issue #27 - moni's top 10 minus 6


                          * Fear only shows up when it 
                             KNOWS YOU WILL SUCCEED! *
                                  moni (c) 1999


1)  FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE (issue #5) - motivational insight from Shenita 


Sitting in my "supervisor's" office, I was offended by her request for me 
to "justify my position." parent's 'ain't raised no fool'. So,
I refused to do it.

Justify my position!?!  What exactly does she want me to say that my actions 
haven't shown?  What exactly is she implying?  Did she think that I would 
get up, go to the office I occupy, sit at the desk I use, start up Microsoft 
Word and create a memorandum that would convince her about something that my 
everyday actions exhibit?  If I have to justify myself, I don't think that 
she could possibly have the ability to comprehend me. 

To my supervisor, I thought, "All the work I do around here and you're asking 
me to 'justify' my position?!?!?" I didn't articulate that but I'm glad that 
I said what I said. "You hired me, you're my supervisor...YOU justify my 

At home that evening and for the next week, I started to think about all of 
the things that I have done in life that I thought would "net me that happiness" 
at the end of the rainbow that I'm always searching for. I started to imagine 
what type of world it would be if God turned to me and said, "Please justify 
why you are here."  I believe that my actions exemplify why I am here.  A 
Course In Miracles teaches that "[y]our faith is placed in the most trivial 
and insane symbols: pills, money, 'protective' clothing, influence, prestige, 
being liked, knowing the 'right' people, and an endless list of forms of 
nothingness that you endow with magical powers."

I remembered how true this was recently when I looked at the calendar and 
noticed that I had been sick for 20 consecutive days.  That night I sat 
in the center of my bed, "Indian style," palms facing upward in an open 
and receptive position, spine straight in alignment between mother earth 
and the heavens, and with an authoritative voice, I spoke to my body and 
the universe, "With the help of God, tonight will be the last night that 
I am sick!"  In spite of all the medication that I had taken over the 
course of those 20 days, the next morning I felt better than I had in 
over a month!

This world would have me to believe that I need my job to sustain myself. 
This world tries to convince me that I need "connections" to get a better 
job.  This world tries to impress upon me that I need a licensed doctor, 
a prescription and an insurance card to heal myself.  But I now know 
differently.  The love of God sustains me and I am under no law but God's. 
You better believe that ever since I've been armed with this "new knowledge," 
which is really as old as father time, that as soon as I find my receipt...
I'm going to ask for a full refund!

Be Blessed!

Please feel free to send your love and comments to Shenita a/k/a Queen 
at (svanish@aigschool).


2)  ANOTHER FASCINATING POETS NICHE MEMBER - When this member joined the Poets
Niche about a month ago, I didn't realize that I would be in store to meet yet 
another extraordinary person.  As much as I wanted to be selfish and keep him 
for myself, I've decided to share him with the rest of you.  I also had no clue 
of what to expect after I emailed him my questions.  He said, "I am honored and 
I am mentally tired.  I never reflected, even a little bit, on what you asked 
me to do.  I bow in honor of your ability to cut to the chase and do this kind 
of interview without ever really having met me or seen me, or heard of me."  
WITHOUT ANY FURTHER ADO, I give you Shaun Cecil:

moni:  Shaun, please tell us a little something about yourself (occupation(s), 
hobbies, etc.).  

Shaun:  Moni, I make my living as a Paramedic/Director for a small rural 
ambulance service in SW Oklahoma.  I am also a Volunteer Firefighter, an 
EMT instructor for the local Vo-Tech system, and a single father of three.  
Of all the jobs that I have, I enjoy being a father the most.  I am a 
workaholic, but the father thing has a hold on me which keeps me from losing 
my perspective and just drowning in my jobs.  However, I feel my calling from 
God is being a people advocate.  At one time, I thought it was being a Pastor, 
which I did that for a period of time.  Then one day I woke up and realized I 
was developing tunnel vision of the world as a Pastor.  So, I continued in my 
first fascination, that of medicine, particularly paramedicine and began my 
occupation of helping people, talking, listen, crying, laughing, and in general, 
loving all kinds of people.  

My hobbies are reading everything from the label on the cereal box to the
roadside historical markers.  I enjoy a good game of racquetball with my 
oldest son, love playing paintball with my middle son, and harassing/
talking with my daughter.  But my favorite hobby is arguing.  Get me in a 
good argument, and that's more enjoyable than a good meal, and I have not 
missed many meals in my life.

moni:  As a paramedic, nurse and/or general care-provider, you have witnessed 
life and death is such extraordinary means. Do you find that writing about a 
particular situation or rescue, helps you deal with this extremely stressful 

Shaun:  It's funny, we think that EMS is a stressful occupation, but when I 
was a Pastor, I had a great deal more stress.  There are times when what I 
see is ugly, despicable, and cruel, but that's life.  I write about what I 
think, and sometimes what I see.  "Steven" is a poem that was twenty years 
in the making.  I never could find the words to say what it was I felt each 
time I rolled up on a SIDS call.  Some poems, I don't share with anyone, 
except those who were on the call with me.  Most of the time, even as I cry, 
something crops up that I can laugh at.  Laughter is my greatest stress relief, 
and a lot of my poetry is the result of my other hobby, stand-up comedy.  I love 
to find things to make fun of, serious things--like falling in love, AGAIN--and 
playing tag with a bear, for a Fish Story.  Why be serious, except when you have 
to be.  I promise you God has a sense of humor, and he displays it often and in 
a myriad of ways.
moni:  Do you belong to any other poetry group(s), and if so, what's unique 
about their group(s) as compared to the Poets Niche? 

Shaun:  No.  I've never done much with my poetry because I've always felt that 
I was nothing more than a fourth rate poet.  The Poets Niche is my real first 
experience, except for the obligatory creative writing class in college.
moni:  Who has been the biggest influence in your life? 

Shaun:  My parents, in varied and sundry ways.  My dad taught me concentration 
and the value of working hard.  He started out as an airman in the US Air Force, 
then without a college degree, made it to Officer's Candidate School and Pilot 
Training and a Retired Major.  My mother, on the other hand, taught me the value 
of neatness, manners, self-discipline and being non-judgmental.  Both my parents 
demanded the best and expected the best of me.  Without that base, I would have 
been a wanderer and never done a thing.  I like to daydream to much.
moni:  Who is your favorite writer and/or poet, and can you quote a line 
or passage from their work which fits your philosophy and lifestyle? 

Shaun:  This is most unfair.  There are so many, but Carl Sandburg and 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning would top my list.  My signature CAS II is 
Carl Sandburg the II...delusion that has stayed with me since high school 
(honestly it is my name, last, middle, first with the II thrown in for 
effect, but I did it because I loved Sandburg's writings).  Two poems 
come to mind that I love of Sandburg's...


"The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open, asking held out and waiting.
For we meet by one or the other."

And the other is "Passers-by"

"Out of your many faces flash memories to me....
Written on 
Your mouths
And your throats
I read them
When you passed by."

How much do we miss, because we are to selfish to see others?

And EB Browning, her sonnets of love, 

"Past and Future" 

"My future will not copy fair my past,
On any leaf but heaven...
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and if God choose,
I shall not love thee better after death."

I will leave that to you to interpret it your own way.

moni:  Not many of our members know that you have written something like 
a mini-series of poems--The Rusty Knight. How did this all get started 
and what possessed you to continue writing this series? 

Shaun:  I have been working on the Rusty Knight series for almost twenty 
years, and I have no idea why I kept working on it.  I have about thirty 
different versions of "Princess" and according to my mood, I never know 
which I like best.  There's no doubt, however, that Rusty is me..."Torn, 
Ragged Old Knight, Spirit worn and bent, Not an inspiring sight."  As to 
why I kept writing it, who knows, crazy I guess.  I needed to put it to
bed and go on with other things.

moni:  I love your use of rhyme in your poems. How did you develop your 

Shaun:  I love the sounds that words make, I love direct rhymes, and sliding 
rhymes.  I find myself listening to songs for the rhymes or not rhymes, how 
the words are put together.  My style is what came about as a result of a love 
of words, pretty words, harsh words, sharp and dull words.  I love the English 

moni:  Since I wasn't familiar with some of the King Arthur type dialect 
you used in the Rusty Knight poems, I must admit I had to pull out my trusty 
dictionary to look up the meaning of a few words.  What intrigued you about 
this particular period, and did you find it easy to use this language to 
authenticate your poems? 

Shaun:  As a preacher, King James was the established language that I was 
familiar I think I have a dictionary like yours moni.  And,
anyone who has read King Arthur and the Knights of Round Table and seen the 
movie Camelot more times than I need to admit to, pretty much explains my 

moni:  How do you find the time to write, and did you ever think that your 
poetry would be read and enjoyed on such a large scale? 

Shaun:  In my house, in the pockets of my shirts, pants and drawers are bits 
of poetry.  If they got to the washer before I got them out, of course, they 
are lumps of waste now.  Some of my best thoughts have gone the spinmeister 
way.  My most difficult thing writing is remembering the thought that I just 
had (senility).  Finding the time to write can be answered in one word--INSOMNIA.  
As far as my poetry being enjoyed by a large audience, hmmm, I think we shall 
wait and see that verdict.  I know my daughter is my number one fan, and loves 
to read my new poems.  But the boys, oh, the ill-disguised look of horror they 
give me when I ask them to read one.  So, we shall see, shan't we?

moni:  Without giving away Rusty Knight's fate, are you working on another 
series/saga; and if so, what century? 

Shaun:  The Rusty Knight series has taken me almost twenty years to write.  
I can't imagine that it will ever truly end.  After all God, gives us a 
lifetime to paint our own portraits, how can I paint Rusty in just a few
poems?  As far as another saga per se, well, off and on, I keep seeing
this archer banding a bow in the forest green...

moni:  Finally, part of my goal with the Poets Niche was to link poets 
together, and create an atmosphere of support for poets to discuss and 
share their ideas about poetry.  How would you best describe the Poets 
Niche to someone searching for a poetry group to belong to? 

Shaun:  I think you have succeeded in attaining your goal.  The one thing 
that kept me submitting my poetry, were the comments made by some really 
awesome people, Rose, moni, and several others.  They gave some definition 
to my poetry and made me feel like even I had a voice in this medium and 
by golly they listened.  I think that Carl Sandburg would have loved to 
have what we have here, and he would have made himself at home just as I 
have.  I would tell any aspiring poet that this is the place, once here, 
kick off the shoes, enjoy and be enjoyed.

Now that I have gotten all this off my chest, can I have my twenty dollars 
moni, and can I go back to the island?

ALRIGHT FUNNY GUY!!  Obviously, Shaun is joking about the money as part 
of his stand-up comedy routine!  One final bit of information, WHICH IS 
NO JOKING MATTER, Shaun celebrated his 43rd birthday on April 9th.  HAPPY 

Please feel free to send your birthday wishes, comments and/or jokes to 
Shaun at ( 


3)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - Pull up a chair, get a cup of coffee or tea, and sit 
back and enjoy the entire mini-series of the Rusty Knight:

RUSTY KNIGHT by Shaun Cecil aka CASII -
KNIGHT AND DRAGON by Shaun Cecil aka CASII -
PRINCESS by Shaun Cecil aka CASII -
E'VENS CASTLE by Shaun Cecil aka CASII -
KNIGHT'S END by Shaun Cecil aka CASII -
KNIGHT'S REQUIEM by Shaun Cecil aka CASII -

You can find Poems of the Week 33, and all previous poems, on the Poets 
Niche website at ( 


4)  INTERVIEW UPDATE - To date, I have interviewed ten members of the Poets 
Niche.  I started interviewing for two reasons: (1) to link the poets with 
their poems (why they write poetry, and why they have a particular style of 
writing), but more importantly; (2) in anticipation of our OFFLINE PARTY!  
By the time we all gather in Atlanta on August 5-8, 1999, you'll be able to 
say, "Hey, I read about you, and I loved your interview.  I'm also a--student, 
singer, minister, school teacher, computer tech, paralegal, paramedic, Ph.D. 
candidate,  doctor, single mother and/or father, candlestick maker, etc.  
I love your writing style.  And, your emails of encouragement inspired me 
to keep writing."  I hope you'll let me know if I've done a good job so far 
(even if that means telling me I'm boring you to death).

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

much love


       (dedicated to Rusty Knight) 

He was tucked away counting sheep, because he 
could not sleep.

A breeze entered the room, and the warmth of 
her settled beside him.

She was only there to watch him close his eyes 
because she knew there would be no sleep without 
her in his arms.

As he wondered about his luck, she nudged her 
body next to him, and threw back the crisp 

His spin tingled.

Love...was the moist feelings soon to erupt, not 
of out passion, but from his tears of joy because
she was his only true love.

He vowed that nothing in life or death would 
separate them, and wherever she laid her body 
he would be next to her for all eternity.

Now asleep, she disappeared into a vapor of 
a honeysuckle breeze.

She would return tomorrow night so he wouldn't 
have to count sheep.

Monica D. Blache (c) 1999



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