through the pain inflicted on you
that life had changed for you.

the thoughts of love
turned to just fleeting memories
as you desperately fought to exist
with the foreign world around you.

Out of sheer desperation,
you learned to hunt
and teach your children
the same just to survive
another day.

Hunger and thirst
led to decisions
you never had to make before.

All this led to your first kill.
Along with learning what is safe to drink
having to walk away from what is not,
facing dangers you can't see -
you're about become a meal yourself.

My praise goes to you
as you mourn over lost kittens
and rejoice in the survivor's play.

a mother of all mothers,
a kind hearted soul
forced to become as vicious
as a cornered mother bear.

You are more human
than humans could ever be
as you survive a life that no one understands ...
but you.

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

Chapter 71
Grey and Blue

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now James and John were best of friends,
they swore their friendship to the end.
Through blood exchanged by cutting skin,
they swore allegiance, thick and thin.

Remained true friends through childhood days,
with girls, horses and fun-filled ways.
Each was the others confidant,
a truer friend neither could want.

As brothers, they fought side by side,
and swore they would until they died.
Stood witness as each one was wed,
then helped each other get ahead.

Then came the war, both heard the call.
So proud to go, both gave their all.
But different sides they chose to do -
one colored grey, the other blue.

They both fought hard for their belief,
the war did end to all relief.
But then when all was said and done,
just one came home ... his battle won.

Though James and John were best of friends
and swore their friendship to the end,
'cause friends they were and friends they stayed
until the final price was paid.

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

Chapter 72
He Needed Help

By Barb Hensongispsaca

This is going to rock your world. It will take everything you think is true and twist it around as you try to believe what I am going to tell you. I have to make it perfectly clear that this is absoutely true.

It involved the meeting of two very different animals that should have been enemies from the start. Maybe under different circumstances, one would have killed the other, but this was a meeting of need and trust that defied all understanding.

It started with a black bear cub around two years old. In its curiosity, or hunger, or just plain bad luck, it managed to step into a bear trap that held it's paw firmly in viscious teeth that could not be pried loose. Somehow, the cub managed to free the chain that fastened the trap to the tree. No one knew how he managed to walk or how long it took him to reach civilization.

Drivers noticed a black bear cub sitting at the side of the road, waving at them as they traveled to the reserve school. Kids waved back, parents were amazed, others wanted to call someone to kill it. It was the second day when someone noticed the trap securely fastened to its paw.

A shaman from the reserve was notified who immediately found a ride out to the site. After observing the cub for awhile, he got out of the car and began to sing and talk to the bear cub. Every once in a while, he would take a step towards the cub, all the while cooing soft words mixed with gentle song.

Crowds began to gather as word spread. Everyone sat quietly in their cars or on the ground, at a safe distance from the wonderous site, listening to the gentle crooning of the shaman. All knew that one swipe from the claws of a bear, even though a cub, could rip a man's face off. They waited and watched and listened.

It took the shaman about an hour to be within arms length of the cub. Neither ever looked away from the other during this long process. It seemed the observers gasped then held their breaths as the shaman reached out to touch the cub's paw that was held by the trap. The cub was sitting on the ground with his paw seemingly outstretched toward the hand that was getting closer and closer to touching the trap.

The shaman got on his knees putting him level with the cub. Gently he touched the trap and when the cub did not move, he brought up his other hand and grabbed the trap. His muscles bulged as he forced the trap open, freeing the cub.

Everyone waited in anticipation of what was to come. The cub licked its paw, then looked at the shaman for just a few seconds, reached its head over to his hand that was still holding the trap, and licked it. Then the bear cub got up and limped back into the woods.

Is this story true? Absolutely. I was there to watch it happen because I was teaching at the reserve at the time.

Author Notes beppe47 thank you for permission to use your picture.

My two animals - man and bear.

Chapter 73

By Barb Hensongispsaca

It smells like freshly spread manure on an unprepared field.
It tastes like the back-of-tongue reminder of a tail-raised skunk.
It sounds like fingernails being raked on an old chalk board.
It feels like tiny raised neck hairs from witnessing carnage.
It looks like exposed gross blood-filled inner body parts.
Disgust is revulsion mixed with unasked offensive questions.

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

This is my first emotion poem so all help appreciated.

An Emotion Poem

Line 1: The emotion
Line 2: It smells like...
Line 3: It tastes like...
Line 4: It sounds like...
Line 5: It feels like...
Line 6: It looks like...
Line 7: (Emotion) is...

Example of an emotion poem:
Love by Tynea Lewis

It smells like a deep red rose opening in the sun.
It tastes like delectable chocolate melting in your mouth.
It sounds like the birds chirping on a clear spring morning.
It feels like a fire on a cold winter's night.
It looks like an ocean scene painted by God.
Love is unpredictable and breathtaking.

Chapter 74

By Barb Hensongispsaca

TV's influence
on girls to be beautiful
pedophile's delight

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

One of thousands of stories, poems and books available online at

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