*from One With Willows copyright2019 by Joan Myles*


They used to cluster near the city well

to prey upon wayfarers

too weary to mind their tongues,

their satchels, their children.

They huddled in shadows, among the feet

of pilgrims and saints

to taunt the rabbi’s New Year sermon,

and his students’ rebuttals.

But demons never followed us home like this,

never hid among our winter coats

or under the floorboards,

or even in the attic.

They never climbed up our backs,

or sprinted between our busy steps,

never waited beside the bookshelf

or stood warming their wretched claws at the stove.

Only during these horrid, dark hours

have I heard them hissing

between my gritted teeth,

amid my ragged breath,

felt them clutching at my hair,

untying my shoelaces,

glaring at me from behind your eyes.

The well has run dry

despite the deluge outside.

And without well water,

there are few pilgrims,

fewer saints,

and wisdom’s window

is locked tight against the wind.

Guest Post: Portrait of a Cultist

*When I read these powerful words written by my dear friend Leonard Tuchyner, I knew I must share them…as an explanation, and a warning. Thank you for reading.*

Portrait of a Cultist

by Leonard Tuchyner

What are the traits of a cult leader? Some of these traits have actually been described. Of course, not all cult leaders fit one single template, but I believe the one I have in mind does fit into this pattern.

The core of this description is, the world revolves around me. Dr. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and priest, wrote the book People of the Lie, in which he describes, in great detail, characteristics of the primary narcissist. The term narcissism goes back to Freud, and probably before him, all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Peck defined this condition as fraught with evil and destined to harm everyone within the circle of influence commanded by the primary narcissist.

In Peck’s view, the narcissist is stunted in his emotional growth at the level of infancy. He fixates his emotional energy on an unrequited initial love object. That object usually takes the form of a parental figure, male or female. Imagine an adult fixated at that emotional level of development. Everything revolves around the wants and needs of the child-adult. Yet his mental development continues to grow. So, what we have here is an infant with an adult mind.

What are the ramifications of this condition? They are astounding. One result is the assumption made by a person with primary narcissism is that what is good for the infant is good for the world. Thus, anything done for the child’s sake is justified.

Remember, his emotional status is that of a child. But for the development of a conscience, a higher overall development must be greater than that of an infant. In effect, there is no conscience in the normal understanding of what a conscience is. This is the level he must work from. Good is what he perceives as best for him, and bad is whatever is not in his service.

The level of intelligence (excluding emotional intelligence) that a primary narcissist can obtain is alarming. That intelligence has been developed purely to serve the person’s perceived wants and needs. It is highly cunning in achieving those self-centered goals. If power has been the way he achieved his needs as an infant, he spends his life on the skills that gain him power. And he always wants more.

These people are often highly successful in their lives, as measured in attaining their goals. They have learned how to be ruthless and how to hide their ruthlessness. They do this with aplomb. They are often charming, when it pays. They are very good at self-presentation. They are successful in getting what they want out of others.

Primary narcissists appeal to a niche in society, those who have not confronted their own needs and/or desires, but don’t have the capacity to get those needs met without the help of someone who is willing to break societal rules. They want a strong leader and see those qualities in the primary narcissist. Some are willing to make a bargain with the Devil. They look the other way when their leader breaks rules which they are reluctant to break on their own. In other words, the narcissist brings out the hidden devils in their followers.

Not all their followers fit that willing victim scenario. Many are taken in, and are beguiled into the lair of the primary narcissist. They wouldn’t have gotten involved if they realized the modus operandi of the cult leader. By the time they realize what they have become involved in, it is too late. They are in too deep, or their psyches may have been damaged in one way or the other by the cult leader. How this is done is a discussion all in itself. It is too late even for them to seek exit. Many cult followers are the last people you would expect to be vulnerable to a cult.

An example of it being too late to get out is Jonestown. By the time the followers were wise to the nature of their leader, it was too late to get out.

The narcissist has created his own rendition of how the world is, and sold it to his followers. To do this, he must lie, and lie, and lie. There is a fascinating question here. Does the narcissist know he is lying? I can only conjecture on this question. In my opinion, his fantasy world is made of lies and half-truths, conscious and unconscious. It may be the time of day or other factors that influence his thinking at the time he is engaging others in his lies. Eventually, I think the primary narcissist is entrapped by his own lies. For example, Hitler believed in his fantasy at the end of World War II despite all the evidence, until there was no way out, and he killed himself, as did Jones in Jonestown.

This relates to another fascinating question. Is a primary narcissist insane? I’m using the word insane because it is not a medical term. However, it is taken from the word sane, which means of sound and healthy mind. If a person is unable to distinguish between what is real and what is not, is he coming from a sound, healthy mind? I would submit that he is not. The caveat here is that no one is fully aware of reality or fantasy. At the level of knowledge, as it exists today, there is more unknown about the real world than is known. So, it is a matter of degree. In that case, who among us is sane? Having said that, a primary narcissist is insane by comparison.

Finally, the primary narcissist needs to take his followers down in this sinking ship, if only to prove to himself that his cause was right.

Does this remind you of a certain politician?

Praying for Shalom

*I offer the following as a prayer, a plea, a protest against the hate-filled violence which took place on January 6 in Washington DC, and against any effort to invalidate the 2020 election. Anyone who has studied American history understands the value of our Democracy, understand the sacredness of our Constitutions, and understands the seriousness of all that has happened over the last four years*

Praying for Shalom

by Joan Myles

Let us pray for Shalom

for our country

our home

for the wholeness that signifies peace

may the union we feel

create and reveal

the Union which never will cease

My Interview on ACB Radio

*Darling Friends, I’m delighted to share this ACB Radio interview conducted by author Ann Chiappetta. Wishing you all sweetness!*

Our guest for this month’s Art Parlor is author and poet, Joan Myles. We start with some questions, get to hear some of her poetry, and thoroughly-enjoy speaking with her and understanding what it is that inspires her to write.

You can learn more about Joan by visiting her website:, or you can also find her books on Amazon.

Art Parlor can be heard Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 8AM, Tuesdays at 7AM, and Wednesdays at 7PM on ACB Radio Mainstream.

Or ask your Echo device to open ACB Radio Mainstream. You can also call 518-906-1820.

I also want to remind you that Art Parlor is now available as a podcast! You can search for it in your podcast app of choice, listen with your Amazon Echo devices by asking to play the Art Parlor podcast, or use your web browser to view the episodes at


If you need the RSS link for your podcast app, it is:


The podcast will be uploaded around the time of the show’s first airing for the month.

A Very Happy New Year to all and enjoy the show!

New Year’s Eve 2020

It’s New Year’s Eve…again.

And yes, there’s comfort in cycles. The seasons are predictable…for the most part. Birthdays come and go…and I’m still me, despite Time’s inevitable changes.

And there’s New Year’s Eve. A time of reflection, anticipation, a little regret perhaps, and truckloads of hope.

Mostly there is the sweetness of possibility.

And that is what I wish for you, my Darling Readers.

The willingness to face each new day with the expectation of sweetness, or just the possibility of sweetness.

and if you open your heart, if you listen waiting to hear, if you look ready to see

something amazing will happen…

you will hear and see and find and experience the sweetness which vibrates all around us at every moment of our lives…

Even during these uncertain times.

Or maybe because of them.

So I wish you sweetness in 2021, as always.

And I’ll see you on the journey!

Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Sends Season’s Greeting with Messages, Music and More #Podcast

*Delighted to be featured among Patty’s guests in this musical Holiday PodCast. Wishing you all Love and Light and Blessings Galore!*

Pattys World

Season’s Greetings from Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing


In this episode, authors, business owners, and nonprofit workers gather together with messages and song to send season’s greetings to the world.
We hope you’ll enjoy the show, share with your friends and email:patty.volunteer1@gmail.comwith your thoughts when you’re through.
Without further ado, here’s a gift from Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing to You!
Happy Holidays. May Harmony find You, and Blessid Be!

All content © 2020 Talk to Tell It To The World Marketing.

Listen on Amazon Music, Spotify and Google Podcast. Or ask Alexa to play the Talk to Tell It To The World Marketing Podcast.

You may also go directly to the episode here:

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*I got out my guitar yesterday, and what do you know? An old song I wrote as a teenager jumped in and took over. I’m sharing it below, a reminder that even darkness has its purpose. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and wish you sweetness always.*


by Joan Myles

Night spreads its dark flowing cape

O’er the landscape that once was day

And its cool winds sift through the trees

to gently ease my cares away

Stars climb up ladders of light

to fill the night with shining streams

and the day’s pain slowly subsides

While my soul abides within my dreams

and night sings its lullabye through the hills

hush my child for all is still

there always will

be a new sun after each moon

another tune that you can learn

and if day fails to make you smile

after a while night will return

I woke Up

*After reading Mary Oliver’s "Roses" from her 2015 collection, Felicity*

I Woke Up

by Joan Myles

I woke up last night needing something.

My fingers and toes tingled

and I thought “I need to be sleeping.”

A dull haze of dreaming

nudged me ever out of myself

even as I kept insisting-

“I need to rest.

Need the words to step back a bit,

to quiet their humming if they must crowd my pillow.”

Later, in the midst of writing,

I still needed something

and declared “I need a storm.”

Outside the wind strained to move,

creaked through the fence, stumbled

over garden stones.

“Come on,” I urged from the open window,

“whip the clous into froth

and rattle the bones of houses.”

Here at my desk, consciousness

shines through your soft laughter: “…we are

just now entirely busy being roses."

Two #Hanukkah Songs #Chanukah #Music

*Just in time, a delightful rendition of two Hanukkah songs…thank you, Crystal! My favorite is the second…can you name them? Wishing you sweetness always, my darling friends!*

Mystical Strings

Download Mp3

The Jewish Festival of Lights begins tonight! In the spirit of celebration and friendship, I offer you two Hanukkah songs played on zither and viola.

The first is “Chanukah.” I couldn’t find out who wrote these lyrics and music; so, please share if you know! It’s the 10th song on
this page,
under the “Chanukah” heading.

The second is “I Have a Little Dreidel,” also known by many other names! It is so popular that even non-Jewish people recognize it. Though I’m not Jewish, I have played Dreidel with Jewish friends during Hanukkah, and won some chocolate gelt, too! You know, those foil-covered chocolate coins that often come in a mesh bag and bring the promise of sweetness! You can read more about this fun and popular song

You can also listen to the
First Night Chanukah Blessings
I recorded with ukulele last year.

I wish everyone…

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