NP Journal for experimenting with ideas, Copyright © 2011-2018 LJ Frank. All Rights Reserved. 


Narrative Paths Journal

“We think we know but have yet to discover.”  Thomas Aquinas
“Narrative Paths Journal is a literary magazine focusing on new philosophies and ideas.”  Uriél Dana


NP Journal for experimenting with ideas initiated 6/2011 within the context of experiences – rooted in treks, voyages, studies and work. The access, content, design, composition and overall vision of the journal are evolving with the goal of enhancing the reader’s experience.

The views and opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the individual authors. 

Update: NP Journal – over 2,800,000 impressions and views to date from over 100 countries.



About Us

Brief overview of  the vision and people who offer their insights and expertise. Includes a list of NP Journal Group & Contributors: editor, assistant editor, guest columnists, writers, poets and photographers.

For comments, suggestions, questions, being a guest columnist, interviewee or photographer: Contact: L J Frank at narrative.paths@gmail.com


Introductions and links to evolving ideas, philosophies, trends with both narrative and poetic reflections on diverse issues.

Interviewees, columnists and other contributors may list their publications and presentations – books, articles, book signing events, links to periodical, radio, television, YouTube, theater and film productions, talks, speeches, other programs and performances.


Includes some of Frank’s works of abstract expressionism. Numerous works are on display in business, professional offices, non-profits and private homes.

Guest Column

We welcome guest columnists/contributors. Please note: We like to experiment with ideas and explore different philosophies, topics and trends. We offer links to your online sites and upon request updates to your writings/publications, social media presentations. Guidelines for the length of a written article – up to 1500 plus words, give or take. Much depends on subject matter and author. Photos, videos, film, You Tube, podcasts, art works, cartoon drawings and other formats are welcome. Contact us for questions, suggestions or comments.


Philosophical approaches in essay and occasional poetic format to a variety of artistic, cultural, literary, political, religious, scientific and social matters.


Strives to offer insightful and thought-provoking observations of varying lengths in areas that are engagingly diverse and leaning towards the paradigmatic.

NPJ Book Review

Books from the past to the present reviewed within the inquisitive, exploring nature of the journal. All reviews are by L J Frank unless otherwise noted.


“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”  Lao Tzu, Daoist philosopher

Preview listing of L J Frank’s published books with links to retail availability. Frank is also ghostwriting and currently working on manuscripts.


Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home — Japanese poet, Matsuo Bashō

Contrasting shapes of experiences, ideas, dreams and thoughts primarily in the form of experimental poetry, short essays and conversations.The words amusing, romantic, disquieting, nonlinear, asymmetrical, obscure and existential are a few of the descriptors for these jottings.


NPJ’s look at amusing, droll, absurd, provocative, whimsical, satirical, offbeat, frivolous and chimerical messages.





Links to archived Contributors, Announcements, Guest Column, Inquiries, Interviews, NPJ Book Review, Rhythms and Witticisms.

NPJ Briefing

The Briefing includes updates on Visitors by country, region and union.  Also, includes the Publisher’s Log.

Please send Comments and Questions about N P Journal to L J Frank at narrative.paths@gmail.com

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What if you could access all the wisdom you need for living a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life… from your nighttime dreams?
Imagine if your dreamtime could provide you with the necessary insights to integrate your soul’s deep knowledge and create the life you desire.
Well… it actually does.
Paying attention to your dreams and deciphering the messages living in the images, symbols, characters, and landscapes that appear can be a magical experience. And today, anyone can practice dreamwork… and reap its many benefits.
Dreamwork can help you gain insights into how to heal an illness, mend a difficult relationship, jumpstart a creative project, or make a big life decision.
This is why I’m excited to invite you to join The Dreamwork Summit where a global gathering of leading dreamwork experts, renowned psychology professionals, and inspiring authors – including Robert Moss, Jean Shinoda-Bolen, Sandra Ingerman, Lynne McTaggart, Grace Cheptu, Grandmother Flordemayo, Toko-pa Turner, and me – will be sharing a unique variety of dreamwork approaches and ways to open to your inner guidance.
Join us to discover how you can access the soul-guided wisdom, healing power, and creative inspiration emerging nightly in your dreams!

The Dreamwork Summit
November 13-16, 2018

Your dreams can give you a glimpse into your future — helping you better navigate what lies ahead. Some dreamers find themselves visiting other realms – even past or parallel lives – in their dreams.
This powerful event will feature 20+ leading teachers in the first-ever Dreamwork Summit, who will guide you in transforming your relationship to your dreams (and to yourself) – as well as help you to heal, enliven, and expand your life.
I hope you’ll participate in this special online gathering presented by The Shift Network.
RSVP here for The Dreamwork Summit – at no charge.
During this groundbreaking four-day event, you’ll discover:
  • How important, easy, and fun it is to keep a dream journal, and the amazing healing & life-fulfilling insights this simple practice can bring
  • That clues about a yet-to-be discovered health challenge can show up in dreams… and ways to work with them to help yourself heal
  • Somatic approaches to dreamwork that look to the body and our feelings for interpretation, healing & transformation
  • Dream yoga, a form of lucid dreaming that allows you to practice a skill you’d like to improve while you’re sleeping
  • How you can courageously face and work with nightmares, which can actually be in service to your healing & growth
  • Possibilities for healing & forgiveness when you’re visited by deceased loved ones in your dreams
  • The magic and power in accessing and illuminating your mythic imagination sourced from the world of dreams, myths & archetypes
…and much more!
By looking to your dreams for guidance, healing, and inspiration, you open to a higher source of knowledge… to wisdom aligned with your Soul.
And by learning how to bring this wisdom out into the light of day through dreamwork, you’re empowered to live a happier, healthier, more creative and fulfilling life.
I hope you’ll join this first-ever online gathering presented by The Shift Network.
RSVP here for The Dreamwork Summit – at no charge.
P.S. Here are some more highlights from this revelatory summit:
  • How the ancient practice of shamanism views dreams, and ways you can experience shamanic dreaming
  • Dreams as inspiration for bringing your creative self forward
  • Ways that dreams can show you the future to help you better navigate your life
  • The potency inherent in symbols and images and how they can help you discover new insights about yourself to heal & transform
  • Collective dreams and how they can help validate our connection to ALL & promote profound healing

Join us here! RSVP here for The Dreamwork Summit – at no charge


Image for Writings

Credit: Jean Philippe-Cypres, photographer


Being pro-life on the surface portends

a sensitive and courageous philosophical posture

to be translated into a compassionate, humane act;

Yet, the textures possess burdensome queries

with the potential of tragic, collateral effects.


Does the posture become lost in the hypocrisy of translation

for isn’t pro-life more than being – pro-birth,

doesn’t it also mean to be

against capital punishment and murder,

what of war…which is a legalized version of ending a life,

and to resist unstable minds wishing to do battle

for the sake of power and greed…

does pro-life entail offering health care for everyone

and equal opportunity for all

along with breathable air and drinkable water,

should pro-life be interpreted as

loving and treating your neighbor

as you would do to yourself?


What are the downstream implications

for a person who is raped,

or an already disabled fetus within the mother’s womb



saving a mother’s life at the expense of another…

what are the compassionate options?


Does a legislator have the moral and legal right to legislate

what a woman does with her vagina

and should a man’s penis be under similar scrutiny

rather than having a double standard,

for isn’t Intent a mental desire to act in a certain manner?

Should a woman’s health and her doctor’s professional advice

be as relevant

as the politics of a politician seeking office?


Does a man have the right to grab a woman

Or a woman to grab a man

without her or his consent?

And should a male or female who wish to copulate

have a choice in condom or mesh

or to wear a chastity device or cock cage

while their partners hold the keys?


Should people be better sex educated

beginning as a child

to open the doors of the human mind

and allow the brain to see what’s at stake  –

for bearing, nurturing and supporting a child

has a human cost beyond economics

in a world where knowledge and empathy are starving,

and brutal words

create a vacancy in conscience

and the violent thought and act

fills the void.




The male population is what we read about when we view what’s going on in ‘The war on drugs and the war on crime,’ we are learning it is more of a war on minorities and women.

Did you know that women are filling up our jail cells? Did you know that most of the women behind bars are mothers? Did you know that most of these women are single parents, having sole responsibility for their children? Minority women are affected by this – war.

It’s a war on women, that we are beginning to recognize that is not only unfair and unjust but that also sets limits on these same women, these same sole providers from being able to apply for help within the system, in both welfare, child support and drug treatment programs.

Women are one of the fastest-growing segments of the prison population. From 1970 to 2015, the number of women in prison grew by approximately 1,000 percent. That is a tragic statistic. And although the U.S. accounts for 5 percent of the world’s female population, it also represents 30 percent of women imprisoned. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics there are 8,500 women in federal prisons on drug charges, 24,700 in state prisons and 27,000 in local jails. Sixty three percent of these women have not been convicted.

Source:Bureau of Justice Statistics.6 Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016.

Mothers of minor children make up 60 per cent of women in prison. Two-thirds of these parents are incarcerated for non-violent offenses, an increasing proportion of which are drug law violations. More than 5 million children (one in every 14) have a parent who is or has been incarcerated. The racial disparities seen in the incarcerated population replicate themselves among the children who remain behind: by 2008, one in nine (11.4 percent of) black children, one in 28 (3.5 percent of) Latino children and one in 57 (1.8 percent of) white children had an incarcerated parent.

Eighty four percent of parents in federal prison and 62 percent of parents in state prison are housed 100 miles or more from their children. Pregnant women who are incarcerated for drug law violations, often do not receive prenatal care. Children are routinely separated from their imprisoned mothers, causing irreparable damage to the child.

Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics.18 1 Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Female prisoners under State or Federal jurisdiction,” Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool, www.bjs.gov. Aleks Kajstura and Russ Immarigeon, “States of Women’s Incarceration: The Global Context,” (Prison Policy Initiative, 2015) http://www.prisonpolicy.org/global/women/. Ibid. 4 Carson, “Prisoners in 2015,” Table 9. 5 Prison Policy Initiative, “Women’s Incarceration: The Whole Pie ]2017” https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2017women.html, Source: Western and Pettit, Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010.

Prisons and jails commonly use restraints (handcuffs and shackles) on women in labor and during delivery, regardless of their histories. According to a 2015 shadow report to the United Nations Committee on Torture, “Only 18 states have legislation in place that restricts the use of restraints on pregnant inmates, 24 states limit the use of restraints on pregnant inmates only through institutional policies, and 8 states do not have any form of regulation at all.” Washington DC and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have also banned or restricted this practice, which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes because it puts “the health of the woman and fetus at risk.”

The long-lasting penalties and exclusions that follow a drug conviction have created a permanent second-class status for millions of Americans, who are often banned from voting, getting a job, securing a student loan and accessing housing or other forms of public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

A 2013 report found that more than 180,000 women were affected in the twelve states that maintain a full lifetime ban for people with drug convictions. Due to the extreme racial disparities in drug law enforcement and sentencing, these collateral consequences disproportionately affect women of color.

Our society still today has a limited understanding of the inequality that women truly suffer, regardless of the #metoo movement. It is as important to educate the public to speak up with courage and conviction about the injustices and social stigmas inflicted upon all women.

Addendum: America’s Other Family – Separation Crisis 




Consultant: Good evening. As I can see by your credentials and query letter, you’re a well-educated, articulate, experienced, thoughtful, very busy and consequently, literary network-impaired author, looking for a pre-agent literary consultant to aid you in finding the right literary agent, who will graciously consider reviewing your work, and if she or he finds it marketable, while knowing personal and public tastes are subjective, help you find a publisher, who in turn, upon acceptance of your work, will electronically and/or print publish and market your book at their expense. 

Author: Needless to say.




We might be your mothers, your fathers, your grandparents……but it is we, who hold the reign of the “baby boomers”…..we were the generation, who never was going to get old.

We were educated, street wise, we wanted change, we fought for it – no different from our ancestors. We are still here, some of us. We challenged, we fought for a woman’s right to choose, we fought for racial equality, we fought in a war that was wrong, we fought for our brothers and our sisters to come home, and some did, many did not. We fought against the system and we challenged “The Man”.

“The Man” is no different now than 40 yrs ago. We were tear gassed, beaten with clubs, busted for unknown reasons, and in response to our rights to peaceful demonstration we were ostracized, no different from now. We were fearless warriors………….then came the drugs……..heroin. In the caskets of the unknown soldiers, and the wounds of those that survived.

And then what happened????

In 1974 president Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs…….he declared a war on our children, my children & yours.

Some of us went off to be “corporate America,” sucked in part by the whole cocaine explosion. “Cocaine” was a number 1 hit song in the US, by Eric Clapton and it ruled Wall Street, where large numbers of our educated compadre ventured. It was a socially accepted drug for the elite and anyone else that wanted to feel that rush. And what a rush………you were a King or a Queen…Studio 54, Andy Warhol, and that whole gamut of celebrity rose.

Meanwhile, there were those of us who survived, those of us that had life to preserve, those of us that never lost faith, we worked the underground.

Two years ago, Richard Branson announced that United Nations was to take a different stance on marijuana/cannabis/weed……..the war on drugs…… there never was a war on drugs, just a war on civilization. We will prevail………maybe. Our rallies are calm, our children are peaceful.

Our grandchildren are knowledgeable, and we have some educators that have not given up, we believe that our children and their children can make a change.

The facts?  Cannabis cures…………..contrary to conjectures of prosecutors, like Governor Chris Christie……….and  like those who have private interest holdings in the prison & rehab system.

Studies show, studies have proof…………….so, let me ask this question, one more time……….are you revolutionary enough yet?

Do you care enough yet? Do you or someone you know with an illness that can benefit from the medicinal qualities of a plant that heals to make you care, to make you demand, to make the statement – end prohibition?

Vote! It’s called democracy.



The Prehistory of the Mind by Steven Mithen  (1996)

The cognitive origins of art, religion and science.

This work is about the evolutionary process. The author demonstrates how the human mind is a product of human evolution not a supernatural creation. I would add, it includes the ability to be inspired and to inspire. The author, an archaeologist, displays his passion and scholarship in this study.

“The human mind is an intangible, an abstraction. In spite of more than a century of systematic study by psychologists and philosophers, it eludes definition and adequate description, let alone explanation.” So the author begins.

The mind has evolved over millions of years. What is the relationship between the brain and the mind? What caused spurts in development and growth of language, intelligence, cultural explosions, of the religious, artistic and scientific mind?

An intriguing study, though at times, naturally academic, the theme is the process –  the developing architecture of the human mind from hard wiring to patterns of behavior offers insights on how the human mind evolved. (For more information on consequences there are others one might consult…Steven Pinker is one of several.)

The author probes and seeks to understand relationships in the development of the human mind.

The author also steps back, examines the past, from a scientific perspective, the evolution and growth of the brain, including the multiple intelligences of the “early human mind,” the origins of art and religion, science and agriculture and sets the stage for what we experience now as the “modern mind.”

The primitive mind of “Hunter Gathers, whether Early or Modern Humans…were natural historians.”  Memory is key to the adaptability and progress of the human mind. Knowledge of the animals and plants around aided early humans to survive. “Natural history intelligence…evolved, at least, 1.8 million years ago.”

The author examines the archaeological evidence and the interrelations with social, cultural, artistic, religious and scientific behavior and how an event effected another. The more knowledge acquired, the more information transmitted. He looks at increasing cognitive fluidity – the process of the developing mind into “generalized type of intelligence” and “specialized type of intelligence.” The meanings of which perhaps are yet to be fully appreciated.  One piece of knowledge opens the door to another aspect of knowledge.  (See works of Colin Renfrew.)

This is a worthwhile, provocative, accessible study examining the prehistory of the human mind.


Credit: NASA, Climate Change/Express



Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination by Alison Fogarty, Lily Zheng (2018)

My read: What is the difference between sex and gender? The authors note that sex refers to the biological aspects or differences in a human being including genetics and genitalia whereas gender focuses on how a person identifies her or himself, their roles and self-expression.

Ambiguity is an insightful take on what occurs when a baby is assigned a biological and genetic identity that is in conflict with the person’s gender identity. Intolerance and prejudice are linked when any individual opposes the gender identity of another human being based on preconceived cultural, political and social notions of what a male or female is supposed “to be” in terms of behavior, as a result of their genitalia. “You are a biological male, so act and dress like a biological male,” as if there is a set of rules written in stone on how males or females are expected to dress and behave, let alone “biological definitions” of male and female as determined by a physician at birth. When not conforming to learned expectations, violent behavior and abuse may result, and indeed has so across the country.  Insecurity and fear are woven into the fabric of intolerance.

This fascinating study delves into the psychology of our biological and gender identity in the workplace and associated discrimination. The research is original and extensive and numerous examples from transgender people offer a very human aspect to the challenges they face in today’s work environment. The authors talk about “doing ambiguity” and implementing genderless and gender-fluid dynamics in the workplace.

This is both an individual and, an organizational workbook. The book is written for “leaders seeking best practices related to bathroom access, workplace transition, hiring practices, inclusive workplace culture, and more, this book offers guidance and novel policy recommendations designed to ensure the success of transgender employees.”

If an organization wishes to explore a gender-fluid policy this work is a good starting point. The authors have offered though-provoking and discerning insights not only in gender ambiguity but what tolerant, open-minded, human and humane means. Do to others as you would have them do to you, is an ageless lesson.

My question for the future is – will programmable, human-like AI or Artificial Intelligence help us become more tolerant or exacerbate human tolerance/intolerance through software defining what is a human male or female and the roles the male/female identify with? The question comes with any number of assumptions. My suggestion is this study helps expand awareness of what we mean by human and the difference between our biology and our gender identity.


Image for Writings

Credit: Jean Philippe-Cypres, photographer


It really matters not where the embrace took place, only that it did. Perhaps it was just a chimera, a spiritual mist left over from a previous engagement in the narthex of my mind. Or was it hope misplaced.

Hope can be a singular, optimistic, on the edge, dangling noun, if such a thing exists. Almost like hanging from a creaking tree limb, while noticing the ground is an unnerving, thirty feet below, or more precisely, betting on a card that you have yet to turn over at a Blackjack table with a stack of chips at stake.

Of late, the facts of a given day appear as an illusion. A surreal quality even with the television, satellite radio and computer turned off. The heart feels love, hurt, loss and gain. Memories recalled are filtered through time’s experienced passageways and the realization I have my suppositions, whether I want them or not. As I recall, a truth is generally based on a fact. I thought about it while noticing a woman in a short, black dress standing on the other side of the table looking at me, as if she knew who I was. I detected a smile in her large brown eyes.

I’ve come to realize that years vanish, as if certain moments never existed, even when I look in the rearview mirror to catch a fleeting glimpse of the passing scene and by then it’s gone. It’s not the same, the second time around. Detour ahead, my brain suggests. Chance and random occur unannounced even on a digital roadmap. Things happen outside my view and plotting is an impish game for the manipulative mind seeking its oasis of wealth and control. Is being a maverick also an illusion of a destiny?

As I sat at the Blackjack table an hour felt like two-minutes and cards flashed by my eyes like old black and white photographs from an unfamiliar past. Adult faces, flushed with excitement, affixed to heads and situated atop bodies clothed in tuxedos,  sport coats, slacks, jeans, high heels, boots, low-cut dresses and short skirts. Furtive glances around the table, Blackjack is played with cards; whereas with poker it seems you play the other person more often than not. What are the odds, is a favorite cliché.

The dealer asked me if I wanted a hit. I nodded. Nineteen was the total, two short, of twenty-one, when I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I looked up.

“Have we met on another occasion?” The  brunette in the short, black dress, asked me with a French accent.

“Perhaps.”  I said. I thought she looked vaguely familiar. Or, was the mere question a suggestive imprinting in my head?

She flirted and asked, “I’m getting a glass of wine, would you like one?

I returned the grin and said, “Thanks, red wine?”

“I know.”  She said with confidence.

“Hmm.” Where did I meet her before?

I was ready to move on. As I walked away from the table I counted fifty dollars in chips more than I lost. In a casino you win, if you break even. Entertainment comes in many forms even for people sitting in wheel chairs and on breathing machines or dressed in tattered rags with bruises on their arms and legs playing the slot machines. Hope is a dangling noun.

I started for the lounge when just outside the entrance the woman greeted me with a glass of wine in hand, and asked,  “Lucky?”

“Yeah. Thanks for asking.”

“You’re welcome.”

Our conversation was polite and suggestive. We found a small table in the lounge, sipped our wine and chatted about life. We never talked about the past, we were only in the present moment. I couldn’t figure out where we may have met before, if ever. Nor did she give a hint. When we finished our drinks we stood up, embraced and kissed each other. She kissed me as if we had shared a mysterious, intimate past, and then said, “adieu” and noted she was heading to Montreal.

I stood alone for a few seconds watching her leave when she turned and looked back at me. I’m certain my face portrayed my mind’s bewilderment.

“Perhaps,” she said above a whisper. And with that enigmatic pronouncement she smiled and walked out the door and disappeared into the night.


The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy by Greg Miller (2018)

My read: This is an autopsy – the brain, heart and soul of a democracy is on the examining table. I thought I knew in part what the “guts” and the “spirit” looked like during the 2016 election… BUT…Miller has caused me to rethink what I am seeing and reading about. This book looks familiar. It’s deeper than its looks, written in layperson’s terms so the general reader gets a glimpse of what’s inside.

Miller, a Pulitzer prize-winning author offers remarkable insights – the ties between Trump and Putin and Russia’s role in the 2016 election and the political machination of politicians, e.g., Senator Mitch O’Connell, etc. (Does the Senate still exist…my question?) And, the implications on nominees to the Supreme Court come into focus. The downstream effect on justice in this country is yet to be fully comprehended. This book causes one to reflect.

Trump’s promises were purposefully vague and a deliberate distortion of the reality and the truth as he saw an opportunity to deepen the political chasms along with his desire to divide and conquer the unwitting and those who felt increasingly disenfranchised. He understood people’s anger with established institutions and he capitalizes on it leaving the masses behind while gorging himself on his personal wealth. The masses continue to turn their cheeks. The president tapped into the darkest of desires and concerns. And Trump understands and appreciates the use of fear, lying, intimidation and bullying tactics.

The  spear-phishing/hacking by Russia  (Trump: “Russia are you listening?) on a naive Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, the political hesitancy of President Obama, the role of Putin and the “children” of Trump – motivated for greater personal wealth and the President’s personal debt to Russia along with the symptomatic Christopher Steele’ dossier are just a few examples with each page offering  a specific or detail carefully researched by the author.

Much of the information in this work is discussed in a variety of magazines, investigative reports, newspapers both here and abroad and watching the news on TV or a computer or other digital technology, etc.  The author organizes the information / knowledge and offers the reader an analytical look into the diseased body of democracy. The cure?

This work is disturbing, thoughtful, well-written/researched and accessible.


from the film – Nineteen Eighty-Four

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past” – George Orwell

“You don’t need to win the argument. You don’t even need to have the facts. You just need to have an argument. All you need is to offer your side an alternative story in which to believe, a story that makes you sound trustworthy and your enemies untrustworthy” –  Ezra Klein



” There is in us, an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We see to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become someone else, but to become ourselves” – Thomas Merton, Love and Living.

I once asked my therapist if I will ever remember the first time – the first time I was forced to endure a past life regression and tucked away into the corners of my mind. I wanted to know if I had to go back and do something to jolt my memory, and ask is this the truth or is it a lie? She, very calmly, looked over at me, and answered, “It’s not that important to remember, it’s more important to forgive yourself, to reconcile those emotions.” I had no clue what she meant.

You see, I have had no platform, no exchange of hurts, no cord to cut, to free myself from intrusive thoughts that I could shout down at my memory. I remember who you are. I can’t face you, you have no face, and I am not ready to forgive you. I don’t want to forgive you. You, who hurt me, who betrayed my trust. You are the lie looking back at me, through the looking-glass.

You made me afraid. You, who broke my heart. I always knew that someday I would see you again, because for too long I questioned if you really happened, and I know you did. I saw your shadow in the looking-glass. That frightening place, where you would like to deny the real potential of the looking-glass, the reflective element of the unspoken, one that blocks the storm that rages within you.

Did you see yourself? Did you forget when you let my heart speak, and you heard my spirit whisper for you to go away? Did you hear me? Did you look into the mirror, more than once? Or did your shadow just lay in darkness?

I don’t forgive you, and I forgive myself for it. I will stop letting you hurt me. My forgiveness belongs to me. I forgive myself for being a little defenseless child. I forgive myself for refusing to remember who you are. I forgive myself for the pain you caused me. I forgive myself as I look into the looking-glass……….because the reflection I see is me. So much is being debated, and I see my own struggle, and I reconcile my self-worth, my divine power as in the God of my understanding. That is who I see, when I look again, in the looking glass. I see me. Why is it brave when men come forward after so many years, to speak about what was done to them as little boys at the hands of that Catholic priest. No one doubts them. We are just as brave, we were young girls who were victims of an abuse we didn’t understand. Why are such events viewed differently? Does anyone have an answer? I guess I will run it by my therapist………She’ll know.


Credit: Innominate, photographer


Image for Writings

Credit: Jean Philippe-Cypres, photographer


Posture appears to dictate

be seated or stand as you wish

or somewhere in between,

perhaps the compassionate lotus position with deep breaths

will accommodate, free to think your thoughts;

as the curtain raises on the political theater

of your mind

interviews, interrogatories and the emotive sighs of a trial

simulation of democracy at work and play

for advertisers, investors, bankers and others

the deposits in accounts mount,

while platoons of soldiers fight endless wars

without meaning

save money, power, envy and blood lust.


And an underemployed college graduate

sits next to an old person and child in a cold alley

seeking a friendly, intelligible network

and eyes in a national courtroom dart sideways

listening as only a voyeur can,

while a few on the side suspected they already knew

at the gathering in the Federalist’s Society’s cloakroom,

another justice in waiting.


The hauteur from the Appalachian terrain revealed

where his horse feeds on blue grass

Old Abe was not his ancestor,

unrecognizable in a black robe

private conversations with a syrupy tongue

the fore-finger pointed toward those of a lesser God

he uttered

the poverty of the mind is self-inflicted

and ignorance is a blissful state,

yet across the street

a wanting and familiar stranger stood

with scraps tossed on the wet pavement

an inspirational, sacred metaphor misplaced

as the human is without wings.


Wash the brain with repetition

the emphatic tone of whatever the market will bear

yet an enigmatic echo in a distant cityscape

a communique sent in the middle of the night,

prudence no longer a relevant word

a democratic Republic is on private and public trial

that began yesteryear as a human thought

the ancient effects of it still exist

a provocative idea and act – without borders.


A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (1980, updated edition, 2015)

My perspective: The elitism of wealth and power is like a cancer on a democracy. It fosters a meanness that eats away at the soul of humanity. The author focuses on the history of the under-privileged, women, children, slaves, native Americans, but the implication is disturbingly deeper and affects the very notion of democracy and liberty and the treatment in empty, sterile textbooks. And that is part of the problem and the point.

Whatever occurs to a few human strands of a democracy affects the entire web of human democracy. How can any man or woman be truly free when even one human being, purposefully and or from innate wickedness, is thwarted for reasons having to do with another’s wealth and power?

This is a well-reviewed book, albeit one that has achieved and maintained its somewhat controversial status since it first appeared in print almost four decades ago and updated several years ago. The author is a reputable historian. His concern – human exploitation and manipulation – since the earliest days of the country.

The story of the United States is about the history of power and money and the lengths people will go to achieve wealth and power. We the People was/is great if you are a wealthy property owner and generally of European descent. Today it generally means an elite group of wealthy and powerful and or have connections to that wealth and power. Times change, people have memories and inevitably revolt.

Though there are no footnotes the author’s bibliography is solid. Having heard him speak, Professor Zinn was a seasoned intellectual. He shows how men of wealth play poorer men and women off each other to retain their power throughout history. Has anything changed today? Records of dissent are periodically destroyed or buried if they undermine the existing order.  History is rewritten to assuage the populace and keep people in line. Is there nothing new under the sun?

Perhaps it’s time we eliminate history textbooks altogether and concentrate on what really has taken place in the United States rather than who and what state boards affect and determine what students should read as history. In other words teachers need to offer even more diverse source material beginning at a very young age – elementary school.

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