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  • 1. Winter 2012 $8.99The Path A Literary Magazine©Elaine Westphal
  • 2. The Path A Literary Magazine Winter 2012 “One Fine Night”The Path is taken by all writers. The Path to Publication can be long and arduous. This publication is dedicated to straightening and shortening that path. Please enjoy the work of authors who have chosen to take the path to publication.
  • 3. Editor-in-ChiefMary J. NickumManaging EditorDian Butler The Path is published with the purpose of providing quality works to the readingFounding Editor public. It is our wish to also provide a venueR. J. Buckley not only for established authors, but to open another door for new writers to make theirAssistant Editor entrance into the literary world.Caitlin Demo Submission guidelines can be found at theCopyeditor end of the book after the contributor bioPattie Angelucci information.Book Reviewer Correspondence should be directed to theMary J. Nickum Editor-in-Chief, Mary J. Nickum, mjnickum@thepathmagazine.comContributing Authors:A. Paul Bergen Published semi-annually. Single copies,Elena BottsFaith Breisblatt $8.99 (Arizona residents add sales tax).D. E. Z. Butler Ezine, $3.99. For libraries $10 per issue.Tatjana Debeljački Subscriptions: $16 per yearJordan FarrisClaire T. Feild website: www.thepathmagazine.comChase GieldaThomas Michael McDadeBudd Nelson ISBN:Dr. John G. NickumCatherine Becker Reynolds ISSN: 2165-9540 (print)Mary M. Stumreiter ISSN: 2167-1737 (online)Linda UlmanWoodrow W. WalkerLeah M. WhiteTim Wilkinson Copyright 2012Eva Willis The Path to Publication Group, Inc. All rights reserved.Advisory Board:Pattie AngelucciDr. Theresa GatesDr. Sam Sterk
  • 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS Volume 2, Number 2 Winter 2012 John G. Nickum 7 The Touch A. Paul Bergen 19 The Divine Humanity Budd Nelson 27 Old Lobo Woodrow W. Walker 32 One Fine Night in Georgia Tatjana Debeljački 40 About the Meaning of LoveCatherine Becker Reynolds 43 The Last First Days—An Excerpt Tim Wilkinson 57 One Fine Night in Georgia Thomas Michael McDade 67 Delaware Avenue 73 Carl Sandburg Crossword Puzzle Chase Gielda 74 Young Writer’s Corner D. E. Z. Butler 87 Poem Jordan Farris 89 Four Poems Claire T. Feild 95 Three Poems Linda Ulmer 97 Four Poems Mary M. Stumreiter 101 Poem Leah M. White 102 Three Poems Faith Breisblatt 105 Poem Elena Botts 107 Three Poems Eva Marie Willis 111 Two Poems Tatjana Debeljački 113 Two Poems Mary J. Nickum 116 Book Review: North Korea – 3 books Contributor Bios 128 Submission Guidelines 133 Advertisements 135
  • 5. “Easy reading is damn hard writing” ---Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • 6. The Touch John G. NickumThe TouchShort Story “Get away from me.” “Leave me alone.” The wordsburned in Nick Johnson’s mind as he backed out onto the streetand headed for the conference in Milwaukee. It would be along, eight hour drive on rural roads. He would have plenty oftime to think. He had been doing a lot of thinking lately. Thoughts continued to race through his mind. “Why did Imake that half-hearted attempt at romance last night? I reallydon’t give a damn anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I ever cared.There must be more to marriage than this. We certainly aren’t‘soul mates’. After all these years, I can lie in that bed andwonder just who is this woman there beside me… actually, she’sway on the other side of the bed.” He had gone through the motions of saying good bye thismorning… even gave her a peck on the cheek. But, her goodbye was just more of the same old crap, “Have fun with yourknow-it-all fishy buddies.” She wanted no part of his academiclife and never missed an opportunity to put him down foranything connected to it. She had no understanding of the factthat these were professional scientists and that the conferencewas conducted for the purpose of sharing new information. Shehad been totally content when Nick was a high school teacher ina small town. Coffee, gossip, and bridge with the other stay-at-home wives was all she expected out of life. Procreation was awoman’s lot in life, so occasional submission to sex wasnecessary, but she was sure that sex was not meant to bepleasurable. She had been shocked to learn that some of those Path to Publication Group 7
  • 7. The Pathwomen actually enjoyed it and even went to sleep afterwardswithout washing and cleansing themselves. They had met when he was a sophomore in college. Shewas the daughter of a local salesman and his stay-at-home wife.She had a job as a secretary-bookkeeper in a local hardwarestore. She and her family gave lip service to education, but hardwork and “ambition” were more important. She claimed that shehad wanted to study pharmacy, but she had made no attempt toobtain the academic background required. He was a farm boy, acountry bumpkin, who did not realize just how much of asheltered existence he had lived, nor how much potential he had.His mother was a teacher, a highly intelligent woman whorecognized the value of education. He was pursuing a degree ineducation, specializing in the sciences; a specialization thatconcerned his father. His father was an intelligent man, but hehad never questioned the dogma and folk wisdom of his religion.He feared science, especially biology. Nick and Maggie had met at church. Both had beenreared in a fundamentalist Christian denomination, but had littleelse in common… other than the fact that each of them had beendating a Catholic. Given the prejudices of fundamentaliststoward Catholics, it soon became a project of the smallcongregation to get these “nice, Christian young people”interested in each other. Truth be told, the first thing he noticedabout her had been her boobs pushing out the front of her choirrobe. Having been reared to please the expectations of theirparents and their parent’s friends, they soon followed the adviceof the preacher/pastor and started dating. Dating led quickly toengagement and marriage while he was only a junior in college.“Why…oh why, did I listen to that preacher?” That thoughtraced through Nick’s mind for the ten thousandth time. “Oh… my… gawd! Did you see the way that idiot cameup the on ramp? He must have been going 90 miles per hour”.Maria Illiana snapped out of her day dream and joined the otherpassengers in their astonishment over the ridiculous, recklessdriving they had just witnessed. The van was packed with heroffice mates and several biologists, all on their way to an annualmeeting of their professional society. Maria had been thinkingabout the meeting and what it might mean for her. She was Path to Publication Group 8
  • 8. The Touchbothered greatly by the implications related to their ExecutiveDirector’s advice to “entertain the troops.” What did that mean?Being friendly, cordial, and sharing humor with members oftheir professional society; or did he mean more? He was an oldguard sexist who saw women as objects of pleasure rather thanprofessional equals. Annual conferences always seemed to bringa number of “annual meeting flings”. She had not been thinkingabout those kinds of things. She was not going to be someone’sgirl toy. She was thinking about her personal life and theproblems she was facing. Her marriage to Lou, was not bad… it was… it was…just nothing. She had difficulty finding the right words. Yes,she was married legally, but there was no bonding, no emotionalconnection. Lou certainly was no soul mate. He was not meanto her, but, he did have a violent streak, as shown by the time hehad nearly killed his son, her stepson, because of some minorchore that had not been finished. He was something of a controlfreak who always had to be right; always the one to have the lastword on everything… even things he knew nothing about. Heseemed to respect her professional stature, but he certainly didnot fit in the world where she worked. Sex was just somethingto be endured… get it over with. But there were two sons… twosons living. Their two sons were all they had in common. Whyhad she married him?She had been a young woman, just out of graduate school aftercompleting her master’s degree when they met. He was amaintenance man at the laboratory where she served as librarian.Their backgrounds could hardly have been more different. Shehad been born to a rural couple who were scraping out asubsistence living on a Northwoods farm and woodlot. Education was her way of escaping the near poverty inwhich she had been born and reared. Her parents hadencouraged her in her education, but had reacted with alarmwhen she was offered a job a thousand miles from home. Herfather was on old-fashioned German who though he knew whatwas best for his wife and children. So, she accepted a position ina town less than 150 miles from home; a good position, but notthe glamorous spot in a prestigious university that she couldhave had. Path to Publication Group 9
  • 9. The Path He was the son of a blue-collar factory worker and hisstay-at-home wife, brought up to distrust “management”. Yet,he had thrived in the military. His Air Force career had takenhim far beyond his humble beginnings in Michigan. Thedownside of his military career had been a lonely wife backhome who sought comfort in the arms of other men. Fourchildren, one of whom probably wasn’t his, were not enough tokeep them together. He had convinced a judge that his formerwife was not a fit mother and that he should have custody of thechildren, even though he would not be there to provide guidanceand supervision. He had to spend most of his days working andthe children were pretty much on their own. Perhaps that young,single librarian was the answer to his problems. He needed a“mother” for his children. She needed to show her domineeringfather that she was independent and could do what she damnedwell pleased. After a short courtship, they eloped. “Holy s***”…. Nick shook himself, slapped his headand brought his car to a stop. He had been so distracted, soengrossed in his thoughts that he had driven right through a 4-way stop. Lucky for him, no other cars were there. He realizedthat he had to focus on driving, not the questions burningthrough his mind. But, the questions kept coming. Maggie claimed that sheloved him, but she wanted no sexual intimacy. “That just doesnot make sense.” She claimed that she respected his educationand his professional stature, but she never missed an opportunityto put him down, to tell him how much better things were beforehe “lost his commonness”… and his common sense. When hehad criticized a statement of their son’s high school biologyteacher, a young recent college graduate, (who had, indeed, beencompletely in error), Maggie, had challenged him belligerently,“What makes you think that you know more than his teacher?”In her world, a high school biology teacher had been the ultimateauthority. All of the advanced studies that Nick had pursued inhis graduate education and the respect shown to him by his peersand graduate students meant nothing. She rejected all that hehad become professionally, as well as, his body. How could sheclaim that she loved him? Was there a dark secret somewhere inher past that led her to create a bizarre fantasy world? Path to Publication Group 10
  • 10. The Touch Actually, he’d had questions right from the beginning oftheir marriage; even before the wedding. He had almostaccepted the advice of his best man to simply leave town on theday of the wedding. All day long, Arnie kept telling him wherethey could be if they left then, starting at 8 o’clock in themorning. Even an hour before the ceremony… but, Nickthought he had to go through with it. The wedding went smoothly, except for the attempt ofone of his drunken buddies to object; but, questions emergedwithin hours. Maggie claimed to be a virgin, but that initialentry was not difficult at all… no blood, no apparent pain,basically no different than later, even after children had beenborn. But, there was one very strange thing. Before the secondattempt at love making, Maggie had asked him to not wear acondom, because she wanted to “experience sex for real”. At thetime, he thought that it was an expression of wanting him, but astime moved on he began to have questions, even alarm, becauseher aversion to sex, almost a phobia against it, grew moreintense. What was her problem? But, there was also his “problem”. Was it normal to beattracted to so many other women, or was his “problem” just thetypical feelings of a young male? Jokes about “HawaiianDisease” (lacka nookie) notwithstanding, he had begun todaydream, even fantasize about female neighbors, colleagues,and friends, He could imagine them as sex partners who reallydid want him and who would give themselves completely to therelationship. In contrast, Maggie claimed that “it hurts”, “myperiod is starting” (this for at least 15 days each month), and sheusually went to bed two hours before he joined her, soawakening her was out of the question. She claimed that he wasa good lover, but she still avoided sex whenever remotelypossible. He begged her to discuss her “problems” with aphysician, but she never did. “I just couldn’t discuss it.” Nickbegan to believe that she was hiding something. Perhaps shehad been molested as a child, or a young woman. Or maybe thatlong-term relationship with Bob, the guy who had intended to bea priest, was not as platonic as she claimed. But, guilt feelingsfrom that shouldn’t explain her problems later. What if she hadbeen molested by a family member? There were those odd Path to Publication Group 11
  • 11. The Pathstatements… very odd statements… about sharing the bathroomwith her father. Such things certainly never happened in hisfamily. As a “good Christian girl”, she certainly would not wantto discuss a past that included molestation with her physician, oreven her husband. That would blow her “fairy tale world” tosmithereens. Nick used to joke that in her fairy tale about“Prince Charming” and the beautiful maiden, no one everdiscussed what happened when they got back to the castle. “Oh…my…gawd. Did you see that…!” Once again,Maria Illiana was shocked out of her near trance. She never didsee what it was that her companions had seen, apparently a manwho was a serious challenger for the title of “World’s FattestHuman”, who amazingly was still walking about. She reallydidn’t care to join the discussion. She was now “slim and trim”,but had fought weight problems most of her life. She hadempathy for those who had this problem and thought thelaughter to be inappropriate. She was still pondering hermarriage. She had decided that it was not what she wanted… notwhat she knew in her heart a marriage could be, or what itshould be. But, there were her two sons to consider. She knewabout the vicious verbal attacks on Lou’s former wife duringtheir divorce. She knew about the children being forced totestify and the terrible treatment he pressed on his younger sonfor testifying in favor of his mother. She did not want to haveher sons subjected to degrading statements about her or beingforced to testify against her. She often thought about her third son; the one bornprematurely at 28 weeks. He did not survive. She had neverseen him and Lou had told the hospital to dispose of him withthe rest of their waste. There had been no funeral… no closure…and the resentment grew. Surely, she should have been consultedand given the opportunity to ask for a funeral, a decent burial ina cemetery where she could find closure in her own way. Maria felt trapped. She had entered into an untenablesituation. She was in a legal union, but emotionally, it wastotally empty. If only there was someone who understood. Ifonly there was someone and something to help her escape. Shewas not prone to despair, nor depression, but she realized that Path to Publication Group 12
  • 12. The Touchshe had to stop dwelling on this aspect of her life. She forcedherself to think about the upcoming meeting where she couldescape, at least for a few days. Nick had continued to think about his “situation” and toremember some of the specific temptations over the years.Several attractive women, and a few who were not so attractive,had made it clear that they were available. He had no doubtsthat they would have been better lovers than Maggie, but there ismore to life than that. Shared intimacy involves more than thebedroom. Rose Marie, the young woman he tutored while ingraduate school, was beautiful, intelligent, and seeking aneducation. Her family had money, but, he could not forget hisvows to Maggie. He could not handle a divorce on top of thedemands of graduate school. Most of the others were really not that attractive, beyondthe possibility of a romp between the sheets. But, there wasConnie… beautiful, sexy, intelligent, and they shared stronginterests in environmental issues. Unfortunately, she wasmarried also, the wife of a university president. The potentialscandal was enough to deter him, even though her breathlesscalls at 6:00 AM seemed to make a statement far beyond mutualinterest in the environment. He had thought of divorce. He had also thought ofsimply disappearing, but he did not want to give up his academiccareer. At times he became depressed, almost suicidal. He haddreams in which there was a gun in his mouth. The dreams wereso vivid that he took his guns and secured them in a locker awayfrom the house. When he tried to tell Maggie how despondenthe was and that he might end up in a mental institution, she hadlaughed at him and told him he was exaggerating. When he toldher that she was driving him into the arms of some other woman,she ignored him and later told him that she just thought he wasmad at her. For once, she was right. --- He was almost toMilwaukee. He had to concentrate on his driving and findingthe meeting venue. Then he thought of Maria Illiana. He had met her brieflyat a workshop-conference several months previously. Sheworked for the professional society whose annual conference hewas going to attend. She had made a presentation during the Path to Publication Group 13
  • 13. The Pathworkshop and then helped tutor attendees, such as Nick. MariaIlliana… so very attractive, a few years younger than Nick, butnot a recent graduate. She had the dark eyes and dark hair thathe had always found attractive… and that beautiful, almostmusical name… she was so intriguing. He had learned that shewas not a Latina, but rather of Bavarian ancestry. Howinteresting. His ancestral roots also went back to Germany. More importantly, she was clearly intelligent andinterested in academic, even scholarly matters… so differentfrom Maggie, who would never even take a course at theuniversities where he taught. Perhaps even more importantly,Maria seemed interested in him… she had even suggested thathe should join her in taking in the view of the campus from oneof the nearby tower buildings. He thought now that he shouldhave taken the opportunity to get better acquainted. The thoughtthat she might be at the meeting was almost too much to hopefor. But, what if she is there… I’m still married to Maggie. ---“I have to face reality and start the divorce proceedings.”---“But, what if Maria is happily married?” Maria and her colleagues were approaching Milwaukee.The mindless chatter and small talk flowed around her, but shecontinues to think about her unsuccessful marriage. She knewthat she needed to leave; to find an attorney and get on with adivorce, but… there were her sons… and where would she go?If there was only some place to go and someone to go with her…she would go. Maybe eventually she could leave on her own,but, right now that seemed impossible. Then her thoughts turned to the upcoming conference.There would be plenty of young scientists trying to forget abouttheir wives and sweethearts back home. But, they were justinterested in “annual meeting flings”. Such things had becomequite common in recent years. In part, it was driven by middle-aged men realizing that time was passing them by, the “middle-age crazies. Others were just “dirty old men”, even though theywere barely into their thirties. Maria and her colleagues jokedabout liaisons with such men… their professional society wasmostly male… but the only ones that appealed to Maria seemedfully committed to their wives back home; such as that NickJohnson she had met at the workshop a few months before. He Path to Publication Group 14
  • 14. The Touchhad gone out to that country tavern and restaurant with the restof the group. He had stayed there late into the evening. He wasfriendly, but did not give any indication that he might beavailable Nick Johnson… he was only a few years older thanMaria, but had beautiful white hair that make him sodistinguished looking. He did not seem to realize how manywomen were attracted to him. He was known for his honestyand kindness, as well as, his scientific capabilities. In the brieftime that Maria had seen him at the workshop, she had noticedan easy confidence about him as he interacted with hiscolleagues. He also had a quick wit, rarely missing anopportunity for a “one-liner” punch line when someone provideda straight line. She loved that kind of humor. Maria was surethat he would be at the meeting. His program was partiallysponsored by the Federal Government and a meeting of thatgroup was scheduled for the evening before the formal meeting.Government folks had a “thing” about evening and/or earlymorning meetings, never missing an opportunity to have one. A few hours later, Maria turned to Lisa, her roommatefor the meeting, and said, “There must be something better to dothan sit here watching TV. That cooperative program meetingshould be over by now. Maybe some of the guys are ready forpizza and beer.” She decided to walk down the big spiralstaircase to the lobby. That way she could see who was thereand pick out the ones she wanted to talk with. The first personshe spotted was Steve, the guy who had arranged for herparticipation in the workshop in the early summer. She did notknow the person he was talking to, but they seemed to be havinga good time… she would join them. “Hi, Maria; it’s great to see you again. Do you know myold colleague from graduate school, Bill Jones? No, well Billthis is Maria. Maria, this is Bill.” They resumed theirconversation, mostly about old times, but with a little of theircurrent work added. Maria just listened. Suddenly, she becametotally alert. “That’s him” she thought. “Yes, it is NickJohnson… and he is walking straight toward us.” Maria felt herface flushing… not too much she hoped. Path to Publication Group 15
  • 15. The Path “Hi, Steve.” “Hi, Bill.” “It’s good to see you guys.”“It’s been a long time since South Dakota,, Bill. He had seenSteve at the workshop in New York, but hadn’t seen Bill in 10years. “Nick, do you know Maria?” Oh, you probably met herat that workshop in New York last June.” They bothremembered meeting, but Steve’s introduction eased them bothinto the conversation. Neither one of them wanted toacknowledge at that moment just how much they remembered. Steve and Nick had been at the Cooperative Researchmeeting earlier in the evening, but hadn’t had a chance to talk,so discussions about the program and the new directionsdemanded by the Administration and Congress filled the nextfew minutes. Most of the other guys decided to go for pizza anda few beers. Steve had received the message from others afterthe meeting, but Nick had already gone to leave some papers inhis room, so it was news to him. “Maria, Bill, it’s an open gathering; please join us.” Theinvitation came easily from Nick and gave no hint of his desireto learn more about Maria. He already knew much about Steveand Bill; they had been his graduate students for their Master’sdegrees. Steve had also been his assistant in New York beforeNick had moved to Iowa in a last ditch effort to placate Maggie. “It looks like it’s going to rain and I have a car… anyonewant a ride?” Nick did not feel like getting wet… and maybe,just maybe, Maria would prefer to ride. “Thanks, Nick, but, I really need to get some exercise.It’s only a half mile or so to the pizza joint, I think it’s calledBrewBakers, or something like that.” Steve had been a collegeathlete and always chose to get some exercise when he could.Bill joined Steve in saying that he, too would walk. Maria loved to walk, but she was not going to miss thisopportunity. “Thanks, Nick, I’ll take a ride.” A crowd had gathered when Maria and Nick enteredBrubakers. Steve and Bill had walked quickly, trying to stayahead of the rain that was just starting. They had secured one ofthe high bar tables that had room for as many as six people. Acouple of their colleagues had joined them, but there was stillroom for Maria and Nick. Nick made sure that Maria got a seatnext to his. Path to Publication Group 16
  • 16. The Touch “Maria, do you know Jon, he is in the DC office of ourprogram? How about Carl, he’s at Oregon State?” She did notknow Jon, but, yes, she knew Carl. She had worked in thelibrary at Oregon State and even earned a second master’sdegree in a program offered by his department. Their professionwas sometimes a small world. “Hi, Jon, it’s good to meet you. My office colleagueshave mentioned you, but, I don’t think that we have met. Carl,it’s great to see you again. Is the department getting along okaywithout me to guide them to the latest and greatest researcharticle?” She was joking and everyone laughed. Maria had arelaxed casual sense of humor. Nick liked that. He could notremember the last time he and Maggie had shared laughter…had they ever laughed together? Their ideas of what was funnywere greatly different. Pizzas came and were devoured. Beer flowed freely, butno one was out of control. Time rushed on. The conversationswere mostly about old times and current issues for the Coopprogram. Maria and Nick listened intently whenever the otheroffered a thought or comment. They wanted to know more abouteach other. Their problems back in their respective homes neverentered their minds. They were living here and now. The Touch…Later, Nick could not remember what hadbeen said, but it seemed so natural to let his hand rest briefly onthe back of Maria’s neck. It was just a brief touch, but hethought he detected a bit of a quiver… perhaps a verywelcoming quiver? Maria recognized her involuntary responseand it was very positive and truly emotional. Later, she couldnot remember what prompted “the touch”, but, she hadrecognized it instantly as more than just an accidental brushingof her neck. “I think that there may be something developingbetween Nick and me. That touch spoke volumes; at least in mymind. I hope I am not wrong. Could this be the start ofsomething special?” The same thoughts flashed through Nick’s mind. “Couldthis be the start of something special?” Yes. THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE FINE NIGHT. Path to Publication Group 17
  • 17. The PathEPIlOGUE…After the conference, Maria and Nick returned to their respectivejobs and homes. Each of them proceeded with the divorces thatthey had realized to be necessary.Two years later, on the anniversary of “The Touch”, Maria andNick were married. unknown Path to Publication Group 18
  • 18. The Divine Humanity A. Paul BergenThe Divine HumanityAn Essay Part I It is the irony of all being that the whole is dependentupon the individual, yet the individual is of no essential meaningto the whole. This is true throughout the entire spectrum ofexistence. For the human species, though comprised ofindividual human beings, each one is expendable and ultimatelyinsignificant. Within the solar system, remove our earth or anyone planet and the system remains. The individual star isinsignificant within a galaxy comprised of hundreds of billionsof stars. Among hundreds of billions of galaxies, each is equallyinsignificant and expendable. And now, given the concept of amultiverse, even our vast beyond imagination universe may benothing more than one among infinity. Even as the individual is expendable, the same may besaid of permanence throughout the realm of being. Just as weare conceived, born, live and die, so it is with all that is withinthe universe. Galaxies, stars, planets, like you and me, are herefor a time and then gone forever, replaced and forgotten.Impermanence may also be true of the universe itself as itdisperses through ever expanding space. Change is the oneconstant law of all things. Any status quo, no matter how stableit may appear, is as impermanent as all else. In any attempt to ascertain the meaning of humanity, wemust admit the impermanence of both our species and the planetupon which we are dependent. The inescapable fact is that thehuman species will soon be extinct. In terms of universal time,the existence of human beings will represent not more than afleeting second, and humanity can be no more significant than Path to Publication Group 19
  • 19. The Pathbillions of other instances of planetary life within billions ofother solar systems in billions of other galaxies and perhapsbillions of other universes. The mortality of our species may be self-inflicted. Thereare those who believe that our self-immolation is inherent withinthe rise of intelligence itself. Given the current state ofhumanity, this is a concept not easily dismissed. Through ourprized and vaunted intelligence, we can point to at least threepossible extinction scenarios. A both possible and plausible nuclear holocaustconfronts us, given our creation of nuclear weapons. Betweenthe United States and Russia alone, there are enough nuclearbombs and missiles to end human civilization ten times over,and at the same time, to leave the earth uninhabitable forcenturies to come. Ending the so-called cold war betweenAmerica and the Soviet Union has barely lessened the danger.Given the rise of international terrorism, radical terroristorganizations and rogue nations, the possibility of irresponsiblenuclear confrontation is as undeniable as it is irrational.Unfortunately, humanity has a repulsive habit of somehowfinding ways to justify the use of whatever weaponry it iscapable of creating. A continuation of this habit will lead toextinction. We have recently discovered another means, through ourever resourceful intelligence, for ending the human species. Wehave gained, brilliantly, the capacity to create deadly anduntreatable viruses capable of wiping our brilliantly intelligentspecies from the face of the earth. And why have we done this?For the same reason we accomplish so many inappropriateactions, because we are a curious animal tending to do whateverit is that we can. In this case, we have created yet anotherpossible means for extinction through potential biologicalweapons. Will we use it? As with all other weaponry, given pasthistory, the odds for restraint are not in our favor. The third scenario for self-extinction has taken both timeand utter irrationality. We are cleverly hell bent on rendering ourplanet environmentally uninhabitable, even as the evidence ofour irresponsible folly dances before our very eyes. For over halfa century, scientists have warned that to continue forcing endlesstons of carbons and other pollutants into earths atmosphere will Path to Publication Group 20
  • 20. The Divine Humanityinevitably lead to global warming, drastic climate change, theextinction of polar caps and rising seas. We have been warnedover and again that a "tipping point" will be reached that willrender reversal or even realistic mitigation beyond our control.Given such a point, models break down and precise predictionsas to what may follow are impossible other than to assumeawaiting disaster. That point, we are told, may already have beenreached. Likewise, we have been warned by oceanographers fordecades that our seas are slowly dying. Endless pollution frommetropolitan sewage, industrial waste, endless tons of plasticsand other non-biologic trash, combined with the overall effectsof global warming, may ultimately leave us on a planet 70percent covered by dead waters. Our mighty oceans, from whichlife has arisen and is so generously succored, will be renderedsilent, foul and devoid of life. Thanks to our intelligence, ourability to research, create, manufacture, transport, build, all themachinations of civilization of which we are so proud, therein liethe seeds of our possible extinction. Thanks to the intelligence ofhumanity, the planet earth may totally repulse the life it has sowondrously created and maternally fostered. And, what has been and remains the all too commonresponse to such dire warnings? Although there are manyenvironmentally responsible religious adherents, religion, ingeneral, has been a distinct deterrent to responsible action. "Thisworld is not my home," is a common religious theme. Whyshould we care for the earth when heaven is our promiseddestination? Why should we care for the earth when God willultimately destroy it, as biblically proclaimed. God is in controland whatever happens will be His will. These are typicalevangelical Christian responses to dire environmental warnings. Other religions are equally, if not similarly, prone toinaction. For the Buddhist, nirvana consists of the obliterationof all earthly desire, human striving and ambition. Disinterestand inaction are consequential. Hinduism considers physicalreality, maya, to be only a web spun from the mind of Brahma.The ultimate human state of being attains blissful oneness withthe transcendental Creator and is beyond physical inclinationsand intents. Again, there are concerned and responsible Path to Publication Group 21
  • 21. The Pathenvironmentalists among the adherents of all religions.Nevertheless, religions common disdain for physical, materialreality in favor of transcendental, spiritual reality rendersconcern for the earth secondary at best and generally unworthyof sacrificial action. The secular response to dire environmental warnings isequally disappointing and potentially disastrous. We areunquestionably given to short term gain at the expense of longterm pain. We dare not disrupt the global economy. Powerfulcorporations, such as oil and natural gas conglomerates, lavishmillions of dollars on lobbyists and politicians to maintainprofits regardless of cost to the planet and its atmosphere.Developing nations and rising economic powers are loath tomitigate the problems caused by centuries of pollution byalready developed industrial nations. Developed nations areloath to provide the expensive means necessary for developingnations to maintain growth without further pollution. With total disdain for factual truth, an incredible numberof supposedly rational human beings simply deny the prospect ofenvironmental disaster. Regardless of amount or quality ofscientific evidence placed before them, denial is their insistentresponse. Even as global temperatures and ocean levels rise, ascoral reefs die, as glaciers and polar caps melt away, as draughtprevails, storms increase in number and intensity, as predictionsof consequences one after another become reality, many of usremain blind to what is happening before our very eyes. Why?Because, to solve the problem, enormous sacrifice is necessary.Habits must be changed, luxuries denied, pleasures diminished,profits lessened, elections lost, short term greed relinquished infavor of long term gain. Human nature is not given to sacrifice. Over-population will also negatively affect the future ofhumanity. Our over-burdened planet may ultimately wreak itsown havoc upon us. In 1950, there were 2.5 billion humans here,and in just 40 years that amount doubled. There were 6 billion ofus at the end of last century and, just 12 years later, there arealmost a billion more. By the end of the 21st century, presentestimates place the earths human population at between 8 and12 billion people. At this time, half of all humans live inpoverty, 20 percent severely undernourished. It is predicted, Path to Publication Group 22
  • 22. The Divine Humanitybefore the end of this century, conflicts over food and water willbe a major cause of international strife and warfare becomes evermore dangerous with each new generation of human weaponry. Will humanity self-destruct? The tale is not yet told, butthe evidence for disaster mounts with each passing, unresolvedyear. Perhaps only civilization as we know it will be the victim,and human beings will muddle on in greatly reducedenvironmental circumstances. Perhaps the darling of sciencefiction, colonization of an alien planet, will be accomplished;although, pleasing as the prospect may sound, its actualization isdeemed futile by nearly all experts on the subject. Our fate andfuture will almost certainly be earth-bound and what happens tothe planet will happen to the creatures who dwell thereon."Beware of Mother Nature." The dinosaurs dominated the earths surface for millionsof years, and then they were no more. After dominating for onlya few thousand years, humans are already vulnerable. Evenshould we not self-destruct, our extinction is nonethelessinevitable. Our atmosphere seeps slowly into space and, in afew million years at most, the earth will not allow our continuedpresence. Impermanence reigns within our universe, and we willsuffer the fate of all planetary species. Just as is the fate of theindividuals who comprise it, human beings will live for a timeand then will be no more. Part II Given all of the above, how can the title of this essaypossibly make sense, The Divine Humanity? It would seem anoxymoron of the highest degree. To make sense of it, a relevantperspective regarding religious language is necessary. With thisis mind, consider the various definitions and correspondingconceptions of God. Within this and earlier essays, I have deliberately usedreligious terms while proposing a naturalist vision of reality. It isnatural to assume that someone propounding a non-transcendental philosophy is atheistic. However, I do not seemyself as an atheist but rather as someone redefining, or creatingyet another conception of God. Everything that is, is God. Path to Publication Group 23
  • 23. The PathEverything that is not, is not God. You and I are God and so isthe earth we walk upon. Given this perspective, God becomes anaturalistic concept. As I have stated elsewhere, within this conception we arethe mind of God; more precisely stated, the intelligence createdwithin the totality of physical reality is the mind of God, for it isthe only intelligence that can be. As we know, intelligence doesnot exist in a vacuum; it is created from substance, structure andprocess. Without these elements, it cannot exist. Substance,structure and process are elements of physical reality. If there isdivine intelligence, it is can only be ours or similar to ours innature. Why call it divine? Because if anything is divine, surelyit is our intelligence and the best of what comes from it. I call itdivine because of the meaning we have attached to the word, i.e.something great, amazing, extraordinary equals what we meanwhen we describe something as divine. God is a generic term. The triune God of the bible is oneconception - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Allah, anotherconception, is the God of Islam; Brahma, a very differentconception, is the God of Hinduism, The Tao represents the Godof Taoism, The Great Spirit, the God of Pantheism. There are asmany conceptions of God as there are religions. Although theusual definition involves a Being or Force above and beyondmaterial being, my conception is that God is everything that is.The totality of all physical being is God. The totality of allphysical reality is my God, which I hold with both reverence andawe, and which I feel to be the highest truth and authority. Inthis way, I am using religious, or spiritual language, to describea naturalist philosophy. Although it is not necessary, I amcomfortable with these terms; they are composite with myfeelings and sense of things. My God is physical reality; myintelligence is the mind of that God, and my feelings create themeaning of that conception of God. Within this conception, there is nothing transcendental,nothing over, above or beyond us that gives meaning tohumanity. The only meaning we have is from and to ourselvesand each other, and this is a beautiful truth. Furthermore, it ishumanity that gives meaning to the universe, humanity alongwith all other similarly intelligent creatures to be found withinthe universe, or multiverse as the case may be. Path to Publication Group 24
  • 24. The Divine Humanity To illustrate how we give meaning to the universe and, inessence, create our own universe, consider the definition of astar. As we know, a star is a massive cauldron of fiery gassessuspended in space. However, any dictionary defining the wordstar will list numerous definitions. It is a celestial body, a starshaped mark, something that determines a persons future ordestiny, a mark of distinction or of rank, a famous orextraordinary person or animal, the principle player in a play,concert or movie. It is used as metaphor in song and poetry,wherein starlight speaks of romance and mystery. We haveinfused the physical reality of a star with a plethora of meaning. As further illustration of the point, consider the specificstar that is our sun. Without humanity, the sun is but one ofbillions of similar stars, common, past its prime and burning itsway to extinction. Given humanity, the sun is given meaningbeyond measure. It is the glory of sunrise, the beauty of sunset,the splendor of sunlight on a clear day, the agony of sunburn, thebounty of light by day and the reflected light of the moon bynight. The sun has meaning as we give it meaning, and so it iswith the universe itself. Meaning comes from us. It is our word, our concept,created by our feelings and defined by our intellect. Without us,the universe merely exists. Given humanity, the universe isdiscovered, examined, enjoyed; it becomes more than justexistence, the universe becomes alive. It does not becomemeaningful because of some transcendental entity envisioned byus, but because of us alone and the meaning we give to it. We have meaning only to ourselves and to each other.This is our existential reality, life as it is given to us, temporaland mortal. We need nothing more to thrive and survive as ourevolution to dominance on earth has proven. We may claimanother reality, namely that of transcendentalism. We may claimimmortality and meaning granted from some immortal all-powerful Being beyond our own, but our existential realityremains as given. We are born, live for a time, then die. This isour truth, and it is enough; we thrive within it as individuals andas a species until our time on earth will have passed, be itthrough our own doing or that of the passing of time. What, then, is my meaning as an individual human beingamong nearly seven billion other such individuals? First, my Path to Publication Group 25
  • 25. The Pathmeaning comes from within, from my own sense of purpose andintent. I feel that my thoughts, perspective, actions and feelingsare important simply because they are important to me. In thisalone there is meaning. Of equal value is the meaning I derivefrom you. Both specifically and collectively, how I am viewedas friend, lover, son, father, husband, teacher, worker; in all ofthe ways I am seen by others, I am vested with meaning. I havemeaning because I am meaningful to myself and to those withwhom I share my being. It is meaning enough to sustain myselfand the species to which I belong. I give meaning to myself, to you and to the universe. Andso I call myself divine, a part of the divine humanity.Bougainvillea (photo: John G. Nickum) Path to Publication Group 26
  • 26. Old Lobo Budd NelsonOld LoboShort Story A grizzled old lobo sits his haunches on a high boulderoverlooking the valley dense with trees. While an eerie fullmoon bathes everything in bright opaque luster and stars pulsewith glow that adds little to the ambient light, but much to theominous mood. He recognizes the pack of his kind stalking a fullgrown black Honey Eater with a young grey as the new alphamale. Strong and fierce, but not experienced, yet. Old Lobosenses a familiarity in the bruin, something from long ago, not inhis natural instinct and not a threat but still there. He had seen anaging Spiked Head earlier hidden in a thicket between the packand him. He raises his muzzle to the bright orb: opens his jawsand takes in a full lung of the cool night air giving a deepbellowing yowl, long and multi toned. Grey hears the bay of another wolf far up the mountain, akilling yell. A fresh kill of a loner will be easier to take than thislarge Honey Eater he is stalking. Off at a trot toward the bayingwith his pack right on his heels. The black Honey Eater eases up now, he could feel thebiters getting close but that yipping called them away.Somehow, somewhere he knows that particular yell. It is not onehe fears, so down on all fours and off up this rise he goes awayfrom the group of biters. Old Lobo stands and walks away over the ridge beforethe pack gets close enough to spot him. It is time to hunt, time toeat and then he can rest for the night, alone, as every dark time.After killing and devouring a small nocturnal, unfortunate OldLobo canters back to his den and lays down muzzle on tail. Hefeels safe here; it is far from any other lairs, so this is where herests peacefully, if not, occasionally, fitfully. Path to Publication Group 27
  • 27. The Path As he is calming down and just about to drift off intoblankness, his nearest neighbor the, white topped night hunter,started his who-whos. Finally he took off flapping the still airinto a short breeze as he passed nearby, gaining height. Now thesleep could come, night hunter would be gone most of thedarkness. Sometime later, as the moon was far past mid sky, OldLobo started twitching as he lay there. Through the graying ofhis slumber he could see his pack from long ago. One of hislarger sibling males was playing at tussling and biting with himuntil a nip gave him a sharper pain than usual play caused. Hisneck hairs stood stiff along his spine and instinct drove him tobare more fang and clamp down hard on his playmate, bringingblood out onto the fur of his opponent. Without warning, theirmother clapped him hard across his muzzle and sent his rollingacross the hard soil. Later, when all his pack was jostling for themeat his father had brought to the den, the young Old Lobosensed that one of the pack was missing. The missing one neverreturned, but there was more to eat that day. Bright specks started separating the grey on the inside ofhis closed eyelids and Old Lobo began to stretch and roll beforewaking up completely. The thirst was the first thing heacknowledged and, for this, he rose and walked to the spring,dribbling from the rocks close by, to quench the desire. The dreams of the night were all but gone now. Old Lobolooked around and saw that night hunter was nowhere to be seenand he was silent again. The sun was rising higher over themountain peaks, starting to give off its daytime warmth and thecreatures of this range were starting to stir from their places ofthe dark. Old Lobo started to walk off from his place of safety,as well. It was time to be about for the day. A long time ago, hehad found that less of his kind or any other did not search forhim where there were no traces of him about. So he had pickedthis lair high in the rocks where no tracks were left and onlyrelieved himself when off hunting. When he came to where the Spiked Head had beenyesterday, he found that his old pack had done their work well.Little remained of the aging spiked head and blood covered therocks, grass and soil. There was plenty left for a morning’s meal,relieving his slight hunger for now. Path to Publication Group 28
  • 28. Old Lobo After his hunger was slaked, he started on back up theridge and in the direction where his old pack slept during thedark hours. While still above the spot and far enough off not tobe sensed, he leaned back on his haunches; listened andwatched. Pups were starting to mill around and wrestle with eachother while mothers watched. He did not see the grey nor someof the other males. The White, his long time mate, was not there either; but,she had not been there for longer than he had been gone fromthis pack. Her lying on the ground, not moving again was whyhe had finally left one day and never returned. He had not beenforced out like some were by young Alpha males assumingleadership, he had just left early one sunrise and never went backagain. He came to watch occasionally but would leave quicklyand silently if he even sensed he had or might be noticed. So far,that had never happened; he knew if he was still there he wouldhave sensed any transient in their area. Old Lobo rose and padded off over the ridge and into thevalley to his left of where he had been sitting. He had not rangedinto this area for quite a while. He crossed several trails ofspiked heads and saw scat of the hulking Honey Eater. Then asthe golden orb of heat was beginning to head for the dark timemountains he smelled why he had not been here recently. It wasthe scent of the night screamer, the one who had caused theWhite to not get up any more, a long time ago. His oneinstinctual fear was of this large growler, who screamed in thedark. His neck hair started to settle back against his skin as thefear became a small blood lust he knew he could not quell. As he slowly started in the direction of his own lair, OldLobo came across a long ear in a meadow. It was hard runningwith wily turns and cutbacks to bring the fat grass chewer downbefore he could reach safety. But the warming meat and bloodwere worth the effort. His belly, although not full, did not achewith hunger. He left only stains and meager bones for the deadeaters this time. The warming orb was going behind the dark timemountains as he crested the ridge near his place of safety. Hestopped, sat back on his haunches, and waited to see the nonwarming bright circle of the night rise in the sky. As it finallydid, Old Lobo kicked back his head, jaws wide and lungs filled Path to Publication Group 29
  • 29. The Pathwith cool air and sang his sorrowful song for a long time.Eventually he stood and made his way to his place of sleep. Bythe time he got there night flyer was already gone, there were nowho-whos this dark. No dreams assaulted his rest during the dark and beforethe warming orb was fully up, he was on a high perch watchinghis old pack again. He saw the Grey and other males leave theirlair for a hunt and he followed along to watch from high secret.They did not have much luck until late as the heat bringer washeaded over the dark mountains and they had strayed over theridge to the left and into Night Screamers territory. They were tracking old sick Spiked Head into a placewhere he could not escape, when Old Lobo sensed the NightScreamer close. His neck hair immediately stood erect and hisstance became crouched. Stealthily, he slowly kept pace with thepack when, at an overhang over the trail they were following, heheard the hunting cry just before her leap onto the last of themales following the Grey. The pack turned as the Screamerlanded on the back of the unaware male and bit into the back ofhis neck. The entire pack jumped to the defense of theunfortunate lager. However, even one screamer was a menace toso small a pack of hunters. Her Claws were taking a heavy toll inthe melee, even Grey had been sent sprawling off with blooddripping from his muzzle. Screamer’s muzzle and claws were smeared with bloodand one or two places bled from the packs attacks on her. Butthe injuries she had inflicted on them were turning the tide untilthe large and ferocious physique of Old Lobo flew into her fromup above. Old Lobo landed on her back and his fangs first sunkinto the nape of her neck and, then, as she tried to fling him off,into her under neck. Grey and the others joined in on the screamer now beingbested and finally jerking in death throes. The blood lust wasrampant and the pack tore her carcass into shreds before thefever was abated. As they started to settle down, heads wereturned from side to side then bodies turned but none could seethe one who had jumped her back. Old Lobo had quickly andquietly slipped away before the screamer died. There was nosearching and his presence was as quickly forgotten as if he hadnever been there. Path to Publication Group 30
  • 30. Old Lobo Old Lobo reached his safe place a little later than usual.He had been moving more slowly because he had gotten acouple of claw cuts during the fight with the Screamer. That hadbeen one reason he took off as quick as he did, it would not havebeen good to be around the others while the blood lust was onthem. He was in pain. All he could think of was his safe place,for now. Sleep came with much groaning and was fitful when itdid. As the warming orb rose he lay shivering and cold all theway to his bones. Luckily his legs and paws were not hurt, so hewas able to get to the trickling water without going fuzzy again.After the thirst was gone, he wandered back and lay his muzzleon his forelegs again, falling into darkness rather easily. Hemerely slept and got up from thirst all that day. Sometime duringthe dark Night Flyer, dropped a just killed, small, long, skinnytail right in front of Old Lobo on the ground. He ate it quickly,before Night Flyer could miss it. Warming Orb and the dark cool circle came and wenttwice before he left his safe place, feeling strong enough to hunt.He did not venture too far over the ridge and, at one point, hethought he heard the mewling of little screamers in the distance.Not hunting calls, but ones of hunger and fear. He was notinterested, they were only small screamers. Finally one warming orb rising, he was back on the rockhigh over where his old pack stayed during the dark and whenthe cold white wet came down. Grey was there and all seemed tonot have changed, he watched for a long time unnoticed.He saw Honey Eater that day, as well, far on the side of the ridgeaway from his old pack. He was clawing at a tree; he must havefound some of the sticky yellow honey again. When the bright dark circle rose into the sky that night,less than fully round, he took in a full lung of air and sang again.Soon, the circle of the dark would be gone for a while. He had tosing while he could. Path to Publication Group 31
  • 31. The Path Woodrow W. Walker ]One Fine Night in GeorgiaShort Story World War II had ended in 1945. Thousands of youngmen had returned to their homes in big cities and small towns topick up their lives and marry their sweethearts. Travis Peabodyhad been one. Some had never left home; these were classed as4F and Gus Woodberry, because of a lack of education, had beenso classified. Travis was six when Gus had befriended him. Gushad been forced to enter school and he was terrified because hehad never been away from his mama. He was crying in theschoolyard, with other children were making fun of him, whenGus Woodberry, aged ten, came to his rescue. Travis hadremained in school while Gus had skipped school as often as hecould until he could legally dropout at sixteen. Now, you could not have found two men so differentfrom Gus and Travis nor could you have found two closerfriends. They could have been the inspiration for the term good-old-boys. Fun loving and full of mischief, they would give youthe shirt off their backs or stop what they were doing to help astranger. Travis had an off and on job at the local sawmill, whileGus never held a job past his first paycheck, preferring fishing toworking. Rose had waited, throughout the war, for Travis toreturn and marry her. They had done so three days after hestepped off the bus. Gus and Travis picked up their friendship asif they had never been apart. At thirty Gus was five years olderthan his good buddy Travis, but that had never been an issuebetween them. The light was fading as a long day ended. Rose Peabodysat on the porch swing. Her husband Travis and his buddy GusWoodberry, were sipping iced tea on the steps. Fireflies weredancing in the honeysuckle scented air. Crickets were calling to Path to Publication Group 32
  • 32. One Fine Nighttheir mates and Rose was humming softly to the tune of theswings squeaking chain. Travis opened a can of Prince Albert and rolled acigarette. “Do you remember how one Halloween when we werekids, you got it in your head that Old Mrs. Turner was a witch?” Gus was smoking a corncob pipe. “Yeah, I may havebeen wrong about her being a witch, but she sure had the,biggest and sweetest watermelons in Georgia.” “I don’t believe, I ever heard that story before,” saidRose. Travis struck a match and lit his cigarette. “It was nothin’to brag about. Gus talked me into raidin’ Mrs. Turner’swatermelon patch. We waited ‘til midnight so Mrs. Turner’d beasleep.” Gus chuckled. “I had my eye on a giant watermelon thatwas sure to win a blue ribbon at the county fair.” “Anyway,” said Travis. “We climbed over a split-railfence on a night much like this, and located the watermelon thatGus had his eye on. Gus took out his pocket knife and was aboutto cut the vine when, we heard a crackling voice call out.” ‘Whois that in my watermelon patch?’ “We jumped up and ran for the fence and as we climbedover, Old Mrs. Turner let loose with a double barrel shotgun,”said Gus. “My God, were you killed?” Rose said not realizing whatshe had said. “No, her shotgun shells were loaded with rock salt. Wewere hit in the seat of our pants. Neither of us could set for aweek,” said Travis “But why would you think that nice old woman was awitch?” “Why else would an old woman be up at midnight? I stillthink there was something strange about her,” said Gus. Rose shifted in the swing. “Maybe she knew you hadyour eye on her prize watermelon and didn’t want it stolen.” “Yeah,” said Travis. “How did you know about thatwatermelon before you talked me into helping you steal it?” “When I was a kid, I lived half a mile from her patch. Isaw that watermelon daily, as it grew.” Path to Publication Group 33
  • 33. The Path “I rest my case,” said Rose. “She knew you would onenight come for that prize watermelon, all she had to do waswait.” A deep silence followed Rose’s statement as each mancould see how a trap had been set for two young boys andwitchcraft had nothing to do with it. After three long minutes,Gus broke the silence. “You know, Travis, I‘ve got me an idea,” said Gus. Travis groaned. “Not another of your big ideas. Don’tyou remember how your big idea to build a whiskey still causedthat trouble for us?” “Yeah,” Gus said. “We thought the revenuers were goingto arrest us, so we dumped that mash and whiskey into Miller’sCreek. It wasn’t till later we learned you can make moonshine ifit is for our consumption and not for sell.” “I wonder why Otis Washington didn’t know about thatconsumption law.” “You hired Otis Washington without saying a word tome,” said Travis. “Otis Washington had worked on his daddy’s whiskeystill as a boy, and had served time in prison for makingmoonshine. I thought he would be a big help with all hisknowledge of whiskey making.” “Yeah, but if Otis hadn’t kept saying ‘It ain’t ready,’ wemight have had us a taste before we dumped it into Miller’sCreek.” Gus laughed. “Jeff Taber almost lost all his hogs, whenthey broke down his fence to get at that corn mash.” “It wasn’t funny to the black congregation of theKingdom of Heaven Baptist Church and them baptizin’ in thatwhiskey soaked creek.” “Yeah, I heard Reverend Freeman was so distraught thathe spent some time in that Milledgeville madhouse.” “No wonder, with a hundred hogs interrupting hisbaptizin’ and his congregation getting’ drunk on that whiskeytainted water,” said Travis. Gus snickered. “I heard that a woman he was baptizin’tore off her clothes and was makin’ out with the good reverendright there in Miller’s Creek.” Path to Publication Group 34
  • 34. One Fine Night Although Gus and Travis had never got to taste any oftheir illegal brew, it was not the same for Otis Washington, theblack man that helped them build the still. Otis Washington hadworked on his daddy’s whiskey still as a boy and had servedtime in prison for making moonshine. A few days after themisadventure, Travis had passed Otis’s house and saw him withone of their whiskey jugs, on his porch enjoying the fruits oftheir labor. “To think, I hit Bo Tillman in the head with a can ofPork-N-Beans down at Greeley’s Market, for laughing at youtwo nitwits.” “Don’t you worry about that, Bo Tillman is a jackass, ifnot for the mayor’s son, Sheriff Sunny Tyler, he would be thedumbest man in Georgia.” Rose frowned. “It was not funny how you treated mynephew Tom when he came down from Atlanta to visit. Snipehunting, indeed.” Snipe hunting is a joke played on strangers. It consists oftaking the innocent fool out into the woods at night. He is givena sack and a club and instructed to call the snips into his sack.Then he is left in the woods alone. Sometimes all night before,he becomes conscious that he has been the butt of a joke. Gus frowned. “He was a good sport about it. No harmcame to him. It was Travis and I that had to spend the night treedby a bear.” Rose grinned in the dark though no one could see it.“Serves you both right, for being so mean to Tom.” “It would have been all right come morning,” saidTravis. “If Gus hadn’t kicked that hornet nest as we wereclimbin’ down.” “That bear had taken a swipe at my backside and tore outthe seat of my pants and those hornets just naturally aimed at mynaked butt.” Rose laughed. “Both of you looked like that Hunchbackof Notre Dame.” Gus thumped more Rabbet Tobacco into his corncobpipe. “Maybe those were not the best ideas, but when we caughtthat dead man while fishing in Miller’s Creek. I was the one thatdevised the plan how to catch the bank robbers that got us thatreward.” Path to Publication Group 35
  • 35. The Path A few months earlier a Macon bank had been robbed bythree men. One had been shot while escaping. The other twobank robbers had tossed his body into Miller’s Creek where Gus,fishing for Old Pappy, hooked the dead man instead of the giantcatfish. Gus and Travis informed the sheriff, but could not gethim to listen to them. So, they took matters into their hands tocapture the bank robbers with help from some angry hornets. Travis laughed. “They looked worse than we did whenthose hornets from that old truck were finished with ‘em. Theyhad no fight left in ‘em.” “Sheriff Tyler would never have caught them, being he’sdumber ‘n a bucket of tad poles,” said Gus. “I bought me a rightnice boat with my share of that reward money.” “Yeah, but you lost it on Miller’s Creek. We tried tocatch that big old catfish, Old Pappy. You hooked him sureenough, but when we tried to get him into the boat, Old Pappybitch slapped ya’.” Old Pappy was a legend in South Georgia, mostly to thefishing tales spun by Gus Woodberry. Some people believedhim, but most did not. The legend had begun while Travis was inthe army when Gus was fishing in Miller’s Creek. Gus hadfound a spot fifteen feet deep behind Taber’s Hog Farm wherethe creek normally only ran two to three feet deep. No one hadever fished there before Gus, because of the stink from the hogfarm. It was Gus’s opinion that he hooked Old Pappy, as Gushad named him, because no one had ever dropped a line therebefore. After Old Pappy escaped, Gus had never hooked thatwily old catfish again. I remember,” said Gus. “I stepped on the edge of theboat tippin’ it over and ‘most drowned us, as my boat sank to thebottom of Miller’s Creek. The squeaking of the swing stopped. “I knew it. I justknew something had happened while, I was in Atlanta visitingmy family. I heard about your boat, but everyone said it wasstolen.” Travis cleared his throat. “Gus said it was stolen because,he didn’t want anyone to know about Old Pappy and his secretfishin’ hole.” Path to Publication Group 36
  • 36. One Fine Night “Well you can imagine my astonishment when SallyBarker, that old busybody, told me what I should’ve heard frommy husband,” complained Rose. “We would have told you, Rose, but Travis didn’t wantto upset you. Anyway we were careful and never were in anydanger.” “Don’t forget it was that old busybody told you about themuscadine vine. You sent Gus and me to pick some for you.” Rose laughed. “Don’t you forget how that turned out.You took six buckets with you and brought back four afterlosing two buckets of ripe muscadines.” “We lost them ‘cause that family of skunks sprayed us.We stunk worse than a sack of dead fish. You made me staywith Gus for two weeks before you’d let me in the house,”Travis said contritely. “It served both of you good and proper,” said Rose. Gus and Travis remained silent, as Rose vented herdisgust over the skunking. You would have thought if you hadnot known better that it was she and not the two men that hadsuffered that foul odor. “Furthermore, you two can get into trouble standin’ on astreet corner on a Sunday morning. Why, I remember when Gusbrought that squirrel to church. It got loose and ran up poor RitaJohnson’s dress. I thought the poor woman would die of aconniption fit.” “Well, I think excommunication was a bit harsh. Gus didnot intend for that crazy squirrel to get loose.” “Anybody who can get into trouble in church is beyondredemption. You are no better, Travis Peabody, so wipe thatsmile off your face. I can’t see it in the dark, but I know it’sthere.” “Sorry, Dear.” “Is there anything else, I should know about you two?Something I haven’t heard from someone else?” “Well, there was the snake hunt,” Travis said softly. “What? Speak up, Travis Peabody, I have ears, but Ican’t understand your mumbling.” Gus sucked in his breath. He knew Travis would revealeverything to Rose. He also knew there was nothing he could doto prevent it. Path to Publication Group 37
  • 37. The Path “You see,” said Travis. “Gus overheard a salesman goingon about how rattlesnake meat tastes the same as chicken, downat the Blue Moon Café.” Gus spoke up. “I thought if, I could beat his price. Travisand I could do right well. We got the snakeman, Monroe Jones,to help us. He has a pet rattlesnake named Old Joe, but he has nofangs.” “Lord, save me from idiots and halfwits,” said Rose. “Now, honey, Monroe Jones may be a bit strange, but hedoes know about snakes. He showed us how to use gas to getthem out of their holes and he had poles with loops, so we couldcatch the snakes without fear of being bitten.” “So what went wrong?” “Nothing happened at first; but when we found the firstsnake hole, I poured in the gas and suddenly two or threerattlesnakes came out of that hole. One headed for Gus and theother two came at me.” “It’s a wonder neither of you were bitten,” said Rose. “Monroe Jones had said that rattlers can’t bite unlessthey are coiled. Except Gus and I, forgot that bit of wisdom inthe excitement.” “I can understand that, but what did you do?” “Well,” began Travis. “I wet by pants,” said Gus shamefaced. “You see, those snakes went right by us because netherGus or I could move. Monroe Jones said it was a good thingbecause. if we had, those snakes would’ve coiled and mostlikely, we would’ve got bit.” “Yeah, it was a real close call,” said Gus. Rose sniffed. “Good thing for the snakes they didn’t biteeither of you. Most likely, it would have killed the poor snakes.” “Now, Honey, that ain’t anyway to talk,” said Travis.“Why, it sounds as if you think it’s our fault that Gus and I haveso many misfortunes.” “It’s not that, Travis Honey, but I shudder to think whatwould’ve happened if you two had been in the army together.” Gus laughed. “They’d most likely sent us to the otherside to undermine the enemy. I bet Hitler would have beenquaking in his boots.” Path to Publication Group 38
  • 38. One Fine Night A full moon rose slowly over the tall swaying pines tocast its warming glow over the landscape, creating deep sinistershadows. “It’s getting a mite late, Travis,” said Rose. “I think it’sabout time for Gus to head on home and you and I go inside.” Gus and Travis stood. “Rose is right, Gus, you’ve a mileto walk home so you had better get started.” Rose turned from the door. “What was that idea you wereabout to tell us, Gus, before we got to reminiscing?” “I was just going to say it is one fine night, when goodsfriends can be together.” “See you tomorrow,” said Travis. “Maybe we can have another try at Old Pappy. I have ascore to settle with that catfish.” Travis laughed. “Gus, don’t you know when you’ve metyour match?” Travis stood in the doorway and watched his friend walkdown the dirt road. When his wife called softly from inside, heclosed the door. Path to Publication Group 39
  • 39. The Path Tatjana DebeljačkiAbout the Meaning of LoveAn Essay As if I am invited to do something great that could last— As if with your love, I am willing to cope with myself,my weaknesses, my fears and my immobility. Let me tell you that the shadows that haunted me thisevening have your face, both those living and dead, those thathave brought me pain and those that have brought me joy. Shadows of some of my lives I recognize, but I’mcraving for them in the same way I’m craving for your love,your touch, your being. I love you; it means to look for the meaning, to beprepared and open. I love you, it means to live the truth and tremble at thethought of you. Thank you for everything, no matter how long itlasted. My love, the poor are those who have never loved! I donot want to teach you but to love you; it is the higher level ofknowledge. If you believe in yourself, as a consequence you willhave the agility to defy any storm. So, love and life will be one. I love you, I really loveyou. Thus, my life gets its meaning. My fate gets new formsdesigned by you. Because of your love, these forms are of priceless value.Could I expect more? Currently only my love has a purpose, it isthe only thing adding the value to this writing, only that deepsense of belonging to you makes sense, which, though comingout of me slowly, is leaving me helpless and squashed, no matterhow much I want to kiss you, and yet again to make love on thehot sand… Path to Publication Group 40
  • 40. Meaning of Love Oh desire, you exist in vain! Why, for goodness sake, wecould have gone on that secret trip together. What a pity,because my love for you is nothing. I do not know what I amsaying, I am trying to explain, describe my present situation. How could I describe to you this condition, this hangoverof the soul, this instinct and this anxiety, this wandering, thishumiliation? How I hate you sometimes, I can’t get rid of you,can’t separate, can’t wish for another man and yet only your facemakes sense to me. Sometimes I dream, I survive through thedreams of those days when you presumably loved me. It is nothard to be a slave to the one you love. I’m not going to ask whythis is so obvious. Only to increase my pain, I sometimes thinkthat it is just one moment in time, the time between two strokes;as a moment in which consciousness pressures my being andsqueezes it, pulling out the essence which is called love.Sometimes I am boring even to myself. Love and then againlove. Sometimes I wonder where love comes from, wherestrength and weakness at the same time stem from. Where doshapes of your face that haunt me from hour to hour come from? Why are you so persistently in me, why can’t I detachyou from the main core of my life? How, why, it is not enoughjust to say I love you? I’m scared of you, I want you and I fear you, I hate youand kill you every day, as you are my fear and my fever and mynon-having, my limitations and my bluntness and all of mystupidity. And all of my work and you are the truth and thatspiritual solitude through which the words pass as miraculous asjourneys. When I say I love you, I think about what that wordsays— all that you have lived, all that you live and you will beliving. Oh how much the pleasure of caressing and tendernesscould be missed... Loving you during periods of numerous lives means tobeat death, means hope and meaning of life, paths towardsyou…Maybe the current love in this life is the way to learn tosuffer. This world is sometimes cruel, sometimes I am unable tounderstand, sometimes I accept it, but I do not like anything Iknow. I have a feeling that you’ll be gone, that you’ll be pulledaway from me by the streams of life. What is the point of Path to Publication Group 41
  • 41. The Pathsearching for oneself if we got lost before we could findourselves? There are no shortcuts on the roads of life. It is theclear light of knowledge. I can. I am leaving you. I am savingyou from my presence, my complexity, my insomnia andexcessive love that you get bored of…It’s always somethingdifferent from what we currently think it is. I can always expectmore from my love. Why do we want to get rid of it? Whysudden overcoming of sadness and joy, two different feelings atthe same time? I know, I’m going away from you but not frommy love. You understand its depth and my pain. This departure is not a death sentence for our love.Sometimes I want to suggest that you go with me to share thelife that remains. But I feel that I would make a mistake andscare you away. I do not doubt your honesty, in all that you havegiven me during this time of love. Now I know where this lovecomes from and with that knowledge I can go on the journey,knowing that you will always be with me, in the frozen existencewithout pain and suffering; a time that does not redeem thegracious and does not punish the sinners. That’s all for now, forthe time of one life, for all time in which all of my joys and all ofmy sorrows are renewed. Indeed, you are my love for all time. Love Knot Path to Publication Group 42
  • 42. Last First Days Catherine Becker ReynoldsLast First DaysAn Excerpt from a novel to be released in 2013A Married ManMonday, August 24, 1831 When Mitya wakes up to stay, the room is bright, for thewindow is open again. He lies listening to the unfamiliarmorning noises outside his new home. Someone whistlesfaraway, and an empty cart rattles by on the road. A rhythmicrasping sound comes from the direction of the village. Tartakov is already at work, he thinks. This house iscloser to the sawmill than Patrush and Tamara’s. Out in themain room beyond the green curtain, someone is humming overa quick scraping noise. Darya. She is making up the fire. Mitya sits up and rubs his face. His head aches fromyesterday’s wedding vodka, and the moist summer air lies heavyon his chest. He pulls on his work clothes and goes out to hisnew wife. “Good morning, Mitya.” Darya glances up from a panwhere she is warming a slice of ham. “Good morning, Darya.” He looks long at the ham,unsure if he should tell her he has never eaten it. Tamara, beingbrought up by a Jewish father, did not allow it in the house. Butwhat is the harm in eating it now? Mitya thinks. It smells goodand perhaps he will like it. Besides, refusing to eat what Daryahas cooked might be unwise. The ham is surely a gift from hermother, who already has a bad opinion of him. Mitya decides tosay nothing. “Sit down and I will pour your tea,” Darya continueswith a smile. “Your breakfast will be ready soon.” Mitya knowsthe cheer in her voice is meant to lift his somber mood and hesmiles back. Path to Publication Group 43
  • 43. The Path He sees that, by sleeping late, he has missed watchingDarya braid her hair. Most of it is hidden now under a darkgreen kerchief. “That color is strawberry blond, and it is verybecoming on Darya,” Tamara told him last week when hecomplained of being doomed to sleep the rest of his nights nextto the oddest color hair ever created by God. Strawberry blond. Her hair looked pretty in the lamplightlast night and he wishes she could leave it down. She would notlook so plain and serious with curls about her face. However,women never let their hair fall loose during the day. “We have more important things to do with our day thanplease men.” Mitya remembers Tamara saying this to Patrushand feels a twinge in his chest. He did not expect to miss hismother so soon. “Thank you,” he says to Darya now, “but I must see toRuslan first. After his night in a strange new stall, he will beanxious about his hay.” “Yes, he will be happy to see you,” Darya agrees. “I willwait to cook the eggs until you return.” Mitya starts for the door,but pauses at the end of the table. “I thought you closed the window last night,” he says. “Yes, Mitya, you watched me latch it.” Darya moves thepan off the fire and wipes her hands on her apron as she turns tohim. “Then you opened it this morning?” he asks. “No, it was open when I woke.” Her voice is uneasy.“You did not wake later in the night and open it again, Mitya?” “No.” He looks out the small front window at the field ofdewy wildflowers across the road. “Well, perhaps it slipped openin the wind,” he says. “Yes, the bolt must not have caught tight, but I will makecertain it is secured tonight.” The confidence in Darya’s voice isreassuring, and Mitya’s face softens as he turns back to her. It isnot her fault. Perhaps the wind did come up as they slept andpushed the shutter in. “I will not be long with Ruslan.” He smiles again, andthe worry on Darya’s face dissolves. In the new pine-smelling shed, Mitya gives his horsesweet hay and a small portion of the oats sent over by thelandlord, Demyan Ivanich, in honor of the wedding. Why does Path to Publication Group 44
  • 44. Last First Dayshe bother to honor a wedding he himself has forced on us?Ruslan inspects his food and nuzzles Mitya’s face before eating. “At least you are happy with these new arrangements.”Mitya chuckles and strokes his Arabian’s shiny black mane.“Later we will go to the village.” He leaves Ruslan and walks back to the tree-lined brook,where he goes down on one knee to splash his face. The water iswarmer here than behind Patrush and Tamara’s house, but tooshallow for swimming. Mitya’s eyes follow its slow downstreamjourney. Near the estate’s border with Zemchev’s Rolling Fields,the water goes underground and comes up far back in the woods,bone-chilling cold even in high summer. By the time it weavesits way through Zemchev’s vast, open fields and returns here toRaven Wood, it has picked up enough sun to tumble off thewaterfall behind his parents’ house just warm enough forswimming. Mitya sits down and watches a long-legged insect stridethe sluggish current to the opposite bank. Later I will go over toPatrush and Tamara’s to swim, he thinks. He draws his wethands over his face and back through his hair, then suddenlyrecalls that he is married. You cannot go home already. You must stay with Daryatoday, he reminds himself. Though perhaps she will want to gowith me and have tea with Tamara. She could even swim withme. It would be all right, since we are married. Probably shewill not want to, though. Girls don’t like to swim. Mitya’s minddrifts back to his long summer afternoon last year with Tasha.Well, most girls, anyway. As he stands up to return to the house, his heart beatsfast. Mitya takes a deep breath and wipes his sleeve across hiswet face. Weak sunlight slants through the thinning clouds, andsteamy air wafts up off the brook. Maybe it will rain tonight, hethinks, and the white thing that made that loud noise will notcome again. Darya has set his plate at the end of the table and askshim if this is all right. Yes, he thinks he should sit facing thedoor. She takes a place on the side at his left, close to the stoveand fire. As he eats, Mitya begins to feel happier, and theuncomfortable fabric of the night shrinks to a few harmless Path to Publication Group 45
  • 45. The Paththreads. He was exhausted yesterday from the effort of subduinghis will to the required celebration of this wedding, so perhapshe only imagined that loud bang and menacing white cloudabove the trees in the darkness. “The eggs and ham were very good,” he says as Daryatakes his plate. He feels like making conversation now, being soaccustomed to talking with Tamara over his tea as she washedup after a meal. Darya smiles and says they have enough fortomorrow morning also. She dampens a cloth and wipes thepolished oak table with light strokes. Mitya stands up and putshis cup in the wash basin, then leans back against the warmstove to watch her. “I must go to the Big Stable for the tools your father willneed,” he says, “and then to Tartakov’s for the wood, soeverything will be ready for Akim Leonovich to put the windowin tomorrow morning as he has planned. When I return, we cangather blueberries as you suggested last night, and then go toTamara’s. You can have tea while I swim.” His eyes rest now ona glossy knot in the middle of the plank table. “Or you can swimwith me if you like. The pond is hidden on all sides this time ofyear, so no one will bother us.” He looks up at Darya and crosses his arms. “I swimalmost every day, except in winter, of course.” She looksuncertain, and he thinks perhaps he has said too much for her totake in at once. He smiles to put her at ease. “Oh, I will very much enjoy gathering blueberries,Mitya, and visiting Tamara Teodorovna,” Darya answers. “I donot know about the swimming. I have never been swimming.” “I will let some water out of the pond so you can standon the bottom,” he says. “And I can teach you. I taught Yoshi toswim.” Darya smiles at this mention of his young cousin, as hehad hoped she would. Yoshi is fascinated with Darya’s scientificwork and often helps her gather plant samples. She has shownhim how to mount the specimens and what observations areimportant to write down for her father’s professor friends inMoscow. Yoshi was the only one happy to hear the news ofMitya’s engagement to Darya. Yesterday at the wedding, heinformed Mitya that his new wife’s work is called “botanicalresearch,” a fact that Mitya had not known. Path to Publication Group 46
  • 46. Last First Days “Thank you for your kind offer, Mitya,” Darya says now.“I suppose I do not need to decide until we go to Tamara’s.” “Certainly,” Mitya replies, “and Tamara has towels. Wecan have a steambath after, so you do not get a chill.” “I will think about it,” Darya tells him. Her cheeks gorosy, adding warmth to her pale features. She turns away andgives the table a last brisk swipe with her cloth. Though he feelshe should make some comment, Mitya says nothing else. A girlhas never said, “I will think about it” to him, and he is not surehow to respond. He sees that someone hung his cap on a peg bythe door last evening. I will wear my cap on work days, asPatrush does, now that I am married, he decides. He goes overand takes it from the peg. Darya speaks again. “Mitya, before you go, I have madeyou a new shirt. Would you like to see it?” “Oh. Yes I would.” How has she sewn a new shirt soquickly? His other work shirt was torn beyond repair just twodays ago and yesterday was the wedding. Mitya follows Daryapast the green curtain and watches her open the clothes chest thatUncle Kolya made for them. “Your brown trousers are here also,” she says. “After Iwash your wedding clothes, I will put them away in the chestand you can hang the browns up on a peg.” Mitya notices thather voice is stronger when she speaks of familiar things like foodand clothing rather than uncertain topics like swimming. “Yes, all right,” he answers and sits on the edge of thebed. He had not foreseen the great number of small domesticdetails involved in getting married and setting up house. Tamaraand Patrush must have figured all these things out once, too:where to keep clothes, where to sit, what to eat. These decisionswere old habits to his parents by the time he came into theirlives. Darya holds up a dark gray shirt for his inspection andMitya takes hold of a sleeve. A single line of straight blackstitching trims the neckband and cuffs. “Oh, Darya,” he says, “Ilike it. It is so--” manly, he thinks, but cannot make himself sayit. “I like it,” he repeats instead. “When did you make this?” Henotices for the first time the tiny flecks of gold in her light browneyes. They sparkle at his pleasure. Path to Publication Group 47
  • 47. The Path “I made it last week after my other sewing wascompleted,” says Darya. Then Mama told me you tore yourother shirt into strips on Saturday to secure Demyan Ivanich’sbroken arm after he fell from his horse. So now that shirt isalready replaced for you.” “I will wear it right away.” Mitya stands and loosens hisbelt. He slips his old shirt over his head and puts on the new one,smoothing the soft, dyed linen. Darya turns back to the chest. “And here are black trousers to go with it,” she says. Shelifts them up and shakes out the folds. “The wool is fromChorny, your cousin Lana’s black sheep.” “Curly Chorny,” Mitya chuckles. You sound foolish, hetells himself. But he is too happy to care. Chorny’s soft wool isinterwoven with occasional gray linen threads for strength. Mitya feels an unexpected surge of pride as he puts onthe new trousers. He has never heard of a man receiving so manywonderful gifts from his bride. He is sure there has never been agirl at Raven Wood as skilled and forward-thinking as his wifeDarya. The trouser legs are cut wide and lie in soft tucks overhis boot tops. He buttons the new gray shirt across the shoulderand up to his neck. Then he slaps his thighs and laughs. “Thank you, Darya,” he says. “These are wonderful.” “Look at yourself,” she says, and moves over with him tothe new mirror on the wall. Mitya puts on his black cap andregards himself. Here he stands, with his hand on Darya’sshoulder. We look happy, he thinks. “You are handsome in this shirt, Mitya,” she tells himand he laughs again. “Ah, Darya, you will make me vain.” He takes his capoff and kisses her before turning to leave. What do you mean“will” make you vain? He asks himself as he settles the cap backon his head. You are already hopelessly vain. Now you will beworse. What is that word Lisaveta loves to shout at you?“Insufferable!” When she sees these new clothes, she will tauntyou without mercy. Mitya is out the door and saddling Ruslanwhen he remembers that Lisaveta is dead, lying some five daysnow in the tomb with the unborn baby she succeeded too well inkilling. Her thorny wit is silent now; her dancing limbs, still; her Path to Publication Group 48
  • 48. Last First Dayslively pink face, blue at the end, said someone who saw her.Lisaveta will never tease him again, and though the baby wasnot his, Mitya presses his chest a moment before mountingRuslan. They approach the Big Stable at an easy lope a fewminutes later. Mitya expects the men will tease him, as theyalways do a newly married man the first time they see him afterhis wedding night. As if he has never done it before, he thinkswith disgust. It is another thing in life that makes no sense, allthis pretending—except people take such pleasure in it. Hesupposes that alone makes it worth something. Patrush and Nikya are standing outside by an emptysupply wagon. They seem to be having a last word before Nikyagoes off somewhere, for Patrush is pointing at a paper betweenthem. Why does he bother, when Nikya cannot read? And ofcourse it is just like Nikya, to be gone on the day I am not hereworking. Wednesday when I return, he will feel required to stayclose by and hound me all the day through. Nikya looks up at hisapproach and Patrush turns around. Mitya rides up to them andswings down to the ground in a businesslike manner. “Good day, Papa,” he says to Patrush. “Good day,Cousin.” They give him these knowing smiles. He is about tofrown when Nikya steps forward and shakes his hand. “And a fine day to you, Little Cousin,” he says, “tofollow your first fine night as a married man. I suppose I muststop calling you ‘Little Cousin’ now that you are married.” I suppose you must. I suppose you should have stoppedcalling me that long ago. Still, Nikya’s hand gives him a warmfeeling. They spoke yesterday at the wedding, but Nikya had nottouched him. Mitya has never seen Nikya shake hands in theWestern manner like this with anybody. Indeed, he has rarelyseen Nikya touch anybody at all except in anger. This colddisposition runs all the way to the bottom of his family. EvenNikya’s newest baby grandson looks at you blank-faced, as ifyou are not worth his bother. Still, Nikya’s handshake is strongand pleasant. “Congratulations, Mitya,” his cousin goes on. “I wishyou and Darya Akimovna well.” His dark eyes glint as hesmiles. Nikya looks alarmingly like Patrush when he smiles, but Path to Publication Group 49
  • 49. The Pathfortunately, he rarely feels the need. He gives Mitya’s shoulder arough pat. A powerful feeling flows up from Mitya’s heart now,shaping words as it arrives in his mind. This is a special thing, tohave Nikya’s good wishes and approval; a very special thing.“Thank you, Cousin,” he says. Nikya climbs up on the wagonand Mitya and Patrush watch him drive off. “Where is he going?” Mitya asks. His question has amean edge to it that he does not really feel. “Over to Rolling Fields to pick up our order fromSachars. But look at you.” His father claps him so hard aroundthe shoulders that Mitya puts a hand to his head, for fear it mayjar loose from his neck and roll away into the ditch. Patrushlooks down at his new shirt and trousers. “You look like alicorice stick, good enough to bite.” He takes a lock of Mitya’sblack hair between his fingers and kisses it. “Leave off me, Papa.” Mitya yanks himself away andPatrush laughs. “I see Darya is spoiling you already, making you clothesyou do not need,” he says as they walk toward the stable doortogether. Mitya smoothes his broad cuffs. “I need this shirt,” hesays in defense of his wife. “You must recall that my last goodone was lost on Saturday in service to Demyan Ivanich’s arm,broken after he pitched over his horse’s head.” “Ah, so it was,” says Patrush. “I had forgotten already.These trousers are wide as a Cossack’s.” He pulls at the sideseam. “Perhaps one fine night I will sneak away on Ruslan andbecome a Cossack,” Mitya teases. “They will take you to war and feed you soup so thin youcan see a kopeck at the bottom of the pot,” Patrush answers, notentirely in jest. “So? I will come back a hero, with a patch over my eyewhere it was filleted out, and a great jagged scar down to here.”Mitya draws a crooked line from eye to chin. “And a wooden legand so many medals pinned to my chest, I will walk like this.”He stoops over and hobbles like an old man. As the dark warmth of the stable envelops them, a shiverof dread seizes Patrush, and he lays his hand against Mitya’s Path to Publication Group 50
  • 50. Last First Daysback to still it. Beneath the new shirt, he feels the ridge of fleshbetween his shoulders where the skin tried so hard to close andreturn to its original smoothness. It had failed. Down his backare five of these ridges. Lev Adamovich Krotkov, the villagehealer who saved his life, says they will stay with Mitya to theend. The others are smaller than this top one, but still grievousto see, even more grievous to feel. Patrush stops short as hethinks again of Cossacks and Mitya walks away from his hand. If soldiers come here, I will hide him, even if I have todrug him to do it, Patrush thinks. If they take him, he will bedead within the month. He watches Andrei Tikhonovich liftMitya’s requested tools down from the wall. It is not a question of bravery, for he would learn to killas well as any man. What he would never learn, though, is not tocare and this would be his downfall. A second’s hesitation, abrief regret drawing away alertness and he would be struckdown. Perhaps not even a month, but only a week and he wouldbe dead and buried away from us; or worse, left rotting on somefar plain, wet with blood, left to be picked at by vultures. Patrushstays back in the shadows as Mitya and Andrei laugh atsomething he cannot hear. Demyan Ivanich’s louts took himfrom me, but by Krotkov’s skill and God’s grace, they failed tokill him. And a married man though he be now, as long as I havebreath, no one will ever take my child from me again. Mitya puts the hammer, file, short saw and box of nailsfrom Andrei Tikhonovich into two cloth bags and secures themover Ruslan’s back behind his saddle. Then he climbs up andstarts off on the ride to Tartakov’s, where he will buy the birchstrips for Akim Leonovich’s window frame. He sits up tall as heconsiders this chore, for Tartakov is a Jew. Mitya does not fully understand the social patterns thatgovern the daily relations of the small Jewish settlement withinRaven Wood’s Christian community, but because of Tamara, hehas long been aware of them. For instance, he knows there are ahandful of Jews here who live out their lives completely hiddenfrom their Christian neighbors. They are mostly women and theelderly, though. In this tiny manor village below the easternfoothills of the Urals, far beyond the Pale of Settlement decreed Path to Publication Group 51
  • 51. The Pathby the Empress Yekaterina long years ago, most Jewish menhave not the luxury of living in seclusion. Mitya knows a few of them who welcome assimilationand are warm and friendly to Christians. Moshe ben AharonEventov is one of these, a radical among his people. He evenopens his dry goods shop after the Sabbath sundown for theconvenience of Christians, who will not engage in trade on theirown Sunday Sabbath. More common than Jews like Moshe ben Aharon arethose who feel no desire to mingle with Christians, but happilyencourage a thriving trade with them for the prosperity it bringsthem. The Sachars, who run the provision house at Zemchev’sRolling Fields where Nikya went today, are a large, prosperousfamily of such Jews. They are said to be richer than Zemchevhimself, who is the wealthiest landlord in the district. Finally, there are those Jews who wish, at heart, that allChristians were elsewhere. They steel themselves tocommunication with them only to gain a basic level of economicsecurity for their families. In a larger Jewish community, theywould most certainly transact business only among themselves.Nahum ben Reuven Tartakov is such a Jew. He keeps asuspicious, calculating eye out in all his dealings with Christians.The boys in particular are beneath his contempt and, as a result,Mitya has never spoken to Tartakov before. He squares hisshoulders as he approaches the busy sawmill. Tartakov is tall and thin, but muscular, with a voicedeeper than Patrush’s. He holds some official position among hispeople, for if there is a problem, he is the one who meets withPatrush to discuss it. He is the most respected Jew at RavenWood. When Tartakov gives an opinion, even the Kotovs shutup and listen and they are the most blithering lot of anti-Semiticfools in the district. Mitya summons what little confidence he feels anddismounts Ruslan. Tartakov is turned away, watching three ofhis grandsons unload a wagon of creamy yellow hardwood,perhaps maple. Mitya stops a respectful distance away. “Good day, Nahum ben Reuven.” He sees Tartakov’sshoulders tense at the sound of his Hebrew name rolling off aChristian tongue. Then he turns his famously large, appraisinggray eyes on Mitya. Path to Publication Group 52
  • 52. Last First Days “Good day…” He pauses, as if the idea of being spokento by this person now before him is so preposterous that he musttravel into the far reaches of his mind in search of a name.“Dmitri Patrikeivich,” he finishes. Mitya takes courage at Tartakov’s use of formal address.He refers now to Akim Leonovich, his new father-in-law, as thereason for his visit. Akim Leonovich plans to construct awindow in Darya and Mitya’s house as a wedding gift and Mityastates his father-in-law’s requirements in simple terms; that is,the length and number of birch strips, along with the messagethat they are not to be any shorter, as Akim Leonovich is sure hewill need to make adjustments to the framing dimensions oncehe begins to cut the hole for the window. To Mitya’s surprise, Tartakov asks what thesedimensions are. Mitya does not know. Then he wants to hearhow the frame will be fitted together. Mitya does not know.When he asks how many panes will make up the window andMitya still does not know, Tartakov gives up and tells his eldestgrandson to cut the order. What Mitya does know is that he hasjust proven himself to be the brainless Christian brat thatTartakov has always assumed him to be. Nevertheless, he goeson. “I will bring Akim Leonovich’s drawing by tomorrow sothat you may examine the plan yourself, Nahum ben Reuven.”Mitya continues to hold his shoulders high as he speaks andforces his voice as low as it will go. Then when Tartakov’sgrandson returns with the birch strips and asks if he should tiethem to Ruslan’s sides, Tartakov says that he will do it himself. Mitya watches him secure the narrow boards so thatRuslan can walk comfortably. When the horse sidesteps at theungainly burden, Tartakov stops and pats his side, speakinggently to him in what Mitya recognizes as Yiddish, until he isstill again. Ruslan turns his proud head and regards the sawyerwith interest as Mitya concentrates on how he will mountwithout kicking the strips into kindling; falling off backwards; orotherwise making a general dunce of himself in some unforeseenmanner. “I remember your grandfather,” Tartakov says suddenly. “My grandfather,” Mitya repeats. He is astounded. MostJews at Raven Wood have forgotten that Tamara is not his real Path to Publication Group 53
  • 53. The Pathmother and so, by rights, her Jewish father is not his realgrandfather. However, Tartakov occupies a place high abovemost Jews at Raven Wood and Mitya finds it amazing that hehas forgotten something so important to his culture as whose realgrandson is whose. And yet, Mitya thinks now, if such a distinction does notmatter anymore to a man like Tartakov, then, perhaps, it doesn’tmatter anymore to anyone at all, not even God. So Tamara hasbecome my true mother at last and her father my truegrandfather. He smiles as Tartakov straightens up and pulls thelast knot tight. “Yes, Tamara Teodorovna’s father, Teodor ben YuriVeresov, was a good friend of my father’s,” says Tartakov.“They sat long hours at our house, arguing the Talmud.” Hearranges Ruslan’s reins now in anticipation of Mitya’s departureand looks up, his eyes solemn and still as a cloudy day. “I did not know my grandfather,” Mitya says. “I did not know him well myself,” Tartakov replies.“Teodor ben Yuri died.” He breaks off and glances away, thoughthere is no need. Mitya knows that Tamara’s father hangedhimself with grief over the murder of his small son David. Thiswas Tamara’s little brother. “Tadl” everyone called him. “Teodor ben Yuri died when I was eight,” Tartakovcontinues, “but I remember well the fine day he patted my headand called me Little Mensh when I recited my Hebrew lesson forhim. My father said he was the most learned man ever to live inthis district and also the finest carpenter. You had only todescribe what you wanted and he would set to work.” Tartakovraises three fingers and counts the air. “Then, in one, two, three,there it was, brought forth out of the wood before your eyes evenbetter than you imagined it.” “Did you know my Uncle David, called ‘Tadl’?” Mityaasks it quickly, fearing that Tartakov’s mood will pass. But hesmiles now and his eyes fill with ashy light. “Yes, I knew Tadl.” His voice continues soft and dream-like. “I was three years old when he was seven. Such a big boyhe was to me then, so wise and knowing and full of fun.” Hechuckles. “I always followed him as far as my mama wouldallow me to go, which was to the end of our fence.” Path to Publication Group 54
  • 54. Last First Days This disarming picture makes Mitya bold. “I am sorryTadl did not live to be your friend even today, Nahum benReuven,” he says. Tartakov’s eyes widen and he coughs thenrubs his sleeve over his face. “Well, such things cannot be helped,” he says, and Mityasees that his spell of memory has broken. “I will be happy to seeAkim Leonovich’s sketched plan for your window, DmitriPatrikeivich. And, mazel tov, on the occasion of your wedding. Iwish you and Darya Akimovna much happiness.” Mitya is so taken aback to be congratulated in theYiddish tongue that he stumbles as he mounts Ruslan andTartakov must hand him a dropped rein. “Thank you, Nahumben Reuven,” he says. “Good day.” He taps Ruslan and theystart off at a walk with their cumbersome load of tools andwood. How did standing before a priest and saying a few wordschange people’s hearts toward me so completely over just onenight? Mitya wonders. They look upon me as a man now. First,Nikya and Patrush, and now even Nahum ben Reuven. And ofcourse, I am a man. He keeps his head high and his eyes stern,even though no one is looking at him. You do not need to feelproud to be a man, he tells himself. It is just what you are, nowthat you are married and Nahum ben Reuven Tartakov hastalked with you and even laughed. Well, a little. And yes,perhaps wept a bit, too, when you spoke of little Tadl. Who will you remember, fifty years from now? Patrushand Tamara, Uncle Kolya certainly. Darya perhaps. And Tasha.Mitya’s skin crawls, no matter how hard he tries to stop it.Something is watching him. His eyes sweep from the lowmountains to his right, across the open, flower-strewn field to hishouse ahead, then on to the dark green, summer-laden forest tohis left. There is nothing to fear. You are a man now and equalto whatever comes. That was just a noise last night, not agunshot. And not an evil spirit, but only a cloud. Nothing to fear.Mitya looks up into the sky. The fair late morning has gone gray,but that will make this afternoon’s blueberry picking morepleasant. The thickets where they grow are oppressive under ahot sun. Path to Publication Group 55
  • 55. The Path Once home, he unties the birch strips and stacks them inRuslan’s shed, then unsaddles the horse and rubs him down inthe yard. He fills a pail from the brook for Ruslan to drink, thensettles him in his stall and combs out his mane, talking all thewhile about the people and places they have seen this morning.Then before going in to Darya, Mitya sits quietly next to hishorse in the fragrant new shed. He imagines Tartakov as a tiny boy trailing afterTamara’s little brother Tadl, stopping at the end of the fencebecause his mama said to, but watching until his friend is gonefrom sight. How can Tartakov remember this after so manyyears? Perhaps it is a first friend that we remember best. Ormore likely, a best friend that we remember first. “Fifty years from now when I am old, I will rememberyou, too, Tadl,” Mitya whispers. “But just now, with the wisdomyou have gained in Heaven, teach me how to be a married man.And if you are able, help me not to be afraid.” Russian Countryside unknown Path to Publication Group 56
  • 56. One Night Tim WilkinsonOne Fine NightShort story “I don’t know if I can do that,” said Wayne. We’re alldying here, I know, but I’m not sure if I have the courage forthat.” “Fear not,” said Dale. “For everything ever done, wasfirst a thing untried.” “Wow, when did you become such a sage,” askedWayne. “When the lights went out, that’s when,” parried Dale. “That was over a year ago, you a slow learner?” “No, just a deep thinker. Wayne”, continued his friendDale, “everything that happens, or has happened, or will happen,is because of something that came before.”“You mean you believe that everything happens for a reason, orby some divine providence or that everything and everyone ispredestined to one future or another?” “I would like to believe that, I often try to…andsometimes I can and at others, I can’t. Yet, that is beside thepoint. No, I am not saying that I believe life or history is somegrand script from which there is no deviation. That is not what Iam trying to tell you. What I am saying, is that everything isconnected. History is like a single lane highway, you cannot getto point B without first passing point A, there are no passinglanes, no shortcuts and sometimes you have to move off the roador get smashed. And, regardless of where you enter the highway,once you pass point B, it’s only a matter of time before youarrive at point C. Don’t you see? I think it is like that for you andVickie. Not that it’s meant to happen, I mean you and her, or insome way ordained or fated, but that it must, or rather willhappen, because of what has gone before and because of wherewe are now…yet mostly because, simply put. C follows B. Letme give you a little example, one that I know you can relate to. Path to Publication Group 57
  • 57. The Path “Ok shoot, Mr. Misto.” “We would not be sitting here, if not for the GreatDepression.” “Oh really…How so is that, great Swami?” “Think of it, Wayne. If the Great Depression had neverhappened and this country and its people had not gone throughsuch hard times and turmoil, then our recent, so calledGovernment, would never have bailed out the banks or the autoindustry. The falsely named ‘Stimulus Package’, would havenever lined the pockets of our leader buddies and their wives andthe whole cycle of borrow and spend to pay off the EB’s and buytheir votes would never have begun. My God, think what thiscountry would be like if Roosevelt had not initiated all of hissocial reforms or Johnson his ‘Great Society’ not because theydidn’t choose to, but because they didn’t need to, and they didn’tneed to, because we never fell on our face, economically that is.Well, simply put, if 1929 had never happened, I mean as it did,and without that past knowledge and experience, in 2008 welikely would have let the banks fail, the economy crash, andfallen face down into our first ‘Great depression’, in 2008instead of 1929. Who can say, the EB’s might have still have taken overanyway, then instead of now. Or maybe, because they were notyet so addicted to all the freebies and promises, had not yetdiscovered that a bunch of self-declared victims, if bandedtogether through a complacent, guilt ridden Democracy, couldchange the history of the world, this would not have happenedfor another seventy five years or more. What if they had not yetdiscovered that all it takes to change the course of world historyis to get out of bed once a year and vote for more and morewelfare dealing, curtain hangers. I mean you simply cannot denythe fact that if we had not, as a nation, created the EB’s in thefirst place, they would not be killing us now. Who can say wherewe might be now if not for that one event? Yet either way, I can assure you, if not for 1929, you andI would not be here having this discussion because the wholeplaying field would be different, changed by the exclusion ofthat one event. And, that’s just one of a thousand examples Icould cite to show you how one thing, always leads to another,or not. Yet regardless of how that fantasy may have played out, Path to Publication Group 58
  • 58. One Nighthere we are. And no matter what may come next, for you, for meor for what’s left of this country and no matter what maydevelop or not, between you and Vickie, things are as they are.What will be, will be; and, if not for all that has passed,including, if you will forgive me, what happened to your wife,we would not be talking right now about a you, and a Vickie anddamn sure not about the odds of you getting into her pants.” “Wow, Sahra Sahra. That’s pretty heavy, Einstein. Youand Doris Day should write a book sometime. Now back to thebasics for a minute, if you don’t mind. So what makes you thinkshe will have anything to do with me anyway?” “Yeah, that’s Que Sera Sera.” “Oh, stop showing off, asshole.”Laughing loudly, Dale answered. Sorry, it’s just so easysometimes. But since you asked, my answer is this…Why notyou? You have food, a gun, lots of ammunition and a tent thatdoesn’t leak, your pants got no holes and, hell, Wayne, you ain’tsuch a bad looking guy, if I may so myself. What more could a,modern girl, want in a...lover,” answered Dale, greatly amusedwith himself. “OK, I get it, last fish in the barrel and all that. No really,I’m serious…why me? She’s so…you know, hot.” “Wayne, you have to cast off all the trappings of whatwas. That’s all gone, like the cities, paychecks, grocerystores…gone. So a year ago a girl like Vickie would have hadnothing to do with a working stiff like you. Look around, whatchoices does she have left? You have suddenly become verydesirable, lover boy, get over it. You are both just lucky as hellto have escaped before the EB’s hit the streets, accept it. Makethe best of it, while you can.” “Yeah, I guess we are all sort of lucky, in some odd,fucked up sort of way.” “Yes you are. When the checks and the freebies stopped,the EB’s came. What they can’t have for free, they take by force.Most did not escape, if you will remember, their corpses still linethe streets. The rest are, well slaves, and that is a kind way ofputting it. That is what they do. Remember Louisiana? The Gulfstates and the East coast? I could go on. This is nothing new,only on a far grander scale.” “Yes, I remember Dale. But…well never mind, you and Path to Publication Group 59
  • 59. The Pathyour damn politics and intellectual mumbo jumbo. You makemy head hurt. We’ll talk later, Ok? I gotta go. A couple of EB’scame up the road last night, got an old man and hisgranddaughter, gutted him, took her for…well you know whatfor. Anyway, they’ve doubled the guard, tonight’s my turn.” “Yeah, I heard and yes I do know. I just hope she diesfast, that’s ‘bout all we can wish for.” “Guess you’re right, poor thing, only twelve years old.” “Like I said, Wayne, take a little happiness where youcan find it, there is so damned little of it around these days. Takemy advice, if Vickie wants you, take her.” “Sure, I know you’re right, I do. I know you are. GuessI’m just a little…” “Sceered?” “No! Well…yes actually! I am sceered, damn scared.Wouldn’t you be?” “Damn straight I would be, scared and happy. Wayne, Ibeen scared every day for over a year now. Happy? Can’tremember happy. Now don’t make me jealous, and please…tellme all about it.” “Dale, it’s not only that, sure I am a bit scared, haven’tbeen with a woman for some time now but…well, it’s not quite ayear since…Shelia.” “I know Wayne. There is not a soul here who hasn’t lostsomeone, someone important to them, someone special. Yet wemust move on. We live…or we die, that is our only choice. Andif you ask me, both you and Vickie could use a little peace, nopun intended.” “Roger that”, answered Wayne, walking away, gun overone shoulder. “Sleep light, Dale. Don’t let the EB’s bite. See ya’soon, I hope.” “Night Wayne, aim straight, thrust hard, shoot slow”finished Dale, chuckling heartily. Soon after, Wayne reached the makeshift barricade thatcircled the top of the wide, low mountain and the one asphaltroad that lead up to it, he took his position a few yards to the leftof the regular post and settled in for his shift.Hearing someone approaching from his rear, their stepscrunching loudly in the newly accumulated piles of dried leaves, Path to Publication Group 60
  • 60. One Nighthe turned to see Vickie approaching, walking carefully,something black in her slight hands. Watching her approach inthe dim light, aided only by the occasional flickering flame orflashing explosion in the distance, he was struck by how trulybeautiful she was. Her hair, a sort of dirty blond, her eyes hazel or maybe akind of light blue, not classically beautiful yet, in a veryfeminine sort of way, naturally beautiful, certainly a woman whoneeded no makeup. She stood about the same height as he, orjust under, slim and fit, some years younger than he, now in hisearly fifties, she, early to mid-thirties. Her breasts, heremembered from the spring when they’d both arrived at thecamp, as she mostly wore, short shorts and V-necked blouses,were small, petite, yet shapely and nice to imagine, free and airy.She walked, as a woman should, her voice rang sweet and kindand even while bundled in her fall outfit of jackets, jeans andsweaters, she cut a nice path. “Coffee?” she asked “Coffee”, said Wayne with real surprise. “Where onearth did you get coffee?” “Well it ain’t real coffee, just brewed Holley leaves. Youknow the little trees that have all the red berries. They grow allabout this place. Daddy roasts them and and mixes them with abit of dried dandelion root. They make a fine, dark tea. It ain’t sobad really and it’s hot and black. Some say it even has caffeinein it. I don’t really know, not much of a tea drinker myself, but Iguess I’ve grown kinda used to it. Here try it. Hope you like it.” “Wow, I’m sure glad you and your Pa know so muchabout the plants and such, you both been a grace to us all.” “Thanks,” she said. “Guess all them camping tripsweren’t a total waste of time.” “No, I should say not.” Taking the black, metallic cup from Vickie’s hands,relishing its quickly waning heat, Wayne cautiously wrappedboth hands tightly around its hot sides before raising it to hislips, sipping slowly. The soothing warmth flooded his mouth,the taste, acrid, a bit bitter, yet lightly sweet and good. “Wow, is that cream...and sugar?” “Honey, and powdered milk, from the C rations. Daddydon’t take cream in his coffee and the honey, well I thought you Path to Publication Group 61
  • 61. The Pathmight like it, is all. “Umm, yes I do. That was thoughtful of you Vickie, Imean…Thanks for thinking of me.” “Oh, sure, You shouldn’t be so surprised though. I beenthinking a lot ‘bout you lately”, she answered, blushing lightly. “Oh really? Why.” “Why? Well. Wayne, must I say it?” “No, you don’t have to say anything. Just talking, kindanervous I guess, kinda hopeful, too.” “Yeah? Me too. Well, I’ve really enjoyed talking withyou lately and all. Seems we’ve gotten to know each other prettywell these last few weeks.” “Yeah. I feel the same. Kinda nice having a lady around,specially one so…pretty.” “Really Wayne? Think I’m pretty?” “No…not really”, he said pausing for effect. “I thinkyou’re beautiful.” “Thank you. You are sweet. I just…I just wish…” “What Vickie? What do you wish?” “It’s…It’s just that we are here, you and I, who knowsfor how much longer. Well, and I get lonely and, afraid.”Hearing gunshots from below and to their front, they both sunk abit lower behind the barricade, looking out at the muzzle flashesbreaking the darkness at the edges of the city beyond. “We all get afraid Vickie. That’s nothing to be ashamedof.” “I guess so. When will they stop killing Wayne?” “I suspect when there is no one left to kill”, he answered. “Sides they’re probably getting sorta short on food by now.” “Think they will start, you know, like in themovies…eating each other?” “Yes, I suppose they will, as winter sets in, if theyhaven’t already.” “Why do they do it Wayne? I mean all the killing andburning. Don’t they know folks just want to live?” “Vickie, I wish I could answer that. I can’t, but I oftenthink that we can’t really blame them. I mean, think about it. Ifyou had lived you’re whole life thinking of yourself as a victim,living off another mans back, never learning how or having to Path to Publication Group 62
  • 62. One Nightfend for yourself, and that man turned off the honey spout. Well,wouldn’t you get angry.” “But we didn’t do it. It was the Politicians, the Presidentand...well, frankly themselves. All we did was pay for the, honeypot, as you put it.” “Doesn’t matter who did it. They have to turn onsomeone, and there’s no one here but us. Professional victimsalways have to have someone to blame things on, otherwisethey’d have to blame themselves, take responsibility for theirown actions, or lack of them, and well, that’s not likely tohappen, certainly not now.” “Wayne?” “Yes.” “My I ask you something?” “Sure, shoot.” “You ever been in love. I mean, really in love?” “Yeah, sure…of course.” “What happened to her?” “Same as the rest.” “You mean, EB’s got her?” “Yes.” “I’m sorry.” “Yeah, me too. But thanks all the same.” “Do you miss her”, she asked. “Every day, sometimes more than others. What I meanis…just staying alive keeps me pretty busy. I don’t have muchtime to think about it, her, and when I do…well I just try not tois all.” “I understand.” “I try to tell myself that she was one of the lucky ones.” “Lucky? How?” “Yeah, lucky, in some odd, fucked up sort of way. Yousee, she was grocery shopping that day, you know, when thePresident was on television, telling us that the country was brokeand the checks and all were stopping.” “Yeah?” “Well, she never made it home. They got her as she wasleaving. Shot her in the head for a bag of groceries. She died fastand they didn’t well…you know. She still had all of her clotheson. That was before they started taking people and…” Path to Publication Group 63
  • 63. The Path “Oh Wayne”, added Vickie, trembling, as if she mightcry.” “Vickie that was a long time ago, many people lost a lotmore than a wife. Look at Dale. He lost a wife, three kids, hisparents and everything. I guess, like I said, I been pretty lucky. Imean lucky that we had no children, that is. As for my parents,well I never really had any, if you know what I mean andthey…well they weren’t around, so I never had to seethem…die.” “Yes, I do. I do know what you mean, but…still.” “How about you, Vickie? I mean…you ever been in love,married or anything?” “Married? No. In love, well sort of. I mean I hadboyfriends enough and well, you know. Things were differentthen. I figured I’d marry one of them, someday but…well, it justdidn’t happen and then…after the riots started and the EB’s andall, they just all sorta left, you know, like everyone did. Theyhad no choice really. We all know what happened to the onesthat stayed and made a stand of it, and…you know how it is. Idon’t know if they’re dead or just holed up someplace, like weare. Suppose I never will.” “No, I suppose not. Did you love them? I mean one ofthem… I mean. ..” “Shhhh”, she replied, giggling. I know what you mean.Don’t worry, I’m not going to be offended. Like I said, thingswere different then. ” “Ok sorry, but do you, did you, love them? Do you missthem, I mean your boy…friends.” “No…I don’t really. I liked them of course, some realwell. But I can’t honestly say that I loved any one of them or thatI miss them much, but…Yes; there are things I do miss, very,very much.” “Really, like what?” “Wayne,” asked Vickie, shaking slightly, putting onehand atop his. “Must you really ask?” “No I…Hey, you cold?” he said, feeling the tremors inher hand. “No…No, it’s not the cold.” “It’s...Wayne?” “Um”, he mumbled. “Yes?” Path to Publication Group 64
  • 64. One Night “Will you kiss me, dammit? Please. I need someone tokiss me. That’s what I miss. Someone to hold me, to kiss me, totell me I’m beautiful, to tell me everything will be ok.” Shebegan to weep softly. “Damn, I’m sorry. I haven’t cried in a longtime. Why now…?” Suddenly aware of growing warmth within, scared andfrightened, touched by a deep sense of compassion and longing,Wayne answered, “Can’t think of much I’d like better.” “Really?” “Oh yes…Really.” Setting the quickly cooling cup of tea upon a stack of haybales, Wayne placed one hand upon Vickie’s right cheek,coaxing her forward until their lips met. They kissed softly atfirst, shyly, reluctantly, prudishly, yet after a few secondsVickie’s hands came up, grasping both sides of his face, pullinghim closer and tighter, kissing with the passion of a womancondemned. “Vickie,” he began, after a time. “Yes, Wayne?” “You know I’m no hero, don’t you? Heck, I never had afist fight in my life, ‘cept maybe in grade school and I lost thatone. Hell I worked at the phone company for God’s sake. Yousure I’m the type of guy you’re interested in?” “Wayne, yes…and I don’t care about such things. Youare braver than you know. Just being alive these days takescourage. The cowards just walk down the hill or put a barrel intheir mouth. Lots have done just that, you know it. Besides, if itcomes to that, we will all be living short. You’re a good man,Wayne. I can see it, hear it in your voice, see it in how you talkand deal with the folks here. I’d be a lucky woman to have manlike you, no matter what went before. No, you’re wrong in yourdoubts. What I want is a man who will love me, for howevermuch time we have left and if that’s as little as one night, or aslong as twenty years, that’s more than I have now and more thanmost can ask. I think you can do that. I think you want to. I thinkyou will.” She kissed him once more. “It’s a good fall evening”, she said, “gets a little cold atnight though. When do you finish your guard duty?” “’Bout another two hours”, he answered. Path to Publication Group 65
  • 65. The Path “I’ll be in your tent…waiting, and warm.” “Vickie…There’s one more thing I need to say, please?” “Sure, Wayne, anything.” “Vickie, I…I mean…well I’m…and its’ been…” “What Wayne. What is it? You can tell me.” “Well it has been a long time since and…and... well I’mno great lover. I mean I never had no complaints or nothing but,well…I just don’t want you to think…” “Don’t worry, Wayne…I am.” As she turned to leave, placing one last, slow kiss uponhis lips, he whispered, hands about her cheeks, eye to eye. “Vickie…I guess we are both kinda lucky, you and I, Imean, in a…” “Yes Wayne, lucky…in some odd, fucked up sort ofway.” Wayne said nothing, only smiled as he watched her walkaway, swiftly receding into the darkness. Looking out from the high hill where he sat, overlookingthe valley and the citrus orange glow from the burning city farbelow, he actually thought it looked beautiful. Yes, it was one fine night, one fine night indeed. Burning city unknown Path to Publication Group 66
  • 66. Delaware Avenue Thomas Michael McDadeDelaware AvenueShort Story A couple of businesses thrived on Delaware Avenue.Rip’s Lounge at the head and Peterson’s Roofing at the southend. Legend had Rip pulling a guy’s arm out of its socket.Time and booze had the arm ripped off. Peterson’s infamy wasyet to be recorded. I had no driver’s license that year because ofa stop sign that was hidden by a tree. The judge said if I’d hadinsurance I wouldn’t have tried to sue the city. Craig Beech tojudge jerk: “Hope a madman beats you to death with yourgavel.” I worked for Peterson. I often paced Delaware Avewaiting for him to open his doors, same deal for Rip’s ininclement weather or no reason at all. I’d was prone to gettinglost in long ago bicycle riding reveries on that potholed stretchand the lovey-dovey couple I’d see parked off the street in apartially cleared wooded area. I’d coast back and forth by thebattered Plymouth where rust was showing no mercy. Theynever took notice. I’d see them kiss, cuddle and fondle. Shewas attractive, long reddish hair and large breasts. He wasdumpy, moon-faced and balding and wore thick glasses. Theywere not strangers. Hughie lived in Federal Housing as did I,had a wife who looked a lot older than he did; all the kidsprobably aged her. I remembered him working briefly for thecity road crew and a few other jobs but he was mostlyunemployed. He drove around the city looking for scrap metalto cash in at the junkyard. I figured he was on welfare. Hissweetheart’s name was Mona. She lived on a side street about aquarter of a mile from the Project, no kids, nice garden. Herhusband was a good looking guy which made the affair more ofa mystery. He combed his hair like Ricky Nelson and played ona hardball baseball team. He was a mechanic at a foreign cardealer. I wondered if I’d ever date a girl as pretty as Mona. One Path to Publication Group 67
  • 67. The Paththing lucky Hughie provided was hope. I started working for Peterson shortly after getting out ofthe Navy. I was living in a rooming house. Paying off my citysuit lawyer broke me. My tiny room at Spencer Manor wasunfurnished, so I got it cheap. I had a sleeping bag, lawn chair,hotplate, AM / FM radio, spider plant and a guppy namedMelville. I was reading Moby Dick to get back to sea onsomeone else’s time. I’d memorized the titles of the 135chapters for the hell of it. Peterson workers hit Rip’s after work,which got me into the habit. No twisting of the arm needed,considering my living conditions. Rip let us roofers run a tab.The joint was dimly lit like most lounges I’d frequented inNorfolk and the Med. A horseshoe shaped bar graced Rip’s. Ajukebox and bowling game provided entertainment along with aTV rigged on an east wall corner near the ceiling for gamblingcustomers to watch hopes rise or fade on sports. Rip was abookmaker. I found out quickly that I had no talent with thebowling puck, lost money I couldn’t afford to lose to the roofingforeman. I had an occasional winner in a televised race. I hadbetter luck with the jukebox, slow dancing had resulted inmating with three women, count ‘em! Ha! There might havebeen more but for my room residence and lack of wheels.However, I could be just reading the tipsy past wrong. I domanage to get stumbling drunk and that flaw likely contributedmore to my lady failures. There was this one gal I hit it off with fairly well and Iwas confident she’d be number four. We’d gone to HollandHigh but she was two years behind me. I had no memory of herand vice versa. After we danced to Frank Sinatra singing“Cycles,” I told her I loved that tune and she was very impressedby the sentiment. She was a secretary at a Prudential InsuranceAgency. Petite, with short black hair like Audrey Hepburn, shewas one of those animated types, punctuating her conversationwith arm, face and hand touching. That was okay with me. Wekissed passionately in front of the jukebox while Tony Bennettwas singing “When Joanna Loved Me.” That was her name.She had full unforgettable lips. I was up front with her about mylife situation. She didn’t care, sprung for the last round. We leftjust before last call. She drove a GTO. I suggested thechildhood Hughie and Mona spot. As she pulled over, I told her Path to Publication Group 68
  • 68. Delaware Avenuetheir story, which was met with silence. I added another taleabout the time I’d bet my boss I’d get to work whether it snowedor not. I’d trudged to Peterson’s in a blinding storm still trashedenough from the night before to believe my boss would bestanding out front to hand over the fiver. My disappointed eyeshad wandered to half-covered tire tracks where Hughie andMona used to rendezvous. I imagined they’d made a reunionvisit, called the falling snow confetti celebrating their affair.Joanna looked at me as if I were nuts. I tried to kiss her. Let’s move on, I don’t like sittingunder a streetlight, she said, panicky. We weren’t under one. Itwas about ten feet to our left. I said I can fix that. I got out ofthe car, picked up a rock and just as I was about to show off myrocksmanship, she hit the accelerator like a state trooper justspotted someone breaking the sound barrier on the Interstate. Imissed the bulb by a mile, never had much vandalism success inmy life. I walked slowly to the Manor, maybe I staggered,singing the song that Joanna admired me loving: “So I’m downand so I’m out but so are many others…” But I had a pint ofChristian Brother’s Wine to go home to. That putdown cured Rip’s Lounge jukebox romancedreams until one Friday night I saw a stunning brunette sitting atthe bar. She was the most beautiful woman that had ever seen inthe establishment. Jeez, talk about slumming! I’ll never forgether, elegantly sipping a glass of wine. She had on tight jeans, adark green turtle neck and a tweed coat. Adventure andrecklessness called, I asked her to dance to “Cycles.” I couldhave been toppled with a swizzle stick when she accepted. Hername was Claire. There was no frontal body contact. Her armswere locked like a girl at a school dance chaperoned by nuns. Ididn’t tell her how much I loved that song, how much it appliedto me. “So I feel like trying to hide my head beneath thesecovers.” We danced to the Robert Goulet song about bicycles. Ialmost whispered the French parts in her ear to impress her.What jerks booze creates! Whew. She wore no wedding ring.Her fingernails were green and reflected eerily in the jukeboxlight as did her matching eyes. I wondered why no one elseasked her to dance. About a half hour from closing time, I waltzed with herlast. She moved closer. Had I’d passed some battery of tests? Path to Publication Group 69
  • 69. The PathShe whispered to me, told me to leave, walk to the end ofDelaware Avenue. Who was I to refuse? Not fifteen minutes passed before she pulled up in a bigBuick. I jumped in. I did not speak of Hughie and Mona. Ah,Craig and Claire, nice ring to it. I did not tell of Joanna pullingout Daytona quick, bouncing dirt off my shins and shoes. Shestarted humming “Cycles.” She didn’t care about the streetlight.We were all over each other. No woman had ever licked myteeth, all of them. I wonder if she was a dental hygienist. Ihadn’t had such good fortune since a session with a Turkishcocktail waitress on the beach at Coney Island when my shipwas in New York City. While taking a break, she pulled a pintof Scotch from her purse. We took a couple of gulps. Suddenly Ithought it was safe to gush about the history of the place wherewe were parked. She thought it was all pretty funny. Then shemade the strangest suggestion. She said we should add anescapade no other would ever eclipse. I liked the way she usedwords. She pointed at Peterson’s garage and sang the Drifterssong “Up On The Roof.” There was a ladder lying on the ground that we climbed.She danced until she was out of breath, odd moves. Sheexplained that her grandmother had performed with the MarthaGraham Dance Company. Modern dance was in her genes. Irevealed that I worked for Peterson, a common laborer. Sheinsisted I tell here everything I knew about roofing and I didwhich was pretty basic. The kettle on wheels for melting downthe cylinders of tar broken up with an axe; the backbreakingidiot bar used to scrape off the old material; the silver circlescalled silver dollars you nailed through to hold the tarpaperdown; the mop to apply the melted soup that tar was called in thetrade; hoisting burlap bags of gravel with a manual winch,spreading it with special rakes. I told her how amazing it was towatch Peterson himself pound nails, a human jackhammer. Sherecalled chewing pieces of tar fallen off a roof in progress whenshe was a kid then asked how I’d like to put some pleasure in mywork fantasies. I didn’t claim that I liked to give a roof I wasworking all my attention. She stripped naked. It was probablythirty-five or forty degrees. I did the same and there was not agoose bump on us. Like any gentleman, I laid down on my workmaterial. Man, felt like a sloppy job. Case of cobbler’s kids I Path to Publication Group 70
  • 70. Delaware Avenuereasoned. The pebbles and tar ridges could have been nails and Iwould not have complained. My upturned arms gallantlyprotected her knees, shins and feet. This heavenly attention waslight years removed from the boot camp kind. I was a wrestlerpassionately pinned! I watched the stars envy our gentlerhythms. At one point she said no idiot bar pleasuring her: agenius model! Take that MENSA. At the bottom of the ladder she asked if I’d like to returnto Rip’s Lounge. Break and enter I asked. Would you dare? shechallenged. Of course, although I don’t have any lock pickingtalent. Back at the car she opened the door, pulled out her purse.She reached in, came out with a key. This is entry! How’d youget that? I’m Rip’s mistress. He’s screwing a former MissMassachusetts tonight. I’m screwing him. I didn’t mind beingthe tool, didn’t mind it a bit. I must admit my arm twitched atthe thought of possibly disconnecting. Why me? Linda thebarmaid called you “Cycles,” a man nuts about a song is oddenough for me. Craig Cycles, I said. We walked back to theLounge. Sometimes we skipped, other times she broke away,stepped some modern dance. I spun off all my Moby Dickchapter headings. She said her brother had a complete collectionof Classic Comics. She’d read Moby that way. Here you goshowoff, she said. She went into a geography spiel, named allthe states, capitals, bird, flower and current population,congressmen and senators. I figured with a memory like thatthere was a chance she’d remember me. A full lobotomy and afull football season worth of concussions could not make meforget her. She wasn’t lying, key fit. We used the lounge like ahoneymoon suite, bar, tables, rugged floor, bar floor, bowlingmachine, against the holy jukebox, spinning like porn stars on abar stool. We drank Crown Royal and Chivas and that quelledmy Rip fear. We watched Casablanca, munched microwavepopcorn, ate Linguica sandwiches. At 4 a.m. we left, trotted to her car holding hands likeinnocence itself. She gave me a ride to my room and we kissedgoodnight. By the way, she said, Mona is my aunt. Next day I had some regrets, foremost that Rip wouldfind out and kill me or at least remove my dick. I stayed awayfrom the lounge until Saturday, hadn’t saved so much money in Path to Publication Group 71
  • 71. The Pathyears. There was GTO Joanna sitting at the bar. Our eyes metand she smiled a combination of forgiveness and ridicule. Shestood up to hug me. I asked her to dance. We held hands beforethe hallowed jukebox. Play “Cycles” three times, she requested.I ran my finger across the songs like a blind man at braille. Itwas gone, replaced by a Beatles tune: “I Should Have KnownBetter.” Joanna said worry about nothing, sang it better thanFrank. We danced like it was my last night on earth. I held ontoher for dear life. She did the same when we heard the blast. Riphad blown up an empty microwave popcorn bag, smashed itagainst a wall of palm. Palm grove unknown Path to Publication Group 72
  • 72. The Path Carl Sandburg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 76 O furniture ffice 77 Imbue 14 15 16 17 18 19 DOWN 20 21 22 1 Smoke and... 2 Filed 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 3 Leafygreenv egetable 31 32 33 34 35 4 Decorativ needlecase e 5 Cityof pilgrim ages 36 37 38 39 6 Boy s 7 Precedes analias 40 41 42 43 44 45 8 Vow 9 Talent 46 47 48 49 10 Italianphy sicist 50 51 52 53 54 11 Ex tension(abbr.) 12 Zilch 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 13 24hours 21 Fiji denizen 63 64 65 66 25 Tire 67 68 69 70 71 26 Seeds 28 Japanesedress 72 73 74 29 Aegis 30 Eat 75 76 77 32 Abdom m inal uscles (abbr.) www.CrosswordWeaver.com 34 G oggle 37 Note 39 Flow in ing ACROSS 40 Referencebook s 40 Inaddition 44 "Fasten black eyes on me..." 41 G roup 1 Com point pass 46 Lank y 42 Dalai __ 4 Austinnov el 47 Clean 43 "I saw a famous man..." 8 Injure 49 Ex elyhighfrequency trem 45 Ex pressionof surprise 14 Conv intoleather ert (abbr.) 48 For 15 W ood 50 Surfacetoair m issile 53 Put inam boxail 16 Inabilitytorecognizewriting 51 Possessiv pronoun e 54 Aorta 17 Tip 52 __m atter 56 Sev ere 18 Ca. Univ ersity 55 "Red barnes and red 57 Ex pression 19 Causticly heifers..." 59 Musical com position 20 Building 58 Carl Sandburg was a... 60 Sounds 22 Pronoun 61 Boat m ers ov 62 Beach 23 Israels son 63 W chopper ood 64 G burner as 24 Association(abbr.) 65 Trifle(2w ds.) 66 Jerk 27 G up ot 67 Clev erness of wit 67 G ernm agency ov ent 31 __v u 70 Bonito 68 Distress call 33 Backtoschool m o. 71 Signof thezodiac 69 Cav ity 35 Past 72 Venom 70 Littlebit 36 Largecom co.puter 73 CityinYem en 38 School group 74 Mak am e e istak 39 Bulbflow er 75 Respiratorydisorder(Solution will be published in The Path V. 3 No. 1, Summer, 2013) Path to Publication Group 73
  • 73. The PathYoung Writer’s Corner Path to Publication 74
  • 74. The Path Chase GieldaDefine PoetryOn the deepest levelAnd in all waysPoetryIsThoughtHandshard work can be determined by thesethey are bringers of creation and deathmost people don’t know them well anyway5 digits as to a mirrortelling you inside who you arelook closely, at your handswhy not?I hope in this case,Where more people relate to it than notWhen someone has dropped a penWhen she cries every nightI think helpBut I don’t act on itwhy not? Path to Publication Group 75
  • 75. The PathOn a BeachWhat is sand?Crushed shellsCrushed lifeThe finer it isThe better we like WIND It was in a Fry’s supermarket. You might recognize itwith those large red letters on the front, just like any largegrocery store might have. Walking up the parking lot you alwayssee those empty faces, why? That hard blowing fan in theentrance is so annoying; I mean what is that for? Looking left,you can’t miss those imperfect grocery carts, always somethingwrong with them, like a squeaky wheel or worn down,unreadable writing on the red handle. I got the one with thesqueaky wheel. Squeaking through the store I noticed it wasironically quiet that day. Those shitty bright lights reminded meto hurry up and get the milk I needed. Pushing the cart aroundthe typically freezing isle four, I saw it. Not the milk. It wassomething I didn’t expect. Warmth, she looked so warm, likeyou could trust her with your life and know you were in goodhands. She smiled and I couldn’t look away even if I tried. Herlips were like fresh cinnabons out of the oven and I wanted tokiss them. Deep and attractive eyes laid upon me like a lovestruck weight. Her body, smooth as marble, softer thanmarshmallows. I couldn’t take it. She flipped her bouncing, lightbrown hair and I stopped breathing. She obviously saw myreaction. What a joke. But why, did this divine being, hug me?Enveloped in her incredibly intimate hug, I cried. I never sawthis girl again. Looking back, I don’t think I need to. Life’s ok.  Path to Publication 76
  • 76. The PathNotes…? Have you ever just observed this world? Questioned it?Cherished it for what it is. What a gift life is. There are manypeople just trying to get by, which is a waste of a life. Figuringout what we are supposed to do is a tough problem that everyonefaces in their lives. We all know we aren’t perfect. But there isalways an answer. Do you know how powerful we are? Thismight all sound cliché and very repetitive because you haveheard all of this before. I get it. But the truth is, they were right.Love everyone, serve, show grace upon others. This is the willof God. The whole reason to live is not to be as successful aspossible, money doesn’t matter, it’s what you do with it. Yourrelationships and how you reflect love upon others not only isvital to God but it can change the world. There is no reason to bemean to anyone. Selfishness is the root of all evil. The oppositeof this is selflessness. This is Love. “Love is patient, love iskind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It doesnot dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil butrejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, alwayshopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This is what Iwill write about: How God works in our lives. ?This is a massive project, but I love a challenge. Notes on my IPod that I don’t want to forgetMore realizations: the universe works on every level. Ex. Youcould understand genetics and DNA by observing stars andasteroids in space. The right questions get you the right answers.With genius, comes natural arrogance. If there is nothingpositive/negative about something (an object or situation) then itis not possible. I think time goes slowly for me because I thinkso much, my mind is always so busy, its goes by slow. Schoolmakes you hate school. Path to Publication Group 77
  • 77. The PathBasketball hypnosis experiment. Question: does your mind haveto be present to make a basket? EXCERSISES: pay attention tohow you shoot 100 times to get a picture of how you make it in,how you grip it, how you shoot, keep it consistent, keep a clearmindset and goal, don’t let a mental block come up, getcompletely comfortable with the ball. Dibble thousands of timeswithout looking down, let your mind drift (you don’t have to bepresent when you do anything, your brain will do it for you onceyou know what you are doing)ART: just balance a bunch of shit on top of each other (likeeveryday things) to convey everyday life. It would look reallycool.Is it possible for something (business) to look like it succeeded,everyone agrees on it, but in reality, not a single thing they didor offered was good or true. (the thought derived from peoplegoing to witches to get warts off their noses. If every single oneof them failed and it’s a complete myth, why do people stillbelieve it worked and is/was possible?)10 fold is the same as multiplying by 1,024 (or, 4 to the power of5) Chase’s Universal Knowings:1. What you believe, is true.2. What you put out in the world will come back t you.3. The reason for life is to learn to love (or obtain the expressionof perfect love)4. Poetry is thought5. God, ultimately, knows all and we, ultimately, never will. (onthis world)  Path to Publication 78
  • 78. The PathThe solution to a thinking head ache would be just to have fun.Pointless PassionOk I have these notes in my IPod named “Time Travel” and itsreally long, but its brilliant.We occupy the same space. But we don’t live in the same world.We all perceive the world differently and have differentmemories, but our brain processes it differently. We get inarguments because people process things differently, haha. One line poemsImpeccable beauty is what we live in, so why anything else?Apart of something. Something too great to describe, so let’s nottalk about it.Complex bathroom door choicesOpen first selection: Gentlemen and Ladies. Open next selection:Straight or Gay. Then: Tall or Short. Then: Smart or Stupid. Andby the end of all the doors, you have a custom bathroom just foryou! :)  Path to Publication Group 79
  • 79. The PathDoubt is at the base of all humanity.Because, ultimately, we don’t know.Love is the reason or point of life. To learn and reflect Perfect orDivine Love. What is Love? Love is patient, love is kind. It doesnot envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is notself seeking, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delightin evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always hopes,always preserves. Love never ends. This is what we are workingtoward. OK, another note on my IPod I need to put in here is myUniversal Timeline. How I think the Universe and life started. Itsfreaking crazy and I love it.Our imagination isn’t unlimited. I can prove it. Imagine a newcolor. You can’t. This is because we can only perceive what wesee on THIS frequency that we are on (7.23). On otherfrequencies we can see radio waves and others rays and things.Also, the possibilities of seeing other things on other frequenciesis very possible. What if heaven were right here on Earth, just onanother frequency? Or entirely new worlds! Endlesspossibilities, really.  Path to Publication 80
  • 80. The PathWordsThere are no words to describe “it”. English language, writing,it’s still so limited and restricting. But what can you do? I mean,what’s the next level? Just feeling right? Spiritually connecting.Fuck, I can’t wait for that. :)What is the point of Life? Why do we wake up every morning?What do you live for? We are an expression of God’s love. Weare an expression of God and that’s what makes life so beautiful.That’s the appreciation. What’s the answer?All of the rest of the “Notes” on my IPod are too long to typeout. And I’m too lazy. MemoAll that matters is your memory. It defines your reality.Perception I suppose. Without it, you would have no reality andtheoretically wouldn’t exist. Or you wouldn’t be conscious ofyour existence? Why would God do that? Have us be unaware ofour full potential. Our Elatha nature. True beauty. But maybe it’sbecause we don’t exist beyond this world. We won’t knowbecause of doubt, that’s why we cling to faith.  Path to Publication Group 81
  • 81. The PathThrough God’s EyesA dream I had on the night of November 22, 2007. (Age 12) It was dark. The air was bone chilling cold, lifeless.There was snow on the ground and a rocky mountain range inthe distance. Within this wasteland laid a colossal sleigh upon alarge, snowy hill. The sleigh was filled 80 feet high worth ofcolorless packaging. The driver had cold, thin lips, anddistinctive eyes. His pale face was the only thing showing out ofthe all heavy clothing he was wearing. I watch as he cracks hisreigns for the sleigh to move down the steep snowy hill. Nothingseems to be driving the sleigh forward and the reigns lead tonowhere. Down he goes at an incredible rate to another equallysteep snow covered hill. Upon this other hill is a great colorlessarch inscribing something that I could not read; as he reaches it,he has a sense of determination to press on. The setting fades away into a dark house. I am a young child desperately running away from agreat, dark figure in the shape of a man. This creature wieldswhat can only be described as a spiked ax. He has alreadyhunted down each one of my family members and I have no oneleft to help me; leaving me with a feeling of despair. I also feelthe will to survive which leads me to getting away from themonster. I hide. The world has changed so much since the times ofchildhood. I have been raised under a good family and wiseparents, both of which I am grateful. I find myself workingoutside a great city engulfed by luscious green mountains.Within the city are the wisest and nicest people in all of theworld. Many monks live within its great mountainous region.They say not everyone is allowed to go there. You choose to livethere if you make a commitment. I was always concentrated on my work and worked hardto get what I got. I am very tall and built; I wear a brown jacketand dark pants. I also wear a white apron to block the sparks thatI create forging iron all day with my hammer. The dusty groundcovers my steel toed boots with dirt as I work under the sun. Thesun begins to set and the sky becomes alive with great yellows Path to Publication 82
  • 82. The Pathand oranges, not unlike a painting of which the author was adivine being. But there is a great difference between this sunsetand others. This sunset splits in two. On my side is the colorfulone, but on the other holds dark and stormy clouds. This splitfollows even with the ground, setting a boarder for 2 differentworlds. On my side is a light brown desert with little vegetationand on the other is a black, barren hell. One day while working, one of the workers from theother side came over to speak to me. This worker resembledmore of a robot or cyborg than anything else. There was a lot ofrust covering its black paint and it had very skinny, robotic legs.In its red beam for an eye revealed deception and manipulation.It offered me a job with better pay if I came to live on its side. Ideclined and since he could not take no for an answer, we foughteach other. I ended up beating the crap out of it and it lost anarm. It never returned and I continued with my work. Later one of the monks visited me from out of the citynext to me. This is a rare occasion; Monks never come to visitoutside of the city. When he arrived, he had a great smile on hisface and told me that he walked all this way to talk to me. I lenthim my ear. I was very curious to what he had to say and forwhat reason he was here. He said he wanted to show mesomething great, something that would be worth leaving myhard earned living. He was so sincere and kind and because ofhis title I took a leap of faith. I followed him. We walked through the city gates. The city looked like avery well kept town in old time Greece. The people alwayssmiled and were happy. We were there for no more than asecond because the monk took off on a beaten path up the side ofone of the mountains. The hike through the mountains lasted for months andmonths. Occasionally, I would look down on the city from thehigh peaks and see only a small town. Nothing special, but theview was great. Along the way, the monk said almost nothing tome the entire time. The only communication I would get fromhim was him pointing towards the peaks of the tallest mountainand the occasional, “We’re almost there.” As if he wasencouraging me to press forward. There was no need for itbecause there was no way I was turning around, but I still foundit as a kind gesture. When we finally arrived to our destination, Path to Publication Group 83
  • 83. The Pathmy guide pointed out that we made it and that was the last I sawof him. What stood before me was a small building thatresembled an old church. There were lots of monks there butnone of them paid any attention to me. The ground was coveredin a wonderfully green grass and the weather was beyondperfect. I was not very tired despite the long journey I had made.I looked around a bit and started my way towards the church. Idid not blend with the flow of monks coming in and out of thebuilding and so I was pushed aside a couple of times, but Imanaged to make it in. When I first got in, I saw 4 rows ofchurch pews that led up to an altar. Surrounding the altar weretons of candles that lit the room and illuminated the few monksthat were praying. I was about to walk up the long red carpet thatran through the middle of the pews, when the setting suddenlychanged. The candles, pews, monks, and alter faded away into astone room with an open door leading to a long hallway. Monks passed by in their brown robes with tires rollingand bouncing in front of them. They walked strangely and a feweven whistled while they walked. I thought of this being strangeand was curious as to why. I was then lead by a chubbier monkto a room that defied the laws of physics. There were many pictures on the walls and thingslevitated all around me. He pointed at the most interesting thingin the room which was a small wooden boat with one paddle. Itsat in a column of water about 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide thatlead around the corner. The water shined and glimmered allaround the room making the effect of the boat seem important.The monk directed me to take this boat and follow its path. I gotin and looked ahead; it reminded me a lot like a log ride, theonly difference being you used a paddle. I started off paddlingslowly, taking in all that I saw. On the narrow path I followed, Isaw many pictures, clocks, word puzzles, and other variousitems, some of which were floating. There was no floor beneathme; I must have been thousands of feet up because the cloudswere not far below me. Looking down, I saw the wooden pegsthat held me with no end to them, only a very skinny and weaklooking support that held me. Path to Publication 84
  • 84. The Path Along this journey, there were many trials andtribulations. Most of them were simple to overcome. The gamesI played were mostly mind games and riddles I had to figure out.There was only one game in particular in which I had troublewith. It was a combination of a cross word puzzle, jigsawpuzzle, and a test of my physical and mental strength. I wasstuck on this game for quite a while. I am not sure how long ittook me, for time passed very quickly. When I beat it Icontinued to my final destination. The narrow path was slowly sloping upward intooblivion. I knew the ride was over when I heard the water poringover into nothing about 100 feet away from me. I look up andwitness what can only be described as the brightest, mostbrilliant light I have ever seen. It did not hurt my eyes as thelight was creeping over the tallest peak of the mountain.Through the light I saw an even brighter cross. Lost inamazement, I fell over the edge of the water fall. No pain… No suffering… No fear… Only liberation. Ilook through a hazy cloud and see the city below me. I feellove… love greater than you can possibly imagine. Such peaceand serenity could not be described unless you were lookingthrough Gods eyes. That night I woke up with tears running down my face,overwhelmed with emotion. Having a sudden realization, I gotup and prayed to God, thanking him for everything he has givenme… thanking him for letting me see the world through God’seyes.Note: Feeling God’s Love is too impossible to describe. Justknow that nothing even comes close to this feeling in reality andit is worth crying and crying over. Path to Publication Group 85
  • 85. The PathPOETRYFlowered wall John Nickum Path to Publication 86
  • 86. The Path D.E.Z. ButlerOne Fine NightThe haze was soft as feathers floating and,then the night exploded into stars of dust asmy eyes unfolded their tears across your face, asyou lay close to me, but far from me, upon the ground,the ground so hard and cold, yet scattered everywherethe look of the haze and feathersMy scream was silent and unruffled as I stood staringat your lifeless body. Not a whimper was near my throat,you gone and me now looking tall next to you, at once,but a minute ago, I to layI wondered how sweet and sexy your body was amongthe leaves around you, as what now was, an outline ofwhere once your body layThey came quickly and removed you to somewhere farfrom our love-locked spot of caresses and, only my fewtears were wetting now the spot, that in my thoughts stillfelt warm, as my hand allowed my body to stoop and layit upon the new falling leaves, where once a minute itseemed, ago, we were still smiling and touching Path to Publication Group 87
  • 87. The PathMy hand now all alone and our love but a silent memoryof how we loved each other, a love lost now to the feathersand dust of time as only the stars shine bright where oncewe were there layingThis one fine night, I lost you NASA JPL Path to Publication 88
  • 88. The Path Jordan FarrisI Want A PomegranateI want a pomegranate.I want it ripe and round.I want its tough exterior to peel back,exposing its vulnerable ruby spheres.I want each pocket to reflect the crimson sun; illuminatingall that was and all that will be.I want it to taste tangy and sweet,this pomegranate,so that I am reminded of my journeys.I want its plump dots to explode andopen the last portal of summer memories.When the barrier of its exterior and interior are broken,I want its entombed juice to roll down my throat; quenchingmy desire for familiarity.I want its fiery liquidto cascade down my chin and intothe bosom of summer. I want it tostain my face and my handsso that I cannot immediately forgetmy pomegranate and move on to somehomely orange or cherry.And when I am done, I want tolook at my virgin handsand see all that’s left is thelonely white star,and only then will I feel full.* Poem inspired by Kim Addonizio’s “What Do Women Want?” andoriginally published in Marooned Magazine, Vol. 8, Fall 2010. Path to Publication Group 89
  • 89. The PathCertain Things Turn My TummyI never knew that the line,“my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was goingto be to me hereafter.”was an epiphany.I never knew epiphanies could be insight.This one felt like a jellyfish pulsating itsevil into the muscle fibers of my back –tightening my form into the fetal position.It hurt being stuck in your womb, momma.I only stayed because I was a parasitesnarling through foreign liquids andspace that you never really had;forcing your petite frame to adapt –tiny belly skin stretching in slow-motion snaps.I heard 11 shots outside my bedroomwindow and instantly thought of him.I always knew he would.He was the one that wanted the big wedding-high-school-reunion-never-gonna-be-more-successful-than-nowparty.My lungs turned off the lamp on my nightstand. Eyes fixated through wooden slats,I saw him.Or swore I had.Was he strewn across the driveway?Would his insides be outside like that roadkill kitty?I never went back for the second one. Path to Publication 90
  • 90. The PathBroccoli Before Bed Gives Me Peculiar DreamsI want you so badlymy teeth hurt.I clench my jaws andlegs to ward off thoughts, butI enjoy harboring you here –here, where my subconscious toils away;writing scripts during the monotonyof the sun for you to play on my pillowas I please.Pleasestay here.Here, in my lucid dream,I choose a cabin.Fitting.And only you know that.The children I’ll never havemet you. Ugly, the face oftheir father they’ll never haveis hidden beneath theirpeachy shrinkwrap skin –no, squash –squash-tinted luminescent bodies withshiny smiles below my stolen grey eyes.Ugly. But they were ensnaredby your broccoli hairjust like I was.A refusal to have a tainted dreamsweeps weinto the lobby of this cottage hotel,and as the bow-tie-pressed desk checks us in,I feel the threading along that sliverin the front of your jeansthat’s supposed to hide your zipper.Your instinctual response and Path to Publication Group 91
  • 91. The Pathcheek-pressed desirespins weinto a large kitchen.Leaning against the virgincounters and the smell ofwet wooden cabinets, I seeyou are outlined by the busy noisesyou make to quiet guilt.You hand me a plate of shapesthat feel heavier than I care for –after all, I didn’t come to eat.Your mind speaks to mineand convinces me to partakein this consumption experiment instead ofsex – sex, I stared at those sliced fragments,resembling, wondering,what does it mean if I eat trianglesand what does it mean if I eat squares.I sank each shape in mycircle mouth and realized,I was a child prodigy, andI am no more an infatuation to youthan you are a desire to me.  Path to Publication 92
  • 92. The PathI am Thankful for Having HeardPorch lights mirror across the pond andI feel real behind this sliding glass.Blinds opened like fence posts, mimicthe step of the waves as they sway to the AC –unaware of where I am in relation to their swinging shadows.When you have reached this place,you will know what I mean when I sayI dont love you anymore.I can hear your soul beat –turn violet with pain;ooze its flammable sorrow untilwhole cities igniteand citizens scream in agony for an apology.But Im not sorry.All that you know of life iswhat I created –arms wild in display,pantomiming our glittering future with barstools and blankets –each fort a larger castle andeach bowl of popcorn saltierthan the last.I know we could taste it.I stole every molecule of air in this sphere to make it knownI love you, baby.I said it enough, didnt I?I love you, baby?You should have always felt loved.You were.While my body moved to the rhythm of our dreams, you satthereadoring me knees apartsmiling at the fluidity of my hipsand the way my wrists controlled the thump of your chest. Path to Publication Group 93
  • 93. The PathBadump. Badump. Badudump.Eyes closed, I let my body worminto a hole Id dug before -soul filled with the smell of wet earthand the richness of liberation, Icarried my limbs lightly on the ground;the balls of my feet pounding their thanksas they landed mightily on ancient soil.I can still hear the sirens clanging their bells against my body,calling, You don’t. Love him. Anymore.Your shoulders wiggled in giddy admirationand found fascination in my pagan movements;yet still you swayed on your hind instead of with those hipsthat I so forcefully drew in mime.Satisfaction can’t be found in the sticks you stacked,but I let you illuminate the night because Icould not stop the chants.And while I circled my rights around fire,nobody whispered in those glowing ears of yours thatBaby, it takes two to tango. “It takes two to tango” Path to Publication 94
  • 94. The Path Claire T. FeildDescendantMy progeny lives in treesmeasuring the innate qualitiesof leaves. He is gone from me,but part of his spirit lives inmy soul. This tree climberof mine knows his mission,unlike those who sit aroundsmoking pot with enemiesas well as friends and drinkuntil the last light in the baris frightened to be by itself.ObstaclesThe hindrances devised by men keepthe women in their places, the lightblue skies not for the women to enjoy astheir eyes are covered with red bandanas,the handkerchiefs tied tightly to causean unfair misery. Other women, dressedin white linen pants, arrive on the scene,their white horses casting rods, reelingup, and then pulling the handkerchiefsfrom the unfortunate ones. The menshoot at the satin-like dressed women,but the women turn the bullets intoflames of stale bread they throw at themen. The game finally won, the womenenjoy being treated equally, even ifit is only by their own gender. Path to Publication Group 95
  • 95. The PathNaysayerRatty, he sits on the town squaremumbling to himself words ofdoom. When it rains, he holdsup his red umbrella with moreholes than substance. He hasa pail from his childhood, theplace where town’s residentsdrop lightly their preciouscoins, for these contributorsare one navigable step frombeing poor. The day he goesbeyond his misfortune, thetown is empty, its residentsgone to the mall to findcontentment that provesto be false. Then they carrythe deceased one to thepotter’s field for a simpleburial service. His body isthe only one buried in thefield where prostitutesmake their living lyingon the cold grass wherefour-leaf clovers haveruptured.  Path to Publication 96
  • 96. The Path Linda UlmerThe Dialect of Earth and Skyyou speak the language of the deep forestI speak the language of the rainalong the warm current of your breathyour words scatterto bear fruit papaya mangowithin your pulsating throatthrobs the call of forest birdscockatoo parrot toucanflorescent featherslavender yellow red blue greencloak your verdant bodyyour hearthome of the golden jaguar godbeats exotic rhythms across the landblue mountains risein cadence to your syncopated beatbeneath this frondescent canopyyou speak the language of the deep forestI speak the language of the rainmy deep streams sing through the earth’s blue arteriesspill into wide basins fill mouths of cavernsform oceans seasdolphins carry my song to untamed shoresI am the whisper in the unconsciousthe moist desire that rises in your dreamsthe wet fecundity which nourishes the earthmy misted breath falls upon grassfeeds gazelle grazing in fieldsmy iridescent notes Path to Publication Group 97
  • 97. The Pathlavender yellow red blue greenform the arched ribbons of reflected lightand crown the promise of an azure skyI speak the language of the rainI am the river that roars through the heart of the forest drumyou are the verdant god that wears the rainbow crownour language is oneDreams in Hibernationthrough the nightsshe lumbers large and cumbersome I can hear the slap slapof her fleshy thighsas they chafe against each other watch the rippling rollof muscles sweepbeneath the coarse fur of her rotund bodyshe disturbs this antiseptic housewith her earthy odorof pungent musk dung and damp leaves her massive bellyswings from side to sidependulous breasts sway to its rhythmswollen in need of sucklingshe would forge a path through the stars for the taste of one tartsweet blackberry remembering how the purple juice oozeddown her fury pawsand descended down her thick thighs creating a fermentedstreamthrough the thorn-fruit-laden thicketsdown the hill to the riverreigning her inI nightly feed this wild and unruly bear gourmet tidbits from mywell stocked fridgehoping to tame herhoping to subdue our needs stave off the hungry memoryof that one wild and addictive leapinto that dark and feral forest Path to Publication 98
  • 98. The PathStewardship: Fire Air Water EarthAutumn was a season awayso all failed to notice when the first leaf fellwithin the oak grovenor could the day or time be namedwhen it was first discoveredtheir verdant sisterspoplars maple birch elmwere fading along the horizontat the hole in the ozone shield was expandingleaving the earth unprotectedagainst the simmering sunlocationdistantall failed to hear the firstrumbling crack of arctic iceshiver into the warming seaagendas too busy to readpolar bears fail to reachrapidly retreating shorelinescubs drown in the blue silenceoblivious thatfamilies of wild mustangssweeping through red mesa valleyssoon to be bulledto prevent their cruel starvationrains had ceased to fallupon expanding parched terrainsun scorched treesburst into flame across the landto catch attentionthe faithful wait and watchsurely the sacred grove of Cherry treeswill bless the capitol lawnwhite and pink blossoms will yet illuminate Path to Publication Group 99
  • 99. The PathWashington’s hope and prosperityglobally governments posture and flexreach far and wide to procureresources and limited fossil fuelsas they allocate money in preparation for warscientific reports adeptly manipulateglobal warming is imaginaryconfuse issues alleviate concernconvince all that the future of earth and childis an entitlement too expensive to supportkeep all voicelessSespe CanyonI have always known thebeauty of your spiritbut I was not prepared for this earthly beautyyour body silhouetted against the white sunlit rockprimitive and timelessas Las Piedres Blancasyou rise beneath my touchmy lips encircle your powerslide upon its glistening edgeour reflections merge within the mirrored lakeabove the brown and grey hawkarches across the skyhis throaty cry escapescarries our breath skywardone feather drifts softlydownwardI weave his giftinto the braid of my hair Path to Publication 100
  • 100. The Path Mary M. StumreiterThe OceanOne day I strolled on the ocean beachThe waves came in gentle movementThey washed the shore so quietly and smoothIt was so refreshing and peaceful.We see waves of peopleWalking quietly and peaceful.I thought back to the ocean waves,How the lives of people resemble the ocean.In time I revisited the beachInstead of peace and quietMighty waves engulfed the beach and beyond,Like a giant in wild fury,Lashing out at anything in its path.People are wild with violenceBestowing their anger on innocent people,Like the giant that moved the waves.So we see the same destructionInflicted on our civilization.  Path to Publication Group 101
  • 101. The Path Leah M. WhiteWe are of the Fairer, Dame, Donna: The LionessI wonder how the little boys are taughtto light the spark, perhaps we all should takea nature course to know how flames are caughtinside such simple instruments. We breakthe bark, just tear it off, then rub and rub.How soon before the heat? Before they wake?With faint instruction: Go ahead and snubthe candle, Nobel Peace is sinking in.We slip out of our dresses and into the tubs.You bring us offerings inside cupped hands— sweet fruit to trace us back to what we’ve been,first sin. The curtains spread apart, disband.You turn the music on and sip your gin.Yes, let our lid fall open— watch it spin.  Path to Publication 102
  • 102. The PathS.S.You turn and turn and climb abovethe buildings, and watch the wire disappear.All you want to do is burn the paper,you want to go up with fire— stealinto a new phase so quickly.The others feel your watching,your blaze. They don’t have to say it, just forget.Those who burn the paper aren’t heard.They do not raise their heads to look above,they can’t see past the haze, they won’tburn the paper. You— higher, higher.Actual World, Where Are You Again?1.Don’t eat that Black Apple.Pull your trousers up, Alexander,we have to go buy some rain for this place.Things are starting to look a little like death,dry.The fisherman told ushe’d give back every fish if the water would come with themat the joy jumping conference last month.2.(A Month Ago)“Hello, my name is Jonah”—the crowd roars“and I’m unhappy... and I thinkm-most of you are too.” quiet“If you could, it might be difficultor strange at first, but if you could jump Path to Publication Group 103
  • 103. The Pathwith me. I do think if we just do it anyway—it might become easier after the first few times”the crowd: like hearing the rustling hoovesof horses in dirtand a soft chatter of children ...3.Don’t you miss the clouds,the sticky feeling on your skin?We’re going to get the rain if it kills me,I’m climbing these walls out of mymind— and stop fearing the snowis near us,is on a plate in the kitchenwaiting, but no matter.There’s no time—our sky is a big blanket already. Path to Publication 104
  • 104. The Path Faith BreisblattThere Is No Caring Lessfor you. Crowds orbit around uscluster in indiscriminate patternsthat seem to dictate our distance. Imaintain mine, tilted, stilted, anill-attempted façade thatfools (only you) glossedover in conversation, in gravitationunable to resist the way the tidesadjust, eyes that crater whenmatched. I have tried,losing sight only briefly, catchingSaturn early evening before itwanes into the black. In this flux,we trust; it’s feverish, rotating on afixed axel, in constant digress from thestart. A great bang birthed us,spat us up as rejected whitened dwarfs.I can’t ask to be brought back from dustto cease existing, to curl, wilt in yourspace. Darkened matter.This is a climate change: a directcontradiction to grounded heat andbarometric pressure. Cold, blackened,unwhole; adrift, avoiding elliptical Path to Publication Group 105
  • 105. The Pathtrajectories- anything that leads to you,towards you, concerns you. I digresswithin this space and we arenot alone. I care no less thanbefore. The earth still turns.We beat on as we often do. Path to Publication 106
  • 106. The Path Elena BottsBandelieri stride,with a kingfisher dip to my spine.the cavern thunders when my palmsstrike the ground,pounding like a skull in recollectionof familiar noses and eyes iron-lockedin the knownrivers of consciousness,jetsam quick to sinkinto unbeing,later lifted in stormas societal progressionchurns in not any one direction,like a log-cabin hitchedin pieces, grown mobile,set with foundationadjusted to a different location.now we walk through vacant pueblos,mountain lions feeling the brushjust as i was feeling your armbefore i woke up.  Path to Publication Group 107
  • 107. The Pathtrespassmy smoke-ring eyes aretoo fool & float,the strains of skin aboutmy vein areoutskirts of a soulwhere the shacks ofliver, organ, bone, awaita tornado to lend the messcredibilityso that whenthe platoons of touristscircle in, prying at the placelike vultures with their eyes,they wont ask,what do people do here?theyll assume, nothing,and turn to the sky, thinkinghow three-dimensionalthe clouds aretoday, how real it would beto tip the world round andhang vertical on the cattle guard,to know that intimate isthe distinct distanceof their skin-stripped fingerson the rungs connecting pitsat the gap of the split-stick fence.  Path to Publication 108
  • 108. The Pathsweatshe recedes in heat,that girl in the looking glass,skin the color ofthe paper she slidesacross the typewriter(is out of ink) pockmarks seemto be the only substance of herface. her lips are fallenfrom a tree, overripe.her gaze,watery and wide-eyed, comes inwith the tide, where her body isassembledalong the shoreline.its too hot, she says,but no one hears. theirfaces turn to stare,each head revolving likea clock hand through hours.its too hot, she says,but its a whisper still, soshe looks down and undoes her dress.its too hot for this.they lean in to watch.shes got the fabric undone.shes sitting in her underclothes.these too, she says,lifting her stockingsand pouring her feetout of her flats,each toe milk-white,not the sort that shines, is bright, Path to Publication Group 109
  • 109. The Pathbut the kind of whitethat fades awaylike a memoryof being lost,a childon a rainy day. Path to Publication 110
  • 110. The Path Eva Marie WillisAdirondack ParkI visited the AdirondacksWhen I was a wee girl.Family vacations spentIn upper state New YorkLeft our senses in a whirl.The skies were so clearWhen they weren’t misty.The lakes were so pureThey reflected the cloudsAs though there was complicity.The fur on the moose’s antlers,The song of the loon, so haunting,The fullness of the chipmunk’s cheeksFilled my eyes and earsAnd did not leave me wanting.The rustic camps and boat houses,Paddling on the lakes,Relaxing in a plank chairWatching the fog lift it’s cloakLeft their mental keepsakes.You touched my heart, Saranac,You beauty for the eyes.You cooled my nose Lake Placid,You refreshed my soul,As you offered us your paradise. Path to Publication Group 111
  • 111. The PathOutside the WindowWhat’s outside the window?Outside of the boundaries of the house walls?HoneysuckleSageHibiscus with bright red flowersHot pink bougainvilleaA spotted lizard and her mateShe sits on a purplish-black lava rockSunning herselfNow doing push-upsThen he joins herAnd they flit and dartAround the base of the sage plantThe mostly orange butterflyWends an errant path from plant to plantPollinating the worldWith brightness and happinessAh, the spectacle of life!  Path to Publication 112
  • 112. The Path Tatjana DebeljackiOne Fine NightI will never forget that night when you came to me lying on thecouch out of the darkness.On my parents couchby the window with the starsyou don’t recall?There’s so much, volumes I want to ask you,Do you remember the way we would lie in the sweetest ofanimation,Suspended,Resting where even time itself could not touch usEven for a moment,How we seemed to pour into each other,Filling each other to the brimWith excitement, passion, and love,Do you remember?On my parent’s couch, that window with a million stars,Hearing the odd sleepless cow,Hearing you,It was like a million candles lit your way down the hall to me,Waiting for our romantic subterfugeI lay awake preparing a masterpiece of cushions and covers,Everyone in the house slept soundlyWhile your hand gracefully covered your mouth,You, gasping,Trying so hardNot to scream;The soft gentle touch of my hands rubbing you, Path to Publication Group 113
  • 113. The PathI miss you so I can hardly breathe...That was by far the most passionate night of my free young life,The way our milky bodies intertwined,Flowed rhythmically together with the tide of the night,Crests rising and falling to the pace of our breathing,A nightingale’s midnight melody fills my ear, andI fill you upall the waypast the brimwith my unbridled passion.TO HIMTHE GREEN LETTERWell I just wanted to say hello to you.Yesterday I had no time for it, I know you’d expected it. Sorry.Understand me, please.In return, I love you.There is so much work to do but I can’t get you out of my mind.Sometimes I am daydreaming.And I can’t sleep at nights.Your suburban guy loves you, your fat swine. For the First and The Last Time I Wrote a Poem The Greatest Poem of All You and Me Please forgive me for this poem being so short. Even the title is longer than the poem itself. I told you: Path to Publication 114
  • 114. The Path "I’m not good at writing!" In Cyrillic, I’m inside you written in Latin, you are inside me What kind of Ikebana would it be two of us in Japanese script?13 hours and 2 minutes. Thursday, March.I love you. Enough said.6th April.In case I had forgotten to write you a letter, I did not forget tolove you. Clip art (Unknown)  Path to Publication Group 115
  • 115. The Path Bookreview Path to Publication 116
  • 116. The Path North Korea Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (D.P.R.K.) North Korean soldierNorth Korea, shrouded in secrecy andmystery, has become a topic of interestto people around the world since thedeath of the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il.Three recent books, one fiction andtwo nonfiction, have been published in an attempt to demystifythe communist regime and explain, if possible, the basis for itscontinued existence.Cho, Victor. 2012. The Impossible State. Ecco, New York, NY 530 p. ISBN-13: 978-0061998508Goodspeed, Peter. 2012. Inside the Hermit Kingdom. National Post eBooks, Harper Collins, Inc. Kindle Edition. 100 p.Johnson, Adam. 2012. The Orphan Masters Son : a novel. Random House, New York, NY. 443 p. ISBN-13: 978- 0812982626 The Korean Peninsula was first populated by peoples of aTungusic branch of the Ural-Altaic language family, whomigrated from the northwestern regions of Asia. Some of thesepeoples also populated parts of northeast China (Manchuria);Koreans and Manchurians still show physical similarities. Path to Publication Group 117
  • 117. The PathKoreans are racially and linguistically homogeneous. Althoughthere are no indigenous minorities in North Korea, there is asmall Chinese community (about 50,000) and some 1,800Japanese wives who accompanied the roughly 93,000 ethnicKoreans returning to the North from Japan between 1959 and1962. Although dialects exist, the Korean language spokenthroughout the peninsula is mutually comprehensible. In NorthKorea, the Korean alphabet (hangul) is used exclusively. Koreas traditional religions are Buddhism andShamanism. Christian missionaries arrived as early as the 16thcentury, but it was not until the 19th century that majormissionary activity began. Pyongyang was a center ofmissionary activity and there was a relatively large Christianpopulation in the north before 1945. Although religious groupsexist in North Korea today, the government severely restrictsreligious activity. By the first century AD, the Korean Peninsula wasdivided into the kingdoms of Shilla, Koguryo, and Paekche. In668 AD, the Shilla kingdom unified the peninsula. The Koryodynasty, from which Portuguese missionaries in the 16th centuryderived the Western name "Korea", succeeded the Shillakingdom in 935. The Choson dynasty, ruled by members of theYi clan, supplanted Koryo in 1392 and lasted until Japanannexed Korea in 1910. Throughout its history, Korea has been invaded,influenced and fought over by its larger neighbors. Korea wasunder Mongolian occupation from 1231 until the early 14thcentury. The unifier of Japan, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, launchedmajor invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597. When Westernpowers focused "gunboat" diplomacy on Korea in the mid-19thcentury, Koreas rulers adopted a closed-door policy, earningKorea the title of "Hermit Kingdom." Although the Chosondynasty recognized Chinas hegemony in East Asia, Korea wasindependent until the late 19th century. At that time, Chinasought to block growing Japanese influence on the KoreanPeninsula and Russian pressure for commercial gains there. Thecompetition produced the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 and theRusso-Japanese War of 1904-05. Japan emerged victorious fromboth wars and in 1910 annexed Korea as part of the growingJapanese empire. Japanese colonial administration was Path to Publication 118
  • 118. The Pathcharacterized by tight control from Tokyo and ruthless efforts tosupplant Korean language and culture. Organized Koreanresistance during the colonial era was generally unsuccessful andJapan remained firmly in control of the Peninsula until the endof World War II in 1945. The surrender of Japan in August 1945led to the immediate division of Korea into two occupationzones, with the United States administering the area south of the38th parallel, and the Soviet Union administering the area to thenorth of the 38th parallel. This division was meant to betemporary until the United States, United Kingdom, SovietUnion, and China could arrange a trusteeship administration. In December 1945, a conference was convened inMoscow to discuss the future of Korea. A 5-year trusteeship wasdiscussed, and a joint Soviet-American commission wasestablished. The commission met intermittently in Seoul butdeadlocked over the issue of establishing a national government.In September 1947, with no solution in sight, the United Statessubmitted the Korean question to the UN General Assembly.Initial hopes for a unified, independent Korea quicklyevaporated as the politics of the Cold War and domesticopposition to the trusteeship plan resulted in the 1948establishment of two separate nations with diametricallyopposed political, economic, and social systems. Elections wereheld in the South under UN observation, and on August 15,1948, the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) was established in theSouth. Syngman Rhee, a nationalist leader, became theRepublics first president. On September 9, 1948, the Northestablished the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea(D.P.R.K.) headed by then-Premier Kim Il-sung, who had beencultivated and supported by the Soviet Union. Almost immediately after the establishment of theD.P.R.K., guerrilla warfare, border clashes and naval battleserupted between the two Koreas. North Korean forces launcheda massive surprise attack and invaded South Korea on June 25,1950. The United Nations, in accordance with the terms of itscharter, engaged in its first collective action and established theUN Command (UNC), to which 16 member nations sent troopsand assistance. Next to South Korea, the United Statescontributed the largest contingent of forces to this internationaleffort. The battle line fluctuated north and south, and after large Path to Publication Group 119
  • 119. The Pathnumbers of Chinese "Peoples Volunteers" intervened to assistthe North, the battle line stabilized north of Seoul near the 38thparallel. Armistice negotiations began in July 1951, but hostilitiescontinued until July 27, 1953. On that date, at Panmunjom, themilitary commanders of the North Korean Peoples Army, theChinese Peoples Volunteers and the UNC signed an armisticeagreement. Neither the United States nor South Korea is asignatory to the armistice per se, although both adhere to itthrough the UNC. No comprehensive peace agreement hasreplaced the 1953 armistice pact. Approximately 70 percent of the Korean Peninsula isprimarily mountains and they are the defining characteristics ofthe terrain. The mountains are generally of medium height, about1,500 m (4,921 ft), with lower mountains 200-500 m (656-1,640ft) high (all elevations of 2,000 m (6,600 ft) or more are found inNorth Korea). Relief differentials (as measured from valley floorto peak or ridge tops) for even the lowest mountains, aregenerally 300-400 m (980-1,300 ft). The elevated places areheavily bisected by river valleys, which frequently have deepnarrow passes and canyons, with steep slopes or near vertical orvertical walls. Paektu-san, at 2,744 m (9,003 ft), is the highestmountain in the Koreas, rising out of the Kaema Plateau, in thefar northeast, which is the headwater for the Yalu and TumenRivers. Mountain ranges generally parallel the coastlines, butnearly all emit a number of mountain chains that extend invarious directions and intersect one another, making thecountrys relief system complex and tangled. Koreas mountainsystem may be broken into three segments.The North Korean Mountain Regions are divided into the Tumenand the Yalu (Amnok) River mountain regions. The Tumenregion (the area between the Tumen River and the East Sea (Seaof Japan)) is in the northeast corner of North Korea. Thesemountains are relatively low and passable in the northeast, butgradually increase in elevation toward the southwest, becomingless and less accessible. Their high region reaches 2,500 m(8,202 ft). Their southwest direction is interrupted by theMateryong Mountains, which extend southeast from theManchurian border to the East Sea (Sea of Japan). The Yalu Path to Publication 120
  • 120. The Path(Amnok) mountain region is between the Yalu River and theYellow Sea. The region forms the mountain roof of the KoreanPeninsula. These ranges are noted for their complicatedstructure, severity, inaccessibility, and lack of settlers. Thewestern portion of this region becomes gradually lower, rarelyexceeding 1,000 m (3,281 ft), but the ranges have steep slopes,are highly dissected, and contain dense forests. Communicationis usually only practical via the deep river valleys. North Korea has, in general, a harsh climate. Winters areextremely cold. The ground freezes in early November in theextreme north, by mid-December further south along the DMZ.Thawing begins in mid-February along the DMZ, and not untillate March in the far north. Heavy rains during the SouthwestMonsoon saturate the ground and make conditions ideal for flashflooding. The spring period brings with it an increase in earlymorning fog that burns off by late morning. Also, during thespring, dust resulting from Yellow Wind can reduce visibility attimes to less than 1 mile. Also known as Asian Dust, YellowWind is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon that affectsmuch of East Asia sporadically during the springtime months.The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern Chinaand Kazakhstan where high-speed surface winds and intensedust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles.These clouds are then carried eastward by prevailing winds andpass over China, North and South Korea, and Japan, as well asparts of the Russian Far East. Sometimes, the airborneparticulates are carried much further, in significantconcentrations, which affect air quality as far east as the UnitedStates. The capital city of North Korea is Pyongyang.Administrative divisions include nine provinces (do, singularand plural); Chagang-do, Hamgyong-namdo, Hamg-yong-pukto,Hwanghae-namdo, Hwanghae-pukto, Kangwon-do, Pyongan-pukto, Pyongan-namdo, Yanggang-do; and three special cities(jikhalsi, singular and plu-ral); Kaesong-si, Nampo-si, andPyongyang-si. North Korea has a centralized government under therigid control of the communist Korean Workers Party (KWP), towhich all government officials belong. A few minor political Path to Publication Group 121
  • 121. The Pathparties are allowed to exist in name only. Kim Il-sung ruledNorth Korea from 1948 until his death in July 1994 as SecretaryGeneral of the KWP and President of North Korea. The latterpost was abolished following Kim Il-sung’s death and the title ofthe Eternal President of the Republic was established and givento Kim Il-sung. Little is known about the actual lines of power andauthority in the North Korean Government despite the formalstructure set forth in its constitution. Following the death of KimIl-sung, his son, Kim Jong-il, inherited supreme power. KimJong-il was named General Secretary of the KWP in October1997, and in September 1998, the Supreme Peoples Assembly(SPA) reconfirmed Kim Jong-il as Chairman of the NationalDefense Commission (NDC) and declared that position as the"highest office of state." However, the President of thePresidium of the SPA, Kim Yong-nam, serves as the nominalhead of state. North Koreas 1972 constitution was amended inlate 1992, September 1998, and April 2009. Following the deathof Kim Jong-il in December 2011, his son Kim Jong-un becamethe supreme leader of North Korea. In December 2011, thePolitburo of the KWP formally appointed Kim Jong-un as theSupreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. Three key entities control the government of theD.P.R.K. The cabinet, formerly known as the StateAdministration Council (SAC), administers the ministries andhas a significant role in implementing policy. The cabinet isheaded by the premier and is the dominant administrative andexecutive agency. The NDC is responsible for external andinternal security, and under the leadership of Kim Jong-il, theNDC assumed a major role in influencing policy. The Politburoof the Central People’s Committee is the top policymaking bodyof the KWP, which also plays a role as the dominant socialinstitution in North Korea. Officially, the D.P.R.K.’s legislature, the SupremePeople’s Assembly, is the highest organ of state power. Itsmembers are elected every 4 years. The SPA usually holds onlytwo meetings annually, each lasting a few days. A standingcommittee elected by the SPA performs legislative functionswhen the Assembly is not in session. In reality, the SPA is a“rubber-stamp” body, serving only to ratify decisions made by Path to Publication 122
  • 122. The Paththe ruling KWP. North Korea’s judiciary is "accountable" to the SPA andthe president. The SPAs standing committee also appointsjudges to the highest court for 4-year terms concurrent withthose of the Assembly. It is in this sobering context that Cho, Goodspeed andJohnson set their books. Cho, currently Director of the AsianStudies program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of ForeignService at Georgetown University and senior advisor at theCenter for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), provides adefinitive account of North Korea, its veiled past and uncertainfuture. Though it is much discussed and often maligned,precious little is known or understood about North Korea, theworld’s most controversial and isolated country. In The Impossible State, Cho illuminates the repressiveregime’s complex economy and culture, its appalling record ofhuman-rights abuses and its belligerent relationship with theUnited States, and analyzes the regime’s major security issues—from the seemingly endless war with its southern neighbor to itsfrightening nuclear ambitions—all in light of the destabilizingeffects of Kim Jong-il’s recent death. How this enigmatic nation-state—one that regularlyviolates its own citizens’ inalienable rights and has sufferedfamine, global economic sanctions, a collapsed economy andnear total isolation from the rest of the world—has continued tosurvive has long been a question that preoccupies the West. Choreveals a land of contradictions, one facing a pivotal anddisquieting transition of power from tyrannical father toinexperienced son, and delves into the ideology that leads anoppressed, starving populace to cling so fiercely to its failedleadership. With rare personal anecdotes from the author’s time inPyongyang and his tenure as an adviser in the White House, thisengagingly written, authoritative and highly accessible historyoffers much-needed answers to the most pressing questionsabout North Korea and, ultimately, warns of a regime that mightbe closer to its end than many might think—a political collapsefor which America and its allies may be woefully unprepared. Cho explains it thus: “In 1977, North Korea became theonly country in the world to declare that it had reached the final Path to Publication Group 123
  • 123. The Pathstage of socialist utopia. In their own minds, they believed it.The Cold War years were the best days for North Korea.Cupboards were full, the military was strong, the rival South wastroubled and the North had many friends in the socialist world. “How can we be so certain of this? Because North Korea,today, is trying to return to these principles. It is building a newideology for the next generation of leadership to succeed KimJong-il. This process started around 2008 when Kim Jong-ilsuffered a stroke, but has been accelerated with Kim’s death in2011. I call it ‘neojuche revivalism.’ It is a return to theprinciples and propaganda of the 1960s and 1970s, when inNorth Korean minds they were strong, but with an even harderline and more dogmatic than before. This more conservativestrand of juche continues to espouse complete loyalty andsubservience to the leader, and in particular highlights theascension to the throne of Kim Jong-il’s twentysomething-year-old son Kim Jong-un. It continues to espouse the uniqueness ofthe Korean race, the need for independence from externalpredatory powers, and the weakness of the turns South aspuppets of American and Japanese imperialism. This new strainof juche is different in two respects. It is reactionary in itsrejection of the opening and reform policies that were tried fromthe mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. These halfhearted attempts atreform coincided with the decade of Sunshine Policy in SouthKorea, when Seoul under progressive governments sought toshower the North with unconditional economic engagement. Aswas discussed later in the book, this experimentation periodfailed miserably, in large part because the North Korean regimewas unwilling to take real steps to liberalize their system, forfear of losing political control. In reality, the halfhearted natureof these reforms led to a massive failure of the food, energy, andeconomic infrastructure starting from the mid-1990s. Ratherthan tie this poor performance to the state, neojuche revivalismflips the script: it uses revivalism to rationalize that the problemsof the 1990s were precisely because they experimented with‘polluted ideas’ and now they are returning to purity. “The new ideology calls for a return to the coreprinciples that made North Korea great during the Cold War anddiscards the attempted periods of experimentation and reform asdeviant turns that dirtied the mind and spirits of Koreans. This Path to Publication 124
  • 124. The Pathnew strain of juche is also different in that it stresses the conceptof ‘sŏn’gun’ (‘military-first’) politics. This is an artifact of KimJong-il’s rule of North Korea, in which he privileged the militaryabove all as the key decision-making body. Neojuche revivalismcontinues to stress sŏn’gun politics and, in particular,wholeheartedly associates the drive for nuclear weapons with thecountry’s achievement of ‘kangsŏng tae’guk’ (‘rich nation,strong army’).” Inside the Hermit Kingdom appears to be a collection ofpress releases, newspaper articles and other communiques. Inone chapter, Goodspeed answers the burning question: “Who isKim Jong-un?” “North Korea may be on the brink of its worst crisissince the Korean War and could inject a new, nuclear-tipped,sense of insecurity into the entire Korean peninsula, analysts say.The nuclear-armed rogue state is in the throes of a leadershipcrisis that heralds a dangerous period of transition and instabilityfor both North and South Korea, and most of Asia. For the pasttwo years, North Korea has tried to groom Kim Jong-un, 27,Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, to succeed him. But the idea hasn’treally caught on, partly because of uncertainties over his abilitiesand partly because even the country’s elite are growing weary ofthe communist world’s only hereditary kingship. ‘Absolutelyanything could happen,’ said Hahm Chaibong, director of theAsian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul. ‘What happens nextdepends on how far the succession plan has progressed, howmuch Kim Jong-un has secured a power base.’ The death of thedictator is far less auspicious than his birth. According to NorthKorea’s communist mythology, it was heralded by a bright starand a double rainbow as a swallow descended from heaven toannounce the arrival of ‘a general who will rule the world.’ “No one really knows how things will end now that theruthless, pudgy demigod is dead. Unlike Kim Jong-il—who wasgroomed for 25 years to succeed his father, North Korea’sfounder, Kim Il-sung—Kim Jong-un is a virtual unknown.Hardly anyone in or outside North Korea even knew he existeduntil two years ago. He became a candidate for succession onlyin 2010, after his father suffered a serious stroke in 2008 andfailed to appoint either of his two older sons to positions ofpower. Kim Jong-nam, 39, the oldest, now lives in virtual exile Path to Publication Group 125
  • 125. The Pathin Macau. He fell from favor in 2001, when he was caughtsneaking into Japan to visit Tokyo’s Disneyland on a forgedDominican Republic passport. The second son, Kim Jong-chul,29, was apparently considered too effeminate by his father andholds only a minor post in the Workers’ Party’s guidancedepartment. Kim Jong-un, who eerily looks like his grandfather,lived a life of anonymity until September 2010, when he wassuddenly made a general in North Korea’s armed forces andendowed with several high political titles. Before that, he waseducated, under an assumed name, at the International School inBerne, Switzerland, in 1995-98. While he is said to have someproficiency in English, French and German, Kim Jong-un hasnever met or dealt with a world leader. In a Confucian culturethat still venerates age and seniority, that may be a seriousproblem,” Goodspeed writes. Why, one might ask, would a writer choose North Koreafor the setting of a novel? Why, indeed, unless the reason was tobring to light the incredible disregard for human rights today inthe DPRK. Read this book after you’ve read Cho and Goodspeedand you’ll have to constantly remind yourself this is a work offiction. Supposedly, that is a quality of good fiction writing andit is well written. It is bone-chilling. The subject and the settingcould be a chapter out of either of the other two books and you’dnot be surprised. In this regard, Johnson says, “Much is written about thepolitical, military and economic aspects of the DPRK, but it wasalways the personal dimension that interested me. I wonderedhow families huddled under such repression and how peoplemaintained their identities against the tide of propaganda and,whether lovers, despite the dangers, shared their intimatethoughts. So, from the beginning, my goal in this book was tocreate a single character that felt fully human to me. I shouldprobably say ‘capture’ as much as ‘create,’ because I used somuch research to build the story. “The first person I interviewed for the book had been anorphan from the North and the desperation and sadness of hisexperience steeped the book’s opening. All the stories ofdefectors fascinated me and whether they worked at canningfactories or on fishing boats, they all shared commonexperiences of mandatory military service, the famine years, Path to Publication 126
  • 126. The Pathloved ones disappearing, and brutality from the state. In a worldwhere expression is measured and spontaneity is dangerous, itwas especially important to find moments of intimacy andhumor and surprise. Jun Do grew out of this research. As thebook opens, he’s an everyman, a character who does what he’stold when he’s told, however grim the task and he doesn’t askquestions. But by listening to foreign broadcasts and through achance encounter with American sailors, spontaneity andpossibility enter Jun Do’s life. From that point on, he decides toact on his own needs and desires, which will bring him intoconflict with every aspect of his society.” It is through Johnson’s characters that we can come tounderstand, at least in some measure, Cho and Goodspeed’sworks. Together these books paint as good a picture of NorthKorea, the DPRK, as we can get. It behooves us all to spendsome time reading and researching information about thisHermit Kingdom. Although that moniker makes it sound like afantasy, the DPRK is no fantasy. It’s a real and present danger.Much depends on the new leader, Kim Jung-un, dubbed TheGreat Successor.North Korea’s goose-stepping soldiers Path to Publication Group 127
  • 127. The Path Biographies of Contributors In the order of contributionJohn G. Nickum (B.S., M.S., Ph. D.) is a retired biologist whohas more than 40 years of experience in teaching, research,policy development, and agency management. His teaching andresearch career included faculty positions at South Dakota StateUniversity, Cornell University, and Iowa State University. Dr.Nickum served as the National-International Fish HealthCoordinator and the National Aquaculture Coordinator for theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He represented the Departmentof the Interior on the Federal Joint Subcommittee forAquaculture and served on several American delegations duringnegotiations with foreign governments. Retirement has affordedhim the opportunity to develop another career as a writer,specializing in aquatic resource issues, environmentalmanagement, and science for the public.A. Paul Bergen, (B.A. Phil., M.A. Phil. of Rel.) is a multi-talented, published novelist and essayist; studio singer andvoice-over artist recorded on over 8,000 commercials for radioand TV; and visual artist working in acrylics with numerouswest coast exhibitions. As an essayist, he specializes inpresenting complex, contemporary, philosophical thought inaccessible, laypersons language. He lives close to the ocean inEncinitas, CA with wife Linda, a dog, a cat and a rabbit.Bergens1968@SBCglobal.net.Budd Nelson is a construction inspector for the U.S. ArmyCorps of Engineers and the author of DUSTY a western set in1878 Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. He is also the author of 6short stories and 115 poems. Reach him agrizinvabudd@yahoo.com, his website iswww.buddnelson.com . He lives with his wife Carol inWarrenton, VA. Path to Publication 128
  • 128. The PathWoodrow W. Walker was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1942.He left Columbus in 1979. After traveling around the countryfor a while, he ended up in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1990. In 2005he moved to Tucson, Arizona. He has written six books andover thirty short stories and all can be found on Amazon’s e-book reader Kindle.Tatjana Debeljački was born on 23.04.1967 in Užice. Writespoetry, short stories, stories and haiku. Member of theAssociation of Writers of Serbia -UKS since 2004 and HaikuSociety of Serbia - HDS Serbia, HUSCG – Montenegro andHDPR, Croatia. A member of Writers’ Association Poeta,Belgrade since 2008, HKD Croatia since 2009 and a member ofPoetry Society "Antun Ivanošić" Osijek since 2011. Deputy ofthe main editor (cooperation with magazines & interviews).http://diogen.weebly.com/redakcijaeditorial-board.htmlEditor of the magazine "Poeta", published by Writers’Association "Poeta" http://www.poetabg.com/ Union of Yugoslav Writers inHomeland and Immigration – Belgrade, Literary Club Yesenin –Belgrade.She has published four collections of poetry: “A HOUSE MADEOF GLASS “, published by ART – Užice in 1996; collection ofpoems “YOURS“, published by Narodna knjiga Belgrade in2003; collection of haiku poetry “VOLCANO”, published byLotos from Valjevo in 2004. A CD book “A HOUSE MADE OFGLASS” published by ART in 2005, bilingual SR-EN withmusic, AH-EH-IH-OH-UH, published by Poeta, Belgrade in2008. Her poetry and haiku have been translated into severallanguages. Email/Websites/Blogshttp://debeljacki.mojblog.rs/Catherine Becker Reynolds retired recently from a forty-yearcareer in teaching. She enjoys writing historical andcontemporary fiction for both adults and children. Catherine’swork has appeared in the Journal of the National Council,Teachers of English; Arizona English Bulletin, and The Arizona Path to Publication Group 129
  • 129. The PathRepublic. She and her husband live in Scottsdale, Arizona.Reach her at january@artbyair.com.Tim Wilkinson, husband and father of two, has been writingsince the age of twelve. After spending thirty years working inthe telecommunications industry, traveling and writing inbetween the often conflicting commitments of family, work,home and life in general, Mr. Wilkinson now focuses more timeand effort on his most enduring dream, writing. Collections ofhis earlier works are available online, throughwww.Amazon.com.Thomas Michael McDade (not related to Thomas M. McDadewho captured Machine Gun Kelly) is a former computerprogrammer who wrote and maintained software for plumbingsupply concerns. He resides in Monroe, CT with his wife, nokids or pets. He graduated from Fairfield University and servedtwo hitches in the U.S. Navy. He writes poetry as well as fiction.Chase Gielda So if there was anything to know about me, youshould know that I love to … well there are no words to describeit exactly. Most writers know very well that even our ownwritten language has limitations. You know, sometimes I justwrite whatever pops into my head. I can see how it can getannoying sometimes, but it’s cool because you get to see a bit ofcharacter. Maybe that should be a better picture of a biography.You can tell a lot about a person by their thoughts, right?cgielda2460@gmail.coD.E.Z. Butler (B.L.S., M.P.A.) decided to write about all shehas experienced. Her life has had many paths and she hopes to"grow" her following for her many stories, poems, articles, andbooks. Look for more books and writings at authorsden.comabout this writer. She recently moved to Pennsylvania and iscontinuing the art of mastering her chosen craft. Reach herat: telepathyb@juno.com.Jordan Farris will graduate from Arizona State University inMay and continue her studies with English Literature in graduateschool, focusing on Romanticism. Her current work is inspired Path to Publication 130
  • 130. The Pathby her childhood in Arkansas, new surroundings of Arizona,synesthesia, morality, fleeting moments, and nature. She wasfirst published in fourth grade and poetry has been circulatingher creative veins ever since.Claire T. Feild is an English composition instructor. She hashad 244 poems accepted for print publication in 106 literaryjournals, such as Spillway, Windmills, Tulane Review, andPalimpsest Journal. Her poetry book is Mississippi DeltaWomen in Prism. Excerpts of her memoir, A Delta Vigil, havebeen published in Bostons Full Circle: A Journal of Poetry andProse.Linda Ulmer (B.A.) spent her childhood within the circle ofnature in the Missouri Ozarks, the Virginia coast marshlands,and the California coastline where she was always surroundedin nature’s luminous colors, musical tones, and mustyfragrances. During her career, she has worked in the educationalfield and the legal field where she experienced not onlythe diversity of language and cultures but themultilevel complexity of humanity and the human soul, bothdark and light. Her publications include: “Moonstone Cat”- CatFancy Magazine ’83; “Springhouse Retreat” - Midwest PoetryReview, Indiana ’83; “Sand Sounds” - Long Beach Council onthe Arts, New York ’86; and, “Summers End” - Dan RiverAnthology ’86.Mary M. Stumreiter (1910-2000) grew up in Liberty, Indiana.She graduated from Short High School in 1930 and wasemployed as a domestic in the Dr. Wedding household. Shemarried Joseph Stumreiter on April 28, 1943. In 1945 their firstdaughter was born and they moved to northern Wisconsin.There, their second daughter was born in 1949. Mary loved toread and write letters. Later in life, she began to write poetry.She published many of her poems.Leah M. White is a Creative Writing major on the poetry trackwith a minor in French at Arizona State University, graduatingin the spring of 2013. She studied abroad in Lille, France for sixmonths last spring semester at Université Catholique de Lille. Path to Publication Group 131
  • 131. The PathAfter a year working with Lux Creative Review as the poetryeditor, she is now beginning an internship with Hayden’s FerryReview.Faith Breisblatt is a student at Arizona State Universitymajoring in Psychology with dual minors in English Literatureand Family and Human Development. I have previously beenpublished in Marooned Literary Magazine and the local Tempemagazine The Tempe Starving Artist among others. Next year Iplan to start a masters in social work graduate program whilecontinuing to write poetry and polish my poetic craft.FBreisblatt@gmail.comElena Botts grew up in Maryland, and currently lives inNorthern Virginia. She is still attending school. She likes to run.And write. Shes been published in multiple magazines in thepast year and is currently working with a small-press editor on abook of poetry titled "a little luminescence"dragon112696@gmail.com (check it out at www.allbook-books.com).Eva Marie Willis (B.A. From ASU) is retired and lives inAhwatukee (Phoenix), Arizona. Since retiring, she findspersonal expression in her numerous poems, in dancing, and inher oil paintings. She is interested in politics, spirituality,dancing and living life to the fullest. You can follow her onTwitter under EvaTwits or contact her via e-mail atjwillis42@cox.net.Mary J. Nickum (B.A., M.Lib., MAIS) is a magazine editorand freelance writer, who is “dedicated to making sciencereader-friendly.” Mary’s first book for children is MOM’SSTORY, A CHILD LEARNS ABOUT MS. Her numerousarticles introduce animals and their most interesting traits tochildren. She lives with her husband in Fountain Hills, Arizona,and has two grown sons. Reach her at mjnickum@cox.net. Herwebsite is www.marynickum.com. Path to Publication 132
  • 132. The PathRhonda Ayliffe www.rhondaayliffe.com Photographer Path to Publication Group 133
  • 133. The Path Submission Guidelines* The Path The Path to Publication Group is sponsoring andintroducing a new literary publication–The Path. You are invitedto submit short stories, essays and poems for inclusion in thesemi-annual issues. The theme for the short stories and essays and thesubtitle of each issue will change. The theme will be given whenthe call for submissions is published on the website:www.thepathtopublication.net. Past contributors will receive acall for submissions by e-mail automatically. The words of thetheme must be used somewhere in your text. Your content mustbe theme-oriented in some way, either full on or indirectly. Notheme is required for poetry. 1) Short stories and essays - 2500 to 7000 words 2) Poetry – 2 pages Please polish your manuscripts to the best of your abilityand, of course, have someone else edit your work before sendingto Path to Publication. Do not format your work: no pagenumbers, no headers or footers, no paragraph indentations (skipa line for paragraph spacing). Manuscripts must be submitted inMicrosoft Word or RTF form. Font: Times New Roman - size12. All submissions must be submitted electronically, as e-mailattachments to: mjnickum@thepathmagazine.com. All rights are retained by the author, and there will be nocompensation for accepted work at this time. *Because we are staffed by volunteers, we can onlycompensate our writers in exposure to our audience. Our authorsenjoy great publicity for their own blogs, books, websites andprojects. Many find great reward in doing something good forthe world of literature and literacy Path to Publication 134
  • 134. Advertisements Mom’s Story A Child Learns About MS Non-fiction/General Trade Paperback Publisher: Chalet Publishers, LLC Publication Date: November-2009 Price: $9.95 (bulk rates available) Size: 5 x 8 Author: Mary Jo Nickum ISBN: 978-0-9840836-5-7 8Available at www.amazon.com,www.barnesandnoble.com and www.marynickum.com
  • 135. The Path mjnickum@allthingseditorial.comIndispensible help for authors who plan to self-publish.My goal is to make suggestions and changes that will enhance your writing WITHOUT destroying your style. Complimentary: one phone or email discussion regarding your manuscript and Free estimates
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  • 137. The Path The Monsterjunkies, an American Family Odyssey is a contemporary Addams Family. It uses a host of magical props, including a mailbox that speaks via telepathy, to provide humorous yet poignant characterizations. The book explores the one issue every adolescent faces no matter his or her social status or economic condition: How can I fit in? Indigo, Crow, and the rest of the characters go down a reality curve to arrive at the harsh truth of the indelible hurt bullying, emotional abuse and prejudice can foster. The family faces ignorance combined with aggression at every step as they try to build a life for themselves in the home of their ancestors. This story for teens and tweensis a fast-paced narrative that defines growing up through a cast of quirky yetengaging characters who also experience the same anxieties as any otherfamily enduring the issues that portend ‘coming of age.’ Not all angst andagony, it marks a clear path to the ultimate form of acceptance, theapprobation of self.Links: http://www.amazon.com/The-Monsterjunkies-American-Family-Odyssey/dp/0615250203/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354932834&sr=8-1&keywords=monsterjunkies (paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Monsterjunkies-American-Family-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B00AGJXGGK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354932834&sr=8-2&keywords=monsterjunkies (ebook)http://www.amazon.com/The-Monsterjunkies-American-Family-Odyssey/dp/1467551163/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1355689389&sr=8-1 (Collectors’ hardbacks)http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-monsterjunkies-an-american-family-odyssey-erik-daniel-shein/1113880712?ean=2940015810448http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Monsterjunkies-An-American-Family-Odyssey/book-ZkAmHoXM0SVGnTOsMN_3Q/page1.html?s=gw3oiVnCCEC Become a fan:https://www.facebook.com/TheMonsterjunkiesAnAmericanFamilyOdyssey?ref=ts&fref=ts
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