New Frank Nagler; Ironton in crumbling timeless despair

I’ve been writing and rewriting the prequel to the Frank Nagler series.

After a lot of back and forth, I think I hit on the idea that will carry the story.

I needed a meme to tie everything together and decided that the serial killer in the story leaves taunting painted red hand  prints around the city along with the slogan HAND OF DEATH.

The story takes place 20 years before the opening of THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY. This passage sums up what newly minted Detective Frank Nagler is facing:

 

“It was about walking the boundaries. So that’s what Frank Nagler did as a young cop assigned to the night shift. Walked the boundaries of Ironton, New Jersey, a city cut in half by the river that once fueled the big iron mills and flattened the central valley like the bottom of a mixing bowl and filled the plain with the belching shapes of commerce.

Walked to the edges of the bowl to where the once shining downtown crumbled to the shells of red-brick factories whose stones stored the sounds of grinding machines and shouting men as if one day they would be released; walked between the dark homes and listened to the drunken rages, laughing kids and loud TVs as the city settled into its crumbling timeless despair.

Stood along the tilting streets of the workers ghetto  and saw in his  mind again the limping figure of his father, the weight of a killing job bearing him down; leaned on a dusty telephone pole and saw in memory the smile of young and beautiful Martha Shannon as she joyful as a dream greeted every neighbor.

Walked east and west, north and south, kicked awake drunks asleep in the rail yard, stood trackside shaking with the ground as the grumbling power of a diesel punched a hole in the nighttime and slipped away.

Stepped to the rocky, hard hills that defined the city, hills that rose up from the plain like forbidding walls and held in all the good and bad of Ironton and pushed back into the trembling center everything that could save you or kill you.

The hills that rose like judgement.

Nagler walking on, wanted to believe it was about redemption.

And then nine women were killed.”

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the radio today at 4 p.m.

I’ll be joining host Georjean Trinkle on her show Hot in Hunterdon on the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce Radio Network at 4 p.m. today.

We’ll be discussing the Frank Nagler Mystery Series, including the award-winning “The Weight of Living.”

The show was on Monday, May 14. Here’s the link:

http://www.hunterdonchamberradio.com/hot.htm

The books are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com 

The audio book version of “The Swamps of Jersey,” read by voice artist Lee Alan is at:

https://www.audible.com/author/Michael-Stephen-Daigle/B00P5WBOQC

 

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Stephen-Daigle/e/B00P5WBOQC

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The big bang

Someone plugged in the universe

and it swirled up and out and into a lustful and holy  mess

that scattered us all over before we slammed together

and then ricocheted

and burned and cooled.

Flame tendrils like fingers reaching;

Some held and gained weight

Other slipped away but left invisible heat

That circles back to slap us awake in wondering.

 

It all echoes, you know:

Cries and sighs

Babies in the night, silent graves;

Dark memories, the smiling, splashing days.

The anger of the forgotten and dispossessed.

All the words said and never said,

The sweetest kiss, the softest touch;

The saddest, hollow departure;

A heart left empty for no reason.

 

Oh, this explosion seems so orderly

And predisposed to ending,

Gravity weaker at the edges.

We run away, fold inside ourselves

And cement in the grief and love

and the laughter and smiles and tears

and eyes locked, fingers bound,

bodies entwined and bruised and

Wrap ourselves in some hard capsule

Awaiting the final screaming exit.

 

But, wait; it is  gravity still.

And after all the swirling and scattering

And denial and acceptance,

Something breaks free

Like a stone from billion miles away

To scratch across the diagram of never-touching circles

And creates its own weight;

As the unseen, forgotten dust coalesces

Into your face

And all the spinning and distance

Mean nothing.

 

 

 

 

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‘The Weight of Living’: Distinguished Favorite in 2018 Independent Press Awards.

“The Weight of Living,” the third Frank Nagler Mystery  was named a distinguished favorite  in the 2018 Independent  Press Awards.

I am greatly honored and flabbergasted.  This is the third award this year for the book. (Notable 100 Book in 2018 Shelf-Unbound Best Indie Books; First Place for Mysteries in 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards.)

I’m grateful to the readers and the judges that they find value in Frank Nagler and his story. Thanks to all.

http://www.independentpressaward.com/2018distinguishedfavorites

 

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old newspaper columns reveal how little has changed

Cleaning up I found some newspaper columns I wrote in 1995-96 for the Courier-News.

Opening that manila envelope containing a few columns and letters of thanks was like opening a time capsule.

The items included a letter from a Frenchtown family whose son had a terrible disease that turns muscle into bone; stories about the efforts of non-profits to help the handicapped and homeless; and fun stories like the Flemington Falcons, the 1966 Pop Warner Football National Champions.

The stories remind me why at the time being a newspaper staffer was the best job in the world.

I wrote these columns when I was the Hunterdon County bureau chief, based in Flemington.

That town, like working later for the Daily Record in Dover and Morristown, was a treasure trove of news and personalities; just walking down the street could produce news or a column.

But the columns also show how little progress has been made on some issues, and I was surprised to see what I wrote 20 years ago could have been written last week.

First, the fun stuff.

A favorite column was about the Flemington tradition of Christmas carolers: Groups of volunteers had gathered each Christmas morning since 1910 to sing carols to the cold streets and welcoming homes.

The annual event honored the Miss Bessie Vosseler and Miss Bessie Hopewell, founders of the Flemington Children’s Choir School.

I wrote: “Blessed be the song givers; blessed be those devoted to the small, personal things that can not be replaced by glitter.

“Blessed be those who remember.

“As our collective memory and attention span shortens to a microchip’s blur, let us praise those who remind us that life was once not so cluttered, that singing old songs on a cold morning is a ritual worth preserving.

“For it is not their voices that die, but ours; it is not their spirit that shrinks.”

 

Another favorite was about The World Game, played in a  classroom at the Readington Middle School.

The teachers said the idea was to allow the students to use compromise and conciliation to find solutions.

The game was to provide solutions and goals for the world 20 years hence.

The problems the students identified in 1996: “Violence, poverty, terrorism, earthquakes, crime, drugs and the economy.”

In the column I suggested we play the Central Jersey game: “The problem: Years of disorganized policymaking produced a region at war with itself.”

The symptoms: “The culture of the big house assumed pre-eminence. The cities begin to look like poor farms and the suburbs look like country clubs.”

For the Central Jersey game I concluded: “Perhaps until every I-78 exit from Newark to Pennsylvania is filled in with offices and stores we will not be satisfied. Maybe when every available building lot is filled will we give up manifest destiny and turn our sights on repairing the damage we left behind: Violence, poverty, terrorism, crime, drugs and the economy.”

The ideal world for 2016 imagined by the Readington students: “Green and healthy; enough clothing; world peace; clean water; fix the hole in the ozone layer; more stable population growth; cure for diseases; more doctors and nurses and protection of the rain forest.”

Those kids were more optimistic than I was.

The last set of columns could have been written today and deal with homelessness and the social safety net.

The first was about a man named Jack Connell of Clinton, who once sued the town over his right to be homeless.

His logic: “The average homeless person is just trying to exist. They just want a place to live.”

This was who he was defending: “They get help from groups such as the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Women’s Crisis Services, Fisherman’s Mark and food banks.

“Sometimes they seek shelter from an abusive husband. Sometimes they lose themselves in a mist of drugs and alcohol.

“(Connell) knows there is grace in the face of a hungry child and healing in holding the hand of a lonely old man; there is forgiveness in being poor and pride in standing when no one gives a damn.

“Years on the street have taught him that we are all just human after all.

It might be the first step to freedom.”

But here is the line on the column that could have  been written today: “These are the people the Republicans were talking about last week when they were talking about cutting entitlement programs.”

That leads to the last column, about welfare reform, the big Washington. D.C. fight, and its potential impact of a group of women learning life skills at a workshop offered by NORWESCAP.

I wrote this: “National Republicans love welfare reform. It gives them something to go into all those white suburbs and scare the country club voters onto worrying about.

“And it gives them a handy, albeit racist, villain to argue for budget cuts.”

“But the national Republicans said welfare has to go, so the president (Bill Clinton) has to agree because his polls show he will be seen as being soft on welfare. And our governor (Christie Todd Whitman)  has to look tough so it can be said she looks properly vice presidential. And so it goes.”

I concluded the column this way: “(Case worker) has a big job: She has to explain to people with targets on their backs how to duck when she’s being told to stand still so one can be painted on her back.”

How is this any different 20 years later?

Is this not what teachers in Colorado, Arizona, Kansas and West Virginia were striking and marching about?

Today the federal government handed the ultra wealthy and corporation so much tax relief that they cannot spend or hide it fast enough, and the rest of us are going to have to tighten belts to pay off a couple trillion more in federal debt.

The 1996 kids at Readington Middle School concluded that cooperation and understanding helped solve problems, but that money makes the world go round.

I concluded that column this way: “It’s an easy trade. A little money for a little hope. Sometimes it’s the same thing.”

In 1996 were unwilling to make that trade

And today we are even more unwilling.

What’s left?
The goals unmet in  two decades: Violence, poverty, terrorism, crime, drugs and the economy.

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‘A Game Called Dead’ : Harriet Waddley-Jones’ Me-Too moment

In the Frank Nagler Mysteries, there are victims of crimes who are “wrong-place, wrong-time” victims, characters who die blameless.

Others carry deeper troubles, and in trying to purge those demons, deliberately act, and as a result, become targets of the story’s villain.

In the third book of the series, 2017’s THE WEIGHT OF LIVING, one such character is Calista Knox, physical therapist and companion for Leonard, the blind bookstore owner, who is Detective Frank Nagler’s best friend.

She frustrates Nagler by offering several versions of her murky past.

Her response: “Not versions, Frank, pieces. Old habit for survival. Tell just enough to stop the questions, and if it doesn’t work, make stuff up. Never, ever, get anywhere near the truth, because the truth hurts like hell.”

 

In the second book of the series, 2016’s A GAME CALLED DEAD, such a character is college administrator Harriet Waddley-Jones.

She is old character, surviving from the first-ever draft  of the story, written when I was 24, and didn’t know anything. In that draft she was overbearing, doing everything possible to protect her college from a police investigation.

In A GAME CALLED DEAD, the tables turn. She is revealed to be  STUDENT A, the lead plaintiff in a years-old lawsuit over campus sexual assaults against those very same overbearing college administrators. The suit settlement came with a gag order.

This issue of sexual assault has in 2017-18 become defined as the “Me-Too” movement. This a version of that movement, circa 2012-14, when the A GAME CALLED DEAD was being rewritten.:

 

This scene is the set up:

 

On the way back to the college, Waddley-Jones was silent, withdrawn.

“A lot to think about,” Nagler said. “I hope you have some idea what was going on back then when Adams roamed the city.”

She shook her head slightly and blinked twice, as if waking. Then she glanced at Nagler.

“Yes, a lot to consider.  I was thinking about the last victim, Michelle Hanson, and how similar our lives as teens would have been.  It’s…remarkable.” Then she stared at her folded hands.

“You don’t have a sister, do you, Harriet, so she couldn’t have been raped.”

She looked up and gasped.  “How did you know?”

“I looked you up as well,” Nagler said. “So either that story has become a convenient rhetorical devise, or…”

“I was raped when I was fifteen,” she said softly.  “I, like Michelle Hanson, used to sunbathe in the nude behind a tall fence.  I never heard him…he was my father’s business partner.”

“I’m sorry,” he said.  “You don’t…”

“And I don’t.  It is the place I go when troubled to hide. It is my shield against the world, just as Martha’s death is your shield. I say it was my sister because it is an act of denial. It is more convenient to invent a sister I never had than it is to relive the pain and shame and to hear my cries in the dark.  Just as it was easier for you to bury the pain of Martha’s death…buried so deep that even a woman like Lauren Fox, who loved you so deeply, could not extract you.”

 

 

This scene is the reveal:

“… Nearly twenty years ago on this campus, such cowards were in charge. When faced with allegations of rampant crimes at this school, they could not admit they fostered and even participated in the crimes.  They drove the victims away and rewarded the criminals. Reports were made and hidden. Even a lawsuit could not bring these crimes into the open.

“This is a shameful past, and I am here today because I was part of it, here today because I allowed the silence to descend.”

She paused and breathed deeply.  Some of the students, trapped in their seats by the size of the crowd were texting more than paying attention. The administrators stared at the floor or cast sideways glances at one another.

“You may have read a news story about the old lawsuit, and maybe you doubted its veracity,” she began again. “Don’t. It all happened, and perhaps more that eluded the investigators. But I know it was true.” She paused, having planned the impact, having waited for seventeen years, nearly half her life, to declare her identity.

“I am Student A.”

Harriet Waddley-Jones dipped her head, closed her eyes and gripped the sides of the podium. She was shaking, crying, trying to hold her emotions in check but wanting them to soar; wanting the words she had just spoken to grab ahold of the pain and guilt and wrench it from her soul. She wanted to be weightless, but instead was anchored. Free me, she thought. Please free me.

Some in the room gasped; some stood and applauded. Many sat in surprise, stunned a moment before they began to furiously text out the message.  The administrators unfolded their arms, and quietly begging pardon, sidestepped out of the rear door, where Jimmy Dawson caught Harriet’s eye before he pursued them for a comment.

“How does this occur?” Harriet continued.  “It happens when those in authority feel they have all the rights to act, and everyone else only has the right to be acted upon.”

A voice from the back: “Ah, lady, you asked for it. Getting nailed by some top professor probably helped your career.”

“Would you want to be raped, sir?” she shot back. “To be held down while something hard was shoved up your ass?   Or maybe watch as your girlfriend was pinned on a bed and your friends took turns?  Did I ask for that, sir?”

The crowd stirred by her challenge.

In that moment she chose to talk about the one thing she had never discussed. It is time to be free if this….

She began again. “I was nineteen, thrilled to have been chosen for a big project in Washington, D.C.  I had never been there before. The Capital, the monuments, museums, the helter-skelter traffic, the excitement and noise and life.  What an experience. And then to be working on a minority voting project with the leading educator in the field. Imagine my excitement.”

She glared at the athlete who had challenged her. Her voice grew stronger.

“Yes, imagine my excitement when my professor came to my room with a bottle of wine and told me it was time to celebrate.  And first we cheered with wine the work and the community response. Then we toasted the program. Then he told me how beautiful I was, and drank to it, and how all the young volunteers were drawn to me because I was such a leader and so beautiful.  Then we drank. A song came on the radio and he pulled me to my feet and said, ‘Dance with me,’ and I said I was tired. And he said, ‘One dance,’ and then held me tightly.”

Her voice softened with fear and confusion and became childlike, and her eyes filled with pain as if she was shedding the years between and taking on the persona of the woman she was at nineteen.

“And I said, ‘One dance,’ and we swirled around the room, my head dizzy, and he kissed my neck and I said, ‘No,’ and he unzipped my dress and I said, ‘no, no,’ and then it fell to the floor, and then he unhooked my bra and thrust his tongue in my mouth and put one hand between my legs, and then I was naked and he was inside me and I was crying, eyes closed. Then he pulled out, fumbled with his pants, finished the wine from the bottle, threw it on the floor and left me there.”

Waddley-Jones stared at the floor and when she looked up her eyes were fierce and her face hard.

In a voice like a hiss: “Everything I was died at that moment in the dirty little hotel room. Ev-er-y-thing,” cutting the world into four parts.  “But what was worse, everything that I wanted to be also died.  I’ve lived my life as a lie because I could not forget when I signed the agreement with this college when I was twenty that they took away my right to speak. Well, I’m taking it back. Can you give that all back to me, Mister Critic?  All the love I could have given, but didn’t trust enough to give; all the love that others felt for me and I could not receive? Can you give me back all the time I have hated myself, all the hours I felt the shame of that moment like a rash that would not heal? All the time I’ve spend locked in this emotionless box; all those things I have missed?  Can you give them back to me?  Never,” she said bitterly.

“A Game Called Dead” was  named a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf-Unbound Best Indie Book Contest

 

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; The Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa.

 

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

 

Posted in Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Weight of Living’ named a 2018 Notable 100 Book By Shelf Unbound

The third Frank Nagler Mystery, “The Weight of Living,” has been named a Notable 100 Book in the 2018 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Awards.

Thanks to Shelf Unbound, and to the Imzadi Publishing gang, Janice Grove and Anita-Dugan Moore.

Anita’s cover for “Weight” was presented a Gold Medal by authorsdb.com, an author/readers database site.

Also, a shout out to Kathleen Tate, Imzadi’s copy editor, who was so concerned about the abrupt ending of the story, when she sent back the proof, asked if I had sent her the complete manuscript.

It’s been quite an interesting few months for “The Weight of Living.”

It was also awarded FIRST PLACE  for Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Content.

Both Shelf Unbound and Royal Dragonfly are multi-media companies who produce monthly magazines sent to schools, libraries and similar outlets. They also generate reading material for use in schools, and each are deeply in the business to reach parents and young readers.

In 2016, Shelf Unbound named the  second Nagler book, “A Game Called Dead,” a Runner-Up in their annual book contest.

Why contests?

Winners in these contests are chosen by blind readers, who are industry professionals. It seems a fair test. And I don’t have to bother friends and family to vote online a thousand times.

Entering the contests also gets the books out of the maddening clutter of Internet marketing, and seems to produce a fair result. If no judge likes your book, you don’t win.

And understand this, I’m not bragging.  I’m amazed, thrilled, honored, stunned – Pick a word.

And I’m out-of-this world happy for Janice and Anita. The two of them offered media support beyond what anyone might expect from a small publisher: YouTube trailers, ads, continuous online messaging and links, and then this month, a audiobook version of the first Frank Nagler book, “The Swamps of Jersey.”

The book was read and produced by veteran voice artist and writer Lee Alan.

 It’s available on Amazon.com, Audible.com and iTunes.

Anyway, here’s some links.

The first Frank Nagler mystery. Available at Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Wal-Mart

I would be honored and grateful if you read the Nagler mysteries, or listened to Lee Alan’s fine reading of “The Swamps of Jersey.”

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa..

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘The Swamps of Jersey’ released as an audio book

Very excited to announce THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY is now available as an audio book at Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

Thanks to Anita and Janice at Imzadi Publishing for their efforts. They show how much a small publishing house can accomplish, and I am forever grateful.

The Audible version of the book is available at:

https://www.amazon.com/The-Swamps-of-Jersey/dp/B07BT8WHM3/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

The book was read and produced by Lee Alan, a 35-year professional voice actor, artist, writer, composer, producer and published author.

According to his website, he is a Peabody Award Nominee, winner of 14 Silver Microphone Awards and a former ABC Radio and Television performer, program executive.

His site: http://www.leealancreative.com/.

“The Swamps of Jersey” (2014) is about political corruption and murder.

The central character is Frank Nagler, a cop, whose troubled heart is ever present.

Nagler is called out on stormy night to investigate the report of a dead woman in the Old Iron Bog. It is the first event in a chain of events that set the hard-luck city of Ironton, N.J. on edge. Besides the possible murder, the city was flooded when a week-long storm settled in and wrecked homes, businesses, and streets, and Nagler is trying to make sense of a series of letters that claim to expose theft of city funds, except they are so incomplete he wonders if it is really so.

Then there is Lauren Fox, a woman sent to Ironton to jump-start economic development. She and Nagler are attracted to one another and begin to become serious when she leaves town without an explanation. Nagler was an emotional recluse following the death of his wife years before. They had been childhood sweethearts, and her death crushed Nagler.

 

Also in paperback and ebooks: A GAME CALLED DEAD (2016). A Runner -up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest.

THE WEIGHT OF Living (2017).  First Place for  Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.

 

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa.

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The bribery of time and light

Ask again the question asked,

The answer unfulfilled;

The darkness of your eyes.

Things circle, endless

and come back incomplete.

How many times around does it take

For the loss to be scraped off

Like dust burning through atmosphere?

How many times around till you see

Your own shining soul?

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Peace is

Peace is

One step against the line.

One shout above the silence.

A hand reaching out

Another reaching back.

A broken thing fixed

An empty thing filled.

Peace is

Standing alone

Awaiting others.

A single singer

Joined in chorus.

An arm linked

Side to side.

Hands clasped …

Is…

Pain spilled to action

Is…

A bruised soul healing

A torn voice victorious.

Is…

The day we learn

Not to fear.

Peace is

A heart brave enough to love.

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