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Passions in Poetry

Nowhere To Run To

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Kit McCallum
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since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada


0 posted 11-23-2004 07:41 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Kit McCallum

    


Nowhere To Run To


The “Woodland Times” was just a small-town paper in the woods,
It ran the news and advertised the sale of local goods;
The creatures of the forest read it every single morn,
It kept them up-to-date within the land that they were born.

It covered quite an area, from Farmer Johnson’s Glen,
Up north to Ranger’s River, then down south to Lion’s Den,
It bordered on the City of Two-Legs, just east of Dread,
A place where only scavengers and fearless critters tread.

The Times preferred to stay away from stories of the East,
A place the Editor had coined “Not fit for bird nor beast!”
Instead they ran the “happy” news, pretended all was fine,
And closed their eyes and ears beyond the edge of Dead Bird’s Line.

Now Billy was a Cub Reporter, wet behind the ears,
The little bear was young and fresh, but wise beyond his years;
He’d worked for Earl the Editor for several months he guessed,
Reporting on the cheerful news, from North to South, to West.

He wrote of Toad Triathlons and Turtle Races too,
He’d covered Bunny Beauty Pageants, just to name a few;
He had his sights however, on a prize all writers yearned,
A story worth “The Bullitzer”, was something to be earned.

He needed something edgy, something genuine and real,
A scoop that he could sink his teeth in – something he could feel;
And so without permission, to the East, young Billy fled,
In search of something special on the outskirts known as “Dread”.

He packed up his equipment - cameras, notepads and the like,
Then headed off toward the East, an eight or ten mile hike;
He passed the old familiar sights, within this little world,
Where all the happy stories in the neighborhood unfurled.

He tried to chat along the way, with creatures heading West,
“You’re best to turn around young man!” he heard throughout his quest;
“Why so?” young Billy countered to a deer he knew as Dan,
“It’s fight or flee!” the old buck yelled behind him as he ran.

Well Billy thought it rather odd – so many passed him by,
The more he asked, the more he heard, “Go East and you will die!”
Not one would stop to tell him why, from possums, birds, to frogs ...
“Don’t go!” yelled passing beavers, squirrels, and even pollywogs.

“This must be quite a story!” daring Billy thought aloud,
From West to East, as he moved on, he passed a growing crowd;
Each face was filled with terror. Every hoof and paw was fast ...
Each squeak and squawk and howl and grunt was louder than the last!

He’d only walked four miles or so, not half-way there he thought,
When old familiar sights and sounds gave way to stench and rot;
He sniffed the air and perked his ears – he put his glasses on ...
“This cannot be!” he cried out loud, “Where has the forest gone?!?!”

Not fifty feet ahead of him, where maples used to stand,
Where tall majestic oaks and pines stood proudly ‘cross the land,
Was something different – something wrong – the picture somehow changed,
The sights that he remembered had been somehow rearranged.

He felt his chocolate hair stand up, and bristle on his head,
“It’s moving closer!” Billy thought, “I’m at the town of Dread!”
“This isn’t right. There’s something wrong. The forest can’t stop here!”
But there it was, the edge of all he knew and held so dear.

He ran behind a giant tree and peeked beyond the rim,
Looked out toward the frightening land just past the old oak’s limb;
He squinted from the dust and sand that pelted at his face,
And what he saw left images he wished he could erase!

He stared in awe at what he saw ... and what he DIDN’T see,
Before his eyes, to his surprise, he couldn’t see one tree!
In front of him, not twenty feet, a wasteland loomed ahead,
“But I’ve still got at least five miles before the Town of Dread!!!”

“I’m sure,” he whispered to himself, “That only just last year,
The tree frogs and the nightingales had held a concert HERE.”
“It was a grand performance, just magnificent,” he thought,
“Below a lush green canopy upon this very spot!”

Instead, where he was seated just last spring under the trees,
Was nothing that he recognized ... he shook down to his knees!
The wilderness he’d known by heart had simply disappeared,
It seemed like it was swallowed up by nothingness, he feared.

No noise, no crickets, grunts or groans, no barks, no yelps, no shrieks,
No peep at all from anyone, no old familiar squeaks;
The silence was unnerving, not a creature made a sound,
The quiet seemed to smother him – it came from all around.

He peeked beyond the rim again, the dust was thinning out,
He gazed beyond the forest edge, and gave a little shout;
“Hellooooooo?” he called to no one there, “Is anybody here?”
“Hellooooooo!” he called again, as he leaned forward with his ear.

The silence scared him half to death – unnatural, unreal,
As if he was the only one, alone in this ordeal;
Just then, he heard a flutter high above, a whoooosh, a squawk,
He looked above, toward the sound that seemed to jeer and mock.

It was the shriek that echoed death ... the forest’s lonely friend,
It’s Sanitation Engineer (Mortician in the end);
As Billy watched the Turkey Vulture soar and dip and sway,
He hoped it wasn’t there for “him” ... then shrugged the thought away.

“Helloooooooo!” He hollered, waved his arms;  the vulture turned and dove,
It swooped past Billy, landing on a stump beside the grove;
The vulture smiled, “My boy, it’s not that often that I’m called.”
“I do apologize, for most avoid me – they’re appalled.”

Young Billy blushed, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but I’m lost.”
“I must have zigged instead of zagged ... and got my bearings crossed.”
“Well son, you’re here at Dead Bird’s Line, the outskirts known as Dread,
“Beyond you is the City of Two Legs, a mile ahead.”

“It can’t be!” Billy cried with fear, at what he knew was true,
“The forest used to go for miles, the creek and meadow too!”
“Please tell me what is happening! Why has it disappeared?”
“Where’s all the trees, the sounds, the life?  Why has it all been cleared?!?!”

The vulture dropped his head;  his shoulders slumped a little then,
He raised a wing and spun it back behind him past the glen;
He pointed to the wasteland, where the dust had settled back,
And said, “That WAS the forest son, before the big attack.”

“They came in waves – Two-Leggers – Ohhhhh, we didn’t have a chance,
They dug up hills, they tore down trees, with every new advance,
They came with great big monstrous things and ripped the forest down,
They flattened everything in sight – filled creeks a muddy brown.”

“A massacre, I’d say it was - some hid while others fled,
But those that stayed were swallowed up, within the grips of Dread.
No shelter and no food supply, made all the rest retreat,
A chain reaction you might say ... a swift and cruel defeat.”

The vulture rambled on at length, describing what he’d seen,
Two-Leggers stealing life and land as if it were routine;
No thought to creatures big or small, their homes, their lives, their seeds,
They swallowed up each inch of nature, mindless of her needs.

While Billy listened long and hard, he taped all that he heard,
He didn’t want to miss a single thought, a single word;
“My work is never-ending now.” The vulture finally said,
“I’m busier than ever here upon the edge of Dread.”

With that he tipped his head, and gave a squawk as he arose,
He swooped by Billy, tipped his wing, just past the young cub’s nose;
“Head West,” He hollered down below, “Go now, while you still caaaaan!”
“They’re coming!” Squawk “They’re commmming!” And with that, young Billy ran!

He ran with all his might and speed, he ran as fast as light,
He didn’t stop to eat or sleep – he ran into the night!
He ran past others on his way, and warned them not to go,
“Go East and you will diiiiie!” He yelled, “It’s fight or flee the foe!”

He made it home, no time to spare, grabbed papers from the shelf,
He had the story in his mind – it almost wrote itself!
He scribbled, penned and edited until he told it all,
Then ran down to the Woodland Times, with no time left to stall.

He grabbed a hold of Earl and plunked the copy in his hand,
“They’re coming!” Frantic Billy yelled, “They’ve come to take our land!”
“Who’s coming?” Earl retorted, “Read my story!” Billy cried,
He pleaded, begged and groveled at Earl’s knees till he complied.

The Editor sat down to read his cub reporter’s tale,
With horrors and atrocities that left him looking pale;
His face contorted, frowned and fell, glanced up a time or two,
As Billy paced the floor in silence, knowing it was true.

“Ridiculous!” He heard Earl say, when he had reached the end,
“I can’t print that! You know the rules, just HAPPY news, my friend.”
“We have to warn them!” Billy yelled, “They have to know!  It’s true!”
But Earl just frowned and shook his head, as Billy’s panic grew.

Young Billy argued long and hard, he had to take a stand,
“Within a year, the edge of Dread, will swallow up this land!”
“Have you not noticed? Billy asked, “Our population boom?”
“With homeless creatures heading West, we’re running out of room!”

“I’m telling you ... You have to see the writing on the wall,
We have to run the story NOW, we don’t have time to stall.
The Woodland Times, our homes, our food, will simply disappear,
Two-Leggers are advancing as we speak.  They’ll soon be here!”

“I can’t believe that this is true.” The Editor replied,
“I will not run the story son, consider it denied!
We only run the happy news, it’s always been that way,
If you don’t like it, you head West, but I think I will stay.”

With that, young Billy was dismissed, but he did not give in,
They could not stay oblivious – His mind began to spin ...
So Billy posted flyers, talked to everyone he knew,
In hopes that he could warn the creatures, maybe save a few.

He did his best, then headed West to stay a bit ahead,
The overcrowding soon would start, behind him close to Dread;
He walked for miles, in hopes that he might start his life a’new,
Out West where lush green canopies and sturdy maples grew.

It seemed the farther Billy got, the more he breathed relief,
Until a sense of déjà vue disputed his belief,
He tried to chat along the way, with others heading “East”,
“You’re best to turn around young man!” he heard from bird and beast.

Not one would stop to tell him why, from possums, birds, to frogs ...
“Don’t go!” yelled passing beavers, squirrels, and even pollywogs;
“Why so?” young Billy countered to the deer he knew as Dan,
“It’s fight or flee!” the old buck yelled behind him as he ran.


/Kit McCallum


© Copyright 2004 Kit McCallum - All Rights Reserved
nakdthoughts
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since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


1 posted 11-23-2004 07:48 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

wow...just wow...

and yes, the farm and forest land around here keeps disappearing at a too fast pace

M
Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


2 posted 11-23-2004 07:51 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Ah, Bravo! Kit!  What a marvelous weave,
and such it is, that when the animals leave
they seek to find those simpler ways,
and yearn to find those "golden" days...

[some day you'll get me to ta-dum just right!]
Nan
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since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


3 posted 11-23-2004 07:53 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

I'm smiling a great big Tuesday morning smile.  When you write'm, lady - You do it in style....

Your messages are lessons for us all.  Perhaps we should get you a job as a world-renouned environmental reporter - Whatcha think?...
LeeJ
Member Patricius
since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


4 posted 11-23-2004 08:00 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Words have imparted and all that's left to say is, ditto the above
What a write, marvelous, and above all, sending hugs and many thanks for writing and sharing with us.
Seymour Tabin
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since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla


5 posted 11-23-2004 08:10 AM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

Kit,
Your version of Billy in wonderland.
Scary but very well done in fact excellent.
suthern
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since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


6 posted 11-23-2004 10:46 AM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

Oh, wow... you held me spellbound from first word to last... I was so anxious to learn the ending that I had to start right over once I finished... to appreciate what I'd hurried through! *S*

It's always worth waiting for one of your gifts... beautiful work!!
RSWells
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since 06-17-2001
Posts 2607


7 posted 11-23-2004 11:08 AM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

Epic. Great cadence. It is estimated that at the present rate of slash and burn the South American rainforest will be ruduced by 80% in only 25 years.

Our grandchildren will think plants are something you ride over a sea of concrete to WalMarts to see.

Thanks
Enchantress
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since 08-14-2001
Posts 37801
Somewhere in time~


8 posted 11-23-2004 12:11 PM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

We don't hear from you often enough Kit..
But when you write lady...you always blow me away!
This is a masterpiece!!
Into my library it goes.
~Smiles & Hugs, Nancy~

~ Time has cast a spell on you,
   So you won't ever forget me ~

Martie
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California


9 posted 11-23-2004 12:23 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

I agree with Nancy, Kit...fabulous and meaningful!!  Thank you for this!  
Mysteria
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since 03-07-2001
Posts 19652
British Columbia, Canada


10 posted 11-23-2004 01:55 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

    

Girl, if you don't get this illustrated I am never forgiving you!  Fantabulous!  It was worth the wait, "Bullitzer Prize" indeed!
A very cute story that all mankind should read and heed.
time prophet
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since 07-30-2003
Posts 361
Amongst the Ancient Trees


11 posted 11-23-2004 02:24 PM       View Profile for time prophet   Email time prophet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for time prophet

Unfortunately it is a worldwide problem, there is no limit to mans greed for greater profits.

A wonderful write, that every politician and developer should be forced to read and then forcibly ingest via their fundamental orifice.
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


12 posted 11-23-2004 06:24 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Sad but true, such is all our fates someday...too many people, too little space and no respect for our natural resources. Great write Kit!
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


13 posted 11-23-2004 06:45 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I was almost put off by the length of this, but with fine meter and perfect flow, it was quite an entertaining scroll down the page.

Lesson learned: Kit is never boring.



I enjoyed this very much!
Titia Geertman
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since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297
Netherlands


14 posted 11-23-2004 07:05 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

So true, alas, so true this story is.

But sad as it is, your words are always a pleasure to read.

I wonder if mankind will ever be wiser.

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

ethome
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since 05-14-2000
Posts 11545
New Brunswick Canada


15 posted 11-24-2004 12:28 AM       View Profile for ethome   Email ethome   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit ethome's Home Page   View IP for ethome

Wow! That's really something else!

Eric
Krawdad
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since 01-03-2001
Posts 2627


16 posted 11-24-2004 01:28 AM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

Seems like quite awhile since I've enjoyed being carried along on the waves of one of your stories.
Always fun to read!
Kit McCallum
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since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada


17 posted 11-24-2004 06:45 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Nakdthoughts:  Yes, the natural land disappears way too fast around here too. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed, Maureen!

Sunshine:  Thanks for the bravo, Karilea and for the lovely poetic response!

Nan:  I’m glad I could give you a Tuesday morning smile, Nan. You know? I wouldn’t mind being an environmental reporter!

LeeJ:  Thanks for the hugs and the kind words, LeeJ, I’m glad you enjoyed this!

Seymour:  LOL, Billy in Wonderland … now that’s a cool way to look at it! Hugs sweet Sy.

Southern:  That was so wonderful to hear Ruth … thanks so much, I really appreciated it!

RSWells:  Thanks for the additional thoughts … 80% in 25 years is so scary. I drive in from the country to the city every day, and pass by so many “Possible Land Use Change” signs that it drives me batty. It’s awful to see happen.  

Enchantress:  Thanks for the smiles and hugs Nancy. I hope maybe I’m past the writer’s block after this, lol.  

Martie:  Thanks so much Martie, I’m glad you let me know you enjoyed this, much appreciated.

Mysteria:  LOL, thanks for the “Bullitzer” prize Sharon, and for the illustrator’s links in the e-mail.  I guess it’s kind of a cross between a children’s story and an adult story in a way. Either way, I had fun with it, much appreciated.

Time prophet:  You’re right … there doesn’t seem to be a limit anymore does there? LOL at the politicians and developers, I second that!

Hoot_owl_rn:  I agree about too many people, too little space and no respect for our natural resources .. Maybe someday we’ll learn before it’s too late. Thanks Ruth!

Serenity blaze:  LOL, sorry about the length Karen, but I’m glad to hear it didn’t put you off in the end.  This story evolved over a year’s worth of time. I had about 1/3rd of it written a year ago, then writer’s block set in. It seems the floodgates opened this weekend and let me finish it up finally, lol. I’m glad you liked it.

Titia Geertman:  I hope mankind will someday be wiser Titia … thanks for the kind words, much appreciated.

Ethome:  Thanks for the wow Eric.  I’m glad you enjoyed!

Krawdad:  That’s great to hear Krawdad … I’m glad you came along for the swim. Much appreciated!

Thanks so much everyone.

It sure felt good to post something after so long. I’m glad you all remembered me after all this time, rofl!  

With much appreciation and big hugs to all,
/Kit
Janet Marie
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since 01-22-2000
Posts 18986


18 posted 11-24-2004 07:42 AM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

He wrote of Toad Triathlons and Turtle Races too,
He’d covered Bunny Beauty Pageants, just to name a few;
He had his sights however, on a prize all writers yearned,
A story worth “The Bullitzer”, was something to be earned.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My oh my...I am da-dum giddy!!
How absolutely delightful...clever...creative and cadenced kissed....CLASSIC KIT!!
Take a bow and a curtsey for this gem.
Me thinks your muse loves living in the country.
So very nice to find you here girlie...
and love that smile waiting to happen new pic too.

"this medium is over taken by keyboard prophets who believe their every word profound."

Internet Quotation

Mysteria
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19 posted 11-24-2004 03:51 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Oh I had to read this again and print it out.  Also wanted to tell you that your picture is the Kit I know and love.  Wayne took that for sure!
Mistletoe Angel
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City of Roses


20 posted 11-24-2004 04:54 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



(big angel hugs) Oh Kit, this made me cry because I always imagine and envision the animals communicating to one another when I go out and do environmental activism, and I always think of the little birds saying to the bunnies, "Oh no, whatever will we do, wherever will we go?" (sad sigh) All of God's creatures are living, breathing things and the environment provides just as much to us as it does to them, and I can't believe many don't realize we all bleed the same color, we all share the same emotions, we all are God's family, and we should be honoring life and God by protecting and cherishing the world He has given us! Sadly, our government isn't taking our home seriously, and is rather interested in making a few extra bucks in clear-cutting our evergreens and parceling off the land! (sad sigh) God Bless You, dearest friend, you have a golden heart that feels for and sympathizes with Mother Nature, let's pray many more can speak out like you and save what's left, we all love you so much! You have such a beautiful heart, sweet Kit, thank you for sharing!



May love and light always shine upon you!

Love,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Dr.Moose1
Member Elite
since 09-05-99
Posts 3505
Bewilderment , USA


21 posted 11-24-2004 09:46 PM       View Profile for Dr.Moose1   Email Dr.Moose1   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dr.Moose1

Kit,
Excellent. Your efforts should be rewarded
with more than just words. I may not entirely agree with the philosophy set forth here, as, I also consider myself to be a conservationist, but, it's certainly a thought provoking write.
Happy Thanksgiving,
Doc
Balladeer
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Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


22 posted 11-24-2004 11:31 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ah, dear Kit, I know exactly how it is...you have a thought you want to put down, you start writing, more thoughts keep coming and the writing continues. You try not to make it too long but every thought gives birth to others and you get caught up in the creation of it and you keep going. You reach a point where you know it must end but you hate to make it happen...you want it to go on and on. With such emotions are poems like this created. You have done a masterful job here, both with the story, the message and the impeccable poetic quality. Once again, I salute you..

That pic is the Kit I know
Kit McCallum
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Member Laureate
since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada


23 posted 11-25-2004 06:50 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Janet Marie:  I do love being back in the country, but that muse of mine deserted me for almost a year, rofl. Shame on her!  It feels good to finally be able to post something. Always wonderful to hear from you gator gal, thanks so much JM!

Mysteria:  LOL, thanks Sharon. Yup, that picture was taken in our motorhome while at Disney.  Oh boy, with this weather in Ontario today, I’d sure rather be down there, than up here right about now! I think I’ll be driving to work on a skating rink this morning!

Mistletoe Angel:  I do believe that you and I have a lot in common environmentally, Noah. Thanks so much for such a sweet and caring comment. I’m so glad Mother Nature’s got “you” on her side! Big hugs right back atcha.

Dr.Moose1:  I’m so glad you let me know you found it thought provoking, Doc. Thanks so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it!  Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Balladeer:  You know, that I know, that you know, that I know … how easy it is to grow a long poem, lol.    Thanks so much Michael, for the sweet sentiments and encouragement. I always appreciate you my ‘Deer.  

Thanks again everyone for the lovely comments. It feels great to have posted again,  

With much appreciation, Happy Thanksgiving, and great big hugs to all,
/Kit
passing shadows
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since 08-26-99
Posts 46297
displaced


24 posted 11-26-2004 06:30 AM       View Profile for passing shadows   Email passing shadows   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for passing shadows

what a gift you have given here, as with all of your poems

good to see you posting

you really put a great deal of work into this piece...you should have it made into a book
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