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Word Worth Volume XIII, 2013, 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>

To our Readers,

The last two and a half years have been hectic, but good, for Word Worth®. We have moved our offices two hundred miles away from our previous location, and our staff has gone through moves and other major changes as well. After a dozen years of publishing, we are looking forward to returning to a monthly publication schedule.

Aurelia Perry will move up to the primary editorship of the magazine, and under her able leadership, you will see changes and new ideas, but the basic form of the magazine will remain the same.

I will still be actively involved in the publication and editing as well.

We thank all of our loyal readers and contributors and look forward to new directions for the magazine.

—M H Perry

As a long-time contributor to Word Worth®, I am thrilled to be taking a more active role in its publication.  Over the past 12 years Word Worth® has become a refreshing voice of the 21st century, exploring ideas and arts both ancient and modern, world-wide.  This new year is shaping up to be an exciting one for the magazine; I am delighted to be part of the team bringing new thoughts and perspectives to our readers, and look forward to the places that the journey will take us together.

—Aurelia Perry




Condoning MassacreM H Perry


Meatlessness for CarnivoresAurelia Perry

   If we become a society in which everyone needs a gun in order to feel safe, not one person will actually be safe.
   The NRA declaring that there should be an armed police officer in every school would be hilarious if it weren’t so diabolical. In order to avoid massacres, we would also need them in every theater to prevent the Aurora massacre, at every small political gathering to prevent Tucson carnage, and soon on every school bus and every street corner. Then we will become a Gestapo police state the likes of which....
     Although there are many reasons to eat less meat, from the ethical and environmental to the expense and health factors, I am an entrenched carnivore, and never intended to give up a bit of the bacon, beef, oysters, salmon, swordfish, chicken that make my mouth water: until I met and became engaged to someone who doesn’t eat animals.  Even then I had no reason to change my tastes; he is, however, an excellent cook.  I now have meat at lunch if I want it, and we happily eat the same thing together for dinner.

Every Town Is...NewtownSheenu Srinivasan


Oh, no …an Apple SeedJudith Washington

   ... look at headlines each day on most print media which have determined that only bad news sells. Look at television programs which appear to equate violence with strength and courage. Who can the young turn to – especially in a broken family – in order to understand the grown-ups? In a country where family values are discussed and debated on a daily basis, what institutions are focused on preserving families? Where can a young person turn today in order to feel loved, encouraged, courageous and confident? Cross Stitch Art
   Bed bugs: the words are enough to raise the heart-rate, even of one who hasn’t experienced them. It used to be... that “Nighty-night! Sleep tight—don’t let the bed bugs bite” was a fun thing that grandparents would say to children, all scrubbed and bathed and in clean pajamas for the evening. “What are bed bugs?” the children would ask. “Oh,” the adults would start, vague themselves on the archaic nuisance, “they were little insects... But that was a long time ago; we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

VillageSunny Woods


Eight Simple WordsGraceann Macleod

   Everyone begins life in a village. It doesn’t matter whether you’re born in the middle of a forest with no one for miles or in the middle of a city. The village is what’s around you as you open your eyes to light. It’s the people in your home and your town—the mother, father, siblings, neighbors. As you become a toddler, you begin to explore the village, and then follow the path you will take to elementary school, ... You can always go back to the village as you follow ... Art
Hannah French
   I consider myself a Christian. ...I share the frustrations of progressive, compassionate Christians who are lumped in with the hate-filled, bigoted, judgmental people who pick and choose the passages they want and ignore the rest. I pick and choose, too. I pick the passages that preach love and understanding, and choose to follow the example of those who inspire through gentle kindness and strength in the face of ignorance.

Terms of EndearmentMarin Helz


My Spoiled DollsJudith Washington

   I started calling my one year old grandson “The Little Guy,” and the four year old “The Big Little Guy.”
   “Don’t call me that!” The Big Little Guy remonstrated one day when I used the epithet in his hearing.
   “Why?” I asked. I thought it was quite a decent nickname. He insisted that it wasn’t.
   “Okay,” I said, “What do you want me to call you?”
It wasn’t until a day or so later when I realized that the conversation mirrored one which...
     I hated dolls when I was a kid, and I especially hated Barbie dolls: not only was I surrounded by enlightened adults who thought that they were a bad model for a girl’s mind, but I also went to a grade school where other kids brought Barbies to lunch.  Barbie dolls owned by six- and seven-year-olds wear stained, torn clothing that doesn’t fasten any more because of all the lint in its velcro. ... Barbie dolls that children bring to play with at lunch may easily lose some of their disgusting, dirty, plastic, shiny, long, fibrous hair in one’s peanut butter sandwich, ...

The Test of TimeM H Perry


Instant HobbyAurelia Perry

   Many works of art and artists come and go like summer mosquitoes. A number of them buzz around enjoying great attention for brief periods of time. “Poets” Eddie Guest and Rod McKuen are exemplars of this. Their “art” does not last because there is no depth to it. They speak to the spirit of a moment in time and space. Poets like this are referred to poetasters—meaning bad poets. There is nothing wrong with this, and they may be very fine people, but their products do not rise to the level of Art.  Stereoscopes    I’ve often thought that “collector” is a dirty word, and implies redundancy: if you have more than one of something, you’re keeping someone else from having one, too. It’s also a waste of money; you already have one. Don’t throw money away on another. “Collecting” is what dilettantes do—they amass things, rather than use them as they were meant to be used. A person who self-identifies as a “collector” has bought his or her way into a field not by dedicating himself to genuine knowledge or by disciplining himself to a real skill, but...

Just Another Day on the OfficeJoel Hooks


Taboo WordsMarin Helz

   It’s Friday.  You have a stack of papers under your arm, and you have just poured a second cup of coffee.  You start back to your desk when out of nowhere some guy in a Hawaiian shirt hurriedly elbows his way past.  As you bend over to gather your scattered papers, you spill coffee all over your new tie—the whole time wondering: who was that jerk and why was he in your office?


Kim Parkhurst 

   I’ve met adults who don’t even know what the term “taboo” means. They know and use all the taboo words, however. Words evolve from appropriate to forbidden in interesting ways. The Anglo-Saxon word for defecation is prohibited in decent company, but the Latin is fine. In the time of Chaucer, the clergy was trying to get people to stop using ecclesiastical terms as swear words. “God’s blood” was a...

Why the fascination?Brian Michael Norris


Democratizing AmericanaAurelia Perry

   And so it began ... I started collecting more of her music, then, slowly, VHS tapes about her life, and biographies.  The more I learned the more I wanted to know.  This was one fascinating woman.  She became an inspiration to me for many different reasons.  Aside from the gift of her voice and her ability to sing, which in and of itself is breathtaking, this woman whom I would never have the chance to meet would teach me many important principles.  To summarize, here are a few of the life lessons I learned from Patsy Cline.

    Like Washington Irving, Cohan also liked to go back to an earlier America for narrative inspiration.  He’d decorate his plays with the ideals of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, invoking a kind of Federal freshness, intelligence and optimism.  Originally, it was a guarantee of at least some applause: wave the flag and they had to clap; wave a hundred flags and see what happens—but Cohan ...authentically believed in the story of the United States ...and has become a part of the story he celebrated.

The Politics of Personal AttackM H Perry


Take to the SkyAurelia Perry

   This is not about politics. It’s about the level to which our public discourse has descended. Nearly two and a half millennia ago, Aristotle outlined the process for rational thought...    It’s wrong to call someone who says he’s a Christian a Muslim; it’s wrong to call someone who says he’s a Muslim a Christian; it’s wrong to call someone who says he’s straight, gay; and in the midst of the Nazi reign of terror, it was wrong to call anyone a Jew whether they were or not. You know that, those of you who are engaging in these scurrilous levels of personal attack. The use of personal attacks prove that, at the core, you know you are in the wrong.

Eryn Leedale- Merwart






  ELM: " I have spent the majority of my career designing for someone else.  Whether it be a gallery or a shop or an art show jury, I have made my work according to the market to which it was being directed.  I find myself at an interesting place in my career in that I no longer wish to spread myself so thin;... I want to take what I've learned and what inspires me, and create a line that really speaks to who I am and what gives me strength.  I’m interested in making pieces that reflect things that fuel my soul and my brain on days when my body is not at its best. ..."

Leave When the Party’s Still FunM H Perry


EntrancementMichael J. Cahill

   ...The reason to go to office parties, but leave when the boss does is to avoid the out of control behavior that often ruins careers. You have to figure out for yourself just when the pinnacle of the party is and leave then. Once things start decelerating, it’s too late. The joy is gone, the after-glow is gone and can’t be retained. Bad behavior is infectious and has a life of its own; don’t stick around until your colleagues begin making job ending decisions.

 by Samantha Grenier

   Some years ago a cynical friend remarked to me, “I thought I fell in love once. But it turns out I only stepped in it.”
I almost laughed.  But I could see he meant it.
Eric was a really sweet guy who’d subjugated himself entirely to a willful woman. He bowed to her wants and never challenged her.  He had believed that was the best way to get along with a woman.  And, truth be told, I thought so too.

Animal MysteriesSunny Woods


Pen and PaperMichael J. Cahill

   Anthropomorphizing tends to lead to either pathology or tragedy. Failure to allow for an animal’s harsher nature has resulted in death on many occasions. Treating pets like spoiled children turns the owners into babbling idiots—with apologies to idiots.
    In spite of that, animals do surprising things that let us know that while they are not human, they may have even more more developed emotions than we have. Lacking intellect, ...



Tiffany M Perry

   My mother was a letter writer. Mostly newsy little handwritten notes of a page or two. Her missives often included a clipping from an advice column, a positive quote, a prayer or snapshot, and a few gentle paragraphs of wit and encouragement. She always signed them, “Love, Mom.”
 ...it comes down to this — an email is grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor, whereas a personal letter is a sumptuous home cooked meal.

Why I like Old HousesAurelia Perry


ScarsMichael J. Cahill

   The last time I was hunting for a home was in 2003, and the bubble was at its height; with a budget of $300,000 (which sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?), we were told that the most we could afford in Massachusetts, paupers that we were, was a trailer.  Or possible a “fixer-upper” on the highway.  Two-bedroom cottages in desirable locations—even without yards—were easily going for over $500,000.  We ended up looking farther west than we’d expected,...




Joel Hooks

   A metal worker has confidence that a weld is the strongest metal on a machine. By the same token, it is equally true that scar tissue is the toughest skin on our body. A genuinely resilient spirit commands a durability that surpasses pain.
   ...The true authors of our deepest disfigurements are betrayals, bullies, and broken promises. ...a scar can be a friend whose very presence is a cautionary reminder — "Don’t go this way again. Find another."

Fine Crafted GiftsMarin Helz


When Want Is Keenly FeltMichael J. Cahill

   We’re all familiar with the gifts crafted by the clumsy hands of children and cherished by the father, aunt, grandmother as a most valued possession. The gift shows effort and focus and the desire of one very young to create something unique for someone very special to them. Some of those gifts go beyond the simple pasted together valentine made with lace and construction paper under the orders of a teacher. Those gifts arise out of the mind of the child and capture a part of the ethereal spirit on the infant creator. ...Some gifts crafted by adults with far more skilled hands have that kind of spark in them. They come from the deepest ... Photography by Amy Conley    Charles Dickens’ most important characters have aged well because they wrestle with what will always be present-day dilemmas. They consistently set aside physical discomfort and personal humiliation in pursuit of something noble and worthwhile. In this regard, no character was ever so acutely realized as Ebenezer Scrooge: who was more enamored of personal status and tangible worth than with the needs of his own heart. That made Scrooge very much a modern man. He feared pain, as we all do, and he overcompensated for this fear by refusing to invest himself in the lives of others.


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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 ·
© 2018 Word Worth®—World magazine of Ideas & the Arts