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Cascade commented on: Collective Dream by patriciajj 6 days 11 hours ago
"Each of us singular snow art: "Each of us singular snow art in a unified blizzard" Now THAT is a masterpiece all on it's own! I've missed reading you, so I thought I'd come by for a spell. The magic here is always reviving 
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Cascade commented on: One With the Never-Ending by patriciajj 6 days 11 hours ago
Smiling...you certainly are: Smiling...you certainly are "all of that", AND a bag of pistachios! Much love and gratitude for all your precious words . Still my favorite. Blessings!
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Cascade commented on: A hand full of air by SSmoothie 6 days 12 hours ago
When your hands are never: When your hands are never empty your heart is full...like mine is now simply because I paid a visit to the smooth one . What an inspiring beam of light, you, and this treasure of yours. X
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Wordman commented on: In the Mirror by Wordman 6 days 12 hours ago
Thank you for the nice words,: Thank you for the nice words, glad you liked this, and thanks for stopping by.  
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Starward commented on: Dear Little Evan, #8 by ewbonitz 6 days 18 hours ago
This reminds me of an: This reminds me of an experiece I had in sixth grade.  Two years before, I had "discovered" that my beloved Frankenstein films that were broadcast from time to time on Shock Theater on Saturday afternoons (the old B/W Universal Studios productions) were not just improvised by the actors, but had been based upon an idea in a novel by Mary Shelley (who was not quite nineteen years old when she thought of it, and was twenty-one when it was published).  Her example made me want to be a writer.  So, in that sixth grade class, we were assigned to write a short story, and I wrote about a rather formidable creature from mythology, but I dumbed the monster down so that it was friendly.  The paper was returned by my teacher, with a remark scrawled across it in red pencil, "This is poor taste."  Flash forward to January 2001:  my first internet publication happened in London, England, when a poem of mine was accepted by a very strict board of directors who were scholars of the so-called Jack the Ripper murders.  My poem attempted to explain the five anomalies of the fifth and final murder.   Any theory can explain one, some theories successfully explain two, but none explain all five.  Mine did; it is still on that site, as well as on PostPoems, and my theory has never been overturned.  (It was once plagiarized by a writer who thought it had been fully proven, but I had to advise her that it was still "just a theory" lacking objective evidence; just a thought exercise without forensic authentication.  She did take steps to cite it properly in a footnote, rather than just quote it.)  I never had a chance to show that to my sixth grade teacher, who had probably croaked by that time, but I hope she knows it now . . . wherever she happens to be.    I hope I am not stretching credibility too far by comparing, broadly not specifically, my experience to yours.  I suspect it happens to many, many children.  When my stepson was in middle school, he was assigned to write a paper on Adolf Hitler, using library materials not a home encyclopedia.  I drove him to our area's local university, made him look up several texts, and watched him as he wrote his paper there.  (He did have quite an eye for the collegiate beauties who were moving about the room, and I had to repeatedly remind him to keep his eyes on his paper.)  I proofread the paper and made sure his punctuation was correct.  He was the only student in his class to use a university library, which gave him some status that week.  However the paper was returned with an A minus, although no other marks or comments had been put upon it.  I knew it was an A plus paper because I had supervised it.  He was crushed by the "minus."  The next day, I called the Principal from my office, advised him of the situation, and demanded that he find out why the paper did not achieve A+.  He told me that the teacher had refused to comment further.  I then asked the principal if the teacher would meet with me, in the principal's office, for an in-depth discussion of the history of the Third Reich---and I told the principal that I had probably forgotten more about Hitler than that teacher had ever learned.  The teacher flatly refused to meet with me, he flatly refused to change the grade, and the principal refused to compel the grade change.  This so disgusted my stepson that he began to give up entirely, and as soon as he turned sixteen, he dropped out.  Good teachers are educators; mediocre teachers are mis-educators; and bad teachers, like my son's history teacher, are ignorizers.
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Starward commented on: ugly things made beautiful by ewbonitz 6 days 18 hours ago
We are broken in this life. : We are broken in this life.  But Jesus was broken on the cross, broken to death, that in His resurrected wholeness, we will receive the wholeness with which we will live with and through Him in Heaven, unto the ages of ages.  He died our deaths so that we could live His life---with Him and through Him, in the place He has prepared for us.  I thank you, and pray God's blessing envelop you, for another great poem of spiritual testimony.
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Starward commented on: Dear Little Evan, #7 by ewbonitz 6 days 18 hours ago
I am astounded with amazement: I am astounded with amazement at how this essay dovetails into your poem, and into the Romanov material, and into my Orthodox Faith in general.  The gut-wrenching agony of experiencing this, and then writing about it, will be rewarded with joy in God's timing.  I am even more convinced that you are writing out of a spiritual vocation---you are ministering to readers you do not know, and likely will never meet except in cyberspace, and I firmly believe you will be blessed for your effort; bread cast on the waters, as Solomon once said.
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Starward commented on: beatitude by ewbonitz 6 days 18 hours ago
This poem has posted so: This poem has posted so timely, because it dovetails into some information I just found (random browsing) on the Russian New Martyr, Elizabeth Romanov, the Czar's sister-in-law, who was a nun in the Orthodox Church, and was murdered the day after the Czar's family were executed.  Thirteen years before her death, her husband, who was also the Czar's uncle, was assassinated by a bomb that had been tossed into his carriage.  Although in deep mourning, Elizabeth visited the man who had slain her husband, assured him (the murderer) of her forgiveness, and offered to intercede with the Czar to commute the death sentence to imprisonment.  The murderer declined to accept her offer and was duly executed in the prison's small yard by a firing squad.  (I have to wonder if he avoided the customary penalty of being "strung up" without a drop, and received the quicker dispatch from several closely aimed rifles, at her behest, in order to lessen his suffering.)  She then had a steel Orthodox Crucifix erected and consecrated on the very spot where her husband had died, and on it were the words of Christ from Luke 23:34 about forgiving them who know not what they do.  After the Bolsheviks attained power, this monument so aggravated "Comrade" Lenin that he ordered a local crowd of his comrades to pull it down manually, and even came out of the Kremlin, himself, to pull on one of the ropes.  There is some evidence that Lenin feared Elizabeth Romanov even more than he had detested the Czar:  about her, Lenin said (I paraphrase) that virtue wedded to royalty was the most dangerous threat to the Revolution.  The day after the Czar's family died. Elizabeth, and another nun, and a couple of other Orthodox laity were taken to an emptied mining pit, and pushed over the side to a twenty foot fall.  Then live grenades were dropped into the pit.  When the Czarist forces came through that region attempting to rescue any surviving Romanovs (but the Bolsheviks had already butchered them), Elizabeth's body was found, examined (it was not badly decomposed), and they discovered that she did not die from the fall, or from the grenades, but from slow starvation.  According to the reports of the executioners, she had been severely beaten up by them before they tossed her to the pit.  She was canonized to Sainthood, as is only fitting, by the Orthodox Church in Russia.      Like your poem points out, so beautifully, Elizabeth found blessing in the place of mourning and pain---first, by becoming a Nun (and the Abbess of a Convent in Moscow), then by keeping her Faith firm during the execution process.  The executioners had also noted that, before the grenades were thrown in, the several people in the pit began singing Orthodox hymns, which enraged their executioners.  Elizabeth bore her cross willingly, gladly, even eagerly, because it was a source of blessing to her.  I can almost imagine her in Heaven, giving your poem a validating smile and nod.  (She and Tsarevich Alexei, who died at the age of thirteen the day before Elizabeth was dropped into the pit, are my favorite Saints among the New Martyrs, and among my most favorite Saints among all who are designated as Saints.  Reading about her yesterday, and some of her remarks, answered some difficulties I have had as a convert to Orthodoxy in a family that is coldly hostile to it.  I went to sleep in greater peace than I have had for a long time, and no longer feel the false difficulties with which the Evil One tormented me.  Now, I have read through your excellent poem, and it speaks to the same Faith and the same Blessings.      Please . . . always keep this poem posted at PostPoems.  I believe it will help readers just as much as the Evan series.  Your poem has ministered to me today, and I am very grateful to you for it.  Someday, perhaps sooner than I think, I will meet Elizabeth and Alexei in Heaven; and I will be sure to discuss your poem with them.      I believe I have edited all the typos out, and I apologize in advance if any remain.  At my age, I am a very poor keyboardist.
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Starward commented on: after the winter comes the spring by ewbonitz 6 days 20 hours ago
I am enjoying your work very: I am enjoying your work very much.  I don't pay much attention to what is new and what is old---an omission I learned as part of a reading strategy at college---it is just, all of it, your work.  At one time, I made false divisions (early and late) in the work of two of my favorite Poets, Vergil and Wallace Stevens.  These were, as I learned, false constructions.  So that I learned that the Vergil who wrote of the amorous (and sometimes naughty) shepherds in the Eclogues was really no different from  himself when later building The Aeneid.  (The only writer I have ever encountered for whom Early and Late, or Old and New, seems to work is Stephen King, and I am very prejudiced toward his early stuff, and not at all toward his later stuff.)     As for rhyme, I too thought it had to rhyme until I began reading it.  When I was a freshman, we were all required---or our parents were required---to go to a commercial bookstore and pay for a paperback anthology of American poets from the late 1600's to the late 1950's.  I was shock at how swiftly rhyme dropped away.  Then I read Milton's epic Paradise Lost (his revised edition with the one page essay explaining why Milton hated rhyme and, by is old age, refused to write it).  
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ewbonitz commented on: A letter to me. by Rebecca 6 days 21 hours ago
Years ago, during a dark and: Years ago, during a dark and lonely time in my life, a therapist gave me some advice that has stuck with me ever since. "Give yourself the grace that you would give to the person you love most in the world." I remember being taken aback, such a simple suggestion, yet one I had never even considered myself. All too often I will try and hold myself to an impossible standard that I wouldn't dare impose on anyone else; as though I were the exception proving the rule that everyone needs help and being flawed is all part of the human experience. Your poem captures that same ideology well. Accepting your story as imperfect and yet one still worth telling and living through. I enjoyed reading this very much.   Respectfully,   Evan
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Starward commented on: Two Quatrains And A Couplet For Comrade Commissar Trotsky by Starward 6 days 22 hours ago
Thank you for the comment. : Thank you for the comment.  Being an adolescent in the seventies, I was taught that Hitler was the ultimate evil; and, while the Soviet Union was our enemy, the focus was on communism as an economic system, not as a social system.  The murders of the Romanovs (and, believe it or not, the executioners even killed Alexei's dog), the wholesale maryrdoms of countless Orthodox Christians and the maniacal destruction of their churches (one was even made a public lavatory, with toilet stalls all throughout the building), and the savage attitude of Joe Stalin toward Lenin's surviving associates (the so called Old Bolsheviks, most of whom were liquidated in the Moscow trials in the 30's)---all of these were hardly, if at all, mentioned.  When I went up to college for my first term as a freshman, I read Pasternak's Zhivago during finals week (I read it for fun, not for an assignment), and then I began to realize---only just began to realize---how horrific it was and how Lenin and Stalin sort of out-Hitlered Hitler.  I actually converted to Orthodoxy from the Baptist churches in 2014, because of the Romanovs' example.       Some years ago, I came across a suggestion from some historian (I now forget who) that Lenin's primary motive n bringing communism to Russia was not because he had an affection for the Russian people and wanted, in a misguided way, to improve their situation (and I don't question that they had it rough under the czars); but that Lenin was motivated by a need to avenge his older brother, who had been executed for trying to assassinate the previous Czar, and communism was a way to rally the Russian People to his cause so that, when empowered, he could carry out his vengeance under the guise of "Revolution."  Supposedly, Lenin---who had been raised in the Orthodox Faith---reverted to it desperately on his deathbed, and died pleading for forgiveness.         Another joke I heard was that industrialization turned Russia into one bleak, dismal, and dull landscape which featured only two colors---concrete and steel.  The joke was that if you look at pictures of Lenin's wife, Krupskaya, who was incredibly ugly, you would think he rebuilt Russian in his wife's image; or at least as an analogue to her personality.  Supposedly, after taking power, Lenin awared himself an entire floor of the Kremlin as living quarters.  His suite of rooms was in the middle of the floor; his wife's suite of rooms was on one end of the floor, and his girl friend's suite was on the other end.  After a busy day of drawing up lists of people to be executed, he had three choices on stand-by for wherever he wanted to spend his evenings.
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ewbonitz commented on: Two Quatrains And A Couplet For Comrade Commissar Trotsky by Starward 6 days 23 hours ago
I just recently started: I just recently started reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsen, and only vaugely being familiar with the Soviets before, I'm appalled to learn about how atrocious the U.S.S.R really was. Hitler usually gets the MVP in the hall of infamy, but the sheer length of time that people suffered mercilessly under the reign of the soviets astonishes me to this day. Outlawing God, and the freedom to worship Him as you see fit, always has tremendous, unfathomable consequences. I am thankful to live an America, in spite of its many faults.
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ewbonitz commented on: after the winter comes the spring by ewbonitz 1 week 3 hours ago
I always appreciate your: I always appreciate your feedback. Revisiting the past, even its winter seasons, can shed new light on the present. I hope you've enjoyed what you've read so far!
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ewbonitz commented on: after the winter comes the spring by ewbonitz 1 week 3 hours ago
I've been revisiting my old: I've been revisiting my old poetry myself, astonished to find I don't hate it. You see, I generally loathe what I write. As though it weren't good enough. Until recently, that is, somehow I've learned to enjoy even the process. Most of these poems, written between nine and seven years ago were written for one person, a woman who used to post on here frequently. It was love, or perhaps limerence, for her that drove me to write poetry in the first place. I was still just finding my voice back then, so I apologize if some of the poetry is a tad-singsongy. I didn't know then that poetry didn't have to rhyme. Hope you enjoy going through my old work!
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Starward commented on: GOOD FRIENDS by joy 1 week 5 hours ago
Although I do not fully: Although I do not fully understand the poem's format or structure, I applaud the profound wisdom it presents, especially in that final stanza---which deserves to be in the quotation books.  Bravo!
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