What power has a flag,
With stripes and colors bold;
Or no more than a rag,
Tattered, beaten, old.
Flying, it commands respect,
Swings at the gentlest gust;
Causing men to all reflect,
What they do, and must.


The Forsaken Church

Doors, oaken, never ajar;
Locked up tight with bolt and bar:
The church is not what it was.
Light through the stained glass slanting;
A raven in the belfry ranting:
The church is not what is was.
Shadows dancing down the aisle;
Sliding o’er the tarnished tile:
The church is not what it was.
Above, a high and lofted ceiling;
Filled with a cold and empty feeling:
The church is not what it was.
Pews, worn from long ago;
Dust filling every row:
The church is not what it was.
Once, choral voices ringing;
Now, utter silence singing:
The church is not what it was.


The place where two lives intersect,
the home of quite a great effect.
A small piece, once broken,
shakes to life, unwittingly woken;
finds its place, another hole filled,
Both lives leave, quite more fulfilled.


O dearest serendipity,
Once you graced me oft;
I entertained you tenderly,
Til you up and left.
That China plate a gift from you,
So many years ago;
The horn spoon beside it, though,
That I carved alone.
In those long hours, dark days,
Really much has changed;
I’ve found a purpose all my own,
And now you’re sure to stay.

Birthday Present

What was is not what is,
Nor can it ever be;
Not even what could have been
Is or will be seen.
The past is in the past,
Now hid away forever.
The future, now, that’s too far;
Far too dim to treasure.
Today is here today,
Of that I can be sure:
This moment is well spent,
And meant for nothing more.

A Great Affair

Come, oh come to the ball!
You, in rags and you, with sores,
Oh heed the Master’s call.
Eat and drink, dance, and sing,
Let your joy fill the hall.
Mind not the stares of passers-by,
Let their judgement, unheeded, fall;
Raise a glass to bitter scorn,
Drink their health and stand there, tall;
Throw wide the door, invite them in,
Let them wonder at your gall;
And into the darkness, boldly shout,
“Pass it on! Come one, come all!”