Sometimes very little
I have for anyone,

And then again
I trust what comes my

Trusting is
Adjusting… Finding
Something ripe
As fruit picked
From a tree with right
Timing –

Though I can still be hurt
With words

What I know with certainty,

Words written
My poetry,

Laughter too,
I trust –

The giggly kind.

Laughter leaves a
Track inside your
And poetry has a
Certain rhythm rhyme.

You have to trust what

What makes you laugh,
The words you write,

Keeping you alive –

A certain trust,
Nothing required,
No strings attached,
Your inner life is yours

Gayle Bluebird (Mar.’18) adds, “‘Trusting is adjusting.’ Do we ever completely trust someone or do we keep some trust in reserve? I like to think I am open to change and too trusting at times. My poems though –words come from within. Once written, I can trust them with certainty. I write a poem on Facebook every day. Join me there….”


The young man in apt. 3 can

sometimes be heard

trying to concentrate; trying to see through

the edges

that crowd him. Heavy

black masses like


have been known to soar

into his face and

put him out.

He pounds his head with

fists, hears sounds:


sci-fi beeps and spits, sometimes the feel of

a giant gear cranking


he submits to, allowing it

access, a dribble kiss

to the hair of his


It is this he shivers for, hits himself, bleeds to overcome.

The man had been branded

by meds. They make him

feel raw

concentration like molten

glass on the end of a long

steel rod.

From the furnace of

chemical heat, he is

periodically stretched,

inspected and rotated –

made sure he doesn’t drip

or form any edges.

Brian Janisse (Mar. ‘18) says, “This poem is an outside look at a self-portrait, a third-party self-evaluation, an intimate observation at an arm’s length. The resulting images are a smattering account of my brother’s experiences and my own.


Chantal (Mar. ‘18) comments on our new question, “The best thing about having children is…” She says, “I honestly enjoy my two sons as the adults they’ve become! Since I don’t seem to have the ‘shopping gene’ many women do, I’d rather go off with my sons to a pub, have a beer and watch a sporting event. We always get back together with their families afterwards, meeting their daughters and wives for lunch or dinner.

Another great part of having children is when they have children. Being a grandparent has been an amazing experience for me!”


The best thing about having children…” will continue for May 2018, and a new one will join it:

I first lived away from home at/with …”


In 2017 we didn’t make any major changes to the site, www. It is worth noting that it is now, comprised of over 1600 pages –including back issues.

According to the web site statistics trackers, we had 15, 863 visits. The majority were US users, although you may be surprised to hear that the next largest numbers of visitors were from France and the Russian Federation.

Lynn D. (See her letter this issue.) adds, “I’d also like to take the time to thank the folks who’ve taken the time to stop by and comment on the site, share photos, and give input on the site’s use and function. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.”


Carol’s bird

Carol’s bird

Carol (Mar.’18) commented on her experience after playing our 2018 game. She says, “I stopped reading to draw my bird after the game’s question, ‘What color is the bird when you wake up the fifth day?’

My drawing is a pink parakeet with an extra long tail.  (I swear I didn’t read Frances’ answer first!) 

Carol’s bird

I chose a parakeet, because one might be more likely to fly indoors than a “wild” bird.  If it has the magical ability to change colors daily, why not pink? 

My parakeet will continue to change colors daily, and the color will always be different.  My drawing feels most like the fourth explanation.”

Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito, Authors of Kokology, The Game of Self-Discovery, the first book by give their fourth choice as: Those who said the bird turns golden can be described as fearless. “You don’t’ know the meaning of pressure. To you, every crisis is an opportunity. You might be compared with Napoleon who said, “… impossible: the word is not French.” But be careful not to let your boundless confidence get the best of you. It’s a very fine line between fearless and foolhardy.”

Carol continues, “Though my bird is pink, I feel more like the gold bird explanation. Sometimes I can be fearless and fool-hardy, but that was more so in my younger days.  I think most of us have more imagination than to choose black, blue or white, and we all share the characteristics in all four of the descriptions, in different proportions.”



Georgene (Jan.’18) played our game of changing bird colors. Before reporting on her ending she said, “Frances mentioned she had a green parakeet when she was a girl. I had a green parakeet, too. It’s name was Nippers!”

The game’s scenario is from authors Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito’s Kokology, The Game of Self-Discovery. In the exercise, “The Blue Bird,” authors wrote, “One day a blue bird suddenly flies through a window into your room and is trapped… The next day, the bird had changed …to yellow…”

In playing the game, Georgene said on the last day her bird turned blue again. About this feather color (ending number two), authors have this to say.

Georgene’s blue bird

Georgene’s blue bird

Those who said the bird turns blue again are practical optimists.

You believe that life is a mix of good and bad and that it doesn’t pay to fight against that reality. You accept adversity calmly and let things run their course without undue stress or worry. This outlook lets you ride out the waves of adversity without being swept away.”

Georgene added to the story’s ending. “My bird had to escape captivity. I couldn’t leave him trapped so I opened the window to encourage him to fly to freedom.” She also said, “I enjoyed this game.”


June Poucher (Feb. ‘18) comments on our question, “I remember my grandparents …”

She writes, “I remember my maternal grandparents with fondness and respect. My granddaddy was a quiet, rather shy family man who raised cattle and citrus. He was highly respected, known for “his word is his bond” reputation.

My grandmother was a high spirited woman with a fiery temper but she also had a lusty sense of humor. She was creative, in that she sat for hours by the fire in winter piecing scraps of cloth to make quilts to keep her family warm.

They taught my sister and me by example. They were kind, generous, honest and patient with us. More

importantly, they were consistent in their relationship with us; they never let us down.”

Granddaddy and Grandmother Roberts

Granddaddy and Grandmother Roberts


While comments on earlier questions are always welcome, a new question is available for April, “ The best thing about having children is…”


Not done yet, we
…may need pep talks,

Our bodies
…with a few cracks.
We can still go dancing,

With new costumes
…and plumes in our hair,

We have wisdom to share,
…from our life experiences,

Places to go,
…dreams yet to fulfill,

Sun to capture at seaside
Real vitamin D,
…not from a bottle,

We have memories
…so many, we can’t
Remember them all,

At our pace of full-steam
Ahead, we are ready
For romance
…should it come our way,

Skip cotton candy
…but not the Ferris wheel,
A handful of peanuts for
…health in our pockets,

Long walks in neighborhoods
…making new friends.

We have new mysteries
…to solve,

For us, if we choose,
A life still gratifying
…and delicious–
Not slow, but fast
…as we can,
Maybe just not on

Bluebird (Feb. ‘18) adds, “This poem is a version of ’When I Get Old I Will Wear Purple,’ a favorite of mine. I am surprised to think that I AM old now and vacillate between feeling older and as young as I did years ago. I still have visions of what I will do when I get really old and wonder whether I will know when that is. Meantime, I have many dreams of what I yet want to do.  It will take me longer to do them but I promise myself that I will. Nothing is really stopping me from acting as if I am younger.”


Doing the right thing

Always has a lasting effect ….

You just may never know it.

  Simon Stargazer III (Feb. ‘18) expands on his lines, “Our friends, Paul and Mary, have been working a temp assignment in one of those gigantic warehouses nearby. Paul is a hard worker and frequently finishes his assignments and helps others. He usually gets his jobs done in half the time others and his line supervisor require. Management has been keeping an eye on this situation and has decided to hire him away from the temp service that provided him the job. When this is completed, Paul has been promised a raise and given a line supervisor’s job. Doing the right thing is paying off and he can see it.”


This morning outside the

seal of my back door

stood a curious young

blonde boy.

He took my sleeve and

walked me away

from the corkboard

of my flat yellow room.

He walked me past

my triangle yard

and rhubarb and

strawberry dirt fence.

He led me into cornfield

beyond Plum Street.

We pushed aside stalks and

weaved through row that


like a tide over us. The

blonde boy and I

at lunchtime came

to a clearing

and sat. With green scissors

he warned me

not to speak and snipped

out a bit of my tongue.

Brian Janisse (Feb. ‘18) expands on his lines, “This poem is a wash of safe childhood images disturbed by my inner rebel-rouser, who tempted me to push the limits of expression beyond comfort.”