Reasoning says
We all have to die
You say
It’s a step to forever
I say
Heaven is high
And I am earth.


Two images remained
distilled from some human show.

A black man hanging from an oak,
body limp, head tilted left,
devout crowd looking up,
but not to heaven.

A man roasted in a tire,
circle of flame for a belt,
black smoke his halo,
sticks thrown into his hell.

I wondered then,
and wonder now,
how dreadful were their deeds.

School Days

You boys should
Have been practicing football
Talking with buddies at lunch
Looking at pretty girls
Day-dreaming in English class
Throwing spitballs in study hall.

You girls should
Have been at lockers whispering secrets
Sitting with a certain boy at lunch
Giggling while looking at boys
Raising your hand in English class
Studying while in study hall.

You should never
Be hearing shots in the hallway
Be hiding under a table
Be whimpering in fear of death
Be seeing friends lying in pools of blood
Be having nightmares afterwards.

Seeking Peace

Slip into your sanctuary
be it fond memory or future hope
hidden glen or forest tall
resting porch or bedroom sleep
massage of skin or afterglow.
Find your cellular hidden place
that final refuge for sacred peace
like tiptoeing into twilight.


The shadows
Of the bare tree limbs,
Fallen upon the snow,
Made me think
About the shadows of life—
Being like the three lines
Of a haiku:
Short but alluring.

Dennis Herrell was a soldier, an English teacher, a sporting goods wholesaler, and a gift/card wholesaler. His writing life began in college and continued off and on during his working years. He semi-retired in 1988, and started buying and selling antiques, and doing more writing and submitting 7 books and some eBooks.