The Forge

Writing whether poetry or prose whatever comes pouring out, is my passion. Here are but a few of my scribbles and scratches. Speak up, if you see something good or bad in it.  Peace all

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BIO: Born and raised in the idyllic wonder of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where time seems to have stalled in the eighteen hundreds. Corn and tobacco fields, meadows for grazing. All the necessities for a wild and roving childhood.

Tucson is where I found my home. Where the desert lays swelteringly low, and mountain islands rise from the heat and swelter to offer an oasis of cooling escape. Still I am surrounded by animals. Parrots and dogs and a rescued wild pigeon who is absolutely devoted to me. My better half of 36 plus years is the best thing to happen to me. Love is a great source of creative energy and my well runs deep.

I hope you can find something you can appreciate here in my garden.


Indigo Skies

by Brian Francis

The twilight hour, drawing the night
Dissolving the colors of day
Night flows obscuring the eyes
Daylight yielding, fades away.

Brigades of colors assail the clouds
In waves of deepening hue
The birds set roost among the trees
To sing their soulful tune

As the final reflections of daylight fade
A still quietness settles in
Watched over by the moon and stars
Let the reign of Nyx begin

Copyright ©2023 B. F. O’Connor

A Christmas Hymn

by B. F. O’Connor

The world once laid in quiet repose
A star was shining bright
The shepherds stood among their flocks
protecting them through the night

The town was quiet the streets were still
as they sought a place to abide
They found themselves turned away
from the warmth of the hearth inside

A manger was found on the outskirts of town
it was the best that their silver could bring
With straw for a bed she laid herself down
giving birth to our savior and King

lovingly the animals all gathered round
their eyes locked upon where he lay
a beautiful singing could be heard outside
As angels announced a new day

A feeding trough made for a fair crib
as the wise men gathered around
following a star bringing them here
they knelt bowing down to the ground

Mercy was found shining in his eyes
absolute joy was found in his gaze
The promised gift from the Father above
A light to burn off our sin’s haze

Copyright ©2022 B. F. O’Connor

Near the Cold Grey Sky

by B. F. O’Connor

In the woods I hid
and watched the trespassers
weave among the forested slopes
on a winter day.
Birds screamed at their passing,
and squirrels scurried
through the wilted underbrush
and blankets of leaves.
Alone, I peered down
from the ancient blind
left by some merciless hunter,
becoming my refuge
from the chilly sorrows
of a mislaid sense of self-worth

Cold and chill
crept along my spine
drafting up my legs
and un-tucked shirt.
I watched strangers
dance beneath the barren limbs
of slumbering trees,
children dragging their parents
with words of coaxing
deeper into the resting forest’s expanse
seeking some unknown reward
for their noisy and bounding effort
beneath my refuge
among the twisted branches
near the cold grey sky.

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

The Monkey’s Ride

by   B. F. O’Connor

Reflections in the mirror of life,
flashbacks to a sordid past.
The emotional gambit, pity’s plight,
the stuff from which reality is cast.
A life of “candy” young free times,
Black Tar clouds, and Mexican Mud.
Bogging the mind and destroying within.
Whether white as snow or resin black –
The face of death dark and grim.

Turning away and finding oneself,
A horror, a ghost, just barely alive.
Realizing the truth and fighting to win,
Wading through the terror and lies.
Winning the fight, without self-esteem;
Struggling back from deaths near grip.
Leaving it all and everyone behind
And starting from scratch –
No needles – No sin.

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

Trip to the Candy Abide

By B. F. O’Connor

Sleep my child and soon you will see
A place where candy will grow on a tree
The place the unicorn calls its home
And many other strange animals roam
Close your eyes and lay down your head
So the angels can come to guard your bed
And the horse with a horn will give you a ride
To the place they call the candy abide

Close your sleepy eyes and dream, dream, dream
And take a long ride by the soda pop stream
Where licorice trees grow in groves
And the bread is made into teddy bear loaves
The grass is yellow, blue, green, and red
Where only the children are allowed to tread
So close your eyes and be off to sleep
For your ride is waiting and it won’t keep

I remember the place from years gone by
Where marshmallow clouds grow in the sky
And the rivers are lined with chocolate banks
The fences are made of graham cracker planks
But I have grown and can go no more
It now is your turn to go and explore
And find the tin soldiers who march in a row
So be quick and hurry before you too grow

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor


When witches ride the whirly wind
And monsters stalk the breeze
Our tale of horror will begin
With the rustling of the trees

In a forest dark with musty smells
And limbs, that grab and reach
Where sunlight tries but can’t get in
Down through the birch and beech

Where creeks and cracks echo long
Startling the quiet and still
When slithering things slide along
And you shiver with a chill

A heart beat stops a breath exhaled
The horror sneaks about
Goosebumps crawl across your skin
Inside you scream and shout

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

Between Dusk and Dawn

by B. F. O’Connor

In the dim hours of darkened skies;
seeing deep the reaches of the universe,
where worlds turn in silent symphony,
pulsing with the touch of creation.
Mooning at the infinite before me
stars upon stars beyond stars.

Hauntings hid among the shadows
in the darkness of night set free.
Roaming and seeking to no avail,
a time that can never again be found
among the lost deceit of a past life.
Clinging to a memory of what once was.

The orb of night arcs across the sky
washing away the distant depths of time.
The world in shades of gray sleeps
as Sol hides, beneath and behind,
awaiting his moment of triumph-
shadows fleeing at the noise of his coming.

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

A Tide of Sorrow

by B, F. O’Connor

Shared memories still torment the mind
Moments re-lived of terror’s day
Moments of horror that shocked the world
Moments where innocence was washed away
The cry of emergency the flow of tears
Sorrow and mourning, loss and despair

Insanity pledged in great Allah’s name
To strike a blow to the wicked world
To avenge the tears and sorrow of Mecca
In the name of Islam the sacrifice made
The will of Allah through psychotic minds
Played out for the world; unbelieving to see

The height of Manhattan stood strong, proud
Rising high above the bustling city below
Like two great trees in the forest of buildings
A jewel in the crown of America’s pride
Of commerce and business the goings within
Billowing smoke from its wounded facade

The world watched uneasy as a fire burned
As heroes responded their duty so clear
Assisting the needy with their strong arms
While cameras watched from all sides
A country sat on the edge of their seats
Wondering how this mistake could occur

just a small plane or an explosion within
the images carried the debate to the world
until out of the corner of our collective eye
a passenger plane flying over so low
pierced the sister disappearing inside
an eruption of flames witnessed by all

Tides of sorrow washed across the soul
Our nation had long not felt such a blow
As the skies fell silent the world stood still
Watching the fires burn and the people fall
heroes still went marching into their fate
the buildings still enduring their pain

black burning billows then turned to brown
as the sister lost her footing and fell
the rumbling cry as she fell to the ground
went unheard by the cameras watching it all
the wail of the wind and the tears of debris
raced along the streets engulfing the maze

our nation’s tears fell with the crashing façade
then from Washington more horror and pain
A gaping hole in the guardian of hope
A burning pentagon marked the evil deed
And the country held its collective breath
Waiting for more from this unknown foe

A divot near a small keystone town
Marked the missing of a critical blow
As heroes decided to suffer their fate
Expressing their love on a cell phone
Deciding to suffer to fight and to die
Rather than allow some others to fall

Then as though that were not enough
The first sister stumbled under the weight
The tower that topped her tilted and dropped
the heroes within fell to death’s embrace
and tears fell like rain across this land
as the tides of sorrow flowed across it

Copyright © 2022 Brian Francis

I Am Alone

by B.F.O’Connor

They came to this place weak and tired
And fought to become, proud and free
living among these desert mountains
They raised their few into a great people
Covering the land like the clouds above
And came to be called by the name Apache

Great men rose to lead them to prosper
And they fought and defended
Their cherished desert home
None could resist their cunning and power
And fear was a companion to their enemy

Long did they live in natures embrace
Hunting to take their needs from the land
Until there came a people from the south
With knives as long as a grown mans leg
With shirts of iron and sticks of thunder
Wandering through the valley lands below

In waves came strangers who promised friendship
making homes in the valleys near the rivers’ edge
some tasted the wrath of Apache vengeance
for misdeeds and transgressions a fair price paid
a balance maintained — culture for culture

Their words were spoken true and honest
But deceit was all they heard in their ears
Promises taken as words of honor
Became nothing more than dust in the wind
Driving them back into their mountains
Making them enemies who’d tried to be friends

Then came the children of the great father
From a place far away called Washington
In floods they crossed the desert valleys
With soldiers who built great strong houses
All throughout their Apache home

They fought to protect their peoples and homeland
They suffered the losses of wars revenge
Killing many soldiers they struggled for freedom
More soldiers came to replace the dead
But their warriors fell also in battle
And nowhere were there replacement for them

Weakened once more they hid in their mountains
Flying from range to range to be safe
Agreeing to peace on their own reservation
They promised with honor to end their revenge
And settle alone in a Chokonen land

The few who were left offered their freedom
when they heard the words of the great father
Promises made to the great chief Chez
But words of the father were like dust in the wind
And sorrow was all that the white man offered
Imprisonment within a land that was dead

Author’s Note: Inspired by the great speech of Cochise (Chez)at the time of his surrender. The history of the Apache people is often clouded in the histories of the victors of those wars. Truth has never been a notable aspect of the white mans government. It seems little has changed over the years.

Copyright © 2022 B.F.O’Connor

Wailing Works

By brian francis

When the winds howl and rattle
Thunder peeling like a great gong
Penetrates, subsonic waves crashing
The thin streaks of light branching
Race across the sky crackling aloud
Creosote breathes its fragrant smell
Wafting on the wailing winds swirling
Shuddering and shaking the turmoil
Undulates into a mighty crescendo

The deafening sound of the storm
Intensifies as the clouds release
The gentle pitter patter so tentative
At first swells to become natures roar
As the winds drive the waves passing
Cleansing the very air with ozone
That wonderful scent of after storm
Like wafting incense drifting out of
This great temple of the gods

Copyright © 2022 brian francis