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Looking Forward....

Posted by Peejay

A `blog` is new to me.....and so is my stoma. Conseqently, trying to be honest writing about - and coping - with both makes me realise how much I need to look forward, not backward. As I`m a poet, this piece might say it for me.....


Mozart mixes well
with meloncholy,
to such extent
that the notes have meandered
the estuary marsh
of my brackish mind,
sweetening the water.

Window pearls are growing
to decorate my view
of this first January day.
They swell, then bounce,
blooming into silver rivers
and streak like wraiths
to the rim.
A trailed rill
seeds more surrogates
- soft studs that star the dark,
even on a dank day.

I remember rain on another pane,
and my resolve returns
for this fresh-laundered year.

See all blogs by Peejay
Jan 12, 2016 3:50 PM
JudiA : a fellow poet - cool
Jan 12, 2016 5:00 PM
Bill : Hello Peejay, I like what you have penned and only wish that I could gather those sorts of words and concepts together in a similar way - but that style has always eluded me! however, I do welcome someone who truly knows how to write in a way that they can claim the title of 'poet'.
I have always avoided that more illustrious label for the more descriptive one of 'rhymist'.Keep them coming and
Best wishes Bill
Jan 12, 2016 9:40 PM
JudiA : Summer Dies Softly

Summer dies softly
On the afternoon breeze
Dusty gusty whirlwinds
Of first fallen leaves

Shadows grow longer
A change in the angle of light
Late summer shower spawns
Double rainbow delight

Light slant through dust motes
Refracted colored leaves
Like a quiet gasp
One last exhale, breathed

Wheel of the season turns
Lessons of fall return
Abundance then decay
This is Nature's way
Jan 13, 2016 2:15 AM
Bill : JudiA. Nature's way indeed and very nicely put as a response to 'LOOKING FORWARD'! As you say the seasons turn and from December 21st I look forward to the new year. Here's an excerpt from a seasonal rhyme expressing that thought.
In midwinter's doom and gloom
I need a brand new start.
The winter equinox will soon
bring pleasure to my heart.

Amidst mid-winter's dark and cold
there comes that special day
when days will lengthen and unfold
and springtime's on its way.

The earth will tilt towards the sun
and give us cause to cheer.
Deep dark wither's days are done
until another year.

B. Withers 2003

Jan 13, 2016 2:15 AM
Bill : Excuse the spelling mistake - I should read through these things more carefully before I post them -- 'deep dark withers' is obviously a Freudian slip although sometimes it might describe the mood quite well! However, it should read 'deep dark winters'.
Jan 13, 2016 4:53 AM
Peejay : So good to know you`re on the site, Bill and Judi ...and to read your poetry. We`re all different, which is why there is so much diversity in poetry....from Dylan Thomas to Bob Dylan, John Clare to John Lennon. I'm looking forward to reading some more of your work....and anyone else who wants to join in!
Jan 13, 2016 2:36 PM
JudiA : I mostly do a Japanese short form called haiga. Apparently I can't upload a jpeg in comments. I do have an old blog at judibrannnarmbruster.blogspot.com if you care to browse it.
Jan 13, 2016 6:07 PM
Peejay : I tried your blog but couldn`t find it, Judi....but I enjoyed your haiga among your photos. It reflects the self-cleansing of Earth beautifully. My only attempts have been a trio of senryu - and then only tongue-in-cheek (below)...

Senryu of failure

Poignancy- pungent,
I crack the puzzletree nut,
spilling the pathos.

Senryu of Another Failure

I`m an idiot
trying to extract more juice
from profundity

Senyu of yet another failure

The venting of spleen
ain`t even excuses
for a poem...OK?

Jan 13, 2016 6:47 PM
JudiA : try http://www.judibrannanarmbruster.blogspot.com -

Native and Natural - The Art and Poetry of Judi Brannan ...
Native and Natural - The Art and Poetry of Judi Brannan Armbruster
Jan 14, 2016 2:51 AM
Bill : Hello Peejay. Loved the verse but surely there's always an excuse for writing poetry and venting the spleen must be up there amongst the best of excuses! - Or at least that's what I have found. Best wishes
Jan 14, 2016 2:51 AM
Bill : Hello Judi. I was captivated by your blogspot. I have never been much of a 'tourist' when I go visiting because I usually prefer to meet the people rather than see the sights. But reading and seeing your history and perspective in the way that you portray it is the way I prefer to 'travel'. Thank you for drawing it to our attention. Best wishes Bill.
Jan 14, 2016 5:08 AM
Peejay : Ha....so sorry, Bill! I don`t want to give you a wrong impression. I wrote these senryus in response to a rant by particularly bigoted poet (she happens to be well published) where she seemed to forget her usual maxims of "the music of words" in favour of dogma. It seemed a good idea at the time, lol! It makes me realise how diverse readers` perceptions of the same poem can be.
Jan 15, 2016 2:19 AM
Bill : Hello Peejay. Thanks for enlightening me. Words often have more than one meaning before they're even written so a string of them are bound to carry a multitude. As for dogma, unfortunately it is all too common in the human species. Here is my take on the subject:-


As I observe it flying round
knocking people to the ground
I wish to stop you and to plead

Hard and relentless in attack
I think its gone but it comes back.
Reflect and ponder as your read

The narrow mindedness it shows
so often brings you near to blows
no-one else will this thing heed
so 'you' should keep it on a lead.

Perhaps if we could pass a law
to make you see, as we all saw
This might just help you to concede
and keep your dogma on a lead.

In pondering the human race
which lives confined in time and space
I feel that it will best succeed
with all our dogmas on a lead.

B. Withers 1993
Jan 15, 2016 2:35 PM
JudiA : good one - and good advice
Jan 15, 2016 2:35 PM
JudiA : Desert Gone

I thought I missed the desert,
the solitude and stark beauty.
But what I remember is being bulldozed
as yet another subdivision
stretches like an amoeba,
devouring the land I loved.
The urban sprawl,
the traffic and noise,
the desert dug up and for sale,
as giant saguaro ship to foreign places.

Yet, there must be some place
where I can walk alone,
breathe in subtle scents
of desert clean air, creosote,
ironwood and mesquite.

There has to be a few places left
to listen to the whisper of lizards
as they bask in the heat,
and the doves' special sound
as they wing away in surprise.

I almost felt it,
almost caught the wave of joy
I used to know,
of extreme quietude
and subtle flowers
hidden until rain summons them.

I almost found it,
the peaceful moment
when I could lose myself
in the serenity
of the past,
of a simpler time,
that unspoiled arroyo
where only long quiet moments
arouse the secrets of life lived
at a much slower pace.
But not quite

And I am sad to say
I didn't find time,
to find my way
back, into the desert dry past
that reflected the innocence
of my childhood memories.

As the airplane flew over some
seemingly undisturbed distant desert
I admired the hills far below.
They looked like crushed brown velvet
or the wrinkled face of an ancestor.

Even there I see a dirt track
going somewhere,
leading me to believe
man will never be satisfied
until all the earth
is trampled and claimed.

Then, even the direst dry desert
Will be gone forever.

Jan 16, 2016 2:40 AM
Bill : Hello JudiA. I'm with you all the way on this subject and you put it so linguistically well. I've written so many verses expressing similar sentiments but I'll just leave you with this one.

Soon there'll be no greenery
no green-belt or wood.
An urban sprawl as scenery
where once trees and meadows stood.

In these my last reflective years
I see both greed and cost.
My mind is filled with doubts and fears
about the things we've lost.

I must go and leave you now
to ponder on my lot
in order when I leave this earth
to give back what I got.

Let's put the buildings underground
or into outer space.
There is just one world so far found
why spoil this wondrous place.

Let's help the birds and frogs and toads
the grass and trees so tall
by knocking down the bricks and roads
and having space for all.

B. Withers (2000)
(2nd part to Martin's move to Merlin Close)
Jan 18, 2016 9:02 AM
Peejay : Hi Bill and Judi.
I`ve been offline for a few days so have just caught up with your posts ( I found your blog, Judi - and loved it).
From the latest pieces from you both, it seems we all have the same opinion of man as a species ...pretty low.
Here`s my take on the subject, written about thirty years ago....

Tearing the Fabric

This place has stayed a lake
five thousand years, more,
while brown corduroy, green belts,
yellow ribbons wrap the shore.

Alternately, by time and loam,
slow emerging, time unrushed,
umbrella`d trees spread domes,
sink tendrils, staying, swayed

influentially by disparate wind.
Never still, always in transit,
the waterslide from land is sly, blind
to all persuasion but slope, falling

unhurried, weeping - then flushed
from embarassed rock, sobs, tumbles
trilling down to quiet sloth, hushed
in calm, tranquillised deep.

The waterweft meanders, often stopping,
- life creeps to darn the empty space
as sunglow needles weave the warp
into the rayglade`s dappled lace.

Then, despoiling man, swift sewing,
zigs and zags his curse the more,
rends the gaping black hole bigger.
tears the fragile fabric in his going.

Jan 18, 2016 11:25 AM
Bill : Hello Peejay. I enjoyed your poem very much even though it seems a such a shame that poets feel the need to write about humans in this way. however, if that's what they perceive, then that's what they write!
Best wishes
Jan 18, 2016 12:16 PM
Peejay : I have to say it as I see it, Bill....I love my species, but too often, with the best of intentions it goes off the rails like an itinerant child. Its as if humanity cannot embrace the concept of being just a part of Earth`s biosystem for very long - and wants to dominate it or at least be independent of it.
Incidently, surely in your excellent piece you are beating the same drum, aren`t you?
Jan 18, 2016 2:02 PM
Bill : I'm sure we are beating the same drum but I feel as if I've been beating it long and hard all my life with a variety of different tunes!
Jan 19, 2016 1:16 PM
JudiA : aha the beat of a different drum
sad about one of our champions Linda Rondstadt (sp)?
the music of the spheres
sounds discordant
in current times.
We are failing the only home we know,
fouling our air and water
for the almighty dollar.

Bill and PJ I weep for future generations, we have left them a mess. If we could have turned things around in the 60's MAYBE things would have been better.We tried. We were squashed by the powers that were. Peace and freedom??? It became a small group politicized into obscurity.
Jan 19, 2016 1:33 PM
Peejay : Yes, Judi,
Man cannot - never will be able to - surpass his aquisitive, jealous nature (even aspiring to an exclusive afterlife!) This mountaineering syndrome...."...because its there, BECAUSE WE CAN!"....eventually overrides all the better qualities. Unless our species mutates, our superiority complex might lead to extinction.
Here`s a piece from my younger days....

The Dolphin`s Dilemma

Every year, somewhere, the same persistent question
Rears to try it`s stealth again
And some of us
Even make a preliminary approach.
It never comes to much.

Of course, the search will go on
- we`re forever optimistic.
We have mobility and energy enough
To go on looking,
Though the clues become fewer
And the time becomes shorter.
They seem so set on self-destruction.

Harmony is easy.
Would that we could tell them.
Would that they would listen.

They cannot taint us
With their lack of comprehension,
Yet, still, some among their number
May be worthy of our search.

Is it surprising
That we have permanent smiles,
When they think themselves
The dominant species?

Jan 19, 2016 4:37 PM
JudiA : Manifest Destiny - those folks believed they had the GodGiven right to take away this land from the inhabitants who lived gently on this earth - taking only what they needed and took pride in giving away. If you weren't a Christian you were a savage?infidel?? and therefore had no "right" to the land and its resources

Are you listening?

Echoing around the world
Do you hear it?
Are you listening?

A message or a warning?
Mother Nature's wrath
Comes silently, washing


away and gone
lives, families, villages
She shakes Her head
shrugs Her shoulders.

A hundred thousand and more are dead.

Nature does what Nature does.
Her intent to re-create Herself
knows no humanity.

We pitiful humans
can only cling
to Her heaving sides

And pray.

Pray that our foolish civilization
our belief that we have conquered Her
will not cause more deaths.

Be it another wave, another quake
Another mudslide
Another fire.

We are expendable.
Our time on this blue marble is short
Short in the book of Mother Earth days.

We fight Her in every way
trying to bend Her
to our will.

And She shrugs us off
teaching us we are nothing
one more time.


Jan 19, 2016 6:06 PM
Peejay : I love AWAY, Judi, though as a member of this transient human race I so much wish we`d come to our senses. If we did, maybe we`d stay around a little longer on this "blue marble"!! if you haven`t read it, you should read Ursula LeGuin`s ALWAYS COMING HOME. It`s set in an indeterminate future (maybe 500 to 1000 years?) in what was Northern California after the San Andreas Fault has become the Pacific Coast. Le Guin creates a complete culture which I suspect, from your writings, might co-incide with your own philosophy in many ways.
Jan 19, 2016 8:55 PM
JudiA : wow thanks for the praise - and for the reading tip PJ
seems we like the same things and feel about our planet the same way
this is the river I live on - my ancestral tribal home and the "wars" that are going on over water.
Unfortunately those saying they represent the Tribe (Karuk) did not EVER present it to the membership. A small group of leaders have gotten in bed with the environmental terrorists and ay they speak for us all. I got beads for Manhattan hey?
Jan 20, 2016 2:12 AM
Bill : Hello Peejay and JudiA. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts in this way. I wanted to post some more but some of my rhymes surrounding these types of issues are far too lengthy to be reproduced here. However, I'll pick out a couple of verses so that you can get the gist.

HUMAN NATURE. (excerpts from--)

No other creatures have been found
to compare to their redound.
Human nature when set free
will go about a killing spree.
Human nature's selfish, cruel
things are viewed as their own fuel.
they break and take not for a need
more for selfish human greed.
Human nature unlike it's mother
shows no respect for any other.
It intimidates and dominates
appropriates and subjugates.
Human nature needs restraint
firm control and true constraint.
Left to itself it will devour
everything within its power.
B. Withers. 2009

Jan 20, 2016 2:14 PM
JudiA : I do like this a lot! Yet I feel people aren't mean hearted just some. Mostly I see greed and mostly from privileged white males. Sorry guys but this handful of bigots and warmongers are exactly that.
Jan 20, 2016 2:14 PM
JudiA : A Different Memorial Memory

When I think of wars and all that's done
In the name of Christ or Gods unknown

I shudder.

Remembering the dead, from wars or life
I see never-ending strife and

I shudder.

I remember women, beaten to death
By men who were their husbands

I remember youth in the prime of life
Whose own hand put them under.

I remember needless deaths that come
When there is no money for doctors.

Drunk drivers slaughter on our roads
Working mothers carrying too heavy a load

Students who wish to walk
Down a peaceful road.

Babies in dumpsters, beliefs out of proportion
Too much religion for abortion and

I shudder.

We seem to celebrate our heinous wrongs
Sing of great war heroes in our songs.

But today I remember the everyday deaths
The senseless ones from neglect

The brutal ones from crimes committed
The needless ones from sins omitted

For all these unsung poor and weak
I lift my voice and speak

But all that will come out today

2005 Memorial Day
Jan 20, 2016 3:40 PM
iMacG5 : Peejay, Bill and Judi, please accept my gratitude for sharing your poetic creations and my apology for needing to use a dictionary to attempt to understand some of it. You guys are so very talented, in somewhat different ways, and we're blessed to access your works. Wow! Resolution touches on the greatest musician of all time (IMHO) with a geological description of human emotional accompaniment and that's just the first paragraph.
In a very non-poetic way, I agree with so much of what you guys addressed about the planet, personal greed, recklessness and all the crap that brings sorrow and fear for the future. I must, however, defend humanity to the extent that I think most of us are good folks who really want to do the right things most of the time. Some of us might even be great but most will try to be as good as we can be until it gets uncomfortable. A lot of the destruction we witness is a function of ignorance and laziness. We don't always know how our actions affect the planet, our neighbors, friends and family and sometimes we just don't care. How sad.
We're so blessed here to have each other, common goals, a platform to question and offer answers and maybe even show off a little.
Thank you Poets,
Jan 20, 2016 4:13 PM
Bill : Hello JudiA. I did enjoy reading 'A different memorial day' and it is reminiscent of all the verses that I published just last year in my book entitled 'A Civilian War'. However, in re-reading these rhymes I came to the conclusion that the one I liked most was the one that reflected those internal struggles that sometimes have little or nothing to do with the outside world and the mess humans seem to be making of it.


The greatest battles ever been
will rattle round inside unseen.
They are the ones right in your head
that you may fight until you're dead.

For those who think that this is wrong
what other battles last so long?
What other wars will cause such pain
and must be fought time and again?

What conflicts carry greatest fears
and can reduce you into tears
then trouble you throughout your years
and only cease when death appears?

What other skirmishes can lead
to the break that makes hearts bleed?
What bombs may reign from up above
will cause more pain than can a love?

There is no battlefield commotion
can compare with our emotion
when energy is on a roll
and it is not under control.

Pure hate is an incendiary
upon it's beneficiary
as hate has heat and fires as well
like those you'd meet in pyres of hell.

Arrows of animosity
can strike with some ferocity
dividing folk with enmity (hate/hostility)
providing no indemnity.

No greater war or battlefront
is likely that you will confront
than struggling through your life each day
and juggling problems on the way.

B. Withers 2014
Jan 20, 2016 4:13 PM
Bill : Hello Mike. Thank you so much for joining in our on-line conversation and you are of course quite right in saying that there are some good folk in the world and there are many more who would like to be that way but are swayed and carried along on the prevailing winds.
I would like to take the opportunity of explaining from my own perspective that this type of poetry is motivated by the emotions stirred when things seem to be going wrong in the world. There are many poets who prefer to write about the wondrous and beautiful things and I too have penned such verses in the past. But the most powerful emotions have always been pricked when I perceive something to be amiss. So much of my own rhyming verse tries to capture these issues rather than the nicer things in life. It's not that I don't recognise the good things it's just that other people write about them so much more competently than I do. Anyway, the people who I normally write rhymes for are those who suffer the consequences of other people's bad behaviour and often have mental health problems as a result. There are very few poets who write on their behalf so I almost feel obliged to carry on expressing their experiences and feelings for them within the art of rhyming verse.
I hope this goes some way to helping you understand from whence this literary effort emerges.
Best wishes
Jan 20, 2016 6:16 PM
JudiA :
the concerns of a Woman

daily I concern about
my strength to carry on

and if I must be strong
who then will be along

to sing the songs of sleep
and calm the night's bad dreams

who will hold the hand of pain
and kiss the wounded knee

who will soften the hurts
of taunting teen peer pressure

who will soothe with human touch
when storms of life torment you

and who will love you tenderly
when age has robbed your potency

how am I'm supposed to worry
over wrinkles and gray hair

over sagging breasts
and dingy old underwear

was the meal to your satisfaction
or do you even still care

how can I do this anymore
be strong but still be there

in soft and loving ways
in balance through all my days

when in the big picture
only the strong survive

yet I concern myself with
keeping softness alive

I am woman.
Jan 20, 2016 4:47 PM
Peejay : Hi Mike,
So good to meet you....and welcome! Yes, we poets are a rum lot, aren't we!!...but our diversity of experiences, cultures and - dare I say - hang-ups means as a group we tend to cover those bases most condusive to the poetic style we`re using and of course the mood and muse we are in at the time!
I think most of us tend to be philosophical in nature, so irony becomes a common element.
Just to lighten the mood, here are a couple of short pieces full of irony....

Self Help for Cats

I watch myself,
knowing these inanities,
these motor tasks
of feeding, cleaning, sleeping,
are my salvation
from madcat insanity,
but not the solution.

Needs be,
I leave this languid cocoon
of feline floppery
for a knife-edge fencetop,
hunting a fantasy
in the next garden
and the next.

Early Worm in love

I know I`m birds food
but I`m also quite keen
to move to a new
patch of green

so now I`ve come out
I`m looking around
to slither about

-it`s hard for a worm
to meet his true love
if he cannot squirm
up above.
Jan 20, 2016 10:28 PM
JudiA : love these!
check my pic file
Jan 21, 2016 2:19 AM
Bill : I love these too!
And for Mike I would also say that poets like other artists tend to look for things that others may take for granted then interpret them to suit their style. I sometimes have these rhyming conversations with my wife about all sorts of things that probably only the two of us would appreciate. However,following in the footsteps of Peejay in changing the subject here's one to her on one of our many anniversaries.


Have you seen the sunrise – in the sky.
Have you seen a sunlit - butterfly
Have you seen red sunsets – fade and die.
Have you seen the glint with-in my eye.

Have you seen a haw frost – glistening bright.
Have you seen a snowflake – crystal white
Have you seen my fire – that burns so bright.
Can we be together – every night

Have you seen a dewdrop – pure and clear.
Have you seen a small child – shed a tear.
Have you seen the moon – from clouds appear.
If I sang a love song – would you hear.

Have you seen the twinkling - of a star.
Have you seen the sprinkling – nebula
Have you seen me watching – from afar.
Can I say I love you – as you are.

Have you seen an eagle - soaring high.
Have you seen a fledgling – try to fly.
You have been the highlight - of my life.
I'm so glad I've had you – for my wife.

B. Withers (1997)
Jan 21, 2016 2:05 PM
JudiA : lucky her, and you too - this is sweet and touching!
before things fell apart I wrote this

for Duane

it's a gray winter day
the last bits of snow cling to the shade
icicles trickle and dissolve

in these wistful moments
your hand on my shoulder
skin to skin
summon quiet pleasure

our love grows old and peaceful
your tender smile charms me
warms me
to my soul

neither of us
look too hard at the future
the day's realities sufficient
to know our love abides

we keep each other
in the moment
holding our love gently
in our hearts and eyes
Jan 21, 2016 3:52 PM
Bill : Hello JudiA. Lovely! I think it is good that you had those thoughts and feelings as they are worth hanging on to even if the source as been soured. It's a bit like the clear springs that used to supply us with fresh, clear water that are now polluted or dried up -- they were good while they lasted and the memory of that goodness still lingers.
Best wishes
Jan 21, 2016 4:14 PM
iMacG5 : I'm honored, Bill, that you took the time to explain your intent and I admire your efforts and commend the results. Perhaps I'm not qualified to make that assessment but your work has brought me much joy an that you must know.
"The Concerns of a Woman", Judi, was wonderful except for the two words you omitted between "am" and "woman" in the last line. They are "a beautiful".
Peejay, thanks for the welcome and I look forward to more from you guys and hope the younger folks can enjoy your works and attempt to continue with their own stuff.
Jan 22, 2016 2:22 AM
Bill : Hello Mike. Thanks for the positive comment as it's always pleasing to know that someone has enjoyed reading the work. In my humble opinion it is not necessary to be 'qualified' to make an assessment of anything - especially poetry. If it affects you in whatever way then that surely is qualification enough. I once had an 'expert' poetry critic say to me emphatically that poetry and science are incompatible. My 'assessment' of that remark was to treat it as a challenge and I ended up writing a book entitled 'Scientific Versification'. My assessment being that there is nothing that is impossible in poetry in the same way that everything is possible in your dreams.(Perhaps these two are just manifestations of the same thing!)
Best wishes
Jan 22, 2016 5:18 AM
Peejay : Hello you guys,
Reading your words makes me realise how repressed I am socially....and how I could never write a gossip column!! The ability to discuss ordinary, everyday problems is something I admire in others - but I`ve personally found difficult. If I analyse it (as I tend to do with most things!) it`s probably why though I also write fiction, I call myself a poet....passion and emotion is so much easier to wrap in poetic metaphor, isn`t it?
I loved HAVE YOU SEEN?, Bill. It`s a beautiful tribute. I lost my beautiful, extraordinary wife Gwynneth four years ago after 46 years of marriage. I`ve written many tributes and elegies to her since she died....but, I think, this was the only so-called love poem ( published in my first collection thirty years ago!).....

A Castle in the Making

Calm is your fortress.
The bricks are made of marzipan
but the buttresses are purest granite,
patient in the building,
dense and denser by the year.
I am an apprentice
at your heel,
slow, but quickening my skills
by watching you more closely.
In all those years
I never saw you hurry.
Then, suddenly, would appear
another minaret,
a cloister,
terraces trained with bouganvillea
and I wonder at your ease
and how you made them
and when
- but then,
you are a master of your craft.

Jan 22, 2016 12:58 PM
Bill : Hello Peejay. Thanks for sharing 'A Castle in the Making. A great piece of work! I'm sure you must miss Gwynneth but it is great that you are able to pay tribute to her memory by continuing to write. One of the unique things about a lot of this type of poetry is that it doesn't seem to age so it could have been written today or thirty years ago and still seem relevant.
Keep up the good work.
Best wishes
Jan 22, 2016 4:47 PM
JudiA : thanks to all of you for the kind words about my poetry. I have only "sold" one poem to Harcort for use in a reading test for 7th graders.I have many contributions over the years to different anthologies, mostly Native publications.
http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/red-indian-road-west-native-american-poet ry-from-california-book-launch-hosted-by-heydey-books/