Midnight Bus

By brian francis

She caught the midnight bus to take her down the highway
The life that she’d been living had never been her own
She packed her bags and took a room down at the motel
She slipped away the way her father once had done
Danny had waited that first night for her returning
He would have chased her if only he had known
But by the morning a state line stood between them
And the wheels just kept on turning until she was gone

PBR and a shot of Walker had helped him pass the evenings
That sense of loneliness was tearing at his soul
He’d heard a rumor that she’d run away with a soldier
Moved to the Philippines and found happiness at last
Red or black don’t matter he just wanted another Walker
And they kept them coming until the money was all gone
He’d stubble home most nights assuming he could find it
But the bushes by the bank had often served as his home.

She’d come home again when her mother passed last winter.
She had found Danny standing at the bar just down the road
They talked about the time that had passed since she left him
She told him how rough times had often worn her to a nub
He could only look at her and remember why he loved her
The pain had faded and was lost as he looked into her eyes
As she walked away again his sorrows were at once upon him
Line them up he said as he felt the cleaving of his soul

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Fractured

By brian francis

I have felt you cleaving great pieces from my being.
Leaving me to care for my wounds, whimpering alone,
Like to toss a canvass over me, to conceal my torture,
Until you again choose to sculpt me yet even more.
I am the rough image you coax perfection from within.
Always becoming what you desire – chiseled pieces fall away.
Fearing that a fatal flaw might be found deep within–
to be tossed away with the unwanted shards of my being.


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

America

by Brian Francis

Where is this place called America?
Where freedom rings and justice reigns.
Where equality shares a common hope
And compassion trains a steady hand
and lifts all tired souls like a tide

The Lady still stands by the doorway
lighting the way for those lost in darkness
beckoning with the promise of freedom
faithfully proclaiming Liberty for all

Where is this place they call America
the golden valleys and great forests
small patches of remembrance
promised to the future generations
snipped and carved into nonexistence
by the greedy business concerns
equal to a soul it was proclaimed

The giant must be sleeping again
waiting for some call to crisis
perhaps dreaming of its perfection
where America becomes itself
a pleasant dream

Where is this place called America
where can it be realized and when

Only within ones heart I am told
in the way we live our freedom
guaranteeing the same to all
The best that we praise – self sacrifice
giving the gift and demanding honor
flag draped caskets and caissons
and the discharge of rifles
of one, seven, seven, and six

There is the place called America
in our pausing to honor the flag
embracing the promise and creed
a willingness to share in the load
shh, quiet the giant is sleeping

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Queen of Heaven

By brian francis

Asherah, long has your name been bound
Josiah’s rage defiled you, hid you in the dust
Unknown yet still they pray to you for gifts
Your name still hidden your power yet given

Asherah, Mother of all things seen from the heavens
Blesser of woman and the fertile seasons of love
Wife of devotion and protection of Him who is
Mother of creation’s toil, witness to the light

Asherah, Lady of the seas to some, also lost
Progenitor of all that is and too of all that isn’t
Drawn from the memories of stone we find you
On shards your name rings among the highest

Asherah, we when in passions embrace worship you
And strive to be worthy of your gifts for life
Asherah, I call out your name to witness your beauty
To one day hold your gift and honoring you raise it up


Copyright ©2020 brian francis

A Cry of Darkness


by brian francis

Freedom’s ring, a nefarious thing,
As seen by fanatical minds.

Freedom’s ring, seems flat indeed;
To a soul blinded by lies.

Jihad is cried.
Jihad is sworn.
Jihad against the free.

Unholy things must be done.
Stains must mark a soul.
Evil must be held embraced.
Evil must be the cry: jihad.
A truly unholy taste.

Copyright © 2021 brian francis

A Tide of Sorrow


By brian francis

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 facade
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 © 2021 Brian Francis

Creation’s Dance

By brian francis

In the morning’s early moments
When the sun begins to rise
Shadows start to coalesce
Beneath the purple skies
Birds begin their songs of love
A chorus as old as time
Breezes sway the mighty trees
As a poet seeks out rhyme

Words dance upon the tongue
In a graceful metered churn
Reflections of life’s embrace
the soul’s smoldering burn
wisps of life’s experiences
gleam within his eyes
as words are cast upon the page
in jumbled mixed up lines

The rhythm of these moments
Drift in eddied swirls
Like shifting sands creation brings
A string of precious pearls
Verses made with care and love
comedic or wise and sage
waiting there in black and white
For the turning of the page


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

The Devil’s Debt


by brian francis



When I was growing up among the corn and dairy cows
Every meal was begun with grace and praising of our God
The food was always special because it was made with love
I remember Grand-Mom sayin’ it was a blessing from above.

She claimed that momma never could cook when she was young
She was so bad said Grand-Mom they feared–could she find love?
How would she catch a man if smoke drove them all away?
But Daddy, he inspired her to with only good words to say

And Daddy worked from dark to dark we never saw the man
Unless we broke one of the rules and we’d hear Momma pray
She’d go into the kitchen where she’d pick up a broken belt
Hanging it upon a hook, that would make our young hearts melt

It was the hook by the back door where Daddy changed his clothes
We couldn’t help but look at it, as we imagine how it felt
Every time we glanced at it, sorrow would haunt our souls
As Daddy said if you want to drive then you have to pay the tolls

We would be in our beds when daddy finally came home
Sleep would usually catch us in defiance of our goals
But we would wake when Daddy gently sat down where we slept
he would talk about right and wrong and paying the devil’s debt

It always hurt so much more when it hung upon the hook
Anticipation tortured us the way it slowly crept
I’ve been in raging battles, and I’ve feared the line would snap
But I’ve never feared anything like that hook and broken strap

Copyright © 2021 brian francis

Gaea

by brian francis


I found a world spread out naked before me.
I searched for meaning in every glen and dale.
And there I grew, a child of rural splendor,
Amid the rows and fences, both stone and rail.

In the woods I discovered nature’s secrets,
and I explored other secrets there too.
Hidden in the brambles of distant ridges,
the lessons so very many; the days so few.

When time had passed, enough for growing.
When the fence posts, were, no longer so high
I turned away, from all that splendid landscape,
and I looked for answers, hidden in the sky.

Searching took me far from my beginning.
Half a world away I found my place.
The green and rolling hills a distant memory,
seen through the mist of a chemical haze.

In the heat of the desert I discovered glory,
a rapture born of cactus buds,
an electric buzz in fungal fury.
Those college days, drowned in suds.

Along the way god became a theory;
argued hard and long within.
Debating points of syntactic twisting
I found in truth – the greatest sin.

In mountains high above the desert;
islands, cool forests, in the desert heat.
I first heard nature’s gentle calling.
A melodious voice both strong and sweet.

Beneath an oak of ancient lineage,
the songs of times past were found.
A flute and fiddle sang well together.
Tears soon flowed, a precious sound.

Mother earth, and mistress heavens
Appease my heart and sing to me.
A cast light of lunar dimness,
an offering beneath the tree.

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Wildfire

By  brian francis

Where chimneys rise above the ash
to stand in ordered rows,
where fire’s dance engulfed the homes
destroying all one owns.
Where tears shed, streak and flow,
ashen mascara on the face.
Images enchant, playing in the mind
of another time in this place.

Trees who once bore crowns of leaves
a home to squirrels and birds;
only tortured twisted skeletons remain,
crying wind, the only thing heard.
in ashen heaps, sorted for some pearls
Everything stained by fires touch,
loving hands grasp at memories inspired
by the loss of so, so very much.

The rising odor that pervades it all
a smell like that of Hades’ gates.
The sullen mood, shoulders slumped,
the lost souls clinging to their mates.
The smolder burns and chokes the throat,
words can not seem to be found.
A lifetime lost to the raging flames
drift in ashes dancing on the ground.


Copyright ©2021 brian francis