Green smoke, whispers

Behold the black lion.  His teeth red, his chin wet, with blood.  Glowing embers from the depths of hell, fix on his prey, fix on you.  “Your safe.  Your ok.  Don’t worry,” a rumbling murmuration, rumbles from his throat.  His words, that are his unleashed children, are all lies.  In an empty field, cold air bites your skin.  You have no weapons, and the black lion approaches.  In your hand you remember, you have a one way radio.  On the other side of it, He is listening.  You need not format your words, or regurgitate some ancient chant, just talk.

“Put down the radio,” hisses the black lion, showing the snake tatoo on his silver tongue, “He is not listening!  Why would he help a wretched blight like you…  Surrender!  Surrender to me!”

Your thumb finds the button, waking a red glow.  The line is open, as the black lion lunges for your throat…

Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert


Fabric of Life

Everyone’s life, is a fabric square on a large tapestry.  We all live, for a twisting wisp of a blue gray shadowy moment, then we die.  Our story is added into the tale of humanity.  Where does the tapestry hang?  Is it proudly displayed in God’s great kingdom? Or perhaps, is it only stored in books, and memories.   A dying phantom, chained by lost languages, burning invaders, and evolution’s relentless march.

That prompts a question.  Does death scare or hurt Evolutionists?  From nothing, there can only be nothing.  No soul, no life beyond death, no real value, becomes all there is to look forward to in that perceived existence.  If I were to believe evolution as true, I would reduce myself to the product of random chance, and the offspring of a filthy monkey.  I would have no creator to ask for guidance and help.  My relationships with other people would be reduced to simply the shifting and sorting of dead matter.  Life, would not matter.  Millions, and millions of years of nothing was all there was, so what value is a few years of a false something.  There remains, only nothing.

I recently heard a wise man say, “I don’t believe in God, I know in God.”  I like that.  As a writer I am commissioned to write what I know.  I have never been to Heaven, or swam in the fiery lakes of hell, but I do believe they are real.  Much like I believe there is a center of the earth, and a heart in my chest, I believe gravity and heartbeats are felt, and not seen.  I therefore can only tell what I believe, and if you need a demon wing, or a pillar of heaven, then I can’t help you.  All I can do, is show you that you have a value beyond your physical pattern, I can take that invisible magic that is called love, and send it floating on the invisible air, to land on your invisible soul.  Love, for the sake of simply showing it exists.  It rhymes with the purpose of God.  It shows God.  It is God.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert


Dear Daughter…


Dear Daughter,

I can’t believe you are nine years old now.  I still remember when you were born and fit on my forearm.  We had a 2004 black Nissan Sentra, it was loaded with diaper bags, a pink car seat, and an excited mom and dad.  I think I spent six month painting your powder pink room, with lady bugs and castles on the wall, and a dark blue sky with a cartoon sun on the ceiling.  I had to repaint the clouds twice, just to get them perfect.  It was all for you.  I love watching you grow up.  I cherish each moment, each phase, and you.  You will always be my sweetheart, and I love you.  I feel like I have let you down countless times, but I will continue to talk you though my mistakes, as well as yours.  I love you too much not to.  I see you worry about my approval, but please don’t.  I am always on your team, and on your side.  I thank God everyday, that he put you in my life.  I will forever strive to keep your momma happy and loved so that you can feel safe everyday, and not have to worry about your parents.  It breaks my heart every time you cry.  I want you to know that I am willing to help you dry your tears, anytime.

We are going to have to talk about boys soon, and to be honest, I am terrified.  I think, silver hair is in my immediate future.  I know you have a buddy at school, but I know, things are going to get weird in a few years, if they aren’t already.  I think I may use your 2 year old brother as an example.  How he loves cars, stands up and cheers for anything starwars, and his vocabulary is half sound effects.  He is likely to never think about, or plan anything about his wedding.  Boys aren’t wrong, they are just so very different.  I want you to hear it from me first.  We will go on a date.  We will talk.  My silence, is not ok.  God gave you an extroverted, chatty dad.  Don’t worry, I am going to keep this date appropriate to your age.  I just want to build a foundation, for you to be able to ask your dad about boys, and life.  I think we are going to be ok.  I know I often say, “You are the practice kid.”  All that means, Sweetheart is that mom and I are constantly learning how to be parents with you.  Mom and I both were ‘first born’ so we understand your frustration.

So, what do you think?  Can I take my sweet girl, in the powder pink shirt, out on a date?  Just me and you.  We will load up in the 2015 black Mustang.  You can sing Taylor Swift, or Katy Perry at the top of your lungs.   I will tell some silly daddy jokes.  I love the way you laugh.  Sweetheart,  I am sorry I cry a little, every time you talk about getting married.  I take a deep breath, and sigh, and only lose one or two tears.  You put your hand on top of mine and say, “Don’t worry daddy, everything is going to be ok.”  I couldn’t agree more.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert

Clean Heart

Murky, mud stained windows, block realities view.

Painful memories like thorns ache, lodged the mind.

Black talons,  a dark grasp, tears the woven curtain of thought.

What solvents can clean, a muddy cake, from a fouled heart?


The vacuum is loud, brushes are spinning in a blur.

A tornado of dust, vacant from the plastic cylinder.

Turn it off, unplug it.

An emergency surgery performed.


A clog is discovered,

of faded green pine needles,

black cat hair,

and gray dust.


Plug it in, turn it on.

A dust tornado,

dances in the cleaners heart,

alive in purpose, again.


Before God, a heart is removed,

Green slime, like dragon snot, falls.

Thick smoke, like burning bread, floats.

A daily surgery is performed.


Stand up, start the day.

Pain and worry, daily, cleaned away.

Existing happy, no longer hurt, and mean.

Because, the heart is light, the heart is clean.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary Gilbert


Shifting Perspectives


“It’s got to be black, and have a standard transmission.  If I am going to buy a new mustang, then I am going to do it right.” my neck was hot, and my pulse throbbed in my temple.  “I like to have control, besides it looks cool.”

The salesman didn’t linger, he walked over to a lot tech, “Go and grab that black ECO-Boost from the back lot, I think we found it a home.”

After a three hour volley of negotiations, I finally agreed on a price.  After you buy a car, if the salesman looks like he wants to punch you, and the manager won’t talk to you anymore, you did good.  I could think of a thousand ways to spend a few extra hundred bucks, or a few hundred ways to spend an extra thousand bucks.

“I am in complete control of my life,” I smiled as I rolled down the street in my new fastback.  It smelled like new fabric, and clean rubber.  The radio was loud, it was June, I wouldn’t make it to the end of the year without 2 speeding tickets.

My mind was taking in the moment all around me.  “Better call the wife,” I dialed the phone.  I knew I was going to be in trouble.  There is a reason car dealerships don’t want you to call home to your wife.  She will shut the whole thing down.

“Uh oh,” she said over the phone.  I could feel her emotion over the phone, it was calming and supportive.

“Yeah, when you get home, I wanted to warn you about what is in the driveway.”

“It’s ok, you have been working hard, going back to school, a career change, you’ve earned it.”

“Ok cool! Thank you, I love you” I hung up the phone, I was happy.  I got to stay married and I get to keep on living.  When husbands draw out the ‘I love you’ statement, almost contorting it into a plea of mercy, then you know that they are really feeling guilty, but are glad they are gonna get away with it, this time.

The ‘whisp’ and ‘whoosh’ of the instant turbo boost is intoxicating.  Sammy Hagar is singing about how driving 55 is something, he may not be able to do.

At an intersection, I see a man sitting on a red bucket turned upside down.  The look on his face, takes my breath away.  He looks beaten, hopeless, tired, and ashamed.  The sun is hot today, the car says 94 degrees.  My heart breaks, I have spent my entire day, devoting myself to buying a car I wanted, and didn’t really need. I found a $20 in my wallet. I seemed to snap out of my capitalistic coma,  as I took it out.  I was going to get a burrito and some six dollar coffee, but now I have lost my appetite.  Was this guy, true to his image, or a conman earning an easy buck?  The question didn’t matter anymore.  I considered for a moment that God put me here, in this moment, and all I have to do is acknowledge that I am grateful.  After I hand him the money, his situation is between him and God.  I look at the rainbow glisten in the strip they sew into the money.  I crease it and put it in my left hand, I drive up slowly and stick the money out the window.

“Hey man,  God has blessed me way too much today, I think it is your turn.”

He smiled,  a glimmer grabbed hold of his eye, “God bless you!”

I tried to drive away, but the car lurched and stalled.

Maybe somethings in life, just need to be Automatic.



Filtration of the Mind

A filter removes contamination, however, what is captured, has to eventually go somewhere….


My mind, often seems like a forgotten mountain lake.  It is remote, isolated, and surrounded my thick pine trees.  Sometimes I let people dump trash in it.  Why do I do that?  It just rots and festers.  My thoughts tend to swim, like fish in the lake of brain.  They dart, dive, and bump into each other.  They feed on bits and pieces of what I read, what I watch, what I hear, and grow.  Sometimes, if the food is corrupt, they mutate.  A way out? My writhing army of thoughts, my deep chasm of slimy fish are about to escape.  A bar screen lies deep in the bottom mind.  The swirling water is dark, and algae sways in the shadows.  A fishy thought wiggles through a broken bar, it twists and flops down a dirty pipe underground.  It is hidden.  Big fish escape, and become words.

That is why, I installed a filter.

Ideas in their raw form, are barely palatable to most listeners.  In the past, the twisted fish of my mind would leap into the air, morph into words.   A splatter of emotional puss and guts would spray all over the ears and minds of my audience.  It air smelled, and people would become angry.  I found out, an unfiltered thought, that finds its way into words, is a dangerous thing.

My filter is online.  It holds a mass of coal and sand in a deep concrete pit.  I slows my speech and prevents unnecessary contaminants from making their way to my mouth.  As I think, and get tired, the filter plugs.  I get irritated.  My words become ambiguous and aggressive.  The filter is failing.  Then I stop my life.  I take five minutes, it is time for a backwash.  My minds lake is cut off.  I ask, my Creator to walk with me, to ride in the car with me.  Clean water, pushes up from under the grain.  Filth, and debris are lifted out of my filter.  But where should they go? The brine of my evil thoughts, the filter has stopped, are still there.  I could let the dirty water, go back up the pipeline and into the lake.  Then, my thoughts would feed, and grow.  They would become worse, stronger, and worst of all, more dangerous.  I give them to God.  I don’t understand why he would take them.  They are gross, and smelly.  But, he takes them every time.  Now, I don’t have to deal with heavy dark ‘fish guts’ thoughts anymore.  It is a good feeling.

Meanwhile, the fish, still swimming in my mind, are eating trash, and looking for a way out.

Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert


Life, whispers against deaths tide, Death remains successful


Of my body? No.

Of my soul? Perhaps.

Of my mind? Yes.

Grow new teeth, change my hair color with pure will,  or stitch a second heart?

I have tried, many many times, yet I remain unsuccessful.

My unseen soul swims, somewhere within my body?

Where?  Where?  I want to see it.

I can’t, so

I am silent.

To understand what is, light swimming in dirt?

I have tried, many many times, and I remain unsuccessful.

This body, a heavily glued, warm dust ball.

My wet blood pressurizes the the glazed soil, I carry.

For now.  I am a clay pot.  Where is the light?

It is dark.  I am dark.  I feel the light.  I want to see it!

When hundreds of years go by, and my dust is scattered,

What will survive the decay?  My soul perhaps?

Light crawls out of bodies when they die?

Who sees it?

Instead of widgets, could I make a factory producing,




I consider, for a moment, God.

What is sin?  Is it a tarred mass on my soul?

Is it a foul green mist, that corrodes my halo and harp?

Is my life a widget factory, perverted into an assembly line,

Of filth?

Of poison?

Of Unforgiveness?

I wonder, for some time, about Jesus.

Swirling dust, wraps around blood and breath,

that can clean my soul?

A scrub?

A dunk?

A wash?

I wish I could look through the dirty window, and see,

my soul hanging in the steam of the dishwasher.

Would it smell like lemons, when their guts spin in the garbage disposal?

The blood of God’s son, rolling thick, down the hidden drain,

of my soul.

Would smells of rotten meat, and forgotten milk, be erased?

How? I want to see it!

I am simple a sack of dust, yet my mind is obsessed with the unseen.

Am I soil, without soul?  Am I soil, held in a clay pot, tan and fragile.

Is my soul a seed?  Is it made of white light?

Lightning in a cloud?  Or a false dream, lost in soil?

If the Great Gardener, sends his son, to spill hot blood on the empty soil,

Will something grow, clean, and lighted,

beyond the soils last dusty breath?

The invisible souls harvested…

Warm orange blasts within morning light,

crawls over the horizon,

white light breaks through soil,

breaking fragile clay pots,

Clouds of lightning,

smell like lemons.

A souls successful cleaning.


Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert