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Word Worth Volume V, 2005, 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:




The Gulf Between Candidates—Charles Miess


Conjugating Verbs—Marin Hoelz

    For this presidential election, we perceived the gulf between the two candidates to be wider than ever before.  We went to the poles in record numbers.  Our passions ran deep as some of us defaced bumper stickers, pelted political offices with rocks, and committed other acts of vandalism against supporters of the opposing party....   Sadly, most of our debates were rich in parochial detail and emotion, but impoverished in global insight and wisdom.



    Bertrand Russell, twentieth century mathematician and logician, was famous for things like discovering Russell’s Paradox and receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, and was notorious for things like being often married—Elizabeth Taylor’s counterpart—and was several times fired and jailed for, of all things, being opposed to war.  One of his more light-hearted “discoveries” was his conjugation of verbs.

    Verb conjugations, if you remember ....

The Old Church—Marin Hoelz


Of Mouse and Man—Charles Miess

   Among the black and white photographs by Charles Bartolotta on the arts page last month is one of an old church.  The roof is disintegrating, the sound slats of the bell tower are broken and some are missing.  Boards have fallen from the clapboard siding.  The wood has weathered and the paint worn off.  Eventually, the building will sink into the under growth around it.
   Looking more closely at the picture, one can see proof that the church was built...



Joy Walsh

   When we first moved to that old house, my mother was alone at night while my dad worked.  She crocheted by the light of a kerosene lantern and kept vigil over me and my older brother and sister [and a box of 100 chicks] while we slept.  The upstairs had been cleared of the onions and squash, but the rats remained....  As the night grew longer, the rats grew bolder and soon they were thumping down the stairs to grab the chicks.  Few of the hatchlings survived ... that night.

Institutionalized Lying—Marin Hoelz


The Good Life...—Kevin Siepel

   ...A social service official explained that it was typical for the time when this woman was “in the system” for children to be switched from home to home—contrasting to the thinking now when the emphasis is on some type of permanence.  As a result, this individual and those like her are unable to get any medical records of their family and, as a result, cannot know their own medical history.  In cases like this, in which the person was switched from one family to another four times, she can’t even say...

Charles Bartolotta
   [The circus], we were told in many ways, prides itself on treating its animals well, and indeed—despite (as I later discovered) allegations by animal rights activists to the contrary—I saw nothing to suggest that they do not.  The owners push this point, doubtless because of their adversaries, but also because we are all conditioned to viewing captive animals with pity, and their captors with suspicion.... I generally... find my conscience working overtime to justify their captivity.

The Importance of...Enemies—John T. Baker


The Ozaenine Effect—Charles Miess

   I used to give a talk on “Getting Along With People.”  Now I still think that’s important, ....  But ... I began to think about the other side of the picture.  Maybe it was only because I was getting older – and wiser – and crabbier – but I started wondering if we shouldn’t be giving attention also to not getting along with people – with certain people, and with certain things....who could desire a nobler epitaph than: “He was an enemy of Hitler”?



Photography by
Mark L. Kaufman
   A revolutionary new aircraft was on display in Paris at the second International Aeronautical Exhibition.  The year was 1910—barely seven years after the first flight in a heavier-than-air machine by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.  Among the features of this new plane were: wings with steel leading edges, movable slats on the forward wing....  But the most striking feature, the one that had the crowds gaping at this aircraft, was that it had no propeller.

Define Vegetative—Marin Hoelz


The Snows of Kilimanjaro—Charles Miess

  The controversy surrounding Terri Schiavo has continued, weeks after her death, and will do so for quite some time.  Had she ever been able to regain awareness of her surroundings, that controversy would have humiliated and degraded her.
  On subjects that arouse such antagonism, it’s nice to have a villain—something or someone on which to focus anger and to direct action.  At first glance,...




  Something about that title has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  There is undeniable poetry—a beautiful cadence—to the phrase The Snows of Kilimanjaro. ...that mountain is one of those things that remains changeless throughout history.  With so much of the Earth in turmoil, places like Kilimanjaro reassure me that the world will be around for us to enjoy for a long time.   It is like having a treasured friend that you never go to see, but it ...

The Real Villain—Marin Hoelz


The Dancing Light—Kevin H. Siepel

   Increasing mention is made of data which indicates that Americans, especially children, are becoming progressively over-weight.  One state legislator is attempting to get a bill passed which would require children’s weight to be recorded on report cards.  He feels that parents should know what their children weigh.  If there has ever been a more misguided initiative, it’s impossible to imagine what it would be.
   Any parents who are unaware of their children’s weight or of their size ...
A Little Slice
of Heaven


   On a new group’s first day, following issue of the mandatory yellow short-sleeved cotton blouse, forest green shorts, and new pair of U.S. Keds, the children gathered in the large and rustic Mess Hall for their first noonday meal.  They sat loosely arranged by cabin group, four campers to each small table, with counselors strategically placed throughout.  Following a new group’s first meal, my father commenced a routine that he took delight in practicing on every group of campers.

The Towne—Marin Hoelz


Something Borrowed—Charles Miess

   What such a plan did not anticipate, however, was that it generated a lifestyle that became progressively more dependent on the automobile and also more isolated.  Children could be bussed to school, but if they were to do anything after school—any sports, see friends who did not live within several blocks, join any clubs or any organizations, take any lessons—they had to be driven.  Hence, Momism developed and homemakers became full time chauffeurs.

Photography by
Mark L. Kaufman

   His red hair was rumpled a bit, but... Unlike the rest of the boys, who looked like they’d rather be in the middle of oral surgery, Donnie sported an impish grin and seemed to be having the time of his life.  If you watched him closely, you could catch him flashing funny faces across the stage at his sister—trying to make her laugh.  I remembered feeling like an invader into his secret little world.  But I was fascinated as I zoomed in on his sneaky antics with my video camera.

The  Dilemma of Intelligence—Charles Miess


The Morgans Are Coming!—Marin Hoelz

   During prehistoric times, individual people had a relatively poor chance of survival, yet the prospect for the species remained bright.  With the recent accumulation of technical and scientific knowledge, we have reversed the odds.  We have vastly improved our chances as individuals to survive and pass on our genes to the next generation.  In the meantime, we have put our species at grave risk. ... This is simply an attempt to objectively view the nature of humans and their relationship to the earth.

Photography by
Harvey Kaye


Verse Versus Poetry—M. H. Perry


The Poet's Art—Charles Miess

   The most obvious aspect of poetry is rhyme.  What is not as clear is that not everything that rhymes is poetry.  Much rhyme is simply annoying jingles.  The highway department in one state posts “Making it wider/ For you and your rider.”  The rhyme is intended to be memorable and to catch attention.  It succeeds.  It also annoys.  Mark Twain was one of the first to write about annoying phrases that one couldn’t ... Humorous Verse
John T. Baker
   When just the right words are combined in exactly the right way, the meaning becomes much greater than the sum of the individual words.  When this elusive combination has the power to inspire the imagination, move the emotions, or create pleasure, it is likely to be poetry.  If the meaning reveals itself slowly, and the experience becomes greater with each reading, then it is probably good poetry.

From the Earth to the Stars—Charles Miess


Calling the Doctor's—Nettie Veling

    American chestnut trees made up a quarter of the immense eastern forests when Europeans first arrived.  They are gone now.  In the late 1800’s blight hitchhiked a ride on a ship from the Orient, and by 1950 chestnut trees from Maine to Alabama were transformed to stark brown skeletons against the sky.  Further back in the field is a grove of white pine.  If green is a measure of health, they are healthy.  But when ...

Photography by
Mark L. Kaufman

   The other day, I was awaiting a call from my MD’s office.  The person who ultimately called me back was a triage nurse of some sort.  After verifying my name, address and insurance information, the first question she asked me was, “If this service was not available, what would you have done in this situation?...1. Wait until tomorrow.  2. Go to a hospital emergency room.  3. Contact another emergency health...

The Teenage Dilemma—Marin Hoelz


The Iceberg and the Jack ...—Charles Miess

   The concept of being good neighbors and teaching children proper behavior toward their community has been largely lost. Too many parents now feel that parenthood consists of providing endless entertainment for their children. When children grow to the teenage years, this becomes increasingly difficult because they develop distinct personalities and are not all amused by the same things....

Photography by
Armin W. Helz

   Largely unnoticed...this year is a huge iceberg that broke away from...Antarctica. They say this monster contains enough water to keep the Nile river flowing for eighty years! It's thicker than the Washington Monument is tall. From satellite photos, it looks like an aircraft carrier—an aircraft carrier bigger than the country of Luxembourg! And it's on the move.

The Nature of Work—Marin Hoelz


A Corollary to Karma—Charles Miess

    I have heard work defined,... as being what you have to do, while play is what you want or choose to do.  By this definition, however, breathing would be work.  In addition, you can observe a person from the beginning—at the age of two months—engage in ... what we think of as work.  Two-month olds will move their arms out to reach a toy ...It’s as tricky as an adult learning to operate a crane...

Photography by
Mark L. Kaufman

   ...But in almost every case it is something I’ve done that was really dumb, and then it came back to bite me later.  It’s the kind of thing that my pride won’t allow me to share with the world just yet.  I am, however, willing to tell about an event in my life that fits the first corollary to this principle: if you do sneaky things, you’re going to get caught.

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Publisher: Aurora Artisans®, LLC       Editor: M. H. Perry
Contributors: Marin Hoelz
· 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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