15.7k · May 2014
Mango Tears
r May 2014

Beneath the mango tree
death turns slowly -
creaks the branches/
untouchable - the tears
hanging low above the ground -
slowly swinging - no more singing/
beneath the mango tree.

r ~ 5/30/14

Recent event in the village of Katra, India.
11.7k · Mar 2015
r Mar 2015

I like old glass
with bubbles

Pockets of breath
of the dead laid to rest

I break and I breathe and I taste

Their spices
and vices

Kisses from wives
Curses and verses

Songs of themselves
Wine of their wrath

Salt from their baths

Smoke from their fires
Sweet tastes of desire

Shared sighs and cries
Dead butterflies


r ~ 3/16/15
Maybe I should save it in a bottle and put a cork in it. :)
8.3k · Nov 2014
r Nov 2014

when my son was younger
he asked -

how old are the mountains
from where did the First People come
why does the sun sleep in the ocean
what is the color of rain

now that my son is older
stronger, wiser and bolder
he asks -

how old are the mountains...
...what is the color of rain

some things don't change.

r ~ 11/30/14

Hey, Son. :)
7.9k · Sep 2014
r Sep 2014

i still try to remember
to take my boots off
at the door

my feet are wet
from walking in the rain

i leave laetoli footprints
on the pine floor
-like the first man

trying to walk upright
but can't seem to
get it straight

There's a lot of empty space
in a house
so full of quiet

wishing for thunder.

r ~ 9/5/14

  |     •
/ \
7.6k · Apr 2014
Water and Flame
r Apr 2014

As water is to cleansing rain
and heat as to burning flame,
so are you to me; the same.
My fiery rain.

Fill the gutter of my mind.
Fire the coal your heart has mined.
Burn me to the end of time.
Your fire does reign.

r ~ 4/1/14

7.5k · Mar 2014
Cactus Moon
r Mar 2014

The waning hours
Asleep in time
A dream in rhyme
Desert sublime
So says the moon
So setting soon
Upon the dunes
Cactus flowers

r ~ 19Mar14

6.5k · Oct 2015
Where it all starts
r Oct 2015

Listen, it's a beautiful thing
when distilled to its essence;
reduced to its purest form.
A paradox and a paradigm;
a paragon of perfection.
Epic in its arythmetic
progression; poetic.
Like Chinese arithmetic,
so hard it hurts. Yet soft
and exquisite, like a bubble
of love caught in a beating heart.
That place where poetry starts.

6.3k · Aug 2016
The light of mourning
r Aug 2016

There was a girl
I used to swap paperbacks
and spit with, once
I fixed her wiper blades,
I remember the soft dead wings
on the windshield,  pretty
as you please

She was alone in her shoes
listening to something
that kept getting darker
and glowing like morning
on the oil spilled under her truck,
she was drifting through
the rosewater of her soft red hair

She only wanted to be rolling
off a swollen river, sliding
out of a clean slip, turning
over in a deep sleep, trailing
a shimmering thread, hiding
under a pile of wet leaves

Then there she was sailing
in her river of blood,  going
white and smelling like smoke
from a struck match behind
closed blinds on a ceramic floor,
a white blouse red as a sharp knife
collecting the light of mourning.

6.0k · Mar 2016
r Mar 2016

She is an atlas
her eyes deepest
and darkest Africa

Unfolded I hold her
tracing the source
of her diamonds and gold

In search of the motherload.

5.8k · Aug 2014
Ebola doesn't color well
r Aug 2014

Her crayola box lacks
all but two colors
-red and black-
mustn't go outside the borders

r ~ 8/4/14

  |     doctors without borders
/ \
5.7k · Jun 2014
r Jun 2014

Caroline loves the ocean.  
Her soul sails on a Carolina breeze.
But her music's in the mountains,
and her heart's back home
where it needs to be.

I'm stuck here
in a Carolina wind,
wading in the ocean
with my heart in Tennessee,
and my mind on Caroline.

Carolina's got everything
a man could want.
Everything he needs.
It's got the mountains and the ocean.
It has a Carolina breeze.

He has everything but Caroline;
everything but Tennessee.

r ~ 6/22/14

  |     Carolina ocean breeze
/ \
5.6k · Jan 26
Brush with the ancients
r Jan 26

Sometimes at night

asleep by the firelight

I dream about them

how they died

some are singing

and others saying what

they no longer see

walking fencelines

limping as if in pain

some of them handsome

and some mysterious

silent but not

for long they tell you

men scarcely know

how beautiful fire is

and old stories

they can't remember

unless you can

still look them in the eye.

4.7k · Jul 29
Blue threadbare armor
r Jul 29

At dusk I hang up
a worn blue work
shirt that smells
strongly of love
of dirt of the earth
melancholy, sweat
yesterday's brews
the blues, regret
twenty cigarettes
black breath
of the bone moth
old blood, moon dust
spring pollen, summer
grass, Autumnal weed
winter's cold blast
sea salt and pine needles
mountain laurel, desert air
my dog's hair, I swear
I can't bear the thought
of washing or throwing away
all the stains, the growing pains
the laughter, the sorrows
these history lessons I need
to get me through tomorrow.

3.9k · Jul 2014
Wheat fields
r Jul 2014

I am wheat
I cry, I cry
You leave your dead
At my feet
Oh why, oh why

At Gettysburg
We cried
Again, again
They rose and died
Below our stalks
They lie, they lie

From Stalingrad
To Leningrad
One million dead, one million dead
The Panzers came
Wheat fields aflame
They burned, they burned

And once again
You leave your dead
Ukraine, Ukraine
Oh, Putin's shame
The innocent lie
In wheat, in wheat.

r ~ 7/19/14

  |    Malaysia Air Flight 17
/ \
3.5k · Jan 2015
r Jan 2015

An Oklahoma politician
wants to outlaw hoodies
in the hood

It's true, it must be
I read it in Fox News  :)

I'd sooner be in Missouri or Cleveland
or New York City where you don't have to
wear a hoody or raise your hands to get shot

There are other things more pressing
than hoodies in the hood
that don't need ironing

like hoods in suits
and the elephant in the room
that needs shooting.

r ~ 1/6/15
3.4k · Feb 2015
putin syndrome
r Feb 2015

a pentagon study
determined that putin
is an anti-social control freak
kind of vermin

(really? this required a genius
kind of keenness? really?)

darpa should stick to cool things
like the internet and invisibility cloaks
and drones armed with pork parts

a rodina rodent in the grain
needs spankin'
with more than just sanctions

cuz knocking out their incisors
doesn't make them any nicer

- a rat with no teeth
is still a rat.

r ~ 2/9/15
3.3k · Nov 2014
immigration reform
r Nov 2014

i still straddle the fence on this
immigration reform manifesto

i see both sides of the story

it's good to have the grandfather clause
for the immigrants in my bloodstream

- the scrappy scots-irish-ingles-welsh
in me - but too late for the cherokee

behind the old fences of history.

r ~ 11/9/14

3.1k · Aug 2013
Her Sacred Geometry
r Aug 2013

She constructs by hand
Seven circles in the sand
A seed of life
Part of the flower
Of her life’s power
In word and art
Oscillating vibrating
Harmonic healing
Sent to me
Sacred geometry
1 Aug 13

HP Friends,  hitting the road.  Will stay in touch from Tennessee as time and situation allows.  Last poem for a bit.
2.9k · Apr 2014
Black Lipstick
r Apr 2014

She hides her smile
behind black lipstick.
Her voice is low
and in between.
She smells of loneliness
and cigarettes.
She sings for me
when she is high.

She gets me higher
than I can go.
She takes me low
and in between.
Her heart's on fire
when she sings.
Her voice is smokey,
full of pain.

She sings of loneliness
and broken dreams.
Her dance is low
and in between.
She gets me high
and lets me down.
She kisses me
with black lipstick.

r ~ 4/29/14

2.9k · Apr 2014
Unrequited Rain
r Apr 2014

It's not the rain
that makes my eyes wet.
It hasn't rained in forty days.
Nights are long and quiet.
The silence cuts to bone.

It wasn't rain that quenched the fire.
It hasn't rained in forty nights.
The well is dry... so am I.
Nights I sit in silence
while it rains.

r ~ 4/19/14

2.9k · Aug 2013
r Aug 2013

Where is your son
He's lying dead
On a street in Lebanon
And the God of your fathers
Has left you alone
Wrap him in a white shroud
Cry out loud
Any sensible God
Took the first train out


2.8k · Nov 2014
r Nov 2014

as fragile
as a songbird -

her hands

knotted and spotted
from many winters

november came one last time -
i held her hands in mine - gently

- gently, she flew away
to where songbirds go
when it's cold in the mountains.

r ~ 11/18/14

For my mother, Betty Taylor Richardson (8/9/1935 - 11/18/2013).
2.8k · Jan 2014
The Poppy and the Drone
r Jan 2014

While Zafar takes his crop to town
Businessmen snort heroin
Teens buy bundels to fill their veins
With housewives Oxycontin reins

The Generals demand their Percs
Technocrats love Dilaudid's quirks
While drones fly over Zafar's field
Counting flowers for next year's yield

r  9Jan14

2.7k · Nov 2014
No Sonnet for Wilfred Owen
r Nov 2014

Here, and over here -
The fortunate sons

Those who made it home
To fields and hills of native tongue
In the soil their people toiled
- They listen quietly when we come

There, and over there -
Beneath crossed lines too many

Still - they man the trenches
Along the Marne and Somme
Below the woods of Belleau
And the forest of Argonne

No sonnets in a foreign language
Rendered where they languish -
The distant rest far and away
In a cold November grave

We should remember
Here and there
The old lie -

And the young.

r ~ 11/11/14

In memory of poet
Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918)
and all who gave.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month
2.7k · Mar 2016
Smoke through a spiderweb
r Mar 2016

Love is like driftwood
coming and going
with the tide

Love is a hurt animal
breaking the quiet
of the night

Love is like smoke
through a spiderweb
hard to hold onto

Love is pleasure, love is pain
like sunshine and rain.

2.7k · Nov 2015
r Nov 2015

I feel like a foreigner
standing on a pier
waiting for word from a lover
across the blue water of tears.

A sad day. We stand with France.
2.7k · Mar 2015
Bridge of the Grand Dragon
r Mar 2015

It only takes one bullet to kill a king
But you can't kill a dream

The talk is talked
And the walk is walked today

It's a shame the bridge is named
for a hood who wore a hood

The good General turned grand
in the land and time of dragons

that feasted on Sundays
and still would
if we let them

Or maybe not

Maybe it's a fitting reminder
A bridge to a kinder
gentler place

Because we're better than that now
Aren't we

r ~ 3/8/15
2.7k · Apr 2014
r Apr 2014

Led down from the tower
Head high and hands bound
Blindfold declined against the wall
Black square pinned to his heart
Eyes afire and shining proud
He sang...

He sang of Caruso, Townes Van Zandt
Pavarotti, Bocelli, Mercury,
Carreras, he sang of Antoine,
Of Sinatra, Lennon, Morrison, Redding
He sang and songbirds paused in flight
He sang like them all

He sang a song of himself
Of leaves of grass, of second comings
Of Byron, and Bharti, and Cummings
He sang of Neruda, and Plath, Tagore
Dickinson, Kamala Das and Naidu
Oh, he sang of them all

He sang of art and beauty
Of Mona Lisa and starry nights
Girls in green dresses and pearls
He sang of Van Gogh, of Picasso
Of Rembrandt, da Vinci
He sang of Michelangelo

He sang of sadness, pain
He sang of My Lai, Sand Creek
Of Guernica and Krystallnacht
He cried and sang of Wounded Knee
Of Katyn Forest, Sabra and Shatila
Oh, he wept as he sang

He sang of history and wonders
He sang of Olduvai and pyramids
Machu Picchu, Tikal, and Angkor Wat
He sang of a great wall, the Taj Mahal
Stonehenge, Easter Isle, Mesa Verde
His song took us to them all

He sang of courage
A song of Bunker Hill, Gettysburg
Of the Alamo, Normandy, Stalingrad
Of Lincoln, Guevara and Dr. King
He sang of Bolivar, Bhutto, Ghandi
He shamed us with their song

He sang his song...
As women sighed and peasants cried
He  sang until the rifles fired, he died
Songbirds fell from the sky
Soldiers broke their guns on stones
And marched into the deep blue sea.

r ~ 4/12/14

2.6k · Oct 2014
new day
r Oct 2014

expectations low-
another day aimed my way

- till the sky became
a color never named
and changed my world - again,

a new day.

r ~ 10/12/14

  |      O
/ \
2.6k · Sep 2014
r Sep 2014

I'll give you shelter
before the rains come

September's settling in
like a setting sun

I can see the dark clouds
coming your way

Let's sit out on the porch
and watch the day fade to gray

There's lightning on the horizon
and thunder under the wind

Why don't you stay here awhile,
it's good to see you again

We'll go inside and light a fire
when the night gets young

I'll give you shelter
before the rains come.

r ~ 9/22/14

  |     """"
/ \
2.5k · Apr 2016
The sad the lighthearted
r Apr 2016

I love you
like a bride
loving her body,
the madman
the desert,
like the horse
loves its shadow,
the sad the lighthearted,
I love you like
a wanderer his ballad,
a poet his dark room,
like the moon.

2.5k · Jan 2016
Wind that leaves me cold
r Jan 2016

Someday I will leave
the cold sea

Leave its dark quiet wake
like all the long nights
I've forgotten

I will go sleep
on the soft shoulder
of the mountains

Watch her hands
cupping the moon

Somewhere west
of these frozen sad dunes

Say goodbye to the cry of the gull
and the bluewater wind I love

that leaves me feeling so cold.

2.5k · May 2016
Acres of sadness
r May 2016

I dreamed of my father
crossing the fields
on his one-eyed tractor
mowing acres of sadness
heading east of a moon
that'll be gone tomorrow
and I waded the creek
beneath a ridge
where my mother is shearing
dead roses and the smell
of those flowers floating
to the foot of the mountains
reminds me of her hair
and my father's laughter
disappearing across the hill.

2.4k · Aug 2014
the painter
r Aug 2014

tinted postcards
from Vienna-
Munich oils on canvas-
a self portrait
on a stacked-stone bridge-

rejected, the painter painted
yellow stars-broken glass
Judenstern and Kristallnacht

no starry night,
no van Gogh-
der Führer was no master,
Mein Kampf no masterpiece.

r ~ 8/25/14

  |     Night of broken glass
/ \
r Sep 2016

deleted for contest submission

2.4k · Nov 2013
Orphan Trains
r Nov 2013

Many were their numbers
Living in city streets and slums
Brothers and sisters torn asunder
Gathered up like bums
Nineteenth century’s answer
Created by Children’s Aid Society
Indentured servants to farmers and ranchers
Shipped in cattle cars like  propriety
Struggling in their suffering
Confused used and oft’ abused
Terror in their wayfaring
For being parentless accused
The disruptive ones placed in chains
Scattered to the winds across the land
The far west and the Great Plains
North to Canada and south of the Rio Grande

Billy here, Danny Boy there, and Sally who knows where
The Children of the Orphan Trains

r  13 Nov 13

2.4k · Sep 2014
r Sep 2014

I find solace in the clouds
-she brings rain
to cool my brow

tranquil in my fever-
I close my eyes
and leave here

solace in tranquility.

r ~ 9/4/14

For Joe Cole's challenge.
2.4k · Mar 2015
r's poetica
r Mar 2015

I thirst in my search
for words
that came first

in verse and in song
what's been here all along

since Peking (wo)Man
singing in the womb
at Zhoukoudian

when the first moon climbed
above branches frozen in time -

our rhythm and rhyme -
a memory of a memory
of the history

of how a poem came to be.

r ~ 3/21/15
My apologies to the great poet Archibald MacLeish (1892 - 1982)
2.4k · Sep 2014
r Sep 2014

Your eyes-
coal black fire
mirrors of my desire

Your mouth-
warm bath of oaths
bespoken for

Your breasts-
rouged red-bullet tipped
honeysuckled bliss

Those hips-my reins
move you the way
I need you most

and your kiss-
like a hiss from a dip
of a branding iron

burn me with your lips
and make me yours-
ride me into the abyss

-of sighs.

r ~ 9/25/14

  |     §
/ \
2.3k · Dec 2014
left-leaning ants
r Dec 2014

ants lean left more than right
it's true, it must be

i read it in Fox News

especially the red ones
that wear berets
like Che

the impertinent invertebrate
arsonist fire ants

who tend to get stepped on
by the man
who exterminates

according to anthropologists.


r ~ 12/30/14
2.3k · Nov 2015
Dark pools
r Nov 2015

I like her black dress,
the way it pools at her feet.
How she walks to the bed,
spilling over my sheets.
I drown in the depth
of her eyes.

r Sep 2014

that trendy heroin(e) addiction
becomes you- and your fiction

goes well with the pale
-skinned thin western booted
blue-eyed shooter
riding sidesaddle
on your scooter

does she kiss like me
and bring you coffee?

i could lay you both down
in the in-betweens
and make heaven-

til hell is heavy as a monday
track day in albuquerque
while she sells your jewelry
in sante fe where it's trendy

-i'll be waiting
on the blue mesa.

r ~  9/19/14

2.3k · Mar 2016
Lanterns of the lost miners
r Mar 2016

Last night I woke up
to the light of 1000
dead children from other
places where faces have
forgotten how to smile
in dirty white shirts
and smudged skirts
holding up lanterns
like lost miners looking
for answers in a dark hole.

You know the world is a sad place when the Pope Instagrams a request for our prayers.

2.3k · Jul 2014
Appalachian blue
r Jul 2014

Blue the mountains
holding close in view
sacred smoke of yesterdays
blue fog shrouded trails
beneath the rhododendron

falls of sweet blue water
replenishing the rivers
sapphire lakes reflecting
splendor of the bluest hills
above the peaceful valley

hear the sacred music
of the blue ridge mountains
magic in the songs of old
forever blue my appalachia
blue the hills I used to roam.

r ~ 7/4/14

 |      ^^^^^
/ \
2.3k · Nov 2015
r Nov 2015

The last time we kissed
I broke out in hives
from the honey on her breath
and the sting of her lies.
I swear, I'd die a thousand deaths
if she were the queen of my hive.

2.3k · Jan 2015
camera obscura
r Jan 2015

light travels in straight lines

but truth often gets inverted

when worded through the pin-

holed window of closed minds

and blinds us with distracting

theories refracting on white walls

in a world of royals and riyals

and unnamed dark chambers.

r ~ 1/12/15
2.3k · Oct 2014
Subversive poetry
r Oct 2014

hacking the cloud
to paint the sky

- code in words
gets the color
down between the lines -

beneath the verse -
perfectly - poetically

- subversive.

r ~ 10/19/14

  |     01100011100001
/ \
2.2k · Feb 2015
winter blue lament
r Feb 2015

play me an air
   a bluebird lament
something meant for the breathing
  to remember

  all i want to hear
is a soft melody
  sad as the winter
still on the wind

     let your bow waltz
on the strings of my heart
     let the sound
  of your fiddle
set sail

play me an air
   like the bluebird did
     while i dance
  with the snow
in my hair.

r ~ 2/25/15
2.2k · Jan 2016
Things the dead leave
r Jan 2016

Two fishing poles, a feather,
a leather jacket with holes
on both elbows, forty-four
dollars and change in
an envelope, some dope,
a pair of worn out cowboy boots,
a clay flute shaped like a bird
that can't whistle a tune worth a lick,
an unused bus ticket, a picture
of two kids laughing pretending
to fly; an eyelash in my eye.

In memory of a brother.
2.2k · Oct 2015
A rose
r Oct 2015

Oh, sad Poet,
of the heart,
mapping the geography
where sadness
is the topography
of your soul.

Oh, Cousteau
of the changing tides,
like an oceanographer,
an admiral  spying
the enemy on the horizon.
Your sorrow comes and goes.

Oh, builder of sad dreams
in your house of many rooms,
but one door. Like a grave,
a casket shellacked with
black paint, a mural
of a shadow on the wall.
Architectural sorrow.

Oh, you sad Poet,
open your eyes,
paint us a poem of a rose.

Poem penned straight at the author.
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