Mary E. Adair
Just before the USA is to celebrate their Independence Day on the Fourth of July, the sovereignty of Iraq is declared with a very quiet, secluded ceremony with only those requisite to the proper signing of documents and the necessary guards present. Moved up a couple of days, to avoid protesting at the least, and some type of terrorist event at the worst, many on both sides breathed a sigh of relief when the announcement was made at its conclusion.
For the American and other coalition or U.N. soldiers, however, it is not the end of service there in Iraq, though now it will be deemed as assistance to the Iraqui government, and the soldiers will desirably be performing in more advisory roles than in actual combat situations. We sincerely hope for the very best outcome and pray that the maiming and killing will cease and the soldiers will be able to leave Iraq safely and sooner than the most optimistic predictions at this point.
Having addressed that in a somewhat naive, and far from comprehensive comment, we turn to the compositions in this issue. Along the line of soldiering and its consequences, we bring you a Gerald Sheagren story as though told by the brother of a vet of the Viet Nam War. Touching and terribly vivid, "Tunnel Vision" draws the reader into the midst of reality seldom imagined by those unscathed by war of any period.
Also in the story department, the serial by Alan Mosedale, "Hybird - The Green Cloud" is continued with chapters three and four. Previous chapters and the cast of characters may be read by clicking the author's byline (name in blue) and clicking the titles at the close of his biography. This works with all bylines, though some authors have never added their bio's or pictures to their list of Pencil Stubs Online publications.
Poetry can be expressed on so many levels, on such varied subjects, that one never knows what they will find when choosing a title from our list. One timely poem, however, does explain the author's dedication to "The Flag At My Doorstep." That author, John I. Blair, also contributes the following poems in this issue: "When I Look Down," "When Nefertiti Was Young," "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not," "Dark Garment," and "Anger."
Bruce Clifford returns this month with two works: "The Safety Net (Faulty Sunset)" and "Again." Other returning poets are the author Gregory S. Hargrave who aka's as Yopo with "One," John D. Strain with "Jane," and Shannon M. Wadford with "And They Live ON!" We happily welcome back Mark Crocker, whose fencing skills were the basis of an article he did for us a few years back. This time he poetically addresses a problem that may be all too familiar for several of our readers, "Sleep." We introduce one new writer, Steve Embrey, whose poem "Noen Cross" poignantly expresses disappointment. We hope to see some poetry from him soon on the subjects he mentions finding interesting in his bio.
Although Michael Craner and Mattie Lennon are absent for the July columns, Leo C. Helmer whips up a sweet ending for a barbeque in "Cookin' With Leo." LC Van Savage echoes the feelings a lot of us have been experiencing since 9/11 in her column "Consider This," then professes admiration for a segment of the news world in the article, "Sports, Deer, and Video Tape."
Gerard Meister also doubles with both column - where he discusses his approach to the Cellular Era in "Thinking Out Loud" - and an article, "A Point of View - July."
We hope you enjoy the issue, and we definitely extend an invitation to you to submit your own work, be it poetry, article, or story. Until you have seen your writing in publication, you can't imagine the feeling it will generate. This magazine is dedicated to promoting writing and reading as both are rapidly becoming lost arts. Why don't you help keep those skills alive by trying your hand at relating your own thoughts, trials, hopes, dreams, accomplishments?
Also, you can email others to come read a piece you like right from the page where you find it. The handy form is simple to use, and will bring your contact straight to the article, poem, whatever. If you want to see how it works first, send to yourself.
See you next month!