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Letter Box On Line (LBOL) Files #22

  • Section A: January 17, 2006
  • Section B: February 15, 2006
  • Section C: March 15, 2006
  • Section D: April 15, 2006
  • Section E: May 15, 2006
  • Section F: .................................................................. June 15, 2006

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

      (#2 From 5-9-06.doc)

      scattering of the flowers
      upon the pond
      breaking reflections
      of springs gentle sky
      soft clouds upon the blue
      destined for eternity
      while the morning dove
      calls to an unseen mate
      forlorn and hopeful all in the same


    Stephen Brown

    Colorado Springs, CO


      There is no time
      left to be cruel,
      to hold on to
      old grudges.
      You have spit
      enough in the wind
      hoping to receive
      kindness in return.

      Your pain is not
      hurting others it is
      hurting you. The
      hands on the
      clock is no longer
      ticking away
      the years,
      the hands are
      and time is running out.

      Anger does not
      serve you—it is a
      thief in the night
      robbing you
      day by day
      of your
      that is buried
      in your yesterdays.

      Aren't you tired yet,
      aren't you weary yet?

      Let go—fly free.

      There is
      no someday
      there is only this day
      and what you do with it
      is called choice.

    Patricia Ann Doneson

    Carmel Valley, CA


      This is the sofa cushion where
      I sit left side comer.
      Navy blue pillow edged with red fringe
      supports my left arm
      while my right hand grips another
      of hundreds of yellow pencils
      suspended over a journal,
      my salvation in the considerable emptiness
      of a Sunday afternoon.

      This is the room where
      my solitary life happens,
      or doesn't,
      depending on my state of mind.

      Outside a traveling storm has altered the weather
      all day long, carrying black rain,
      wind, particles of snow,
      light-rimmed clouds shaped like scoops of ice cream
      inside temporary blue bowls of sky.
      It's weather that doesn't know
      what it wants to be, bitter or sunny,
      borne southeast by the clash of atmospheric
      highs and lows.

      This is the hour where
      I wait for life to inform me
      what is coming next,
      the lull between what slips away
      and what carries me with it,
      ponder the questions I never expected
      to inhabit in quite this way,
      the remembrance of rejection that never quite dissolves
      the conundrum of lonely contentedness.

      This is the land of insubstantiality where
      everything appears to be happening outwardly,
      passing by just beyond the glass door
      that remains closed to itinerant tempests.

    Laura Bayless

    Monterey, CA


      An empty chair beckons.
      My mind weary of complications
      seeks comfortable silence,
      assurance that worldly cares
      may be released.
      Sacred spirit offers
      healing balm to soothe all pain.

      I seek shelter beneath
      a yellow umbrella,
      aware of kinship with
      every created thing.
      Music flows through violin strings
      native voices chanting ancient prayers
      Five hundred crows awaken the world

      and I remain tranquil
      exploring an inner landscape
      finding my way breath by breath
      I discover a habitation which
      has known me forever.
      In trust and surrender
      I free fall into my life
      with all its abundance
      its delicious beauty.

      I am aware of subtle sounds
      hummingbird wings,
      restless ocean waves,
      windblown cypress sentinels,
      wild lavender, purple irises
      flourishing in awesome splendor
      and I forget myself.

    Shirley Tofte

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    Section E: .................................................................. May 15, 2006

    Carmel Valley, CA



      Are You Indifferent to Sorrow Now—
      now that you have known it so often,
      so intimately, so intensely?

      Have you experienced so much grief
      that to feel it completely again
      would obstruct your heart in midbeat,
      draw the breath from your lungs
      leaving the hollow sacs unable to contract,
      panic a permanent emotion?

      Have you put all the condolence cards away
      in boxes you have no intention of opening,
      no chance of having the expressions of sympathy
      loose that unstoppable deluge of hot tears?

      Have you decided to build your walls with stronger steel,
      implant your spine with inflexible rods of indifference?
      Do you believe it is necessary to your survival
      to deny the next death?

      I ask you all this in order to know for myself
      where the road goes,
      when it ends at the rim of a steep cliff
      and there is nothing but air beneath your feet.


      Have You Been Forgiven?
      In the hearts of those you have wounded,
      intentionally or accidentally,
      does some rage still fester?
      Will the absolution you seek for your errors
      arrive before it is too late?
      Are these questions without answers
      if you have not learned how to forgive yourself,
      root and branch, bag and baggage, to the marrow?
      Is there cellular forgiveness that can bridge the chasm
      between you and your victims,
      acquitting predator and prey for eternity
      all transgressions of conduct or omission
      pardoned in a blaze of sudden compassion.
      What, after all, is sacred!


      Isn't This Then Your Moment?

    Laura Bayless

    Colorado Springs, CO


      To be white
      when I know how
      black I am is painful.

      When memory lies
      unveiled to a life
      with other purpose,
      other lessons—is painful.

      I miss the velvet feel
      of my black skin, the
      coal pitch color of my
      eyes. The piercing way
      such blackness views the
      burning sun of another day.

      light, and heat,
      and the sweet singeing
      aroma that tints my flesh
      a darker, richer hue.

      I miss the visible signs
      that speaks of who I am
      and from where I came.

      I am invisible
      in this white coat
      that offers acceptance
      into a world I know
      I do not belong.


      Whether you sit silently
      under gray skies, or jump
      joyfully in this gloom.

      Whether you join with
      others, or prefer this
      solitary space.
      believing you are
      less for not participating.

      Know that
      what you do,
      or not do—is enough.

      And the world
      not only needs, but
      will one day recognize the
      perfection you already carry.

      You are not
      empty—you are full and
      in your silence—you
      say everything.

    Patricia Ann Doneson

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    Section D: .................................................................. April 15, 2006

    Carmel Valley, CA


      i have bled with despair
      all afternoon
      and even long into the next day
      curled inward on the narrow
      length of the sofa
      a blanket tucked to my chin
      rode in and out of misty sleep
      unsure whether or not
      i wished to wake

      i have sat stiff as mortar swaying
      slowly in an old oak rocking chair
      while the sun slipped low
      and night arrived
      without the comfort of a small lamp
      or the notion of desire

      i have soaked tissue
      after tissue
      with floods of tears
      amassed wads of white paper blossoms
      that gathered around my feet
      until the empty box
      shouts enough

      and somewhere in all that suffering
      a time comes

      in spite of whatever
      brings me to a cruel edge
      of reality
      i rise from my millstone of misery
      make a cup of tea
      splash cool water on my face
      and begin to exist

    Laura Bayless

    Salinas, CA


      Have you ever imagined the spectrum
      That lies beyond our eyes.
      Colors we will never know.
      Waves of heat and radiation,
      And the frequencies between
      That although named,
      Can never be claimed with any certainty
      As universally experienced.

      Have you ever looked at color with decadent desire.
      Yearning for the vivid like a hungry child.
      Fingers reaching with anticipation
      For tubes of favored hues.
      Merry golds and aqua blues
      Dripping with saturation
      Flow from a wet brush.

      Have you ever rode the wake of processed light
      Snatched a slivered blink in time
      From it natural place
      And moved it.
      Stretched it's code
      Until a narrow portal showed evidence of
      The illusion of perceptual knowledge.

      Have you ever sought the far edge of process
      Processed the process
      Past all context and purpose,
      Other than observing the distance
      Transformations will skim
      Across the surface of satisfaction
      Before sinking and dissolving into noise.

      Have you ever looked at an image through alien eyes
      Past shape and definition,
      Into a realm of unfamiliar
      Chords echoing a rendition of
      Yesterday's dinner.
      The O of the taco.
      The berriless straw.
      The Virgin Mary of the grilled cheese sandwich.

      Have you ever looked at light without thought
      Floating on streams of unnamed color,
      In and out of shadow
      Without intention,
      Toward a destination
      Far beyond the vantage point.

    [Taco Image]

    Laura Carley

    Colorado Springs, CO


      Now that the room
      Is empty—
      I can breathe again.
      Wrap myself around
      those endless
      possibilities I thought
      I had lost. Fill up
      the corners with
      my own dreams.

      Dare to be selfish.

      Long for the things
      that youth could
      not give me.

      is such a beautiful
      word—how did
      I manage to forget the
      message it carries.

      Before I begin—
      I will sit awhile
      in this empty room
      and breathe again.

    Patricia Ann Doneson

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    Section C: .................................................................. March 15, 2006

    Del Rey Oaks, CA

      [The Willow]


      It was the willow standing beside the river
      The river reflecting the clouds the sun and sky
      Reflecting the stars and the moon
      Beyond the willow
      The corn is standing in murmuring rows of green

      It was the willow standing beside the river
      The river reflecting the reds and yellows
      That shimmer the wind
      The corn just now is turning golden
      Stacked in perfect sheaves against the wind

      It was the willow standing beside the river
      The river reflecting the cold blue grey
      The leaves long gone
      The corn beneath the snow is awaiting
      The breath of spring

    Stephen Brown

    Colorado Springs, CO


      They tell me that I am
      beginning to forget again—

      And I believe them.

      There is anger
      when I turn myself
      over to their believing
      and forget about my own.

      Oh! yes, I forget
      the days of the week
      and the time spent alone.
      These are good things to forget

      Don't you think?

      How does age explain to youth
      that the hands on the clock
      no longer point to a future
      that is months away or
      years away.

      Time—is now filled with
      precious minutes of
      precious days.

      The face on the clock is
      my own face and time
      itself tells me what
      to remember.

      If I forget
      where I am
      it is because
      I am remembering
      where I am headed.

    Patricia Ann Doneson

    Salinas, CA



      In my peripheral vision
      a plate still stained with leftover paint
      orange, vibrating with excitement
      anticipating penetration.
      Dust soaked cobalt blue squinting blindly
      towards an empty canvas.
      Fleeting thoughts of being home.
      Detonating roadblocks, foreign languages
      that cut off feelings.
      Fluid, warm pulsing feelings.

      And there is someone who still has the courage to think.
      The courage to write in high and low—drawing raw pictures
      with words frowned upon by locals.

      Oil and charcoal are calling.
      express, transcend language deficiency.
      Reveal steaming green horse apples
      in rural dialect splashed on refined white.
      A command resonates across nervous belly strings
      Connect to the womb of wombs where as he
      writes..."even men are able to give birth."

    Trude Zmoelinig

    Piedmont, CA


      The Severn River winds its way along the Maryland shores
      Upon its banks are gold-speckled rocks that draw the eyes of young boys
      The water laps against the shores with a soft gurgling sound
      The boys stoop and grab at stones, which are twisted back and forth
      The beauty is too tempting, so rocks are shoved deep into short's pockets
      Heads still bent, slender young legs continue strolling the beach
      More stooping to gather the glistening gems—the pebbles that line these sands
      Pockets bulging, lips smiling, eyes twinkling on a sparkling summer's day

    Pam Quesnoy

    Carmel Valley, CA


      I was born late in October
      the year of Pearl Harbor.

      One day
      others will mark their calendar
      with another date, one that comes
      around each year to remind them of when
      they had to go on without me.

      I am curious.
      Will it be fall when
      the light is low
      and leaves are beginning
      to drift to earth,

      or perhaps a stormy day,
      late February, thunder announcing
      my passage to unending peace.

      Has that day already slipped past
      this year or only waiting for tomorrow,
      but seven years away.

      What if it were possible to choose?
      Say I would like to leave on the same date
      as my son or my mother,
      maybe catching up with them
      on the calendar of the afterlife,
      if there is one.

      Would I want my own day?

      Maybe when the daffodils are swaying
      and the new leaves are like prayers
      on the trees.

    Laura Bayless

    Fair Oaks, CA

    It's amazing how I cannot for the life of me come up with a crisis to write about in this moment. Has my life been so wonderful that I've never experienced one? No, I know it hasn't. And in fact, I could come up with a list of those avalanche moments, but you know? I'm not interested. I'm more interested in my wonderful ability to forget things. I say wonderful with tongue in cheek because there have been many times when I berated myself for forgetting.

    I know I'm not stupid, but really—why can't I remember the particular incidences of my life? I'm talking about the good ones, as well as bad. It's fascinating, actually. If I forget a bad experience, then I can say that it's good, because it seems to indicate that I've moved beyond the horrific into a better place. If I don't have to remember, then it no longer has power over me. But what about those good experiences I cannot hold on to? If I forget those, does it mean I've moved beyond the wonderful into something not wonderful? Maybe so. This is the beauty of it.

    So I find myself in a place of appreciation for how my mind works, since I actually cannot do anything about it. For so many years I beat myself up about my forgetfulness, but now I choose to embrace my tendencies as unique, and just see where I go from there.

    It's a great journey, and I choose to enjoy it (if only I can remember that fact)!

    Carol Lynn Mathew-Rogers

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    Section B: .................................................................. February 15, 2006

    Colorado Springs, CO


      You say,
      you are tired
      of living at the top.

      want to
      experience life,

      Live—on the edge,

      the comfort of
      money, the support
      of family and friends.

      I say,
      It is easier
      to speak of these
      things than to live it.

      Sacrifice—is not easy.

      It takes
      years of training
      and enormous courage

      To develop this skill.


      Everyone talks,
      but who listens?

      I listen!
      shouts the clay pot.

      And the hand
      that forges it
      places into this
      now empty vessel

      A river of words

      from the ocean
      of the dolphin's song.

      Then lovingly
      places it along the
      riverbank where it may
      easily be found and
      all who thirst may
      drink from it.

    Patricia Ann Doneson

    Del Rey Oaks

    I wrote this statement about my painting—thought that I would share it ...

      Bring all that you can when you come to view my paintings.
      Look for what you want to see; not what you think that I saw.
      If you don't find it, look to another.
      It is here some where.

    Stephen Brown

    Tucson, AZ

    One day while out walking I noticed that there are signs called Stop on many streets. After thinking about this a while my Street Names poem was born (and has now morphed into a blues song). Grandpa Woodstock is really the wise man and he really did say that. Then he gave me a hit from his stone bowl and it sounded right. And if anyone is not living on the Street called Now, check it out. This is a picture of Grandpa Woodstock dressed in a robe.

    [Grandpa Woodstock]


      I came to a Street called Stop
      I did not turn around
      I went down that street shopping

      And generally just looking around

      When I came to the police department
      A policeman said to me
      "Son you are now in trouble
      And that is why you're talking to me"

      It looked bad when he pulled out his Taser
      And I ducked as it flew on by
      Deciding it was not the time
      To push my luck or to wonder why

      I made a U turn right there and then
      And went back the way I came
      Until I met a wise man who told me
      That there's really no one to blame

      So I do all my sightseeing
      Right on down this Street called Now
      And it generally looks just right as rain
      Without me ever quite knowing how

    I Could Never Dance was written on a lonely night when the inward eye was roaming. I wonder what it says about me? Can anyone relate?


      It started in Junior High
      At the Sock Hops
      I could never dance
      The girls lined up on one side of the gym
      The boys on the other
      I was the boy by the wall
      Watching as other boys
      Whose hormones overcame their fear
      Crossed the No Mans Land
      To ask the pretty girls to dance

      In high school I didn't go to dances
      Some barrier of insecurity
      Has always held me back
      A nervous stranger in a crowd
      I could never dance

    Chris Lovette

    Carmel Valley, CA

    This is the poem that came to me as an early morning dreamtime missive during the Elderhood Conference.


      It isn't easy
      trusting the winds
      to guide the sails
      as your unsteadied hands
      adjust the mast
      uncoil the ropes
      to enter unfamiliar seas.

      Oh, you, in the warmth
      beside winter's hearth
      have studied words in books
      gathered voices to speak of age
      in her varied dress
      reds of power
      grays of loss
      greens of growth
      the purple mantle of respect.

      Yet, now, worldly wisdom
      melts in cool morning fog
      water-spotted notations soften
      and you observe that offered
      with vision blurred by toll of time.

      The motion of the boat
      becomes as cradle
      and the purity of saline mist
      reminds you of moments
      approaching birth.

      Soon, the colors become
      as pastel rainbow, a shawl
      to gently touch you to form
      shade or warmth as needed
      until you easily return
      to peace of complete comfort.

    Illia Thompson

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    Section A: .................................................................. January 17, 2006

    Colorado Springs, CO


      Only the gods
      care not for flesh
      and bone. Are
      we then pawns
      in an endless
      game of chess.

      Powerless to win.

      Allowed to move
      only at the discretion
      of what is perceive
      as higher authority.

      Do we then turn
      to the animals
      and impose
      our will and our
      elevated opinions
      onto these creatures.

      Do they
      then turn to
      the next chain
      in the food line and
      enforce their will.
      Or, do these
      simple creatures
      already understand
      the futility of such
      a senseless journey.

      Are they then
      the gods of earth
      protecting us from
      our own annihilation.

    Patricia Ann Doneson

    Tucson, AZ

    This Whore Machine poem is harking back to the dead god whose prophets wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic, and the disciples of the guru Yeshua who wrote in Greek a nasty lot of stuff about how this god who is now dead (whew!) is not satisfied with being merciful but who also demands justice for the widows orphans dispossessed opressed marginalized and others like that. I am glad that god is dead because I personally don't think it is appropriate for any godly god to advertise destruction of the so-called wicked or judgment upon the inhabitants of the earth.


      It traveled all across our land
      Industrializing waste
      Those who came back were those who killed
      The others died in haste

      Little did the pigeon know
      Who flew across my sky
      That all created beings
      All yes all who live must die

      If only only those who knew
      Would only only try
      Then some of us together
      Could stop the innocent who die

      Yet grapes of wrath must soon be tread
      And great will be the number of the dead

    Chris Lovette

    Thank you for your creative offerings!

    I invite readers to share their own creative works (poems, stories, images, comment, etc.) in Letter Box On Line (LBOL). I look for work and comments I feel support understanding and encouragement of the creative process, and hence, the process of life.

    The Editor

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