so i just submitted poems to a contest. eee! i hope i win. πŸ˜€

here’s the background music my daughter composed and i edited. it plays under my poems. πŸ˜€

thanks for listening.


Walk. the. F. OUT

My daughter just yesterday participated in the student-led walkout protesting gun violence, but mainly as a commemoration of those lost on Valentine’s Day. F*ing Valentine’s Day. 17 people were murdered. Most of them children. Happy Heart Day, America.

Also. She walked out because she believes that no one needs an AR-15. But she walked out. Stood with her fellow classmates. Prayed. Honored in silence those who had to die for someone to listen. For someone to stand in their place.

She and her close friend were the only two from her class to go, but she said probably 200 showed up. Maybe more.

My husband and I attended the pre-walkout meeting last week. A “doctor” was there. We went around the room introducing ourselves. So-and-so, parent. So-and-so, student. Martha Maggio, parent. This guy. This f*ing guy. *DOCTOR* Douchebag, parent. He put the emphasis on the doctor. Not me. I’m putting the emphasis on Douche.

“I’m DOCTOR So-and-so. Parent.”

What. Ever.

So. From the jump, this PARENT, already has his panties in a twist.

He asks all kinds of ridiculous questions. We are winding down.

“Any more questions?”

Raises his hand. Again.

“Uh, yeah, this is more of an editorial or commentary.”

Oh. Shit. I just knew it was going to be something dumb.

“So, this is a protest, right?”

“No. This is a student-led commemoration that they kids won’t be punished for participating in. It’s totally voluntary. No one is being forced to go.”


Oh. Shit.

“Well. This website says, and I quote, “(Whatever the *F* this guy said. I don’t even care. It was basically some news article or website post revealing that the March 14th walkout would be a protest against gun violence.)”

This guy goes on and on about how it is a protest. “Right?”

“No. This is student-led. It’s a memorial for the fallen students and faculty. We are following the wishes and desires of Stoneman Douglas. There won’t be any signs. Whatever other groups are doing on March 14th is not endorsed by this high school, administration or school district.”

And he just kept on. So I finally ended the damn conversation.

“So what if it is a protest?”


“These kids have a right to say whatever they want. That’s their freedom to do so.”


I said what the principal could not and should not say. And then the meeting FINALLY adjourned. Thanks, DOC! I mean, Dick.

What I wanted to say and said loudly in the parking lot to my family (LOL):


ButΒ  I didn’t say that. To him. But I did shut that meeting hog down.

After we adjourned, he scurried over to a news reporter from the local paper who was covering the meeting. The reporter was actually trying to talk to a mother who identified herself as the parent of a child who just came from Stoneman Douglas this year. He’s a senior now here at my daughter’s high school. He wanted to participate in the walkout/memorial because that was his school. Those were probably people he knew. That mother spoke firmly, passionately, but kindly at the meeting. She was there to represent her son because he was at track practice. The doctor harassed her with questions and debate.

Which one of these parents is raising a child that will best contribute to society? Just asking. Just saying.


Must go ask the Lord for strength in loving this type of buffoon. Forgive me, God, for hating this man. For, at the very least, not tolerating this man in my mind and wanting to curse him. I failed to love this person. Find compassion. Talk softly. Reason. I wasn’t rude, but I had hate in my heart.

You don’t need a gun to settle an argument. You just need to be armed with logic and facts.

Roundabout Okie

Hey y’all! I’s done did it now! I was cast in Grapes of Wrath here in Venice. I get to play Ma Joad. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m fit to be tied, I tell ya.

Grapes of Wrath is epic. Christian-themed, full of religion and tragic as hell. You could tell me it’s based on an ancient Greek play and I’d swaller that whole. I can’t wait to get started.

Hear tell, I’m an Okie. Sorta. Little bit. My kin come from all over, but my granddaddy’s daddy married a full-blooded Native American down in Oklahoma and had hisself a brood with her’n. My dad’s dad was 1/2 Chickasaw, came up from Oklahomie and put hisself thru Chiropracty schoolin’ in KC. He was a farmer, doctor of sorts and fishing lure inventor. He even patented a complicated, new-fangled, unsuccessful lure design, had a couple made, and sold a very few. My ma still has one. Ugly thing made to impress with multiple hooks, shiny plastic housing, and bright, fake insect-like bait, but in all probability, totally useless.

I am particularly proud of my tangential Okie connection. My Native American heritage. My own Missouri family history through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. I am proud to come from a long line of working class folks. The people who work hard and do what it takes. I’m not sure how or why they (we) made it through such a terrible time, but it tells me even this minute detail:

“…we’re the people that live.” (Ma, Grapes of Wrath)

I’ve overcome terrible sickness/surgery, my own personal depression, and raging food addiction for the last 5+ years, but I am the person that lives. πŸ™‚ I come from a long line of hellers. πŸ˜‰

This is Evil

does not feaR men or guns.

time will have its perFect results of heaven.
our God will not abIde craven idolatry:
murderous sacrifice oF our innocent children,
worship of weapons insTead of His power on high,
a complete abadonmeNt of morals or wisdom.
keep your thoughtS and prayers alive

with actionS of this body
stalk and storm Halls of justice
with your powerful autOmatic voices of reason
attack vaUlts of law
where this Love of guns
is stored and protecteD by evil money and favor

oust and roust, Bust virtue out
kill the silencE of idling hands

demand safer lives wIth cautious liberty.
turn over the tables of destiny by eLecting those who should die for you
rather than kiLl in your names.
in thE name
of God,
should never be down the dark barreL of a privately-purchased democracy.


This is an acrostic poem, aligned in the center.
The center column has an equal number of letters on either side in each line.
The power in this country rests in the hands of those with guns and money.
It should rest on the peaceful people.

If you need a gun to protect what you have?
You don’t have what you need.

AR-15s should not be made legally available to murder 15 yos.

Every gun ever made was forged to kill a being.
Every gun ever made has or will kill a living thing. Or multiple living things.
Guns were made for no other purpose.
Only man could make killing so easy.
Karma will call and collect her damages.

Cultural Stew

You wouldn’t know it to look at my face,

martha 271

but I’m part Native American. No. Really.

You would probably guess I’m German or English. And you’d be right on either count. I’m probably a lot of other things as well. I really need to do that spit test.

My grandfather’s mother was full-blooded Native American. Chickasaw? We think. No one knows for sure. She’s not listed on any census and I can’t find her in the Native American registry. But she existed. So that makes me 1/8 Native American. Something that I’m proud of. I don’t know why, but I am. It’s never been something to be ashamed of. Maybe because I look white and no one ever treated me in a negative way (racially). I had other factors though that called attention to being different. Overweight. Artistic. Sensitive. Not much money. And I was made fun of for those things. Minor compared to racism.

I wonder, in the late 19th century when great-grandma met great-grandpa and married, and had several children, did they encounter racism? Disapproval, bias, difficulty? I hope not. But probably. In Oklahoma at the time, maybe it was more common to see mixed couples? I don’t know. That story is lost to our family. Unfortunately.

My family came to this country for opportunity. They were allowed in. The other part of my family was already here! There have been mistakes on all sides, but the American government killed the Native Americans, ground them into dust and pushed them into tiny groups. In fact, our country has a pretty bloody history. Not one to be proud of, IMO. Not all of it anyway.

My family left Germany before the war. Danke Gott! But some extended family may have stayed, don’t know, probably. Know where they came from before Germany? France.

All that being said, I can’t imagine excluding someone because they need a place to go. Or especially when they were born in America or were brought here at a very young age. Jesus didn’t hold people at arm’s length. Jesus loved sinners, Samaritans (considered dirty foreigners by Judeans) and people of all kinds. I understand there are limited resources and other considerations, but IMO the politicians setting policy that don’t consider immigrants as people are not Christians.

God included everyone in salvation. Not just Israel. Where would we be if He built a wall around the Promised Land?

Some of the nicest, hardest-working, finest, most moral people I have ever met have been immigrants. So why is this an issue now?

Charity Begins at Home (and with Demi)

I asked a WordPress friend to speak about charity. Here are her thoughts and answers.

Demi, known as The Lupie Momma on WordPress, is turning 27 this year. She is not disappointed about getting older, she’s planning a huge 30th birthday celebration. (Get it, girl!) But she is a little sentimental about her daughter growing up so fast. Demi has a sweet, little girl who is almost 4. Demi is a wife and mother by day, working gal by night.

She’s dabbled at blogging for a few years on a few sites, but recently she decided to finish her novel. While struggling with Lupus (autoimmune disorder), she’s been working hard on this memoir. Demi is right and brave when she says “…life is too short not to go after everything.”
What do you do to volunteer or donate?
I’ve always given my clothes that are in good shape, that I’ve outgrown, to people I think can use them. Now that I have a fast growing toddler, I have started giving her old clothes and toys to other families. We have been fortunate enough to be able to afford these things, but we realize that some people aren’t as lucky.

Demi told me more about her personal giving.
They have a friend, Brandon (name changed for privacy). He’s a single dad of triplets. The mother is not involved on a regular basis. Brandon has to provide for 3 children. On his own. Demi knows how expensive one growing child can be. So. She started helping in any way she could. Brandon’s children are just 6 months younger than Demi’s girl. 2 of the triplets are girls. So Brandon is fixed for “hand-me-downs”. Brandon is truly grateful for the regular supply of girl’s clothing that Demi gives every change of the season.
Right before Christmas, Demi was preparing for the incoming onslaught of new toys for baby girl. They found an unused toddler bed and chair. She messaged Brandon right away. A few days later, Brandon posted about bills and presents; how hard it would be to provide this year. Demi had thought about buying a few small gifts, but after the post, Demi’s husband went full-on Santa. Gender-neutral toys that all the kids would enjoy. Delivered to Brandon’s house just in time for Christmas Eve. They didn’t say a word, leave a note or want any attention for doing so. They did unto others as they would want for themselves. Unfortunately, Amazon shipping included the husband’s email and Brandon figured it out. Needless to say, he was very thankful.

Why do you volunteer or donate?

We donate to help those in need because we would hope someone would help us if the shoe was on the other foot. Whether it’s to Brandon and his kids or hurricane relief somewhere else. (The state of Florida thanks you, Demi!!)
How do you feel when you give?
It’s a good feeling. Sometimes I feel guilty that I couldn’t do more, but my husband reminds me that its better I do a little than nothing at all. (I agree with your husband! If we all do some, we can do it all. <—Has someone already said that? If not, it’s so true!)

If we all do some, we can do it all!

Are you Christian or other religious affiliation? Do you give for a specific reason?

We’re Christians, but not the “we think we’re holier than others” type. We aren’t going to spit out scriptures at you or chaste you for not going to church.
No specific reason we do–except for the Lupus Foundation as that is a close charity that I personally benefit from.
I don’t know if I was necessarily taught to donate or volunteer, I just think my mother instilled in us from a young age to help others when we can. I remember being out to eat as a kid and my mom giving me a few dollars to give to the homeless man sitting a few tables away. Since then, I’ve just always kind of done it. Giving money to a random homeless man, or buying them a meal, giving my clothes to someone who could benefit from them. And now that I’m a mother myself, I want to instill that in my daughter. That not everyone is as fortunate as we are, and that it’s good to help others when you can.
How do your kids feel about your helping?
I’m not really sure she fully grasps the concept yet. She’s only three. Occasionally when we’re packing up stuff she hasn’t played with for months, we get the “That’s my toy!” but we explain that you know you haven’t played with it in a while, and there is someone else who would enjoy it. After a few pouts, she usually just drops the subject, goes and plays with something else. Explaining the Santa to Seniors, and why we were getting gifts for “old people who weren’t grandma or grandpa” was a bit tricky. But she picked out the names of the women we got, ‘all E’s because her name starts with E’ and picked out the bags to put their stuff in, she even threw in some hot chocolate packets for them. I hope that as she gets older, she’ll admire us for it. And continue to do it as she grows up.

While Demi regularly donates old clothes and toys, she was moved to go above and beyond this holiday season. She said, “…it felt nice buying gifts for other people that probably actually deserve the gifts.” Every year, people feel burdened in buying gifts for extended family members as an act of obligation. Holiday gift exchange can feel like a pressure cooker of negativity and resentment, boiling over by Christmas. And at the end of it all you may, like Demi, wish you had helped someone who actually needed (not wanted) something.
Demi left me with this thought from John Bunyan:

You have not lived today
until you have done something for someone
who can never repay you.

Let us know how the book is coming, Demi. I can post a link in an update. Thanks for sharing!

Please consider donating to the Lupus Foundation or to Demi’s personal fundraising goal.


It’s been almost 2 years since I started my blog. January 15, 2016. Dead, Bloated Deer Carcass was my first article.

I have 480 posts (this article makes 481, and very few repeats). Over 13,000 views. And 332 followers. I’ve also lost ~172 lbs since I started! πŸ˜€


It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. It hasn’t all been publishable prose or poetry. But it’s straight from the heart. It’s my life. It’s straight-through-the-teeth truth.

Thanks for following. Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support. I don’t do this for money. I do it because I can’t stop.

Also! I would like to keep interviewing people.

If you help people, anyone, even one person, in your community on a regular basis, I would love to interview you for a series on charity. It could be anything. As simple as always giving the homeless guy on the corner your extra change. Or always donating to an organization. Cooking meals for patients. How do you help people every day or at the holidays? I would love to hear your stories and share those with my followers.

Leave a comment or message me. You can also email me at: martha.maggio@sbcglobal.net.

Kathryn, Rachel, Irma & Torrence

This will be the third in a series of 5 short articles.
Irma blew through on September 10, 2017.
This was my first experience in a hurricane.

Here’s the first article, if you missed it. Kathryn
Here’s the second article, if you missed it. Rachel

They all relate by the final article, I promise.

The photo above is from just before the hurricane hit. You wouldn’t have known anything was happening. We were in a well-protected school, rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. We chose that shelter by luck. Maybe more than luck.

Written just a few days after the storm.

We had our power restoredΒ  by the first day after Irma hit. We were lucky, so very lucky.

First, let me say, thank you, Florida Power and Light! You are working hard to restore everyone and you had us back up the next day. Thank you so much!

Second, everyone we encountered during Irma was safe and as kind as people in a crisis can be.

Third, when we got back to our place, everything was just as we left it. The only damage–two eaves were blown out and the attic/under-roof was exposed. No big deal. The condo association will repair. We were so very lucky. Luckiest McLucks-a-lot. Unbelievable.

Had Irma not swerved at the last minute from the coast and taken a hard right, we would have lost everything, undoubtedly. I can’t express how thankful I am.

I am troubled by the undeniable climate change. I am troubled at our growing dependence on things and phones and computers. I am troubled by the chaotic world around us. But at the same time, I am deeply humbled. I am appreciative of those people in a dark world who carry light with them. The people who try to make the world a better place. The people who try to make sense of the world around them. The people who rush to the trouble, and carry out the survivors.

We met a Red Cross volunteer. He seemed to be our personal angel. He would check on our family, update us with news, and even brought us cookies. πŸ™‚ He was truly the embodiment of Christ. So thankful for him. Donate to Red Cross if you are inclined. (More about our angel in the next article!)

Our daughter had to spend her birthday in a storm shelter/elementary school. On the cold, hard cafeteria tile. Surrounded by strangers. No one even realizing someone had a birthday. (I thought about finding a treat and lighting a candle, but decided not to embarrass my 14 yo, LOL) Everyone just hoping to live through Irma. We tried to make it as good/fun as possible for her, staring down the threat of a potential Category 4 hurricane. But it was tough.

But we are here. We are alive. No injuries, no damage, in the scheme of things–no problems.

Irma hit at around 8-9 pm Sunday night.
We left the shelter around 7 am Monday morning.
Got home around 9 am Monday morning.
Had water to shower. (Had gone without shower since Friday morning, gross!)
Got power back on around 7-8 pm Monday night.
Got internet back today at around noon!
We are whole again. Still praying for anyone who is still out of something.

Tonight, we make up for cafeteria tile and storm sheltering. We’re going rollerskating! Her favorite. Happy birthday, Lil. You made it to 14! and then some. πŸ˜‰ I couldn’t be prouder or more thankful than I am for such a wonderful young lady. ❀

You are either moving out of a storm or headed into one. No one is without weather. It’s about who you have in your boat when the waves hit. Right?

had it up to *here* haikus

Progress in Congress?
Endless regress to nonsense.
Tax cut transgression.

White-collar version
Of looting and coercion–
Congressional bill

Congressmen make laws
For those who can foot the bill
With boots on our necks

Middle class kidnapped
Held ransom by Congress thugs
Don’t be/get taken