A Bias Comparison

By brian francis

As a painter uses pigments
To make us see his thought,
All stretched out on canvas
A picture soon is wrought.

A poet uses lesser things
To show a grander view,
A rhymed or metered group of words
Makes us our lives review.

A painter stops a single breeze
As we see the flowers bent.
We see exactly what he wants
Exactly as it’s meant.

But the poet makes us feel the breeze
As though we were right there,
He takes us to a different time
And lets us smell the air.

Where the painter has his limits
In expression, depth and hue;
He can merely represent
A single time stopped view.

A poet’s brush is language,
His canvas is the mind,
His pigment imagination,
His space is not confined.

The painter and the poet –
Both necessary parts
Of what mankind can offer;
With and through the arts.


Copyright © 2020 brian francis

Variegated Digressions

by brian francis

The garden has been blooming
Flowers of every hue unfolding
The verdant stalks and leaves
Jostling for an embrace of the sun
My glory in full display; its regalia

The soil was once stony lifeless
Amendments, turning and raking
Creating a loam — a gardens foundation
Casting the stones to the margins
Lovingly kneading it into condition

This too speaks truth of life itself
The mix is lacking bland at first
Amendments added in the learning
The lessons cast off from those around
Settle on the innocent minds implanted

Weeds too, grow well in unbalanced soil
Lessons that lack integrity root fast
Tapping deep into a being’s very soul
Without the lessons of virtue’s worth
The Ph can run out of control: too acidic

Love an additive to sweeten any soil
Brings balance and soothes the soul
Strengthening the defense’s crenulations
A cleanse to any taint’s warp and stain
Can yet offer a thorny embrace

We each tend our garden’s many rows
Choosing the plant and its location
Learning as seasons come and go
The soul’s continuous edification
We become what we nurture

I’ve seen gardens rife with thorny weeds
The gardeners lost in life’s many woes
Addiction a test of lines one will cross
To attain that which hidden kills
The daily sacrifice on one’s soul

I’ve seen gardens of splendorous beauty
Yet found to be hiding a poisonous taint
Hidden among the green vegetation
Suffering those who visit leave infected
To carry their welts and wounds away

There are gardens too without any flowers
A green expanse of the herb and leaf
The season coming for blossoms and buds
Fruit for the birds, nectar for the bees
Built upon these sun catching leaves

No matter the gardening theory you follow
No matter the time spent on your knees
Pleading for rain, to then fear the torrent
Howling to fall upon this creation of love
Dancing to the wind’s whining measure


Copyright © 2020 brian francis

Chasing Inspiration

by brian francis

Pages, windows open to the world
I send them out to tease and tickle
A message or an observation
Casting them into the winds to
distant eyes

they dance on the tongues
and spill into minds,
nudging, provoking
inspiring an internal response
annoying, persisting, affecting.

“you’ve made me cry” they write
their tears my happy reward
let them cry great rivers for compassion

Rhymes – sometimes I can’t find them
so I walk on the other side of the street
a different rhythm becomes my strut
a feeling of freedom
freedom from form and confinement
stanzas become strophes
meter becomes flow
as the garments of creation are changed
to the colorful aspects of language
painted in poetic prose.

It feels like magic to wield the pen
to cast the lines in black and white
knowing readers will chant them aloud
to find, their, deeper meaning
in the words cast upon the page.


Copyright ©2020 brian francis 

Lancaster, Pa

      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