All posts by faithlesspaladin

About faithlesspaladin

I am a writer from the Appalachian Foothills of East Tennessee.

Only Bones

I fell asleep in the car, parked in The Fort, a weak winter morning.

There was snow in the night, and even this ugly neighborhood is shining.

My head still cold from the glass, I watch the sunrise.


I think of some long ago thing, some sacred place, and I put it away.

Winter is here, and there is no place to run to, as the world ends again.

I put away trinkets and snapshots of love that was only a high, a drug.


A young woman walks carefully down the sidewalk, in a bright red parka.

Long chestnut hair hangs loosely. She looks up, sees me and smiles, looks down.

We have stolen everything from her. Her children will be lords of only bones.


June, it passes without a breath.

In this room, the day met it’s death.

I see sweet seduction in bare skin,

sucking on an ice cube from a glass of gin.

The sunlight gold becomes the moon’s white.

That smile, that warmth, this appetite.

If angels know passion, let this spell be.

If only demons work flesh, cast me into the sea.

I want to go to you, and know you, open those doors.

I want to go to you, but not spill blood from my wars.

In the moon’s white we illuminate the divine eyes.

A dream of solace in touch and in passionate sighs.

Lay close to me, your flaxen hair soft as heaven’s silk.

Let it bring us close to life, let us not choke on the devil’s milk.

Let the name I chose for you become a sacred rhyme.

Let us be humble and whole, this time.

Garden Between Rivers

Walking in the winter morning, still dark and quiet.

Cold snap, and the medal I wear of a military saint

Won’t keep the demons away when they come.


I can’t call to that friend, can’t call her name

With faith or hope, though I love her so much.

Angels have flame swords that smite unbelievers.


James Agee Park, between the Tigris and the Euphrates

Might one day be in bloom and eternal sun again

And I can take her hand and love her with no fear of wrath.


The Messenger Angel

The Messenger Angel, is eating cold cereal in my kitchen.

They are watching the birds on the naked limbs of winter trees.

They are lost in thought, maybe composing a revelation for someone.


Awkward and abashed, I try to think of the words, or something,

the right invocation, or obscure formula that formulated at the

beginning of time for one such as this.


The Messenger Angel wipes away the milk from their lips

with the back of their forearm, then lips the bowl to their

lips, greedily drinks the sugary milk.


I make to sit in front of them, on the other side of the table,

but just stand in the entrance to the kitchen. I don’t look them

in the eye.


The bids sing, the house is cold, and The Messenger Angel

puts down the bowl. They look at me and sigh, standing up

to go.


“I’ve already told you what I came here to tell you.

I am not your judge, or enemy, and I am your friend.

It’s all up to you now.”


The Messenger angel walks past me, and my eyes are

still down and pull away from them as they pass,

and go out the door.

My Father’s Sins

I am my father’s sins revisited, revealed and lived again.

Let me entertain you. Let me play the fool to amuse you.

See me make eyes and flirt and tell jokes to beautiful women.

See me charm them with this goofball cornpone bullshit.

I will disappear, when I am home, not say anything, watch TV.

I will disappear, no audience means no joy, or a reason to care.


I am my father’s sins, and just as helpless and floundering before them.

I don’t come close to anyone. I can give ’em the old razzle dazzle,

but I run from sorrow and pain and the messiness of our human sickness.

I just fill my time alone with dreams and memories and lusts.

He sits in his chair upstairs, and I sit in mine downstairs, befuddled.

We both want to be close to each other, or someone, but we turn away.



Warm Wind In January

God loves you, but not enough to get his hands dirty,

or whisper in your hear when The Devil roars,

or wait even in an hour in the endless nights.


Up in the sky, disinterested, listening to the praises

that are all he really wants, or to ogle all those girls

on Spring Break in sexy swimwear.


Maybe he’ll turn his eyes too, give a warm wind

in January, or make you think, for a moment, that

he really is interested in His world.


But The Devil has you by the throat, and the thoughts

draw blood and sleep and rest are impossible before dawn,

and you know you are always alone in the fight.

Exiled Fae

Cara rides her BMX bike through her subdivision, before sunrise.

Cold in her navy blue hoodie, tattered sneakers, and faded pink shorts.

The houses are dark and silent. The birds too angry to start their singing.

Cara feels like an exiled Fae, her long gold hair trailing behind her.


The trees come right up to the road. Vines and vegetation threaten

the manicured lawns and well tended gardens, as the world ends.

Their might yet be winged and tiny Faeries in those dark woods.

And that comforts her, after she lost her big brother to the war.


The quiet of the morning, when her head is clear, the static low.

The cold soothes her thoughts, makes them too sluggish to draw blood.

Cara rides and rides, before the world awakens, ands starts howling

and cursing itself, and God demands his tribute of blood, any and all.


Cara comes to the little park, with it’s playground, bright and friendly.

She stops, leans on one leg, and looks at the playground beneath the stars.

The air raids, the sounds of guns distant, same sounds through all of time.

They are not hear in the still before sunrise, when she can remember play.





Sigil of the Saint

The snow is welcome in a warm winter.

Big, fat and wet flakes, silencing the night.

Her and I stand beneath the streetlamp,

as the flakes shine bright in its glow.


She wears a teal and white beanie,

with a fleur-de-lis, sigil of the saint.

I watch, as she watches it all in wonder.

The flakes land in her black hair, and shine.


So many bad nights for a moment of wonder.

She is my friend. I’m starting to trust her.

She turns to me, and smiles, breath conspiring clouds.

I do not flinch or pull away when she reaches out to touch my face.


The mermaids are still out past breaking waves, singing their songs.

Dark hair and aquamarine skin, sparkling, in the morning sunlight.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.


It’s a cool autumn morning, just before winter and snow comes.

I feel the chill in my bones, and in my heart, as life goes on.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.


I hear their song, and I remember, as a young man, I kissed one.

We sunned ourselves on the rocks in the hot August sun, long ago.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.


I feel more than winter coming. I feel more than life passing by.

I feel as if all I love is already lost, already taken by the cruel men.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.


I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.

Barely Keeps Me Warm

The restaurant had been loud and bright.

All that noise rang in my head, even now.

I stood on the side of the road, pulled over,

looking out on the city lights in the valley.

Twinkling and distant, as I was God looking

down on the stars from the dark halls of heaven,

from the cold winter stillness of his throne room.


The hoodie, navy blue and emblazoned with an

actresses’ face, barely kept me warm in the wind.

The actress was an icon and an angel in the night.

I sought sublimity in her beauty, grace in her acts

of kindness, and hope in that she was like me;

one of God’s unwanted children, one all the good people

wanted swept away in a blood tide at the end of the world.


Up here in the hills, city lights below, the stars above,

my too long hair whipped about by a cold winter wind,

I wonder if the falling stars are angels coming to fight,

or fallen ones coming down to make sure it all fucking burns.

I wonder if I can find any peace anywhere else, any other place,

in this world that is ending not in God’s judgment, but in our own

nasty, petty cruelty, and blind, ravenous greed, and God just watching.

Faith can’t change the human heart, everyone acts all the same here.