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Home > John Herlihy

Recent Reviews for John Herlihy

Near and Distant Horizons (Book) - 7/3/2003 10:45:14 PM
Hello...obviously you did not receive my email...or did you? In any case I wish to aknowledge your work. I am fascinated by your mind and heart. Many Blessings, vesna

Singing Solo (Short Story) - 7/18/2015 10:51:27 AM
The soaring, transcending experience you described so vividly from your perspective of a soloist in the boy's choir was very moving. I imagine the congregation also had an uplifting experience listening to you. Yet, I understand the profound difference in being the source of the creation as it emanates from your soul, just as the words you configured into a story came from a distant time and place of innocence.

Singing Solo (Short Story) - 7/18/2015 6:43:23 AM
You write of an otherworldly experience that I'm sure that the congregation felt uplifted by. I've always found that the human voice is a powerful instrument for emotion. And, it seemed to help you to overcome your fear. I'm sure glad I wasn't forced into the Catholic Church like some of my relatives. However, I do recall being a member of a choir a time or two in school. I, too, was deathly afraid of being a soloist, but probably would have done alright except that my voice was always too weak and didn't protect well. Ron

The Evocative Power of Scent (Short Story) - 7/14/2015 4:20:37 AM
Since all senses are interconnected and part of our innate survival mechanism, more useful when we were hunters and gatherers, it is only natural that a certain scents can trigger emotions. However, in the case you relate here, I think it was more your innate empathy that triggered your emotion related to the young man, and not the scent emanating from the tomb. Once again, your way with words in your description of olfactory adventures is almost beyond comprehension, much more literary than scientific and very rich. However, there does seem to be a tendency towards repetition, that, I think, a good editing might remove and not take away the richness. While I was reading I thought of the dog with a sense of smell 20 times greater than ours. And yet they have no trouble with putrid smells that we can barely stand. I am surprised that you did not discuss perfume and its effort to disguise less desirable scents. I believe I recall that certain incense and other aromatic herbs were replaced in Egyptian tombs, probably to give the deceased pleasant aroma if the afterlife and to ward off the evil smells of death and decay. While I have no allergies to any of the no suspects, including poison ivy, I find myself highly irritated by some perfumes that women think make them attractive. One scent from childhood that I cannot stand is camphor. Because my hands are paralyzed and my torso now very unsteady, I have great difficulty holding cups and glasses to drink. Therefore, I use a straw. Even water tastes better when you can smell it as you drink it, so I miss the smell of various things that I drink with a straw. Fortunately, with help until the glass is only about one third full and I can handle it, I still drink my evening wine in a glass and am able to savor its full richness. Ron

The Evocative Power of Scent (Short Story) - 7/14/2015 1:48:11 AM
My sincere gratitude to you for dedicating this moving piece to someone who has, since childhood, been ruled by the olfactory sense. Having read "Song of the Hinge," I am not surprised you would have a keen sense of smell, and be moved by your olfactory sensation outside the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansare. You already know how Mid-Easterners have a penchant for the art of perfumery. One of your many profound statements in this article which sums up my lifelong obsession with fragrances is that they have the ability to "raise the human sensibility on high to the very threshold of a paradise ..." It is one of the ways through which I seek tranquility. I've yet to come across a perfume to capture in a bottle the intoxicating fragrance of sea roses predominant throughout the coastal areas I frequent in RI. That would be nirvana!

The Power of Taste (Short Story) - 7/12/2015 7:46:13 AM
Once again, you have written so eloquently about a subject that touches everyone but in different ways as we age and our body gives up its youthful vigor presenting challenges that we must either endure or give in to in the end. Remarkably, as I read, I was struck by your description of your brother's malady. While I've had reflux for nearly 30 years and have been taking medication for it, in the past year or so, I've had trouble swallowing some food. And then, for the past couple of months, I have been experiencing a kind of tingling on my left cheek that moves past my ear to the top of my head. I thought it was a kind of neuralgia caused by a pinched or aggravated nerve, but when I looked it up, most of what I saw were things like tic de larue, causing intense pain. This is not painful, but it is annoying. Last week I told my rehab doctors about it, but it got lost in all the other discussion about to take care of my daily health needs related to paralysis. I plan to make an appointment right away to a neurologist and my gastroenterologist to see if I can head off any growing problem. Having never smoked and avoided damaging my taste buds with burning peppers and other strong spices, I've always marveled at my sense of taste, enjoying the aroma and flavor of even the simplest of foods with relish. Lately, with a cornucopia of good food available, I've had to cut back because I've started to gain weight, making it difficult for my helpers to transfer me and uncomfortable along with other problems associated with excessive weight. For some time now, I've been forced to drink water, coffee and juice through a straw because I can no longer hold a glass or a cup to my lips. Without my nose first smelling the aroma of even, water, the taste is different, stunted in a way. Fortunately, with help from my helpers, I still sip my evening wine from a glass. When the glass is about one third full, I still pick it up with two hands and sip myself. It's a glorious experience for me every evening. As are my greatly reduced nutritious snacks. Ron

The Power of Taste (Short Story) - 7/12/2015 1:17:21 AM
This segment is a beautiful tribute to your brother. That you could find meaning from his stoicism through an affliction robbing him of life's simple but grandiose pleasures is also something for the readers to take away. The notion of transcending above the mire, endurance, and acceptance.

The Silence of Infancy (Short Story) - 7/8/2015 10:54:21 AM
An eloquently written story about the profoundness of silence inherent in infants, elicited by vivid details and description. You make a valid point of how adults capture the beatitude and tranquility of silence through discipline in the form of meditation, prayer, spiritual retreats, etc. An early riser, my favorite time of day is just before sunset because it offers a slice of silence.

Song of the Hinge (Short Story) - 7/5/2015 3:08:20 PM
Just as you could not find words adequate enough to say to Durson during a return visit to Istanbul when paying your final respect to a dying man, anything I could write in response to this piece seems inadequate. Your written words cast long shadows. I imagine your literary pieces leather-bound in a library. Your work epitomizes your goal to become “a country of one’s own”, filled with the spirit of many nations, cultures, languages and history. I can hear the wisdom emanating from the rusty hinges, testament to a writer who takes in his surroundings and becomes the eyes and ears of the reader.

Song of the Hinge (Short Story) - 7/5/2015 7:52:20 AM
Such a touching remembrance, imbued with your overflowing writing talent. Through my many years in universities I encountered many students from other countries. Unlike you, I became an expatriate in my own country by befriending these fascinating people, learning their cultures, and hearing stories of their homelands. Invariably, they invited me to visit. Fortunately, I was able to a few times during vacations, but never really left the routine of my life here in the States. However, I did keep up correspondence with several people who gradually faded into the obscurity of time and older age. At Atlanta University I briefly befriended a student from Turkey who invited me to his modest apartment for shish kebab, goat's cheese, and the taste of mother's milk. His father owned a holding company of several Turkish businesses including motorcycle manufacturing, tour boats, resorts and more I can't remember. Yet he was a very humble and kind individual with no pretense of wealth. He invited me to visit his country but I was never able to do so. Your encounter with Durson in Saudi Arabia reminds me of my visit to Karachi for four days. I stayed in the home of a student friend's brother-in-law where his wife stayed, hoping to come United States to join her husband. Talha was about my age and we hit it off immediately as though we had known each other our entire lives. I can't relate all the experiences we had those four experience packed days, but, at one point, while driving through vacation compounds of very rich Middle Easterners, he suddenly stopped his Volkswagen Beetle, excused himself, and rushed off into the dry brush by the side of the road. I thought he was taking a quick leak like I often had to do, but he came back with a handful of dry plants, excusing himself and saying that he was making a dry arrangement. That was exactly what I had done in the States. Later, when he took me to a huge market, I bought him a large brass decorated vase for him to put the dry arrangement in. Although I visited the American Consulate office and pleaded for my friend's wife to join him in United States, I was turned down. Years later, I received a call, long after my friend's wife and he were living in DeKalb, Illinois with three children. It was Talha. Still a thousand miles from each other, we picked up our conversation like we had been talking the day before. Unfortunately, much later, I received a disturbing letter from him of only the two or three I ever received. In it, in uncharacteristic broken English, he described how he feared for Pakistan because of the loss of "morality." My fear was that he had succumbed to the conservatism of age and the strict regimen of his religion. I never heard from him again although I wrote an annual letter to him and many others every year. Ron

Waiting for Elephants (Short Story) - 6/27/2015 9:12:48 AM
Thanks, Ron. As always, very interesting comments. I hope to avoid following the same route as Harry Devert, although off the beaten track, anything can happen.

Waiting for Elephants (Short Story) - 6/27/2015 8:07:46 AM
You certainly have a way with words when describing the jungle. And your fears. In spite of the stories, I believe I have less fear than you, although I only encountered black bear (twice), bobcat (unseen but heard) and wild boar in full charge (thankfully not at me) in my treks into wilderness. Your description of Colombo reminds me of Dacca Bangladesh, although it is much poorer and the Intercontinental Hotel is rather new. From your descriptions, you took the first class route with the best guides and porters. Probably what I would do in your situation. It harkens back to the British expeditions of the 19th century. While I admire Chekhov, I decided to use my whole name, like Arthur C. Clarke, a resident of Sri Lanka for my author name. I was also fortunate to have an engineering energy conservation intern for one summer from Sri Lanka. He was a very fine fellow and did very good work for me, but I did not develop a close relationship with him as his supervisor, unlike I did with others from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Thailand whose homes I stayed in my travels rather than hotels. There are other dangers out there besides wildlife. I just read the story of Harry Devert. He was a seasoned traveler all over the world who had a website where he published his travels and adventures. In 2014 he set off to complete a motorcycle trip encompassing 14,000 miles between North and South America, culminating in the World Cup in Brazil. Early in his trip, he took the wrong road in Mexico, was suspected of being a DEA agent by rival cartels at war, and captured, tortured and killed. Ron

The Divided Heart of Cyprus (Short Story) - 6/23/2015 5:56:23 AM
Working in Dubai, I touched down there once at the airport for an hour, I can see why you would want to get away from that stark environment on your holiday periods. I envy your ability to travel so far and experience so many environments and cultures… And your facility with language and history that assists you on your travels. I love the detail and felicity with which you report your experiences. It is obvious you are a consummate teacher of writing. As I read, I learned. I didn't know that Cyprus was divided. I always thought it was part of Greece. But then, I'm not much of a student of Mediterranean culture and history. I've only been to Egypt. Although I missed fabulous, inexpensive trips to Spain and Italy during my early academic career because the organizers couldn't fill the charter planes. I had the same fun with taxis when I traveled. I always found it easier to travel the way the people did. Asking hotels to arrange transportation always was very expensive compared to the streets. I guess I was lucky never to be cheated. Looking forward to the other parts. Ron

A Rare Visit to Makkah in Saudi Arabia (Short Story) - 2/10/2006 2:09:26 PM
Salamu alaikum! Wonderful insight! Jaza Akkalhu khyran! Safi

Scenes from a Tribal Barbershop (Short Story) - 3/6/2004 11:38:49 AM
Delightful and entertaining read! Enjoyed~ :D

A Rare Visit to Makkah in Saudi Arabia (Short Story) - 12/13/2003 8:35:35 AM
Wonderful story; thanks for sharing! (((HUGS))) and love, your Tx. friend, Karen Lynn. :D

A Rare Visit to Makkah in Saudi Arabia (Short Story) - 12/13/2003 4:27:02 AM
This article is very enlightening for one who has an interest in religion and faith. The description of touching the Hajar al-Aswad was particularly moving. Thank you for sharing.

Breakfast in Madinah, the City of Light (Short Story) - 12/7/2003 8:00:55 PM
Greetings in Peace Islaam (Submission to God) is the world's fastest growing religion, which is based on the Last Testament (Qur'aan) reiteration of the Divine Guidance previously given to mankind through the Law presented to Moses (parts of which still exist in the Old Testament) and the Gospel of Jesus ("hadiths" or sayings of this missing gospel, though unreliable, make up the New Testament). The author notes that this phenomenon is taking place in America and Europe despite statist propaganda and government-generated Islamophobia in support of CIA-installed kings, dictators and other repressive governments in the Middle East. What, then, accounts for Islaam's continued growth? Professor John Herlihy shares one aspect with us - Islaam provides a personal experience of the Divine Guidance through its rituals associated with Hajj and Umrah. Islaam is a way of knowing God and His Purpose for mankind that invites reason and scientific inquiry. Herlihy shows that the experiences of Hajj and Umrah help one to understand Islaam through a felt appreciation for the symbolic world. It is a powerful piece, written in an emotionally moving first person account. Herlihy gives the reader an unique insight into Islaamic life and its rituals of Hajj and Umrah. Some transliteration is annoyingly inaccurate, such as "wurdu" for "wudhu" and "aleykum" for "alaykum", but the richness of this personal account more than makes up for it. Peace

Weave the Secret of Light (Article) - 8/26/2015 12:25:06 PM
Through your vivid description of the Ka'aba, you've woven intricate truths about its history, art, and spiritual significance. Most importantly, you injected your own transcendence in its presence which is a beautiful testament to its symbolic magnificence.

Weave the Secret of Light (Article) - 8/26/2015 6:00:04 AM
No one writes it better. Your description of the Ka'aba as a work of religious art, symbol and ritual is unsurpassed. But the cloth is very similar to symbols, like you have alluded to in other religions, that serve the purpose of unifying followers upon a single focus like a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to a holy site. It's interesting that the tradition goes back before the Muslim religion began. While I admire this and other religious art because of the skill and devotion that great artisans placed in creating these beautiful artifacts, I find it disturbing that people are drawn into the cult of these religions to the point where they wage war and commit cruel acts in the name of their particular religion as though it were somehow, ordained by their particular god. I believe we have to get beyond religion if we are ever going to progress as human beings and began to admire admire these artifacts as just part of our long-ago violent past and no longer relevant. All cults tend to have some kind of euphoric experience, usually created by ritualistic repetition, that helps cement beliefs, regardless of how strange, or counterproductive. Simple meditation to no religion in particular, creates a similar state of relaxation, euphoria and enlightenment. Ron

Learning Recitation of the Qur'an (Article) - 7/1/2015 6:56:11 AM
You are certainly commended for your felicity in learning languages. While I learned the language of mathematics (with Arabic numbers) and physics with ease, and struggled with learning computer languages, I have been lax about learning anything other than English. I dabbled with French during my brief start on a doctorate in engineering, and in Spanish with a small book I never really got into. I've found that during my travels, the English colonization and business model was strong. So my American English served me well in my travels, although there were many conversations going on around me that I didn't understand and didn't ask for interpretation. Because of your work, I can see why you learned Arabic, studied the Qur'an, and converted to Islam. I recall visiting a Hare Krishna community and noticing that they spent a good part of their day chanting. As you've written quite well, oral tradition preceded written word and was passed down generation after generation, largely through getting children to memorize and verbalize the same words repeatedly, often with some lyrical or melodic tone that made it easier to sear into the long term memory. That's what memorization does. Unfortunately, one memorizes so much, I believe, that it may inhibit the cognitive mind from critical thinking (though not in your case). The mere messiness of the English language allows for much greater critical thinking flexibility. You state that you were brought up in the Catholic tradition. Fortunately I was not, although many around me including my relatives were. For some reason, their educational enlightenment, unlike the Jesuits, all seemed to have been stunted by the process. Those of us in our family who were not brought up Catholic have achieved much greater educational levels. What I'm getting around to is that I am so glad I was only required to memorize nursery rhymes, a few segments of the Bible like the 21st Psalm, and some poems and plays. I do not store trivia or facts in my brain, but rely heavily on resources to find them when I need them… Freeing my brain for processes, rather than rote memory. I find that all those that are religiously devout are that way because they were indoctrinated as children into that way of thinking through ritualistic memorization. Hence from what you have written and from my own experience with several friends who are Islamic, the religion has a dramatic hold on these peoples' thinking processes, making them almost robotic in certain ways and unable to change. In your last piece about your travel in Sri Lanka, you confided with another follower of Islam with the wink and a nod how the jungle "freed" you from the oppressive nature of your Middle Eastern situation. That's why I am an atheist and do not belong to any cults of any kind. It makes me truly free to be a citizen of the earth and act on its behalf and all the people on it. Truly free from "required" tenets of my supposed salvation. Ron

When Nature Speaks (Article) - 6/24/2015 9:54:25 PM
enjoyed the read

When Nature Speaks (Article) - 6/20/2015 10:50:53 AM
You are a wizard with words and seeped in spirituality, but when you speak of intelligent design and God in everything, you leave me behind. At one point you speculate about holding time still. As though it required some divine power to do that. A photograph does that with every picture taken. Time and motion is suspended and there for observation for as long as anyone wants to look at it. Time lapse photography enables us to speed up time and view wondrous processes like growth with ease. It why would anyone want to "take away the night sky." And then come out to view the sky when it was returned. That is ridiculous. The night sky is always there because it contains billions and billions of objects, most of them too dark or too small to be seen. Once again, photography and marvelous devices like the Hubble telescope reveal unseen wonders, some which come and go like comets and are awaited like your fanciful missing night sky. I do agree that most people living in cities cannot see the night sky. More and more people are traveling than ever before, and am therefore have opportunities for them to witness the solitude or sometimes, silence of nature, just like you did in the desert. You didn't say that you tried wandering there for 40 days and 40 nights. Bedouins can do that with experience and camels. Most of us wouldn't last three days. God is not required. Ron

The Other Heart, the Forgotten One (Article) - 2/4/2005 8:32:03 AM
I am in awe...stunned is a better word! You are!! vesna:)

Unexpected Encounter with a Traditional Malay Masseur (Article) - 7/31/2003 5:30:07 PM
This is interesting. I too had a miraculous cure in Sona near Delhi where the person concerned pressed by back and my ankles. Although it took some time, the pain is gone completely which is surprising considering the fact that three doctors advised surgery.

Man on a Street Corner (Poetry) - 9/5/2015 5:10:48 AM
Eh . . . I pay no attention to what messages such as yours suggested unless I know them, and I mean really know them.

Writer on the Edge (Poetry) - 9/4/2015 12:26:58 PM
very much freestyle but sounds fluently. . . a responsibility of a ghost. . . i like it for its pure illusiveness and alienation from reality, which is, however, a funny question to a ghost-writer (excuse me for the pun ;))). Cheers, alex

Writer on the Edge (Poetry) - 9/4/2015 5:39:31 AM
A beautiful self-reveal in a poem. I relate to your experience very well, right down to the part of having no, "next of kin." Outsiders are very good at looking in. Ron

Writer on the Edge (Poetry) - 9/4/2015 4:06:48 AM
Ah, but Albert Camus says that "A writer's purpose is to keep civilization from destroying itself." You have a very good position from which to do it ... and perhaps you mistake an imp for an elf.

First Things (Poetry) - 9/3/2015 8:04:22 AM
A cornucopia of firsts to explore and enjoy. I guess that's why some people have created bucket lists so they can experience more firsts before they pass on beyond any firsts anymore. Ron

Newborn Infant (Poetry) - 9/1/2015 12:50:39 PM
This is truly meaningful and engaging, John. You have reminded me once again of the magnificent experience of the birth of my three children. One tends to forget. Thank you for the reawakining. Love and peace to you, Regis

Newborn Infant (Poetry) - 8/31/2015 8:01:46 AM
The beauty of the baby is difficult to describe. But you have done a beautiful job in doing it. While reading, I have great difficulty understanding why so many babies born under Islam in places like Syria are faced with such horrendous hardship caused by religious fervor. Almost a life not worth living when one is torn from one's home to avoid being tortured and killed merely by believing one way or another. Aren't all these children the same? Or do some follow Mohammed better than others? Ron

Newborn Infant (Poetry) - 8/31/2015 6:00:58 AM
Taking the birth from conception and up until the miraculous birth speaks volumes to the reader. Ahhh . . . But it is the afterbirth of joy and tenderness which molds the infant over the years to be all that she can be. Very well articulated, John.

The Blessed Blanket (Poetry) - 8/27/2015 4:38:48 AM
lovely read, look forward to reading more of your work keep writing m

The Blessed Blanket (Poetry) - 8/26/2015 4:20:22 AM
John, A very special blanket, indeed. I'm sure this precious child will enjoy it from years and years to come. Love and blessings, Linda

The Blessed Blanket (Poetry) - 8/25/2015 12:33:42 PM
Some blankets are very special as you have so beautifully woven into this poem. Ron

The Blessed Blanket (Poetry) - 8/25/2015 3:24:59 AM
As well you should cherish that blanket made by ever-loving hands . . .

Rainbow on the Bay (Poetry) - 8/17/2015 3:17:55 AM
well done

Rainbow on the Bay (Poetry) - 8/16/2015 1:30:18 PM
~John~ Lovely and magnificent the arc 'en ceil to view and almost touch through your poem. Fine writing. Lady Mary Ann

Rainbow on the Bay (Poetry) - 8/16/2015 7:33:16 AM
I can just imagine the vision you had. And I kind of wish you had one of those cell phone quick videos or photos of the scene to attach to your poem. While I don't get out much these days, I occasionally, in the evening, catch a rainbow out of my bedroom/office huge window. Rainbows are always a delight to see. Ron

Rainbow on the Bay (Poetry) - 8/15/2015 6:18:37 PM
I enjoyed reading this.Nature reigns supreme when it comes to beauty and mystery. Michael D.

Rainbow on the Bay (Poetry) - 8/15/2015 4:20:47 PM
Double rainbows are a wondrous site to behold, and I understand your fantastic feeling you had when you looked up and there your double rainbow appeared before your eyes.

Soul Mates (Poetry) - 7/22/2015 7:29:29 PM
I know all this as I have a soulmate, we have been "together" since grade school, dated awhile in High school, then parted after HS, but still we got back together like maybe 20 some years later, and are together still...she doesn't know it but she is powerful force in my life & I will love her till the day I die...(sorry this was not much about your poem but it is what it brought out of me, thanks) -e-

Soul Mates (Poetry) - 7/21/2015 4:57:39 AM
John, Enjoy your trip and be safe. Beautiful poetry. Love and blessings, Linda

Soul Mates (Poetry) - 7/20/2015 6:59:30 AM
A poem of immense proportions. I specially like the 2nd stanza leading up to the last two lines. Have a good trip and share with us your adventures. Ron

Soul Mates (Poetry) - 7/20/2015 3:33:34 AM
Great poetry to jump start your "on the road" journey. Hope you see many wondrous things and then come back and give them to us poetically!

A True Poem (Poetry) - 7/19/2015 1:25:18 PM
If they all had to be real no one would need an imagination. We do however, write from our own well of understanding and emotion. Well penned,John.

The Impulse to Love (Poetry) - 7/19/2015 1:21:38 PM
What lovely sentiments and wise, John. Enjoyed. I believe this is done in vignette form is it not?

The Impulse to Love (Poetry) - 7/19/2015 7:40:57 AM
You certainly have covered many facets of love. However, I find the attempt to rhyme everything forces some very odd results as you wander through love, losing a sense of freedom to relate. Ron

The Impulse to Love (Poetry) - 7/19/2015 3:37:50 AM
Love is whatever it is by interpretation.

A True Poem (Poetry) - 7/18/2015 4:39:20 PM
John, I've also had people comment as thou some of my poems were real. Some had deep sadness for me. In reality it was fiction. Love and blessings, Linda

A True Poem (Poetry) - 7/18/2015 9:10:12 AM
When it comes to poetry, I prefer making it in the hay. ;-) Ron

A True Poem (Poetry) - 7/18/2015 4:05:38 AM
A writer can write just about anything, but it will be upto the writer to make the poem sound real to the readers in order for them to feel his/her words. Sandie

A True Poem (Poetry) - 7/18/2015 3:34:06 AM
Poems, no matter if every line is completely made up and considered "fiction," in reality there is much of the poet in each and every line. You wrote about tears when none was forthcoming from you, but in fact you have shed many tears during your lifetime, therein is your reason for the tears within this poem. Poetry reflects mightily back to the poet.

A True Poem (Poetry) - 7/17/2015 11:31:48 PM
Alot of my poems are but only fiction but as you infer, most everyone seems to think they are reality...or so it seems...-e-

Tomorrow (Poetry) - 7/17/2015 7:18:09 AM
I think that people begin to have these thoughts after they've lived a long time and begin to have infirmities like sleep apnea or heart pain which seems to remind them that they are mortal. Having faced death closely once or twice, I don't contemplate going to sleep with death at all. I always think of going to bed as an urgent need to rest from the physical strain of my day and recharge my brain, sometimes with wonderful dreams and/or nightmares, depending upon what happened during the day that affects my inner concerns or not. I look at tomorrow to be routine unless I've planned something that excites or worries me. Instead, I've always got plans for the next novel or trip or event, sometimes a year off that I don't contemplate dying before. But I'm not going stupid into the great beyond. I have set aside a well written will that I update if necessary, a non-resuscitate order, power of attorney, an organ donation order, and detailed instructions to my executor to handle my affairs and make sure that I'm not occupying good real estate but cremated after organ donation. Thereby, I rest easy every evening, anticipating nothing but sleep. Perchance to dream. Perchance to die. Without worrying about it. Ron

Tomorrow (Poetry) - 7/17/2015 4:06:13 AM
Tomorrow "is," until it "isn't." Nice work with your rhyming. Guess you are thinking of the raft as the boat Charon uses to transport the newly dead across the Acheron River to Hell . . . Just guessing . . .

Luncheon Guest (Poetry) - 7/16/2015 10:15:13 AM
Great little poem with a message that is important that some things can be counted on. The birds return to our bird feeder every morning before and after the birdseed is placed in it. However, they shy away from their benefactor and do not go to the feeder until she is well out of sight. It's too bad that little birds think of her with fright. Ron

Luncheon Guest (Poetry) - 7/16/2015 5:22:01 AM
Ahhh . . . Lovely, captivating poetry with a good message and an even better ending . . . The bird showed back up . . . Enjoyed reading this . . .

Origins: Reflections (Poetry) - 7/15/2015 8:02:19 PM
I rarely read a poem for its facts, or its authenticity, or even for its plausibility. I read for its flow, its ability to engage my attention and interest, its original phrasing, its underlying humor, its sense of philosophy, and its lasting emotional impact. This poem delivers on all points, at all levels. with charm, style, and panache. Superb!

Origins: Reflections (Poetry) - 7/15/2015 4:08:29 PM
And the world became without form and void...then the unfurling began. Always a pleasure, John. Thank you, chris

Origins: Reflections (Poetry) - 7/15/2015 6:10:02 AM
Written with great skill and imagination. But, I find it hard to relate to the simple and elegant way that life appeared and evolved… Much more fascinating and mysterious than all of the ancient creation texts which are more simplistic legend than fact. In other words, I find most of the over simple creation stories in literature sadly lacking compared the way it happened as we peel away the layers of information that are providing us with the very heart of the matter. Ron

Origins: Reflections (Poetry) - 7/15/2015 4:34:29 AM
You delved into the moment(s) with your thought process and gave the reader a first-hand account about how it all came about. Your ideas about the beginning of "us" is as plausible as anything else I have heard.

One in All (Poetry) - 7/14/2015 5:53:11 PM
The whole beauty of the story is about the nouns that are verbs and the verbs nouns. Where can I find a word which is an object and action together to set ‘one in all’ without stepping out of the threshold my office?. . ;-)) Cheers, alex

One in All (Poetry) - 7/14/2015 6:09:01 AM
All-encompassing thoughts presented here. The harmony is in differences and changes. I think I'll go out and check on a frog to see if it "burps." ;-) Ron

One in All (Poetry) - 7/14/2015 4:22:49 AM
World belongs to us all! "We can all live together...." Well said, well done, John!

One in All (Poetry) - 7/13/2015 5:41:11 PM
John, Excellent writing! Love and blessings, Linda

One in All (Poetry) - 7/13/2015 5:10:00 PM
John, I am literally standing in my office giving you a standing "O"... Thank you. Chris

One in All (Poetry) - 7/13/2015 8:06:26 AM
Eh . . . You've got your rhyming down pat with this little continuous jingle and came to a conclusive ending . . .

Turtle Doves (Poetry) - 7/12/2015 9:04:06 AM
Somehow the two girls morphed into turtledoves in this little fairytale that is all sweet and no saccharine. I'm still wondering what these bad girls did, perhaps to you, that prompted the poem. But then, I'm usually wrong when interpreting these things. Ron

Turtle Doves (Poetry) - 7/12/2015 3:22:55 AM
eh . . . and the turtle doves lived happily ever afterward . . .

The Noble Beard (Poetry) - 7/10/2015 8:49:12 AM
I believe a beard is requirement for married Muslim men, but I'm not sure. Yes, I agree with Jerry. My grandfather wore a beard quite well. My father grew one for deer hunting one or two years back in the 1940s. I never have. Found even trying to wear a mustache impossible. Once again, almost over descriptive and the rhyme scheme seems to lead to "forced" rhyming at times. Some of the best poetry out there says a lot with a very few words. You use a lot of words, and they're all good ones, but they seem to overrun the subject rather than complement it. Ron

The Noble Beard (Poetry) - 7/10/2015 7:45:28 AM
Whew! Now I know why I never grew a beard.

What Is It? (Poetry) - 7/9/2015 9:14:48 AM
Proof again that poetry is everywhere. I never smoked Camels, and don't intend to drink from them. But what a sharp eye and mind you have!

What Is It? (Poetry) - 7/9/2015 9:08:57 AM
Sounds yummy. But that bit about fitness for any sugary or very product for anyone over 18 just isn't true unless one works a hard life burning off all those calories. I assume that the milk is either goat or camel's milk. Much better than cow's milk. Ron

What Is It? (Poetry) - 7/9/2015 7:38:31 AM
Dare I say... Yum? Interesting bit of spontaneity!

What Is It? (Poetry) - 7/9/2015 6:05:57 AM
Wow! That is a new one for me, John. Thank you for the lesson shared through your witty verses. Love and peace, Regis

What Is It? (Poetry) - 7/9/2015 5:46:59 AM
Sounds scrumptious to me too, John . . . I'm in for it . . .

The Rusty Hinge (Poetry) - 7/9/2015 4:53:54 AM
"I lived a simple life Forever fearful and shy Now I wonder what comes next." Yes, the what comes next, is truly a wonder for everyone! Thanks for sharing, John!

The Rusty Hinge (Poetry) - 7/8/2015 6:33:05 AM
Once again, your literary skill comes to the fore when describing the process of old age that befalls all of us who manage to escape early death and join the ranks of elder citizens of the world. You may have been shy, but you have traveled this world mightily and experience much. I hope that you can write your heart out for many more years until you can peck the keyboard no or no longer dictate like I do, because your words are vibrant and sage. Ron

The Rusty Hinge (Poetry) - 7/7/2015 9:48:50 PM
John, I do believe "your bottle" will be found and your message(s) will be a beacon to all of us who have the pleasure of reading your work. A great day to you, sir. Chris

The Rusty Hinge (Poetry) - 7/7/2015 4:13:59 PM
You gave old age a poetical examination, John. Where my thoughts on old age are short and to the point, your thoughts are indepth and very well thought out. I am impressed.

The Rusty Hinge (Poetry) - 7/7/2015 3:58:18 PM
Hmm, a poem I can referencr in 50 or so years from now. At the same time, time is creeping in, I see and hear the rusty hinge beginning it's call. The rusty hinge, a friend and sound that calls to us all.

The Rusty Hinge (Poetry) - 7/7/2015 3:13:44 PM
7-7-2015 You Are Only As Old As You Feel!! etal: Go Buy Yourself Couple Bottles Bounty Vitamin E I U 400...Exercise! TRASK...

Hope's Promise (Poetry) - 7/6/2015 10:58:38 AM
You certainly have covered every element of hope with this epic description. However, the poem's length. Your poem's length may be a deterrent to what you're trying to say. I seem to sense, with the changeup of style, several poems wrapped up in one. Unlike an epic poem that usually tells a story, like Evangeline, yours describes a concept in great detail. While you have little repetition, it's just too long for most poetry readers' attention. While some segments are very pithy with their revelation of hope, I found that some others might have been better presented as prose because the effort to rhyme became a little stilted. But, as you already know, I have never studied poetry and only write it for pleasure. I am not a critic of poetry, but know what I like and am not afraid to point out what I don't. The reason I missed this one is that I spent several days last week putting the chapters of my latest novel into the book format of my publisher and didn't get to all the poems like I usually do. Thank you for pointing out this fine essay on the meaning of hope, so I could read it. Ron

Desire (Poetry) - 7/5/2015 10:04:24 AM
Quite a romp down through all of the urges that propel us. As I recall my long-ago courses in psychological physiology, the human brain contains, at its very base, a reptilian brain, covered over with layers of memory, insight, and frontal lobe control mechanisms. Still, the reptile brain, in its search for survival at all cost, propel us into desires that we can only, partially control. You have described a psychological struggle that almost everyone faces as desires pop into their heads every day and are either acted upon or subdued. However, while the rhyming was precise and varied throughout, I got a sense of burden in the structure and a dullness of repetition of the rhyming scheme without any surprise phrases. As an instructional piece, your poem is superb on the subject of desire. However, as a meaningful poem it seems to be flat and overly wordy. Ron

Hope's Promise (Poetry) - 7/2/2015 11:04:40 PM
Have already flown away into a bright pink sky, I didn't like dark blue-e-

Hope's Promise (Poetry) - 7/2/2015 12:51:49 PM
If it is hope, it is not a promise . . .

Brave Seven (Poetry) - 7/2/2015 4:51:55 AM
powerful, well done

Brave Seven (Poetry) - 7/1/2015 7:31:08 AM
A most apt, timely, and meaningful sharing, John. Love and peace to you, Regis

Brave Seven (Poetry) - 7/1/2015 7:30:58 AM
I'm not sure who the "Brave Seven" were, but your verses seem to commemorate some event in history worth noting. Ron

The Phone Card (Poetry) - 6/28/2015 8:49:11 AM
Nice little poem pointing out one of the problems we have today, rationing phone calls like cookies. Family squabbles have taken on a new twist. Ron

The Phone Card (Poetry) - 6/27/2015 10:09:25 PM
Can they not get a phone without a phone card or pay as you go, is what it sounds like, just get a monthly plan like mine for all the talk and texting I want to do for a paltry low sum of money...-e-

Like Butterflies (Poetry) - 6/27/2015 9:06:04 AM
Only poets can see butterflies for what they truly are and only caterpillars can envision what they will be. May we all fly like your words have throughout this poetic exploration of our thoughts. Ron

Like Butterflies (Poetry) - 6/27/2015 5:56:08 AM
Splendid one and could enjoy the images of butterflies

Like Butterflies (Poetry) - 6/27/2015 5:20:04 AM
Butterflies! Astounding beauty in our midst. This poem took them on and delivered them to us in fine fashion . . .

Like Butterflies (Poetry) - 6/27/2015 3:59:38 AM
well done

But Mother (Poetry) - 6/26/2015 6:48:17 AM
Very creative and well written. I particularly like the changing of the complainer, each time from a slightly different perspective. But the all-knowing mother seems to have a good answer for every pronouncement. I firmly believe that we will find a way to genetically alter the current 120 year lifespan for humans and gradually, extended on it until we become immortal. On the other hand, while the field of quantum physics seems convinced that there are countless dimensions and that our world is merely an illusion, fortifying the idea of the "spirit" living beyond the body, I cannot buy the argument, regardless whether it's in ancient books or not. Ron

But Mother (Poetry) - 6/26/2015 2:33:10 AM
G'day John. This is a great piece of poetry mate. It has an excellent progression and a smooth flow. It is also very well thought out and the dialogue is beautifully done. Great work, cheers Fez

But Mother (Poetry) - 6/25/2015 5:29:46 AM
An excellent write John most enjoyable reading Peace be with you William

But Mother (Poetry) - 6/25/2015 3:32:45 AM
The “ifs” which confront us daily are sometimes too easy to give into and think the best, or even the worst of a situation, but things seems to always hang in there until we work it out, or it works itself out.

But Mother (Poetry) - 6/24/2015 9:44:38 PM
well done

Invisible Ink (Poetry) - 6/23/2015 6:49:58 AM
It has often been said that when one gets a very good idea, one should write it down. Otherwise, that idea may be lost for all time. In this case, your writing of a poem, a work of art that may contain multiple ideas. What a loss, what a terrible loss. A poem that existed but is now gone. Ron

Invisible Ink (Poetry) - 6/23/2015 4:04:59 AM
. . . and when, once these treasures are lost you can never rewrite them the way they originally were written . . .

Dew Drop (Poetry) - 6/22/2015 2:43:20 PM
Condensation is a good fill-in between rainfalls. Mother Nature does a good job of keeping us wet and cool in spite of our efforts to heat up the world.

They Came Marching Merrily Forth (Poetry) - 6/22/2015 10:54:56 AM
Thank you for sharing this most interesting tale through your verses, John. In my estimation, this is very well done. Love and peace to you, Regis

Dew Drop (Poetry) - 6/22/2015 7:31:51 AM
A wonderful analysis of dewdropology. And the analogy between a dewdrop and a tear is wonderful. Made me think about how much nature depends on dewdrops for its daily water. Even in the desert, so many living things depend upon that cool crisp wet taste in the morning. Ron

Dew Drop (Poetry) - 6/22/2015 3:58:58 AM
Took a fascinating trip with the dew drop, for sure it caused me to think back to the days of my acid trips . . .

They Came Marching Merrily Forth (Poetry) - 6/21/2015 9:40:40 AM
A wonderful saga of the growing family and its personalities. Well penned and enjoyed. Ron

They Came Marching Merrily Forth (Poetry) - 6/21/2015 3:14:02 AM
lovely read

Fame (Poetry) - 6/20/2015 8:44:55 PM
You are right, John; fame is very fleeting in this world/life. Love and peace, Regis

Fame (Poetry) - 6/19/2015 12:24:07 PM
How true...fame is like a flame that burns out all too fast. Fame is a high that is achieved only to come down to crash and burn. Well done! Great poem! Amen

Fame (Poetry) - 6/19/2015 6:34:18 AM
You have a fine name for a writer. I wish mine was as recognizable as Hall. For some reason, we shipbuilders (Hulls) are constantly confused with carpenters (Halls). We are all seeking our 15 minutes of fame… Some more successful than others. I received a call last week from a very persuasive Atlanta woman with a very distinctive British accent. She told me that I needed to be "branded," in order to be successful as an author. She promised that their crack team would put my name forefront among all others for the measly sum of $2400. Methinks the only branding I would get would be the hole burned in me back pocket branding me butt where me wallet resides and no one can see it! ;-) Ron

Tears (Poetry) - 6/18/2015 9:04:33 AM
Beautifully rendered trail of tears. For me, the best tears are those of happiness. I know, because I have experienced them. Ron

Horizon (Poetry) - 6/16/2015 6:53:53 AM
I believe the title of the theme song or the movie about change will was, "Lost Horizons." I thought about that is I read your poem about that etheral place between the edge of vision--the horizon. You've done the horizon great justice with your beautiful rhyming words describing its wonders. Ron

My Guardian Angel (Poetry) - 6/13/2015 2:35:43 PM
Wonderful to read. A journey for all to take. thank you Chris

My Guardian Angel (Poetry) - 6/13/2015 11:33:31 AM
I'm quite surprised that I'm the first one to respond. Beautifully written and understandable. Enjoyed. Ron

Sweet Nothings (Poetry) - 6/12/2015 4:09:36 PM
"Still whispering her preferences..." Nicely said...

Sweet Nothings (Poetry) - 6/12/2015 6:52:04 AM
It certainly looks like you had sweet nothing between you. And why parting was sweet sorrow. Ron

Sweet Nothings (Poetry) - 6/12/2015 3:29:57 AM
The give and take of romantic situations have been well thought out within the confines of this poem.

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