Thursday, July 30, 2015

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

unconditional love

He has told me
i have a worth more
than rubies,
and so i will not be treated as anything
less than magical
because He tells me i am worth it
even in the ugliest moments
of my life He has loved
and told me that i was beautiful;
so go away with your judgments and your
to Him i am of infinite worth
i am here to please Him not you.

maker of the universe

an oak does not bend its knees
for a king
so i will not bow before these
idols the world has
created for me
because He is so much wonderful and powerful
than they could ever hope to be,
and He has done more
in a single second
than they could ever dream of doing;
a river does not stop rushing
for a stone,
and so i will not stop serving Him simply because
someone disapproves of my worship
i owe Him everything;
but i owe them nothing.

no excuses, no judgments

they all stand there with their
stones raised high
judgments and condemnations
you can see the hatred in their eyes
just waiting to rip those who
they disagree with to pieces,
but He commands us to be love the way
He has loved us;
drop your stones
glass houses are easily broken
He has given us kindness and mercy we
didn't deserve
even in our darkest moments He loves us,
and so i will love them
no matter what you say because none of us
is perfect or better than the other
still can remember all my scars and all my anger
and all my sin,
but He pardons it all
so i have no excuse to judge them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Andrew Bowen- A Poem


The storm mutates light,
blocks twilight blue, air glows like
a fishbowl’s innards,
breaches into a Titian
sunset.  God signs with lightning.

Andrew Bowen works as a sales manager in Bloomington, IN.  He is a published poet and is submitting his first two novels for publication.  He is also an actor who has appeared in eight independent films and six stage productions.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Donal Mahoney- A Poem


Hair salons for men 
are everywhere now.
Not many barbershops
like Herman’s any more,
the walls lined 
with ancient men  
in folding chairs, 
most of them gray,
balding, long retired.

Many come to Herman’s 
on canes, crutches, walkers.
One man brings his wife behind 
an oxygen tank on wheels.
Ladies are welcome
at Herman’s Shop in 
cases of emergency.

When it’s time for a trim
the place to go is Herman's
even though he's older 
than many of the men.
He conducts monologues
behind the barber chair
while waving scissors.

Herman preaches about 
everything except religion. 
Like smoking, religion 
is forbidden in the shop
although Herman once 
told a customer  
he believes in God
and had seen him.

Herman saw Jesus in 1951,
he told the customer,
while lying on the ground
bleeding in the grass 
somewhere in Korea.
Jesus walked up with 
medic alongside him.
Two days later Herman 
was on a cargo plane
flying to meet a surgeon.
Everything’s been good,
Herman said, since then.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ramona Thompson- A Poem

Jesus Rain

Pour it down on me
Lord, I'm ready
So ready
Wanna be saved
Know I am blessed
Praise your name
To the Heavens and back
Yes, you are the one
Ragin' in my soul
Bringin' a dead man alive again
You are my quiet storm

Proven time and again
None other can do
What you you do
Turn water into wine
Pain into gain
Every day
You surprise me
In joy and utter abandon
Bring me that much closer to you
Oh yes
My sweet, sweet lord
How I do adore thee

No more clouds
In my life
I no longer run
I surrender
My all to you
We are one
The ultimate tag-team

Champions of the universe
Me and my savior
Oh blessed Jesus Christ
Come to me now
Heal your sick lamb
Let me follow you
All the rest of my days
Into eternity

My father in Heaven
My brave, brave solider of love

Never enough words
To praise you
To thank you
For all you've done and will do
I am in awe
Eyes and hands raised
Forever your name
I do fall to my knees for
Rain, Jesus, rain
Rain down on me
Your good and noble servant
Forever more

2015 Ramona Thompson

Ramona Thompson has been writing for more than 20 years. Her past credits include Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes, Howl, This Ain't No Rodeo, Blood Moon Rising and many more.

Readers/fans may connect with her via facebook or e-mail

Ron L. Hodges- Three Poems

Jesus of Our Minds
This Jesus of our minds we worship
In all America and Europe,
And wherever else they call His name.
We embrace His nobility and fame,
As heard from pastor, priest, or bishop.

When He says not to judge, it lifts us up,
And we dig that shamanistic get-up.
“God is love” is His prophetic claim,
This Jesus of our minds.

We choose not to view the Son close-up,
And He’s not as pleasant without makeup;
The real reason that this Savior came
Might make us feel a twinge of blame.
We’re happier if He can pass that Cup,
This Jesus of our minds.

I have no doubt that our world is crafted
   By an Intelligent hand, nor a fear
   Unceasing evil is a fatal spear
   Plunged into Omnipotence. Never would
I nix the Trinity as too crowded,
   Or reject God because He seems severe
   Or my prayers sometimes never catch His ear.
   No, such causes for doubt seem closed-minded.
Still, there is one thing I’ve not figured out:
   We’re told Christians all need some company
   To refresh their faith, like rain in a drought;
   Yet what if one craves no society?
Though mostly reserved, I’m no less devout—
   Is there space after all for someone like me?
Heroes of Faith
The heroes of God transcended their peers;
Unmatched in courage and spiritual trust,
they have glowed like beacons throughout the years.
Noah, told that to save the race he must
build a giant ship, viewed it as right and just.
So too Abraham, called to slay his son,
faithfully performed his doubtful mission.

A fiery bush lit Moses’ cold heart;
Joshua bravely faced the pagan horde.
But Jacob was a cheater from the start,
and Rahab, who braved death as God’s spy, whored.
King David’s rival was killed by the sword
so that the man’s lovely wife could be gained.
The lust of Samson kept his spirit chained.

The disciples of Christ fled to the night
when a mob burst in like a violent tide.
Bold Peter grew craven, shrank from the light
as his friend was tried; spotted, he denied
knowing Jesus. How should this be applied?
The flaws in God’s servants most starkly shows—
Heaven generates heroes.

"Ron L. Hodges, an English teacher, began creating original work a couple of years ago, primarily poetry. His work has thus far appeared in Ancient Paths Literary Magazine and the 2015 Society of Classical Poets Journal; a recent poem will be published in the Time of Singing 2015 Summer Journal. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two young sons, and works at the highly-regarded Oxford Academy High School in Cypress, California." 

Ron Riekki- Two Poems

            I Hope I Didn’t Waste My Life on Poems

when I should have wasted my life on God.
Or, not wasted, but Anselmed myself to God.
You see, there I go again, saying the wrong word

at the right time.  I know Basho once said,
“We gaze / at horses / this morn of snow,” and
I don’t know what it means, but it sounds drowned

in perfection.  And I’m an outsider to outsiders, my hand
trembling at the thoughts of my past, my cracked imperfections.  I should
have found God
                                            in everyone,   in everything.


They say our pulse
is the percussion section;
our breath,
the woodwinds,
and God conducts
sans baton,
and here is a beat,
and here another,
and there, one more,
and there,
and there,
and now,

Bio: Ron Riekki's books include U.P.: a novel, The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, and Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, featuring writing by Bame-wa-wa-ge-zhik-aquay, Lorine Niedecker, Catie Rosemurgy, Beverly Matherne, Sally Brunk, Roxane Gay, Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate Andrea Scarpino, and many more talented U.P. women writers.


Jay Frankston- Two Poems

               THE WORD "GOD"

If you say the word "GOD"
not "use" it, just "say" it
without attaching a definition
without searching for a meaning,
If you say the word "GOD"
without a prayer or a supplication at the end
without a visual or imaginary being in your mind
If you say the word "GOD" under your breath,
in a whisper or in a scream of hopelessness and despair,
if you say it often enough this word "GOD"
so full of all there is, so rich in time and space
so infinite and eternal,
If you say it often enough
"GOD"  "GOD"  "GOD"
say it, count it, till you stop counting
not with conviction, not with faith or belief,
just the word "GOD" repeated
over and over again
for an uninterrupted period of time,
the word will not enter through your brain
and seek to define itself
it will enter through your heart.
Just say the word "GOD"
"GOD"  "GOD"  "GOD"
the feeling will penetrate your soul
and the word will open up,
you will be filled with the light of the word
and GOD will be with you for an instant.


                    THE WORD

HE wrote a word on a sheet of paper,
a word that shook and trembled and spoke.
He looked at it and didn't know
how or why or where it came from.
He read it and reread it
though it was but one word
yet it filled him with light
and bliss and joy.
He sat on the grass under a tree
the notepad in his hand
but no other word
would come from his pen
yet his eyes shone like a light
and there was like a halo over his head.
I looked over his shoulder
and the word on his pad
was "God".

Richard D. Givens- Three Poems


                Within this puzzle, I am but a piece -
                A puzzle to the whole and hard to fit.
                The players search for gaps where I might sit
                But sadly note my form, without relief.
                Conformity is absolutely planned.
                There’s just one space, and just one piece that’s me.
                That everything is ordered and complete
                Does justify my change by human hand.

                But now another player enters in
                And looks upon the puzzle parts all locked,
                Convicts the others of their jigsaw sin
                And casts the joining parts back in the box.
                The Maker saved one piece from this same doom...

                He picked me up and took me from the room.

                THE ANSWER ON THE BREEZE
                   (To the tune of Amazing Grace)

Alone, adrift, I hit the deck and prayed upon my knees
And then I heard and felt God's breath upon the coming breeze.

The sails, once limp, did luff and pop and harden on the wind
And timbers groaned against the tide upon a sea of sin.

At last, my vessel gathered speed and crashed upon the waves
Of hate and pride, of greed and lies pushed up where evil bathes

Then rushed across the darkened troughs of guilt, despair and shame
Until the foam did fly in fear.  The lanyards sang His Name.

She plowed ahead, the compass true, the helm was now unmanned,
But someone set my course toward some distant promised land.

I looked ahead and thanked my Savior, who just set me free
From glassy waters full of doom, upon His gracious breeze.


For a little while
On the sixth day,
Everything was,
Without words
To describe it.

Richard D. Givens, a life-long resident of the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, started reading and writing poetry by the 6th grade.  After attaining a degree in English, he honed his skills as he supported his family through various careers, from truck driving to I.T. network support to oilfield sales.  He published a small volume in 1975, but continued to get printed in various periodicals, anthologies and contests over the years.  Richard taught "Creative Writing With the Tools of Poetry" at the local community college and has done readings and a workshop in his Valley home.  Recently retired, he plans to do more writing in his spare time.

Andrew Bowen- Two Poems


The sun sinks in a
peach-skin sky.  The redbud’s  pink
turns purple in the
budding maples’ shade.  Praise Him
Whose colors transcend all art.


As easily as
the full moon drowns starlight in
southern summer skies,
God’s splendor obliterates
the glory of the angels.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Game of Life

You played Hide and Go Seek
as a child and you always won.
You’d find your sister  

hiding behind the couch.
She always hid there
and you wondered why she didn’t 

hide somewhere else but the game
was giggles for her—not life.
Decades later now you play

the same kind of game but  
you’re not seeking your sister.
You have to find him 

before he finds you.
He has forever to look
and in time finds everyone

often to our surprise.
You knew your sister was
hiding behind the couch so

it was easy to find her.
Finding him took longer
but the game of life is

finding him before he finds us.
Because that’s when he points 
one way or the other.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Lela Marie De La Garza- A Poem


Morning glory of the skies,
Golden spangled butterflies,
Moonlight riding on the sea,
Life’s vast, shining mystery;
These are cause for us to praise
God with glad songs all our days.

Ramona Thompson- A Poem

Faithfully Fit
Put down that phone
Look up into that sweet blue sky
To seek and find
Your #1 kinda guy
Mighty powerful
Gracious and forgiving
Let him light you up
So high up
Cleanse you of all sin
Call on him
When no one else is there
He will be
The greatest friend
The strongest
Against all foes
He will blow down
The sails of the wicked
Calm your stormy seas
He is the thunder
Bore the cross for you
Took on the burden
So you could be absolved
Forgiven all
Every beating and scar he took
To save you
Now in return
Won't you surrender your plan to his?
Give up your soul
To his ultimate will
How good
It's gonna feel
You just don't know
Till you give it a try
Raise yourself up
To greet him
Take all of him in
Rest your weary heart
Rest your weary soul
Let all the guilt and demons go
In his name
Be blessed
Be faithfully fit
Oh child, sweet child
Forever more
2015 Ramona Thompson   
Ramona Thompson has been writing for more then 20 years. Her past credits include Howl, Dead Snakes, Calvary Cross, Blood Moon Rising, This Ain't No Rodeo and many more.
Readers/fans may reach her on facebook or through her e-mail