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

This Valley of Despair

By  brian francis

With every day I wake at dawn
Remembering that you are gone.
And life by nature must go on,
So my tears wash away the loss of you.

Coffee still warms my soul
Starting out a new day.
The rituals remain unchanged,
Yet, wholly different.
The birds still sing their songs;
Their pitch, too sharp it seems.
And the shadows of the oaks
still creep across the lawn,
but, I do not see them in the same way.
somehow my heart is missing and out of touch.
somehow I am floating in a strange place all alone–
even, while others dart around me concernedly
trying to do their loving part in filling the void.

When at night I sit alone, waiting for bed,
I find myself spending time wondering.
Drifting through memories of you.
Maybe filling the void is how I should think.
Can you fill a black hole?
But then worry of forgetting haunts me.
Your face your smile the sound of your laugh.
I will no longer hear these, I know!
Yet, at times it seems to echo
From the walls that surround me.

I am still missing you with every breath…

Copyright ©2020 brian francis