I can see into your hearts

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The heart says what only the heart knows.

Lou Reed

The secret self lurks
Stalking shadow and sunlight
For revelation
Hearts break in pleading losses
And rise in resurrection

My sisters and I are semi-retired now, living quietly and running a small shop with odd merchandise and irregular hours. We call it From Beginning to End.

You must visit, children. There are many things there to interest you.

We are content here now, but in years past, our lives sometimes seemed dull. At times, we had spirited debates to liven things up.

“You mean heated arguments that bordered on fistfights,”…


Devoted, faithful, and true

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Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Edwin Arlington Robinson

Seeking adventure
Tender of heart, strong of will
Make me a hero
Giving faithful devotion
I will be your gallant knight

When first planted in the flower garden, the Black Knight was only a small butterfly bush, barely a foot tall and bearing few blooms in his first summer. …


I’ll take you where you belong

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Just because someone’s dead doesn’t mean it’s over.
Julian Clary

Six feet under the ground and long miles away,
I still hear her weeping, day after day.
Annie, sweet Annie, wait, bye and bye,
Someday soon, baby, you won’t have to cry.

When they know what’s got ‘em,
“Have a little mercy!” they’ll yell.
The dirt will stop the screaming,
As I drag them down to Hell.

Susannah Stewart was sitting in the window seat of her room, bragging to Merriam-Webster about the latest practical joke she had played on Harmony and Dissonance.

"You should have seen their faces when…

Teatime ghosts: “the ghosts who live in the little attic in Stewart House. They have refused to cross over. They like it there, especially having tea in the afternoon with Great Granny Matilda Stewart. None of them wish to leave the comforting familiarity and seek the unknown.

That’s why there are so many cardinals near Stewart House. The cardinals, who are psychopomps, conductors for the dead, make their home there while they wait for the ghosts.

Every afternoon the families sit at tiny painted tables, delicately holding their porcelain cups of tea. The baskets of dried flowers, rose, lavender and hawthorn, fill the room with the old-fashioned scent of bygone times when it was the ghosts’ love and laughter in the house. They sit quietly, murmuring their memories until the hour passes and they fade away.”


The Fortune Teller | New Orleans, April 1848

I sing the female electric

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I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
Walt Whitman

Goddess of desire
Surging throughout my being

Cheek pressed to cheek,
Our breath mingled as it came and went.
You lay beside me,
Knowing how I wanted you.

I craved your mouth, your hot heart,
Touching in points of fire and joy,
You moving under me,
Molding one to one.

Making love all evening,
We told stories, creating rituals of passion among the sheets.
We wrapped arms and legs over and around each other,
Finding a secret home.

Your body…

Merriam-Webster, and his hero, Peter Sokolowski, host of the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day podcast, would say "blame it on the Latin."

In this case the Late Latin word casualis

"by chance," from Latin casus "chance, occasion, opportunity; accident, event"

It's the lack of planning that casual and casualty have in common.

Merriam loves the chance to show off how much he knows. 😊


Will you be my friend

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The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily
do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.

St. Therese of Lisieux

Where did she come from,
This dark-eyed intruder?

Blown from the prairie,
Carried out of the meadow,
Plucked from the border,
Picked up alongside the road.

Black-eyed Susan sounds so common.
She must not be special,
Just an everyday girl.

I want to tell them,
And what’s wrong with that?

I'm not snooty and standoffish.
Don’t call me Rudbeckia.
I won’t answer to that.

My petals are layered

The Fortune Teller | Island of Crete in 1550

Love and death in Knossos

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The worst labyrinth is not that intricate form that can entrap us forever, but a single and precise straight line

Jorge Luis Borges

At dawn, I see the blue-green waves, dolphins gleaming grey arrows
Walking on pink sands, I search the past as the beach shore narrows

No one will trouble me. The Venetian usurpers sleep for hours, uncaring of the beauty of the day. The foolish greedy men spend their nights in plotting and scheming, dreaming of influence and power and riches. They quote Machiavelli, but they have neither his intelligence nor his understanding.

Their women preen and please…

The Fortune Teller: a carnival fortune teller, named Penelope in the early 21st century. A combination of a curse and her own powers has allowed her to live for many centuries, taking on many identities, and traveling all over the world.


She rides the winds, still grieving, always warning

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Today I had a strange warning….

Charles Baudelaire

Green and gold
She warns all
Young and old

Death omen
In the air
Her keening
Shows she cares

Say farewell
Then let go
Where it ends
No one knows

For years Susannah Stewart had told stories each evening in the front room of Stewart House to whoever wanted to listen, young and old, overnight guests and family members. The tales varied, from good-natured, fun to tell, let’s run to the happy ending fables to solemn epics of complicated redemption and uplift.

However, this week Susannah had been in a somber…

Susannah MacKinnie

Lover of collages, quilts, vignettes, and tone poem journals.

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