Conestoga Memories

      Conestoga Memories

Muddy watered river flows,
gently drifting its winding path.
Farms and orchards dip in their toes,
bounded by a margin of grass.

To cast my line into its depths,
watch the ripples grow in size.
Water bugs racing to and fro,
speckled sun - a water color sky.

No need for fish to break the spell
just draw it in and cast again.
Breathe in deep that fresh green smell,
a quiver, a strike; the long pole bends

The battle is on - though fierce it's brief,
a run a pull and reel it on in.
Released back into the river - set free;
prepare the hook, cast it again.

Corn fields shimmer with a gentle breeze
birds sing songs as old as the wind,
the lane nearby long and straight.
Just draw it in and cast again.

When waking from this long suffered dream.
being the old man that I never foresaw,
I am grateful for those days in the sun
where as a child I grew both strong and tall.

                 By brian francis

Death Came Visiting

By brian francis

It was so easy to watch them smile
while watching them growing up
Discovering life, making their way
Becoming what they will be
Making us laugh with glee and joy
their treasures they gathered just so
memories of days when they smiled
meanings lost behind unspoken words

It seemed so normal like any other day
A pat on the head a kiss on the cheek
who can remember the words we said
parting our ways and living our lives
the busyness of business filling the hours
Just humming along passing so fast
While they were hiding and cowering
in the clenches of fear and pure terror

Death came visiting the halls and danced
amid pleas for mercy and forgiveness
but death knows nothing but the harvest.
walking with purpose he chooses his prize
nothing can be done but to mourn and cry
to remember the smiles and the good times
living with regret and sorrow, embracing pain
counting the tears that never stop falling

Copyright © 2021 brian francis

Seasons Turn

by brian francis

When winter lays her bounty white
Across the grassy knolls and meadows
Frosty winds blowing a shivering gale
Drift the shallows and fences high
Its harrowing voice a banshee wail

Spring breathes a warming breath
Stirs the sleeping potential hidden
To rise up to stand and budding bloom
To tempt the bees to visit caressing
From flower to flower bride to groom

In summer the nests sing and chirp
The flowers disappearing lost to fruit
Weighing the limbs to sag from drupe
The cornucopia of nature’s stunning gifts
Constant in nature a recurring loop

The harvest, fall’s generous gathering
The reward of the farmer’s long days
lowering of the sun from high in the sky
Cold winds start to blow a whispering wail
A prelude to winter’s harrowing cry

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Broken Wing

By brian francis

I watch the sun rise, and pass on overhead,
And I see the others flying south again.
I wish that I could go, but I’ll stay here instead,
my broken wing and I fighting against the wind.

Winter is coming; the leaves are turning brown,
the nights are getting cooler, and darkness lingers on.
Low clouds on the horizon are telltale of the storm.
Whispers beckon in the wind coming from the north.

I feel it as it touches me, the cold, cold hands of fate.
I know that I can’t get away, so I’ll lay here and wait.
While on wings far overhead, the others pass me by,
Oh, how I want to join them, but my broken wing can’t fly.

Cold rain falls upon my back; cold wind blows in my face.
Soon the numbness touches me, then soon the light will fade.
Then I will cast away this shell, its broken wing and all,
To start on a new journey, I will fly into the sun…


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

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