Poet’s corner

Broken Pieces

Looking back at my past,

The abandoned arena, this playground of my life

And my shattered childhood.

Never having the chance to be that child.

As the moonlight shimmers playfully upon the broken pieces,

I’m shocked deadened by the destruction of my youth,

Once introverted and arriving upon delinquent survivalism.

I’ve yearned to fit those jagged, razor-sharp broken pieces in their rightful place.

Only to find the bleeding of my soul

Try — try — as I might — yet to no avail —

I see the black existence of my life within those broken pieces.

Pain awaits me with a callous grin and outstretched arms.

Waiting to catch me, lure me, so enticingly pulling me,

To some miserable alignment of imbalance.

Offering me only a slow walk into insanity and unforgiveness.

Pain is the only gift I’ve ever felt, it’s my escape,

Inflicting, damaging, my threshold is high, unattainable to most.

Pain has become my true constant, my everlasting lover,

It is my slow destruction and will be my final outcry,

Suffocating me with its selfish, toxic poisons,

Dulling my every thought

Then all of a sudden the strong nail pierced hands hold me,

They embrace me, His blood flows over me, covering my brokenness.

I’m being washing in His abundant love, His warmth resonates

Within me, righting the wrongs, encouraging and compassionate

The broke pieces form together as one

The once shattered existence of life has been greatly restored

The grace of God has bound the broken pieces forever in eternity.

— James Robert “J.R.” Childs Jr., Plainfield


I clean a pan in my sink

Water running

And a narrow shelf below my kitchen window

Displaying the remainder of Asian beetles

Some wings spread, others compressed

All in death

Their bodies an unbecoming nuisance to be vacuumed away.

I cannot but connect

Syrian villages bombed with precise accuracy

Open markets of only the villagers of a community

Not the barrel bombs of Assad’s regime


Putin doing what he only knows to do

KGB like control

Through threat, examples of circumstantial death

Bodies of men, women and children

In an open market


The threat of innocent voices

And the opportunity to cause a surge of refugees

A tragic horrific effect

To push other nations to respond

And leave the Assad puppet

To be strung by his strings.

And I see the tragic surge of Asian beetles

To heat and light

Wings spread, others compressed

This innocence

Against the worst of human nature


— Neil Frederick, Brown County