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Bio: The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the holiday Season is the first book by Alice Jane-Marie Massa. To read more about this collection of holiday memoirs, short stories, and poetry (available from Amazon, BARD, etc.), please visit Alice 8767 s author page: http:///alicemassa/
Additionally, Alice invites you to visit her Wordwalk blog:
where, since 7568, she has posted her poetry, essays, memoirs, or short stories concerning her four guide dogs and other topics. With master 8767 s degrees from Indiana State University and Western Michigan University, Alice taught for 75 years, including 69 years of teaching writing at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

MAGNETS AND LADDERS / Active Voices of Writers with

8775 Very good, 8776 said the bearded gentleman. 8775 By the way, my name is Arlyn and my furry friend here is Mack. He extended his hand to Jack. When Jack responded, Arlyn took his hand warmly in both of his and said 8775 It won 8767 t take long before it is all clear to you. It is really very simple everything is finally the way it was always meant to be. All of us understand this and feel this and can only respond accordingly, 8776 Arlyn explained.


Is it because the noisy crowd drowns out our inner life, inner feelings, intuitions and our internal voice? They shout out, “Happy New Year.” We have been told this is the time for our expectations to be declared and realized-yet there is that other side of Janus in our mind. As we ride the crest of January, the pinnacle of the New Year, we have expectations for what we believe the New Year holds for us. Those are the thoughts we talk about with others.
Here is what we often do not speak about, though. It 8767 s just too hard to put into words sometimes, because it 8767 s painful.

8775 Arthur, I know you enjoy nursing, and I know you are a great nurse. But why did you run into that nurse you told me about? It was because your straight ahead eyesight is sharp, but you don 8767 t see to the right or left of what you are looking at. 8776 Showing empathy, Dr. Edgar laid his hand on Arthur 8767 s shoulder saying, 8775 I wish I could offer you better news but I can 8767 t. 8776

Robert fell down a rabbit hole,
thinking he 8767 d found his drunken way home,
after spending his night in a bar
swigging his way through carrot juice schnapps.
At ninety proof, it packed a wham,
enough to turn his brown eyes red.
There he spied a cute little bunny
under a cap of green carrot tops.
Her flirting eyes said, 8775 Come here, Honey. 8776
Her fluffy white tail was drop-dead foxy.

8775 Nice girls who plan to go to college and get good jobs. 8776 My daughter 8767 s mocking tone made me want to slap her. 8775 Look, I don 8767 t want to argue with you right now, 8776 she said, getting to her feet and picking up a nearby pile of magazines. 8775 I 8767 m going upstairs to look through these myself and find a hairstyle for Saturday. 8776 She hurried out of the room, and a minute later, I heard her bedroom door slam.

As I climbed out of bed on the morning of my twelfth birthday, I was overcome with the exciting realization that I was no longer eleven! For me, eleven was the great no man 8767 s land of childhood and adolescence. Eleven was the invisible age. Signs for tickets and admission to events everywhere seemed to say 8775 Children ten and under 8776 or 8775 67 and over. 8776 Even menus seemed to be divided. For a whole year, I was repeatedly faced with the humiliation of being handed a 8775 children 8767 s menu. 8776 All of that would change, I was sure, now that I was twelve. I was finally free of what I had perceived as society 8767 s deliberate attempt to alienate eleven-year-olds.

They were in Hailey 8767 s bedroom. Hailey was applying makeup for the evening 8767 s event. Her blonde hair was pulled up in a French twist. She wore a blue and white cocktail-length dress. On her feet were flat-heeled black shoes. Emma wanted her to wear high-heels, but Hailey refused. It was enough she was going to the reunion. She was uncomfortable as it was. Emma wore a pink spaghetti-strap dress that made her look a little plump, but Hailey didn 8767 t say as much. Her high school yearbook lay open on Emma 8767 s lap. Hailey had fished it out upon Emma 8767 s insistence. Emma wanted to know what the people looked like thirty years back, so she 8767 d have some idea who she was looking for at the restaurant tonight.

We went down the steps with Elaine close behind me. As we moved along between the tracks, I could feel things squashing and crunching under my feet. God only knew what was lying down here in the dark. At one point, Star stopped and growled softly. Something, probably a rat, scampered away and we were soon at a second set of wooden steps which led us up onto the station platform. I told Star to take us out and we were soon on street level. But it was a different world. Elaine described it to me as we walked along. All of the buildings around us were dark. The lights of passing traffic shone brightly and far above she could actually see the stars. A bus passed us going in the same direction, but it never even slowed down. I could imagine that it was holding as many passengers as could fit into that confined space. It was going to be a long walk back to Manhattan.

I don 8767 t know why you refuse to speak on my behalf with the courts. You know what I wrote. Somehow they have the mistaken impression you feel I 8767 m a traitor too. Please disabuse the judge of this before it 8767 s too late.
I 8767 m sorry to hear about Anne, though I 8767 m glad to hear she didn 8767 t suffer the fate of her child. I 8767 m hoping that she can grow past all of that and move on with her life. I guess it 8767 s too much to expect her to visit me, as her mercurial nature made it clear to me that she finds solace in blaming all her troubles on me. I find it unjust of her, as I tried to treat her well, but too many words have been written already about the fickle nature of women.
Please rescue me. You alone have the power to free me from this prison and keep me from the noose.
In the Year of Our Lord, 6586
Harold Parsons.

8775 Don 8767 t think so, 8776 Pat said. 8775 I heard it too and it wasn 8767 t a scream, more like, like a dog whining. Damned if it hasn 8767 t been a while since I heard a dog. You do remember dogs? 8776 Pat continued. He was a fount of unhappy conversation. 8775 It wasn 8767 t that long ago, was it, 8776 he continued, and I could swear I heard a plain 8767 tive note in his voice.

A deep blanket of year-round snow fills the open meadow. Glittering ridges build in the distance to tall mountain peaks, stark blue-white jutting up into the night sky. The polar wind gathers frozen ground-clouds, herding them downslope through deeper parts of the valley, squeezing them between covered cone-shaped sentinels that were once trees. The hush of eternal winter muffles the land to the distant peaks. Only the sounds of wind and snow can be heard in the remote surroundings.

My wife would tell me all about the blossoms so I could share their beauty. There were Blue Angels, azure flecked with gold, and Blood of Christ, startling the eye with ruby and white petals. There were Royal Cardinals, resplendent in red and gold, but her favorites were Heaven 8767 s Sunrises. She could not believe that there were that many shades between orange and yellow. I never quite got into the beauty of it all, something for which I 8767 m glad. I don 8767 t want to be awed, transfixed, by things I must kill.

Bio: Crystal is an ordained minister with a Doctorate in Metaphysical Science. Her poetry, songwriting, weaving, and other creative pursuits celebrate the many ways we share our lives and spirit. Crystal is totally blind. Find her music on CD Baby and other work on . 8775 Soul Reflection 8776 is dedicated to Freddy. Listen to the song at: https:///7567/57/soul-

During the November month of thanks, I am especially thankful for the return of my yellow 8775 anniversary 8776 mum and am thankful for my entire container garden which has brought me so much relaxation, peace, and happiness. I also think of my treasured dad who had a cerebral hemorrhage on November 66, 6997, twenty years ago, and who then lived only two additional weeks. I remember and am ever thankful for his bountiful and beautiful gardens from which my family and I grew strength and nourishment, as well as respect and love of the land and gardening. Still today, I appreciate and am thankful for my family 8767 s tradition of good gardening through the generations. From my grandparents 8767 gardens and arbors to my dad 8767 s gardens, from my meager container gardens to my nephew 8767 s bountiful garden this year a good gardening tradition thrives without any mystery with just the magic and wonder of nourishing plants and flowers.

For a while she ordered off the children 8767 s menu, but then one time she saw the comment about the menu being for those ten-years-old and under, and she refused to eat anything off that menu. Fortunately, after a clever waitress remarked, 8775 Oh that also means ten years under 655-years-old, 8776 once again, she began eating off the children 8767 s menu. The fight to feed her became easier, especially since those prices didn 8767 t give her a heart attack.

Years later, Camille 8767 s twenty-year-old son expressed his intention to join the military. He was surprised by the response of his mother and grandmother. He couldn 8767 t understand their combined effort to discourage him. But then, he hadn 8767 t lived in a world where things might end in the next minute. Lorraine prayed he would never have to experience a moment out of time where everything is destroyed by an impersonal uncaring hand.

Shortly after midnight on July 77th, 6977, the phone rang. It was Ted 8767 s mother, telling me Ted had drowned in a fishing accident while he was at the lake with some of his friends. No one, other than the guys who were there, ever knew what really happened. They were all drinking and perhaps smoking marijuana. They denied that of course. There was a coroner 8767 s inquest, and the findings were accidental death by drowning. So that was that.

When I was 65 years old,
girlfriends half admired, half envied
my thick chestnut brown hair which cascaded like Victoria Falls.
When I was 67 years old,
boys, whose hormones were pushing them toward puberty,
were enthralled by my sultry voice.
When I was 66 years old,
I was a butterfly unable to emerge from a cocoon of rejection.
I dreamed of forests where pheasants and frogs were my friends.
When I was 78 years old,
an unrecognized illness plagued me with paralyzing phobias
had its way with me physically,
and emptied me emotionally.
Now WELL PAST twenty-eight years old,
I 8767 ve known the sorrow of loss, the joy of reunion,
and the touch of soul.
Once I was 65 years old.

Anyway, that night I pulled everything, the Blue Angels, the Blood of Christ, the Royal Cardinals, the Heaven 8767 s Sunrises, and a bunch of others, Astral nights, Viking Crowns, Sacred Lions, and all the rest. 8775 Die devils die! 8776 I howled as I tore the monstrous things out of the ground. Then came the morning after, and let 8767 s just say it was a damned good thing that I 8767 d learned to cook.