This line from Emily Dickinson may remind us that reading—which up to now has tended to mean books, magazines, newspapers, and the like, though that is changing—is fundamental to intellectual development and the refinement of language, if not to its origin. Most of us who write, whether it be poetry or any other genre, tend to read a great deal; the words, phrases, and ideas we use often are gleaned from other writers, not necessarily in toto but in spirit. This ‘traverse that the poorest may take,’ to paraphrase Dickinson, nonetheless can “take us lands away,” and, in so doing, open up ways of thinking and writing we had not dreamed of. That is the great gift of books. Write a poem about a book or books, or the act of reading.


HOLY BOOK (a sonnet)

A book of books; a letter to mankind
God-breathed to men of many walks of life –
And yet this faultless work is undermined.
Some say its very Author causes strife.
Translated into fourteen hundred tongues,
No other book approaches such renown
As this, which is as breath to failing lungs.
Throughout, God’s living hallowed voice resounds.
Amazing in enduring relevance
Astonishing consistency of thought
Unparalleled in unbound eminence –
Deny its holiness?  No, I cannot.
Though there are those who disregard His word,
My God will not be silenced, nor unheard.
© 2013,  Marie Elena Good



Of little things are readers made:
the word; the page; the well-turned phrase;
the sentences; the great parade
of little things. Are readers made
to merely see? The mind would fade
if that were so, but no, in plays
of little things are readers made:
the word; the page; the well-turned phrase.
© copyright 2013, William Preston



Words blend
sending imagination reeling,
feeling every emotion or notion
of adventure. No censure can
silence every act of violence
or love. Printed and bound
found on the shelf with other like
tomes. Curled up at home,
fire crackling, sipping on cocoa,
flipping each leaf of worded sage.
Turn the page.

© copyright 2013, Walter J Wojtanik


MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:  Star Over Bethlehem by Erin Kay Hope

Amid the beauty and charm proffered in response to this prompt is the heart of what the Christmas season means to the Christian community.  For me, the message is no more clear and unassumingly magnificent than in the few words Erin Kay offered at the onset.  Her use of form is effective here, as are her carefully chosen words.

Star Over Bethlehem by Erin Kay Hope

Piercing through
Darkness and despair,
A star, bright in the heavens
To show the way to God’s love,
Manifested in
A newborn

 WILLIAM’S CHOICE(S):  God Rest Ye Merry, Musicians by Jane Shlensky AND Inside Out by Ellen Evans

This being Christmastime, I decided to indulge a little and proffer two blooms. In both instances I was moved deeply by one phrase in the poem: in Jane’s offering it was “imagining a baby’s power / to change the ways we dream”; in Ellen’s, it was “the Temple windows reversed the mien / allowing the inner light to stream.” Both of these images were so strong and clear, seeming to subsume the whole poem is a single breath. Although one poem speaks of music and the other, of light, both, in my view, are similar in that they are about offerings: the musicians gladdening others’ hearts with their songs; the Temple inspiring us to let our inner lights shine and illuminate the way for others. I thought both poems were magnificent, and fit the season.


Each year the list grows longer
as musicians gather ‘round
to pick the songs for Christmas Eve
to greet Jesu with sound.

Each of us needs to hear a few
repeated year on year;
each brings a voice or instrument
and plays it soaring, clear.

Flute, violin, guitar, and bass,
piano, trumpet, dulcimers
make music beautiful to hear;
the harmonies are fulsome-r.

Gesu Bambino, Still, Still, Still,
Ave Maria, O Holy Night,
What Child is This, so many more,
Which carols lift you to the light?.

The goal is always just the same—
to draw hearts to a quiet place
where kindness kneels in worship
with humility and grace.

We want the worshippers to rest,
holding faith like a candle’s beam,
imagining a baby’s power
to change the ways we dream.

Maybe a few will feel a tug
of something powerful as love
and help someone, offer a hug,
live out the peace they’re dreaming of.

We cannot know how we’re received.
We just perform, let music rise.
It fills us up and spills down from
our instruments, voices, and eyes.

We practice ‘til we break our hearts;
we laugh and sing and play,
musicians in a tiny church
to welcome Christmas Day.

INSIDE OUT by Ellen Evans

A tale resides in Rabbinic lore
of ages that have gone before,

of the windows in the Temple’s walls,
and to this day the message calls.

When building windows it’s the norm
with a basic logic to conform.

The progression inward opens wide
to bring the light of day inside.

But the Temple windows reversed the mien
allowing the inner light to stream

from deep within to far and wide
to all those searching for a guide.

And though the Temple no longer stands
the message still speaks to our task at hand.

If we each release our inner light
we can help set this troubled world aright.

Congratulations, ladies.  And thank you to all our poets, whose work continues to light our path here at Poetic Bloomings.



Nativity by Gertrude Kasebier c. 1901[6]

Nativity by Gertrude Kasebier c. 1901[6]

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  ~Luke 2:11

 What God is This?

Following the angel’s appearance months ago,
A young woman – mystified, yet willing –
Subjected herself to ridicule
While readying for the baby whose presence
Began making itself evident.
Then came the night
On the heels of a long and arduous journey
In humbleness of setting and witness.
How prepared was the young woman’s weary body
And emotion-laden heart
For the miracle of birth, much less this Miracle of Birth –
This holy night that culminates in pulling her newborn son
To her breast,
Offering life-giving milk
To the very One who created life,
And came to offer it eternal.
What God is this who would choose this humble,
Implausible means
Out of love for a sinner?
          My God.
                          My God…
©  2013, Marie Elena Good

We will forgo today’s  In-Form Poet Wednesday with RJ Clarken, as it happens to fall on Christmas Day.

 If you are looking for poetic inspiration and have not done so already, please take a peek at William’s Season of Light prompt:

Wishing you all the blessings of the season.


Photo by Deanna Marie Metts

Photo by Deanna Marie Metts

In Christian-dominated cultures, Christmas is probably the predominant holiday. Easter is central to the Christian tradition, but Christmas, coming as it does so close to the winter solstice and to other celebrations such as Chanukah (most years) and Kwanzaa, that have some element of celebrating light, probably has the widest appeal. In the United States, certainly, Christmas is as much a secular holiday as a religious one. One reason for its popularity may be the plethora of lights that go up on stores and homes, as if there is some urgent need to counter the dark of December with light, and the promise of the sun returning. It seems that, whatever the inspiration to celebrate at this time of year, there is an element of “home” lurking somewhere; this often is a time for families and friends to gather around the hearth of home, perhaps, again, going back to the idea of light and warmth.

Write a poem about Christmastime. You might want to focus on that holiday or another that occurs at this time of year, or you might want to write about the solstice or the idea of light in the midst of darkness. Or, you might focus on coming home again. Your poem may have a religious basis or not.


Light and Life

Abandoned glory for virgin’s womb.

For his birth, there was no room.

Embraced His fate, though death did loom,

Crucified; then laid in tomb.

Conquered sin and death outright,

My Redeemer won the fight.

Sacrificed for sin’s dark blight;

Light and Life of Silent Night.

©  2009, Marie Elena Good



When snowflakes
cover the lakes
and fields with powdered cheer,
and evergreens are full of lights,
matching the brightest starry nights
that I will see all year,
my heart is home,
though I may roam,
with those I hold most dear.

© copyright 2013, William Preston



Blinking, twinkling.
Red, yellow, blue.
Green and white,
all night, bright.
Beacons of light
in a mid-December
snowfall. Offering
a brilliance not seen
since early fall.
Silently accenting
vignettes of serenity. 
A Christmas amenity
strung and hung,
eclectic and electric.
Blinking, twinkling.
Red, yellow, blue.
Green and white,
all night, bright.
Christmas lights.

© copyright 2012, Walter J Wojtanik


It’s a big surprise waking this Saturday to find Marie missing in action and me taking her place. She had taken ill and we hope she’s feeling much better by this posting. But the reason we are here is to celebrate poetry and the poets who propose it. It’s been a while since I had this task and the one thing that came back to flood my memories was just how hard a task this is. All of our poets are so talented and expressive; we appreciate your efforts in making Poetic Bloomings the loving garden it is. Speaking of being “In The Garden”…


In reading this week’s poems, I get the sense of exactly what this place means to you all as well. We plant the seeds of this poetic process and your care and nurturing put into words as your poems are all beautifully grown here. The poem that struck me heartily is actually a two-part poem. Taken from the children’s rhyme, our poem givens two sides of the loving process our Creator presents us. “Roses are Red; Violets are Blue, Sal Buttaci, I love your poem” It earns you my Beautiful Bloom:

1. ROSES ARE RED by Salvatore Buttaci

their petals soaked in flower blood
because when they first bloomed
in the first garden that first week
they stood in stemmed rows
asking God the Gardener to give them
beating hearts as He had given
the beasts of land and sea
beating hearts so they would know
life’s painful sacrifice enough
to shed blood when these hearts
would sometimes break
just as He had kindly given them
the dew of tears to shed each morning
as sadly they would long for
the brightness of the dawn
beating hearts to pump blood
that could be shed
this is what these roses asked
and God the Gardener was moved
by their flower prayer
but He wanted that at least
they be spared what pain would come
when Eden was no more
so He compromised and soaked
their white petals in the blood
of His own Son that would be shed
somewhere in time

2. VIOLETS ARE BLUE by Salvatore Buttaci

as if their petals were open hands
gathering into themselves the secret
of the sky and sea
as if strong-stemmed they stood
despite the wind to say their peace
how much their petals yearned for blue
to capture the wildness of the waves
to embody all of what was heaven
how small was their request from a God
Who could do all things
give us the strength of your heaven
give us the majesty of your seas
simple violets are we
let us praise you
and God the Gardener was moved
by their flower prayer
but He wanted to spare at least
these His creatures from
all that sky and sea entail
and so He compromised
took a painter’s brush
with which He soaked their petals
in the richness of His blue
and when His art was then complete
He marveled at the way these violets
these loving creatures He had made
would bob their blue heads towards
His infinite heaven
how they would bow their blue heads
towards His majestic sea


For me, this simple poem expresses the complexity of love. Love, that is, far beyond the love of spouses or friends; love extending to unknown and unnamed others who might chance along a path and see a flower. I think it extends also to love for the whole creation, here represented by a single flower. Finally, it deals with love in the mature sense: that is, love capable of looking beyond the moment to something more permanent beyond, in this case, the sadness that would have ensued when the flower died. Simple, yet profound: that’s how this poem impressed me. Hence this proffered bloom.


I saw a flower along my path
Beautifully bloomed
With heavenly fragrance
I stopped to touch its petals
And experience its scent
And thought about picking it
For you

I left it where it grew
For all who walk that path
To enjoy its beauty
And fragrance

For if I had picked it
You would have enjoyed it
For but a day or so
Before it died
And when dead and limp
It would make you sad
That I had picked it
For you


For my Bloom this week, I choose Erin Kay’s ‘Dance of the Gingerbread Cookies.’  It was at once a tasty, sweet, nostalgic childlike, dreamlike poem that had a perfect ending.
It brought back memories of my own two kids, and the fun and magic of the Holiday season.

Dance of the Gingerbread Cookies

The Gingerbreads have come to dance tonight:
With candy eyes and icing sugar clothes,
Oh what a wondrous, scrumptious, darling sight
They make, all dancing sweetly – there one goes!

The Gingerbreads have danced the night away:
So, out of breath, they climb back into bed;
As morning heralds in the light of day
They’re fast asleep with blankets overhead…

The child in her pj’s taps her chin:
“Why have the Gingerbreads all grown so thin?”

© Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

On that note, I bid to all a good night!
Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!  Best Wishes for a safe and joyful season of celebration!




December is apparently a special month for Poetic Bloomings interviews. Last year at this time, I scored an interview with Father Christmas himself.  This year, it’s our very own Master Gardner and Poet Extraordinaire, THE Walter Wojtanik! Grab a nice glass of wine or cup of hot cocoa, put your feet up, and enjoy our visit!   Continue reading


For this week’s In-form Poet, I’m giving all you wonderful poets a gift. You see, the form Sonnetina Tre, which typically is penned in rhyme and metric form, doesn’t necessarily have to be so, as you’ll see when you read the description below (per The Poets Garret.)

“This Sonnetina form comprises of two quatrains and a couplet (Three Stanzas). The normal sequence is two quatrains and then a couplet, (One stanza short of a Shakespearean Sonnet). There is however, the mini-Dorn [Sonnet] to consider: this variation consists of a quatrain, a couplet and then a closing quatrain, (Dorn uses sestets instead of quatrains).

There are various forms of quatrain, ranging from free verse, rhyming couplets, alternate line rhyme or an envelope, so there is a certain amount of flexibility here. No meter is stated, but tetrameter or pentameter is normal.”

For our purposes, this means essentially that you are being challenged today to write a Sonnet(ish) poem (or two or three or more.) The only major requirements are that you include in your poem two quatrains with a couplet, or one sestet with two couplets or one quatrain. Got it? Good!

Here are a few of my examples:

Sweet Temptress

O, sweet icing I have to swirl on this cake:
you tempt me so, with sugar and cream.
I am full of desire which I cannot shake.
You are my confectionery dream.

Just one tiny taste, and no one should detect
it. I’ll still have plenty left to ice.
Then, just a few more spoonfuls. Oh! Have I wrecked
it? Now I can’t even frost a slice!

Well, I guess I’d better be off to the store
and hope that I can find a tub or two more!


Go To Sleep, Caitie

Sitting in bed with my most bestest book,
bunny ears on…let the magic begin.
This is the moment I love. Take a look…
“Go to sleep, Caitie!” “Hey Mom, in a min.”

I’m up to the chapter right near the close,
and what happens next? A conjurer’s trick!
I know how this ends, but – fun to suppose…
“Go to sleep, Caitie!” “Hey Mom, in a tic.”

I’m finally finished. Gosh, that was fun!
“Go to sleep, Caitie!” “Okay Mom. I’m done.”


Seven Girls

Faded background, long ringlet curls:
sign of the times from yesteryear.
The worn faces of seven girls
wearing vague smiles, mostly austere.
Updated background, tattoos and swirls:
sign of the times from modern day.
Made-up faces of seven girls:
wholly different kind of display.
Times have changed; and that resonates. It’s true…
each photograph could capture me or you.

(Note: this was also an Ekphrastic poem, because it was written to a photographic/picture prompt. In it, the screen was split: on one side were seven little girls whose appearance seems to indicate a time frame from around the early 1900s. The opposite side of the screen shows seven teen/young adult girls who are considerably more ‘modern’ in appearance.)


So…are you up to the challenge? I think you are. Ready…set…start poeming!

(One final note: As you read this post, please know that I am studying for finals. I won’t be able to get back to you and comment on your poems until sometime on Friday. By this post, I will have already taken two finals [on Tuesday] but am facing two more finals on Thursday. I apologize for the delays, but please know that I will be looking forward to reading your work when I finish up my school term.)


Keeping Watch

Joseph leads with somber grace
A weary donkey slows the pace
A restless Babe in Mary’s womb
An empty trough will hold Him soon

Anticipation grips the earth
A star will mark the foretold birth
There’s something in the air tonight
Compelling truth will come to light

The angels watch with trembling wing
Awaiting birth of infant King

© Marie Elena Good, 2013


SANneTinA Tres
Way up North, as the tale is told,
where the wind blows hard and cold,
the “Legend” lives amongst the pines
planted neatly in straight lines.

A jolly sort, who shakes and jingles,
one of the Merry Christmas Kringles
who with his Mrs., as I hear it,
are keepers of the Christmas Spirit.

They shine all year without applause,
Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus!

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2013


Most everyone who enters the Poetic Bloomings blog refers to it as a “garden.” It seems only natural (pardon the expression) to suggest that we return to our roots to write a poem about gardens, gardening, gardeners, or some combination thereof. Not everyone likes gardens, of course: some folks simply hate it and others think that wild nature is preferable to cultivated nature; natural gardens or gardening could be your topic as well, therefore. In any way it seems appropriate to you, write a “garden” poem.


Consider the Garden

What rose
Glances with scorn
At the aster,
“I don’t understand,
Therefore I fear.”
Let every gardener
And every passerby
Discover the beauty of color,
Texture and fragrance
As they mingle
And adorn.

© copyright 2013,  Marie Elena Good



When first I went outdoors for planting,
I had myself a burst of ranting:
my thumb was not green; I vented my spleen
and came indoors, angry and panting.

© copyright 2013, William Preston


MARIE ELENA’S CHOICEThe Onion by Ellen Evans

There is so much to admire in this poem.  The inferred rejection; the reference to simply “Cook;” the emotion; and the transfer from “onion” and “Cook” to “me.”   But what really moved me was the invaluable lesson ingeniously presented.  Ellen, this piece leaves me shaking my head in awe.  This should be required reading for young and old alike.  It is my pleasure to humbly offer you my Bloom.

The Onion by Ellen Evans

Once there was an onion,
in the corner
of the bin
pushed aside by itself,
in the dark
until it was picked up.

First, Cook removed
the few outer layers.
They sure were dry
and shriveled
—looked more
like the leaves

swirling in eddies up
the back porch—
but at least
they had protected
the ones underneath.

Next came a few good ones,
moist, pungent, tender,
the way an onion
was supposed to be.
Afterward one
that was spoiled—

soft, brown, rotten-smelling.
“Not even good for
soup, that one,” said Cook.
Then back to a few more
healthy ones, followed by
another putrid one,

a few more good ones
—and so on.
The spoiled ones always
pushed out of the
way on
the cutting board.

And this was Cook’s
experience with onions:
If you take an onion that
had been around
a while, and just
cut it open—

mixing up
the bad with the good
spoiled the good.
All had to be thrown away.
Ah, but take that same onion,
and open it carefully—

layer by layer.
And behold, at the center,
a green shoot starting
to grow.
And Cook says, “I think
I’ll plant that one.”

“Who was the onion?” you ask.
“Me,” I answer.
“And who
picked it up?” you ask.
again I answer.

Funny thing about onions,
how even the
good ones
when you
open them
make you cry.

 WILLIAM’S PICKOn We Walk Earthly Bound by Marilyn Braendeholm

I must confess that this poem enthralled and enchanted me with sounds and images; its contrasts between the “earthly bound” and the birds carried “along on spread wings and piccolo song” left me open-mouthed in wonder. Words are superfluous as I try to describe how much I like this poem and how deep are the feelings it inspires. The prompt produced many excellent works, as I noted in my comments, but this one, above all others, cast a spell.

ON WE WALK EARTHLY BOUND by Marilyn ‘Misky’ Braendeholm

We walk winter frost under steel sky, rain held
in clouds with our sheer desire. We seek to know
that we are alive, to breathe northern cold that scalds
our toes, that bites at our hatted heads and fingers
wrapped in woollen gloves, but on we march, earthly bound
through fallen November leaves, and bracken mournful

of December. And we step chilled to bone toward
bleakest winter. We follow shadowed sky, deeply steeled
to grey, and we know that above those clouds all reigns
blue and clear. The winds swift to carry sun and birds
along on spread wings and piccolo song. We live,
my friend, in two different worlds, but we march on.


RJ’S IN-FORM BLOOM:  August Terza Rima by Vivienne Blake

Once again, there were some amazing Terza Rima poems written. It was really  hard to choose. Three really stood out for me, though, and totally made me say, “Wow!”

One of those was PurplePen’s ‘Christmas in New York.’ Having lived in NY for 14 years, I could absolutely relate – and it brought back some wonderful memories.

Another was Erin Kay’s ‘Dreamcatcher’ for its awesome imagery.

But…I think this week’s In-form Poet Bloom has to go to Vivienne. Her crescent moon and the romance – in a combined Terza Rima Sonnet just resonated with me in a huge way.

Congratulations to all the poets! You are brilliant and I love the amazing way you all have with your words!

August Terza Rima by Vivienne Blake

A garden in the hush of eventide,
all work has stopped, the buds have closed in sleep.
A summer place, we saunter side by side.

Above, a crescent moon is set to peep
shyly on our bliss, both satisfied
and sad the day is ending glorified.

Reluctantly we turn our steps aside
towards the setting sun that dips below
the trees that line the riverside

with red-streaked colour statement. It must go,
to stay away for hours, just to preside
on other summer places we don’t know.

We turn again, prepared to go inside—
as night must fall, the moon will still abide.


Quick note from Marie Elena:  I TOTALLY second William’s and RJ’s choices!  Such amazing poetry this week! 


For the In-form Poet, December 11th, we’re going to do a rhyming form again (oh quit yer whining!) with some metrics, for…uh…good measure (and yes, I said no whining!)

Per Terry Clitheroe’s wonderful The Poets Garret (

The Terza Rima is a wonderfully challenging poetry form of Italian origin. In the original form, there was no set meter although it is normal to keep a constant syllable count and line length. In the modern version the syllables are accentuated and usually iambic tetrameter or pentameter.

Lines 1 and 3 rhyme with each other, and line 2 sets the rhyme for the next stanza. There can be any number of tercets or three line stanzas and it is a matter of preference whether you link back to the first stanza or not. If there is no link back, it’s normal to terminate with a couplet that rhymes with the previous stanza.
The rhyme patterns are ….a. b. a…b. c. b… c. d. c. etc., finishing x. a. x.; or x. x. etc.

On Writing Terza Rima

I sit and stare at my half-penned schema
and ponder words which might ring like a song.
It’s rather hard to write Terza Rima

since every try seems to turn out wrong.
I wonder why my muse plays games with me
but gives no flash insight for which I long.

Am I taking this too seriously?
I sincerely hope that is not the case.
I think I’ve become delirious. Me.

Once again, I’ve spent too much time and space
since this form has proven to be my bane.
Nevertheless, I’ll try to show some grace.

As you can see, this is not a cinquain
but apropos of nothing, why complain?


White Horse Farms

On the drive home from Atlantic City,
(my grandparents moved there when I was small)
we stopped at a farm stand that looked pretty

inviting, with fresh fruit, as I recall.
My parents bought baskets of sugar plums,
peaches and summer berries from the stall.

“When the peaches are ripe, when the time comes,”
said my mom, “I’ll make a cobbler or pie
or a peach cake with cinnamony crumbs.”

Pleased, we got in the car and waved goodbye.
And suddenly, plums magically vanished…
devoured by my young sisters and I.

Matutolypea *

Does the AM put you in a mòód?
Do you wake up feeling fractious?
Should the early hours be eschewed?

Is awakening detractious:
one side more than the other side,
or is that just being factious?

There are those who say, “Woe, betide
folks who roll to the other side.”
Cranky might be the term applied.

On getting up, you must decide:
Will you be Jekyll…or be Hyde?

* The word, Matutolypea, per Worthless Word for the Day, means ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed.’


And finally, if you really want a challenge, why not try combining forms, such as the example below (5-7-/5 Haiku/Terza Rima.)

This is the Season

This is the season
of bright scarves and rosy cheeks
and scents so pleasin’

‘cause we’ve waited weeks
for this time to (at long last)
come.  Small children’s shrieks

of joy waft right past
us, like the ribbons we use
to wrap up gifts.  Cast

your gaze, and your muse
will grant your wish, appeasin’
any sort of blues.

And that’s the reason
for all the hustle and fun.
This is the season…


So…are you up for the challenge?  I think you are.  Ready, set…start poeming!


Politically Unbecoming

We tend to see things differently,
But I would never stoop so low
As to treat you viciously.

I’d never thought of you as “foe,”
But that’s how you have treated me
Since partisan rifts began to grow.

I’d love to let ideas flow,
But you would just get mean so, no.

© copyright 2013,  Marie Elena Good



By mid-October, she gets this tingle
through to her fingers and her toes.
The little folk begin to mingle

in their merry workshop clothes.
And in the stables things get going,
that’s the way it always goes.

Just outside, the wind is blowing,
frigid hands, but warming hearts
and even though it’s really snowing

it belies the way this season starts.
So, in the kitchen – pots and pans
and dry goods stacked on sturdy carts.

Mrs. “C” makes no demands
as Christmas baking she begins
with her tender loving hands.

He’ll be busy filling his bins
with toys for all the girls and boys,
while her baked goods fill her tins,

her one of many Christmas joys.
They called her Crystal, Mrs. “C”,
an angelic voice amongst the noise,

the sound of much activity.
But, she is clear on why she’s here:
to celebrate Nativity.

Her given name, it surely fits her,
transparent as the day is long,
for Santa Claus can see through her,

her eyes – wide open, vision strong.
This “Peace on Earth” was her grand scheme
and when she’s right, things can’t go wrong.

While children close their eyes to dream
with blankets tucked beneath their jaws,
that is when Mrs. “C” will beam.

This “Lady in Waiting” for the cause,
listening for his sleigh bells jingle.
She is his Mrs. Santa Claus!

© copyright 2013,  Walter J Wojtanik