ghosts

ghosts are like memories from long ago,

the details have faded

you can see through them.

.

even if the memory

isn’t yours

but a part of the great unconscious

they are.

a memory.

and memories cannot hurt you

unless you believe in them.

.

momma, momma please help me

i cannot my dear

because you have been dead

going on a year

why didn’t you save me?

there are some things that even your momma can’t do.

.

a mother’s guilt

a daughter’s shame

they can’t forgive

they’re both to blame.

.

ghosts are like memories of dreams

disjointed flashes

from unrelated moments

that merge in awkward ways

to reveal unspoken truths

but we

no longer listen

to truths

whispered softly in our ears

from earlier selves

when life was a children’s rhyme

spoken in three quarter time.


love dies

02162022

.

.

in a moment,

loves dies.

what was,

a moment before,

has disappeared,

forever.

.

love does not alter

when it alteration finds,

but sometimes it does.

.

when fear

becomes truth,

and hope

is revealed

to be as brittle

as glass.


Another Unsent Text

Hi Jessie,

This is Adam,

I said my name in case

You deleted me from your contacts, again.

No judgements, life is as it is.

.

I thought of you today

As I was falling from sleep

In that place between dreams and reality.

We were lying in bed,

Facing one another.

You are your right side,

I was on my left.

We both wore t-shirts and boxers.

.

This wasn’t a sexual moment.

People tend to be more honest,

When they are in their underwear.

In the dream’s reality,

We were being honest with each other.

.

I gently brushed that lock of hair from your face

And touched your cheek.

You smiled.

I asked you where you would like to go.

You asked me what I meant.

I told you, I would take you anywhere.

And you said you didn’t want to go anywhere.

You were happy here.

.

I hope that you are happy

Where you are,

Wherever you are.

I hope that you feel your life

Is as protected

As if you were

In a warm bed

Under the covers,

On a rainy September’s morning.


Let It Die

If love’s so fragile, let it die.

Leave it by the side of the road

On a path that you will never pass again.

.

Or bury it by the bench in the park,

The one on which you held her hand

And thought the world was a magical place.

.

It is no longer magical

And even small children

Now seem angry, mean, and bitter.

.

You feel the bitterness too

Like a distant memory

Forgotten for a time

But always just around the corner.


Man in the Pandemic

My fifth novel. Has created quite a stir in certain circles. Hope you like it. 🙂

Sent to work from home and in isolation from the onset of the pandemic, Frank Smith is losing control over his carefully constructed environment. Forced into unemployment, his hyper-focus turns towards what he can control: walking endless circles in his home, conserving toilet paper and battling pests as he struggles to hold onto his sanity. Smith tries to make sense of social unrest and systemic racism, natural disasters and climate change as he faces personal demons of loneliness, fear and a lifetime of regrets.

Simply told yet deceptively complex, this dark comedy will resonate with anyone questioning their place in the universe as we navigate a world gone mad…

Available on Amazon

Or on my website

http://www.afwinter.com/man-in-the-pandemic.html


A poem

Written on a rainy Saturday night

Precipitation expected 2-3 inches.

.

I love/loved love/loved love/loved love/loved

love/loved love/loved love/loved love/loved

love/loved love/loved love/loved love/loved

love/loved love/loved love/loved love/loved her.

.

The opposite could be true as well.


The gardener

The old man cried,

No, there is a God, a caring, patient God!

But why is he taking my Rebekah?

.

The process has been going on for years.

Slowly, painfully, drawing out the agony.

Giving him seeds of hope.

That never blossom in this arid time of decline.

.

Or maybe the seed has blossomed.

And now is losing its bloom,

Leaf by leaf

As the old man does all he can

Watering, fertilizing,

Whispering words of encouragement

Which fall on deaf ears.

As another leaf falls and then another

Until there is a mound of withered leaves

Which will soon blow away,

By a gentle breeze which gives comfort to others.

But not to him

His suffering is not nearly over.

There is more,

So much, so much more.

.

Then the branches turn from green to brown to grey.

They are snapped easily but feel no pain

All feelings have departed long ago

But the gardener remains

Staring at the dead sapling

Hoping that it will come back in the spring.

The roots are still strong!

The stem is only sleeping!

It will come back!

Miracles happen!

Miracles happen every day!

He needs only one miracle to save his wife,

Only one.

So many years spent in prayer and meditation,

Weren’t they worth one miracle?

.

But a gardener cannot expect the rain to come

When it is convenient.

The gardener works the land he has,

In the time he has been given,

And must let the rest go.

And accept the judgement of heaven.


I knew

I knew there was something important,
Important, important
I knew there was something important,
I had to do today.

I had to say I love you
I love you, I love you
I should have told you I love you
A hundred times today.

I knew it was important,
But life makes one forget.
A moment later, love has gone,
And in its place, regret


Make America great.

On an early day in February, in a quiet moment, I sat at my desk, in my study. I was warm.  I was not in want.  I was lucky as deaths from the virus passed 450,000. 

And I thought about making America great again. Maybe he was right, that America is no longer great, but was the reason because we lost manufacturing jobs to China? Does that make a country, great?

I believe we are no longer great because we have lost our way.

America once stood for something.

Not just one thing many things.

Freedom, Justice, Equality.

It was a place of hope where people would come to, from all over the world, for the chance at a better life.

Our founding fathers, imperfect individuals, many of whom own slaves, created the Constitution and Bill of Rights because they envisioned a more perfect union. They knew that they were not capable of getting there, but they gave their children and children’s children the ability to go beyond what they could even imagine.

Lady Liberty calls to the world, Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.

She does not say give us your white Christians and the rest can go to hell.

My parents’ generation, the greatest generation, fought in World War II to end fascism not to import it to our country.

Dr King did not want perfection.  He just wanted to place where his children could sit at the same table. Was that too much to ask for?  To sit at the same table with people who disagree with you and talk as equals.

Being great is a process not a destination. We were never great, but we were always on the way to greatness. I fear we have lost our way.

Can we believe in God and not believe;

That all men are created equal? 

That we should help the widow and the orphan? 

That we should welcome the stranger in our midst?

That we are stewards of the Earth but we do not own it?

Even the small plot of land where we will be buried is not ours.  With our very last molecule of energy, we feed the bugs and worms and nourish the Earth around our disintegrating coffin.  If our last act on Earth is one of charity, why is being charitable so hard to do when we are living?


Heaven

Heaven is a place

That is far away

And nearly impossible to get to.

Heaven is a promise

For a life lived in the service of others.

.

But Heaven is also a metaphor,

As in Heaven on earth,

And Heaven is a journey,

Where each step could be joyous.

.

And Heaven is a woman,

Who is a promise, a metaphor, and a journey.

Where Joy exists in her smile,

And peace in her loving arms.