Midnight Bus

By brian francis

She caught the midnight bus to take her down the highway
The life that she’d been living had never been her own
She packed her bags and took a room down at the motel
She slipped away the way her father once had done
Danny had waited that first night for her returning
He would have chased her if only he had known
But by the morning a state line stood between them
And the wheels just kept on turning until she was gone

PBR and a shot of Walker had helped him pass the evenings
That sense of loneliness was tearing at his soul
He’d heard a rumor that she’d run away with a soldier
Moved to the Philippines and found happiness at last
Red or black don’t matter he just wanted another Walker
And they kept them coming until the money was all gone
He’d stumble home most nights assuming he could find it
But the bushes by the bank had often served as his home.

She’d come home again when her mother passed last winter.
She had found Danny standing at the bar just down the road
They talked about the time that had passed since she left him
She told him how rough times had often worn her to a nub
He could only look at her and remember why he loved her
The pain had faded and was lost as he looked into her eyes
As she walked away again his sorrows were at once upon him
Line them up he said as he felt the cleaving of his soul

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Fractured

By brian francis

I have felt you cleaving great pieces from my being.
Leaving me to care for my wounds, whimpering alone,
Like to toss a canvass over me, to conceal my torture,
Until you again choose to sculpt me yet even more.
I am the rough image you coax perfection from within.
Always becoming what you desire – chiseled pieces fall away.
Fearing that a fatal flaw might be found deep within–
to be tossed away with the unwanted shards of my being.


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Queen of Heaven

By brian francis

Asherah, long has your name been bound
Josiah’s rage defiled you, hid you in the dust
Unknown yet still they pray to you for gifts
Your name still hidden your power yet given

Asherah, Mother of all things seen from the heavens
Blesser of woman and the fertile seasons of love
Wife of devotion and protection of Him who is
Mother of creation’s toil, witness to the light

Asherah, Lady of the seas to some, also lost
Progenitor of all that is and too of all that isn’t
Drawn from the memories of stone we find you
On shards your name rings among the highest

Asherah, we when in passions embrace worship you
And strive to be worthy of your gifts for life
Asherah, I call out your name to witness your beauty
To one day hold your gift and honoring you raise it up


Copyright ©2020 brian francis

A Cry of Darkness


by brian francis

Freedom’s ring, a nefarious thing,
As seen by fanatical minds.

Freedom’s ring, seems flat indeed;
To a soul blinded by lies.

Jihad is cried.
Jihad is sworn.
Jihad against the free.

Unholy things must be done.
Stains must mark a soul.
Evil must be held embraced.
Evil must be the cry: jihad.
A truly unholy taste.

Copyright © 2021 brian francis

Creation’s Dance

By brian francis

In the morning’s early moments
When the sun begins to rise
Shadows start to coalesce
Beneath the purple skies
Birds begin their songs of love
A chorus as old as time
Breezes sway the mighty trees
As a poet seeks out rhyme

Words dance upon the tongue
In a graceful metered churn
Reflections of life’s embrace
the soul’s smoldering burn
wisps of life’s experiences
gleam within his eyes
as words are cast upon the page
in jumbled mixed up lines

The rhythm of these moments
Drift in eddied swirls
Like shifting sands creation brings
A string of precious pearls
Verses made with care and love
comedic or wise and sage
waiting there in black and white
For the turning of the page


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

The Devil’s Debt


by brian francis



When I was growing up among the corn and dairy cows
Every meal was begun with grace and praising of our God
The food was always special because it was made with love
I remember Grand-Mom sayin’ it was a blessing from above.

She claimed that momma never could cook when she was young
She was so bad said Grand-Mom they feared–could she find love?
How would she catch a man if smoke drove them all away?
But Daddy, he inspired her to with only good words to say

And Daddy worked from dark to dark we never saw the man
Unless we broke one of the rules and we’d hear Momma pray
She’d go into the kitchen where she’d pick up a broken belt
Hanging it upon a hook, that would make our young hearts melt

It was the hook by the back door where Daddy changed his clothes
We couldn’t help but look at it, as we imagine how it felt
Every time we glanced at it, sorrow would haunt our souls
As Daddy said if you want to drive then you have to pay the tolls

We would be in our beds when daddy finally came home
Sleep would usually catch us in defiance of our goals
But we would wake when Daddy gently sat down where we slept
he would talk about right and wrong and paying the devil’s debt

It always hurt so much more when it hung upon the hook
Anticipation tortured us the way it slowly crept
I’ve been in raging battles, and I’ve feared the line would snap
But I’ve never feared anything like that hook and broken strap

Copyright © 2021 brian francis

Gaea

by brian francis


I found a world spread out naked before me.
I searched for meaning in every glen and dale.
And there I grew, a child of rural splendor,
Amid the rows and fences, both stone and rail.

In the woods I discovered nature’s secrets,
and I explored other secrets there too.
Hidden in the brambles of distant ridges,
the lessons so very many; the days so few.

When time had passed, enough for growing.
When the fence posts, were, no longer so high
I turned away, from all that splendid landscape,
and I looked for answers, hidden in the sky.

Searching took me far from my beginning.
Half a world away I found my place.
The green and rolling hills a distant memory,
seen through the mist of a chemical haze.

In the heat of the desert I discovered glory,
a rapture born of cactus buds,
an electric buzz in fungal fury.
Those college days, drowned in suds.

Along the way god became a theory;
argued hard and long within.
Debating points of syntactic twisting
I found in truth – the greatest sin.

In mountains high above the desert;
islands, cool forests, in the desert heat.
I first heard nature’s gentle calling.
A melodious voice both strong and sweet.

Beneath an oak of ancient lineage,
the songs of times past were found.
A flute and fiddle sang well together.
Tears soon flowed, a precious sound.

Mother earth, and mistress heavens
Appease my heart and sing to me.
A cast light of lunar dimness,
an offering beneath the tree.

Copyright ©2021 brian francis

Wildfire

By  brian francis

Where chimneys rise above the ash
to stand in ordered rows,
where fire’s dance engulfed the homes
destroying all one owns.
Where tears shed, streak and flow,
ashen mascara on the face.
Images enchant, playing in the mind
of another time in this place.

Trees who once bore crowns of leaves
a home to squirrels and birds;
only tortured twisted skeletons remain,
crying wind, the only thing heard.
in ashen heaps, sorted for some pearls
Everything stained by fires touch,
loving hands grasp at memories inspired
by the loss of so, so very much.

The rising odor that pervades it all
a smell like that of Hades’ gates.
The sullen mood, shoulders slumped,
the lost souls clinging to their mates.
The smolder burns and chokes the throat,
words can not seem to be found.
A lifetime lost to the raging flames
drift in ashes dancing on the ground.


Copyright ©2021 brian francis

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