Rachel Michelle Collier

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all she had to do Was.

(for the chronically ill & misunderstood.)

you are not.

even Really sick; you are sick because
Don’t. so
all you have to do Is.

this, while my eclipse begins.
All i have to do is.

and i can see the eulogy: (they are)
(still looking down on me)



(while looking down on me)

: bowed, swiveling heads
now with eyes fogged red
mourn with intense hisses
solemnly swearing,
all she had to do Was.

and i’d rather become ashes
long abandoned in a crematorium
than to have this lie
send me to my glory! lord—!
—all you have to do Is!

All you have to do is, lord, please,

all You have to do is.


Donnell stares, looking up: Mm! The rising moon. A pretty red twilight. A shining light and then, a gust of wind and then – twilight resumes. The color of the Man: unknown; the color of the horse he rode in on: unknown. He saw it, though. He saw some sight. Donnell stays, anticipates.

Glancing about, intensely focused, looking upward, Donnell stares. A coyote’s moan doesn’t chill his bones – the Man’s the hold that won’t let go; the Man’s the one to watch out for! A glint between the stars, a pause, and now . . . and now . . . . . . Donnell stays, anticipates.

Deep into the dusk Donnell stares: There! The near moon now illuminates the scene: the Man wears flowing robes and balances a glowing globe of Earth in his left hand. In his right he holds a key; strapped to his back, a crook. He drops the globe – it hovers there and spins – reaches for his crook, then holds it out, searching about, concentrating, face concerned     –Donnell runs, anticipating.

Donnell hits the pavement; feet are flying way too late now – this is fate at any rate now! Now, something on his neck, warm in contrast to the cool night: closes round and then (he twists the crook), a little pressure, a gentle pull . . . Donnell fights this drawing near, desperate for his wife Lucille, scared and panicking, but then he dares to look again: hovering, he glances up instead of down and then, he sees the horse and then, he spies the Man and then – he meets his eyes. The color of the horse up close: unknown; the color of the Man: who knows; the color of his eyes: who cares. ‘There was a warmth,’ is what he’ll say. Donnell stays still, participates,

anticipates the discipline he knew was due (though not like this!):

Donnell, you’ve wandered way too far; I could barely see you anymore, and My shepherd’s eyes are the best there are! Why have you turned away from Me? tantalized by strange, wild pastures? Lost in lands which I’ve forbidden, isolated from the flock. Separated from the family. That’s the way that lion stalks, lamb, picking you off one by one!

I told Saint Peter ‘Feed my sheep,’ and he obeyed; lamb – don’t you have enough to eat? and don’t you have the best in Me – both savories, and sweets? are you so greedy for what seems to be greener grass that you would risk the further walk for that? I’ve come to tote you back: draw you in, draw the line again, gather you in My arms, and walk you home.

These shepherd’s eyes are the best there are but I could barely see you anymore, Donnell, you’ve wandered way too far; I could barely see you anymore. But look: here we are! Because here I am. I’ve found you yet again, Donnell, and – I always will.’


Donnell, stunned, stares, silent, blinking at some sleeping trees. The growing grass . . . a night cow at a fence . . . . . . There had been a breeze, and then, a glimmering, and then – then the Man and horse were gone, with the make and color of the horse he rode unknown, but the makings of the Man himself: pure; ONLY. Donnell trembles the whole way home. That voice. And yet again – that choice.


Donnell watches on his knees, ready for anything. A lowered head. Upturned palms gesturing. A presence fills the air and then, an overwhelming weight and then, a fear starts into him and then – a quickening of hope! – a startlement of joy! – and then . . . and then . . . . . .


Donnell prays, anticipates: Donnell prays, anticipates: Donnell prays, anticipates: anticipates: anticipates: anticipates: anticipates: anticipates.

the Angry god

I  stand  here,  heart  open,  no  fear  |  Bitterness
fading,   fleeing   from    Your   perfect   patience,
replaced   by   compassion   during   the   process
of    illumination    |    I    crave    Your    presence,
Your perfect revelation |

You   dissolve   anger     You   dissolve   anger     You   dissolve   anger

Rachel Michelle Collier is from Mississippi, and has also been published or has work forthcoming in Fathom Mag and Ekstasis Magazine. She wants you to know that you are loved.

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

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