Sunday, January 1, 2023



God’s Work


My wife and I are driving up Hillside Ave.

Past the St. Peter The Apostle Anglican Church.


It is a warm sun-drenched afternoon over

Canada Day long weekend.


And I notice a green wheelbarrow

with many lawn care implements set out

on the church grounds to clear away some brush.


God’s work,

I mutter under my breath.


If my wife hears me,

she doesn’t say a word.


Listening to Martika sing about Toy Soldiers

on the SiriusXM Radio 80s station.


A six-month free trial.

Which is hardly a miracle, but we’ll take it.

I Know Why Fools Pray


It could not be with more regret.

That mumbling unsure voice is mine now.


Tumbled walls of old munitions,

your place still warm right here.


The unreligious brought to knee.

I know why fools pray.


A love so great, 

only an equal pain for me.


Dead man walking –

I hear the rodded golden fields say. 


It could not be with more Hope.

Nothing ever helped.


A tiny simple urn I have never seen.


All this pain and guilt 


The Icing Takes The Cake


Here I am 

out on maneuvers

by the sweaty brown Solomons,

practicing land assaults

working back from aging lifeline pinky

and there's Bazooka Joe up in the gum trees

with salty night vision goggles for eyes,

looking to kick a sudden cramp out of 

of the latest rules of engagement 

so that the icing takes the cake,

"like a sewing needle up a donkey's ass"

which is less than plain speak for a successful mission

which is what we all want to be on

when that eraser on the end of every 

grade school pencil knows better.

Any Man Born Before Me

Is A Tombstone


I wonder

what Lucasfilm

will come up with.



your future

if you let it.


Any man born before me

is a tombstone.


That is what we mean

by that long lost treasure

we always find

in ourselves.



She kept trying

to talk to me.


She didn’t know

I was talking

to God.




RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Our Poetry Archive, Setu, Literary Yard, and The Oklahoma Review.



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