Joy Comes

Softly silent; kindly kept,
___the haunted hours crept.
Moonlit minutes—marked and mute,
___the lonely doubt takes root.
The tendrils twine; the rootlets reach.
___Somehow the sun must breach.
Morning breaks; my bridegroom’s come—
___virtue’s vigil done.
The light of love shines stronger still.
___Awake, Amore’s thrill!


What Happened in Vegas

Such chaos in the streets and in our hearts
bleeds through our careful guise of full control.
To crying eyes we lift our bloodied hands.
To hide our face we block out all the Light.
The coward in his window high above
sent terror through the night to lay them low.
As blood began to pool at fallen feet,
the Good ran in to gather slaughtered sheep.
“Where are you, God?” Our hearts cry out in pain.
So soon our nation dons our mourning black.
How are we here? My God! And it’s so soon.
The dark of night can’t hide our sins from You.
We huddle close to crowd the monsters out.
We open hearts to let the Light come in.


Rachel Holbrook writes from her home in Knoxville, TN. She is the author of the syndicated serial “Little River.” Her poetry and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Burningword Literary Journal, *82 Review, Ink in Thirds, Akitsu Quarterly, The Avalon Literary Review, The Springs of Helicon, and others. She was recently awarded an Honorable Mention by the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta at their annual English convention for her short story “A Slow Burn,” and received the Springs of Helicon Poetry Award from the English faculty at Tennessee Wesleyan University. She can be found online at

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9 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson


    Oddly enough, in the second poem your refusal to rhyme is very effective. Blank verse suits you, and you seem to have an ear for iambic meter. All technicalities aside, you laid out a strong idea very convincingly.

  2. James Sale

    Very moving poems; I especially liked Joy Comes – the way the lines almost coyly advance until the morning breaks and love becomes decisive. Beautiful.

  3. James A. Tweedie

    Let me add my appreciation for the lyric and moving blank verse in the Vegas poem.

  4. Lew Icarus Bede

    Life rushes past. It’s hard to do all the important things there are to do in life, and then write poems to boot. Where is there time for criticism? Anyway, I found, as Mr. Anderson and Mr. Tweedie did, the blank verse of “What Happened in Vegas” convincing and moving; but even more than that, its sonnetesque structure is extraordinary. I also enjoyed, the cloyingly alliterative “Joy Comes”.


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