Thursday, March 28, 2019


Oh, to close my eyes
and to unsee the world
I've seen!

I wish to dream a world
of gaiety and bliss,
with woes unknown,
with unicorns and rainbows,
and sugary sweets all around.

Where is the pill
that can render me so
unaware of the world
and let me forever dream
and never wake?

I dare not,
I will not,
consume such a pill.

I know the dream is not real.
Such a world does not exist.
I must awaken and see
the world for what it is.

I must realize
that the world I seek
can only be real
as I make to be.
Once achieved,
and then only,
will true gaiety and true bliss
be real.
Perhaps there will be
real unicorns and real rainbows.

One thing I know will be for sure:
There will be sugary sweets everywhere
And many friends to share them with.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


Ryan L Middleton

You keep shaking the ground beneath me.
Although it shakes, it isn't real.
My rock-solid foundation is a hologram.
I want to curl up in my security blanket,
but it isn't real either.

I surrender to the Truth,
My mind expands
I understand
I find joy
Love becomes the reality.

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Patricia Goodrich
Queen of Smiles

By Ryan Middleton

Once upon a time, there was a planet that always smiled, and Patricia was the Queen of it.

Every morning she would rise, and if the Sun wasn't shining she would shine her bright smile at it until it shone.

If the birds weren't singing, she would sing so beautifully until they sang.

If the flowers didn't bloom, she would whisper to them until they bloomed.

If someone didn't have a smile on their face, Queen Patricia would share one of hers.

One day she met a surly old curmudgeon, the Old Grinch. Tried as she might, she could not get him to smile. Day after day, week after week, she tried to no avail. Months, even years went by with no success.

"How could anyone be so dour?" she wondered. She thought about giving up on him and began to feel a growing sadness within. As time passed, her passion for smiling waned. The sun started rising later and later in the day. the birds started squawking instead of singing. The flowers started fading. More and more people stopped smiling. Even the curmudgeon grew grumpier.

Queen Patricia said to herself, "This must not be! I cannot let this happen! I am the Queen of Smiles!" So she thought out a plan. She sent out notes to every citizen of the planet. She did not know them all personally, but she told each of them something special about themselves, about how each one matters to everyone else. She sent them her love, admiration, and gratitude for each and every contribution they made, great or small, to the well-being of the planet. She also asked them to send out similar notes to whomever they could.

Things started to change slowly, and as time went on the momentum grew. Soon people were smiling again. The flowers were blooming again. The birds were singing again. Even the Sun was up before daybreak.

One day there was a knock at Queen Patricia's door. She opened it, and there was the curmudgeon---smiling! Although puzzled, Queen Patricia couldn't help but smile. Curious, she asked him what made him change.

"All my life, I was bitter and hateful. I felt all the smiling faces were just a facade. People just pretending to be nice. It was all just a fake, a put-on. Nobody could really be that happy, I felt. There was nothing to be happy about. Colored flowers were nothing to me. Bird singing was just a bunch of noise to me. The Sun was always hot and gave me a sunburn.

"I wanted it to all stop. Eventually, it did. People started frowning. The flowers withered, the birds chortled horribly, The clouds made everything gray and dismal. And I only felt worse. It really started to bother me that the world I asked for was really happening. I prayed to the powers that be to end the misery I wrought. I doubted that would ever happen, but I hoped against hope.

"Then one day I got your note. Somehow, you seemed to sense my desire to turn things around. You, the Queen of Smiles, thought I was a wonderful contributor to the well-being of this planet. What I did I do not know. But I knew I had to make it come true. I labored day and night for weeks, composing and sending notes to everyone I knew. It mattered not how much or how little I liked anyone, I told each and every one of them how I felt they made their wonderful contributions. Before I knew it, acquaintances became friends and enemies became closest of friends. It gave me more joy than I could possibly have imagined.

"I just felt I needed to personally share this wonderful news with you and to thank you for believing in me."

Queen Patricia, of course, was overwhelmed and speechless. "You are so welcome, good sir. Would you please come in and have a cup of tea?"

The End

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Let our failures be the impetus to rage on, forward without impedance to success and victory!

Sunday, September 23, 2018



Burl and Earl were two bumbling idiots. They weren’t born that way, but as it happens, they were walking very fast down a lane and Burl accidentally hit his head on a low-hanging tree branch. This caused him to have frequent headaches and sneezing fits. It also caused his head to ricochet and hit Earl in the head. That gave him a headache but it was not contagious. It did, however, cause him to have coughing fits. 

Worst of all, whenever they were together, they would experience the most unpleasant events that should be avoided at all costs. (If you ever have sneezing and coughing fits beware of this phenomenon, however unlikely it may occur). When Burl felt a headache and sneezing fit coming on, and he was in the presence of Earl, they would both be transported to an unpleasant situation and transmuted into some other form. The only escape was when Earl had a coughing spell which would place them back to where they belonged and back to their original, albeit undesirable condition. 

They eventually learned to avoid each other at all costs. Burl often carried a case of Kleenex, while Earl carried a case of Hall’s Cherry flavored cough drops.  They also learned to avoid low-hanging branches.

One day, however, the fate god found them separated by many miles. He had waited patiently for the two to merge and they would not. Therefore, he blew really hard and sent a strong gust of wind that caused them to bump into each other really hard. They were so fat by that time that only their bellies could collide so they managed to bounce off of each other. They were so heavy though that they landed only inches from each other. When they came to their senses (what little they had) they realized that, once again, they were in close proximity, and were horrified.

“What the devil!” They exclaimed in unison. Burl’s headache started coming on. Immediately, with what speed they could muster, they slowly rose to their feet and tried to put distance between them. 

After five minutes Burl felt a tingling sensation in his nasal cavity. 

“Oh, dear!” he said.

“What,” queried Earl. “Oh please don’t tell me.”

“I’m afraid so,” replied Burl. Then he commenced a sneezing fit that shook the ground and sent the nearby groundhog scurrying for cover.


The next instant two zebras found themselves grazing somewhere in the Serengeti.

Burl finished wiping his nostrils with his hoof and got mud on his face. It must have just rained. It smelled like rain and his mane was dripping wet. He looked around and asked, “Where are we?” He assumed the other zebra was Earl because he was standing about the same distance as Earl was before. Besides, the other zebra was looking at him with much disdain. He looked like he had just stepped out of the shower and forgot his towel. He probably would have whacked Burl with it somehow, but he also had only hoofs and no hands to whack a towel with.

“We’re in the Serengeti”, Earl growled (if a zebra could growl of course). “Somewhere in the middle of freaking Africa!”

“Sorry about that, Earl.” Burl remorsed. “I couldn’t help it.” He reached for a Kleenex only to realize that zebras don’t carry Kleenex. He thought to himself, “When I get back I am going to send a case of Kleenex to the Serengeti zebras.”

“That’s okay, Burl.” mused Earl. “ This place isn’t quite so bad. There’s enough room for me to get away from you. And the grass is okay.” He reached down and grabbed a clump of moist green stuff, not realizing he was about to eat a grub worm who was heading home after a long day at work. The crunch of protein was satisfying to Earl.

Burl looked at Earl and asked,”Do you suppose you could cough to get us out of here?”

“I don’t feel it coming on, so we may be awhile.” Earl kept chewing the grass and grubworms.

“Oh,” replied Burl. Although he too was enjoying the panoramic vista and grass and grubworms, he was longing for home (but not the low-hanging branches).

There was a rustling in the tall grass behind them.

“Earl?” said Burl.

“What?” asked Earl.

“I think we’re not alone.”


They flicked their ears back to hear more clearly and held their tails still. They sniffed the air. The aroma smelled like a feline with bad breath, like when Burl’s cat would wake him in the morning after eating a rat in the basement and wanted to go outside to relieve himself.  That would make him sneeze of course, but he loved the cat.

The thought sent Burl into a sneezing fit.

“Here we go again,” said Earl.


Two flowers stood basking in the sunlight. They felt an urge to keep looking at the sun. It felt good all the way down to their roots.

“Now where are we?” asked Burl, assuming the other one was Earl. Flowers don’t have mouths to talk with, so somehow they managed to talk in plant talk. Since they had no mouths, they couldn’t cough either. They almost had noses once to sneeze with when, many millennia ago the first flower to start to have a nose was promptly smashed by a stegosaurus who apparently had a distaste for flowers with noses. Ever since then, flowers learned to smell in other ways.

“I think we are in a sunflower field.  That would explain why we keep looking at the sun which would burn our eyes if we had eyes.”

“Then I’m glad we don’t have eyes,” said Burl. “We would be blind sunflowers. What would the other sunflowers think?”

“They would be blind, too,” Earl reminded him.

“Oh yeah. Right.” Burl felt like a bumbling idiot.

“We also have these things on our face that feel ready to pop off,” Earl noticed.

“You mean sunflower seeds?” asked Burl.

“Yes,” Earl responded. “and these petals around our faces which I assume are yellow.” He tried pointing at them but his leaves would not move except when the wind blew. It was a gentle breeze that day so it was hard to point.

“I like being a sunflower,” mused Burl.

“Well, I don’t!” grumbled Earl the sunflower curmudgeon. He knew he couldn’t cough since he didn’t have a mouth, but maybe if he imagined it hard enough he could think he was coughing. So he began to imagine really hard, with all the flower power he could muster, to whip up a coughing frenzy never before seen by man or plant.  His roots started to wiggle. His stem started to shake. His leaves and petals started to flutter. 

“What are you doing?” asked Burl, very puzzled.

“Be quiet and watch,” Earl ordered.

Suddenly, Earl shook hard like a reed in a mighty wind, and all his seeds popped off like popcorn at once.


Two extremely fat men near a low-hanging branch and a groundhog looked at each other with a mixture of surprise, delight, and horror.  Four fat legs and a groundhog never parted company so fast, neither before nor since.

The End.