The Girl by the Stream

Painting of a girl by a stream, surrounded by orbs, by Gilbert Williams
Copyright © by Gilbert Williams.

Every morning and
every evening, a girl
sat by a stream that
ran through an
ancient forest.

Alone she came,
morning and evening,
to listen to the quiet
and hear the murmur
of her far-off dreams.

And the girl was
the soul of the forest,
and the stream was
the soul of the girl.

The heavenly trees,
kindest of friends,
whispered to the girl
beneath hovering wings.

Cool water glided over
bare feet as she
wrote what would be in
her radiant world of
tomorrows and dreams.

The trees and the water
taught her the way.
In the quiet of the forest,
she found her way.

Michael James Fitzgerald

A Genealogy of Anger

Anger. You’re aSunrise and clouds in Provo Canyon.
child of frustration,
born of exhaustion,
a sibling of expectation
and disappointment,
cousin to resentment,
swaddled in judgment
fanned by blame,
cheated by shame,
conceived in pride and
self-deception,
utterly devoured
by a careless,
illegitimate, violent
family of lies.

On the other hand,
great secrets
are hidden in the
randomness of life.

Peace. Thou
child of patience,
protected by sacrifice,
sibling of a warm,
childlike acceptance,
cousin to contentment,
fostered by forgiveness,
nurtured kindly and openly,
held with tenderness
and affection,
conceived in truth and
virtue and honesty—
welcome to the reliable
family of unconditional love.

Lord, create in me a new heart.

Michael James Fitzgerald

“Raising the Bar” by Dennis Brown

I was just a chickenBald eagle. Courtesy LDS Media Library.
But not anymore
For that kind of bird
I’ve come to deplore.

I advanced to a chickle
Which helped me begin
At least I was better
Than the chicken I’d been.

Then came the cheagle
I was well on my way
Of becoming a bird
I could live with some day.

Now I can see
As I’m changing my life
When I overcome weakness
I overcome strife.

A chicken, a chickle, a cheagle
One step at a time
I find in my life
I’m beginning to climb.

The goal that I’ve set
Is one that is regal
For I’m raising the bar
And becoming an Eagle.

Dennis Brown

[This poem appears on the wall of the Wasatch chapel in the Utah State Prison, along with pencil drawings of a chicken, a chickle, a cheagle, and an eagle.]

The Quiet Day

Courtesy LDS Media Library

The bewildering quiet
brought unfathomed grief.

Pilate, in a chamber alone,
hands in loose tunic pockets,
mulled his wife’s day-old dream
as stale wine.

Exhausted by treason,
he granting a watch
with absent eyes.

Then the Arimthean, silenced by
duplicitous council,
despised the Death he could not stop,
and plotted benevolent revenge.

Mary, raging against her own blind instinct,
denied the Master’s
sudden disappearance

While two angels,
on the outskirts of reason,
waited for the sun to rise.

Michael James Fitzgerald