issue #21 - moni's top 10 minus 1
March 1, 1999


                    "They say that God is everywhere, and yet 
                       we always think of him as a recluse."
                             (Poet, Emily Dickinson)


1)  CNN reported that in the next two weeks, Congress is going to vote on 
allowing telephone companies to charge for Internet access.  That means, 
every time we make a long distance e-mail we will receive a long distance
charge.  This will get costly.  Please visit to the following website 
( gov/writerep) AND complain.  Complain to your Congressman.
Don't allow this to pass.  Pass this on to your friends.  It is urgent! 
I hope all of you will pass this on to all your friends and family. All 
of us have an interest in this one.  PLEASE FORWARD TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW 


2)  GREETING COMMITTEE COORDINATOR - David Weeks (aka Ancient Tradition),
stepped up to the plate and has volunteered to be our Poets Niche Greeting 
Committee Coordinator.  Also helping David meet and greet our new members 
is Carmelita Burgos.  Every week they will keep us posted on new members 
joining the group, and I'll share this information with you in the top 
10.  DAVID and CARMEN THANKS for being on the FRONTLINE and making sure 


questions about submitting your poems to your group, please read the 
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES posted on the Poets Niche website ( 
We hope this will help you get started, and we look forward to reading 
your poems.  Please feel free to contact me at ( 
should you need any further assistance.


4)  TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF GIVING TO OTHERS - Poet, songwriter and Poets
Niche member, TINA MARIE CLARK, was recognized for her hard work and 
recently featured in the New Orleans Times Picayune.  During Black History 
Month, she organized a poetry reading program for students at a local 
elementary school.  Also on the program was entertainer Charmaine Neville
and local news anchor Sally-Ann Roberts.  Tina wrote a song for Sally-Ann's 
organization "Each One Save One," and she is waiting to hear on the board's 
approval.  Her personal experience of being in and out of foster homes, 
is why she is committed to helping foster children feel loved and supported.

Tina's songwriting ability has also been nationally recognized.  Several 
years ago she wrote, "JAH (GOD) Made the Universe Love Your Music," as a 
tribute to Bob Marley.  After collaborating with a local reggae band, Irie 
Vibrations, she sent the tape to Marley's widow, Rita Marley.  Tina received 
a call from Mrs. Marley, who not only thanked her for the song, but expressed 
her intentions to include her song on an upcoming album.  

Tina has also written songs dealing with the AIDS epidemic, and for James 
Darby, the New Orleans youngster who was killed soon after writing to 
President Clinton to stop the violence in his neighborhood because did not 
believe he would survive.  After the Oklahoma bombing and seeing the picture 
of the little girl in the firefighter's arms, she wrote "Who Could Have the 
Heart."  On April 19th, Tina has been invited to Oklahoma to hear her song 
being played for the families of those innocent victims.  Please mark your 
calendars and turn on the news because you will not want to miss this most 
memorable event!  When Tina returns from Oklahoma, she has agreed to share 
her thoughts with her Poets Niche family.   

I have had the pleasure of talking with Tina on several occasions.  I asked 
her what did she want her words to do?  Without hesitation she said, "Because 
I feel everyone's pain, I want my words to touch the heart of someone in need."  

Andddd, Tina also mentioned in her interview how she found the Poets Niche.  
Thanks for spreading the word!!  Please feel free send your love and support 


5)  ERYN HEWITT DOES IT AGAIN - Xavier University has invited our own 
ERYN HEWITT to read her poem "Slaves Forever," on March 20, 1999.  
Wild horses couldn't keep me from attending this event.  I'LL KEEP 
YOU POSTED.  Andddd, this email was sent to Eryn about her poem which 
was featured in Poems of the Week 21:

From: on Wed, Feb 24, 1999 6:18 PM
Subject: (no subject)

Such a wise old soul encased in a young body.  We have just finish 
reviewing your piece "Slaves Forever."  This proves age is nothing but 
a number.  Please keep writing these insightful poems.  They are truly 
a blessing.

moni's  response:  Dear Shawn:

I appreciate your responding to me regarding Eryn's poem "Slaves Forever."  
After reading your message, I immediately called Eryn and read it to her 
over the phone.  She was delighted to hear that you enjoyed her poem and 
that you called her a "wise old soul."  I am forwarding your message to 
her mother so she can share in Eryn's joy.  I'm positive Eryn will share 
your message with her teachers, classmates, friends and family.  Shawn, 
again thanks for taking the time to respond.  Because of your kindness, 
Eryn (along with everyone else), will be smiling for days.  
From:   Galina Hewitt
Date: 	Thu, Feb 25, 1999 12:51 PM


I received the email.  Please keep the encouraging words coming.  I will 
pass this on to Eryn's teacher. 



I spoke with Gaye the next morning, and she said Eryn was soooo excited 
that I called. ("Mama, I spoke with Ms. Monica again, and she read a
 message to me about my poem.")  Gaye said that Eryn was still smiling 
the next morning when she left for school.


6)  SENT IN BY LENORA DEVINE (author unknown) - May I suggest the 
following rules for planting your garden:

PLANT three rows of squash:
1.  Squash gossip
2.  Squash criticism
3.  Squash indifference

PLANT seven rows of peas:
1.  Prayer
2.  Promptness
3.  Perseverance
4.  Politeness
5.  Preparedness
6.  Purity; and
7.  Patience

1.  Let us be unselfish and loyal
2.  Let us be faithful to duty
3.  Let us search the scriptures
4.  Let us not be weary in well-doing
5.  Let us be obedient in all things
6.  Let us be truthful
7.  Let us love one another

NO GARDEN  is complete without turnips:
1.  Turn up for church
2.  Turn up for meetings, in prayer, and Bible study
3.  Turn up with a smile, even when things are difficult
4.  Turn up with determination to do your best in God's service.

AFTER PLANTING, may you "Grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord.


7)  COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY - Below is this week's poem for 
"Comments From The Peanut Gallery" critique (please visit http:// poets/peanuts0.html for specific Peanut Gallery 
submission rules).  Members that wish to critique this piece should
reply DIRECTLY TO THE MODERATOR ( is guest moderator
this week); please indicate if you wish to remain anonymous. Commentary 
will be posted to the next edition of "Moni's Top 10" as well as to the 
Peanut Gallery webpage.  Feel free to email me at ( 
with any questions or concerns.
Comments from the poet(s):

None; generally (though not always), I leave the interpretation to the 
reader; also, I'd like to have this as close to "real life" critiquing 
(i.e., unfiltered) as possible.  So, gimme yer best shot, y'all...

This week's poem:  to reach out, blindly, over the distance
Author:  /bams (Rose Cooper)
Copyright Rose Cooper, 1998

to reach out, blindly, over the distance

a strange, cold, sorrowful anger
crept between them.  no RSVP was given,
no clue, no hint.  no OUCH! heard.
one day: love, sweetness, tender care.  the next:
a strange, cold, sorrowful anger crept in.
it was just...there.  do you see?

and one of them was lost
as to why the guest of dishonour arrived, unsummonsed.
 [so she thought. or did she unknowingly place that call?]

it left her powerless to know which room to clean,
which penance remained to be paid, which apology to say.
      afraid to even speak her fear,
lest it become real, in the way that Words Mean Things.

in the way that Words cannot be fully taken back, once said.
in the way that "sorry" only means regret and remorse,
not "this didn't happen. it was nothing. you must forget it."

was this the problem? was this what kept them apart?
the fear of creating the reality thus feared?
is a falsehood, yet unspoken, any less a lie?



8)  I remember smiling while leaving work and feeling a two-bit buzz. 
There's nothing like divine love especially when loving me for me!  

      	SMILING by LeNora Devine -
      	leaving work by Sandi Spruitt -
      	TWO-BIT BUZZ by Kevin Volpe -
      	I REMEMBER by Ghada El Kurd -
      	DIVINE LOVE by Monique Fradieu -
      	LOVING ME FOR ME by Renee Davis -

These poems are from some of our newest members (plus a veteran, but her 
first submission).  I invite you to review this weeks FEATURED POETS in 


9)  IT'S ALL IN THE APPROACH - Have you ever noticed that people are more
willing to help you get things done if you approach them the right way?
Being UP-FRONT about what you need is the first step in receiving assistance.  
HOW you ask for what you need is the next step on the ladder of success.  
Approach them with a SMILE, because this is the first and last thing that 
person will remember about you.  PLANNING and TIMING are essential.  Make 
sure all your ducks are in a row so you do not waste valuable time.  The 
best time to ask that important question is when the person is in a good 
mood.  And finally, think POSITIVE!!

Below is moni's poem of the week.  Your comments are always greatly 

much love



any memories of what happened?

the door was locked, so i must've let him in.
he said he was my new best friend.  

there's a place underneath the skin no one 
should go, but i now know.

his sweaty hands anchored my cries down, 
as the sound fell to the ground.

content to leave me sprawled on a cold floor of
shame, he got up now that this beast had been tamed.

he left through the same door that family and friends 
enter, never looking back to see the damage he left 
curled up in the center.

i washed off the self-respect i'd gained and watched 
it swirl down the drain  

nothing grows where his footsteps trampled the early 
spring bloom, and i'm a prisoner shackled to nothing 
but gloom.

i forgot that there was space between yes and no.

and that a gentle touch didn't sting or bruise

and saying i love you isn't an excuse for how it 
is gained

or that the breeze between my legs was comfortable 
until invaded by lust

i forgot the simple things like being free to 
think my own thoughts 

or waking up with the sun on my left and no gun on 
my right, and hoping that his weight would get lighter

i forgot what it was like to walk down the street with 
my head held high and not afraid to see that same look 
in someone else's eyes

there are times when the uninvited pieces of forgotten 
quiet tries to protect me from losing my mind

perched on the window of insanity, i ask my shadow 
to help me pick up the pieces of my dignity

i still have a hard time believing i survived.




so he'll remember hearing himself scream "noooo" 
as his new best friend presses his body against 





Monica D. Blache (c) 1999


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