Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

When Struck by Faith and Sorrow

Luke 23: 6-43

Nailed to a Cross
between two thieves
the Son of God
heard one thief say
“Are you not the Christ? 
Save yourself and us!
something Christ 
chose not to do.
He came to die for 
thieves and us. 

Christ turned instead
and heard the other thief 
ask the angry one
a question few of us 
might want to answer
amid the chaos that 
surrounds us now.

“Do you not fear God…?
the good thief asked.
"This man has done
nothing wrong…
and then he turned 
to Christ and said
“Remember me when you 
come into your kingdom.

Christ told the good thief
who had not denied him
thrice like Peter 
“Today you will be
with me in Paradise.
Christ showed two thieves
and the rest of us the last 
are first when struck
by faith and sorrow.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ron L. Hodges- Three Poems

Can You?

Can you love me like the Lord?

Will you love me even when I neglect you
in favor of other things that seem more
interesting at the time, maybe a football game
or new electronic gadget?

When I’m unresponsive to your words,
drowning you out with the sages of
media and popular culture?

When I care more about what friends think
than what you think?

When I find the things I’ve supposedly rejected
more attractive? When I take a furtive glance
at a supple body, or do things that violate
my vows?

When I care more about what strangers think
than what you think?

When I do my best to hide the fact
I'm with you, acting like I’m the same guy
I was before we met?

When I ask you to forgive me for the things
I know I’ll do at the next opportunity?

When I overlook the love you’ve
given me, but accuse you of not caring
when things turn sour?

When I only spare a few dollars for
all of your needs?

When I only come around when I need

When I don’t fight temptation?

When I beg forgiveness for
not fighting temptation?

When I get surly if any of my needs
aren’t met as quickly as I want?

When I take you for granted, letting my
appearance go because I’ve already got

When I don’t show affection?

When I give in to temptation,
and plead yet again
for forgiveness?

When I question our relationship
because I can’t seem to do what
I’m expected to?

Can you love me like the Lord?
I want to craft a hero’s story,
a memorable life of glory,
but the plot I’ve written begs for action,
and its point seems picayune to me.

The would-be hero yearns for a test,
some cause to ignite his icy breast,
yet his days are mundane, not like Gawain,
or any knight on a noble quest.

It could be this writer lacks the skill
to author a tale of gallant will.
Perhaps only when I resign the pen
will my life engender epic thrill?

For there’s an artist greater than I,
one even philistines can’t deny,
who sculpted our earth and authored childbirth—
His creations last after we die.

So, who better to author my tale?
He’ll shape the plot, I’ll fill the detail.
Combined to complete this momentous feat—
with such a guide, no story can fail.

Still, I can choose to work all alone,
scrawling words like a lackluster drone.
A book done by myself dies on a shelf,
lost in dust among stories unknown.
God’s Friendship

When misfortune strikes my life like a swell,
Pulling me deep into a wave of guilt,
I muse on what sins these punishments fell—
Which fault of mine caused Your rage to be split?
I know that my thoughts have been led astray;
I fear my forgiveness is overdrawn.
Yet is Your love fully taken away—
Can I reach a state when friendship is gone?
One reason that these gloomy thoughts arise
Is, in your place, I would drown me with wrath
For the lustful betrayal of heart and eyes—
For the rote forsaking of God’s own path.
Thankful I am, Lord, that Your bond is true.
No sin, Your friendship, will ever undo.

"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,  the 2015 Society of Classical Poets Journal; and most recently 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."


Gregg Dotoli- A Poem


These chestnut brown seeds
being planted for cool shade
Green leaves for the eyes
Of each New generation
Strong branches hold round nests
For the doves of our future

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Blind Lady in the Choir Shouts

Matthew 19: 16-22

Blind lady in the choir shouts
that her ancient pastor’s dying and
there will be no funeral because

a chariot will take him 
far beyond the clouds where 
everyone can go, she shouts, 

if we believe and we behave.
Faith’s a gift from God, she shouts.
We must behave, not just believe.

Hallelujahs aren't enough, she shouts.
“If you wish to enter into life,” He said,
"keep the commandments.” 

Donal Mahoney

Ramona Thompson- A Poem

Faith As A Weapon
Beware those who pray too much
Shout out their eternal love and devotion
Acting as mindless zombies
With no free will or thought of their own
Cult like
So eager
To drag you
Into their circle
Holy, holy, holy
Or is it really
Unholy, unholy, unholy

Gotta watch your back
For their knifes of idol worship are sharp
The cruelest of the cruel
False faces
Hiding deadly secrets
Whispers carry sin
Praising Christ
In truth answering
Only to the selfish whims of their devil's vanity within
Not an one to be trusted
Or with open arms accepted

All must be rejected
Your life kept apart
Never part of the whole
Or forever you'll be under their control
Church going fiends
Encased in human flesh
Sprouting off at the mouth
All they think
You wanna hear
All the better to trap you with
Using faith as a weapon

2015 Ramona Thompson
Ramona Thompson has been writing for more than 20 years. Her past and current credits include Dead Snakes, Infernal Ink, Blood Moon Rising, Howl, Calvary Cross and many more.
Readers/fans may reach her on facebook or via her e-mail  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

JD DeHart- Three Poems

Able Not

strong arms
that formed the universe
eternal finger

somehow made small
a fragment, flicker
glimpse of the divine

able not to sin
and yet able to save.


I used to think I would
be overcome with
a brand-new vision,

the voice of God speaking
out of my mouth,
a kind of tender megaphone

now I know the balance
is much better, a synthesis
of relationship and love.


made in His image
we travel
and attempt small 
kindnesses in spite
of ourselves

we attempt to reach
for heaven in each
moment, finding tiny
graces for our faults.
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  Please check out the blog for his chapbook,


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jay Frankston- Two Poems


The God that isn't
is in the hospital
following the gurney
that's headed for the operating room.

The God that isn't
is under the car
where the girl is pinned
after the accident.

The God that isn't
is in the trenches of war
alongside the boys
who huddle in fear.

The God that isn't
is on the ceiling
of the darkened bedroom
when you can't sleep.

The God that isn't
is or isn't
depending on where
life finds you.

                              Jay Frankston
                              Little River, CA 95456


GOD has left the premises.
He has moved to another galaxy.
He left a note for us on the mantelpiece.
I'll read it  to you:

GOODBY! I'm leaving.
I am really disappointed in you.
I gave you a world full of beauty,
with sunsets and dawns, clouds and stars,
flowers and butterflies, colors and sound.
And what have you done with my gifts?
You've become greedy.
You are obsessed with your possessions
always wanting more.
You feel innocent and righteous
but you know what you must do and you don't do it.
And you know what you mustn't do and you do it.

You ignore the poor, the sick and the downtrodden. 
You make excuses for yourself. "I need the job". 
"I have a mortgage to pay". "I'm too busy"
or "I haven't got the time".
You manage to blame "them" for all your ills.
"Them", the politicians, the corporations,
the blacks, the Jews and Wall street.
The other fellow in any case.
And you are blind to your participation.

You spoil the air you breathe
and defecate in your own garden.
You travel far and wide
to massacre women and children
and blame me for not stopping you.
You wreck havoc upon the world
and ask me for help in restoring some order
from your chaos.

Goodby! I've lost faith in you.
If you manage to survive your abuses,
if you come to your senses before it is too late,
I may return to your world
and bring back the Hope you have squandered.

                              Jay Frankston
                              Little River, CA 95456


Jay Frankston was raised in Paris, France. Narrowly escaping the Holocaust he came to the U.S. in 1942, became a lawyer and practiced on his own in New York for nearly twenty years, reaching the top of his profession, sculpting and writing at the same time.

In 1972 he gave up law and New York and moved himself and his family to Northern California where he became a teacher and continued to sculpt and write.

He is the author of several books and of a true tale entitled "A Christmas Story" which was published in New York, condensed in Reader's Digest, translated into 15 languages, and called a Christmas Classic by many reviewers.

El Sereno, his latest novel, is a short epic set in Spain with authentic historical background. It took ten years and two trips to Madrid to complete.

Donal Mahoney- Two Poems

Third Grade Science Class

The teacher tells the third grade 
the order of the seasons
cannot be changed. 

Summer, fall, winter, spring
arrive in order, then start over.
The hour the sun comes up 

cannot be altered either.
Like the seasons, the sun
follows its own order.

Little Herbie mystified
decides to ask a question: 
“Where does order come from?"

The teacher tells Herbie
the Big Bang brought order.
Nothing existed before

the Big Bang went off. 
The universe was born
and brought order with it.

Then Herbie asks what caused
the Big Bang and the teacher says
“We'll discuss that after class."

Cobra Swaying

A rainy Sunday
and Pastor Smith is
in his pulpit bellowing 
to the congregation
“I hope you understand 
Satan is a python.
Don’t let him get a grip.
He'll drag you into Hell!"

A voice beneath the pulpit 
suddenly uncoils and shouts
much louder, "Pastor Smith, 
down in Hell we know 
damn well you’re wrong.
Satan’s not a python.
He’s a cobra swaying. 
He strikes and you're down here.”

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gregg Dotoli- A Poem

Green Beginning

when God created  man
and gave him sight,
Adam's first color to see was green,
plucked from the rainbow
to remind Adam of life, growth and love
cherish each other
care for earth and all of the elements of nature.
the early gift of Spring and green

Gregg Dotoli lives in Nutley, New Jersey and works as a cyber security architect.  Art trumps science in his life.

He has a BA in English from Seton Hall and an MBA from Saint Peters University.

Don Jensen- A Poem

God's Amazing Grace 

God's amazing grace has set me free
For my sins He hung upon that tree
In the Garden of Gethsemane
To the hill called Calvary
All He did was to set me free

A debt I could not pay
"My child is free" He would say
On the Cross He was hung
A hero whose praise is to be sung

Jesus took his last breath
"It is finished", then His death
In a tomb He was laid
His limp body not to be displayed

Three days later He arose
Conquering death and His foes
He rose with the Father to sit
Fallen and risen, part of the Father's skit

He paid a debt He did not owe
Sinners to be freed from their woe
Freely we now can live
Because His life He chose to give  

Charles Burgess- A Poem

Hand of Salvation

Take the hand of salvation this man died for me and you.
Take his hand let his light guide you day in and day out.
I am here to tell you what the lord is all about.
So sit back listen close to what I have to say
Jesus will come back for our souls one day
Take the hand of salvation not the hand of man
Pray to him every day just talk to him
Let him know how you feel if you are sick take his hand
You will get healed days are dark no matter! god is there.
Take the hand of salvation on this dark, dark road
Gold knows what twists and turns your life holds
Put your faith in god walk hand in hand with him
He will show you the way.  Jesus is here to stay!
People turn their backs on him at the drop of a hat.
The world would be worse than it is if not for the salvation
People say god doesn’t exist?
Sit back and let me ask you this
If Jesus is not real look at your kids
Look in their eyes tell me they are not angels
If god was not real how can something so beautiful be standing there
You claim he don’t exist what about the people who have beat cancer?
God gave the world doctors the knowledge to save lives
I don’t know why there is so much hate in this world
I know god is here I know god is real and takes away fear open your heart if you want to hear
The words of god listen closely I can tell you how
You must know deep within your heart that Jesus and your soul will never be apart
He will show you the light he will be your guardian when the devil tries to fight
People listen to what I say your very soul is at stake
Pray to god when you are sad he understands all the bad you have
No one has a love like Jesus he gave his life so that we have a reason
We sometimes forget what god really means
People are so worried about money and greed
But people have forgot prayer is in need
No one understands how bad this world will be
So listen up world I am going to tell you how much Jesus means to me
I ask myself every day as tears from my face Lord help me tell me my place
People laugh they point and stare but I don’t care who it makes mad I praise the lord
Day after day I sit alone and just pray, I pray for all things I pray to have
This world rid of the monsters who rape and kill not for me to judge only god will
People act as if their soul doesn’t matter
Tomorrow is not promised you see, live ever day as if it is your last.
He was whipped and beaten until his back was bloody he wore a crown of thorns.
If that is not love I don’t know is, the lord Died for our sins.
Do you believe in god I want to know? Do you let your heart be bitter or do you just let things go
God is the greatest gift in this world today when so many have lost their way
I write today about the hand of salvation pray to god so your soul don’t face eternal damnation
Repent today give your heart to Jesus things will fall into place.
I write because god puts the words in my heart His voice is well heard
Children of the world go without food, no shelter, yet they keep a smile on their face
God is with them he will never fade away
Thank you god I ask for a lot I want the world to see
Not just with your eyes but look into your soul
Time passes by the world grows darker and darker
Take the hand of salvation hold your Bible high
Let the world know you stand for your god let it show
Ever one wants to talk about white pride, black pride, no one mentions Jesus pride
So stand up world don’t sit back and hide.
Let’s show the world we love Jesus Christ!

Richard D. Givens- Two Poems


When the great I AM created time
There became the concept of when
And over time Man found a need
To measure what is day and night.

Ever dissatisfied, we divided, multiplied
The nanos nearby to millennia above
And completely missed His wish for us-
By day and night to give Him our love.

There it lies between the trees
Or on the beach ‘twixt dune and sea
Ever present but oft concealed
There will always be a battlefield

Can you watch and simply fiddle?
Is there safety in the middle
As sides decide and are congealed
On either end of the battlefield?               

Will your words be right or wrong?
Are you the singer or just the song?
Will you to speculation yield
Or arm the truth for the battlefield?

With sword and armor you must gird
To take your stand in deed and word.
May grace and bravery be your shield
Upon that bloody battlefield.

Though you plant a park with daffodils
Upon the ground where views are killed
And take refuge in the victory sealed,
There will always be a battlefield.

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.

Ramona Thompson- Two Poems

Jesus Broken Heart

How will you?
How will I?
Do the unthinkable
Bridge the river
Can we undo
Our cruel creation
Earn forgiveness
For the horrors
Against him we have committed
Lost to the darkness
How can we ever dare?
To stand again in the light
Naked and without shame

So terrible
We got so selfish
Turned our backs
Forgot him and all for us
He has done
Where did we go so wrong?
Can we really be such pitiful fools?
Upon the cross
We had it all
A golden future and a promise
So why?
Dear God, why?

Too late
Can't take it back
But maybe
Just maybe
We can start
To make amends
Put right again his smile
His belief and faith in us
Unshake what we shook
Prove we're sorry
Really sorry
One prayer at a time
To the Heavens above

So here we are
In the final judgement
Asking for that one last chance
To be in your eyes again, Lord
Who we're supposed to be
Sin free and yours
We know
We screwed up
But if you could
Oh Lord, if you would
Could you grant us?
Just a little more time
Here on Earth
To heal Jesus broken heart
Up there in Heaven tonight

2015 Ramona Thompson

Let Jesus Be My Terrorist

Tonight and every night
Today and every day
Protect me
From my enemies
Take down all plots
Against me
Let none of them
Hold a sword
To take too close an aim
Let their every plan and idea fail

Guard me
Raise me up above
The vipers around me
Poisonous fangs barred
Desperate to swallow me whole
Into a whole lot of trouble
Don't let me drown
Teach me to swim
Against the tide of cruel danger
So eager to suck
Suck me down

Desert storm
They tried to eat me alive
A solider and a man forever changed
They sought
To defeat my soul
Twin towers fell
Lost it all but my faith
Now I'm here
Still livin'
Still believin'
There's something out there
Up there
Bigger, stronger and tougher than me

2015 Ramona Thompson

Ramona Thompson has been writing for more than 20 years. Her past and current credits include Dead Snakes, Infernal Ink, Blood Moon Rising, Howl, Calvary Cross and many more.

Readers/fans may reach her on facebook or via her e-mail