Showing posts from 2016

Reaching the Finish Line

Photo Credit: (c) 2016 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
The finish line is in site.  The 30 Poems in November challenge is at its end.  One more day of poeming and I will be ready to revise my poems, picking one to read at the celebration held at Smith College's Poetry Center in three weeks.

Many, many thanks to family and friends who supported my efforts.  I am blessed, as are our students, by your generosity. For those who may wish to give but haven't yet, simply click on this link: 30 Poems in Nov! Linda Neas. Click on Donate Now and follow the directions.

Today's prompt was to write a love poem (my favorite!).  Here is my contribution:


The alarm serenely plays 
a gentle calling to awaken. 
I roll over, gathered in by your arms. 
Snuggling, we begin our daily ritual of life together. 
Giggling over silliness, 
we rise to greet the morn, 
giving thanks for another day to dance 
before breakfast; 
to sing harmony to each 
others thoughts; 
to play like children 
in awe of everything.…

Shades of Angels by Teal L. Gray

I am so excited to have my friend and fellow writer/minister, Teal Gray here on Words from the Heart to introduce her new book Shades of Angels. Teal, what drew me to your book, before I even opened it, was the title. Can you explain how you came up with the title and what it means? 

That’s a great question Linda that nobody has asked before. I had interactions with angels throughout my life and they were never the same. There were definite and subtle differences. In life, I believe everything can’t be divided into either a black box or a white box. People, entities, situations, whatever you are dealing with has its own unique traits and perspectives, shades of who they are, if you will. Some are darker shades; some that are more towards the light, would have shades of that end of the spectrum. 

I believe we are in between an unseen battle between angels of light, darkness and other entities between those extreme polarities. Some are battling to protect us, while others have less g…

The Answers My Friends...

Photo:  Public Domain After a lifetime of writing musical poetry, Bob Dylan has been recognized for his contribution to the Literature of the World by the Nobel Prize committee.  I am so happy!
There are some critics that argue that Dylan does not deserve this most honored award.  These naysayers mainly complain that what he wrote isn't any better than other songwriters.  What they don't get is that the other songwriters' works were not the anthems for generations of freedom fighters, peacemakers and social activists from around the world.
BBC demonstrated just how poetic Dylan's songs are by posting a recording of several of their famous actors reading the words of the songs we have come to know so well.  The poetry is more than obvious.  The fact that the words Dylan wrote inspired people to seek peace, seek change, seek connection is the foundation for why the Nobel committee honored him.

For me, Dylan's words, his songs, have touched so many parts of my life.  Sinc…

In Remembrance of the Anishinaabeg

Photo Credit:

Today, I honor the ancestors - those whose lives were taken, yet whose Spirit still lingers from the mountain tops to the valley, from the waterways to the desert.  Today, I celebrate the resilience of the Native people who kept to the Red Road, so that we who came after might learn, might hope, might continue to honor and care for all that Creator has given us. 

ANISHINAABEG   Close to the horizon   Under the heart of the Sun  Come the Anishinaabe. 
The breath of the Moon guides them.  The circle of their lives is woven  Into All that IS. 
Their stories are held in the heart of the Stars.  Their songs serenade the Wind.  Anishinaabe, Anishinaabe. 
Children of the Ancient Ones…   Brother Bear, Sister Sky…  Wolf and Eagle still call your name…  Anishinaabe! 
Linda M. Rhinehart Neas ©1998

Where the Heather Meets the Stone

Writing a book of poetry is, in many ways, a thankless task.  Yet, we poets continue to write and re-write in order to publish our humble offerings in the hopes that someone somewhere will find them worthy. Poems are a labor of love.

My latest book is one such labor of love.  I carried it, like my children, close to my heart for many years before it was ready to be delivered into this world of words and phrases.  Like many labors, it was difficult.  The gestation of this book was longer than I had hoped.  The first poem was written many years ago, when I first contemplated finding my Irish roots. It was the seed from which all others grew.  These poems quickened as we traveled through Ireland and later, after I was home, ruminating over the hundreds of photos I took.

Where the Heather Meets the Stone is finally available to the public.  If you purchase it, I hope you will find something within the pages that will touch, inspire, enlighten or cheer you.

Now, I am off to prepare for my nex…

Bits of Wisdom

The older I get, the more I realize that wisdom needs to be shared.  This used to happen when we came together in long houses, around campfires, and at the kitchen table.  Today, wisdom comes in bits and pieces that often lack the personal connection of a parent, grandparent or familial elder.  I find this unfortunate, but, I have also learned from my Elders that we MUST share wisdom with the world NOW.  

So, my gift to the world on my last day being 62 is 62 bits of wisdom.  My greatest joy will be to know that you find something here that resonates with you.

62.  No matter how old you are, you are never too old to dream and to have goals. 

61.  Gardens are great places of healing.  Visit often.

60.  Water is the life blood of Mother Earth; we MUST protect both.

59.  Children are wiser today; listen to them.  They have a lot to teach us.

58.  Music should be a part of every day!

57.  If you write, you are a writer.  If you sing, you are a singer.  If you paint, you are a painter.  If you da…

National Courtesy Month

Who knew that September is National Courtesy Month?  I didn't, but according to the Farmer's Almanac, this is the truth! While I cannot find the origins of this month-long observance, I can find multiple ways to practice the fundamentals of courtesy.

When I was a little girl, we were taught to ALWAYS say the magic words, "Please" and "Thank you."  People have lost this...I thanked a young man for holding the door for me recently and he gave me a shocked looked as he stuttered, "Oh, ya,'re welcome."  Why should saying thanks (or please) shock people?  

One act of courtesy that I would like to promote from the highest mountains in the land is the use of cellphones.  Come on, folks!  Do you really think everyone in the world wants to hear your conversations?  Private conversations should be...private!

On the same track, put the cellphones away when your are with family and friends.  NO is impolite!  If someone sat with a frie…

Giving Thanks on Labor Day

Back in 1894, almost 125 years ago, Congress declared the first Monday in September to be observed as Labor Day.  Everyone knows this holiday as the "official end of summer." But, few know how it came to be or why.

A labor union leader and carpenter, Peter McGuire thought American workers deserved a day that honored what they did.  His proposal was presented to the New York Labor Union in 1882. Union officials thought it was a good idea, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Thanks to McGuire and others like him, we not only have Labor Day, but we also enjoy a host of other benefits of which most of us are unaware.  Unions gave us weekends without work, child labor laws and holiday pay, just to name a few. (You can learn more at

As I sit in the sun, enjoying the time to write on my blog, a "job" that brings me great satisfaction, I give thanks for all, past and present, who have protected workers and workers rights.  I offer a prayer for all those who…