Conditional Freedom – Pallavi

The woman in black
clad toe to head
being ridiculed for her decision
to practice something we don’t understand
her identity reduced to the cloth around her body
prejudiced as orthodox and primitive
We don’t see behind that veil
that maybe it’s her choice
that maybe the woman in her hasn’t failed
For, she has a mind which’s as scholarly
and fights for equality as valiantly
she’s just like you and me
living life a little differently
Why’s her choice wrong?
only because it doesn’t fit our box?
Her choice to wear a burqa or hijab is no different than mine to wear a skirt or bikini
Remember, freedom is free;
and if granted with conditions, just as much a hypocrisy.

Photo by Samuel Silitonga from Pexels


Things which get my endorphins pumping – my kids (mom of two), coffee (green tea just doesn’t do), writing (find it a cathartic release), dancing (absolutely, first love it remains), reading (with or without coffee), working out (with my husband as my buddy).

You can read more of my writing at Curating Thoughts

My Soul to Keep – Robert G. Wertzler

Gods and Devils
Demons and Angels
Preachers and Politicians
Con Men and Salesman
Everybody seems to want
My Soul, or a piece of it
As the saying goes
Sorry, not sorry
My soul is mine to keep


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

Down a Dark Hall – M.A. Morris

Down the dark hall
She stumbled,
Running,
Trying to get away from the monster.

Down the dark stairs,
She fell,
Tumbling,
Falling away from the monster.

At night,
In the darkness
Of this house,
She now knew,
Knew monsters were real.

She screamed
Into the night darkness
Of the basement kitchen
As the monster caught her
By the arm.
She heard the low swooshing sound
Of the metal yardstick
Thrumming through the air.
She screamed again at the impact
Upon her back.

Behind her
Into the darkness
She looked
And saw
The monster’s face.

Down into the darkness,
She wished she could fall
When she knew
At the age of nine
Any monster could wear
A mother’s drunken face.


I am a retired teacher, enjoying said retirement.  I have been active in the gay and lesbian community since I threw away my Ken doll at the age of four.

You can read more of my writing at Hearing The Mermaids Sing

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves – Georgiann Carlson

welcome
to St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
don’t mind the howling
it’s just a 101 class
that seems to be having trouble harmonizing
howling is an important part
of pack life
it’s one of the ways we communicate
body language
is another
those of us
who live at St. Lucy’s
really do run with wolves
we also hunt
and bring down prey
not other animals
of course
but men
who need to be taught a lesson
oh don’t fret
we only take the bad ones
wolves live in the school with us
they teach us
and care for us
we do the same in return
the best job at the school
is watching over our new brothers and sisters
the puppies are adorable
we often sleep among them
some of us
have learned to shape shift
it’s not that hard
once you get the hang of it
when we hunt
the men run
sometimes they scream
we can smell their fear
but against us
they don’t have a chance
just like the women they hunt
the girls at St. Lucy’s
provide a public service
and we’re very proud
of the work we do

not one man
has ever gotten away


I’m an artist, a writer, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, and quite a few other things as well. I love books, cats, philosophy, good conversation, Chicago and the arts. So my blog is full of bits and pieces but it’s the bits and pieces that make life interesting to me. You can read more of my writing at Rethinking Life

St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves – Robert G. Wertzler

Saint Lucy, Santa Lucia, more properly, has trouble sometimes keeping track of all the places and institutions named after her. She’s not alone in that, of course, among the saints, Christian and otherwise, given the popularity among mortals of doing that even when the naming has little to do with the stories of the saints themselves. She’s reflected, in recent years that it is rather like “Likes” on social media. Naturally, those among the ranks of the Canonized are not supposed to be so worldly as to indulge in Pride or Jealousy about such things, but there are those whose characters fall a bit short of the reputations that got them there. She had been a little bewildered at first when the home for girls raised by wolves had been named for her, wolves, literal ones anyway, not having had a role in her story. But, the town was named after her and the nuns were devotees, so it did make sense. She is quite fond of the girls and has grown to appreciate their wolf families for the unconditional love and freedom (freedom her own relatives had tried to deny her) they gave. She also likes that the nuns do try so hard to teach the girls to fit into human society without crushing their spirits. So, she is happy to accept the honor (not that she could actually refuse it) of the naming. “Who knows,” she thinks sometimes, “maybe one or two of those girls will turn out saintly and join me here someday. That would be so sweet.”


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

Down a Dark Hallway – Georgiann Carlson

she entered the abandoned church
and the screaming began immediately
it was accompanied by moaning
and wailing
then begging
and every now and then
fear washed over her
so much pain and suffering
lived inside the walls and floors
lies bled red
running in narrow rivulets down the walls
greed rotted the wood
pictures of torture and rape
flashed across the floor
and crawled over the ceilings
priests
in their dirty ghostly garments
drifted through the hallway
thirty pieces
of silver in their hands
the faces of the children they had destroyed
ran up and down their robes
as their victims stood in silence
horror in their eyes
their mouths open in a silent scream
the echo’s of false sermons
rang loud and clear
rushing back and forth
looking for fearful ears
to infect

she looked at her notepad
checked what she had written
then said

“It’s a hell hole, like all the others. Torch it.”

The healing flames went up. The crew waited, then they destroyed the ashes, making sure that no religious infection could ever escape.


I’m an artist, a writer, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, and quite a few other things as well. I love books, cats, philosophy, good conversation, Chicago and the arts. So my blog is full of bits and pieces but it’s the bits and pieces that make life interesting to me. You can read more of my writing at Rethinking Life

Modern Prometheus becomes the Little Stranger – M.A. Morris

So now we know,
You told me I wasn’t,
But I was—
Your creation.

Said you loved me
Just the way I was—
But was it true?

Yes, I was perfect
Just the way I was—
You said,
But you didn’t care for:
My curly hair,
My dresses,
My high heels,
My red lipstick.

So, I became a cut out,
A sewn together woman
Of the rest of my parts
With the parts you inserted.
Then electrified and brought back
To life by a love you claimed
Was for the true me.

Now the parts you inserted
Die away, shriveling at the lack
Of your electricity.
I stumble,
A stiff-legged walk to your door,
Shuck this graying shit and warm myself
By the fire I create to burn
These rigor mortised parts.
Thus, I become something more akin
To myself once again—
That little stranger
With curly hair,
Wearing dresses,
High heels,
And signature whore red—
I become
My little one.


I am a retired teacher, enjoying said retirement.  I have been active in the gay and lesbian community since I threw away my Ken doll at the age of four.

You can read more of my writing at Hearing The Mermaids Sing