Soon and very soon the flowers will begin pushing, breaking the ground

and tender shoots will reach for the sun, carrying hope

moving up, opening and spreading their petals.


And I love how they are never afraid of the bees, taking

from them, nor even of cross-pollination – the invention

of something new, bold colors to inspire and make us think

mixing could help us become, even more beautiful.


Let’s hope they say a prayer for us, as we cower in our corners,

resisting the brightness of our sun, and afraid of the bees.


Poetry and Image © Copyright 2017, ancient skies

No Words


I have no words for when madmen open fire. But perhaps, if we pray and weep together, it will draw us closer. Rest in peace dear ones, and may your families and friends receive comfort. God please help us.


Writing © Copyright 2017, ancient skies

image from cityfilmtv via google

Maria’s First Date


She held her small blue purse, with both hands, clutching it close to her chest, just like she always did when she was nervous. At 42, it had taken Maria years of therapy to make it to this point, yet she still sat in her chair, terrified.

The doorbell to her apartment rang a second time, and she jumped out of her chair with a start, and tentatively walked towards the door. She did manage a smile when she opened it, seeing Joseph smartly dressed in a brown leather jacket.

He noticed her purse right away, and the way she held it, making it clear she was nervous. He smiled though, being the perfect gentleman. They drove to the movies and he was as gentle as ever. In fact she had never met a man more gentle.

He never laughed at her when she did not want to see the Suicide Squad, because it might be too scary. She wanted to see Finding Dory instead. He never flinched over the movie choice, as she sat next to him, holding her purse up high.

It turns out they both enjoyed the movie. Joseph had the popcorn, and every so often her left hand would tentatively leave her purse she was still holding, to reach into the bucket. He noticed she was smiling more as they left the theater, and walked to the café.

In fact, once they were seated she actually put the purse down on the table, but close to her left hand. She relaxed a little. She wanted to tell him everything, about her and her sisters being abused as teenagers, how she begged her step-father hundreds of times not to go to the liquor store anymore, and how her pelvis was broken once. But she didn’t, she held it all back, other than a quick mention of taking anxiety medication. She at least needed to tell him that much, she thought.

He figured out that she had probably been abused, and he admired her wonderful sense of courage. He wanted to share about his own pain, his wife leaving after 20 years, how he swore he would never go out with another woman again. But he didn’t, he held it all back. It was their first date after all.

But when they made it to her apartment door to say goodnight, she began to thank him for how wonderful he was, and tears flooded her eyes involuntarily. “Thank you Joseph…..thank you…..for not making fun of me!” Great sobs began, and she blurted out, “This is my first date….ever!!!”

He instinctively reached out to hold her, she wept into his shoulder, and the emotions touched him so deeply, that he cried with her.

Once she was safely back inside her apartment, Joseph made an oath to himself, and to heaven. He swore he would never, ever, ever, hurt her feelings in any way. Her fragile spirit was more precious than gold, and he knew it. He has kept that promise ever since.

It took weeks for Maria to work up to her first kiss, and she decided she liked it. She always did love the taste of spearmint.


Writing and Image © Copyright 2016, ancient skies

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“When we love people, we give them hope.”

The 2000’s

Vacation 206

A Prose Poem

It was the horror stories to end all horror stories. Years of pain and suffering, waking up, crying in pain, before we ever knew. Before they told us, “There’s something wrong with her blood”. Life threatening anemia, bleeding through the stomach, through the nose, throwing up blood. Heart attacks, kidneys shutting down, praying in ICU.

It was cancer. Chemo. The children were small, it tore us all to pieces, on the inside. Fragmented emotions, it changed us, left scars, I’m still dealing with it. Thank God she made it, thank God. Fear came to live in me, and built a castle. I’m tearing it down though, brick by brick. And I’m not giving up.

Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t fight, that’s bull. You may need an army behind you, or you may need the strength of the One who made you, but you can fight. We press on in spite of the battles.

My Love is the one, that taught me courage – taught me to fight – and she is the reason – that I write. Living the inspiration.

Bruised and bloodied, but walking out the healing now. Living in the light.

Keep fighting, and I wish you peace!


Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXXI – Burying Fear

Mountains and Rivers 020

“Oh no you don’t!” “You’re not leaving my here all alone!” It was Jennifer yelling, even though she had just put Jacob back to bed, after a feeding. She continued with, “Think about it… want me to stay out here, in the middle of nowhere, with a baby, and there’s a bear in the neighborhood!” Jeremiah had not thought of it that way. She was right for sure, and he knew it. Jacob began crying, wondering why is Mom was yelling. Jeremiah looked at the clock in the kitchen, and saw it was 3:32 am. He paused, then said, “How soon can you be ready?”

As they began loading the van they had, Jeremiah slipped into the darkness, to call Roger Preston. He and Monique were still in France. When Roger picked up, Jeremiah said “Roger?”. “Jeremiah my good man!” Roger was always glad to hear another person’s voice. Jeremiah explained where they were going and why. Roger knew all about Kentucky, from Cathy telling him, just last week. Roger said, “And it could be dangerous, if the man is as crazy, as he sounds.” “Yes…” Jeremiah continued with, “I’m also calling to ask for prayer.” “Meaning, Monique prays, so can you ask her?” Jeremiah was not all that religious, but he knew a good resource when he saw one. Roger said he would ask her, and that he would send up some positive thoughts as well.

They left at exactly 4:10 am, which was good considering all they needed to load. In addition to some overnight bags, there was a diaper bag, a stroller, and a playpen. Jeremiah thought, “Why do women need to carry so much?” He didn’t tell anyone, but he also put a wooden case in the back, which contained a beautiful 12 gauge shotgun, with a carved stock. And he packed a pair of binoculars and a telescope, so they could look the place over from a distance.

They drove west towards Pittsburg, then southwest, down into West Virginia, and did not stop (except for short breaks) until they reached the Kentucky border. It had been 9 hours of straight driving, and they were exhausted already. Two hours later they were in the hills, and close to the cabin that Cathy and Cory had stayed in.

Cathy and Cory were in the middle seat holding each other, and absolutely terrified. Cathy was holding Cory with one arm, and her purse in the other, which still carried the huge handgun. Once in a while Cory would whisper, “Mommy, I’m scared.” Cathy held her closer.

About a mile, from the cabin driveway, Jeremiah pulled over the van and told everyone to wait there. “If he comes after you… know what to do.” Taking several cases with him out of the back, he headed for a deer trail, and some hills that would give him a good view of the cabin, without being too close. They waited. It was the longest 20 minutes of Cathy’s life.

Suddenly, Miriam’s phone rang. They all jumped, Miriam answered and said, “Yes?” Then, “Ok, yes we will.” She continued with, “Jeremiah says there is no danger, but we all need to come to where he is, on top of the hill.”

Once they got to the top, they found Jeremiah sitting on the ground with the telescope, pointed at the cabin. He motioned for Cathy to come close. “Look through here.”, he said. It took a minute for Cathy to focus her eyes through the lens.

She gasped. She saw Lance’s badly decomposed body, on the front porch, covered in blankets, in the rocking chair.

To be continued.


Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXX (30) – We Stick Together

Mountains and Rivers 155

They talked late into evening. It was the first time really, that they had made a big decision, together as a group. Miriam was the one that was most afraid of guns, and Cathy was the one most afraid, to not have one. After a lot of talking, and after sending Cory to bed, they voted. Each person said yes, but they needed restrictions.

Any guns they had, were not to be used against people, unless for some reason, they were attacked, and even then they should talk about it, if possible. It had to be a life threatening situation. The same was true of any bears, or other animals in the area, that would be harmful. Jeremiah gave the example of a dog having rabies, trying to bite them. They would simply have no choice. A bear being in the vicinity, was not a sufficient reason to shoot the animal. No one wanted that.

They all noticed though how Cathy could not wait to get her hands on the .357 magnum. It was strange really, and her face even changed, once she had it in her hands. Miriam asked her though, to please keep it in the kitchen, on top of the refrigerator.

Over the next week, Miriam, Jennifer, and Jeremiah all noticed a continued change in Cathy’s behavior. She was more jumpy, and actually carried the pistol in a holster, on her belt. Any sudden noise outside made her jump. Late one night, Miriam and Jeremiah were talking in bed, when the topic came up. They both agreed, that Cathy was still very much afraid, and that they would talk to her about it the morning.

After breakfast Jeremiah asked to speak to Cathy outside. Suddenly Jacob vomited all over the kitchen floor, and Miriam and Jennifer were busy cleaning it up, so Jeremiah had no choice but to tackle the issue by himself.

Outside Jeremiah said, “Cathy you’ve changed over the past week, you seem very afraid.” She said nothing but sighed, and looked down at the ground. “The gun has made your fear worse, much worse……instead of you being more confident.” Gathering courage he continued, “We should go down to Kentucky, together Cathy, and face Lance – Miriam and I……well…… we can go with you.” Cathy panicked and stuttered, “No! I….. I…… cannot do that…..there’s no way!”

“Cathy do you always want to live with the fear, that Lance is after you, waiting behind every bush, ready to jump out at you?” There was a long pause, and Cathy continued to look down. She said, “No, I don’t.” He knew he was being too pushy, and was about to apologize, when she burst into tears, and ran into the house.

It was almost midnight when Cathy knocked lightly on the Miriam and Jeremiah’s bedroom door. Miriam was asleep, but Jeremiah was up with a light on, reading The Prophet, by Gibran. He put on his robe, and saw Cathy, when he opened the door.

She said, “Can we leave in the morning?” “I’m tired of being a victim!” Jeremiah shook his head yes, and said, “And we will be right there with you…….you’ll see……we stick together.” “Is 4:00 too early?”, he asked. “No, the sooner the better.” And she went back to bed.

Just before falling asleep, Cathy thought of Jeremiah’s words, “We stick together.” Her mother used to say that…….especially during the tough times…….. Cathy slept soundly for a few hours, until the alarm went off.

To be continued.


Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People on Earth XXI – Freedom

Mountains and Rivers 401

Cathy lay awake planning their escape. She kept asking herself the question, should she kill the man? Not only was he insane, he was a despicable person. He had attacked her several times, and he was right now, passed out in living room, so they could leave if they wanted. He always kept a loaded .357 magnum pistol, next to him though. And then she was afraid of the drones.

Unable to sleep much, she got up very early the next morning, and went to the kitchen for some water. He was snoring on the living room floor, smelling of alcohol, and urine. She found a letter on the kitchen counter, that would change everything. It was from the United States Congress…….which explained the drone program, and spoke about the survivors. She was stunned, but a sense of relief came over her. “So much for that fear.”, she whispered. She was reading a few lines about a farm in Pennsylvania, when he came up behind yelling, “What the hell are you doing!!” She turned around just in time to receive a backhanded slap to her face, which knocked her to the floor. She was so angry, she wanted to run for the pistol, but she sat up and said nothing.

Lance took the letter, lit it with a cigarette lighter, and threw it, into the unlit fireplace. Cathy didn’t care though, she had what she needed. As she held a hand to her bleeding nose, she knew now, that she and her daughter would be leaving, and it would be tonight. She was not afraid anymore.

At the farm in Pennsylvania that morning Jeremiah, was at the kitchen counter, fixing breakfast while the two ladies were at the table, talking about Jennifer’s baby jumping inside. Jennifer took Miriam’s hand and placed it on her stomach, saying, “See, right here”. “Oh I felt the baby jump!”, Miriam was excited now, and turned to Jeremiah, “Jeremiah!” “I felt the baby jump inside!”, she said. Jeremiah turned and smiled, and said “I heard sweetheart…”

Suddenly the phone rang, for only the second time since they had lived there. Jeremiah quickly turned off the stove, and reached for it. It was his turn now, and he said, “Hello?” a man’s voice on the other end said, “Hello my good man!” “Whoever you are, it is certainly good to hear your voice!” “My name is Roger Preston, and I’m calling from England!”

In Kentucky, Cathy purposely came back late, hoping Lance would be asleep, or passed out, and he was. She wanted to at least pack a couple of suitcases for her and Cory. She and her daughter got dressed for bed. She put her daughter in, but stayed by her side, waiting, making every move in her mind beforehand, so it would go well, and they could escape unhindered.

One hour later she picked up her daughter, now soundly sleeping, walked out of the house, leaving the door open. She gently placed her in the car, and buckled her seatbelt. She tiptoed back in the house. Would he wake up? She picked up the two suitcases from the bedroom, and continued walking through the house on tiptoes. Lance was snoring loudly.

She put the suitcases in the car, and went back to the house one more time. From the doorway, she could see the .357 magnum lying on the table next to him. She gently walked over and took it, walked out the door, and without a sound closed the door behind her.

Running to the car now, she hopped in, put it in neutral, and drifted down the hill, with the gun at her side. At the bottom of the hill she turned the car on and took off. She looked down at the pistol on the seat, and realized that if he followed her, she would kill him for sure.

She was heading for Pennsylvania…….and nothing was going to stop her.

To be continued.


Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”