by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;

Sigh, it is lost on the air;

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;

Grieve, and they turn and go;

They want full measure of all your pleasure,

But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;

Be sad, and you lose them all,

There are none to decline your nectared wine,

But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;

Fast, and the world goes by.

Succeed and give, and it helps you live

But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure

For a large and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

Through the narrow aisles of pain.

“Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Public Domain

when gentleness died…

Amazing Amazon by Katerina Babanovsky

illustrator: Katerina Babanofsky


The Year Gentleness Died 
by Michael Kiesow Moore

It was the year gentleness died.
Larry was first to go 
the sweet young man covered with purple lesions 
He was the sweetest. Men can be sweet, you know.
Then it was Keith’s turn. 
He was a rebel rouser, full of righteous anger.
 But at his core he was all gentleness.
 And it was a plague against the gentle.
And then Frederic went, 
dear lovely Frederic.
 His spirit was like a puppy’s
 bouncing and joyful, always joyful,
 and now gone. and if you never met Kerry—
I could do this all day, telling you 
all whom we lost the year gentleness died.
They went in the tens,  then the hundreds,
 we lost them by the thousands, 
then ten times that across all the lands. They kept falling, all the gentle ones.
“The Year Gentleness Died” by Michael Kiesow Moore from The Song Castle. Nodin Press © 2019.

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