Daguerreotype An old once-treasured memory engraved On glass to keep the dying past alive. A fractal blink of time preserved and saved So that the tableau-ed moment would survive. Three men, each silent, starched and stiff, perform A stoic. static, soulless pantomime As their unsmiling, frozen faces form A triptych-ed portrait from a former time. Three lives reduced to sepia and dust. Whose nameless voices rise as if to say: “How quickly earthly treasures turn to rust; “And memories and lifetimes fade away. “Remember us,” they beg with pleading eyes. “For everything that is forgotten dies.” Unsung Heroes Forgotten, unsung heroes, deeds unknown, Their names, their sacrifice and labors lost To time, erased from memory and blown Away like leaves felled by an autumn frost. No doubt they lived the same as you and me, With hopes and dreams of days and years to come, And yet when duty claimed their liberty, They added up the cost and paid the sum. I sense their fragrant presence in the air, Inspiring me with every breath I take To lift whatever cross I’m asked to bear In offering my life for other’s sake. What love demands—There is no nobler task. “Known but to God”—Far more than I could ask. To Live and Die in Pompeii Beneath the stars, the sun, the moon, the sky; Beneath the trees, the flowers, ash, and loam, Beneath the buried walls of Pompeii lie Our bones, entombed in what was once our home. Beneath a looming Mount Vesuvius, Where once we lived and loved and laughed and cried, Death’s darkness like a shroud enfolded us. With gagging gasps we breathed our last and died. How quickly life can be reduced to dust. And gold become as trifling as the clay. And what we crave with greed and burning lust By time and tide will all be swept away. Yet, even so, we lived as best we could. For life, while it belonged to us, was good. James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.