Laura Zucca-Scott

By the Water

By Laura Zucca-Scott
I was born by the water
I loved the sunset
And the quiet goodbye
Of light and colors
Life slowing down
Thoughts of fall
And days to come

I want those moments to stay
When the noise drowns the voices
And voices engulf the souls
I look for the reflections

Of sun, sky, and water

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Harris Tobias’ Poetic Side


Life spreads itself before us
Such a profligate display
New seconds freshly minted
Old seconds cast away
A table stretching endlessly
The dishes all first rate
You can eat how ever much you want
But you only have one plate
Look at all the choices
A lifetime’s worth at least
And it will take a lifetime
To finish such a feast
I know it seems chaotic
Everything in disarray
Yet it’s not without its order
There are rules you must obey
Though the atmosphere’s congenial
The rules are set in stone
You’re not allowed to share your plate
You have to eat alone
No seconds are permitted
So choose well how you dine
You only get one chance
To taste before that dish is gone
No seconds and no sharing
It’s a small price to pay
For such exquisite dining
At the banquet of your days
You can stuff yourself with pastries
No one cares and no one sees
Or simply sip demurely
On a variety of teas
And if you’re filled to bursting
Alas, there is no take away
You can always top things off
With a fine cafe au lait
And when the meal is finally finished
And the feastings at an end
You signal for the bill of fare
But you’ve nothing left to spend
You call the waiter over
Turn your pockets inside out
He escorts you grimly from the hall
Banquet’s over,
All lights out.

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Ring, Ring, Hello

By Jeanette Cheezum

Sheila shoved the vacuum in long even rows. A strange melody chimed nearby. She looked around, “Where the hell is that coming from?” Switched off the vacuum, “Oh, there you are.”
She rummaged through the couch pillows.

“Hello…hello…, is anyone there?”


She set the phone on the coffee table and returned to her chores. Once finished, Sheila reached for her jacket and keys; she had to get home to fix the family dinner. The doorknob turned under her hand when the strange melody filled the room, again.

“Maybe I’ll let you ring.” The nuisance continued. “Oh all right!” She flipped the phone open

“Hello…, either you speak up or stop calling; I don’t have time for these games.”
“Who’s playing games?”

“Who would you like to speak to?”


“This is not my phone! Now tell me who you want or I’m turning off the phone.”


“I’m hanging up!” Sheila threw the phone on the couch.

When the voice spoke again she screamed, then shuddered with fear “Where are you?”

“Here,” he said, before he strangled her.

Jeanette Cheezum 2011


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The Fisherman

The Fisherman

By Jeanette Cheezum

The red morning sky told him to work fast.
He cast his net and cut the engine to an idle.

Children waited at home while stomachs
ached. Bills were due and oil was low.

Gulls gathered above the net, his senses
quickened as he pulled the clumsy load.

There would be food on the table and pocket money.
Pride and strength returned on high tide.


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The Word Maker

Harris Tobias
The Word Maker

“Blessed are the authors for their words are the bread of life.”
from The Book of Tasian 16:3

It is back breaking work. 5,000 words a day everyday. And not just any words, not just random words, it has to be words that make sense, a miniature story with a beginning, a middle and an end. A story with characters and a plot. Something satisfying, something that leaves the reader satisfied yet hungry for more. Writing nourishingly is a gift some of us have and we ply our trade to the benefit of the community. It is a calling. It is what I do.

The work is harder than people realize. We write our lives away. Until we can no longer hold the pen because our hands have become arthritic; or our eye sight has failed; or our spines have given up from sitting on these unyielding benches twelve hours a day. 5,000 words can feed ten people for a day. Our monastery’s scriptorium sits 334 authors. Our efforts keep the city of Hamlin fed but just barely; like the rest of Albion, no one really thrives. No one is “well fed” except those lucky few who can afford to hire a personal author. And only the higher ups in the clergy can afford to do that. Everyone else receives their ration of 500 words, maybe two pages, per day.

The stylus feels light, lighter than usual. It is the result of new font. When times get hard the fonts get thinner and lose all ornamentation. Serifs are the last to go. This new font is supposed to be more nutritious and maybe it is. It is definitely leaner and lighter, almost italic. I don’t care for the taste of it.

For most of my working life I wrote in Garamond 14 point. Now that was a good solid font, its words made a hearty fare. Once in a while, mostly on special occasions like the installation of a new Bishop, they let us write in Garamond Bold 16 pt. What a treat that was—so fat, so meaty. We were drunk from feasting. Occasions like those are increasingly rare of late due, I suppose, to the shortage of authors. Not everyone who can write can write something edible. Only fresh ideas neatly packaged can feed a man, and there aren’t many authors with fresh ideas.

Garamond has been around for a century and has served us well. Now it will be replaced by the anemic Helvetica — a soulless, scrawny font in my opinion. But they say it is more efficient and more nutritious. Perhaps being lighter is not a bad thing. Maybe at the end of the day I might not be so tired but, still, there is little joy in using it. My unwillingness to change fonts is, I suppose, yet another manifestation of cranky old age. I notice the younger authors do not seem to care. To them one font is as good as another.

The Abbot comes around periodically with a list of topics. I have seen them all before. They are meant to inspire us to write something fresh. The list includes things like: A fairy tale about a crow; a fable about a fisherman; a love story between a princess and a monkey. There are 26 of them. I have no idea who thinks up these topics. Sometimes they actually help. I am blessed with a good imagination. I pick a topic at random and begin to write. A science fiction story about a place where food is grown from the earth. Now that’s a novel idea. I begin to write.The

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By Sandy Patton

Elegantly, she sweeps in; sun-kissed skin,
barely-there shorts showcase long, tan legs.
Remarkable eyes of sea-green
turn deep emerald in anger,
flash wild as stormy skies.
I know the curve of
her cheek by heart.
smile leaves
I stare,
as always, by
full, pastel pink lips.
A mouth made for pleasure,
both passionate and fickle.
From whispered vows of forever
to careless lies, utter betrayal.
My ageless, timeless, divine mystery.

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By Jeanette Cheezum
She traced the sole of her shoe on cardboard that had supported the back of a legal pad.
This would get her by for a week or longer . . . if it didn’t rain or snow.
Classmates had invited her to sit with them, and her allowance of $1.50 would help her pretend she wasn’t poor.
Good grades earned her movie money once a month and Saturday matinees we’re the best.  Cartoons, news, a serial show and the main attraction.

When she graduated everyone was proud . . . no one in the family had accomplished that. Now when she returns home, she peeks in her walk-in closet to make sure no one stole her thirty pairs of shoes.

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