issue #30 - moni's top 10 E-ZINE!
May 3, 1999


          "When you were born, you were crying and everyone around 
            you was smiling.  Live your life so that when you die, 
      you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying."
                           (AUTHOR UNKNOWN)


1)  WHAT'S IN A NAME? - Keeping up with things happening in "Cyberland,"
moni's top 10 has now evolved into an online magazine of sorts.  Since
I'm not the kind a person who spreads rumors, here's what folks are
saying about THE 10.  (The names of the innocent victims have been
changed to protect their reputations).

4/19/99 - The Devil was doing everything in His Power to prevent moni's
top 10 from going out. (please no more truth serum -- My paying job
interfered with me working on the 10 during working hours and sending it
out before 2:00, hence this email).  "You're probably busy, so I won't
keep ya; just wanted to say that I missed seeing your Top 10 today.  Hope
things are well."  (From Where's moni's top 10?).

4/19/99 - "Beautiful poem moni.  I'm going to share it with my class
today!" (From a teacher in Atlanta).

4/20/99 - From the Inspirer himself, Walt Goodridge - (I'm only
mentioning his name because his inspirations have ruined enough lives). 
"Fabulous! superb!  inspiring! funny! Your answers to the interview
questions were all of that!"

4/28/99 - "Hey Honey!!! I had to write to tell you that I never knew we
had the same "work title" -- Amanuensis.  (Sidebar Your Honor please
regarding the comment about Amanuensis, which is defined as a "slave ..." 
(A/man/u/en/is - Anytime a (A man) is involved, a Wo/man is a "slave"!!!)
-- Sidebar over).  "I love it!!!  I also believe like you do, one day the
law will save me with the insanity defense.  I loved your interview
because we also have the same theory on life.  I am just thankful for the
seconds, minutes, hours, etc., for which I live.  I can't say what I will
be doing 5 years from now, not even 24 hours from now.  God blessed me
with this day and this day is truly a blessing.  I've never met you, but
I feel like I've known you a long time.  Thank you for being you!!" 
(From an Amanuensis shackled to her desk somewhere in Chicago). 

4/30/99 - "I caught a few of the Top 10's and all I can say to you my
sista is you off the hizzookkkk*laughin*.  You be having me on the flo'
crackin up."  (From a struggling student starved for any kind of news
from the outside world, even if it includes moni's top 10). 

AND YOUR POINTS IS????  In celebration of moni's top 10 turning 30,
instead of a facelift, I thought a slight name change would be fitting
(since I can't fit anything else).  DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!  moni's top 10
will now be called:

	   * moni's top 10 E-Zine (THE OFFICIAL POETS NICHE E-ZINE) *


a)  POETRY YOU SAY - This section will be devoted strictly to issues
dealing with writing poetry, workshops, resources, and websites to
checkout on poetry.  Please feel free to email "ME" any suggestions you
may have to fill in the gaps so others can learn for your experience.

b)  GOOD NEWS - If you have any good and/or important news, please EMAIL
me your GOOD NEWS and I will share it with the group.  There's nothing
like GOOD NEWS to keep us inspired.

c)  FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE written by Shenita Vanish - Periodically,
Queen will motivate us with her insights on life and relationships.  WHEN

d)  SHORT, SHORT, REALLY SHORT STORIES - Since many of us also write
short stories, I thought now would be a good time to feature some of your
short stories on a trial basis.  Please email "ME" ONLY and "NOT" YOUR
GROUP, your short, short, really, short stories to be featured in
upcoming issues of THE 10.  If this is a hit (which I'm sure it will), we
YEAR 2000!!

e)  BOOK REVIEWS - If there are any books you want us to read, including
books of poetry, please email "ME" YOUR REVIEW to be included in future
issues of THE 10.

I would like to personally thank each and everyone of you for supporting
moni's top 10.  Your kindness has been overwhelming!!


2)  MOTHER - (AUTHOR UNKNOWN) - By the time the Lord made mothers, he was
into the sixth day working overtime.  

An Angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much time on this

The Lord answered and said, "Have you read the spec sheet on her?  She
has to be completely washable, but not plastic; have 200 movable parts,
all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that can
hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up;
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scrape knee to a broken heart;
and have six pairs of hands."

The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. "Six pairs of
hands!  No Way!" said the Angel.

The Lord replied, "Oh, it's not the hands that are the problem.  It's the
three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!" 

"And that's on the standard model?" the Angel asked. 

The Lord nodded in agreement, "Yep, one pair of eyes are to see through
the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though
she already knows.  Another pair in the back of her head, are to see what
she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair
are here in the front of her head.  They are for looking at an errant
child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even
saying a single word."

The Angel tried to stop the Lord.  "This is too much work for one day. 
Wait until tomorrow to finish."  

"But I can't!" The Lord protested, "I am so close to finishing this
creation that is so close to my own heart.  She already heals herself
when she is sick AND can feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and
can get a nine year old to stand in the shower."

The Angel moved closer and touched the woman.  "But you have made her so
soft, Lord."  

"She is soft," the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough.  You
have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."  

"Will she be able to think?" asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able
to reason, and negotiate." 

The Angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman's
cheek.  "Oops, it looks like you have a leak with this model.  I told you
that you were trying to put too much into this one."   

"That's not a leak," the Lord objected. "That's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the Angel asked. 

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow,
her disappointment, her pain, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride." 

The Angel was impressed.  "You are a genius, Lord.  You thought of
everything for this one.  You even created the tear!" 

The Lord looked at the Angel, smiled and said, "I'm afraid you are wrong
again, my friend.  I created the mother, but she created the tear!"


story was sent in by Rose Ford:  As always, I enjoy your 'top ten'.  I
saw in issue #29, that you asked  people to send in their good stories. 
Mine isn't much, but it meant a lot to me, and I wanted to share it with
you guys.  

I was in the doctor's office when a Jewish lady (whom I later found out
was a descendant of the Author, Ferrell Sams), asked me if she knew me. 
Well, being the total jerk that I can be sometimes, I thought, "Yeah
right!  You know we all look alike.  However, I said to her sweetly, "I
don't know ma'am, maybe we worked somewhere together?"

She said, "No, that's not it."  Then she reached into her purse and
WORDS, BOOK II," pointed to MY picture, and said, "Isn't that you?" 

I was dumbfounded!! I almost cried!!  Anyway, I just wanted to share this
with you.  God bless you and yours.

Rose, you better never leave home without one -- A PEN -- because you
never know when you will have to autograph one of YOUR BOOKS!!  That's
beautiful Rose, and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!


I received this second story from a paid informant:  

Informant's statement: "You know Shawn Goins right?  Well, he told me
that he's getting one of his poetry books published.  Aahhhhhh!!!!  Isn't
that great!!!  I told him I want a signed copy of his book when it comes
out.  I'm so proud of him, I don't know what to do.  Now I know I told
the right person about this, so spread the word to the Niche and have
them all give my boy his proper props."

Naturally, I had to double check this information, because once the paid
informant ate the last chip out of a large bag of chips (for future
reference, I pay informants in chips -- potato chips -- that is), I
didn't want this GOOD NEWS to go stale!

moni:  SHAWN!!!  A little birdie told me some GREAT NEWS ABOUT YOUR BOOK
BEING PUBLISHED!!! Do you mind sharing some of the details?

Shawn:  I wonder who that little birdie was??  Well the details are: I
sent out 6 copies of the book to 6 different publishers.  4 responded. 
Out of the 4 that have responded so far, 3 of them want to publish it.  I
received 1 reply Monday and the other 2 yesterday.  The title is "SOUL OF
THIS MAN".  It will be out in a couple of months. 

COPY OF YOUR BOOK?  Shaun, I will always be grateful that you agreed to
STAR is RISING, I hope you will allow me to interview you again after the
book hits BOOKSTORES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!!   &&&&I will go to jail
before I rat on my source/birdie!!!

Please feel free to send your love and support to Rose Ford at and Shawn Goins at  



4)  COMMENTS FROM ONE OF THE EDITORS - After one of my friends read the
first draft of "COME INTO OUR WHIRL," she emailed me this:  

"Certainly the journey of creating loving, dramatic, intimate, long
lasting impressions of these unique and inspirational poems probably
deserves a better commentary.  As I read each poem, all I kept saying to
myself was, "I will definitely run out and buy this book the minute it's
in the bookstores.  These "soon to be recognized poets in the literary
field," have much to be proud of, and I can say that I was the lucky one
to have read their poems in the first draft of "COME INTO OUR WHIRL". 
Anyone who buys this book will be able to identify with so many of the
candid words expressed in each poem.  You may even find the answers to
many of the questions you have asked yourself contained between the pages
of this wonderful book.  

I do not directly address the question of "WHY" one should read this
collection, but rather, "WHY NOT?"  Everyone can benefit from the insight
of these talented artists."


5)  SENDING ATTACHMENTS - Because some members are unable to DOWNLOAD
ATTACHED DOCUMENTS onto their computers, when submitting your poems for
review, please include your poems as part of the text in your EMAIL, and


6)  POST IT TO BULLETIN BOARD - Don't forget to use the Poets Niche
Bulletin Board to keep us up-to-date on events happening in and around
your town.  If you have an upcoming poetry reading, POST IT TO BULLETIN
BOARD.  If you have a booksigning, POST IT TO BULLETIN BOARD!  If there's
anything you want us to know, DON'T FORGET TO POST IT TO BULLETIN BOARD! 
As Johnny Cochran would say, "IF YOU KNOW IT, YOU MUST POST IT!"  


7)  THE A - Z OF FRIENDSHIP (AUTHOR UNKNOWN) sent in by Marilyn Marshall: 

               A Friend....

            (A)ccepts you as you are
            (B)elieves in "you"
            (C)alls you just to say "HI"
            (D)oesn't give up on you
            (E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
            (F)orgives your mistakes
            (G)ives unconditionally
            (H)elps you
            (I)nvites you over
            (J)ust "be" with you
            (K)eeps you close at heart
            (L)oves you for who you are
            (M)akes a difference in your life
            (N)ever judges
            (O)ffers support
            (P)icks you up
            (Q)uiets your fears
            (R)aises your spirits
            (S)ays nice things about you
            (T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
            (U)nderstands you
            (V)alues you
            (W)alks beside you
            (X)-plain things you don't understand
            (Y)ells when you won't listen and
            (Z)aps you back to reality
            always loves you

Thanks Marilyn!


8)  BOOK REVIEW by NYRA PIERCE - (Nyra is a freelance writer, and one of
my co-workers):


This book is a very good read.  For those of us who are familiar with
Pearl's plays and other writings, you will find the beginning of this
book a little out of her usual writing style.  In other words, she begins
with a sister-girl type conversation with herself.  However, this will
grab your attention because we can all certainly relate.  Once the wake
up call has been announced, she sucks you in and grabs you by the heart,
mind and soul and you belong to the book after that.  You are introduced
to Ava, her sister, in a way that makes you reflect on your own sibling
relationships.  You began to see insight into how you feel about things
either related or not related to the subject matter that you are reading. 
Instead of second guessing yourself, you begin to give it a SECOND
THOUGHT by revisiting the issues in your mind before throwing it out to
the world.  By the time she brings in Eddie into the story, you then
realize that her conversation is back to what you are normally!
used to hearing from Pearl.  But by then, you will have laughed, cried,
and suffered from sleep deprivation by trying to read just one more
chapter.  The reviews are true -- IT'S GOOD!  And, I have one word for it


9)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - In honor of MOTHER'S DAY, this week's poems are
dedicated to MOTHERS!!!  Our featured poets are:

         DARK GLASSES by Logan Sky
         YOUR GIFT TO ME by Shawn A. Goins
         planted by the water by /bams
         CONCEPTION OF YOUR MIND (MOTHER) by David L. Weeks
         ODE TO ALL MOTHERS by Flite

You can read these lovely poems and dedications in POEMS OF THE WEEK 36
at (  Please feel free to send your comments and
love to our featured poets!

Correction:  Rose Ford sent this in:

<>  This is probably why 'Peeps
haven't sent them in, because we think we are two months too late. (LOL)

moni:  Good catch!!  I have received 5 poems so far and will correct the
error in the next top 10!  I think because I started my email with
Mother's Day is on May 9...folks figured I was crazy and sent them in
anyway.  HAHAHA!!  Let's see if I can screw up FATHER'S DAY and make it
"nine" months late!

Poems of the Week 37 will also be devoted to poems for MOTHER'S DAY! 
Please email "ME" ONLY, your MOTHER'S DAY poem(s) so they can be featured
in Poems of the Week 37, on Monday, MAY 10, 1999.  


10)  LOW MAN ON THE TOTEM POLE (moni's personal commentary) - Working in
the corporate arena for over 20 years, I've learned several lessons about
integrity and self-preservation.  Many times I wanted to shout out to
those making decisions about my job performance and salary, "Hey wait a
minute, I did that, not so and so!"  Therefore, because I prefer to do
things quietly and "behind the scenes" without much fanfare, sometimes
I'm overlooked.  Recently, I decided to take my great Aunt Clara's
advice, which didn't mean much to me at 13 or even 17, but holds true

1)  "Those always waving their hands for attention (Hey, look at me, I'm
over here.  Didn't you notice me?) may get the initial recognition, but
will one day get their hands cutoff"; and

2)  "It's okay to be the low man on the totem pole, because everyone else
has to stand on "YOUR" strong shoulders to get to the top.  But when YOUR
shoulders giveway to the weight of those on top, the man on top and those
in between, will fall, but YOU will be the one still standing!"

Below is moni's poem of the week.  Your honest feedback is greatly
appreciated and always welcomed. 

Peace and Blessings



Love's blindness can be like a cancer, slowly 
eating away at the core of one's soul and the 
foundation of one's relationship;

Unfortunately, even with both eyes open, love 
can be so blind that the obvious truths are
never seen;

It selectively chooses when to put the blinders 
on, as if the heart knows what it wants to see;

But when love is pure and untainted by trickery; 


Monica Blache (c) 

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