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Clear our streams of consciousness.
Purge our wagging tongues in purity.
Clean our mottled, ambivalent hearts.

We are the keepers of earth’s flame:

We will decide the fate of waters,
limitless, mercury-less fish, blue
skies filled with sprite-birds singing.

Get under the waterfall of the living;
death is easy and surprisingly cheap.
Enter clear streams & wash away guile.

Wash hands filled with blood and mayhem.
Clear streams pierce through our amnesia.
Clear streams give amnesty for indulgence.

It is not our vast metropolises that will
reflect the greatness or genius of mankind.
It will be in the simplicity of our clear streams.

Alice Parris


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I wait for my first-light lover.

He is alive with musical vibrations
& lyrical laughter. He draws me past
the night’s cruel maze of darknesses.

His eyes are the color of Cool Gray
His skin is burnished like fine brass.
His voice is harbinger of a new moon.
His smile melts ice-stars; to shed tears.

I wait for my first-light lover.

my feet grow stong like roots & my
legs are hidden by Birds Of Paradise.
He never understands how long I wait;
his days are my endless months, years.
His job is to sprinkle gold-dust on those
with dead-fish eyes, so they can glisten.

My first-light lover
cleverly stole Cupid’s quiver of arrows.
In stealth, he has become the King of Hearts.

I wait for my first-light lover.

He is there in black-obelisk night.
In inhalation & exhalation at noon.
He is there as day disrobes, donning
musty-dusk. He is there as fire flies
seduce sultry, summer eves. He is there…

at first-light.

Alice Parris


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Who lies rotting in those elaborate crypts of granite,
while the living bleed profusely from life’s hardnesses?

I am an ambassador of faithful intercessory prayer.
My eyes have been honored to see many dead raised.

Through time and space, these prayers have been
well-watered by the tears of a newly broken-heart.

Who can ascend to this rocky path upon pinnacles?
I am inviolate; soft petals unmoved by gales of wind.

Alice Parris


To the cheater, it means ignoring the office “hottie.”

To the liar, it means telling the truth,
even if the price to be paid is the loss of one’s “image.”

To the unforgiving, it means making a list and using it
to check and see if the mere mention of someone’s name
makes you start crying, reliving the incident, yet again.

To the gambler, it may mean walking away from
carousel-like entertainment, festive,  blinking lights,
leaving incessant machines ringing.

To the idle-minded, it may mean giving God
both one’s thoughts and one’s prayer-life,
distancing one’s self from reality shows.

To the glutton, it may mean writing a new
shopping list, eating foods foreign to the palate
but  good for the body, only one pass at the buffet.

To the gossip, it will mean letting the juicy news
about someone else’s failure die in the throat.

To the mocker and scorner, it will mean
resisting the urge to deride another by virtue
of a sharp mind, sharp tongue and quick wit.

Ahhhh… To bridle one’s tongue. It is like taming
a rushing river, or caging a dangerously wild animal.

To the ill-tempered, it will mean letting insults
roll off the back as though one were a duck.

To the addict, it will mean refraining from habits,
which have been formed to relieve pain and stress,
learning to resist the bottle of alcohol, pills,

and  Alice-In-Wonderland psychedelics,
available by one quick phone call,
and “losing” the supplier’s number.

To the selfish, it will mean denying yourself
that expensive, new jacket and, instead, giving
warm blankets to the homeless.  It will require
a Christ-like focus on the needs of others.

Mortification of the flesh is one of the most
difficult things that Jesus will ask of us,
but He will ask.

And, therefore, to the self-righteous it will mean
understanding that “all of our righteousness
is as filthy rags.”  We are imperfect, still.

Alice Parris

*First published in Windows Towards The World