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by Cynthia Heise-Swartz

My life – a river flowing…
Young: roaring water breaking rocks,
Torrents ripping a channel,
Uniquely mine in design and rhythm,
Then – slowly, slowly… slowing.

Age begins its subtle tricks.
The freedom yesterday etched upon the
Blank face of my beginning: Today? Rigid.

I can no longer change my pattern.
I have become the pattern.
I must follow that which once was mine in determination.

Once free and powerful in my rampant energy,
I have become slow – and – pacific,
Once mighty, treacherous with hidden currents,
I have been charted,
Even by my own navigators, the captains of my fleet.

I am no longer who I was becoming.
I have become.
I have direction.

To Each Must Come

One of the greatest worries of getting old is the fear of becoming helpless and totally dependent on other people. Guessing the durability of our bodies (and especially of our minds) is impossible. This hits closest to home when relatives and friends of one’s own age, and former working associates, are weakened and suffering. We may try to accept withering and dying as natural cycles of life. It is not the inevitability of death that is dreaded so much as the possibility of lingering illness and agony and uselessness.

No One Person
by Edna R. Johnson

NO one person is alone, for
MAN is part and parcel of a plan –
IS but a unit set into
AN all inclusive motif, like an
ISLAND is surrounded by
ENTIRE worlds about it, and
OF other universes interacting with
ITSELF among all else.

by Ward Shori

I wish Gehry would omit poetry and use more of his own prose. He writes well.

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by Katharyn Machan Aal


It is all
Emptying space into one another
Like hollow blocks in the hands of a child.
We think we know the corners
But their shadows are beyond our knowing.
We merely pour,
And the pouf pouf clouds
Gleam white for an instant,
Then gray and fade like yesterday’s snow.

Love offers illumination.
Fires dash, dazzle, burn
In rainbow-beauty promises
Of strength and lasting sturdiness
To walk upon and learn –
An empty auditorium
And yesterday’s snows.


Eyes grasp upward,
Desperate communion with chalk stars
And a moon of orange dust.
Ah, that is ours!
Head turns, lips open to share –
He is nothing-staring
As he picks his nose
And waits for the snot to harden;
That moon is yours alone.
You are a lonely queen
Who would reign on a single throne
Even if the picker praised the sky.


In little picture frames
We summarize and try to overlap
Incongruous images.
There is no matching.
There is no comprehension.
Words offer poison and meat
And glances gleam with blinding mirror shine,
Shields of painted masks.
We seek to join,
But the grayness wins
And it is all melting and snot


There have been attempts.
The shadows have been stabbed
With light-bright knives.
But the grinning Blackthroat Darkness
Swallows them all,
A sideshow freak dancing for dimes.
He has snuffed out Prometheus
(Who after all, stole a mere match-flare)
– Only fools’ fire remains.

The blocks tumble,
Thudding dully against one another.
We cry out
To warn the child of danger.
But he yawns and hears only
Disconnected whispers
And the echo of plastic playthings

I’m With You

Setting the type one letter at a time, I probably analyze the poems in this journal word for word more than most bundle readers. And understand better what the poet is feeling.

Common Sense
by Margaret A. Hanson

THERE’S an indomitable characteristic
NO one should completely repress. Be a
FOOL if this is where living leads.
LIKE it, love it, the whole of it.
AN honest acceptance of the allness of life. To get from very young to very
OLD do be, many times if need be, a
FOOL. Know humanity with humility and humor, and know yourself.

by Trula M. Smith

Let us use words freely and appropriately to give better meaning to other words. If you will read this little poem twice, the second time omitting the descriptive words, the comparison is self-evident. It was written by my niece in Tennessee, and is used with her permission.

by Jeanine Collins
Age 15

May I seek to live this day
Quietly, easily,
Leaning on your mighty strength
Trustfully, restfully,
Meeting others in the path
Peacefully, joyously,
Waiting for your will’s unfolding
Patiently, serenely,
Facing what tomorrow brings
Confidently, courageously.

Man in a Tree
by Mike Cummings

There was a man
Who knew that if
He came down the stairs
He would have to risk
Opening the front door:
He decided to stay in his room
And play chess with himself.
People came to the door
And left thinking he was not
At home. He looked forward
To the day he would be sighted
By someone who knew him,
So that someone with authority
Might rescue him, like they would
A small yellow cat.

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It was a Success
by Lucy Ellen Eaton

The operation was a success
The doctors all agreed.
From start to finish
It was a perfect success…
The patient? Oh, yes! Poor chap.
It was a shame –
The operation being such a success –
That he could not
Live to enjoy it.

by Booklover
(Lenore H. Hughes)
Art by Ardis Ann Whalen (Lenore’s Sister)

Row of nodding
Hollyhocks in bright
Make colorful circlets
Of delicate wonder
On a cloudy

Do It Yourself

Antique auto buffs, this is a memory test. A neighbor, who is an auto service man, loaned me his recently acquired copy of a 1918 handbook on understanding your motor car. The book says that a cold chisel may be among the tools furnished in the kit with your new car. Along with screw driver, hammer, jack, tire pump, tire patches, and wrenches to fit wheel nuts and spark plugs, as well as for adjusting interrupter and magneto. To prevent towing in, the family car should also carry machinist’s files. All right, class: How do files and chisels help in auto maintenance?

Go Modern

Have you discovered plastic typecases? I have moved my limited job fonts of six point and eight point (and even some skimpy and seldom used 10 and 12) to plastic cases to free the regular cases for other typefaces. Designed to fit in 12×18 storage galleys, they do not need galley support. They can be stacked on each other on a shelf or in a drawer, and be carried to the typesetting area. They cost about $5, depending on quantity, when even second hand typecases are selling for $12 and $15.

What am I?
by Ethel Jacob

I gently touch the soul of man,
I make the tearful smile,
I hold the sunshine close to you,
I bring new courage in,
I make the sad rejoice and sing.

I smother troubled hours,
I bring the weak and trembling hand
To strength and confidence.

So let them call me what they will,
I might be many things,
But the truest name of any name
Is the little name called love.

Sixty-Fold or Thirty?

Once a wheat grower (in Montana) always a wheat freak. I planted four short rows of wheat in the garden. The crop was coming along fine until the birds and the rabbits and the squirrels and the gophers discovered it. I had to harvest it quick, before the kernels ripened, to save what was left.

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People Watcher
amateur journal
Handset Type, Handfed Press
Subscription price: join amateur press association

3,000 copies distributed among friends and through monthly bundles of
Amalgamated Printers’ Association
American Amateur Press Association
British Amateur Press Association
National Amateur Press Association
United Amateur Press
United Amateur Press Association of America

Lauren R. ‘gehry’ Geringer
Iowa City, Iowa 52240

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