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Maybe I’d be better off alone

I could eat what I want
sleep when I’m weary
go where I will
hang out with whomever
….or not

Allow my muse to rule the day


I could spend my life with you
feeding your consuming need
bearing witness to the pain of your sleepless nights
trying to mend your brokenness, at first tenderly
….then hopelessly

Until my heart and spirit atrophy
adrift without oar or rudder
on the turbulent sea of your emotions

With you, I am bound by love
without you, I am selfishly free
but either way….

I am deeply alone
Jun 2017 · 151
Trinity Redux
Deborah Downes Jun 2017
Can God be God
Without His creation?

Would He be Truth
Without the testimony of His Spirit?

Could He be Love
Without the objects of His affection?

Is He Beauty manifested
Without observation?

Can He be the Father
Without the Son?
Jun 2017 · 129
Sound in a Vacuum
Deborah Downes Jun 2017
Profoundly alone

Without faith nor friend
Plan nor purpose

Only subsistence

Do I  exist if I cannot see myself thru the eyes of another?
Apr 2017 · 223
Deborah Downes Apr 2017
Your paradigm of perfection
Is not mine....

I’m the squared round peg
And the squeeze pains me

The house in the ‘burbs was bleak never felt like home

That nine-to-five racket
Bled me like a leech

Bowing to the money god
Twisted my back and brain

Varied brands of religious rectitude
Felt elite and hypocritical

I need to unchain my heart
And embrace who I am

Others’ perceptions of me
Are suffocating my soul

I should follow My Muse
Wherever she leads

Only there will I find
Truth, Love, and Beauty

Only then will I find God
Apr 2017 · 122
Deborah Downes Apr 2017
Faith believes what the senses belie
Its roots go deep tho the flower is shy

Strongly waxing in impoverishment
Meekly waning in fulfillment

Almighty is Faith’s power
Ever gentle, but never cowers

Binding humanity to our Creator
Loosening the chains of the destroyer

Though often flawed in its conception
Faith elicits near perfection

Though smaller than a mustard seed
One's greatest hopes it may exceed

Dreams become reality in its presence
While reality turns to nightmare in its absence

Faith is a mystery I choose not to ponder
But rather prefer to bask in its wonder.
Apr 2017 · 148
Deborah Downes Apr 2017
He walked along the garden path
cloaked in silent beauty
tho His soul screamed out in agony
as He struggled with His duty

Too soon would time arrest Him
and assault His mortal bones
stripping Him of dignity
to leave Him so alone

He stood before the judges
who questioned what He taught
jeered by crowds of skeptics
for the miracles He wrought

Soldiers cruelly flogged Him
with words and leaded lash
till His wounds were sorely bloodied
and His Spirit nearly dashed

With razored thorns they crowned Him
pressed roughly to His head
to mock his royal status
yet not a word He said

Upon His back they laid a cross
that no mere man could bear
weighted by a world of sin
no more could one man care

Every step toward Calvary
was afflicted with such pain
though each was taken willingly
to mankind’s greatest gain

Along the way was little solace
His mother’s tears, most anguished
a woman’s veil, the Cyrene’s hands
His pangs could not extinguish

At last He reached the journey’s end
but relief was not to be
His hands and feet they did impale
to hang Him from that tree

His death laid shadow ‘cross the sky
the ground beneath was shaken
at last they knew God’s only Son
was the one whose life was taken

They thought that death had conquered Him
And His flesh would turn to dust
That His memory would fade away
while His flock would lose their trust

But the Son fulfilled God’s promise
His temple twice erected
Against all human logic
His life was resurrected

On that Blessed Sunday
men born in any age
could now accept salvation
and be freed from sin’s outrage

For all, and for eternity
He duly paid the cost
which guilt and sin does yet incur
so no soul need be lost!
In acknowledgment of the Source of my inspiration, poetic & otherwise.
A most Blessed & Transforming Easter to all!
Feb 2017 · 1.0k
The Culture of Old
Deborah Downes Feb 2017
Like so many
they rush to southern climes for
greener pastures
year round golf a
Slower pace
Cheaper prices and
Tropical temperatures

Unnaturally taut and
they crowd the local haunts and
Clog the highways.

At best they tolerate whoever is not
Pensioned or

At worst they ban the
from their gated communities  
and social gatherings

The pendulum has swung from a time
when the Old were at the
Mercy of the Young
to the present
when Youth is
Oppressed by Senescence

Once democracy’s backbone they now wax
Conservative having obtained their
Slice of the pie

Now there is no pie
Mother Earth has been trampled to death and the
Toiling hands of those who
Stoke the fires of industry are
Blistered and discouraged
You don't have to be old in years to belong to this culture; and even if you are old in years, you don't have to adopt this lifestyle.
Feb 2017 · 190
Subliminal Messages
Deborah Downes Feb 2017
                              that taunt us with perfection
 On TV
                     and Billboards
                                            too numerous to mention.

               ­                       Proselytizing
                            ­                              so it goes….

Everywhere you turn to
are solutions to all woes

If you
Use that scent
                          Drive that car
                                                  or Take that pill
Great looks
                     Good health
                                            More wealth
are yours
and never mind the bill!

But are We, the people
so easily deceived
that we can trust an item
to meet our every need?

Or have our minds’ convictions
unwisely been conceived?
Feb 2017 · 302
Instant Gratification
Deborah Downes Feb 2017
Instant coffee
                                                 Microwave meals
                                                                              Quick-pick lotto
                          The faster the better! is society’s motto

                          Fast food
                                           Faster cars
                                                             and  Service
                          Waiting at all will might us too nervous!

                                       Drive-thru windows
                                                                         Internet hopping
                          Choose any sort of one-stop shopping

                          Test-tube babies
                                                       Mail-order brides
                                                                                       and Personal ads
                          Has living, itself, become a mere fad?

                          Same-day delivery
                                                                      and Surgery
                          Such claims often prove to be but a perjury!

                          Whatever happened to haste makes waste?
                          How can we enjoy without savoring the taste?

                          Instant gratification is truly ironic
                          Nothing good comes easy is a much better logic

                          God made it all,
                          in only one week
                          Through our feeble attempts
                          is it His power we seek?
Deborah Downes Feb 2017
Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy
It does not boast
It is not proud
It does not dishonor others
It is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth, it
Always protects
Always trusts
Always hopes
Always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13 is endlessly quoted, and endlessly ignored by those espousing to be people of God.
Feb 2017 · 532
Three Wishes
Deborah Downes Feb 2017
I wish…
for bygone days
when folks put families first
Not jobs
Not climbing a corporate ladder
Not competing with the Jones
for bigger homes, better cars, smarter kids.

I wish…
for sublime satisfaction
thru the experience of God’s creation
Not from computers & video games
Nor TV & movies
smart phones or social media.

I wish…
that people did not suffer
When their jobs become obsolete
outsourced, redesigned, or restructured.
When they are pressed into conflicts
in their cities, states, or countries
For the sake of another’s perceived privilege
or personal gain.

But the Genie is out of the bottle…*
Set free by wasted wishes
Carelessly contrived
Without lasting purpose or value
Dec 2016 · 169
New Age Crucifixion
Deborah Downes Dec 2016
Truth has been crucified
In the now
and the long ago.....

*Pray it will again rise from the dead
Dec 2016 · 142
Deborah Downes Dec 2016
Heart for the homeless
    Heart for the poor
        Heart for the felon
            Hearts that endure

Hand for the helpless
    Hand for the spare
        Hand for the broken
            Hands that give care

Mind for the hopeless
    Mind for the timid
        Mind for the tortured
            Minds without limit

Ones who

Ones who

Those who love
    Beyond and
                            ....have experienced God
Oct 2016 · 176
Dying Embers
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Old man….
bent but not broken
forgetful yet wise
the fire burns brightly
in your rheumy blue eyes

Old maid….
bent but still standing
alone yet longing to care
with gnarled palsied hands
she desires to share

Old age….
a curse and a blessing
relentless but gentle
its light slowly fades
like a flickering candle

Old folks….*
Living but dying
feeble yet strong
like hot glowing embers
they can’t last for too long
Oct 2016 · 155
Heart of the Beholder
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
I looked deeply into my lover’s eyes
and it was so beautiful to me
….not for the sight but for the passion

I heard the laughter of my little ones
and it was so beautiful to me
….not for the sound but for the joy

I consumed life’s offerings
and they were so beautiful to me
….not for the taste but for the wisdom

I breathed the heady scent of honeysuckle
and it was so beautiful to me
….not for the smell but for the serenity

I caressed the softness of my dying mother’s face
and it was so very beautiful to me
….not for the touch but for the wonder of life

God’s Beauty is but a weak reflection
of the heart in the mirror of the soul
….*and not just the senses’ perception
Oct 2016 · 187
Where Evil Lives
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
like a virus
cannot survive outside the living

It does not dwell
in the dark places of legend
but in the dark spaces of the mind
And when the opportune moment arises…
it rushes into the soul.

While it waits for that moment….
the mind feeds it with obsessive thoughts and delusions
until it has grown strong enough
to leave this nourishing ****
and take stronghold
in places where Love dwells.

And if Love
has not been sustained
Evil exerts its dominance
as it takes up
permanent residence in the heart.
Oct 2016 · 277
New York City is My Muse
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
You are a brilliant patchwork of people
wearing their imperfections with pride
not ashamed to be different

Like a jagged concrete and glass tiara
surrounding an emerald heart
you are both lush and cold in synch

At once soothing and stimulating
is the rhythmic rocking of your subways
punctuated by the occasional discordant screech of metal on metal.

You are an assault of sight, smell, and sound on the senses,
each vying to be noticed by indifferent passers-by
artful store windows
pungent aromas from curb-side kiosks
and rap, rock, or classical
as performed by wandering minstrels

Where else can individuality be noticed
among the teeming masses
or the lofty and lowly stand side by side
without thought of social status?

Where else can one get lost in the crowd
yet still be an integral part of the whole
or be down
then uplifted by the energy of the streets?

New York City
you are where the impossible becomes inevitable
and incongruent parts
come together in a symphony of humanity and culture.

New York City
you inspire both love and hate
but never indifference!
Oct 2016 · 601
The Dance
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Remember your First Dance?
    the Anticipation and Uncertainty
       the Painstaking Preparation of clothes and coif
          wanting to Stand-out but Afraid of Rejection
             Hoping your favorite song might be played
                Praying that your Secret Love will dance with you.

And when all these Desires have been Fulfilled
    the First Touch of hand on hand is Electric
       body Pressed on body
          Rocking to music more Felt than heard
             with Every Sense Inflamed and Longing.

……but then the Spell Breaks
  with the Last note,
    Leaving each Wanting More.

Your First Dance has ended....
    but the Dance that is Youth has just begun.
Oct 2016 · 454
Heaven’s Smile
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Down the day
and down my mood
Time passed away
but not to good
I walked
and wandered
No where to go
I sought
and searched
No one to know
When for
No reason
a child smiled at me
Her face alight
with some hidden glee
That’s all it took
to cease my moping
Sweet smile,
Precious look,
Restored my hoping!
Oct 2016 · 235
A Lover's Question
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
As I bask in the aftermath of our love
the first tendrils of doubt insinuate my thoughts
so recently filled with elation

Ever subtly
they take hold of my heart
and wrest it from its safe harbor
in the warmth of your arms

Where only moments before....
I rested
safe, secure, and serene
released from the cares of my day
if only fleetingly

Where only moments before....
I could not have been more content

So fragile are these feelings
yet so strong is my love for you

The strength of emotion overpowers all reason
and leaves me awestruck
that I could soar to such heights

And as I stand on the pinnacle of my wonder
I falter….
My breath catches sharply in my chest
when I see how far I might fall
compelling me to ask….

*But do you still love me?
To Carl, my husband who patiently answers 'yes', even after 35 yrs+
Oct 2016 · 188
Stolen Moments
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
I saw a small boy with his mother today….
                Bright-eyed and Rosy
                   Playful to intently Curious

            I saw a mother with her small child today….
                Glowing in her love
                   Laughing to intently Vigilant

             For a few Stolen Moments….
                 I was that Mother
                    you were that little Boy
                     and their Joy was Ours.

             Now the Bond has Shifted….
                 and I am the one clinging tightly to your hand
                    holding on to the memory of a time
                        *when I was your world and you were mine.
To Eric, my son
Oct 2016 · 723
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Amid the rubble of crumbling concrete
a seed
unwittingly sown
sends its tender shoots
pushing toward love’s light.

Ever so gently
but with iron purpose
does it break up the stones of a hardening heart
on a journey to greet the sun.

Fragile roots probe the source of being
to draw nourishment from wellsprings
that lie hidden from self awareness.

Until finally....
a single triumphant bud
unfurls its petals in full beauty
to herald a new season.

The first sign of spring has arrived
after the fruitless winter of my selfish youth…..

My daughter
My wildflower!
To Rachel, my wildflower now and always!
Oct 2016 · 163
Tick Tock
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Neither bought nor sold
More precious than gold

Flowing endlessly on
And as suddenly gone

Choose wisely how spent
Neither borrowed nor lent

Be it idled or wasted
Lost or well tasted

Never reused nor saved
It has all men enslaved

Whether ill or in health
In poverty or wealth

Whether kindly or mean
Laborer or queen

Time bows to no master
Seems to run ever faster

As mortals grow old
Their tales oft untold

Yet Time etches fastly
In memory everlasting

Each life is immortal
In Time’s hidden portal
Oct 2016 · 243
PB & J
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Salted sweetness and sticky smoothness are sensations
that fill my mouth with memories of
briny beaches on a summer’s day
and muddy little hands, gripping a sandwich
while teeter-tottering with elated abandon.
Oct 2016 · 387
Bittersweet Chocolate
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Love is ever bittersweet
no matter the sort
or situation.

Like rich dark chocolate
the taste is sweet with a subtle bite

Love’s first intimacies are ecstasy
gently laced with fear of loss
the perfect Confluence of
and Need

The flavor may linger
to become a pleasant memory
or it may end abruptly
to be followed by a bitter aftertaste

My first precious puppy died suddenly
and my joy was swallowed whole in that grief

But I was so addicted to his sweetness that
I got two more dogs
to double indemnify my happiness

I can’t hold onto the objects of my affection forever
anymore than I can prevent  chocolate
from melting in my mouth

Bittersweet is love
as Pleasure is
complemented by Pain
To my precious Iggy who gave me unconditional love.
Oct 2016 · 478
Mundane Miracles
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Ordinary is so uninspiring
Does anyone strive to be ordinary
setting sights on the status quo?

Extra-ordinary seems better
More exciting and interesting
More the stuff of success

But the ancients prayed with zeal
and sacrifice every evening
that the sun would rise again the next day.

They strove to appease and please their gods
So that the rains would fall in times of drought
So that babies would be born
and seeds would sprout.

And on death’s threshold
we bargain for one more day
to spend among the Living
Laughing and Loving
savoring the ordinary things
previously overlooked.

Let me see the sunrise one last time
Or hear  a gentle rain
Or hold a newborn baby in my arms
before these ordinary, everyday things
Vanish with my last sunset.
Oct 2016 · 187
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Distractions no longer compete
No light but a candle
No sound but breath and heartbeat

Life stripped down to naught
bare-bone essentials
economy of motion and thought

Stillness weighs like lead
the silence roars
and the calm is full of dread

Fears without form
unspoken in this dark tomb
within the eye of the storm

What is still relevant
in the face of doom?
Oct 2016 · 148
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
I stand on the shores of my sorrow
and watch….
feeling out of body
as waves of emotion recede beyond sight.

All senses are hushed by preternatural stillness
and the refuse of my memories
litter the sandy bottom of an eroded heart.

I teeter between reality and the nightmare
that will soon crush my life’s core
only moments before  
I heard the news…..

You are forever gone from this shattered world

I knew this day would come
was unprepared
for the devastation of my grief.
Oct 2016 · 176
Plastic Jesus
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
Plastic Jesus on dashboards and in celluloids
Expressionless face
Mouthing great wisdom in monotone
Hanging from a cross of suffering
As if in peaceful slumber
Heart and soul of passion
Displayed emotionless
Written words
a Weak reflection of His true meaning

This is not my Lord and my God
Who is great
Beyond depiction
This is not His message
Which overflows human language

When will creation accept
it was born of God’s Vision
and Not the other way around?
Oct 2016 · 1.1k
Media Madness
Deborah Downes Oct 2016
I stare at the television news....

Assaulted by violence
Stunned by the inhumanity of a
Godless society

I listen to the radio....

Embarrassed by ads that tout
Promiscuous pleasures
Outraged by the thinly disguised
Decadent discourses of the shock jocks

I read the newspapers and magazines....

Cuckolded by corporate America a
Loser in the games politicians play
Cheated and

I try to turn it all off….

but like a bitter pill the distasteful images linger
nor can I go along with eyes shut and ears muffled
or not
in a padded room of my own making

I cannot function without information….

tho my senses are
Wounded by the
Brutality of the media

I yearn for thoughts to ease my distress....

like a mother’s soft whispers to her crying baby
like the beauty that shines from faces that know love

I don’t want the perception of reality that the media rapes me with....

I want the truth revealed by God in His creation
Sep 2016 · 670
Deborah Downes Sep 2016
Black and White
Right and Wrong
War and Peace
lies the
Gray zone the
Blurred line
Middle ground

No boundaries between
Good and Evil
Moral and Amoral
Thin ice and
Solid ground

No safety net to prevent slipping into extremes
No caution signs or flashing lights to guide our steps

We live and die in a
Fairy tale with alternate endings penned by
Media moguls and
Religious fanatics who
Convince us to
Choose from a stacked deck to
Win a fixed game
Compliment us on our finery
tho we are threadbare or *****

We live in the land of the free where the
Rule of law applies only to commoners
Opportunity comes with a price few can afford  and
Everyone has the
Right to work and the
Right to be exploited

You might be dwelling in the kingdom of surreality if….

Conflicting images are presented as harmonious
Opposites are blended to form bland
Ugliness is sugar-coated and swallowed whole
Love and passion interfere with success.
Sep 2016 · 359
capital I sm
Deborah Downes Sep 2016
me, mIself , and I
do not consider why
it's you that I deny
mI conscience bears no weight

mI wants are what I will
your needs to me are nil
mI pockets must I fill
while you suffer and I sate

I’ve more than I can use  
and yet I still abuse
but don’t you dare accuse
though you, may I berate

since you could do the same
without the fear of shame
don’t point at me and blame
deep down you grudge mI fate

when will we all accede
this system’s primed by greed
self –service is its creed
unselfish love
the brunt of hate
Sep 2016 · 1.0k
Fiddling While Rome Burns
Deborah Downes Sep 2016
Fever-flushed children and
Broken bodies
Litter hospital halls like so much
Human refuse
….Wondering why
their need for care is treated so tepidly by a
Society which worships
Power and
….Waiting while
they wallow in anguish as
Paperwork and
Payment are
Debated by bureaucrats in cubicles
….Wanting to be refreshed and
restored to some measure of usefulness
Free to Pursue Life on their terms in exchange for  
Acceptance and

Huddling for warmth and in
Fear of discovery
they assemble in rag-tag formation
having scaled formidable fences
Seeking freedom from
Poverty and oppression
Searching for work of any sort
….No matter how
Humiliating or
….No matter the
Cost or
Disparaged and despised they labor
in hope that their children will have a chance for success
instead of suffering a similar fate
Free to Pursue Liberty
in a land where their presence is
Ignored if not Denied

Unkempt in camouflage
One-legged and
he rolls his rickety wheelchair along grassy median with muted effort
displaying cardboard sign
childishly scripted
in one weather-worn and gnarled hand
while clutching a decapitated jug in the other
Forlorn, and
Discarded veteran
Victimized far more by country than foe
Free to Pursue Happiness while
Begging on street corners as
Upright citizens dispense
Unwelcome opinions or
Pocket change with equal

Liberty and the
Pursuit of happiness….
Ideals that slowly incinerate on the
Altar of Capitalism
….Songs forever lost in the
Cacophony now
Played on the
Instrument of Politics
Sep 2016 · 200
Never Again
Deborah Downes Sep 2016
Wild beasts of prey
sought to mangle and slay
those souls who believed
and to one God did pray

Thousands led to the slaughter
innocent sons, ****** daughters
before a great Roman Caesar
was baptized with water

                                               ….and civilized society
                                               deplored such impiety
                                               crying Never Again
                                               shall we suffer insanity!

The ecclesial of privilege
did torment and disparage
whom they might perceive
to be guilty of sacrilege.

Masses were murdered
into prisons were herded
in God’s Holy Name
the inquisitors consorted

                                            ….and civilized society
                                            deplored such impiety
                                            crying Never Again
                                            shall we suffer insanity!

Church elders would castigate
whom they judged to be profligate
to fires consigned
**** and brimstone their fate

Too many were burned
before it was learned
no possession took place
no demon was spurned

                                          ….and civilized society
                                           deplored such impiety
                                           crying Never Again
                                           shall we suffer insanity!

The cotton-culled gentry
who prospered from slavery
forsook all compassion
to embrace what was monetary

Families were fractured
unwillingly indentured
till brother fought brother
to forge a free culture

                                                     …and civilized society
                                                     deplored such impiety
                                                     crying Never Again
                                                     shall we suffer insanity!

The great Aryan pride
led to mass genocide
obscuring such motives
their atrocities to hide

They led millions to exile
into death camps so vile
as nations ignored
their deafening Sig heil!

                                               No, Not Ever Again
                                               was still the refrain
                                               but so quickly forgotten
                                               while the world grew insane.
Sep 2016 · 354
Deborah Downes Sep 2016
Unkempt dreadlocks atop threadbare suit
he enters the subway car with confident stride
The scents of self-neglect clear a path for him
as though he were a king.

He takes a seat and with uplifted chin
gazes without apology at onlookers
who pretend not to notice his grand entrance.

With deliberate slowness he extracts a half-eaten candy bar
from a crumpled paper bag and fastidiously takes a bite
brushing invisible crumbs from grimy jacket.

Poverty of circumstance has not diminished his dignity.

— The End —