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Dec 2019 · 476
"December 24"
Frank Russell Dec 2019
Quiet prayers
sheltered within

- fr
Oct 2019 · 760
Frank Russell Oct 2019
I designed and built this valley mansion
   obscuring a view of the mountains -
A magnificent multi-storied structure
   with many rooms dimly lit or darkened,
A few rooms admitting a minimum
   of filtered starlight.

In one room only
   is there occasionally
   direct blazing sunlight
And this is the room of longing.

- fr
Oct 2019 · 268
Frank Russell Oct 2019
Subconsciously, perhaps,
You knew from the beginning
This point would be attained  -
This awareness
I would question and
Ultimately disprove
All you have ever believed
As truth  -
And, in the process,
Rewrite and recreate

- fr
Oct 2019 · 416
Frank Russell Oct 2019
Searing time droplet
on earth's shattered glass mantle -
new creatures appear

- fr
Sep 2019 · 306
Frank Russell Sep 2019
A set of verses finished,
assigned to paper  -
though read, now or later,
remain strangely incomplete  -
neglectful of some
important addendum.
   There is always
an undefined
element missing  -
as if the soul were not
properly emptied
onto the page  -
always an
elusive sun-ray
gleaming just outside the
poetic endeavor
that written words
can never fully capture.

- fr
Sep 2019 · 709
Frank Russell Sep 2019
Musty old volume
an intelligence encased
brittle paper snaps

- fr
Sep 2019 · 285
Frank Russell Sep 2019
A form is perceived  -
Then all of the additional baggage
Your memory, imagination
And emotional inclination
Hang upon and drape over
The perception  -
Yet you point
And tell me this is
   the truth of Reality.

- fr
Sep 2019 · 431
Frank Russell Sep 2019
Biscuits and tea -
abstract girl entertains
Victorian ghosts

- fr
Sep 2019 · 1.3k
Frank Russell Sep 2019
Agreed, that love is attraction
    - though not only surface sensual,
      as you maintain,
      not only toward the external -
But that sweet involuntary pull is
      also inward for expansion;
      for interior sifting
      and resolution.
Love is primarily attraction to
      unexplored depths
      of the self.

- fr
Aug 2019 · 172
Frank Russell Aug 2019
Darkness envelopes
river basin odyssey
leaving no guideposts

- fr
Aug 2019 · 812
Frank Russell Aug 2019
Flash of enlightenment
When, pained and struggling,
You at last reach the
Subterranean chamber
And find the Psyche juggling
Christmas cookies and

- fr
Aug 2019 · 729
Frank Russell Aug 2019
Little Billy said
oh yeah?    wait and see what
i do with sonnets

- fr
Aug 2019 · 170
Frank Russell Aug 2019
This is my narrative  -
     writing only
     to clarify for myself
     a conception of the world,
     my own self-conception  -
This should hold no value
     outside of me....
Save that all narratives
     seemingly overlap
     tend to meet and embrace
     seek interaction
By some unconscious urging
     or primal need.

- fr
Aug 2019 · 147
ESA, 2019
Frank Russell Aug 2019
So we begin dismantling
     and whittling away at
The prime protection
     for threatened creatures who
Share our world  -

As the cold overlords
     have determined that worshiping
The almighty dollar
     is of more value than
     the essential diversity and
Divine sanctity of life.

- fr
August 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Interior announced revisions to the Endangered Species Act for purposes of deregulation and making 'economic costs' the key factor in determining whether or not a species "deserves protection."
Aug 2019 · 147
An American Dog
Frank Russell Aug 2019
"Shut up!"

Something raises my guard  -
     I begin to bark.
Immediately a human feels
Obligated to shout at me:
     "shut up!"

I'd like to speak your language.
     Just once.  I truly would.
The language that you obviously
Are so very much enamored of  -
     you utter it even in sleep.

And all of your waking hours.
     Talking and gossiping.
     Speculating and chattering.
     Jabbering and yakking.

Talk, talk and even more talk  -
     you must be infatuated
With the mass of gibberish
Belching forth from your mouths.
Morning, noon and evening  -
     through the extended night  -
All of you, constantly talking,
     gabbing, talking, babbling, talking...

And how rarely you communicate
     anything of any importance.

Shut up.

- fr
Aug 2019 · 261
Ulterior Motive
Frank Russell Aug 2019
A particular preacher
Delivered the words
  Love your neighbor as yourself
Using the commandment
As an empty axiom
To establish religious superiority;
As a knife in the gut
Of non-believing neighbors.

- fr
Aug 2019 · 221
"August 6"
Frank Russell Aug 2019
My fascination
with a spider  -
old hag kills both

- fr
Aug 2019 · 202
Frank Russell Aug 2019
Passionate yearnings
rise weightlessly to caress
starless space above

- fr
Jul 2019 · 157
Outer Sanctuary
Frank Russell Jul 2019
Newspaper, radio, television
- by choice or default -
Gory deeds, misfortunes and
Dark tendencies
Of humanity.

Contrive justifiable
Dwelling exit.

Respite on curbside
In sweet, cleansing
Early morning drizzle...

- fr
Jul 2019 · 354
Frank Russell Jul 2019
A form emerges from the darkness
Raising its head and opening eyes
To perceive the lighted world
In which it is a necessary manifestation.
The form desires expression
And so composes a few verses
Describing the lighted world  -
Before dissolving back into
The darkness.
Though while the form was
Briefly perceiving and composing
It referred to itself as
"Immortal Poet."

- fr
May 2019 · 202
A Loner's Antitoxin
Frank Russell May 2019
Gather and concentrate
     all inane trivialities
     of a superficial world  -
Make an assemblage of the shallow
     trifling nonessentials
     describing the tedious rounds  -
That which daily contributes to
     irascibility, animosity,
     elevated blood pressure  -
Group these ever-present torments
     into a single image
     held in supreme contempt.

Then cultivate a gentle scorn
     for even the act of contempt,
     the very inclination to contempt  -
Wholly displace
     the despised solitary image
     and resentful reaction  -
Demystify and purify
     the reflection perceived
     in the headwaters  -
Make lucid and sharp
     the awareness that is
     oblivious to

- fr
May 2019 · 530
"East Colfax"
Frank Russell May 2019
Blue jeans and lipstick
she awaits her beloved  -
sirens in distance

- fr
May 2019 · 201
Thirty Dollars
Frank Russell May 2019
My home.  Behind dumpster.
Live there.  Sleep with gravel
     tearing my cheekbone.
Get work sometimes  -
     not enough paycheck
     to move out.
Food, cigs, quart of beer.
Money spent.

Need to use facility.
Some businesses just say "no."
Others have restrooms that read:
     "Customers Only."
But money spent.

Go back home.  Behind dumpster.
Doin' my business.

White car pulls up.
Officer steps out.
"Urinating in public."

Fifteen dollar fine.
Fifteen dollar court costs.

Thirty dollars
     for *******
     on my own home...

- fr
Nov 2018 · 244
Frank Russell Nov 2018
Concepts are only
     in the mind
     and after the fact  -

Love occurs
     here and now
     as dynamic action.

Simply discussing an
     idea of love
     is classroom dissection
     on a corpse  -

Love is
     the living, breathing
     to the inquiry.

- fr
Sep 2018 · 740
To A Young Artist
Frank Russell Sep 2018
Paint a picture for me -
Brush strokes in elephant blood
     of corrupted soil and
     toxic waterways,
     sunless air hanging over
     bombed-out orphanages -
But create with these elements
An image positive
In tone and direction
Framed by youthful vision -
Paint for me a picture
     of possibilities -
Convince me there is a way out...

- fr
Jun 2018 · 769
Frank Russell Jun 2018
A lifetime alone
In this individual sphere -
Though there were seasons when
Love erased the pain
Of self-consciousness.

- fr
May 2018 · 1.3k
Frank Russell May 2018
I said to myself,
   "Someday soon you will
     be dead and gone.
     Your consciousness dissolved.

Myself replied,
   "What does this mean?
     I have no experience
     with which to relate."

"This is true," I acknowledged, "but
     you possess imagination
     and thus may conceive
     of opposites."

"Yes," Myself agreed, "but
     imagination can only construct
     with what has been received.
     To conceive of
     the void of all conception
     is beyond my parameters."

- fr
Simply having some fun with 'philosophic solitaire.'
May 2018 · 534
Frank Russell May 2018
Ease into silence
healing reprieve before
life's cacophony

- fr
Apr 2018 · 1.9k
Why Earth Day?
Frank Russell Apr 2018
Because we are earth.
Because we are not here
And nature over there.
Because it is a dysfunctional mental habit
To conceive of ourselves as separate
From the flowing energy of the planet
- the air, water and nourishment -
That we transmute to our own energy.
Because we set aside a day to recall
How dangerously mistaken it is
To treat as a lowly inexhaustible slave
One that is both single-minded parent
   and sustaining comrade,
Worthy of love and respect.

- fr
Apr 2018 · 391
Last Chance
Frank Russell Apr 2018
Awkward - as the infinite
Black of night against
A background of baby bonnet pink.
No sustaining verse issues from
An unreflecting pool
Stagnant from deprivation of
Refreshing waters of life.
Cold intellect attempting
To compose poetry alive with
Crisp sunrises, rolling streams,
The perfume of a bashful girl -
Cold intellect, anxious and sad,
Desperately trying to
Regain a solid footing on earth,
Make its stand in a world
Of daisies and mockingbirds
Before it's too late.

- fr
Jun 2017 · 1.4k
Frank Russell Jun 2017
This has nothing to do with the Absolute -
     this idea of God.

In childhood, God was the loving
     Father in the sky -
Outsized, sporting a flowing white beard, and
     ever attentive to my prayers.

Now, God is an abstract notion -
     transcendent and immanent,
Infinite, eternal, and
     difficult to embrace.

But all of this has nothing to do
     with God -
All these continually mutating
     mental constructs.

- fr
May 2017 · 719
Frank Russell May 2017
This is not the mentality
     by which we were schooled -
This sense of nothing
     solid about ourselves -
Nothing permanent, nothing stable
     to lovingly cleave to -
That "I" is only a
     transient idea of "I"

- fr
Apr 2017 · 676
Frank Russell Apr 2017
Intense loneliness
personifies itself
before inanimate walls

With a variety of
empathetic characters
to populate the room

Weaving and performing
an anxious dance
of justifications

For never permitting
to be exposed.

- fr
Mar 2017 · 1.3k
Frank Russell Mar 2017
All matter is fluid
She believed
As she passed effortlessly
Through the concrete -
Then realizing the passage
Was in imagination only
She felt the warm blood pumping
From her skull onto a
Cold factual sidewalk.

- fr
Apr 2016 · 717
April 9
Frank Russell Apr 2016
Overcast and pouring -
though two of us within the hotel
were preoccupied.

Dim light through an open window,
cool breezes to soothe us,
ageless fresh rain-scent
having banished city odors -
and you and I intently
engaged in each other.

A sweet isolated happiness.
Those in adjacent rooms
complained all evening of
miserable weather.

- fr
Apr 2016 · 609
Frank Russell Apr 2016
Said the old farmer
to the big city technocrat,
"Small wonder you're so anxious -
a part of nature
that has forgotten nature
has lost its identity."

- fr
Mar 2016 · 873
16th Street Philosopher
Frank Russell Mar 2016
People are mostly feelings -
they're all churned up.
So they go misdirected,
not thinking too clear, you know?
And everything gets messed up,
even though they keep preaching
peace and love.
Now, it may be true that the human race
won't be saved without love -
but love won't be saved
without intelligence.

- fr
After talking with a panhandler in downtown Denver
Mar 2016 · 1.6k
Frank Russell Mar 2016
The Professor instructed -
we can never know anything
outside of our own minds.

Yes, but...

It's reassuring to know
your love and tenderness
are not figments
of my imagination.

- fr
Mar 2016 · 443
Frank Russell Mar 2016
Abruptly introduced itself
at the midnight sanctum
in an immobilizing face to face -

The dark substratum
that is everyone's birthright,
infinitely intricate
ominous and exacting -
Taunting, "Think you can redirect me
with your petty conscious resolve?
I am in your dreams and habits,
your very brain stem,
every cell of your body.
Do you understand the power I possess?
Do you actually believe, for a heartbeat,
that you can keep a small
self-conceived candle

- fr
Jul 2015 · 885
Frank Russell Jul 2015
Genial artist
deer roaming mountain meadow
merge in pastels

- fr
Jul 2015 · 802
Frank Russell Jul 2015
Corn stalks and
wildflowers -

- fr
Jul 2015 · 1.1k
Frank Russell Jul 2015
This woodland
differs by lack of

Backward on the road
lies the stifling Void -
granted safe haven
behind complex cosmetics -
crass trivialities -
and labeled
"the real world."

Here, in the forest,
there is only

No effort
is required
to breathe.

- fr
Jul 2015 · 755
July 25
Frank Russell Jul 2015
A crescent moon
creates sublime
mountain silhouettes

Against an unclouded
background dome
that is the Milky Way

Beneath which cool
vigorous breezes -
carrying scent of pine
and highlands river -

Drift over underbrush
where crickets sound off
in their perfect pitch

And sitting here
on the wilderness threshold
I await
philosophical and literary
inspiration, but
- nothing.

So, simply a nod
in gratitude
to the unadulterated

- fr
Jul 2015 · 976
Notes At The Arkansas
Frank Russell Jul 2015
River as persistent
as the enduring ******
for self-preservation -

Carving by currents
and flowing within
a necessary course

by ancient
inherent law.

Oblivious to danger
and ignorant of doubt
it is perpetually unconcerned -

The river carelessly
without discrimination -

Ever sustaining
trees, grasses and
underbrush shelters

Home to life in its waters
and nourishment for those
that come to the banks

Never quarreling with any
human imposition
be it sport or utility

And always providing
the perfect primordial
music for meditation

Always offering
an immaculate lullaby
for the tranquil restorative
of sleep.

- fr
Jul 2015 · 504
Frank Russell Jul 2015
River glides
beneath ice

- fr
Jul 2015 · 509
Frank Russell Jul 2015
Rock as blade -
mountaintop punctures
cloud cover

- fr
Jul 2015 · 433
Frank Russell Jul 2015
Dig maniacally
with fingernails
to Earth's core

Proceed banging,
bloodying the skull
against the iron sphere

Still, the question
"Substance?" remains ringing
through pulsing headache.

- fr
Jul 2015 · 608
Frank Russell Jul 2015
Free thought path
through twilight of faith
- wake to gold

- fr
Jul 2015 · 351
Frank Russell Jul 2015
Blissful happiness
when the mind
is evading thought

Is absolute hell
to whom thinking
is bliss.

Apr 2015 · 580
Frank Russell Apr 2015
A teacher said:
"The only constant
In the cosmos
Is Change."

A student asked:
"And what of Being?"

- fr
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