Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

thank You

thank You for being the
friend that never turns
Your back on me
even when i'm being crazy,
and when i've lost
my cool
You're still standing there with
open arms to embrace
me in Your warmth and love and
thank You for being the friend
i don't always appreciate as well as i should
yet still remains
to love me imperfect as i am—
You are the alpha and the omega
the beginning and the end
everything starts with You.

my best friend

even when i resist
Your pull You've never
given up on me,
and even when i think i'm
lost to the wolves
You are the Shepard that
finds me and carries
me back home in His arms;
thank You for being there
when i am impossible
and when everyone else has
turned their backs
when i really need a friend and
everyone has turned their
back on me
or are just too busy
thank You for brushing away my tears
and thank You for showing me
what true love was and the person i should
aspire to be, Lord.

always there

i can never walk where You
cannot find me,
and though sometimes i try
i'm glad You don't
give up on me
no matter how difficult i am to deal
with or love
You always forgive me;
and You've always provided when
things have looked dire
and dim—
thank You for always being there
even when i don't deserve it.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

A Different New Year’s Eve

An ancient couple,
he's a hunchback, 
she's a gnome, 
in the kitchen play

a game of dominoes,
drink hot cocoa, eat
warm bread dripping 
with apricot jam, then 

off to bed at eight 
and up again at five
for the winding drive
down the mountainside

snowy miles to church 
on New Year’s Day,
there to sing and praise  
God for everything.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Anne Babson- A Poem


Do you remember the Cage film?
Do you know why the caged film sings?
You see that slick preacher still slim
On the screen, his rambling rantings
About a day yet to come, but the nuns
Left the cloister, while the Pope sits in Rome?
The church camp youths seem to have run,
But where?  The night clerk left the phone
Off the hook.  That daycare lady
Disappeared.  That drunk got sober,
Followed steps, but text him – maybe
His phone is dead.  It clobbers
You, doesn’t it, boggles the mind
Now to redownload Left Behind.  

Charles Burgess- A Poem

God makes things better

Whenever you may be sad turn to god he will make things better
Whenever you are down take his hand he is with you until the end
God is good and god is great he will take away all of your pain
God makes things better this I know the bible tells me so
God makes things better for me and you know it’s true
God makes the cancer go away god makes the darkest day become bright
God makes my day better he makes the bad go away
God makes our fears go away
God tells you everything will be ok
God wipes my tears away I know its true
God makes my life so much better listen to the words I speak
I think of what the lord went through my knees go weak
I know true love because of him he sent me an angel from up above
I put my hands together and I pray
I pray for those who are lost they might find their way
God is with me good times and bad lord allow me to take your hand
Climb up on the white horse and take the lords hand
I will end this with I love you lord and amen

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Peter C. Venable- A Poem


In this world that spins too fast—
Where news glorifies carnage vast—
As bullets plunge their startled mark—
Mad bombers set another blast;

Voices carol “Emmanuel”—
Pine scent enchants with zesty spell.
Eons ago, swaddled in flesh,
The Almighty came to earth to dwell.  

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

A New Yo-Yo on Christmas Day

I took grandson Jack
for a walk in the park
high noon on Christmas Day.
He wanted to see 
his yo-yo dance
but his parents said
no yo-yo tricks
in a crowded house
with a Christmas tree.

So after Mass
they wrapped Jack up 
in a snowsuit worn
by the Michelin Man
when he was a child.
And Jack and I 
strolled off, laughing 
through the snow.

The park was empty 
when I showed Jack 
yo-yo tricks I’d learned
many decades ago.
I told him he would
soon be tall enough 
to do these tricks
on his own.

Jack laughed and asked
if we could come back
to the park that night
and watch the comets.
I asked him why. 
That’s when I learned 
comets are yo-yos and 
God swings their strings
on the other side
of the moon.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Cristian Flores- A Poem

Around the block

Walk with me
Walk with me until you step no longer
Walk with me in patience
Lets walk together
Walk with me
Walk with me in the light of day and of night
Walking with me is credence, leading is guidance
Walk away from the pain, the hate of this world, and of others
Enjoy taking a stroll
Walk with me today, and I shall walk with you tomorrow
If you can’t walk, I will carry you to rest
As if it was forever
Walk with me
Cristian Flores is who he is; a student, lyricist, and more than a conqueror who lives in Seaside, California. He is currently working on his vision of producing his own music for Hip Hop, that includes creating his own beats and lyrics. He is studying for a major in philosophy but has also been considering on majoring in music production or poetry. Cristian will always have his passion for music; he enjoys most types of genres but he prefers Hip Hop. Very soon he will establish his own unique independent record label and continue to pursue his dreams that are not just for him, but for God and you.

Peter C. Venable- A Poem

Cristes Maesse

At a limestone wall a Hebrew and two sons
hewed and shoveled out livestock space
a generation after first Hanukkah.

During his last winter, his son jammed
timber and nailed stalls for their migrations.

His great-great grandson and boy camped
with an ass, goats and sheep below roosting pigeons.
He grimaced, remembering his father
among 2,000 Hebrews spiked to gibbets in one day
a generation ago.

This night a couple begged for space in the stall.
Starlight unveiled her swollen belly. Her face grimaced like his.
The couple collapsed on straw, dung, and droppings.

His dreams were rocked with groans like hers.

Finally, their baby cried with him.

Wiping his eyes, he saw his boy’s waking eyes—
pale hazel dots staring outward. He kissed his cheek.
Rising, he dragged an empty feeding trough to the couple
and folded his mantle inside.

Glancing outside, what was this glimmering shaft

aiming at the cave’s maw?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

New Pickle on Christmas Eve

Paddy stops at Rosen's Deli
and orders brisket 
on a Kaiser roll, a dab 
of horseradish, a new 
pickle on the side.

"Latke, too, Sol. Coffee later. 
No dinner tonight.
Maggie's not feeling well.
I'll eat here and take a tub
of noodle soup to go."

Paddy eats and meets Sol
wrestling with his register.
"How's Mrs. Rosen, Sol?
Haven't seen her in 
a month of Sundays."

"Could be cancer, Paddy.
They operate next week.
Things don't look good.
Doc says everything depends 
on what they find inside."

Paddy has no idea what to say.
He knows Minerva Rosen better 
than he knows old Sol.
Years ago she handed him 
his first new pickle.

"At church tomorrow, Sol,
Maggie and I will pray hard.
I hope to God it works.
At times, praying's all 
anyone can do."

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Peter C. Venable- A Poem

Who is this King of Glory?

Pianissimo to Fortissimo,
Diminuendo into crescendo,
Handel’s ink, deep from his mind’s reservoir
Note by note by note—began to flow.

Across the world: voices, stings and horns play
In December’s perennial bouquet.
Beauty for the ears—melodious sounds—
The Messiah flowers this winter’s day. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

save us from ourselves

You are my light,
my strength and defender
protecting me from
my enemies
even when the foe is
myself and my own foolish
thoughts or actions;
and You are my ray of hope
when darkness
descends it's cold shroud around
You are the great I am
the alpha and omega
beginning and the end,
and i pray Lord that You protect
us all from all the anger and wrath and
injustices wrapping us in their
arms because hate cannot drive out hate
and darkness cannot drive out darkness
only love and light can do that
and You are the possessor of the greatest
strength and love i have ever known.

grant me strength to do Your will

You overcame death so i
can overcome,
and it seems so hard with all these
walls constricting around me
to keep dreaming and believing that You
are the one in control;
but You remind me that i must have
endurance and patience—
You tell me not to
fear, and that it will be all right that i
can trust You;
sometimes, Lord, this world is a scary
place but You are my Savior
You can walk on water,
and so i remind myself not to be troubled
to trust in Your holy name—
You've dried my tears and chase away all
my fears,
and Lord i ask You give me the strength
to do Your purpose because it's hard to
sparkle like Your star when i feel
as if i am not strong enough to gaze upon the
beauty of Your grace.


i am sorry for the times i've
done evil because i know
it breaks Your heart,
and it shatters mine as well;
but You forgive me
even in this broken, ugly state
so please Lord teach me
to forgive as You do because heaven
only knows how hard i can hold
a grudge against my enemies, and You've
commanded i forgive them just as
You forgave me—
i am always the girl that loves more,
but You tell me that i can't
keep track no matter how much they hurt me;
but it's hard and i can't do it alone
so teach me Lord to follow
Your voice when this
humanity in me pulls and jerks away from
Your truth
because the greatest pain is
separation from You.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lela Marie De La Garza- A Poem

Advent candles burning bright,
Sending out a Christmas  light;
Never let their glory dim,
You who wait and watch for Him.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

A Gift Logic Can’t Buy

My boss has a problem with God 
or rather a problem with me 
because believe in God
and he doesn’t.
Or so we discover
while taking a break 
at a big convention.
I hope I don’t lose my job.

We’re in a bar with Lady Gaga 
pouring from the juke box.
My boss has a whiskey sour
and I’m nursing a Coke.
God help me.

He doesn’t believe
faith is a gift no one’s 
guaranteed but knows
some folks have it
and others don’t.
Why is that, he asks,
finishing his sour,
signaling for another.

I tap into memories
from philosophy class
and recite the proofs 
for the existence of God
some folks accept
and others deny.
My boss sees the logic
but still doesn’t believe.
So I sip my Coke and say
faith is a gift logic can't buy.

A few more drinks and he asks 
what a man must do 
if he wants to believe.
Ominous, I think, but here goes.
My wife, after all, has a job
with benefits.

tell him to ask the God 
he doesn’t believe in
to grant him faith.
Ask Him more than once
and if he receives it
he will be amazed 
that someone 
like me believes. 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Charles Burgess- A Poem

A wing and a prayer

I look at my kids and I smile
I prayed for them now I know true love
The day they were born my life was complete
I was leaning on a wing and a prayer
I pray to my lord for all things to come true
I pray for the entire racism in the world to go away
That’s right I pray for all things
I pray for you to find your true happiness
In all things you do I pray for you
God is with you all day long
With the lord you cannot go wrong
I pray for those with cancer
Even if I don’t know you I pray for you
I sit on a wing and a prayer, I pray for all things
I pray for the kids that may find food
I pray for the parents who beat their children
I pray for all things, I pray for it not to rain
I will pray for you even if you do me wrong
I will pray you find god all day long
Do you believe in prayer?
Will you hit your knees and pray
I pray for you today
God is real god is great there is nothing that god tries to fake
Listen to my words if you see someone holding a sign do not point and stare
This person may be your angel
You never know what helping that person might do
I pray for you
That’s right I said I pray for you
With the lord I can do all things
With him by my side
He tears he wipes, my eyes fill with tears
I began to weep, my love for my lord runs deep
I pray for the little girl who cannot walk
I pray for the people who have had Ebola
And that they may be cured
I pray for all things this I do I will pray for you
I love my lord this I know to be true
Thank you lord I love you.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chris Roe- Three Poems


Shafts of light
Through cathedral windows.
Dappled shade
Upon the leaves
Beneath my feet.
Bird song
In the branches above.

In the distance
Hind and fawn
Cross the forest track.
The sweet fragrance of autumn
Fills the misty air.

A gentle breeze
Moving colours
To the forest floor.

So precious
Such beauty,

So hard to find
Such peaceful sanctuary.


We meet again.
The moment,
Kind and generous,
The beauty,
Peaceful and serene.

The spirit alive
In all that is
And not what could be.

And all of this
Born of love,
In a moment
That is timeless
And always


Today I have eaten,
Today I was able to drink
Clean, uncontaminated water.
Today I have a house to live in
And a bed to sleep in,
Today other members
Of my human family
Starved to death

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

where is Christmas?

everyone seems to forget
that the reason for the
was and is Your son
as they stand in line at Walmart
fighting for the perfect
toy or gift for their
loved one
who would have rather had
a thoughtful and unique gift, anyway,
i sit here and observe them
headless chickens
all rebelling without a cause
seeming to forget Your
name as they
spit out Merry Christmas hastily
and shove a few dollars
into the salvation army bucket;
love and warmth devoid
of them as the
winter chill creeping in the atmosphere
and i wish i could stop this all
commercialism has gone too far
when even those who believe in Your name
have forgotten Your love,
and yet we're all to blame for letting it get
this far for letting a crock pot be
worth more than
someone's life the day after thanksgiving
or snatching a present right out of
the arms of someone
who may or may not be less fortunate than us
in a greed that many of us complain is
only in our politicians.

candles can be relit

even broken windows emit
you whisper to me
as i tell myself i am too broken, too tortured, too
sinful to deserve Your love;
even i can be used to further your
good in a world trapped
beneath the darkness—
i am not the sum of all of my failures to
you i have more worth than
and i remind myself just because i failed once
doesn't mean that i will keep on failing;
a candle can still shine another
even if it's blown out yesterday
should the wick still be
in tact—
and so i will continue to shine as the world
tries to rain down on my last spark
remembering Your words and Your truth
trying to allow myself to be the
person you need me
to be.

be real

people are always so fake
smiling when they don't mean it
these masks aren't healthy
they tell me at work
to put on a facade and act as if i'm
pleased when i'm not,
but that is not what You have
You have told us to be the light of the world
and yet even lights flicker off now and
You never told me to lie
told me to be truthful in such a way that
someone could feel Your love
through my words—
and so being nice through the aggravation
is okay,
but i don't think i should have to pretend
to be having a good day when
i'm not
why can't we share our brokenness with one
another? maybe then empathy
wouldn't be so devolved
everyone says they don't care but that's not the point
You wish for us to care for everyone and anyone
even the unloved,
and i think the best way to do that is to
be real.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Andrew M. Bowen- Three Poems

Theorem: Beauty is proof of God.

 The trees cast forth a net to catch the moonrise
and spin their ghostly webs on dawns of ice;
a hundred colors erupt when forests die
 and Spring’s explosions well worth winter’s price.
The raindrops ripple on slow country streams
the melting snow sires currents wild and free
as garden hoses spray the rainbow’s gleams,
but in the end all merge to salt the sea.
The rocks drew tireless strength from ancient flames
and reached stonehood before the stars were seen;
they lost some skin from old erosion’s games
so soil could cloak the world in living green.
All plans and patterns pulse from one grand mind
uniting great and small in one design.


Orange, gold, and coral bands
wash sunset, surf pounding a
beach of cloud, a mere
fraction of Christ’s glory as
He ponders Earth from His throne.


The robin flees
before frozen branches
glitter with captured sunlight but
the rascal jay,
a meteor in blue,
screeches carols from pine to oak
to brighten days
when Earth’s nothing but mud
and black loam bristles with broken stalks.
Dark hours outnumber
the light when cold clutches
the world, the night relieved only
by stars and planets
that scatter gems on snow
and prick peepholes in sluggish rivers.
On ponds of green
and gray, ducks seek their meals
in scums of ice or choppy waves.
The wind shoots bullets
of  white to hinder sight
so drivers creep their way on eels
 of roads between
trees mummified in snow;
so deadly shines such beauty as
there is no time,
just snow and ice and wind
and the traveller’s short whispered prayers.
Faith comes easy
in light and warmth and blooms,
but winter proves God’s greatest glory.

Bio:  Mr. Bowen works as a sales manager in Bloomington, IN.  He is a published poet who has recently submitted his first novel for publication.  He is an actor who has appeared in eight independent films and five stage productions.

Danny P. Barbare- Two Poems


Though sometimes there are clouds
I happily pickup the sun
because I know it is there.
And I set it down, just beginning.
I playfully enjoy and turn on the stars
and moon, if too, because I know
they are there. I go to bed and wake
up with a smile. And shiningly do it
again because I know the sun is there.
So just as sure as day and night
the world turns on a thing called faith.

Salvation Army Bell






Danny P. Barbare has recently appeared in Calvary Cross. He resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. His poetry has appeared in The Santa Clara Review and Clare Literary Magazine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

David Sermersheim- A Poem

let the song possess you
its sound pass through you

let the air move round you
light burn into you

let us sing with joy of simple things 
and good dwelling within

let us move gently when we tread
touching all in cheer and fond memory

carrying images of those who
came before and rest in peace within

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Big Thanksgiving Snow

"Sometimes Jesus walked around with a big staff, just like me," Mrs. Day says to herself as she looks at the frayed picture on her kitchen wall just above the little kitchen table. She cut that picture out of a magazine 50 years ago when she subscribed to Life and Look and Colliers magazines.

"Jesus doesn't need that staff," Mrs. Day tells herself. "It was a sunny day in Jericho, the article said. I'll bet He used that staff to go up in the hills to pray. The Bible says He often left the apostles behind to go away and pray. I'd have kept an eye on Him if I was there."

At 80 Mrs. Day is legally blind with one good leg. She has a staff of her own to help her walk to stores and then back to her little house. The staff is at least a foot taller than she is. It was a gift from a dead neighbor who was handy with tools and liked to carve and whittle. Mrs. Day needs that staff this Thanksgiving Day as she makes her way through drifts of snow, an unusual amount for this first big winter holiday.

With nothing in the fridge except old bread and prunes, Mrs. Day hopes to find a diner open. Even Jack in the Box is closed for Thanksgiving so there will be no coffee with a Breakfast Jack to go but Mrs. Day has time today to find a place that is open. And she knows that place will probably be Vijay's Diner, where she's a customer on days when every other place is closed.

Vijay came to the United States long ago when Mumbai was still Bombay.  He cooks for everyone every day of the year, whatever God they worship or ignore. He makes fine Indian dishes for customers who emigrated from India as he did. And he makes fine American cuisine for people from the neighborhood, most of whom have yet to adjust to Indian dishes and their redolent spices.

"I have a nice turkey leg, Mrs. Day, if you'd like that," he says, but all she wants is coffee, two sugars and a muffin to go.

"I'm on a diet," she tells him.

Vijay puts her items in a small brown bag and adds a free candy bar, a Baby Ruth bar, a big one, for later tonight. Mrs. Day will be angry when she gets home and finds it but that's okay. She can't come out at night to look for something to eat. It's tough enough for her to get around in sunlight.

Vijay waits for Mrs. Day to dig in her big purse and put all of her change on the counter. Then they count aloud together each coin that he picks up one at a time. Finally they agree he has the right amount even though Mrs. Day has trouble seeing the coins. Usually she can tell which are which by the feel of them. Now Vijay smiles at Mrs. Day, his customer on the holidays only.

"Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. Day," he says. "I hope you'll come again. We'll have leg of lamb on Christmas. And ham and yams on New Year's Eve. I'll make you a nice big sandwich. I know you'll like it. You can skip the diet for one day."

Henry Lapp- Two Poems

Love is Strange

Love is Strange
Here and gone in a day
Human love is imperfect
But I'm all for it

Not for lust but for love
Which God gave us all
If we love God more than ourselves
We would love more of anyone else

I pray you will one day feel
The power of God as you heal
And forget the love lost, the broken heart
And find a love the won't part

Life is What You Make It

All you can do is your best
No more, no less
Life is what you make it
Please don't forsake it

We are only here for a little while
Then God dials
Us up and takes us away
Because we weren't meant to stay

Pickup your craft and do it well
Love each other as if under a spell
Our moments are too short for hate
Please don't make your life a waste

We all do each other wrong
But that's part of the song
Without pain we know no joy
Life is not a toy!

Our time draws ever closer
God is the great composer
Cherish every bit
Life is what you make it

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jane Blanchard- A Poem

As I cruise along
without a care in the world,
I am tempted to believe
that all is smooth sailing
since the sky is mostly clear
and the sea is fairly calm
for a masterful pilot
such as myself.
But then a storm breaks
with thunder and lightning
and the rain pours down
and the wind blows hard
while the waves crash
over the sides of the skiff
that I vainly try to steer
toward safety.
Once again I must resist
the siren call of self-control,
not by strapping myself
to the mast of my vessel,
but by throwing myself
on the mercy of One
who needs no boat
to cross the water.
Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia.  Her work has appeared previously in Calvary Cross and recently in Blue Unicorn, Penwood Review, and Third Wednesday.

Kim Bond- A Poem

Death, Burial, & Resurrection
So much blood
from head to toe,
I'd wash you clean
with my white cloth,
Dab Your wounds with water,
kiss Your face.
How blessed for Joseph to take
You down from that cross
and carry Your peaceful body
to a place for three day's rest!
How beautiful You must've been
when the disciples saw
Your glorious face
and felt the warmth of Your skin.
*Kim Bond loves to write and considers it her ministry. Her writing appears in over thirty publications. She can be found at .

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Peter C. Venable- Three Poems

They Come

heart wounds draining.
Their dark voices taunt from inner berths
and some bear pillars of salt
from family heirlooms.
They advance in file,
and each steps forth
into clusters of waiting children
who, reaching with veiny hands,
touch as Michelangelo’s Creation
and utter ancient prayers.
From somewhere wind exults
into their bodies. Currents flush
torments away.
Filing out,
flecks of light flutter at their heels, and
we, with watery eyes,
watched their passage in deep breaths.


The Pantry

Below Wesley’s spire they descend basement stairs
into the pantry waiting room, taking numbers,
and sit. I wonder
those thirty or so, their lives—
carried by worn feet, ragged bicycles, hybrid buses,
cars with blistering paint and child seats—
she, eyes black as coffee, shows a water bill
$90 past due (in red), bags her rations, rests
on dog-paw elbows and smiles at a new toothbrush
he, face worn as barn floor planks
owes $400, no power two months counting
and picks cereal, dry goods, nods
until the last one, Yankee accent,
tells his migration from Connecticut
to some three-gas-station town in SC
to here, strokes a black beard—gazes beyond me,
over pantry shelves into a heavenly place his eyes know,
leaves, plastic bags sagging
in each hand. I wonder
about these raw people, a splinter out of reach,
how good news speaks in noodle soup, sliced wheat bread, and applesauce.

Summa Stipula

“All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” When later asked by Reginald to return to writing, Aquinas said, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.”
            —St. Thomas Aquinas quoted in 1273, who authored twenty volumes and Summa    Theologica, 3,020 pages, unfinished.

Early morning. Gardenia fragrance rises
the way steam does around pond lilies
and billows through the bedroom window,
waking sleepy eyes and misting cheeks.
Through the shades, light blazes bars on the wall
and we reach to grip each golden rung—climbing—where?
Poems are words made of straw,
Feed to chew over and over, cud for the soul
while dreams of alfalfa and clover fields
bloom in green seas
always beyond.
Always beyond this and our straw.

The author has written both free and metric verse for over fifty years and has been published in a number of poetry journals, such as American Vedantist, Vineyards, The Christian Communicator (3 issues and one forthcoming), Third Wednesday, Time of Singing (twice), Parody, The Merton Seasonal, Crux Literary Journal and forthcoming in The Laughing Dog, Windhover -  A Journal of Christian Literature and Vox Poetica.
He works as an almost-retired addiction and mental health counselor, volunteer at a prison camp, and is graced with a happy marriage, daughter and son-in-law, and Yeshua.