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Contents

Letter From the Editor .......................................................................................................................... 3 PART I: POETRY. ................................................................................................................................ 4 Ndaba Sibanda ....................................................................................................................................... 6 Looking for altruists ................................................................................................................................. 7 The innocent are guilty ............................................................................................................................. 9 On the edge ............................................................................................................................................ 11 Kudos to a revolutionary ........................................................................................................................ 13 Be Wary of Snakey Ways ........................................................................................................................ 15 Courtney Bledsoe ................................................................................................................................. 17 Blues for Cloony..................................................................................................................................... 18 Blues for David Rappaport ..................................................................................................................... 20 Richard Pryer’s Livin and smokin ........................................................................................................... 21 A Poem by Dean Young and Dean Koontz ........................................................................................... 23 Christoph Flekl..................................................................................................................................... 25 Lollipop Land......................................................................................................................................... 26 Just a Game ............................................................................................................................................ 29 Debbie J. Ebry ...................................................................................................................................... 32 Leading the Stars .................................................................................................................................... 33 Presidential Candidate ............................................................................................................................ 36 PART II: PROSE ................................................................................................................................. 38 Ndaba Sibanda ..................................................................................................................................... 39 A Place of growth and flourishing .......................................................................................................... 40 The Keys ................................................................................................................................................ 42 How Parenthood affected and informed my work as a writer ................................................................. 45 Warm welcome. ...................................................................................................................................... 48 Contributer’s Profiles ........................................................................................................................... 51

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Dear Readers, Thank you for accessing the fifth issue of anthology29, which will be on fame. The fact, that some people have more political influence, or more money, or are more gifted at a certain skill or craft than most, or make inventions that have changed much of the world, has never made it so surprising that certain people are just more known on this planet than most. To be known amongst so many people, on this planet, does not often happen easily, but the fact that there is such a thing is understandable, though often surprising. It is especially the people, who become famous, despite not having many extraordinary gifts, much power or even money to start with, that never stops to surprise me. It is not uncommon that people make money by entertaining the masses, for example, despite few outstanding acting, singing, speaking, or playing gifts. It happens all the time. What is even becoming less and less surprising is that, all the time, people end up acquiring a lot of public attention because of an unusual disability, abnormality, or a tragedy, because of their appearance on some sort of TV show or other forms of public appearance available to us today. The claim of such people, that they are not so different from other people just seems to make them all the more unusual and worthy of public attention to many. After all anyone who attracts the kind of attention so many crave and say they’re just ordinary and do not deserve it, must be even more worthy of all of this public attention to be able to bring up the kind of modesty to say such a thing in public. Even when Jesus Christ was called “good” by someone, in Matthew 19:17, he had said “Why do you call me good. Only God is good.” To most Christians, for Christ to bring up the humility to not want to be called good, made it seem like the word, good, was not an overstatement of what Jesus was, but clearly an understatement of the man they thought was not only very, very, good, but was God. Now Jesus is the star in the world’s most bestselling book, the Bible. To just call him famous would be an understatement, especially to those, who call him God. It also needs not be said that fame has been a subject in literary prose and poetry, as will be the case in this anthology, as a way of showing that not only the journalists and the tabloids are capable of discussing fame, but also the gifted writers as well, which I am sure you, readers, will greatly enjoy. Best Wishes, Eric Mwathi (Editor)

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.Part I: Poetry.

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.Ndaba Sibanda.

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Looking for altruists

Give them value for their money Tell give them the facts on the ground Tell them of frank and caring politicians And they will show you countless crooks Clad in political attire churning out lies daily

Where are the true nurses and doctors From a bunch of phony drug-stealing characters Masquerading as saviours and care-givers? Where are the true preachers who have Unselfish concern for the welfare of others in This group of benchwarmers and entrepreneurs?

Where are the patriots when the cracked pirates Are busy ransoming every concerned patriot in the Name of party policies and history and cronyisms? Where are the true nationalists when masters of All evil and isms are wreaking havoc with peace And justice using the number game advantage?

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The Innocent Are Guilty

Moved to tears Fights back tears As fears and fears Grow that those spears Will ripple off acquitted ears

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On The Edge

Emotions run high Rot runs really amok These silly zealots Have become loose cannons

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Kudos to A Revolutionary A standing ovation to a soul who Lit the chambers of our revolution.

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Be Wary of Snaky Ways How can a snake be asleep? When it wants you to weep? Listen clearly to its venom sing, Now it is time for logic to ring.

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.Cortney Bledsoe.

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Blues for Clooney You got fat and I got fat but you still get work. We can’t all afford a monkey, but that’s what makes you George. The other kids closed their fists when they speculated I might be gay. I wasn’t and you weren’t and they were but who cares? You got old and you got political and your movies are just as boring as my life, now. See? We’re the same. No villas for me but that’s okay: my monkey doesn’t have to wear diapers.

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Blues for David Rappaport Your bio mentions an incident on the set of "The Bride", when, playing the role of "Rinaldo the Midget" you were tied, left hoisted in the air while a circus tent burned around you and no one heard your screams. I remember seeing "Time Bandits" as a child, and again as an adult, and wondering why this wise-eyed man was relegated to children's movies, a Mantan Moreland cast as comic relief and outshining the lead, dancing to "Me and My Shadow" for Napoleon, roly-poly, playing the child, aged but not grown. You seemed more at ease sipping champagne on the Titanic, cigar in hand, saying this is the life, boys, enjoy it while you can, and not spilling a drop even as the ship shifted and began to sink.

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Richard Pryor’s Live and Smokin’ A halo of natty hair like a dark cloud covering the brain—remember: storm clouds bring rain. Skin like caramel melting soft under stage-lights— the genius tears himself apart and reconstructs the bits onstage for our amusement. Bitter cigarette smoke settles into Ripple. A dozen voices. 12 million voices coming from one mouth framed in tight, clean mustache. The gap between stage and audience, L’appel du vide. “I always wanted to be something, but I never wanted to be white.” Liquor stores and sex. White tricks visiting the whorehouse of youth. A dozen voices. 12 million voices. “Is my makeup looking okay?” The sharp points of his eyes cut to the side as the bile rises. Before it can spew, he shifts into character. A dozen voices. 12 million voices. A drunk. An old man. A child. A prostitute. His face, an ever-shifting canvas. A ballet of pain. The microphone is impassive, but black is beautiful. Hope is a sardonic smile that spreads, teeth smeared with blood. He will live forever, forever dying.

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Appeared in Prick of the Spindle A Poem by Dean Young and Dean Koontz I am a wolfman in the doorway in cellophane. It's a secret how I get my colors so vibrant. This was before the fish people came and made us learn to swim the hard way. They were looking for a sacrifice but I'd made all the ones I cared to. Something below the floor is moving. Something I don't know the name of waits below for me to forget which tap is for plant water, which is for drinking. Sara says it's too expensive to walk, with the price of rubber since the war started. She demanded an embargo at the teacher meeting— all eyes slipped towards me, I touched her hand as though unclasping a bra, stood and spoke, "Dagon, that was the name."

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.Christoph Fleckl.

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Lollipop Land Richness, popularity, being a role-model for everyone, because everybody simply knows your name, your personal desires, too, even the best mate of your dog’s son, are items of utmost interest to your fans all the same.

It must be great to be a star like you, no worries in the world, all of last summer, you spent in a Jacuzzi on your yacht, with beautiful naked women ‘round you that in the water swirled, nothing to do but keep an agenda of amusements on your yacht.

Whatever your talent, be it literature, economics, sports or art, society looks up to you, treating your words like purest gold. On your personal views they count, from you they’ll never part and everyone watches you quite intense as you get sick and old.

And when one day the time will come for you to lay to rest, the mortal being that you are, with all due at least in this respect, not your good deeds, but the most entertaining will be put to test, at your grave they shall all mourn, piously granting their respect.

And then, who knows what further adventures may lay ahead, getting a bust in some kind of hall of fame is just one possibility, some might even prolong your life by not accepting you are dead, 26


or maybe, God himself considers you his most famous celebrity.

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Just a game While slowly waking up, he realised how people didn’t treat him quite the same as on all these well-remembered yesterdays, everybody simply seemed to know his name, lukewarm handshakes leaved him surprised.

As he left the big assembly hall all dizzy, wandering the melancholy streets in a state of elation, he passed a forlorn street musician playing tunes of solitude. He threw the poor artist a nickel, heart full of celebration, pondering which inspiration might keep him busy.

“So, what just happened at this lecture on me?” he thought, “why did they adore my work like this, have I just got what it takes to become an appraised prophet of modern art? Which skills set me apart, what do I have that others do not? To all the writers my tremendous genius must be taught!”

Thus, he became all rich and vain, a teacher of the kind who teach their lessons for a prize that only they can claim. Arrogantly, he disposed of all the things he had once held as valuable and blindly overlooked less fortunate ones, crippled and lame, such were their bodies, and soon, such had become his mind.

One day he awoke again to the piercing light of a new day, 29


this time he felt drunk for real, covered in puke and shame, looking about, he found himself stared at by countless horrific faces. They spit and booed and put on him the terrible burden of blame, thus chasing him from his own bestseller’s presentation away. As he fled down the same streets he had once trod along so proudly, he met just the same old sax player he once benevolently supported and said “I’m sorry, I didn’t see how this was all just fortune’s game.” On hearing that, the beggar started crying, his face joyfully distorted, and together, they started to perform a cheerful song, soft, yet loudly.

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.Debbie J. Embrey.

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Leading the Stars (triolet)

Follow me into the course of the night Come, Children, let me guide your way May the moon above be your guiding light Follow me into the course of the night Mother Nature's love is pure delight Come, Children, all will be okay Follow me into the course of the night Come, Children, let me guide your way.

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Presidential Candidate (Triolet) A President should have honor and heart to make it in such a cruel, cruel world, He or she should rule by being smart A President should have honor and heart to be successful right from the start Understanding people; loving boys and girls A President should have honor and heart to make it in such a cruel, cruel world.

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.Part II: .Prose.

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.Ndaba Sibanda.

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A Place of Growth and Flourishing The only social housing institution operating in the City of Tshwane, South Africa until recently, Yeast City Housing is the housing division of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation. This progressive foundation was previously known as the Pretoria Community Ministry (PCM). PCM sought to tackle social and developmental needs of the inner city communities, and to contribute to inner city regeneration. It eventually gave birth to Yeast City Housing for the purposes of housing development and management. Formally launched in 1996 but officially registered as a separate legal entity only in 1998, YCH has made strides in housing, hence it is the only social housing institution that has been accredited by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). Tau Village The story of 279 Struben Street Building is incomplete without special mention of the role played by Yeast City Housing in transforming the place to what it is today. At one time the building housed the Transvaal Agricultural Union before it became a budget hotel. However, in 1998 the South African police pounced on it as the property had become a risky haven for very young girls who were engaged in commercial sex. Yeast City Housing with its partners rose to the occasion and successfully turned it from being a place of risk into one of hope and love. Hence the name Tau, Sotho for Lion, an epitome of bravery. Comprising family units, a home for the elderly, the disabled , for Lerato girls with a study room and commercial shops- Tau was launched on the 6th of August 2011 by the R.H. Minister , Mr. Tokyo Sexwale as a model social housing project to replicated countrywide. Inkululeko Community Centre, Salvokop In 1998 the social housing company in pursuance of its noble goal of ensuring decent, affordable housing in the city, purchased its first property which consisted of a church building and an adjacent house in 40


Salvokop. Today known as the Inkululeko Community Centre, this property hosts a pre-school, children’s programmes, a swimming club, the community development forum, community churches and a guest house for TLF/PCM and/or Yeast City Housing staff and student volunteers. Thembelihle Village The Gauteng Department of Housing appealed to Yeast City Housing to serve as housing association responsible for development and management of the Thembelihle village project. Owned by the Gauteng Department of Housing, Yeast developed the design for the project, including the business plan and funding sources. However, restrictive legislation became a stumbling block in the direct transfer of the land from Gauteng to Yeast, and as a result this was done through the local municipality. Thembelihle is the isiZulu phrase for “good hope”, and Yeast clings to the hope that in next to no time they will unblock delays and start work on the site consisting of 542 housing units and 25 store fronts. The envisaged mixed –income and mixed use development village, once completed, will provide hope to people who previously had no access to urban facilities and give a facelift to a part of the city that has been neglected for a long time.

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The Keys! Are we always good or bad as we sometimes look or sound? Perhaps not. One panelist at an Old People`s Home had an unviable task of identifying the most intelligent inmate among the elderly. After sketching an imaginary door on the blackboard, he posed a plain question, “How many of you can go through here? ”One old fuzzy lady chuckled mockingly, “What a lousy and dim question! My husband-if he were alive –would have knocked sense into your brainless head. He used to make lovely doors…Much much bigger and better though!” The woman strained her eyes, concluding, “May his loving soul rest in peace. Now the modern pseudo-carpenters mistake oddities for doors! Err… can`t stand ,this so let me go back to our dormitories to relax my mind with my tasty nasal snuff!” Yet one elderly man kept on smiling a toothless smile like a noisy student in class. He was asking other inmates what was inside the back of an ambulance parked outside, Saying in his youth he could see through tinted glass! One old granny then furiously hit back claiming she was sick to the bone of listening to him milk pregnant cows! Blaming everything from scant food rations to dirty and dilapidated buildings on sanctions and unfavourable weather. And for that reason she was not only severing romantic ties with him but also leaving the auditorium to pray alone in the disused orchid The panelist asked the `pregnant cow-milking` elderly man what was on his mind. He lisped, ”Ah shat door is like a shair l neshleed myshelve on during my heydays. I adyvishee you to make a shousence of such shairs before l can ansher”. He too walked out. “What about the rest? “the panelist inquired. Meanwhile seven aged inmates stormed towards the drawing in full force. For all were resolate to… pass through! Who could have surmised why one old inmate remained seated? 43


Bubbling with confidence she had this to say: “Shame on them- racing for what? Impetuous and ridiculous old fellows. I HAVE GOT THE KEYS ON ME!� She picked up her walking stick plodding and nodding to herself that they did not call her- the brightest star in the firmament of yesteryear -for nothing!

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How parenthood and family affect and inform my work as a writer I am cognizant of the fact that my behaviour serves as a model for my children’s behaviour. Parenting can make or unmake a child`s future. Parenting skills and styles differ from one parent to another, mainly because of environmental, religious, social and cultural factors that are at play. What is a taboo in one family, environment or culture could be something acceptable and proper in another family or social group. However, what is clear and central is that proper parenting inspires children to reach their potential, cultivates respect and love within and for the family. If one`s parenting styles are not synonymous with the bringing forth and maintenance of order, direction and respect, then that can only mean one thing-a recipe for disaster. Parenting has enhanced my writing. Indeed, parenthood and family affect and inform my work because as a parent my family is my first constituency or priority. If the family is going to look up to me, then l should not abdicate my core duties and responsibilities of keeping the “family ship” afloat. In other words, it is only logical and natural that l provide the basic necessities, like food, clothing, education and guidance for them at all costs. I am also obliged to inspire, protect and promote them. That way they get to experience a parent`s love, care and warmth in action. Do words of advice (alone) suffice? I do not think so? Parenting is an active process both in word and in practice. Rather than sit and sound like a phony claimant or a posturing politician, do it. Practise what you preach. Some parents (especially fathers!) claim they love their family members yet there is nothing to show for such claims or declarations. That is not enough. In fact, that is teaching them to be “dishonest” and when it backfires on one, then one has noone else to blame but their “lessons on deceit“! By the way, they can even perfect that game and graduate into incorrigible “tsotsis” or crooks or smart liars! For me, parenting, means providing them with the relevant information and advice as they go through their developmental stages and offering advice in a learningfriendly home environment, as l help them with their assignments and other ways of enhancing their learning at school. In as much as l commit my time to writing, l also devote quality time to be with them.. It is a blessing to listen to their stories and experiences. I set aside time on a regular basis to do something exciting or motivating for and with them. I share with them what l am working on as a writer, so that they support me, rather than get the idea that l am aloof, “strange” and not interested in their dreams, lives and activities. I reward desirable behaviour as much as possible by verbal praise, touching something tangible such as a doll, food or 45


money. We are all team-players in this. It is dangerous for a parent to form a “weak link”. We have to play our different roles with distinction and dignity. I show respect and love for their mother and always make it a point that both of us have an equal share in the responsibility of discipline as much as possible. If their mother is disciplining a child and I enter the room, it is prudent not step in on the argument in progress. We always strive to agree on what behaviour is desirable and not desirable, and agree on how to respond to undesirable behaviour. I make it as clear as possible what my child is to expect if he or she performs the undesirable behaviour. Consistence is a key factor, for without it one should not be shuddered if a child tells one to get their act together and observe some fair play! Remember children see, think and discern. Again, call to mind that trust is earned, and to this end, changing goal-posts now and then is a certain ticket to losing one`s credibility as an authority. Once that happens, then one`s parenting becomes an unenviable, hollow and weightless nightmare. Some parents have their chosen “favourite” children, their “delicate eggs” who are not and should not “be touched” or sent on errands. In such families the parents` treatment of their offspring or their response to their own biological children` needs and situations smacks of disturbing and undesirable favouritism. At the end, the affected child feels so isolated, unloved and insignificant that he or she loses respect for the parent. He or she feels he or she does not belong here, and his or her parents are not here either by virtue of imagined and real alienation. Eventually, he or she resigns himself or herself to fate, and becomes law-unto himself or herself. This partisan syndrome fuels rebellion, sibling rivalry, endless parent-child rancour, and at worst, suicidal, defeatist and violent tendencies. I make it very clear what the undesirable behaviour is. It is not enough to say, “Your room is unclean.” I specify “unclean” in terms of exactly what is meant: “You’ve left the floor unclean, your shoes are dirty, and your bed is not made.” I look for gradual changes in behaviour. I praise behaviour that is coming closer to the desired goal.

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Warm Welcome! On behalf of Writers Get Together (WGT) and on my behalf, I would like to extend a hand of warm welcome to the new faces on this site. Welcome aboard the WGT ship. Let us conquer and cruise together. One hopes these new faces will bring new ideas. New works of art. New books and greater joy. WGT is a literary association, a community of pen-pushers seeking to push their thing. This friendly community of writers is ever hungry for great, new ideas and minds that illuminate our horizons and stimulate discussions, thereby helping us unleash our greatness, individually and collectively. We preach cross-fertilisation of ideas and self-actualisation. Please feel free to contribute anything that will help our cause as writers. Feel free to drop a comment, to ‘like’ a post and ask a question. Share with others your literary needs, expectations and achievements. This is your platform to shine and touch other people`s lives in a positive way. It cannot be overemphasized that writing is rewriting and rewriting, so that our work is polished and presentable. We always cherish the idea of sending out a finished piece of work for public consumption, not constipation! Writing inspires. If writing is your favourite dish, then by coming here you have taken the right literary pilgrimage .Writing is on the menu in a delicious way. Come and let us feast. Fasting is over! Therefore, active participation is encouraged. Please share your poem, your story or article with the group and let others critique it. I believe such activities do not only enhance rapport but also make us better writers and thinkers. For no single person has a monopoly of knowledge. What do we write for? For fame and fortune? For the love of writing? 48


Can you imagine, some people have left me shell-shocked by declaring "l think you have made a fortunate". l have often told them if they seek quick fortune , then tough luck, they should shy away from writing because more often than not it is not a lucrative or fast-buck business. You have to start small, but think big. Writing is a money-spinning business for an unknown writer? I do not think so. Some people who hold such misconceptions end up being frustrated and disorientated. Yet for us the beauty of writing is our wealth, relief, pride and pleasure. That is why we are passionate about it. Touching other people`s lives in a positive and practical way is what gives us joy and the urge to keep on writing It is hoped that with time, you will formally join the group and hold high the banner of WGT with pride. We have a vision to see bestseller writers emerge. It could be you!! This is the platform and incubator.

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.Contributor’s Profiles.

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.Ndaba Sibanda. Ndaba Sibanda is a Zimbabwean-born writer. He hails from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe`s second largest city. He is one of the most prolific poets to emerge from that Southern African country. A former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, Ndaba has contributed to many anthologies including: Its Time, Poems For Haiti- a South African anthology, Snippets, Voices For Peace and Black Communion. His latest anthology, The Dead Must Be Sobbing was published in March 2013. Ndaba`s debut novel, Timebomb has been accepted for publication in the UK. He has just completed writing two more poetry anthologies, Love, Light and Greatness, and Time To Walk The Talk respectively.

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.CL Bledsoe. CL Bledsoe is the author of five novels including the young adult novel Sunlight, the novels Last Stand in Zombietown and $7.50/hr + Curses; four poetry collections: Riceland, _____(Want/Need), Anthem, and Leap Year; and a short story collection called Naming the Animals. A poetry chapbook, Goodbye to Noise, is available online at www.righthandpointing.com/bledsoe. Another, The Man Who Killed Himself in My Bathroom, is available at http://tenpagespress.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/theman-who-killed-himself-in-my-bathroom-by-cl-bledsoe/. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 10 times, had 2 stories selected as Notable Stories by Story South's Million Writers Award and 2 others nominated, and has been nominated for Best of the Net twice. He’s also had a flash story selected for the long list of Wigleaf’s 50 Best Flash Stories award. He blogs at Murder Your Darlings, http://clbledsoe.blogspot.com. Bledsoe reviews regularly for Rain Taxi, Coal Hill Review, Prick of the Spindle, Monkey Bicycle, Book Slut, The Hollins Critic, The Arkansas Review, American Book Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and elsewhere. Bledsoe lives with his wife and daughter in Maryland.

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Christoph Fleckl Christoph Fleckl lives in Vienna, Austria, where he was also born on December 14th 1985. He grew up in the countryside (Breitenfurt, MÜdling) and started writing at the end of his teenager years. He has published a prose poem in the fourth issue of Anthology 29: An Anthology of Prose & Poetry on FEAR. Fleckl’s poetry mostly concerns itself with topics such as spirituality, life-changing experiences, death and life after death.

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.Debbie J. Embrey.

Debbie J. Embrey is a mother of three children, a stepdaughter and several grandchildren. She has been writing poetry, since age 19, which had been the very day that her youngest child was born. Like so many others she has overcome a lot of problems, which was partly thanks to her writing poetry. Especially, during those difficult times, her motto has been that “If we stand strong, against the salvaging winds and waves, we can overcome.� Debbie J. Embrey has published poetry widely which has each left her with an 'Editor's Choice Award' certificates, including my other literary magazine, called anthology29 and finds it an honour to have published more than one poem, for the first time in her life, in this poetry anthology, for which she gives God the glory, for making her a gifted poet. 22

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