America and Guns.

Today is the 25th day of 2023, and there have already been 39 mass shootings in this country, resulting in 70 dead, 167 injured, and countless traumatized.

Mary Trump

New York Times January 25, 2023

The back-to-back massacres illustrate what, for many, feels like a near constant drumbeat of mass shootings in America. Already, in the first 24 days of the year, there have been at least 39 mass shootings nationwide, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence and defines a mass shooting as an event in which four or more people are shot or killed.

In California, the pace has felt especially unrelenting. Last week, gunmen killed six people in Tulare County, including a 16-year-old and her 10-month-old child. Then, on Saturday, there was the Monterey Park shooting that killed 11. Less than 48 hours later, the massacre in Half Moon Bay happened.

We must end these deaths, and we can if we act as a unified pressure group, quietly and constantly stating our case.

Gun rights are a wedge issue of wealthy or corporate interests to undermine the government of the people.

‘Open carry and stand your ground’ gun laws are from ALEC. The American Legislative Council. This council has enormous power among Republicans all over America. This council will fight to protect the right of any individual to own a gun.

Why: Because we, the people, allow it.

American Legislative Exchange Council

What does the 2nd Amendment say?

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Ratified – December 15, 1791

Truth: All state militias are now subject to federal regulation. States are no longer the issue. This matter runs deeper.


This right was demanded by the Southern States, which had slave-catching militias.

They patrolled plantations to ensure the slaves had no shoes, weapons, books, etc.

None of this is about protection; it is about control.


This is nothing short of appalling!

Why is there a need for people to own guns in 2023? Why is there a need for people to own assault weapons?

In 2023 we have a police force, cell phones, and other means of protection!

Why are no thorough background checks for everyone wanting to purchase a gun?

How many more people will we see slain by gun-bearing, angry, mentally unfit people?

Why do the gutless and greedy Republicans in Congress continue to see people gunned down; and do nothing?

Truth: Because they can get away with it and as long as they keep buying the gun lobby propaganda.

Truth. The NRA gun lobby adopted tactics used by the Tobacco Lobby in the 1980s – another lethal product.


How much longer will we tolerate these people thwarting any proposed legislation designed to regulate guns?

Truth: As long as we allow them.

The Koch family, the Mercers, and other plutocrats fund the far-right wing, and the right wing owns America. 

Make no mistake. Do not be fooled into thinking if you live in America, you live in a democratic country-you don’t.


The right-wing Trump Supreme Court majority has greatly expanded gun privileges.

Numerous people are intolerant of other cultures, colors. religious beliefs, and groups they believe should be murdered because they are different.

This poison runs deep in the American consciousness. It has its roots, for the most, in slavery.


We should demand that there will be a limit to gun access with a ban on all assault weapons and stringent background checks. We can prevent murder in our streets, schools, and churches.

What kind of so-called civilized country allows this carnage?

Call to action:

Write to as many of your state senators and representatives as possible. Demand gun control – specifically, an assault weapon ban in the USA. Demand stringent background checks for all people who want to purchase a gun.

Organize marches for lives.

Stand down and strike at every level until we can get the gun legislation changed. We must be able to leave our homes without fear of being shot.

Make things as difficult as possible for those members of Congress who thwart our attempts to stop our people from being mown down.

Please consider.

Janice Konstantinidis

January 25, 2023

Fall Wreath

Fall wreath

The fall wreath placed, is bittersweet.

Vibrant colors, goodbye heat.

Inviting door is there to greet,

the coming season. Reaping wheat,

from pastures yellow,

acorns dropped; the earth is mellow.

Gardens bend their weary heads,

and tired Clematis crave their beds.

The wreath for winter, calls December,

no more the colors of September.

Greens and reds, alive, throw ember

shades of winter, all remember.

Welcome Winter, cozy nights,

streets are filled with warm house lights,

Fingers cold from cold frost bites,

shortest day, within our sights.

Living In The Present

Depression can be the result of an inability to plan a


Trying to be aware of enjoying the moment is a healthy ambition.

When we are young, there are a plethora of goals, rites of passage,

fantasies, and so many more things that we need to consider. We have many

choices and a strong body.

As we age, the various imperatives that once drove us, drop away. 

Reaching adulthood, independence, marriage, becoming a parent, a career, hobbies,

interaction with friends; are all tremendous driving forces which keep us

motivated, and happy. We can change course, end this or that, and improve on

another thing, simply because we can.

Every part of our personality is alive and available to us. Humor is an

an essential part of our well-being; we can see the silly side of life, have a

chuckle. We can do this because we are still observing, modifying and

living at many levels; above all, we are physically able to do what pleases


As our milestones are ticked off, we lose particular and essential abilities, people,

relationships – more. 

We begin to recognize changes in ourselves; ultimately, we

lose so much of what we thought was possible; we can lose sight of who we


The effort to maintain our persona can be filled with an overriding

question of why we bother. The sense of, there nothing left for me but loss and physical


These are treacherous waters to find oneself in, as our life force is

depleted, and we must rely on our minds alone to give us a reason to continue

life in this very different body.

Discredit the mirrors!  Honor the body we know we have at every level.

The body that once drove us requires our minds to take over to

generate a new way we can live, with acceptance and in peace.

Value every sunrise and every season. Embrace our wisdom. Live each day

enjoying what we can. 

These are years we can’t afford to let go fallow to the whims of what was. 

It’s all about what we have now, and to spend whatever time we have

in sorrowful retrospection is to darken the present.

Take stock of what we can do and what we want to do, and aim for these

manageable moments, in appreciation of what there is.

Cast away the millstones of fools and negativity, and move into the light of

the present. Our goal is to sustain our body and mind in a manner that

gives us peace and, indeed, joy.

Moderate expectations and discard what is no longer possible. Try not to

grieve for who we were because we need to nurture who we are now. Be grateful

for all we can do; don’t dwell on what we can’t

Be aware of worldly events, and interact as we can, but not to the point whereby 

they engulf us.

Life can be good in an older body.

Janice Konstantinidis

The Speeches

I watched in awe at what I saw,

I felt a sense of calm;

from words thus spoke,

would angst revoke, spreading like a balm.

Four years of mounting anger, combined with growing fear, 

were lessened with each word I heard, the danger much less clear.

A growing sense of purpose, a vast internal sigh,

I felt I had a voice once more; no more would I decry.

The poison of deluded minds, insanity ever-present,

I felt freedom seldom mine; now could I dissent.

Accustomed to a monotone, my ears picked up the new,

tones of excitation and the words that rang so true.

There were years that I was witness to a growing disenfranchisement,

of many so deceived by blatant aggrandizement;

by autocratic propaganda, echoing times to me, of moral deprivation.

When evil striped identity from millions in a nation.

Democracy shone from every vote

in every eye, and dare I quote:

“Let us be the nation we know we can be.”

I felt these words were so well said and indeed included me.

Decency, good values, abundantly expressed;

a forgotten sense of value, I suddenly felt blessed.

I felt my eye begin to fill, 

and tears on my cheeks did spill.

I’d longed for years to hear the voice of clarity and reason;

it seemed to me that what I’d heard were undoubtedly those of treason.

I am grateful beyond these words, to let the nation lay,

in the hands of those who love it well, and this I have to say,

Let there be a peace of mind, spread far across our land,

respecting each for whom they are; let rational minds up-stand.

Janice Konstantinidis.


Roe v. Wade

Who dares to tell me what to do
with my body.
My body.
Any woman’s body,
Who among you decided that you were
the omniscient ones who knew
all about me and my right to own my body!
Who among you will take care of the
child you fought so hard to have me bear?
Will you feed the child, educate, and keep them safe?
Will you give me assurance that I will have employment
to give a child all they need at any point
in their development?
Can you assure me that my mental health will remain
The Supreme Court of the United States has taken over
my body.

Six people with the effrontery to believe they are wiser
than I am in this very personal matter.
How dare six of nine Justices tell me and millions of
other women that we should give birth to a child,
come what may!
Who granted you the power to make this decision?
Was this matter not dealt with in 1973?
Conservative religious zealots that you are.
Convinced that human life is superior to any
another life form; moreover, convinced that
a fetus that is unable to sustain life outside
the womb must be protected at any cost.
A retrograde stand was taken by six moronic
people. A mindset that has plunged us into
an abyss of despair,
How dare you!
Conservative religious connivance on the
part of certain Justices of the Supreme Court
of America has snaked its way into the lives
of women who thought they were free to
decide about pregnancy.
An archaic mold which, if not stopped,
will darken the lives of other groups than
We must stand up. We must fight.
You will not tell me/us what we/I can do
with my body.

How dare you!

The Clearing

The Clearing

There was a special place at the end of the orchard, a small clearing with a clump of young trees, that hovered just above the creek. 

The child loved to come here. She loved the joy she felt when she saw the sun filtering through the wattle trees, the green mosses in the grass, and the bitter scent from eucalyptus. She’d run her hands across the heath bushes, absorbing the texture and taking in the perfection of the tiny flowers.

The scene was one she loved beyond her level of comprehension, or her power of description.

Her affinity to the clearing was such that she wanted to be part of it, to eat it, to take it all inside her so she could own it.

Some mornings she’d run to it, taking great care not to dirty her polished shoes, she wanted just a glance before school. At weekends, when she’d finished her chores, she could stay longer. 

Some days, the early frost lay white on the moss, steam rising from the tips of the leaves as the sun warmed them. The child would look on in wonder.

Afternoons in spring were a source of amazement to her. The wattle was a glorious yellow. She watched as the sun caught the color’s refractive glow where it shone on the new spring flowers.

Other times, in the summer, she’d lean against a tree in the clearing, peeling off the outer bark carefully, crisp in her small palm yet yielding to her touch. 

The bright pink wild fuchsia which grew all along the creek bank, caught the sun’s rays as it filtered through the canopy of the higher trees. An abundance of watercress waited to be picked by eager little hands. 

In the dead of winter, the child braved a walk to her clearing in rain boots, squishing her way through the mud and deep undulations left by the tread of tractor tires. It was hard going. The sleet beat against her small body, plastering her hair on her head, the wind chilling her to the bone. 

The rain and wind played havoc with the trees, bending them over, their branches whipping her, as she scurried underneath for protection. The roar of the creek was loud, the waters high and dangerous. Once she saw a dead calf caught up in the debris. She felt disgust, pity and fear at the sight of it.

 When the weather at the clearing was fierce, she drew strength and understood the relentlessness of the seasons. She admired the bravery of her clearing as it stood firm. 

In spring, her breath stood still in her throat, at her first glimpse of her trees, cloaked in a mist, that was as damp as the tears in her eyes. Shivering, she touched the leaves, at times licking their moisture. The quietness surrounded her, blanketed her, bringing a feeling of peace she seldom knew.

She loved the times when she lay still on the moss on the ground. Birds landed on branches, oblivious to her. She became one with the clearing. The bird’s chatter pleased her; sometimes she’d stifle a giggle at her daring. She’d watch as they rubbed beaks on her branches, enjoying her hospitality. She was privy to their preening and exchange of banter. Their feathers made a perfect contrast to the infinite shades of green that surrounded them.

The child would think about her clearing at night in bed. A huge surge of comfort would fill her mind and body. In a thought she was there, free and safe.