Butt-Ugly Beautiful

fa54ceb6-2378-49c3-a736-91c5382d2414As they rounded the corner of the far entrance of the Music Concourse at Golden Gate Park, Craig said, “Look at those trees. They have to be the ugliest trees I’ve ever seen.” Then he whipped out his iPhone and took a picture of the nearest tree.

“What are you doing?” Allison asked.

“I’m taking a picture of this butt-ugly tree and I’m going to post it on Instagram so all of our friends from back east can see it.”

“These trees may be different looking, but that doesn’t make them ugly,” Allison said. “They’re examples of the beautiful balance of nature that God has created. I actually find these trees strangely inviting.”

“Oh come on, Allison,” Craig said. “You’re just goading me into a big discussion about God, aren’t you?”

“Not at all. But unlike you, I do see beauty in that tree. And I am also a fan of Joyce Kilmer.”

“Who’s Joyce Kilmer?”

“He was was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for his short poem titled ‘Trees,’” Allison said.

“I’ve never hear of him or that poem,” Craig said.

Allison started reciting the poem by Kilmer.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Written for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (entrance), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (tree), Ragtag Daily Prompt (balance), Word of the Day Challenge (create), and Your Daily Word Prompt (inviting).

JusJoJan — So Help Me God

82cab2ad-b8f2-4519-bb50-c409fe129a8dToday’s word for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January prompt is “testify” and it was suggested by Dan Antion over at No Facilities.

What I will never be able to understand is how anyone who is summoned to testify before Congress or who is subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and who is under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help him (or her) God can lie.

SoCS — Mysterious Ways

e2cd22fc-d18b-40ab-b028-3accb7270d21“It’s less than three months away!” Brian exclaimed. “I’m not ready.”

“Not ready for what?” Ben asked his roommate.

“The Rapture.”

“The what?”

“The Rapture,” Brian repeated. “Here, take a look at this full page ad that was in today’s paper.

Ben read it out load. “Get ready for the Rapture. April 23, 2019 AD.” He handed the ad back to Brian. “Isn’t that what you call ‘end times’ or something like that? Where all true believers who are alive will be saved and will rise, along with the resurrected dead believers, into heaven to join Jesus?”

“Close enough,” Brian said. “And it’s happening in less than three months. I’m not ready, Ben.”

“Well, you know that I don’t believe in all that religious mumbo jumbo, Brian,” Ben said. “But you’re a believer, so what are you worried about? I’m sure you’ll float up to heaven with all of the other good boys and girls for fun and games with Jesus for the rest of eternity.”

“It just doesn’t add up, Ben,” Brian said. “Anna and I are supposed to get married on May 5th. But that will be too late.”

“Why will it be too late?” Ben asked. “Anna’s a good Christian, right? Maybe you and she can float up to heaven together, hand-in-hand, and get married once you’ve settled in. Hell, maybe Jesus, himself, will officiate at your wedding.”

“It’s not funny, Ben,” Brian whined. “I’m not ready for this. Why didn’t God give me some sort of sign so I could have planned for this?”

Ben pulled the newspaper ad from Brian’s hand and held it up. “Isn’t this a sign?”

“I don’t mean a physical sign,” Brian said. “A spiritual sign.”

“I don’t know, Brian,” Ben said, “but haven’t you been telling me ever since we met each other how God works in mysterious ways?”


This little sacrilegious tale, one that I hope doesn’t offend anyone, was written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. We are asked to use “ad/add/AD” (Anno Domini) in our post. We can use one, two, or all three.

#writephoto — The Forest for the Trees

132116e7-f536-491f-b49e-6d3f0c1d9014“That is absolutely fantastic,” Ellen said as she and her son were on their way to do some shopping at their local mall.

“What is, Mom?” Jimmy asked.

Ellen pointed to the wall. “That is,” she said. “It is so artistic, so expressive. The genius of the person who created it is truly amazing.”

“Uh, Mom,” Jimmy said, “I think you’re going a little overboard in your enthusiasm. It seems pretty straightforward to me.”

“Straightforward?” Ellen exclaimed. “You take after your father, don’t you? Just like him, you fail to see the beauty and artistry that is all around us. How can you see that,” she said, pointing again to the wall, “and not feel a sense of wonder? How does it not stir your imagination, heighten your senses, and elevate your spirit?”

“What are you talking about, Mom?” Jimmy asked. “It’s just a sign. And it’s kind of funny, actually.”

“Yes, it is a sign,” Ellen said. “It’s a sign from God. It’s a sign that speaks to the talent, artistry, and grace He has imbued in us. It’s a celebration of His love for us. There’s nothing funny about it. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s inspirational.”

“Mom,” Jimmy said, shaking his head. “It’s a sign that has two cartoon-like cars facing each other. It says, ‘Please Park Bumper-to-Bumper.’”

“I’m talking about the mural painted on the wall,” Ellen said, “not about the damn parking sign. You are so like your father. You can’t see the forest for the trees.” she added, as she stalked off in the direction of the mall.

“Whatever,” Jimmy sighed under his breath, running to catch up with his mother.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

FFfAW — What Do You See?

96afaf32-1954-4b89-a5fd-a58b647a3a85“I see a cute and cuddly teddy bear reaching out for a hug,” Rachel said.

“I see God peeking out from behind the clouds, gracing us all in His glory,” said Anita.

“I see a map of Europe and Africa,” Robert said.

“I see thunder clouds forming and a thunderstorm coming,” Jimmy said.

“Have you no imagination whatsoever, Jimmy?” Rachel asked. “Surely you see something else when you look at those clouds.”

“They’re clouds, Rachel,” Jimmy said. “They are made of drops of water that are too small to see, which have turned into a gas called water vapor. As the water vapor goes higher in the sky, the air gets cooler. And that causes the water droplets to start to stick to things like bits of dust, ice, or sea salt. And that’s how the clouds form. Then the wind moves those clouds across the sky, constantly changing their shapes.”

“You really need to get a life, Jimmy,” Rachel said.

(161 words)


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo credit: Jodi McKinney.