– Journey to Excellence


Wayward Poem by Richard Crossley

Fingers of those golden rays dance across the lines where the darkness meets the darker out on the ridge of pines and the morning dew cast diamonds that no-one can bear away and day begins its trek again, that’s always been the way. And I rub the stubborn sleep from old eyes that want to see how the days and years and time eternal passes by and by, and my prayer today is just the same as you have heard before even when this body was still fresh and young and thought it would be evermore, before time had made bones brittle and stiffened joints with pain, before sicknesses and failures and long days in the rain.

Won’t you lift my tired arms and help me fly again. Clear away the doubts I feel and help me try again. Fill me with that awesome light that lifts and strengthens with your might and leads and carries and maketh bright the dark and fearful heart it lights, and soaring on the breath of hope with faith in everything you spoke through lips of those you called to give the answers to those who would live. Break my heart that you might make a bigger one to hold my fate and take my soul from this dark place that I might look upon your face and know that we can find true joy. Teach me to walk upon that path that leads me home, this wayward boy who hopes and dreams..

Lonely Temptations

There’s a lonely

past the wishing,

that someone else was near..

It feels a lot like emptiness,

a bitter taste like fear..

A place so dark that stars are lost,

so deep the heart is crushed..

A cold and rough remembrance,

that you can never trust.

You wonder how you got here,

what lies you so believed,

that you gave away your precious time

and spent the gift He gave.

I always knew

His love is true,

and carries every stone..

But when I hear your lying tongue,

I find myself alone.


The Horseman

The noose doth tighten, and in the distant darkness the smile of death rests upon the icy cold shoulders of a black steed.. He waiteth, not impatiently, but with cruel and uncaring malice, for the final stitch; the last and ending gasp that signals the great challenge of being is over, the test of mortality at last complete.. He judgeth not, for such is not given him, but were he not soulless he would list to serve the darkness, and had he hope, it would be to drag all away to the darkness and stagnation of hell..

The dying looks upon the beast, nearly tasting the bitter and vile stench of waiting doom, and uncaring.. He thinketh not of hope, or future, or glory, or pain… only of rest, be that an end to the misery, emptiness, and burden his life has become. He closes his eyes in quiet submission to the black void and surrenders… but death is stayed at the door by greater forces.

What power doth wrought upon my very soul, unafraid of this monster darkness, and chaseth away the confusion, quells the careless heart, and quickens the forgotten spirit, that it riseth above the flesh? Even so, is not this the very God that gaveth by His word the recognition of self? Am I not, but by His grace, mercy, and love? How cometh I to such despair, and anquish of soul, but by turning away from His loving council? Why then looketh He upon me still with such tender mercies? How forgiveth Him even such as I?

Life anew on borrowed time, and none to spend reflecting on the wasted moments of an unchangeable past.. How bright the sun upon the same landscape which barren, now blossoms.. Once dark, now lit by understanding, and open eyes.. Once silent, now joyously testifying of life’s eternal promise.

Poets’ Spirit

The words, empty and meaningless,
without purpose, strength or ability,
change no views, sharpen no sense,
and define no sentiment..

Like paint in a bucket,
to be splashed upon the surface of our lives,
creating nothing, but a landscape of banality,
until touched by the spirit of the poet,
who breathes life to their form,
adds color to their emptiness,
stretches their boundaries,
changes their structure,
and captures life within them.

Mother Remembered


From infancy through childhood, to manhood, where I am,

You gave your every living breath, to help me understand;
That life is more than hunt and peck, nor just a party grand,
and what I do from day to day, shows not all that I am.

You took on all my problems, with love and thought and care,
and all the unseen burdens, you shouldered them as well..

The seeds that you implanted, blossom still in me today,
and all the love you gave me, I still use to light my way..

Now the Lord has given refuge, to a body tired and worn,
and a part of me goes with you, and knows that you are strong..

As I continue watching, through this window called my life,
I’ll see you all around me, and remember all you taught..

To give of love, and thus of life, to all who will partake,
and someday stand beside you, as we view from Heaven’s gate..

The Bake before Christmas

Twas a week (more or less) before Christmas and panic set in

Momma knew that the baking prep had to begin

There was butter to buy, nuts and chocolate in bulk

and to bring it inside she would need that great hulk

So Pops would play chauffeur, cart pusher and bank

and Momma would lead him, sometimes with a yank

The aisles would be crowded with people in need

and yet most were friendly, like brothers indeed

When supplies are unloaded but not put away

Momma takes just a moment, to breathe or to pray

and then with her measuring cups and her spoons

she’s off like a whirlwind, a flour storm looms

Bowls and pans cover countertops littered with crumbs

and hands mix the cookie dough until they are numb

The dog patrols restlessly his circular path

ensuring the floors clean and stoking moms wrath

The heat from the oven and the cold wind that blows

make the windows look icy, like old Frostie’s nose

and Pops in pajamas, hot cocoa in hand

Just watching and smiling, like he has a plan

And time somehow stops while rushing ahead

and it’s the wee hours, well past time for bed

but Mommas still cooling and packing in tins

loving treats for her family, neighbors and friends

Poppas plan is completed, every batch tested well

his milk glass is empty and Momma can tell

She told him to stop, but he does what he can

and he tasted a cookie from every hot pan

The children all grown up with lives of their own

But this time of the year they may all visit home

So they rest on the sofa, mom tired, dad stuffed

and they gaze at the tree, both of them feeling chuffed.

It soon will be Christmas and our savior above

fills the hearts of all those who believe in His love

Though our faith must be tested and trials overcome

If our love is unbroken, we’ve already won