There is a beauty that you will never see. Even this man before me - forever quiet on this metal slab - all 274 pounds of him- possesses a beauty. I mold his ample folds of flesh between my hands, I close his staring eyes, I inhale the elixir of what remains of him. Opened, the totality of him revealed, I am moved near to tears at the collaboration between his enlarged heart, engorged stomach, and spiralled intestines, each of which has worked overtime to keep him from my blade. And his glorious, grey matter I now hold in my hands like an offering to the gods, to weigh and to ponder the thoughts it once held. He is beautiful, he is horrible, he is none of us and he is all of us and his magnificent temple is as sacred as any other.

Story by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Photograph by Adam Ciesielski


Sharon at last, has halted her bleating
which was the result of a good and sound beating
administered by someone who loves her true:
Her dearest, her boyfriend made her black and blue.

For the transgression of not dusting and more
Maria's fiancé threw her to the floor.
Then Maria the quiet, the meek and the mild
rose softly whimpering - just like a child.

For the God awful sin of drinking a beer
Anne's darling, her husband punched her in the ear.
And for talking and having an opinion at all
her beloved, her husband shoved her through a wall.

Oh women like these never tire of learning
and thus must be thrust to the fire till burning.
And women like these do not run - do not hide
while waiting for all of the blows to subside.

For allowing them to be girlfriends or wives
the significant others demolished their lives.
How twisted Shaniqua's body and how silent Pat's breath.
Tell me how can they all look so happy in DEATH?

Poem by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Photograph by G Schouten de Jel
(October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month)

"Blind Date"

Stood in the rain and I debated
to stay, to go and so I waited,
'til the day became the night
and I realized with certain fright,
that you would not come.

I gripped my hands and I stifled
thoughts that with my heart you'd trifled;
that I the calm, the undemanding
would be left in the rain standing
and you would not come.

My hair became a matted mess
and glued to me became my dress.
Powerless was I to move my feet
as water spat out from the street.
But you did not come.

Afternoon and school children passed
and when heaving, I'd seen the last,
I knew then but could not mention
the cruelty of your intention--
that you would not come.

Now the city has gone to sleep
and my own company I keep.
But I will stay and man my post,
sleeping in a box at most.
Maybe then you'll come.

Then you'll come.

You'll come.

Please COME.
Poem by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Previously published by the delightful Unfettered Verse
Photo by Dovile Cizaite


After all, it was a stone; a big piece of rock. It was a tough piece of old something that had hurled through the solar system a million years ago to find itself a dark glistening in the hands of a boy.

The boy was a ten year old freckled, curly red head. A seeker, a thinker, a step in the puddles boy – but only a boy.

The two, the stone and the boy, met on the bridge which spanned two hills over the highway. Mute, the bridge was the sturdy witness to the meeting.

And under the bridge, day after day, streams of vehicles flowed: The greens and reds, the rusted,the shiny new. From morning until night, their motors were afire with the urgent comings and goings of their occupants.

As each rounded the curve of road and went under the bridge, the boy watched and twirled the stone in his nimble fingers. He also watched the sun, the cloudless sky and the smooth motion of the journeying birds. And he watched the ceaseless movement of the cars occupied by people he didn’t know.

One easy pitch, like throwing a baseball across the dry school field as he had done so many times, was all it took. The stone left his fingers and twirled unevenly over the side of the bridge. Physics dictated that the stone picked up an enormous amount of speed along the way. Without looking back, he turned and headed home.

Just then, with no time to spare, the woman ignored the speed limit and dashed up the black, seamless ribbon. As she negotiated the curve and neared the bridge, the falling stone struck her windshield, broke it and was stopped short by her forehead.

The proverbial fates had conspired that day. The rock, the boy, the woman and the car all intersected at the same time and place.

Finally home, the boy played his video games, ate the snack left on the kitchen counter and waited.

After all, it was a stone; a big piece of rock. It was a tough piece of old something that had hurled through the solar system a million years ago to find itself a dark glistening in the hands of a boy.

And the boy would forever question why its trajectory should end with his no longer having a mother.


Story by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Photograph by Jeremy Sharp

"Best Girl"

Mary guessed that now that he was married, he wouldn't be "hanging out" with her anymore.

Twirling around in her mind were the memories of Sunday dates spent on long drives, strolls through the park, going to the movies or passing time at the ice cream shop.

She knew that with a brand new wife and eventually a family, their dates would be a thing of the past. But one Sunday a month-was that too much to ask? One day out of thirty- too demanding on his time? Their time?

So lost in her reverie that she barely felt the moisture trickling down her face.

"You are acting like a big baby," she muttered to herself. "You knew it couldn't go on forever."

From a distance she heard a car horn. Then the phone rang and rang and finally the doorbell got her attention.

When they were settled in their favorite booth, he took her hands into his own. "What happened? Did you forget what day it is?"

"I thought..."

"You thought I'd miss Sundays with my best girl? Not a chance - Grandma - not a chance!"


Story by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Photo by Anissa Thompson

"Tough Love"

His siblings had already left home.

His mother continued to provide for him although each day she returned later and later. Once or twice he went hungry.

One day, when she didn't come back at all, he decided to take his empty stomach and leave. He took a running leap and stepped out into space.

At the last minute, when he began to struggle against his fall, he suddenly felt himself soar.

His mother watched as her little robin rode the breezes near the treetops.

At long last the nest was empty.

Story by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Art by Dez Pain