Essential Element


“The best-laid plans.”

“The egg unhatched.”

“The circle, its ends unmet.”

“A triad missing its third…”

“Thus only a dyad.”


The nave is cold, cheerless,

No sun to set stained glass windows afire with stories. 

The benches unyielding, polished planes thick with dust,

Sound swallowed and darkly vaulted above.

The altar, richly hung with heavy cloths, tarnished chalice its crown.

Cobwebs occlude, where once a holy remnant hung.

Architecture, impeccable by design, might inspire devotion.

But what’s a place of worship without prayers?


“This is the church.”

“This, the steeple.”

“Open the doors.”

“Go out and serve the people.”


© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2019)

Carrot Ranch Prompt (12/26/2019): In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the phrase by design. It can be used in any manner — a label, a mantra, a story.

7 thoughts on “Essential Element

  1. Pingback: By Design « Carrot Ranch Literary Community


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