Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

When I was five years old my mother taught me numbers
She gave me a stack of worksheets
With rows of numbers
One through twelve
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
There were ten such rows on each page
The numbers were made with unconnected dots
And the idea
Was that you were to connect the dots
And say the number out loud
And so learn to read and write numbers
As I was doing this
I pretended I was a prisoner
In a dark ancient doom
And every number was another month
And every row another year
Every page a decade
The stack became life in prison
I enjoyed my little…

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

On the night he was to die for stealing Esau’s blessing, Jacob wrestled God until dawn

And received of Him another blessing

And the name Israel, He Who Wrestles with God

When Moses was hiding out because he’d murdered an Egyptian, the voice of God called to him from a burning bush on Horeb

His wife said Moses was a bloody husband, and the murdering lawgiver wrote songs about God drowning the Egyptians

David, the Son of Jesse, was a bloody man too. One who soothed demons by playing the harp. The sweet Psalmist of Israel. A king who waged…

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

There’s a woman in an empty room
At a table in a chair
And there’s something grimly solemn
In this hour’s silent stare

Her mind holds all the pages
Of the lines she yearns to see
But her fingers drop the pen
Like a stone into the sea

And the light is thin and silver
As it chills the naked room
And the bearskin on her shoulders
Can’t lift the weight of doom

That hangs so soft and always
In the chamber of her heart
And baffles all her wisdom
And corrupts all chance of art

So she leaves…

Photo by Elter Eric on Unsplash

As a young man, my fantasy was the woman I’d love
All the prayers that I sent to the sky up above
For a woman to know me and stay with me long
And find a place where we could write our song

As a man, my fantasy dreams still grew
Til one precious day I chanced to meet you
Then quickly it seemed you were my best friend
And I never once dreamed that it all could end

In time, my dreams were all of you
And all the little nothings we could do
I thought I would grow old there…

John Gillen

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