Hold Her High

Questions from a hero’s grave
By brian francis


Oh say does that star spangled banner yet stand
Over a free and civilized land?
Does it still stand for justice for one and for all,
Or have they forgotten why heroes did fall?
Oh say does that star spangled banner still wave
Over a nation which hasn’t a slave?
Do they still look upon her with tears in their eyes
Or have they forgotten those first battle cries?
Oh say, can you tell me what the colors now mean?
Do they give her the honor that’s due to a queen?
Do they stand up and cheer her when she’s carried by
And what are their feelings when they see her fly?

Oh say does that star spangled banner yet stand
Over the nation the way it was planned?
Can you still see her flying wherever you go?
When the children look to her do their faces glow?
Oh say does that star spangled banner still wave
Over the heroes who lie in the grave?
And do they remember what she has withstood
In protecting our nation so free and so good?
Oh say can you tell me if you still hold her high?
Is she still the most beautiful flag in the sky?
Does she fly like an eagle and soar high above
As a symbol of liberty, freedom, and love?

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Around the Flag


by brian francis

Rally round the flag now,
oh, rally once again,
on with the battle cry of freedom.
We have never knelt before
and we will not now again.
We’ll stand, strong, and proud,
and defeat them.

Let the enemy beware,
let him cower deep with fear,
The flag is the symbol that we follow.
Terror might beset us,
But never will we fear.
The threat might be deadly,
but it’s hollow.

Vengeance in the air
we will have our moment then,
as we act with the might of our union
We will rally round the flag,
and find our comfort there,
singing proudly, with conviction,
the cry of freedom.

Rally round the flag now,
oh, rally once again,
on with the battle cry of freedom.
We have never knelt before
and we will not now again.
We’ll stand, strong, and proud,
and defeat them.

Copyright ©2021  brian francis

Crack

By brian francis


Some people think it is all about the ball
the cue ball or the eight ball even the nine
while the ball is pool’s most numerous asset
it simply follows nature’s laws to exhaustion
It lays, it waits to receive its equal and opposite
its course laid in with a knock and a ricochet
it travels its path friction wearing it down
its trajectory always forward always true
So what is so special about all of that
What makes it so much better than felt


Felt’s hairy fingers grab and pull at the ball
slowing it, dragging at its progression
the field of felt, slates concealing dress
and bumpers wear felt its armor it seems
enduring even the severest of blows
without offering the merest contention
brushed just right it’s a beautiful thing
ordered, cleaned of the smallest deceit
a racks ready order, rolled to find the spot
to rise up and stand back for the break


A chalking in blue to add grip to the tip
and a sliding almost masturbation
angle selected the cue ball finds its spot
and rests waiting for its final direction
the cue lays itself in the crook of the hand
or on the crenellation of the knuckles
and engaging the stroke with precision
its strength with a crack strikes a blow
its goal in its sights it flies straight and true
into the rack, causing a mess of confusion


Copyright © 2021 brian francis

The Monkey’s Ride

by brian francis

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 © 2020 brian francis

Around the Flag

by brian francis

Rally round the flag now,
oh, rally once again,
on with the battle cry of freedom.
We have never knelt before
and we will not now again.
We’ll stand, strong, and proud,
and defeat them.

Let the enemy beware,
let him cower deep with fear,
The flag is the symbol that we follow.
Terror might beset us,
But never will we fear.
The threat might be deadly,
but it’s hollow.

Vengeance in the air
we will have our moment then,
as we act with the might of our union
We will rally round the flag,
and find our comfort there,
singing proudly, with conviction,
the cry of freedom.

Rally round the flag now,
oh, rally once again,
on with the battle cry of freedom.
We have never knelt before
and we will not now again.
We’ll stand, strong, and proud,
and defeat them.


Copyright © 2020 brian francis