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Photo By Gwen Dubeau

The Butterfly Effect, originates from the idea that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas. This means the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part.

Introduction: by Niamh Clune Plum Tree Books invited our members to participate in a creative project, using the analogy of The Butterfly Effect. Photographers, poets, writers and artists submitted varied interpretations of this theme. We did not censor

A small decision that marked a wrong turn in your life or in the life of someone else; A small act of kindness that made a huge difference to you or to somebody else; An act of environmental vandalism that contributes to climate change;

individual expression, as based on our group discussion, we decided it is the duty of art to shock as well as inspire. We hope you will enjoy this collection... The Prompt: The Butterfly Effect is: A small action that leads to a devastating event or its opposite; A small decision that changed your life for good or ill; Saying a small thing that ended or began a relationship;

A small act of environmental consideration that makes a difference to the whole.

My treasure by Alan Hopkins Illustrated by Nicole Babcock

Artist Statement for “My Treasure” To me, the poem is about the private feelings of love we all experience at some time. But for a child, experiencing them for the first time, they may not know what to do with them. This poem is about a small feeling that grows into something massive. I chose to illustrate this poem as a quilt to represent a child’s most private place - their own bed. In the book I laid the images out in such a way to direct the viewer to the idea of love and connection, as seen in the elephants and the dolphins. And as the experience of self expression and transformation, as seen in the peacock and the butterfly. Nicole Smith

I had a treasure, Far smaller than a seed, So I hid it in my heart, There to keep it safely Deep inside of me.

Yet deep within my heart it sprouted roots, That delved And delved And delved And delved,

Far beneath the ground, Past soil, rock and metal, Rivers, caverns, subterranean, Deep below the ocean floor, Through lava filled volcanic faults, Until they pierced the mantle of the Earth, Down into its fiery core.

But by then the treasure that I’d had, Inspired by the warmth of life that rose like fire deep within me, Had burst forth up through the ground in living shoots of vibrant green, Joyously, to meet days in praise of rain or sunlight,

Now it came out from my heart as living, leafy vines, That stretched And stretched And stretched And stretched,

Far and wide across the world, Over meadows, fields,

and grasslands,

Through cities, forests, and deep ravines,

to lakes, swamps, and coast lines,

Up valleys, glacial rivers onto mountain tops,

Until they met themselves at the ends of the Earth,

and burst with joy into flower.

At last transformed by sunlit love from high above, My living vine of life ascended beyond the summits of the Earth,

Where it grew And grew And grew And grew, Up through the atmosphere

Past clouds,

high up in the sky, Past planets of rock, gas and Through conflagrations of moons, meteors, and comets orbiting the sun, Beyond the life-giving Oort clouds surrounding the solar system, Until it reached the stars.

And there bore fruit amid the constellations. No longer could I contain the treasure that I’d held within my heart, And it has since vanished from nature all around me, But yet it has not left, For I’ve sensed its presence in and all around me,

I’ve seen it in the glistening dew drops of the mountain fire flower, I’ve seen it dancing in the colors of sudden rainbows in the sky, I’ve seen it scintillating in the heavens amid the stars,

I’ve seen it playfully hiding in the face of my beloved,

And, I’m certain I’ve seen it in you.

If I were a Butterfly by Dr. Niamh Clune Photo by Sarah Chisholm

Nineteenth-century industrial waste management systems and throwaway societies bequeath nothing to the future. Virgin resources flow one-way to destruction in landfills and incinerators. We rape the environment then waste valuable resources through inefficient production. Why? In one year, each European produces 500 kg of household waste. This is the visible side of general consumption. The hidden side proves even more

sinister. Try 3,500 kg of industrial waste and the use of 50,000 kg of natural resources to materialise that 500kg that we eventually bin. That 5gram gold ring worn by you and me means the extraction and processing of about 3,000 kg of materials. Why?

of the materials extracted for use in manufacturing durable products become waste before the product is manufactured. 80% of what we make is thrown away within six months of production when the processes begin again. Why?

Let's look at this another way: For every 1 rubbish bin of waste we put on the local curb for disposal, an equivalent of 71 bins of waste is created by mining, agriculture, logging and energy production (often amidst destruction to local communities). This is what it takes to convert virgin materials into finished products and packaging. About 94% of fossil fuels - another huge, hidden production cost.

Does this make economic or environmental sense when Climate Change is no longer a threat but a reality? The world cannot afford to continue making the same products over again; thereby, consuming the world's natural resources and in the process, generating yet more harmful CO2's through the burning

Around the world, agricultural land is losing organic matter. Soil is disappearing. 60 70% of all materials disposed of to landfill or incineration is organic. These millions of tons that go to landfill or incineration could be composted in anaerobic systems and resold for different uses to farmers or to the public or used to replenish soil where it has been lost. A huge percentage of what we treat as rubbish could flow back through society and generate income. Sustainable waste management is more than trucking operations. And it needs the involvement of all actors in the

production and consumption chain: government, consumers, and producers must take responsibility. Waste is a design problem. It need not exist. It does not exist in nature. If I am a butterfly, encouraging other butterflies, in other words, those of us capable of small actions that, when executed with vision and cohesion make a huge impact. This is how I would like to flutter about the environment... I would fly to my local Resource Recovery Park. It is a place where waste is brought and made into new value-added products on the same site. Doesn't that make sense

to cut down on the cost of transportation and traffic volume? The principle behind my Resource Recovery Park is to bring everything that can be recycled back into nature or back into the marketplace to this one, alchemical site. In this place, materials are supersorted. Super-sorting means materials retain their virgin value. They can then be made into new, value-added products, which are sold back to the public. A retail unit fulfilling this purpose is also located within the vicinity. It's a great place to flutter-by...lots of bargains, lots of creative things made with the waste uniquely produced by that particular community with design in mind to serve specific, local needs. Small community industries also thrive in my flutter-by park. People's garden waste is chipped or composted and sold back as mulch and compost. The public witnesses waste going in and new products coming out. They become educated as to the value of the things they throw away. Rather than focussing on how we get rid of waste, we focus on diverting all reusable materials away from landfill or incineration. We shift collective opinion away from thinking of waste as rubbish to be buried or burned. Waste is a valuable resource that generates wealth and creates new, eco jobs.

My Resource Recovery Park is a twenty-first century solution to a nineteenth-century problem. In my park, wealth-fromwaste industries and small businesses co-locate. The co-location of such industries is important, as this generates the "Local Multiplier Effect," such as in a "Mall" or waste exchange in which businesses of like-kind cluster together and provide a competitive, yet supportive environment. One business feeds another, so to speak, by matching wastes from one company to the resource needs of another. The park develops organically; it becomes an innovative, supportive, and fertile ground for new ideas on how to expand reuse, recycling and composting in an area. This method of making new value-added products from waste on the same recycling site does not rely on high-tech methods designed to eliminate waste, as more often than not, these systems generate yet more waste (such as toxic ash produced by incinerators) and create further environmental problems. The green industry, in particular recycling, represents the fourth largest economic power in the world, and it is the most rapidly growing. Resource recovery creates jobs. In the U.S. reuse and recycling

industries support more than 56,000 establishments, employ over 1.1 million people, and generate annual revenues of 236 billion dollars. Sorting and processing recyclables sustains five to ten times more jobs than land-filling or incineration. The price of recycled materials has tripled recently and continues to rise dramatically. This is a gold mine on our back doors, and we've ignored it. Waste is a new resource. We own it; we have bought it in the supermarket. We can get the value of it only when we put it back into local communities rather than shipping it to far-flung destinations for reprocessing generating yet more transport and environmental costs (all hidden and subsidised by governments). Resource Recovery Parks place emphasis on a new, indigenous industry. We not only recover resources, we recover people. This is the Butterfly Effect: Small actions locally that have an impact globally. Profits from waste generated by local, not-for-profit projects flow back into communities and, in turn, fund necessary local development programmes such as youth, elderly, and social inclusion. It is now highly possible to divert 90% away from landfill or incineration. The last 10% is the most difficult. As a butterfly, I have done

much research on the subject (Butterflies are good at this). My Resource Recovery park would; therefore, also house an MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment Plant). In other words, at the end of the recycling, reuse, repair, and new manufacturing chain, anything that cannot be recycled back into nature or back into the market place is put through an MBT. This end-user facility is a low-tech operating system. It removes all putrescibles or organics, so that biological breakdown processes do not occur. The highly reactive substances are also removed so that the final residuals are rendered inert. These materials are then Clean-Filled or stored in sites where there are no green house gas emissions and no leaching of toxins into the ground. We already have solutions. If we stop mining virgin materials, reusing those we already have and keep them flowing through society, a huge percentage of CO2 emissions would instantly be eradicated. What remains obvious is that the Will of government is not focussed on making such strategies a reality. Governments are more concerned with their own existence; they fail us universally. In a recent study conducted by leading scientists the world over, an attempt was made to estimate the

work nature does for us in terms of how much it would cost if we had to pay her for pollination or pest control; if we had to pay trees for holding back thousands of tons of water and preventing floods; or pay trees for absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The cost would be approximately 35 trillion dollars per year. That figure is twice the world's annual generated wealth. The job that nature does for us proves inestimable. Once these ecosystems fail, we also fail. The Age of Aquarius is the age of brotherhood. It is the age of developing a right relationship with each other and with the environment and with all the species that are part of the eco-system. This is our spiritual challenge; it is intensely practical. I might be a butterfly, but in my small way, I can effect change.

Photo by: Dany Fischer

Mother Nature's Curse

Hurricane: A Butterfly Effect

by Niamh Clune

By Niamh Clune

Trembling rain shall pour its wrath on dominion's ill begotten sloth I take my last I turn away and curse the greed that brought this day ...

Blow hurricane do your worst rent the world asunder. Unravel lawns mowed, organised in paltry attempt at control. Tear roofs from perching places; cast aside flickers of hope in one breath of destruction. Leave only flashlights to build the world anew.

The Butterfly Effect by JB Johnston Photo by: barry


Many years ago I volunteered in a refuge for women and children suffering from domestic abuse. Many women came to us battered and bruised both physically and emotionally and lots of love and understanding was always freely given to them. They often needed someone to sit for many hours and listen to them describe the horrors of their lives. Sometimes they just wanted someone to sit beside them and say nothing. Often the presence of a non-threatening person was comfort enough. Others reached out for a hug. This was a form of physical contact that was not going to end with bruises or cuts. During the most difficult transition of their lives they felt the heavy burden of shame about the world they had come from and felt that they could not share this world or the one they had arrived at with those closest to them.

They hung in a type of limbo, unsure of who to trust or where to go to next. The future lay before them full of a new type of fear. Fear of the unknown often made worse by the spectre of their abuser, hanging in the shadows, willing them to fail and often re-igniting the fear that lurked inside them, threatening to rise to the surface and paralyse them. During this time of my life, helping these women was both challenging and so rewarding. One woman I was asked to support was having a particularly bad day coping. I had been asked to offer some moral support. The woman and I went to a local café for to intrude upon whatever demons she was fighting. This was heartache she needed to come through in order to put it behind her and move on. After a short while, when the tears found their way out of her, she spoke of the despair she felt at her situation. She could see no way out and felt that every day the battle to put her past behind her was only met with constant reminders and taunts from the man she had spent many years trying to escape. She had reached a point of desperation and could not see how her life was ever going to get any better. I smiled and squeezed her hand tighter and told her this. ‘We spend many years trudging through life, desperately trying to escape our

something to eat. She was worn out and close to tears. For the longest time she sat silently stirring her coffee until the spoon almost dissolved in it. She stared into the coffee cup as though willing it to provide her with some answers. She eventually looked up at me and smiled. Her eyes, which truly are the windows to the soul, gave away how she was really feeling as tears spilled from them. I reached across the table and took her hand. I did not speak; Instead I waited patiently for her to find the words she needed. It was not my place at this fragile moment unhappiness. We go on so long pretending to be or thinking we are something we are not or we may not be what we dream of. We put on a facade until one day we want to break away from the life that has become a prison to us and become the person we were meant to be.’ She told me she thought she understood what I was saying and asked me to explain it again to her. I told her to think about a caterpillar that spends each day thinking that she will be little more than a moth at the end of her journey and that this isn’t who she wants to be. So, she eats and eats, fuelling her body for the long and arduous journey that lies ahead, even though she knows the outcome may not be one she

wants, but hoping for a better one. However, unexpectedly, she turns into the beautiful butterfly she has always known she was deep inside. She spreads her wings and flies into a new and exciting life. The woman smiled and told me that was a beautiful way to look at life but she was unsure she would ever become a butterfly. She didn’t have the strength. I assured her she would. A few weeks later when I was at the refuge helping out, a familiar voice called out my name. It was the same woman. Everything about her appearance spoke of a different woman to me. She threw her arms around me and thanked me. She explained that the words I had spoken to her that day had remained with her for a long time and she had decided that it was about time she took responsibility for her future. She would become that beautiful butterfly she knew she could be and she knew it would take time but wasn’t impossible. From behind her back she produced a beautiful picture she had created using calligraphy pens and this is what it said, ‘I live each day as a moth but someday I will emerge as a beautiful butterfly.’ She told me the picture was for me as a thank you. The words I had spoken had, all those previous weeks, affected her and prompted her to expect more from life and

move forward. The future she had been so afraid to embrace suddenly seemed attractive to her and from those words she had found strength rather than deciding to accept the life she felt she had no choice but to be in. I never saw the woman again, but I still have the beautiful picture she gave me as a reminder that words are powerful. Words can be used to hurt or they can be spoken out of love. The lesson learned for me is that words can create change. I am proud of this very special butterfly effect.

world tour By Wayne Tolbert

from the wings of the butterfly i heard a butterfly in china another in Vietnam where a golden butterfly flapped it’s wings as it made its way back home the color of the butterfly peels from the morning sky now, listen to the color of the butterfly when it flies Butterfly Song by Wayne Tolbert

vibrant colors freely flow easing from the silken wings and into morning they softly go the color of a morning song repaints gliding butterfly wings as morning, with the butterfly moves the air, paints the sky‌and sings

Butterflies are Free” So are we. .By Lorane Leavy Photo by:

Jennifer Williams

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life – in my case, one lived in childish shabby gentility – words come along and interrupt and there is the birth of a . . . well, given the setting and the circumstances, a fairy tale. I believe/ed in magic; that fairy tales did/do come true. For seeing is believing. (Indeed, that statement – as pretext - is my reality, my ‘way of being in the world.’) I became/am living, visible proof because I found lasting, ongoing good in the one others called/call “you”. The words: “WHAT IF I’M NOT ME?”, had a relentless hold on my life. They made me doubt, question, experience fear, question ‘reality’ – as I knew it – wonder what it would be like to know success, happiness unbridled, failure, rejection – an olio of potentials that could not be contained – then or now. “What if I’m not me?” Who makes the call if I’m not? Can I return to being me after being someone else for a while? Have I done so already? Then, smothering under a blanket of guilt, I shook, as animals do to rid fur of unwanted, excess water.

Once ‘dry’ enough, I apologized to my Creator, asked forgiveness, ‘willed’ that demons ‘be gone’ and steadied my course as five or six year-old female child, forging ahead in this experience called life. But ‘ahead’ didn’t seem to be on my map. At least I wasn’t getting there. Rather, I took every opportunity to investigate and interpret “the words” which had become/continues to be my director. So, lasting, ongoing good actually had its beginning on an extraordinary day, while I was shabbily gentle, receptive to, if not in pursuit of a fairy tale. Beginnings are often unhappy times. I’ve come to realize that in fact, they must be so if they are to lead to something better; bring about change that shuns an inferior past. As a dissatisfied, wilting, cherub, ‘little miss poutiness extraordinaire’, I was more than ready to stop maintaining this fiction of graceful, obedient social behaviour befitting my station in life. And what ho! Dawns the light – disguised as “the words”. This beginning-born-of-unhappiness Art-Work by Maggie Thomas Topping was hackneyed and it had to be so. Steeped as I was in a nubile form of arrogance, an unhappy beginning was necessary to fulfil the requirements of change. I had been looking around – more often – at my environs and thinking, ‘is this it?’ These simple words, “What if I’m not me?” caused the tiny balls within the lock to cascade until all was open. I would no longer be doomed to be ‘just’ me. Rather, the cast of ‘those’ who would come to be called “you” was endless. Without relinquishing an iota of familial, legal, christened identity, I would simultaneously assume the roles of each character waiting in the wings of the greatest stories ever told. The costumes – a perfect fit; the talents – already honed to perfection; the casting – brilliant.

I bless that unhappy day in that ordinary life, interrupted by a seemingly hackneyed phrase because in the realm of the apocryphal, it was/is the relish for people of thunder and lightning with a distaste for the humdrum. In the world of theatre, of ‘being someone else’, it is a compelling force that sets particular human beings apart for life. They are said to be indifferent

because they can so easily puncture pretence and bombast. They are said to be passionate performers because they can portray these same unpleasant qualities. But this seeming indifference is a protective coloring – much like a costume – of a temperament whose secret, innermost recesses contain a deep reservoir of emotion. Thus, the contradiction is resolved. Absent this gift, this ability to be in the world as a duality, one personage of which is always at the ready on a variety of ‘photo identifications’; the other telling a myriad of otherwise untold tales, using that universal ‘equity card’ without which coveted roles are denied, the curtain never goes up. The magic, the fairy tales, the true ‘happily-ever-afters’ – all happen with the constancy and regularity of a perfectly contrived world of GOOD. They happen because once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, words are not only permitted but invited to interrupt. The sad ending becomes a ‘sad’ beginning – over and over and over again.

On Wing and Prayer by Niamh Clune

like me before the colour purple juiced, burst, dripped into my sorrowing heart cold, grey

and infused in me a quiet faith.

metal sleeps silent, unflinching, uncaring, unreflective of tree, bud or landscape; left abandoned, unwanted, unproductive

Photo by Barry Deeming

Eternal journey by Janice kelly

etching you the purest words in pen and ink somewhere there flutters an eternal journey waiting for the butterfly spinning, sucking, seducing caught in the teasing of time

along the feel of touch beneath the starving probes inhaling your warmth exhaling my willingness may i paint you every star play you heaven across my piano keys

fondled in a field of dreams desires tiptoe into a world where nothing is as it seems lay me down atop the wildflowers where longing melts

and we mesh together

atop the wildflowers

i have envisioned you

lay me down

pulsating against my

where nothing is as it



round and round the

desires tiptoe into a world

sphere of eternity caught in the teasing of i encircle you...


i encircle you...

spinning, sucking, seducing

round and round the

waiting for the butterfly

sphere of eternity somewhere there flutters pulsating against my

an eternal journey

fantasies etching you the purest i have envisioned you

words in pen and ink

and we mesh together

play you heaven across my piano keys

where longing melts

may i paint you every star exhaling my willingness inhaling your warmth beneath the starving probes along the feel of touch may i...

Photo by: Barry Deeming

"In this beautiful lovely place"

where the strings never

By Janice kelly

break and melodies mingle as the moon shyly shows its face to be free to love you and fly into the distant space gathered around the dark side of the moon

the wailing broken strings of desire transform into the dark edge of dusk where the music plays in the tender moments of angel's wings waving to us in the windy sky we invent a guitar made out of heaven

perhaps the moon may sprout wings and fly away with us where each star becomes a butterfly never to be captured its powdered wings an intricate ornament of God's love oh to love you in this beautiful lovely place

my hidden place of Fields of Blue Roses


by Janice Kelly

i knew that the vines wept for a place called always wisping, whisking to a another world all its own a world that i believed in as a child the outdoors made anything possible my vivid imagination filled with endless wonder bubbling over like sweet boiling pudding with the burner set too high i would hide beneath the comforting vines of a willow tree

endless fields of blue roses rivaled the bluest infinite sky hovering over our beautiful world to gain attention transporting me to musical magical mist resounding at the end of a rainbow

surely blue roses would be waiting there for me where anything and everything was possible my playful steps skipped over vivid visions of wishes and as the dusk settled over dancing dreams i had to hurry, scurry back to the protective arms raining down over my hidden place hoping that tomorrow while visiting my world i would surely find blue roses trespassing through the garden of eden

The Butterfly Effect

As the caterpillar

by DiAnne Ebejer

to the beautiful butterfly. Freely flitting in a field of yellow in absence of all we are bound by. Unraveling the mystery of our frail existence, The erasure of one self and the creation of another, A spectral glimpse of something not yet quite a scene, A yearning for the commonplace to bloom into the sublime,

Shapes assembling - then dissolving into visions of roads we've yet to travel. What cannot be seen Will eventually define us, And we will be pleased Unraveling the mystery of our frail existence.

"Kalligraphia" by Janice kelly

ready to trace our seamless contours and curvaceous silhouettes begging to be bound into elegant lettering. Eyes; engraved onto Swiss opaline parchment, an odd silvery blankness waits for its miracle. Somewhere scribed into the fibers of time; we touched. Distinctiveness, individuality and artistic nature, fingers eloquently forming each letter of life into kaligraphia; writing bleeding in india ink

Eons of particles from life flutter over empty pages pleading to be written upon. Libraries torn down, too far for our fingertips, as the heavenly fragrance of freshly pressed paper and ink is lost to the hum of electronics‌ But; I so needed to reach You. My dribbled ink spots on the pages of our lives handwritten‌

covered, bound…stacked along dusty shelves, book after book. The weight of my words destined to collapse into the mouths of Megabytes munching away at our human remains……

Photo by Barry Deeming

Something Other Than Something More by keith watson * Quicksand ~ it must have been Lightly rubbing a pair of crusty eyelids, pulling at the telltale tracks of roundabout memories with half-shuttered eyes, I thought back - I looked inwards. I fell deep into a remembrance of last night's restless wanderings. * * * Hoisted above the bustling crowd for a panoramic view, the dreamy camera scanned the field for fond and familiar faces. Reviewing scene after scene, and frame by frame quite quickly, my spirit searched and soared for the long sought verification. Then suddenly, and by surprise, there came a face I recognized! In an instant, the focal point had zoomed in on its beloved goal. * Alone on a park bench lay the sleeping little boy. His ball glove made for a pillow, as his bat nestled between his knees. A visible innocence was clearly displayed in this crystallized vision, which seemed to insure the safety of his youthful ambition. * Knowing full well the toddler's name the wishes and dreams that once were mine... Feeling torn between two worlds, I braced for a collision ~ When out of the blue came the life that spread between us ~ * * * Ah! The boy and I - misunderstood from the start. Taken to be something more, something other than Nature intended something other than tingling sensations, wavy red locks, and freckled cheeks that easily blush when teased. *

"Metamorphosis" by Janice kelly

i know the trees shivering silently waiting for spring to offer them a second chance i saw you for the last time

a woven intricate design winter’s barren branches the icy white sun whispers a ray through frozen black

when the buds anxiously began to bask under the new golden sun funny how time

spindly webs

distorts our visions of trees

desperately determined

a metamorphosis of

to ache themselves as far as


they can reach

one tree out of a million

to embrace

that never survived

the slightest shimmer of warmth

the longest winter of my life‌

The Moon Stone Poem by L Douglas St Ours

Photo by: Aprilia Zank

I'm writing a poem off the wall a poem I happened upon as prickly and wiggly as an airborne saucer you know I had to chase but by god I caught it like a prayer in drag a pocket dust poem photographing a moment picturing a penny poem

taken by a candid camera a soft as a dove poem from a hard as ice man for whom poetry was a wild journey made gentle into a good poem lighting nothing which wasn't easy without a battery with words and stones coming to life as poems in the poet's dream the voices scream as the faces gleam the stanzas stream in a moon stone poem whose verse I took and put in my galaxy pocket where I jingled the stars like loose change.

Music Man Phoenix Bailey

Photo by Gwen Dubeau

The music man does not play my song Vicious notes that tear inside I play it myself Music of my heart Releasing it

Its sombre sound flows out red From my arm, my skin My flesh made violin In the darkness of my room No audience to applaud me No reprieve, no orchestra The sharpened blade of my bow The knife I wield Directed at me, solely The lonesome musician of shattered pieces.

Fires Fade For An Embers End by L Douglas St Ours Photo by: NaomiKong

After a four shot gulp of asteroids, meteors, gamma rays and comets the sky had to go and unzip its fly and piss right through a winters cloud just as I stared out my window at a haywire Currier and Ives fuzzed by the winsomely wicked

snowflakes falling in sad and silent streams laying yolkless alabaster eggs. It was the seventies a hard time to create with those bills to be paid monthly a wife to hold faithfully a baby to raise responsibly an auto to drive repeatedly a wage to be earned weekly. Art like a ghost had disappeared though I could still sense it with every thought, see it in every face, feel it in every room, an empty feeling like an ache in the gut, a lump in the throat when you miss so much the mixed up muse who took the easy exit to a suburban charmer, a neat place to set a table, make the bed dish wash the heart and spin dry the head fogging the distinction

between a vague memory and the vivid dream. In that dream I found myself a pathetic parrot perched on the peg leg of eye patch Pete the pirate trolling among the tube addicted, pot bellied, hair curlered sliced bread suburbanites who like me lounged upon mowed, manicured, chem sprayed, weed whacked, raked, bagged, gazeboed, patioed, and shooed kids off their cracker box lawns surrounding their cigar box houses. I was tread milling ever faster a breathless clog, Fires Fade a hopeless comer on a fading assembly line figuring I was lucky to happen upon a wading pool only to discover a cast of thousands gossiping under the sun, fattening up on bologna wraps and cherry cokes

as they lathered what looked like shortening on the folded layers of pale and purple skin. In the fifties I learned that if it was Mattel it had to be swell and never questioned that I'd be strong to the finish when I ate my spinach like Popeye the sailorman, and for a dime I bought a science fiction comic predicting by 1982 there'd be robots cleaning houses, androids toiling in factories and people steering rockets instead of cars to crystal elevators rising to immaculate terraces sealed under translucent domes. Then the sixties crashed their lawn chair party and I was graduating from malt liquor to rum rounding the bend without any plan other than to cut class, bum smokes, eat junk, skip school, shack up, hit the road, dodge the draft, and when in the mood fight the man, hang ups were out

getting high was in like a raisin that was once a grape wisdom became nothing in the lightness of escape. And there I was trying to forget just where I was when they launched their lukewarm lectures ridiculous rules and laughable law leaving me years later to stare out the window at the ever deepening snow and as the fires faded for an embers end my creativity became a flint on the verge of a spark.

Huntsville. Hipster, And Hope by L Douglas St Ours Photo by: Jamie B Musings --

Six years thinking I was in Seattle selling cars off a lot in Spokane moving from there to Memphis hustling nothing but hounddog chow as far as Huntsville, Hipster, and Hope.

And in the retelling he rubbed the forehead on a face in a fight between a smile and a smirk, while watching the kids in their kids glued to the tube like little buddhas on their bellies in the days of wine and roses, and duck and cover, Heckle and Jeckle, cowboys and indians, Mickey and Willie, Amos and Andy, Tarzan and Jane, and Adlai and Ike flat, gray, and polite on a fuzzy screen in black and white.

Pretty You Pity Me by L Douglas St Ours

Photo by: Alex M. Bustillo

Pretty you pity me the big macho closet coward riding my cobwebbed future into your attic dust past your screed to heaven my rant from hell words that melt cape fear candles held in the palms of your dove soft hands for which I gloated in gluttonous gladness delightfully devouring bite size pieces of you enriched not from the much we had but rather from the little we'd need dancing down to the dark dire dawns

your mad love blew and swelled my balloon till my mad hate shot my head full of holes my ravenous grievance your innate inconvenience all over the wrongs of a man for which a beauty aspired harboring a heart on the hunt in her killing self quest for a home in no fixed place most times in the memories of our best times on the road off the shadowy backwaters done in by derelict destinations teetotaling towns high yelling character off viral villages crowned in Kodak color for you wild and willing wench woman callous cards corrupted your karma on an ice meadow mirroring our despairing cellar sky trespassers hue and cry waning and weathering a whining wounded wind wielding a wicked whip he deserved nothing in a cruel world unfair learning when it came to lovers he was pickier than a field hand.

The Definition of Friendship by DeAnne Townes Jnr.

~ This Is Dedicated To My Dear Friend:Ms. Maria {Toni} Torres In Honor and Memory of Her Precious Son: Moses Torres-Walker Born: 18 de Enero 1982-----Left Us: 4 de Enero 2006


Š Definition of Friendship

Is No Longer Bonds of Love for Life It’s Now the Bullet That Took This Precious Ones Life A son so bright, a son so strong Can no longer shine For the darkness of this black storm A life so precious, so proud and so loved

Was suddenly cut short Shaken and destroyed A life full of energy Full of future, full of magnificence Got cut sadly short By someone so loved A life shared by the person Who took it away A trust shattered, tattered and burned Between friends The others still living And The precious one gone A son so bright A life so precious and loved Sadly cut short By his home boys he loved The definition of friendship Are no longer bonds of love for life It’s now the bullet That took the precious one’s life

©It’s not for me, to realize the Validity of a Message But to be a witness to the Fact This Message Brings... This Is My Story

by DeAnne Townes Jnr. Art by DeAnne Townes Jnr.

The silhouette on my cheek from the tears I’ve cried My mind hurts, my soul aches, my spirits abandoned The echoes of my screams at the top of my voice The dark and lonely sadness That I’ve tried But failed to keep at bay Has taken me over My heart beats with the rhythm of

My Native American

Is so deafening

ancestor’s tribal music

That it drowns out everything external

Apache, Navajo, Cherokee A knife The spirits of the ones before me

My weapon of choice in this

But even they cannot help

battle I’m fighting

me now The world will be a better I envision myself


Dancing and chanting under the moon

Less of a burden

While the dark pain inside

And I shall be set free


From the price of the bounty

Rips through my chest

set upon me from

Exposing itself to the oxygen I



That only intensified as each

Cutting off my air

year went by

I scream at the top of my

The burden of that bounty


Weighing so heavily on my

For some possible relief


To this overwhelming noise

That my lungs have collapsed

Within my quiet place, within

And my breath has been

my soul


But this noise so deep inside

I see no alternative but to close my eyes Not for a moment, but for eternity I’ll say good-bye now to all whom I’ve loved Because for after today Heaven will not have me I’m sure My mark in this life I’m making it with a knife And now instead of tears being shed will be blood... {I’m very happy to tell you that it’s been some time since I’ve had the crisis in my life fright that led to the writing of this poem. I only publish it now to continue in my strength and to be a window into a place that can become better and more positive. I can truly see where I’ve come from and where I am now. I’m truly in a really good place! }

The Choice of a Coat by Susie Bertie

This is no poetic rambling, or tangled painting of words. This is merely a story ... and I struggled with the sharing of this. Some writing comes easy for me ; the conveying of thought & emotion of some enchanted, possessed journey of the heart & soul - things full of cosmic images & poignant leaps of faith ... yet telling a tale so personal that bleeds & is so vastly different comes with difficulty‌ 30 years ago this past December, my first husband Chuck & I were hit by a drunk driver. Newly married, living away from home in a big city - 21 and a half years young. We had been at a work Christmas party, and strangely didn't have anything to drink that night. This was slightly unusual for

us, but Chuck had a couple beers earlier that day at a football game and I had to work very, very early the next morning. The hosts made jest by pouring milk into wine glasses. It was rather hilarious. Both our memories shut down that night, as we stood on our friends front porch in a light, freezing drizzle discussing ( mildly arguing ) where we parked the car...the next thing I knew, I was lying down in a too bright, cold space with lots of hustle & worry in the air. Chuck had sustained a severe head injury and was transported to another hospital. My right femur was completely shattered, as I had been thrown thru the windshield then ricocheted back into the car. I was not wearing a seat belt - it didn't work actually, but I had on this thick, heavy fur coat of my mom's. I seldom wore this coat, it was outdated, odd and incredibly heavy. For some reason, I chose to. The coat saved my life: a bulky, thick neck-totoe furry shield. Certain moments of that time 30 years ago still seem like yesterday; the look on the faces of my mom & dad as they entered the room, the sudden awakening to pain, the gentle & remarkable touch from all the caregivers, the HUGE amount of love that poured forth from Chuck's family ... particularly his sisters, the immediate anger &

shock from our friends that then morphed into this ribald humor & vigilance. And I so remember lying in that bed & watching the sparkly snow at night and the surrender of all control to something more, something bigger. Some serendipitous things later surfaced ... that there was an ambulance a block away that saw the accident happen, that in a big major-metro area, they took us to a hospital where a dear doctor/friend happened to be the one on call & he recognized us immediately, and of course, the wearing of the big fur coat. Ultimately, I would have hypnosis to recall & deal with the trauma from that night in a more healthy, more positive fashion and ultimately ... I would come to still feel the vibrations of that event 30 years later in oh so many ways . Life is amazing, and sometimes the balls are fun & easy to catch and there is blue sky all around ... and sometimes they are fast & furious and we might not catch them at all. Sometimes we grab & hold on fast and the game continues until the next bobble or bump. And sometimes we just have to let go, hold our arms wide & hope. Obviously, there are many layers of meaning & story here ... like the drinking & driving thing. But there is also so much more.

Hold fast to those stories that come your way... Listen, laugh & love with all your heart.

“A Beautiful Sadness� By Patricia Tilton Photo by: Gwen Dubeau

We were on the way to the airport to greet our grandson, Greg. This was not the Christmas homecoming we had envisioned. Red lights flashed in front and behind of our car. We were riding in a motorcade of cars escorted by the fire department onto the tarmac of Port Columbus International Airport. In the distance I watched an aircraft approach the gate. We stopped and waited, then followed the flashing lights out to the aircraft. We stepped out of cars. The air was bitter for an early December night. It caught my breath, as did the scene unfolding before me.

The pilot stopped the aircraft short of the jet port and the passengers remained on board. The lights dimmed and I observed passengers peering out their windows, but not wanting to intrude. The door swung open beneath the belly of the Boeing 707. Baggage handlers positioned a casket on a large conveyor belt. A Sergeant disembarked the aircraft and saluted, while a group of young men and women dressed in uniform stepped out of a van. They slipped into formation and marched with precision towards the aircraft. They draped the casket with an American flag. Amidst the roar of passing aircraft, I heard sobbing around me. I felt the linking of arms to mine. Greg’s parents and brothers weren’t with us as they were still at Ft. Riley attending a service. So our large family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and a father-in-law, gathered there to receive Greg -- a boy soldier 20 years old. We huddled together filled with numbing grief and heartache. The reality that Greg had made his final journey home sliced through me like the cold north wind. Tears streamed down my cheeks. We were in disbelief. Words tumbled in my mind. Suicide…Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome…Flashbacks…Casualty of War. Our family was broken and I wondered how we would heal. I wondered about his 11-year-old brother, who idolized Greg. In my grief, I glanced up and saw the crowded terminal windows. Hundreds of people stood there holding their hands over the hearts. They silently watched as the Honor Guard carried the flag-draped casket across the tarmac to the coach. It took my breath away. In that moment, I felt wrapped in their gentle grace. They didn’t know Greg or our family, but in their incredible compassion they were honoring his service and our deep loss. It was a beautiful moment of sadness.

Imprint by Beverley Ann Hoyles Photo by:

Jamet Beasley

Our youngest, a delightful, vibrant, mite of a child known to us as 'Pooh' or 'Half Pint', Joanne; a small thing that caused such large love in our family. It was the beginning of her first year at school. I heard the usual rustle of papers. The delight in her eyes said this was different. "Look mommy this is for you!" Bending down eye to eye.

"Happy Mother's Day!" "Thank you!" Looking at an exquisite gift I felt a combination of blissful goose bumps, and a warm cloak over my spirit. Holding my breath - her heart, her eyes, her voice, her petite smooth hands clasped the nape of my neck with such a little-big hug. With a skip of a heartbeat I felt such immense love for my baby girl. Her sweet little cheeks were kindly receiving my soft kisses, what a deep love I felt at that special moment! My heavenly father entrusted the care of this little one to me. A springtime of wondrous conversation ensued before Joanne settled into play time. Instinctively I knew I held something precious. Through blinding tears I looked down once again at the single footprint. Obviously the teacher had inked Joanne's foot and helped Joanne to place her foot onto this card stock. An inner assurance compelled me to think this will mean something more later. Looking around the room. "Where to put this!" "Ahh her baby Album." Safely tucked away and almost forgotten except to show friends all my children's treasures maybe once a year.

Busy living my life, oft times I could see the footprint in my dreams.

The last child left home; more silence, just quiet enough to hear the whisper, "write your story". More time passed. Out of the blue with no forethought I went to the office, copied the footprint, reversed it, and placed the two foot prints side by side.

Now a pair. Looking at the set of foot prints I remembered what my mother told me many years previous, "You know, You were born Feet First." That's it- that will be a part of my book. Never resting, time is flying, just maybe I'm ready to Tell My Story. In retrospect I see a simple gesture, an astronomical moment for my child Joanne. For me as a mom, something tangible to propel my future, catalyst to gaining strength to tell my story; to expose truth. Yes "We can carve our epitaph In the lives of our children Far more than on the Stone of our death!" 1 However what about the imprint a child makes in our lives. But who would have imagined that the child, my child, would be the pivotal one, the pinnacle and surreal moment to healing? Poignant moment to freedom. Nervousness seemed to dissolve, holding the foot print once again, and all that which paralyzes action. The sequence of events, the threads that lead to courage to expose my personal life to the world.

The opportunity to create awareness. I did not imagine this future was possible. This journey of mine helped me realize, abuse is unnatural. We are created for freedom and a strong self-esteem, a hope and a future. The icing on the cake, a set of Joanne's feet is on every single page of my published book Feet First.

The Butterfly Effect Mourned by Georgia Saunders

Beat your wings all you like, the Effect is warped, interrupted, abducted, aborted. One beat of a velvet wing should travel through space send wind to its destiny across the world but no - not while prisoners are taken American power drinks blood Halliburton does it all military contracting disaster survival bombing destruction and then rebuilding Fracking, Fucking, Frigging the home you know. Time to die, my pretty butterfly.

Conglomerates and convoluted confusions of subsidiary twists no one is responsible for your butterfly wings’ impotence in tangled threads of power tearing at the guts of the home you once knew. Time to die, my pretty butterfly.

A Hug By Harry Romney

Pass it on!

Ode to Butterfly by Niamh Clune

Art By Marta Pelrine-Bacon Am I your friend? I ask of you considering the work you do You flutter-by alight in flower breeze is yours, space, your bower

such as is on gentle wing of lace and fine imagining the work you do unseen by most feeds the world obeys our host extracting pollen shared with you in gracious drops of flower dew To pass along and fertilize give life to other flutter-bys such as I am though here sit I bunny loving butterfly Photo by Dany Fischer

Pink Winged by Niamh Clune

In that daze, ablaze with sun-kissed blossom, I come And will not fail though life be done I shall alight and gather sweetest nectar bright to pass along to feed the world though task be sung out of sight.

I Disassociate by Tony Mutton

You are an empire of one A challenger of fables A maker of kings Let us make a new kingdom I disassociate from the rest From this here and now

I wish to start again To be a part of your rebirth I have known you for years We have all known you for years We have felt you We have watched you We have inhaled you We have walked over you But I feel as if We have never respected you When we felt you Our hands would grasp with greed When we watched you Our eyes would close in denial When we inhaled you We breathed in your toxic fumes When we walked on you Our feet would stomp and our heel would grind

You were Like a chattel With no rights And where does it end Daily we dishonour you Each month and year we assault you How can we violate you so when we know There is only one of you There is only one so fine There is only one so giving There is only one You – are the only one The One – who cannot be replaced You are – earth I disassociate from the rest Forgive us Let us be reborn

Love In A Grove Of Trees Or What Comes After ... by Susie Bertie

hanging yet not too much concern defines chaos outlining evenings buckled in grateful fear & mortality things will be alright if i buy her

the smooth slip of the silver needle lies between fingers dry & uncertain my 6th vain attempt of bullseyeing the vanilla thread is heavy & ringing things will be alright if i can just sew this button on a pair of jeans she wants . . things will be alright if i say the right thing, look full & compassionate pointedly earnest &

a new skirt, complement her hair hold that ancient precious memory close .... enough feed her right & she will grow strong & resilient show her the shores of the world & read her books of peter rabbit & frog & toad let her choose her clothes & she becomes confident & free define her poppy-sparrowlaughter and suddenly there is the blue-red of

needle pricked flesh ... leaving a scar ever-so-slight & insignificant slight & insignificant is there such a thing ? ever ? no one ever tells you what it's like to swim in paralyzing gratefulness thick, blue & smothering warm & murky gratefulness is an insignificant word . . it is more a mercy-steepedgrace beating & throbbing with all things .... all things alive and green & smelling of a ripe peach in sunshine . no one tells you how to love inside out & lost to the rhythm of a clock not your own no control, except to press the wound gently & steadily until ..... things are alright

Photo by: Gwen Dubeau

One Moment With One Person... by Janet Beasley Photo by: Janet Beasley

On a bright, warm, winter day in central Florida about 20 years ago, I was driving my sister, who was visiting from Michigan, to a local restaurant where we planned to share a mid morning snack. We were enjoying our casual ride and sisterly chat when she cut me off in mid-sentence. “Stop! Pull over to the side of the road!” She had spotted a bird that was unfamiliar to her and couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a new species to her life list. She was (and still is) an avid birdwatcher, an interest I did not share. To me, birds were always cool, but I never paid much attention to their peeps and tweets and squawks. She jumped out of the car before it came to a full stop, binoculars in hand, and searched the sky above a small patch of freshwater marsh. “There!” She

pointed and shout whispered, not taking her eyes off her subject. “Hand me my field guide...quick...please.” She stretched her arm behind her, blindly waving it around in search of the book, all the while mumbling to herself. “...some kind of hawk...” “...really sharp hooked beak...” “...white on the underside at the base of the tail...” The bird hovered over some reeds then dropped and plucked something up in its talons. “Look at those red legs!” She was seldom without her binoculars and field guide, but then, being a scenic nature photographer myself, I was seldom without my camera, so I knew how she operated. I reached into the back seat and retrieved the book she had brought along. “Here.” I passed the book through the open passenger-side window and shoved it toward her flailing hand. She forfeited her view through the binocs and began searching the photo samples in the field guide. After several minutes and numerous marked pages, she came to a conclusion. Her excitement was evident. “It's a snail kite!” “It’s a what?” “A snail kite! They're on the endangered list because all they eat are apple snails, and the apple snails' habitat is disappearing really fast. So there aren't many snail kites left to see anymore, and we just got to see one!” Oddly, I felt a new excitement as my thought raced, I’d never seen an endangered species “anything” in the wild. Needless to say it got my attention, but that was not all that enlightened me that day. Until then I had not watched her in the actual process of determining the identity of the birds that crossed her path. I witnessed an amazing sense of accomplishment; it was written all over her face. I watched for birds the rest of the day, pointing them out and asking her what they were and how she recognized them. And before I knew it, I was addicted to the hobby just like her. I couldn’t wait until I made my visiting trip to Michigan that summer so we could go birding. With windows down, camera in hand, and ready to see

birds in a new light, we set out for Seney Wildlife Drive. And without disappointment, another moment of rarity occurred. I had not heard an American Bittern, let alone knew what one looked like. She stopped the creeping car on the gravel drive and spoke in a whisper, “Listen.” I waited, then with distinction I heard the bittern do its famous call; oong-ka-choonk. My sister pointed with grace and I found the camouflaged creature not 5 feet from the car, standing tall in the reeds. My sister made a tremendous impact on my life with birding, especially the first time she saw that snail kite. Now we share our sightings by phone or computer, and compare our life lists. We tease one another about being jealous of each other's latest conquests, and whenever we're together, we make it a point to do some serious birding. Not only did the birds bring us closer as sisters that day, but also they helped me open up a new window of the world through my camera lens. I have been able to “pay it forward” by sharing photos of birds, and introducing others, who introduce others, who introduce others, to this great opportunity Mother Nature has to offer.

Forbidden Desire Irene Gowins-Sowells The years of passion that's been hidden inside, He look-I turn away, I look-He pretend to go Another way and hide...his feelings, A forbidden desire between two friends, A feeling so strong, a desire so deep, a passion so Seductive to engage-would be transcend. I shouldn't cross this line because if I do it's unforgiveable, But every emotion inside my soul: Desire his masculinity-This feeling is Beautiful and sooo sensual. But those forbidden flamed desires must be concealed. Though looking into my eyes they reveal...

A romance we would have to fight for and defend. A love compromised like the great "Paolo and Francesca" A heart devastated and broken like the great "Pyramus and Thisbe" maybe a little "Casablanca" Either way my heart aches for him. My soul reaches out for his...forbidden.

A Jar Meant For Butterflies by Wayne Tolbert

announcing the arrival of bright golden streaks and when i looked at you it was as if i saw you for the rain was kind to us today wetting the lips of strangers watching one another at the open bus stop dampening smiles of women who remembered some distant yesterday when they were in love with rainy days somehow it felt safe when the thunder yelled across town

very first time a little girl, scared and alone i wanted to see the rain through your eyes and capture the afternoon in a clear glass jar meant for butterflies i wanted to kiss you and tell you it would be all right while we watched the driving rain

when you smiled i knew you remembered the rainy day when we made love on a borrowed bed my nod told you my thoughts and we smiled as though the world disappeared washed away with the pouring rain today we made a new memory and held it as our own secret of rain, love and a jar meant for butterflies

The Umbrella

egg must be broken to produce the

by Tammy Lang

miracle of life. A seed must break open to sprout a plant. And what fruit in its original form can sustain life? It too must be chopped, peeled, cut, cracked and ultimately ingested in order to be useful for nutritional value. What about people? Yes, even people. I was a broken person and at different points in my life, I thought, “Is this it? Is this what my life is about? Painful, fearful, hurt, abused… broken?” God uses broken people to change the world. At some point, I decided that wasn’t going to be my story; that may have been my beginning, but it wasn’t going to be

“The mark of your ignorance is the depth

my end. I made a shift and decided

of your belief in injustice and tragedy.

to move from being broken to

What the caterpillar calls the end of the

fulfilling my divine purpose. Like

world, the Master calls the butterfly.”

the caterpillar, when I was ready, I

-Richard Bach

broke out of that dark cocoon and became the beautiful butterfly I was

Think about the things have

meant to be.

to be broken in order for them to truly perform a greater purpose. An

We are all meant to be.

My “cocoon” was a scary

disappointed or turned on me. I felt

place. I never knew anything but

completely alone in the world. I felt

broken. By the age of nineteen, I was

that even God had left me; that if He

completely destitute and knew a life

cared about me, why had He let all

of abuse at the hands of my parents,

these horrific things happen to me? I

sibling, friends, even strangers. I was

had no reason to think anything

done with this world. I had suffered

would ever be different. Enough was

abuse of every type, sexual, physical,

enough, and I didn’t see the point in

emotional, and psychological. Living

living anymore. For what, more

on my own since the age of sixteen,

abuse? I was the ultimate victim.

even after leaving the abuse at home, I ran into more of the same. I found

I decided to kill myself.

myself homeless, robbed, raped, beaten down, and literally treated

As I walked along the side of

like human garbage. My last insult to

a road, a truck pulled up. The driver

injury happened one rainy night, as I

asked if I wanted a ride.

got off the bus after work late at

Immediately, I told him, 'no' and

night, to find my roommate had

walked faster. He drove slowly and

changed the locks to our apartment. I

said, “I won’t hurt you, I just want to

found myself falsely accused,

help you.” I walked on, saying,

rejected, betrayed and homeless, yet

“NO!” He pulled up next to me,

again. It was cold. I was soaked from

stopped the truck and handed me a

the rain. I started walking, and with

red umbrella saying, “God loves

each step and each shed tear, my


thoughts kept churning. Everyone I ever loved had abused me or hurt me deeply in some way. Friends had

I couldn’t tell you what the man looked like, the color or make of

his truck. But I remember exactly

and get your attention in whatever way

how I felt. I was shaken to the core.

it takes to stop you from taking your

What I had needed so desperately, a

precious life- even sending a stranger

little human kindness, manifested

with an umbrella.”

from a complete stranger. I found a place to stay that God sent that particular man

night; not only did something in me

with a red umbrella to let me know

change, something changed in the

that even when I felt abandoned by

world. I saw hope for the first time. I

the world, God was there. He made

no longer felt forgotten.

that message known through a random act of kindness. Had that

Healing was many years

stranger just left after I refused his

away for me, but the actions of that

help the first time that would have

stranger that particular night stayed

been understandable, who would

with me and caused me to do

continue to try to help someone after

something years later that kept his

they were rejected, not once, but

random act of kindness ripple in

twice? God found me on that road

motion and still affects the world…

that night. He hand delivered me“me”, a rejected, abandoned, hopeless,

Because of his act of kindness that

broken, wounded wreck- a personal

night, fifteen years later I began

message in the form of a red

carrying umbrellas in my car to hand


them out to people I saw walking in the rain. I always tell the person,

He sent me a message that

“God loves you.” Twenty-two years

said, “Tammy, I love you. I need you to

after the umbrella ripple, I was to

know I see you, and I will come after you

give an abused friend in need a red

umbrella and the keys to my home for her and her children to live when

Like the man who gave me an

they had no other place to go. Others

umbrella, create a ripple effect by

share the umbrella story and God’s

one act of kindness, and you will

ripple continues. What I am able to

make a legacy that will change the

do for others is a blessing and true


testament to how far I’ve come. Continuing the ripple isn’t close to being finished, and I would be remiss if I didn’t say it’s not because of me, it’s because of God. Everything I have is a direct result of the goodness and grace of God leading me and giving me the strength to make it – even if it were for only one day at a time. Now I’m able to give to others. Nothing we go through is wasted. You are not forgotten.

Tammy Lang shares her journey of hope and healing wounds of childhood and adult abuse with others through her websites, advocacy work, and in her book “Damaged Goods: Things You Must Know About Healing From Abuse.” Visit for more on the book and other resources.


Thank You to: Gwen Dubeau, for gathering such wonderful photos Wayne Tolbert, for gathering poetry DiAnne Ebejer, for being there at the beginning Janet Beasley

Susie Bertie, for gathering stories

Gwen Dubeau


Dany Fisccher

Photographers: Jennifer Williams

Contributing Authors Alan Hopkins

Sarah Chisholm

Nicole Babcock

Alex M Bustillo


Aprilia Zank

Wayne Tolbert

Jamie B Musings - Barry Deeming

Lorane Leavy

Maggie Thomas Topping Janice Kelly Journey.html

Tammy Lang

DiAnne Ebejer blespoetry/

Martha Pelrine-Bacon

Keith Watson

Tony Mutton

L Douglas St Ours m/

Phoenix Bailey

Janet Beasley n-earth.html

DeAnn Townes Jnr.

J.B.Johnston Susie Bertie

Patricia Tilton

Dar Bagby n-earth.html

Beverley Ann Hoyles

Irene Gowins-Sowells s

Georgia Saunders

Harry Romney

And from me: Niamh Clune:

The Butterfly Effect  

Anthology of transformational poetry

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