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Passions in Poetry

A Tale

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nakdthoughts
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Between the Lines


50 posted 08-25-2010 09:28 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

"Many in their circle of family and friends have already disappeared, moved on to other sites because the forums they enjoyed most here were shut down."

Jen, how can you generalize that way? For some or many of us, we DO HAVE A LIFE other than being on line 24/7 or have jobs/careers that don't allow us or have the opportunity to be on as much as others.

That does not mean we don't come and read
(and I am not speaking for the "many" ... just  for those I know who are busy or taking a break from writing and responding.)

There was a time and maybe a need, when some of us from almost the beginning, were on here and the internet many hours of the day and or night out of need for relief and understanding that we could not get from the outside world.


And many of us came together from other sites that had confrontations and wanted to come where we could relax and enjoy poetry and friendships. After all, this is mainly a poetry site and if I am not mistaken, I don't think any poetry forums have ever been deleted.

M
Balladeer
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51 posted 08-25-2010 10:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Right again, Maureen. It's easy to make a generalized statement with no proof to back it up but the fact is that PIP has survived and continues to grow. You are also right that we have received many new members transferring from sites to get away from the dissention and other foolishness that they employ. Passions is alive and well, great news for many and bad news for a few.
JenniferMaxwell
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52 posted 08-25-2010 10:51 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Interesting point about none of the poetry forums being deleted, Maureen. The other day I did a quick count and found out there were actually far more inappropriate content reports on posts in some of the poetry forums than the Alley.

JenniferMaxwell
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53 posted 08-25-2010 10:53 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I wasn't referring to those taking a break, busy, whatever, but meant those I've run into who now post on other sites. Sorry I didn't make that clear, Maureen.
JenniferMaxwell
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54 posted 08-25-2010 11:00 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

You mentioned a few bad apples, Sunshine, and Balladeer mentioned another site he posts on. I'm familiar with that site, still post poetry there but under a different pen name now. It's a much larger site which means having the potential for more bad apples than here. Instead of shutting down an entire forum, tossing the whole barrel down the garbage chute, here (in part) is how they handle their bad apples:

Warning / Ban Process
ēWhen a member breaks the rules, they will first receive a warning, then a 3 day ban, 1 week ban, 1 month ban, 3 month ban, and lifetime ban.
ēThis is reset after 3-6 months of good behavior (depending on the severity of the incident)

Seems to work quite well and the innocent don't end up being punished along with the guilty.
Sunshine
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55 posted 08-25-2010 11:17 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Jenn...I've seen the bad apples come and go. Some, willingly. Others, because they don't know a good thing when they see it.

In so many ways, my dear, I have seen promises from you that want me to like you so much.

Then there are times I see things I don't like at all.

It makes me wonder who you really want to kick.

But then, that's me, sticking my neck out.

Balladeer
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56 posted 08-26-2010 09:05 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well said and I agree completely, sir. There will be no more bickering. People have expressed their support or displeasure and it time to move on. This thread only serves to support Ron's acknowledgement that some participants cannot agree respectfully without becoming personally offensive. Hopefully that's a lesson we have learned here.

Back to poetry, anyone?
moonbeam
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57 posted 08-26-2010 09:58 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Karilea, I understand.  I understand Ron's frustration - I can certainly understand why he'd want to shut down people threads forums and the site. I guess he's just human like the rest of us, and sometimes, living a bit in the past, I tend to forget that.

Someone a few posts back, maybe Maureen, said this site was mainly about poetry.  Ron himself says that isn't the case.  It's mainly about people, about friendships and community.  The circle is more and more restricted nowadays (maybe not Ron's fault entirely), that's why I'm sad I guess.

Mike

Please don't lecture me on personal attacks after your exchange with Jenn just now.

  
nakdthoughts
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58 posted 08-26-2010 08:43 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

I'm sorry you are sad about this Moonbeam :

"Someone a few posts back, maybe Maureen, said this site was mainly about poetry.  Ron himself says that isn't the case.  It's mainly about people, about friendships and community."
There was more to my response than just the above:


"And many of us came together from other sites that had confrontations and wanted to come where we could relax and enjoy poetry and friendships. After all, this is mainly a poetry site and if I am not mistaken, I don't think any poetry forums have ever been deleted.

just so you understand that I  understand that this was a site more than just about poetry...and that being said, I have made many friendships over the 10 plus years I have been on this site and met many past and present poets in person.
This is the only poetry site I visit mainly because of the camaraderie and though many times I and others have been told we write "fluff" there are many who can relate to what we write and know us well enough to know our meanings behind what we write.

I enjoyed reading in the alley and am sorry it is  gone too, but so much of it was repetitious after awhile and with no compromises on opinions and facts.

One could almost always know which side each poster was on and what the replies would be.

Posters can still post their feelings and beliefs as others on here do in poetic form or prose and get responses to them without the harshness of some of the past discussions.

Just my opinion, which probably doesn't count for much, but since I have been a member of long standing (with my share of reprimands) I feel that this site has been a life saver for myself and maybe others.

I hope you realize what we have here and continue to contribute.

M
rwood
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59 posted 08-27-2010 10:05 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Setting is always important in a good Tale. I can see why youíd want to project the Alley as a place of growth & graciousness. ((Hugs)) for that. But, sadly, to me and other readers present during the dirt slinging, the notion is, in a word: Ineffectual.

Much of what was transpiring in the Alley was just dirt and more dirt. Infertile, dead, and found wanting for substance for those who really love to read more than they ever love to post.

Imo, the internet has removed many dignities from proper conversation/writing/debate, etc. Itís added some, too, but itís not what the internet has added that caused the Alley to be missing when I logged in the other day.

I feel thereís an element of Approach that seems to have disappeared.

Imo, Approach is a personal moral obligation for each person to hone in any type of writing before one ever traipses into the field: The field being the medium and the area of a particular interest, requiring a particular type of cultivation.

Without the minor dignities of proper social skills and writing effectiveness, we end up with dead dirt, or mud, muck, and lifeless mire. And even with a name like the ďAlley,Ē I doubt Dirt is what Ron had in mind, but itís not my place to speak for him. This is his place, and Iím a guest. Heís hosted much for me in the past 10 years and Iím grateful to the core for what heís offered me in the field of writing.

One of the things Iíve learned on PiP-- (The first and only site Iíve ever been truly involved with)

Personal attacks donít require any skill. Most of the attacks are subtle: Minor blips across the line. All, still, very effective only to the demise of something much bigger--An atmosphere or a place where people can engage/interact/share/contemplate etc, in the field of writing. When we decide to champion our Bull all over our fellow writer, thatís when things get really ugly. I know. Itís easy to do when easily offended or easily drawn in by skilled manipulations. Iím not easily offended, but I donít mind admitting that Iím very good at becoming ďwordwrappedĒ for something to say when particular subjects hit close to home with me. I get all wound up and start spurting nonsensical things that effectually confuse the reader and deviate from the topic. And I write like I speak. Itís not a very becoming thing! I can be very caustic, as well.

But when of pleasant sound mind and body, if a writer pays close attention to approach, minding to avoid even a blip toward another person, then it should be easy to see how mindless blatancy shuts down things that are in some way important to all & even some you may not know are watching and reading.

Ineffectual: To give more precise examples of the ineffectual writing on the walls of the Alley, Iíll post some below. But in no way am I targeting anyone, Iím focused on the material posted. Iím not innocent in any of this.


--A willingness to forsake even an elementary grasp of a personís post for a compulsive over-familiarity toward the person.

--Pulling the gender card in a genderless arena to thwart the enemy.

--Slinging pics and links that support nothing but a negatively generalizing attitude.

--Ping-ponging responses for no other reason but to silence/dig/smack/incite while the topic becomes road-kill.

Thereís SO much more and I encourage everyone to post what is material to ineffective writing ONLY to help SELF & OTHERS to be more focused on what is effective and cultivating. Things will be interesting and different for all, but nonetheless an important essence of growth. Some people are water, storms, sunshine, compost, seeds, bees, manure. LOL!


How can we clear the field and cultivate more effective writing, reading, interacting, engaging, sharing, debate, (whatever your preference?)??

Ron gave us a little place. He didnít take it away because we were gifted writers. Having a talent isnít a gift to me unless I use what God gave me to inspire others. Itís my own spiritual/moral obligation that I take responsibility for before I ever approach a host for such.
moonbeam
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60 posted 08-28-2010 10:27 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Maureen

I started this thread mainly because I was disappointed with the manner in which the Alley was closed, and wanted to see if others agreed with me that it was not a very decorous or polite way in which to do it.

To be clear, I'm not particularly  sorry to see the Alley (given what it became) eradicated, any more than I was to see Critical Analysis (given what it became) closed, because I agree with a lot of what rwood says above.  Both forums had degenerated to something other than what they were years ago.

The compelling issue for me was not the fact of their demise, but simply the reason for it.

In this thread the debate has widened into looking at the reason PiP exists, the whole issue of, as you put it, "camaraderie" and "a place to enjoy poetry and friendships".

When I first started posting here almost 11 years ago I came from a background of zero knowledge about poetry, and two very bad internet forum experiences.  One was a newsgroup inhabited by the most vicious gratuitous form of negative critique, and the other was a message board devoted to showcasing what you call "fluff", but passing such fluff (and there is NOTHING wrong with fluff) off as being in the league of Shakespeare or Eliot.  Both places were deeply dissatisfying, and so it was with some relief I found PiP.

The opening strap line for the PiP main page worried me a little - "Poetry has magic, especially when it comes from the heart" - but I very soon found the people in the Critical Analysis forum were friendly, helpful and, above all, willing to tell me what they really thought of my writing!  For the first time online I was able to enter into a meaningful debate about what makes poetry work - and to become a better writer as a result of it.  The main reason I keep coming back to this site is I suppose because it was here - thanks to people like Brad, Craig, Jenni, Pete, Trevor and yes, even HootOwl, that I learned to write poetry.

It's easy to look back and see things changing though.  For a short while, a couple of years maybe, the newness and enthusiasm carried people through the tensions that pretty soon arose.  And, let's for once be honest, there is, and probably always will be, a tension, between those who are happy to simply write what they feel and share it, and those who want to analyse, discuss, argue, dissect and, horror upon horror, critique!  

Soon Ron's vision (at least I assume it was his vision) of a circle of friends embracing all creeds, colours, social background etc was imperilled by the very thing that I think he maybe imagined would unite them - poetry.  

The problems arising from the different ways in which people approached poetry and the discussion thereof should in theory have been easily transcended by the bonds of friendship that might form between say a "fluff" poet and an "analytical" poet (for want of better descriptions).  But it didn't seem to work out like that.

For reasons I don't fully understand poetry (like religion) seems to bring out extremes of passion, and those passions do seem to get in the way of possible friendship; above all they get in the way of respect.

However, and it is a big "however", I believed back then when things got difficult, and still believe that the rainbow-talent nature of PiP could have been preserved.  Ron had a great vision, and with the help of people who had somewhat diverging views to his own about poetry (and life!) it might have been possible perhaps to retain the heterogeneous nature of the site without compromising the "family" nature of the place.

I think in retrospect though that the balance in PiP was always wrong if it was going to continue as a place for poets with widely differing ideas about poetry - and it got steadily worse (or better, depending on your point of view).

Ron himself has openly expressed his own doubt about the value of critique.  He has seemed in the past to be particularly sceptical about the desirability of what he thinks of as uniformed critique by "amateurs".  I haven't been in the moderator forums for very long, and not at all in the distant past, but I know enough from discussing this with people who were, to say that Ron personal viewpoint was reflected heavily in the composition of the senior moderators and administrators.  

On the blue pages the lean towards "Open" type poetry and comment was already very marked.  This could have been to some extent counterbalanced by a real effort on Ron's part to strengthen the moderating team behind the scenes with people who were sympathetic to a more intellectual approach, and to show real enthusiasm himself for a more cerebral and thinking way of writing poetry, rather than a "from the heart" approach.  

It occurs to me now that this was never going to happen.  Ron was perhaps "persuaded", maybe against his better judgement, to try to make the blue pages more than just a "vanity" or "showcase" poetry board.  Maybe Brad, for instance, pushed the idea of a CA forum hard. In which case the last 10 years have simply been a slow and somewhat painful contraction back to what he and the people "in power" surrounding him are comfortable with.  

Like I said at the start of this ramble, I think it's the manner in which all this has happened that I find sad.  A clean break years ago would, imv, have been better than this slow irritable descent.

Some months ago, there was a thread where, ironically enough, we had an exchange Maureen.  There were things said in that thread which should have been said openly years ago.  SEA's comment here:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum19/HTML/000366.html#7

was at least devastatingly honest, and I suspect expresses the feelings of many PiP Members.  

I know that is not Ron's view, but the fact was that, allowing that disparity of underlying feeling to pervade the blue pages, allowed the disrespect for the diverse ways of approaching writing to grow to the point where the whole ethos of the site was imperilled - the goal of creating a place for safe and happy social interaction.

I made many friends here over the years, but that friendship was grounded upon the shared interest in detailed debating and writing in a friendly place.  Gradually as PiP became less inclusive, and more an exclusive club for a certain type of poet, these people left.  Some remain online in other forums, some presumably gave up online writing.

I think the Alley represented just the last writhe of a discontented tail end.  Now PiP has become what it perhaps always should have been, maybe Ron will get some peace at last, and reflect on the fact that at least he had the guts to try.

R
moonbeam
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61 posted 08-28-2010 12:09 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Having little to do with Philosophy now, perhaps this thread might be moved to "Feelings"?
Ron
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62 posted 08-28-2010 02:11 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
For reasons I don't fully understand poetry (like religion) seems to bring out extremes of passion, and those passions do seem to get in the way of possible friendship; above all they get in the way of respect.

No, Rob, it's the other way around. The lack of respect and the intolerance of a few get in the way of the poetry.

quote:
And, let's for once be honest, there is, and probably always will be, a tension, between those who are happy to simply write what they feel and share it, and those who want to analyse, discuss, argue, dissect and, horror upon horror, critique!

The irony is that you don't even see that your own attitudes, as evinced in this sardonic sentence, is at the root of the tension you attempt to describe. The elitism is almost palpable.

quote:
... with people who were sympathetic to a more intellectual approach, and to show real enthusiasm himself for a more cerebral and thinking way of writing poetry, rather than a "from the heart" approach.

It's never been either/or, Rob. Successful poetry is a melding of the heart and mind, not a battlefield between them. What you describe as different persuasions is, in actually, simply different points on the experience curve. And that curve is NOT linear. Your descriptions could perhaps be better applied to writing crossword puzzles. They are cerebral and can be very challenging, but that doesn't make them poetry (nor does it stop them from being poetry).

quote:
To be clear, I'm not particularly  sorry to see the Alley (given what it became) eradicated ...

Your entire discussion, Rob, seems to be based, first, on the assumption that you know what I'm doing and, second, on the belief that I don't know what I'm doing. The latter may very well be true. The former most certainly is not.
moonbeam
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63 posted 08-28-2010 04:13 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
     quote: For reasons I don't fully understand poetry (like religion) seems to bring out extremes of passion, and those passions do seem to get in the way of possible friendship; above all they get in the way of respect.


No, Rob, it's the other way around. The lack of respect and the intolerance of a few get in the way of the poetry.


I disagree.  I think that there is a frisson in a poetry forum like this that makes for over sensitivity.  And yes it is a lot to do with the passionate attachment people have to their own work.  

quote:
    quote: And, let's for once be honest, there is, and probably always will be, a tension, between those who are happy to simply write what they feel and share it, and those who want to analyse, discuss, argue, dissect and, horror upon horror, critique!


The irony is that you don't even see that your own attitudes, as evinced in this sardonic sentence, is at the root of the tension you attempt to describe. The elitism is almost palpable.    


And the irony is Ron that you don't see that I always have and always will acknowledge my own weaknesses in this area.  In the past I have sometimes "looked down" on what Maureen calls fluff poetry - but I have NEVER fallen out with someone or started abusing them personally because they write lighter weight poetry.  It's your own sensitivity Ron that makes you think that what you call my elitism is somehow a threat to the site.  The fact is that the site could never work in a multilayered way (as in different attitudes to poetry sitting harmoniously together) while you and those closest to you ALWAYS took the view in any altercation between what you call an "elitist" and an "ordinary member" that the ordinary member somehow was "right" or needed protecting.  Perhaps the very fact that you think of what I say or write as "elitist" is indicative of the gulf that exists.  A gulf that the moderating slant at PiP did absolutely nothing to bridge over the years, and a good deal to widen.


quote:
     quote: ... with people who were sympathetic to a more intellectual approach, and to show real enthusiasm himself for a more cerebral and thinking way of writing poetry, rather than a "from the heart" approach.


It's never been either/or, Rob. Successful poetry is a melding of the heart and mind, not a battlefield between them. What you describe as different persuasions is, in actually, simply different points on the experience curve. And that curve is NOT linear. Your descriptions could perhaps be better applied to writing crossword puzzles. They are cerebral and can be very challenging, but that doesn't make them poetry (nor does it stop them from being poetry).  


Of course I agree with this, and in the interests of brevity (ha) I was simplistic.  But I was talking about you and your perceived attitude over the years, not about the experience curve.  In a way, you stating it like that so clearly, and your obvious awareness of the true position, makes me even more unhappy about how things have turned out.  I really have no idea how CA came into being or whether you ever intended the site to be more than a large Open forum, but it seems to me that you could have done a whole lot more at both the site level and the forum level, and in the moderating effort to emphasise what you have just said.  Perhaps the opening tag line for the site could have been your words above:

"Successful poetry is a melding of the heart and mind, not a battlefield between them."

Now that would have been good - and original!  Even without the battlefield bit.

I still feel that had more been done to make that very point over and over - then the tensions we both perceive (and you seem to blame purely on elitism) would have been lessened.


quote:
     To be clear, I'm not particularly  sorry to see the Alley (given what it became) eradicated ...


Your entire discussion, Rob, seems to be based, first, on the assumption that you know what I'm doing and, second, on the belief that I don't know what I'm doing. The latter may very well be true. The former most certainly is not.    


No Ron.  The opening to this thread was based on a concrete observation of what you actually did, in the absence of any word from you as to what or why you were actually doing it.

The following discussion revolved around my speculation, again based upon (admittedly limited) observation, as to why you did what you did over the last 11 years.  

I have no idea why I keep speculating.  Maybe you combine a species of logicality and illogicality which I have rarely come across, and you are therefore fascinating.  Or maybe it's simply that I really am trying to understand how PiP got from there to here.  

Your guess is probably as good as mine.

Novus_Os
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64 posted 08-28-2010 06:34 PM       View Profile for Novus_Os   Email Novus_Os   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Novus_Os

The underlying purpose isn't to me even so much what the land is intended for. To me the good moral choice leaves some chance for growth. Perhaps having an small event on the land in question, and then, taking the opportunity, to inform the people of the way in which you see the land being used properly is a good start. It would perhaps spark decent dialogue on the way to understanding.By the way, how do you do that gavel graphic or the other one serenity?

Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured.

serenity blaze
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65 posted 08-29-2010 03:51 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Me? I don't think I've ever used a gavel graphic. But just below this response/reply box, you'll see "Quick View" in darker blue. The first option to the right is "smilies" where you'll find a list of different responses to choose from--whatever you feel is appropriate to enhance your idea or the discussion. Like this one, for instance, you simple press colon, type the word alley and another colon and you get this:



Novus_Os
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66 posted 08-29-2010 07:09 AM       View Profile for Novus_Os   Email Novus_Os   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Novus_Os





I have a list of 91 icons, which I can select
from a numbered list or view in a box called "
See the Icons". I don't have any additional listed,
and I can't scroll to the right in the box.
I DID however guess angel on my own! Cool.
Maybe you can help me out more via an e-mail
or point me to a place for tech/help on this
feature? Thanks.

Regards,

Novus_Os.

PS. Did I walk into a somewhat complex discussion?

Apparently...
 
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