Thursday, October 6, 2016


Image by Joel Hatfield via Wylio

Cold as ice—
This boat, it's drifting far from
Lost inside. I'm shaken like the waves
That churn.

Catch my light—
The flare that burns its way
Across the night.
I watch the red give way to
Fog-stained skies.
Until the silence
Screams my fears.

Waters rise—
I gasp from dreams that rob
My sleep at night.
The ocean pulls me to the
Edge, I try
To keep myself from
Plunging in.

Black-foamed lies—
The jolt, it sends me to my
Knees; I cry,
Or is it rain that stains my
Face this time?
Forget the angels, I need You.

Winds, they change—
Is that a cloud, or shore
Beyond the gray?
My chest, it breathes again
Without the pain.
You steer the current,
Guide me home.

Copyright 2016 by Ashley Williams

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Oceans Rise

Image: Jim Lukach via Wylio
Blue-gray skies--
Beneath, the paling water
Reflects your eyes.
The girl I was before would've
Asked you why.
But now I let you fall apart.

Moonlit blinds--
Your pillow's empty while I
Dream of Fire
I'm running quickly, but I
Said goodbye,
And now I think
I've lost my way.

Sometimes things,
They burn inside you. Never
Told you why
I ran so quickly to the
Churning tide,
But violence sometimes feels like home.

Oceans rise--
It fills the empty, but I'm
Numb inside.
I miss your laughter, miss your
Simple smiles.
I was my best
When I had you.

Blink my eyes.
Are you a ghost? Your clothes,
They smell of fire.
I breathe the smoke, I swear
I thought you'd died
When it was me who felt the burn.

Years, they fly.
You look the same as when I
Said goodbye.
Those years alone when oceans
Watched me cry.
But now, your hand,
It feels like home.

Copyright 2016 by Ashley Williams

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Image: spDuchamp via Wylio
Moth wings stir beneath stage lights.
I was pulled in too
The heat against my
Skin was like that of summer days;
You were a fog that drove the ravens away.

I told you twice I'd learn to fly;
You cradled me closer,
As if my frame were
Comprised of glass and hollow things.
But on nights you left, I'd fly again.

Loving you was a pool of weakness,
Hiding your monsters
They almost killed me.
Now you're a fog, and I've grown my wings.
Should your monsters return, I've learned how to leave.

Copyright © 2015 by Ashley Williams

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Sounds

Image: Leland Francisco via Wylio
I wonder if we hear them.
All of them.
You shrug off your work jacket
And turn off the light,
And that's okay, because you're human
And busy.

But they're busy too, clinging,
Without a work jacket
Because they're sleeping in sterile beds
Or on benches.
And that's not okay, because they're human
Like you.

It hurts, doesn't it? Getting close enough
To feel the prick
Of heartache that you caused yourself to feel
By being here.
Yes, you could leave and draw within yourself
And dream your pretty dreams.

And I wouldn't hate you, because hate
Has sharp teeth, and kills.
I know you're afraid of the sad songs
And new tears,
But water has a way of washing
Us clean again.

Since when is peace and quiet and thing
To be achieved?
You should know that heaven is loud.
My ears ring
From the sounds I no longer block,
But cherish.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Statue of a Soldier

Iron Mike from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 Donald Lee Pardue, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I don’t know much
When I sit among the statues,
Hold my voice just as they do,
With a poise that can’t be touched.

What can I say
To the bronze that stand in silence?
Yet their eyes reveal a guidance
That belonged to yesterday.

Evening grows cold.
At once, your shadow brushes mine—
Your war-scarred past; my perfect life,
And all the stories you never told.

Tell me to stay.
Teach me love and pain and meaning—
Things not stored in rooms of reading—
So I can live the life you gave.

I cannot fill
The height and width of your shadow;
I promise I’ll be back, though,
To stand with you again.

Copyright © 2015 by Ashley Williams

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In Dim Lit Rooms

Romantic Nights from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 Kelly Hunter, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

In dim lit rooms, the people dance.
My heart does too, in solemn lands
Where lullabies stir beneath the gray;
I watch them dance, I watch them fade.

A sleep so warm; these walls so cold
A moment fractured in still repose,
Like a picture in an ill-bent frame.
But you held me right. You made me stay.

But I must awake. I must go on;
Life calls me into a different song
Of crowded streets with homesick strangers -- 
Of dreams held back by paper anchors.

Leaves collect under bus stop benches
Much as they do on the graves of princes.
I suppose we're separated by the dreams we dream;
I suppose we dream only when we're free.

I miss your voice; you weren't always perfect.
But when you sang the dreams, you made them feel worth it.
O let me not walk to the cadence of men --
Just let me dream once to find you again.

In dim lit rooms, I found my dance.
My heart did too.

Copyright 2014 by Ashley Williams

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Song of Faith

'Alcatraz Jails' photo (c) 2012, Joseph Kranak - license: cold, damp prison cell. Rusty chains clanging with every slight move. Someone crying in the distance. A rat scurrying about in the corner in search of food.

Then beautiful, melodious singing. Even with blood still trickling down their backs and muscles throbbing from a recent beating, Paul and Silas refused to remain silent. They had seen the miracles, witnessed the lives changed instantly through Christ, and personally experienced the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. They knew there was something more, and were resolved to grab hold of it. No amount of fear could suppress their voices from singing praises to their God. 

Of course, we can only guess what songs they sang. Was it a slow tune just above a whisper, or was it an unbroken melody they sang at the top of their lungs? Whatever it may have been, it didn’t take long before the other prisoners turn their heads to listen, some joining in perhaps, and others possibly ridiculing their unlikely behavior. Still, Paul and Silas’ voices rang on.

Then, without warning, the room began to shake violently with such a pressure that every prison door burst open at once, and chains crumbled off the prisoners’ hands and feet. Imagine how that scene must have looked as the prisoners sat there in absolute shock. Such a great rumbling awakened the jailer, and through the darkness, he observed the cell doors wide open. Fearing that the Romans would kill him, he drew out his sword and prepared to take his life.

Paul and Silas could have waited with the other prisoners in silence as the guard killed himself. In fact, it would have made their escape much easier. Realizing that God had reached down and saved their lives, however, they chose to reach out and do the same for this man.

“Don’t harm yourself,” Paul called out in a loud voice. “All of us are here.”

The jailer ran toward Paul and Silas and fell down before them. As much of an unthinkable day as it had already been, something even more unexpected was still to come.

The jailer accepted Christ as his Savior.

Just one small act of faith, even in the darkest parts of our lives, often reaps bountiful harvests. Faith builds itself upon faith; fear only tears down. If Paul and Silas would have moaned and complained about their circumstances (like most are tempted to do!), the chains may have never broken, the other prisoners may have remained in that prison until their death, and the jailer may have never come to know Christ. Thankfully, Paul and Silas were able to look past their surroundings and see through the eyes of faith.

Psalm 51:15 says, “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Across the Bay

'moonlight coast' photo (c) 2007, Till Krech - license:

A cold hymn echoes low across the bay
Like the sound of old church bells in winter.
Your voice offers just a whisper,
And then, at once, the whisper fades away
As your hand brushes mine.

We played here as kids, and I was afraid
Of the day we’d grow up and say goodbye.
We walked along the water’s side
And pretended we owned the world, until
The night drained out the day. 

Alone, the birds never fly quite as high 
Or quite as beautiful as they somehow should.
And feelings I once withstood
Now spread through my soul like water through sand
Beating warm rhythm again. 

We grew older, but goodbye never came. 
We found a life we both wanted and feared;
I watched the grey skies turn clear,
Because I learned that even in the shadows
The heart finds new ways to see. 

An old song echoes against the water
But it’s not the sound of bells this time—
Just a lullaby intertwined
With aged memories of distant world
But not so distant love.

Copyright 2013 by Ashley Williams

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yesterday We Danced: A Sonnet

photo © 2013 by Michiru Maeda

As evening wanes between white parted blinds,
I watch the dust prance in its rails of light.
Reality and dreams soon intertwine
Like shadows of us dancing at midnight.

The apple-red quilt encasing my frame
Still retains your warmth and carries your scent.
A lone candle sputters its feeble flame,
While my yearning taps against a closed vent.

Footprints of angels tousle the carpet
Beside the bed where we made our goodbyes.
A melody plays; the sky turns scarlet
As chimes stir into a closing reprise.

Young wings seldom have the power to soar
Remember me in the midst of your war. 

Copyright 2013 by Ashley Williams

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Latest Book Release

I'm happy to announce the release of FOUR--a compilation of four short stories by four different authors. Timothy Holder, Ann Lovell, D. A. Adams, and myself were the authors, and our stories are sure to keep you turning pages until the very end! 

I feel very blessed to be a part of this project, as I had the wonderful opportunity to work with three very talented authors who all pulled together to make FOUR an exciting read. I also want to insert a very special thanks to Timothy Holder for making this story possible. I had the privilege of meeting him and his wife at WSCC, and was impressed by not only the collection of books he’s written, but also for his dedication to making college students’ lives a little easier and, most importantly, his love for God. Because of him, I wrote my first short story—something I thought I’d never do.

FOUR is now available in kindle format as well as paperback on amazon

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Free Books and Bibles

Love to read? Want free books--actual, physical books you can hold instead of the ebook stuff? Then go to and start earning easy points toward free books or Bibles! Yes, they really are free! I received my free copy of The Justice Game in the mail a couple months ago and wanted to share with everyone the benefits of joining the Tyndale Rewards Program. Try it out today!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where the Lantern Is

'Lantern' photo (c) 2007, m.prinke - license:

The lantern was old, rusting at the edges
And around the loop anchored to my hand.
Somewhere the wind whirled through
The neck of the hourglass, stirring the sand and settling it into place again.
I press onward.

Villages, all dark, sit in the valley crevices
Like toy soldiers stripped of their weapons,
Once wearing uniforms—
Now wearing just the rotten remains of a failed existence.
So many lives.

The lantern screeched as it rocked at my side.
Every footstep carried pain and love,
Love and pain, as the oil burned:
The flame was pain and the light was love, both fighting for each other.
Fighting for them.

The villages grew in size as I drew nearer,
But the uniform they wore fit just the same.
The broken windows throughout were like gouged eyes
Keeping them here, trapped in this darkness like forgotten hostages,
Like remembered sins.

I set my lantern in the middle of the road,
Or perhaps it was the middle of a battlefield.
The light reflected itself in the broken panes of glass,
Pain and love dancing amid the shelter of light it had created for itself.
Bringing warmth again.

Slowly, a black substance crept through the village walls,
Emitting itself onto the ground in thick droplets
Gushing through every doorframe and crack
As if the structure itself were crying, begging for more of the light.
Slowly finding peace.

I left the light there, knowing there would be
More lanterns I needed to carry.
More villages that needed to see again.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness cannot understand it.
Maybe it understands now.

Copyright 2012 by Ashley Williams

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ballad of A King

'Harp' photo (c) 2011, Steve-h - license: ballad is based on 1 Samuel 23-24 when David was pursued by King Saul. I'm amazed at David's strong respect for Saul as God's anointed even though Saul was after his very life. David's story is a reminder that God is faithful to those He has called according to His purpose, if only we'll submit to His timing and be willing to endure our present difficulties for the prize He is offering.

Ballad of a King

The driving rain looks like broken strings
     On a harp that will never be heard.
Hands once trained for music now turn
     To the rising prelude of war.

Alone, I roam through the hills of Hachilah;
     My armor is light but worthy.
An entire kingdom against one man;
     One soul devoid of mercy.

I never asked to wear your crown;
     But the monster had to be killed.
Your own heart melted while I stood strong;
     Now a throne is being rebuilt.

Like poison, your eyes cut into mine—
     Jealousy mingled with blood.
I fled to this world carved in rocks and clay
     Still, my exile wasn’t enough.

I’m drenched in this rain, but it feels like oil,
     Beading so thick down my neck.
I was born for this and I’ll die for this;
     Arms calloused thick with sweat.

I feel like an animal in your sight,
     Roaming these hills for safety.
The earth is wet and I see your footprints;
     You’ve entered my kingdom bravely.

My eyes have adjusted to the dark, and I see
     You sleeping there in my cave.
I draw my sword, but I’m not like you.
     Death will find you another way.

With my sword, I cut a piece of your robe,
     And left you in your ignorance.
The thoughts still echo that my time will come
     But my heart doesn’t calculate its imminence.

I wasn’t prepared for the ambush of troops,
     Or the murderous look from your eyes,
Until I tossed you the piece of your robe,
     Saying, “I spared your life tonight.”

Copyright 2011 by Ashley Williams

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autumn's End

'Autumn 2009' photo (c) 2009, dktrpepr - license:

It fell slowly.
     A breath of wind broke its last fragment of strength
And the little red leaf touched the brittle grass
     For the first time.

Quietly, it came.
     Like blinds turning slowly for the eyes to see.
The trees that change their colors are dying
     And yet, so very beautiful.

Day hastens to night.
     Pink clouds are like chalk against a slate-blue sky,
Until the rain gently washes the chalk away
     And lulls the world to sleep.

 Frost shavings
     Mount like peaks on a vein of scarlet cranberries
 While the faint scent of perfume on my coral sweater
     Reminds me of last fall.

  I remember how
     We tossed a football in the yard, and I was content
  Just spending time with you as orange leaves cascaded
      Between us.

  Now, outside my window,
       Flecks of gold litter the apple orchard floor
  Like fragrant petals that follow a wedding.
       I won’t rake them today.

Copyright 2011 by Ashley Williams

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Soldier's Story

'Flag of the United States of America' photo (c) 2009, Sean - license:
I dedicate this poem to all the soldiers
in our military who have given of themselves
unselfishly, even to the point of laying down
their lives. You deserve so much more credit
than you've been given, and I thank you for
protecting this great nation and the people who
live in it day after day. God bless you all, and
God bless America!

2 Chronicles 7:14-16

A Soldier's Story

Count every footstep I walked, if you would dare to go those lengths.
A soldier’s story isn’t written with your paper and your ink.
My soul beat out the words when only God came down to listen  
You were somewhere in your world while I was fighting your redemption.

I wouldn’t expect you to know just how dark the nights can get,
The coldness of a weapon’s metal or depth of a soldier’s pledge.
Talk to me all you want about your politics and regimes—
You handle the lesser details. Leave the fight and freedom to me.

My boots lay still against the earth on this bed of poison ivy;
I feel the New Testament warm my chest as nightfall cloaks around me.
The mud and limbs that shroud my frame are my blankets here tonight.
Another mission, take no prisoners, is the anthem of this fight.
I know each item’s weight, when my canteen is full or hollow.
When all of me is camouflaged, I lastly mask my sorrow.
My heart beats out a type of blood so different from your own
You count your idols while I bury the soldier you’ll never know.
I didn’t mean to grow numb to death, but it happened just the same.
I can’t ask questions about why or when the day they changed my name.
More haunting than the nights alone are the years we leave behind us—
Seeing myself in a trench laid low, cradling my gun in silence.

Four years I was gone; now I can’t even recognize my country.
I thought we were in this together, until you turned and shot me.
Shaking hands with the enemy, how quickly you’ve forgotten.
I thought our flag was beautiful; you burn it with lies and toxin.

Half of me is screaming out; the other half is patrolling.
One day we’ll launch our own attack on a day you aren’t expecting.
Trained, numbed mentally, and primed, I stepped onto this battleground.
I thought my wound was bad until the soldier beside me went down.

I wonder if you’d love me after all the scars I’ve taken.
I wonder if I get free speech or if this is still my nation.
I wonder if soldiers are born, or if they grow over the years.
I wonder if angels are sent, or if they followed us here.

Copyright 2011 by Ashley Williams

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beneath the Willows

'Willow and Lotus' photo (c) 2009, Jordan Wooley - license:
I felt led to write the poem "Beneath the Willows" as an encouragement to other people like me who are saving themselves for marriage and waiting for God to write their love story. This poem expresses the certainty of one day finding true love in the quiet times of waiting. Because the topic of romance is always prevalent in our society, I believe that a godly view this subject is not only timely to our culture but is also necessary in encouraging young and older Christians alike that waiting for true love is not an outdated term.

Hope you enjoy the poem, and God bless!

Beneath the Willows

From my window, I gazed passively at
     The lush willows surrounding my tower.
Hope filled every hour
     As I searched for you on one of the paths
Beneath the trees.

The lacy strands of the willows bowed low,
     Until every pebble felt its frail touch.
My heart has given much
     In these quiet moments, resting my love
In your promises.

It was always dawn or dusk, veiled gently
     Across the land, brushing the paths in gold.
Night never brought its cold;
     Only dreams that hinted at something more—
Warming my heart like soft embers.

Some days are long, others pass by softly
     Like the shadows that stray to find their place.
I never knew such a grace
     That would lead me here to wait for you in
Such sweet contentment.

I love you more than the heights of these walls,
     Around every bend of symmetric stone.
My heart had always known
     That somewhere amid these willows and vines
I would find you again.

I observe the tangled stems and wonder
     If today is to be the day—and yet
Even if time should separate us but
     A little longer, I will never leave
This window.
Copyright 2011 by Ashley Williams

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Don't Dream Your Dreams Away

photo © 2011 by Robert Linder

You’re cradling a phone to your ear, half-listening to the automatic machine play some unknown music from the sixties while you’re still on hold. In fact, it seems that every time you call this person, you’re on hold. Ugh! Frustrated, you return the phone to its receiver, thinking to yourself that you could have already had a load of laundry washed, dried, and folded during all the time you’ve wasted waiting for that person to pick up.

Most of us know what it feels like to be on hold, doodling on a pad of paper and writing our names in every font possible until either that person answers or we get tired of waiting and give up. But even more than having to wait on the natural things in life, it seems enormously harder to wait on those things that are close to our hearts. Dreams push us forward, catapulting us into a world that we might have otherwise never considered possible. They give us purpose, motivation, and above all, joy. However, many of us abort our dreams before God even has the chance to birth a miracle simply because we’re too impatient to stick it out.
A pilot, surgeon, athlete, singer, carpenter, mechanic, and musician—these are just a few of the dreams we have. However, even more than an occupation, some may dream of a restored relationship with a parent or child, a weeklong cruise to Alaska, or even a quiet night with their spouse away from the kids! Whatever your dream may be, one thing will always be certain: with God, all things are possible.

While we may think we know the destiny for our lives, we must remember the words of Proverbs16:9 which says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Make sure your dream is, in fact, from God. Seek the Lord through prayer, and find out if your dreams line up with His Word. If it does, then you can be certain that God will bless it, no matter what opposition comes your way. If you feel like you are still struggling to find God’s plan for your life, then don’t hesitate to ask Him.

Next step is this: pull out the kneepads and pray, pray, pray. And when you’re finished praying, pray some more. First of all, make sure your motives are pure and what you’re waiting on God for lines up with His Word. Is it rooted in your desire to give God the glory or for your own self-gratification?

It’s just like the phone call example. Sometimes even when we’re right in the middle of God’s will, there’s a waiting time. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not something to be despised. It’s just something that we have to go through in order to receive God’s harvest for our lives. But I’d like to pose another question: What if you’re calling the wrong “phone number” and are waiting needlessly? See, it’s so easy to feel a burning desire in your heart and in your own mind make every justification for it in the world, saying it has to be from God because of such-and-such reason (and you all know you’re as guilty as I am when it comes to this). The last thing God wants is for one of His children to venture out into an unknown land thinking they’ve heard from Him to do it and then get hurt. Just always pray for God’s timing in your life. And if you know for sure that God’s calling you to do something, then trust Him and go for it. He’ll always provide.

Know this: when you have a dream that has been planted in your heart by God, then there will likely be people sent to try to destroy it. And those people will using come in that waiting season, planting seeds of doubt until they’ve talked you out of God’s will for your life entirely. However, let your confidence and self-worth lie in God instead of other people’s opinions about you, and your dreams will survive whatever opposition comes your way—no matter how long the wait. 

Psalms 25:3 says, “Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed . . . ” Romans 5:5 tells us, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” These are only two of the many verses in the Bible that can encourage you to move forward toward your dreams and to use the waiting season as a time to draw closer to God, trusting Him that He will bring it into your life at the right time.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Obey and Be Blessed

Credit: Free images from

Have you taken the time to calculate just how fast your brain can react in even the most demanding situations? To test this, next time you know God is calling you to do something you don’t want to do, count to see how many excuses your brain can come up with in less than two minutes. Not even a high-tech computer can compete with that. However, as great as our brain is, sometimes even the smartest of us try to reason in our heads that when it comes to making decisions, we know more than God.

This is one time when your brain has let you down.

The problem with obedience has been around since the beginning of man. God tells us something, but we test our boundaries and then blame Him when something bad happens to us. True obedience – no matter what the case – never asks questions. It simply does what it’s told and trusts God with the rest. 1John 2:17 says, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” Abides forever. When you choose to submit to the will of God instead of your own flesh, the blessings received are not only for this earth, but even more, they are for eternity.

I love the example Joyce Meyer gives in her book The Confident Woman. She creates a mental picture of a father holding his little girl in a pool of water. As he walks further into the water, saying softly, “Deeper, deeper, deeper,” the child’s hands tighten around his arms. What the little girl fails to realize is that if her father were not holding her, she would be in over her head no matter where he walked in the pool, regardless of its depth. The same is true with us. We could never hope to make it through even the “shallowest” situations in life without God’s loving arms lifting us up. If we would only realize this sooner, more of us would live a lifestyle patterned after obedience. Even when the hard decisions come, God’s still holding us no matter how deep He takes us.

Job 36:11 says, “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.” God wants us to obey Him because He wants to bless us. Everything that God commands us to do is always for our own good, whether or not it seems that way in its beginning stages. Remember, God sees the whole picture. From my house, I can’t see the beach. I can’t see the Statue of Liberty in the horizon. I can’t even see a tip of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. My vision is limited to where I live, and if I never knew about anything else other than what I saw day after day, I would always be content with my surroundings. The same is true with our spiritual life. God wants us to obey His direction even when we can’t make it make sense in our heads. (Note: this is where faith really comes in handy!)

Close your eyes and let Christ be your eyes for a while. Where is He trying to lead you? Are you willing to follow His guidance, or do you try to reason with Him that you know what’s best for you? “I know what I’m doing, God,” you might say to Him. “I’ll be careful.” But He doesn’t want your carefulness, just as any loving parent wouldn’t want to hear their child say, “I’ll be careful in the road.” True obedience doesn’t try to get around doing something or find an easy shortcut.

Your job isn’t to go through the scenarios in your head of what will happen if you start to follow God and it fails. Your job is to trust in His sovereignty and go forward with His plans. Your job isn’t to search the world for Mr. or Miss Right, wondering if God has heard your heart's desires or is aware of your "single" status. Your job is to trust that if God keeps closing doors for relationships in your life, it is because He is saving the BEST mate for you and is arranging to bring His choice of a spouse to you in the timing He has chosen. Your job isn’t to calculate your finances before determining whether or not you will go forward with something God has told you to do. Your job is to show God that you trust Him completely by putting your checkbook in His hands, sow your seed into God’s Kingdom in faith, and have confidence in knowing that He will cause you to reap a harvest because of your obedience. In short, your job is to trust God and obey His leadership in your life. There is a good, an acceptable, and a perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). I choose to have His perfect will for my life. What is your choice of the three?