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

The Monkey’s Ride

by   B. F. O’Connor

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 © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

Trip to the Candy Abide

By B. F. O’Connor

Sleep my child and soon you will see
A place where candy will grow on a tree
The place the unicorn calls its home
And many other strange animals roam
Close your eyes and lay down your head
So the angels can come to guard your bed
And the horse with a horn will give you a ride
To the place they call the candy abide

Close your sleepy eyes and dream, dream, dream
And take a long ride by the soda pop stream
Where licorice trees grow in groves
And the bread is made into teddy bear loaves
The grass is yellow, blue, green, and red
Where only the children are allowed to tread
So close your eyes and be off to sleep
For your ride is waiting and it won’t keep

I remember the place from years gone by
Where marshmallow clouds grow in the sky
And the rivers are lined with chocolate banks
The fences are made of graham cracker planks
But I have grown and can go no more
It now is your turn to go and explore
And find the tin soldiers who march in a row
So be quick and hurry before you too grow


Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor



Broomsticks

When witches ride the whirly wind
And monsters stalk the breeze
Our tale of horror will begin
With the rustling of the trees

In a forest dark with musty smells
And limbs, that grab and reach
Where sunlight tries but can’t get in
Down through the birch and beech

Where creeks and cracks echo long
Startling the quiet and still
When slithering things slide along
And you shiver with a chill

A heart beat stops a breath exhaled
The horror sneaks about
Goosebumps crawl across your skin
Inside you scream and shout

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

Between Dusk and Dawn

by B. F. O’Connor

In the dim hours of darkened skies;
seeing deep the reaches of the universe,
where worlds turn in silent symphony,
pulsing with the touch of creation.
Mooning at the infinite before me
stars upon stars beyond stars.

Hauntings hid among the shadows
in the darkness of night set free.
Roaming and seeking to no avail,
a time that can never again be found
among the lost deceit of a past life.
Clinging to a memory of what once was.

The orb of night arcs across the sky
washing away the distant depths of time.
The world in shades of gray sleeps
as Sol hides, beneath and behind,
awaiting his moment of triumph-
shadows fleeing at the noise of his coming.

Copyright © 2022 B. F. O’Connor

A Tide of Sorrow


by B, F. O’Connor


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 façade
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 © 2022 Brian Francis

Wailing Works

By brian francis

When the winds howl and rattle
Thunder peeling like a great gong
Penetrates, subsonic waves crashing
The thin streaks of light branching
Race across the sky crackling aloud
Creosote breathes its fragrant smell
Wafting on the wailing winds swirling
Shuddering and shaking the turmoil
Undulates into a mighty crescendo

The deafening sound of the storm
Intensifies as the clouds release
The gentle pitter patter so tentative
At first swells to become natures roar
As the winds drive the waves passing
Cleansing the very air with ozone
That wonderful scent of after storm
Like wafting incense drifting out of
This great temple of the gods



Copyright © 2022 brian francis

Watching Clouds

by B.F.O’Connor

I’ve walked this road so many times
I know most every tree
My heart is wary, strength all spent
could someone set me free

The past is gone, as is my joy
my heart is on my sleeve
Missing you tears at my being
as I have learned to grieve

I avoid the sun, so I stay inside
sorting through our memories
My tears still fall like summer rains
The hurt just will not ease

So many things that were not said
with you still at my side
In dreams my heart still tries to mend
the hurt that hides inside

every single night I take our walk
around the west farm lane
I pause at places that remember you
And suffer my own private pain

I watch the clouds from our meadow log
just like we used to do
life has stopped, I’ve been consumed
I want to follow you


Copyright © 2022 B.F.O’Connor

Absolute Abandon



Have you ever feared the blowing wind
And the shadows of the night;
Or felt the eerie tingling chill
Of a specter by your side.
In the darkness of these empty streets
I have heard the spirit screams,
just echoes of a lonely life
deep in the world of dreams.

They gave it all to gain the world,
to claim it for their own,
these selfish little impish souls
to whom the night belongs.
Cast down by love they never knew,
they search for Peace and Light;
only to find emptiness —
in the shadows of the night.


Copyright © 2022 brian francis

Dust

By  brian francis

When dreams are cast away
and sorrow’s burden settles
When torment rips at one’s soul
and empties all vitality
hollow canyons wail
where once satisfaction flowed

We torment ourselves
with imagined outcomes
merely begging for another chance
Pain filled pleadings to grace
But the linear nature of our reality
precludes our delusion of possibility
spent, time passes inexorably on

Heavy is the only way to describe it
the feeling of one’s chest
when bound in the struggle
enduring the aching of regret
resilience bides its time well
and creeps in starts and fits
toying with memories
inspiring brief moments of joy

Healing comes as sure as morning
the taste of life once again
scars can often change perspectives
and make unsure our path ahead
tears will fall in spurts and sputters
but so will joy and laughing spree
somehow unknown life re-blossoms
we dare reach for the sun again


Copyright © 2020 brian francis