1. "I'm sorry to disturb you......"
2. It was a peaceful family scene...
3. The day began with a blizzard.
4. "They say it's hopeless......"
5. "It's like making money on poison," she said.

Members of the message board were challenged to use one or all of the above phrases and sentence starts in a poem or story. Below are the results.

"It was a peaceful family scene...."

By susi Taylor(Texaswishr@aol.com)

It was a peaceful family scene...or, at least it will be. Today is our family reunion and i've never seen anything but peace, harmony, laughter and great food at one of them. I'm taking my fried chicken cooked in the same way my mom cooked hers. I've got forty pieces salted and ready to bread and fry, and a pan of chocolate/pecan brownies in the oven baking. There's going to be soooooo much food there and all of it delicious!

I'm hoping for a good turnout. Quite a few are gone on vacations, some live out of state and just can't make it, but those that are around will be there and that should be about 30-40. There are six little ones ages 2 ˝ to 7, so some who will hopefully carry on the tradition. Zachary likes to cook so maybe I can hand down the chicken recipe and cookin' to him.

"They say it's hopeless" but maybe my brother and his wife will come in from Massachusetts. It's been three years since any of us have seen him altho I talk to him once a month. It sure would be nice if he was here. He is thirteen years younger than me and the two of us have always been close. Mama went back to work the summer after he was born and I took care of him, money being kind of short then so there was none for a babysitter. During the school year when I couldn't be there, the next door neighbor lady took care of him. She had two boys of her own and she just took Ted in and she never charged mom anything. Well, that went on for a couple years and things got better so Mom quit her job and stayed home. I was glad for that and I'll bet the neighbor lady was too. But, anyway, I wish he could be here. It will be a peaceful family scene, everyone standing and holding hands while my nephew says grace, then the food and the fun begins.

Sorry to bother you...."

By Sharon (ByGolly25@aol.com)

This is a true story. I took my electric chair out to retreive the newspaper from the driveway this morning. It is such a beautiful morning I just sat out there and read the paper before coming back into the house. Well, we have a friendly roadrunner that often visits while I sit out on the front porch. She talks, I talk, and we have a fun conversation, neither of us understanding the other. This morning I talked with her for awhile than went to reading the paper. Ouch! she pecked my big toe, as if to say, "Sorry to bother you, but would you please pay attention to me." She kept sneaking up, and I had to keep shooing her away. She went behind my chair and sneaked around towards my toe. I shooed her away. She went around the other side and started sneaking up again. I shooed her away. Under the picnic table she snuck and up towards my toe. Needless to say, I gave up reading the paper outside. I came back into the house and waited until the Old Geezer woke up to help me get my socks on so I could sit out there in piece. So yes...she did bother me. And she wasn't sorry about it. She is just way too friendly.

It was a peaceful family scene...."

By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)

It was a peaceful family scene
as I rapped upon the door
the clouds were a building
my old horse had gone lame
twas twenty miles to the ranch

I’m sorry to disturb you
and disturb your family evening
my horse went lame
too old to walk home

The day began with a blizzard
but now it was clear blue sky
not a cloud in the sky
but hip deep was the snow

They say it’s hopeless
trying to make the pass
but Mrs. Shrunk’s baby would not wait
ole Doc here is tired

He was invited in, hot coffee he was given
It’s like making money on poison,” the lady said
“My Doreen is down with a fever,” she intoned
Let me wash my hands and see her

Her appendix was about to rupture
first he ate sourdough bread and
beef stew to get his strength
the kitchen table cleared.

He performed the operation
as the man took care of his horse
then he lanced three boils
pulled an abscessed tooth

Two days later
across the pass he went
just another house call
for the old country doctor.

By Cottage Lady (Patience@bresnan.net)

Spring Blizzard

The day began with a blizzard…

Snow on the first day of April
blowing and drifting
white out conditions existing,

Clouds heavy with snow
hang low as though waiting for
someone to reach up and milk them,

Others more darkly ominous
on the distant horizon
presage more weather to come,

Clouds fly over the land
as though vying with each other
for frequent flier miles,

Gusts of wind flatten
the treetops
like crew cuts,

Other gusts whip
the lake’s waves
into white froth, white caps,

The wind’s processor
changes the texture and
consistency of the landscape.

We wait all winter for this rebirth,
the advent of renewal
though it be slow in coming…

I worry about the slickness underfoot
the biting wind, and
the frailty of feathered things,
the fright of ice in life
both on the earth and in men’s hearts.

By Cottage Lady (Patience@bresnan.net)

Hillsboro Diner

"They say it's hopeless...."

"They say it's hopeless......" Early morning, slate gray dawn,
stars retreating to black holes,
retrieving the paper on the sidewalk,
setting coffee and memories on to perk,

Innocence so lost,
life changed in an instant,
conveyed with a sudden turn, or a few words,
the solemn tick-tock of the clock,

They sit at a Formica tabletop in the Hillsboro Diner,
scratched plastic salt and pepper shakers,
beside a warped container holding
a variety of sugar substitutes,

Hands clasped around
thick white ceramic coffee mugs
shaking slightly, words sinking in,
a certain reality dawning slowly,

“They say it’s hopeless…”
an effort made to swallow
the howl that is rising within.

"It's like making money on poison."

By Phyllis Ann (Starbird55@concast.net)

I had no idea that going to see MarLou would present such an emotional reunion. "I'm sorry to disturb you", I said. I didn't know you were meditating here in the garden. She looked up at me with tears streaming down her face. "I just lost my best friend", she replied with a sobbing, quivering voice.

It was a peaceful family scene of MarLou and just a few close friends and family members. I just happened to be in town and stopped by unannounced to see how she was getting along. I had no idea that I would come face to face with such a scene.

The day had begun with a blizzard of paperwork and telephone calls from my office. I was working from a hotel room and had just taken the afternoon to visit an old friend from college. I had to get back to the hotel to finish my work because I had an early morning flight back East.

"They say its hopeless", wept MarLou, as I watched in helplessness not knowing what was happening. People were milling around the center of the garden looking down at something, and they were all in distress by the looks on their faces.

"It's like making money on poison," she said. I looked at MarLou in confusion, and then she explained. In the center of her lovely flower garden were bunches of beautiful birds that were all dead. Someone was spraying mosquito fog overhead, and it was killing the birds. You would have to know MarLou to understand that she loved all wildlife and was a staunch advocate of banning harmful pesticides, especially those sprayed in the air. All her friends and most of her family were Ornithologists. MarLou worked in research and had a grant from one of the local Universities to do her doctorate on such a study.

I totally understood how she felt as I, too, was a wildlife conservationist. "What can I do to help", I asked. She wondered if I could do an article in the magazine that I was a journalist for. I told her I thought I could arrange it. So after a few calls to my office and to friends in wildlife conservationist groups, I was staying for another week to do the cover story for my magazine.

MarLou and I have kept in contact on a regular basis ever since that day via Face Book. She and I are active in all aspects of saving our wild life from the poison that puts profits in the wrong hands.

"I'm sorry to disturb you...."

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal@.net)

“I’m sorry to disturb you, but I’m sure I know you from somewhere. Perhaps it’s the gold in your hair.” And I, taken aback by this man who had a map in his hand, wanted to run. For I knew he was a sham - there had been no gold in my hair - out of a bottle or anywhere else. Not as far back as he would remember. For I was from Indian extraction, and coal black hair was my inheritance as I recalled. I said “No, you are mistaken.” Then he seemed flustered, shivered his map between his hands and asked directions to the Food Court. For we were at the Great State Fair. I pointed my finger to the right and held my Louis Vitton very tight, thinking I had won this little fracas. Though I knew it wasn’t exactly safe to wander the Fair old and alone, it was Senior Day and if I was to get in cheap, that’s how it would have to be. No one could come with me for my friends‘ legs were giving out. First I threw hoops and won a silly thing - a green-fingering flashy ring. Then I shot wooden ducks for a while, won a Teddy Bear that made me smile and let me hug him on the Ferris Wheel. A silly old woman with a big straw hat swinging on top in a seat made for four. Wondering what I did this for. Then I bought a big pink ball of cotton candy and watched the Western Band on center stage. Big Tex was near saying Hello, Hello, so’s I almost couldn’t hear. The Home Building that used to be the Women’s Building housed entertaining things - quilts and jellies, and free little advertising refrigerator magnets and travel brochures. Watched a man with a little piece of plastic demonstrate its capabilities to cut the uncuttable from apples to steaks. And for just a ten dollar bill.

Well, then I got tired and all, and headed toward the DART Station when I heard a voice call “Goldilocks!” You guessed it, it was the funny looking man with the crinkled map. He said in a Norwegian accent, I think (the only thing he had said in English was “Don’t I know you?” and “Where is the Food Court,” so I didn’t pick up his accent.) “Ja, Uhf Dah! I luf the Food Court! I had fried Frito pie, fried beer, fried Oreos, fried coke, and here, I brought you a fried Marguerita! “Oh, well, danke shoen,” (I figured he could sort that out.) So I walked through the Automobile Building with him, as he pat the pretty cars. I just pointed out a nice Mercedes I’d love to own, and he disappeared. Oh, did I tell you the other thing I inherited was that yellow hair that happens when black hair turns white. I’d forgotten that and I still had my purse, so all in all, a lovely day.

They say it's hopeless...."

By Sharon (ByGolly25@aol.com)

They say it's hopeless and probably it is
I cannot stick to my diet gee whiz
So a tubby I'll always be
Just have to accept it's me
I'll never look like a model in show b


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