stolen children


Photograph by Susan Schied 2014.

Photograph by Susan Scheid, 2014

here i swing
and my breath
does not catch
as i reach
for the next ring

for there is no question
for there is no doubt
within me
for nobody has said yet
you cannot be that thing

and as beautiful as a bloom of spring
filling this air around me
blunting out the decay of this city
i float within the breeze
knees bent
wrist ready

a butterfly set free
into the world after

oh beauty, this sun
that shines upon me
please shine on them instead
for they are not free

here i swing
for the next ring
pretending it is I
who is King
who could free all those butterflies
waiting, in his captivity


Firstly, thank you to Susan Scheid for use of her wonderfully inspiring photo. I had asked a while back if I could use a photo from her blog for NPM…it is no longer April, but that matters not for poems can be written any time of year.

I must also thank Sue for linking me to the music that was played while writing this poem. You may find the link here – it is the first performance, ff to around 10 minutes. One may think that the orchestra is tuning, but if you continue, it is very much as Sue described it to me – a wave in the ocean – terribly meditative this work by John Luther Adams.

Finally, a friend text me wondering if I was no longer a writer (I’m assuming it is because the blog has been silent. My answer – am I really a writer? Writing could be my whole being, but it instead fights with my real life. The creative self often loses energy after the day has end. Since I still survive, can breathe, without writing (creating) then perhaps I cannot claim to be… 


when thoughts swarm –

Warning: a confessional, a posting of indulgence, a posting with ideas i shall not apologize for nor defend ~

My life is a quiet one, it has gotten quieter as the years go on. Sometimes this is forgotten until a long ago friend texts a hello and we ponder catching up over a coffee. His list of obligations makes me tired just reading, we shall probably never get a convo underway.

On a night such as this, perhaps it is good to have nothing, or no one, to indulge with conversation. The words that swarm around me are only meant for stinging or to swallow in contemplation before burying in salt and wine.

Do we escape what wells into our being with angry barbs; do we welcome the tears that well in our hearts. We escape in our dreams; we welcome in our offerings.

Just read all the names, six-year-old after six-year-old–
taken with the hands of instability mastering an object created to kill. There is no peace in a world that holds tightly to any weapon that is meant to take any life~

This was my FB post an hour ago. It was my response after reading FB post after FB post praising their guns – praising their right to bare arms – offering a hope to bring G_d back into the schools whilst leaving the guns on the table at home. It was my response after reading a List of Names, Names that had the Age 6 after them, over and over and over. A heaviness welled upon my body. There was a need to escape. It sounds odd, but escape generally involves a bookstore, books refocus the mind, the people milling about comfort me — there are still thinkers/readers in this world. Twilight, however, was coming fast and the outside called to me.

Each step mixed with somber thoughts. Z did not pull, she sensed the strain. Under a menagerie of fairy lights, no joyous thought came to mind. Instead, word after word of others’ thoughts shot through my mind — the desire to understand how one raises a hand with gun and the other with G_d.

The lights continued to grow brighter as the sky grew darker. The wind danced with my hat while puddles reflected a festive glow. As each house lit up, the windows offered glimpses of living of life I could not fathom. Do they realize in other parts of this vast land there are no lights; there is no electricity? Do they realize in other parts of this vast land there are sirens going off; there are bombs and shots ringing for killing? Where do they stand on such things – these bombs, these guns, these weapons that are not for peace but dominion as they contemplate their pagan tree laden with gifts that could feed many.

Back home, before I start my dinner and live my quiet evening. I realize my fortune of wealth in this vast land – trust me. With each frivolous gift, though, I counter with one of meaning. Still, I am living a spoiled life compared to billions. There are no conclusions – there are no words for offering solutions. There is only This, for which I will apologize, for I needed just to write out in order to lay to rest (for a while) what continues to swarm and sting.

There can be no understanding of how the people of this Tragedy are able to even stand under the weight of such sorrow. No matter what you believe in, even if it is nothing more than a sun that rises to light each day, please consider sending a thought of peace-filled energy to Them before you end this day. May we somehow help to heal with these intentions, these offerings.

Before leaving, a poem posted late last night on the other blog. It is inspired by Stein. It swarmed my brain whilst driving with my parents yesterday, we listened to the news, mile after mile, hour after hour, until we reached home. The core is not my own, taken from a book/movie title that is quite relevent to yesterday’s events. The poem it called Talk –

we need we need to we need to talk we need to talk about we need to talk about violence we need we need to we need to talk we need to talk about we need to talk about illness we need we need to we need to talk we need to talk about we need to talk about guns we need we need to we need to talk we need to talk about we need to talk about america we need we need to we need to

talk -

hate – an unloved story

(rarely do I post something that has already gone viral)

But, this, THIS breaks my heart for even as I scan comments on this YouTube after AFTER she has considered the consequences and couldn’t COULD NOT see a pinprick of light there is still STILL a battlefield filled with mean spirits mean hearts mean mouths that continue CONTINUE to bully her in death IN DEATH. 

Do not believe that she died at her own hands because her own hands couldn’t control her own mind.   Do not believe that her drinking, her cutting, her harmful behavior was because she was mentally damaged. Damage can result and manifest in Anyone whose spirit has been damaged by hate.

She made a mistake. She was a teenager. She was trying to learn how to be her. She was mentally beaten worse than a prisoner. She was physically attacked. Her voice verged on a breakdown and they took her down


In the day and age of social media, I cannot fathom the terror; the pain of each day she had to wake up and take another breath…

I remember that age. I remember mistakes that I made. I remember the hatred. I remember the threats.    It was ages ago

It was yesterday.

Bullying has no expiration date.

I almost left.

That is why WHY i refuse to remain silent


She WAS Somebody who just needed


we end tonight’s hodgepodge with Bert & Ernie

I swore I wouldn’t do this…meh, I’m giving myself 15 minutes…Go…

You see, I must try to get more than six hours of sleep tonight. My body is begging me. I’ve been working a later shift, ergo, there are not enough hours in the day.

I digress. Today, I had a nice chat with a young man regarding digital books, pros/cons. He was actually picking up a book/book The Hunger Games. (I try not to judge) We did chat about another book that he was reading in which I admitted that I will not read because I’m a book snob. He laughed, stating he was too, though, HG was so he could converse in social circles (he is an attractive, twentysomething…I’d insert ‘girls’ for ‘social circles’…just sayin’)

I have no desire to read Collin’s series, and said as much. He told me all I needed to read was The Lottery. When I inquired further, he became quite excited and insisted we see if the library owned a copy. Voila, we do, so I took it home this evening and read the short story by same title as said book.

Here is the deal: I’ve not read The Hunger Games. I’m curious if those that have read HG and The Lottery see a pattern. Did Collins do a bit of ‘fan fiction’ ala Fifty Shades of Grey to Twilight (two more series that are banned from crossing my threshold). I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Other notes of interest that I hope to explore when more time (tick tick tick)

An essay by Hilary Mantel, “Diary“.

A poet, whose “Van Gogh” recording has me intrigued.

Further reading on Gertrude Stein and her French politics. Must say, people either love or hate GS. Hemingway was very candid about her in A Moveable Feast. He swayed my POV.

I shall leave you with one more to ponder. If Obama opens the flood gates of cultural acceptance for same-sex marriages, do you think Bert & Ernie will finally come out of the bedroom?

(See, I told you I need some sleep… cheers)

in. cold. blood. – rant ensues; justice remains in question

In. Cold. Blood.
My blood boils; yet, who am I, white/female/ still a product in some circles of inequality. That’s nothing, though, in this twisty society where there is more death attune to bigotry than one would expect in ‘polite society’. We wear our barista smiles while fashioning gunner mentality. That young man, no matter his color, should, Not. Have. DIED.
Stand Your Ground? Florida, a state committed to ‘let ‘em die;’ letting that conviction stand via Sodium Pentothal. Press.
Press this: Police, where is Mr. Martin’s phone? What planet do we live on when a young, black man, carrying Skittles and a Arizona tea, gets taken down in the backyard; in said ‘polite society’. Politics has helped create this mess despite mass prediction that a gun in the hands of certain citizens IS a lethal weapon.
History of Blood, colored RED, burns a hole deep in this overspent environment. Listen to NPR; to a young man explain the game. If you’re black, African-American, like him, then you walk, NOT run, through your Own neighborhood. A cop is rarely friendly; he, or she, treats you as the enemy.
Damn. What is this shit that clogs our country’s channels of power? Is this not news like the killing fields of Kony; yet Kony and cronies, have been killing for 20 years (why such late notice?) Where is Trayvon’s video, in a country that prides ourselves for equality? Where is His YouTube, gone viral, on Blogs; Facebooks; Tumblers; Twitters; Emails; Newsletters, any feeds besides the so-called ‘liberal’ press; asking “where is the phone? where is the justice?” Press this:
Thank God for the press, or this story would still be buried.
Bang. Your. Drum.
Where is Mr. Martin’s phone? Ask everyone.
Listen to Mother. Tell your Brother. Don’t be passive when so many wrongs are aggressive.Does your blood boil?
Make. Some. Noise.
Lana del Ray is wrong; we are not born to die; at least not this way:
in. cold. blood.

After reading a rather lengthy Mother Jones article, complete with 911 links and transcripts; this is the by-product. While writing up from hard copy; news bloggers I follow have reported that the PD Chief has stepped down during investigating this wrongful death. Hopefully, now, we shall find out the ‘truth’.

blinded by fiction -

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
~Aldous Huxley

Perhaps Mike Daisey should have considered this before he recorded his story for “This American Life”.

Do you know of this one? A quick re-hash:

“This American Life” with Ira Glass, did a show back in January regarding a Foxconn factory, a China-based manufacturer of Apple products. Mike Daisey interviewed a retired Chinese worker, who was said to have injured his hand while manufacturing the Apple iPad. The story theatrically cuts in to the worker handling an iPad for the first time with said, damaged hand.

What has come to be revealed is that not all of the story is fact. This revelation has turned into a media brouhaha. “This American Life” recently did an hour-long retraction, which I can only assume is not so much for the public, but to avoid possible litigation. There is only one bite out of the apple, there shall be no others.

The story was of great fascination since I just blogged about truth in reporting after reading Brevity WP blog’s report on John D’Agata. Now, it isn’t just Brevity blogging about fact and creative non-fiction; but The New Yorker’s latest blurb finds D’Agata’s ‘fact fiddling’** a nice mash-up with Daisey’s fabrications. Bully for D’Agata’s book sales if the adage ‘bad press is better than no press’ is true.

Fact or Fiction. Focused or Blurred. Does it matter?

The standard response has been, “if you wish to be creative with the facts, then just make if fiction”. I must say I agree; but, many do not see this quite so black and white…many are okay with adding a little color for the sake of a more artistic story. Even in fiction, there can be a need for clarification:

Author’s Note

This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago. This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.

- John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

John Green goes on to say that the reader need not question every line looking for truth. I found this most interesting since the polar opposite is demanded for creative non-fiction…or is it? Whose standards have become more lax; the writer or the reader?

Dear reader, assuming you are also a blogger, do you colour outside the lines of truth? Do you recant personal stories and state that The Who were playing on Spotify, when really it was The Guess Who. Who does it harm if you no longer remember…

Well, that depends. Who are you to your reader? Do you dance around the truth to remain a mystery? Perhaps you are a humor blogger; ergo, it is expected that your grocery store debacle didn’t really involve smashed eggs; an ice cream tub explosion; AND a Champaign cork hitting the clerk two aisles over.

I’d say that events on this blog are reported as I see them. Perhaps, if I went back, I’d have to disclaimer that it wasn’t Billie Holiday, but Sarah Vaughn who was singing at the time I wrote a certain poem. It may seem minute, but, in a small way, I think it can burn something that we try to build: our reader’s trust.

Years ago I listened to “This American Life” podcast while on long runs. Eventually I stopped because I oft felt the stories were so fantastical that it couldn’t all be truth. It left me feeling duped.

Our species doesn’t like to be lied, too. It is an inadvertent attack on our intelligence. Perhaps that is why cheating is so damaging. The behavior is one thing; but it is the boldface lie that wedges in our back and refuses to budge; our ego keeps holding on it in order to prevent future attacks.

There was an attack against Vogue recently regarding the airbrushed Adele. I thought of it today when I saw our latest magazine shipment. Mariah Carey is now Vogue’s cover feature. Did you know she has tricked Father-time and reverted back to being twenty again? Yes, most know that Photoshop has been used to enhance the truth, so again, what does it harm? It is just a shadow added; a tweaking of color, here or there; it means nothing. Perhaps, or perhaps, let’s ask the eight year old girl who already uses the word diet and wishes to look like Hannah or Britney.

Things are not always as they seem, are they…

…sometimes, we get blinded by fiction.

exhale ~

“I’m Every Woman …” Whitney Houston,
August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012.

(I write this not knowing the details of Ms. Houston’s death.)

Whitney Houston defined the Pop Movement in the late 80s through the 90s for my generation. My genre of choice was more grunge and metal, than pop; yet, I remember going to see The Bodyguard, thinking Houston was the epitome of sassy, beautiful talent. Houston’s voice was a thing of wonder.

This post was not planned (obviously). In fact, I only logged on for a moment to check a social media account I manage, when I saw the first unconfirmed Houston tweet. Once it was confirmed, Houston’s death went viral. The accolades were amazing; I only recall harsh criticism of Houston in the last few years. Artists, especially those whose career and personal life have imploded publicly, seem fair game for tough words.

Whitney was every woman. Her story is any female’s story to some extent. She was vulnerable. She was desirable. She was successful. She was blessed. Her videos were empowering to those of us who have experienced the hurt; the anger; and the need to right the wrong after being deceived.

One thing that I thought whilst reading so many positive FB & Twitter updates was that Houston shall not experience this outpouring. I shall not get metaphysical, or mystical, posit that she does know; does see these words … one can hope.

No matter where Ms. Houston roams this eve, I’d like to think she is finally able to soar; to sing eternal; her flame burning brightly in a better world, where she can finally be at peace, finally able, to exhale.~


Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I try to speak with my dollar.

When I decided to get a dog, I researched to make sure I would not be supporting a puppy mill. I try not to be a consumer. I research. I’ve boycott companies for unethical, or poor environmental, practices.

I’m typing this on a Mac. I love my iPhone. I was just toying with buying an iPad instead of taking a yoga training weekend once I get a bit of money back from Washington. Then I read NYT’s iEconomy, a series reporting on Apple’s assembly plants in China.

After reading the Human Costs NYTimes article, I began to question Apple’s ethics. The iEconomy series had another link that was dated with tomorrow’s date, a blog posts with response from Chinese readers. The respondents seem to echo much of the same sentiment: it is the government’s lack of regulation; it is the industry, not just Apple; the plant, Foxconn, is actually better than other plants; and, Apple will remain Apple because of consumer love.

Apple is big enough to demand change. It was just reported today that they had the best quarter ever. Doesn’t a company that is of such success have a moral obligation to, “be the change”? Is Apple really rotten; or is it wearing a bullseye because it has become an economic giant?

I’ll be honest, I want them to do the right thing. I love my Apples, but don’t wish to support a company that chooses profits over people. Sigh. Last call…well, for the rescue pup, z, before bed; hopefully, not for my iPhone ~

You’ve come a long way baby?

“The sexiest girl on the beach just left. She had a book to return.”

The above is a poster that has gone viral on Facebook. I saw it three times yesterday, and one time today via Origins magazine, which stated they were to do a post regarding anorexia.

When I first saw the poster, I didn’t think too much of it until I started reading peoples’ comments. They became brutal; I kept my thoughts to myself. A bit later, I saw another batch of comments and became fed up. I responded. The poster was kind about it, but from his response, I could tell there was a defensive.

In America, we are of a society that places far too much importance on a woman’s appearance. This appearance is oft based on the body more than the face. Since Twiggy’s revolution of the 1960s, the perception of what is beautiful has morphed from the curvy decades prior. Balance went belly up when the runway modeling industry became quite vocal. By the 1980s, drug culture chic became the ideal and skinny again was in. Since the late 1990s, there has been an outcry to rethink what looks good. A woman, if she caters at all to popular culture, cannot win unless she is a yo-yo with an ability to be all shapes and size.

Certainly, attention to a woman’s body is nothing new. Tribal cultures world round have been documented to appreciate a woman of curves verses angles. One could attribute it to Darwin’s theory on survival of the fittest and natural selection. The more robust woman signals one of fertility, and ability to survive childbirth.

Beyond tribal culture, the world culture has still lauded the female curve. Historically, curves have represented biological fertility of a woman, as well as general well-being. Economics also came into play, the larger female signaling a healthy wallet, one whose family could afford an abundant feast.

Today, things have gone full circle. We are a black and white universe regarding health, wealth, and societal perception. On American soil, we are fighting a vast problem with obesity, which shall tax our health care system greater than smoking. (sidebar: I wrote a post about this on another blog I’ve since closed, ergo, I cannot link the facts.)

Sadly, in the same breath, I can write that America has children going to bed hungry because of lack of food. Globally, 925 million people went hungry in 2010. An ongoing problem that shouldn’t be in a world of two billion Christians whose motto is, “how can I be like Jesus?” One doesn’t have to conjure mystical powers, turning five fish into a feast. There should be enough power in action; the ability to raise money; raise crops; raise awareness to end this type of global hunger. End this cycle of indifference instead of focusing on whether starlets eat enough.

Is that why we care? Do we then question the poster because we fear the top row hungers? I will honestly tell you, I look a lot like the top row. I’ve been naturally thin all my life, but I also have a lifestyle that is athletic and I’m vegan. I only disclaimer this to be fair on my point of view. I’ve always thought Twiggy was terribly hip and cute. I’ve never understood what was the big deal about Marylin. You could say that my reasoning is psychological, albeit unconsciously, I’ve gravitated to the look that is more me naturally.

Marilyn did become appealing to me, however, months ago when I discovered, Fragments. This interesting book contains copies of Monroe’s thoughts, letters and poems. Did you know that this Hollywood starlet wrote poems? Did you know she was quite well read in general? Reading through her letters, I was aghast wondering, why do we not know this of her?

Yes, why do we not know this, but we can rattle off her measurements without blinking. Why can we name what the latest Hollywood starlet wore to the award show, but we couldn’t tell you if they have a college degree?

The above poster is wrong for several reasons. The one that concerns me most; the one I’ve not heard from anyone in the comment field on Facebook is this; why are we still objectifying women? We are in the 21st century debating which lineup of women is hotter. I’m sorry, but there is nothing wrong with either row of women in comparison to what is wrong with every one of us who looks at them and feels compelled to comment on their body.

Which row of women is hotter? How about the one who can actually carry on an intelligent conversation while condemning us for basing their sexiness on a bathing suit picture. ~

censored / uncensored ~

Censorship Causes Blindness

Image by Antoon's Foobar via Flickr

I’ve censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet–a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:

███████: ████ is a ████.

It is ████ a ████.

Did you █████ the ██████ ███████?
How ████ it █████ to be ████████ of █████ you ████ to ████, you ████ to ███████?
███████, yes ████ ██████ █████ it ████. We ███████’t be ████████ in ████ █████ of US, the ██████████ US of A; but, are we, a ██████ ██████ of ████████ █████ ████?

████ ██████████ ████, ████, do we ████ the █████████? █████ ████ ████ ██████████ ████ █████████ ███████; to ███████ █████ █████ ██████ ██████. The ██████ ███████ a ████ ████, or █████ we ████ it a █████ ████, █████ ██████ ████ our ██████ ████; a ██████ ████████.

Yes, see, █████ is ██████; ███████ ████; but ██████, ████ ████ by a Rep to ███████ the ███████ in the ████ of ██████? █████████ ██████ ███████, not ████████. Is it ███████ ████ a way to █████ our █████ ███████ ███████ to █████ an ███████ of ███████ in ████ day of ██████ ██████.

██████████. Can you ███████ it? █████ █████ ████ ████ ████ ████████ ████ ████ the ███████, █████████, ████████; so how can we ███████ up █████ █████ of our ████████ ███████.

(I █████ ███████ ████ ████ in ████ you ████████. We, ███████ not You, or yOu, ███████ ████ ████ it █████, ████ ████ of █████ ███████. We are ████, but are we, ██████?)

One ███████ ██████, is ████████’s ████; and MZ, he █████████ to ████ all the way to the ████. The █████ of one has set the █████ on ████, and now the █████ for █████ has ████ ████ █████. ████████, (███████ at ████████) the █████████ ████ be lit in ███████ █████. ████ █████ ████████ to █████ ████, ████ ██████████, as if to say…



I dig what they are doing, but I don’t wish to hold you, dear reader, hostage either as we are being held when bad legislation is introduced. Ergo, I’d love for you to be part of the protest, but I also appreciate your rights to be free, so here is the uncensored.


Warning: this is a test.

It is only a test.

Did you enjoy the visual silence?

How does it feel to be stripped of words you wish to read, you wish to confess?
Imagine, yes John Lennon wrote it best. We shouldn’t be dreamers in this place of US, the democratic US of A; but, are we, a united states of anything these days?

What propagated SOPA, PIPA, do we know the beginning? Since when does Washington play Hollywood squares; to declare their rated market unfair. The screen reveals a thin veil, or shall we call it a raged wool, being pulled over our united eyes; a hooded disguise.

Yes, see, there is piracy; illegal copy; but really, this bill by a Rep to protect the liberty in the city of Angels? Something smells hellish, not heavenly. Is it perhaps more a way to quash our every growing ability to reach an expanse of connect in this day of social unrest.

Censorship. Can you believe it? These shoes walk upon soil declared free from the tyranny, theocracy, monarchy; so how can we be digging up those seeds of our founding beliefs.

(I shall whisper this last in case you disagree. We, perhaps not You, or yOu, already know what it means, this lack of civil liberty. We are free, but are we, really?)

One billion strong, is Facebook’s song; and MZ, he continues to sing all the way to the bank. The power of one has set the world on edge, and now the fight for voice has only just begun.

Tomorrow, (tonight at midnight) the spotlight will be lit in digital black. Some folks choosing to fight back, with solidarity, as if to say…

(If you’ve gotten this far down the page, cheers! I must confess I wasn’t going to write tonight as I only have had 3 hours of sleep. I became a bit on edge, though, after being reminded on Nancy’s blog, so I decided to write this quite quick and post. Shall comment tomorrow and visit blogs after work. Nite ~ )

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    Words are my own unless otherwise noted. Creativity is something to be shared, but that decision should always be left to the creator.
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