Macbeth’s End

Once upon a time, there was a dark prince who
waged a protracted war against the people.
He delighted in ambushes of the mind.

While swords clashed in the heavens, chaos and
confusion oppressed the people in the light of
day. The enemy sabotaged our highest hopes
with deep despair.

Our lives became deserted battlements where hearts
smoldered in ruins of rage. And so the story goes.

If this was fantasy, wouldn’t you want to know
how it all began? If this was a mystery, wouldn’t
you want to know who did it? If this was a
comedy, wouldn’t you want the laughter to linger?
Certainly, you would!

Lean close. Let me whisper. Macbeth’s end would
be too good for this dark prince! I know how this
story ends. The dark prince will come for a time,
then go, but a people will rise out of the ashes.

How? By the power of Him who breathed life into
Man. By the power of Him who raised the Lamb of
God. Hear the name of truth and life being spoken
softly to the ear of your soul. It is the name of He
who was, when history had not yet happened,
and the future was fully known.

Like the “emperor with no clothes,” we think we can
cast shadows in a dark room. In the light, the scars
of our hearts mirror the scars on His hands and feet.

Copyright © 2013 Alan L. Slaff, selected from
“The Boy in the Mirror (2nd Edition)”

Ancient History

I put the suitcase I borrowed from
my mother in the trunk and got in
the car.

My father drove and smoked. And
smoked some more. He is usually
lecturing nonstop by now. I cracked

the window open to get some air
then closed it again. His visible
nervousness made me even more

nervous. He started talking. After
each cigarette, he’d open the window
just enough to flick it outside then

close the window without interrupting
his monologue. He never wanted to
hear anything I had to say, so I

listened to his World War II Army
stories again about his basic training
in Burlington. No post there now.

Ancient history.

I think he was trying to give me advice.
He pulled up to the front of the AFEES
building in Newark. As I got the small

vinyl suitcase out of the trunk he asked
me to please write. We sort of hugged.
I started up the steps as he drove off.

Seems like just the other day. That trip
to Newark ended with a late-night bus
ride to Ft. Dix for basic training.

It was fifty-five years ago yesterday that
I enlisted in the Army. Thank you, my God,
for your protection and care. You are my

refuge and strength. You alone are God.
The rest is ancient history.

If Owl Could

Will I live long enough to see a cold clear
glass of water become a thing of the past?
I think not.

Will I live long enough to see no more
women and children being abused?
Or teenage gang shootings or high school
killing sprees? I think not.

How about no more rape, road rage, or
sexual abuse? No more abortion or fetuses
found in dumpsters? I think not.

Our culture has become a stagnant pool.
Unfit to drink. But the people say, “Drink!
It is good!”

How will history remember our culture?
History might record that we saved some
trees and a few birds. But in Heaven,
the record shows a culture filled with
pervasive hatred and a high body count.

What about the owl, who neither grieves
nor frets his place in time? His specialty
is simply owling. That is what he does.

If Owl could, he would cry out to our
Maker on behalf of mankind, who has
forgotten who he is and who made him.

Copyright © 2013 Alan L. Slaff, selected from
“The Boy in the Mirror (2nd Edition)”