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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

After that morning of terror
I silenced the radio, shopped

for heritage tomatoes and romaine.
Civilized decades, distant wars,

strip centers scaped with potted
palms. We forget too easily. Nothing

has changed. Really. I reteach

myself (my young), to be alert
as a badger snouting out moles, to still

affect the serenity of a resolute monk. Peril
is not new. My ancestors beat down a scourge

of crickets with brooms and bonnets, farther back
they carried torches to fend off carnivores

that watched, waited, attacked. Frightened
as they were they sowed, milked, hunted ,

laughed around homefires. They knew
that beasts are everywhere.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This is the Place, and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered are both award-winners. Her fiction, nonfiction and poems have appeared in national magazines, anthologies and review journals. She speaks on culture, tolerance, writing and promotion and has appeared on TV and hundreds of radio stations nationwide. Her how-to book, The Frugal Book Promoter won USA Book News' Best Professional Book 2004 and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings, is now available from Finishing Line Press. Carolyn is the founder of Authors' Coalition and editor of the newsletter for that organization as well as a blog that helps authors turn a dull book fair booth into a sizzling success. Her website is: