“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