Rhythms: a soft voice from under a bridge ~“Silent Night”

Stonge Bridge built by Civilian Conservation Corps (1930s)

by LJ Frank

all is calm, all is bright

the lyric of intent misunderstood

the pawns stand

appointed squares

knights, rooks, castles, kings & queens

the chessboard of movement

positioned on the other side of the velvet rope

where rules are adapted for leverage

and an invisible image of the Creator

is stamped on one side of a currency

numbers digitally formatted

transfers made

but how much is ever enough,

survival is the pawn’s dilemma

while grasping a revolver inscribed with the words

In God We Trust

like a soldier

who well understands the existential,

it’s the paradox of life while looking at death

that seeks a clear sight while biting the lower lip…

the insiders 

in private gatherings wearing the attire of inclusion

the stately garnished with circumcised scuplture

crossing legs in sophisticated fashion

heels and oxfords dangling from painted toes

bluebeards wondering whether finality

is truly the language of politics,

and judgment is a form of fly casting   

while the fish ponder their fate

for bait can leave a discomfortable taste

yet the shining metal glistens in the waters

perhaps it’s best to swim elsewhere in the stream

under one’s own volition assuming there’s such a thing

but one might ask

where does elsewhere actually exist.


round yon virgin, mother and child

lying down to sleep at night

with the Earth’s damp soil as a bed

newspapers underneath the back

should I not awake  

a prayer to the Lord for my soul to take

is the humane a sincere dream

and in the best interest

for whom and what…

or will the morning allow another day of free thought

and closer to a spiritual meaning,

questions pace back and forth in the mind

pondering the inevitable


is nothingness itself but a hallucination

like the Second Coming  

written in Latin on a scroll

and posted on a Medieval door.


holy infant, tender and mild

Closing my eyes will I find

that which pleads to be found

in the youth of life’s year, perhaps

a celebratory deliverance

like a secular Passover

dancing naked in a festive circle

or sitting under a Bodhi tree

of the mind

visited by the wisdom of the desert

perchance there’s a karmic option

hiding in the shadows of the ancients

among the hills of sand


so, I breathe deeply

and wait for the incense of awareness.


sleep in heavenly peace

Lord will you turn yourself into a monk

for the human eye not to be blinded by your brightness

and a prayer is offered on bended knees

just one drop of blood from above

oh, to be redeemed

to initiate the metaphoric saving of the soul

perchance the humble quest is not heard

for there’s the disquieted echo

from a legislative chamber

privilege has a special seat

those that possess seek a share of an illusion

a discriminate tithing of the ego

but the peasant’s pockets are empty

and the debtor’s prison awaits

where does one turn

cries from the lungs

a caller listens to a disembodied voice

a referral on another extension

a busy signal from beyond

will try again later


sleep in heavenly peace refrain

the grim reaper waits patiently behind the curtain

and considers the pain of suffering

knowing the professional class is at a party

the mind is washed once more

liberté, liberté is becoming obsolete

when half the work force is a machine

and liberty is of no value to artificial intelligence

so knowingly the owners clink their glasses in toasts

 from suites of luxury

the hour does not abide by anyone’s script

for the moment will come soon enough

as the sun disappears below the horizon

and the soft voice under a bridge, sang~

Silent Night.