Decision time

By Delbert H. Rhodes

Through our lives we learn many rules and laws and rights and wrongs; we are taught to strive for betterment truth integrity honor and yes, honesty.

Still and sometimes: somewhere along the way these values are lost. One day or night we wake with a pulsing plea; a need to surrender to another side of us; perhaps the “true” side of us? We decide to abandon all the time, efforts, years, frustrations and even families to a greater and more important “SELF.”

Correct, and please, if this syndrome seems familiar speak out, stand to own it. The question is WHY?

Why is it that anyone, man or woman, seems to wait until AFTER marriage and children BEFORE realizing that marriage and children were the WRONG things to do; and naturally deciding that abandoning family is proper?

Agreed, the single life is attractive, but could/should this life-style have been more considerable while one “WAS” single? Oh, and yes, the bends and twists in the roadway are ever significant regarding decisions and the “I cannot take it anymores.” Still: What of the children (?); for, forever they are left suffering the mistakes of parents and parenting-or lack thereof….

Surely the professional thinkers would (care to) offer vast studies of psycho-emotional tendencies, and let us never forget those wonderful university studies power packed with armchair academic analyses and resolutions. Great. Yet although we embrace these wonders of mankind’s mental meanderings, still I ask…

Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes

The Uninvited: Unreality Can Be Quite Real

Classic Bedroom

By Delbert H. Rhodes


Sleeping through the night always evades him. Even in childhood, he would wake to alien darkness, disturbing threatening darkness. Then: three siblings and he shared a large bed. Yet when waking in the darkness, he was alone. Afraid. Almost every night, in his dreams, creatures hounded and hunted him. An imp with a long sharp knife, a red devil with a pitchfork, invaded his bedroom to harm, to kill him.

For safety, from the little man, JD needs to turn the light on, but the light string is always out of reach. Fear of the ghastly imp usually causes paralysis, and the terror-stricken boy is unable leave the bed. Then as JD lay frozen, the villain with the sharp blade carves his chest.

Seeing the devil peering around the doorframe, the child could jump from bed and attempt running around the creature. If successful JD would flee in horror to his parents’ bedroom. Sometimes, his attempts to escape fail. To the devil’s clammy clutch JD (then) becomes prey. With pitchfork in hand the devil lunges at the child, trying to stab and gore him. The devil almost succeeds on one occasion. The terrified child just makes it to safety, diving into bed between his sleeping mother and stepfather, the pitchfork’s jab missing the child’s heart ever so slightly.

Throughout his childhood, the dreams haunt JD. Night after waking night dread shares his pillow. Day after sleepy day he resents the nights.

As he ages, JD’s mother works the evening shifts. She too has her torments. A single parent: the financial strains are greater, and more money is needed. Alone in the living room, fear and television are JD’s company. Often his eyes and sleep fight raging battles. Snapping him into consciousness, his dangling neck fights back. Nevertheless, soon JD surrenders and falls.

The living room is kept well lighted. JD is too afraid to enter his bedroom for sleep. In there it is dark. In there he is damned. In there he is doomed. Always, JD falls asleep in the living room and with the light. The couch is his place of comfort, although often his fear prevents JD from relaxing-even-here. Sometimes it becomes difficult to stretch out sometimes it is difficult to feel comfortable. The couch’s armrest or its backing serves as JD’s pillow. Thereafter, and to the serenade of Television, he falls into restless sleep.

On her arrival: his mother always wakes JD, and sends him to bed. Sometimes, before Mom arrives, he attempts sleeping in his bedroom. Unfortunately, this feat is impossible. JD’s fear is too powerful. With his mother’s presence, and merging courage, JD faces his mental creature. A difficult task, but he is willing. From darkness deeper than his soul, the creature looks out; its face fills JD with terror. Sharp dripping fangs, and glowing red eyes, are menacing, horrific. Wrenching his tiny tired body from the couch, and tugging his sleep worn PJ’s; sluggishly the lad crosses the floor.

In the empty apartment: shadowy echoes make JD tense and nervous. From the kitchen, a noise shakes him: his fear antennae scream higher; craning his tiny neck, JD listens. Silence. Nervously, JD ventures to the kitchen to investigate. On the floor, and resting upon its mouth, stands a drinking glass. Knees shaking and wide-eyed, JD is fixated. His little boy’s mind is gripped by Halloween thoughts. Posturing JD tightens his little fists. Trembling, and breathing deeply, he summons his courage. Yet, JD is just a little boy. Moreover, little boys are not very big. Facing the wrong foe, not very big, could be too small. Furthermore, and although he would try to fight, the unknown is a very “big,” big.

How could this have happened? How could a drinking glass end standing on its mouth on the floor? Of course, JD has no explanations. After all, he is only a kid of twelve years. Knowledge of such things is beyond him, though he knows about ghosts, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. Consequently, this knowledge feeds his fear; and his fear is hungry. Starving.

All his life JD has suffered other life forms. In the periphery, he had seen them: from the corner of his eye. In darkness lives looming shadows, the livid stillness harnesses a flash of movement. When he would look, nothing would be seen. Behind him, a man sits in the living room; many times, he is sure of it. Near JD’s bed stands the figure of a little girl. In his mind, her visage is clear, but to his eyes evasive.

While watching television, when JD was fourteen years old, a shadow becomes visible on a hallway wall. As JD looks, it senses him and darts from sight. The moment leaves him feeling clammy creepy afraid. JD bravely although barely leaves his mother’s bedroom to look around but finds or hears nothing. Nervously JD surrenders to his feelings of gratitude.

For had he located the specter, or whatever it was, what could he have done? A few years later, JD experiences paralysis in bed. Many times something trips his radar, but he is unable to move, unable to turn to look. During his years at college, JD continues to suffer. The experience is harrowing, a day mare.

Dorm life as a transfer student is optional. JD’s choice to live off campus is easily made. Dwelling in the house for about one year, here he feels comfortable. JD’s comfort and challenge soon lock horns. Waking one morning, an eerie feeling shrouds him. Behind him, something, a presence lay. The rise and fall of its chest is almost perceptible. Turning to look, he feels it leap away. Some ghostly, ghoulish figure (had) shared JD’s bed. Feeling soiled and dirty he lay aghast. Unnerved by the incident, JD never tells his housemates. They would think him nuts.

JD’s threshold eighteen years later continues to invite the uninvited. With the bedroom door closed, he rests and sleeps better. A lesson he’d learned long ago. The act is insecure, but it is welcome. The measure offers insulation, but without protection, a mere psychological edge. To a specter traversing space and time, there are no barriers. Nevertheless, what other choices does JD have? Additionally, although periods of sleep are brief, still, he sleeps.

When retiring, failing to close the bedroom door invites problems. Suffering in his dream state JD tosses and turns: nightmarish haunts invade him, peppering him with conflict and dread. Waking, he wonders why such ills are endured. To his knowledge, JD has committed no heinous acts, not in this life, but perhaps in another. Consequently, this life is JD’s inferno his hell on earth, his avenue of retribution. Has all that is good delivered him into purgatory? Then he would notice the door. Unreality can be quite real.

Sometimes the tips of JD’s toes tingle. In order to relieve the sensation, he retracts and squeezes them. The sensation is never harsh, but a sharp tickle. To him, it is an enigma. Is he suffering a new malady? Is it all in his mind? Maybe. In the wee hours of his bedroom, his mind offers JD answers. Tiny answers…

…Work is usual, and its rewards a dire zero. Memos, meetings, conflicts and complaints rule the day. Every day. At the whistle, JD shrugs it off, and stops by his favorite Pizza place. A quiet meal exhilarates him. Talking with his buddy and the shop’s ambiance lifts JD’s spirits. The weekend is here, and JD has no pressing engagements. Even if he has, they could wait or press on. Sometimes, he is like this. Most times. After completing and paying for his meal, JD says farewell to his friend.

Rejoining his idle auto JD revs her up. Before gearing her in, he enjoys a private thought and then smiles. The car purrs sarcasm, or “carcasm,” as he mocks. The little hatchback and he, have been together too long. After backing her out, JD turns her into the street. He is homeward bound and finally.

After bathing, JD feeds his face, and enjoys a few movies, but minus the popcorn. What he really needs, however, is a good night’s sleep. Absent-mindedly, JD retires, and without closing the bedroom door. He is exhausted his eyelids slam shut. From his throat tiny animals snarl and growl. I hope that his neighbors are undisturbed.

This night JD falls asleep on his back. About two, maybe three hours later he wakes. Though somewhat incoherent, he is conscious. Moreover, in his apartment he feels company, and close-by. The feeling surrounds him here in his bedroom. Something compels JD to stillness, as he scans the foot of his bed. The model is makeshift: a sleeping bag cushioned by blankets, resting on the hardwood floor. Simplicity is important to this man, and being close to the ground is his way. JD often says, “A soft bed makes a soft man.”

Standing near JD’s feet are tiny figures. Their height is the measure of one foot. Somehow, he senses them as male, but non-human. Both figures attend to the toes of JD’s left foot. Each creature holds in his hand some type of instrument. JD watches as they touch him, but feelings are indiscernible. The creatures work with intent. Nevertheless, when he moves they startle. Each gives a head turn, glancing over its shoulder, but momentarily. Subsequently, the task is simply resumed. The feeling of threat never consumes JD, but rather that of invasion, and experimentation. Somehow, anger too, is absent. Who, what are these creatures? Furthermore, where in God’s name, do they come from! In addition, what are they doing to his toes, and why?

As much as he wants to, JD is unable to remain awake. Submitting once more to heavy eyes, on a sailboat of sleep, he drifts. Later, the morning wakes him. Quickly, JD looks down at his feet. The strange little creatures are no longer present. A foot and toe inspection ensues, and everything seems okay. All toes present, and nothing hurt. An illusion he thinks, but this manner of thinking is absurd. For: past experiences eradicates that consideration. JD saw what he saw. Besides, as disconcerting as it is, he accepts the incident. What else could he do, sue? One month later, on a second night, the door to a visit remains open. In addition, the frame of JD’s mind is perplexed.

The tiny Podiatrists never return, and their whereabouts are never pondered. Replaying the incident in his mind provokes enough thought. Besides, even if JD knew where they were, from where they’d come, they are unreachable. Unfortunately, a time machine is unavailable to him. Nor does JD have space age weaponry, with which to blast those critters. No, the urge to harm them is denied him. Those feelings are alien. JD is left mystified.

The day is long, and the night short. The eyes of the nightlight are closed, and the stare of the television unconscious. The radio stands silently next to JD’s bed, but its silence is broken. Ironically, JD favors a program that deals with the unexplained. During the wee hours, spaceships, shadow people, distant worlds, and those much closer; titillate his thinking. The program manifests peace of mind, and relaxation. Willing, JD surrenders to the embrace of sleep. The bedroom door remains open; he feels it to be okay. Tonight, JD is in a different mood. Relaxed at ease. An open door is an invitation.

This night, JD sleeps in his usual position, fetal, left side. Sleeping well, he is without conflict, yet compelled to ignore dreamland. Again, he wakes with an overwhelming, yet non-disquieting sense of a presence. JD listens, but the melodies of nocturnal romantics are all he hears. Toads and other low light lovers croak and chirrup. Inaudibly, a spectral presence sweetly whispers in his ears. From wall to wall, and point to point, JD scans the room. Nothing, no one. Nonetheless, there is someone, something. From his position on the floor, his head lay next to the doorframe. Driven to peer around its bottom, he stretches, and then cranes his neck. Then as JD looks out, looking in at him is a small face. Startled, shocked, they each freeze; resting eye to eye nose to nose, almost check to rose-colored check.

The face is that of a little girl, a teeny tiny little girl. She is one to two feet tall, milky skinned, with shoulder length wavy dark brown hair, and large dark brown eyes. Her eyes are luminous exquisite and expressive. Apparently, she peers around the frame, at the exact moment as he. In her eyes is indication of JD’s presence; she knew he lay on the other side. To peer at him, hers was calculated movement. Although in brief, JD views her from head to arm line. She wears clothing made of an unidentifiable fabric. Furthermore, her manner, although startled, is unthreatening, actually placid.

Without saying a word, if she speaks at all, and when realizing the blunder, the little girl retracts her head. Never shying from her gaze, she hides behind the doorframe. With exception to height, anatomically, she appears normal. Moreover, although tiny, she seems adult. An intuitive maturity radiates from her.

JD is breathless speechless in awe. Who is she! Allowing for composure, slowly, he peeps around the doorframe. Waiting without her is her memory. The darkness of the rear bedroom meets JD’s gaze. Where did she go? He rolls into his bed, and replays the mental video.

The tiny child is adorable, cute. Her face reminds JD of a familiar image. Yesteryear, a longtime girlfriend and he discussed bearing children. JD never agreed to children, however, the face of one-child remains in his mind. Her face is as clear today as it was many years ago. Additionally, the face of JD’s imaginary daughter, and the face of this little angel seems identical. How could it be? His child remains a fantasy, never breathes air. Yet, this child is real. Solid. Reaching out he could have touched her. The little girl’s image is vivid unshakable. A feeling of calm surrounds JD and he begins to smile. The experience feels special. He wants to see her again; but the child never returns.

Five years have passed since her visit, and the little girl remains elusive. Alone in his apartment, JD sometimes feels her presence. Frequently, while working at his computer, he senses her at his right side. Fleetingly and seemingly, her image rests near JD’s shoulder. Often close enough to interrupt his work. In his mind, JD clearly sees her, but when turning to look; there is no one.

Lately, her presence is pervasive. A repeat visit is almost certain. Is this person inter-dimensional, from another world? A relative, a long-lost friend? Could she be the child I refused? She is the elusive bridge spanning his questions. In addition, JD needs desperately to be its points of anchor.

Occasionally: as he sleeps, JD leaves the door open. Subsequently, and although risking the uninvited, the worth is greater than the wrath. For in the darkness of space and time, a little girl calls to him. Moreover, one day, when she is ready, he will hear.

Copyright © 2002 Delbert H. Rhodes

Mutual Consent: Different Paths to the Same Place

Couple dansant à contre-jour

 By Delbert H. Rhodes

 Through a voice wrought with tremble, and a face awash with tears, still, she desires to please me. 

The darkness is black: a moonless night, our first time alone, we are almost invisible to our eyes. Leaning forward to kiss her, to my surprise her face is wet. Mixed with salty perspiration, cascading from her eyes is a waterfall of tears.

I ask, “Why are you crying?” she answers, “I don’t know.” Inside me, I know. I repeat the question; her answer remains evasive… “I don’t know.” I ask whether she really wants to have sex with me, and then her quivering response, “I guess so.” Later, and continuing to cry, she says, “If it is what you want.”

For her loyalty: I feel proud, for never sensing her distress, idiotic. I explain that sex with me is unnecessary, also, that all acts are per mutual consent. We share everything, and impose nothing. Then I hold her; and she continues to cry; however, from this moment we form a bond, and from it trust.

Is this a scene from a Hollywood movie: passion on the page of some romantic novel, perhaps, seduction from the Soaps, no. The drama above is a moment from my past. Why, you might ask, am I imposing upon you this weight? Answer: Venting. Yes, my Mea Culpa for past misdeeds, and the desire to reflect.

No, I am no Psychologist, Sociologist, or any “ologist” of any type. Then again, when considering one’s personal experiences, such titles are unnecessary. After all: without our personal experiences, from where come the needs, and or, credibility for the “ologists.” As are many of us, they too would be left unemployed. No, the reason for the mention is to present a question.

Yes, “Has this ever happened to you?”

Men: Have you ever found yourselves at the knife’s edge of decision? What was your choice?

Women: Has the blade’s edge ever threatened you? Have you ever felt its hot heinous bite?

In either case, my plead is twofold. First, to the men: Stop. Think. Choose. Secondly, women, if you have faced sexual violation seek help. Horrid as it may be, never to seek help serves only to protect the violator, leaving you to suffer.

Many years ago, and as a teenager, from an older boy I received advice. During a spree of bragging about my “exploits,” the older boy stops me, and pulls me aside. He says, “Del, don’t tell anybody what happens between you and your girlfriend. It is not nice. It is not fair to her. Keep it to yourself.”

Have I always remained true to his advice? No. Nonetheless, although I told, the ears were those of a “trusted” friend. Yeah, (you scorn); and whose ears did he trust? What is the point?

True, the infamous circle continues to turn, often spiraling out of control. The point is, because of the older boy I viewed relationships differently, became more responsible for my actions, ultimately, to do that which sometimes is difficult for boys; I made a choice, and chose to “grow up,” to mature. Slowly: and acknowledging that as do I, girls have feelings, I became more prudent; and therefore, protective.

The process of maturation is biochemical in nature; as such, and without intervention, Mother takes her course. Regardless of the age, acting responsibly is behavioral, a conscious inducement. As such, I became no hero, but more humane.

“Hey Writer, we all are human; therefore, contribute mistakes and misdeeds.”

Agreed, however, and furthering my point, for without change, or desire for change, there is none. In my early fifties, still, I am learning.

Gents/Ladies: remember, relationships involve two people; and both have feelings. From the female view, when giving herself to a man, she presents a special/cherished part; from her, a most valued part. I believe that sexual acts committed by women are expressions of sincerity. Here: recreation plays no part, women want understanding compassion tenderness and love. Men, failing to recognize this fact, cause women undue pain and hurt. Therefore, Men, try more understanding, more loving, more feeling.

From a man’s point of view, sexual encounters, also, are important. The factors may be different: possibly, sex is a feel good physical act; the…“Boy, does she look good!” indulgence, and of course, there is ego. Ask me where thinking, pride, feelings, and ego begin and end; I would rather explain Alien abduction. Here too, I am void expertise.

Oh! You exclaim, women never have sex because men look good, or simply because of the physical act? Of course, they do, and I concur. Alternately, they contend that we, men, value more the physical feel good part; consequently, causing them to feel abandoned. Afterwards, women desire sharing, cuddling, and closeness; inwardly, and sometimes expressively, some men desire to be left alone, relaxation, and sleep. Occasionally, maybe he simply has to leave.

Would you disagree that males tend to be visual/physical creatures; and females creatures of emotions, feelings and intuition.

“We all share these traits, Writer!”

True, but let’s face it guys, admit it, if she looks good, it matters not if she works on a garbage truck, and her face is covered with soot; it is, “OOOOObaby!!” That is to say, women place less on looks than men do, but more on worth of treatment.

The list of pros and cons, and variables, is endless, so, let us bottom-line it, women want men to share, feel and communicate. Men wonder what is there to talk about!

Therefore, and notwithstanding the great manifestations of men and women and although we have gone a long way, let us go farther. It matters not how distant the traverse, for, relationships, in the true sense, in human sense, are cooperative ventures, foundations formed of caring, trust and mutual consent.

Men, she is somebody’s daughter, sister, or mother. She deserves no less respect and dignity than your own. Women, despite the feminine desire to nurture, you too can be uncaring, inconsiderate and cruel.

Change many times can be uncomfortable and at times fearful; nevertheless, when ventured and gained, the results too can be wonderful.

The jury is out, how say you, Yea, or Nay.

According to the “ologists,” the brains of males and females have different wiring. Therefore, no matter the questions, we venture different paths to the answers.

The quest: notwithstanding its path, is arrival at the same place.

Whatever happened to the girl in the opening?

Well, as life would have it, eventually, we flew to different stars.

Sincerely, and wherever her twinkle, as in my own, I believe the event to be fresh in her mind. Additionally, to her, as with me, surely, and though bittersweet, the thought renders one reaction, a smile.

Further, when she cares enough to trust you; and he dares risk the waters of chance, within the embrace, feel ‘him,’ feel ‘her.’

Copyright © 2004 Delbert H. Rhodes

Tale of the Palmetto: The Story of Emma Lakes

Bushes Palmettoes Utility Pole Numbers

By Delbert H. Rhodes


The 1940s

She begins this day as any other; early breakfast, attending other needs of her home and family, and then into town for afternoon shopping. Lately, she has taken in boarders, a man and a woman, strangers to town, but a loving caring woman she welcomes them; she welcomes everybody.

Her neighbors warn against the two: saying that she should not permit strangers to live in her home; the neighbors are uncomfortable with these people. (These people are different they talk funny; with a strange accent.)

A strong-willed woman and fearless, maybe her Seminole heritage has something to do with her strength, she sidesteps worry and wary, telling her neighbors that she is alright.

This day the three venture into town and occasion a few shops for goods. Unknown to the dear woman, and close by, one of her young relatives sees her accompanied by the boarders.

As the young girl shops, she pauses awhile, staring at Mama. Something feels wrong, but the girl ignores her senses, something she would live to regret.

The killers dumped the body of Emma Allen-Lakes by the roadside, out near the local beach. Beaten and discarded like trash, Mama would live her last moments in the arms of Palmetto bushes.

A proud loving woman who loved her family, friend’s, neighbors and townsfolk; she is disrespected, dishonored, disgraced and then thrown away.

Mama’s death symbolizes a heartrending, and pitiless end for a descent-loving person who helped everybody; and an inhuman act, by two people she welcomed, and treated as family and a warning to all caring to love too much.

The police locate the murderers, and then free them; issuing an order that they leave town.

Emma Allen-Lakes, her family and all who loved her are forever without justice.

Sad to say: The outcomes indicate the mindset of the time; after-all, she was “just a ‘Seminole squaw.'”

Mama was my maternal (maternal) great, great-grandmother.

Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes

The Crack in the Chain: A Second Look

By Delbert H. Rhodes

I have lived now for shortly more than 60 years. I have borne the instructions of family, friends, religious institutions, school, and-you got it-love. Out of it all: I reason differently, sometimes subjectively or objectively depending on situation or need, and let us never forget truth.

I believe what is developing here is my attempt to demonstrate, to instruct if you would patience, tolerance, complaint, ultimately, and this is where it becomes testy, learning to live with a partner.

“Ok writer, and exactly where is this taking me?”

Thanks for your attentiveness and believe me, and I greatly appreciate your direct question.

Sometimes making a point is tiresome, as such dogmatically weighted discussions rhetorically bury focus. No, here, dogmatic zeal has a place, but with restriction. Instead,  we will communicate, and offer points of view and then consider recommendations.

Anybody: Anywhere

Scenario: A wife and husband argue about whom is more financially responsible in the marriage. The Wife demands, “I should only (have to) pay for electricity, shopping, and phone bills.” She fails to understand why Hubby feels differently, after-all, “You are the man of the house; and therefore, should shoulder the tougher finances.”

Hubby demands a split down the middle. He moans, “Sweetheart, in addition to our kids, we share everything in this marriage. Why is it so difficult for you to understand (this)?” Hubby wants to POW Wow every bill, and equally divide costs between her and him.

The Wife, still opposed, agrees (possibly) to reconsider. Yet, she “needs more time to think.”

(The Wife’s salary is larger; should this be a factor, and should it matter?)

Somewhere in this marriage, something went wrong. Possibly, the couple (initially) agreed that Hubby takes the larger portion of the bills, or, somehow it simply happened. Apparently, oversight or poor planning has infected the marriage, and ending with a crack in the chain.

Relationships suffer many pressures and “financial” pressures represent the greatest difficulties. Money problems are a festering sore decaying the wound. Marital (or non-marital) relations soon collapse if their foundations slowly dissolve. Issues must be attended and with timeliness, or the marriage witnesses failure.

“Yeah, OK, smart guy, and how would you resolve the issue (s)?”

The Problem: Well, and mind you, I am no trained marital counselor or psychotherapist, but in my “opinion,” the “problem” began at the beginning, when both partners failed to devise a working marital plan.

Recommendation: Our couple must alter the financial plan in favor of the marriage rather than individual preferences. Moreover, professional assistance from a financial planner provides non-biased expert resources.

Somewhere someone said, “Show me a man who fails to plan and I’ll show you a man who plans to fail.”

Summation: Planning for success is a proclamation needed in every human relationship, but living with a workable livable plan never guarantees living without difficulties, problems occur and recur. Preset goals and objectives; however, highlight clearly identifiable and modifiable tasks; in every relationship, these are the keys to sharing a sustainable progressive happiness.

Question: Without resolution, but continued financial stress, is the above scenario a positive environment for domestic violence, and other forms of abuse?”

Great question!

Why not permit someone else’s opinion.

“You” there.

Copyright © 2011-2014 Delbert H. Rhodes

Losing a Loved One

By Delbert H. Rhodes 

(I loved her)

Losing someone you love is very hurtful. Over the years: I have lost many in my family. My first loss occurred in childhood, my youngest baby sister. Many years later: my mother explained that she found my sister dead in her crib.

English: "Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid." Il...

Crib death occurs to many babies. A thief in the night, it steals our loved ones, leaving us devastated.

Even today, I think of my little sister, sometimes I miss her. My sister was beautiful; she was like my mother.

Each day, before going outside to play, first I stopped to play with my sister. She loved to laugh, and her laughter thrilled me. One day, neither the crib, nor my sister was present. Asking my mother of the baby’s whereabouts availed me only confusion. Somehow, I realized that my sister and I would play no more.

Though I had known her for a short while, I formed an attachment to my little sister, to never see her again, saddened me.

They were many years ago: yet, today, and whenever thinking of  little Cynthia, tears fill my eyes. I loved her.

Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes

One Moment of Happiness

Bring Back My Happiness

By Delbert H. Rhodes


Respectfully: I suggest yes. Demonstrating the syndrome: I insert happiness into the realm. This moment happiness thrives: banishing depression, sadness, pain, and suffering to nothingness. This moment I choose to celebrate joy, laughter, fun, frolic; and marvels of the child’s mind; the curious cranial similarities of human, dolphin, and crow and the everlasting wonders of love.

Ok, yes, I know, these feelings wonderful though they be cannot remove past experiences, and would not solidify a permanent focus of mind.

I Agree.

Yet, and as noted: I CHOOSE to celebrate.

(And) CELEBRATE I shall.

I offer those daring the risk, one moment:


A strange tale from long ago, and told by those who knew. Tells of a land where dwells a creature; and doubtless, the story is true. Its coat of silk, mane of light, and eyes shining like glass, with hoofs of rose to touch the heart, its speed exceedingly fast; with wings of gold brushing the winds it traces across the skies; and believe it or not, the “old one” says, through centuries old it flies. The search for truth its ultimate quest, rainbows light the way; continues the search, the old one says, until this very day. The goal unmet it is not done yet; and every rock it turns, its life it offers to death…until mankind learns. The human heart one day to find; then surely the searching ends; on that day, love would live, and then life begins….

Copyright ©2008-2014 Delbert H. Rhodes

He is Hurting My Mother!

By Delbert H. Rhodes 


Of my childhood memories: the saddest is seeing my mother harmed.

While attending laundry in our backyard, suddenly my mother begins to yell. Though busy in my bedroom, at play, I stop to listen. Initially, her words are difficult to understand, I feel tense. Somehow, I realize that she is angry, scared.

Suddenly the furor rushes indoors, and then into the living room. Running to my bedroom door, I see my mother, and stepfather fighting. I have never seen this before, but afraid for my mother, I place my tiny body between him and her. A small piano sits to the rear, and against the wall. Angered by my interference, my stepfather forces me back, and against the piano’s keyboard.

My little back hurt, and my anger increases. I want to hurt ‘him.’ I fight him; but am too small, and unable to wrench free of his grasp. Looking straight at him, and without fear, I scream, “When I grow-up, I’m going to ‘kill’ you, for hurting my mother!” “I’m going to ‘kill’ you!” I repeat this, blood rushes to my little muscles, and then I remove his hands.

The fight continues and then soon stops. Frightened for my mother, I stay by her side. I would not permit this horrible man to touch her, again. Soon, he leaves the house, and then my mother telephones the police. The Officer arrives and meets us in the front yard. My mother does not press charges against my stepfather. Now, I am angry with her.

Even unhappiness takes a break, but quickly returns. Once more the snake strikes.

My mother wakes the three of us, telling us to go home with our neighbor. While leaving the bedroom, I could hear noise, loud banging on the kitchen door. My stepfather loudly yells to my mother, to open the door. He is angry, and I refuse to leave my mother alone. “Go.” My mother insists. “Go.”

The neighbor leads me out by the hand, as I look over my shoulder. I am afraid for my mother. Before I leave, another loud bang on the kitchen door, it swings open, and then my stepfather rushes inside. My mother runs to stop him; in his hand, he carries a short plank. The brute swings the board, hitting my mother across one of her calves. I try to wrestle free from the neighbor, but she holds me tightly. My mother is hurt, but keeps fighting. I am hurt and keep trying to get free. I want desperately to help her; I ache desperately, to hurt ‘him!’

Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes

Living Shadows

Downtown Apalachicola (Photos by Colin Hackley)

By Delbert H. Rhodes


Could you be me?

The past plays a very important role in our lives. Some say, forget the past it is gone; it exists no more. I say, the past lives with us every day, every moment. We feel it in our consciousness; we hear it in our thoughts; and it watches from the darkness, we relive it in our dreams.

Without a past how then do we have a present, and what would bear our future. Dare we permit past experiences to overwhelm, control, dominate; should we dwell only on the things we DREAD, LOVE… NO?  We must never forfeit the memories dear to us; those we protect those we shelter; these solidify us, make us whole, and LIKE IT OR NOT.

My childhood begins normally, but then something happens. I uncover something terrible, something hurtful.

Copyright © 2011 Delbert H. Rhodes