"Charlie's Inferno" by Charles Joseph

Last week I met up 

with an old friend 

at a local bar 


and after

a few drinks 

he asked me why 


I still believe in God

heaven and hell 

and all that drivel 


the priests and nuns 

poured into our ears

when we were kids


and I told him 

that it's because

I've seen God 


in many people

Beelzebub in others  

and seeing is believing 


or at least an indication 

that there’s a chance 

someone or something


is up there  

or down there 

patiently waiting 


for you 

to quick draw 

your death card. 


To which he said,

“That’s ridiculous,”

and laughed so hard


he turned ruby red, 

grew horns, black wings,

and a long forked tail,


and then he 

offered to buy 

the next round


and the next 

and the next 

and the next


if I denounced 


and followed him 


and believe it or not

even though I was flat broke

I turned him down


like a good Christian solider  

or at least like someone 

with enough common sense 


to know that the devil’s 

always in the details

and in most men and women 


who are motivated

to sell you their side 

of GOOD versus EVIL

"Reality Check" by Charles Joseph


Show me 

a man or woman


who is 

one hundred percent 


perfect, moral, 

selfless, and true, 


and together 

we can all search 


for a valley 

of wild flowers 


that will never

wilt and die.