Together in the current of paved roads, at one day’s break and another’s beginning swell, two friends walked alongside the warmly lit windowpanes of neatly groomed suburban homes. The lone moon hung hundreds of miles above their heads in a wave of endless darkness — an unfathomable depth of murky sea beyond its luminous shell, dotted with flickers of faraway hopes and distant dreams.

A bundle of dry wood burned, snapped, and popped blocks away while a bustle of dry leaves rustled, cracked, and crunched beneath each pair of worn sneakers as they moved in unison. The earthy aroma seduced…


Who would love you if every irrational thought, desire, ill word, lie, mistake and regret were known? If nothing could be hidden from another… who would love you? A potent and bitter medicine to swallow.

“They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.” -Psalm 62:4

Jesus’ sacrifice established a precedent that defines the human race above all others with the potential to recognize every fellow neighbor’s dignity, or we may say potential for excellence. The majority of God’s creatures on this earth display a…


When did our ancestors realize the jubilation of song? All of the pride it brought the tribe to sing as a community of voices… All of the joy it brought the individual to sing as a tribe… This discovery of cathartic release may be one of the most treasured means of placing a single human-being into present happiness within a group— large or small. The production of each individual’s internal vibrations transmits in similar patterns, pitches, and tones to create an ever-present hymn of the human journey.

Yet, as the birds chirp in their distinctive song, do they feel such…


The Birth of Realism in War Literature

“Perhaps” poem, Vera Brittain, 1934.

One of the most under-appreciated gifts given to us by the World War I & World War II generations was the birth of realism in war literature. By the tips of their pens, they debunked their predecessors’ romanticism of war and divorced the idea that violence and patriotism were mutually inclusive. No longer was patriotism necessarily woven into the irrational, aggressive instincts of man. Patriotism could be patient, reflective, and even compassionate towards a friend or foe. It could be universal in its doctrine—healing in its means, uniting in its ends.

Through their solemn diary entries, melancholic poetry, and plainspoken…


The man once despised and rejected by his own is the same man filled with love and acceptance for his own. Therefore, it is not surprising that his fundamental gospel remains dormant in his self-proclaimed followers to this day.

— Forgiveness —

The gospel is a straightforward antidote to the great ills of our human experience. The archaic code of ‘an eye for an eye’ and ‘a tooth for a tooth’ was blessed with a divine alternative route that gifts the victim equally as the abuser a passage toward inner tranquility & outer peace. The problem is— it isn’t simple…


There was a long silence between us that day…

In life, I’ve observed three principal silences. The first silence is akin to sitting on black asphalt during a summer day beneath a hanging garish sun. Every molecule of moisture spreads upon the blushed skin and weighs densely upon the fatigued muscles as if enclosed in a sultry box of endless heat. Each salty bead of sweat uncomfortably tickles the skin to gradually soak the assortment of clothes with the stench of ammonia. …


A Conversation

A rhythm of guttural noises reverberates into the air. A silent companion listens with steady-eyed patience to the sounds produced within the chaos of nature’s melodic cacophony. A genuine focus follows each sharp intonation, trailing pause, rapid movement, and flowing passion of a friend.

A personal cache of memories loosely unravels like rolling balls of motley yarn in the mind of the listener— defining the pattern of sounds and movements. The past experiences of the listener attempt to compassionately untangle the deeply embedded meanings in the fabric of each unraveling word of the speaker— the underlying adhesive of friendship.

Then…


Life is the endless potential, the limitless possibility that is dissected, amputated, and reproduced from the primordial organism of Chaos…

A marriage of merging elements collapsed tightly into a tremendous density that ignited and spewed its new elements, new inhabitants eternally into an ever-expanding ring of stars and galaxies on a mysterious dark, cold, and formless canvas or, perhaps, mysterious warm, colorful, and formed canvas. An error of randomness ensued, a miscommunication between Creator and Created established, both forever to be befuddled at the movements and motives of the other. The unfortunate beings, the worrisome beings of the conscious mind…


The sun began to submerge itself behind a mountainous range of cumulus clouds — floating delicately above the horizon. The autumn day celebrated its end with a reposeful chill of fresh air that cleaned their lungs from the soot and smog of combusting gases. In front of their eyes between the enormous steel buildings, light particles scattered and stained the clouds with shades of violet, teal, and blood-orange. The landscape between the metal towers commanded stillness from the earth but the asphalt jungle continued stubbornly to bustle and scurry as if unrelated, a bastard unworldly child to its master. Only…

P.J. Herring

🇺🇸 Returned Peace Corps Volunteer 🇵🇾🇵🇪 || Author of the novel As Iron Sharpens Iron 📖

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