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I have known despair
I value hope

I have tasted frustration
I value fulfillment

I have been lonely
I value love
Today the rains came, without any warning
I watched droplets forming, pooling on the ground
the trees dissolving into palest fog
into the quiet of this forest, void of birds
traveling off to some secret world
perhaps to some cavernous mountain hollow
with glorious wings, I dream to follow
through the darkened woods, hidden by ferns
through harrowing clouds to be one with birds
with gorgeous feathers, downy warm
among the flickers, pheasant and crow
to be an evening silhouette in the alpenglow
a skylark winging in a painted sky.
Sara L Russell 8th June 2016*

Dear Sir or Madam, we regret to say
your manuscript is not quite what we need;
so therefore we're returning it today,
with all good wishes that you will succeed.
* * *
Dear [your name here] regretfully these days
we do not read submitted manuscripts;
we're mainly doing television plays
and cannot give out full critiques or tips.
* * *
"I'm sorry but our editor's away
and he's the only one for poetry
what was your name again? But I will say
we will get back to you eventually."
* * *
No news is good news, so we carry on
till everything but desperation's gone.
 Nov 2014 Riq Schwartz
Sometimes, there ain't nothin' to say--
and on these days my tongue lays limp
and delicate and ashy
like one of those incense sticks
just before the ashes drop and disintegrate.

On these days my mind is an insomniac
attempting sleep just before sunrise--
jostling in a half-hazy-lazy rapid eye sedative lullaby
crooning potential plot points from French voices
about a story I've be writing for about a year.

On these days nothing seems finished
from a monster vegetable and eggs breakfast appetite
to a thought about that magic lightning stick.
It's as if there's this thick fatty mist
that smells of boiled ham and peas around my being.
 Nov 2014 Riq Schwartz
v V v
(the reconvening of my mind)

It's always the extremes
that bring me back to center,
but it's the trips I take on purpose
that remind me its time to go home.

Today it was the thought of blood.
I cannot stand the sight of it,
and neither would I brave a plunge
in icy depths this time of year.
I’d rather gather sunlight
and convince myself there are
no ghost revivals,
only blood reprisals from
daddy's DNA.

I tell myself
I need to get away
to where I can pray
again, to quit giving in,
to stay and fight wars,
the black, the white,

the gray fluttering darkness that
comes out of nowhere swooping
past my ear, scaring the **** out of me
as if it never happened before
but it has, its just been a while.

So I call for a council of angels,
then prepare for the riptide
of demons that join the fun when
my cranial convention convenes.

The left against the right,
The east against the west,
The pros against the cons,
all the ups and downs,

I don’t give a **** what it is
just give me back my wars.
Give me back my reasons to live.

Give me Nietzsche
Give me Brennan Manning
Give me Sam Harris
Give me Frederick Buechner
Give me Bertrand Russell
Give me Henri Nouwen
Give me Daniel Dennett
Give me Gerald May
Give me M Scott Peck
Give me Pia Mellody
Give me Dante
Give me Jane Kenyon
Give me the Marquis de Sade
Give me Dostoyevsky
and that should just about do it.

Within these names exist
enough controversy,
enough conflicting views
on life, on love, on God,
enough heresy,
enough truth,
enough lies,
enough knowledge,
enough beauty
to keep me waging wars
inside my head until the day I die.

Give me back my wars.
Canto II in process..
 Oct 2014 Riq Schwartz
When we look to the horizon hand in hand,  I know we could be so much more than this.
And when we're together you know we're still just kids.
Deep down inside the big brown eyes of the man I...

Is a boy who was gentle and shy and put down and beat up
For just getting by
I see your sadness.
Falling in an unplanned heavy rain
Your soul a heavy burden
Drenched, soaked in pain.

When I see you
I remember the sunny days
The seemingly endless fields of grass, covered by a warm haze
It leaves me with no more to say but
how could we ever let that slip away?

Or have we ?
Big brown eyess
i'll make believe
i never saw your face
beneath the moon

but that glow will forever
haunt me

and i'll long for you
every n i g h t
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