Ghost Leaves

‘Midst branches bare and brown,

With twigs a-tangle in the mist

They float – frail bits of parchment

Traced with wettened water twists

That track to where drips drop themselves

From faded tips to seek the ground

Where all the other autumn leaves

Adorn the dirt, now layer-gowned.

And still the air-borne pale ones cling;

The branch-bound deck their trees with rows

Of whitened gold that sun’s return

Will catch inside and set a-glow.

Seeing More

We entered.

“Come see the artwork,” they said,

So I looked, and I saw it –

there, up ahead,

And above, and below, and indeed,

all around,

In wall, floor and ceiling,

easily found.

They pointed,

“Look: collages, etchings, drawings, and paintings.”

But I really preferred the

subtle swirlings

Of the slate floor’s grain lines as they

whirled and twirled

And crashed against the edges of their

stone-block world.

They claimed,

“These collages profoundly express social awareness and deep feeling.”

But in truth, I thought more of the


Where the gaps and the cracks in the rough


Told me vague tales of time sealed behind

the past’s doors.

They stated,

“This artist portrayed life in candid and bold etchings and sketches.”

But my interest was all in another floor’s


Of marbled molasses set in wood


Sealed smooth so I saw my own face when

I looked down.

They spoke,

“These paintings…” but I still didn’t hear.

I was too busy looking up, down, far

and near,

Completely wrapped up in all that

I saw.

This was pure beauty


What more did I need?

But did I

see all there was to see?

Could I

have looked beyond (and how far?) what I saw easily?

Could I

have tried to comprehend something unnatural to me?

Could I

have reached out to grasp a different kind of beauty?

The Reclaimed

Dirty, dusty, broken
With rotting beams
And sagging doors
And one cracked shutter
Through which sunlight streams
Into empty rooms with dusty floors,
The house stands silent –
Useless, condemned –
Full of dead, dry leaves
And hanging webs
And nothing stirs the old, stale air
And nothing living moves inside.

And people rarely pause to look,
And few will ever stop to see
The beauty hidden by the shambles
Of what the place was meant to be.

 But He…

He sees past the boarded windows,
The rotting beams and sagging floor,
And underneath the layers of dust
He knows that there lies something more.

He sees the long-lost glory
Of His original design
And He vows, “It shall hold life again,
For I choose this house to be Mine.”

He sets to work that very day,
He opens windows, flings wide doors,
And light streams in on the disarray,
Dances with dust as wind sweeps o’er the floors.

He rips out the rotten and sagging wood,
Builds up the floor, replaces beams.
The grime and dirt don’t trouble Him –
He sees through them to the good He dreams.

And He…

He toils day after day
For weeks that stretch to months and years
And slowly every part reclaims
At cost of sweat and blood and tears.

Finally He stands, surveys with pride
His new creation, complete at last
With hand carved shutters and oaken doors
And clear, bright windows
Where sunlight streams past
Tables and chairs to shining floors.
The house stands quiet –
But silent no more –
For through it its Builder comes and goes,
And He will never allow it
To return to what it was before
For He will always live inside.

The Answer

She shivered, lying upon her bed,
As the shadows crept over the room,
And she wept in the dark at the ominous tread
She fancied she heard in the gloom.

She trembled, staring straight ahead,
At the figures that over her loomed,
And she sensed with a deep and despairing dread
The form that under her bed lay entombed.

“Why… why must it be dark?” She said.
“Daddy, why won’t You turn on the light?
And why must I stay in this room, in this bed
When the monsters haunt it at night?

“Why, when I lie here,” she desperately pled,
“And the dark hovers over me near
Do I feel, past denying, all the terrors I’ve fled
When You tell me there’s nothing to fear?

“I see and I hear them!  And Daddy, I feel…
I fear to say it, but it’s true…
I can see, hear, and feel them, and they seem so real –
They seem much more real than You.”

At first only silence followed the end
Of the cries of the night-haunted child,
But her Father heard, and quietly listened
As question upon question she piled.

Then out of the dark and shadows of dread
His reply through the blackness came,
And she heard His voice, lying curled on her bed
As quietly He spoke her name.

Though He answered not the questions
The phantoms had stirred up with fear,
He answered her heart when He took her hand
And whispered, “My child, I am here.”