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

Reflections


by brian francis

Reflections upon Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
(July 1 – 3, 1863)

The grass now dances with a gentle breeze
Across this hallowed ground.
Where once the clash of sabers clanged
And the blood of heroes poured down.

Where farms and people were once engulfed
In the fury of a brother’s war.
When death and dying, were the rule of the day
And victory the only cure.

And from the ranks on either side
The battle cries were heard,
Echoing down across the fields
Where the courage of boys was stirred

The charges launched across those fields
Burnt powder filled the skies,
And through the smoke and stench there rose
So many death-filled cries.

The grass now dances with the gentle breeze
Across this hallowed land.
Where once the best and worst was seen
That can come from the soul of man.


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

That strength within

I have found the peace of our Father’s love
It resides within our reflection of
His love so true it is a gift within
That allows us to be a reflection of Him

I have hoed so many crooked rows
Until I learned what true love was
And now with his guidance within
I can walk assured of avoiding sin

Bent and broken though he was
My father taught that there was love
So pure and true a sacredness
He smiled wide in his faithfulness

He had found the peace of our Father’s love
It resides within our reflection of
His love so true it is a gift within
That allows us to be a reflection of Him

My heart was lost in the tortured sea
When the sins of man washed over me
I fought and strained to gain a hold
The waves assailed me strong and bold

when my heart in fear called out for Him
and I felt that warming so deep within
The strength to walk a tortured sea
Became his gift that set me free

I have found the peace of our Father’s love
It resides within our reflection of
His love so true it is a gift within
That allows us to be a reflection of Him

By brian francis

Deep in the Mountain

By brian francis

The cold and the dark refuse the flicker
of gems who lie so deep in the ground.
Bones lay scattered among the trophy
the lost, the magic reach, out to be found.

With less of a slide and more of a slither,
Of silver and gold, the dreams the drive
The piles discovered beneath the great mountain
In heaps and mounds the treasure resides

A whiff of sulfur drifts in the darkness
A glow almost seen through the cover of gold
Rumbles subsonic reach in and touch you
stories of dragons not believed when told

The burden too much to carry escaping
Dribbles and drops dancing away
Better to flee and lose all the bounty
But greed alas has a loathsome way

The bones will be scattered among the piles
As Draco reclines and cleans off the flesh
Casting them about for the next warning
And settling again to gather his rest


Copyright © 2021 brian francis

Happy Birthday

**With tomorrow being my birthday I give you:
by brian francis


Youth has passed
its burden gone;
the climb to age
is over.
What once was endless
now moves on,
the feeling left
is somber.
The lessons of
those long passed years
stole the innocence
of youth;
and left me here
so austere
watching shadows lengthen.
My time has come
to saunter down
the hill I sought
to conquer;
and to look with fear
upon the year,
I’ll walk this land
no longer.


Copyright © 2021  brian francis

The Veteran

by brian francis

You’ve shown a nation just how to stand tall
In wearing the uniform, in hearing the call
You’ve shouldered the burden standing the line
Setting aside, the plans for life, of your design

We the people, as a nation, are grateful for you
In the way, you represent us, the things that you do
We know that you hold us deep in your heart
As you struggle there for us while doing your part

The scars that you bear in your body mind and soul
As you act on our behalf in obtaining our goal
The tears that you cry remembering what was done
That feeling alone, sudden attacks at the sound of a gun

The burdens you carry those that flash into the mind
Or just that sinking feeling that is there all the time
The terror that haunts you even after coming home
The feeling here among us of your still being alone

That suffering that endures for you deep, deep inside
Should be more our burden and so much more your pride
Discounts will be offered, and of course; an annual parade
In remembrance and in honor of the sacrifice you’ve made


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Stumbling Through


by brian francis

Seeking out the source of inspiration
I found myself in a deep dry well.
Nothing there could offer stimulation.
So alone I built myself a living hell.

Hidden in dusty volumes: past consideration.
Doodles lining margins, once passing time.
Scanning ancient notes with contemplation
Finding only aggregate no thoughts to bind.

In frustration I lashed out against creation
Yet again my drunken muse does not respond.
So alone I sit in my silent meditation,
Imagining the banks of Walden Pond.

Then gently, without notice, sleep overtakes me.
The day then fades away and soon is gone.
Dreams, torment, and chase; will not let me be.
A restless soul who fights to carry on.

When morning comes and wakes my sleeping sorrow
Another day to seek and find that, what I need.
A turn of phrase or a thought which I might borrow.
Anything that will help me germinate the seed.


Copyright © 2021  brian francis

Blossoms

by brian francis

Bluebirds singing songs of love
Dance upon the windowsill

Flowers bloom in ordered rows
While sunshine falls to color them

Days stretch out their limber limbs
Embracing more hours than before

Darkness shrinks losing hold
Springtime’s touch has come again

And summer calls her rally cry
To gather strength for wilting work

As all of nature’s enduring might
Rises to the challenge of life


Copyright © 2021 brian francis

Arbiter of Dreams

by  brian francis

When shadows reach and gather strength
And Nyx rises to claim her right to rule
Even Zeus concedes in all his might;
yielding

Only Selene dares to rise against –
revealing
Her gaze in shades of blue cast from above
Moderating that absolute power of gloom
Bathing the world, washing away the darkness
During sleeps restless battles in the night

Copyright © 2021 brian francis