On a Park Bench

Lonely Man Sitting on a Bench by istockphotos.com

He sits alone and stares out over the pond, wondering how his life got to this point. Why is he sitting here alone? He had so many friends, but none could sit here by him in these cold, lonely hours. Fair weather friends. That’s what they call them, isn’t it? Why do we have so many fair weather friends, yet so little that stick with you through it all? He knew that all those that laughed with them, wouldn’t always cry with him when tears need be shed. Those that cried with him, he valued as gold and jewels. All those fair weather friends could not compare to one friend that stuck with him through the good and bad. Those were the only friends he needed when he thought of it.

He was watching the ducks as they glided along the water. He felt a kind of calmness settle over his mind and soul as he watched them. They seemed to be isolated from the rest of the world as they glided. He leaned forward with his chin in his hands and quietly watched on in envy. If only his own life were as simple. He had responsibilities. He had a job, a house and car to maintain. He had his parents, his debts and so much more that he didn’t want to think about. The higher he climbed up the ladder, the more he realized that it only brought on more loneliness and depression. He missed his days when he worked in the mailroom. He had friends then. They would work hard, but laugh harder. They ate lunch together. They laughed about work and they spoke of their dreams and ambitions. Stephanie dreamed of being a graphic novelist. Peter wanted to be a veterinarian. Mark had ambitions to be a top salesman. None had their dreams filled and now he sat where he had wanted to be. His ambitions had taken over and now he realized that his success had cost him the joy he had once felt amongst his mailroom friends. Where were they? He wondered as a jogger went passed him. He had jogged once when he was a young college student, now he had time for nothing, but work. He was 45 and successful, but there was a great gulf between the man he was and the man he had dreamed he would be. He thought being rich and successful would make him happy. His penthouse apartment felt empty and cold. When he had first moved in, he thought this was it–he had made it. No. He had been wrong. He was 45, unmarried and no time for any kind of social life. Every chance he got, he would make plans with his friends and they would visit for as long as they could, but those were rare occasions that he leapt at. Most of the time he spent alone in his ivory tower working and dreaming of days gone by.

When he was a young boy he had played in the streets of his home town with the other neighbourhood boys. By all accounts he had been a free-spirited, loving child. Fiercely independent and adventurous, but somewhere along the way he had forgotten about that little boy. Why is that? Why do grown-ups lose that freedom as they go along? Why do they allow themselves to be held captive by the world? All these thoughts rushed through his mind. He let his head fall back and he stared at the clouds–the vast expanse. Birds were in the sky in their triangle flight path. Migration. How he envied the birds! How he wished he, too, could fly to happier places! He closed his eyes and let the cool breeze ruffle his short-cropped hair. He could’ve stayed that for hours. He wished he could, but the real world was always knocking, waiting.

He felt his phone vibrating and looked down. A message from work. He looked back to the ducks and took one last glance around the park. He got up from the bench, but not to go to work. Instead he would book a trip to anywhere and get lost in the same adventure he longed for all those years. The world could wait for him. He had to get away and be who we wanted to be without people around him. He went home and looked around, got out his laptop, booked the earliest flight to Europe and left his phone on his desk. He threw some clothes in a backpack and left. How long he’d be gone, he didn’t know nor did he really care.

If you’ve ever wished you could run away, you will understand how our protagonist feels. Wishing to disappear–to lose yourself in the crowd.

Have a blessed day all of you darling avidReadersđź“š

Wild nights – Wild nights!

The Sea, The Sea!–The Wire Science

by Emily Dickinson

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!


Use the above link for a recitation of the above poem 🙂

God bless and have an amazing Tuesday! 🙂

Blue Rotunda by Louise GlĂĽck

Beauty for my Ashes/CBN.com

I am tired of having hands
she said
I want wings—

But what will you do without your hands
to be human?

I am tired of human
she said
I want to live on the sun—

Pointing to herself:

Not here.
There is not enough
warmth in this place.
Blue sky, blue ice

the blue rotunda
lifted over
the flat street—

and then, after a silence:

I want
my heart back
I want to feel everything again—

That’s what
the sun meant: it meant

It is not finally
interesting to remember.
The damage

is not interesting.
No one who knew me then
is still alive.

My mother
was a beautiful woman—
they all said so.

I have to imagine
she said

I have to act
as though there is actually
a map to that place:

when you were a child—

And then:

I’m here
because it wasn’t true; I

distorted it—

I want she said
a theory that explains

in the mother’s eye
the invisible
splinter of foil

the blue ice
locked in the iris—


I want it
to be my fault
she said
so I can fix it—

Blue sky, blue ice,
street like a frozen river

you’re talking
about my life
she said

she said
you have to fix it

in the right order
not touching the father
until you solve the mother

a black space
where the word ends

like a crossword saying
you should take a breath now

the black space meaning
when you were a child—

And then:

the ice
was there for your own protection

to teach you
not to feel—

the truth
she said

I thought it would be like
a target, you would see

the center—

Cold light filling the room.

I know where we are
she said
that’s the window
when I was a child

That’s my first home, she said
that square box—
go ahead and laugh.

Like the inside of my head:
you can see out
but you can’t go out—

Just think
the sun was there, in that bare place

the winter sun
not close enough to reach
the children’s hearts

the light saying
you can see out
but you can’t go out

Here, it says,
here is where everything belongs



It would try to lisp a dumbness sometimes—
the language of welts rising slowly on the panes,
a cracked blur of riot-torn air,
confused which year it was.

The last time it made a sound was when
it crinkled on its way into a bin,
a great plot of justice. I wasn’t born, then;
my father was.

It must have been whole once,
for you could still conceive it like a dream,
a gloriously illegitimate thing, though;
until a country was torn out of its heart one day
and you saw its impaled ghost in the moon.

My grandfather told me we had slept so long
with a flag over us, we couldn’t run when
machetes poked us awake amidst still-dreaming heads
rolling in the streets like marbles struck in game.

There was nowhere to go and we went nowhere,
with its face slumped on our backs
and history books that said what had happened is the past,

until sixty years later, a community’s threats betraying
her voice, a poor nun requested me
to leave my month-old job in a convent
where I’d studied since childhood.

I keep trying to find its shape in photographs, old letters,
the wind of stories trapped in some cancerous throat, dying …

a tattered roof in the stars, a tent flying off
with meanings barely gathered into a heap.

Only You Break Your Own Heart

freedom is a whisper
a beckoning beyond
my heart it cries to see
hands upon me flee
glimmering mists of oceans
beaming prism light
carry me in the wind
lift me out of sight
my body is an illusion
it lays beneath me still
the world can’t break your heart
yet so beautifully will

– Shilow



It’s so hot. I can’t breathe. It’s as though all the heat and heaviness of all I’ve done is weighed on my shoulders. It’s so heavy I can hardly stand up. I lift up my head and all I see is more sand as far as the eye can see. Not a blade of grass or a single cactus, never mind tree, is within sight. Why is it so far and so difficult? Why is there no end to this wilderness? Will it never end? I’m so encumbered with my burden and so thirsty I could fall at any moment, yet I keep pushing on. I can’t stop. I keep going, as though there is no way it will ever end. Death won’t come as much as I beg it to.

I try again to look up, the sun is setting, then comes the cold–the loneliness and the unbearable cold. I can’t do this, anymore. Why can’t I just die? Please, let me die. The burden grows heavier with each step. My breath hitches in my throat, my mouth drier than the cracked ground I walk over. What I would do for a drink–I don’t even care what as long as I can feel moisture in my throat again.

This burden it’s too much and I collapse under it’s weight. Death? Will you eventually come for me? Then, just passed the great weight on my back, I see feet. They aren’t cracked or shredded like mine. Why is that? Haven’t they been walking this wilderness as I have? Their owner lies flat on the ground to look me straight in the eyes. They are so happy and open, yet there’s something about those eyes. Something different, it scares me, but somehow it also makes me feel safe. There, on the ground where I lie, he asks me if I need help. What a question, can’t he see the burden that’s brought me right to the ground?

“Yes!” I shout desperately. He points to the burden and asks if I want him to take it off. Again I shout yes. I need this man’s help–this man I met in the wilderness as darkness was about to encompass me and my only escape from it was death! I can almost feel his smile as he lifts it up and puts it on his own back–what? Why is he carrying it? It’s so heavy–how is he even standing? I was on flat on the ground with its weight! He grins at my amazed expression. It’s a compassionate smile, almost as though he was walking this wilderness in search for me. Why would he be here and why take my own burden onto his back? Who is he? What kind of man would help a stranger in the wilderness?

“What’s your name, sir?” I rasp. Instead of answering me, first, he gives me a bottle of ice cold water and then he says to me,

“I am the Lamb of God, I walk this wilderness in search of those who need me. You see many, many years ago I came into this wilderness as a traveler myself. I walked and watched the people around me doing whatever they could to get their burdens to go away, but all that happened was that they got bigger and bigger. My Father, Who had sent me here, and I knew what had to happen to help these people. You see, we’d watched and tried to help. We put our words into people who were willing to speak them to the world, but few listened. My father and I both knew from the very beginning what had to happen. So, my Father waited for the right time and then I came down to walk among you, but I myself never picked up any burden of my own. I walked in my Father’s will all the days of my life. Until, one day, the world killed me. Taking my life, because I made them see that their own burdens were what weighed them down and they didn’t care. You see, they were quite happy to keep picking up more and more burdens as they went. My Father and I knew this would happen, but that wasn’t the end of it. After I had been dead 3 days, I rose from the dead and walked the earth once more until my Father called me back home.”

“This is a lot to take in, sir.” I say, scratching my head quizzically. He grins once more at me and helps me up, carrying me as though I weigh nothing.

“There’s a lot more for you to learn, but walk this wilderness with me and I will carry you and teach you about my Father. If you would would like to? I will never force anyone to walk with me.” I look around me and see he has another ice cold bottle in his hand. It’s then that I realize I am all alone. This man in front of me–this stranger who holds me up–he’s the only one who came to help me.

“You have taken off my burden and have helped me when there was no one in sight. Who are you?” I ask. It still hasn’t sunk in. Everything he has said to me.

“I was a traveller as you are, yet I never did anything that caused me to carry a burden. When I was killed, all of your burdens–everyone’s burdens–fell on me. I walk here, looking for people who will let me help them. Will you let me help you?” When I look into those eyes, I see nothing but love shining from them. I’ve never seen such a pure love and never had anyone look at me like that. So I nod my head.

“Sir, thank you. If you will let me walk with you? You see my burden, it is of my own making. You see all that it contains, are you sure you want to walk with someone that’s done the things I have?”

“I see your burden. I know all you have done and all that you will. I love you despite that. If you walk with me your burden will be gone and no one will ever see it again. All of it is erased. You need never carry it again. Watch this!” He lifts the burden off his back and drops it to the ground as he does it, it’s gone! My jaw drops as I see this.

“How….” I don’t even know where to begin.

“I told you. It’s gone. I have taken it away. My Father and I no longer see it. I am your help in this wilderness and any mistake you make from here on, it’s gone. Tell me what you did and I can help you.” I fall to the ground again and start crying.

“I am no longer alone?” I weep at this stranger’s feet. This man who saw I needed help and without me asking, helped me and says I need never be alone again and that I need never carry that burden again. I can’t stand this time for all my weeping. He bends down again and places his hand on my back.

“No, you will never be alone again. I’m here now. From here on, it’s you and me together. Stay close beside me and you will be alright. At the end of this wilderness, I will take you into a place where you will never know suffering or loneliness. You will only know joy and peace.”

“You have asked me my name.” he says,” My name is “Jesus”.” We both smile. I take his hand and shake it.

“From here on, Jesus, I will never leave you. I want to be your friend.”

At the end of my life, when I close my eyes, I know one thing. I have walked beside the Son of God. He is my friend, my guide and my only help in this wilderness. At the end of my days, I will go into an eternal paradise. My wilderness looks less lonely and I am able to look up and see everything that I was blind to before. Jesus has never left my side and when I am lost, he always knows where to go. He is my salvation!

I am free of my burden forever!