The theme at Carpe Diem this month is that of a pilgrimage through various Buddhist shrines on the island of Shikoku, Japan.  I am not a Buddhist, so I cannot engage in this prompt in the way that some can/will.  That being said, as a Christian, you could say that I am on a pilgrimage of my own.  I have been forgiven, but I’m certainly not perfect (nor will I be until I get to meet my Savior face to face).  I am called, though, to live a perfect life.  I know that this is an impossibility, and yet it is what I need to strive for/yearn for.  If I can each day learn to live a bit more like Jesus would have me live, then I think that this pilgrimage is worthwhile.


of a pilgrimage –

every step

Yes, there is an ultimate goal – to live with Jesus in Heaven…but right now, I am called to live here.  I need to make the most of it!


Am I a Poet?

When do I get to call myself a poet?  I’ve been writing more and more poems, yet too often I feel like a fraud.  I’m certainly no Robbie Burns, William Carlos Williams or Brian Miller, but then again, Robbie Burns was not William Carlos Williams, and William Carlos Williams was no Brian Miller either.  This whole poetry thing is relatively new to me.  Can I call myself a poet?  Or am I just some hack who slings bad rhymes like a part-time bartender slinging drinks in glasses that weren’t washed quite well enough?

Sure, I love a lot of alliteration, and I understand similes like the back of my hand, but is that enough to really say I’m a poet?  Is knowing the lingo, and knocking off a few sonnets sufficient?  Is it enough to pen a few haiku or ballads?

There’s a question:  How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?  Perhaps that should be…how many poems must a (wanna-be) poet write before you can call him a poet?

Sometimes I feel like a fraud when I write a poem, but I’ve come to peace with this:  I’m no Robbie Burns, no William Carlos Williams, No Brian Miller, but yet, my poems are mine and they fight inside me until I give them voice and release them on the world.  I may be new to the world of poetry, but I am Bryan Ens, and I am a poet.


written for the prose poetry challenge at dVerse.

Bad For Your Health


Image Copyright -Claire Fuller

The sign said, “NO SMOKING IN WORKSHOP”.

Oscar always thought that sign was ironic.  After all, they were making cigarettes for export!

He looked around.  His co-workers were still on break, so in defiance, he lit-up and took a deep breath of smoke.  It felt so wonderful to rebel!

It took a few months before his vision became blurry.  A few months later, he lost control of his muscles.  Within a year, he was quite dead.

How was Oscar to know that the cigarettes were the Government’s secret weapon against the nation soon to be invaded?


for Friday Fictioneers where once a week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields gives us a photograph, and we get to let our imaginations run wild and write a 100 word (or there-abouts) story.


well manicured path
promising riches and fame-
a lonely goat trail

a lonely goat trail
heartache and pain with each step-
yielding untold wealth

a lifetime wasted
destruction and misery-
well manicured path


This is my haiku version of Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Linked to Carpe Diem

Winter Blows (Pun Intended) – a Sonnet for dVerse

The wind outside blows fiercly ‘gainst the walls
It howls curses at those safe inside
It knowsw naught but imprecatory calls
For those who face it not but choose to hide

Creating chaos is its fav’rite joy
And wreaking havoc ev’rywhere it goes
It’s always seeking something to destroy
And so in rage continuously blows

Oh wind, why do you rage the way you do?
This season makes your very worst side show
The cold of winter makes a beast of you
As much as me, you seem to hate the snow

Come back in spring when you’ll be more polite
And then together we’ll go fly my kite


posted for dVerse Open Link Night.

Square Pegs and Round Holes

I have three boys.  All three boys share the same parents, and yet, in some ways they are dramatically different.  Each of my boys has his own unique strengths and weaknesses.

My wife came up with an illustration to explain how my boys differ:

Give each of my boys a square peg and ask him to insert it into a round hole.  My eldest son would give you a lengthy discourse on why it is not possible to insert a square peg into a round hole.  My middle boy would either whine and complain about the unfair task that we’ve given him, or he’d completely ignore the task and find an interesting way to play with what he was given.  My youngest would take that square peg and bash it again and again until he made it fit.

In the microcosm of our home, then, there are radically different approaches to life, and yet, ironically, I find it shocking that in the greater world, that not everyone sees things the way that I do, and in fact, I often face fierce opposition

in diversity

don’t seek for the dissonant

but harmony


linked to Ligo Haibun

(inspired by the Mongolian quote: “Men and women sleep on the same pillow, but they have different dreams.” – I chose to write about different people as opposed to men and women)


At Carpe Diem, we’ve been asked to write a new haiku inspired by the following one by Alexey Andreyev.  First his:

morning awakening:
among window curtains’ flowers
a blade of gray sky

(c) Alexey Andreyev

Now mine:

the morning sun
kisses the distant treetops
greys fades to green