Ziggy’s Flighty Plight. First published in the ‘Read For Animals 2’ anthology.

Ziggy stood atop a yellow bollard. He was waiting for some humans to come along with freshly cooked fish and chips. They were his favourite, especially those with vinegar on them. He knew it was unusual, but he had grown used to the taste whilst growing out of Chickhood.

His friends, the black-backed and herring gulls, still flew out to sea where they dove into the waves, surfacing with a fat silver fish in their beaks.

That for Ziggy, seemed like hard work. Battling the winds and the mounting waves, just to get a small fish! No, he liked the easy life, did Ziggy. The open ocean was not his style.

In the distance, slowly walking towards him, he saw a small family, fish and chips, in little paper conesp in their hands. Even from this distance, he detected the acrid scent of vinegar. It wafted over his beak. He bobbed down, preparing to launch himself into the air.

They were close now. A downward beat of his wings lifted him into the freshening breeze and he idly flapped as a light thermal blew beneath them, keeping him aloft with little effort.

As the family drew abreast of where Ziggy hovered. The little boy held out his hand. There was a chip wavering between his fingers. He was offering Ziggy a chip! With a loud squawk, Ziggy dove, grabbed the chip and was off up in the thermal again.
The rest of the family laughed at his antics. But, a few minutes later, when Ziggy saw a golden opportunity and dove down, grabbing a bunch of chips from the woman’s hand. She screamed ( he had inadvertently pecked her hand as he grabbed the chips), and waved her arms, trying to shoo Ziggy away.

This frightened Ziggy, so he flew higher, watching the family down his sharp beak. This was the first time he had pecked anyone. He was usually so careful. He was a bit sad, but, not too sad as he saw some more people heading his way. Surely they would also have chips?

His keen eyes stared at the oncoming people. Not a family this time but an elderly couple. They did not have chips but were eating burger buns. This, for Ziggy, was as good as chips. Easy to peck, easy to go down the throat.

He swooped down towards the people, making a beeline for the buns. The oldsters saw him coming and started shouting, waving arms and a newspaper, at him. Squawking with indignity, Ziggy lifted into the thermal, deciding that he had better fly away for now. People always threw food away so he could come back later and have a good feed.

Alighting on the Pier roof, he sat with all the other gulls, wings flapping now and then, when a squabble broke out. In the end, Ziggy got so fed up that he opened his wings, caught the thermals and flapped up and away towards the ocean, not to catch fish, like the others, but for a bit of peace and quiet. It was not his regular way, but sometimes, peace was infinitely better than being with the masses.

His wings turned a pink colour as the sun set and the sky become red with the setting sun. It would be better when all the people had left the promenade and he could eat his fill in peace.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. August, 2014

Two Poems by Greer Suzanne

JeanPoem to Jean, with love Miss Julie

I look at you and

I freeze

I love

I wonder

What you are thinking

When you think

Sometimes I know

Because I’m thinking it too


I want to touch you

I want you to touch me


I don’t care

I forget my father

My fiancé



I see only you

You see only me


I want to look down

And see your hands

On my body

I want to touch your back

To scream

To cry

To watch your eyes

For you to watch me


I become liquid

Starting in my throat

Stirring in my stomach

As I yearn for you

Like an animal

Crying out for seed


I want you to rescue me

I can’t decide on my own

Take the lead

Pretend it’s a dance

And take the lead

It’s the only time

I feel your control

And I’ve become addicted


I want to serve you

Be your slave

Your harlot


To do with what you will

What you desire

When you desire


Right now

I cannot wait


I beg, I plead

I want, I need



Continue reading

Something’s in my Head by HMC

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

Running – something I can’t see,

I feel it chase, envelope me.

Falling now, then I’m down,

 it comes back.

Back around.

Fill it with something or other,

Shove it down like bread and butter,

Chase the pain with a shot of Vodka,

It comes back round, and so why bother?

Bottle up, shut it up, push it down, hide away.

Cut it out, butt it out, smoke it up, buy today.

Hoard it quick, take a sip, roll around in someone’s bed.

Anything, anything, do anything – escape your head.

I run around this mouse contraption, relying on this mad distraction.

A song and dance it doesn’t cease, so I can pretend that I’m at peace. Continue reading

Winds Blowing Still, by Evelyn J. Steward.








Wayward is the wind behind my back,
Whither it blows I cannot tell,
For I am the grain of dust blowing wild with the lack,
I am the a child of the Fell.

A Mistral that sends all the birds off in flight.
The breeze that debates when to turn.
And when it comes hurricane, creatures take fright,
So fast is the run, their feet burn.

A sou-wester heads for fishers at sea,
They race in the teeth of the gale,
Riding tumultuous waves as they flee,
Their faces are gaunt and so pale.

Gently the Zephyr pulls stalks of the grain
In wheatfields, both small and some vast.
Like waves on the ocean, like rivers and rain
Twisting around as they pass.

And still it blows in the hurricane’s eye,
Still as a graveyard at dusk.
I eddy and fro as the waves passing by,
‘Till I fall, a dried up old husk.
Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. October, 2014

~ Love Survives All ~

~ Love Survives All ~

By Jeanne Claire Probst

Tears fell from Elizabeth’s eyes, as she tried to catch them with her already wet tissue. She tried to hold them back, to be brave, but she could feel her courage wavering. The anesthesiologist left her bedside after going over her medical information, her surgical plan and the options that were available for her to make her comfortable during surgery.

She could see the surgical team gathering in the room across the hall and suddenly, despite having had weeks to prepare for this moment, she was scared. Even though her surgery procedure had been done successfully on hundreds of thousands of people, at this moment, it did not matter. She was still scared. Even down to the last few seconds, Elizabeth wondered if she had made the right decision.

A few weeks ago, she had fallen down the stairs and had broken her ankle. With the aid of screws and pins, the orthopedic surgeons were able to piece her shattered ankle bones back together.   But her troubles did not end there. Because she was a diabetic, infection had set in and evidence of gangrene was appearing around her wounds. Even with the strongest antibiotics available, it wasn’t enough to fight off the infection and the doctors made it clear that the area was dead; no life was left in the tissues. Her leg was going to have to be amputated to keep the infection from complicating matters that would eventually lead to her death. Continue reading

A Motivating Act. Poetry from Jeanne Claire Probst

Thought and Poem


I can’t tell you how many times I have looked around my neighborhood to see if there was something I could do for any of my neighbors, to see if there was a need. And I can’t tell you how many times I have held back from lending a hand because I just assumed that they had family that would help them.


Other times I have noted that, fear prevented my neighbors from interacting with anyone around them and to avoid contact, they would just hustle into their homes when they saw someone coming toward them. I understand their fear, because of the increase of break-ins and violence around us, so people are finding it hard to trust anyone…even a neighbor. So different than what it was like fifty or so years ago when I was younger and everyone knew their neighbors, their children, their pets and if they were sick or had a need.


As we get older, our pride may also get in the way of accepting help from someone else, especially a stranger. But worse than any of these, is the guilt one carries when they see a need and do not offer to help. Today I decided to do something nice for one of my elderly neighbors who recently had had a stroke. His smile was priceless and I had no trouble sleeping when nighttime came around.


What about you? Are you one to offer assistance when you see a need in your neighborhood? Share your thoughts with us…Jeanne Claire Probst

Continue reading