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Shyness Is All Alone

Jan Hasak - Age: 56 “Grand Canyon”

Feelings surface, anxious to be heard, weary of lying dormant in my brain. Shyness is aching to speak, too timid to find the way. “Has the cat got your tongue?” The taunting words tear at my senses, while silence sinks deeper within me. To utter a sound in this room of stillness, might become a terrible roar. Then everyone would stare — at me! No, I shall swallow my words. I shall suffocate the roar. I will not speak today. I am a child. Dorothy S. Hardin I am shy. Background: A love affair I am all alone. with the written word Previous publications: “Fireside Companion,” “Reminisce,” “Good Old Days,” “ Valley Times” - Bay Area Medium: Paper & pen Age: 84

Background: I have painted using acrylics since I was in my early twenties. I have most recently dabbled in poetry, and read some of my poems at the open-mike session at the Paradise Public Library in April 2009. Previous publications: “Mourning Has Broken: Reflections on Surviving Cancer” (Xulon Press 2008) Inspiration: For the paintings: God's beautiful creation For the poem (published online): My recovery from cancer Medium: Acrylics

A Wish for the Millennium May your hair, your teeth, your facelift, your abs, and your stocks not fall. May your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count, and your mortgage interest not rise. May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your gynecologist, your cardiologist, your gastroendocrinologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber, and the IRS. May you find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere in the rush hour in less than an hour, and when you get there may you find a parking space. May Friday evening, December 31st, find you seated around the dinner table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends, ushering in the New Year. You will find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do on a New Year’s Eve. May you awaken on January 1st finding that the world has not come to an end, the lights work, the water faucets flow, and the sky has not fallen. May you go to the bank on Monday morning, January 3rd, and find your account is

in order, your money is still there, and any mistakes are in your favor. May you ponder on January 4th: How did this ultramodern civilization of ours manage to get itself traumatized by a possible slip ... of a blip ... on a chip ... made out of sand? May you have the strength to go through a year of presidential campaigning and may some of the promises made, be kept. May you believe at least half of what the candidates propose, and may those elected fulfill at least half of what they promise, and the miracle of reducing taxes and balancing budgets, happen. May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, and may your checkbook and your budget balance, and may they include generous amounts for charity. May you remember to say “I love you” at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent, but NOT to your secretary, your nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser, or your tennis instructor. May we live as intended, in a world at peace and the awareness of the beauty in every sunset, every flower, every baby’s smile, and every wonderful, astonishing miraculous beat of our hearts. May what you see in the mirror, delight you, and what others see in you, delight them.

B.J. Bryan (Bonnie) - Age: 74 “A Wish for the Millennium” written Jan. 1, 2000 Background: When working at the State Bar of California, Los Angeles office, I wrote articles for the Bar News regarding genealogy called Cradle, Altar, Tomb. When living in Douglas City I used to write articles for the Weaverville newspaper. Previous publications: My first book published, Oceans of Love, A Collection of World War I Letters. My second book has been submitted but not yet published. It is the true story of one of our troopships involved in a collision with a French aircraft carrier while in convoy. We lost 68 young men; the French lost 4. Entitled The Ship That Never Was.

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PARADISE POST • A rts & L etters • Thursday, July 30, 2009

Joy Joy danced with her sisters beneath the cloudless sky, arms reaching toward the sky, her feet tapping rhythmically. Hooped earrings swayed and bracelets jingled as they moved, free as spirits. It was the same every day and even long into the nights, although the sisters never noticed the darkness that matched their soft-as-cotton skin. As so often happens with sisters, their personalities diverged, for although they were conceived by the same Creator, each was constructed individually. One day, Joy lowered her arms and told them, “I’m going away to dance to the beat of a distant drummer.” The others reached for the sky and their feet lifted and pranced. They knew that Joy was the adventurous one and they danced on, in farewell. “Be careful,” they warned, “that the Creator doesn’t see you.” Joy lowered quietly to the plush, dark green path and tiptoed until she found the source of the cool syncopation she had often heard in the background— nine musicians, their skin white as teeth. Never had she seen such tuxedoes, as these figures cavorted between a clamshell backdrop and a blooming dogwood. And their music! Joy danced and swirled, entwining with the eighth and quarter notes bouncing from the walls. It was a jazz attack, as the horns, bass, flute and harp joined the swelling riffs from the baby-grand’s keyboard, its ivories teased and cajoled by a turquoise-tailed guy, a real hep cat. Cat! Joy pressed against the wall attempting to become invisible as an enormous grey cat—with real fur!—peered with huge green

eyes through the glass door. “Meow,” it hollered with huge teeth. “There you are, Vel!” Joy pressed even tighter into the wall. The Creator! Her heart pounded; her knees quivered. She nearly gasped aloud as the clock reported bong, bong, bong, bong, bong, bong. The bespectacled Creator, eyes blue beneath hair the color of moonlight, opened the screen door, placed a bowl in front of the monster, and then returned inside, sliding the door shut and shuffling into the distance. Joy exhaled. Slowly her feet began to tap to the jazz. How she loved these vibes from these cats! Who could believe they had such chops? Her sisters sure weren’t going to believe it. Joy’s stomach growled. She eyed a large bowl filled with apples, halfway up to the ceiling. I’ll grab this grapevine. Joy shimmied past two placid goldfish swishing in a deep bowl. She grabbed the shiniest of the red fruit and munched its juiciness while admiring the vast blue collection of vases, jars, and teapots. Joy descended the grapevine until her bare feet touched the green path. Tossing the ropey strand behind her she yawned. Think I’ll rest, here, in Grandma’s Flower Garden. Settling between the polygon patches of pink and green, Joy stretched her long limbs and closed her eyes. I wonder if my sisters are thinking about me. Beneath the glowing sun, her sisters danced and lived their dreams, the Creator stitched brave new worlds, and Vel licked her lips.

Laura Dvorak Inspiration: Dedicated to my mother, Ann McAlister of Magalia, an avid creator of fine quilts and other fabric artwork. Medium: Flash fiction

Arts and Letters 2009  

Collection of Ridge Artists and Writers works.

Arts and Letters 2009  

Collection of Ridge Artists and Writers works.

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