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Winter with Ebenezer

A storm loomed and wind stirred
dried twigs of a leftover
summer plant, its withered tendrils
grasping at concrete and a
praying mantis long since deceased.
It reminded me of ol’ Marley. He
was dead as a door-nail.
And so are spent my recent successes.
A new chapter beckons, but the pain
of the present and abrupt end
makes me look more to the corrupted
mantis than the coming spring.
I’ve already been haunted by
the things I’ve done.
I paused, that morning, the carcass,
staring back at me, more wraith
than gentle spirit, igniting a
condemning symphony in my mind
accompanying the brittle descent
I’d taken from
many joyous years
odd but manageable recent ones.
I’d skipped to the last ghost, really!
That decrepit exoskeleton a hooked
and aged finger slipping from under
the ragged frock of death’s angel
pointing to my doom!
It cannot be! No!
Scrooge’s cry has become my own.
If only I could sponge away this writing,
and change these shadows by an altered life!

Between The Walls

Look out! In a new seven episode series of flash fiction, I am going to peek in on the world of a young boy who discovers a mysterious world and dragons in the most unlikely place: between the sound barrier walls blocking his house from the noisy southern California freeways.

Look for those short, short, short stories to show up this week.

Water Color

pink rose

If I could paint a picture tonight
of what God’s grace was like today,
I’d use water colors on white
instead of stony hearted gray.

If I could relive for a minute
the covenant bliss this eve,
Jeremiah’s words would ring
and ring and ring without leave.

Maybe I should simply tell
of Joy’s bottomless, boundless spring
flooding those nearby, and, well,
creating a constant urge to sing.

No, I think I’ll just read
prophecies and witnesses that tell
of Living Water and thirst dispelled
and sing and ring and paint indeed!

The Foot of the Light

The Raven sat atop a light post by a school,
feathers ruffled, a guardian with
a watchful eye and occasional caw at

The crow swooped down and up, up and down
agitated, ruffled, a challenger with
a menacing eye and constant caw at

this guardian of the Prize:

a discarded bag of tortilla chips and
an overripe banana
at the foot of the light post.

I walked by, looked up and down, down and up
careful not to kick the chips, squish the banana
a steady eye and silent witness to

the soon forgotten prize. Later,
the birds were gone – and I wondered
if the crow and the raven would remember me
on my next visit.

Ambitions Discarded: A Poem

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Ambitions discarded.
Twenty years of accumulated
stuff falls slowly into disuse. Time’s relentless
abuse wears resolve and newness to tatters: an endless string
of the next craze – quads, fire pits, snow mobiles,
raised gardens, dogs – as if all were tied to an old rope
and dragged behind.

The rusted shell of
the VW Beetle in the back yard
tells the story:

fixed in time with weeds, black widows,
regrets and what-ifs.

Consider The Ravens

An imposing dark silhouette
against the slate sky,
he simply banked a turn,
wingtips splayed,
eyed his prey with a slight turn of the head,
and descended as if his wings had vanished;
then he did vanish.
Whoosh! and up, up, up
he flapped hard to light atop
a street lamp with his rodent quarry –
It’s tail dangling from his beak
like the limp rope after the peels of a bell
died away. A death knell for rodent-kind
and the chime of Providence to the Raven.

Now Rest

Here is a little evening reflection that surprised me and, still in draft form, captured so much of my experience for the past 2 months:

I’m weary for not memorizing “their true place of rest” passages
in the book of Jeremiah.
Weary, I say. Weary.

I’m tired from not writing poetry
about hawks and leaves and sunsets.
Tired, I am. Tired.

I’ve nearly expired wishing. Wishing to be
writing the next great Abe Table scene.
Expired, I have. Expired.

And my journal… exhausted am I
not scrawling small significant-only-to-me observations
like a scatter-brained scientist.
Exhausted, oh me. Exhausted.

Somewhere, a dragon struggles to reach the dying grounds.
And a city lies in ruins while it’s coward-for-a-king slinks into the desert.
A magnificent fall sunset lights the evening clouds just…so.
Somewhere, a little boy finds his place teasing fact from fiction
and an armada cruises the Outer Rim looking for a bounty hunter thief.

But I won’t see any of them. My eyes are heavy.
Heavy, they are. Heavy.
And sleep, I do. Sleep.