A quiet sorrow
never heard in the din of humanity,
lost amid clanging bells of busyness.
Sorrow for soul, sorrow for self
and quiet anguish for lives wasted.

In the quiet hours
listen to the soft gentle voice of mercy,
shutting out tormented cries of a world
gone wrong, of a world gone mad—
listen in the quiet to hope.

In a quiet space
away from the horrors of mortality—
crimes against the children of God.
In silent shadows, with silent tears,
pray for mankind in quiet sorrow.


© Richard Keith Carlton





They linger in mist
across a great divide
between the here and the now.
A mile from heaven, they wait,
amidst cleansing fire, the final beckoning—
in the hall of souls.

The past left behind
lost forever and a day
when time determined all things.
Now in a constant gray they wait,
where time has been swallowed in eternity—
in the hall of souls.

Say a prayer for them
from this mortal dwelling,
offer them a moment’s suffering.
For when at last they journey home,
they may remember to pray for you—
in the hall of souls.


© Richard Keith Carlton




I follow you now, with a new pace,
resolved to never turn back or aside—
no matter how often I stumble or grow
weary. I have followed the songs of sirens,
gone astray and afield of truth, only to
find myself lost in some valley barren—
a thousand miles and heartaches from you.

But then, you told me long ago, when first
I heard your words of life and hope, that
should I follow, I must take up any crosses
that would come my way, to never look
back, trusting you would lead me home—
lead me to truth, the only truth. Beyond
these plains and highways of toil and woe.

Long the journey has been, my Lord indeed,
and filled with days of sweet and beautiful
consolations to heart and soul. And nights
as well, when the cold specters of shadows
seemed my only companions, their icy fingers
gripping me, so that at times, I felt I would be
pulled into a black hole of nothingness.

And when least expecting it, the shadows
would disperse, light would shine, and I could
once again see clearly the road leading home.
Come what may, what winds of circumstance
may blow, I have come too far to turn back.
I will follow you. For what else can I do—
to whom shall I go dear Lord?

You have the words of eternal life.


© Richard Keith Carlton