To: Poets Niche
Issue #47 - moni's top 10 E-ZINE (minus 1) 
(The Poets Niche Official Weekly Newsletter) 
Tuesday, September 28, 1999 

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              "True friendship is like sound health, 
         the value of it is seldom known until it is lost." 
                     - Charles Caleb Colton 

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This week's issue: 

- moni's POEM OF THE WEEK 

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1)  If YOU were born between September 23 through October 23, YOU must be
a LIBRA.  Your symbol, the scales, represents justice and balance.  You
strive for mental equilibrium and harmony in all aspects of your life and

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2)  DON'T FORGET, if you're in the following cities, we invite you to
meet and greet the featured poets in COME INTO OUR WHIRL, as well as hear
them perform at two upcoming WHIRL TOUR EVENTS!! 

CITY:  Dallas, Texas 
DATE: Wednesday - September 29, 1999 
4:30 - 7:30PM 
8201 Preston Rd. 
Dallas, Texas 75225 
(214) 265-7389 
Contact: Katherine Smith at ( 
KAT, WISHING YOU THE BEST ON TOMORROW, and don't forget to give us ALL

DATE: Saturday - October 2, 1999 
TIME:  Approx 6:00PM 
LOCATION: Laugh Is Hope Comedy Club 
East 39th Street &Park Avenue 
New York City, NY 
Contact: Walt at ( 

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3)  SURVEY QUESTION - I'm already planning our next INTERNATIONAL
CONVENTION, in New Orleans, Louisiana.  For the past several years, the
City of New Orleans has been the proud host of the Essence Music
Festival,which is held during the Fourth of July Weekend.  Thousands of
people flock to the City to participate in several workshops and
seminars, such as Getting Rich in America and/or You Can Change Your
Life.  But the fun doesn't stop there.  At night, the Essence partygoers
also enjoy the musical performances by entertainers such as the great
Etta James, the smooth sounds of Will Downing and Gerald Albright, and
are educated about the facts of life by Lauryn Hill. 

With that being said, I thought it would be a good idea to have the next
Poets Niche International Convention on June 28-30, 2000, just prior to
Essence Festival.  This will give everyone the opportunity to enjoy all
the festivities both events will definitely have to offer.  Please pick
which dates below would be best for you to attend our next convention: 

a) June 28-30 (my choice because of the Essence Festival) 
b) July 7-9 
c) August 4-6 
d) September 1-3 (Labor Day Weekend) 

Please email ME ONLY at as soon as possible with
your comments and/or suggestions. 

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4)  SOLUTION TO EMAIL WOES - Here's an alternative to those of you having
problems receiving non-work related  email on the job - GET A SECOND
EMAIL ADDRESS.  Several internet companies offer FREE email accounts
[e.g., ( or (].  Now, all your Poets
Niche and non-work related information can be emailed to you at your
second email address.  Please remember that we cannot control the number
of emails you receive at work if you subscribe to the Poets Niche using
your work email address.  A second email address will eliminate the
hassle and, could be the answer to your email woes!!! 

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5)  FROM THE KING'S HIGH CHAIR by Shaun Cecil (issue #2): 

The one thing that we poets love to celebrate is the very essence of
LIFE.  Life in its every fold, is examined, pressed and commented upon.
If there is a facet of life that has been missed, it is only because we
have not seen it yet.  And with a myriad of minds examining and
commenting, there is a multifaceted array of views to enjoy. 

Another aspect of life that poets have written about, cried about,
laughed about, romanticized over and lamented over, is women.  We have
spent centuries trying to capture the essence and the allure of women. 
And folks, not only male poets have failed, but female poets have also
failed.  Why?  Far be it, that I from the High Chair, can really give an
answer. However, since this is the place in which to whine about the
frailties and life's fragility -- women, wine and song -- I shall 
attempt to answer this question [at least half-heartedly, which is really
my forte in explaining any and everything].  And, I suppose I should warn
you, that before you try to read this explanation of the allure, mystery,
essence, and the spirituality of women, you should join me in a really
good bottle of wine.  For, with the headiness of a spinning room, and
offset keys, you will soon find yourself transported to a region where
what is about to be said, really makes sense.  Failing that, can I
suggest a good drink -- the Harvey Wallbanger.  After all, that was the
drink that Harvey mixed for himself and drank before he went in to have a
conversation with his wife.  He later copyrighted the name, and put it
out for the public good. 

Have you noticed that one thing that seems to fascinate men with women is
the mystery of "the woman" herself?  Men fall in love because they are
infatuated first with the very mystery of the woman that causes their
hearts to pound.  We [yes, I too, am one of the Million Men confused],
are constantly excited in trying to find out what makes women unique,
what makes them purr, what makes them move, smile, laugh, cry, angry and
love.  Just about every waking moment that men have, goes into the effort
of trying to figure out what it is about women that make them so
unforgettable to us.  And with the discipline of a mathematician, we try
this angle, that angle, this formula, that solution, and that equation.
We buy slide rules, calculators and tarot cards, just to "figure" out the
mystery of women, or that particular woman.  And the end result, we never
do and we never will. 

Sometimes the reason that we never figure certain things out is because
we're NOT given the chance.  After all, the giver of life is also the
very creator of the mystery.  She can do some wild things to create a
twisted plot, which would make Agatha Christie proud.  For example -- I
know this wonderful lady, a lady who would bust a button if she found out
that someone was having a birthday and SHE did not know about it.  A lady
who loves to shout "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" for the world to hear.  This woman
who is excited about life, and not just her own life, but others as well. 
Now, when HER birthday arrives, instead of just telling us outright the
day, she prefers to give the most obscure hint [more like clues such as 
*me**, see moni's top Issue #44] that only a few other "women" would pick
up.  After all, guys, we got to admit, yes, even us poet guys, that "we"
are rocks when it comes to picking up subtleties.  Now then, when "I" did
finally get slapped in the face with the realization that HER birthday
was on the 22nd, and I ask her to make sure (even after being slapped
with the information, I am still unsure of the total picture), I am told
that, "Yes it's my birthday…I gave everyone [including you] a hint.  I
didn't want thousands of trumpets sounding or a big fuss made over it." 
Hoping to save the day, I did say something sweet, hand-picked her
favorite color roses, and had them delivered to her, only to be told,
"I'll deal with you later."  Oh…she's definitely twisted, I am still
looking for a deep enough bomb shelter. 

All in all, we are confused by the actions, the thoughts of every other
person but ourselves, and sometimes we confuse ourselves.  Even those who
we seek to love, confuse us.  We can be together 25 years or 25 days and
still never really know the other person.  But, I think that if we really
want to be able to prove ourselves, to get the proper solution to this 
world, I think that it can be summed up in three words.  It is in the
proof of the solution that we fail in.  And to be honest, without the
proof, the solution is invalid. Okay, so what is the solution and the
proof, for you guys who are looking for a cardboard box to place the
answer in…."I LOVE YOU." And, the proof is in the life that we live and
loving the one whose words those were spoken to.   As to my answer to the
mystery of women -- ALL WOMEN NEED TO BE LOVED.  If we love them then the
games, the mysteries and the elusiveness seems to fade.  When we love so
much, we never have to spend time wondering or trying to solve the
mystery, because we JUST DO IT. 

                   THE END!!!

moni's response - After Shaun submitted this issue of FROM THE KING'S
HIGH CHAIR and I read it in its entirety, I  could not stop laughing.
Feeling the need to respond to Shaun's personal commentary, first I mixed
myself a Harvey Wallbanger.  Let the record show that I am the mystery
woman that King Shaun speaks so sincerely of [at least I think he 
was being sincere].  Several "men" did pick-up on my clues and sent and
or called in their well-wishes early [just in case they forgot again]. 
It is also true that I did not want the world to stop spinning or the
stock market cash, just to celebrate another year of my being one more
year older.  [For those of you who are wondering how old I am, just count
the number of gray hairs on Shaun's head, divide that by his quick-witted
sense of humor, and subtract that by the number of stitches I had sewn in
my stomach from laughing out loud, then I am a grateful 41 year old woman
to have a friend like Shaun].  THE PEACH ROSES ARE BEAUTIFUL, and I'M
STILL IN SHOCK.  Now, if that shock could only be translated into
speechless, that would be the end of my response. Well, not so fast boo. 
I'll just leave you with this final thought.  It's been written that,
"The mystery of a woman can be solved if you remember two things - 1) buy
a calendar; and 2) write every damn thing she says on that calendar." 
HAHAHA!@!@!  Oh yea, I LOVE YOU TOO!!! 

Please feel free to send your comments directly to Shaun at ( 

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6)  Just when SHE thought it was safe to read all her emails, this
unsuspecting soul received an email from me with a "few" interview
questions.  I did warn her in an offhanded conversation that I
was thinking about "interviewing" her.  What she didn't expect was that
she would receive the following questions a few days later.  WILL THE

moni - WHUZ UP NYRA?!?!  Although we have worked together for a while, I
don't recall your mentioning where you were born and raised, [yo
hometown, where yo peoples beezz from] so to speak. 

Nyra - Actually, I was born by the fireplace in my mother's Aunt Fannie's
home in Mt. Vernon, New York.  You see, I'm a Westchester County girl
(supposedly living next door to where you rub elbows with the upper
crust, but more like an invasion for us as far as just enough money to
get the house).  Anyway, back to the fireplace.  My mom was at a New
Year's Eve party when she went into labor and lo and behold, I couldn't
wait for an ambulance or cab to make it through the snow, so I came
rolling in at 4:00 in the blessed A.M. on New Year's Day. My family tree
can be traced back to the Motherland (Yoruba people from Western Nigeria)
who docked on the shores of Virginia.  From there, we spread out across
the land.  As a matter of fact, we grew up with traditions passed down by
the elders and family tradition dictates that we keep it going.  It's
more a way of life.  The old African married an Indian Shaman woman by
the name of Cuna whom he met when he along with other slaves escaped
after landing on shore into the mountains, were befriended by the
resident Indians, married and had five sons.  My great-grandfather is the
seventh son of seven sons and his son (my grandfather) was the seventh
son of his.  My mother is the baby of her family of fifteen siblings. 
Between them all, I have a total of 126 first cousins on my mother's side
of the family and each of us had more than one child (at last three) and
we are all grandparents now.  We had to check the family background of
everyone that proposed or was getting proposed to in the in-law division
because we never knew if we were related or not.  Can't marry within the

Throughout my family tree, my ancestors were teachers, nurses, political
public officials and men of God.  I have a younger brother who was born
on an Eastern Airlines Jet while my mother was returning home from a trip
and went into labor while circling Kennedy Airport.  The flight arrived
on time, and he arrived on Yom Kippur.  Enough about him, IT AIN'T HIS 
INTERVIEW. You know, my mama was scandalous for doing the unusual for an
audience on holidays. 

moni - What other hobbies do you have besides writing beautiful poetry? 

Nyra - I am a weaver of fabric, a weaver of words, and a weaver of life. 
I have a logo called WeaverWorks, which all three fall under.  I can make
an outfit without a pattern or use one if necessary. I like to work with
African textiles when I make wall hangings, pillows, quilts and coats. 
Sewing relaxes me, especially while listening to music.  Besides poetry
(thank you for the beautiful), I write short stories and am working on
the story of my life, which is a work-in-progress.  I am also a
songwriter (I used to have an R&B and Jazz band when I sang for my
supper and did a few national commercials, but when the kiddies started
coming, I had to get a REAL JOB).  And last, but not least, being an avid
reader and having had a multitude of experiences throughout my lifetime,
I am also a weaver of life.  Meaning, I can stand on the outside looking
in and come up with the solution to the problem to help you move forward. 
I can sleep at night and God will send me a message through a dream and
let me watch the dream unfold in the light of day.  I learned that my job
was to deliver the message and let it go.  Don't try to change things,
but let that person make the choice with the information they have been 
given because in the end, it's all about choices. 

moni - Your poems just ooze with such a "deep" passion for love - love of
life, love of tradition, love of family and commitment, and love for that
special someone in your life.  Can you share with us how you developed
your style, but more importantly, what truly ignites your fire to write
with such passion? 

Nyra - I write from the SOUL.  My passion comes from all the sources you
mentioned.  I grew up in a traditional African family which taught me to
have respect my elders, honor my ancestors, have respect for nature and
life, and respect for the family unit (immediate and extended).  My
grandmother kept our ancient tribal religion alive because it defined who
we were, it was our birthright.  And no matter what religion we married
into, we still honored and respected our family's traditions because we
considered it a gift that God let us keep, so we cherish it.  The fire
burns bright from the feelings I have for the love of my family (my girls
- I have three adult daughters, my grandkids - one girl and two boys, and
other members of my extended family - and the children of my lover).  My
children are my riches and my grandkids are my jewels that forever shine
brightly.  The love of my life keeps my light shining and everyday is a
love filled experience of new heights.  I have felt love before, but
never like this and sometimes it scares me because I never dreamed anyone
could love in this manner, TOTALLY UNCONDITIONALLY.  I only wish that
every woman could at one time in her life experience the love I share
with this brother.  And you know the good part, it's a two way street.

moni - Since I was the one who told you about the Poets Niche [which I'm
sure you thought I was crazy trying to self-promote our group, or just
crazy because you've seen me in action], what lessons have you learned
from your fellow members? 

Nyra - That craziness comes in all shapes and sizes (smile).  But mostly
that there are lots of people who think as I do, that the talent is
endless.  I used to always sing that song "ONE DAY WE'LL ALL BE FREE". 
Now, I want to sing ONE DAY WE'LL ALL BE RICH so I can be free from my

moni - Tell us a little something about you that you've never shared with
anyone before. Obviously, not anything tooooo personal, of course. 

Nyra - Now moni, if I tell you that, what will I have left for the book. 
Dang, girl, let a sister save something to sell. Besides, you said I
could say NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUZINESS. But I will tell you this, I did not
have a happy marriage (very abusive).  My ex was abused as a young boy by
his parents and it was the only thing he knew and tried to pass it on to
our children and me. But I broke the cycle starting with him.  I did not
let my children go through it so my grandkids will never know that pain,
not as long as I have breath in my body. 

moni - Has motherhood and being a grandmother influenced your writing? 
If so, what sources do you tap into to capture such touching moments to
write a poem? 

Nyra - Oh, but of course.  As a mother, I share with other tender mothers
the feeling of love for my children that cannot be matched to everyday
ordinary love.  It shows in my writing how I passed on the knowledge, the
history, the relationship between them and the world outside.  The love I
share with the grandkids is a different kind of love.  It seems the bond
is stronger than you would realize with the grandbabies, you are more
protective but yet you spoil them  much more than you would your
children.  I tap into that love vine between my babies and their babies
and how we all relate to one another.  IT IS TRULY A BEAUTIFUL THANG. 

moni - Do believe there will be a resurgence of poetry readings popping
up all over the world in the new millennium, and that the faces of poetry
will change the literary market? 

Nyra - OH SISTERGIRL…DO I EVER!!!  It's happening now, as we speak, and
as we write. Poetry defines the hearts and soul of mankind speaking out
without the worry of persecution or rejection. It shows that we love, we
hurt, we are aware, we think, we care about what's going on, we want a
say and we're saying it.  YES, WE WILL CHANGE OUR WHIRL FOR THE BETTER
(GET IT - WHIRL).  I guess you could say that poetry has become the New
World History Books. 

moni - Do you have any special rituals or routines you follow before you
sit down to write? 

Nyra - Not when I write because by that time, the rituals are done.  I
start when I open my eyes in the morning and face the sun.  Before I
speak to a living soul, out loud I thank God for another day.  Then the
ritual begins.  I wrote a poem, THE RITUAL THING, which explains how my
day begins.  [See Poems of the Week 53].  As far as writing, I am always 
inspired to write.  I never know ahead of time how a piece will come out. 
I will dream about it or I will hear a title in my head and write around
it.  I just let the spirit take me.  Sometimes it's sparked because of
something I have read or a comment someone makes or a cry for help and I
answer it in a piece. But when I try to sit down and think about
something to write, it never works out.  So, I have learned to wait and
it will come.  When something needs to be said, all I have to do is

moni - Is there one thing in the world that you would you do as a career
even if you didn't get paid for it? 

write about every aspect of life -- love, happiness, joy, and sorrow.  We
have a verbal history, even American history is verbal because there are
so many things that are left out of the history books (most of it
purposely).  However, I would write it all down so that nothing is
forgotten or left out. Everyone's legacy is to know their past so they
can figure out where they should go for the future. I have always kept
journals and taught my children to do the same - still passing the torch
with grandkids. That's so they never forget and never let the mistakes of
the past become surprises in the future. 

moni - When I first started surfing on the internet, I was intimidated
and very skeptical of what the internet had to offer in terms of credible
information, and I still am to some degree.  However, my opinion has
somewhat changed as a result of being involved with the Poets Niche. 
That being said, has being a member of the Poets Niche changed your
thinking of the power of networking via the internet? 

Nyra - Yes, especially when I meet serious minded people from the Poets
Niche who are all about working towards the betterment of mankind (while
trying to make a dollar, OKAY).  I have met so many knowledgeable people,
and I am impressed with these scholars.  The brothers and sisters of the
Poets Niche are fantastic and them don't mind telling it like it is.  I
have met poets who are by nature, spiritualists, lovers, militants,
mothers, movers and shakers (AND CANDLESTICK MAKERS).  In other words,
there is something for everyone here, and that really helps when you are 
seeking information and you think you can't find anywhere else.  If the
Poets Niche doesn't know, someone certainly knows someone who does.  It's
what I call the true meaning of NETWORKING. 

moni - Remember when you were a kid and people asked you "what do you
what to be when you grow up?"  Well, what do you what to be when you grow
up?" [and don't say tall, because you can't be much taller than me, which
is all of 5ft]. 

Nyra - (Well, I'm 5ft and 1/2 inch, so there). My favorite subjects in
school were always chemistry and biology.  My father was a biology
teacher at a university and my mother was a chemistry professor at
another small college back east.  So naturally, with a strong background
in both, I wanted to be a surgeon.  I studied the sciences, even went
through the preliminary studies for a nursing degree in college, I even
started off receiving a CNA (certified nurses assistance), but when I
worked in the hospitals to do my clinicals, I was not happy with the
death part of the job.  It depressed me to get close to people and have
them leave me so soon. So needless to say, I changed my major and decided
to study English literature.  Then I took some Black History classes and
wondered why I didn't receive more of that when I was going to school.  I
decided I wanted to change my major to education, major in Black History
and try to enforce this course in primary and secondary schools so black
kids wouldn't have to wait until they went to college to find out about
themselves. Especially the ones who were not getting it at home.
Unfortunately, I had to work to pay for college, so a master degree 
became slow in coming (still working on it) and my children needed an
education more than I did so I made the choice to work and raise my
family.  But, I did not give up my dream of teaching black history.  You
see, I kept a house full of other peoples children and that became my
classroom.  I especially like to grab the minds of the ones that think
the only life is the fast life, and those are the ones I take pride in
turning around - it's called SAVING LIVES. 

moni - Following your heart and/or dream to do what you want as a career
and having to work just to pay the bills or keep a roof over of your
head, can sometimes be conflicting to the soul.  Has writing given you
the opportunity to chart out your path in terms of career choices? 

Nyra - Yes.  It helps me lay the groundwork right in front of me so that
I may have a solid path to follow.  It also helps me to release tension,
which works great for my sanity and love life. It affords me some well
deserved ME TIME. Writing could be my life, I can certainly see that. You
know, like the HANDWRITING ON THE WALL -- it's all inspirational. 

moni - Are there any final words you'd like to share with us before I end
this interview and let you get back to work? 

Nyra - Yes, dear.  I really couldn't get to do this interview until after
work because my day has been, well, you know, IT SUCKED.  The good part
about it is that it's my Monday Morning Wish - it's Friday.  I can leave
here with a smile on my face because I won't be back tomorrow (taking
some ME TIME).  But I would like to say to all of my brothers and
sisters, black, white, purple, green, brown, yellow, magenta, whatever,
that I have enjoyed everything I read thus far from the members of the
Poets Niche.  Keep writing, don't give up the dream because too many of
us do by choice.  We are the trailblazers…so keep burning it up and I'LL

your comments and love directly to Nyra at ( 

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       Voyages with the Madman: Series III, Part III, 
              by Rodney D. Coates (c) 1999 

Fireflies, galaxies in green, exploding all around us as we walked the
solitary path that had become our companion.  On either side ancient
trees, giant remnants of a time before the chaos that now enveloped us,
stood silently watching and waiting for their moment to come.  With
knobbed arms, they reached toward the blue-black sky as if beckoning
unknown hosts to join them in their solitude.  Owls perched, eyes
penetrating the darkness, waiting for the moon to guide their sojourn
into the night. 

A night filled with sounds of mystery and wonder, as I strove to listen
and become one with all that was around me. Gradually, sounds taking
shape and hue within my mind, began singing a rhapsody to a soul that had
long since forgotten the beauty of that which could be. 

 Hold on to that which is pure and beautiful, 
Seek to find the joy in all. 
 Hide within the petals of the rose, 
Let the willow bind your heart. 
 Deep within the magic of the stream, 
Stones made smooth by souls bruised in battle. 

Wars fought over trivialities, 
 Disdain for life the common rule. 
Prophetic messages go unheeded, 
 Poets write just for greed. 
Bleeding please left to others, 
 Lost in the sea of needs. 

 Let go your pain of yesterday, 
Fill your cup with honey fresh 
 From the valley of contentment. 
Leave your guilt on the altar 
 Burn it with frankincense and mirth. 
Wake from the dream of sadness, 
 Hearken to the love in all. 

Create, rejoice, encourage, and be free, 
 Happily, venture along this path. 
Bury your spirit within the rainbows, 
 Let the stars guide your dreams. 
Sing, laugh, and continue to hope, 
 Sleep within fields of daffodils. 

The Madman, dancing to the rhythm of the moment, began singing along in
tune.  The words, now different, as his melody we did pursue. 

 Time, this time, that timeless my time. 
Age is but a metaphor for lost time. 
   Souls caught up in time, lost a minute 
Forgot a year, got no time to be on time. 

 Smile, this smile, that smiles' still is my smile. 
Laughter is but a way of prolonging the smile. 
   Hearts caught up in joy, full of happiness, 
Youth, having no fear of time, endures forever. 

 Love, this love, that loves, is still all love. 
We learn to live in love each moment. 
 Souls, cleansed by love, filled by love, 
Enjoys the moment that becomes years. 

Surrender unto the laws that govern the universe, 
 Become one with the rhythm of life. 
Flow with the currents of justice, 
 Float on the passion of righteousness. 

The music was all that surrounded us.  The trees, the owls, the
fireflies, owls and all swayed to this mystic beat.  As the 
rhapsody took us both within its spell, he motioned me to come. 
Gradually, a smile filling his face, I knew our first voyage 
had begun.  I had learned to listen. 

THANKS DOC!!!!  You don't want to miss a single word of this ongoing
saga.  STAY TUNE for Part IV from the VOYAGES WITH THE MADMAN series. 
Please feel free to send your comments directly to rodneyc at ( 

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8)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - Her poems are rich with tradition, and an
unquenchable lust for the essence of love.  This week's featured poet is

           THE RITUAL THING by Nrya Pierce 
           CHILE, I'M TIRED by Nrya Pierce 
           REAFFIRMATION OF LOVE by Nrya Pierce 
           THE DANCE by Nrya Pierce 
           THE VICTIM ZONE (For Sisters in Trouble) by Nrya Pierce 

If you really want to know THE REAL NYRA PIERCE, check out POEMS OF THE
WEEK 53 at  (  Please feel free to send your comments
directly to Nyra at (  THANK YOU SISTAH-FRIEND!!! 

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9)  Below is moni's Poem of the Week.  As always, your comments are
greatly appreciated! 

Until next week… 

p.s.  Leilani, it was good talking to you today!!! 

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As the hint of rain lingered in the air 
I knew He was the answer to my prayers. 

       Monica D. Blache (c) 

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