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Word Worth Volume VI, 2006, Issues are available by clicking on the name of the month below.Get Acrobat Reader  Adobe Reader is needed to access them.  A free copy is available here:

Editorials

Arts

Columns

Discourse and DebateMarien Helz

January

Winter ReverieCharles Miess

   Discourse is the exchange of ideas in which the object is to employ a dialectic in order to discover Truth through a point, counterpoint method.  In discourse, the concept of winning in conversation is absurd because the only victory possible is getting closer and closer to the truth, or a partial understanding of the truth, by examining ideas newly generated as the discussion leads higher and higher toward understanding as if the two sides are ladders balanced against each other and can only be ascended by two at once as each side climbs closer to the goal.

Photography by
Rita Banerji

   I have been fascinated by technology for most of my life.  I remember another early morning in October of 1957 when my dad and I stood side by side and watched the rocket casing of the first man-made satellite, Russia’s Sputnik I, move in silence across a star-studded sky.  I remember my awe of Sputnik as keenly as my disappointment over America’s first attempt to put a grapefruit size satellite into orbit two months later.  The small pencil-like Vanguard rocket lifted several feet above the launch pad and unceremoniously toppled over and fell to the ground in a fiery explosion.

Eloquence and Truth—Charles Miess

February

Meeting Moynihan—Marien Helz

   The founders of our nation knew how to use the power of the English language.  They knew how to organize words in wonderful ways to persuade, enlighten, and delight us.   Certainly part of it was their ability to think clearly and concisely.  Clear thinking is a prerequisite for clear writing.  Clear writing then becomes the foundation for expanded thinking, leading to more eloquent writing.  True eloquence, however, ...
   This month we have commentary on the editorial by Adam Miess

Photography by
Armin W. Helz

 

   In recent decades, it’s been something of a luxury to have political representatives whom you can, not only trust, but perhaps even be proud of.  That’s why I thought that it was particularly nice upon moving to New York State to have Daniel Patrick Moynihan as my senator.

   I mentioned this recently to my long time friend and former college roommate, Katie, whereupon she responded, “You met him.  You met Moynihan.”

   “I never met him.” . . .

Rediscovering Rupert Brooke—M H Perry

March

A Crick Ran through It—Charles Miess

   Rupert Brooke has been rediscovered on a number of occasions since his death in 1915. There are two primary reasons for his not remaining in the forefront of literary consciousness and those are his poem “The Soldier” and his charisma.
   For a poet, charisma has short-term advantages but long-term liabilities.  Initially, it brings the kind of consideration that allows the individual to stand out, get noticed, and get published.  Long-term, it makes academicians and critics over-look the poetry, prejudging it...
Poetry
By Rupert Brooke

   ...I begged and pleaded and I promised (cross my heart and hope to die) to keep her away from the crick.  Ethel finally gave in and dressed Sharon in her puffy little snowsuit until she looked like a pink beach ball.
   We couldn’t have been out more than ten minutes when I had not only forgotten my promise, but had forgotten about Sharon too.  I was throwing sticks into the rushing water and watching them race away when I noticed a little pink cork bobbing downstream in the middle of the crick.  It was Sharon...

SecretariesMarien Helz

April

Lily—Charles Miess

   That the secretarial position has been typically viewed as a lowly one has been well documented by such movies as Nine to Five and Working Girl.  Clerical staff is a low rung on the supervisory ladder and as a result can be a stressful position with various people in levels above taking out their frustrations on those who are perceived as incapable of striking back.
   It has always struck me as strange that people would take out frustrations on those on whom their ability to function rests....
   I once had a secretary who worked for me exclusively.  Diane could do anything.
A Review of
Larry Unger and Ginny Snowe's
New Album

by Aurelia Perry
   Why anyone would ever want a Jack Russell Terrier for a pet is beyond me.  They are bred to hunt and dig and bark and yap and to be annoying and obnoxious.  There is only one thing about them that might be considered a positive attribute—they’re cute.  I could think of no other reason why my daughter Katie would get that kind of puppy.  She called this little pest Lily.   Lily was mostly white with caramel ears and mask and a contrasting streak of white extending from the top of her head to her jet-black nose.  Yes, this little high-strung poor-excuse-for-man's-best-friend was cute, but that's all I could say about Lily.

The MaypoleCharles Miess

May

Scents MemoryGraceann Maciolek

   I had always been a little afraid of Albert Ostrander.  Whenever I had occasion to go out near the road, he would holler in his gruff voice, “Hey you old Dutchman you.  What are you up to?”  I never figured out why he called me a Dutchman or why he called me old when it was obvious that he was the one who was old.  I also wondered how he knew whenever I was into mischief—like the time in first grade when I dashed into the woods from our school bus-stop a mile down the road.  I remember hiding in silence until the bus finally left, and then the long journey up the dirt road home.  I’m sure I feared the wrath...  

 

This issue has won the Apex Award of Excellence for 2007

   What I remember most keenly is her scent.  Powder, and soap and, on special occasions, Chanel No. 5.  I would sit at the end of my parents' four-poster bed, my legs dangling over the edge and under the quilt frame, and watch my mother get ready for evenings out.  First the foundation garments, then, just the right outfit.  Costume (but never gaudy) jewelry.  Spritzes of Aqua Net, and then the make-up regime, which was really quite simple.  Powder, a bit of blush, a dash of mascara, and then, most carefully, lipstick.  I still have one of my mother's circa 1955 lipsticks, and I take it out and inhale its aroma when I want her near me.

Splendor in the Trees—Marien Helz

June

Dog DayKevin H. Siepel

   There is a glory around us that we often can’t see.  In the spring when birds are migrating north, small feathered wonders appear that are usually obscured by trees. The beautiful Cardinal, of course, is around all year and is particularly striking when it contrasts with snow in winter.  The Robin with its rusty red breast brings joy on its arrival after long cold winters since it comes with the promise of months of good weather.  The magic golds and bright colors of the warblers disappear among leaves as spring progresses and only the song lets you know that marvel is hidden nearby.  I once was walking under a tree where I heard a whole community...

The Pipe Dream

by

Charles Miess

   My wife was the one who wanted the puppies.  She’s the one who pushed to have our cocker spaniel, Violet, bred.  I went along with it.  Thought it might be fun.  We had Violet bred in early May, and by mid-July we had eight purebred cocker pups on our hands—seven females and one male, some black, some parti-colored, one buff.

   I’d been nervous throughout Violet’s pregnancy.  So many things to go wrong.  I’d studied up on how to handle emergencies, copied stuff off the Internet, read it till I knew it cold.  I was appalled at the possibilities.  Dogs must be different from cats, I thought.  We’d once had a ...

What Women Don't Tell Men—Anna Seymour

July

My Horizontal LifeKateri van Huystee

   What women don’t tell men is that we believe deep in the core of us—and want to believe—that men are superior.  And how can we not believe this.  When we’re children, the boys have such energy.  They think of games we love to play, when all too often left to ourselves we push toy carriages until we become aware of the tedium.  When we have mean teachers, the boys are the ones who have the nerve to disobey, and then during the summer before ninth grade, they stretch to the height of men.  We return to school to see all the boys we said good-bye to in June imitating men sometimes with white collars ...

A New Beginning

by

Charles Miess

   Each day begins horizontally in my world. Of course we all begin our days lying down, but mine just happens to continue on the level angle. I slide from my bed, into my slippers ... what gives one woman the notion to climb mountains and another woman the satisfaction of just viewing them while lying on a blanket with a sketchbook in her hands? Is it an innate tendency, this dizzy-dancing feeling that overcomes me when I look up at a towering skyscraper? Is it a single childhood mishap that haunts me into crawling to the edge of a cliff on my belly instead of walking straight to its edge? I wonder.

The Fruits of War—Anna Seymour

August

Do Not Go Gentle...—Charles Miess

   On re-evaluating the death of two American soldiers in Iraq who were in the same unit as those suspected of a crime against Iraqi citizens, an anonymous military spokesperson said that he thought the killing of the soldiers might be a message from Iraqi people, “Don’t do this to our women.”  That statement appeared at least twice, on separate days.  It was such a stupid thing to say that it shouldn’t have been printed once.
   The crime was the murder and rape of a fourteen year old girl, the murder of her father, her mother, and her five year old sister.  The murderers committed a crime so vile that ...
 

 

 

Photography
By Armin W. Helz

... As with all birthdays, I was painfully reminded of my mortality, but at this stage of my life it has taken on a new realism.  In fact, it scares the hell out of me.  I’m not sure exactly why that is, because prior to my being conceived sixty-four-plus years ago I had not even existed and that doesn’t bother me at all.  I wasn’t here for twenty billion years after our universe began—not until my parents made that fateful decision.  I wasn’t here for the hundreds of millions of years that dinosaurs roamed the earth.  I wasn’t here when my grandmother first met my grandfather.  None of that bothers me a bit, and I have never met anyone who lamented...

Run, Bucky, Run—Anna Seymour

September

The Care of FriendsGraceann Maciolek

   Nonetheless, they have taken a four-week-old nursing infant from its mother.  It is an outrage that they would do this―interfering with the natural feeding of an infant is inappropriate.  If the police were serious about protecting the children, they could put a guard around the house....  The action seems to be geared toward forcing Phillips into desperate behavior.
   Not only does this make the situation far more dangerous for all the police officers in the area, it increases the danger for ordinary, uninvolved citizens.
Photography
By
Charles Bartolotta

 

...A very wise man recently told me that friends come in varying categories, and I can either accept them and love them as they are, adjusting my expectations to their behaviors (as long as those behaviors are not dangerous to me physically or emotionally), or I can have just a few very close friends and forget the rest, because there are people who are not emotionally mature or interested enough to invest the time and energy in the relationship just because I am.  That’s where the pain comes in—when you are in one category of friendship, and the person you care about ....

Poisoned Chicken Head—Marien Helz

October

...of Moral SystemsRita Banerji

   One of the books we had in our house that my mother read to us when I was a child was about animals....
   The most gripping story, however, was about a coyote.  She destroyed the chickens in the entire area, and they could not catch her.  No chicken was safe in its coop.  They tried trapping, but she was able to elude them.  They tried putting poison chicken heads around, but she always knew they were poisoned.  They tried putting some good chicken out and some poisoned pieces, but she always knew which the bad ones were.
The Hunter
by
Charles Miess

 

   A question that a Swiss friend recently asked me set me thinking on the issue of schizophrenia of moral systems.  It is now estimated that about a 50 million women are missing from India’s population.  This is a result of rampant female feticide, infanticide and the systematic murder of young married women by their husbands and in-laws for dowry.  What my friend wanted to know was how Indians reconciled this with the basic Hindu concept of karma?... Therefore I explore the basis of this schizophrenia in moral systems using various examples.

Funny Pages―Part I—Marien Helz

November

Taking a Backward Look—Charles Miess

   Newspaper comics used to be referred to as “Funny Pages.”  I’m sure that one could do a search on the internet and find out how the Funny Pages originated.  My guess, considering that there are political cartoons from a very long time ago, is that cartoons lampooning ridiculous political figures came first, and then some editor with a good marketing instinct decided to add actual comics and comic pages that would hook young readers and keep them tied to the newspaper for a lifetime.  Early examples were strips like Mutt and Jeff that lasted for decades.  If funny pages were indeed started to entice youngsters, it worked.... Photography
By
Charles Bartolotta

   It's been a long while since I've taken the time to notice the beauty that I pass by every day on the way to work. Like most people, my mind is occupied with technical details of my current project, or the annoying person in the another cubicle, or even a problem at home. Early this summer, however, I took up bicycle riding for enjoyment and health.  It was those early Sunday morning bike rides along country roads that opened up a whole new world for me. I was amazed at how much I had been detached from nature for so many years. I was amazed that I had missed what was right in front of my eyes.

Funny Pages―Part II—Marien Helz

December

Joe's Gloves—Charles Miess

   Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes enjoyed meteoric success. The names alone taken from austere historic figures were sheer genius. Calvin was every child we have known; he was at once recalcitrant and innocent. Watterson was able to capture everything that is at once endearing and frustrating about children. Calvin was also each one of us as a child. Panels would often open with Spaceman Spiff zooming through the galaxy only to be captured by an evil alien that turned out... Photography
By
Kevin Roe

   Few people today would even consider having a hemlock for their Christmas tree.  They’re opened and rangy and they begin dropping their needles almost from the moment they’re cut.  The hemlock has a row of short flat needles on either side of the branch rather than needles encircling the branch like the more typical Christmas tree.  They are graceful but thin—much like the Charlie Brown tree.  And yet, throughout my childhood I knew of nothing else.  We chose the hemlock because ...

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Publisher: Aurora Artisans®, LLC       Editor: M. H. Perry
Contributors: Marien Helz
· Aurelia Perry · Susan Johnson · Banwell Goddard · David Clark · Tiffany M. [Stuck] Perry · Wayne Johnson · Alastair Reid · Pei-Hua Chiang  · Ilina Sen [Rita Banerji] · Ruth Hitchings · Darin Boville · Ron Colgrove · Carl Dennis · Renee Oubre · Carolyn Scott Panzica · K Srinivasan · Charles Miess · Aurelia Perry · Cam Adams · Michelle M Mayer · Gary Earl Ross · Cheryl Rofer · Charles Bartolotta · Joy Walsh · Kevin H. Siepel · John T. Baker · Tambourine Gray · Harvey Kaye · Nettie Veling · Graceann Macleod · Anna Seymour · Kateri van Huystee · Kevin Roe · Beverly Roe · Dave Trageser · Susanne Woyciechowicz · Nancy Palmer Miess · Jean Katter · Leslie Marks · Britta Monaco · Nick Monaco · Malka Davis · Howard Miller · Christian Belz · Christopher Wittman · Linda Cross · Bruce Berger ·  Barbara DuBois · James Francis Cahillane · Cathy Crenshaw Doheny · Ross M. Hall · Bonnie Fields · Philip K. Edwards · Helen Peppe · Elizabeth Morana · Jennifer Campbell · Helen Peppe · Elaine Greensmith Jordan · Marie O'Donnell · Robert Coats · Sean Flury · Joshua DeMont · Lisa Wiley · Shaun Bellavia · Dr. Sheenu Srinivasan · Charlie Callan · Judith Washington · Sunny Woods · Hannah French· Joel Hooks · Brian Michael Norris ·  Eryn Leedale-Merwart  ·  Michael J. Cahill ·  Samantha Greiner  · Amy Conley · Vira Katolik · David Kiphuth · Shelby List · Susan Coburn

Distinguished Selections:  Hale Chatfield ·  Armin W. Helz ·  Rabindranath Tagore ·  Herman Melville ·  William Shakespeare ·  E. A. Robinson ·  Mark L Kaufman ·  Edward Fitzgerald ·  William  Wordsworth ·  William Blake ·  John Greenleaf Whittier ·  Alexander Pope ·
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