A Snapshot of God in 19 Parts

A Snapshot of God in 19 Parts




Walter is 63 when he decides his hands

are too old. They ache when he holds

his new daughter, and the piano in the foyer 

has been untouched for years,  and that

he thinks, 

is a sin.




An osprey cries as it circles the lake.




Rachel is 14 when she falls into a coma.

Her father buys her a room in the best

hospital on the market.


Now there's debate 

on whether she's alive or dead.




A fish slides silently under the waves.




Walter is 86 when he stands by his daughter's bed.

She is still beautiful, though her limbs

are thin as string.


In the bed next to her is a boy of 11

with hands of smooth 

pink pearl.


How much for your son's 

hands, he asks.


They are priceless, he's told,

but knows

that's not true

about anything.




An osprey holds a fish in its beak.

The fish screams, but the osprey

can't hear a thing.




Walter is 89, 

playing Liszt in the foyer.


The house is filled with song, but only he

is around to enjoy it.



An egg cracks open, peaking its head out to behold

the other eggs.



Rachel dies at 36 in a bed she never moved from.


She is buried nearby

beneath a birch tree.


Now there's debate 

on whether she's alive or dead.




A chick cries for its mother's vomit.




Walter is 102 and lonely in a house with too many rooms.

He places a finger on the keys, 

but can't remember how any melodies go.

He stares at his hands, still so pink, and considers

for the first time

that they don't belong to him. 

Nothing seems to anymore, and he wonders

if it ever did.



A birch tree stands alone holding fleshless bone.

Soon more grow to join. Now the graveyards

are forests.


Walter dies at 104, 

leaving everything he has to the only part of him 

left alive.



A fish dives too low for any bird to reach.

Another fish gets it instead.



Roger wakes up at the age of 39. 

He wiggles his left thumb, then his right.

His hands seem different, but

so does everything else.


When the nurse comes in she tells him, welcome back

Mr. Millionaire.



An osprey perches on a cabin roof, 

watching a man chop down trees,

though his fingers

can barely grasp the axe.




Roger is 60,

throwing birch logs in the fire with aching hands.

He turns to his wife. How strange, he whispers,

that this smoke reminds me 

of slumber.



An osprey tears through an old man's wrist, and his even older



It carries too many pieces 

back to its chicks, dropping some

into the lake.



A fish nibbles at a wrinkled white knuckle.


Far above an osprey circles, batting its wings,

and crying.






Joe Nicholas is an experimenter, experiencer, editor of The Screaming Sheep and member of the Germland collective. He received his degree in Applied Psychology from Champlain College.

He can also be found here --> 8rainCh1ld.tk .