Dreaming of Paradise

Our Thankfulness Tree

This is my entry into The 1st Writing Challenge posted by Obsessive Writing blog on the theme of Sin.

We started a family tradition in 2016:
The first week of November,
Usually the 6th or 7th,
We put up our thankfulness tree.
It’s a plastic tree, modeled after a Douglas fir
And we decorate it with pinecones
Tagged with things we are thankful for.
The tags read “books”
“good food”
“mommy” (the boys wrote four of those this year)
And more.
All to remind us that in the midst
Of the sin of the world
-the racial baiting
-the sexual assault
-the brazen brutality
-the sheer coarseness
To remind us that there is no sin
Without beauty and redemption


The Aquarium

A Fish,
A Spotted Gar to be precise,
Gazed at me from behind the glass
With an expression of such
Mild curiosity that
I couldn’t help but wonder
If some universal force
Had brought me to the fish
For his consideration;
That the fish,
The Spotted Gar,
Was the customer
And I the exhibit
If not the product.


History has ways to tell her story.
One turns to books and museums
To hear the story
The sequence of events
That led from then to now.

One turns to a monument
To see the manifestation of greatness
To stand in awe at the greatness
And to perceive oneself as small in comparison
To understand
That this is the tale of gods and men.

One turns to a memorial
To hear the echoes of the dead
And to weep with them.

History has ways of telling her story
And she doesn’t much care
Which we choose,
But she always remembers.

Death of a Dream

How does a dream die?
Does it die from a gunshot?
Can a bullet puncture its lungs
Its heart or brain?
Can a knife cut open its belly
So that it staggers across the
Scene to bleed out
Over the course of an hour?

Or is it a slow death?
Does a dream die in a hospital
On life support
With an array of machines
To keep it breathing and the heart beating?
Does it die from a wasting disease
A cancer that destroys it from the inside
Until the dreamer finally agrees
Through blurring vision
To sign the “Do Not Resuscitate”?

Does a dream die in glory
Or in hospice?

The Marble Pillars

The Bronze Statue fell
Off the white, marble pillars
Which remained rooted
Having spent too long
Crushing the red and black earth below
For them to care the least
About a cheap bronze statue.
Instead they stood
The words engraved upon them
Intact and enshrined
He has excited domestic insurrections…”

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