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Wasted Effort

Ha! You jumped back in,
or so you thought.
Too late, too little my “friend.”
Your efforts are for naught.

I left your tricks behind —
no more mind games for me.
Your mental claws were never kind.
Empty rings your empathy.

So take your narcissistic lust
and the card hid up your sleeve
— don’t bother with a trumped up fuss —
just take your lies and leave.


Someone mentioned a poem a day in December, so my juices got flowing again, and here’s a little poem about users.

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck


Greeting card for the unborn


Touched and untouched; parted, and never apart,
Slumbering within an inner earth.
Protectively cradled in an ancient union
Awaiting the dawn of birth.

Hands unseen shape this form,
Forever to be the mirror’s reflection.
What will those eyes someday see
In a lifetime of self-inspection?

Will the mirror show Mother’s smile
and reflect a stretching length?
Will this child be a daring one
Or one of quiet strength?

What will be those early dreams?
What color of youthful vision?
How will mind and memory grow
As experience brings revision?

For now the mystery remains concealed,
But soon the inner shaping will end.
Amazement will be wrapped in joy
As all the answers begin.


I wrote this in 1986 as a greeting card and congrats for my oldest niece when she became pregnant with her first child.

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck


Self defense story from e-book

This is one of the fictional stories I wrote for Think Like a Black Belt, Take Charge of Your Own Safety my e-book on self defense for everyone.

Meg vs. the Gianttenyardline

Meg’s cheerleading practice had been over for an hour, but her brother still hadn’t arrived to pick her up.

“Jerk” she said to herself, “probably sucking face with that girlfriend of his…”

Meg was the only one left on the school’s darkening football field. She quickly realized she couldn’t Avoid the Vulnerability Factor, so she remained in code yellow as her parents and that book by the female black belt taught her. She wanted to call her brother, but her battery was dead from too much texting.

Moving toward the parking lot, Meg witnessed a car approaching her slowly. Observing her exits strategies, she paused a moment to see if she recognized the driver. It was one of the football players, a huge linebacker named Vince.

The huge teenager drove up close, smiled, and offered her a ride.

Meg declined.

Not put off, Vince spread an even more charming smile. “Why don’t I stick around to keep you safe from the bad guys?”

Meg was torn between knowing the guy and understanding that most rapes are acquaintance rapes. In her moment of slight indecision, he hopped out of his vehicle, sidled up closer and joked about her jumpiness. He kept eyeing the road into the parking lot as if scouting for anyone who might see.

He started to get too close, and she Set a Boundary: “Vince, I don’t feel comfortable with you here,” she said. “Leave now.”

Vince laughed mockingly.

With strong body language, she said, “Vince, back off. Get in your car and go home.”

She saw the flicker of a controlling, wicked leer cross his face. Grabbing her wrist with a cruel grip, his leer turned into a wolfish smile. “Looks like I need to teach Pretty Girl here a few niceness lessons.”

Fear started to swallow Meg with the realization that he must weigh 280 pounds.

Meg then realized the Media and Movie Myths aren’t always true and Vince must surely have some vulnerable spots.

She Chose to Fight instead of Comply and faked a knee shot to the groin, knowing he would probably block with a thigh. As soon as he did, she brought an arcing elbow down on his nose, shattering cartilage against facial bone. Vince let go in agony, holding his nose.

Meg figured the pain wouldn’t last long on such a big football player and decided to Toss Out Niceness and Rules. Knowing a few pounds of pressure can break smaller bones, she raised her knee high and stomped downward with her heel into his left foot.

As his body arched forward from the pain in his foot, Meg brought her knee up into his face. With Vince’s body suddenly brought upright again, Meg finished him off with a final kick to the now fully vulnerable groin.

As Vince collapsed into a pile of dust and defeat, Meg’s jerk brother pulled into the parking lot with disbelief etched into his face…..


For information on self defense visit my site on physical, mental and emotional self defense:  Think Like a Black Belt.

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck

Photo Credit: litelover


Self defense e-book launches!

Hey, I’m officially an author now!

My first book is an e-book – Think Like a Black Belt – Take Charge of Your Own Safety.bookcoverart-sm

And check out some reviews:

This one is from Betsy Wuebker, written on her blog Passing Thru:

“Think Like a Black Belt – Take Charge of Your Own Safety is a comprehensive guide to mental toughness and personal safety.  Written from the perspective of enabling parents to pass along personal safety and awareness tips to children and teens, Lori’s e-book goes beyond to a more universally valuable approach.  This e-book is for everyone – because everyone at one time or another finds themself in an unsafe situation.

“The Bonus Section is worth the price of the e-book alone. This is an activity set designed to fine tune your senses in your personal daily environment.  This D-I-Y workshop that will have you looking at your world in a fresh way while creating a strong anticipatory mode that will keep you more safe.

“Make no mistake – Lori doesn’t pull any punches.  She is not out to sugar-coat her message.  She is matter of fact, encouraging and ultimately, very convincing.  We can defend ourselves from the bad guys and we can teach our children how to recognize and deal with them, too.”

And this review is from Janice Hunter on her blog Sharing the Journey:

“Please check out Think Like a Black Belt for mental, physical and emotional self defense lessons, especially if you’re a woman or have children …

“Who can benefit? Anyone who walks in public, parks a car, has children, works with others, goes out in the evenings… in short, everyone! We’re talking some of the most practical life skills that can be applied to any situation where you need to be sharp, alert, aware and informed. I let my teenage kids read these posts. I’m anxious by nature, but the tips they’ll learn from the  Think Like a Black Belt ebook and blog will help me breathe a little easier. I bought the book the day it came out!  It covers many topics such as strengthening your inner radar and your psychological and physical defense mechanisms, and teaches us to layer all the skills for greater effect.”

For more information on the book click here.

I also wrote about the e-book on the companion blog, where I write on physical, mental, and emotional self defense. Some recent articles include:


It’s all fascinating and practical information that can keep you safer — and your children, too!


Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck


Toxic dance

Toxic Dance

Dance with the devil and feel the burn.
Make every word hurt with each twist and turn.
Put up the walls and never give in.
Put on the glare; stick out the chin.

Think only negative and never be nice.
Make him hurt deep, as he pays the price.
Keep the remarks cutting, right down to the core.
Never let real love get a foot in the door.

Give up patience and kindness, too,
And any gentleness you ever knew.
Cloak your soul in The Selfish Me;
Sacrifice nothing for warmth or civility.

And when the walls are fully built,
Mortared well with hate and guilt,
Then dance within your heart of stone,
Dance with the devil as you dance alone.



This poem was first published in the Newlywed News — a (snail mail) newsletter my husband and I sent out to family and friends in our first few years of marriage. I wrote it based on a couple’s relationship we’d witnessed during our honeymoon. They tore at each other like harpies. We swore we’d never take that path!

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck


I Fail at Twitter — the poem

I Fail at Twitter

Oh how fickle the Twitter fates be —
as they say, “Follow me, my friend!”
And yet I can’t unfail my whale
and know what words to send.

I read all the tips that go floating by,
like “be kindly and never be spammy.”
But try as I may, my tweets die fast —
are they stupid or just plain crappy?

Funny thing is I always feel beat,
By big names like “Mr Million aplusk,”
I feel like a small fish in a very big sea,
Swimming upstream from dawn until dusk.

I’ve found it’s true: Twitter never sleeps.
It’s impossible to keep up with the flow.
By the time I’ve RT’ed the latest and greatest,
a thousand others have stolen the show!

And now the media has finally awoken —
with Iran’s Twitter-green revolution.
Millions more will push the 140 limit,
and I’ll be even more Lilliputian!


Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck

{ 1 comment }

My self defense blog is up and running!

Hear ye; hear ye!

My new blog is up and running at Think Like a Black Belt! I finally combine three passions of mine — the martial arts, teaching, and blogging. Articles and posts help readers discover tips, tricks, and techniques for physical, mental, and emotional self defense.

The latest posts are:

To help start the blog off with a kick, Barbara Swafford of Blogging Without a Blog showcased Think Like a Black Belt in a review called Kicking It. Barbara’s awesome community of readers and fellow bloggers responded wonderfully! What can I say, the lady rocks!

Thank you to all who dropped by:

Davina — Shades of Crimson

Janice — Sharing the Journey

Jan — WritingToExhale

Sean — Writer Dad (and Ghostwriter Dad)

Caroline — The Zen in You

Tricia –Shout

Betsy – PassingThru.com

Vered — Momgrind

Joanna Young — Confident Writing

Floreta — The Solitary Panda

Sara — the sharing connection

Cindy — CindyPlatt.com

Thank you everyone for a great kick-off!



“I’m sure you don’t want to do that,” he said. “It really wouldn’t be helpful to the company.”

The parental tone rang subtle, but commanding, from a superior to a subordinate. But this time the fatherly smile he put on his face like makeup didn’t ring as true.

Damn, she thought, this was going to be a long discussion.

Well, not discussion. He rarely let others listen or get a word in edgewise.

As her immediate boss in the company’s marketing department, he was automatically dealt the better and upper hand, and damn if he didn’t know how to use it to his best advantage.

She knew it would fall on deaf ears, but she had to say it anyway. “Actually I was trying to help the company with this new online idea.”

“Sarah,” he always used her name when he felt threatened and insecure, “you know what I’ve said about this. I love that you have enthusiasm and want to help, but I’ve been down this road before, and it never works.”

With hardly a pause he continued, “When I first joined this company, I took pride in how it stood on solid standards and ideas. We’ve never wavered from those. To do something new just to do something new is not good business.”

“But I’ve seen this work elsewhere with great success. I read an article in the main trade magazine that backs up how well it can help us.”

“Have I ever steered you wrong, Sarah?”

There it was — his switch-up in the conversation to avoid having to listen to her defend her ideas.

And what other reply did she have for the person who approved her paycheck? With the smallest of sighs, she bit off the word, “No.”

“Well then, you know I mean what I say when I’ve tried things like this before. When I first headed up sales, a man by the name of Jack Johnson came up with something similar …”

At that point her nods came diligently, but her mind ran long and hard from this twice-heard story he used to prove to the world why “things are they way they are and are going to stay that way.”

Each of his hand gestures and well-rehearsed emotional stage play weighted down her heart and shoulders. Why did I stick around for more of this? I left home years ago. I don’t need a Daddy-figure or school principal to keep make me feel like I don’t measure up so I keep trying harder to please.

Her self-loathing jumped a notch, but never bubbled up to her face. She’d learned a long time ago to peer through well-made masks. Otherwise, the conversations grew longer.

Somewhere inside her, as the drone of words played on, a sharp blade cut into her, slicing something old and moldy from her mind. The once quiet and dead-still inner sea moved as if whipped by a strong wind. Waves slowly rolled higher and higher as long-held indignation roared across the seascape.

With a new clarity crashing against the shore of her selfhood, she naturally sat up taller in her chair. The new body language commanded notice.

Sarah heard his words trail off as he noticed the change. His kind spent a lifetime controlling the small and large things of power.

She now she noticed them, too.

Leaping into the gap between the torrents of words, she said, “I understand your vast experience with this company carries a lot of weight for you, but I see stories like these as unhelpful. I value quality, standards, and making this company great, too, and those things don’t disappear when innovation and new ideas are tried.”

Before he could summon another gush of words, she plodded on.

“There is no harm in my suggestion. I’m the one taking the responsibility here. I’m willing to try it and if it fails, then I’m the one who fails. I’m not cowed by other people’s past attempts. Sure maybe they did fail, but maybe they just didn’t have the abilities I do. I own my successes and my failures, and I won’t let Jack’s story be a gravestone to innovation or to my creativity.”

Standing up, she added, “If you want to back me on my idea, fine. If not, there’s nothing more to say.”

Turning to leave, a power and a freedom raced through her body, a feeling that had eluded her a long time. Smiling broadly, she realized no one would take a parental role over her again.



For information on emotional self defense and how to deal with such controlling parental figures, visit my other website, Think Like a Black Belt — especially this short article: “Defense Against the Dark Hearts.”

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck



The dusty halls ring silent
Where light and warmth have fled.
All is hushed in this abode
Where the living live as dead,
Where days and nights cry aloud
To an end of quietness
When no more a soul must shrink aback
From the touch of human kindness.
Oh to quit this house of masks
Through which a guarded heart peers.
Oh to run into the light
And shed this cloak of fears.
But the door to here is bolted shut,
Built to stand against all stress.
It can’t be opened with guile or strength,
But only with warm gentleness.
And when that humble soul comes calling,
With the heart of a gentle friend,
Then gone will be the gloomy masks
And the living shall live again.

I wrote this poem in 1993.

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck


The Light

This poem came rushing out of me last year when I first explored the world of blogging. I posted it on SpaceAgeAge.com in response to many sad posts I read during a series of blog searches on personal growth and adversity.

The Light

The darkness called;
I followed, falling,
down into the underneath,
and lay ripped, shredded, torn.
In pain wracked, I reeked,
oozing bile-filled blood.
The darkness played music,
of fear and self-hatred,
until I danced ugly to the tune.
I heard my voice screaming,
“Give me one, not-dark thing!”
And there it was.
A pen-thin beam of sunlight,
stabbing the darkness.
Its smallness did not matter,
because its strength was in its source.
I followed the beam, eyes only for it,
until the darkness fell behind,
Soon came the sun, healing and warm.
I sat down and cried, releasing it all.

“If you can’t find the light, may it find you.”

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck