July 19, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Joshua Wilking photo



Richard Leach




Encounter with the god of war



I went into the kitchen

and there it was,

crawling up the wall –

the god of war


I don’t know what it was

doing there in broad daylight

but there it was and so


I slipped off my shoe,

raised it in my hand,

and moved very slowly


across the room. I

stood completely still

for a second when


I was close enough

and then I smashed that god

as hard as I could!


I lifted the shoe back up

The god was flatter

and it was leaking


down the wall but its

legs were twitching so

I smashed it some more,


over and over

What a mess

when I stopped


and an awful smell too

I’m going to throw the shoe

away, I don’t even want


to try to clean it. But

the god of war is dead!

If only everyone

who saw it would

smash it too. You only

lose one shoe. Well,


two because half a pair

is no good but that is

a small enough


price to pay,

I would say








after Psalm 17



Am I dreaming when I say

that holiness should protect

the innocent when they

are stalked by the violent?


Those who say and do

what is right even when

no one is there to see –


holiness should be the eagle

hiding chicks behind her wings,

screaming at what hunts them.


Or is it the violent who dream

when they empty their hearts

and boast of their power


as they prepare to feed

on the lives of others

like lions on their prey?


Who is dreaming, who

will wake? Who will see

the face of holiness? Who

will hear it scream?






Richard Leach

Richard Leach is a poet and visual artist living in Stamford, CT. He was a pastor for 21 years and his sacred poetry is widely published as hymns and anthems, in musical settings by many composers. He posts secular poetry online and collects it in self-published books. His poems have appeared in RattleBetter Than Starbucks and mobiusmagazine.com. Find his books at www.lulu.com/rleach, art and poetry at https://richardleach.deviantart.com

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