Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ryan Pritt- A Poem

Ryan Pritt graduated with a degree in English/Creative Writing from West Virginia University in 2008. He has since gone on to become a sports writer at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, but in his free time still writes creatively as well.

Dig and arise
Back-breaking, pain-staking, earth-quaking digging
Through crust, mantle and deep into the core
Sweltering, bright heat meets frigid dark winds
The seasons pass by in the blink of an eye
And I dig on, no breaks, no rest, no relief
Shovel breaks stone, while head pummels wall
The blade of the tool eventually wins out
But my brain throbs with each futile thrust
‘X’ marked this spot in deep, blood red
A journey through earth, mind, heart and soul
But this hole towers above me so cavernous
So deep, so high, the mouth is no longer visible
Not that I’d take sight off of below as I tunnel on
Finally I strike something foreign as arms jerk to a halt
The chest is battered like me, crippled under the world’s weight
Treasure that I’ve so long desired lies vulnerable at my feet
I open the box, squinting in anticipation of
The glaring reflection of newly-struck gold
But this treasure is booby-trapped and explodes
Sending shockwaves up the freshly-formed walls
And boulders fall from all levels, landing with brute force
Against the sides of my already trembling frame
By the end I can reach just a hand out of the rubble
Extended skyward searching, yearning, grasping
New wounds are laid open as blood cascades downward
Wounds only time can render painless scars
Fingers stretch and clench, finding nothing expectantly
Yet suddenly, in the midst of my biggest failure
With eyes clouded by blood, blinded by pain
A memory overcomes me, leaving the pain forgotten
Words cut through the blindness and wrap me like a robe
They scream, echoing through the hole “Matthew 14:31!!!”
And the words immediately come to mind
"Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.
‘You have so little faith,’ Jesus said. ‘Why do you doubt me?’ ”
And in the pits of a pit, in the bottom of the bottom
Soaked in blood, sweat, tears, bile and vomit
With bones protruding from skin and organs straining to work
I realize, I still cannot and still do not
And in that moment grasping fingers find others
That wrap with both the security of a vice
And the softness of a mother’s tender touch
The rock begins to move, exposing my crumbled body
Badly damaged and battered, yet alive all the same
And the ascension begins, flying upward past
The shovel strokes I’d nearly killed myself to create
Seemingly worthless but still lesson-teaching
For a hole dug by greed and by motives of self
Could never sustain against the winds of change
And for different reasons, I know it may not be
The last time I sit alone at the bottom of
A cavern carved by my own hands
But no chasm is so deep to be out of reach from above
And the light at the end of the tunnel never further away
Than the dark shadows that glimmering faith can penetrate
So this venture failed, these lessons learned
Have resulted in scars that may linger for a lifetime
But scars once proved the identity of a King
And one day they’ll remind me of the consequences of this plight
And I’ll show them off for the world to admire
Not for the way they were formed, but the way they healed
I can hear the wind whistling over the top
It sounds like the ocean breeze kissing the top of a bottle
A peaceful thought, the first in so agonizingly long
And deep inside I’m filled with knowing there’s more to come
Because of this hand I’m determined to never let go
For it reached for me when I was unreachable
And helped me learn what’s not teachable
So pull me up higher and I won’t look down or back
Til the gaping hole in the ground becomes a sidewalk crack
Far and abound and away from that place
My wounds and scars no match for the hand of grace

Bruce Mundhenke- A Poem

Love, Truth, and Beauty,
These three are one;
All things are of Love and for Love,
Truth is the revelation of Love.
Beauty surrounds us also,
In the seeking, the finding, and the joy of Love.

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

handing it all to You
suffering anxiety
isn't always
to remember, "fret not";
but when i hand
it all to You
find such profound peace and tranquility
that the world doesn't seem
such a paralyzing

a true friend 
when the world
is an ugly
and i want to curl
into a ball
cry until it all goes away;
and worries are
higher than the tops
of mountains
Your voice always assures
me that You're in control
You tell me to fret not—
when i give it all
up to You
it all melts away into the kiss
of oblivion
makes me remember
You're the only friend that's never
let me down.

You cast away anxiety 
when the noise of the world
trills in my ears
at such levels
i fear they'll explode
You take hold 
of my heart,
and You remind me to fret not;
there are so many things
You can do 
that i cannot and so i surrender
my fears and my anxieties
because You always
protect me
from the things that would harm me
even when the things that 
may harm me
come from my own negativity and doubt.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ramona Thompson- A Poem

Ramona Thompson has been writing for more then 20 years. Her past publishing credits include Dead Snakes, Calvary Cross, Infernal Ink, Erotic Tales of The Paranormal, Howl and many more.

Fans/readers may reach her via facebook or her e-mail

The Reason For The Season

Let us never forget
The real why and how
The who of how all this
Came to be
Let us begin again
To remember
There would be no gifts
There would be no feast
Without him

Get right
Get holy
Turn from all this commercial
Glitz and bell ringing
And send your soul singing
His praises
His songs
To Him
First and foremost
Get on your knees
And give your thanks

You would have no beaufial tree
No friends or family
Nothing at all
If on that lonely cross
He had not given up his
So that you could have yours
Isn't it about time?
Your raised your hands and your eyes
To the sky

The need to believe
In something more than a fictional Santa Claus
It's so real
So high
Why don't you start the snowball rolling?
Shout out proud
Make it known
Clear and loud
He isn't just the myth
He's not only a simple man
He's everything
The reason for the season

2015 Ramona Thompson

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bruce Mundhenke- A Poem

Gifts of Wonder

Found a butterfly wing
On my walk today.
Placed it in my left hand
And it blew away.

I saw a large owl
Fly across a field of hay.
I knew the sound of silence
In a different way.

I watched wheat dancing
In the evening wind.
It seemed a moment of beauty
That would never end.

I saw the sunlight shine
Upon a drop of dew.
Beheld a jewel of beauty
That's esteemed by few.

I saw a streak of light
In a night time sky,
And the universe changed
Before my eyes.

I heard a word of truth
In a quiet room,
And it did not speak
Of impending doom.

These are gifts of wonder
Sent to you and me,
And have been on their way
Throughout eternity.

Lily Tierney- Three Poems


I kept watching as
the squirrel jumped
from the branches.
A Cardinal flew away
the squirrel was
getting too close.
I stood and watched
this time I wasn't
running away.


Daylight streaming
through a broken window.

Dreams in the night
flowing in her subconscious.
At the break in dawn
all vanished.
If only, she would fix
that window.


A ringing phone
knock on the door
neither was answered.

Sleeping, his dreams
never traveled far
enough to be
with me.

He'll wake up, and
see the room he is in.

Jane Blanchard- A Poem

Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia.  Her work has appeared previously in Calvary Cross and recently in the Anglican Theological Review, The Seventh Quarry, and Thema.

finding one lost sheep
too often translates into
losing ninety-nine

Bruce Mundhenke- A Poem

All That Is
(For Charlotte)

You are not more,
You are not less,
You are part
Of all that is.

You are not more,
You are not less,
You cannot imagine
All that is...

Though you are small,
Without you,
There is no all that is.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Waiting Room

First time seeing this doctor,
a specialist. Took a month
to get an appointment.
The waiting room’s packed.
I grab the last seat 
next to a lady in a wheelchair
knitting something,
perhaps for a grandchild. 

I pull out my cell phone 
like everyone else
but just to check messages,
not into games.  
No one’s looking at magazines,
it seems, any more.
It’s a cell phone world,
messages and Tic-Tac-Toe.

Half an hour later the lady 
stops knitting and whispers
“Sit back and relax, son. 
Life’s a waiting room.
We all have appointments.
Every name is called.
Even those who believe
no doctor is in.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Richard Schnap- A Poem


He winds his way down the crippled streets
As the crackle of gunshots punctures the air

From a store where nothing is worth what it costs
Where he learned that day he had been laid off

Now he is caught in a fresher web
Unsure how to pay his meager rent

Feeling once more that to be alive
Means learning to live with the fear of death

For the doctor had ordered an expensive test
To gauge the damage he carries within

From the uncle that raped him multiple times
Infusing his body with the threat of AIDS

But like so many whose chances are slim
He places his life in the hands of God

As he opens his Bible to the story of Job
To read once again why he shouldn’t give up

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Judgment Day

If I knew I'd live forever 
I'd never send a poem out.
No poem ever comes with

ten fingers and ten toes
so I’d keep revising, add 
what's missing, remove

what shouldn’t be there
and put in the right fillip.
One can only write 

while the sun streams in 
because too soon 
the moon comes out 

and in the dark 
one can’t fix a thing.
Once you’re dead

your poems live on,
warts and all, naked 
on a sheet of foolscap 

or afloat in cyberspace 
for all to read and fault.
It’s Judgment Day.

Billionaire and Beggar

A billionaire and beggar
die on the same day,
miles apart. They
never knew each other
but that’s no matter.

The billionaire is buried
with pomp reflecting
wealth and stature.

The beggar’s lowered 
in a potter’s field.
Two workers shovel. 
One says a prayer. 

Years later 
a major quake tosses 
thousands of caskets. 

Popped lids confirm
a truth the billionaire
and beggar share.

Dust and bones 
in both their caskets.
Equality lies here.

Just for a Day

If you want to know
what it’s like to have nothing
just for a day

head for Skid Row.
Trade your suit and 20 bucks
for the attire of a resident

standing against a wall.
Buy a tin cup and yellow pencils
and go to Union Station in time

for the evening rush hour
when suburbanites with jobs
on Michigan Avenue go home

for dinner and a little HBO.
Flop down near the entrance 
in your tatters with pencils and cup.

Wear Charles Bronson sunglasses
and hold high a sign that says,
“Will Work for Food.”

Count the briefcases that sail by 
and see how many pencils you sell,
how many people even look at you 

before the gendarmes arrive
and poke you with a baton
then walk you away.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ramona Thompson- A Poem

Ramona Thompson has been writing for more then 20 years. Her past publishing credits include Dead Snakes, Calvary Cross, Infernal Ink, Erotic Tales of The Paranormal, Howl and many more.

Fans/readers may reach her via facebook or her e-mail


Why Santa Claus? Why Not Jesus?

Caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle
It seems
Once again
We have lost our way
All merry and bright
We find delight
In all the wrong Earthly things
And none of the right Heavenly ones

Forget the reason for the season
Swoon over
Selfish gift giving
And make gluttons of ourselves
At the tables of greedy holiday feasts
Pretend to care
For family and friends
In other times
We go so far
As to call fiends

Misplaced values
Selfish deeds
We make it
Again and again
All about the money
What we can get
And from whom
Giving Him the coldest of shoulders
What the Hell are we teaching our kids nowadays?

So enjoy your stocking stuffers
All your many pretties
Under the tree
In time
They'll pass away
While He'll still be here
Now the only question is
Will there be enough of your soul left to save?
After this holiday season has passed

2015 Ramona Thompson