all saints day…

as you
have noticed
my attendance
at the save-your-soul dealership
could be
as a rare sighting
that point aside
i have
been wondering
’bout something
seeing that
i’m no theologian
i was wondering
given your attendance record
if you could
shed some light on something for me
here’s the rub
i read in old days
those barbaric pagans
had lots of gods
each one
prayed to for
different reasons
or because of their tribe
i’ve noticed
folks have a lot
of different statues
that they pray to
instead of directly
to god

kodak moments…

these streets
lined with the memories
of broken bodies
folded into concrete
slabs of yesterday
provide a prefect
photo op
for you
you speak of god
promise to pray
for those
who have lost all
i do not know
by what name
you call
your god
but when your faith
lulls you into apathy
then is it

of tears

fateful night…

by   Toni L. A. Cross
       Charles W. Martin

so smooth, so white
so still and pale
a survivor’s will
yet hauntingly frail
recalling now
that fateful night
doors forced open
brought a dreadful sight
cool dark breeze
swept right in
accompanied by
that desert djinn
no words were spoken
just a devilish grin
was on the face
of this evil djinn
innocent eyes caught
in his decaying gaze
hell was fully wrought
in that dreadful blaze
from man to beast
so went this ghoulish flame
twas my soul he sought
in his deadly game
I saw my path
just one way out
I risked his wrath
fought through my doubt
fell to my knees
and began to pray
an angel lord
please send my way
only in my dreams
could it be
I am saved by a child
a guileless babe of three


Toni L. A. Cross and I have entered into a duel poetry challenge and this is the resulting poem.  Duel Poetry:  a prearranged poetry writing challenge  between two people to evolve a new poem where each writer must respond to the other writer’s lines  (4 -5 ) until both parties agree that the poem is complete.

call to prayer…

throughout the day
the voice
in tones
defined by god
reaches out to all
as well as
with a single message
it is time to pray
a message
we should
choose to hear
for indeed it is

boarding pass…

i have decided to put in my request
for my boarding pass
and if it’s not
i would like to go out
just like my oldest sister
she died while making love
she went out
the same way she came in
butt naked…
and because of passion
so if you’re taking requests
please make a note of this
and i’ll try
to remember
to pray

11/22 + 4/4

black man laying
     on the court-house steps
staring into dusty dreams
     upon a mind’s shelf
tell me what have you seen
     that gives you hope
what words have your read
      upon that page of your life
that blood has not erased
     with its sudden moves
tell me old man if you can
     what are those words
that remain which are
     unspoken and unbroken
what verb or noun
     gives you hope enough to pray
or even to believe
     that you’ll be free
for even freedom is spelled
      with letters of hate and prejudice
but tell me old man
      what are the words you see
for i would like to make
     a  note of it
along with
     “ask not what your…” and i have a drea…”