“Window Shopping”

The warmth of her
chapped face forms
an ice ring upon the glass.

Holiday delicacies
line glass shelves
in neat, long rows.
Fruit and cheese peek
from between the flaky
layers of pastries!

A boy munches happily
as his mother finalizes party
preparations with the owner.

Mouth watering and
tummy rumbling forces her
to tear her eyes away.
Pulling firmly upon the
smaller hand within her own.

The window next reveals a
miniature dollhouse
every detail in place.
Figurines imitating scenes
creating the facade of life.

In the very last window
hung a little white dress with
a puffy long skirt
cinched at the waist with
an evergreen velvet sash.

Her sister’s gasp mirrored
her own inner awe of such
a garment. It was fit for
a princess!
Tissue in hand,
She dabbed at the little
red, runny nose.
Bright crimson cheeks and red
rimmed lips told her that
her small charge was cold and
ready to head home.

“Window shopping”
was their very favorite game.
During the holiday season, this
place seemed magical.
The warm cozy life beyond these
a glass barrier was alluring.

Uneasy glances flashed
annoyance toward her.
She knew their magical time
of pretend was over.

“Paying customers, Only!
shouts the owner. Go
away you little crook!” He
shouts as he pulls her away.
No charity here, shoo, shoo, shoo!

Defiance in her eyes
flash toward the grouchy, nasty man but
then a small tug begins upon her hand.
She turns adjusting her sister’s hat
covering her ears.
She mustered all she had within
then gave a broad smile
while wiping her sister’s nose.
Tugging a hat too small
trying to cover
ears far too cold.

“Stupid old store, stupid old stuff,
who wants all that junk?” she
huffs. Her sister chuckles in response.
Yet, her mind drifts back
to that pretty little dress. She
would be just like a princess!
Having a great pile of presents
and a chocolate in each hand!

NO! chiding herself sternly,
for she has none of these things and still
has traveled down the path of
greed and self-indulgence.
Great shame she feels for allowing the prince of evil
to diminish the abundant blessings she and her
family had already been gifted.

Trudging up the hill,
in knee high snow
she dragged her sister
up toward home. For they
were needed in the kitchen
to help their mom bake.

A delicious smell
of fresh baked bread
Drifted downward toward them
Quickening their steps
as their empty tummies responded
to the lure of the scrumptious, intoxicating scent.

Every year mom baked these loaves with love
hiding a surprise inside.
We would deliver each with giddiness,
for there is little more rewarding
than bringing the twinkle
back to the eye of a soul grown cold.

the most important lesson
chiseled upon the hearts,
Showing compassion, kindness and love
has the power to melt the
coldest heart.

The measures of your resources
the extra coin in your pocket
have little worth
unless you are tuned to hear
whispers shouted from the
Father’s heart.

An Ember

knit together in the wombAn ember
a tiny spark of light.
A promise of hope,
life struggles to
form within
the pitch.

A quagmire fortress
within the womb
as sinews and nerves
are knit together.

Random, haphazard
act of chance?
I think not.

Deliberate, folding
weaving, knitting, loving
caring, creating.

Compassion, intelligence,
strength, creativity,
sensitivity, blue eyes,
blond-brown hair, every
molecule in place.

A pause

Except this one. If fixed,
her life will be normal,
Her gifts will not see their full
potential but…
there will be no pain.
There will be no suffering.
There will be no tears
other than those ascribed
to all humans.

In his hand the Creator, God,
holds this last thread of life
pondering, agonizing over the
pain that must be endured if
he does indeed secure it.

It is the final thread
it will pervade every part of
her being but he knows it must be
woven into his daughter.

Embedded within
it begins to attach
itself to every cell within her
her tiny frame.

Eyes dart to her father
searching for
as the first twinge

His tears fill the womb
around her providing
“I will
always be here
little one.”

The task I have set before you
is difficult, for certain.
Yet, you
will not be alone.

Some will choose to help you.
Others will choose to hurt you.
Still, others will want to destroy you.
I will send many to love you, mend you,
open your heart and allow the empathy,
wisdom and clarity of purpose
to be clear.

You, too, will have the choice
to accept this difficult task and
follow the narrow path.
you can choose to follow the world
becoming bitter,
and hateful.

Pain and Suffering will
be your constant companion.
It will take great faith and strength to
see beyond the pain,
beyond the hardships,
beyond the persecution,
and the hatred of the world.

I will never leave you,
I will never abandon you
Your struggles will
be a beacon of light to many
who cannot find their way.

This mantle must be born
during your formation.
Strength, endurance,
faith, empathy, will grow
alongside the suffering.
You will feel everything
with great intensity.

You will have the
ability to see me


if you so choose and
Song birds will serenade you,
the winds of the trees will whisper my
words and encouragement to you.
The skies will light
the with the glory I bestow upon creation.
Your weary spirit will be renewed.
I love you and all my plans
for you are to prosper you and
not harm you.

Flameless Soul

Pain darkens light.
Hurting another snuffs
a tendril

Being hurt
brings walls up to guard
the remnant of your soul.
This wall begins to suffocate
till only a flicker remains.
Gasping desperately
for fuel to stay alight.

NO! Its owner
is finished. Too much.
Release me, Release me!
I beg thee, I am spent.

Careless words,
wounds inflict
the heart and soul.
Damage cannot be
sponged out.

Empty, utterly

Let it die,
let it rest.

Dear God in
heaven above,
hear my prayer
allow not my soul
to tarry here.

Walking after Midnight…

Have you ever walked barefoot
upon a freshly mown lawn
after midnight?

Taking my dogs out
I decided to forgo the
usual footwear as I had
just showered and was
not intent on leaving my
small cement porch, but
the night’s humidity had been broken
by a recent storm and my mind
drifted to days of childhood.

I descended the steps and trod
upon the soft carpet of grass
heavy with recent rain
adding extra sensation
of exhilaration.

Living in the countryside affords
me the absence of artificial street lamps.
Tonight was black as pitch especially
since the sky held unspent rain clouds.
Slight glimmers of light cast shadows
in the distance due to a neighbor’s lawn decor.

Under the cloak of darkness, I took each step
with great deliberation. I threw caution to the wind,
allowing my three companions to lead
me into this familiar but altogether new experience.
In childhood, I thought nothing of walking, running,
and playing barefoot catching lightening bugs
until parents ended the night’s adventure.

Now, each step was mystical,
so full of meaning and purpose.
The wind caressed my tired body trailing
the length of my nightgown behind me.
I could feel the water droplets
burst under the weight of each of step
while the grass blades bent
gently to accommodate.

I stood there reveling
in the entire experience,
which may seem silly to
most but to me, it was divine.

In my future, a day awaits me
where mobility will be lost. A day
awaits me where I may have to lose
my legs to sustain my life.

Yet, on moonless July night
saturated with moisture,
a precious gift was given me.

I took each step storing a lifetime
of memories and cherished sensations.
I took each step pushing my body to
feel…everything. To record everything,
to love and appreciate the entire experience.
It was a beautiful gift from God and it
all started because I chose not to clad my feet.

The little things, we take for granted, are the most
important gifts from our creator. If you do not know
him, seek him. If you reject his existence, he is still there.
His existence does not depend upon your belief.
If you cannot see and appreciate these tiny moments
of splendor then nothing you achieve in life will
provide fulfillment, satisfaction, or meaning.

Open your spirit and feel. Take off your shoes,
walk upon the wet grass,
feel the wind blow all around you,
breathe in the clean air brought
by the rain. Use your senses to
feel the gifts we are all given.
These are the rarest, most precious
gifts you will ever receive. The only catch,
you have to see them; you have to feel them,
you must know that they exist. Allow your soul
to lead the way because it already knows
where these treasures are hidden.
Just feel…everything.


I pray the Lord my soul to take,
Please, God, let me die before I wake
To heaven you must surely take
my broken body to glory’s gate.

Do not tarry one more night,
when the monster comes
tears to my eyes are sprung.
Please, do not let him have his fun
by causing me to be undone.
The fevers of my illness
make me sore all over and allowing
my submission, for there is no way to fight.
Even if I were not sickly, he is at least
thrice as big as me.
He laughs as he starts his games
because he knows no one will
ever suspect where he will put
his dick.

The poor dear, they say,
this arthritis ravages her body
night and day giving her
no time to play.
The little darling is
even having trouble
walking today.

Her fever will not abate
so to bed she must wait.
Her uncle will come up
throughout the day
to bring her juice and

Oh God, I am nearly eight
surely that is old enough
to get past heaven’s gate.
I do not want to play
his games. I promise to be
good and not make a sound
just please, please let me sleep

She learns to stop the tears.
She learns to close her heart.
She learns this is only the start.
So much has already been taken
but so much more is required that
she will be utterly broken asking God
each day, “Please, Please God
take me home today.”

So much pain, past, present, and future!
How, Lord, How can I endure this
sentence of torture? Is there no end
to this misery? Please, hear my plea,
dearest Father, release me.

Heartbreak, hardship, betrayal
around every corner waits.
Disappointment, broken promises and cruelty served
in generous portions. She tries to protect
others but rejection and pain are the result
Now that she has become an adult.

She understands it was never God’s
plan that she should suffer at another’s hand.
Nor was her body meant to be broken,
but the Lord will use her, in his loving way,
to lead the broken to him in each day.

She has earned the ability to speak the
language of survival. She stands strong
against the crushing current awaiting
their arrival. The masses of lost and broken wash
upon the shore. She takes each one hand in hand until
they are standing at the door. It is their choice to knock and
enter so she can do no more.

Although she knows her purpose, and fulfills her destiny
her heart cannot help but pang for eternity.
When will her work be done? Must she always
be strong, for this waiting is becoming very long.

“Hear me Lord I pray,
I will stay as long as needed, for I know
you have a plan in sight.
Yet, Lord, if it is possible, could you call
me home tonight?
You have blessed my life quite richly
with people whom I love
but can you understand that sometimes,
…I long to see your face? So now I will close
my prayer petitioning for strength,
endurance and grace
so that I might be able to
finish this great race!”

Just tell me that you love me,
and it will be enough, for the one you
have gifted me sets my soul afire freeing it
to soar above all the evils of humanity.

Upon the wing offers the briefest glimpse into eternity,
A broad smile graces your face,
arms opened widely offering an everlasting embrace.


Flowering “weeds”

To thee, it may be a weed, but to me it is cause for revelry!

Flowering weed

Flowering weed 2

Flowering weed 3

Though I know not its name or purpose, I am certain that it possesses both characteristics. Everything is created for a reason, including you and me but this flower does not have to seek a purpose, for it knows what it is and what it is supposed to do during its lifespan. We, in contrast, must seek out our purpose, meet it, exceed it, conquer it, and leave this creation a little better than when we arrived. As long as we all strive to do that, then our purpose will be fulfilled.


Tina Blackledge

Air, thin, crisp, clean
high beyond the world’s reach.
A vast expanse of emptiness
to be reveled.
No obstacles, no limitations
save for the stratosphere.

Seeing forever in all directions,
higher, higher
allowing the current
to take you at its will.

Freedom incarnate.
An occasional
traveler…a momentary
then onward into eternity.

Shackled mundane lives
mutter below.
Meaningless, worthless
struggles over ideas, land
possessions, nothing.

Only a handful ever look up
seeing beyond the confines
of their reality.

Pity wrenches the heart,
for never will they
taste freedom.

Wings clipped.

Every great while, one will
see, struggle to be free,
recognize the space above
as it is meant to be,
freedom, flight, forever.

Years of looking, wondering,
dreaming, and hiding.
They are ready to try.
The tether worn thin, the wings
grew in secret, legs strengthened,
muscles built until…this perfect moment.

Eyes dart here and there,
legs bend in preparation
wings spread full
bursting from the ground
Tether snaps!
Hands clamber to
reach you, to protect you,
to stop you.

Heart pounds, lungs burn,
muscles acting
and reacting
until finally
you are so high above
that whence you came
is becoming a faded memory.

Air, thin, crisp, clean
high beyond the world’s reach.
A vast expanse of emptiness
to be reveled.
No obstacles, no limitations
save for the stratosphere.