The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

THE POETRY OF ROBERT FROST: THE COLLECTED POEMS, COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED

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T + W + T = TNT (Words are Weapons) by G. R. Hambley (BLW Contributor)

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Our TOOLS, our WEAPONS, and our TOYS are all the same, words.

Everyone knows how deep the spoken word can cut. A word spoken in the heat of argument can be forgiven but it never gets forgotten. Most of us have had at least a couple of those heated word instances in our lifetimes on both the giving and receiving side. Sometimes even both at the same time, the war with words.

Yeah I know, and war of words is different so let’s just keep it at war with words. I will give you close encounters of the worst kind as an alternative.

Out here in the Blogosphere, the word only happens with purpose and on purpose. You have the ability to back out of what you put down in words. Thoughtless just doesn’t apply because the writer has the ability to take the bullet out of the chamber before pulling the trigger to post.

Some of us writers even play in the same sandbox together. We play in the Blogosphere. We play hard, we play irreverent. We play nice and we play not to hurt. We play with conscience and understanding.

Sometimes we hurt without intent. We don’t need to be told that we hurt or stung in so many words either. We see it in the responses of the people we play with. I’m not talking about reading tone in to email. We perceive hurt and we fix it, fast. Sometimes we are wrong about what we’ve perceived and we learn as we communicate with each other.

There are those professing communication skills I’ve seen on a certain specific site that could learn much from spending time at WordPress. They might even discover originality and move away from mindlessly rehashing quotes by others in their attempt to appear sensitive and profound. Maybe they are sensitive but the lack of originality and the frequency with which the works of others are spit out, seriously makes me wonder about their motivation.

There are bullies and manipulators in our sandbox just like anywhere and everywhere else.

I have taken a few to task on what I read in their post. I have been questioned a couple times on items in my posts by people looking for clarification. I have not been taken to task and I do my best with what I write to ensure that me being taken to task never happens. That doesn’t mean I’m not of opinion because I am. It does mean I am considering and considerate.

I am happy, and not, to say I’ve taken more to task off that other certain specific site than I have at WordPress. In some ways that seems and feels backwards. By the nature of the two sites you’d almost expect there’d be more reason for a full blown snark on or addendum snark on than there would be at a site that is business centric.

Something I never forget or overlook is that it is real people and not fairies or elves putting the posts up to be read.

As we move around in our sand box we learn about our playmates. You’d better learn it or you’ll find yourself off playing by yourself. Hey give me marks for not saying, “Playing with yourself”. True, it is the same but way different and the different would be the irreverent. The double entendre has its place just not here at this time.

Some of us, and I include myself in this and are overly sensitive. We’ll read things in to responses or commentary that simply isn’t there. Better to err to the side of caution and clarify if you have any question.

Tools with which we craft our tales, tribulations, hopes and dreams and oh so very much more. There are some damn good crafters out here. Some I follow by reader and a few I follow by email notification. Not only are we more fun than television, we are far more entertaining!

I truly wish I had time to get to more of the pieces by my fellows.

Weapons of mind destruction are at our fingertips. We all believe when we let loose that we use our powers for good. We can be incendiary. It is those that read us that determine the validity of what has been unleashed.

Toys we have been blessed with the greatest toys known to humankind, words.

Sharp minds, fertile imaginations and real feeling shape the words. The Blogosphere is a fine place to find reality and escape “Business Psychosis” too.

Check out other great articles from G. R. Hambley

Thankful Thursdays – Grateful for more Opportunities

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What’s that Smell? by Lovely, Pure, and Write (BLW Contributor)

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As I shuffled into the communal women’s bathroom in the early morning hours with my shorts, shirt and undergarments clutched in a ball, I began to wonder if this had been a good decision. I had thoroughly showered the day before I had arrived knowing that the facilities would be limited and crowded. The information sheet that was handed out at orientation emphasized that we were swearing over our lives, and our toiletry and solidarity needs would be at a minimum for the week. In essence, it was like we were transported to a women’s prison just for signing up to be a camp volunteer.   I realized we were not out in the woods eating sticks and scrounging for the biggest and softest leaf to use for private matters, but the buzzing fluorescent light overhead that was blinding me while the sun slept reminded me that I was not at my peaceful home.

I observed that some women were totally unfazed and seemed to be enjoying the chit chatter as they went about their business while the rest of us were wondering who had actually coerced us into doing this.  When a stall became available, I slipped in and began to figure out how I was going to get dressed without letting any of my items touch the dirty sticky floor.  I delicately draped clothes over the toilet roll dispenser and carefully placed my Ziploc bag of toothpaste, brush and makeup onto the top of the toilet tank. I made the decison to keep my flip flops on as I proceeded into doing a flamingo type stance to slip out of my pajamas and into my shorts. One foot remained in the sandal while the other was ever so carefully removed and found its way into a pant leg.  I was determined not to let skin come into contact with the ground.

I heard the room go pleasantly quiet as the ‘earliest of early risers’ chipped and chirped their way out to gather for breakfast.  They must have all jumped out of bed at once in a pack.  My ears were glad for their departure.  It was just me, the stall and whoever else had decided to get up at a normal rate of speed.

“What’s that smell? What’s that smell? What’s that smell?” “What’s that smell?”

A shrill woman’s voice echoed off the cement walls.   I paused with my head not yet through the neck hole of my assigned camp tee shirt.  It seemed to be coming from a stall two over from mine. I froze in place.

Who would ask such a question so loudly in a public bathroom?  Doesn’t one know that when in such a place that there may be scents that one may not like, but according to all good social graces we refrain from shouting out our nasal disturbance? Who would be so bold as to announce her disdain in a space that is set apart for such matters to be settled without judgment? It wasn’t like someone was in a restaurant or grocery store inappropriately letting gases fly.  We were in a restroom where this type of thing was to be expected.  This was unacceptable behavior that lacked decorum ranking right up there with yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

There was a frantic flush and the stall door crashed open.  Next, came the sound of soft soled shoes running for the exit.  Now, fully dressed, I slowly made my appearance to see other doors opening and all of us looking at each other for answers.

“What was that all about?” A lady with a shower cap peeked out from behind the curtain. “I heard screaming.”

All of us were thinking the same thing. Had a detestable odor sent a woman fleeing for the door? Was she outside sucking in as much fresh oxygen as she could?  I sniffed the air to test the possibility that I was missing something.  I detected only the usual fare of pink hand sanitizer soap.

After a few moments of this, we all resumed our activity wondering what had just happened.

“Ladies, I apologize.” I glanced up as I was about to put paste on my toothbrush.

No one said a word.  The silence was more silent than ever.

“I had an outburst earlier, and I’m sorry if I frightened any of you. But, my brownies were burning!”

I noticed the crooked hairnet that held all her grayish strands in place and her white apron had smudges of yellow batter on it. Her face was red and her breathing heavy.

Only one individual was brave enough to ask,

“Your brownies?”

“Yes. The kitchen is right below here. The oven is quite old, and I had forgotten that I had put a batch of brownies in.  When I was in here earlier I could smell them burning. I ran down the stairs into the basement and got to them just in time.”

There was a collective “oh” as we all realized she was the resident cook for the camp.

Sometimes things aren’t always as they appear. We are led strongly by our five senses which influence our decisions and opinions.  In some cases such as this, we can jump to a false conclusion because we are not aware of all the facts. Once explained, it all made sense.  I went from thinking she was rude to feeling glad that her baked goods went unscorched.

How quickly we can change our minds about something when given a new perspective. I have been attempting to utilize this skill on areas of my life that aren’t necessarily to my liking. I have found that even though I may still not  be excited about the circumstances, I can handle them better with insight.

And where do I gain this understanding? In the quiet moments while waking in the morning, I begin to mentally ask questions and then write down what I hear. Often, words of comfort and encouragement float in to remind me that I am not alone.  Passages such as: ‘Walk by faith, not by sight, ‘ gently drift into my thought process. It’s really not so much the words but the feeling of peace that calms my spirit so I can get out of bed and deal with whatever lies before me.  Knowing that I can call on guidance anytime for clarity makes life more carefree, leaves less room for error and makes jumping to the wrong idea happen less often.  I would rather go through life equipped with the knowledge that something is happening for a reason versus wandering around confused and feeling hopeless.

Still, there are those few startling phrases that one never really grows accustomed to..such as.. “What is this wet spot?” “What did I just step in?” “Is that barf?” And..”What is that smell?”

Check out other articles from Lovely, Pure, and Write

Blurred Lines (Intro) by The Band Wagon Life (BLW Contributor)

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I want so much  more out of this life that can’t be bought, and I’m sure, hope, I’m not alone.

Something as simple as a smile from a stranger on the streets is hard to come by. People making sure their security system is activated at the sound of a troubled neighbor. The homeless man that is spat on because he’s already ‘dirty’. Is this the world we want to live in?

What scares me is not the thought that I might never have those priceless needs fulfilled, but the fact that nothing is sacred anymore!. Sophistication, Integrity, Dignity, Self-Respect .. All gone. Why? Because they said so and made you think it’s “evolution” (therefore making it your fault). Well who are THEY?

We live in a world that has no empathy, guilt nor remorse. It’s impulsive and manipulates as well as charms its habitants with the sole intention of getting what it wants. All those are what science has said to be the traits of a sociopath. Those are the values we are governed by. That unfortunate truth is what bundles up our tomorrows into one big yesterday, nothing more than a never ending path of blurred lines, the ongoing dilema of distinguishing black from white due to so many superficial nonsense wanting to do the thinking for us. “Same shit different day” is a way of thought that has been leaned on by many merely to mask the uncertainties of the cruelties of what humanity has become. Our self confidence bruised because the next person’s intentions might be fuelled by the wrongest of principles. So we keep us caged because we would rather jump on a massive bandwagon jam-packed with sheep than to expose what is really within us. We stop when THEY yell “cut” out of the fear of not being accepted. Everyday we allow several factors to strong-arm us into unknowingly compromising a part of ourselves, and eventually we become no better than siri waiting on her next command or a button on phone.

Most people have the same dream now .. and that dream is FAME, by any means necessary. When back in the day ppl just strived to BE. LIVE. Most of us strive to follow now. If she’s not trying to be like Nicki Minaj, he’s doing all he can to be like Kim Kardashian. But do you ever stop and think who the shepard is? Or are your insecurities more important than your values, thoughts and dreams? How many of the tasteless trends have you been apart of hyping but did not really care about one bit? Knowing you’re right but being convinced you’re not is a very dangerous yet very real path we’re being led on, and that is what is detrimental to the future of our morals, hence race. Yes we must all find a middle ground in order to peacefully live on this earth together, but when you don’t know you’re compromising yourself? Beliefs? Values?….. That’s when it’s time to open up your sight, sound, smell, touch and taste to the world around you.

Just because you do not govern anyone else does not not make you a leader. We are all leaders of ourselves and are responsible for what we afflict on others.

Do not be fooled by the illusion of choice.

Understand it. Examine it. Weigh it. BELIEVE IN IT .. Then, and only then should you claim it as yours!

Check out other great articles from The Band Wagon Life

Thankful Thursdays – Be Grateful you can still Fight… Do not go gentle into the Good Night (Dylan Thomas)

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

AUTHOR NOTES

DT’s father was going blind when DT wrote this poem. The dying of the light is a reference to darkness and being blind.

RYAN FU

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Why everyone (including men) need feminism today? By Our Little Discoveries (BLW Contributor)

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The world today is in dire need of more feminist icons- both men and women. It needs more people like you and me to come forth and identify ourselves as a feminist and conduct open dialogue about feminism. It is heartening to see more and more personalities openly declaring themselves as feminist. Emma Watson made a speech at the UN about feminism and was appointed as the UN Women Goodwill ambassador. Farhan Akhtar, prominent Bollywood personality was recently appointed the first male ambassador for UN Women. Celebrities like Lorde, and recently Taylor Swift declared themselves as feminists, and youtubers like Jack Howard and Laci Green have talked about feminism.

It is very good that more people are embracing and openly talking about feminism because without proper icons for it, the feminist movement was being misconstrued as a movement for radical extremists targeted against the male sex. Dear reader, please do note that this is not true; and in this article I will try and prove that to you.

Feminism, by definition, is the belief in the equality of men and women. It is striving for equal political, social and economic rights for both the sexes all around the world. They question gender based assumptions and stereotypes- why a girl child isn’t sent to school when a boy child is, why women are taught to aspire to marriage while men are not taught the same, why men are expected not to show emotion and to talk about women as if they were objects- and if they do not do so, it threatens their masculinity? Why young boys play with cars and chemistry sets while young girls are supposed to play with Barbie dolls, why women receive less pay than men, why men’s issues(like sexual assault on males) are trivialized while, in the same case, women’s issues are highlighted?  In USA, it was feminists who fought to change the federal definition of rape to include male victims.  

 These are just some examples of what feminists fight for. I hope it is clear now that feminism is a movement for both men and women. I believe that as 21st century citizens of the world, everyone should believe in the notion of equality- and if you believe in equality, you are a feminist- clear and simple. Then why is there still a stigma attached to it?

Check out the rest of the article @ https://ourlittlediscoveries.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/why-everyone-including-men-need-feminism-today/

Emma Watson to United Nations: I’m a feminist

Blogging 101- Day Four: Identify Your Audience by Tessa Can Do It (BLW Contributor)

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A little Haiku I wrote for the occasion: by Teresa Dean Smeigh 2015

Tigger or Eeyore,

Never know who it will be,

In control each day.

Today’s Assignment: publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.

To my children,

I know our lives haven’t gone as you wished. Early in your lives you found out your mother had BiPolar Disorder. A mental disorder that you were too young to understand at that time. I didn’t even understand it at first. I was just a young child when it surfaced.

I lived this way all my life and it was a lot milder so you weren’t subjected to a lot of craziness you didn’t understand. I thank God that he waited until you were old enough before things started getting really messy and your understanding and help was needed.

I know you needed a mom who was there for you through thick and thin and I did my best to be that person. It wasn’t easy. I had to put aside the feelings inside of me, my dear children, in order to help you grow up and into productive adults. Unlike your mother who suffers constantly from Bipolar Disorder.

I feel that I wasted my life because I couldn’t cope with a regular life. I didn’t go for my dreams, too scared. I didn’t make you my priorities like some moms because I was taking care of myself. I was falling apart little by little.

I do my best to attend family get togethers even if I am not feeling up to it and would rather isolate in my bedroom. I love that you guys try to get me out of the house and into doing something with you and my well-loved grandchildren. Believe me I love you all even if sometimes it doesn’t seem that way since I am nurturing myself.

I know some of you do not understand mental health, but I also know that you love me and wouldn’t leave me to struggle alone if I needed up. You guys are there for me when needed.

And I want to make you a promise. I promise to never, ever try to take my life again. I saw the terrible hurt and pain in your faces and the tears and I can’t do that to you. I promise to seek help if ever I feel that way again.

Thank you very much for being my beloved children, I love each and everyone of you.

Love, Your Mom (Teresa E Dean)

Check out other great articles Tessa Can Do It

The War God and his Dark Side by Imperfect Girl (BLW Contributor)

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You see me there
Starring in vain,
Looking at the stars,
Asking for the War God.

The reason she was asking for her God was to pray and hear him say: don’t you worry, child, your day will come. It will be fantastic and dark, as the nights here are.

‘I’ll ask you once again, why? Why do I have to be in charge? How can I stop him from leaving my side?’

Then, he replied: ‘You can’t you sweet child of mine. He will die and then reborn with a stronger mind and soul. He will then take your hand into his arms and love you till the end of time’.

‘But I don’t want him to deny, I can’t stand him going to the ground and I definitely don’t want him to visit the dark side’ she replied.

(Her fallen angel):

‘Baby, I am here but, why can’t you hear? Why are you slowly dying, why is the War God almost crying? I am here, I’ve always been, looking up at you smiling but, lately babe, you’ve been crying. Let me tell you something, my sweet dear darling, me and you can only dream about us laying. We can never speak again, cos I’ve hurt you back then and I could never ever see you again’…

‘Good night my baby, tell my little angel: daddy is there for her, and not a stranger’.

Check out other great articles from Imperfect Girl