J.E. Shackleton

The old white house among the trees
Had stood for many years.
Within its walls were secrets held
Of laughter and of tears.
The floorboards creak, as footsteps pass
The plastered walls show strain
But covered well with many layers
They've been revived again.

Sculptured frames 'round sash and door
Beneath the paint they hide
The wood is scarred, but thick and sound
For it has stemmed the tide.
Generations through these portals passed
Its protection sought and held
The House has cloaked the ones within
With love and warmth well spelled.

Will generations yet to come
Feel as those who now reside?
The House means more than just four walls
And a roof beneath to bide.
It holds for them so many thoughts
Of happenings they have shared
Of years gone by, just slipped away
Lives of those for whom they cared.

They treat it with affection real
The grass they keep well trimmed
The House is theirs, for now at least
'Till someone else moves in.
But will they sell their precious home
For something new and bright?
The memories held - the work they've done
I envy them their plight.

For most of us a home is where
We hang our hat for now
To spend so long in just one place
Is something we don't know.
The roots put down are precious things
To be cherished for all time.
The old white House among the trees
I'd keep, if it were mine!
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Barb Beecroft : An Excerpt From Lifescapes Trilogy


William and Dorothy
Wandered aimlessly
Through overgrown birch
Far from the leaf-laden path
To the murmuring brook
Of clear cold relief

The essence of pine
And wild rose mingled
Together ascending
To their nostrils
Initiating their mood

As the sun endeavoured
To paint the forest floor
With a web of afternoon light
They stepped ever closer

Aria of nightingale
Melody of warbler
Ripple over pebble
Air pure as ancient earth

Touches light
Breath barely there
Whispers so close
They could be felt
Not heard

Both lost in forever
Neither speaking
Nor hearing
Only being

In her dreams
Dorothy wanders
Through the dense
Woods of birch
Longing to find
Her soul mate, Bill

He'd gone ahead
As he did in life
To make sure
Everything was perfect
For his Dottie

Nine years to
Grow his heavenly garden
Of yellow roses
Perfect, like his weekly
Gift to Dottie
In life

Their Siamese cat-kids
Walk with him to the birch
Chasing squirrels
All lost in forever

This peaceful time filled
With long sunny days
Nights full of stars
And harvest moons

"Patience my love
Our paradise in Heaven
Awaits only the precise second
When the yellow rose
Blooms eternal."

Vanessa and I
Now wander aimlessly
Through the woods
Planting bushes
Of pale yellow

In the gentle breezes
We think we hear
The sounds of their laughter
And cat's meows

We even think
We hear them speaking
In loving whispers
Though it must only be
The ghosts of the past
Gently pushing branches aside

We find a monstrous birch
Hidden well, far from the path
With initials carved in hearts
Still visible through
The overhanging branches

Initials left to breathe the pure air
Surrounded by pine
And a single yellow rose
The bush complete at last
As Dottie finds her Bill

Both again, lost in forever
Now lost only from our sight
Never far from the past
Peacefully watching
Over our future.
By Shelagh Dell

A sad little man...a sorry sight
However he tried , he couldn't do right
He tried to carry himself with aplomb,
When destruction came...he'd made the bomb.

Wandering in space, he pondered his fate
At the Devil's door he rapped on the gate.
The Devil looked out, wearing a grin,
"Go away little man, I'll not let you in."

Beside him from Heaven, Angels stood
St Peter called softly, "Come little man"
Standing in Heaven in awkward stance,
"Fear not," said Peter, ""There's still a chance."

"SIt beside me and take my hand,
"For this is your place, God's son of man"
The man sat with a very light heart,
For now he knew he had played a part.

Tears ran from his eyes for all to see,
Some out of sadness, others of glee.
The world had ended, he was the last,
Now he stood with the rest of the cast.

When it had started, nobody knew,
Who had survived? Not even a few.
The Creator looked at the barren land,
Uttered a sigh and waved His hand.

"No more," He said, "Shall I have to despair.
"No more will danger and strife be there.
"I'll plan a new world on the old,
"But now is the time, I must be bold."

"No precious stones, metals like gold,
"No atomic power for men to hold.
"A Brave New World shall they inherit,
"For by Heaven!  They'll all be in Spirit!"
By Shelagh Dell

Liquor, the wonderful flavour it always gives,
For some it's the only drink that lives
Much of it will hit the drain,
But not before it hits the brain.
When you commit the ultimate sain,
Of Mother's Ruin that is GIN'
When limbs start to melt and become numb,
You've had too much of Jamaican RUM
When toes turn up and you want to die,
You've seen a lot of Canadian RYE
Your tongue is twisted and by Godka,
You've well ingested the Russian VODKA.
The body reacts in a way that's merry,
Uncorking and drinking the British SHERRY.
Gentlemen of old of every sort,
Recommending sipping an Australian PORT
Don't expect to become a healer,
When you taste the heat of moonlight TEQUILA
Your heart will waiver and definitely favour,
The offer and glory of a liqueur called GLAYVER.
Which brings to mind a drink not to botch,
An age old spirit by the name of SCOTCH.
You must not forget to stay in good shape
After busily tasting the wrath of the GRAPE
Get some milk, you'll taste nothing truer,
The brown cow affect of a Mexican KUHLUA
There's many more which come to mind,
To plague the bodies of all mankind.
But for all who feel they're on the brink,
The name still exists...the DEMON DRINK.
By Shelagh Dell

Some of us sit and some of us run,
Whoever said that Bingo was fun?
Tho' dollars change hands by the dozen and score,
There's always room in the coffers for more.
Bingo players are a breed apart
Their personality changes the minute they start.
They might be friendly and sweet and kind
Give them numbers and they're out of their mind
They sit glued fast to tables and seats,
Dabbing and dabbing their many sheets.
At the interval there's a scraping of chairs
As they move for the food and washroom stairs.
Five hours later it's over at last
Some with more money they had in the past.
Oh, parting is such sweet sorrow
Never mind...more BINGO tomorrow!

        Michelle Langshaw

       I live down in the basement.
Down deep in the bowels of the earth.
Down where the gas meter howls.
And the water pipes groan.
The ceiling creaks.
And the furnace moans.
Where dark shadows creep.
And go bang in the night.
That wakes me from a sound sleep
Ready to take flight.
Alone on a cold blustery night.
With moaning and groaning
       creaking and banging.
Oh, woe is me
Down in the basement.

       Michelle Langshaw

My spirit soars with the eagle into a past life.
A time of prairie grass, teepees and buffalo.
I fly through the night on a golden horse with
drums calling to me through the setting sun.
I am a warrior strong and proud.
I have fought many battles and hunted the buffalo.
I am a spirit man.
And the spirits of the ancient ones guide me.
To the buffalo when the young ones cry
I take what I need from mother earth and give
thanks through the drums of my ancestors.
I have fought my last battle.
An arrow has found its mark and I lay dying in the
arms of my creator.
My body is laid to rest with my bow, arrows and
spirit pouch to help me on my long journey.
The wolf, my spirit animal, comes to take me to a
better place.
Joanne Shackleton

Here I am at sixty-five
And suddenly I feel alive
I have the card that sets me free
And the cheque that aids my spending spree!
My hair is white, but I don't  mind,
My sight is short, but still I find
That I have reached a wondrous age
Where there's a deal on every page!

Discounts here and discounts there
Discounts, discounts everywhere
Restaurants offer special rates
When buying "specs" we get a break
Even Value Village yells
"Shop Tuesday and we'll treat you well"
They offer lower rates you see
If the older type you be.

Amusement parks, at the wicket
Sell a special Senior Ticket
And the pharmacist is really nice
On prescription drugs, he cuts the price!
But there is one catch that I see
When we go on our spending spree
Our feet get sore and our legs complain
Down hill's fine but up's a pain!
Our breath gets short and our muscles ache
We often stop for a coffee break
But that's okay, we're kept amused
The Senior Discount we'll not refuse!

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J.E. Shackleton

We gathered at the Lions Hall
A group of writers, one and all
Some were new, just starting out
Feeling nervous -- filled with doubt.
Some had written many years
But still the doubts and early fears
Never quite let go it seems
As we all strive to meet our dreams.

A famous author has been brought
To help us put to pen, our thoughts
To help us write what's kept inside
An expose that turns the tide.
We start to write, we cannot stop
Words tumble out
We never thought
So many tales we had to tell.
We reach down to the depths of Hell!!

We'd write awhile, then read aloud
To an eager and receptive crowd.
Baring souls - emotions felt
Then for some our hearts would melt.
Revealing much that's been kept hidden
Now to the surface, comes unbidden.
Struck to the core, the reader cries,
As visions come -- of days gone by.

We keep on writing -- memories flood
Some so clear -- some like mud
Still we write --we can't refrain
As we play this thought provoking game.
Hours pass like minutes spent --
Each of us giving vent --
To former living long since passed
Our story has been told at last.....

"Inside each of us is a story" was the theme at a workshop held in Innisfail, A.B.  The author conducting the workshop was Eunice Scarf.

By Tracy Duckett

There once was a group that could write
About fantasy, mystery and might,
adventure and fun,
And alien ... cow dung
A weekly, literary delight!

The members of Writers' Club Ink
- an erudite group you might think -
Learn a word every week
Something wise so to 'speak'
But, a 'libation' is still just a drink.

J.E. Shackleton

He stood on the edge of the bellowing crowd..
His eyes like saucers, his heart beat loud.
He tried to escape, but had nowhere to go..
They were all fenced in, and the gates were closed.

The cowboys were there -- just urging them on.
Worried white faces showed signs of alarm!
He could see all his friends forced into the chute..
"That's not for me -- and I don't give a hoot!

That man on the horse, I thought was so kind,
And this dog at my heals..I'll kick his behind...
They were always so friendly..and treated us right
But now they're the cause of our terrible plight!

"I can see that lasso as it flies through the air,
Then down goes my friend, it's really not fair...
I see the knife flash---and my friend bellows loud!
I smell burning hide---let me out of this crowd!

"Oooh , now it's my turn--will I survive?
At least my friends are all still alive...
But they look mighty sore, as they hobble away
'Mid the dust and the sweat
On this Day of all Days!"

He was down on the ground, and bound up real tight.
"Just make it fast and please do it right."
He felt the slash of the knife and the heat of the brand
As he bellowed and kicked and tried hard to stand.

And then he was free, and he thought as he broke,