January 2010

See the world through the eyes of

and more...


About Perspectives Magazine
ISSN: 1715-9148 Frequency: Biyearly Founding Editor: Monique Berry Design and layout: Monique Berry Contact: perspectivesmagazine@gmail.com Site: http://1perspectives.webs.com ——–——Photo credits: All photos courtesy of Brian Cobbledick

Meet some of the contributors
The Things, p9

In this issue...
Eye Glasses Glassy or Classy ~ Pervin Chhapkhanawala Candle Waxing and Waning ~ Rach Loveday Courtroom Turnabout ~ Sean Young Credit Card Reaching Limits ~ Andrea Zappone Knick-Knacks The Things ~ S. V. Wolfland Hairbrush A Brush with Time ~ Peggy Fletcher Pumpkin A Pumpkin’s Life ~ C.D. Reimer Park Bench In Loving Memory ~ Heather Miller Guitar Fretting ~ Rhonda Melanso Army Uniform Army Uniform ~ Newborn by Norma West Linder Tattoo We Are Tattoos ~ Lynn Tait Wishing Well Life of a Wishing Well ~ Rebecca R. Taylor Umbrella The Umbrella ~ Debbie Okun Hill Womb A Womb’s Love Song ~ Monique Berry p4 p6 p7 p8 p9 p10 p11 p12

S.V. Wolfland has been published in magazines such as The Argotist Online, Spokes, The Bathyspheric Review, etc., in an anthology called North Yorkshire One Nine Nine, and has a novel and three poetry chapbooks out - Porlock the Warlock and The Books of...Trilogy respectively. She works as editor of a live and written word enewsletter, has appeared at many festivals including the Glastonbury Festival, and is a member of artist's network The Cartwheels Collective. [www.cartwheels-collective.co.uk]
The Pumpkin, p11

C.D. Reimer lives and works in Silicon Valley. His interests are ceramics, painting, tropical fish, and web programming. These keep him out of trouble when he’s not fixing broken users and consoling hurt computers. He is currently working on his first novel, a short story collect ion, and various short stories. [chris@cdreimer.com]

p14 p15 p15 p16 p18 p19

We are Tattoos, p15

Lynn Tait is an award-winning poet/ photographer living in Sarnia, ON. Her work has appeared in The Windsor Review, lichen, Contemporary Verse 2, and in over 50 North American anthologies. She has also published a chapbook titled Breaking Away. Her photos have adorned the cover of three poetry books and one literary magazine. [lyta@sympatico.ca]
PM—Jan 2010


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A Message from the Founder

Dear Readers I thought is was important to acknowledge some important people: To Dr. Michael Cain and Penny Greenberg, my first two advertisers, your support means more to me than you will ever know. To Brian Cobbledick, your creativity helps make this magazine a success. If you could photograph my heart, you’d need a panoramic lens to capture the length of its smile. To Jennifer L. Foster, my friend, thank you for your honest input. Finally, a big thanks to my contributors; I wouldn’t have a magazine if it weren’t for you!

Keep the ink flowing,

Monique Berry
PM—Jan 2010




By Pervin Chhapkhanawala
PM—Jan 2010

ransparency, I believe, is an important virtue in both life and work. Especially when the latter involves balancing yourself delicately on your boss’s nose, taking care to always be present and yet not interfere. My boss has never given me the credit I deserve; in fact, on my first day at work, all I got from her was a repulsive and disgruntled stare. True, I don’t have much of what people call ‘looks’. My frame is dark and lanky, my limbs are extremely long, and my middle is a bit too round and bulging. But so what? Isn’t there any room for the hardworking and faithful in this world? Like females all over the globe, my boss is appearanceconscious, and I suspect that she resents me simply because the word ‘good-looking’ could never be associated with me. The other day, she took me with her to a place that is often described as ‘happening’. She seemed very excited about it and a tad bit scared, too. She had almost hidden her charming face behind make-up and jewelry, but had taken care to expose as much of her limbs as her hawk-eyed father permitted. I, too, went through an extra scrubbing. So much so that I emerged sparkling and glassy–the best I could get. The place was swarming with people just like her: half-dressed, largely-drunk, and on the verge of deafness (if the volume of the music was any indicator). I went where my boss went, I saw what my boss saw. Or rather, she saw what I saw.


All around the room, I caught people looking at me keenly and pointing at me. How I enjoyed those few moments of attention! I finally felt important. I finally felt imperative. I beamed with pride, my hard work was being applauded, my sincerity was being appreciated. I assumed that my boss would now realize that she would never be able to do without me. But my happiness was short-lived. That evening, I overheard her talking to her father about me. “Dad! This is disgraceful. I was so embarrassed! People were staring at me as if I had just landed from Mars.” “Dear, you must realize how helpful--” “I don’t care! I am a progressive-minded person who believes that all her needs must be catered to using the most advanced and sophisticated techniques possible. You would be extremely reprehensible if you allowed your daughter’s humiliation to continue due to your conservative mindset.” I was too shocked to comprehend what was said further. They should have had the decency to hold their talk until I was out of earshot. The last thing I remember her saying is, “That’s it, daddy! I need a change.” Thus, my employment span came to an end–for the time-being at least. I lay in my box-home all day, wondering whether it was criminal to be ugly. I knew my replacement well–those who do the job that I do, correction, the job that I used to do--are in constant fear of those modern types. My replacement was just as transparent as I was, but the similarities ended there. Where on one hand, I had long limbs, it was as though he lacked them completely; in contrast to my thin frame, he was rotund, almost spherical. I had always had a soft corner for my boss, and in spite of her insolence, I was glad that she had what she thought was good for her. I would often see her from my box-house, scurrying about her work. Then Wednesday morning came. I had woken up as soon as the first rays of the sun had reached me. You see, I cannot sleep when I am exposed to light. As soon as light reaches me, I become aware and

alert–I start seeing. I had gone about my newly acquired routine of simply lying inside my boxhome, with nothing much to do, when around midafternoon the bomb fell. Tears! Red eyes! She was crying! I peered more closely at her. Strange. There was a smile on her face and she was merrily chatting with a friend. Even stranger. Only one of her eyes was red. Occasionally, she would rub her eyes and sniff a little. Was that moron causing her any kind of trouble or inconvenience? In all my few months of employment by her, I had never seen her cry, let alone be the cause. So what if he was debonair and suave, he dare not make my mistress--oops, ex-mistress--cry. I always knew the poor thing was naive and a poor judge of character. She needed someone like me, who truly cared about her comfort and went about his job well. I silently prayed that she would realize this before it was too late… The next few days saw me in a pathetic state of despair. It is awful when someone you love is in pain because then you are in pain, too; but it is worse when she is aware of neither your love, nor your pain. I watched mutely, as my malicious replacement bothered her whenever he was with her. In between reading, she would suddenly rub her eyes while she was talking; sometimes, a tear would saunter across her cheek. Just when I thought that I could take it no longer, the goddess of fate favored me. On Saturday, her father rapped at the door of my house-box, and then opened it. He then lifted me up gently and bestowed upon me my previous office, never again to vacate. So now, I am perched on my mistress’s nose, content, and happy. My mistress regrets the menacing mistake she had made and is thrilled at having me back. I am of course, glinting with pride. It is not often, after all, that a pair of repellent spectacles triumphs over contact lenses.
Pervin Chhapkhanawala is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Consultant and a freelance writer and editor. She has written a book of poetry, ‘A Tinge of Turmeric’, published by Writers Workshop in June 2009. Her work has also been showcased by Platform and Page Forty Seven. She is now working on her first novel. [pervin0607@gmail.com]

PM—Jan 2010



By Rach Loveday


t’s been awhile but Mary’s finally taken my long-time companion, the Strawberry scented candle, and me out of the cupboard; we’re ready to be used. Strawberry and I clash as Mary holds us together in her left hand, the unique rose-gold wedding band that she once wore with pride no longer occupies her ring finger, and a bottle of red wine in her right hand. As she turns—I turn, too—I see an oriental stirfry simmering on the stove and a table perfectly set for two. She’s planned a romantic dinner. It’s been a while since Mary has had one of those, too. She places us in colored-glass candle holders. Thank God! The last time we were out for a romantic dinner, we were placed on too small and tarnished silver candlesticks. The glass candle holders are roomy, comfy and fire-safe, which is great for a long working night. After a couple of hours, dinner is cooked. Mary has changed into her little black dress; she’s all set. Strawberry and I are finally brought to life with one lit match gently stroking our faces. We hear the doorbell ring. He comes in. He’s about 6 foot tall, in his thirties, good looking and he’s brought her chocolates and flowers. That’ll earn him some brownie points. He kisses her on

the cheek, pulls out her chair, she sits down and he tucks her chair back in, waiting for her to get comfortable—he’s a gentleman. The conversation starts flowing straight away. They have a glass or two of wine and take their time eating the stir-fry, which he compliments her on. She laughs and smiles, showing her beautiful white teeth, which I also haven’t seen her show in a while as he makes jokes and tells her entertaining stories about his life as a travel agent. She didn’t even smile at her last romantic dinner. She runs her right hand over her ring finger, which reminded her that she no longer wears her wedding ring. Mary smiles slightly as she realizes that it is okay to move on with her life after an emotionally draining divorce. Strawberry and I haven’t got long to live as our bodies are already half-melted. We didn’t work much at the last dinner. I always knew this day would come and that I was made to die. But I would die for Mary, especially for this occasion. They look happy and my dying wish is that they will stay this way. After all, every woman deserves a man who truly loves her.
Rachel lives in Wagga Wagga, Australia. She is published in Dolly, an Australian teen magazine, and in Perspectives. Rachel finished high school last year and has applied for university study in journalism and creative writing for 2010.

PM—Jan 2010



By Sean Young

As gavels pound my face I taste the secreted sweat of guilty men. I feel their fidgeting fingers whilst I watch their forlorn faces. Wigged liars spin their webs of half-truths to ensnare impressionable minds. At my right hand a dejected Jury sits. Ready to determine fate on the flip of a coin. At my left guilty mothers weep. The thick silence as a verdict is prepared. The clearing of a throat The chaotic choir of outrage. The riot simmers and order returns. The room drains of life and naught is left but a memory and the scent of disinfectant.

Sean Young is a bachelor of writing based in Liverpool, UK. He is a contract writer for several video game websites, but provides articles of varying subject matter to other publications on a freelance basis. [malfesto@hotmail.co.uk]
PM—Jan 2010

Credit card



look quite a bit older than I did before black windshield being used for an ice scraper! I’m Friday. I can see my reflection in that shiny new getting pushed up and down and sideways and driver’s license snuggled behind the plastic frame. everywhere else and little splinters of frost are That’s the king of the wallet right there—the melting down around my logo just like tears, and driver’s license. We all envy his view. Anyway, a just when I think there must be a full millimeter of couple of years has added quite a few age lines to me rubbed away, I suffer a discourteous swipe my magstripe and I can feel ink loss all over. My across coarse denim and get shoved back into the embossed black lettering crests into naked white wallet. They rub me the wrong way all the time, peaks and the signature so eagerly scrawled across but nothing like this before. Not ever! my back is rubbed to a bluish smudge. I’m trying The old fogey, he laughed, which was all I could not to be self-conscious about it, but vanity is an take and I did it—did what was the most insensitive intimate part of my very being, you understand… thing I could do and I says to him, “What are you Christmas is in large laughing at? Your life is part to blame for my over the end of next condition. I’ve had a few month!” REACHING LIMITS seasons of it now, so I’ve “It isn’t,” he said got it all down pat—things numbly. get abrasive, one machine I should know when to to another. The old fogey stop, but I kept going in the wallet says I ought to anyway, “February 2010,” shut up and count my I say. “It’s a short month, blessing cause they used to too. Only 28 days. What use these old metal sliders you got to say about that that went “clunk clunk” old timer?” and they pressed down real He said nothing to that hard sometimes. He says at all and suddenly I they were a whole lot wished I hadn’t said worse than magnetic nothin’. It was kind of scanners. I think he’s cruel; no, really cruel. I making it up. He’s bitter know just as well as he from having been in the does what it’s like to live By Andrea Zappone wallet underneath the with an execution date Supermarket Saver card for embossed right there a good many months…reached his limit, you know. across the front of you and know all the time you’re Anyway, I don’t mind about Christmas so much headed for a heavy-duty shredder… It makes you anymore, ‘cause afterwards, there’s always a nice want to bury yourself between the “10th Coffee Free Card” and the cat food coupon—scrawny little long break coming. It was a thirty-degree night and that nasty ol’ gold card that ruined my holiday scraps of paper who sometimes get lucky enough to be forgotten. spirit... We were all snug in our pockets—barely aware Andrea Lea Zappone resides in Northern Maine of that familiar chatter of the small change and with her husband, Charles, and her two sons, breath mints who occupied other parts of the Joshua and Daniel. She works part time as a handbag—when we were lifted from our residence writing tutor at the University of Maine at quite abruptly. The light hit us and I got hauled out Presque Isle where is she is a senior in the English program. [a.zappone@yahoo.com] into the cold. Next thing I’m up on end against the
PM—Jan 2010




e sit about, watching, sometimes waiting. hanging over a basket of silver branches smiles as it Many of us are borrowed for evenings or days remembers its handsome maker—a young man at a and nights and returned unscathed—but only after craft market. adventures. To show us off, we are carefully lit and We hear her singing sometimes—singing more positioned. Some of us were gifts but most of us were often than sighing now. But she still sings the same carefully chosen, thought about, ordered. Or we were song. Even with all her new friends, the ones who rescued from second-hand shops, junk shops or at the move of their own accord, the animate ones who give dump. Some of us are regularly dusted—for instance, her many things—mainly things to wear and make into the delicate or transparent ones. But not all of us. It’s other things. She is grateful and happy but she sings us a dusty old place and Elizabeth is busy but she does the same song. ‘People come and people go, but the her best. What needs a good shaking is shaken things they always remain…’ outside. She owns huge paintings given by people with We do not speak ill of her or answer her unkindly. whom she spilt up long ago. Much music is recorded We do not give her queer looks or disappear when she from friends, none of whom she now sees. One by one needs us. We are loyal to her and stay close by. things went wrong. Different paths chosen, arguments The glass things shine or geography. Old presents and sparkle when she decay in corners from one who THE THINGS holds them to the light. still owes her money, one no By S. V. Wolfland The jars, vases, and longer alive. One who was wineglasses split the light angry about a phone call she into rainbows, which made, one who was habitually makes her smile and negative. And others; still sometimes laugh. The others. Clothes hang from ones cards are an endless who left them behind instead of source of fascination as themselves. she tries to remember But we, we always remain. where we came from. We are here for her; endless The candlesticks are one sources of delight and solace— of Elizabeth’s comforts. boxes full of beautiful treasure She loves light—light in if ever she is bored. Books full the darkness—and rarely of wonderful tales and colourful spills wax, making sure pictures. Images on the walls that they’re always full of windows onto other cleaned after. worlds. Things hanging from We mas ks she the ceiling like stalactites. sometimes talks to, though rarely aloud. Our eyeless Together, we are like the inside of a colourful lantern. faces, half-faces and fantastical faces look at her and at She talks to us sometimes as if we were as she is the others as we are strategically placed around the (which we of course are not). Sometimes addressing space. Looking out over everything. Watching who one thing and sometimes everything. Whenever comes and who goes. Few are permitted to enter the anyone disappoints her, says something she’d rather inner room now. they hadn’t, doesn’t get in touch when they say they If only Elizabeth could listen in on our will, acts strange or distant, we hear her sing…Because … conversations. She’d know that: the blue-green moon people they come and people they go, but the things they always remain…’ and then she picks me up—me, and the star are pleased that they’re well placed; that the jacquard bolster—and hugs me. I represent all of the star is happy to be have been rescued and be seen us so there is no jealousy where she chooses one of us as a beautiful coveted thing; that the cherub dreams of over another. I am just more like a doll, it seems. flying through the heart and jumping over the moon, Soft, if without warmth. And here. Always here. skimming the large faceted star; and that the moon
PM—Jan 2010



By Peggy Fletcher Tossed from her life I am useless now I lie on my lacquered back stiff bristles upright on fake mahogany surface. Fine hairs still cling to me in sad disarray my aging owner bedridden unable to tolerate my brisker touch skin tingling massage. Now I watch as a soft baby brush passes over her thin pink scalp covered with silver grey strands gentle, but ineffective its small curved handle held in the firm hand of a pleasant support worker allocating her ten minute clump of care without complaint. I am lonely now, soon destined for a yard sale a fifty cent insult will be taped to my Mother of Pearl face a relic of the past they will say ignoring my proven capabilities my former dedication to her well being. Once her hands were beautiful and strong. They lovingly grasped my slender arm pulled me with exciting vigor through a lustrous crown of golden hair readying herself for love and I was the queen of her dressing table serving her with devotion. The room is silent now. Her breathing shallow. If I had tears I would shed them for the both of us lying forgotten in a throwaway world.

Peggy Fletcher is a retired teacher and journalist. Her work has appeared in international journals and her poetry books across Canada and the United States. [p_fletcher@live.com]
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Dear Old Jack was cut young from the vine, smaller than most with a smooth orange face and a craggy gray bottom. Dear Old Jack was laid down to rest on the cut straw, waiting until the last day to be taken home by someone. Dear Old Jack was very happy when a youngster picked him up to carry him -- one-step, two-step to an adoring Mom and Dad. Dear Old Jack was faint hearted when the sharp knife sliced him open to pop his top, young hands pulling out his seeds. Dear Old Jack was whacked hard from the wooden spoon that scoured his insides all around until he was clean as a whistle. Dear Old Jack was looking good with two round eyes to see, a triangle nose to smell, and a toothy mouth to smile. Dear Old Jack was on fire with a brightly-lit candle that night, greeting the trick or treaters who came knocking at the door. Dear Old Jack was soon retired to the compost pile, decaying slowly back into the mother earth after pleasing so many children.

By C. D. Reimer

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PM—Jan 2010

Park bench


By Heather Miller
“Good morning, Mort.” “Mornin’ Jon.” “Is Fran up?” “Course not. When has Fran ever gotten up early on a weekday, ‘specially in fall?” Jon mused. “Is it fall already? It seems like last week there were bikers whizzing past and little ones splashing in the fountain.” “It was last week. But that ‘ill be the end of the summer weather. It’s getting cold and dark faster. The leaves over you are starting to go.” “Are they?” Jon wished he could see the tree behind him. “Any good colors yet?” “No, bit of red on the edges. Fran’s maple’s got some orange.” Jon sighed. “Mort I think it’s unfair you can see the whole park and all I can see is you.” “Not my fault.” A yawn came from behind Jon. “How’s a girl supposed to get her beauty sleep with you two yammering?” “Sorry Fran.” Much practice had Mort and Jon replying in unison. “Oh never mind, the sun’s too bright to sleep now anyway.” She yawned again loud and heavy to remind them of the deprived sleep. A plump pigeon waddled down the path between Mort and Jon. “They’ve got a stop feeding the birds,” Mort mumbled to Jon. The pigeon flapped a few feet and landed on Jon. It walked back and forth along the top rail of Jon’s backrest before settling in the middle. “Darn birds.” “Now, now. They are nature’s creatures,” cooed Fran. Mort snorted. “You wouldn’t say that if you were stuck under this oak tree and had squirrels making bombing runs with acorns.” Jon agreed. “They do seem to have it out for you.” A man walked past Jon backwards carrying one end of a bench followed by another man struggling to hold up the other end. The unexpected procession startled the overweight pigeon on Jon. It flew off.

“New bench,” observed Jon. “Who died?” “Mort, have a bit more respect for the dead,” Fran scolded. “We don’t know someone died,” suggested Jon. “Maybe they’re just putting in some more park benches.” Jon watched the men closely as they set up the bench. It was facing toward him on the same side as Mort, but it was further down the path. It was a newer version of his bench with wooden rails supported and framed by black metal. The backrest had a graceful arch, which Jon’s lacked, and so far, it was unadorned. “Well? Plaque or no plaque?” Mort was impatient because he couldn’t see the new bench. “Nothing yet, but they’re not done,” Jon reported. The difference between an ordinary bench and a new companion was nothing more than a scratched rectangular piece of metal. “What’s that glint?” Fran caught something Jon had missed. “Screwdriver.” “So someone did die.” “Stop jumping to conclusions, Mort. A screwdriver could be used--” Jon stopped. The man had taken the screwdriver out of his back pocket. He pulled out some screws. The other man unwrapped a small brown paper package. He produced a bronze plaque. “They’re screwing on a plaque.” “I knew it. I knew this town was too cheap to buy new benches,” gloated Mort. “I wonder who it will be. I hope it’s a girl.” “What’s wrong, Franny? Don’t like spending time with the boys?” “Oh, be quiet Mort, they’re almost done.” Fran’s voice dropped off as a low grown came from the new bench. “It’s awake,” whispered Fran. No one spoke. The workmen packed up their tools and left. Jon recalled his arrival in the park. It had taken awhile for him to become aware of his surroundings and even longer before he could talk. After a few anxious moments the new bench spoke. “Whoa, I must ‘ave hit hard. I can’t move.” The new bench sounded remarkably calm, like this kind of thing happened all the time. “He’s just some punk kid.” “Mort!” Fan’s voice squeaked a bit as the word shot out. “Oh man, I’m hearing voices too. I must really be out of it.” “Oh, honey, you’re not hearing voices. I’m Fran and this is Jon and Mort.” “Hello.” “Hi.” “Ah, correction imaginary dudes, there’s no one here,” protested the new bench. Jon started gently. “You see the park bench to the right of you and the one behind that?” “Yeah.” “Well, the one on the right is me, Jon, and Fran is behind me and Mort is in front of me, but you can’t see him because he’s even with you.”

PM—Jan 2010


“Yeah, and you’re a park bench too. That’s why you can’t move.” Mort finished off the revolutionary idea. “Park bench.” The new comer mulled over the suggestion. “No way! Look, I took a bad fall off my board and now I’m out cold in some dream.” “Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself dear?” urged Fran. “Name’s Lexy…well that’s what the boys called me. I’m Alex.” Lexy paused. “Wow, this is super weird. I’m Lexy but I’m not. It’s like watching a movie of someone’s life in your head. Lexy is starting 10th grade. He loves to shred in the park. Hey, Lexy jumped a bench somewhere around here to scare the stupid squirrels.” Mort broke in. “That was you.” “Well, yeah, so.” “I was the bench you jumped.” “Oh, sorry man.” Jon remembered the boy—long blond hair in dreads, baggy pants, and inseparable from his skateboard. “You are a park bench. No question about that, but you also have some memories of the person whose name is on your plaque.” Jon tried to explain the situation as best he could. “So, who’s this Lexy guy? And why is his name on a plaque?” Jon was surprised it was taking this long for Lexy to put the pieces of the puzzle together; but then Lexy hadn’t seemed too smart sliding across the pavement time and time again. Mort answered. “Lexy’s dead.” “Serious?” “Don’t you remember dear?” coaxed Fran. “Um, well, the last thing I, or I guess Lexy remembers, is passing his driver’s test. He took a bunch of the guys out to the skate park in the city. There was crunching sounds, broken glass, and twisted metal.” “Car accident.” Mort said what Jon was thinking. “Over here honey.” It was an unfamiliar male voice. A moment later, a man in a black suit walked passed Jon. He supported and guided a woman in a long black dress and shawl. The women held the hand of a young girl in a short black dress and shiny black shoes. They stopped in front of Lexy’s bench. “It’s Lexy’s mom and dad and his little sister.” Lexy sounded a bit sad for the grief of Lexy’s family. The woman was weeping the slow unending tears of a mother who has lost her son. “Hi guys,” said Lexy. Then he thought to ask, “Can they hear me?” Jon answered. “No, only we can talk to each other.” “Oh, then I guess it doesn’t matter if I say Lexy loved you, even if he didn’t like to show it.” Lexy words hit Jon hard. He hated not being able to tell Jon’s loved ones how Jon had felt about them. Lexy’s mother knelt down before the bench and ran her fingers over the bronze plaque. “In loving memory of our

darling boy, Alex.” Her voice shuttered as she read the inscription. Lexy’s father knelt down next to the little girl and pointed at the plaque. “That’s for your big brother Alex.” She smiled up at her father. “Cause we love him, right?” “You got it kiddo,” cried Lexy’s father as he leaned in to kiss her cheek. “Ah, Katie.” Lexy’s voice trembled a bit. “She really was a pain the butt but Lexy loved her.” Jon knew what it meant to have visitors stop by. There was nothing better than seeing Jon’s grand kids on the 4th of July and nothing worse than outlasting all those who remember you as Fran had. Lexy’s father put a hand on his mother’s shoulder. “We’ve got to go hon. Calling hours start soon.” She nodded and got to her feet with his help. “I just wanted to see it.” “Come on Katie, we’ll come back later.” Katie got up on her tiptoes and leaned over the bench to touch the plaque. “Bye, bye Alex.” “Bye little sis,” Lexy said. Katie ran to catch up with her parents who had already passed Jon. She stopped short in front of Jon’s bench and stared up at him. Mort asked, “Why is the kid gawking at you?” “I don’t have any idea,” replied Jon. Katie reached up toward Jon’s plaque. She opened her tiny red mouth. “Jon.” She smiled. She ran across the path to Mort and stared at him. “She likes you both,” Fran said. “Mort-im-er.” Katie giggled. “That’s a funny name.” “Hey, watch it kid!” Mort snapped. Kate raced after her parents yelling, “Daddy, daddy! Someone loves those benches, too!”
As an Admissions Counselor for the University at Albany I spend an inordinate amount of time in Dunkin' Donuts in the fall between high school visits. This story was inspired by a bench outside one such store in Peabody, MA and is dedicated to Nadine Boyce, the wonderful mother of a fantastic friend. I will never look at a bench the same way and I hope you won't either. [HeyMiller@gmail.com]

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PM—Jan 2010



By Rhonda Melanso

pick me you gypsy wanna be scratch light my cocoa belly after weeks of sloppy g-chords make me a conduit for your wild flamenco in a club washed in cappuccino and neon or for a moonlight swim swollen with acoustic aches and blue undertows because water is always deepest under the bridge.
PM—Jan 2010

Army uniform



By Norma West Linder
A scent of lilacs filled the April air the day I cradled you in khaki sleeves the day I took up arms to shield you from harm feeling the age-old surge the treasured urge of life new life as fragile as a robin’s egg your big blue eyes appraising me. A father wants to be a hero to his young he wants to have the courage of a lion I hope I can provide protection for this man. He needs me now to camouflage the fear I smell on him. My fellow uniforms will comfort him for he is not alone. I pray we may some day come safely home to feel you cling once more to manly arms.

By Lynn Tait

engraved on kinetic temples filled with voices and chants of 8000 years. Like fired pottery they have burned in mad-made kilns, swelled unrecognizable in gaseous states. With each attempt to erase us they remain strong Scattered temples entwined, resilient network of bone and sinew, osmosis of color and tongue, our living testaments carry us until these tribes of tabernacles burn as stars in Abraham’s sky.

Norma West Linder is the author of 5 novels, 9 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, a children’s book, and a biography of Pauline McGibbon. Her short stories have been published internationally and broadcast on the CBC. [nlinder@cogeco.com]

PM—Jan 2010

Wishing well


By Rebecca Rose Taylor I live in the middle of a busy shopping mall and love being in the hub of everything. Sometimes when people need a break, they’ll stop by and sit on a bench overlooking my calm waters. The artificial trees surround me to project a virtual getaway in the middle of an often-chaotic world. I am a wishing well and people throw pennies and other spare change into me, sometimes even hoping that something amazing will come from this small act. While taking time to be pulled in by the magic which some believe I possess, it may seem ridiculous to certain people. I don’t really have any special powers but I am important to the community. Every year just before Christmas, a net with very small holes glides through my waters. Volunteers from a local children’s charity gather all the cash that was tossed into me throughout the year. This money is used to buy gifts for children who would otherwise have none. Sometimes the volunteers are stunned by the amount of money I have built up over the year. Pennies accumulate slowly, but they definitely add up over time. Knowing that I hold dreams of the wishers and the children who will receive the gifts of kindness is a wondrous feeling; it makes me shiver with joy. The fact that nobody steals my money collected throughout the year is a great relief. It would be very easy for someone to reach into my cool swirling waters and take money. Maybe like me, they believe that this would be bad luck—to take from the desires, which people have left behind, and from the donations that help make children smile during the holiday season. When I—a simple wishing well—think of all the places I could have been placed on earth, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. To be able to feel at peace in the middle of such a large commercial enterprise seems strange in a way. Some people come here because they need something, and others use a trip to the mall as an outing or sightseeing trip; but no matter what the reason is, many of them visit me. Each individual comes here for a different reason: some to toss coins in me knowing that they are going to help a worthy cause, others wishing for anything from wanting their parents to buy them something, to a happy ending from a difficult situation. I get all kinds of wishes. Sometimes people come back to thank me, but really they should be thanking a higher power who happens to sit in on the conversations had by my waters. The money and I often converse about what goes on here. We have grown to respect each other. After some debate about value, the coins in my waters have come to an understanding. Within me, they all have the same worth: a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar, and twoonie are equally precious—all were tossed into me for a reason—and all will assist in making a difference in someone’s life. These coins and I are all blessed to be able to make differences in the world. I will hopefully forever rest within this shopping mall while the coins will voyage from me into the hands of shop owners, and then go back to shoppers as change or to the bank in a deposit. Occasionally, different wishers with a different purpose return some to me. The money ventures out into the world and people venture to me. We are part of a very specific cycle helping make beautiful things happen. Wishing gives people hope, which means I am a well of hope. I like that. It makes me feel special, loved. As a wishing well, I feel life’s affects on humans every day, each one journeying on earth’s powerful and emotional rollercoaster. I have learned so many lessons being where I am. So much of what I see and hear amazes me. Having dreams and faith can make anything happen; I’ve seen it in the faces of the people who come near me, especially those who come back after having received their wish. I have embraced my destiny; I am meant to be a wishing well and cannot imagine a better job on earth for me.
Rebecca Rose Taylor lives along the St.Francis River in St.Felix-de-Kingsey,Quebec. She loves crocheting, reading and writing and someday hopes to be a fulltime writer. Her recent publications have been included in Bread n' Molasses, Grainews and Perspectives Magazine. [rebecca_taylor2@hotmail.com]
PM—Jan 2010


PM—Jan 2010



By Debbie Okun Hill

I open my ribs to you let my voice escape from my lungs rattle against bone bars the skin opening up my rainbow smile like black bowl catching your navy clouds my sun shield over your head a leather hook around your arm.

You are my rain man the iridescent droplet your wet weather fingers running down my spine you are like the mole who lives in darkness trickle-crawling, falling through cloud tunnels not noticing when the sun comes out but disappearing when it does.

Debbie enjoys sharing the inanimate voices she hears. She is the 2007 recipient of the Ted Plantos Memorial Award and her award-winning poems appear in her first chapbook Swaddled in Comet Dust (Beret Days Press, 2008). Since the fall 2004, over 145 poems have been or will be published in over 60 different Canadian and US anthologies, including the last four issues of Perspectives Magazine.

If you’re going to be published It might as well be in

PM—Jan 2010



By Monique Berry

I watch in awe the miracle that clothes your spirit with flesh and bones. I hold you tight as you grow in our secret place secured to me, the cup of roots. I feel you perform fetal ballets emotions dance in the water of life. I hear your mother whisper tender love songs hearts beat in intimate darkness. I weep as the umbilical anchor releases you much too soon. Farewell, my cherished one. Before you go let me embrace you one last time. (((contraction)))

Monique Berry is the founder of Perspectives and Christian Perspectives. Her stories and poems are published in several magazines and anthologies. She is currently working on a novel and hopes to have it published this year. [moniqueberry@gmail.com]
PM—Jan 2010

Interesting facts about the objects represented in this issue

Eyeglasses (p4) Until the eighteenth century, eyeglasses either
balanced precariously on the nose or were held by the rim with one hand. Finally, an optician in Paris added short arms that extended to the temples, and an optician in England carried the idea further by extending the arms to the ears resulting in eyeglass frames.

(p12) The park bench that Tom Hanks sits on for much of the movie was located in historic Savannah, Georgia, at Chippewa Square. The bench is currently held in the Savannah History Museum, Savannah, Georgia. Park benches Tattoos (p14) The most popular design: The tribal design originates
from many different cultures including the Polynesian, Samoans, Maori, Mesoamerican peoples (Aztecs) and the various tribes in Borneo, Philippines and Mentawai Islands. The meanings behind the designs ranges from honoring the gods, social status symbol to spiritual power to keep the evil spirits away.

Candles (p6) While Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant
reformer, was walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. He erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles to recapture the scene for his family. The oldest candle manufacturers still in existence are Rathbornes Candles, founded in Dublin in 1488.

Lawyers (p7) Although the United States has just 5 percent of the
world's population, it has most of the world's lawyers at 70 percent. The American Bar Association has estimated that by 2000, the U.S. will have one million lawyers. Twenty-six Presidents were lawyers before becoming president.

(p14) Army soldiers no longer roll up their sleeves. First, this had a practical reason as it helped reduce sun and other skin injuries. Second, it was all part of the Army's current initiative to instill a warrior attitude in the soldiers of always being prepared for combat at all times. Most infantry units had never authorized the sleeves to be rolled up. Lastly, the design of the new ACU's made rolling up the sleeve impractical. Army uniforms Guitars (p15) Forty years after his death, gypsy-born jazz composer

Credit cards (p8) The largest credit card transaction ever was when
Eli Broad of Los Angeles, CA put 2.5 million dollars on his American Express card in order to buy a painting titled 'I...I'm Sorry' by Roy Lichtenstein.

and guitar player Django Reinhart became the first artist in his category to be celebrated by the French postal services as some kind of national hero, though in fact the man had been born in Belgium near Charleroi.

Wishing wells (p16) One day about 600 BC, the people of the
Greek city of Ephesus gathered around a big pit in the ground. Someone scattered a group of coins across the bottom of the pit, and then teams of workmen lowered several enormous stone slabs over them. These slabs were the central floor stones of what was to become the Artemision—one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It seems that wishing wells and coin water offerings to the gods for good luck dates back to at least the times of the Romans.

Masks (p9) Ancient masks were made from clay, wood or linen with
the attached wig covering the entire head and they had wide open mouths for easier speaking. The traditional "Comedy Tragedy" masks are used now as a universal symbol for drama, and also represent the two sides of Dionysus, as well as the two effects of wine: joyous, Bacchic revelry, and a dark, sorrowful harvest.

Hairbrush (p10) Camel hair brushes are not made of camel's hair.
They are named after the inventor, Mr. Camel. African American, Lyda D Newman patented a new and improved brush on November 15, 1898.

Umbrella (p18) Umbrellas were used in the East as early as the
11th century B.C. Members of the political and religious hierarchy used them not only as a protective measure against the hot sun rays, but also as a device to ward off any spirits who might do them harm. Because of the umbrella's sacred relationship to the sun, it is wrong to open it in the shade.

Jack O’ lanterns (p11) The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. See the fascinating history at www.history.com

Womb (p19) The world's first human womb transplant was done on
April 6, 2000 on a 26-year-old woman in an operation. Surgeons gave the woman a new uterus after her own was removed in an emergency hysterectomy because of a life-threatening hemorrhage when she was 20. The transplanted organ survived for 99 days before it failed and had to be removed. The donor was a 46-year-old woman who agreed to give up her womb for transplant while having surgery to remove ovarian cysts.

Perspectives Magazine

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