Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nicholas Froumis- Three Poems

Bio: Nicholas Froumis practices optometry in the Bay Area. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Society of Classical Poets Journal and Touch: The Journal of Healing. He lives in San Jose, CA with his wife and daughter.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-Matthew 11:28

Heavy Laden

The invitation has been extended
with a promise of a lightened burden.
Words spoken before the Lord ascended
to ears of all who remain uncertain
how to unload the oppressive millstone
so tightly tied around every neck. 
When faced with trials we’d rather bemoan
the injustice of life’s latest train wreck
and sink further under the weight of night.
Yet the heaviness stays in the morning
despite the promise of the sun’s new light
as self-reliance ignores the warning-
a far lighter yolk is up for the trade,
since heavy loads were not why man was made.

Jonah Revisited

I think of Jonah fast asleep below
while panicked crew battle the storm outside.
What caused him to flee instead of follow
the plain instructions of God, was it pride?

He must have had plenty of time to think
in the lonely innards of that great fish.
Drowning by faith but not allowed to sink,
until steadfast prayers brought forth his wish.

Lord, please also spit me onto dry land.
The cares of this life have swallowed me whole.
To obey what you have divinely planned,
gives hope to this ever-wandering soul.

When time has come to consider the fast,
foods become the obvious restriction.
Simply repeat what was done in the past,
and ignore pleas from the benediction.

Easier to watch what enters the mouth,
than what falls so callously from the tongue. 
Instead of upward, the eyes still point south,
like sheepish embarrassment of the young.

But if one tries to look past ingestion
and alter isolating behavior,
perhaps there will be no need to question
how can I come closer to the Savior?

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Pastor’s Wife Talks to a Reporter

He’s always believed
people of every faith
can live in peace 
together in America
no matter what happens
in the rest of the world
and he admits the world
is in turmoil now.

He believes in prayer, 
piety and preparation. 
He’s always preached
ecumenism from the pulpit.
The congregation knows that
and most of them agree.

I’d call him to the phone
and he would tell you that 
but he’s out in the backyard
with a backhoe at the moment
on a brilliant sunny day
and the work is going well.

His friend, a priest from
the church down the street,
was nice enough to give him
a readable design for a catacomb
from the Vatican library in Rome.
Plumbing, he says, is the problem
but it will hold all of our people
and the Catholics as well.

Donal Mahoney

The author wonders if jihad continues unabated
if necessity might dictate that the gaps between
the many Christian faiths grow narrower if not 
in doctrine at least in amicability. Imagine listening
to Jimmy Swaggart and the pope talking about 
salvation in the same foxhole—or catacomb.

Angelica Fuse- Two Poems


my faith
is an itch
I cannot

the difference
what is known
what is seen
what is real.

To Be Believed

it is a story
far too grand
to take at
face value

I read it
like a bedtime

with metaphor
from heaven.

Ramoma Thompson- A Poem

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

Readers/fans may stalk her on facebook or her e-mail reddstar111@gmail.com

Jesus Is Steel

Nothing and no one
Gonna take me away
Outta His arms
Bonds made
Too tough
Too strong
To break
I am His
And He is mine
It will stay this
For all eternity

His love
Protects me
In all times
Both good and bad
In Him
I am found
In Him
I am whole
Pure and righteous
No poison of this world can touch
I am His solider of perfection
Winning this holy war

I have seen
And I have overcome
My victory secure
My place at His side
Forever earned
No devil can ever rip me away
None had better even try
For from my father's hand
You'll find
You can pluck me

Together we rise
Together we are one
My savior and me
Against the monsters and demons
Of this foul world
We shall break the chains
We shall come together
In the end forever
Cause Jesus is steel
And none can ever destroy Him

2016 Ramona Thompson


Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

a constant teacher 

no matter how far i stray
whenever i walk away
Your voice is always calling me
back to the light because
i don't want to be the wretched
thing i sometimes am,
but You always forgive my flaws
more easily than i can;
and You've told me more than once
i need to forgive myself but it's 
hard for me to remember
despite Your gentle reminder because
i hold myself to higher standards
than perhaps i can even achieve
yet You've never given up 
on me.

The Good Shepherd

You have given me so
much that i cannot
be ungrateful,
and forgiven so much
that i know that i am undeserving
of Your favor and grace
yet You give them to me anyway
forgiving all the ugly things
in me;
and washing everything away
that is unclean
so that i can shine pure before You
You make my ways straight
when i could see no path before but
and You always lead me back to the flock
because You are the good Shepherd
never wiling to lose any of Your sheep. 


i forgive unconditionally
because that is how You forgave me,
and i love the same way
because You taught me;
my heart grieves
when people leave me and i know
how You must feel when someone chooses
to leave Your love and hope behind
i wish You'd teach me how
to make the pain go away when you are
but perhaps You can't because there's
no way to get over it except to live and hope and dream,
and persevere no matter how hard it gets. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bruce Mundhenke- A Poem


Wanderers, we travel,
Seekers on our way,
Some travel almost endlessly,
Others only days.
Some are seeking knowledge,
Others seek to play,
Some are seeking power,
Or riches, wealth, and fame.
Some only seek to dwell in peace,
Some feel that they must rule.
Those wise in their own eyes
Will find it hard to learn,
But even fools will learn the truth,
Sometimes as they burn.
Some will choose the darkness,
Others choose the light,
For some the path is easy,
Some wander in the night.
Some learn from lovingkindness,
Others by the rod,
But every wanderer who wanders,
Will all be taught by God.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

One Loves Someone or Doesn't

I came back to You late 
and still don't understand
why the Father asked You to 

die for me and everyone else.
I learned the Ten Commandments
as a child but never learned to love.

I don’t think one learns to love.
One loves someone or doesn’t.
One likes someone or doesn’t.

But there’s a canyon, isn’t there,
between the two--like and love.
I viewed your Father, I’m afraid,

the way I viewed my own. 
My father did his best but he  
was another fallen wretch like me

no different than Adam and Eve.
I have never understood why 
Adam and Eve’s fall from grace

fell on everyone else and me.
Why must everyone pay for what
Adam and Eve did, I’d ask. 

Now I no longer need an answer.
Now I simply need to remember
what I have always known 

yet must wait to understand
You died on the cross
and rose from the dead

for a wretch like me because
the Father asked You to. 
That’s good enough for me.

Donal Mahoney

Donal Mahoney always believed even before a nun
in kindergarten taught him the basics. And now
in his dotage he wonders why he still believes
and so many of his friends and relatives do not. 
If he ever had a doubt, one walk in nature 
would remove it. There’s no Bang Big enough to 
be responsible for all that.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Alan Inman- Three Poems

Head, Not Tail

If only I can believe
(and I know I can)
with trusting as I should

then the promises
of holy writ
come true again

then what was supposed to be,
what should be,
will then be.


My eye opens to truth
in moments before it matters
but better than too late

As ancient words
rise up to meet my eyes
that never made sense before

And I travel to the last
verse, buried deep.


I don't know what a cubit is
but I know the story of faithfulness
told to me in the steamy
old church room
I know the story of being the last
decent man on earth

then rocking and swaying
for 40 days and 40 nights.

Ramona Thompson- A Poem

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

Readers/fans may stalk her on facebook or her e-mail reddstar111@gmail.com

Nothing Was Ever Really That Heavy

I feel so free
All my burdens lifted
All my fears
Let go
My soul soars
Flying with wings of angels
I no longer worry or fret
Over hurts that haven't happened yet
Cause somehow I've found
The strength
In You
I need to carry on

My Lord and my helper
My savior
Always there
In my time of greatest need
I fall to my knees
Here and now
To raise your name
Most high
Up where it belongs
In my heart

In my soul
You have saved me
Found and forgiven me
Set me back
On that righteous path
From which I once strayed
For this and so much more
I cannot begin
To love you enough
My father
My glory
You alone are my all

And so one more
Wonderful time in my life
I give it all to you
The one who's taken it
All away
My horrors and my nightmares
It's almost strange to realize
Leaning on you
At last
Nothing was ever really that heavy anyway

2016 Ramona Thompson

Angelica Fuse- A Poem

Crystal Heaven

I stand
in crystal
knowing the stories
of gospel
I heard summer
years ago

I live
my faith
and believe
in Creator
to the stars

have thrown
a pattern
on my bare skin

I read them
I read the words

I believe.

Bruce Mundhenke- Three Poems

Gift of Mystery

We came forth from what was
To be part of what is,
Eternity much more
Than just time...
God much more than what was once,
What is now,
Or what will ever be...
What transpired before what was?
How much is in what is now,
And who knows what will be?
The Spirit knows...
Our lack of knowledge
A gift of Love,
An example of His mercy.

Another Day

All we do here shall pass away,
Both the work of our hands
And the longing of our hearts;
They shall be as a seed that is planted,
Whose fruit is discovered another day.

The Seed

Love is the only seed cast forth
That will bear fruit that endures.
All other seeds will be devoured on the way,
Or left in the dry places.
Tears of love are gathered beforehand,
And the fruit of beauty is the reward
For all whose hope is in the seed.
For the seed is both planted and grows,
Bearing fruit on the way,
Casting off and gathering,
Unto the perfect day.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ruth Z. Deming- A Short Story


She always wanted to be someone’s wife but no one would have her. A fine-looking woman, she came from the family who owned the internationally acclaimed Tyler’s Oyster House in Ottawa, right across the border from Detroit. It was not unusual for families to pile into their station wagons and drive a couple of hours to dine in the wood-paneled dining room with stuffed marlins and open-mouthed sharks on the wall.
As a woman in her mid-thirties, Marian chose a fine spring day when the pink dogwoods spread their petals before the sun, got into her blue Buick and drove three hours to the capital city of Montreal. 
          She could see the church in the distance. The church of miracles. Its blue-domed top and tiny cupola seemed to shoot up to heaven in one huge burst. She could see the sojourners from her car, tiny as pencil points, moving as slowly as a procession of ants toward honey. But where would she park? Circling the area in her long Buick, a police officer, clad in a yellow vest, blew his whistle and directed her toward a newly vacated spot.
          How handsome he was in his uniform. She wondered if all men looked handsome to her because she couldn’t get a single one. She, too, had worn a uniform to Catholic school, where she was the school’s valedictorian. How embarrassing it was to walk down the aisle on graduation day. Or, rather, limp down the aisle. That’s why she was here on this electric-blue day.
          Alighting from her car, she avoided the policeman’s eyes, as she reached into the back seat to grab her cane. When he saw it, he offered to help her walk. How she hated that! Always to be pitied. Never loved for who she was.
          St. Joseph’s Oratory Church would save her. She was young enough and desperate enough to believe it. She walked toward the ninety-nine stairs in her best clothes: Pantyhose on both legs, including the short, skinny one on the left, shiny black patent leather pumps – no, you couldn’t see her panties in the sheen – a white ruffled blouse, red blazer and matching red skirt.
          She limped over to a special section off to the right of the huge cathedral and looped her cane around a railing. A field of canes sat indolently as if they were all for sale. She decided to climb the steps in the middle. She wanted a good view of the stairway, as if she were climbing the hill of Golgotha to see her beloved Lord Jesus in his Agony. She knelt on the cold stone step and looked upward toward the dome. She was confused a moment. How did one crawl up the stairs. To her left a mother and two young children were mounting the stairs on their knees. She watched a moment, feeling as if she were cheating on a math test, and then, hiking up her red skirt, began to crawl.
          On the third step, she realized she had skinned her right knee. And then the left one. Peeking down, she saw them bleeding, but her Lord had bled, hadn’t He? She pushed aside the pain and climbed higher and higher, until she was on the first landing.
“I suppose I should crawl across the concrete,” she thought, “until the stairs appear again.”
          Long red streaks of blood appeared through her torn Pantyhose. She crawled across the hard punishing concrete, then began the next level of crawling up the stairs. She was uncommonly hot. Sweat poured from her face and through her white blouse and red blazer. She wiped her brow and asked Jesus to help her with the climb. That was all right, wasn’t it, to ask His help?
          Up and up and up she went. All the way to the top. When she got there, soaked with sweat and blood, and now tears, she stood up and looked triumphantly down. Supplicants of all types – seemingly hundreds of men, women, and children, along with men and women of the cloth – trudged on bended knees toward the top, a Mount Everest on your knees.  
          Staring down the stairs, then up toward the blue sky, she had never felt such peace, even though her legs were awash with throbbing pain. She knew that Christ on the cross did not feel exultant. “Lord, why have you abandoned me?” He cried, to show mankind that he, too, suffered with them and had his doubts.
          She hobbled over to the side to issue her prayer. Best to stand as straight as she could and not lean against the impervious unfeeling stone. Having given no forethought to her prayer, she began to whisper gratitude for her wonderful life, her wonderful parents and education, the taste of the slippery fresh oysters with lemon at the restaurant, and then got straight to the point. “I’ll talk to You as the friend you are,” she said. “Lord, it’s not that I want the limp to go away, or my skinny leg to disappear, it’s really kind of cute, after all” - she enjoyed rubbing both legs with Ponds’ Cold Cream at night – and she did not hate herself or her legs – “my fervent prayer to you, Lord, is to let me find a man, get married and have a family.”  She smiled.
          Proud of herself for her audacious act, she returned to her car, drove home to her condo and took a hot bubble bath, which stung her bleeding knees and hands, but she cared not a whit. When she returned to work at Tyler’s Oyster Bar, she told no one of the greatest adventure of her life.
           On Sunday she drove fifteen minutes to her Roman Catholic church, Saint Anthony’s, whose three spires spiking heavenward beamed in the morning sun. She always felt they were calling her and would receive her in their welcoming arms.
          Father Morgan Whittaker delivered the sermon in his long black cassock.
          “How many of you know what our patron saint – Saint Anthony of Padua  - represents?”
          He looked over the several hundred and parishioners.
          “Speak up,” he said. “Don’t be shy.”
          He laughed. “All right, you want to hear the sound of my voice then, I’ll tell you who our blessed Saint Anthony is.”
          After a lengthy explanation, and many in the congregation thought Father Morgan loved nothing more than the sound of his own voice, he finally came to the point.
          “He’s the saint of finding things or of lost people.”
          Marian sat, hymnal in her lap, and uttered an involuntary gasp.
          Afterward, as always, she slipped into the tiny confessional.
“Father, forgive me for my sins, but I have fantasies of marrying…. you.”
          The Father was silent.   
          “Oh, Father, I have sinned. Please forgive me for saying that.”
          “You are forgiven my child,” said Father Whittaker, in his deep distinguished voice that reminded her of a news anchorman. 
          Marian picked up her cane and tottered out of the confessional. Her face and ears were red with embarrassment. Yes, her old friend “humiliation” had snuggled up to her once again.
          When she emerged the noonday sun had slipped into the high-ceilinged sanctuary. The stained glass cast its blue and purple hews upon the congregants as they hurried from the room, as if they had to make the next train. Looking down, she wanted to hurry outside the church and never see Father Whittaker again. She promised herself she’d find herself another church.   
          She heard the confessional door squeak open, but wasn’t fast enough to make it outside.
          “Marion Tyler,” he called. “Marion Tyler with God’s gift of wonderful mismatched legs.”
          Her huge black eyes looked up at him. Was he making fun of her?
          “If you allow me,” he said. “I’d like to invite you over to my brother’s house for dinner. He looks a lot like me,” he said, touching his bald pate, “but he’s got a full head of hair. And it’s red.”    
          She was quiet.
          “Jimmy has never married. You might say he’s saving himself for the right woman. I’ve even talked to him about you.”
          “Oh, Father Morgan!” she cried, wiping away her tears.
          The wedding, of course, was held right here at Saint Anthony’s of Padua. In a stunning floor-length white gown, Marian’s father walked her down the long aisle, her cane emblazoned in white lace. 

Andrew M. Bowen- Two Poems

Andrew M. Bowen works as a insurance salesman in Bloomington, IN.  He has published 59 poems and recently submitted his first two novels for publication.  He is also an actor who has appeared in eight independent films, seven stage productions, and two radio teleplays.


Bless me this day, O God,
cleanse me of all my sins,
a snake shedding its skin;
protect me from the wicked,
help me evade their snares
like deer flee hungry bears;
please shower Your blessings
like April rains nourish
the earth, makes flowers flourish;
protect my friends and kin
like shields ward fighting men;
all praise Your holy Name.


Many temptations
vanish like mist beneath the
hot morning sun if
I measure myself against
God’s Word rather than others.

Jane Blanchard- A Poem

Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia.  Her chapbook Unloosed has recently been released by White Violet Press of Kelsay Books. 
Until the Cure
If leopards could but change their spots,
     Then I would cease to sin,
And nevermore would there be blots
     On my soul’s too-thin skin.
Since such is simply not the case,
     I must bathe every day
In water of redeeming grace
     That washes blight away.

Thembakazi Ngoepe- A Poem

Forgiveness, a word hard to live by
You find many people claiming to have
Forgiven that is, but with their mouth
They confess they can`t forget

That is very painful
As almost everybody knows
The Lord`s Prayer
Many even recite it
Forgetting the meaning
“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”

Unfortunately there is a condition
To be forgiven by God
Is when you forgive those who sin against you;
Forgiveness is good for you
It takes the burden from off your shoulders
It brings you healing
It`s got nothing to do with the person who you can`t forgive

Ask God to help you
That you may be free
Your heart is too small to carry a grudge
Against any human being

HR Creel- Three Poems

HR Creel is too old not to write.  See his poems at Outsider Poetry.

Near the Top

we climb near
the top
of our own humanity.

we still cannot reach
heaven, and so heaven's
mighty finger must
reach down to us.

we are alone
without that touch.

Not Needed Here

there is a lie that
says, though near
death, I am not needed

maybe you hear it too,
that lie.

but there is purpose.
incline your ear
to purpose.
let it whisper to you.

Heard Him Say

I heard him say
Walk and Be clean.
I heard him say
Come as you are.
I heard others say
You are not welcome.
But his door
is always open.

Francis Annagu- A Poem


(for Mercy Ibe-Adebayo)

I will never
Buzz you again
Of this tinctured
Inquisition of life.
You asked me
How i bobbed
The hills.
Do you even
Wonder the
Love of God!

Francis Annagu is a Nigerian poet that studies at the Kaduna State
University in Kaduna State, Nigeria. His poems are published on
Commonline Journal, Galway Review, Calamaro Magazine, Ayiba Magazine,
Dead Snakes, Kalahari Review, Lunaris Review,Tuck Magazine Amsterdam
Quarterly, Bewildering Stories, The Squawk Back, The Poet Community,
Sunflower Collective, and others. He is currently working on his first
poetry collection "RAIN UPON US".

Lawrence Simpson- A Poem


"Balloons" symbolize happiness, joy and celebration for everyone ELSE....

But balloons for my people....symbolize
Death, destruction and where that young, black man took his last BREATH.....

You can see them in a hood near you, on your average light pole near a trash CAN..

Though it's empty, the trash is on the ground but that's where you took your last STAND...

I guess balloons symbolize the beauty of a life that was taken so SOON...

Hoping the colors and shapes, the teddy bears and pictures of you, that your life would somehow PRESUME....

I guess It's too late now, time has passed
and the rain has washed away our SYMPATHY....

But you're still in our hearts, where the colors don't fade and you're not simply a MEMORY....

Though it hurts to realize your gone..so much potential we will never KNOW...

But GOD doesn't make mistakes, YOU were created to be more than, just a BALLOON ON A POLE.

Lawrence Simpson 2016

Angelica Fuse- Two Poems

Angelica Fuse is an unquiet voice.  


you are the substance
of that small
space inside me,
the void ready to be filled.


good man
good woman
stop and ask
what do you stand on?